557. Dramatic Moments

Image result for herding cats gifIn my previous life I taught middle school English and drama, sort of. Folks often ask me what that experience was like. I usually say, “It was a cross between cat herding and being a crash test dummy”. Somehow that conveys the totality and futility of it all. Now, certainly, there were many fun moments. As I recall the drama moments greatest hits, some were planned and others just erupted dramatically.Image result for crash test dummy gif

I should lower your expectations bar for the concept of drama. Every six weeks I’d get a new crop of seventh graders who had all levels of talent or not. By the end of five weeks we would put on three or four twenty-five minute mini-plays. Some came from legitimate play books the school subscribed to; others came from the kids’ original minds, or should I say aboriginal? In any event many memorable moments bubble up now and again and bring me soft chuckles.Image result for beverly hillbillies pictures

One of my first such plays was about a hillbilly feud between the Fudge and the Candy families in Possum Holler, Kentucky. The climax of this farcical playetta came when the silent Granpa Candy finally spoke in one accusing sentence, “That there man is a Fudge!” All heck broke loose as the Fudges and Candies fought for no other reason than feudal etiquette. During one performance the floppy paper set fell forward onto the actors. Amazingly, one of the boy actors caught the set and walked it back into place while cleverly ad libbing, “Ma, this cabin is falling apart. We gots to move.” The audience of bewildered seventh graders, of course, thought the collapse was just part of the show. Later, one of the somewhat cynical eighth grade teachers observed, “I’m not sure which is better: when the kids know their lines or when they make them up?” I was not sure either, but the more memorable moments were when spontaneity had to ride in for a rescue, which happened frequently because our plays needed rescuing.Image result for rescuing plays pictures

There was the time when Deion, our narrator, totally froze at the start of a play. His job was simply to welcome the audience and introduce the play after the music died down and the lights came up. Instead he did a glacier impression. Kids giggled at his frozen awkwardness. Behind the paper set the other players looked at me in a panic and whispered, “What are we gonna do now?” I reassured them with hand gestures as I assessed the situation. Then I cupped my hands and bellowed out, “Deion, this is God speaking. I want you to repeat after me what I tell you.”Image result for god speaking to moses pictures

Deion broke into a tight, dry-throated voice, “Yes, God.”

We did a call and repeat format until he got back into reality. Once again, the audience was amazed at the creative genius involved in the forgetful narrator skit to open up the play. It was nothing really. Really.Image result for god speaking to moses gif

On another occasion, and this will serve anachronistic purposes, we had a murder mystery complete with two play guns. Yes, I kept fake handguns in the props box before the Columbine tragedy. Anyway, at the end of one scene an actor is shot by the cap gun and falls to the floor as the lights go to black. The shot character was supposed to then exit in the dark, which he failed to do. So the next scene began comically with two living characters trying not to look at the “dead one”, who had missed his exit. Once again the kids backstage looked to me to solve this disaster. I cued two boys to retrieve the body on my command. I finger counted down 3, 2, 1, and cupped my hands around my mouth, uttering a Walmart clean up order, “Carcass removal. Carcass removal.” The funeral attendants walked out officiously and removed the unfortunate carcass. You guessed it: the audience thought this detail was brilliant slapstick theater.Image result for dead body on theater stage pictures

These sort of single bullet mistakes were easily overcome. Others required personal appearances to pull the fiery fat out of the smoldering barbeque. Inevitably kids would get sick or miss school on play days. Often another student would fill in. More than once we had a savant type kid who knew everyone’s lines. Unfortunately there were other times when more than one kid was absent and I had to fill in for the missing character. On one occasion I needed to be two characters in the same play at the same time, one male the other female. In a matter of minutes backstage I put on a woman’s wig and house dress over my teacher clothes. The pair of characters were supposed to speak to each other on a park bench. Undeterred by sane expectations, I entered as the woman who spoke first. As she finished her lines, I abruptly yanked the wig off and pulled the dress back, while striking a very virile posture facing the opposite direction. This rapid fire switching was so captivating that the lines I spouted made no sense at all, nor did they have to. The audience howled at the woman, man, woman, man switches, which was the larger message after all.Image result for man woman dialogue on stage gif

Perhaps the ultimate deception came in the circus play which my students wrote and created without a lot of help from me. In fact, I didn’t have to intervene at all in the great circus play. It featured a snake charmer with a real boa constrictor in a basket. There was the incredible Zorando the Magician, who appeared to cut poor Liz in half with a rusty crosscut saw. His attendants carefully placed Liz’s head at one end of the stage and her wiggling feet at the other end, although the legs actually belonged to a short boy named Bobby. The easily fooled audience were agog at the trick. However, the ultimate coup d’etat came when a ceiling tile came unhinged and spilled confetti all over the audience while a strobe light flickered in the darkness. At the conclusion of that deus ex machina, an enthralled boy named Jimmy gasped, “How did you get the guy out of the ceiling?”believe criss angel GIF

Easy. There was no guy in the ceiling. It was all just hypnotic suggestion, which is what teaching sometimes is.Image result for beuller, bueller gif

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556. Melting

Image result for sunlight through melting snow trees picturesThe high sun is back out in a blue sky, melting the white marshmallow creme snow banks piled unceremoniously wherever cars aren’t parked. Slabs of snow perch on metal roofs like manta ray gargoyles, ready to crash down in one big rushing wave on the heads of believers and atheist pedestrians alike.  Evergreens are struggling to get free from the overbearing weight of all their painful frosting. Sappy spruce branches bend so as not to snap off. Colors return with the melt, greens next to red brick, and the blue mountain ridge line miles away reappears after days of secret foggy shrouding. Yellow school buses grind along wet black macadam again, ferrying sleepy eyed students back to school. Image result for snow covered evergreens and red brick buildings in city images

Melt 

1. make or become liquefied by heat.
“place under the broiler until the cheese has melted”
synonyms: thawliquefydefrostsoftendissolvedeliquesce

“the snow was beginning to melt”

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I like that definition, to become liquefied by heat, whether it is the heat of the sun or a wood stove or a loved one’s heart. “Liquefy me, Baby!” Which is where the second definition goes.

2. make or become more tender or loving.
“she was so beautiful that I melted”
synonyms: softendisarmtouchaffectmove

“his smile melted her heart”

“I was brittle and nutty, but she creamed me into a buttery frosting. And I, I surrendered.” Robert Frosty, the hard Yankee nut to crack.Image result for softening gifAnd the meanings keep getting tweaked out of the same base word. As follows,

3. leave or disappear unobtrusively.
“the compromise was accepted and the opposition melted away
synonyms: vanishdisappear, fade away, dissolveevaporate;

literary evanesce
“his anger melted away

There is at the root of the word the meanings of malt, digest, and soften. A malted grain is one soaked in water until it softly, soggily opens up. Then it is dried out quickly to preserve this vulnerable softness, making it easier to digest. Somewhere in this word’s origin is the story of what is happening today: the soil is being malted, softly opening up with the melted snow. Tenderized. Percolated. Winter is melting away again, disappearing into the soil until November. All those story lines creep out of the same word kernel like roots or new shoots of a plant in spring.

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In all of our hyper-serious busyness we fail to see the simplest energy transfer of sunlight into green growth, photosynthesis… light compounding, turning the simple into the more complex. The movement of seed kernels into majestic life. Why it’s enough to just melt your heart. Malt your ventricles. Tenderize your amygdala.

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Noisy life begins again. Birds at dawn, spring peepers on warmer nights. Kids screaming joyfully in between, playing games in the street. “Red light.”  “Green Light.” Unconsciously we realize that the natural world has been mighty quiet for a season, too quiet, since late fall. Things have died off, the leaves, grass, lightning bugs, crickets, and butterflies that failed to fly south. All too delicate for the brutal harshness of winter. Nature needs no clock but the sun, ticking out the minutes in shadows that creep along the ground.

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Man is the one who made up time, or is it that he invented clocks, those parking meters of our lives?  In any event, once time was measured it was then controlled; once controlled it was capitalized, and turned into money. Cows and elephants don’t say, “Hey, time is money.” They don’t punch clocks or wear timepieces. Maybe this is why Dali’s melting clocks appeal to me. They are ineffectual, defeated, malted… not in control. But to what ends do we allow time to control us?

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Melt, melt, melt. Cold things warm and liquefy. Hard things soften and yield oozingly. Tough things grow gelatinous with tenderizing. Even time itself can melt away into a stream of flowing memories.

Image result for springsteen and the e street band pictures“What time is it?” the young guy on the floor of DAR Constitution Hall yelled to the anxious crowd. “Spring time!” the crowd responded, then broke into cheers for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. A long time ago, when Bruce was young and I was younger. 1975 I reckon, since I was a college freshman. It is a faded memory, but one filled with musical anchor points. Springsteen was a new sort of highly energized singer songwriter, much higher octane than Dylan, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and the other folksy singers I preferred back then.  That saxophone blew through my sonic system like an F-16. Clarence Clemons was monumentally powerful and a bit mysterious as skinny jeans clad Bruce slashed his electric guitar hyperactively.Image result for born to run album cover

Must have been the following summer that Born To Run broke through. I remember listening to it on the construction site truck radio. It all melts together, however, under the hot summer suns past. Running a jack hammer or crashing the Bobcat, laying the hated sod or unloading drywall trucks. The most feared and dreaded task of all was cleaning out the overflowing sewer line that had been used illegally without a permit. The inspector was coming in a week, and we had to unpack months of hardened sewage that had no place to go. Wearing hazmat suits and gas masks, we took turns standing on a piece of plywood while filling five gallon buckets with excrement, which were hauled up and away by the crew above, and then into the Don’s Johns tanker. “Oh what a wicked web we weave when first we practice to relieve.” Wicked stinky. Wicked nauseating. Image result for sewer pipe manhole pictures

After several gagging days the toxic harvest melted away. The sanitary line looked official. After the inspector left us with a signed inspection form, Sam and I were given the unenviable task of breaking out the mortar plug that held back the liquefied manure from the larger county sewage line down the hill. I think we flipped a coin for who would hold the chisel at the lowest level and who would swing the hammer from the next step above the expected effluvium. I won and swung a few times. When the plug blew, I scrambled for my life ahead of Sam, whose shoes were wet on the bottom by the rising fecal flood. Once at street level we laughed and laughed and smoked a couple of cigarettes to fight the stench, before we melted away into adult life. Born to run.Image result for two young men smoking cigs laughing pictures

 

 

 

 

 

555. ab(you)less!

Related imageLong time readers of this blog know I enjoy playing with words, making up words, and punning about. It’s a part of who I am. A jokester. Not a jockstrap, which is the first cousin to a jokester. My apologies to all cousins out there… wait a sec… uh, I too am a cousin since the familial arrows point out and back … which makes me potentially a jockstrap by the associative relationship principle. Dang it! Just when I thought I was getting a head, I am a be hind again. That’s an Amish saying about the futility of life, which Amish men often feel since they sit behind horse butts in their buggies on a daily basis. So, literally for them to get ahead, they have to sit behind a behind. Let the bell ring; let it be rung.

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I need a narrative thread here not just a piece of lint on my wool jacket to entertain me. The town is snowbound yet again. I drove in to the coffee shop nearly alone on the major thruway. I pulled in to one of the many open unplowed parking spaces. A surreal hush soughed and sighed across Turtle Town. The town square was black, white and gray, like an old Twilight Zone episode I never saw, where Rod Serling appears in a black suit and tie and says something cryptic and disturbing that bends your mind.Image result for rod serling twilight zone photos

“A hapless middle class man drives unsuspectingly into his same old routine, expecting the same old familiar results. But this time his free parking space will cost him more than he can ever afford to pay… in the Twilight Zone.”

As I got my coffee, I chatted with the owner of the shop over the hard won half and half carafe of last year’s struggle. The shop was strangely still and empty, distractingly free of distractions. We had to converse as there was no other option available because I do not know American sign language. We politely socialized and I walked away with a lidded 16 ounce coffee.Image result for snow covered cars in parking lot pictures

Joel was just getting out of his car, struggling with his lawyer briefcase and Australian sheep herder hat.

“They’re closed. I got the last coffee”, I offered.

He turned and looked at me with annoyance; miffed. “The sign says ‘OPEN’!”

“I know, but they just closed. Who are you gonna believe?  A sign or me?”Related image

“Well!” he huffed and puffed and prepared to blow the shop down. “I’ll just see about that. Look at that– two signs that say OPEN.”

“No, Joel, that’s your dyslexia kicking in. It say NEPO, which is Russian for CLOSED. I think a Russian meddler troll has bought the coffee shop just to piss us off and cause further divisions in our polarized society. Don’t play into his greedy Putin paws.”

“I am in no mood for this! uh, ha, Tyler, are you open?”

“Yeah, of course.”

“Now see what you’ve done!! I left my briefcase in the car and my I-pad.”

“I guess I was peddling Fake News, Joel. Please release me, let me go. I I I I don’t love you anymore, to waste my life would be a sin, release me and let me love again.”oh come on GIF

“Aarrrrggghhhh!!!” He tromped back through the snow to retrieve his lawyer stuff. “You are impossible!”

“I was just channeling my inner Stormy Daniels.”

I sat in my routine seat across from the Great One, who is a cross between Gregg Popovich and Ernest Hemingway, hoping to remain in his good graces. Image result for gregg popovich head shotRelated image

“You are annoyed.”

“That’s because you are annoying.”

“My wife says I was not beaten enough as a child.”

“I’m sure that she’s right.”

“She’s always right.”

“I don’t know how she puts up with you.”netflix wtf GIF by Chelsea Handler

“I hear that a lot, even from people we’ve just met, which is a bit hasty and judgmental, in my opinion.”

“Not at all. Some things are just true at first sight, prima facie evidence.”

“Joel! I don’t curse at you, so don’t give me your Latin loquations.”

“Not a word. I challenge.”Image result for sarah sanders pictures

“It doesn’t have to be a technically true word if you say it with conviction. I’m practicing to replace Sarah Huckabee Sanders after the next shake up at the Trumpaline House, where everyone gets bouncy or gets bounced. Heh, heh, heh.”Image result for trampoline gif

“I don’t think the country is ready for your sort of crazy. The Republic needs to work up to your stratospheric rhetoric, where words are given special magic and nonsense is passed out like wisdom breath mints.”

“You mean like your spinning class?”

“What?!”

“Your spinning class on Thursdays at Results. You claim you have been working on your core for years now, though we both know you are the only man in the room and you go for the view of the female landscapes.”Image result for female spinning class pictures

“Balderdash!! I am working on my abs.”

“Joel, you told me that you were born without abs.”

“I did, didn’t I?”

“Yes. And I googled the condition. It strikes white males mostly. One in ten million men, actually male babies, like you are born without abs, abyouless sine quid malum is the full name of the disorder, but most providers refer to it as just abyouless.”

“Ohhh. I wondered why after all my hard work, all I have is an undefined flabdomen.”

“It’s not your fault, Joel. You were born without the protein that converts adipose deposits into ripped muscle fibers. Look at this medical illustration I  happen to have.Related image

Instead of eight taut abdominal muscles that bristle like steel cables, you have one slab of blimpus maximus sheet musculature that functions more like a fabulous abyouless curtain. See that?”

“Well, finally I have the wisdom I have searched for all my life.”

“You see? I have come not only to set you free from ignorance, but also to help you accept your self image.”

“How?  I still have no abs.”

“I brought a special henna crayon with me today. If you will accept this ceremonial rite of passage to ultimate manhood, I will draw three horizontal lines across your flabdomen. Just remove your shirt.”Related image

“Never!”

“Okay, but never more do I want to hear your sad abs stories. Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone, my abyouless friend.”

“Someone shoot me.”Image result for just shoot me pictures

 

 

554. If Not For You

Related imageLooks like spring isn’t going to start on time this year, though it auditioned over several days in February. Today it has failed to perform in a timely manner. Heavy, wet snow is swirling about, creating a sloppy mess to walk and drive through. Not so bad, though, as the traffic dwindles, motions slow down, and my office stays cozy warm. Bob Dylan’s If Not For You bootleg version echoes behind my laptop screen and merges with Stevie Ray Vaughn’s blues guitar work. Things could be a lot worse than munching a chicken quesadilla while sipping an iced tea. A lot worse. I could work at the White House, while eating peyote buttons and drinking battery acid. Appointments will fail to show or call off a bit too late. (Here not there. Political sychophants can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch while breathing through one nostril. They can smile with chrome flakes on their demoralized teeth and say, “I really enjoyed that, Mr. President.”) This is not my first snow rodeo. People are people just as surely as snow is snow, and both can be inconsiderate or inconvenient at times. I know because I’m a people.Image result for bob dylan photos

If not for you, Winter would have no spring
Couldn’t hear the robin sing, I just wouldn’t have a clue
Anyway it wouldn’t ring true, If not for you

Funny how often songs reflect reality. I understand the meaning of randomness, but I am still amazed at its occurrences in my life. And who is the you in your random song playlist?  Mine has to be my wife. Has to be or I’ll get a bad whoopin’ and have to sleep in this wet snow tonight. But without any hesitation she is my special you. I’ll have dinner with her in a few hours and maybe cozy up next to her and Netflix tonight on the couch. I know what you are thinking, creepy reader, so just stop it now!

Image result for spitzer architect award winning buildings picturesListening to an interview on NPR a couple of weeks back about architecture, the prize winning architect spoke a profound truth about buildings that I believe can be applied to loved ones as well. In so many words he said, ‘Buildings must be beautiful and ultilitarian. If a building is beautiful but has poor ventilation, its beauty will diminish as the attention is focused on the HVAC problems. On the other hand, if a building is only utilitarian with no consideration of beauty, its utility will diminish as the lack of beauty stays in focus. A great building needs both beauty and utility.’ Not poetic by any stretch, but a strong truth no matter. Like a prize winning building, my wife has great utility and is skillful in many ways. Far more skilled than I will ever be. However, she is also beautiful and graceful, which makes one ignore or frost over her many useful gifts. To last, you need both. We are in our 38th year of marriage. Not the Taj Mahal or Notre Dame Cathedral, no, but not bad for the era in which we have lived. The sex crazed seventies. The materialistic 80’s. The nasty nineties. The double troubled 00’s. And the Obama/Trump drama teens.

Image result for silver shadow rolls royce picturesSome people have told me that they have been married for 30 plus years too. Only they have split up their years among three or four spouses. Not the same thing, folks. Not even close. That’s like comparing one four star dining experience with four McDonald’s happy meals.  Or one Rolls Royce with four Volkswagens. Enduring quality versus fast economy. Hmmmm. Not a tough choice. Not at all.Image result for volkswagen pictures

That song lyric hangs in my mind… if not for you, my dear…what would be different? After the obvious general answer– everything– but I must think in specifics also. Goals, for instance. I did not have any, nor could I define the concept when I first met my beloved. She had to explain and model them and their processes for me. I really had no idea how to plan and achieve something in measurable objective steps. I missed that decade in my education. Other concepts like delayed gratification were relatively foreign to my young adult/ late adolescent mind. I don’t know if she would even agree with my premise that I eventually learned these lessons under her tutelage. But I think I can prove it to others.

Image result for cruise ship imagesIf not for you… I would not know the depths of unconditional love, and the painful obligations of forgiveness. Marriage is not a Carnival Cruise tour through the Caribbean. Cruise does not even belong in the same sentence with marriage any more than easy belongs in a sentence about a marathon race. Instead, it’s like power boating up the Colorado River’s rapids.  Even if you make it, you lose a few teeth in the process. Still, it’s a beautiful beating, like Georgie White’s face after decades doing these Colorado River runs.  Image result for georgie white portraits

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What a woman she was! By all means, google her and prepare to gasp in awe.

If not for you…I’d never have found the joy and beauty of our children. The endless joys of parenting. I’d never have grown in ways I have, albeit kicking and screaming all the way.

If not for you, my sky would fall
Rain would gather, too
Without your love I’d be nowhere at all
I’d be lost, if not for you

Lost? No, because you found me and chose to keep me found.  Through many lean years of high pitched drama, something like hope showed up on a sycamore tree branch, and a deathly sick owl hooted in daylight trusting anyone to save it, piercing my heart to change.Image result for owl in a sycamore tree pictures

If not for you… I’d be destitute, desolate, devastated. I would not be I if you were not you. I’m really not interested in what I would have been besides the man beside you. And though I know you cringe at public displays of affection and affirmation, I want the world to know what you mean to me.  Everything.

 

553. Playing Scrabble with God

Image result for creative imagesCreativity is a wonderful gift, whether you make songs or jokes or stories, dances, pottery, woodwork, quiches, melodies, mosaics, buildings, boats, or whatever it is that did not exist before you made it. And why is this, Mr. Burrito?  Because when we create (not destroy) we imitate the Creator, God Himself… in a tiny, itty bitty, derivative way.

Image result for scrabble board picturesThe other day the idea of playing Scrabble with God came to me while I was chatting (actually more listening and chatting with my internal self) with a client. I imagined her laying down certain painful words horizontally, followed by God playing vertically in a merciful, healing manner. How?

Image result for self scourging penitents pictureLet’s say the pain filled client, call her Susan, laid down shriven right in the middle of the board, thus garnering double the points… s,r,i,e, & n are worth one point each, for five, plus four for the h and four for the v. Total?  26 points. However, she gets an added 50 point premium for playing out all seven letters. So she accumulates 76 points in all.  I can see her slapping down each tile with anguish and tears, “I AM SHRIVEN!

[shriven, verb, to go to or make confession; confess one’s sins, as to a priest]

Intersecting at the i, God plays L S T E N, spelling listen, gaining six points, but covering one double letter, for a total of 7.Image result for god's ears pictures

Susan is upset at the meager play by God. Where is His brilliance and strength? Was he even there in her grief? She yells out again, “I AM SHRIVEN!” No answer and a wave of rage courses through her. “Is that all You have, Lord? Listen? I’m tired of listening for an answer that will never come.”

Susan waits for ten long minutes and plays Silence horizontally off the e in listen. “There you go, God. That’s all I’m getting from you, a paltry 8, plus the double letter score for the c, that’s 10. So, let’s see: Susan, 86; God, 7. That’s your number in the Bible, right? Seven of this and seven of that. I just need one heart healed, Lord. Can you do that for me?”Related image

Tiles appeared at the final E and spelled out exhale, which Susan did with a gulp when she saw the x was a triple letter score for 30, plus the h at 4, plus the remaining letters added up to 38. Suddenly the Lord was at 45, and Susan felt less bold, a bit more humble  to be on the board with the Creator of the Universe. Maybe, just maybe…Image result for exhaled breath pictures

The h hung there for a horizontal attachment. HOLY, not a lot of points but considering the situation she felt it was a good play. “Ten, your Holiness:  96 Susan. 45 God.” She felt a smile break out in the room, a large, all encompassing smile with a soft chuckle behind it. ‘Maybe I’m just imagining all this anyway’, she thought. ‘Who am I to be playing a board game with God? Abraham? Will you spare my city, Lord, if I can find fifty good men? Right. Good men are still nearly impossible to find, and then the best die young.’ Image result for good men are hard to find pictures

“Okay, God. What are you gonna do now?”Image result for fog bank rolling in gif

BELOVED gently materialized off the L in Holy, and Susan felt a startled restlessness in her being. The score of 13 was doubled to 26… bringing God’s score to 71 after three plays. She knew her lead was a mirage that could not last, but she stubbornly kept swinging blindly with her woefully short arms. She remembered an old saying about your arms being too short to box with God… but she was not ready to surrender.

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Under the D in Beloved she placed O V E R and pronounced “Do and Over. Yeah, I’d like a do over, God. So that’s 10 times two for the double word score. Let’s see, twenty plus 96 is 116. Uh, but I left the triple word score open, didn’t I? Doesn’t matter. There are no do overs in life, are there? ‘Life is a tale told by an idiot’, Shakespeare wrote somewhere. And a very bitter idiot at that.”

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She waited quietly, expecting the Lord to slam her with some esoteric, point rich word. Slowly p came down over the r at the end of over, and the tiles continued clicking into place– e, c, i, o, u, s… spelling out precious, which sent a warm ice pick into her frozen heart. “Lord, I give you my bitterest words and you give me your love in return. I can’t win. And truly, I don’t want to win. I want your will to prevail, it just hurts so much!! And you still call me precious, beloved; tell me to listen and exhale. You are talking to me one word at a time. Forgive me.”  Related image

“Oh my, that’s 11 times 3 for 33 plus the 50 point bonus again. 83 points plus your previous 71…gives you 154. I can see where things are headed. You let me go first and shake my fist at you. When I think I’m winning, when I’m way out ahead of you, I get scared and just want to hear your comforting words. Okay, in Scrabble I’m seeing them, but I still sense your breath behind each letter, and in your breath the balanced peace that this world does not know. Inhaling our pains; exhaling your peace. And here I sit clinging to my pains like rare treasures.”Image result for woman clinging to pain pictures

YE appeared over the S in Silence.

Susan smiled and laughed. “It’s not your turn yet, God. But it’s worth six points, no seven with the e on a double letter score. Yep, 7 is your number alright. So that’s 161 to 116. Are you trying to tell me something, God? Wait, you already told me yes.”Image result for hummingbird pictures

“Okay, so let’s see. I have these blank tiles, but I can lay them down here below your B in beloved. Blank, l, i, blank, v, e. I’m playing Believe for 10 points plus the v is a triple, so that’s 8 more for a total of 18. Susan gets 134 to God’s 161. And I think I’ll just rest here.”

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552. Law Suits Are Made for Walking

Image result for frank sinatra picturesSo I’m listening to the Moldy Oldies station on the way home from work today, after a belly full of indigestible chunks of Trump chumps and punks all week, when Nancy Sinatra’s only hit song came on, These Boots Are Made for Walking. For a moment I thought of how less than her talent was, so much less than big Frank. And Frank Sinatra, Jr. was stuck in the same also ran gutter. His big song was Something Stupid Like I Love You. My mind did a comparison between a real talent Persona, Frank Sinatra with all of his Mafia brand arrogance, and Donald Trump, Mr. No Talent Reality T.V. Guy, with all his Russian Mafia buddies. A couple of  shady narcissists full of bravado and multiple wives and girlfriends, surrounded by lawyers and scandals and the stench of fetid morality served on gold-rimmed stoneware.

Image result for trump children picturesAnd their offspring? Donald’s sons are what you might expect of trees planted in the shade of a sunlight-hogging grandiose chestnut father… lacking something or other, born on third base and absolutely convinced they’d hit triples. Unfruitful and spindly. Then there is the First Daughter, the whole daddy/daughter dynamic is too creepy to think about, and the other daughter who seems to be hidden away from the lime lights. What’s with that deal? And poor baby Barron must endure them all, like a stuffed Tigger chew toy.

Image result for sinatra children picturesFrankie Boy had three legitimate kids, as Wikipedia diplomatically states the case. None of his kids really achieved much. No matter for today’s exam, except for Nancy’s song. As the lyrics high stepped on by, I thought of a word change or two that would make her peppy song even more contemptuous and contemporary.

Here is the original.

You keep saying you got something for me
Something you call love but confess
You’ve been a’messin’ where you shouldn’t ‘ve been a’messin’
And now someone else is getting all your best
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These boots are made for walking
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you
You keep lyin’ when you oughta be truthin’
You keep losing when you oughta not bet
You keep samin’ when you oughta be a’changin’
Now what’s right is right but you ain’t been right yetImage result for psychotic gif
These boots are made for walking
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you
You keep playing where you shouldn’t be playing
And you keep thinking that you’ll never get burnt (HAH)
I just found me a brand new box of matches (YEAH)
And what he knows you ain’t had time to learnImage result for matches igniting gif
These boots are made for walking,
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you
Are you ready, boots? Start walkin’
Image result for boots the cat pictures
These lyrics are not Grade A Prime, I will grant you that. However, the song stuck around for its melodic pop, I suppose. Maybe it was the miniskirt catwalk video. Folks, it was 1966!!!
I imagined Melania in a tall pair of chic, soft leather knee high boots, pouty lips and squinty eyes, tossing her hair back, singing to the Donald in her saucy Slavic accent, as the grease fitted hinges swung on the exit door at the White House yet again. “Good Bye, You Yellow Preek Toad.”
Melania Trump Then I realized how unlikely such a scene would be. She made her bed, so to speak, long ago. Likely has her own non disclosure agreement that includes loss of U.S. citizenship if she should speak her truths. Exile to Guantanamo Bay. Nope, she’s not gonna sing that song to Donald from behind bars in Cuba.
It’s just too creepy to have Ivanka lip synch the lyrics, especially in the miniskirt. Her mom Ivana? Nah. Marla Maples? That yacht has sailed. Hmmmm. I know. How about Stormy Daniels? With just a tweak or two.
Image result for stormy daniels with donald trump gif
You’ve been saying you’ve got something on me. (Like a lawsuit? Or an NDA?)
Something you call fair but confess
You went messin’ where you shouldn’t ‘ve been messin’
Now Michael Cohen’s cleanin up the rest
Law suits are made for trumpin’
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days law suits are gonna thump all over you.
Stormy does a little foxtrot here, and then returns to the narrative while smuggling manatees out of Florida disguised as Volkswagen Beetles.Related image
You’ve keep lyin’ when you oughta be truthin’
You keep losin’ when you oughta not bet
You keep shamin’ when you oughta be changin’
Now right is right, but you aint been right yet
Law suits are made for trumpin’
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days law suits are gonna thump all over you
At this point I imagine Michael Cohen and other Trumpian sychophants rushing in to do a chorus line in cowboy boots, ten gallon hats, and silk tassels.
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With so many former White House employees at the unemployment office these days, all they need is a choreographer to work out a line dance or two. It could be a combination of Whack a Mole and Bingo in Motion with the right game card.
Image result for fired white house staff pictures gif
The game is virtually unwinnable because it’s a moving target, and the Bingo chips melt as soon as you place them down. Meanwhile the definition of chaos is redefined as a mud wrestling business strategy where Emperor Donald gives thumbs up or down over the fools who enter the stadium. If you ever disagree with his majesty’s itty bitty self esteem, so long.
Image result for emperor trump pictures
Comey, McCabe, Tillerson, Flynn, Cohn, Omarosa, Spicey, Hopey, Porter, McFarland, Bannon, Priebus, Gorka, Moochi, Price, Dearborn, Manafort, Gates, Lewandowski, Papadopoulos,and a host of others less well known. Let me think: He was only gonna get the best people, all of whom could not wait to work for the Donna. And yet, these awesomest of awesomenosity need to quit or get fired in Twitter world for displeasing Donna, the Prima Donna. And this was just Round One.Image result for trump bingo card of faces
You can’t have it both ways: either Donna was stupid for hiring them then, or he’s stupid for firing them now. You don’t fire the so called all stars of America’s team. You fire the coach in this instance.
Are you ready boots?  Start walkin’.Image result for cowboy boots walking gif Faster, the lawsuits are comin’. Giddyup.
 Image result for cowboys riding horses away gif

551. Time walks a pigeon-toed waddle

Image result for pigeons walking gif

Why start here?  I don’t know. Sometimes I just start a post in hopes of finding a destination, a bread crumb trail to gobble up, like pigeons out for a stroll. What do they find? Whatever they look for. And if they look for nothing, they may still find a crust of bread or a sunflower seed, maybe an ibuprofen. In the Google age it’s simple to find their diet,

Pigeons are natural seed eaters and only eat insects in small numbers. Normal pigeon diet is made of corn, wheat, cereals and other seed. Pigeons will add fruit and greens like lettuce, spinach, sprouted seeds, grapes  and apple in their diet. Or Skittles…

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Simple enough. They have adapted to humans all around the globe, showing up in all cities, famously flocking at the Vatican and Red Square. Yep. Funny how words like birds alight on the clotheslines of language. A pigeon is also a young attractive woman, though I’m not sure why you’d call a pretty girl a “pigeon”. Then again, why call girls “chicks”?Image result for pigeon flocks in flight gif

They are beautiful in flight, right? Almost majestic.

I read once that Ernest Hemingway trapped pigeons in Paris for dinner. He was hungry and poor. I have never forgiven him.

A dupe, sucker or someone easily cheated is also called a pigeon, I guess because pigeons aren’t so smart? I suppose they are easily caught and used up, both the birds and thusly marked victims. Image result for dupe or sucker pictures

Perhaps the extinct carrier pigeon was a duped victim of fowl play. Stories abound of the heroic sacrifices carrier pigeons made in war time, delivering mail, bullets, tanks, and a submarine in the Battle of Midway.Related image

The first message-bearing pigeon was loosed by Noah. The ancient Romans used pigeons for chariot races, to tell owners how their entries had placed. Genghis Khan established pigeon relay posts across Asia and much of Eastern Europe. Charlemagne made pigeon-raising the exclusive privilege of nobility. The Rothschild fortune is said to have been seriously augmented by a pigeon bearing news of the British victory at Waterloo. But it was in the Siege of Paris in 1870 that the carrier pigeon won its wings. (Please hold your applause until the end of the post. It’s hard, I know, when the grandeur of pigeon awe sweeps over one like a phantom wind fills the sails of a clipper ship. But try. Cross your legs if you must.)

My favorite pigeon has to be the stool pigeon, I think. It’s a term for criminals who act as decoys to lure other criminals into a legal dragnet. I imagine stool pigeons were once like decoy ducks that lure real ducks into target range. Stool pigeons must sit on stools in police interrogation rooms and coo, coo, coo away their accomplices. It is also suggested that stool pigeons were low life informants who sat on bar stools to gather nefarious information.

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Yes, there are pigeon associations. And you’ll never guess who is the president of the British Pigeon Racing Association. The very Queen herself, Elizabeth II.  Here she is as a young pigeonphile. Lovely, really, and don’t you dare call her a pigeon.

Image result for queen elizabeth and pigeon racing pictures

Those Brits!!  Crazy, right? And you thought this was just an aimless tangent. Actually, so did I, but we are gaining traction now, Bob. Racing fowlers will immediately recognize the following grand champions from the middle of the twentieth century.  Who could forget Ginger Feathers and her epic flight of 1944? She practically won the war on P Day.Image result for marx brothers movies pigeon feathers

Now in a related but faraway galaxy comes Pidgin English, which is a form of broken English that is spoken in over two dozen lands that were once ruled by the Brits. (Note the British pigeon theme here.)

Pidgin English is a non-specific name used to refer to any of the many pidgin languages derived from English. Here’s a Nigerian example… or more.

7. Wetin dey happen? – What’s going on? (Marvin Gaye, where are you, man?) What’s happening?

11. Dem send you? – Have you been sent to torment me? (Republicans said this about Hillary.)

13. K-leg – Questionable.  Example – Your story get k-leg! Which means your story or gist sounds suspect or exaggerated. (POTUS Twitter feed)

23. Butta my bread – Answered prayers. Example – “God don butta my bread” which means God has answered my prayers (Note to gluten intolerant:  God don butta my gluten free bread. Dairy intolerant version, God don no butta my bread.)

25. I go land you slap – I will slap you! ( Again, POTUS Twitter feed)

One more jump, my friends, to gems. The pigeon blood ruby is a rare and precious stone.Image result for pigeon blood rubyJust look at that drop of crystallized blood. How valuable, you ask?  How about $30 million for this Sunshine Ruby? 36 carats strong.

Extremely rare: The 'Sunrise Ruby' sold for £19.3million at auction

But we are wandering aimlessly, having lost the narrative equivalent of the thread of Ariadne, and are doomed to be devoured by the mythical Minotaur. Yes, yes. No worries. I will simply launch my homing pigeon to find my way out of this Cretan labyrinth. Yes, even in myths pigeons can alight on another clothesline of meaning and provide rescue and comfort. When Daedalus made his famous wings to escape his prison, I like to think he used pigeon feathers for his apparatus. 

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A pigeon taught that falcon how to light a lady’s pipe, and yet not even a footnote of recognition. Shame! After the Great War, when carrier pigeons were replaced by reliable modern technology, a lot of them found work in Hollywood as stunt birds. Tragically, some unfortunates went into the adult bird film industry, where they were exploited for crowd scenes in Rome and Venice, working literally for peanuts.

Image result for pigeons in venice italy pictures

It breaks my heart to think of how far this once noble bird has fallen. However, I find comfort and promise in the adaptability of the pigeon. And so, I’ll leave you with fond memories of Bert telling his unfunny pigeon jokes to Ernie, which left Ernie nonplussed but Bert laughing like a bleating goat.   “Agh agh agh agh agh.” That’s all folks.Image result for bert pigeon laugh gif

 

550. Jokes for Nurses

Jan is having a gala event in June for the nursing school addition, including ballroom dancing, which is how we met several years ago. As she explained something intelligent to my wife at our last dance meeting, I pondered a nurse/dancing joke for Jan. I waited patiently for the opening.

“You know Jan, there is a famous nursing dance that came out of the Civil War era.”

“No, I didn’t know that.”

“Yep, it’s like a Chuck Berry one-legged hop called the Hacksaw Amputation without Anesthesia Polka at Antietam Battlefield. It’s a beauty.”

Image result for chuck berry images

“Really? How can you joke about… never mind. Of course you’d make a joke like that.”

“Yeah, that’s my tasteless schtick.”

“Hmmm, would you consider telling some jokes at the gala? For maybe 15 minutes.”

“Sure. I’ve considered it and I think I’ll pass.”

“Oh, come on. You can do it.”

“I’m sure that I can, Jan. The problem is a lack of desire to do so.”Image result for uninspired faces

“Surely with your crazy mind you can think of ten minutes worth of clean nurse humor.”

“Madam, I am no Florence Nightingale or Betsy Ross!!”

“You know Betsy Ross sewed the American flag in the Revolution, right?  She wasn’t a nurse.”Image result for sexy betsy ross pictures

“Yeah, I knew that. I was testing your nursology knowledgy. Hmmm, how about I do ten minutes of nursing trivia? That could be fun.”

“Okay, but we won’t have time to collect answers. I expect a few hundred guests.”

“Ah, no problem. We can have a scripted team like on Jeopardy. Let’s see, Your Fred, Jeanine, who really is a nurse, and a local celebrity.”

“We don’t have any local celebrities. This is Franklin County, remember?”

“Touche. How about someone dressed up like Donald Trump?”Image result for jimmy fallon trump impersonation  pictures

“I, I, I’m not sure I want to get into political stuff at a nursing program gala.”

“Jan, what could possibly go wrong? It’s like a well oiled bank robbery. I know my destiny now. Just hold my beer and I’ll explain.”

“Oh, no. What have I done?”

“We’ll need three microphones for the contestants and one for me. Also some jingle music and sound effects. Maybe the Jeopardy theme. I’d like a gold lame dinner jacket with a matching bow tie and a gold cumberbund with rhinestones. “Image result for liberace in gold lame suit

“Okay, here’s your beer back. Let me take notes.”

“Alright. Lighting. Talent. Microphones. Now, we need material. Let’s see…. nursing stuff. I’ll start with a generic nurse joke.”

“Contestants, ready, set, go:  This phrase refers to a younger woman with an older widower in Florida. Fred?”Image result for jeopardy contestant pictures

“What is a nurse with a purse?”

“Well done. You get twenty points. Ding, ding, ding.”

“Jeanine? Are you having a seizure. What is it woman?”

“I happen to be a nurse and here’s my purse. What do I win?”

“Excellent. You get forty points. Dingy dingy doooo.”Woman hitting a man

Fred, “Wait a minute! I got the question first. How come she gets double the points?”

Burrito, “She got the daily double, Fred. Plus she is an actual live nurse not just married into the field like you.”

Fred, “Oh…(mutters to self, “That’s not fair.”)

“Fred?  Louder please.”

“I said ‘It’s not fair. In the rules of Jeopardy, Alex always says…'”

“Whoa, Buddy. This is Nurse Trivia. Bite your tongue. Now repeat what you just said.”

“Thysthaidthitsnophayre.”Image result for man slurring words gif

“Bartender, cut that man off. He is clearly slurring his words.”

“Fred, you can let go of your tongue now.”

“Sheesh! I told you, Jan. This was a bad idea.”

“Next question. This movie, circa 2000, starred Renne Zellweger as a confused nurse in a soap opera/bank robbery.Image result for nurse betty images

“Donald?”

“What is the Art of the Deal?”

“No. Jeanine?”

“What is Nurse Betty?”

“Correct. You get 160 points.”

Donald, “Now wait a second, Alex Baldwin. I said Nurse Betty first.”Image result for jimmy fallon trump impersonation  pictures

“Uh, no you didn’t.”

“Yes, I did. And I have my personal attorney Michael Cohen here to sue you for deprivation of character.”

“Mr. Trump is correct. I will sue you because that’s what I do. Sue people.”Image result for michael cohen pictures

“Pssst, Michael, it’s not really Mr. Trump. It’s Eddie Laugherman from the VFW. We just dressed him up to look like Donald. Okay? Thought the crowd would get a hoot out of it.”

“Oh, alright. Well,  I’d still like to sue someone on Mr. Trump’s behalf. Are there any porn stars in the house?”

“Okay, Michael, we’re gonna continue with Nurse Trivia while you get your double D depositions.”

“What do you call it when the hospital runs out of maternity ward nurses?”

“Fred?”

“A mid-wife crisis.”Related image

“Well done, Fred. Ding ding ding. Add another ten points to your score. Let’s see you’re at thirty, Jeanine is at 200, and Donald is still hovering at zero.”

Fred, through clenched teeth… “This is stupid. I am going to join the Donald in a class action suit against you and this whole thing as soon as his stupid lawyer stops measuring women’s chests.”

“Fred, that would really kill the profit margins on the gala. Think about it:  Happy wife, happy life?”

Fred, “uuuurrrrrrgggghhhhhh. Alright. Motion withdrawn.”Image result for judge judy gif

Donald, “Uh, Alex, I’ve never understood that saying. My wives, and I’ve had three hot ones and Ivanka, plus all the side chicks, and they were always very miserable. Eh, eh, I always said that was the quid pro quo for dating a man like me. I’m very rich and can afford contemptuous women as long as they are super models. I mean, no one loves pouty supermodel nurses like I do.”

“Thank you, Don. Now, back to our game. In One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest…she antagonized the character played by Jack Nicholson.”Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

“Fred?”

“Nurse Ratched.”

“Sorry, Fred. Your answer must be phrased as a question.”

“Ahhhhhhhh!!!!”

“Jeanine?”

“Who was Nurse Ratched?”

“Ding, ding, ding. Jeanine, you’ve won another two hundred points for your team. And we’re at the end of Round One. So let’s all have a few drinks and some sworn testimony, and then we’ll be back for Round Two of Nurse Trivia.”

“Donald?”

“I can’t lose. I’m a winner. I win, that’s what I do. ”

“Of course you are a weiner, Don. You are, you do. And we love you… at zero.”Image result for donald trump in hotdog bun

 

 

 

 

 

549. The Lectins are Coming!

Image result for lectins picturesWe went to Ruby Tuesday’s after a couple hours of dancing, just for a snack and a drink, and to catch up on the past week with Wayne and Jackie, our new almost in-laws. Our kids married in October past, as the three aphid readers of this blog know already. Late on Friday at Ruby Tuesday’s, 9:30 or so when we arrived, the place was emptying out and we were tired. “Just one glass of red wine”, said Wayne. It  was agreed… maybe a large one.

Wayne opened up about Dr. Gundry, had we ever heard of him? I assumed it was a continuation of Jackie’s report on Trivia Night, how no one could match the unfamous woman with her “first” in history. Perhaps Dr. Gundry was a feminist researcher in Nairobi who had researched tsetse flies.Image result for doctor evil pictures

“No, never. Who is this person?”

“He’s a doctor of nutrition.”

Jackie added, “Zach says he’s a quack. He googled him and said he’s a quack, Wayne.”

“He might be a good quack, like the AFLAC duck, you know. He’s there to protect us from lost wages in the event of an injury.”

“So this guy does insurance commercials?”Image result for aflac duck gif

“No, but I think he’s got something worth listening to, so I’ve been watching his videos on YouTube. He does these talks about the food we eat and how it actually is killing us.”

“Wayne, I just turned 62. I don’t think food is killing me at this moment. I am killing the food.”

“Like, five raw red beans can kill you. Unless you pressure cook them like the Italians do.”

“Really? Silent red assassins.” Image result for lectins pictures

“Yeah, Dr. Gundry says that…”

“Wait, I have it on google, here…

‘According to his book, it’s not only about that awful gluten that we have heard so much about but about a whole class of “highly toxic, plant-based proteins called lectins” of which gluten is a member. He says that “lectins are found not only in grains like wheat but also in the ‘gluten-free’ foods like … many fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and conventional dairy products,” which “many of us regard as healthy.” After consumption, they “incite a kind of chemical warfare in our bodies, causing inflammatory reactions that can lead to weight gain and serious health conditions.'”

“Yeah!! That’s it.”

“Honey, could you read that again? a flock of geese interrupted my hearing there.”Image result for a flock of geese pictures

“Now, listen. It’s maybe, well some of it is far fetched, but a lot of what he says makes sense. Like adult men should not eat peanuts or cashews. They’ll give you cancer.”

“Oh, crap! I wondered why Erin sent me that nut collection for my birthday. Revenge!! I’ve been poisoned by my first born. [Gag, hack, cough.]Luckily the antidote is beer.” [Gulp.]Image result for cashew nut pictures

“Dr. Gundry says that plants and animals have evolved to stay alive longer and lectins work to protect them from predators. Then, or now, the genetically modified foods have extra lectins injected into them for a longer shelf life. So we are poisoning ourselves.”

“I’m trying to visualize the process of injecting individual peanut halves with a syringe full of lectin juice. It just seems too tedious to me.”

“This is where the Chinese come in. There are like nine billion Chinese with nothing to do because of pollution and robots. So Dr. Gundry says that in secret labs billions of Chinese and North Korean slaves are doing the injections. It’s unbelievable.”Image result for syringes injecting nuts with chemicals pictures

“Where are these labs, Wayne? Surely our satellites would find them. You can’t hide nine billion slaves very easily.”

“I know, it’s coming to me through the honking and quacking geese and duck noises…”

“Where? You don’t have to be so dramatic!”

“Drum roll please, Lectinschtein.”Map of Liechtenstein

“Funny. I almost spit my wine at you. Don’t joke when my mouth is full.”

“My mother’s maiden name was Bridenstein, like the bride of Frankenstein. Wouldn’t that make a cool name for a craft beer?”

“Oh yeah. Who would be the model on the bottle?”

“Hmmm, maybe Dr. Gundry’s wife.”Image result for frankenstein beer label

“Okay, keep laughing at me till your inflammation adds sixty pounds to you. You know Dr. Gundry did a study or talked about what happens when human feces are placed in mice after the mice have had rodent specific colonoscopies.”Image result for lab mouse pictures

“And?”

“And the mice swelled up like hippopotamuses.”Image result for hippo pictures

“So?”

“So that proves that our colons are bursting with lectins, inflaming our bodies and killing us.”

“Wayne, this is not a chemical issue; it’s mechanical.”

“What do you mean?”

“Human feces alone are larger then a whole mouse, so naturally if you jammed one up a mouse hole it would inflate and explode,  killing the mouse and leaving a smelly mess behind, or a behind mess, as you will.”Image result for coal slurry accidents pictures

“We found a dead mouse in our front hall closet. Uh, the stink. I washed all the garments and set out baking soda in a dish. Such a nasty smell.”

“Yeah, the worst. We had one die inside a wall once. Had to drill out the plaster to remove the carcass.”

“Another case of lectincide. Did you find any red beans or cashews strewn about the crime scene?”

“You’re gonna put this in the blog, aren’t you? I can just see the wheels turning.”Image result for tony soprano pictures

“Maybe, but I need to know where Dr. Gundry came from, how he became obsessed with lectins. Hmmmm.”

“I can google him for you.”

“NO! Don’t disrupt the process. I don’t want any facts to get in the way of a good fiction. Let’s see, he was found washed up on the Isle of Orkney wrapped only in a blanket from Ikea. It was always assumed he was Swedish, since he came from the sea and the Scotswoman who found him was past child bearing years, she took the infant to a wet nurse on the inlet of Grand Cairn Firth. When the wet nurse saw the woman and her little sea biscuit of a boy, she said, “Why ere you here, me dear? Why errant you suckling him?”Image result for orkney island beaches

“Why I’ve Gun Dry, missy.”Image result for withered old crone pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

548. Darn Socks!

Image result for socks with holes picturesThe Coffee Summit banter turned to holey socks as Joel recounted vignettes from one of the ultimate cheapskates in American history… Bud.

“When he came to interview it was obvious at the firm, his suit and tie were obviously brand new. As we talked I noticed he had not cut the tags off his sleeves. Instead he’d just tucked them in. Years later I brought this observation up to him. That’s when he told me he planned to take the suit back if he did not get the job.”

Image result for man  with price tags still on pictures“Never took himself or family to the doctor. Nope. His dad was a veterinarian and that was good enough. Advil and duct tape for a broken bone. Horse antibiotics were the same as human. Why not? No copays.”

“Did he reuse toilet tissue also?”

“I hate to think that deeply. Some things are better not to know.”

Image result for tsa security pictures“Once, after one of our conventions, we were going through security at the airport. The TSA person told Bud to take off his shoes. He said he couldn’t. I leaned over and told him he had to or face further inspections, orificial inspections at that. He said he could not take his shoes off. I asked if it was his back again.”

“No, it’s not my back.”

“The TSA lady said, ‘Sir, you must comply now.'”

“That’s when Bud confessed he had holes in his socks.”

“Sir, we’ve seen it all. Shoes off.”

“Can you believe that? Who keeps socks with holes, let alone wears them on a trip? My word, I recall my mother darning my socks back in the day. She’d pull a sock over a light bulb and sew the opening shut tight. Now this surgery would leave an uneven seam that would eventually rub your toe or foot raw. Not comfortable, but that’s what we did back then.”Image result for landfill images

“Yep, nowadays we just toss them in the trash. No more darning, darn it!”

“Landfills are bulging with socks Bud would likely wear. Yeah, it’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose.”

“Very perspicacious of you, Joel.”

“Don’t go tossing big words around again. Yesterday it was unscathed. I spent the rest of the day trying to think of when I had ever heard scathed used. I wasted my entire day with your verbal trivia.”

“And yet, scathed is a word unto itself, is it not?”Image result for scorched images

“Yes, so what? It’s rarely used and is functionally useless.”

“Now, now my hasty friend. Some things come in handy just for a moment, like dental floss. It does not have to last as long as a battleship to serve a use.”

“I don’t know why I indulge your whacked out monologues. I always regret it. Name something else that you use once and throw away besides paper products.”

“Rental funeral shoes.”Image result for disposable funeral shoes images

“What? No, no, it’s a trick to torture me for another day. I needed two shots of Grey Goose to unhear scathed. I’m not doing this again.”

“Well, go ahead then and overspend on your funeral costs.”

“I’m not taking the bait.”Image result for purple rubber worm images

“It’s not bait; it’s an affordable dressy footwear option, but if you want to throw away your hardly embezzled money, that’s on you.”

“Okay, rental shoes for funerals.”

“Yeah, it’s a little known cottage industry. Not a lot of capital required to get started. You start with black and brown men’s loafers in the most common sizes. Dead feet tend to shrink a little, so you want to go a half size smaller than living feet.”

“Yes, go on. I already regret this.”

“Yeah, slip on, slip off before you go to your final reward. Constructed of hard card board and spray painted with acrylic paint. Indistinguishable from real leather.”

“And can you put pennies in the saddle strap’s slot?”Related image

“Certainly, but there is an upcharge, of course. The luxury package includes Mercury headed 1936 silver dimes. Our highest grade is platinum, which includes a pair of five dollar gold coins. You see?  It’s like any other business model, Joel.”

“Seems a bit morbid to me.”

“That’s your death anxiety, Joel. Tick tock. The Grim Reaper of Death steps closer in Hush Puppies every day. You just can’t hear his feet shuffling. Which is why renting high quality funeral shoes now will make it so much easier for your survivors. They won’t have to cobble together all the loose ends.”Image result for grim reaper images

“You had to say cobble there, didn’t you?”

“Again, I suspect that you fear your own demise too much.  The mere mention of a cobbler sends you into a tailspin. Joel, it’s not always about your mortality.”

“I don’t want to rent your foolish funeral loafers, that’s all. How do I know they haven’t been used before and recycled?”

“My good man, that’s where the profit comes in. Of course they have been worn, if that’s even the appropriate verb. Certainly they are low mileage. But, like bowling shoes, a good spray of disinfectant and some talcum powder and they’re as good as new.”Related image

“I refuse to bowl because of the communal shoes and the communal balls. I was, I am still an only child and sharing is hard for me. I never mastered the concept.”

“You are a sad little man, Joel.”

“I know, but I am counting on a rather limited audience for your blog. Otherwise I’d have to bother with a cease and desist letter.”Image result for ebenezer scrooge images

“Ho hum, I’m not scared of your legal panty raids. Just remember: you are my lawyer. And what sort of lawyer sues his client? Huh? I can’t hear you.”

“A bad one.”

“And why is that, Joel?”

“Uh, because then… I’d have to…”Related image

“Yes…continue.”

“I’d uh, have to, uh, bill you for my hours…”

“Yes, and then what?”Related image

“Uh, you’d be unlikely to pay me.”

“Therefore…?”

“And uh therefore I’d have unbillable hours on my ledger, which is a capital offense.”

“Very astute, Joel. So, we have removed the dentures from the tiger, yes?”

“I could still gum you to death.”

“You have the gravitas of a sock puppet, my good man.”Image result for sock puppet pictures