The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for March 2009

I have to say, my sister and I really have each other’s backs. 

Let me explain.

Among other things, we have had morbid discussions about being in a coma.  We both agree that if we’re ever in a coma, our families are instructed NOT to pull the plug. 

Just don’t. 

Get those itchy trigger fingers away from my plug…I don’t care how much you want the ring Aunt Tilly gave me 45 years ago just because you saw a similar one on Ebay that would put two of your kids through college, and the doctors say that there’s absolutely NOT A CHANCE that I’ll ever quit drooling, and my muscles lack any sort of tone…don’t do it. 

We both have seen too many stories in the media about how doctors were just about to take the patient off life support when that very patient sits up, looks around sleepily, and asks for a cheeseburger, a shot of tequila, three scratch-off cards and a pair of friggin slippers, for crying out loud, because my feet are freezing.

So uh, yeah, leave the plug alone.

One conversation I had with my sister sticks out in my memory, however.  I was not married or dating at the time–no significant other–and had this sudden, awful thought as I was driving along.

Who would tuck the covers around my chin at night if I was in a coma?   For heaven’s sake, I would be making the front page of the Vampire Gazette if they knew I was sleeping with an unprotected neck.

Grabbing my cell phone, I immediately dialed the only person who would calmly listen to my request, without laughing, and fulfill it.  My sister.

She never batted an eyelash, bless her heart. 

Of course, she said, all businesslike.

Like it’s not weird at all to field that sort of request.

She followed up with a request of her own:  “Just make sure that if I am the one in a coma that you come and make sure that all of my chin hairs are tweezed out so that I’m not sporting some kind of coma-ish fu-manchu stash when people come to visit.”

Of course, I say seriously.

Ah, sisters.  No one understands you like they do.


A horror story


            My father is a sadist of sorts.  What else would you call someone who, when he had three young children, would bring home ONE candy bar.


And “hide” it in the butter compartment of the refrigerator.

Sadly enough, Christmas stockings and Easter baskets were pretty much the only times we were given chocolate as kids, and rightfully so, as no parent wants to see a mouthful of nasty teeth on a ten year old.

Also, my mother was a dental assistant who would tell us horror stories of people who ate too much chocolate/drank too much pop/didn’t floss/didn’t brush enough, take your pick, depending on which sin her errant children happened to be committing at the time.

My sister was an absolute master at delayed gratification.  After my brother and I had frantically gobbled up every single edible piece of candy from our stockings or baskets, even after the last rock hard peep had been gagged down…She would saunter over to her nest egg stockpile of absolute chocolately bliss.  Her timing was uncanny.  The last vestige of our chocolate bunny or crunch bar would be long gone…only a sweet memory…with a snarky grin, she would bring out her basket, or HER stocking, which to us looked like it had not only been filled once but twice, as if she had been SO good that St Nick or the Easter Bunny had stuck around, spying, so that he could refill as she nibbled.

Watching her enjoy her candy was almost too much to bear.  If you asked humbly for her to maybe share one piece, the answer was always the same, “where’s yours?”

Well GONE, of course.

So you can see the diseased way chocolate of any type was viewed in my home.

And my dad, with his morbid, sick sense of humor, thought it would be amusing to watch his three children fight over this snickers bar, like lions over the very last gazelle of the season. 

It just sat there, that snickers bar, on the shelf in the refrigerator, like some sort of perverse test.  Which kid would be finally lured to the dark side?  Which kid would be brave enough, STUPID enough, to incur my father’s wrath for a few moments of bliss?

I’m sure my father didn’t think any of this.  He was just a dude, who like everyone else, liked a candy bar once in a while, and hey, what would happen if he got the urge for a candy bar at 11pm and didn’t want to put on shoes and trudge to White Hen?  Why, he’d buy one, and put it on hold in the fridge if that urge came up, that’s what.  Just a normal guy. 

Or was he?

Now here is where I must interject that although dad did, does, and will always have a perverse, sick, twisted sense of humor, a fair majority of it trickled down to me. 

How else would you explain the fact that during the summer when I was 12, my dad came home for lunch.  He was all dressed in his cop’s uniform.  I remember him putting the big hat down, getting into his lazy boy, asking me in his staccato voice…”peanut butter and jelly sammich.  Chips.  Milk.”

Sure, coming right up, I thought evilly.  This one’s on me.  Because earlier on that hot day, I had seen the trail of grease ants (those little itty bitty ones) making their merry ant way to the peanut butter.  It was a virtual ant party.

As I said, that perversity trickled down to me, as well as a healthy dose of not thinking of the consequences of my actions, but I made that sandwich.

Lovingly.  Placed it on a plate with the requested chips and milk, and served it to my father.  Dad was too busy watching Bozo’s Big Top Circus to realize that ant smorgasbord he was snacking on.  I waited in the kitchen smothering giggles, until he had consumed the entire sandwich, drained the milk, and requested another glass.

\When I brought the milk back in, I also bought the jar of peanut butter to show him, heh heh, that he wasn’t the only one who could dole out a joke, oh, no.

The horrified look on his face said it all…”you knew they were in there and you made it anyway??” he screamed.

It slowly dawned on me that gee, maybe this wasn’t the funniest joke after all.

It is an interesting fact that aside from the large stone of guilt, I don’t remember what happened next.  Not due to the concussion I richly deserved, but probably from shame and embarrassment.

Which is probably for the best, because when that candy bar was sitting in the fridge, that very shame and embarrassment kept me from eating HIS candybar.


This discovery came on what was a very normal day…up til then.

The very innocent question, asked by my father very softly…”where’s my snickers?”

Oh, God.

My sister and I look at each other with fear in our souls, fear but also the solemn conviction that we were completely innocent.

Not so, my brother.

Little brother should have known after he ate it to find some spare change, run to the gas station and buy a replacement bar, a decoy if you will, but who, at 9, has those faculties?

We are all, my mother included, summoned to the kitchen.

“Someone has eaten my candy bar and I want to know who did it.”

20 years on the police force has given the man has some serious interrogation techniques, and we’re witness to this now.

Not me, I say, shaking my head.

Not me, my sister said.

Not me, sighs my mother, although since she is perpetually on a diet, she seriously could be as guilty as the rest of us.

“I didn’t,” says my brother, but he is 9, and quite obviously the guilty party.

Dad asks again.  We all give the same answer.  I am old enough to detect an air of smirk now, about the questioning…Dad?  In a good mood?  Confirming my suspicions, my dad looks seriously at my mom and tells her to get the flashlight.

My brother is now quite literally wetting himself.  His little voice quavers as he asks “What’s the flashlight for?” and dad calmly replies, “well, I’m just going to check everyone’s teeth.  Whoever ate it…well, let’s just say, I’ll know.”

Disgusting, I think, but ok…I know my sister and I are in the clear but brother is sunk.

You first, he says to mom.  I’m old enough to catch the wink and smirk.  He feigns professionalism.  Brother is now standing in a puddle from sweat, or something else…I don’t know.

Next, he says to me…I smugly open my mouth for inspection.

Next, to my sister…we exchange glances and a last minute silent good luck.   All clear too.

“Your turn.”  At this point my brother is visibly shaking.  Dad finds this hilarious.  “Ready?” he asks.

And at the last second before the Dad’s flashlight will indeed expose him for the snicker eater that he is, brother bats away the flashlight with shaky hands, “Dad, it’s been so long since I brushed my teeth there could be anything in there.”

Personally, I could have told him that, as for years my sister and I teased him heartlessly for having what we perceived as disgusting dental habits.

Dad accepts this answer, however, ponders it for a moment, drawing the time out.  Nodding seriously, he stands up straight and clicks off the flashlight.

There is a hush in the kitchen except for the sound of hamburgers frying on the stove. 

If he checks for his chocolate ice cream, though, I’m SUNK.




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  • Mary Fran Says: Thank you for contributing to Sweeps Week! We make a great team. Maybe we'll collaborate in our next lives? SISTERS! lol :)
  • Mary Fran Says: What's better than a Baby Shower aka Early Baby Birthday Party? Baby's FIRST Birthday Party! (Although it's hard to call them "baby" by one! They grow
  • Ann Jones: I'll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!