If Only

clipart kid

clipart kid

If I were to win the lottery, I know for sure I’d never again board a plane and park my posterior in economy: never again squeeze myself into a rear, middle seat where folks monopolize arm rests, and I stare at the bald spot of the reclined snorer in front of me while a robust child kicks the back of my seat as regularly as a clock ticks. Instead, when I win lots of money, I’ll occupy spacious first-class seats where there’s no need to be unruly and folks sip free drinks without their knees being in the way.

If I hit the jackpot, I’d also do something about shoppers who gather in crowded store aisles to chat with friends they haven’t seen since yesterday or block an aisle with their loaded shopping carts while they wander around in search of turkey pepperoni. I’d hire crotchety, roller-skating referees armed with frowns and whistles to keep traffic flowing during peak periods.

Perhaps my referees could also weed out the people who stand in line at eating establishments to order food and, when it’s their turn, have no idea what they want: “Oh, gee, uh, what kind of sandwiches do you have? Oh, right, yeah, I see the list up there. Um, do you have salads? Well, look at that, you’re right; salads are listed as well. Hmm. Which would you recommend? No, I don’t like avocados. Mary, hey Mary, what are you getting? Nah, I don’t feel like having a burger. Well, maybe I’ll just have soup. What kind do you have?”

These oblivious folks are probably the same people who block traffic while they wait for a car to pull out of a parking spot close to a store entrance when they could easily park a short walk away. This curious behavior is especially galling when the business they want immediate access to is a gym. I’d pay to have their cars towed.

Next, I would replace every wobbly table in every eating establishment in the United States. I hate it when, engaged in conversation, I lean forward to comment and send tidal waves of liquid sloshing into the laps of my lady friends. When I try to fix the problem by bending over — until my rear dominates the landscape — to wedge a balled-up napkin under the errant leg, the wobble worsens; and I lose my dignity.

I would pay someone to (1) produce packaging for dental floss and makeup that can be opened without broken fingernails or stab wounds and (2) to make cell phones that automatically disconnect within five feet of anyone in a public place who doesn’t want to hear a loud conversation about the user’s chronic bladder infection.

And finally, I’d use some of my payoff to offer a huge cash reward for anyone who could put an end to the passwords and personal identification questions required by computer land: “Please select and enter a password with four numerals, one special character, and three letters — two of which must be upper case; in addition, you should provide answers for any two of the following security questions: your middle school’s mascot, your father’s shoe size, and your favorite city with a population between 100,000 and 125,000.” Maybe my money could stop this madness.

You should send your lottery tickets to me. Obviously, I’d make good use of your winnings.

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94 thoughts on “If Only

  1. I will have to consult you, if I ever win, Janet. These are some good ideas. You may have even give me an idea about the blog post I’m trying to write. If I go with this, I’ll be sure to blame you. I think grocery stores should have quiet times, like the way trains have added quiet cars. No cell phone, no jibber-jabber, between 10:00 am and 11:00, all you can do is shop. Get your stuff, pay and get out. Good luck with that next ticket.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marvelous idea, Dan. And perhaps when stores see how many people flock to the quiet hour, they’ll extend it. And perhaps, then, other agencies like airports will add quiet zones for those of us who like to hear our own thoughts. Dream on, right?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Great idea, Lynne, but , as you say, the dear undecideds would have to be directed to their special counter; they could never read the sign and go there on their own, because obviously they’re clueless.

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  2. Great rant! I think if I won, I’d get a personal assistant—and I don’t mean Siri, or Alexis, or any of the robotic ones that give you information. I want someone who will come over to my house, sort out the mess on my desk, fix my bill-paying methods that require too much work, check out my emails and answer them (not the ones from my fellow bloggers…I like answering those!). And so on. Well you get the picture!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Brilliant, idea, Diane. I think my money would be better spent on such as assistant. She could also do the grocery shopping, stand in line to order my food, scout out wobbly tables, open purchases sealed in bullet-proof plastic containers, etc. etc. And, of course, I would pay her handsomely.

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  3. Janet I love today’s blog! I have had these exact thoughts on many an occasion. Enjoyed seeing these thoughts in writing. As always you make me smile and think about my childhood. Thank you.
    ~Corrie~

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    • I’m always happy when I hear from you, Corrie. I’m also happy when I learn that others share my sometimes less than charitable thoughts about human behavior; it makes me feel better about thinking them.

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    • I hadn’t thought that my ideas would benefit others as well until I started reading the comments, Sally. Flying first class is a bit more selfish; I probably wouldn’t win enough to buy first class tickets for all flyers. I wish I could. Maybe the airlines would wise up and make all seats as comfortable as they used to be.

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  4. And as a complete as side, I wonder if you have read Margaret Drabble’/ “The Dark Flood Rises”? She is a prolific British author ( apologies if this is patronising) now in her 70s , and she looks at various choices around ageing and death. Well written, with humour that I think you’d enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Sally. I read many British authors: Iris Murdoch when younger, Mauve Binchey for years, and, recently Kate Atkinson among many others. The Dark Flood Rises sounds like a book I’d enjoy. I’ll read it for sure and share my reaction with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow did you hit the items on my list. I had this thought that if the aisles in stores had ONE
    WAY arrows painted on the floors this would
    Help , maybe 5 min. Visiting Zones for chats
    And a towing fee for those who abandon their
    Carts in the middle of the aisles…
    I think I am turning to an old grumpy lady..
    Great post as usual… Shawn

    Liked by 2 people

  6. No more flying for me. I will only go by train or ship and move slowly and enjoy the scenery. I won’t go out into traffic. I’m hiring a guy to do it for me. As far as shopping, Amazon. When I have to go out, my guy will drive. As far as passwords, I’ve got that licked. I tell these websites enormous lies like I have 3.4 kids, my mother’s name was NA, and I was born on Mars. My current address is 666Camelot. And my real name is the Mark of the Beast but you can call me Beastie for short.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great list of rants and I completely agree about the super market slugs. I like to get in and get out; I go to shop, not chat. I was injured once taking off the plastic cover on the end of a razor. I was in the shower. I slid the cover off and sliced the end of my thumb, badly. Thankfully I wasn’t home alone because I needed help stopping the blood. As I get older, my fingers work less well and I find that opening packages is harder now. Ah, the joys (?) of aging. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the phrase, super market slugs, karenlee. I wish I’d thought of it myself and used it in my post. I probably could have written an entire piece about the ironclad packaging I struggle to open; I, too, find it’s harder now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve watched my mother struggle for years trying to open various products (arthritis in her fingers) and now, that is me. I once found an empty CD case inside the pocket of a shirt I was looking at while shopping. Someone stole the CD but left the case. I know they try to be theft-proof, but in the process packaging has become difficult. Yes, they certainly can be slugs. 🙂

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      • I’d like to mention the supermarket slug who waits until the cashier announces the total before starting to rummage through a purse for payment. It was worse when checks were common and we waited for “what’s today’s date?” “How do you spell Safeway?”, etc. sheesh

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      • Oh, yes, Mercy, I’d forgotten that supermarket irritant. It drives me crazy. The other day I waited behind such a slug who, after finally finding her credit card and being walked through how to swipe it, sign, etc., remembered she had two coupons she wanted to use. Aaagh!

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    • I’m with you, Lorie. I used to attend to household chores without much thought; they needed to be done and I found time to do them. Now I’m retired, I find they really interfere with my enjoyable plans for any given day, even if those plans are to read and watch the snow fall. Dusting and cleaning the refrigerator are now major irritants.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Aunt Beulah
    I have a brilliant idea for you when you win the lottery, ( no if’s, I think you will win, so make sure you keep buying a ticket ) here’s the deal. I love all your plans, especially that rock hard, non pliable, half inch plastic that they use a whole tube of Araldite to glue the article inside. Crikey!!! We need a brick saw to get them open. I bought a pair of scissors last week and I needed the flamin’ scissors that were in the packet to cut the scissors out, packaging companies in future please ring Aunt Beulah when she wins the lottery to make sure you send someone with my scissors to open them.
    Back to my brilliant idea, how’s about you buy 2 first class tickets to the Land Down Under, come and visit your ol’ mate Annie. Pete and I will make sure you and Joel have the the best holiday of your lives. There will be no travelling in sardine cans to get here and because you will be rich Aunt Beulah, I will ring ahead and ensure there will be nothing but first class service all the way.
    IF ONLY !!!! Wouldn’t it be somethin’ special
    I am working on a story Dare to Dream!! our minds must be trying to tell us something Aunt Beulah… perhaps we both need a holiday….keep on buyin’ those lottery tickets dear friend, ya just never know!!!!
    Big ol’hugs wrapped in lots of love headed your way
    From
    Annie in Australia 🌞 🌴 🌊 💜

    Liked by 3 people

    • Great idea Annie, and when Janet and Joel have outstayed their welcome, eaten the fridge empty and left wet bath towels on their beds you can ship them up to us in Newcastle (NSW) and we’ll help them set in motion all Janet’s great ideas to improve the quality of life for everyone around these parts.

      Liked by 2 people

    • As long as we’re dreaming, my dear Annie, why don’t I use some of my millions to fly all our blog friends who are interested to visit you as well, first class, of course. What a rip-snorting party that would be, as my first boyfriend used to say. I love your story about needing scissors to unpackaged your scissors and your optimistic prediction that I will win the lottery. Whoopee! Can’t wait to read Dare to Dream. Love and hugs back at you, Annie from Australia.

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      • Oh yeah!!! One heck of a rip-snorting party Oh my goodness we would have an amazing group of people Aunt Beulah.
        Keep buying those lottery tickets, ya just never know, I predict you will have a lucky year, says the would be clairvoyant
        Annie in Australia 🌞 🌴 🌊
        PS….love and hugs always xxxxx❤❤❤

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  9. Yes, yes, yes and yes!!! Just love those middle plane seats with kids behind me with their feet kicking in my back and business guys on the left and right of me who think they own BOTH arm rests and I (a lowly TOURIST) need to accommodate THEIR computers! And don’t start me on the shrink wrapping on products – you need a saw just to get the wrapping off! Geesch! ;)p

    You had me from the opening paragraph until the end. I needed this laugh today. Thanks, Little Buddy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I first saw Joel, before ever exchanging a word with him, I noticed and admired his prominent shoulders. Little did I know I’d spend twenty years and counting sitting in the middle seat because I’m uncomfortable squished in the middle, but he’s miserable. Thus the first class dream. I’m glad I made you laugh, Lucie, and I know you’ll return the favor.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What can I say, a lady after my own heart. Totally with you on every suggested improvement although my all time favourites are: the cell-phone secret silence button; the what-will-I-have-now-because-I-don’t-have-a-clue-as-I’ve-been-talking-loudly-on-my-cell-phone-when-I-should-have-been-deciding-what-I-want-for-lunch nitwit; and additional funding to make the password and log-in thingee go away. Linda 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks, Janet, for another amusing and entertaining read.

    Tim and I often discuss how we would spend our windfall if we ever won the lottery or—and this is Tim’s “much better” plan— if I ever write that bestseller!
    Guess we’ll never find out?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like Tim’s much better plan as well; and I can envision a best-selling book about traveling alone as a woman in your future. But I worry you’d have to cut back on your travel to get it written!

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  12. I do hope you win, Janet. I’m sure you’ll rectify those annoying problems and more. We often discuss what we’d do with $10 million, but never buy the ticket. It’s a wonderful thing to dream.
    I agree with the lack of packaging accessibility and password irritations. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is fun to dream, isn’t it? I remember as a child watching a TV show called The Millionaire in which ordinary people were given a million dollars by an unknown benefactor. My friends and I used to spend hours imagining one of us would be the lucky one and what we each of us would do with a million dollars, a number we couldn’t fathom.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. First class to New Zealand please! Thanks for the new vision of what money could buy, a new take on philanthropy. I hope your winnings cover middle managers and executive directors so that you can just loll back in comfort (as if)…

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  14. I love your list! My favorite is being able to fly first class! Your description is spot on! When we flew back from San Diego, that kicking kid was behind me. I turned around and gave the mother “the look”! Fortunately the child fell asleep soon thereafter. However, the mother talked nonstop, loudly, during the entire flight. Sigh.
    I have often thought what I would do if I won the lottery. First if it was an obscene amount of money, I would probably become a philanthropist giving money to museums, clinics, libraries and schools. Of course, I would make sure friends and family would benefit as well. But, first I guess, I would have to actually buy a lottery ticket!

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    • I, too, would become a philanthropist, Janice, and make sure my friends and family didn’t do without what they need, including college educations; but there would always be money in reserve for my first class tickets. Your last line surprised a laugh out of me! And, truthfully, Joel does the ticket buying in our family — when he remembers.

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  15. Oh Janet, I play lottery a lot, and will always recall a terrible, long smelly flight home from Australia, in L.A.X.,my boot lace caught in the escalator, thus knee capped, when eventually I boarded my next flight, had the perfect seat, no large baldys, screaming brats, slobbering love birds…aah, a seat alone.Along came Miss, with a tiny old lady who demanded my seat.Bawling did no good, I was exiled to the worst part of the plane, and given a ten dollar certificate for my next flight, which is framed somewhere…when I win it will be private plane time, and I will show you those magical places. Thank you for a much needed guffaw..

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    • What a sad story about your flight; it’s a terrible thing when even bawling won’t work. Why didn’t I think of a private plane? That would be even better, because I wouldn’t have to feel guilty sitting in first class and watching all those good, hardworking people, like I and most of the people I know are, file past to their economy seats. I’m glad I made you laugh, Sheila.

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  16. I love that you’d pay to tow the cars of people who unnecessarily hold up lines 😆 it seems like you’d be way more generous with your winnings than I would. With lottery winnings I’d disappear out of sight (after sharing some with my friends and loved ones)

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  17. Oh I SO want you to win the lottery!
    This post made me smile. It reminded me of the song by Barenaked Ladies “If I had a $1,000,000”, which also make me smile— no matter how many times I hear it.

    Liked by 1 person

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