Archive for May, 2008

Gotta Love It When You’re Carded…

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Dear Diary,

I actually got “proofed” (or “carded”) today – while buying a bottle of wine!!! “Are you over 21?” the handsome young man asked with an arched eyebrow. He looked like a high school kid, maybe 17, I guessed. At first, of course, I knew the young dude was joking. You know, he was just flattering me. But he kept looking straight at me, expecting me to dig into my purse for my license to prove my age.

‘Holy crap, this kid’s serious,’ I thought. ‘Either that, or he’s a freakin’ GREAT actor!!’ I still felt too old and savvy to fall for the ole “watch the ancient lady joyfully fumble through her wallet for her license” routine… So, I just simply laughed and said, “You CAN’T be serious.”

He looked at me through squinty eyes, like Clint Eastwood sizing-up an outlaw, and said, “Well, okaaaaay, I’ll trust you this time…” I laughed again, and as he handed me my change, I said, “Wow, it’s always nice to be asked…” And he quickly shot me a look as if to say, “Watch your step, lady, I could bust you yet!”  What a flirt!

Hmmmm… maybe there’s something to this “cougar dating” scene after all!

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Liz and Louise At The Pump

Friday, May 16th, 2008

by Liz von Achen

It was Mother’s Day eve. I stopped at the RaceTrac station to fill my tank with gas. I popped my credit card into the pump and purchased $38 worth of fuel.

I printed the receipt, and was just about to get back into my vehicle when someone from inside the RaceTrac store got on the speaker, and said “Uhhh, Mam? Would you please come inside?” I looked around to see if there were any other “Mams” present, and concluded that the young woman on the loud speaker had to be talking to me. Still, I pointed to myself, in an inquiring gesture, just to be certain.

“Yes, you.” The young woman said rather solemnly. “Please come inside the store.”

I was still holding my credit card and receipt in hand as I walked towards the building. ‘What could she possibly want?’ I wondered. ‘Is it possible that somehow my credit card failed after the fact, and I’m over the limit, and have to pay cash?’ Lately, this would not be an unheard of scenario for me (and more than half the people I know!)

I then realized that I didn’t have $38 in cash on me, and if indeed my credit card had been declined, I would have no way to pay!

I briefly considered making a mad dash back to my car for a clean getaway. My mind was then filled with images of a high speed chase, with 3 or four police cars in pursuit and news choppers circling overhead. “Desperate woman in Fort Lauderdale pumps and runs. Film at 11.”

I then considered that $38 worth of gas these days probably wouldn’t get me further than ten or twelve miles, and my Thelma and Louise moment would be a very short-lived adventure, and just not worth going to jail for! Albeit, the international airport was literally just a few blocks away, but my passport had expired, and besides, if my credit card had failed, how the hell would I pay for a flight to asylum?

I decided that fleeing the scene was simply not a practical option. I needed to do the brave and honorable thing and confront the situation directly. Maybe the RaceTrac had some dirty dishes or toilets in the back I could scrub to pay my debt.

I entered the store. A young man was standing beside the young woman. They both looked to be in their early 20′s, very fit and strong. I was certainly no physical match for either of them.

‘Great.’ I thought. ‘They’ve probably already called the credit card police, and now they’re going to tag-team to try to stall me.’ I held my receipt and card out to the young woman.

“It says it went through fine,” I said with pleading eyes.

“Okaaaaaaay, I’m sure it did…” she said quizzically as she handed me a pink plastic travel mug with the word Mom written in script on the front side.

“I just wanted to give you this present and wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.”

“Oh, thank GOD!” I sighed, my eyes filling with tears as I clutched the precious mug to my chest. “You have NO idea how much this means to me!”

Both youngsters were now smiling broadly, and I was so relieved and touched, I just didn’t have the heart to tell them I wasn’t a mother!

© 2009 Liz von achen All rights reserved.

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Wardrobe Malfunctions … Gotta LOVE Those Drag Queens!

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

by Liz von Achen

If telling wardrobe malfunction stories were an Olympic competition, I think I’d have a pretty good shot at winning the gold. Yup, let’s just say, I have more than just a few good “wardrobe malfunction” stories to tell, most of them involving undergarments!

I could possibly fill an entire book with all the embarrassing details of my previous clothing mishaps, such as the time my panties literally fell off my ass, and started visibly drooping down from the sides of the short “skort” I was wearing! This mishap wouldn’t have been so bad if it had happened in any other venue, but I was standing in line at the bank! And, I desperately needed to cash a check!

Then, there was the morning I hastily threw on the same pair of jeans I had worn the night before, not realizing that the same pair of panties I wore the night before had decided to bond with my jeans, and camp-out in the left leg of my bell-bottoms. I still have nightmares, where I’m frantically trying to drag my panties along with my shoe, until I can reach a good moment to gracefully pick them up.

I also can’t omit the panty mishap I had while on a dinner date with a business associate. Truthfully, that story deserves a full blog entry on its own, and I will get to that soon … someday.

More recently, there was the memorable malfunction at Fort Lauderdale International airport. I had a ticket to fly to NY on Dec. 19th. I foolishly didn’t anticipate that there would be any “holiday” delays at that time, it was a full week before Christmas! I woke up that morning, determined to fly “comfortable and casual,” and I just threw on a zippered “hoodie,” with nothing but a bra underneath.

I arrived at the airport, only to discover that the line through security stretched almost to Cuba. I knew then I was cutting it REALLY close, and could possibly miss my flight. When I finally got through security, I checked my watch. I had exactly 5 minutes to catch my flight. But, I still had to put my boots back on, my laptop back into its case, and reach a gate that was “God knows” how far away. ‘OK, I can do this,’ I thought.

I started running like a wild woman, with my carry-on on one arm, and laptop on the other. I kind-of noticed that people were actually gawking at me as I flew by. ‘What? You’ve never seen a woman running to catch her flight before?’ I wondered.

Then, I felt a cool rush of air on my chest. I looked down and realized that the zipper on my hoodie had broken and come apart, and I was actually running through the airport flashing a full frontal view of my bra!

It could have been worse. At least I was wearing a nice, new black bra that gave me good cleavage. I could have been wearing a skanky old bra with worn elastic and rips in it! THAT would have been mortifying!

When I arrived at my gate, it actually took a while for me to realize I had indeed missed my flight. I was standing on line, ready to board, when I nervously asked the guy in front of me, “This plane’s going to New York, right?”

“No, this plane’s going to Denver,” he replied.

Crap! I ran over to the ticket counter, still awkwardly clasping my hooded sweatshirt shut with my left hand, trying my best to maneuver my luggage and paper-work with my right hand. The ticket agent was very kind, and told me she could get me on the next flight to New York, with a transfer in Orlando.

“That’s great!” I said, thinking that at least I’ll now have time to go buy a souvenir t-shirt to wear.

“When does that flight leave?” I asked.

“Ummm, actually, NOW!” she answered in a panic stricken voice. “RIGHT NOW!! You need to RUN to that gate over there as quickly as possible if you want to catch that flight!”

So, again, I ran like a crazy woman through the airport, with my unzipped hoodie, and bra flashing. I was literally THE LAST passenger to board the plane. There was only one available seat. This seat happened to be located between two men.

Now, I had a new dilemma. I needed two free arms to hoist my carry-ons into the overhead luggage compartment, and I still needed one of my arms to hold my sweatshirt closed. Otherwise, these two men (and anyone else on the plane who happened to be paying attention) were going to get a free burlesque show with their bag of complimentary peanuts.

I just stood there, not knowing what to do. Fortunately, a flight attendant was ambling down the aisle, and I was blocking her way. I feebly tried lifting one of my bags up, with my one free arm, pretending that I was paralyzed in the other. She came to the rescue, placing both my bags in the overhead for me.

During my layover in Orlando, I immediately went to the gift shop, telling myself that I would purchase THE VERY FIRST t-shirt I came upon. Well, that t-shirt happened to be a ‘Hanna Montana’ t-shirt. “No, no… oh, no…” I thought. “This day’s going badly enough. THE LAST thing I wanna do now is get on my connecting flight looking like a 40-something-year old RETARD wearing a ‘Hanna Montana’ t-shirt! So, I browsed and bought a dorky ‘Orlando’ t-shirt instead.

When I finally arrived in NY, I discovered that my 10 year old niece Gabby was a HUGE Hanna Montana fan. I realized then, I missed my cue. I should have shown up wearing that Hanna Montana shirt… I would’ve have been the coolest aunt EVER!

My most recent wardrobe malfunction occurred at the SAGE Variety Show, here in Fort Lauderdale. My group, inHARMONY was hired to perform 3 songs for the review.

Less than 10 minutes before stage-time, I went into the ladies room, unzipped my slacks (which had a side zipper) and was HORRIFIED when the zipper broke, and I was unable to pull it back up. This pretty much meant that I was about to go on-stage with my pants falling down, somewhere around my calves!

I did what any sane and reasonably minded person would do in that situation. I panicked! I completely panicked!

“I have to go home!” I screamed. “I have to go home NOW!”

Fortunately, Lisa, a soprano in my group had also been in the ladies room with me. She somehow managed (with her finger nails) to pull the zipper back up, but then advised me to try to not make any sudden movements, as the zipper could easily fail again, and I would have no way to get it back up on my own.

I was TERRIFIED at that point, knowing that we had dance moves on stage to make. I was convinced that I would inevitably move my hips during the performance, and thus send my precarious zipper downward, making my pants fall down and thus adding a very embarrassing and unwanted “moment” to the SAGE Variety Show.

Upon exiting the ladies room, I encountered a few other members of my group, and told them of my dilemma. Tom, our supreme tenor, and my personal hero (honestly, if he wasn’t gay, I would want to marry him!) then thoughtfully suggested that we go into the main dressing room, and ask if they had a safety-pin to spare. As “guests” of the show, our group hadn’t gathered in the main dressing room. Instead, (because we arrived presumably fully dressed and ready to perform) we gathered in a different room on the premises to simply warm our voices.

Tom knocked on the dressing room door, then led me into this huge, wonderful world filled with colorful costumes, feathers, and drag queens in various stages of dress.

“Liz is having a wardrobe malfunction,” Tom stated. “Does anyone have a safety-pin to spare?”

“Oh, sweety! Don’t worry, ” one lovely dame said. He was in the process of being fitted into a 1940′s style dress for his Andrew’s Sister act. “We got you covered! Look over there on that table…”

Sure enough, there was a plastic box filled with large safety-pins. I secured the upper seal on my pants with the pin, knowing then that if my zipper crashed, I would still have my pants on, and in the worst case scenario, I would just be revealing a hearty slice of my panties on a side-view.

Tom said, “Well, okay… now you’re set. If your zipper still happens to fall, it’ll look to the audience like you just have a sexy slit in the side of your pants.”

Do I need to mention again, that I would marry this guy?

We performed, and the audience just ate us up. They LOVED us! They started clapping before we were finished singing ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ and by the time we were actually done, much of the audience was standing, giving us a standing ovation! We all walked off the stage feeling high, and very appreciative.

“Can you believe they STOOD?” one gleeful member asked me.

Because we were still committed to participate in the final show-ending song, we all stayed around, and in close proximity to each other. At some point, I joked with my director Randy (who knew of my ‘wardrobe’ issues), “Well, at least my pants didn’t fall off!” Randy said, “Oh, really? I thought that was why they all applauded!”

At the end of the show, we were supposed to be leading the audience in singing ‘I Am What I Am,’ a tune immortalized by Gloria Gaynor … and Popeye, The Sailor Man. We were supposed to be singing the Gloria Gaynor version.

We had been told that we would be circling through the audience, with a lyric-prompter in front of us. No worries. We had enough songs of our own to learn the lyrics to, and this would be an easy, sing-a-long… just look at the prompter… and get the audience jazzed.

As it turns out, the producers of the show instead invited my entire group on the main stage at the end of the show for kudos. This was a very nice thing, except that the prompter was now behind us! And when the final song ‘I Am What I Am’ started, NONE of us knew the lyrics! So, we all turned our heads in a very pathetic display, away from the audience, to look at the prompter behind us! This was devastatingly embarrassing! It was truly an awkward, sad, and I’m sure a very disappointing moment for the audience.

After the high of a standing ovation, this, to me was the lowest of low points. What a lame way to end a show!

Honestly, it made me TOTALLY wish then that my pants would fall down!

I'm the schmegeggie on the very far left, looking as if her pants might fall down at any given moment!

I'm the schmegeggie on the very far left, looking as if her pants might fall down at any given moment!

© 2009 Liz von achen All rights reserved.

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