25 October, 2014

The Grumplesons go house hunting

25 October 2014

R. Linda:

I have been very remiss on keeping the blog up to snuff. I know you have dusted it until you are blue in the face but I have an excuse. Probably not a very good one, but talk about draining the creative juices, house hunting will do that. By the time you have viewed 8 houses in one day and 8 more the next and each one begins to blend into the last one, you begin to feel like you would rather live in a tent. I am very tired of Realtors telling me they can be a facilitator or a buyer agent, which would I like. I would like you just show the house and answer me questions and nothing more, but no, no now you have to sign papers before you even head out so they get a commission as one kind of agent or the other and it becomes all about the money and after a bit of this I SIMPLY DO NOT CARE.

As you and a few others know, I be looking for a new abode. With the family expanded we are falling all over each other and it lends to grumpy Grumplesons all over the place. I have actually started referring to us as the Grumplesons and embarrassed the wife when we had reservations for dinner and they asked me for the name of me party of two. Yes, I said Grumplesons not realising I had said such. There was a loud audible TSK from the wife who then corrected me with O'Sullivan.

Well, that be the last straw for Mrs. Grumplesons because as soon  as she got home that night she was on the computer looking at homes for sale. I tell ya! I thought this would all fade away but no, no, she found a few prospects and dragged me out to look with her.

Having since June (or was it July? Can't remember which) I have looked at a grand total of what seems like 3 million homes but in reality (I am told), was about 43 houses on the market. I will say since I looked at these 43 homes, none have sold but one, and 3/4 of them have come way down in price. Which is a good thing if I liked any of them, but I didn't.

We decided that if we bought a home it would be an older home as we rather like the charm and character of our own antique cape. So if we could find another just a wee bit bigger that would be great. And we wanted quiet as we like to not hear traffic, all those leaf peepers going by I tell ya! We wanted a few acres like we have now, so we aren't right on top of our neighbours but not far enough away we can't at least see their chimney.

Let me regale you with one choice property. It stands out to me this mid century Victorian, that was restored beautifully, airy rooms, high drafty ceilings, big drafty windows, acres of green grassy land and a barn which at the time of the showing had show horses in it. Well, we looked at the wonderfully decorated interiour, and then went outside. The first thing I noticed was the smell of horse. Yes, indeed horsey manure o'de' smell! The horses were turned out up by the house which intrigued me as there were acres (at least 10) of prime pasture land. So why up by the house I wanted to know.

Flood plain. Flood what I asked? Corps of Army Engineers came down and dug out so when the river which is right behind the house (hidden by a slope so you don't see it), when it overflows its banks, the water comes down into those nice grassy lower pastures and floods for about 8 weeks in the spring! The house and the ones on the road don't get flooded because of this engineering marvel which happens to be in (if I bought the place) ones own backyard. For joy instant boating. I don't think so. Anyway the floods had only subsided a month ago, the grasses were coming in and they were keeping the horses off it until established, and the horses come up near the house when it floods. So there you go Mr. O'Sullivan (not that I'd have horses, but flood waters in the backyard?).

We took a walk to see this river and oh my goodness me, but it is a huge belt of water and rapid and I thought me kiddos would not be safe if they took a tumble down the steep embankment. I was told I could build a dock and put a boat down there. How was one to get down there to build anything I wanted to know. The Realtor's bright idea was to get slabs of stone and pound them in like stairs into the steep slope. Can you see me doing that and trying to get wood down the stone stairs to build a dock? Me either. And the rushing water would not allow one to build a dock so just what the feck? But while we were there, on the other side of the river were these rather sketchy looking characters walking along and I asked about that. Seems there is a nature trail across the way. And at close observation of these three "nature lovers" I spied what looked like cannabis ciggies. Oh wonderful NOT. This sighting prompted the wife to ask about the crime rate and home invasions. We were reassured this "probably" was a safe area but the Realtor would look it up when he was back at office. Yes indeed the drug trade in one's backyard!

I also asked what was on the other side of the hill where the 'nature lovers' were and was told -- trees. In fact, as we later drove over that way, there is a strip mall and a busy highway which was somewhat buffered by the hill on the other side of the river with a belt of trees inbetween. I thought I heard traffic but couldn't understand where the sound was coming from. Well . . .

So as we came back through the "flood plain" up toward the very lovely screened in porch we passed by six whitish stone objects protruding out of the ground. I saw them from the corner of me eye and thought Halloween had come early, or the owners never put the decorations away. But me wife was more observant and actually turned and looked hard at the "decorations." Seems not decorations at all but the real thing, headstones. Yes, the headstones come with the house as the original owners are buried there, yes R. Linda, right in the backyard where if you were enjoying the first of many martinis you would be looking down on their headstones, wondering WHY. For joy! NOT.

"Could they be removed?" I wanted to know and was told, ha ha no they are grandfathered on the property and are a permanent fixture or fixtures to the place. Halloween year round, just your sort of thing I suppose, but not mine.

As I was contemplating this, there was a buzzing like large saws heard in the background and then grinding noises like a machine eating up tree trunks. I asked about that and was told OH a neighbour down the road was clearing for a pasture. In fact it was (I later found out) not a neighbour but a housing developer clearing to build a development (a large one which means lots of traffic). When I later told the Realtor this, he said he didn't really glance down that way, but maybe. Maybe? No maybe about it. I looked the plans up online and at least 20 homes going in. So we would be subject to the noise of construction for as long as it took to build those 20 new homes.

How would that be, here we'd be in our antique Victorian looking out on a flood in the backyard, and new cookie cutter housing from our side window with across the street a quaint but run down cape and on the other side what looked like muddy, rocky cleared land. And what do you supposed will be going there? Aha! I looked that up too, condos! So the quiet small town housing I was looking for was going to be smack in the middle of a boom town.

And the worst part of this whole scenario was that two days later I get a call from Mr. Realtor telling me that someone else was interested in the property and I should quickly put a bid on it. I thanked him very much and told him no, I was not interested. I must say that every single property of the 43 had someone bidding, or about to bid, or interested ready to pounce if I didn't pounce first. I have observed in passing no one seems to be looking at homes but me and Tonya. NO ONE. So I be getting very annoyed with this hurry up and buy this house or that house. Not gonna happen.

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

13 September, 2014

Since We Are On The Subject Of Dress Up

13 September 2014

R. Linda:

You ever go to one of those Ren Faires or King Richard's Faire things? Well, I was told I was going out for a fun night with the fellas. Yeah before you say anything I was lied to AGAIN, I might add. I thought it was not going to be another night of stupid drinking, carousing, and general tomfoolery as is usually the case with WHO? You guessed it the only two idiots in the world I go out with lately. Yeah THOSE two the Irish Twins or in this case the Scottish ones, Weasil and Kincaid. I trust too much that one of these days it would not be that kind of an evening. I am the forever optimist but that is slowly wearing out it is. Oi!

As I was chilling in the backseat of the red speed bucked AKA Weasil's Mustang, clothing was thrown over the backseat at me by Kincaid. It sounded like bells, felt like velvet and silk but I couldn't see it in the dark backseat.

"What the hell is THIS?" I said holding up what looked like a burgundy and black with gold piping JERKIN!

"Jus poot it on," Kincaid threw at me.

Because I ran down me stairs and got into the vehicle without letting the two miscreants get out to come get me, I did not see the attire they were sporting. Well, this taught me never again to do something so stupid as to try to spare me family the stupid remarks the two would make if they were two feet inside me door.

"WOT BE THIS?" I held up what looked like black leggings.

"Yer pants, jus poot em' on," Kincaid sighed like I was the stupid idiot in the car.

I protested much until Kincaid told Weasil to stop the car and he hoisted a meaty green leg up on the dashboard where I could see he had on leggings. I was stunned to see so much fat encased like a sausage in green merry man tights. And I opened me gob hole and said as much. Stupid laughed and so did the other one and onward we went. I should know by now, insults do not work on them.

"Where the feck are we going?" I moaned undressing to put on the silly stuff, BECAUSE I knew if I didn't I'd be that odd and recognisable civilian I always am.

"We iz going to a new pubee," Weasil said, "it be called da Red Rat Inn, I mean da Red Dragon Inn."

"Oh for joy!" I said with acid tripping off me tongue, as I struggled into the leggings. "Oh wait a minute, just because the place is called the Red Rat was it? Or, Dragon Inn it doesn't mean you need to dress like it is someplace out of Lord of the Rings?"

Not a word, they exchanged glances and a slight nod. I leaned over the front seat and that caused Weasil to tell me it WAS dress up time, it was a club for nerds who like to pretend they are a character from Game of Thrones, or part of King Arthur's court. I sat back thinking and then I looked down.

"I am NOT wearing THIS." I held up a court jester hat with bells on the ends of each isosceles triangle. "NO!"

"Coom on Gabby yer needs ta luke da pat." Kincaid said his accent not easy to understand when your own is Irish.

"I need to look like a Pat, a Paddy do ye mean?" I said getting a wee bit of temper up. "Ye tink we Irish are all jesters doo ye?"

"No, it goos wit yer coostoom." Kincaid soothed.

Like I believed him. I knew I was right even if he pronounced part as pat. There was always an Irish joke in there somewhere and it was always on me!

"Yer both prats," I mumbled jamming the stupid looking thing on me head and feeling the right fool. but then I felt something at me feet and it had bells. I reached down and held it up to the passing street lights. There was another one of on the floor. It was a shoe, but not just any shoe, it had curled up toe with a bell attached.

"OH NO, NO, NO, NO!" I threw the jester shoe at Kincaid's head.

He picked it up where it dropped to the floor and without looking threw it back and it hit me in the nose. The bell did, so it hurt.

"Coom on noe Gabe," Kincaid moaned like I was an errant child or more the brat. "Ye got to look like ya belong or ya won't git in. 'Sides dere wuz no other coostoom."

I sighed, defeated. I slipped me big feet into the big stupid shoes and caught a glimpse of me head wearing the idiotic hat in the rear view mirror. Yeah wonderful sight. NOT. I felt the proper fool. Well, I was dressed for the part so I don't know what I expected.

I sat there in the dark backseat fuming that I was a part of the Weasil/Kincaid show, the new Three Stooges. Yup, that's what was going through me mind.

So we pulled up at this place that was a rather badly put together castle, with crumbly walls and something that was to look like an iron grate with chains holding it up from collapse. We walked through this precarious edifice over a wooden plank bridge with a large puddle underneath doubling as a river. Oh yeah. And then to a thick wooden door with big round bolts that was open emanating a red fireplace glow from inside and oh the noise. The boisterous voices, the banging of pewter cups,  I knew I was in for a fine time and not a good one.

I absolutely hated that I jingled when I walked. That damn hat! The equally damn shoes! People knew I was coming and of course I was the one they looked at first. Well, of course! Weasil was dressed in chain mail and leathers with a long sword looking quite the war lord, the other one, was dressed like Robin Hood but come on! He looked to me like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

So Weasil turns to us and tells us he's got this. Yeah okay. There was a wee woman dressed in a long green skirt that was turned up to the waist to reveal a not so white petticoat. She was dressed in a leather corset with a dirty white puffy sleeved blouse rolled up to her armpits. But the most outstanding thing about her was she had a chest like Dolly Parton only bigger! I had to wonder how she kept from tipping over. She was staring into the huge fireplace that was set with what looked like tree trunks burning merrily. It had her in a daze or it was the mead she had just put down.

In that daze she held out a hand and Weasil handed her a pouch full of gold(?) and says, "Tanks, keepie da changie." This she proceeds to stuff down her bosom. We moved on.

Seating ourselves at a long table already nearly full, we were served as a wench came by and offered us, "Red wyne fer ye gents?" She asked her infrequent teeth yellow with rot, her breath REALLY bad and travelled the whole table. Everyone made a face until she stopped smiling. A jack o'lantern had more teeth than the serving wench.

As we started to sip our 'wyne' a voice came over a loud speaker of all things and said, "Cool Duke, please visit keyword RDI to learn how to use these rooms."

Don't ask I hadn't a clue, but there was a lot of laughter as a result. I wondered if this was a dungeons and dragons dress up, but well I was too engrossed in sipping me 'wyne' to give it much thought.

It was a weird feeling came over me, and the smell of fire was very pronounced as I suddenly glanced behind me and there was the wee doorkeeper standing in that same daze just behind us, still mesmerised by the roaring and might I say HOT fire. Some guy sitting next to me turned and looked at her, and then took a pouch and handed it to her outstretched hand saying to her, "Tip money for the serving wench, see she gets it." Then he smiled brightly up at her waiting for a response.

"The fire looks so much smaller now." She mumbled.

Again clueless here but OK. And once again she stuffed the pouch down her front. It dawned on me that that's why she was so top heavy. Cor! She literally stank of fire and I realised the dirt on her petticoat and blouse was not dirt but fire ash. Gees Louise!

Some poor sod was heaving his drunken bulk up to the bar behind us and the same man that gave the doorkeeper the pouch put his leg out and down went "Rafe" with a boom. He fell heavy and the room shook with laughter. I didn't find that funny, and neither did the embarrassed Rafe. Everyone watched him as muffled chuckles broke free as he limped to the bar. Once he was there, the noise and hubbub started anew.

"What is this?" I asked Kincaid but he shook his head and went to sipping his wyne.

I happened to catch movement above me and there was this guy crossing the rafters. He jumped onto a tabletop and with broadsword in hand gave a speech in old English which I understood not a word but he got laughs all the way through.

"This is bizarre. More bizarre than usual," I whispered to the man on my left hoping he felt the same way because he wasn't laughing either.

It was then I noticed the doorkeeper was right behind him staring into the flames like she was going to lose it. Me left seat companion looked up at her and said, "Do you worship fire or something?" Me question entirely what I wanted to ask but was too timid to voice. Her eyes wandered lazily to his face and she just stared him, causing him to look away in discomfort. She was a spooky lady she was.

Meanwhile, the serving wench plunked down goblets of honey mead when we had all finished our first two goblets of wyne. The stuff splashed over the rim of the goblets and she said to each of us at the long table as she went, "There ya go!" I felt like I was in kindergarten, or worse a geriatric patient in a mental ward.

She returned herself to the bar when she was done with us but the doorkeeper still stood eerily behind me, not moving, still entranced with the fire. I turned to look at her because something about the rather crazy smile breaking over her face made the hairs on the back of me neck stand up. She was, I think, praying to the fire gods and as she prayed her eyes grew brighter and bigger. Oh this wasn't good I told meself.

Before I could say anything of alarm, Weasil got up, clinked his already empty goblet on the table and waved to the crowd.

"Wuzup everyone!" He shouted as the din receded.

Kincaid had meanwhile, reached over to pet a Russian Wolfhound that had come to sit at the end of our long board or table. Weasil found this act one of disrespect because Kincaid noticed the glare he was getting and abruptly stopped petting the animal and muttered a, "Sorry Sor, ye were a-sayin'?"

Just as he finished saying this, the door creaked open and in walked a tall man with shaved head, black arched eyebrows, wearing one gold earring, a long black leather coat with brass buttons down the front and on the cuffs, white pirate shirt and completing the look, a black baldric and sword. The doorkeeper glided over with her hand out. The man took a seat as he dug out a pouch that jingled and handed it to her. The same action of stuffing it down her bodice and she turned and glided back to stand behind me. I reckoned it was the closest to the fire she could get and that just happened to be where I was sitting.

"Hey Iggy man!" Weasil called to him. Iggy nodded in return and was served a splashing, slamming goblet of mead, which he drained in one gulp. He was an ugly man, and a dangerous looking dude which made me wonder at Weasil and Kincaid. Kincaid was nodding and smiling at Iggy as the dog nuzzled its head into his side for attention.

The doorkeeper passed a gold piece with the mark of England on it to Weasil. Weas left it in front of him on the table and shouted at Iggy, "Wots up bro?"

"Howz it goin'?" the Ig asked with a British accent ignoring the question.

Suddenly and without warning the doorkeeper passed to the other side of the table and grabbing a long iron poker started attacking the fire. As she was doing this the Ig got up and with a dexterity not often seen in a man his size cut off two coin pouches of the smaller men sitting nearby. They sat in awe of him as he took the pouches, poured them out in front of Weasil and grinned.

What was THIS about I wanted to know.

"Iggy I thought I wuz goin' nuts in here." Weasil said all smiles. "Cham-pag-ney for all!" Weasil shouted to the wench at the bar.

And champagne it was, the bubbly was uncorked at the bar and the bottles were trayed to each table by the almost toothless wench.

"Wots the occasion?" I asked Kincaid as the wench gathered up the silver and put it back into the two pouches. These she threw on one of her trays and disappeared. Kincaid shrugged and went back to the dog. That made me more nervous. Was something in store for me?

Glass after glass of the bubbly was raised and near the end of the toasts which went something like this:

"To the drink!"
"To US!"
"To the dog!"
"To sweat and bad breath!"

And up and down the tables it went. All stupid stuff until it got to the doorkeeper who stood looking into the fire. She took a coin from her bosom and threw it into the leaping flames and turning to us she stood, her mouth working and her brow all wrinkled in thought. She said to no one in particular, "Takes a coin to keep it goin'." She frowned and then said slowly, "I can't think of anything good to say." With that she shrugged and returned her attention to the flames.

OK THEN, moving ever onward.

Iggy said to the assembly, "I can see yer all chillin' here, specially YOU Weas." And he laughed.

"Bro iz phat to see yaz." Weasil said blushing slightly (as if that was possible).

"Iz there someone else can tend for a moment so I can join the mates?" The bartender shouted.

A few hands went up and the more than drunk among us volunteered. I could imagine one of them behind the bar covertly drinking the profits. One able bodied man did step up and the bartender took his place at the table behind us. He was immediately served by the wench who again did her slam, splash and leave technique.

About that time I heard a rather strange sound. It was the wolfhound and it was purring like a cat. I took a double take and looked around but no one seemed to think THAT was out of the ordinary.

"Iggy dis iz sum kinda roomie," Weasil said gaily. "Dey all got limp wristies."

I sat there me mouth hanging open watching how the assembly took THAT little bit of information. And I can honestly say, not well.

Meanwhile, Kincaid was smiling at the dog and it looked like the purring dog was smiling back! I looked at me glass wondering what I was really drinking.

The barkeep got himself up all burly 6 feet of him. He had his hands on his hips as he glared at the Weasil and said, "Lemme guess, you wanna spar?"

The doorkeeper on that penetrating her brain whipped around and said, "Don't tell me to calm down! Don't tell me to shut up!"

Everyone was silent, the barkeep's eyes were wide with surprise as he sank his big self back in his seat.

"Cool." Weasil whispered, dropping his hand from his sword hilt.

The doorkeeper came forward and stood just behind me AGAIN! Only she was facing the barkeep. Her look was menacing but she went no further. He, for his part looked down at the table. I'd never seen a grown man cringe like that. Just what was her deal? I wanted to ask Weasil, but he slowly sank in his seat across from me with a smug smile on his face as he too looked over at the barkeeper like what are you going to do about it mate, kind of expression.

The room was electric with tension, the fire rose and hissed, the sparks flew as a log fell. Not a sound other than the crackling logs. I was half turned toward the doorkeeper but could see Weasil out of the corner of me other eye. These two I need to keep an eye apiece on if you know what I mean. Yes, I looked strange, one eye focused in one direction the other in the opposite, and yes, I know me eyes could have permanently stayed that way and well then I'd look a lot like Marty Feldman!

The tension began to settle as conversation began in a rumble on the other side of the room and soon rolled over to our side. The barkeeper had slunked his way back behind the bar and was busy drying glasses but the doorkeeper was still zeroed in on him with her death stare.

"Who is she?" I asked Kincaid in as soft a voice as I could.

"She's da Ig's sister." Kincaid whispered not looking at me, but staring into his mead.

"His what?" I exploded and as I rose half out of me seat everyone near me tried to pull me back down, shushing me as they threw side long glances in the direction of Iggy's sister. But she had turned and was looking directly at me with a scowl on her face and I could see the barkeeper sigh relieved the focus was off him. He was pouring himself a shot as I was whipped to face the Weasil side of the room cutting off me view of him and HER. Suddenly I felt the creature's fingers digging into me shoulder and wow that hurt!

"Ye haf a problem do ye?" She hissed into me ear as me mouth wailed a low ouch and me nostrils fought the fire smell.

"Oh no, no, no, no, no," I moaned the pain quite intense as her skeleton fingers with the very long yellow nails dug in.

She threw me away from her and announced to all assembled, "Yer! None of ye are to get apples this day. Notta one of yas."

If I wasn't in so much residual pain I would have shouted, "Apples?" but I was in pain and thankfully that saved me from the probability of a second shoulder squeeze and a hissing question in me ear.

Thankfully, a door on the other side swung open and everyone cheered and rapped their tankards on the tables as two huge pigs with apples in their mouths were hauled out and set on the two bigger tables (one being me own). With a determined step the doorkeeper slid her arm between two would be diners and took the apple out of the pig's mouth and then she moved to the other table and did the same and you will never guess what she did with those apples, she slid them in her bosom! Yup two greasy hot apples right down the old dress front. I tell ya she must have skin of a lizard because she had smoke issuing from her front as she passed by to another table where she took up a pitcher of water and proceeded to pour it not only down the front of her but on the back to the head of the man sitting nearby. He instantly rose up for the ice bucket challenge he didn't know he was a part of and his table laughed as the rest of us sat there watching the doorkeeper's bosom sizzle and smoke as the water produced steam from the heat. With all that water Iggy's sister was overly top heavy and was struggling not to fall face forward.

The Ig got up with the help of the Weasil and a few others to hold her upright and escort her to the bar where she could hold herself up. I was wondering if this night could get anymore bizarre and freaky. I will say I got both miscreants to promise me as soon as we devoured the pig that we would leave and get the hell out of the castle. And we did.

I know what you're saying to your computer screen, why didn't you just leave then Gabe, do you always think of your stomach first? Well uh YEAH.

I was unnerved enough to tell the Weasil I was driving us home, but he would not let me behind the wheel of the speed bucket. So I had to endure a blow by blow of their laughter at ME for botching up the evening. If that console wasn't between them I would have reached over the front seat and bashed their heads together. I spoke not a word, but sat there with me arms folded across me chest, tsking a lot and did not realise as I walked into me own home that I was still dressed the fool. I didn't have long to remember it as me Mam was the only one up with a cuppa watching the telly on a very low volume not to wake the house. When she saw me she turned the volume up and guess what? Yeah all the sleepers in the house awoke to see yours truly in jester dress. Rubbing eyes, double takes, laughter, giggles, pointing, yeah that's what I came home too.

When I tried to explain they told me not to, it was just too priceless.

So thanks a lot Weasil and Robby for making me endure a semi-nightmare, dressed like a complete idiot in the process and then be insulted royally by me own ones. Gees.

I hope it is snowing heavily in Colorado and the two miscreants will leave here and go ski off a mountain. SIGH.

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

30 August, 2014

What am I going to do with the lad?

30 August 2014

R. Linda:

Comic Con came and went, but I need to tell you this story because I think it is up your alley and while we are on a Weasil rant, we might as well take it to the extreme.

I am not a comic book fan, never was, never will be, but we know who is. Yes we do, and there are two of them, one be Mr Kincaid, but the biggest fanatic is the Weasil. I didn't tell you about this because I have been somewhat embarrassed about it, but hell here goes.

I was invited and I use that word loosely by the Weasil/Kincaid conglomerate of comic book addicts to "taggy along" to a Massachusetts Comic Con. I declined but it did not matter they showed up at me door anyway and dragged me into that red speed bucket and transported me arse to Comic Con East. May I say I was not dressed for the occasion? No, not when compared to Kincaid sporting a rather large storm trooper suit and the other one dressed as Luke Skywalker.

May I also inform you that the Star Wars exhibit was crowded as you might imagine it would be, so the two impatient characters I was with decided to do Star Trek instead. Never mind they weren't dressed "appropriately" that did not matter, they saw a chink in the line, actually in the curtain housing the Star Trek exhibit and under it they went pulling me along. Well space cadets it was quite the experience.

There we stood on the upper deck of the Starship Enterprise with Star Trek characters turned toward us in surprise that two Star War's characters and one civilian would invade the "set."

All was quiet and then Weasil hitting Kincaid on the arm took out his laser wand.

Assuming a Luke Skywalker stance with wand at the ready he said, "Checking fire wand, ready trooper?" Weasil stood with wand in full red light with sound effects, glowing at his ready to do combat while Kincaid looked dumbly on along with THIS GUY.

"Ready to fire ONE," Kincaid shouts stepping forward with some kind of ray gun.

Everyone including meself stood shock still not a sound. I was then pushed forward and the two miscreants nodded at me to say something.

"Uh . . . setting quadrant sights on ENTERPRISE!" Yes, I didn't know what to say and THAT came out me mouth and a gasp came from the trekkies looking up at us.

Suddenly there were the clicks of many weapons being aimed in our direction, mine in particular. Feeling very self conscious like I said the wrong thing, I blustered out to no one in particular, "Anyone not part of this want to join a Star Trek SIM group?"

No response, nothing, just total silence the room's focus on us along with the weapons.

"Checking on target to the ready," Kincaid shouted, taking the safety off his ray gun. "Shoots at Borg lover!" and the gun made these ray gun sounds and then he said, "Die Borg lover!"

I had no clue.

Then someone below mock hit the deck as though ray gunned down and another shouted, "Borgs are cool! Pulling out MILLS LAUNCHER!"

Weasil stepped forward  as he ducked something that actually shot out at him from the Mills Launcher, "Thinkin' out loudy --HUM that iz Picard," then pointing his laser wand at the fellow with the Mills Launcher, he said, "I knowz who ya are, yer Picard the bald headed Peanut Man!" With that he pointed his wand like it could throw lasers at the so-called Picard, "takie dattie dere!"

Picard looked down at his chest and slowly melted to the floor dead!

Weasil feeling the power said, "I iz smilin' wit evil intentions cuz I think of Captain Kirk . . . " but he didn't get to finish his sentence because someone popped up from behind the captains chair and aimed at the Weasil. They stood eyeing each other both pointing weapons at the other.

"You mild mannered Zoroid, ahem, Hemorrhoid I mean," Weasil began but again didn't get to finish.

"Die!" The Zoroid or Hemorrhoid shouted.

But Weasil dived and did a barrel roll as he whacked his wand with a SWOOSHHH at the Hemorrhoid or Zoroid, or whatever he was and the Zoroid went down.

"Give order FIRE TWO!" I heard Kincaid shout as he aimed his ray gun at a Klingon who happened to innocently enter the room. The Klingon saw him and immediately dove for cover, but the whole room fired at him!

"Both of them gone now fire THREE AND FOUR!" A voice shouted from a woman who had a name tag that said Your Whore AHHHH. I dunno.

"The Klingon empire rules!" The hiding Klingon shouted.

Immediately all weapons were aimed at him and there were swoosh, boom, bang, zing, all kinds of alien sounds emanating in the Klingon's direction from all sorts of odd weapons that lit up. I tell ya it was a virtual light show!

When everything settled down there was a moment of silence, but then from behind the step where the Klingon was hiding he got to his feet and dove at me! The Klingon's voice rang out loud, "Yay the Klingon Empire STILL RULES! This will teach you to mess with a Klingon Warrior!" And before I knew it he had me in his arms with a strange corkscrew weapon pointed at me big toe. Another barrage of sounds fired off in his direction and mine! He threw me from him to get better aim with the corkscrew like device that lit up all colours of the rainbow and made a hissing sound as the light emanated out from it in the direction of the general population.

While all this was going on, Luke Skywalker aka the Weasil had stealthily made his way around and  behind Mr. Klingon. With the silence of cat he crept up behind the man and gently laid his laser wand tip on his shoulder. "Yer dead." Weasil said and the Klingon collapsed in a heap when the wand made that zinging noise.

Sheathing his laser, the Weasil turned to the stunned Trekkies and said, "I take me leavie now." And with that he started up the stairs while an alert Kincaid covered the startled Trekkies with his ray gun.

"I am satisfied," Kincaid said to no one in particular.

But it wasn't over, a Klingon who had been standing in the shadows came out and kneed the Weasil in the nuts. He then pulled out double-edge sabres which lit up. I'd never seen the like before. I watched fascinated as he bent down as if to sever the nuts from the Weasil, but he wasn't thinking of that gnarly Kincaid who stuck the end of his ray gun against the Klingon head.

"Ignites him and he's gone!" Kincaid said pulling the trigger and over tumbled the Klingon.

Weasil, no worse for wear, but quite a bit bent over said, "I had on me protective gear," as he got up and did a "Mahaawwaaaaa" at the defeated Trekkies. Kincaid stated to the assembly, "Clean up on step three, Klingon blood everywhere." Then he noticed Picard bleeding out on the floor, so he pointed and shouted, "KLINGON FEEDING FRENZY!" We went out the door like a herd of wildebeests just as six or seven Klingons came running in.

I had had enough, I walked out after the Weasil, leaving Kincaid staring back at the realistic gore. I mean really? Grown men and women, dressed up like TV characters and acting like it was all real. I was in Alice's Wonderland on another planet! I will say this, Weasil has had me in many strange and bizarre situations, but this one took the cake.

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

26 August, 2014

Weasil -- First Time Home Owner

26 August 2014

R. Linda:

First off, it must be said that the Weasil has lead a life none of us can relate to. He is incredibly wealthy, has blue blood running through lordly veins, is set to inherit the title of Lord someday, and has spent most of his born days in castles and manor houses, eating gourmet foods and doing pretty much nothing but most of his time was spend and still is on frivolity and mayhem.

Secondly, the Weasil harboured a wish to experience life like the rest of us. Yes, you'd think he'd want to know what it was like trying to make ends meet, worried if you could put enough food on the table, and if you'd have a job or be put out on the dole. But no, that wasn't the part of the common life that Weasil wanted to experience, oh no it was not. HE wanted to experience what it was like to buy a house!

I wanted to shake him and inform him that some of us never buy a house, we rent or lease because we haven't the capital to buy. But no, he was off and running on his own and to a Property Advisors office doth he went.

He bought his first home in Ireland because that was the place of cheap housing. Please someone tell me the logic to this as he had enough money he paid cash and could have just as easily done the same in his mother country of Scotland or his adopted country of England. But no, we decided all poor people live in Ireland so that's where he went. I tell ya!

Passed the council flats he doth go. Passed the ruined castles to be had at a price, passed the city dwellings to a village where there were maybe fifteen twenty homes clustered together on a dirt road. He bought the only available abode and moved in. He was greeted by his neighbours until they all whispered to one another that an English Toff had moved in among them and who they wanted to know, allowed this travesty to happen? And why was an English Toff dwelling in the dwelling he was and not out buying up Adair Castle or somewhere like that? Well, no one knew and when they found the toffy arse wasn't interested in socialising they left him be. When they saw him, they'd stop and stare. They'd move their caps from their pates, and with the same hand scratch their heads in consternation, put the cap back on and move away to wherever they were at first headed. Weasil was oblivious to this snub, as he was too busy waiting for the "feeling of being poor" to set in.

It never did as you can well imagine as he had all his toys and playthings to occupy his "lonely hours" at home. Finally two weeks of PlayStation fun and games the Weasil was bored. He went into his kitchen and feeling experimental, he mixed green food colouring with his pale ale and did a fair job of creating "green beer." Did I mention it was also St. Patrick's Day? Well, the Weasil had noticed his neighbours were not at a local (there was none in the village), but at the small church at the end of the lane. Not feeling very Catholic (as the Weasil was a dreaded Protestant only his was Church of Scotland so he was awarded some peace by the locals), the Weasil decided to celebrate the day as his American friends would with green beer and crisps.

Well, it poured that day, a good day to be in church for the devout and for the one no so devout well he sat in his bay window stretched out on the window seat watching the drops run down the glass as he munched and drank. When the rain was over, Weasil went outside and spying an old chair outside his door he sat himself down, beer and crisps in hand, and thought to greet his neighbours as they came from church service. You know make a little merry. Uh huh.

Odd it seemed to Mr. W that the church goers were all gathered behind the old stone cemetery wall pointing and looking in his direction. He stopped in mid munch and looked around and nothing out of the ordinary did he see. No not a thing! Yet, the congregation continued to point and stare and chatter to each other in his direction. No one moved from the wall for a good ten minutes when suddenly an RTE News van pulled up followed by TG4 and TV3 News. Out of the vans poured at least two news broadcasters each, with microphones which they hurriedly shoved under the Weasil's lordly nose.

"How do ye explain the rainbow over yer abode?" One asked as another butted his way in.

"Ye are said to be the local rich fella, ye got a pot o' gold in the old abode dere?"

Yet another pushed his microphone under the Weasil's proboscis with, "Yer really a rich fella or a leprechaun? Ye got gold in dere, eh?"

Weasil pushed his way up and out of the milling about to walk across the dirt road and look up at his abode. And what did he see R. Linda? Well, you guessed it a rainbow was making a graceful arch over the home of Weasil. Who'd a thunk that would happen? Well, certainly not me!

"Cor, itz a blimey rainy bow." Weasil whispered to himself marvelling at the phenom.

Microphones reassembled and shoved their way under the Weasil nose once more, and all at once the reporters were firing questions about pots of gold. Weasil, still staring at the rainbow ignored the men and their mics and pushed his way back across the road and inside where he locked the door and stood arms out holding it shut. In his Weasil mind he isn't thinking like a common man would, no he is thinking like the Weasil he is.

He goes down into his dirt floored basement, finds a shovel and starts digging! And why ladies and gentlemen? Because in his fubar mind he has convinced himself there is a pot of gold in his basement, thus the only explanation for a rainbow over his house and his house only!

So he digs, and he digs, and he digs until finally and without warning he hits the water pipes and WHOOSH a giant geyser of water goes roaring upward breaking through the basement ceiling to the first and second floor ceilings and out the roof! Then as if this wasn't bad enough the oil tank exploded and BANG the oil went up making more holes to the outside where it mixed with the water and Bob's your uncle you know what it made. Yes, indeed as the roof parted from the building and Weasil managed to claw his way outside the collapsing floors, what could be seen for kilometres was a giant rainbow.

Everyone had high tailed it to the cemetery wall for safety as the dazed and stumbling backward Weasil looked with open mouthed wonder at the rainbow over his damaged beyond repair home.

"I dunt gits it, I jus dunt." The Weasil said.

And to this day he still doesn't get it. He told me and a few other close "friendies" that if none of that water and oil had happened he'd have found that pot of gold he just knew it. When explained to him by one Wolfie that the water and oil mixture made the rainbow, he didn't believe it. No, Weasil simply did not believe the Wolf's words because as everyone knows, "Oil and water dunt mix."

OK THEN. There is nothing more for me to say, I think Weasil said it all and to this day he believes there is a giant pot of gold under the wreckage. The abode is boarded up and condemned and if it wasn't, you know Weasil would be down there digging. Uh huh.

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

24 August, 2014

Aiden's not so lucky clover

24 August 2014

R. Linda:

All this talk about hair brought to mind an incident that happened some years ago in a little mountain village in Wicklow. It hit the newspapers it did as a curiosity story, and I think I remember most of it to share with you. I think you'll find it amusing and if you're a male, take it as a warning that if you meet a pretty Irish lass from Wicklow named Angelica, you might not stand too close and when you can -- get the hell out of there!

The story goes that there was a pretty young bride named Angelica who lived in a certain village and unleashed an old time curse upon the male population. It was St. Paddy's day in the Republic and Angelica's husband Aiden as usual, celebrated the day not in church but in the local chugging back of all things green beer. Seems the local was owned by an American who bought the state side tradition of green beer to Aiden's little village deep in the Wicklow Mountains along with the American tradition of celebrating St. Patrick's Day by drinking all day and all night, not going to church at all. Now Aiden and his chums had been busy at the drink for the entire day while their wives thought they were in the rectory helping Father O'Reilly after all the morning services were over putting things tidy.

What ye may not know is that the chapel be open all day after the St. Patrick's Day morning masses for those paying prayerful homage to the ancient Saint. Father O's presence wasn't really necessary and where would the good Father be? I ask ya now, but I'd rather tell you he'd be at Tamlian's Pub with the rest of the male population. There be nothing in the church laws that say a priest can't imbibe if he wants to.

So while the ladies went in and rearranged the flowers or cleaned the benches with Murphy's Oil or scrubbed the floors for next days morning services, the men who were supposed to be in the rectory were in Tamlian's rectory cleaning the jars of beer after beer they were.

Now Angelica be a smart lass she be and she knew where Aiden was along with the rest of the male miscreants of the village. She knew making a special dinner was a waste of time as Aiden would appear long after the dinner hour and be too drunk to eat it anyway. But being the good wife she was, she did wait up to make sure he didn't end up asleep in the fireplace or under the couch with the cat.

Well, Aiden made it home at a quarter to four in the morning. You'd think you would that Angelica might be fit to be tied at that hour, but she wasn't, this was one day a year except of course Aiden's birthday when he took it upon himself to over do it on the alcohol. I don't want to give you the impression old Aiden was a drunkard, no, no, he just overdid it twice a year and this was all right with his bride. As long as it wasn't a constant money draining habit, well she let him have his two days of drink.

As I say it was quarter to four in the morn when Aiden lurched in, but he was feeling rather randy for a change and this was not lost on his wife. She, having sat up most of the night in wait, was rather exhausted, what with scrubbing the church floor, and actually doing work unlike Aiden, she had an excuse to be worn out, so his amorous overtures where the last thing she wanted. But he was determined, the sweet talk and trying to pull her to him and her moving behind the table or a chair to keep him at a distance was rather more tiring. Then the racing around the table with Aiden after her further tired her. Finally, because they were both near breathless, he panting and waiting to catch a second wind to chase after her, and her thinking how to stop him because she was truly not in the mood, they stood thinking strategy.

She notice in the press behind her was the wedding plates and crystal champagne goblets, the topper from their wedding cake, the garter she wore and something else, a glass box which contained Aiden's wedding present to his bride, a genuine four leaf clover! Now a few words on this particular clover, because it had a history it did. Seems the witch of the Wicklow Mountains had found this clover and had given it as a present of sorts to a man who come to her saying he was unlucky in everything (much like meself) and he was at his wits end on what to do. Could she help him? He understood she had magical powers. Well, yes, yes she could help him but as all gifts come with a string attached, she'd make him lucky but if he lost, abused, or traded the clover something terrible would befall him.

As you can imagine the man wanted to know what the something terrible would be. The witch came close to him and she said in her hag's whisper, "Ye will lose all yer hair if ye do anything to ruin this fine specimen of luck. As long as it be intact your luck will hold but you lose it your hair will not."

"Pshaw!" The man declared, "give o'r the clover and what instructions I need to keep it safe."

"Ye sure?" She asked and he nodded. "Ye must give it to your bride for safe keeping inside this glass case. Ye are never to take it out to show or wave around. Ye must give it o'r to yer eldest son on his weddin' day and he to his wife for safe keeping, and they will have a long, lucky and happy marriage and he a full head of hair as long as the clover stays in its case."

"What happens if me wife or his wife take it out of the case? Me and he's hair will fall out?" The man asked.

"Every man that cooms near the women who fusses wit it will lose his hair. She'll be cursed to a bald man all her days and any man cooms near her will suffer the hair loss."

"Any man?

"Any man!"

The man thought a moment and then told the witch hair loss was a small price to pay and he had a bride he would take if his luck was as good as she promised who he trusted would never take the clover from the glass box.

And so, for generations the story was told, the wives of all the eldest sons vouchsafed to keep the clover in it's protective case and the luck continued . . . that is until Aiden's wife decided it was all a humbug story and she opened the press, took out the case and held it up. Aiden stopped dead in his tracks and then started laughing, he believed the tale as much as you and I. So he started forward and Angelica opened the case, and took out the clover. He laughed and ran a hand through his good head of hair and not a follicle came out.

So at a full sprint he came round as Angelica took off out the open door and as she did she fell over the cat and Aiden fell over her and the clover drifted through the air and came down in the grass. As Angelica pushed her husband off, she noticed he had passed out. She also noticed his hair was in the grass and he was bald!

She got up quickly looking around for the errant clover but it was dark. She ran in got a torch and flashed it around looking for the clover. Just about then, Father O'Reilly be walking by or should I say wobbling by as he was filled to the brim with drink. He sees the torch light and hears frantic breathing and looks over the gate of Aiden's cottage and sees the missus on hands and knees looking with the aid of torchlight for something on the grass. Then he spies Aiden fully laid out cold and looking odd. Was that Aiden, Father asks himself not recognising the bald man. Not sure he opens the gate and lurches through at the same time asking Angelica if she has lost something and who is the man in the grass. Well, our bride explains it all to the now red in the face priest who offers to help her.

It wasn't long after that Angelica's neighbour Jamie, who was on his way to his job at the dairy, saw her and what he thought might be Father O'Reilly only the priest had no hair and in the limited torch light, he spied a bald man stretched out on the grass. He decided something was decidedly amiss. He came running through the gate to help and well Angelica explained and Jamie laughed at the superstition, but he stayed to help look for the clover.

"This be a right craic of a jape it be," Jamie said looking in the grass not very hard as he didn't believe a word that Angelica and Father O' had said. "Ye shaved their heads. His," he said pointing at Aiden, "because he came in late. I don't get Father here but maybe ye shave his so when Aiden wakes he won't be too angry about ya shaven' his head seein' Father here got shaved too."

The three of them were crawling in the grass and Angelica noticed that Jamie's hair was drifting by her like snow flakes and she points this out to good neighbour Jamie who jumps up and now does not find the superstition funny at all, no not when he feels his bald pate. He started running around not knowing what to do shouting at the top of his lungs about his hair. Well, this got the notice of the Garda who were driving by and saw the commotion. They pulled over got out and shouted for Jamie to calm down and explain the problem.

Well he did and Angelica backed him up and pointed at the passed out bald husband, the bald priest still on hand and knees looking for the missing clover, and then at Jamie and then at the two policemen because . . . well you know because.

Not a second to lose they asked Angelica where she thought the cursed clover had fallen and she points and there is a general loud ruckus which attracted the neighbouring males to come out to see what was going on and well you know what happened don't ya? Now all the men were on hands and knees with torches chattering up a hysterical storm, all of them bald and there was Angelica looking curiously at the family cat. He had found the clover and was eating it. Unfortunately too far gone was the clover to rescue, so Angelica did the next best thing, she slowly and silently backed her way out of the front yard, got in the car and drove off never to be heard from again.

The clover be gone, but the bald men are not. Almost every single one in the small village except the three who slept through the excitement now wear hats that cover the missing hair. The name Angelica has sort of disappeared as they refer to her now as Lillith, demon wife of the poor sod Aiden. Others, more pious who live outside the village say the men got their just desserts including the priest for not abiding St. Patrick's Day as a holy reflective one. Uh huh. If that were true we'd all be bald on St. Patrick's Day.

It looked something like this but dried up
Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

20 August, 2014

The Adventures Of Ordering A Cherry Cake

20 August 2014

R. Linda:

The wife's birthday is coming up along with the youngest. I had to order a cake for them from the only bakery in town because most New England housewives bake, thus not many bakeries. I know of towns that don't have even one! Anyway, I got off work early and decided since the bakery was still open and on my way home, to stop in, order the cake, pay for it, and then the only thing I have to do this weekend is pick it up. Yes, yes, yes, the best laid plans! All good deeds do not go unpunished, I know, I know, I know, nothing is every easy. Just cutting you off before you go there.

I stopped in and you would think ordering a cake one of the simplest of tasks . . . you would think that. But no, this was not simple. No it was anything but that. First off the wife wanted a chocolate cake with cherry filling and butter cream icing. Snap right? Nooo . . . not even close.

There I was the only customer in the store except for a woman who was laughing loudly at something one of the counter girls said down the other end. I had the full, undivided attention of the wee brown-eyed, dark-hair tumbled into a black net, small person wearing the name plate Zoe.

"Can I help you?" She eyed me like I was going to rob the place of cookies. Right off I wanted to correct her and say, "You mean MAY I help you?" But I did not.

"Why, yes you MAY," I said jovially. "I'd like to order a birthday cake, 8" round for this Saturday, pick up say 11 a.m."

"O K," she glared at me not sure where I was going with this.

"I'd like it to be a chocolate cake with cherry filling, you do have cherry filling?" I asked, because you'd be surprised the many places in New Hampshire that only do strawberries because they raise an abundance of those fruits.

"Uh we do strawberries." She stated.

"No cherries?" I asked in mock surprise.

"We could make a black forest cake." Said she.

"No, I don't want a black forest cake, I want a birthday cake." I mused.

"There are cherries in the black forest cake," she said, "only they are in a liqueur named Kirsh something so I don't know if you have kids they'd like that much."

"Well, can't you put the liquored up cherries in a chocolate cake with butter cream icing?"

"No, it's whipped cream. You need the whip cream to keep the cherries from bleeding into the cake and making that soggy."

Oh my heavens.

"Yes, yes, but instead of whipped cream can't you substitute butter cream?" Was it me?

"Gloria," Zoe calls to the other counter girl who came trotting down, her customer with her.

The question was asked and lo and behold, Gloria does the cake making. She says of course she can make a chocolate cake with cherry filling and butter cream frosting "you silly rabbit." Viola! Who knew? Gees Louise, or in this case Zoe.

I wanted to ring Zoe's neck for wasting me time. You would think taking the name, the phone number, and all the particulars an easy process from cake selection, BUT IT FREAKING WASN'T!

"What do you want on the cake?" Zoe said pen at ready.

"Well, I'd like a picture of a motorcycle because this is for two people and one of them loves motorcycles." That would be the almost one year old. Loves the things.

Zoe gets the computer screen on the counter up and shows me a motorcycle which was so juvenile it was a NO. But wait she had another one in the adult cake section. Adult cake section? I was afraid to look, but it was clean, yes R. Linda, no porn, clean things like an elaborate basket with flowers, footballs with the number of your age on them, stuff like that. Well, she gets to the adult motorcycle and it is very nice. So I say, "THAT ONE PLEASE. Only instead of the guy with the beard, can you make it with a woman with dark hair and a one year old sitting behind her with blond hair?"

"GLORIA! Can you . . . " yeah and she could, but while Zoe was questioning Gloria's artistic design talents the woman customer leans towards me and says, "Your wife or girlfriend?"

I was taken a back for a moment and answered, wife.

"Motorcycle momma, huh?" And she snickers.

"No, more like the wee one be a fan of motorcycles, that's why I'm . . . " and that's as far as I explained meself because Zoe was back with an affirmative.

"You want some spring flowers on that too?" She asks.

I look at the design and think Zoe has lost her mind. That would look silly, so I shook me head in the negative. She shrugged and gives this big sigh like I was ripping up the cake decorating and filling cookbook. She writes it all out and tells me this and that will cost extra because now it's a speciality cake. I was like just write it down for heavens sake, let's get this painful process over with!

"Take where it says Easy Rider, and instead put Happy Birthday Ton . . . " that is as far as I got she interrupted me with "You do know we have to add the child on the back because that isn't in the design."

"Well, yes, yes I do know that and that's fine." I say and start to tell her what to write but again she stops me.

"How do you spell Tonya?"

I spelt it. I spelt me son's name as well to be on the safe side it didn't say Happy Birthday Tony and Pedro or something just as ludicrous.

"Last thing, see the Harley Davidson insignia at the bottom the 37 is for the age." Zoe points out.

"Oh hold up there, me wife isn't 37 and if I did that she'd have me hide for breakfast. No, no numbers she doesn't like numbers." I protested.

"BUT the 37 comes with it because you picked out a 37th birthday cake topper design."

I stood there dumb. The woman customer stood there dumb as well. Both of us blinking and looking at Zoe, waiting for the joke, but was no joke.

"Why does he need a number at all?" The customer asked.

"Because it is the . . . "


"It is written in icing, it isn't a stick-on stencil so why does there even have to be a number? Why not the insignia all by itself?" I pleaded.

Zoe shrugged and Xed out the number. GOOD!

"When did you say you want this? I can have it by August 7th."

I stood there looking at her waiting for the punchline. It was August 19th.

"You mean August 23rd." I said.

"Oh yeah. Wednesday." She said writing it down.

"Nooo, Saturday," I corrected.

"Oh right," she says scribbling the date off and changing it.

SO this should be interesting. I don't know what kind of cake I am getting, I don't know if me wife will be on the bike and have a goatee, I don't if the wee one will look like a teenager and I have no clue what the filling really is. I have a sneaking suspicion the number 37 will be somewhere on that cake. I also don't know if the cake will be ready Saturday at 11. I have no earthly idea if there will be a cake.

God knows! I paid a whopping $44.00 for this confection . . . yes I did.

I be shell shocked I be. And it's the only bakery in town!

AND ALAS THE CAKE! Me wife be a blond and I didn't know it!

Looks like Colorado not New Hampshire, and no insignia OR number YEA for that

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

16 August, 2014

She named them Left and Right

16 August 2014

R. Linda:

Last week I received an email from Capt. Jaack who told me he had a gift from Wolfie for me sainted grey haired, apple cheeked mam. I had shared with Wolfie me mam's giving up on the male population for having any worth whatsoever and he thought that sad. But he did state he understood her disappointment, after all not everyone could have good hair and be as loyal and well balance as himself. Uh huh.

Anyway, he had sent Jaack something he had found in Japan that he thought would delight me mam and give her a good laugh as well as something to look after to keep her a wee bit busy. Now Jaack said he had seen Wolfie since the trip to Japan and had received the "gift" to give to me to give to me mam and he had been looking "after them Mate, fresh water, nice view," on a weekly basis. What Jaack was talking about I did not know and when I asked, he said he did not know either and couldn't venture a guess because he didn't know what he was looking at. This of course intrigued me no end. What on earth had the Wolf come upon that you couldn't make out what it was, that would make me mam happy, that needed a change of scenery and fresh water? Clueless! But I was thinking whatever it was it must be ALIVE!

"Well, I'll give you me address you can send it on." I emailed Jaack.

"No, you don't understand I can't SEND these through the mail Cappy, I have to BRING them to you." He emailed back.

Now I was truly stymied. So I made a date to meet him next he was down me way.

This Saturday morning very early (because he had a Captain Jaack booking), our very own Captain pulled up me driveway looking totally unsure he was in the right place until he set eyes on me coming out the door in me wife's bunny slippers which I had not a clue I had slipped into. He knew he was in the right place. Well, I had no coffee so I was in a daze I was, so bunny slippers it was.

"I knew you by the bunny slippers," the Captain said leaning out his window looking down at them. "Very you I might add."

"Thanks," I quipped back peering in at his passenger seat where a cardboard box sat on the front seat with a tea towel covering it.

I asked him if he wanted to come in but he said he hadn't the time, rain check though and with that he gingerly lifts this heavy cardboard box and gently hands it off to me from the drivers side window. As I say, it had a tea towel over it that was from Ireland and sent by the thoughtful Wolfie from that place because he knew me mam would appreciate the thought. That was I suppose if she did not appreciate what the Japanese things in the box were. I went to pull the towel back but Jacck stopped me by telling me that "they might catch their death, take them inside and then unpack them, Cappy. But I think you can leave them as they are and let your mother get a look first." And he winked at me making me very suspicious of what on earth was in the box. "OH and Gabe, they are in water so don't slosh the box." He started to back the car up, "Oh, and they don't bite!"

With that he rolled up his window, and backed down me driveway, his head nodding at me not to peek, he was watching me. I tell ya! So I went back inside being very careful and I could hear water inside the box, so I carefully set the box on the coffee table in the living room. I decided I'd go make me some joe to keep from peeking. That didn't keep the cat from taking a look though. When I came back into the lounge, there was the cat, head under the towel, one long arm in the box the rest of him hanging out.

I near dropped me cup as I ran to get him out of the box before he killed or ate whatever was in there, or it killed and ate him! Once I got him out from under the tea towel he was rubbing up against me and meowing to be let back up on the table. Now I was truly curious as I sat there making sure Mr. Kits stayed floor level, I took a quick sip of me coffee, I put the cup down quietly and looked around. No one to be seen, so I extended one arm out toward the towel when a voice made me jump and withdraw it back.

"Is dat me present?" Me mam said shuffling into the room.

"Yes, yes it is." I said with a sheepish smile I be sure.

"Aw and dat Wolf be such a taughtful laddie he be." She said, her eyes gleaming in anticipation. "And och! Woulda lookit dat he poot an Irish linen on toup for goud measure. What a taughtful laddie like I say."

I was frowning now, thinking like I was not a thoughtful lad? Come on! But I held me tongue and temper I did as I watched her slide the towel off and then near put her head in the box looking at what was inside. I got real curious when she started talking to whatever was in there, the box muffling this: "Oh look at yas, yas two . . . ooh such big 'ins ye be, bigger den I remember."

Okay that was it, I pulled her by her bathrobe sleeve to move her back, but she swatted me and told me to be patient she'd take them out, but before she did she wanted to tell me something about Wolf.

"Wot about 'em?" I asked in a hurry to what was in the box.

She picked the box up and stood there waiting for me to settle it down. I did.

"Yer Mr. Wolf has sent me not only a lovely tea linen from the old sod, but he has sent me your father's balls he cut off and dey are a nice shade o' green dey be."

I sat there with me jaws to the ground. NO, she never just said that and NO, I didn't just hear that and NO, HE NEVER DID!

She knew I was about to jump out of me seat so she put her hand out to me chest and kept me seated as I heard water sloshing in the box.

"Gabriel you finish yer cuppa and I will get fresh water in here." She said moving off.

"You mean embalming fluid dontcha?" I said still in shock.

I guess the commotion awoke the wife because she came lurching in the lounge asking me why I was shouting so early on a Saturday morning and at who because I was by myself.

How was I to explain? But I didn't have to, the moment she saw the tea towel, she went for it and asked where it came from? Had I a friend on the General Hospital set who sent me the towel for her? Oh how wonderful, we must frame it just like the one on GH. It dawned on me she thought the towel was from me! I tried to explain, but she was too busy ooh and ahhing over the tea linen.

Yup she wanted to frame it just like at Kellys on GH

I stuttered trying to tell me wife that Wolfie had found me errant father and cut off his balls, and put them in water and sent them to me mam! And I did get that out without knowing I did because she dropped the tea linen to the floor and stood looking at me in horror.

"WOLF DID WHAT?" She said as if she didn't hear me right the first time.

I shrugged I didn't know what more to say, so I said it again.

"OHHH," she mock laughed, "this is a joke right?"

"No, no joke," I said cryptically, "he's a northern man after all there Ton."

"So are you, I might point out." She pointed out!

"No, I mean a Proddy northern man probably into things he shouldn't like blowing people's kneecaps to bits and stuff like that." I said mindlessly.

"Well . . . " Tonya said giving THAT some thought but before anymore could be said, in came me mam with this small fish bowl of sorts and inside were two things that looked like separated testicles with a green fuzz growing on them.

Tonya gasped, bringing her hands to her mouth in horror, stammering, "is that, is that, is that . . . "

As for me, I could feel the size of me eyes must have been like car headlights as I watched me mam advance into the room, put the bowl on the table in front of me and smile with great satisfaction at the two green balls in the bowl.

Here they are!

"Are . . . are . . . " Tonya started, "those little glass rocks on the bottom?"

I exploded with a WHAT because the little glass rocks on the bottom where the least of me concern.

"Well, I don't know." Tonya said flustered.

"Da Wolf put instructions in da box, he did," me mam said, "I hafta keep dem in artificial light and change da water once a week, and no chlorine in da water, and squeeze 'em every so often to get da nitrate outa dem."

Both Tonya and I looked at her in amazement. She said all that like it was nothing. We both directed our gazes back to the balls in the bowl.

"Oh my." Tonya said to me and me back to her.

Later when me mam was elsewhere Tonya and I took a real good look at those green balls.

"Your mum said when you squeeze them they float for a while. I wonder what they feel like."

"Tonya!" I said in genuine shock.

Several times that day we'd both go look at them and every time we did, me mam seemed to know because we could hear her laughing in the other room.

"So glad she thinks this is funny," Tonya whispered.

"Yeah, me poor da. I know he's a bad bad man but . . . cut his balls off? Really? And by Wolf?" I whispered back.

"How much do you think she paid him?" Tonya said.

I didn't get to answer because over our engrossed shoulders came this, "Oh I see ye are gitting to know Left and Right." And she walked away.

"Left and Right?" Tonya whispered trying to catch her breath.

"That's what she said, OH MY GOD, she named them!" I breathed out quickly looking to see if me mam was within earshot. She wasn't.

'You better fire an emergency email off to that Wolf and find out what condition he left your father in." Tonya hissed.

And I did, I went right up to me loft, locked the doors and emailed the Wolf. I wanted to Skype but he wasn't around. Or, if he was, he wasn't saying so. An hour later I got this:

"Your da is doing well, though his voice is a few octaves higher than it was. He limps a bit, but that will right itself in time. Otherwise, don't you worry none I am an ace with a scalpel."

"BUTCHER!" I shouted at me computer screen and then an IM came ringing in.

Wolf: Calm down your da is fine. I don't know where he is anyway
O'Sully: He better be, so who's balls are they?
Wolf: They are Marimos
O'Sully: Who is this Marimos and what have you done with him? And more important why would you send his balls to me sainted mother?
Wolf: LMAO
O'Sully: Glad you find this funny. Japanese guy is he?
Wolf: Mari means a bouncy ball and Mo is a generic term for plants but in this case a species of algae that grow in water. They are called Marimos, mossy round balls of seaweed I guess. Your mam is in on the joke. So was Jaack.

Nice one on me and Tonya! Oh and Tonya got me mam watching that soap and yes, the two of them are taking that tea linen to be framed for OUR kitchen wall. I suggested they take the Marimos and have them stuffed in a shadow box for me mam's bedroom wall. So far mam is liking the idea but she wants the real ones. Oi!

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

13 August, 2014

Soft Ice Cream or more like, Sloppy Cones!

13 August 2014

R. Linda:

I want to know who invented the soft ice cream cone? Such an experience should come with a warning: EAT FAST BUT BE WARNED YOU MAY SUFFER COLD HEADACHE IN THE PROCESS AND A LARGE DRY CLEANING BILL WITH HUMILIATION ON TOP OF IT!

Well, if I had known THAT, things might have gone in a different direction or not at all! But I didn't know THAT and so I was in for it I was. And when I get some free time I am going to go hunting for the inventor of said ice cream.

It was the weekend, last to be exact when me dear old Mam was missing Ireland and in the doldrums over it. Well, I couldn't afford to fly her there and back so I thought I'd do the next best thing take her out for a ride to see lovely scenic and many treed New Hampshire with a stop at that soft ice cream truck that had installed itself for the summer down the road. Yes, me intentions were all good ones they were, but as with every good intention I have, that too went astray and ended up a sloppy, cold, wet, sticky mess!

I had driven over the hills of Petersborough I did, and then upward and onward all the way to Alstead and back. Her take on this, "I tink you live in one big forest Gabe I 'ave never seen dis many trees since . . . since . . . since I don't knooe."

"But Ma, isn't it all scenic? I mean all these trees and woods and forests and bears?"

"Oooh da bears now dey be da ting dey be." She said looking scared.

We had come upon a family of three crossing the highway and I joked about them looking for Goldilocks and she better duck in case they think she's her. Me mam did not find me funny, she sat there like a deer caught in headlights watching them meander across the road. I had stopped so she could see them and what she wanted was for me to floor it and get passed them.

"Ye shouldna stop Gabriel, dey might come an git on da motor and rock us out fer dere dinner!"

I would like to say that would never happen, but it could, so as they crossed one stood up to full height and he was a big fella so I made sure I was way far on the other side of the road as I passed him by, and of course me waving and saying, "Bye bye Michael Collins!" did not earn me any kudos from the little gray haired, apple cheeked woman with the big eyes in the passenger seat.

So for the rest of the drive me mam was unnerved and wanted to go back before something else got her. I was hoping not to see a moose because those are big mothers and that would have had her locked in her room forever, or finding a way back to Ireland in a huge hurry, but I be not mean, I couldn't do that to her, so I turned the car around and we headed back.

I thought to calm her down and since we were not far from me house, I'd stop and get her and me an ice cream. Nice of me right? Intentions good? Oh so I thought. So she tells me she'll have what I have since she knows nothing about this soft serve ice cream. And would I mind if she waited in the car in case there were bears about. I tell ya! Well, I got out and went to the stand, looked at the menu and decided vanilla with the hard chocolate shell topped on a cone. There was one person ahead of me and she ordered one of those and it looked good, but it was a size medium which looked like a size gigantic to me and it was leaning as she was licking at it to keep it upright. So, I decided to be safe and ordered two smalls which were the size of a large! I tell ya. I was told to pay first because once I got the cones I'd want to hoof it to the car. I had no clue why, but ok. So I am handed the first cone and it is wrapped in paper napkin around the cone and I go to the car and handed it in. Then I went back for mine and same thing.

As I was turning from the counter to go back to the car I hear, "OOOH HELP!" and there was me mam licking her hand, the ice cream and then the top of the cone as the ice cream ran in drippy white streams out of the chocolate hard shell and down the sides to drip where it pleased which was not only her hands, but her lap, her blouse, the seat of me car. I tell ya! And, her face was white with the stuff as she tried her best to keep the drips from dripping.

When I got up to her window my cone was dripping too! What to do?

"'Ere lick dis will ya." Me mam shoved the drippy mess at me. So there I was looking like a horse's patootie licking her cone from inside the car and then licking me own outside the car. I must have looked like I couldn't get enough of the stuff I was consuming her cone AND mine all at the same time!

Here take a look at this:

Me Mam's cone still a drippy mess but not as bad as it was 
So I realised I was being looked at by everyone who was sitting at the benches near the stand. They must have thought me the right pig or just mad. I couldn't wait to get out of there but I couldn't because the damn things were dripping and well . . . you get the picture. So I continued as we'd both lick hers then we both would lick mine, until I got enough cleaned up that I could sprint to the drivers side and get in. Oi!

Only the wind from me running made me cone weep more. I couldn't cut a break! So I had to sit there, at once licking mine, then hers, then mine and she doing the same because we couldn't lick around the top on one side the other didn't weep.

Then something really terrible and awful happened, we stopped in mid lick looking at each other when the cold headache smacked us both in the forehead.

"Owww . . . ooh . . . " me mam moaned.

"Cold headache?" I asked and she nodded, "me tooo."

So now we sat there smacking our foreheads with sticky napkin bits stuck to our hands and letting the soft ice cream run down our shirt fronts our hands full of the sticky stuff so we could touch nothing and the napkins saturated and tearing in bits and sticking to everything including MY TONGUE!

"Gabriel get out and goo git us sum fresh paper." Mam said.

I looked at her stunned, I was wearing ice cream, me face and hands, arms and clothing covered in it and she wanted ME to get out of the car in front of all those people and get fresh napkins. Oh no, not this guy. I'd had enough observation for one day by the masses thinking me a horse's arse I wasn't about to venture for a second showing. Especially now, covered in paper napkin bits, sticky ice creams, crumbs from the cone, oh no, no, no.

Suddenly she shoved her cone in my other sticky hand and shook her head at me.

"Wha . . .?" I started to utter.

BUT that didn't stop her from getting out. I wanted to crawl under the dashboard, she had the stuff in her hair, on her face, her clothes! I tried to tell her but she was off to the stand hot for those napkins. People all turned to look at the mess she was and smiles were being exchanged at the humour of it, and it was then I noticed all of them, YES every single one of those people had a CUP under their cones and some had spoons so when the stupid thing melted they could eat it without wearing it!

OI, OI, OI!!!

Live and learn R. Linda. This is the last time I ever do soft serve ice cream. EVER! And don't tell me about sweets, I learned me lessons on the donuts and now the ice cream! So done, done, done.

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

12 August, 2014

A Really High Sugar High

12 August 2014

R. Linda:

Having someone who was born and raised in Ireland living with you in your new adopted country can make for some rather bizarre situations, not to mention conversations. Yes, indeed this be the case in me abode. There be not a day that goes by R. Linda, that something goes amiss or becomes explosively funny, or just plain sad. I never realised how sensitive to the different uses of words in the English language that one can set oneself apart from the rest of the users. It be a conundrum for sure with all the colloquialisms flying about me place!

Just this morning, I was sitting at the breakfast table in a semi-conscious daze when THIS took place around me:

O'Hare (eldest son at 8 years old): "Gran, yer choppin' the toast to smithereens!"

Me Mam (eldest person in the abode): "Wot you mean smithereens?"

Me (awaking from morning coma): "Ma, he means bits and pieces."

Me Mam (looking at O'Hare as he slid the toast to his side of the table): "Oooh wouldya loook at 'em he 'as a face like a bulldog chewing' a wasp he does."

O'Hare (taking that remark like an insult): "Huh?"

Me (looking to defuse the situation): "She means you look glum."

O'Hare (with a shrug of the shoulders): "Oh."

Me (waking up and finding some humour, addressing me Mam): "Ye coulda said he 'as the face of a Lurgan spade!"

To which we both laughed but the eldest son looked at us in mid-toast chew like WHAT?

Me Mam (addressing O'Hare): "'E means ya 'ave a long face on yer like a long, thin spade we buy in Norn Iron."

O'Hare (very confused not on the spade but another two words): "Wot be Norn Iron?"

More laughter from the two older people at the table, like it was a private joke.

Me (enlightening the lad): "That's how people in Norn Iron say NORTHERN IRELAND."

O'Hare (looking confused and shaking his head at us): "Ya sound like rednecks."

Me Mam (her turn to look confused): "Wot arr rednecks?"

Me: "Culchies."

O'Hare: "Wot are culchies?"

Me: "Country folk."

Me Mam (with a mischievous gleam in her eye): "Ye wanna confuse 'em call 'em a 'coillte'."

O'Hare (getting frustrated with us): "And I wanna know wot THAT means!"

Me (laughing me arse off and making it worse): "A person dat lives in da woods!"

Me wife (sitting down): "I thought Coillte and Culchie were the same."

Me and Mam exchanged glances and shrugged. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. They were terms we both grew up with and well . . . we weren't about to debate them what would be the point?

O'Hare (getting a zinger in on me): "Yeah well you talk Gaeilge like jailtacht!"

With that he got his school lunch and left us sitting there looking at each other.

Me (losing meself back into me Irish accent): "'Ow did he know wot dat word meant? 'An how duss he knoo to pronounce Gaeilge I ask ya?"

Me Mam (looking very sheepish): "Oi might 'av said sumthin' long dose lines ta his attempt at a gaelic greeting. Said his gaeilge sounded more like jailtacht."

Me (amazed at her): "Does he know dat yer callin' his fine self an Irish terrorist and he just called me one?"

Me Mam (looking a wee bit guilty): "Maa bee he does and maa bee he don't."

That ended the first barrage of Irish vs. American English salvos but it was all to raconteur at dinner.

Me mam sat down and asked O'Hare: "'Bout ye?"

To which he looked at her with a look on his face like -- oh no not again. I, seeing he was confused went to clarify the question, only she saw his confusion so tried again with another Irish question that more confused the lad.

"How's she cuttin'?"

To which he looked at me in stunned exasperation, but before I could open me piehole, me mam cut in again.

"Ok den when sum one asks ye dat yer ta answer wit "full o' da blade."

O'Hare sat there, his mouth hanging open now totally confused. He whispered to me he thought she had the nerve to ask if ate cheese and how his farts were going? I had all I could do to keep a straight face and shake me head no. So I jumped in and told him that was an old nautical phrase and that I was surprised me mam would know it being she wasn't a culchie person nor a sailor.

Never one to let an advantage float away on an ancient nautical question and answer, O'Hare laughed at us and muttered, "Fer sure an let's goo ta da pub and have a few a wots goood fer us."

This he thought very funny, but me mam did not. Now it was her turn to furrow her brown in confusion.

But the lad wasn't finished, he looked at her and impolitely pointed his fork at her and said with a mock Irish accent, "An YOU can sit in da snug while we's drinkin' on our jars!"

Well, she flung down her spoon, sat up rod straight with jaws agape looking at the young lad like he had thrown a snake in her potato soup. I tell ya!

"I feel like a culchie alien," me wife laughed to try and lighten the mood. She might have reprimanded the youngster but she had no clue what he said.

"Yer a bold laddie now aren't ye?" Me mam said to O'Hare.

"UGH! Wot does THAT mean now?" He asked her his fork in the air like a sceptre.

"It means you are getting naughty." I cut in.

O'Hare shrugged, "Naughty Da? Really like doncha mean My Bad?" He went back to his meal unconcerned which further turned me mam off and not to be ignored she said to him, "Would you stop giving out?"

To which he looked up at her in amazement. Me wife the same look on her face and I knew where she took that phrase, to "giving out" being "putting out" which had the entire wrong connotation to it, but before I could jump in O'Hare put his flatware down and with his hands jammed in a fist he rested them on the table and looked at his grandmother sizing her up.

With deliberate slowness (more to see how much he could get away with) he said, "WHAT should I stop giving out exactly?"

To which me mam's mouth opened wide in surprise and she leaned forward and said, "WOT I SAID."

To which his turn, he said slowly again like she was not understanding him, "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, do I have an odour about me that I am giving off? OR, is there another IRISH sayin' you've come up with to scramble my BRAIN!"

Well, that was enough of that, he was sent to his room without the rest of his dinner. I tell ya!

I came back to table leaving Tonya to lecture O'Hare in his room, to hear me mam saying, "Wot a quare ting ta say so it is."

Meanwhile, me wife comes back from escorting the eldest son to his room to think about his manners, when she notices the cups for the tea are not out, so she goes to the counter where there is a teacup holder thingee and see they aren't there.

"Where are the cups at mother O?" She flings over her shoulder.

"Dey be in da press." Mam answers satisfied she had cleaned them up and put them away.

"O K," drawls Tonya as she turns and looks at me in question.

"Uh oh!" I said getting her look, "da cupboard, dats wot she means."

"Good, I was about to go out to the apple press in the backyard," Tonya muttered turning to the cupboard where yes indeed, there lived the cleaned and sparkling cups.

So this be a short example of life at me house at the moment. But it has consequences it does R. Linda, very bad ones at that.

No one understanding anyone but me understanding both sides pulls on ones psyche. It amazes me how quickly this type of thing can get out of hand it does. So yesterday when this got to mega proportions of foolishness on everyone's part, what usually happens to me happened, which is I get a sugar craving. Now mind you I just recently had laser surgery on me right eye and am scheduled for another on the left eye next week. I have been very happy with me 20/20 vision in the right eye, or I was until I got so stressed from the argy bargys in the abode that I went out to get me a refreshing Arnold Palmer at Drunken' Donuts.

However, when I got there I ordered a jelly stick of which they were out but they told me they had jelly donuts. Oh, ok good I told them give me two of those, but then I thought, everyone at me home was stressed so I changed me order to a dozen jelly donuts. So I pull out and go on me stressed out way and when I got home I told them all I had jelly donuts, but seems while I was gone, me Mam made some barmbrack (an Irish tea cake) and they had all eaten their fill.

Well, the jelly donuts would go hard and stale so I had me three of them with me Arnold Palmer. It was too hot for tea or coffee so finding the donuts made me powerful thirsty I had a coke a cola and another donut. It seemed as the day wore on, and I got more and more stressed, I'd stop in the kitchen and take a donut and another soda. I did this all day until dinner I wasn't hungry but there was one donut left. That I made short work of around 6:30.

Yes, this was the last one!
Then something very strange happened. By 6:40 I had a very bad headache and double vision. I was sitting in the kitchen watching the telly since everyone else was in the lounge watching a movie, sipping on another coke and finishing the remnants of the last donut when I noticed that Brian Pitts of ABC News had four eyes and I am not talking glasses, I be talking EYES. I closed me left eye and sure enough I was seeing double eyes. I closed the other and opened the left eye and that eyes seemed fine. Hum. I turned a few stations and same thing on everyone, the talking heads had more than two eyes and none were wearing glasses! I debated this phenomena all night with me silly self and was set to call the eye doctor and tell him NO SURGERY ON ME GOOD EYE! And, WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME RIGHT EYE?

The next morning, no double vision, no headache, just a wee bit wired. Yup I sugared meself up but good. I be lucky I didn't stroke out! Have to deal with all this better don't you think?

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09 August, 2014

A good thing that came out of a not so good thing

09 August 2014

R. Linda:

Today takes the cake and beats all. Because the day is nice here we decided to have an early lunch outside. I never thought we'd have a short invasion of sorts, but we did. I thought me nicely planned lunch would go awry but something nice did come out of it.

We have this old glass top table and Tonya and me Mam set it all up nice with home brewed iced tea with fresh mint from our garden, lovely old plates me mam brought over from Ireland (Belleek) and crisp lavender napkins she made into what looked tulips.

Now invited for lunch was an old friend of mine who lives in Harrisville, N.H. a very picturesque spot. He and I worked together when I first came to work in Boston and so our relationship has lasted. He's an older gent (me mam's age - and no don't get the matchmaking thing going) and I thought she'd like to have a conversation (for a change) with someone closer in age than me three boyos, and Tonya and meself.

She was all fine about this, and like you she didn't want any "o' dat matchmakin' goin' on." Me friend Lawrence arrived and he was dressed in all creamy white. He had on a fine pair of trousers that matched the vest (with gold chain and watch) against the white and narrow blue pinstripes in his shirt, rolled up mid forearm. To top it off he had a straw Panama hat that made him look (as Tonya said) like Big Daddy. His ruddy face was filled with smiles, his blue eyes twinkled and retirement has done him a good turn. He is a very happy man in that he now has the time to write that great American novel he's talked about for so long.

Me mam went all shy at such a "distinguished gentleman" but he soon pulled her out of her shell, thanks in part to our uninvited guest.

We had a fabulous lunch of young cress topping Angus burgers with a white mushroom sauce, homemade crisps, a Greek salad (to die for), and for dessert an assortment of our own wild berries over homemade Irish ladies fingers, topped with whipped cream, coffee and brandy. Yes, I was in hog heaven.

Lawrence and I walked off lunch a bit while the ladies cleaned up. We had O'Hare along with us because he was convinced me white haired friend was really Santa Claus on holiday. Oi! As we came back we stopped to chat and I noticed me mam in me hammock and Guido acting persistent about something.

"Whatcha doin'?" Guido asked me mam.

"Readin' a boook why?"

"Wotz a boook?" He asked looking perplexed and scratching his head.

"Dis," she said holding it up for him to see. "Doncha read boooks?"

"Nope, I read dis," he said holding up his IPad.

She looked as the words went scurrying across the screen and a voice read them out and went to the next "page" where the same thing happened, screen page after screen page.

"Ooh," she sighed getting it.

Not to be outdone on the attention bit, O'Hare strolled up.

"What's up?" He asked her.

"Wot's the matter?" She asked back, concern taking over her features and she swung her legs from the hammock in case she were needed elsewhere.

It was his turn to look perplexed because he did not know in Ireland to ask "what's up" means "what's wrong?" Oi, oi, oi.

Before things got out of hand we walked over and I thought to take the two boyos inside and let Lawrence and mam chat. And no, I was not matchmaking. The boyos took off without me so I pulled up a chair for Lawrence by the hammock and me mam asked me to join them, so that would end any matchmaking which never entered me mind. I got me a chair and then went back to the table to get us all glasses of iced tea when up strolled me drunken neighbour, who isn't the brightest bulb in the box. I could do nothing as he took it upon himself to join us before I could invite him. He had got a chair and raked it over the lawn to where me mam and Lawrence were chatting nicely. The chat suddenly turned from low keyed to the loud voice of the uninvited butting in. I could hear the chat from where I was and it went something like this:

"So, YOU are Irish are you, where in England are you from exactly?" Me neighbour didn't ask, but more like confronted me mam with THAT question.

Me mam sat there blinking. Speech was incapable at this point as she was pretty insulted I would guess at the look on her face.

"I believe you mean where in Ireland is she from?" Lawrence said with a good natured tone as to not humiliate a man who was so good at doing that all on his own.

"OH! Is it Ireland?" Dumbarse asked surprised. "I didn't know being Irish meant you were from Ireland I thought it meant England."

Oh my God! I handed out the iced teas and sat meself down struggling with how to get rid of him posthaste. I was also thinking if a lesson on Northern Ireland, Ireland, and Great Britain were worth a try, but decided not to attempt to educate a fool.

"Someone told me Piers Morgan is Irish is that so?" He asked just to say something. "You must be missing him over there."

"Ooh no, we don't want him back, you can keep him," she said looking like she was deep in thought, but was probably thinking the same thing I was.

"Oh but I thought he was going back there." He said looking at his tea. He suddenly turned to me and asked if I could put some rum in his drink. I declined by saying I had no alcohol of any kind in me house. Ok I lied, but really?

"You don't want him back? How you going to keep him out?" The foolish twit asked her.

"Well, we do have RAF to shoot him out of the sky should he attempt a return. Wot else are they good fer?" She said looking down at her shoes sheepishly.

"Oh, I thought . . . well you could close the borders?" He suggested scuffing his soles in the dirt, kicking it up enough Lawrence reached down to brush the dust off his creamy trouser leg.

"We tried dat wit barricades and sooch but he still manages to make it in," she said starting to squirm.

I sat there doing all I could not to burst out laughing.

"I suppose you can stop boats and planes coming in make sure he doesn't set foot on the old sod."

I was so near to interjecting that we weren't really having this conversation when Lawrence piped up.

"Maybe the penal colony will take 'em." He surmised.

"Penal colony?" Stupid asked all interested, looking Lawrence up and down to size him up.

"Ay, wot be it called . . . oh yah, Australia." My mam interjected with a bright smile at Lawrence.

"OH!" Stupid said stunned.

"I suppose . . . " Lawrence mused to me mam, feeling Stupid didn't like the idea, "maybe the decent thing to do would be to give him to Canada."

"Oh they'd trade you for Bieber and then what? I don't know which is worse." She answered shaking her head as Stupid looked from one to the other.

"Well, they are the same kind of troublemaker so . . . Piers should be shipped to Canada I say. But as you say they might send us Bieber so maybe we should drop Piers in North Korea."

Stupid looked at Lawrence to see if he was serious, Lawrence trying not to chuckle.

"Well like I say," me mam interjected all serious, "send Piers beyond the Wall." And she nodded as Lawrence nodded back knowing full well what she meant.

Oh these two could be dangerous together, I thought to meself. It wasn't much later that Stupid left being none the wiser who Jon Snow was or where exactly the Wall was located. China he thought, but wasn't sure. He was not getting any alcohol or any gossip, nor any wiser so off he went. I can't say we were sad to see him go, but I think he helped forge a new friendship between two very nice souls.

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