Saturday, April 30, 2016

ZZZ or Zed

ZZZZ or Zed is the difference between an American and a Canadian.

I know, I know, Brits say it too. It's just more fun to split hairs with the cultural differences between Americans and Canadians. Actually there is quite a difference but it is subtle.

When I had a Canadian student say Zed, I knew that was how he said Z. I said nothing. I shared it with the teacher next door. I taught for year in Canada. This is when I became a big Canadophile. Canadians are wonderful people. They are very polite and thoughtful, sort of like people from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Maine. I would add more states; but, these I am familiar with. Their calmness is what I like.

Anyway, I got that Z letter done folks. I hope you have had as much fun as me during the challenge. I've made a list of folks to go back to and read all their posts. Hopefully this past week I have made a gander at all the blogs I have not made it to. I tried to comment on many. Some of you guys did not have a way to comment or follow. But most did.

Anyway, enjoy the following pictures I took in near my home.  See you next year.  Cheers.

Last year's hay bales overrun with morning glory vines

New Growth on Stone Pines in my front yard

The adorable BoDuke when he was a puppy. The other two are his sisters Daisy and Buttons.

Cactus that grow here with their fruit

Morning Glories blooming



Friday, April 29, 2016

Youth Elixer

It's early, I've set up my wares. Customers start arriving in about an hour. There are a few milling about. Then there she is. This gnomish woman selling make-up and beauty products of all things.

I get aggravated every time I see her. My sister bought her product. Within weeks, she looked horrible. At first she looked real good. But, you know how things go. She's a beautician. Business was slow. She skipped using that woman's elixer. Oh my the lines and spots were a sight. I asked my sister, "Have you been in the sun?"

Something about that elixer must cause a reaction in the sun that you don't notice. Anyway, my poor sister, she doesn't come out much anymore. She stays at home. She used to fix up and be here every Saturday visiting everyone.

I just get so mad when I see that hunched up old hag. She doesn't use her own product. Or she used it and stopped. I don't know. As she walks by, I yell "People look older when your so called 'Youth Elixer' wears off."

She turns and smiles with her shoulders suddenly level for a short moment. "Repeat customers are my bread and butter." Her teeth are all brown and stained and her eyes have a otherworldly shine.

I feel a cold breeze as she walks by.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Xerox that

Xerox that. Copy that. Do you understand?

All the same. Xerox that is of my making. Copy that originated as radio slang for messages between control towers and/or aircraft.

Xerox maintains copyright of the name Xerox and prefers people call their copies, photocopies not xeroxes. When you go to your Hewlett Packard copy machine, you should not say "I'm going to be back soon after I xerox these papers". You should say "I'm going to be back soon after I copy these papers." Trademark hell for sure. Free advertisement but your brand disappears for everyone to use to advertise their brand.

The real topic of this post is when brand names become terms for a product is usually when there is a verb using the word.

Like, google "your question".

Or,

Velcro

Taser - that smarts

Cellophane - Brits say clingfilm

Rollerblade

Mace

Hulahoop

Band Aid

Chlorox


Then there is using the brand name as the noun of the object

Kleenex

Scotch tape

Crockpot

Tampon

Dumpster

Jacuzzi


All of the brands above have their brand name or trademark copyright protected. So don't invent a product and plan to call it any of those things.


In my home, we call a popular object buttons. We lose our buttons. We ask each other if they know where the buttons are.

Some brands that have long become generic are

zip code

aspirin

kerosene

mimeograph

dry ice

escalator

heroin

lanolin

thermos

trampoline

videotape - soon to be obsolete


Anyway, buttons is what we call our remote control. Now what do you call the small cardboard tube at the center of a toilet paper roll or the ends of a loaf of bread?








Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Walrus and The Carpenter by C. S.Lewis


HE sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might;
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
 
The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"
 
The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky;
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.
 
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand--
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"
 
"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
 
"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A Pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach;
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."
 
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said;
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
 
But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat;
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.
 
Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.
 
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low--
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
 
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing-wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."
 
"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.
 
"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need;
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now, if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."
 
"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said.
"Do you admire the view?"
 
"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but,
"Cut us another slice.
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"
 
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick.
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but,
"The butter's spread too thick!"
 
"I weep for you," the Walrus said;
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
 
"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?"
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Value

I got this story through email. It is easily googled. I've never found the author. I've found the story pretty much verbatim on several internet sites. So in the spirit of a borrowed story, I've paraphrased it and God Bless the person who originally told this story.



A pastor held a $20 dollar bill up to his congregation. He said, "Who wants this bill?"

Members of the congregation laughed and raised their hands. The pastor said, "I'm glad so many want it. I'm going to give it to one of you."

He proceeded to crumble the bill and said "Who wants it now?"

People raised their hand one more time.

Dropping the note to the floor, he ground the bill into the floor with his shoe.

"Who wants it now?" he shouted.

Most of the congregation was puzzled, but they raised their hands one more time.

Bad choices, hard luck and mistakes never take away your value. Life may crumble you, step on you, grind you down. But like this $20 dollar bill, you still have your value.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Unrewarded

A single note on the piano was all Jennifer produced. There was no one home to hear her practice much less play.  Jennifer was half an orphan. She was a senior in high school but it was strange just checking in with dad instead of mom hovering to see that she did everything right.

 Gazing out the window, she watched children walking home from school. Two little girls around eight were running up to a much larger boy who was probably the same age. They looked like little angels in their school uniform.

 The angels knocked the boy down in the flowerbed; crushing and uprooting Sam Glover’s Impatiens. The little boy stands up and tears the chain off the posts that Glover says he uses for decoration but is a coy reminder of the property line.

Jennifer focuses on the sheet music. She turns her head in time to see the boy swinging the chain like a truncheon. The girls are leaning forward taunting him. Oh, this is ridiculous; I will just open the door and look out. They will run off.

Jennifer coolly looks from left to right at the children. The little boy begins to wail loudly. “They goin’ ta beat me up.” Genuine tears are flowing. The girls turn in a snit and walk away. They look back, and then stop at the end of the road, pretend to be talking but face the poor bedeviled boy.

Jennifer reaches in to the foyer and takes her cell phone off a table.

“Would you like to call your mom?”                  
                                 
He nods his head yes. She winces as he wipes his nose with his hand and grasps her cell phone with the same hand. Sniffling, he calls his mother.

He is talking on the phone.  Jennifer hears a woman calling down the road. The girls are gone. His tears dry as he hands her the phone back.

“Mom.” He runs to meet the woman.  Jennifer stands and watches them walk down the road hand in hand. She pauses, reattaches the chain and replants the uprooted flowers.

Walking back into the house, Jennifer thinks about not practicing. She knows the music. She plays scales before playing her mom’s favorite, the Westphalia Waltz.

The phone rings. She plans to ignore it but the number is the one the boy dialed. There is no hello, how do you do, just a woman telling her to mind her own business.

Jennifer starts to talk and the woman hangs up. Fuming, she decides to call back. What does this woman mean she is going to speak to her father?

“Hello”

It’s the boy. “Do you remember me?”

“I dunno.”

“You remember me kid. I saved you from those two girls.”

“You did not. You lying. You lying on me. I weren’t fighting again. Madison and Taylor are my friends.”

His mother is in the background yelling, “Whose on the phone?”

“It’s that crazy old lady who plays the piana.”

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Territorio de zaquatas

In Costa Rica, there is a dog rescue. Tourist come to walk a rigorous 1 mile walk up a mountain. So you better be fit if you want to visit. Those who opt out of the walk visit with the puppies, recuperating dogs and dogs that may run off.

For dogs this is certainly paradise. For dog lovers, it is an answer to their wishes for stray dogs. Each dog is named and given a breed to encourage their self esteem. Being loved is a dog's desire. Pictures show very happy dogs.

Below are links and youtube videos. There is a paypal email address on the video if you want to donate.

Costa Rica Star news article

Dog Territory Facebook Page

The YouTube videos are not in English. However, the video is self explanatory




Friday, April 22, 2016

Sobriquet

I bet you don't know what it means.

I mean I didn't know what it meant.

But I used a thesaurus for other forms of the word "nickname" and it popped up.

I looked up the definition. And you know, it was the word I needed.

So Sobriquet is from French. You originally said the word and tapped someone endearingly on the chin. Try doing that to your spouse, friend or whoever you want to irritate. I don't think they will be charmed.

Today in English it means - A complimentary nickname given by someone else. So all you folks branding yourself on social media. Start touting your sobriquet. I'm sure your mom would endorse it as something she would have said first. If you had not suggested it first that is.

Anyway, where did I get this idea. Two nicknames that are compliments.

One is Mensch. It means you're smart. Someone terrific that we should all emulate. It is a Yiddish term.

The other is Hotep. It originally was Imhotep and referred to someone who knew all the good things and triumphs of people of African descent. Then people got obnoxious about it. So it depends on the tone of the person calling you a Hotep. It could mean you are an obnoxious know it all or you are all that and a bag of chips. You be the judge.


Any way in the words of the immortal bard, Elvis.

I've been wanting to say that for some time.

Did you know Elvis probably wrote none of his songs. He just had that much clout. He was the King. How is that for a sobriquet.

Below is a civil war ballad named Aura Lee by Jim Reeves. Recognize Love Me Tender's melody.




There have been many songs in tribute to Elvis. I chose Merle Haggard. I like Merle Haggard. He is the best bard I know. Sorry Shakespeare.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Recordings

Amazing, what music sounds like on a tortilla.






This is what music sounds like on a home-made biscuit with honey.





Home-made biscuit with gravy




Home-made biscuit with canned peaches






Canned biscuits


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Quirks and Quarrels

Sara Bell turned off the radio and stopped dancing. The downstairs neighbor was hitting the ceiling with what probably was a broom. Sara wanted to go to bed and pull the covers over her head. That would mess her hair and ruin her make-up, and Eric could still come.

Picking up the newspaper to read, that damn dog downstairs was still yipping.  

Stomping to the refrigerator and back, Sara makes an angry burst of stomps.

Old lady Mauldlin hits the ceiling some more. Sara walks into the bathroom, turns on the shower and focuses the water so it will leak in Mrs. Mauldlin’s bathroom.

Taking a triumphant stomp, the floor collapses beneath her right foot. Steam envelops her. 

Kneeling in pain, willing herself not to cry, tears flow.  

She told Mrs. Mauldlin if she had a BB gun she would shoot her yapping dog this morning.

Mrs. Mauldling called her a “trumpet”. She told her mother later that afternoon.

“Sara, why would she call you a “strumpet”.

“I don’t know. She is a mean old bag with a blind old dog with one creepy looking eye.”

“Are you having multiple sex partners.”

“What? Why would you think that?”

“She’s not calling you a trumpet, she’s calling you a strumpet. She’s saying you’re promiscuous.”

"No, I'm not. I'll call you tomorrow mom." Sara slammed the phone down and got ready at 5 PM for Eric. He was supposed to be there at 8 PM.

It was now 10 PM, and something sharp prevented her from pulling her leg from the floor. Mrs. Mauldlin and the building manager talk.

“There’s her foot. She’s not responding.”

Sara talks to them but they cannot hear.

Mrs. Mauldlin says call 911.

The building manager says, “We don’t need to do that.”

The door closes downstairs. She hears Mrs. Mauldlin call 911.

The floor isn’t sturdy under her left knee. Water was trickling down the wall to puddle on the linoleum under Sara.

The manager argued with the firefighters. Then she hears them unlocking her door and coming in.

The firefighters removed a section of the floor. “We’re going to lift you on three.”


The bruises faded to green, her knee aches before it rains, the long angry scratch healed. Sara helped Mrs. Mauldlin move. Sara hung up on Eric when he called.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Old Man - fiction

Charlie Boger came into my classroom. He was 15 and the rest of the class was 11.  The schoolyard dramas had no interest to him.

One day, there was a huge fight in the playground; I headed out as hard as I could to break it up. It was only about 50 yards away but thank goodness, Charlie had stopped it. He did not like seeing someone beat up. Eric Lawson was bleeding from his nose and lip. Paul Smoker’s eyes were blazing.

I sent Eric to the office first so they could doctor his wounds and call his mother. I walked Paul there as I took the class in from the playground. About an hour after recess, 10 minutes before the day was over, they called Charlie Boger to the office.

I sat at my desk and graded a set of spelling tests. I wrote pedantic work across Charlie Boger’s paper. He would find the word in the dictionary every time. I knew he was putting in his time.

As I drove home, there was Charlie Boger walking down the highway about four miles from the school. I pulled over.

” Charlie, why aren’t you on the bus?”

“Miz Rogers, Eric turned me over for hitting him in the face.”

“You didn’t hit him in the face. I saw the whole thing. It was Paul Smoker.”

“That’s what they say. Anyway, I got to get home.”

“Let me give you a ride.”

“I live on a dirt road. Your car won’t stay clean, all that dust and such”.

“They should have gotten you out for the bus.”

“Expelled.”

“Expelled?”

“It’s a good thing.”

“Get in the car.”

He gave me directions as we wound down a narrow dirt road that followed the path of Sabbath Creek.  He got out of the car and several younger children were waiting on him.

Charlie, I plan to get things fixed tomorrow.

He gave me a regretful look.

“It doesn’t matter Miz Rogers. I’ll be 16 next month. My last day of school was due. We got to get the garden in so we can eat. I’m so tired of collard greens. The taters did sorry this year.”

I knew his father had died several years ago. I did get the story straight that next Monday. The school sent a letter to Charlie Boger’s home. He stopped by my room when he returned his books.  He said they did not usually get mail so no one had checked the mailbox.  He asked me if my family was well.   

I would like to say he grew up, prospered and lived a fine life. He drove a log truck for a while and I taught his younger siblings. Two of them graduated from high school.  Charlie fell asleep driving a truck they say. He was only nineteen. I wondered how many people besides me knew he was old man at the funeral.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

No Bananas

$256.73 was the deposit total for the night. Alison slammed the register drawer and began to push the cart of return plants before the store closed.  

A worn cigarette voice drifted from behind.

"You got ananner plants?"

Alison stopped in her tracks to face the customer and said, "Not that I know".

Eloise Sasser's strong blue eye fixed on Alison.  The walleye seemed to know Allison wanted her to leave.

"How do you spell 'anander'?"

"You can't spell ananner."

“Ma'am, We don't have any anander plants.”

Resuming the push of the cart, Alison hears the manager’s voice sing back, “Just in time, Eloise, we close in five minutes and two banana trees are left.”

“I thought you said you hain’t got no ananners girlie."

Friday, April 15, 2016

Memories

Standing, stooping, wielding a hoe in the afternoon sun, you think. You could sing. The slow patter of rain in the evening sings a love song, no rebellion of rivulets tumbling across the tilled Earth.






Thursday, April 14, 2016

Late Delivery

While we were eating breakfast the letter was delivered. Missy barked.

My sister Gail had already opened the door and signed for the letter as I approached.

I hear him say, Thank you Mrs. Gilliam. Dang her hearing is bad.  

In slow motion she tears the thread to open the large envelope. "I was letting Missy out and I was face to face with the delivery man."

I wish she would wear her hearing aid. Well might as well see the contents.

"Wonder who would be sending us pictures Linda?"

She drops the bottom section of pictures as she shifts her hand to her cane. I'm older than Gail, but, I am not as broke down. I pick them up. Now we have a little dirt from the floor on one.

I look at Gail. Gail looks at me. Amazing, stuffy Mr. Gilliam,the pictures are obscene.

"I'm going to call the law. Send me trash like this. Who does that old codger think he is?"

I motion for Gail to come back to the table. I take the envelop and pictures and watch her get seated. I tap her hearing aid case. 

 "I mean damn, I have no interest in him or his naked butt." Gail says way too loud as she puts her right hearing aid in. The giggles slowly start like a reluctant lawn mower engine slowly roaring to life. Little Missy places her tiny paws on Gail's thigh.

"I didn't know they made crotchless pink panties with little boy legs ---- in size big ass."

Tears were streaming from my eyes. Gail was doubled over the table with one picture sticking up, Russell Gilliam, Esquire in a provocative pose with a sexy, silky matching bustier. He obviously shaved his legs. I remember being able to wear pumps like those. They did not look worth a hoot with the pink stockings attached to the pink garters. And who was that woman, it wasn’t Sherry Gilliam.

“I wonder why he sent these pictures.”

He didn’t. I heard the man call you Mrs. Gilliam.

Gail looks pensive at the stack. “Close enough to William don’t you think?”

“That’s right. Your fondness for rhymes has finally come in handy.”

“You certainly looked like you were having fun at the poetry slam.”

“It was nice rubbing up to all those male bodies even if they were gay.”

“Hey Sammy is not gay and he goes all the way.”

We both sit quietly drinking our coffee.as a squirrel works on the squirrel proof birdfeeder.

“Heh, heh Gail, remember Faye Dunbar”.

Is she still alive?

“Yeah, why don’t we give her these pictures?”

“Why would we do that? I say we burn them.”

“Remember Russell Gilliam saying ‘Faye goes all the way’ as a joke.”

Linda, that was over 50 years ago.

Let’s take the lock off old secrets and shame with these photos. Besides, it is our address on the envelop.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Karma With Intent

Across the road from a diner a neon sign flashes, “Beyond Taboo Tattoo”.

"I wonder what they would do if I rolled in there with my walker and demanded a tattoo on my rump.”

“Oh Claire, you are such a card. I suspect they would call ….” Nadine stopped and stirred her chili.  “They would think you had lost it.”

"Nadine, they put a tat on an eighteen year old, why wouldn’t they put one on an octogenarian.”

“Oh my, first blonde tint, now you are doing all that ‘jive’ talk, tat, good lord.  My dad told my brother when he went to fight in World War II, “Don’t you come home with a tattoo or foreign woman.”

“Wasn’t your sister-in-law from Germany?”

“Leroy didn’t get a tattoo. My son, Jerry hates tattoos more than Leroy and dad put together. It must be in the blood.”

A thin man with inch wide stretchers in his ear lobes, hipster jeans, and worn black Metallica t-shirt enters.

"You know who he is Claire?"

"He does look familiar."

"It’s Kenny Alvarado."

“How could I forget him and all those aggravating parent conferences with his mother Jeannette."

Kenny Alvarado gives a polite nod to Claire and Nadine as he approaches the lunch counter.

The lunch counter manager says, “How’s business?”

Kenny shrugs, “I just finished working  on this smelly and I mean smelly dude today. Tattoed his girlfriend’s name on his chest. Imagine someone wanting to be in the same room with that smell. Boss says, he don’t care if an old dude with a smelly diaper wants a rose on his ass. Business is slow.”

“Gotta make hay while the sun shines.” Intones a man sitting next to Nadine. 
  
"Hmmm, I think I’ll have a piece of cheesecake Claire."

"I thought it gave you gas Nadine."

"So does chili. Today is the day I get a tattoo from Kenny. I want my son Jerry to tell Kenny what he thinks about my tattoo."

Monday, April 11, 2016

Jack Happened in July


click to embiggen "She wasn't about to let anything get in her way." Sentence provided by speakeasy #104 winner Natalie 
The family had been gone on vacation for 16 days that July. They left after George got home from work on Friday and drove straight to the Atlanta airport. What was an Alaska cruise had expanded into driving as far as they could around Alaska then cruise back to the lower 48.

George, Alice and the two kids trudged into the house at 10 PM the night of their return. Alice ordered George into the bed. He was going to work the next day and that man would keep working otherwise.  

It was late July and the kids still had two more weeks before school began. Alice noticed a family of Purple Thrushes homesteading in the drying Boston Fern through the kitchen window. To think she thought of watering the plants last night.

The birds could hear her and would stop as if keeping their activity a secret.

“Sara, get the video camera. Walter help your sister.”

Walter sissed at his sister, “Thanks for saying I’m bored, now we got a family project”.

Sara brought the camera.

“Walter, we need the tripod.”

“You didn’t say we needed the tripod.”

“I told you mom wanted the tripod.”

Attaching the camera to the tripod on the counter, Alice focused the video camera on the nest as the children slipped into the other room.

“We pick Louise up from the kennel this morning.” Alice called after them.

“She wasn’t about to let anything get in the way of the family watching the young birds hatch and fledge. Alice cautioned Walter as they returned from the kennel, “Don’t let Louise use the front door. Bring her around back into the house.”

“Why?”

 She might disturb the filming.”

“Whatever” mouths Walter.

Sara rolls her suitcase of dirty clothes to the laundry room. Sara pauses to look at the camera and sees the bird flying into the plant.

“There’s a nest”. With a shrill, Sara heads for the front door.

“Don’t do that Sara. We need to use the side and back doors for a few weeks. We don’t want to run off the new neighbors.” Alice chimed.

Louise pauses at the sink and immediately puts her big paws up on the counter. Cocking her head to the side, she lets out a good bark. Walter walks over combing his hair. Pieces of grass are on his clothes.  

When George got home, Walter escorts him seriously through the side door into the house to show him the bird’s nest.

After the first day of school, Alice looked at the half written essay by Walter as they organized his backpack.

“What I did over my summer vacation?”

Nothing. If these birds had not laid eggs
in one of my mom’s plants, nothing would have happened.

“Do you need this paper?”

“No, the teacher made me write another one. She said it was too short.”

Alice put the paper carefully aside to put in his Alaska scrapbook. One day, he would have a good laugh.



Sunday, April 10, 2016

Illumination

“Mam, that yeller paint might be a bit bright.” 

Lillian Walt rises a few inches taller within her thin frame.” It will be fine.” She tells the painter before turning on her heels to meet the contractor in the new home.

“Would you and your husband like a light installed on the electric pole outside? They really don’t cost that much to power.”

“I would love one. Except. my husband wants it nice and dark  at night. He plans to sit on the porch and look at lightning bugs, study the stars.”

“I can see that.”

“Frankly, I can’t. Living in the city, you can see when you wake in the middle of the night.  I’m spooked about no light.”

“You’ll be enjoying your new home soon. Are you sure about that yellow paint?”

“I always have a yellow kitchen. . My kitchen is that same color at home. That’s my son driving in, don’t let me keep you.”

Weeks later, the movers pull out of the driveway. Lillian sits on the edge of a recliner.

“I need a shower, do you know which box has soap?”

Joe Walt shrugs. “That paint in the kitchen is bright.”

“I like it bright. If you remember correctly, that is the color of the kitchen at our house.”

“Well it is the color now.” Joe walks off smiling.

“Soap, I said soap. Where’s soap?”

“It’s getting dark outside, too late to run by a store. Let’s open boxes till we find some.”

“Viola, dishwashing liquid”

“That will do.”

After showering, Lillian made the bed and lay down. Pookie hops on the bed and does his little night night growl.

Joe is walking through the house turning off lights. It gets darker and darker. A bright glow comes through the bedroom window.

Somebody’s out there Joe.


Joe lies next to her. “Pookies not barking. Moon light is bright."

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Humorous Poems

The master was Shel Silverstein. I liked Johnny Cash's rendition.


A Boy Named Sue by Shel Silverstein
Well, my daddy left home when I was three,
and he didn't leave much to Ma and me,
just this old guitar and a bottle of booze.
Now I don't blame him because he run and hid,
but the meanest thing that he ever did was
before he left he went and named me Sue.

Well, he must have thought it was quite a joke,
and it got lots of laughs from a lot of folks,
it seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red
and some guy would laugh and I'd bust his head,
I tell you, life ain't easy for a boy named Sue.

Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean.
My fist got hard and my wits got keen.
Roamed from town to town to hide my shame,
but I made me a vow to the moon and the stars,
I'd search the honky tonks and bars and kill
that man that gave me that awful name.

But it was Gatlinburg in mid July and I had
just hit town and my throat was dry.
I'd thought i'd stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon in a street of mud
and at a table dealing stud sat the dirty,
mangy dog that named me Sue.

Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
from a worn-out picture that my mother had
and I knew the scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old
and I looked at him and my blood ran cold,
and I said, "My name is Sue. How do you do?
Now you're gonna die." Yeah, that's what I told him.

Well, I hit him right between the eyes and he went down
but to my surprise he came up with a knife
and cut off a piece of my ear. But I busted a chair
right across his teeth. And we crashed through
the wall and into the street kicking and a-gouging
in the mud and the blood and the beer.

I tell you I've fought tougher men but I really can't remember when.
He kicked like a mule and bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laughin' and then I heard him cussin',
he went for his gun and I pulled mine first.
He stood there looking at me and I saw him smile.

And he said, "Son, this world is rough and if
a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
and I knew I wouldn't be there to help you along.
So I gave you that name and I said 'Goodbye'.
I knew you'd have to get tough or die. And it's
that name that helped to make you strong."

Yeah, he said, "Now you have just fought one
helluva fight, and I know you hate me and you've
got the right to kill me now and I wouldn't blame you
if you do. But you ought to thank me
before I die for the gravel in your guts and the spit
in your eye because I'm the nut that named you Sue."
Yeah, what could I do? What could I do?

I got all choked up and I threw down my gun,
called him pa and he called me a son,
and I came away with a different point of view
and I think about him now and then.
Every time I tried, every time I win and if I
ever have a son I think I am gonna name him
Bill or George - anything but Sue.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Gerry

Gerry’s dreadlocks fall below his shoulders. With a new tattoo on his ass and the west coast rave clothes, he might be 42 but he is still cool.  He thought about putting a teardrop under his eye but the old man said he would cut him off from his funds if he got a tattoo on his face.

Just a regular trustafarian peacock at a prominent film festival, Gerry goes to any party he wants. It is late in the evening, Thursday night, and the party is slow. Some crazy fools get up in the morning to watch films. 

Gerry and his crew watch the end of the night movie and then PARTEH! All the players, hangers, climbers, backstabbers, lovers, haters, dancers, singers, you name it show what they got to one another.

In walks this redneck, the crowd is already subdued and the background noise drops another decibel. Sandy red hair cropped short, reddened skin, a beak of a nose untouched by a scalpel, his blue green eyes contract as if absorbing all that he sees. 

"Alright folks, what did you think?” the man says.

The hot chick sitting to Gerry's left hops off the bar stools and sashays to the rube. Gerry had his eye on her. He had turned and winked at her and got a little smile. When he finished scanning the crowd, he was going to talk to her. If she could hold her own with Gerry, he was going to take her home for the night.

The server walks past him to the rustic yokel.

A clean-cut black dude walks in with a woman who is probably his wife. She is wearing a corsage. Is this an alien invasion or 1956? You would think they could spend a little money on clothes.

“How did you get invited to this party?” Gerry bellows as he swaggers up to the odd group.

“Make a good movie and if the sun is shining bright, a door will open for you boy.”

Thursday, April 7, 2016

First

Rhonda walked into the nail salon and there was one chair left. Not any chair, but Ving Nyugen's chair, a veritable Vietnamese heartthrob. Just in time he says, "Everyone just got a customer just before I returned from lunch."

Then, she notices where is her purse and runs back out.
Luckily, her purse was still in the grocery cart where she left it in the corral. Walking back, Rhonda watches a woman park close to the nail salon. Oh I hope she is going to the Sandwich Shop thought Rhonda as she stepped up her pace to a light jog.

Dang, that woman is strolling to the salon thought Rhonda as she broke into a run. She and Rhonda grab the door handle at the same time. They are side by side struggling to go in first. The golden chair is still open. Ving is waiting with the warm water bubbling for someone's sore feet.

That damn woman's leg is in front of Rhonda's leg. She'll trip if she rushes her.

Besides, this is so undignified. A bit of sanity sips into Rhonda's mind as she felt a bead of sweat roll down her face. She calms herself, she is no fool, she relaxes and smiles at the woman and says, "After you."

The woman says, "Oh no you go first."

Rhonda says, " You were here first, after you." Rhonda's face has become solemn and sad.

The woman says, "You can go. I'm not in a hurry." The woman moves her leg and opens the door wider. Her face changes from what are you doing to you're a person.

Rhonda says, "No I can't do that."

The woman says, "Please go ahead."

Rhonda says, "You go."

The woman says, "No I insist."

Rhonda smiles broadly, "Well if you insist.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Eagles

I love all animals. Birds are probably my favorite. The mascot for my high school was an Eagle. I chose my college because it had an Eagle as a mascot plus they did not have an application fee.

Some Eagle facts.

1. Bald eagles do not have white heads as juveniles for their first 4 or 5 years of life. It gives them a pass to fly through other adult's territories until they are ready to  get out on their own and have their own territory.

2. Bald eagles are native to North America.

3. Bald eagles mate for life.

4. Bald eagles are no longer endangered. They are classified as a threatened species.

5. The largest recorded Bald Eagle's nest was 9 1/2 feet wide and 20 feet tall. (3 by 6 meters)

6. Life span of 28 years.

7. Not the smartest breed of birds. That would be the parrot family.

8. Weigh between 10 to 14 pounds. Wingspan is 72 to 90 inches. (6ft to 8ft) (2m by 2.5 m)

9. Bald Eagles can lift 4 pounds.





If I could do anything I wanted, I would rehabilitate wildlife specializing in raptors such as falcons, hawks and eagles. Below, you can see the relationship between the man and the Golden Eagle. I love it.


Kyrgyz man with golden eagle

Kyrgyz man with golden eagle






Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Dadisms

My dad not only quoted poetry, he could talk in rhymes. He had certain quotes I always loved.

1. Never fear, I've gone for beer.


2. I see said the blind man.

3. He's so mean, his insides are green.

My dad chaperoned Girl Scout trips. He said he wanted to make memories. I have so many memories. The piece of me that is a storyteller I inherited honestly from him. No I did not get the natural rhyme to my speech. But I did learn mirth and laughter from him. When things were bad, he always cracked a joke. I remember the relief I felt as a kid.

As an adult, I used humor in the classroom. It substituted for my weakness with small talk and the coldness of my quietness. I broke a huge rule as a teacher. I smiled the first day. I know you weren't supposed to before Christmas. But that was my gift from my father.

I paid the price of being nice and it is still a bargain.

I memorized this poem by James Shirley as a child from listening to my dad. The punctuation may be wrong. It is from memory and not from reference. I still hear his voice. I wish you could too.

The glories of the blood and state
Are shadows not substantial things
There is no armor against fate
Death lies it icy hands on Kings
Scepter and crown
Tumble down
And into the Earth is equal made
With the lowly scythe and spade.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Clean Comedians

Teaching school, children could provide a lot of comic relief. I always loved their stories. These are two of many funny moments I experienced as a teacher.

I told a student who was talking to a student behind him to turn around. He stood and mischievously turned his body around and sat down. I loved that boy and I guess he knew it. He was an 8th grader and I was a young teacher. One day, I was not thinking and he was sitting in his desk with his rear in the air. I smacked him on the bottom and told him to sit down. He and the entire class burst out laughing. Even at the time, I knew something like that could get me in trouble. No worries, his good nature would never complain. I later taught a younger sister who was equally lovely.

I taught chemistry at an Evening High School. I asked the class if they were hot. The temperature seemed very hot to me and I was turning the heat off. This boy in the back raises his hand and announces, "I'm hot too!" as in he was very attractive.

I saw a new comic on showtime name Alonzo Bodden and he was hilarious. I tried to get a clip of him on YouTube. But, each one had too many f-bombs to ignore. So we will stick to my dad's all-time favorite, Red Skeleton.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Being a Big Bad Biker

This big brute of a biker walks into a bar. To let everyone know he has come to create a little trouble and to stay out of his way. He walks up to this skinny man with his drink cupped between both hands. He slaps him on the back to break him from his reverie of staring into his water. The biker lifts the water and drinks it and gives a wry face.
The guy lets out a wail that would wake the dead. The biker feels awkward. He's bad. Just not that bad. Even bad guys sometimes have feelings. He says, "Mate, I didn't slap you that hard.and that water had an off taste."
I know, I know sobs the man. It's just that I was fired from work today for being late, I was carjacked when I stopped at a light. My wallet and ID was in the car. I had to walk seven miles home.
I come in my home exhausted and I hear my wife talking to someone. She and my soon to be ex-best friend were in the sack together. So I come here getting my courage up to drink a glass of poison. And you take it away from me and drink it first.

I rewrote this story but I lifted gist of the story from  a joke on Inspire21.com.