Category: Unicorn Beams

Caretaking Tales

Caretaking Tales

(Unicorn Beam from Cranky Pants)


Cranky Pants has some pretty serious health issues these days, which is why she’s so cranky. You can watch videos about her ongoing battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis, at her blog (click this link). But at one time, when she was trying to be off disability, she worked as a caretaker for the chronically ill. This included patients with dementia, and patients who were terminally ill.

I imagine that’s one hell of a difficult job.

I feel grateful there are people like Cranky Pants, who are willing to do this kind of tough, dirty, and emotionally-draining work. Here are a few war stories–unicorns she recently beamed over to me–from her days as a caretaker:


My Favourite Client


This is pretty rough, yet it’s about my favourite client ever.

He was a young 67 and quite far gone with dementia. He should not have been at home anymore, but his wife couldn’t let him go. He was locked in his room at night to keep him and her safe.

When I’d come in the morning I’d have to unlock that door. Well imagine an entire room and my naked client smeared in feces, and my client peeing in the heating vent. That was the start of my every morning with him. I think I went every day.

Then I’d have to watch his demeanor, to gauge whether he was going to be the kind, gentle, confused man, or the violent one. It could switch in an instant. I’d have to walk him down a narrow hallway to the small bathroom. I’m stopping here because walking him down that hallway was dangerous. I had to make sure I was never behind him or backed up where I couldn’t get out, lest he switched to violent.

Then I’d have to get him in the shower. That was also dangerous for him and I. I would just hope that he stayed confused but compliant. I had to scrub the night’s worth of smeared shit off of him, then get him out, dress him, shave him, brush his teeth, all while hoping he didn’t turn on me or hurt himself.

I’d then have to get him fed and settled, if possible, so I could clean up his room and do the dishes.

His wife was the sweetest lady ever, and my heart broke for her. She still believed he knew who she was. He had no clue.

So the one day I went through the whole routine until we got to the kitchen for him to eat. I wasn’t standing close to him but I saw him switch into the violent person. He at this point only had a shirt on, and nothing from the waist down. He was not cooperating to get him completely dressed.

He ripped the glasses off his face and crushed them in his hand. At this point, he’s a danger to himself. His wife had come out of her bedroom to see if she could “calm” him. I got on the phone with my work and let them know what was happening. While I was on the phone he was escalating and started to throw chairs. Then he came up to me and ripped the phone right out of the wall.

I had my cell phone so I called work back and told them what he had done. They said to take his wife, get out of the house, and call 911. His wife fought me a bit, thinking she could get through to him. I said, “No, we need to get out now.” She made me promise that if I was calling the police, to ask them not to have the sirens on. At this point anything to get her out of the house and let me call for help.

So the police came, and by the time they got there he was back to his gentle, sweet, confused self. Go figure. The calls I made were following work protocol.

There was a time before this situation where I had my client all ready and settled in the living room. His wife came out to be with him, and he switched again. He grabbed her arm and started twisting it hard. I thought he was going to snap it. I was on him trying to fight him off her. Somehow I managed to get him off her. Thankfully her arm wasn’t snapped, but it was close.

After that incident with the police, my boss and staff came and had a sit-down with his wife and let her know that he cannot be at home anymore. She was really struggling with that, but he was both a danger to himself, anyone coming in to care for him, and her.

That was my very first care aid client, on my own. I don’t know why I loved it. Maybe the excitement of it. I really liked his wife. And I still think of them often, to this day. I wonder if he’s still alive, and how she’s doing without him, whether he is or not.

I think my favourite clients were the dementia patients and the terminally ill patients. I have training to work with the terminally ill as well.

The hard part of that job is that it traumatizes you, but you don’t really know it until years down the road. I developed a fear of growing old, from seeing all the suffering many of my clients went through. And with my own health even back then not being the greatest, I wondered what it would be like for me in old age.


The Sexually Frustrated Husband


Then there was another client who was terminal and had come home to die. Her husband was always hitting on me, even in front of her. One day he was doing that, and then said to his wife, right in front of me, that he doesn’t get sex from her anymore. I was so ticked off, I turned to him and said she’s come home to die.

She said, “Yes, I’m dying.”

Shortly after that, she said she needed to use the washroom, so I helped her. Then, as she was leaving the washroom, she started getting weak and dizzy. Her room was right around the corner. I kid you not, she didn’t make it fully on the bed, and she died right then and there. Her body let go, so I had to clean her up a bit, and we may have had to get her properly lying on the bed, not face down.

Her husband kept asking me if she was gone, and I felt that was not my job to be able to call it.

I called my boss, as was the policy, and she came over. The neighbour had come over too, by then. I don’t remember, but I assume the husband called the neighbour. He just kept asking, “Is she gone?” over and over. The neighbour told him she was. He needed to hear it from me, as the professional, but I couldn’t do that.

My boss, who was a nurse, told him when she got there.

My boss then told me I should go home and not go to my next client. I told her I was okay and she said, “No, go home.” I’m glad that she did, because when I got home the tears hit hard. She knew I wouldn’t be okay.

I am really good in emergency situations. I can think and do what needs to be done. Later is when it will hit me hard.

Some Cranky Tattoo Questions

Cranky Pants has submitted a Unicorn Beam, for our consideration. She’s emailed three pictures of tattoos on her arms, along with some questions about her tattoos.

The first picture has two quotes. On her left arm is tattooed the quote “A work in progress”, and on her right arm is the quote “Hope is a good thing”, as you can see, below:

These are stenciled, unfinished tattooes, so I guess they’ll look more artistic after she’s endured more torture from her ink specialist.

The “A work in progress” quote relates to a tattoo on the other side of her left arm, which you can see in the following picture:

The “Hope is a good thing” quote is actually a partial quote from Cranky’s favorite movie ever. It relates to the tattoo on the other side of her right arm, which you can see in the following picture:

Cranky’s questions are as follows:

What do the quotes say?
My answer: Well, that’s obvious, Cranky. We know how to read. And we can translate them for Carolyn.

What do they mean?
My answer: Umm, that’s not so obvious. This will require some navel-gazing and postulation.

Do you know where (or what movie) the “Hope is a good thing” quote comes from?
My answer: Hmmm. Hmmm. Some hummingbird movie, I guess.

So this is our homework. These are our questions. Cranky wants to know. Or at least, she wants to know if we know. I’ve provided my responses, so now it’s your turn. Put on your thinking cap and give her some good, well-thought-out, smartass answers.
And you might include warnings about the dangers of tattoos, and why it’s never a good idea to get tattooed, and that you’re stuck with it forever, and all that jazz. But really, it’s too late. The poor lady has already been tagged with permanent ink.

Following Up On A Slithery Friend Question

Today, Cranky Pants needed help, and asked us for our wise advice. And we all pitched in for her. Thank you very much, I knew I could count on you! 🙂

It appears Cranky has tackled her issue, using the advice she received today. Here’s a message she sent me, to follow up:

Hey Tippy,

Hubby and I talked two nights ago about it. He finally saw that this was not a situation where people pleasing was good. For that I’m grateful. He hates confrontations but sometimes they are necessary. I don’t like them either, but the relief they bring after is worth it. Most of the time. So I felt free to confront her.

I messaged said customer and told her that while I was sorry she was having a hard time, that I needed her to either keep her appointments or at very least let me know when she wasn’t coming. I told her that it happens with her often and that it causes a lot of stress. Not to mention I’m spending my time waiting for her and missing out on getting things done that I need to do.

Her response: I’m sorry.

I was thinking inside it’s what I always hear, and that’s not enough anymore. Actions speak louder than words. I did not say this to her.

Fast forward to yesterday after the confrontation. She said she’d come on her way to work. She worked at 2:30 pm. I said great. See you then.

So she must have thought I expected her sooner. Around 1 pm she messages me and tells me she’s leaving now. I appreciated that. Her trip should take no more than 20 mins. from where she was coming.

An hour in she gets her. I’m frustrated and feeling sick with my own health at the time.  But at least she comes and I can get the exchange over with.

In the exchange, she owed me two dollars. Two dollars is nothing to me but, given the circumstances it’s the principle of it. I didn’t ask for it or mention it at all. I wanted to see if she’d step up.
She did not.

I’m letting it go as you’ve got to pick your battles.

So here’s where I’m leaving things. If she does want to buy from us again, fine. If she’s doesn’t stick with the boundaries I’ve set now, then I will no longer sell to her.

Thank you so much all you wise readers of Tippy the wise for all the suggestions you passed along. I loved reading every one of them.

If you ever have a problem, Tippy‘s blog is the one to ask. It will be solved! I promise. It’s better than Google!

Thank you Tippy for letting me use your blog and draw from it’s wisdom.

You’re the best!
A less Cranky CrankyPants

A Slithery Friend Question

One of my followers, named Cranky Pants, is feeling especially cranky these days. Cranky Pants says she has a “friend” who runs a snake feeding business. This “friend” also has a friend who is taking advantage of her lenient policies in the manner in which she runs her snake feeding business.

She wants to know what my readers would do if they were Cranky Pants’ “friend”.

You’ve come to the right place, Cranky Pants. Every time I make a decision, I ask myself the WWRD question. That is, What Would my Readers Do?

My readers have served as a cynosure for me. A guiding lamp post. An exemplum of wise and proper conduct, like a spinning compass in a souvenir shop full of refrigerator magnets. WWRD, indeed.

And so, I present the question to you my readers. Please read it carefully and provide some sound, or at least sententious, advice to Cranky Pants. Like the rest of us, she really needs help.

Hey Tippy,
I have a question for you. Asking for a friend of course…

I have this friend who runs a business called Fat Snakes Frozen Feeders. This friend has a customer that is driving her crazy. This customer will order and set a time to show up. Then said customer never shows up when she’s promised. She’s constantly standing my friend up. It happens every time she orders and numerous times during an order before she will finally show. There is no respect for my friends time at all.

My friend is completely stressed every time this customer orders because she knows it’s going to happen over and over.

Said customer will also contact late at night to order and by late I’m talking up to midnight.

My friend recently set business hours as a result of this customer and made customer aware of them so as to set some boundaries.

This customer only orders about $10 worth of stuff every few months so my friend really doesn’t need her business or the hassle that goes with it.

It is understood that this customer is going through some hell on earth but does that give her the right to treat a fellow business owner this way? My friend is inclined to not have her a as a customer anymore. What would you do? Or even… What would your readers do in this situation?
Tip of the Hat,

Piss Poor

The Piss Poor Potato Eaters, by Vincent Van Gough, 1885. Or maybe it’s just called The Potato Eaters.

Wouldn’t you know it, a crank has submitted a unicorn beam, for a guest post. Her full name is Cranky Pants, although I will lazily refer to her as CP. CP honestly admits she didn’t write this. Yep, she stole a unicorn. But that’s okay, unicorns respect honest thieves.

CP wants us to know how folks lived back in medieval times. Especially the folks who were piss poor. Like all of my ancestors.

If you’re the empty-pocketed type who often doesn’t have two nickels to rub together, I think you’re going to enjoy this piss poor submission from CP.


Did you know…..??


They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were “piss poor.”

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot; they “didn’t have a pot to piss in” & were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands & complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. Since they were starting to smell, however, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women, and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it . . . hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof, resulting in the idiom, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed, therefore, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, leading folks to coin the phrase “dirt poor.”

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way, subsequently creating a “thresh hold.”

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while, and thus the rhyme, “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and “chew the fat.”

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the “upper crust.”

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up, creating the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be saved by the bell, or was considered a dead ringer.

Unicorn Noodles

Our unicorn today comes from nrhatch, at Her blog seems to be about self-help and humor. So if you need help (and don’t we all), or you need a good laugh, click on over and check it out.

I’m not sure if this thing she beamed me is really a unicorn. It looks suspiciously like a one-horned goat. It consists of a short, explanatory blurb, followed by a link. Boy you talk about lazy. But that’s just it, I’m not one to talk.

So I’ll go ahead and give it a shot. This time. If it works out okay, then fine. Otherwise I’m gonna have to raise my unicorn-identifying standards.

Go ahead and give it a read (won’t take long), and decide for yourself. Is this a unicorn, or have I lost my noodle?

Scientists have discovered why spaghetti noodles don’t break cleanly in two pieces.

And not just any scientists.
We are talking Nobel Prize Winning Scientists.

These are scientists who really know how to use their noodles!

To read more:

A Unicorn for the Books

Cranky Pants discovered a unicorn in a park the other day, in the form of a unique book. She wants to tell us all about it, though I promise her tale won’t be as long as a book. You can follow Mrs. Pants at: Here is her unicorn story:

Walking a Book on a Leash

So I was in our local conservation area today getting ready to walk the dog with my Hubby. Or is that walk the Hubby with my dog? I’m not sure. Anyway…

As we were getting out of our truck a gentleman was walking by with his two kids. He had a book on a leash and was walking it as though it was a pet.

My first thought was, “What the?”

Said gentleman stopped to chat with my dog..Ah ahem, I mean my Hubby. He showed my Hubby the book. It was a book with all sorts of fun activities written in it to do with his kids. Walking the book on a leash was one of the activities in the book. I’m assuming the kids came up with some of them.

We joked about how walking a book would be much easier then walking our dog (or my Hubby). They wouldn’t have to clean up after a book, or worry about it barking. The kids thought that was funny.

Later we saw the same family and they were playing hide and seek. Not with the book, but with their kids as the kids gripped that book of love and laughed so hard.

Never in a million years would I have ever thought I’d see a dude walking a book on a leash but…It sure was wonderful, to see a father and later their mother spending so much time, and having so much fun with their kids.

It made my heart happy.


Baptist Choir Sings for Fourteen Hours Straight During Standoff with Calvinistic Pastor

Today our unicorn is a unique news story from the Nowhere Tribune, at If you want a barrel of laughs with every post, click on over and follow this hilarious blog.

Although the Nowhere Tribune claims this is a sickly unicorn, it seems perfectly healthy to me. That’s because it’s very unique, and uniqueness is the only requirement to be a unicorn in good health. But even though it’s healthy, I suspect by the end of the day we unicorn chasers can do a good job of killing and eating it, with our commentary. Thanks for the submission, NT.

If you don’t like this one, I have one that I think is actually good; I’m just being selfish and sending you the sickly unicorn that I don’t care to feed.

Baptist Choir Sings for Fourteen Hours Straight During Standoff with Calvinistic Pastor

ATHENS, TX—According to local sources, the choir at Second Missionary Baptist Church in Athens sang “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” for fourteen hours straight after the sermon Sunday, resulting in one member being rushed to the emergency room with a ruptured bladder, and another checking into the Athens Psychiatric Ward.

The extended invitation was in direct response to the church’s new Calvinistic pastor, John Owens, and his disdain for gospel music and evangelism.

Owens, a twenty-six-year-old graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) in Orlando, dressed in vintage New Balance sneakers, skinny jeans, and a “Charles Spurgeon is my Homeboy” T-shirt, was willing to speak to us from his apartment yesterday.

“Why am I opposed to long invitations? It’s partly theological. I do believe it’s my job to present the gospel, but God’s job to draw sinners to Him. So, the long invitation is an unnecessary tradition that, in a sense, denies the doctrine of election. But also, yesterday I just really needed to pee.”

Eye witnesses say that when Pastor Owens announced that members would be dismissed after a short prayer and without an invitational hymn, veteran song leader Isaac Watts was visibly irritated.

“Brother Isaac spends hours and hours each week preparing the music for Sunday. It’s his ministry to bless others through song,” said a choir member who didn’t wish to be named. “He had a right to be irritated, and he was right to follow the Lord’s leading in having us sing for fourteen hours, although I couldn’t speak at all the next day, nor could I perform my other church duties which require a healthy throat.”

Cynthia Stardust, a mother of three who was visiting with her husband and children, said they finally had to leave after six hours.

“I didn’t want to be rude, but my kids were hungry. Every time the choir started to wind down and the pastor stood to dismiss us, another crying old lady walked forward and fell on the altar to pray, and the choir started over. It got a little awkward.”

“A little awkward my ass,” said her husband John. “I’ll take my chances that hell won’t be as bad as those six hours.”

The power struggle has not been settled as of press time today; we learned just hours ago that several older female members are guarding the church library, armed with Bibles and garden implements, after learning that the pastor planned to replace the Joyce Meyer Bible study material with John Calvin’s Commentaries, and children’s church workers have chained themselves to the giraffe legs of the Noah’s Ark exhibition in the nursery after hearing that children would be attending regular services with the adults this Wednesday.

Sleeping Unicorns

Our unicorn today comes from Cranky Pants, in the form of a unique question. Cranky Pants suffers from autoimmune disease. That’s why she’s so cranky. And she wears pants.

Her blog, at, complains about the unique challenges she and others face with autoimmune disease. And she also rants about her many difficulties trying to get effective medical care, from a screwed up and sometimes skeptical medical system.

Cranky, we hope they find a cure for your malady, one day. We’d like to see you in a better mood.

Mrs. Pants crankily asks us the following unique question:

“Why is it called beauty sleep when you wake up looking like a troll?”

I don’t have that problem. I always take a pretty pill before going to bed. But if you have a unique answer, response, or perhaps allergic reaction to Cranky Pants’ question, we want to hear about it. Please leave your fun, exciting, and unique comment below.

Gibber Bags the First Unicorn

Our very first unicorn comes from Gibber Jabberin. Gibber, you’ve made history, and will forever be remembered as the first blogger to ever catch a unicorn!

Gibber is asking a unique question. Which is: “Why is it that it’s socially acceptable for men to be hairy but not women? What crazy person came up with this rule? How can we change it?”

If you’re a veteran blogger you may remember Gibber Jabberin’s blog, which was called, uh, hmm . . . I just can’t remember the name of it. Anyhow, it was quite a bit like what I’m attempting now, on Chasing Unicorns.

Back in the day, you could submit a question to Gibber Jabberin, and then her followers would chip in with crazy, wack-a-doodle answers. Boy, she had some wild, free-wheeling commentary going on there, in her blogging heyday. It was great fun.

Then she got busy with a candle-making business and quit her blog. So we slapped her a few times, shook her, and said, “Gibber, what the hell! Get back to blogging! We miss you!” She finally relented, and she and I collaborated on a revival of Gibber Jabberin.

That only lasted a few months though, and then I got too busy to deal with it, and Gibber Jabberin closed down again.

So now what I’m trying to do is introduce a version of the Gibber Jabberin concept to Chasing Unicorns. I’m such a copycat, aren’t I? I guess I’m just too lazy to come up with something original. However, in the interest of uniqueness and unicorns, I’ve at least put a unique little twist on the concept.

Instead of limiting the forum to just questions and answers, I’ve expanded it to include much more than that. Now you can submit anything unique, such as a unique observation, unique opinion, unique experience, unique life situation, or anything else. Just as long as it’s unique.

For example, we don’t want to hear that you ate a bowl of cold cereal for breakfast this morning. That’s just too damn mundane and boring. But if you noticed fly larvae in your spoon of Wheaties, while lifting it to your wide-open mouth, then we definitely want to hear about it. That would be frickin’ unique (I hope), and I’m sure we could all have fun commenting about it.

Okay, I hope that’s all clear. Now, let’s get back to Gibber Jabberin’s unicorn. It happens to be a unique question. Why, Gibber, why? Don’t you understand that it doesn’t have to be a question anymore? Oh well, maybe you can’t teach an old blog new tricks.

But alright, there’s our unicorn for the day. A unique question from Gibber Jabberin which, in case you’ve forgotten after this long-winded spiel, is in the 2nd paragraph of this post.

Now it’s your turn to come up with unique answers, observations, or other unique comments related to Gibber’s question. Don’t hold back. We’re itching to hear from you. Or maybe those are fleas.

Please leave your comments below, and let’s have some fun!


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