A Funny Thing Happened

 We all have those friends that stick by us through thick and thin...the friends you can count on in a crunch...the friends you didn't know you needed until they walked into your life and you realized you'd been waiting for them to come along and put some zing in living. Vonda is that friend for me. She's from Ohio but for a brief, magical time she was a transplanted southerner and we worked and played at the newspaper together. I do mean that literally. We worked really hard and when there was no work to be done we actually played Wheel of Fortune, cards and whatever other creative pursuits we could come up with. We even tried macrame and needlepoint. Before you get all worked up about it, nobody actually cared as long as the actual work was done and all our deadlines were met. So Vonda, this is for you.  Just when you thought it was safe to be my friend, I started blogging. I told you I'd have to write about us. You said maybe nobody would think it was funny. Maybe you had to be there and see us in action. Oh well. The point is we KNOW it was funny. And we're still laughing all these years later. Where, oh where shall I begin?

     Maybe with the HUGE yard sale. Remember how hard we worked planning it? We were so excited. The plan was to box up all the stuff that was crowding our closets at home and haul it to a parking lot on a busy highway and have a yard sale that turned us into temporary moguls. Or at least paid for lunch for a couple of weeks. You thought it would be a good idea to include crafts. So, we took advantage of a free ad in the good old Press and Standard and advertised our HUGE yard sale. Wish I could print a copy of the ad here. We used a thick font to catch everybody's attention and the word "huge" took up half of the ad. As Saturday approached we were pumped.

       But, those who truly know me well, know that I don't really do 'early' with flair. So, the yard sale that sounded like a good idea on Friday night became a harsh reality at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday. Also, it seemed my stash of sale items shrunk during the week and I ended up with a box of odds and ends that nobody would want if they were free. Somewhere in the planning, a table never materialized. So here we were early on Saturday morning (wasn't it raining?) with a couple of boxes of junk, some of your crafts and no place to put it all. So much for our HUGE yard sale.  We arranged everything on the hood of the car, got inside with the radio and the heater and waited for the masses. They never showed up. Once we thought we had a customer but it was a guy asking for directions. Then another couple pulled up and asked us if we happened to know where the "huge" yard sale was they had read about in the paper. Neither one of us had the heart to tell them they were right smack dab in the middle of it. If we didn't learn anything else, we found out we would never make a living in the world of sales. We didn't try that again.

     Of course, that didn't mean we were ready to give up on adventure or money making enterprises. I remember this story as the Great Tax Typing Event Of The Century. Just as a favor to anyone reading this right now, I'd like to remind you that there really is no free lunch. And if it sounds too good to be true...well, you get the idea.

     We were approached by a nice newspaper editor who had a problem and needed two really fast typists. Now, me-- I'm just average but Vonda's fingers should be insured. She's the fastest typist I've ever known. This really nice guy had pages, pages and more pages of tax notices that had to be published in the news by the following week and nobody to do the typing. He offered us a ridiculous amount of money if we could come to his newspaper office after hours, use his computers and get all those notices typed in time for publication the following week. He figured we could probably accomplish this by working on Friday evening and perhaps finish up on Saturday morning. Well, we were up for the challenge. It was more money than we could make in a week at our regular job and we were excited.

     We showed up for duty with our fingers poised and ready to go. And we started typing. And we typed. And then we typed some more. At midnight we were still typing. We didn't even have the benefit of keeping each other company because one computer was on the first floor and the other computer was on the second floor. It was the most boring, mind-boggling bunch of stuff I've ever tried to concentrate on. All the numbers ran together and some of it wasn't legible. I can't say for sure now, but I'm almost positive I was crying by midnight. The thought of the money wasn't exciting anymore. I just wanted out. But we couldn't quit so we showed up again on Saturday and typed. And typed some more and kept typing all day. It was horrible. I felt like Lucy and Ethel in the episode where they try to keep up with wrapping candy and it's speeding by them on the conveyor belt. I wanted to throw pages of the stuff away and pretend it was never there...but I didn't. Really.

     Late that night we didn't look like the same young, hopeful girls who had started with a dream. We were tired and grouchy. We were drinking strong, cold coffee and praying for deliverance.  Our eyes were crossing from exhaustion and our fingers were numb. It was at this point we knew something had to change. At this rate we would have to take time off from work Monday so we could keep typing at our temporary job. This would be counter productive.  So, we finally came up with the idea of calling the third fastest typist we knew and begging her to help us Sunday afternoon. This involved taking a share of my earnings and a share of Vonda's earnings and paying her. We didn't care anymore. We just wanted to be done. Late Sunday night with her help we put the finishing touches on the mess and notified the editor we were through.

    I've never worked harder for less satisfaction and/or money. It was a nightmare. After this, we gave up on the idea of making extra money. We would just be poor and pitiful together. And have other adventures that wouldn't almost kill us. Which is why we decided to join an aerobics class together.......but that's another story for another day. I'll be back. Promise. Stay tuned for the story of the Clemson Cow.


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