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“Conversations With Mother” – Crapberry


Written by – Heili Flammable  (PROFILE/BIO:

We’re out at a benefit over the weekend and Mom gets her phone out and places it on the table.

Me: (under my breath) Put that thing away before anyone sees it!

CB1Mom: What?  We’re in loud restaurant (restaurant/bar).  No is going to care if I have my phone out.

Me: No, not that.  You don’t want anyone to see that embarrassing thing.

A Lady at our table: Oh, what is that tiny little phone?

Me: (to Mom) See?  (to the lady) It’s 2001 calling us saying, “Hey, Deb, NO ONE has a ‘Crapberry’ anymore!  Time to upgrade!

Mom: My lovely daughter here tells me that I shouldn’t let anyone know that I still have this God awful thing.

A Friend of Ours at the Table: She’s right!

Mom: Ha-ha!  I use to like it, but lately I have to admit it does suck.

The lady at the table: I think it’s cute.  I just couldn’t see the screen, it’s so tiny.  I have a (she starts pulling out her flat-screen television-size cellphone) Samsung Galaxy.

Mom: Oh!  That’s nice!  Yea, I was just looking at my brother’s phone, he has a new iPhone, and they look so nice, but I get so lost on the suckers.  It was late one night and he fell asleep, so I tried to quietly put his phone up for him and I hit a button and got the stupid flashlight stuck on by accident.

Well then I got it turned into a flashing strobe light and then a beeping flashing strobe light.

Then it starts playing music.  I’m in the kitchen, trying not to wake him up, cursing at the son-of-a-bitch and next thing you know I hear a click.  I turn the phone over and I see my face in the screen.

Then I hear another click.  I see another image of my face in the screen.

Before you know it, there are SEVENTEEN TINY PICTURES OF MY FACE ALL LINED UP ALL OVER HIS FREAKIN’ SCREEN!  I’m in there yelling, “You son-of-a-bitch!  Knock it off

The kitchen is flashing like a rave with the flashlight blinking on and off and the music playing and the camera snapping and I just keep thinking, “Oh, my God!  Every time that clicks it’s probably sending the pic to someone!

By the time it was over, I had 58-pictures total; of my entire screaming face, my partial screaming face, my nostrils, my eyeball, the floor, my feet, the ceiling,…

Me: …I know, I was like, “PLLLLLEEEEEASSSSEEEEE Tell me there was a video feature AND that you didn’t figure out how to delete them!

Mom: Oh, you’re damn right I did!  If it was the last thing I did I was going to destroy that damn phone or the evidence…whichever came first.

Me: I was like, “If ONLY she had uploaded them to The Cloud!  She’d be Famous!!!

Mom: I don’t even know what The Cloud is, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if I had.

CB2Me: ….and now you can see why she has a Blackberry.  …and also why “we” ordered her an iPhone.

We just need to go pick it up at our earliest convenience, any time this week (I look at Mom with the cheesiest smile ever.  She returns the look with a look that could kill).





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Our Overprotective Nature – “Hey There Gift-Horse”

Be sure to check out this section for a “Hot Topic” that is trending in the world of news, entertainment, pop culture or really anywhere else.

We will introduce a weekly topic on Monday, and then rotate the order of my regular columnists expressing their personal views each day for the remainder of the week, giving you a slightly – or radically – different perspective each day.

(This week’s HOT TOPIC discusses our increasingly “overprotective” nature, assumptions, conclusions, and defense mechanisms.)


Hey There Gift-Horse, You Got A Purty (Creepy) Mouth! – by Heili Flammable

A story started circulating about beautiful porcelain dolls being found on porches in a California community.  The dolls resembled children who lived in the homes.

HT2Ok, I’ll be the Devil’s Advocate on this one because this is the first that I’m hearing of this story and I have to admit that I didn’t really see anything all THAT creepy about it.

Ok, I know, I know, I don’t have children, so I may not be as paranoid as some of you other people out there might be, and rightfully so.  This is a crazy World that we live in and you do have to be on your guard at every moment.

My personal thought was, if I were to be one of the recipients of these dolls, I would instantly rack my brain to think, do I have any artistic friends or loved ones that might be talented enough to have produced or thoughtful enough to have commissioned the special production of this uniquely personal “gift” left on my porch?

If not, THEN I could see how people might worry.

I’m not a “doll” person and never have been, so I’ve never had an appreciation for them, BUT my Grandmother was a collector, so I understand how others appreciate them.

I think this woman was “trying” to do something very sweet and genuinely good and only because she opted to remain anonymous (probably thinking that people would guess that it was her anyway, because most people that do this sort of thing have a reputation for it or are known to be a “doll – person” of sorts) she has been painted as some sort of pervert.

I COMPLETELY understand how people misinterpreted things when a mysterious, uninvited “gift” shows up on their very own front doors; invading their personal space, and it resembles their children, so they put their guard up; thinking the worst, they rally, ready to gather torches and head out in search of the beast that threatens their flock, BUT once they realized that it was just a sweet neighborly woman, trying to do a nice thing for the children of her neighborhood; children of her church congregation, they all should have STOPPED AND APOLOGIZED TO THE WOMAN FOR THEIR RUDENESS AND THANKED HER FOR HER THOUGHTFULNESS.

More people should do nice things because they are nice, not because of the glory of doing them.  This woman wasn’t looking for praise.  She wasn’t looking for “thanks”

…now she’s made to feel like an “A-hole”

Do we expect Santa to sign every gift?

Do you ask for a receipt every time you donate?

She was just trying to make a few little girls smile, and they took that away from her.

I get that the dolls were creepy.  I AGREE!  I think ALL dolls are creepy, but little old ladies don’t think dolls are creepy.  Little old ladies think dolls are special.  And the people of this community took something special from this woman and made it creepy…and that is a shame.

HT1This World has become more worried and so paranoid about being perfectly P.C. rather than just being genuine and …real.

I “get” the misunderstanding, but what I DON’T get is why everyone is attacking this woman for trying to do a good thing and why no one seems to be apologizing to HER for publicly humiliating her AND insulting her gifts.

I find it heartbreaking that something that she crafted herself out of love is seen by the World as “creepy”.

Creepy or not, this is a case where you should accept the gift, smile a generous smile, and say, “Thank you”.




(Barbara Anne’s TAKE:
(Miss Meza’s TAKE:
(Mikey-B’s TAKE:       

Get a Job!

I probably shouldn’t do this, but well…I am often “Heili” entertained by the contents of my Spam mail folders.

On occasion, I just feel compelled to respond and this was one of those instances…much like the other day when “Momma Flammable” replied to the good people of Viagra via email, telling them, “I don’t NEED a bigger erection!  Thank you very much!  Now quit messaging me!” -hahahaha… I still can’t stop laughing at the thought of that conversation.

GJ1The Email I received:


My Response:


Might I give you some advice when trying to scam the hard working people of The Americas.

When portraying the office of the FBI, please keep in mind a few things…

#1 > The FBI probably has control over their Caps Lock button and doesn’t over use it. It is rude. We are a civilized society for the most part. You need not yell at us.

#2 > The FBI probably knows enough about English grammar as not to start off a sentence with “This is an official advice…” – we ed-ju-ma-cated Americans just don’t talk like that. It’s weird…and not “American weird”, but just weird-weird.

#3 > The FBI and most Americans are probably aware that there is NO SUCH OFFICE AS The FBI Foreign Remittance Telegraphic Dept. You can’t just make stuff like that up. It sounds dumb, not official. Try using bigger words that we won’t understand and will be, too lazy to look up.

THAT’s the American Way.

One more note: Your little made up term, “SECRET DIPLOMATIC TRANSIT PAYMENT (S.T.D.P)” should have the initials of S.D.T.P.  Not to be nit-picky, but if you’re gonna make shit up, you’ve gotta get your story straight.


Do your homework…

OH, and while you’re at it, get a real job.



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“Conversations With Mother” – There’s a Monkey on my Back

Conversations w/Mother:

(She’s walking on my back, trying to adjust it between chiropractor visits – and yes, I KNOW this is dangerous, but I live on the edge when I’m in pain…)

Me: Now don’t put ALL your weight on me this time. My muscles are locked up and last time you almost…

CM1(She steps down with all of her weight forcing out all of the air in my lungs in one huge puff.   I struggle to get air back in them and struggle to finish my sentence….)


Mom: What?

(*she giggles)

Me: (I’m struggling to speak again.  Mind you, I’m lying face down with my face is buried in the floor rug and there is a full grown person standing on my back)

(completely muffled) I can hear you laughing, ya asshole!

(She steps off)

Now let me take a deep brea…

(She steps back on, knocking what little air I had, out of my lungs. I’m gasping…)


(sounds of her laughing)

I HAVE to breathe, woman!

(She steps off)

Mom: What?

Me: I said…

(She steps on)


(All the air is forced out)

Mom: Don’t call me that.

Me: I wasn’t calling you a ho, that’s just the sound that came out. Coincidence? …Perhaps.  Now, step right here, but GENTLY.

(She steps down on the spot, gently…at first.  Then….with the weight of the World….)

Me: Hoooo! Damn it!!!

(She cannot stop laughing)

Mom: Oh, fine!  I’ll try to “pop it” this way…

(She bends over and starts pushing on my back with her hands, similar to the way it is actually supposed to be done.  I turn my head and realize that I am laying on the floor right in front of my open front door.  I am looking right at my neighbor who is outside working in his yard.)

Me: Oh, nice!  At least if you kill me, there’s a witness.

(She looks over to see him and starts laughing uncontrollably)

Me: What?

Mom:  I can only imagine what he would be thinking if he saw us right now. 

Me:  I’m sure he’d think you’ve killed me…or that you’re an idiot and giving me C.P.R. from the wrong side.

Mom: Ok, now MY back is hurting. 

CM2(The neighbor gets into his truck and leaves.  She steps back on my back again)

Me: Hhhooooo!….That’s it!  Get off of me! Get off of me!  GET OFF OF ME!!! You ARE trying to kill me!

(we’re both laughing hysterically, although I’m hyperventilating while laughing)

Me: I’m going to start recording this so I have documented proof when I turn up dead.  You’ll be cut out of my will, for sure.

Mom: Oh, that’s right!  You DO have that insurance policy on yourself, don’t you?  Who is your beneficiary, again?



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Customer Service – “Help Your Damn Self”

Be sure to check out this section for a “Hot Topic” that is trending in the world of news, entertainment, pop culture or really anywhere else.

We will introduce a weekly topic on Monday, and then rotate the order of my regular columnists expressing their personal views each day for the remainder of the week, giving you a slightly – or radically – different perspective each day.

(This week’s HOT TOPIC takes a look at the decline of Customer Service)


Help Your Damn Self – by Heili Flammable

Customer Service seems to be a thing of the past.

HT1It’s funny, as a career, it’s a choice.  You don’t HAVE to work in the industry, yet so many people do; many people that seem to have NO “people skills” AT ALL.

As a customer, I don’t expect much.  I expect to be greeted with a sincere smile; the same smile that I will return.  I expect to be addressed in a polite manner; again the same manner that I will also address you in return.

I expect to wait my turn and then be heard when it is my turn, not ignored or made to wait longer.  I expect to have someone try to understand my situation and at least PRETEND to care and to help me.

Is that so hard?

I have worked in the service industry before, so I get it.  I worked in the restaurant industry on and off from age 16 – 30.  I’ve worked the front door.  I’ve waited tables.  I’ve managed the house.  I’ve ran the whole damn building.

It is ALL about THE CUSTOMER and making them feel welcome and heard.

Now that being said, there are customers that abuse this and take advantage, but for the most part, “the customer is always right” – mostly.

Just the other day, I was at the grocery store and the checker, a mid-20-something girl, was ringing up my groceries.  She never once said, “Hello” to me.  She never smiled at me.  She never said a word to me or even looked my way.  She finally looked up at me at the very end, with a dull look on her face, and gave me my total.

I had never felt so unwelcome.  I felt like “I” was bothering “HER”.  The last time I checked, this was HER job.  SHE CHOSE to work here, not me.  Then at the end, when I got my receipt, “I” was the one that said, “Thank you, have a nice day!” and she never said a word back!

I was flabbergasted.  Is this really the experience that store owners want their customers having when they shop at their stores?

I am not usually one to complain, but I was tempted to go to a manager and say something.

I didn’t.  Instead, I just won’t be going back.  That store will lose business and not know why; all because of some little bitch with an attitude having a bad day or just not giving a shit about her job or the other people employed there that depend on her to do her job so that the store will succeed, so that in a collaborative effort they ALL will succeed and still have jobs at the end of the day.

This morning on the radio they were talking about a young soldier going through the drive thru on his way back to base wanting to add onto his order when he got up to the window.  Now, most of the fast food chains encourage this.  They post flyers along the side of the building, trying to “upsell” you.

Well, when this guy got up to the window, he asked the girl if he could add-on a  soda and the cashier gave him a sarcastic answer and handed him a cup.

HT2When he got back to base, he began to feel ill.  He eventually looked inside the cup and found 2-waded up Wet-Naps.  He went to the medical facility on base and was treated for poisoning.

The restaurant is now being investigated for the incident….all because someone didn’t want to do her damn job and didn’t want to just be courteous.  It’s not like he was asking for much.  It was just a soda, for God Sake!

So, not only could she not be bothered to do her job, she had to go and POISON the poor SOLDIER…over a Coke.  What a Bitch!

Has our society really become this lazy that we can’t go out of our way to be kind and courteous AT ALL?

Most people don’t expect much, but COME ON!  Hell, I’m happy to find more than ONE freakin’ napkin in my bag!  I don’t expect anyone to kiss my ass, but I do expect some common courtesy.

If you want my business, you need to be ready to earn it and not just expect it.

Even at the place I work for now (I work in the graphics industry where we produce large scale graphic designs for mostly trade shows or large venue events), some of our customer service reps get lazy.  I’ll see a job come through that is just written up…wrong.

I’ll go back to the rep and tell them, “Look, technically, this IS what they ordered, but they are not gonna’ be happy with it.  I know I wouldn’t pay that price for this.  Instead, I think they’d like this or that better.  It will look nicer and for the price… they’ll be much happier.

A lot of the times, the reps will go back to the clients and offer them better options, but some of our reps will say, “No.  This is what they asked for, so that’s what they get.”

I’m still surprised on a regular basis that we still have customers some days.

When I went through corporate training in the past, I was always told, “You go the extra mile for your client”.

I was trained under the theories of the restaurant success, Bob Farrell.  His motto of “Give ‘em the Pickle” led him and so many others to greatness, just because he understood that sometimes you just have to give people simply WHAT THEY WANT!

It’s so simple…it’s brilliant.  Treat people with respect and decency and most of the time they will treat you with the same in return.

HT3Sometimes you have to put everything else aside and forget all of the bullshit.  Forget that you are having a bad day.  Forget that you don’t want to be at work.  Forget that you are getting off in 10-minutes.  …and just put yourself in their shoes and empathize for just one minute with your customer.

What would you want if you were them?  …and just give ‘em the damn free pickle…and a smile.

… Of course, I’m not IN the customer service department, so what do I know.




(Miss Meza’s TAKE:
(Mikey-B’s TAKE:
(Barbara Anne’s TAKE:           

Step Off, Granny!

I seriously almost hardcore throat-punched a little old lady on accident about an hour ago…and then almost again a few minutes later on purpose!

SO1I was loading up the Jeep with my bags o’ goodies from my latest shopping spree at one of the local shopping plazas when, instead of waiting for me to finish and move out of her way, like a normal SANE PERSON would do, she approached me from behind; pinning me in between my opened door and herself with only about 18” to spare.


Now I am usually very good about keeping aware of my surroundings, especially when alone in a parking lot, so when I swung around, COMPLETELY SURPRISED to see anyone there, let along someone “up in ma grill”, my immediate reaction was to ball up my fist and draw it back for a fast-action-ninja-defensive-face-attack until I could grab my stun gun and “light a bitch up”!

My eyes refocused on her perky little smiling face as I stopped my recoiling fist just in time from it letting loose on her wrinkly little nose. I jumped in surprise and literally yelled at her, “Lady! You just scared the shit out of me!!!

My body was actually shaking from the surprise of it all; my eyes bugging out of my face…

I almost cold-cocked you, thinking you were about to kidnap me! SERIOUSLY! In this day and age you can NOT walk up to someone like this and not expect to get your face bashed in! One of close friends was kidnapped just a couple of years ago, so my first thought was, ‘Kill! Kill! Kill!’ My God! I could have really hurt you!

She smiled a fake-innocent smile and said, “Oh hun, I get that a lot” then slid her happy ass passed me, swung open her door; bumping me out of HER way and into my own door and then hopped in her car saying, “Hun, (eyeballing my cart, insinuating that I move it out of her car’s way) how about you let me get out before you unload the rest?


• First you scare the ba-jesus out of me, testing my bladder strength and heart out,
• you don’t wait your turn,
• and now YOU want ME to move out of YOUR WAY?

F-U, ya old fart!

SO2So I purposely maneuvered my cart so it was even MORE in her way so SHE had to wait till “I” was done! Take THAT ya old biddy!

As I patiently removed every item from my cart almost painfully slow; one—at—a—time, she just sat there…waiting. Her perky little smile faded REAL DAMN QUICK once she saw that her little act wasn’t workin’ on me.
I don’t care HOW old you are or how entitled you THINK you are, when you try to pull one over on me, The QUEEN of pulling things over, you gonna wait yo’ turn!




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The Hot Car – “Just Real Quick…”

Be sure to check out this section for a “Hot Topic” that is trending in the world of news, entertainment, pop culture or really anywhere else.

We will introduce a weekly topic on Monday, and then rotate the order of my regular columnists expressing their personal views each day for the remainder of the week, giving you a slightly – or radically – different perspective each day.

(This week’s HOT TOPIC is “The Hot Car”, as in this propensity the general public seems to have for leaving helpless pets and children IN it)


Just Real Quick… – by Heili Flammable

Ok, so you are running errands like a mad fiend.  You dash here.  You dash there.  You are running late, but you just need to make one quick little stop first.  It’ll only take a second to just run right in and grab what you need.

HT1It’ll take an extra 20 minutes if you wake the baby, puller him out of his car seat, have to pull out the stroller, strap the baby in, and God forbid you wake the cranky little guy before he’s had a full nap…and now he’s gonna want juice, so add on another 10 minutes while you fumble for a juice-box in the bottom of the diaper bag.

So, you can just run in “real quick” with him asleep in the car, right?  Real quick.  He’ll never know.  He’ll probably never even wake up, right?


How is it that people are still doing this?  I don’t even watch mainstream news and I hear about these stories.

The moment you open that car door and put another living being into that vehicle with you, YOU are responsible for it.  You have just signed away your freedom for that road trip.  You no longer get the options of doing A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G without your copilot/copilots tagging along with your every move.

If you plan to take Fido along for a ride for the day, that’s great!  Fido will love it!  BUT you have just signed on to keeping Fido by-your-side ALL day, so if any of the places you are planning to go do not welcome pets inside, do Fido a favor… just leave him at home.

It takes 2 seconds to call the nail salon to say, “Hey, I’m in the neighborhood and have some spare time for a quick mani-pedi, but I have my dog with me.  Are pets welcome?

If so, great!  Bring him along… but keep him away from MY feet.  I have enough issues with cat hair being attached to every inch of my person.  I don’t need your dog’s, too.

If not, “Well, that’s too bad.  I guess I’m going to have to make it another day or find a salon that is pet-friendly.  Thanks.” – Was that so freakin’ hard?

You love your pet so much that you wanna take them everywhere with you, but you don’t love them enough to make sure that they are safe?  How dumb are you?

HT2My ex loves his dog.  He would love to take her everywhere with him, but he knows that he can’t.  He plans his days around her, when he is able to bring her along.  She is a HUGE beautiful Saint Bernard.  She is super chill and the most friendly dog you’ll ever meet… unless you meet her without my ex around.

He won’t even go inside to pay at the gas station when she is with him.  He knows that he’ll “most likely” only be inside for a minute and Lord knows NO ONE is going to bother her if he leaves her in the truck with the windows down all the way (she is highly trained and won’t budge from the truck unless told to do so and like I said, she is HUGE.  Ain’t nobody gonna mess with her if she doesn’t wanna be messed with, I assure you) but he still does not leave her.

Why?  Because it’s not worth chancing it.

He loves her and takes full responsibility for her EVERY MOMENT OF THE DAY and that includes the moments that he could get caught inside talking to someone about the weather or whatever.  He just doesn’t do it.  He has made a conscious promise to be her guardian and he takes it seriously.

Don’t your kids deserve at least that same kind of respect?

I get that it is more convenient to just “run in real quick” leaving the kids or the dog or half-dead granny in the car, but it is NOT OK.

Do you know what isn’t convenient?  Planning your child’s funeral from your new jail cell or explaining to your significant other, “No, no one tried to steal the car.  Someone broke out the back window of the car because I left the dog in the sweltering heat while I had a leisurely lunch inside…in the air conditioning.”

Yep, that’s right.  People will now heroically rescue your children and pets (if either is lucky enough to be spotted by a good Samaritan) by breaking windows, windshields, back windows, whatever they have to, to get inside the vehicle.

And you know what?  …There’s nothing you can do about it.

Try to tell a cop or your insurance company that your $300 window got broken because you left your kids in a locked car.  Go ahead.  See what they tell you.  I guarantee, they will side with the lady holding your sweaty 3-yr. old before they side with you, ya assface.

HT3I know it all sounds over-dramatic, but that “quick minute” can turn into an unexpected hour.

How many times have you run in somewhere and ran into that one person that you haven’t seen in years and no matter how much you try to get away, they just keep you talking…and talking?  Or maybe you just easily lose track of time.

I have a cousin with EXTREME A.D.D/A.D.H.D and just a couple of weeks ago, she was late to  a family sporting event several of us went to together.  On their way, she stopped at the craft store “real quick” to grab ONE THING that she needed for the next day.

She left her husband and three kids in the car… FOR AN HOUR!

Now in this case, she left them all with a responsible adult, her husband, but she literally went in for a 2 minute trip.   When her husband called her, “What the hell are you doing in there?!?” she responded with, “Oh my God!  I’m so sorry!  I totally spaced out and just started looking at stuff!  I’m on my way out now!!!” – now she may be an extreme case, but it happens.

You are not going to tell me that you’ve ever voluntarily sat in a vehicle with the engine off for more than a minute in the Midwest Summer heat and not cracked the window WIDE open or turned on the engine to run the ac or at the very least the fan.  If you have…you’re an IDIOT.

We all know the facts and scientific data on this subject.  After only a few minutes, the temperature inside of a closed non-running vehicle changes drastically.  In the summer, it turns into an oven; in the winter, an icebox.

HT4We ALL lose track of time from time to time… but when a 2 minute trip to grab a freakin gallon of milk turns into even 10 minutes, it could be a difference of whether or not Fido lives or dies… or your kids.

Don’t leave ANYONE or ANYTHING inside an unattended vehicle WITH or WITHOUT the engine running.  …leaving the engine running is just asking for them to be the next carjacking victims on the evening news!

Good Lord, people, use your brains…and don’t be an assface.




(Miss Meza’s TAKE:
(Barbara Anne’s TAKE:
(Mikey-B’s TAKE:
(KMFP’s TAKE:     

“Conversations With Mother” – Inversion Therapy

Me: Hey, what have you got going on after I get off of work tomorrow?

IT1Mom: Why?

Me: Because I need you to ride along with me somewhere really quick.  You don’t even have to get out of the Jeep.  …and no we aren’t going to “The Hood” or going undercover in a secret “sting-op”, so leave your “Cagney & Lacey” binoculars at home.

Mom: (looking inquisitive)  Sooooo, are you going to tell me where we’re going and what we’re doing?

Me: I was kinda hoping I wouldn’t have to.

Mom: (giving me “the look”)

Me: (rolling my eyes) I have to meet a complete stranger in the commuter parking lot and I didn’t think it was a good idea to go alone.

Mom: Ya think!  So you’re taking your dear ol’ Mommy to protect you?

Me: Uh…yea.  That and with your bum-ankle, I know I can out run you if need be.  Some of my friends might make it a close race, but you…I can take you, no problem.

Mom: Funny.  So, what pray-tell are you meeting this stranger for???

Me: I’m buying his ex-wife’s $350 inversion table for $40.  Her loss is my gain.

Mom: An inversion table?  Is that one of those tables where you hang upside-down, like with gravity-boots; like a bat?

Me: Yes.  It’s for my bad back.  I’ve heard they really help.

Mom: (Busts out laughing hysterically) Oh, I have GOT to see this!

Me: Oh, shut up.  So, can I pick you up on my way or what?

(the next day I pick her up, we meet the guy, who turns out to be a very nice gentleman, and we bring the table to my place.)


Mom: What’s this thing for?

Me: MOM!  Quit touching it!  I have to put this thing together without a manual and every time you move something, you’re killing me!

Mom: Whatever.  Just hurry up, so I can see this.  I need to get back home soon.

(a few minutes later and I “think” it’s ready)


Mom: So, what do you do?

Me: Um…I think you just put your feet here.  Then you stand up on this here.  Then you just lay back and it gently and slowly swivels….

BAM! (the table immediately flips back, slamming me into a 45* inversion)



Mom: Oh, my God!  It’s not supposed to do that, is it?

Me: Uh, I don’t think so.  Well…ok… So, you just kind of hang here like this for a while and then you…

(I try to flip the table back over to the upright position.  It doesn’t budge.  I am left there…dangling.)


Me: Uh… a little help here.

(Mom continues to just stand there watching me)


Mom: I’m thinking that you’d better not try this when you’re home alone or you’re gonna be screwed.

(struggling, I finally grab a hold of one of the handles and very awkwardly get the table to finally flip back after a minute or two of flailing around)


IT2Me: Yea, or at least I’d better have my phone handy!

(I get off of the table and soon after, take Mom home.

I come back to my place and I start watching a few videos on how these things work.

I figure out that my height adjustment was set wrong and that was what caused the table to not gracefully rise and lower.

I also see that there is an adjustment belt that tethers the table, keeping it from going back further than you want or by releasing it, you can invert all the way, at a full 90* inversion.

I play with the belt and reset the height for the machine.

I change into the hoodie and shorts that I sometimes sleep in and sit on the couch; eyeballing the table.

I put my phone in my pocket and walk over to the table.

I shoo Frankz n Beanz (my catz) away.  They MUST check every new thing in the house out thoroughly.  #CuriosityKilledTheCat

I slide my feet into place and hop up on it.

I lean back and wait for it to go slamming down again, only this time… it hold position.)

Hmm…Maybe I fixed it!

(I move my arms up to counter-balance my weight -like they showed you to do in the video and the table begins to gracefully and slowly bow down to a completely horizontal 0* angle)


(I lift my arms a bit more and…)


(apparently when I was playing with the adjustment belt, instead of tightening it to make the stop point at a smaller angle, I loosened it, allowing it to COMPLETELY INVERT ME AT A FULL 90* ANGLE!

I’m now dangling by my feet!

I then hear another small crash.  I look just in time to see my phone has fallen out of my pocket and has decided to slide alllllll the way across the floor

…and just then, my hoodie decides to give in to gravity and lifts up over my head, pulling the hood over my face and the entire shirt over my shoulders.

Yep.  I’m now upside-down dangling…completely topless.

Oh, AND I can’t get the table to flip back over.)


HOLY FUCKING SHIT!  I’m going to die like this!  They are going to find my dead body strung up here like this next week …after Frankz n Beanz have eaten my face off!  F-MY-LIFE!

(right about now I can hear Mom’s voice in my head saying “I told you so!

I start to panic for a minute before I realize, you are meant to hang like this for several minutes (well, once you build up to this level.  I’m just heading straight for the advanced – idiot course) so I need to relax and figure this out.  I finally regain what little composure one helplessly hanging upside-down half-naked can have and I remember the video I watched.)

Ok, the old dude in the video raised up his knees and shifted his weight and…

(the table started to counter)


(it slammed back down with my still upside-down)

…crap!  Ok, I just raise my knees and shift my…

IT3(the table slowly and gracefully returned to its upright position)

OH THANK YOU JESUS, I shout as I’m still shrouded under my hood!

(I decide that I’ve had enough for one night and call it a day.  Later that night…)

Mom: (via phone) You didn’t try your table anymore tonight, did you?

Me: Uh…no.



(“Flammable” Content ARCHIVES:
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Media/Paparazzi – “Anything for the Story”

Be sure to check out this section for a “Hot Topic” that is trending in the world of news, entertainment, pop culture or really anywhere else.

We will introduce a weekly topic on Monday, and then rotate the order of my regular columnists expressing their personal views each day for the remainder of the week, giving you a slightly – or radically – different perspective each day.

(This week’s HOT TOPIC is the media and paparazzi’s constant hounding/harassing of high-profile crime victims, or even celebrities)


Anything for the Story – by Heili Flammable

This last weekend, 15-year old Cassidy Stay spoke at her family’s memorial about how she is handling the tragedy that they all endured, just a few days ago when a man entered their home looking for his estranged wife and – when he did not find her there, he began shooting; killing Cassidy’s entire family.

HT1Cassidy was not home at the time, but it was later found that she, too, was a target in the event.

As soon as the media got wind of this event, they set out to hound this poor young girl; not a WOMAN, but a CHILD.

I can only imagine what must be going through her head with the news of her whole family being murdered in her family home and now she is left alone AND the center of a national news story.

It would be difficult enough to speak at a memorial service for your family, but to have every national news station there covering it; shoving microphones in your face and asking you dumb questions about how you feel…it’s out of line.

She’s a kid; a remarkably well-spoken kid who handled the situation with the grace and composure of a  calm and seasoned, intelligent, professional speaker, but a kid, no less.

Why does the media feel the need to invade a victim’s personal space, just after the most challenging experiences of their lives?  …is it all to be the first to get the story?


It’s one thing to speak with investigators and lawyers and others to “get the scoop”, but they seem to have no respect or couth when it comes to the survivors and/or victims of tragedy.

We’ve all heard of Jaycee Dugard, the girl kidnapped for 18-years who was finally rescued from her capture, or Shawn Hornbeck, the boy from right here in Missouri, who was found after being taken for over 4-years.

Once they were found, they were barely given a chance to take in what all had just happened to them, when reporters from all over the country, maybe even the World, were in their faces, asking them to relive every horrible detail of what they had just survived.

After every school shooting, there is interview after interview of some crying child in shock and confusion being broadcast to the world.

Did their parent’s give permission for this?  I mean, really?

I get that the public wants to know, but Sweet Jesus, BACK THE FUCK OFF!

HT2There are plenty of other sources to go to in order to get the details of the story, but the victims should automatically have a “No Contact” rule set with the media for at LEAST a week, hell, maybe MONTHS…especially when they are children.

These people are damaged and need protection.  They need help on how to process and deal with what has happened to them.  What they DON’T NEED is the media acting like freakin’ paparazzi, shoving microphones in their faces, snapping picture after picture, and following them home every time they actually are able to leave the house.

Recently Michelle Knight, one of the 3-women held captive by Ariel Castro for almost 10-years when one of the women escaped (around a year ago) and was able to send police to rescue the other 2-girls, wrote a book about her story.

Personally, I thought it was too soon for her to be writing it.

It didn’t seem like someone that went through all of that should be ready to tell the World every detail so soon.  I’m willing to bet that she was persuaded by people close to her to do it…for the money.

You can’t blame someone subjected to the infamy of being a public victim from finally wanting to tell their story in their own words in a book, and if they make money from it, good for them.  They’ve been thrust unwantedly into the public’s eye, where their lives are up for judgment by anyone and everyone for the rest of their life.  The LEAST we can all do is buy their book and help them to pay the bills.

Either way, it’s not for me to decide when she’s ready to talk about it or not.  She is an adult now and it was her choice, but again, being hounded by the media for ALL the details most likely pushed her to write the book so soon after her rescue.

She did, however state recently, “I’m not a celebrity and I don’t want to be. I just want to be me.

Unwanted “Fame” has brought some serious consequences to her life. She stated that she becomes frightened when crowds sometimes gather around her.  She has a hard time with people snap cellphone photos of her without asking.

HT3And now, she has changed her identity and residence to regain some level of privacy in her life, but some idiot in the media recently shared her new name and the new city that she now calls home “by accident” in a recent article.

So, once again, instead of a victim being left to find her way and a new place in life; free from the eyes of the media, she is back in the center of unwanted attention.

Well, all I can say is, good luck to you, Cassidy Stay, and may your family rest in peace.  You handled things well, given the circumstances, and for your sake, I hope you will now be able to move on withOUT the rest of World watching…at least until your book comes out.



(Mikey-B’s TAKE:
(Barbara Anne’s TAKE:
(Miss Meza’s TAKE:         

Hobby Lobby – “The Verdict Is In… “

Be sure to check out this section for a “Hot Topic” that is trending in the world of news, entertainment, pop culture or really anywhere else.

We will introduce a weekly topic on Monday, and then rotate the order of my regular columnists expressing their personal views each day for the remainder of the week, giving you a slightly – or radically – different perspective each day.

(This week’s HOT TOPIC is the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling)


The Verdict Is In… – by Heili Flammable

Once again, it would seem that some rich business man with very strong opinions on how all of us should think, feel and act, can’t seem to keep those opinions to himself and out of his business’s… eh, business.

HT1It’s like the Chic-fil-A monstrosity from a couple of years ago.

Gentlemen, this is not about YOU.  No one gives two shits about your personal and/or religious beliefs.

I’ve been screwed over by more self-proclaimed “Good Christian Folks” than anyone else, so I’d rather not even associate your religious beliefs with your craft store (Hobby Lobby) or chicken-shack (Chick-fil-A), otherwise I’m going to be forced to buy my glitter and “nuggets” elsewhere.

Now if your business actually WAS a church (and yes, I do look at “The Church” as a business), then I could see you being adamant about employees following the Church’s ways, but this is a craft store for God-sake.  We don’t need to go and get all High & Almighty in the glue stick aisle.

Hobby Lobby is a business and, by law, businesses must follow certain rules.  In this case, it’s about insurance coverage being provided by the business to its employees.

The Great and Powerful Leader… of the Hobby Lobby craft store company has issues with some of the government mandated coverage that HIS COMPANY (not him personally) MUST provide his employees.

His issues are not with cancer-fighting drugs.  They’re not issues with lifesaving surgery.  It’s not even prostate exams or pap-smears that he has an issue with (you know, the ACTUAL important stuff).  It’s all about….birth control.

Notice the last word in that last sentence.  THAT is what it’s really about!

The EMPLOYEES should have the right to coverage and the right to choose what procedures, medications AND birth control options THEY want to use out of the options that are covered in their plans.

Forcing your employees to go against their beliefs to follow your own personal beliefs is slavery.

Haven’t we been fighting for the right to choose for years now?  Now it’s not even about the right to choose what to do if and when we get pregnant, now we have to fight how NOT to get pregnant???

I get that his religious beliefs are against the use of certain types of contraception, but we aren’t talking about HIS usage or even his church congregation here!  We are talking about his EMPLOYEES; employees that may or MAY NOT believe in the same religion he believes in!

Where is THEIR religious FREEDOM?

That’s why we need to remember, this is a BUSINESS, not his personal church where he gets to forcefully make his FREE WILLED employees dance to his brand of music.

I am disappointed in the Supreme Court on this decision.  Business is no place for religious or personal beliefs.   Next are they going to have the “freedom” to only sell to others like them; that act like them and think like them… and look like them?

Didn’t we fight to end all of that bullshit YEARS ago?

HT2Well, since Hobby Lobby is discriminating against people for religious “freedom”, I guess my religious-FREE-ass will have to start going to another craft store instead… like Ben Franklin’s.

No, wait.  Ben Franklin was a rich old white guy with slaves, too.  Well, crap!


Does anyone know anything about Michael or JoAnn (Michael’s Crafts and JoAnn Fabrics)?

Eh, I’ve always preferred Dick (Dick Blick Art Supplies…since 1911)’s anyway.




(Barbara Anne’s TAKE:
(Mikey-B’s TAKE:
(Miss Meza’s TAKE:

collage no names