Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Leighann Lord Joins Team iPhone

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono
at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
In a stunning year-end move, comedian and tech nerd Leighann Lord has joined Team iPhone, effectively ending her more than decade-long relationship with Research in Motion’s BlackBerry. Whether it was the Pearl, the Curve or the BlackBerry Bold, all of her phones have been plagued with problems including random data deletions and frequent battery pulls. “I saw the spinning watch icon so often,” said Ms. Lord, “That I thought it was my wall paper.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rug Rats

If I could I would live in a sterile, hermetically-sealed bubble decked out like an IKEA flagship store display. And then there's my car. It doesn’t rise to the level of the TV show “Hoarders,” but it’s somehow become a repository for boxes, comedy merchandise and umbrellas. None of this, however, explains the rancid odor that took up residence in my car last week. It smelled like a cranky toddler shat in my glove compartment.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Shopping Again? Didn’t We Just Do This?

This post is a new and improved version of an older post. Enjoy!

Christmas comes on the same day every year and yet it always seems to take me by surprise.  One minute I’m at a Memorial Day picnic contentedly chomping on a burger, the next I’m sniffling through “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  Where does the time go? And, as if to help us, stores are putting up Christmas decorations earlier and earlier.  Soon, I expect to see a sweaty Santa in a wife-beater tee-shirt selling back to school supplies in a shameless yet ingenious display of cross-promotional advertising.

School bells ring
Are you listenin’?
It’s still summer
Santa’s glistenin’

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How I Spent Black Friday, Really

I can’t prove it, but I’d be willing to bet that the murder rate escalates around the holidays. I confess I had manslaughter on my mind when I went to Wal-mart on Black Friday. Yeah, you heard me. I went to Wal-Mart on Black Friday. All I needed was one thing: a screen protector for my iPod. What I got was my feelings hurt.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner in a Diaper! Let's Do This!

Kudos if you’ve managed to already escape the office, if you haven’t please just stop pretending to do work. You’re not fooling anybody. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I sincerely thank you for reading, enjoying, commenting, and sharing my weekly humor blog. I hope it makes you shake your head, smile, laugh out loud, or all of the above. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pump Up The Jam

They say you know you're getting older when you think the music is too loud. That's not true. I've always thought the music was too loud. When I was 18 years old and I went to my first nightclub, I was shocked by the stratospheric decibel levels. It felt as though the booming base was reverberating through my DNA. Between the tsunami of sound and the flashing lights I feared a stroke was imminent. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fan Fight: The Bublé-Bieber Battle

I lucked out and got the chance to be the warm-up comedian for “Michael Bublé’s Christmas Special” which will air in December on NBC. Pronounced “Boo-Blay” you may recognize his chart topper "Haven't Met You Yet" from his 2009 “Crazy Love” album. This Frank Sinatra-style crooner sang Christmas classics with Latin singer Thalia, country music star Kellie Pickler, and hosted special guest ... wait for it ... Justin Bieber! Wow! That's a big get. What could go wrong? Funny you should ask.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Scent of a Black Woman

So, I’m standing in line at the dollar store waiting to pay. I’m dutifully looking at all the impulse items that were put there to get my attention and that’s when I saw  my favorite: the display of cheap perfume body sprays. I was expecting the usual plastic bottle assortment of vanilla, coconut, strawberry. But the bottle that caught and held my eye was a scent I’d never seen before called Black Woman. Really? Was this from the people who brought you White Woman? 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Running From Kathy Bates

My friends seem to dig the fact that I now run to stay in shape. They encourage me and give me kudos all the time. But it drives me nuts when I hear them say, “Oh, ‘I’ could never do that.” I say, “Yes you can!” Because — as of this writing — none of my friends are paraplegics. As we used to say back in the day: there’s nothing to it but to do it. And here are a few tools to help.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Beautiful Day for a Protest

Two friends invited me to go with them to the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City and I said yes for purely selfish reasons. First, I hoped to get a good story out of it. Second, the weather forecast said it was going to be 80 degrees and sunny. What better conditions to exercise my constitutional rights? Yes, I’m a fair-weather protester. I don’t work for the United States Post Office. If the forecast had been for rain, snow, sleet or hail, the most protesting I would have done would have been to hole up in a Starbucks and send an angry email. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Running at the Speed of Evolution

When I hoped for the chance to do another 5K run before the end of the Summer, I never dreamed I’d be doing it in another country. September found me in the Middle East on my seventh tour with Armed Forces Entertainment. While staying at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, the head of our security team knew I liked to run and mentioned that the base was doing a 5K Freedom Run to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of September 11. Perfect! I was all in. I did blanche a bit when he told me that the run was at six o’clock in the morning. But hey, when I wished for a chance to run, I neglected to tell the Universe what time would be good for me.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Almost Went to Jail Today

This morning, I saw a Little Girl sitting in the park by herself. She was quiet and content but that was hardly the point. She looked to be about four-years-old, entirely too young to be by herself without a conspicuous, supervising guardian near by. There was no one. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Furry Baby Part Two

At around 7:15am on Sunday, my dog Rolie became very ill. He couldn’t walk, his head rolled to the side at an odd angle, and it looked like he was having a stroke. We rushed him to the vet who diagnosed him with Canine Vesticular Disorder, an affliction common to older dogs. He’s been at the Vet for several days now, recovering more slowly than we would like. We miss him dearly and can’t wait for him to come home. And so I’m re-posting a blog I wrote a few years ago about a similar brush we had with furry worry. It all worked out then, and I hope it all works out now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No. Thank YOU!

Kevin Downey Jr., Carole Montgomery
Jeff Shaw, Katsy Chappelle, Leighann Lord
Mark Riccadonna
I am currently on my seventh tour with Armed Forces Entertainment, my third performing for the troops in the Middle East. This time around I’m visiting bases in Bahrain, Kuwait and Djibouti. I’ve lost count of how many people come up to me after a show in the states to say thank for “going over there.” They tell me about their sons, daughters, grand children, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, cousins, and friends. I’ve had the pleasure of talking to service men and women from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. (The Black Ops guys aren’t really chatty.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Babes on a Plane

When I got to my row on my jam-packed US Airways flight to Charlotte, North Carolina, there was already a woman sitting in the middle seat. It wasn’t until I got comfortable that I saw she had a sleeping baby on her lap. He wasn’t asleep for long. 

UPDATE: American Airlines Has Read My Blog! Thank You!

My last blog seems to have gotten the attention of the folks at American Airlines. They reached out to me via email. From a journalistic stand point, I think it’s only right that I publish their very thorough response and in fact thank them for taking my complaints seriously. Thank you, American Airlines. I honestly didn’t expect any response at all. I’m not completely satisfied with all the answers I received, BUT it is nice to be heard and acknowledged. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Dear American Airlines, You Suck! Again!

So, I got to the airport with my two allowable carry-on bags. American Airlines forced me to check one and then promptly lost it. Well to be fair they didn’t actually lose it. The Miami ground crew decided not to put it on my plane. They chose instead to send it down on the next flight. No worries, right? They would simply forward it to me wherever I happen to be staying in Nassau. Too bad I wasn’t staying.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Give Me One Reason to Stay Here

For the first time in my entire career as a professional performer, I walked out on a gig. I picked up my purse, bid farewell to the Promoter/Booker/Deejay and took my Black Ass home. There have been many gigs over the years that I wished I had walked out on. Or just had the flat out good sense to say no to them in the first place.

Monday, August 1, 2011

New York City Girl

It happened again today. I’m at least a thousand miles away from home and someone said to me, “You look like a New Yorker.” They’re right, of course, but they said it with such a surety I wondered if they somehow also knew what side of the bed I like to sleep on.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Bad Breakup. E-mail: A Love Story

I'm going through a very messy breakup and some of my friends are taking sides. For reasons both shallow and practical I switched from AOL to Gmail. Yes, there was some peer pressure involved. It seemed like everybody who was anybody had a Gmail email address. It said, “I’m young, I’m hip and I’m hot.” AOL wheezed, “I’m old, I’m tired and I’m not.” AOL is the dividing line between people who may have once [gasp] paid for email and those who never have.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

When Daddy’s a Dumb Ass

It’s summer time. School is out and presumably parents are already beginning to feel the pressure of dealing with their own progeny without the buffer of a school day. There’s bound to be some strain, some fraying at the edges, but I thought parents could at least hold out until August.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Great Spanx Experiment

One More Thing I Can Check Off My Bucket List  ---

It’s not necessarily true that you need to experience something personally in order to write a joke about it, but it helps. I’d heard comedians (male and female) tell jokes about Spanx long before I knew what they were. I could figure out from the context of the joke that Spanx are this generation’s girdle, the poor woman’s liposuction, another tool in the arsenal to avoid diet and exercise.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What’s a Doggie Bag Between Strangers?

So I'm having a lovely Sunday dinner out with friends. My meal was okay, but not worth taking home when the waiter asked if I wanted a to go box. I said, no thanks, but then the man next to me piped up and said, “Oh, I’ll take one.” He didn’t mean he wanted a to go box for “his” food. He wanted the box for mine. And no, I hadn’t offered.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When Did Walmart Start Hiring Floor Mammies?

Okay. It was my fault. I should not have been in Walmart on a Saturday afternoon so I guess I brought this experience on myself.

I’m standing in an epically long line. I imagine that outside of this discount retail cocoon, civilizations are rising and falling while I wait. There’s a family in line behind me: parents, two kids. Their youngest was a little boy of about four. Together with a little friend the two of them were very busy laughing, tussling and playing. And then it got a little too good to them. They started chasing each other around the register in faster, and faster laps. It is, of course, impossible at that age to run without screaming. But there comes a point when the sound of young people playing at the top of their lungs swings from being endearing to just straight up annoying. I reached that point with surprising speed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Anthony Weiner, Show Us Your Stimulus Package!

Ok, America, we need to put this Anthony Weiner thing into perspective. Yes, he lied. All politicians lie. People lie. Let he who is without a social media networking presence or a camera on their cell phone cast the first stone. But in the middle of the hoopla, let us not lose sight of what’s important. Money.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Best Seat in the House

My degree is in Journalism & Creative Writing with a minor in Theater Arts. That wasn’t the plan. The plan was to get a degree in finance and go to work on Wall Street, but plans change. I spent my first two years in college slugging it out with intro to business classes only to get knocked out with the one, two punch of macro economics and statistics. Liberal Arts here I come.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Meeting the Generation Gap, On My Way to Becoming the Crazy Aunt

My Niece knows that I travel a lot by plane, and she asked if I had yet gone through one of the new airport body scanners. I told her, no, that I try my best to avoid them, and she seemed truly perplexed by my aversion. I thought it was obvious. I mean, where do I begin: efficacy, safety, privacy? When she stared at me blankly, openly dubious of my objections, I was hit by the reality of our generation gap. My distrust of airport scanners must seem to her like my Mom’s misgivings about bank ATMs seem to me. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

“Is That Your Real Hair?”

“Are Those Your Real Manners?”

“Is that your real hair?”“Are those your real manners?”
This is one of my favorite jokes in my act because in real life people ask very rude questions, and we all wish we had a snappy retort ready to go. The joke gets two reactions:

1. Knowing head nods and murmurs of approval from people who’ve been asked this crass question.

2. Dead silence from the people who are guilty of doing the asking. They feel called out and judged, and I’m glad. Sometimes comedy has the power to entertain and teach.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Right Eye Goes Rogue and My Inner Conspiracy Theorist Talks Smack

© 2011 Leighann Lord

I go to the doctor every year for an annual check up. He’s never asked me to do this. It just seems like the prudent thing to do, but I think it makes him and the people who work in his office uncomfortable. Theoretically they know that preventive medicine is a good idea but in reality they usually only get to see sick people. Healthy people are a rarity. When I called up last year to make an appointment, there was some confusion about this.
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“Hello, Medical Center Appointment Desk.”
“Yes, hi, I’d like to make an appointment to see my Doctor.”

“What’s the problem?”



“I’d just like to come in for a checkup.”

“A checkup? Oh . . . uh . . . ok.”
See what I mean?

This year was a little different.
“Hello Medical Center Appointment Desk.”

“Hi, I’d like to make an appointment to see my Doctor.”

“What’s the problem?”

“My right eyelid is twitching.”

“Great, can you come in on Wednesday?”
I put the appointment in my BlackBerry and reminded myself that the receptionist’s chipper tone wasn’t a case of Schadenfreude.

My right eyelid started twitching while I was doing my taxes. One minute I’m elbow-deep in receipts, staring at my meager finances in an out-dated version of Quicken and the next, my right eyelid was doing the Lambada. I don’t actually do my own taxes. I just can’t. I’m a smart woman but our current tax system is beyond me. As an independent contractor I can’t just hand in a 1040EZ. I need the slightly more complicated 1040FU.

Thankfully, I have a great accountant who handles the actual forms but it’s not his job to sort through my tear-stained receipts. I have to make sure all my deductible expenses are sufficiently annotated and properly categorized. But because I hate doing this there’s lots of procrastinating, grumbling, and apparently now eyelid twitching.

I explained all this to my Doctor and he said it’s not really that unusual. His diagnosis: stress. His recommendation: chill out. Seriously, he said, “chill out.” A $20 co–pay well spent? I don’t know. Should a doctor’s advice sound like something you’d hear said in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure?

Its things like this that make me question the quality of my medical care. Shouldn’t my doctor have recommended I get an eye exam, an MRI, a cat scan? Sure, it could just be stress, but it would be nice to rule out a stroke or a brain tumor wouldn't it?

My Inner Conspiracy Theorist (ICT) began making noises, pointing out that it’s probably cheaper to tell me I’m fine then to order tests my insurance company may not pay for. Am I really receiving good health care or just being placated?

My ICT reminded me that the medical degree on my doctor’s wall says he graduated but it doesn’t say where he placed. It’s one of the catch 22s of being economically middle class. I don’t make enough money to see the doctors who graduated at the tip top of their class from elite medical schools, and I’m not poor enough to see them when they slum around doing charity work. The burbs are just not the first place Dr. House goes to build up his pro-bono street cred.

My ICT claimed that if I were really wealthy an annual check up would include a visit the dentist, optometrist, audiologist, cardiologist, podiatrist, and dermatologist, just for starters. Given the loquaciousness of my ICT a session with a psychologist might be nice too.

I’ve long suspected that the best medical care in my family goes to my Dog, Rolie. He gets post cards in the mail (addressed to him) reminding him to come in for his regular shots and exams. Rolie has cataracts, which the Vet caught early with just a casual glance, never once suggesting that it might just be stress.

The ranting of my ICT aside, I do believe my doctor is probably right. When I’m not spending oodles of time in front of the computer playing forensic accountant on a deadline, my face is fine.

But part of me had already been wondering “what if.” What if I had to do stand-up comedy wearing an eye patch? Would that make me look edgy and sexy, or pitiful and sad? Clothes horse that I am, would I coordinate eye patches with my outfits, or just go for basic black? Would eye patches be a clothing or medical deduction? Clothing, I’d have to prove I wear it only for work. Medical has to be a certain percentage of my income. What percentage? I’m not sure. Net or gross? I don’t remember.

And this is when the eyelid twitching starts.

I’m hoping on my next visit I can convince my doctor to write a note excusing me from doing my taxes all together.

Join The Urban Erma on Facebook or follow on Twitter. You can listen to the podcast on Podbean or subscribe on iTunes. Leighann Lord is a stand-up comedian, who's style is best described as "Thinking Cap Comedy." If comedy were music, she'd be Jazz. Check out her upcoming shows @ www.VeryFunnyLady.com. Join her on FaceBook. Follow her on Twitter.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Manners are Due a Dog

The Lost the Art of the Knock

When I was growing up my Mom used to say that manners are due a dog. I don’t know if that’s true for all dogs, but if I say, “Excuse me” my dog, Rolie, will move. If I don’t, he won’t.

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Basic manners and courtesy are not inherent in our species. We are born rude and crude. The niceties have to be taught, learned and practiced. The problem is learning good manners is like learning a language, the younger the better. You can learn later in life but it’s a lot harder, and perhaps the principles don’t sink in as well.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I’m Big in Uzbekistan?

© 2011 Leighann Lord

I’m not a social media maven. I’m on the big three: LinkedIn, Twitter and FaceBook. Technically, I’m still on MySpace because I just don’t have the heart to delete the account. I completely ignore it, which is probably worse. Believe it or not, there are still quite a few folks on MySpace. They’re arguably not the most trendy lot, but Luddites like good comedy too. My Mom, the lead Luddite, who is not computer savvy at all conflates MySpace and FaceBook, calling it MyFace. This is wrong, of course, but it might also be disturbingly prescient.

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My Mom’s lack of tech savvy aside, I sometimes forget how global social media really is. I was reminded when someone from Yzbekistan started following me on Twitter. (And yes, my Mom calls it Fritter.)

Yzbekistan? Geography is not my strong suit so I have no idea where that is. I asked Google, and Google said, “Did you mean: Uzbekistan?” Probably. “Y” and “U” are right next to each other on the Qwerty keyboard and my new follower – “Mr. Stan” — probably set up his profile like many people do: late at night after a glass or three of wine, hoping to wash the taste of MySpace out of their minds, and start their online life anew. This might understandably lead to a typo or two. I’m sure there are a few folks on Twitter who claim to be from Bew York.

According to Wikipedia, The Republic of U/Yzbekistan is part of the Stan family: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. My respect for Mr. Stan grew as I realized the how badly he could have spelled the name of his home country. U.S.A. seems easy by comparison.

As tickled as I am by new Twitter followers, I was also a curious. Is comedy in general, and my style in particular, big in U/Yzbekistan? I didn’t know I had a following there. Does one guy constitute a following? Maybe not but in a population of only 27 million, one’s not a bad start. Maybe I should include them on the world tour: Amsterdam, London, U/Yzbekistan.

How would folks in the part of the world even know about me? Do they get Comedy Central? Are the U/Yzbekis buying the “Def Comedy All Star Jam” (Season 7) DVD from Amazon? Did they stumble upon my YouTube page? Looking at Mr. Stan’s tweets were no help. Most were written in Uzbek. The easiest thing might have been to go to the source. Follow back and ask Mr. Stan himself why he’s following me, but that seemed a bit rude. I’ve never interrogated my UK, German or Aussie followers.

Sadly, I don’t know much about Mr. Stan’s corner of the pale blue dot. I’ve been to Afghanistan (performing for the troops in 2002) but I never left the Khandahar Airport. At that time it served as a very bullet-ridden Marine Corps base. If you judge a place solely by its airport, no one would ever come to New York. There are parts of JFK International that make Greyhound Bus terminals look cutting edge and elegant.

I’ve read “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns” but again that was about Afghanistan and Pakistan, not U/Yzbekistan. And while well done, I think the airport rule applies. For example, not all Black women are waiting to exhale. A bout of childhood asthma notwithstanding, some of us are breathing just fine.

I saw a documentary once on the National Geographic channel about Kazakhstan. They have an interesting court ship custom. The male members of the groom’s family steal the woman he wants to marry. The women in his family then spend hours convincing her that this is a good idea. We in America call that kidnaping and unlawful imprisonment, but it does alleviate the pressure of having to come up with a well-crafted e-Harmony profile.

Aside from my lone Twitter follower, the people of U/Yzbekistan are a mystery to me. But while we probably laugh at different things culturally, the need to laugh is inherently human. French writer, Romain Gary said,
“Humor is an affirmation of human dignity, a declaration of man’s superiority to all that befalls him.”
So maybe in U/Yzbekistan, a country often criticized for its domestic policies on human rights (according to Wikipedia), the people there need as much comedy as they can get. In this they share a common bond with us here in America. As my Mom would say, thank goodness they have access to MyFace, Fritter, LinkedUp and CrudeTube.

Join The Urban Erma on Facebook or follow on Twitter. You can listen to the podcast on Podbean or subscribe on iTunes. Leighann Lord is a stand-up comedian, who's style is best described as "Thinking Cap Comedy." If comedy were music, she'd be Jazz. Check out her upcoming shows @ www.VeryFunnyLady.com. Join her on FaceBook. Follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Off With Their Hair*

© 2011 Leighann Lord

I’ve heard that in some parts of India when a woman receives a blessing she gives thanks to God by cutting off all her hair. Couldn’t I just send a thank you note?

“Dear God, Good looking out! You’re the best!”
- Love, Leighann xoxo

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Is cutting off all your hair really the best way to say thank you? If God knows your heart, then he already knows whether you’re truly grateful or not. If you do the deed but you’re faking the funk, it’s probably not going to count.

I’ll confess, my reluctance to cut my hair is pure vanity. I’ve had dreadlocks since 2001. They’re long. I love them. And I don’t have the slightest intention of cutting them for anybody. My goal, in fact, is to be the Black Rapunzel.

Now I don’t know if the hair cutting thing is mandatory, but it might look a little awkward if you’re the only one not doing it. Sure you’re giving the people around you the gift of feeling morally superior, but chances are they won’t see it that way.

In the grand scheme of things, hair cutting is harmless. The gods have usually asked for a lot more than that. Historically, when a god did you a solid you had to come across with something big: livestock, a virgin, a baby. Virgin baby livestock? Bonus. And usually, you had to fork this over ahead of time with no guarantee that god would keep his end of the bargain. Because while god answers all prayers, sometimes the answer is no. That’s a helluva an out-clause isn’t it? But I’d expect an omnipotent being to have a good attorney. I’d be disappointed if he didn’t. So even the spiritual buyer needs to beware.

That’s the one part of the hair-cutting-thank-you exercise that makes sense. The women in India do it after they receive a blessing, not before. Well, that’s the way they do it now. They probably didn’t always. I bet back in the day some chick cut her hair off first, waited around for something good to happen, god reneged – as is his contractual right to do — and we learned that hell hath no fury like a woman scalped.

*This post was originally done as part of my recurring segment on Agnostic Radio, The Word of the Lord.

Join The Urban Erma on Facebook or follow on Twitter. You can listen to the podcast on Podbean or subscribe on iTunes. Leighann Lord is a stand-up comedian, who's style is best described as "Thinking Cap Comedy." If comedy were music, she'd be Jazz. Check out her upcoming shows @ www.VeryFunnyLady.com. Join her on FaceBook. Follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Furry Boys Have a Falling Out

Choosing Sides and Getting the Stink Eye
© 2011 Leighann Lord

My Husband and my Dog aren't speaking because my Dog ate my Husband’s watch. The Dog is okay but I’m not sure about my Husband.

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Our Dog was busily chewing something that neither of us had given him. My Husband took a closer look and saw his watch, or what was left of it, between the Dog’s paws. He said, “Baby, come look at this.” I think he was hoping that he was mistaken. That when I looked between my Dog’s paws there would be nothing there but an old bone. But no, my Dog was clearly keeping time.

My Husband said in a dangerously quiet voice, “He ate my watch.”

I think what bothered him most was my Dog’s casual attitude. His Lordship didn’t act like a bad dog caught in the act of wrongdoing. No, he was lounging in the hallway, watch remnants in betwixt his two front paws, licking his chops like he’d just eaten a piece of steak. And in a way he had since the watchband was leather. The look on his furry little face seemed to say, “Oh, my bad. Did you want some of this?”

“Baby?” I said, grasping the potential seriousness of the situation. “Did he eat the buckle? Oh my god! What if ate the buckle?” I had visions of the tiny metal pieces making their way through my Dog’s innards, doing damage. I tried to remember where the nearest dog hospital was, and wondered how much doggie surgery would cost without insurance.

My Husband went to his dresser top where he normally kept the watch, deducing that it may have simply fallen onto the floor and into Rolie’s purview. There on the rug he found the buckle and prong that my Dog had discarded like empty artichoke leaves. The watch face, also uneaten, was apparently just an after-dinner trophy.
I was still worried. Was long dead cow, though ardently chewed, still digestible? We called the Vet and were told we were lucky the strap wasn’t plastic. If it had been, the Dog would have to get his stomach pumped. We were instructed to keep an eye on him, a pumping still in the offing if he was constipated.

So for the next few days we were on poop patrol. Looking closely at his leavings to see if any bits of band turned up. Luckily, our Rolie was his regular and prolific self. In fact I sometimes worry that what we feed him somehow magically multiplies in his colon. How else could a 35-pound-ish cocker spaniel manage to seemingly shit twice his own body weight on a daily basis?

Major canine crisis averted, I had time to worry about how my Furry Guys were getting along, or more accurately how they weren’t. My Husband, though worried about Rolie, was also still miffed about the watch. It was as if he had broken some secret Man-Dog code:

Don’t pee in the house.

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

And, good grief, don’t eat your owner’s favorite watch.

fter the incident my Husband said things like:

“Hey Boy, want a snack? How about a watch?”
“You enjoying your dinner? Would you like some watch with that?”
“What time is it? Oh, I don’t know, let me ask my Dog.”

Yeah, it was uncomfortable.

Once, when I was giving Rolie one of his mandatory tummy rubs, I caught my Husband looking at me as if I had betrayed him. I said, “Hey don’t give ‘me’ the stink eye. I didn’t eat your watch.”

But men have a thing about watches. He will deny this, but I believe my Husband has more watches than I have pairs of shoes. Whenever he shows me a new watch, I swear it looks exactly like one he already has. He’ll point out some minute difference that I just don’t have enough testosterone to appreciate. I smile and nod realizing that this must be what it feels like when I show him a new handbag.

Don’t get me wrong. I feel bad that my Husband lost a good watch. I might be just as angry if His Lordship had scarfed down one of my cherished possessions. If the title of this post had been, “My Dog Ate My BlackBerry” then the subsequent storyline might have been about the dog I used to have.

But dogs, like children, get into mischief. They do things and eat stuff they’re not supposed to, but the watch took us by surprise. It seems like such a puppy thing to do and our Rolie is at least 12 years old. His watch eating ways should’ve been way behind him. On the other hand, maybe our Little Old Man was having a mid-life crisis and was trying to recapture his youth with a nostalgic nosh. That happens to the best of us. As you get older there are lots of things you shouldn’t eat anymore, but you try and you usually regret it.

We were all hands on dog when the Little Guy started throwing up pieces of watchband. My Husband’s anger completely evaporated. He reacted in Super Doggie Daddy fashion, damn near pushing me out of the way to tend to His Lordship. Humph, I guess all is forgiven. The Dog threw up thrice, fewer and fewer pieces of band each time, at last getting all of it out of his system.

I really hope this is the last time watchband is on the menu. I don’t think I could take another round of door slamming, foot stomping, grumbling, growling and eye rolling. Things are much better when my Furry Boys are best buds. Now they can go back to covertly eating the things they’re normally not supposed to have: sausages, hot dogs, ice cream. Oh, but that's a "guy thing" so I’m not supposed to know about that.

Join The Urban Erma on Facebook or follow on Twitter. You can listen to the podcast on Podbean or subscribe on iTunes. Leighann Lord is a stand-up comedian, who's style is best described as "Thinking Cap Comedy." If comedy were music, she'd be Jazz. Check out her upcoming shows @ www.VeryFunnyLady.com. Join her on FaceBook. Follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Me? A Supermodel Look-A-Like?

© 2011 Leighann Lord

Do you know who Pat Cleveland is? I didn’t. If I'd been playing another round of Game Night Trivial Pursuit, I would have lost my turn. I'm sure you hard core fashionistas are aghast at my appalling lack of knowledge and are un-liking me on FaceBook as you read this. To be honest I may never have known who she is if I had not been power shopping in H&M. 

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I enjoy shopping, browsing through clothing store racks seeing what’s new, what’s hot, what I have to have. Whipping through H&M I found a basic but cute, long-sleeved, button down, black shirt on sale. I grabbed it in different sizes and headed for the dressing room. For women, clothing sizes are meaningless. They vary between stores, designers, styles and seasons. Assuming you’ve been able to maintain, a size six this year may not be the same as last year’s. Buying without trying is done at your own peril.

As I’m standing in line for the fitting room an H&M employee said to me, “Has anyone ever told you, you look like Pat Cleveland?” I smiled and said, “No, who’s Pat Cleveland?” He blinked and said, “She’s a Black supermodel from the 70s.” Is this a new H&M sales strategy? Off handedly dish out an amazing compliment and watch as the dollars just fall out of my wallet?

Damn good plan. 

Who’s not susceptible to unexpected flattery that somehow manages not to sound blatantly obsequious? I assure you, all my Ego heard was “supermodel.” And now, not only was I willing to buy the shirt without trying it on, but I also wanted to get some pants, dresses, shoes  . . .  oh hell, just back the truck up. Didn’t you hear the man? I’m a supermodel! 

The slightly more rational part of myself reminded me that, “yes,” we still needed to try the shirt on and, “no,” we weren’t going to let one compliment – albeit the best one ever – push us into a shopaholic orgy, right? Right?

Could it be that this man was just hitting on me? No, he was Gay. My Ego would like to think that I have what it takes to make a man change teams, mid-season, but he was easily in his late 40s early 50s. He’s riding that horse to the finish line.

His sexual orientation in no way diminished the effect of the compliment. As I strutted, catwalk style, into a now available dressing room I fired up my BlackBerry and consulted Google. I had to know who Pat Cleveland was. Thank goodness for 3G. 

This woman, in her heyday, was so jaw-droppingly gorgeous that in person she must look like nothing less than a goddess. She put the “f” in effin fierce. Oh, I was definitely buying the shirt now. 

Today, our barometer of beauty is Halle Berry. But if you put her next to Pat Cleveland in her prime, you wouldn’t see Halle. And if you did you’d ask her to please get out of the way so you could have an unobstructed view of Pat. Don’t get me wrong, they are both breathtaking women, but Pat would have had you reaching for an asthma inhaler.

Vanessa Williams, Stacy Dash, Tia & Tamara Mowry, Raven Symone, Jada Pinkett Smith, Leighann Lord

Mind you, this was not my first “You look like a famous pretty lady” comment. Over the years I’ve been told I favor Vanessa Williams, Stacy Dash, Tia & Tamara Mowry, Raven Symone and more often than not, Jada Pinkett Smith. They are all very attractive women so I can’t say I mind. Let’s face it, nobody wants to be told they look like Aunt Esther (from Sanford & Son), even if they do.

I was thrilled to be compared to such stunning a woman as Pat Cleveland, but I was also ashamed of not already knowing who she is. She began modeling in 1967 at the age of 15. Known for her wicked walk and luscious hair she owned the catwalk. Not afraid to live out loud, she partied at Studio 54 when Studio 54 was Studio 54. In an interview with publisher Philip Utz, he wrote: “Karl Lagerfeld remembers her ‘undulating on tables in short skirts and no underwear.’” Oh snap, that’s very loud. I’ve had my “Flash Dance” moments, but panties were always part of the package.

Even now as a mature woman, Pat Cleveland’s pictures radiate glamour, vivacious beauty, and quintessential charm. In reality, body type, height and skin tone are where the similarities end between me and Pat Cleveland, but I’ll take it and the shirt too. This supermodel loves a good end-of-season sale. 

Join The Urban Erma on Facebook or follow on Twitter. You can listen to the podcast on Podbean or subscribe on iTunesLeighann Lord is a stand-up comedian, who's style is best described as "Thinking Cap Comedy." If comedy were music, she'd be Jazz. Check out her upcoming shows @ www.VeryFunnyLady.com. Join her on FaceBook. Follow her on Twitter. TheUrbanErma@gmail.com 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Childhood in a Bag, A Not So Trivial Pursuit

© 2011 Leighann Lord
A close friend recently hosted a “Game Night” and all of us who attended were charged with bringing our favorites. Rising to the challenge, I brought a goodie bag full of old school: dominoes, cloth and wire jump ropes for Double Dutch, and a sack full of classic metal jacks. You heard me. Jacks! Yeah, I took it there. You can’t get metal jacks anymore. You see, now we care about children choking on small metal objects, in my generation not so much. I’m not saying parents ate their young back then, but they didn’t see the need to over protect us from toys made with lead, asbestos, mercury or depleted uranium.

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When I sprinkled my bio hazard jacks out of their black suede pouch my comrades “Oooed” and “Ahhhed” like I had just whipped out a handful of non-conflict diamonds. When the original hard, high bounce balls tumbled out too, the consensus was I could probably get a bundle for them from the guys on “Pawn Stars.” (We later checked and learned that except for the memories, my jacks are worthless.)

One day when I was about 11 years old my Mom’s friends saw me playing jacks and asked to join in. I said, “Yes,” because I was happy adults wanted to play with me, but I was also thinking, “What do these ‘old’ ladies know about playing jacks?” Well, these superannuated sistahs got down on their haunches and with breathtaking hand-eye coordination proceeded to wipe the floor with me. It was like the familiar scene in a pool hustler movie where The Mark let’s The Ringer shoot first and then spends the rest of the game watching them literally call every shot. If we had been playing for money, I’d still be paying them off.

The Ladies – who were ancient only in the eyes of an adolescent – had to change positions more frequently than I did to accommodate older hips and knee joints, but any aches and pains they might have felt were eclipsed by the fun they were having. They laughed and trash talked like the girls, rumor had it, they used to be: 
“C’mon! You know you touched that jack!”  
“No, I didn’t!”
There were no husbands, kids, or jobs. They were all skill and concentration handily making it up to their tensies and back.

When I was a kid, I spent hours on my Parent’s kitchen floor playing jacks. But now that me and my friends are grown with homes of our own, I knew we were not hardly thinking about putting scratches on our freshly laid linoleum floors. So, in my bag of old school I also had a deck of Uno cards, Dominoes, Monopoly, and Trivial Pursuit. That’s right, son. I’m an OG Gamer. In addition to my original, friends had brought the 80s and pop culture versions of Trivial Pursuit as well. 

The night was young, the wine was good, and we were feeling fine. “Trivial Pursuit it is!” we agreed. But we soon realized why this game has declined in popularity. It tells you things about yourself that you may not want to know. Since graduation, I’ve been laboring under the delusion that I am a smart woman. No. Apparently, I’m a dumb ass.

After playing Trivial Pursuit for 45 minutes I wanted to remove my college degree from the wall, return it to the Bursar's office and get my money back. After playing for two hours, I was afraid my alma mater was gonna come and take it back. As the evening progressed I became convinced that I’d go home and find an empty spot on the wall where my degree used to be, a sticky note in its place saying: 
“And you call yourself a college graduate. You disgust us.”

I don’t know how we got here. The game had started out with such promise:

“In which war did the most Americans die?”
“The Civil War.”

Yeah, baby! I knew the answer to that. You know why? Because that wasn’t my question. One of my questions was:

“Who was the first African American to coach a major league sports team?”

I’ll give you a hint. It’s not Ernie Hudson. No, I didn’t really think the Black guy from “Ghost Busters” was also a major league coach, but I was grasping at straws since the answer also wasn’t Denzel Washington in “Remember the Titans.” For the record the answer is Bill Russell. (Mr. Russell, if you’re reading this, I’m very sorry. I should have known that.) 
“What two numbers are evenly divisible into 17?” 
“Ernie Hudson?”
“No? Oh my god, who’s writing these questions? Stephen Hawking?”
But in Trivial Pursuit you’re not allowed to answer a question with a question. You’re also not allowed to use a life line, phone a friend or surreptitiously use your BlackBerry to lookup the answers on Wikipedia. Ridiculous, right? Your resident former English major was regretting not taking her math classes more seriously.

I’m a very infrequent drinker so I’d like to say that my intellectual faculties were impaired by the wine. But it was probably the lead from my vintage metal jacks still lingering in my system. Apparently, my childhood had a half life. I bet if I ever get cocky enough to play Trivial Pursuit again, my question will be:  “Who’s the Black guy from Ghost Busters?” And I’ll say, “Bill Russell?”

Next game night, floor damage be damned, I’m playing jacks.

Leighann Lord is a stand-up comedian, who's style is best described as "Thinking Cap Comedy." If comedy were music, she'd be Jazz. Check out her upcoming shows @ www.VeryFunnyLady.com. Join her on FaceBook. Follow her on Twitter.  Listen to The Urban Erma on Podbean and iTunes!