That’s So Darwin ~ Late Evening Thoughts …

Absolutely one of my favorite awards to read about are the Darwin Awards:

“Darwin Awards: We watch the watchman watch the watchmen.”
Natural selection deems that some individuals
serve as a warning to others. 
  Who are we to disagree?
The next generation, ever and anon, is descended from the survivors.

Here’s the link to their site  …. for sheer enjoyment ….

The problem with these awards, they are awarded posthumously.  You know, for those who have [thankfully] removed themselves from the gene pool.

As I was wandering around the internet … I discovered some folks that I think I’ll keep and eye on to see if they … um … show up in the awards.

darwin award nominee1 darwin award nominee2 darwin award nominee3 darwin award nominee4 darwin award nominee5 darwin award nominee6 darwin award nominee7These should be fun to follow right???



Early Afternoon Thoughts ~ Male or Female

One of the more difficult parts of learning a language is what is a female item and what is a male item.  It’s important to know this as it makes a big difference in the sentence structure.  I’d always assumed that English was devoid of “this item is male, this item is female” until today …. and so, hot off the “intertubes”, where everything on the “net” has to be true right?

Male or Female?   

You might not have known this,

but a lot of non-living objects

are actually either male or female. 

Here are some examples:  

They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

These are female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again. They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong Buttons.

Tires are male, because they go bald easily and are often over inflated.

Also a male object, because to get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under their butt. 

These are female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water.  

Female, because they’re constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on.

Definitely male, because they always use the same old lines for picking up people.

Male, because in the last 5000 years, they’ve hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.

Female. Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but                 consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure, he’d be lost without it, and while he doesn’t always know which buttons to push, he just keeps                 trying….

O Wonderous Night ~ Early Evening Thoughts

‘Tis Christmas Eve. It’s been an interesting season, one of some sadness, much joy and continued exploration of what life holds. And so, on this Christmas Eve I offer to you one of my absolute favorite stories of all time, just as it was written.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!! ~

by O. Henry

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.”

The “Dillingham” had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called “Jim” and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling–something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim’s gold watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s. The other was Della’s hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: “Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds.” One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the “Sofronie.”

“Will you buy my hair?” asked Della.

“I buy hair,” said Madame. “Take yer hat off and let’s have a sight at the looks of it.”

Down rippled the brown cascade.

“Twenty dollars,” said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.

“Give it to me quick,” said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim’s present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation–as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim’s. It was like him. Quietness and value–the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends–a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

“If Jim doesn’t kill me,” she said to herself, “before he takes a second look at me, he’ll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do–oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?”

At 7 o’clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: “Please God, make him think I am still pretty.”

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two–and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

“Jim, darling,” she cried, “don’t look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn’t have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It’ll grow out again–you won’t mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!’ Jim, and let’s be happy. You don’t know what a nice– what a beautiful, nice gift I’ve got for you.”

“You’ve cut off your hair?” asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

“Cut it off and sold it,” said Della. “Don’t you like me just as well, anyhow? I’m me without my hair, ain’t I?”

Jim looked about the room curiously.

“You say your hair is gone?” he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

“You needn’t look for it,” said Della. “It’s sold, I tell you–sold and gone, too. It’s Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered,” she went on with sudden serious sweetness, “but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?”

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year–what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

“Don’t make any mistake, Dell,” he said, “about me. I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you’ll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first.”

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs–the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims–just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: “My hair grows so fast, Jim!”

And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, “Oh, oh!”

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

“Isn’t it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You’ll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it.”

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

“Dell,” said he, “let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep ’em a while. They’re too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on.”

The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house.

But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest.

O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest.

Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

Slightly Over The Edge ~ Early Evening Thoughts

Honest – my mind has NOT checked out because of the coming holiday ~ But these two items have been on the back burner for so long, they were about to dry out . . . especially the X-Files Christmas story. It’s slightly over 500 words, but I’ll forgive them!

Signs Santa Doesn’t Like Your Kid

– 10 –
Kid’s letter to north pole comes back stamped, “Dream on, Chester!”
– 9 –
Kid asks for new bike, gets pack of smokes
– 8 –
Along with presents, Santa leaves hefty bill for shipping and handling
– 7 –
By the time he gets to your house, all he has left are styrofoam peanuts
– 6 –
Christmas day, your kid wakes up with a Reindeer head in his bed.
– 5 –
Instead of “Naughty” or “Nice”, Santa has him on the dork list
– 4 –
Sends him off on one of them Carnival Cruises with Kathie Lee
– 3 –
First words when kid gets on his lap are, “Touch my beard and I’ll put the hurt on you.”
– 2 –
Labels on all your kid’s toys read “Straight from Craptown.”
– 1 –
Four words: “Off my lap, Tubby!”

(Source: Top Ten Lists from LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN)

The X-FILES Christmas Case
author unknown

“We’re too late! It’s already been here.”

“Mulder, I hope you know what you’re doing.”

“Look, Scully, just like the other homes: Douglas fir, truncated, mounted, transformed into a shrine; halls decked with boughs of holly; stockings hung by the chimney, with care.”

“You really think someone’s been here?”

“Someone or some THING.”

“Mulder, over here – it’s a fruitcake.”

“Don’t touch it! Those things can be lethal.”

“It’s O.K. There’s a note attached: ‘Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice.'”

“It’s judging them, Scully. It’s making a list.”

“Who? What are you talking about?”

“Ancient mythology tells of an obese humanoid entity who could travel at great speed in a craft powered by antlered servants. Once each year, near the winter solstice, this creature is said to descend from the heavens to reward its followers and punish disbelievers with jagged chunks of anthracite.”

“But that’s legend, Mulder — a story told by parents to frighten children. Surely you don’t believe it?”

“Something was here tonight, Scully. Check out the bite marks on this gingerbread man. Whatever tore through this plate of cookies was massive — and in a hurry.”

“It left crumbs everywhere. And look, Mulder, this milk glass has been completely drained.”

“It gorged itself, Scully. It fed without remorse.”

“But why would they leave it milk and cookies?”

“Appeasement. Tonight is the Eve, and nothing can stop its wilding.”

“But if this thing does exist, how did it get in? The doors and windows were locked. There’s no sign of forced entry.”

“Unless I miss my guess, it came through the fireplace.”

“Wait a minute, Mulder. If you’re saying some huge creature landed on the roof and came down this chimney, you’re crazy. The flue is barely six inches wide. Nothing could get down there.”

“But what if it could alter its shape, move in all directions at once?”

“You mean, like a bowl full of jelly?”

“Exactly. Scully, I’ve never told anyone this, but when I was a child my home was visited. I saw the creature. It had long white strips of fur surrounding its ruddy, misshapen head. Its bloated torso was red and white. I’ll never forget the horror. I turned away, and when I looked back it had somehow taken on the facial features of my father.”


“I know what I saw. And that night it read my mind. It brought me a Mr. Potato Head, Scully. IT KNEW THAT I WANTED A MR. POTATO HEAD!”

“I’m sorry, Mulder, but you’re asking me to disregard the laws of physics. You want me to believe in some supernatural being who soars across the skies and brings gifts to good little girls and boys. Listen to what you’re saying. Do you understand the repercussions? If this gets out, they’ll close the X-files.”

“Scully, listen to me: It knows when you’re sleeping. It knows when you’re awake.”

“But we have no proof.”

“Last year, on this exact date, SETI radio telescopes detected bogeys in the airspace over twenty-seven states. The White House ordered a Condition Red.”

“But that was a meteor shower.”

“Officially. Two days ago, eight prized Scandinavian reindeer vanished from the National Zoo, in Washington, D.C. Nobody – not even the zookeeper – was told about it. The government doesn’t want people to know about Project Kringle. They fear that if this thing is proved to exist the public will stop spending half its annual income in a holiday shopping frenzy. Retail markets will collapse. Scully, they cannot let the world believe this creature lives. There’s too much at stake. They’ll do whatever it takes to insure another silent night.”

“Mulder, I –”

“Sh-h-h. Do you hear what I hear?”

“On the roof. It sounds like . . . a clatter.”

“The truth is up there. Let’s see what’s the matter.”

An Elegant Time Waster ~ Late Evening Thoughts

With this month marking seven months of sobriety, I was invited to attend a rehearsal for a production number of a club show – and possibly offer help. This involved going to a country-western club here in Houston. After some thought, I decided that as I had a purpose in being there ~ I would be alright. And I was … uh … except for one tiny problem. In order to smoke in Houston, there has to be a porch. This club had one, so out I went to have a cigarette. (Nasty habit, I know!) They even had two tents with seating under them. I am heading to the seats under one of the tents, which should have been no problem ~ right?

Alas and alack… I didn’t see the cinder blocks that were holding up the supports. I, stone cold sober, sprawled flat on my face, after hitting my knees. Fortunately, the only thing hurt was my pride … and sipping on my cold sprite made me feel even better. Note to self: watch for obstacles on floors!

Tonight I am posting a wonderful – elegant time waster for the mathematicians in all of us. Well, the mathematicians in you — I have NO math skill.

The object is to convert the numbers of PI to musical notes …

This is the 2nd screen you will see ….

A truly lovely time waster ….


Oh and some of the other time wasters listed there are quite fun as well!!!

SOMWPP (Part 2) ~ Late Night Thoughts

As I mentioned last night, a new member has joined the household. As tomorrow is going to be a very busy day, I am going to do a short post tonight, and make up for that tomorrow. And I PROMISE that the following not become a regular ~ “let me tell you about my dog…” posting. There is a lot going on in my life that I want to share ~ he just happens to be immediate (and somewhat demanding of attention! ~ not taking after me, of course!).

I would like you to meet “Bonzai” . . . the spelling is deliberate. He is 12 weeks old and about three pounds. His full weight will probably be a whopping four pounds (possibly dripping wet). When I went to meet him, we almost didn’t even go in – I’ll save that for a later post. When I went inside and finally met him, I realized that he had never been out of the “pen” (inside thank heavens) he shared with other dogs, never been on the floor, never been outside and never had a collar on. Oh yes, he was also covered with fleas, flea dirt and matted hair. The most interesting thing about him ~ he is litter box trained. If I get a cat that should be interesting!!

When we went to one of the pet superstores to pick up a “few” items he was going to need, I handed him over to get groomed. He did very well – but I can only imagine the confusion going on in his mind.

He was very good — and was on the inside of my “hoody” with the zipper about 1/2 way down. His head would appear over the top when interested, and disappear when it was all too much.

Having him is much the same as watching a child (I’m thinking of my granddaughter who is holding him in the picture) discover the world around them. He’s discovered that cement is very cold, somethings just don’t taste good at all and that it’s a big very LARGE world out there.

But then if you’ve been reading my posts about looking back to look forward … so have I.

SOMWPP ~ Late Eveing Thoughts

A new arrival joined my house collection this evening … hence the title of this post (**you will have to read through the post for the definition**)

I was given these sayings today and wanted to share them with you ~

Things Dogs Must Try To Remember . . .
I will not play tug-of-war with Dad’s underwear when he’s on the toilet.

The garbage collector is NOT stealing our stuff.

I do not need to suddenly stand straight up
when I’m lying under the coffee table.

I will not roll my toys behind the fridge.

I must shake the rainwater out of my fur BEFORE entering the house.

I will not eat the cat’s food, before or after they eat it.

I will stop trying to find the few remaining pieces
of clean carpet in the house when I am about to throw up.

I will not throw up in the car.

I will not roil on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc.

“litter box crunchies” are not food.

I will not eat any more socks and then
redeposit them in the backyard after processing.

The diaper pail in not a cookie jar.

I will not wake Mommy up by
sticking my cold, wet nose up her bottom end.

I will not chew my human’s toothbrush and not tell them.

I will not chew crayons or pens, especially not the red ones,
or my people will think I am hemorrhaging.

When in the car, I will not insist on having the window rolled down
when it is raining outside.

We do not have a doorbell. I will not bark each time I hear one on TV.

I will not steal my Mom’s underwear and
dance all over the backyard with it.

(**SOMWPP ~ silly older man with pampered pooch**)

The sofa is not a face towel. Neither are Mom and Dad’s laps.

My head does not belong in the refrigerator.

I will not bite the officer’s hand when
he reaches in for Dad’s driver’s license and car registration.

—more tomorrow

An Intermezzo ~ Early Evening Thoughts

I will continue the saga of the missing manager probably tomorrow, but I can let you know this much ~ the manager was physically fine, the complex was not. Things has begun to slide, slip and not get done. Some were major ~ as in no hot water for several days; some were interesting ~ as we were getting ready to evict someone for non-payment of rent, when the new tenant of the apartment walked in to pay his rent. Of course, there was no record of this new personage let alone a record of what happened to the former personage.

We were able to get a new manager, and things are headed back on-track and as they should be.

Today was an official day off for me…and I took it! I disappeared from the complex for several hours and had a delightful time. Some friends took me to the large home improvement box store ~ even after they read what happened the last time I was there. I did the aisles and found many things I would actually like to own. But, alas, no scenes from a major motion picture were filmed today. But, I did get some people watching in, as I enjoy doing.

Then, we went to the cell-phone store so I could do what we all with cell-phones have to do to keep it turned on ~ make a payment. The store opened at 1:00pm and we arrived shortly after that thinking that we would be able to waltz right in and get our business accomplished.

We waltzed through the door, and straight into a long line. It would appear that everyone else had the same idea we had. It’s just that more people had it earlier. Directly in front of us was a Joe Pesci “wanna-be” ~ complete with the hair-do and voice, but the wrong hair color, nationality and size. Other than that, it would have been easy to mistake him.

He seemed to know a number of the people that were also standing in line, and we were treated to an almost unending stream of greetings, information about those people we would rather have not known … and at one point he was loaning someone some money for their cell phone bill. That prompted about six of us to also hold out our hands to be part of the gravy train! Alas, no such luck.

While I don’t mind lines, my knees do. I moved to a chair located toward the front of the line and sat while my friend held my place in the line. This gave me a very good opportunity to watch the person at the head of the line ~ I’ll refer to him as Mr. Bling-Bling. He was upset that 1) he had to pay on his bill and 2) that he had to stand in line as the rest of us were. I call him Mr. Bling-Bling because of all the jewelry he was covered with. There were two LARGE either diamond or very good fake earrings embedded in his ears, the teeth were glittering with jewels (I really didn’t think people were doing that anymore), there were chains with jewel encrusted objects from diamond (or very good fakes) studded dog tag, cross and other objects. He also was sporting a couple of quite large flashy rings.

What fascinated me the most was his attempt to get some kind of a discount because he had to stand in line. This was an on-going conversation with the person behind the counter. And I do mean, on-going. He tried every method he could think of for a discount: good customer, mis-handled customer, standing in line customer, long-term customer, always paid his bill on time customer ~ the list was quite long and quite impressive. The person behind the counter was not in the least impressed.

Finally, Mr. Bling-Bling took his case to a higher authority and called Customer Service. They were equally as unimpressed as the person behind the counter had been. At last, he was forced to realize that 1) he needed to pay the bill and 2) there was going to be no discount whatsoever…good customer or not. I thought at the time, the rest of us deserved a discount for his having tied up the line for as long as he did, but decided that the person behind the counter’s sense of humor probably wouldn’t extend quite that far to appreciate the joke. I restrained myself admirably.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at a very large, very impressive aquarium shop in what had been formerly a Japanese restaurant. Very lovely, very well laid out and many incredible fish. I did find exactly the fish tank I have been looking for, and for ONLY $23,000 completely set up and running. If anyone wishes to donate, I will be glad to provide a receipt.

—more tomorrow

Aging Rambo (Complex Tales) ~ Early Evening Thoughts

As much as I enjoy getting out and doing ~ sometimes, with my knees it can turn into an adventure. I usually in the grocery store get one of those electric carts and enjoy terrorizing doing the aisles and getting what I need. I even use them at what are called the “box stores”…large over filled and over crowded stores with the very recognizable name(s).

The other day I went on a new adventure ~ a home improvement box store. I decided upfront that I would use the electric cart and enjoy the ride. The person I was shopping with decided that my cart would be an excellent repository for various items being purchased for our two complexes.

The screwdrivers, drill bits and such I didn’t mind. However, the sections of wood began to present a bit of a problem …and then there was the boiler pipe. A nice, round L O N G piece of pipe. I had that balanced on one shoulder, and had some ability to steer with the other hand. I’m sure it was quite a sight.

Then, I saw him ~ the “kid.” You know the ones in the store – totally bored, trying to stay out of trouble, but looking for something/anything to liven up the day.

Then, he saw me. The one with the large metal pipe leaning on his shoulder, in a cart that could only move at a certain speed.

The following account is absolutely true. (thank heavens there were no video cameras!)

Our eyes met and there was an instantaneous silent agreement. There was a slight nod from him, and a narrowing of the eyes from me. I moved my cart into position.

He ducked behind a handy display ~ but I was ready.

I raised the boiler vent pipe to shoulder level and waited. There were two sales people that stopped, turned and looked. I waited . . . A pair of eyes took a quick glance from behind the display and then he made a run for it.

I didn’t do anything, the timing wasn’t just right. Again, he took a quick glance and made a mad dash for the hand tools section. I fired (loudly, I might add) …once then once again … each time taking careful aim with my rocket launcher. He took a direct hit from the second shot…and fell gloriously, noisily and with great dramatic effect in the middle of the floor.

At this point (to quote someone) the parental unit attached entered the picture. I think he would have liked to be upset, but with several sales people and customers laughing and his child unit dusting himself off …it would have been very hard to be upset.

Understand that during this entire time not one word had been exchanged. I took a last look at him, smiled …blew on my fingernails and dusted them on my shirt. He gave me an enormous grin and a thumbs up sign.

I went on my electrified way to find the friend I was shopping with, he went with the parental unit to check out and everyone went back to doing what they had been doing before all this happened. I certainly felt better – I hoped that he felt better about the day. My friend, totally oblivious that a major motion picture scene had just been filmed, apologized for taking so long to find something.

Complex Tales Or Flip The Switch Henry! ~ Early Evening Thoughts

The finals of the “it was a dark and stormy night” for this year have been announced and will be posted tomorrow night probably… (thanks EB for the heads-up)…Today was my own “dark and stormy”, or so I thought. Along with the usual phones, people, a boss wanting to micro-manage, demands on time and energy – I had my personal SWAT team here today (again with the vice-grip handshake!).

They really worked very hard to get a lot of things accomplished. There was much noise of maintenance happening ~ a lovely sound I haven’t been able to hear for awhile! I also went with them (at their invitation since I was the one with petty cash!) to purchase some of the needed materials.

While on the way back from the trip/expedition I got a phone call from a restricted number. When I answered it, a woman simply started the conversation with: “This IS the ________ apartments, right?” I answered in the affirmative. “And you DO have an apartment XXX, right?” Again, I answered in the affirmative. “And you ARE at __________________, right?” Once more (with little feeling) I answered in the affirmative. “We’ll be out,” was her response as she hung up.

I have to admit there was a sinking feeling of my heart heading for my shoes, and my stomach heading out my back. In all honesty, I inherited a complex (as I’ve indicated) that has suffered from severe managerial neglect (for lack of a better or more politically correct term) ~ and by taking on this inheritance, I also have inherited the possibility of some consequences from the city. I now made the assumption that the call was from one of the city departments (correct assumption) about to do an inspection (wrong assumption).

By the time we arrived back at the complex, I had developed a somewhat plausible plan of action. However, when I sat down at my desk, the phone rang again. This time it was a person who nicely identified themselves as someone from CPS (child protective services) who wanted to know if I had received a call from a parole officer about one of my apartments. Now, I know the person who lives in the apartment in question ~ which is directly above mine. The thought that they might be on parole was indeed laughable. Then ~ as Paul Harvey would say: “The rest of the story…”

It seems this “lady” with six (yes, six!!!) children had given her parole officer my complex and one of my apartment numbers as her address. This “lady” was on the “run” and they were trying to find her. At the end of what I would call a good bridge building conversation, the person made the statement: “Aren’t you glad we called rather than just showing up with police and all?” To which I had to agree. What I didn’t tell them was the image that ran through my mind at that moment, was a montage from several silent movies … that was best left unsaid.

The day carried on from there ~ and made me think my mind was beginning to turn to mush by about 4pm. And it was around that time I heard someone else’s mind beginning to turn to mush ~ or close to it. My vice-grip handshake friend was having real difficulty with something that should have been simple…even for me. (No snickering or sniggering behind your hands, please!!) The light fixture in the laundry room needed to be changed out. A new, improved one had just been purchased and was being installed.

I was watching the miracle of electricity being installed when I was interrupted by a tenant who took literally five minutes to tell me someone needed to clean up in parking slot 5. (Clean up in aisle four!) I kid you not — FIVE minutes. I had to interrupt watching to go on poop detail in front of the complex. All I will say, that was one healthy dog!

I thought when I got back, I would see the wonder of light in the laundry room ~ which had been absent for awhile. Unfortunately, there was no power to the light or the light switch. Everything else in the room was working as it should. My vice-grip handshake friend was reduced to vague mutters about ~ well, I’m not sure what they were about, but I have a feeling various people’s (possibly mine) ancestries were being called into question.

The two of us went through various scenarios, ideas and thoughts. We both prodded, poked and twisted various things to see if they would work. At one point, vice-grip handshake went and purchased a new circle fluorescent bulb to see if that was the problem.

Finally, about the third time we were tearing apart the light switch, it hit me. The breakers. Off to the electrical box ~ some choice words on my part now and definitely an ancestry called into question. I had posted about the maintenance man who is no longer here due to getting in between two people who were arguing – and both people turned on him. He had the key to the locks on those boxes.

Fortunately, vice-grip handshake and those accompanying him have great experience in drilling locks – and in moments we were into the box and checking the breakers. There it was, the one switch on the top. A slight flick of the switch, and there was now power in the laundry room, joy in my heart and vice-grip handshake realized that I might be mature – but I’m NOT dead!!

All in all, a satisfying day.

As I was posting this tonight, I was reminded of a Lewis Carroll poem I once earned three dollars from my parents for memorizing at a very young age…

I’ll leave you with that poem tonight:

You Are Old, Father William

“You are old, father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head–
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“In my youth,” father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before,
And you have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door–
Pray what is the reason for that?”

“In my youth,” said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
“I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment – one shilling a box–
Allow me to sell you a couple?”

“You are old,” said the youth, “and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak–
Pray, how did you manage to do it?”

“In my youth,” said his father, “I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose–
What made you so awfully clever?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,”
Said his father. “Don’t give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs.

—more tomorrow
should be able to post pictures this weekend!!!