Asshole.

Jeff’s an asshole.

He was born an asshole in 1972 and ruled the roost until ’74 – the year of the Golden Child (a.k.a. me). You don’t really buy that, do you? It’s on the internet, so it must be true.

We were typical brother and sister. Between the constant arguing and tattling, we screamsecretly loved each other. Tell anyone, and I will flat out deny it. I hated him. He hated me. But, no one could hate me the way Jeff did.

We grew up in what we commonly refer to as “the boonies.” Travel on up to Fairview and bear a right past old Vernon’s Market, third dirt road on the left. Trees as far as the eye can see as we were on the “southern gateway to Cherokee National Forest.”

Imagine a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old – no cell phones, no internet. Hell, our TV barely picked up three channels, and one of those was PBS. What good is PBS once Sesame Street goes off? We were bored. It was summertime, and we were bored.

Anyone who knows me knows I love to sing. Jeff even told me once I was okay. One Sunday after Sesame Street went off, Jeff slips off to his room. What the hell was he up to now? I had to act like I didn’t care, but I cared. I moved to the velvety swivel rocker adjacent to his room and subtly inched it around. I needed to have a better view. Ah ha! He had that thing-a-ma-bob out. You know, that board with electrical junk – gauges, springs, wires. He got it for Christmas. He tinkered with it often, but I had no clue what it was for.

Finally, he was done. “Tracy! ‘Mere,” he yelled.

Pause. Dramatic eye roll. Continue.

Pause. Dramatic eye roll. Continue.

“What?”

“Go to mom’s car. Turn on the radio and flip it to AM. Tune it until you hear me. See if you can hear me,” he ordered. You know what? I was so bored I didn’t even argue. I ran out to mom’s ol’ orange pinto with the white racing stripes down the side and followed his instructions.

Within seconds, I heard him! “Testing, testing, one, two. Tracy can you hear me?” Holy shit. “Yes! I hear you! YESSSSSSS,” I screamed! My idiot brother was a genius! I took off running towards the house still shrieking, “Jeff! I heard you! I heard you!” He came running out of the house and met me half way, scooped me up into his arms and swung me around – both of us jumping and laughing.

bro

“You be the singer, and I’ll be the DJ,” he chimed. Hours. We played for hours. “This is your favorite DJ of the South ‘Jivin’ Jeff” spinning your favorite tunes. Up next for your listening pleasure, a hot new artist, Tracy!” He cupped his hands around his mouth and did the whole fake crowd roar. I’d run in from the car and belt out a Whitney Houston tune while he ran to the car to listen.

 

We got a lot of exercise that day, physically and emotionally. By the end of the day, we were friends. It was getting dark, and we dare not stay out because there were monsters in the woods. As we walked towards our little singlewide, he threw his arm around my shoulder. We didn’t say a word until he intentionally pushed me up the porch steps.

Once an asshole, always an asshole.

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A watch….on your…tongue??

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Ronald McDonald watch

Exact replica of “the watch”

So, I googled “watch on tongue” just to see if anyone else had ever experienced it. Surprisingly, there were no results. I felt compelled to remedy this! I can cross off “find a google search result for ‘watch on tongue'” from my bucket list – if this ever shows up, that is.

It was the summer of 1984. My mom was enthralled by General Hospital. I could care less about GH at the time but was happy to sit in the living room with my mom. I was the kind of girl who would stop dead in her tracks if a “Lee Nails” commercial came on. I could recite every word of most commercials when I was that age. Mom was busy gossiping on the phone to her friend about how she thought “Holly was pregnant with Robert’s baby!” That’s when I saw the commercial. That’s when I saw something that I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life without. The Ronald McDonald watch. O to the M to the G! This watch was not only red (my absolute favorite color) but it had Ronald McDonald’s face right on the front – holding the time! WHAT?! This watch had to be mine. My life would not be complete without….this watch.

My family was well below the poverty level, I’m sure. Going to McDonald’s was a huge treat for us – much less being able to afford an extra toy! I knew acquiring this watch was going to take some begging and possibly some crocodile tears. I was more than willing to turn on the waterworks to get what I wanted. I warmed up to her slowly about it. I had to feel her out, you know. “Oh wow, MOM! Did you see that Ronald McDonald watch??” “Mom, MOM! The McDonald’s commercial is on again. There it is! Did you see it!?” “MOMMMM, you missed the commercial with the watch I want on it, AGAIN!” Would she ever acknowledge my desperate need for the watch? Didn’t she know how cool this watch would make me?

 I knew acquiring this watch was going to take some begging and possibly some crocodile tears.

Eventually the commercials quit airing, and I put the watch on the back burner. Honestly, I simply forgot about the watch and found new things to obsess over. Months went by. Seasons changed. Next thing you know, it was Christmas.

My parents were divorced at the time, and it was my dad’s year to have us for Christmas. Mom always bought presents for me and my brother to exchange from “each other.” I think she bought a model car for me to give to him. Anyway, it was Christmas morning. YES. We could finally open our presents! Of course, I went for the biggest presents first. I don’t even remember what I got that year – except for the last present. The present from my stupid brother. Oh, this should be good. He hates me. This is going to be something stupid. He picks it up and hands it to me with a shit-eating grin. I snatch it from his grubby fingers and roll my eyes as I begin to tear it open. I saw red…and not in a bad way….this was…. I begin to rip that paper off like there was no tomorrow. This was…THIS WAS THE WATCH! MY WATCH! Oh my God. YESSSSS! SCORE! I have THE absolute most fantastic brother that has ever walked the face of the earth. I jumped for joy and screamed like a girl (which may have something to do with me being a girl)! I couldn’t open that package fast enough. My hands were shaking as I placed the watch around my wrist. Dad had to fasten it for me because I was too excited to breathe. I forced my brother to let me kiss his cheek. “Thank you, thank you, thank you. You so don’t suck,” I chanted.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. You so don’t suck

I sported that watch around like I was wearing the Hope Diamond. I was so careful to not scratch it against the table when we sat down for Christmas dinner. Later that night, dad told me to go take a bath. Ugh….I hated to take a bath but okay..okay already….just stop griping about it. I’ll take the bath. I stomped into the bathroom and hopped in the tub. Why do I have to take a bath anyway? I don’t have school tomorrow. It’s not like I got dirty opening Christmas presents, sheesh. I pretended to wash my hair and got out of the tub. I grabbed the towel and began to dry off. Ran the towel down my arm and felt it hit something. What the….oh yea, my watch. My watch…..MY WATCH!? Oh no…..I turn my wrist to look at the time and realized…..

My watch wasn’t waterproof. How was a 10-year-old to know that this watch wouldn’t be waterproof?? I had waited months for this watch that I couldn’t live without and within only a few hours……I had killed the watch. There sat Ronald McDonald smiling like a Cheshire cat holding a box – of nothingness. My heart sank. The tears began streaming. I had to pull myself together. I HAD to fix this watch. What can I do?? What if….

I grabbed a set of tweezers and pried the back off the watch. Maybe, just maybe if I dry it out really good, it’ll work again. Looking around the bathroom, I spotted the hair dryer. YES. That will do it. I’ll dry it out with the hair dryer, and everything will be just fine! I laid the components on the counter and went to work. After drying it out, I realized it wasn’t working still. But, what if….oh yea! I bet it has to be put back together completely before it’ll work, right?? Right. So, I put the guts back in the watch and placed the back on. I pushed down as hard as I could, but it just wouldn’t snap back on. Solution? Bite down hard on the back. So in my mouth it goes. I bite down as hard as I can…..SNAP! YES. That should do it! That should…get my watch…wait….what the? WHAT? Umm…the watch had snapped shut ON MY TONGUE! Wait, wait, wait….it’s just barely caught, right? WRONG. This watch was snapped tightly to a piece of my tongue. I pulled. I tugged. I tried to swallow – much to my disappointment. This watch was going nowhere. I shimmied into my nightgown and opened the bathroom door. “Dad?” Silence. “DADDDD, I NEED YOU.” He darted in there faster than a speeding bullet. He cocked his head to the side like the RCA dog and burst out laughing when he saw me standing there with my tongue outstretched – watch and all. “What on earth…” he muttered as he tugged on the watch briefly. I screamed. It hurt! He tried for a good 30 minutes to get that watch off my tongue. FAIL.

Fifteen minutes later, we arrived at the emergency room. My hair still wet from the bath; my hand cupping my mouth – watch and all. We approach the front desk and the lady asks, “What do you need to be seen for?” Dad nudges me, “Show the lady why we’re here.” I simply stuck out my tongue and she belted out a laugh. Good for you, go ahead and laugh. Get it out of your system! Once she composed herself, she took me to triage where I had to listen to dad explain once more how the hell I got a watch stuck on my tongue. After her giggling episode, she led me to a room. What felt like 6 hours later, the doctor comes in. “If I read this chart correctly,” he scoffed, “you have a …..watch? stuck on your tongue?” He looked up from the chart to me….back down to the chart…and back to me. He then proceeded with one of the biggest belly laughs I’ve ever heard. “In all my years of doctoring,” he was snorting by now, “I have seen fish hooks in eyes, broken arms with the bones sticking out, but I have NEVER…..” yes, still laughing, “NEVER seen a watch stuck on someone’s tongue!” When he finally calmed down, he placed a piece of plastic flat against my tongue and used a scalpel-looking thing and popped the watch right off. Needless to say, I was OVER that damned watch, and I never wanted to see it again! Stupid Ronald McDonald watch….his hair looks like someone puked red kool-aid on his head anyways.

I told my coworkers this story in November. We all exchanged gifts at Christmas. After everyone was finished, one of them spoke up and said, “Oh yeah…..we have just ONE more gift.” She hands me a small package. I open it up….they had bought me the watch for Christmas! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! But one things for sure………It’s not going anywhere near my mouth!

What the….wha??

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Image I needed a new obsession. Let’s blog.

I’ll start out by telling you that we all have a story. Mine just happens to be better than most. Jaaaaay Kaaaaaaaaaaaaay. Let me introduce myself.

I’m the girl who got a watch stuck on her tongue. Yes, it’s possible. I am a singer to an audience of corn. Use your imagination. I am a superhero and a klutz – call me Super Klutz (original, i know.) I am a drinker of coffee for the rush of caffeine. I am a leaver-on-the-channel because I’m too lazy to find something on TV. Country music is my genre because it makes me feel better about my own life. Sometimes I hide. Sometimes I shine. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I give a damn. Sometimes I don’t. I am everything my past has made me – I am everything I strive to be. I may be something different tomorrow than I was today. But, one thing’s for certain…..I’ll still be me.

But, one thing’s for certain…..I’ll still be me.

Stay tuned for a collection of true, funny stories, heartbreaking stories, inspirational stories and whatever I feel compelled to write. I adore you already!