Sunday Morning Hot Tea - No. 47
Happy Easter and please read my job application
Welcome to Sunday Morning Hot Tea where I write about a little something up top then answer a legal question for you down below. This week, I am applying for a new job, and that’s it.
In this edition:
Topic of the Week – Trying to Make The Cut
Legal Question – Nada
Greetings from the fabulous Hyatt Regency Houston Intercontinental Airport breakfast dining room area. We are getting ready to head home to Dallas for family Easter celebrations.
On Friday, Christie and I performed at Moontower Just for Laughs and had a great show! Yesterday, I was so proud to be there for Paris and our dear friend, Todd, to accept their awards for winning Best Comedy Microfilm for Coleslaw and Best Horror Comedy for Final Girl Defense at the Houston Comedy Film Festival. Proud wife over here!
Brand new piece for you below. Thanks for reading and have a HOPPY Sunday!
(Can you believe I just came up with that? Hoppy Sunday, like happy but BUNNIES because of Easter! Maybe they should print that on wooden signs at Michael’s.)
My Application to be a Female Motorhome Travel Companion
This was a post on someone's NextDoor neighborhood app that has been screenshot and shared online. The questionnaire follows a photo of a motorhome parked at a gas pump outside of a combination Pilot truck stop/Hardee’s restaurant, the worst gas station/restaurant combo. Everyone knows the best combo is the TA/Taco Bell Express or the Exxon/McDonald’s if you’re in a pinch.
The post is titled Application For Female Motorhome Travel Companion. It reads: “Please answer all questions below,” then includes the following demand: “12 Head to Toe NON Filtered Photos of YOU taken on the day of this application.” This is a newsletter, so you get the answers to all questions below, but I’ll spare you the 12 head to toe non-filtered photos. I am in jeans and a black t-shirt. I just ate scrambled eggs and breakfast potatoes in an airport hotel restaurant at 6AM. You can visualize what I’ve got going on.
I think I would be a great fit for this job because I’ve been traveling a lot recently. I wanted to know if I could make the cut as a motorhome mama. There is no better way to measure myself than against this gentleman’s metrics of success.
Question 1 – Have you ever committed murder?
Wow, starting off strong. No, sir, I have not yet committed a murder. That’s the problem with your question. You didn’t ask whether I would be willing to commit a murder. You only asked if I have already done so. I have not.
Hang on a minute.
You didn’t specify why you were asking this.... Did you need someone with prior experience? Was the right answer to this question actually yes?
Question 2 – Have you ever sucker punched anyone?
Now I am worried the right answer to this question is yes, too. I have not sucker-punched anyone as I would define it. One time, someone slapped me in the face and called me a “whore” at a bar when I was 19. I told him if he touched me again, I would – and I’m not super proud of this but it’s true – “grab you by the nuts and twist until I felt a pop.” I must have heard that from a movie. I felt like Dirty Harry when I said that.
Despite my very clear warning, he slapped me again. Yes, I grabbed his nuts. No, I didn’t feel a pop, probably because I have early onset wrist weakness from a lifetime of typing. He did drop down to his knees, though, then ran from the bar. It was a whole scene.
I don’t consider this a sucker-punch given that I provided him with proper notice. So, no.
Question 3 – Have you ever stollen anyone’s money and ran off?
I have to point out the stollen is original to the question and not me. I am ashamed that my answer to this question is yes. When we were little kids, probably in third grade, my childhood best friend, Marila, and I found a wad of cash up at the local recreation center. It was hidden back in some bushes, if I recall correctly. It was as if someone had stuffed it back in there to hide it from whoever they stole it from.
Considering there is no honor among thieves, Marila and I made off with the loot. We biked a few minutes up the block until we got to my house and hid in the garage. Some big kids came looking for us. Turns out, we were right. They had stolen the money from somewhere else and had hidden their riches in the bushes. When the boys tried approaching my garage, my mom came out and yelled for them to get out of the yard and go home.
Thanks to our unwitting accomplice, they scrammed. We stashed the cash – a whopping six dollars in crumpled ones – into my brown glass owl piggy bank. I’m sure later we spent it on candy at the Diamond Shamrock gas station near Marila's house.
Question 4 – Do you cook every day?
No. If I am forced to cook, I boil gluten-free noodles, melt a pad of butter in them, and sprinkle them with the kind of parmesan “cheese” that comes in packets crammed in the side of your pizza box. Now baking on the other hand?
I don’t do that either. Sorry.
Question 5 - Have you ever poisoned anyone?
I can't help but feel like this is related to question 4 and comes from a place of personal experience. Either that or this is entrapment. Are you the FBI, sir? If you are, you have to tell me.
Question 6 - Can you drive a motorhome?
I am not trying to be too picky here, but I feel like you should have put this question up higher. No, I have never driven a motorhome, but I have a lot of self-confidence so I think we'll be good. By that I mean I’ll be like, “I got this!” Then I’ll take the wheel, pop a curb at best or skim your roof on an overpass at worst. But I will have driven it.
Question 7 - Are you happy?
Good lord. Wow. Coming straight for the gut punch. You know, are any of us truly happy? I like to think I am. Happiness is a transitory feeling, though. I don't think anyone is truly happy all the time. Maybe content, joyful. If happiness is achieved through doing fulfilling creative work and sharing it with others, then yes, I am happy. If happiness is a Hardee’s Monster Angus Burger in a truck stop parking lot in your SurfSide RV, I’m afraid I’ve been living life wrong.
Question 8 - Do you smile a lot?
Ah, I see where you're going. Number 7 was not about my true happiness and fulfillment. You want to know if I'll shut up and smile. I do smile, but I rarely shut up. I laugh a lot, usually when I am happy or amused, but also when I’m nervous.
I got in trouble for laughing once in grade school. I attended a public elementary school in Mesquite called Rutherford. It was built next to cow pastures and fields. As the houses popped up beside it, the amount of students outnumbered the space to hold us. Soon, the fifth and sixth grade classes were relegated to portables. This was a soft word for mobile homes turned into classrooms. The floors were lined with linoleum tile, and the walls were covered in inspirational posters like “Hang in there!” and “If you can dream it you can do it!”
In fifth grade, we switched classes for each subject, so we got shuffled around between portables a lot. For instance, during our lesson on our changing bodies, girls were ushered into one portable with my home room teacher, Mrs Kralik. A woman of 60 with a cropped gray haircut, Mrs. Kralik exclusively wore knitted sweaters and long jean skirts. To teach us about the inner workings of our personal sexuality, she showed a short video about penises and vaginas and periods. When it ended, she explained the most important thing to remember was that puberty changed our hormones and changed hormones made you stink. So wear deodorant.
A student raised her hand.
"Mrs. Kralik, how are babies made?"
"Just wear deodorant. That's all you need to know."
To be fair, that was not bad advice. It’s just not as all-encompassing as one would hope in order to prevent teen pregnancy or STD transmission.
The boys were shuffled into Mr. Shirley’s class. Mr. Shirley was the science teacher, a round man with a crescent of gray hair framing his bald head. He wore white short-sleeved button-downs with brown striped ties and filled his front pocket with ball point pens. I have to believe he purchased his ensemble all together from Party City in a plastic bag labeled ‘90s Science Teacher at a Public School. He kept a shelf of hissing cockroaches and lizards behind his desk. In the top drawer of his old metal desk, he kept Jelly Bellies. Not plain, store-brand jelly beans. Jelly Bellies. The real deal. Raw and loose in the metal drawer. If you answered a question in his class correctly, you’d get to go and rifle through the drawer and get you a Jelly Belly.
The day I got in trouble for laughing was in late January 1996. On this day, I would not be getting a Jelly Belly. Our lessons on wearing deodorant behind us, this was a solemn day. All home room classes gathered in Mr. Shirley’s room. My class was last to enter, so while some kids sat in desks, we were forced to stand crowded in one corner of the room. Mr. Shirley cut the lights and rolled a black metal cart with an enormous tube TV strapped on top.
“Ten years ago,” Mr. Shirley started, “the Challenger space shuttle took off.”
Took off. That’s what he said. He said it took off. Technically this was true. Technically, the Titanic set sail. Technically, JFK visited Dallas. Technically, I went to Disney World in sixth grade. Saying it like that really buries the lead. It leaves the story unfinished when you fail to mention the sinking, the shooting, or the pants-pooping on the way to the airport.
That's how he set us up. He told us, "The Challenger took off."
“Now, here is a video of that day,” he said.
He pressed play. A video began and introduced the crew. As you would expect, they focused a lot on Chrysta McAullife. A teacher chosen for the mission, the announcer said.
How cool, I thought. She worked so hard teaching her kids, and now she gets to learn firsthand what space is like!
I should reiterate that on this day in January 1996, I was nine years old. I still believed in Santa. I thought the basket on the front porch each year was from the actual Easter Bunny and not our kind neighbor.
So there I stood in the back of the class, engrossed in this lovely story of a woman fulfilling her dreams. Beep, beep, beep went the count down. Three, two, one.
You know what happens next. What was once a sleek spaceship erupted into a huge fireball on the screen in front of us.
I began to laugh. Hard. I couldn’t control it. Couldn’t explain it. I was sad. I was confused. I was laughing. All I know is Mr. Shirley took me by the arm and drug me out of the dark portable. My eyes blinded in the sun outside the door, he questioned me.
“Why did you laugh?”
I had no reasoning. I could only spit out facts.
“She worked so hard. She got to go to space," I said.
“She almost got to go to space,” he corrected.
That afternoon after school, Shirley decided to call my mother and squeal on me. She normally had great deference and respect for teachers, so I expected her to take his side.
“She laughed? At a video of the Challenger explosion?” my mom asked, repeating his complaint back to him. Then she hit him with the money question.
"Did she know?”
“Know what?” he asked.
“How it ended? Did you tell the kids before you started the tape what would happen?”
He was forced to confess he had not.
“Well there you go,” she said. She hung up the phone.
Yeah so anyway, I do smile a lot.
Question 9 - Do you like to fish?
I don't like to do anything that's a whole deal. Like having to get the tackle box, the worms, the hooks, the vest (you HAVE to wear a vest when you fish, otherwise what are you doing?) It seems like a whole deal. To fish the right way, I feel like I have to invest in all the various accouterments needed to fish properly. I’m not doing that.
Question 10 - Will you forgive me if I have a bad moment/day, as I will forgive you?
First you have to forgive me for looking at this question with my eyes narrowed and my lips pursed. This sounds like you are asking for pre-forgiveness for acting rude toward me. I will consider forgiving anyone, but I am not going to give you or anybody else a free pass.
Question 11 - Are you okay with me treating you like the gift God created you to be?
Honestly that's the only way anybody is allowed to treat me. Glad to hear you are on the ball already!
Question 12 - Can you walk unassisted? (Probably should have asked this first)
I got stuck in the Jungle Cruise boat at Disneyland and Paris had to pull me out so you tell me. Also — this? This is what you “should have asked first”? I think you did all right with the murder and punching questions right off the bat.
Question 13 - Will you and can you pay your own way? (Okay, this should have been first).
Yes. While I do respect equal contributions in a partnership, again, let's reevaluate your priorities. You definitely should clear up the murdering and the poisoning before worrying about splitting the check at Hardee's.
Question 14 - Do you like to fish?
My answer has not changed. So sorry. But if you're asking twice, maybe THIS should have been your first question.
Question 15 - Will you sing sweetly and softly to me each night?
I will sing for you, but these pipes are at and always stay at eleven. I don't do softly. I can hit you with some Fleewood Mac, some Lady Gaga. I can hit like 65% of notes in Katy Perry songs. I also do a pretty inauthentic Bon Jovi impression. But these pipes don't come for free. If you want me to sing to you AND not murder you AND try to fish, I will require compensation. Even then I make no promises on the murder question.
Well, sounds like I am not cut out for the motorhome mama lifestyle. That’s ok. Even if I can hack it in the SurfSide, I know a great guy who will drive me all over the state of Texas. He’ll also pull me out of a canopied tramp steamer piloted by a trusty skipper when I get stuck. Plus, he’s already accepted my application.
If you think you’re cut out for the road life, I’ve included a screenshot of the post below.
Until next week, that’s the tea, and sounds like I won’t make it in the RV.
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