28 September, 2017

Small Village Life In New Hampshire

28 September 2017
882

R. Linda:

I thought things were backward in Ireland, but nah, living in New England be a similar experience. In Ireland you wait for things to be done. Oh for sure you can tell the electrician you need something done and six months later he'll show up like you called yesterday. And so it goes with everything else. Here, in the sticks of New Hampshire, the pace of life be laid-back and slower than say Boston. How do I know this? Well, having lived in Boston for a few years I got used to the faster pace, the convenience of being able to order or buy what I needed instantly, and so I was a wee bit spoiled I was. Then I moved to New Hampshire where it all went pear shaped. Yes, I could order fuel and be told it would be arriving in a few days, not the same day. Why not today? No, no can't do that the truck is filled with just enough for the days deliveries, and to add one more, well then the driver would have to go back to the filling station and refill and best to wait. An electrician, same as Ireland only instead of six months wait, maybe three.

I think I told you the first time Jersey girl Tonya went to the Mall of New Hampshire she had got dressed to the nines like she did in New Jersey going to say the Willoughbrook Mall or Livingston Mall. Yes, there she was hair done, nice outfit, jewellery, the whole nine yards and everyone at the mall? Old jeans and flannel shirts. Makeup? What's that? And jewellery? None of that. She couldn't wait to get out of there. And since she's never done that again.

I think I told you weddings up here are rather different to put it mildly. Our first wedding, I was in a suit, and Ton in a gown (the invite had said formal) and everyone else? The men wore khaki pants with blue shirts and the women, capri pants and tank tops. We were mistaken for being part of the wedding party too many times to count. Every wedding we have attended up here has been this way. And I refuse to get the man's wedding uniform of khaki pants and long sleeved blue shirt!

One last dress code. Tonya and I had met the kiddos teachers after enrolling them in school. We met Guido's teacher who stands out the most to us. There she was dressed in a sparkly Harley Davidson tee with cut offs and open toed sandals. Me wife said to me on the side, "If she was teaching in New Jersey she'd be fired for that mode of dress." That aside, I will say the woman's young charges love her and she is one of the most popular teachers. Guido has done well under her guidance so I can't complain, and I be not really, just saying how different it is up here.

I should have known something was up when I first moved in and the Realtor leaned over to me at the closing and said, "At least you are on the townline, the town next to you has Internet, so you should be able to tap into that." That took a good few minutes to sink in. "What you mean tap in? Don't we have Internet in this town?" Answer was NO. No cable, no Internet. Notta. That we have flush toilets instead of outhouses, I guess we can count ourselves lucky.

Story goes the horsey people of our little village refused FREE cable because they didn't want it messing up life as they knew it. REALLY? I only found this out a few months AFTER I moved in. I've been here almost four years and I found out only three weeks ago, if you want to know what be going on with this village, you have to sign on to Facebook and hope your satellite connection keeps you on long enough to get to the site and then stay on the site long enough for one to peruse the news.

No buried cable, but satellite dishes. Yup, I ask you which is more unsightly? So much for preserving the integrity of the village. One bad rain, snow or wind and ice storm and there is no telly, no so called Internet, there is nothing but one can go to the local library for a book! But that is an experience in itself.

I got tired of a cloudy or foggy nights interrupting me telly service so the next day I went to our local one room library to get me a card so I could take books out. I get down there and right away I walk into a bake sale in the small hallway. Right next to the door is a basket full of money. I be thinking if this was Boston, that basket would have been out the door and long gone. I felt like I should stand there and guard the money so that didn't happen. I got the attention of the lady arranging goodies on a small table and said as much and was told it was just fine where it was. I felt like I needed to buy something so I selected a cookie, but then found I needed change. The nice lady told me to make my change from the basket. I was flabbergasted and really didn't want to do that. So I dropped a fiver in and left it without change. I know I could have had a free cookie and a few twenty dollar bills but that's not  me. So putting me cookie in me pocket I go inside to the library desk. Right away, the bake table lady comes in behind the desk. I thought double duty, desk and bake sale. Ok.

She asked what she could help me with and I told her I wanted to get a library card. She asked to see my license she could take me info off that. So I am standing there watching her when it dawns on me she is using a TYPEWRITER to type me info on a piece of paper. Carbon paper and all. I looked around and there was no computer. Well, why would there be with no Internet. So I asked her how she knew what books were outstanding and she points to a long wooden file box and says everything is there. That's all the outstanding books. I asked her how she looked overdue books up, and she said she has to go through the NUMBERS one by one in the file box. OMG. And the numbers are all the Dewey Decimal System. I didn't know anyone used the DD System anymore so I was really taken aback at that. But like I say, no computers so figures.

Once outside and hoping I was in the real world again, I noticed a small sign over a hut. It said Police. There was a jeep parked there so I decided to drop in to met our local constabulary. Well, that too was an eyeopener. There is one man, he is police chief and he be the only policeman. He has no police car, little village like ours doesn't need one he said. He told me if I needed any assistance day or night I was to call 911 and the folks two towns over would respond. He'd get to me once they PAGED him. I was like OK.

I am finding that America isn't all its hyped up to be. Oh sure there be a lot of stuff and opportunities, but not all of it is like that. Where I live the tourists think they are back in time and find it all quaint. Quaint to them be inconvenient to me. Did I tell you we are somehow being absorbed into the backwoods life style? Yup we got us some chickens. Not for eating for eggs only. We didn't intend to raise chickens, but the woman next door thought we should have some. I think I told you about THAT. Anyway, we have what they call free rangers who are all over the place. I keep thinking some wild animal will spirit them off and we have lost one. But they seem to know how to hide their eggs and then we have more chickens. We started off with nine and are up to seventeen dirty birds. I whisper in me Mam's ear we should have a few for dinner but she thinks the kiddos would find out our dirty deeds and we'd be persona non grata. When we get up to thirty chickens I will be mailing you a dozen to start your own egg farm in Denver.

A few of our chickens -- BUCKAHHHK!!!
Gabe
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

21 September, 2017

A Dark Afternoon Tea ... With A Weird Ending

21 September 2017
881

R. Linda:

It was a day just like this one, gloomy, dark and rainy. The kiddos were in school, Tonya was at work, and I was off taking care of me Mam who had taken a bit of a tumble and was sore and achy. We were sitting in the living room watching the wind and rain while sipping our tea. I asked if she'd like a light on to brighten things up, but she said no, why not light a candle instead.

"Atmosphere, ye knoo." Said she.

I did that, two big pillar candles in fact, but they did little to give much light. We continued sipping staring into the darkened fireplace as though there was a nice cozy fire going. It was too warm for that, but we contemplated the hearth as though there was one.

"Ye knoo dere be a man in dis hoose, besides yerself," she threw out.

"Wot ye mean?"

"Well, I see him upstairs a lot he opens and closes me door he duz." She took a sip and looked at me over the cup's rim.

"A dark shadow do ye mean?"

"I do. Never a figure but a shadow and it be dark and fleeting. He spends most of his thyme in me rum he duz." And she sighed and took another sip.

"I've seen em' too. A dark shadow out of the corner of me eye." I said, now that she  mentioned it I had seen something like what she described.

"Ye knoo I found out that the first owner and builder of this hoose, died up dere in me rum. Dey had em' laid out right here in dis ere' rum in front of the hearth." She nodded at me and took another sip, all knowing.

"Where'd you ere' dat?" I said getting very Irish, which happens when I get nervous.

"Frum da neighbour next door." She made a face as if it was a repugnant thought that a shadow was inhabiting her room. "I close dat door and he opens it in the middle of the night. I hear em' do it, wakes me right up. An' if dat ain't enuff, he blows on me face to wake me!"

I knew about the door she complained long and loud over kiddos getting up in the middle of the night opening it and waking her, but they swore up and down they didn't and well when they were all on an overnighter the door opened and Mam then realised it wasn't the kiddos playing tricks. I even looked the door over because in me old abode all the doors opened by themselves because nothing was plumb in that old house. But this house is new, and constructed of steel beams so there should be none of that going on.

"I sit in me sitting rum opposite me bedrum, and I see it flit from me powder rum to the bed itself. Even me cats sit at the door and stare at it. The one, Molly will yowl at it sum times." Another great sigh.

"Do ye remember when ye first came to visit me and we were livin' at the old abode, and it was September and ye remarked how it felt like Halloween in that house?"

"Oh yes," she nodded.

"Well, it's September here and we have all that shadow activity goin' on up dere. Must of been September when the owner passed do ye knoo?"

"Likely it be," she said, "but it was September when the man next door shot his head off."

"No, he hung himself I heard. Back in the woods, the neighbours won't go there or show me where it was." I said.

"I heard he shot emself." She had a frown on her face. "The lady on da utter side of us won't tell me where either. I asked her and she tole me not to go in the easterly direction if I wanted to walk in da wuds." She sat silent for a moment and then added, "The man . . . I can hear his stomach rumble and I knoo it ain't mine because it be from across me rum. I also git woken wit em' sayin' a word ta me. I don't remember wot he says but he talks to me."

Oh my I thought, I wouldn't like that.

"Do ye tink he's da one oop in yer rum?"

"Oh my noo, dat utter is oot dere in da wuds. Dere be two spirits."

"Do ye wish to change rooms?" I asked not sure who would swap with her.

"Noo, it be fine he don't scare me nun."

"He's harmless is ee?" Well really what can a spirit do but scare the bejesus out you and not much else. Then I remembered that for the past two rainy nights there had been some kind of crash and the dog went crazy barking in the wee hours of the morning. I had even got up to look out the windows but I saw nothing. I asked her if  she'd heard it too.

"I haf. I got oop too and saw nuthin'. I heard wot sounded like sum one roonin' a stick against the porch railing and noon did I see. Dat were two nights agoo."

"How do ye feel breath on ye?" I asked a chill running up me spine at the thought.

"It be sum one breathe' up here just by me temple on the side. I can't do that so I know it ain't me dooin' it and da waken me oop wit a single word, well dat dere does fill me with anxiety. Dunt knoo why it do, but it do."

"Maybe its the guy frum next door." I offered.

"Noo, dis be da one dat built dis hoose. Dat utter be out haunting' the wuds like I say."

I wonder. I since made some enquiries and found that yes indeed the builder and first owner did die in the house. That there was a large wake held in the house with him laid out in the living room. He was well liked by all and the mourners came from all around. The other one, had some kind of blow up with his wife and went out back and either blew his head off or hung himself. Depends on who you talk to and he did one of these acts near me property line, but again, no one will tell me exactly where. They just say, "You don't want to go there." In truth I don't really, but I am curious where to not go.

"Mam, ye don't tink the ghost of John from the old abode came wit us?" I asked.

"Ooh noo, dis be sum one new." She was emphatic about that.

I have talked to some friends about this phenomena that seems to have more power to it than the one we left behind. No one doesn't not believe me. That's disconcerting right there that everyone believes we have activity. But this is New England and for some reason ghosts abound.

"All dis ghost talk be giving me da heebie jeebies, especially on such a dark day." I said taking a sip me tea to steady me nerves.

"Well den, dis will take yer mind off it. I wuz doon the rood talkin' ta Mrs. McGilicutty an' admirin' her flock of barnyard birds which she keeps as pets she duz. She tole me her muddeh-in-law visited recently an' said to her son dat she had a peeckishness for a nice roost turkey dinner. So the vera next day dere wuz a ploomb turkey all plucked an' reedy fur da roostin'. It wuz so tasty da muddeh-in-law expressed a roost chicken dinner made her peckish too! Next day dere was a nice ploomp chicken an' da Mrs. roosted oop dat an' da mudded-in-law says, "All dis good eating' could we finish oop me stay wit a nice roost duckling?"An' sure snuff, da next day a lovely duck waitin' fur da pan."

"What duz dis haf to do wit anythin'?" I asked puzzled.

"I be gettin' dere. So's after da muddeh-in-law left da Mrs. went oot to her barnyard fowl an' since her in-law's visit she hadn't been oot to coo over her birds. "Where be Harry Turkey?" she asked herself, then she noticed Mrs. Cluckingham Jones the big chicken was missing an' den vera suspicious she looked for Quarkers da large duck and well lo and behold dey were all a missin'. Seems da mistah beheaded dem all so hiz mam could haf juicy eats." With that she took the tea things and left me sitting in the dark with candles flickering wildly, like the dead fowl were protesting their demise. Not another word, notta, nothing. WHO DOES THAT?

So I be doing the same to you because I know you read every last word! Misery loves company.

Mr. & Mrs. Cluckingham before the disappearance of Mrs. Cluckingham
One buff duck Quackers, gone! They all look shellshocked one went missing
Yes, me Mam had pictures of remembrance thanks to Mrs. McGilicutty. She's as bad as Amanda sans shrooms!

Gabe
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

19 September, 2017

Mushrooms, they'll do it to you every time . . . if your name is Amanda that is

19 September 2017
880

R. Linda:

Ah mushrooms! They be great on steaks, add a bit to perk up a salad and in general they make a great sauce. This has been me experience with them. However, there are people that take the appreciation of this wonderful fungus a step further.

Let us admire one from me yard first, just to show the glory of a mushroom, most likely not an edible one, but a mushroom just the same.

No clue what kind it is, but it's lovely & probably deadly
What brings this on you ask, this mushroom fetish if you will. Well, it was an event that happened in me very own abode it was. Me resident visitor the Weas was here and he and I were sitting in the living room sipping coffee when he excused himself to go off to the loo. He had left his mobile phone on the table between us and it started buzzing. I yelled to him his phone was ringing and he shouted back I should answer it. And so I did.

"Hello, the is Weasil's phone, but he is indisposed at the moment, may I help you?"

"OMG! Just when I need him the most."

"Amanda? Is that you? It's Gabe here."

"Yes, Gabe it is me I am at a Phish concert and someone stole my cd collection."

"Uh, they still play?" I asked more to meself. "Sorry I don't think I heard the last part of what you said." I was thinking she said cd collection but that's impossible no one has cd's anymore.

"Yes, they still play . . . at least I think they do. I said my cd collection was stolen right out of the back of my jeep!"

The tears started and Weasil was returning to the living room so I quickly gave him a rundown of what Amanda was about with an opinion that she was not making much sense and worse she was in tears.

"She never does make any," he said in perfect English which disturbed me because you know how he talks, like he's from the Scottish ghetto. Anyway, he took the phone and asked her what was up and she told him the same thing I told him. He asked me in a whisper if Phish was still touring. I told him I didn't think so. Did she tell him about the cd collection? Yes, he said, but she doesn't have one he told me, nor a jeep.

Me eyeballs were near bugging out of me head. What was wrong with her? Well, the poor darling thought she was at a Phish concert in Colorado of all places. She thought she owned a white jeep and a vast cd collection. The second it seemed was stolen. Uh huh.

"Where in Colorado are you?" Weasil asked.

"I don't know, in the mountains."

"What mountains, what town is close?" He tried again.

"I don't know I just followed the Phish signs."

"Manda, you don't know where you are? Are you sure you are even in Colorado?"

"It LOOKS like Colorado."

"Oh that's helpful." He muttered.

I was floored when I heard that. How could he not know where she was and how could she, who lived in Steamboat for many years, not know where she was?

He was frustrated and put the phone on  speaker and sat down signalling me he needed something stronger than coffee to drink. I poured him a double Jameson.

"You have to come and get me. I can't find the jeep now." Amanda said on speaker. "There must be like 70,000 people here and I can't see it for the people."

"Manda, Ima not in Colorado, Ima in New Hampshire and we don't own a jeep." Weasil patiently explained rolling his eyes.

"Oh and someone stole our tent but didn't take what was inside it. WHO DOES THAT?" She whined.

Who indeed I wondered.

"Does this happen often?" I asked him in a soft voice and he shrugged. So who knows?

"Are ya with anyone?" He tried again.

"I was with some friends, but they are in the caves smoking weed."

"Caves? Rifle Falls?" He muttered and then shook his head no, couldn't be.

"And what were you smoking?" I asked out loud not meaning to.

"Shrooms." She said brightly.

"Shrooms?" I repeated looking puzzled at Weasil.

"Mushrooms. You were smoking mushrooms?" He asked incredulously his voice hitting a high pitch.

"No, eating them. They make me feel very funny like I am floating and seeing things. Lots of pretty colours."

Seeing things like white jeeps, cd collections and the band Phish I thought to meself.

"What kind of mushrooms were you eating?" Weasil asked getting scientific.

"I dunno, mushrooms. Some yogi kind of guy had em and he told us they would enhance our listening pleasure. So I ate some." She explained in a dreamy voice.

"How many?" I asked, getting into the mix.

"I dunno, a few . . . ok a lot."

"Manda, Ima like seventeen hundred kilometres from Colorado. It ain't like I can get there in a few minutes." Weasil said exasperation creeping into his voice.

"Oh here's Charlie and Krista now." She said and we could hear voices just as zoned out as her own and not able to make out any of it.

"Gotta go now." She said.

"NO! Wait hold on." Weasil said suddenly sitting up and forward as if he could reach out and stop her from hanging up the phone.

"You know this Charlie and Krista?" I asked Weasil.

"Nopers, never heard of em."

"Oh good," I said, "your wife is someplace in Colorado (she thinks), eating psychedelic mushrooms, oh excuse me, shrooms, and thinks she owns a white jeep, she doesn't, and owns a vast stolen cd collection, which doesn't exist according to you, AND she's listening to the band Phish with people you don't know, AND her tents been stolen."

"That about sums it up." He said taking a healthy swig of the Jamesons.

We could hear arguing faintly but couldn't make it out.

"SO?"

"So what?" He asked me.

"So what are you going to do. This is worrisome is it not?"

"Well, sorter." He said looking at the Jamesons like he'd never seen it before. "I'd call 911 but where would I tell them to go?" He asked looking straight at me.

"Amanda, it's Gabe, can I speak with Charlie please?" I asked since Weasil seemed stymied.

"Uhhh . . . he's arguing with some bearded guy right now." Her voice drifted off.

We could hear what sounded like slaps or punches and grunts and scuffling about. I raised me eyebrows at Weasil who downed the Jamesons and poured himself another.

I poured one too because the sounds from the speaker phone were rather concerning. I could hear a woman shouting, "If you hit him again, I'll brain your sorry ass." And then SLAP and then a clunk like a boat oar coming down on someones noggin. Weasil's mouth was an O and mine was too, as we looked with big eyes at each other.

"OKAY AMANDA WHAT THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU DOING?" I shouted.

"Beating the crap out of this loser who hit Charlie with a cd. WAIT A MINUTE THAT'S MY CD. HEY JERK FACE THOSE ARE MINE!" Amanda shouted and we could hear her feet running and then nothing.

"Hello? Hello?" Weasil said into the speaker.

"Hello, who's this?" A woman's voice said.

"Ima Manda's husband." He said.

"Oh hi, this is Krista Sloane how are you?"

He looked at me like WHAT? Really? This was happening? His wife runs off after someone with what we thought might be a boat oar and Krista is making small talk?

"Uh Ima fine. How are you?" He says back and I couldn't stand it so I punched him in the arm and mouthed where is Amanda at?

"Ow where is Manda?" He asked holding his arm.

"Oh, she's fine, she's probably going to get the kayak ready for the rapids down the river." Krista said in a dreamy voice. "The good news is we may have located her 250 cd's."

I stood there shaking my head no at him.

"Not gonna happen Weas, you better do something and do it fast." I hissed at him.

"Wait Krista was it? I heard her run after some fellow about a cd." Weasil tried.

"Oh yeah she did and she hit him a good smack, he's lying on the ground out cold. She got the cd and now she's headed for the river. We think the guy in the first kayak has the rest of the cd's and that's where she went."

"Holy Shite dude," I said to him, "THAT isn't good. If she's high on shrooms and headed for the rapids . . . in a kayak yet, AND if she clobbers the guy she THINKS has her so called cd's, well law suit, are you crazy?"

"ME crazy? She's the one eating shrooms and headed for the rapids in a kayak." It was then he realised the enormity of the situation. "Gabe, what should I be a doin'?"

"I . . . I . . . I . . . dunno." I said stupidly because I didn't.

"Krista, you still there?" I said into the speaker.

"Yup, on my way to the river, got the oars." She said like everything was hunky-dory.

"Can you stop Amanda from going on the river?" I asked starting to feel a little fright at the thought of Amanda high as a kite, in a kayak with a stolen cd, paddling in rapids somewhere in Colorado with people who were as sketchy as she was.

"Sorry guy she's already gone I can just see her caught in the Big Catch." Krista said the sound of oars falling to the ground loud and clear that she was getting ready to go in the rapids too.

"What is the Big Catch?" I asked.

"Its a particularly rocky basin that runs deep and the currents are treacherous at best, it used to be called Devil's Pot. But someone got killed there and they changed it to the Big Catch. I think someone was high on drugs when they renamed it."

"Ya think?" I threw at Weasil. I shrugged, I had no clue what to do.

"Too late to do a damn. She'll be fine." Weasil said. Then into the phone he said, "Have a safe trippy Krista," and he hung up.

"DUDE!" I said just then realising I was using the old hippie Colorado lingo I was hearing in the background of the phone call.

Weas poured another Jamesons, I think it was his sixth and sat back relaxed. He closed his eyes and said, "She's got a insurance policy if anything happens."

"That's all you care about?" I was flabbergasted.

"No, but she does what she does and I can't do a thing about it," and he sighed as though he were Pontius Pilate and washed his hands of the whole affair.

I sat down in me chair, me mouth agape staring at him. We sat in silence for a good long time. The time to turn on lights came and neither of us moved. We did finish off the Jamesons though. Tonya came in and turned on the lights asking why we were sitting in the dark. Weasil grunted something about "oh is it dark?" and I asked "what time is it?" and she decided when she saw the empty bottle that we were useless, and we were, so she left us to it. I think we both passed out after several times biding one another good night, because we both woke up in the chairs were had been sitting in the day before. To say we were both walking like herons hunting fish is an understatement. I am still sore of back and limb from the long night of horrible dreams of Amanda using cd's like Ninja Stars she aimed at the back of some hairy man in a kayak as they both bumped and flew down the rapids. I woke up to her on a rocky shore beating the fellow over the head with her kayak. Thank God I woke up it was not a pleasant dream. Weasil looked like he had pretty much the same dream as I.

In case you're wondering news came three YES COUNT THEM THREE days later from Amanda herself that she was just fine and dandy. When asked about the concert she didn't know what we were talking about. Cd's? No one has cd's anymore. Charlie and Krista who? Mushrooms, oh yeah there was some vague memory of eating a few mushrooms, but no, no can't remember beyond that. My question was where did you wake up three days ago? Three days ago? She must have been tired she slept for three days and woke up at her hotel in Glenwood Springs.

OK THEN.

"Looks like you won't be cashing in on her insurance policy anytime soon." I said to Weasil.

"Nope, nope, nopers, not this timey." He said looking wistful.

"Are you going to tell her about her embarrassing phone call?" I asked.

"Nope, let her little brain believe she was sleeping for three days. I think she'd be horrified if she knew the truth and well . . . there is always next time. And Gabe, there will be a next time."

Well, if that's the case I hope she calls him someplace other than me abode. Took a lot out of me to think she was in dire straits and not being able to do a thing about it. Unlike the husband who seemed to now find it all amusing. I tell ya!

Gabe
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

06 September, 2017

Trials and Tribulations of Gabriel O'Sullivan

06 September 2017
879

R. Linda:

I had spent the better part of me day off (Friday) and then me weekend (Saturday), doing yard work. Me Mam (this time, not me wife) decided the weather had that hint of fall in the air, so it was time to get the gardens turned, clip the shrubs for the last time, and generally get things put up. This backbreaking work I did by meself, and at the end of the day me hands were swollen and hurting. Yes, woe be me!

On Saturday I washed up, had me dinner and afterward dragged meself off to the shower for a long hot soak on me back with the shower massage and general cleansing of garden dirt, cobwebs, and sweat. It seemed to take a horse's age for the water to warm up, and when it finally did I stepped in. Ah the lovely feel of warm water on dirty skin and aching muscles. I lathered me hair and was in the process of rinsing it off when all of a sudden the hand held shower head was losing it's force, and the top of me shower head comes off at the wall, and I get sprayed with enough force to put a hole in me skull as a jet of water comes out of nowhere, along with a washer that hit me like a bee bee gun pellet and got stuck to me forehead for the force of the water!

The hand held shower head (which I was using to rinse the soap off me), came apart with the entire hose bursting out of the wall, thus the jet of hard spray. Talk about momentary confusion, I had no clue what had happened until I turned (in all haste) to shut the water off, which now was getting hotter as there was no control of water temperature!

I stood there, shampoo dripping down me face and shoulders looking at a completely detached hand held shower head. I dropped it and peeled off the washer that had hit me in the forehead. The thing had burst out of the wall with the force of the water. What else in this house is rigged to get me?

How many people do you know their shower exploded? Well, now you know one -- ME! AND, AND R. Linda, I have a bruise in the shape of a washer on me forehead. Looks like a bullseye and I have taken quite a bit of heat over it at work. I tell ya!

Then just Tuesday, Tonya had signed the two oldest kiddos up for footy (soccer) and did not tell me she signed me up to be head soccer coach. I had no clue so on Tuesday when I took them over to the pitch for their first practice, I was under the impression the only thing I had to do was get the soccer balls from the shed. Imagine me surprise when this Patrick person comes up to me and says, "You must be Gabe," and he extends his hand, "head coach."

"Oh no," says I, "if anything I be assistant coach." Me thinking to make a joke, but no says he, "you Gabe, are the head guy, I am the assistant coach."

He shows me the roster with me name in the top box and I say whoever made out that form put me name where his should be, but no says he, he be the head coach for another team and can't be head coach for two teams.

I tell ya! Thank you Tonya. All she told me was to show up early to get the balls from the shed, and stick around as needed. As needed me arse. How would that be I leave as the unknowing head coach with a gaggle of kiddos standing around wondering what next.

"Gabe," says Patrick, "surely you've played soccer in Ireland and know the game?"

Well, me being a tall drink of water as me former neighbour used to tell me, tried one last time to get out of me surprise situation, by saying, "Uh, basketball. I know all about basketball." Okay I don't, I know some and no that didn't play to me advantage.

We did practice drills and then I ran home to find not a woman in the house. The two of them had conveniently taken themselves and the wee one someplace else. I used me time to quickly get on the Internet and read up on how to be a head soccer coach. UGH!

Then (to add to me list of woes), just this morning, I was in me coffee fog when Guido comes in and informs me he be leaving for the school bus. Now this announcement wouldn't ordinarily be of earth shattering importance, but well considering the weather outside, even me in me fog could tell this was not a good idea.

Let me give a bit of explanation. Me eldest O'Hare, started middle school (yes I feel old), and he gets the bus at 6:30 in the morning which means he be up at 5:15. He feeds dog and cats and has his breakfast with Tonya, and she walks him to the end of the driveway to wait for the bus. She does this because this be her first born now a middle schooler and ahhhh, motherly love. Then she comes back cooks breakfast for Guido and at 8:30 walks him to the end of the driveway as well. Then she comes back gets breakfast for the youngest who be in pre-school and then off she takes him to school and drops him off and then she heads out to her workplace. She has it all down to a science. But today, she had to go in at 8 a.m. for a meeting so she managed to get the eldest off, but the last two fell to me and me Mam.

Talk about two people in a fog, that's me Mam and meself. We are not morning people until we have each consumed a full pot of coffee. Somehow Mam managed to get the last two up and dressed, she cooked them up a huge breakfast, more than they could eat (and ended up eating three breakfasts herself because she can't let "goud food gue ta waste!" It was me job to pack up the wee one and take him to school. I told Guido I'd drive him too since the weather was less than conducive to standing outside waiting for the school bus. We had severe weather alerts all night into the day and as it was, it was growing very dark outside. He insisted upon going by himself to wait for his bus. I did say it wasn't a very good idea, and to look at it outside, but no, no, off he went.

Well, a minute or two later there is a rumble of thunder, a flash of lightning, and I am immediately concerned. But before I could get in me motor and motor to the end of the long driveway through the woods, he was back.

He made it just inside ther door,  when the heavens opened and it poured like a waterfall. I wanted to say I told you so, but before I could open me piehole, he looks at me with tears in his eyes and says, "My phone, I lost my phone!"

"Well, it hast ta be in da driveway," me Mam offers. "It should be easy ta find dere Guido ye jus had it."

"Yeah, but . . ." Boo hoo hoo.

"I be not going out in THAT to look for your phone." I said as the rain poured down, the lightning flashed and the thunder boomed.

"But it will be ruined!" He whined.

Me Mam was looking at him askance.

"Howdya make it back so fast?"

"I was on my bike."

"WOT? Ye rode a metal object with lightning flashing all round ye? Are ye noots?" She shouts. "An were ye goin' ta poot da bike? On da boos?"

"No, hide it in the woods like I always do."

Well, that was a news flash.

"Good way to lose your new bike." I said. "I will walk down the driveway and see if I can find it when this lets up."

It wasn't letting up and we had to go, so I went out in all that mess and got soaked to the skin finding no phone the entire length of the drive and back. As I walk in, there he be looking anxiously and I shook me head, no phone and he burst into tears.

"Here, take dis towel yer soaked." Me Mam said handing me a warm towel from the dryer. I sat down at the kitchen counter and what do I see in front of me? Yup his phone, nice and dry -- more than I could say about meself.

All I can say be, I hope me week improves. This crazy little stuff be adding up and yours truly may be contemplating an escape to Denver. Yup as if me life isn't spiced up enough.

Gabe
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

26 August, 2017

Our Father Who ARE 2 D 2

26 August 2017
878

R. Linda:

OK SO . . . I don't know how to say this, BUT me Mam (while she doesn't need glasses), needs a brain adjustment of sorts. I be embarrassed to even write this story but she be so damn cute sometimes, and I have to laugh sometimes at the ridiculousness of it all, and sometimes just to keep me sanity.

Okay so let me start a few months back (oh to think this has been going on THAT long), when the wee one was left in her care and Tonya and I took the two elder boys shopping for school clothes. Upon our arrival three hours later, me Mam tells us that the wee one was "a trill ta watch." Oh he was so good and he played with his toys, and wasn't interested in the telly, no he was creating scenes he was and was a perfect joy.

Okay then, we were happy it worked out, happier still he wasn't glued to the telly. She was equally thrilled he went "ta baid at 9 o'clock such a verra gude buoy." That too, wow how easy was that for her? That was the last time she had to babysit the wee gent as we haven't been going out much because by then the Dragon had descended on her broom and as you know it be all we can do to keep up with her visits. Now Dragon's visit have not gone well for me Mam, no, no they have not. There has been many a time I find meself the referee between them on some argy in the kitchen, usually over how to prepare some dish.

Me sainted little apple cheeked, grey-haired Mam would take me aside and whisper to me that I needed to send the Dragon away, she was going to start drinking full tilt if I didn't do something because the Dragon was driving her to the drink and on and on she went. So to maintain me sanity on both ends, I finally got the Dragon to leave with the excuse of your visit, that we needed the guest room.

When you were here I know you noticed me very Catholic Mam with her rosary beads. She takes an hour a day to say the rosary in the privacy of her room. There she prays that we are all kept safe and blessed, as well as she prays to St. Francis to keep the Dragon away. St. Francis because he loved all animals and me Mam figures Dragon be lumped in that class and so that's why St. Francis. I know her logic be bent but . . .

I never disturb her when she's at rosary. But just this morning, there was a long distance phone call from her sister in Ireland and I had to go get her to the phone. I knocked softly and then knocked again and she just as softly said, "Coom in," and I did and there she was kneeling in front of her St. Francis statue, her hands clutching her beads, her lips silently moving in prayer. I softly approached as not to break the atmosphere of saintliness in the room and as I got closer to her make-shift altar I see on the top not a statue of St. Francis, but this:

The new and modern version of action figure St. Francis
"Uh . . . Mam," says I, "are ye prayin' ta dat figure dere?" And I pointed at the white haired figure.

"Oh ay, indeed, dat be the new and improved St. Francis," says she brightly.

"Uh . . . Mam," says I again, "I tink ye are prayin' ta Obi-Wan Kenobi . . . from Star Wars."

Horrified she leaned back on her heels looking at it.

"Woooot?"

"Yes, I be pretty certain that be Obi-Wan." Says I.

"Why dat leetle deevil!" She got up off her knees and looked at me aghast. "Yer wee gent gave dat ta me da nite I sat fer em' an tole me it was St. Francis an I could half em. Dat explains it!" She said with a bit of heat.

"Explains wot?" I asked.

"Why me prayers ain't bein' answered!"

We stood there for a few seconds, she silently steaming and me trying not to laugh.

"Oh befur I furgit, you half a phone call from Ireland, yer sissy." I said breaking the silence.

With that she started out of the room, but then she came back and swiped, and I mean swiped up that action figure and went out the room, me just steps behind her, when she suddenly turned and I walked into her and she grabs me hand, puts the figure in it, and hisses at me, "Doncha tell a soul ye hear?"

Uh sure, LOL, I won't tell anyone, but YOU R. Linda. Me lips are sealed, LMAO.

Gabe
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

22 August, 2017

Total Eclipse of Meself

22 August 2017
877

R. Linda:

Happy Birthday! Even though we celebrated it Sunday, and again yesterday I should wish you a happy one on your official "name day." Ha ha, only Game of Thrones fans will get that and I know you won't OR maybe by now you do know what that means after telling me you haven't been watching the show, and me putting you in front of the telly with every episode from season 1 to current. I know you complained on day 3 about fuzzy vision and nightmares about a blond kiddo with a crown that looked suspiciously like Weasil making dreamland a horror show like he does waking life, but four more days and you should be caught up and well Weasil is gone!

So Sunday's celebration went without a hitch even if you didn't know who most of your guests were. I thought the spraying of the silly string was rather excessive, but you and me Mam seemed to be having a good time so I didn't stop either of you though I wanted to. I am still cleaning that stuff up, every time I go outside I seem to track it in. I also thought you were too old for a cake smash but that wasn't me idea and why you persisted in throwing pieces of smashed cake at Sean's head I have no idea, and he never found out who it was that had done it. He'll have greasy hair for the next six months, that was a lot of icing to try to wash out. I also thought the sparklers you joked about in place of candles were dangerous especially when me Mam decorated that half sheet cake with over a hundred sparklers. I thought I'd burn me face off trying to carry that thing to your high chair. Speaking of high chair, I be so glad we kept that since our kiddos have graduated to chairs. You looked very comfy in it. Oh and I especially didn't appreciate the slip and slide when every time it was me turn you'd come flying out of nowhere and knock me off me feet to slide down that hill in all that soapy stuff, me arms and legs in the air (what a sight I must have been), where I came to a smashing halt with a BOOM as I knocked into that giant rock at the end of it. Whose idea it was to use a boulder as a stop I have notta clue though I am suspicious. Not cool, and unlike you and everyone else I found nothing funny about that.

Yesterday's celebration of day 2 of birthday combined with solar eclipse, now that was tame compared to Sunday's fiasco of good times, uh huh. I will thank you for having talked Weasil into taking Sean out west to see the eclipse leaving us free of at least two morons. Though I be not happy with the Weasil and Sean for the way they razzed us that they had a better view. I worked hard (as you know to get shots of the "partial" eclipse we had, just to have me pride wiped away by Weasil's shot with that Nikon D-SLR attachment to his Orion telescope of the "total" eclipse! What a show off.

You all made such fun of me going outside and sitting in that lawn chair with me back to the sun taking selfie shots with me Smart Phone. But it paid off it did.

Me Smart Phone captured the image of the eclipse on it's lens. The small white speck at the top  be  the image captured
Progression of eclipse
Ending of eclipse
This was all fine and good and I was quite happy with meself that me patience paid off and I could prove you all wrong that it was possible to take eclipse pictures (even if they were partial) with a Smart Phone without burning your eyeballs out. That is I was very self-satisfied and smug UNTIL Weasil and Sean sent these that they took from some corn field in Nebraska!

Sean using telescope
Weasil's Nikon & Telescope photo - the pratt!
I at least licked me wounds (and the plate) with the Banoffee Pie me Mam made for your second birthday celebration. I ate the rest of it so there be none left in case you are looking for it. I have though, been thoughtful enough to take a picture of the last slice before I ate it on you so you can see what you missed out on not being quick enough.

Comfort food for Gabe, um, um, good!
Having recovered from the antics of a weekend not well spent, covered in black and blues from a slip and slide, multiple burns to me face, fingers and hands from sparklers, and damaged pride from two idiots, who I hope stay in Nebraska for another week, I have decided to splurge on an iron gate for me driveway to keep the two Nebraska sight-seers off me property. I don't see how that huge camper cannot damage it's front end when it hits that iron. Because as you know, the two morons will come back in the middle of the night, and the iron gate is black and with no street lights, they won't see it. Yes, I get comfort in that imagery. Yes, I do.

Gabe
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

17 August, 2017

Crazy things in the sky OR just crazy people on the ground

17 August 2017
876

R. Linda:

With your arrival comes a wee bit of madness. I knew your flight and me picking you up from airport went too smoothly. Even afternoon tea and dinner had no hiccups, and just as I was getting into the groove of a lovely visit, Weasil shows up! Never mind we successfully packed the Dragon on her broom for New Jersey so our visit would be dragon-free, now we had the other thorn in me side arriving unexpectedly.

I knew by the expression on your face that this was just up your alley. I could almost hear the sarcastic remarks whirling around in your head as the young whippersnapper greeted everyone like it was HE we had expected for a visit. Not so! I was as surprised as everyone else to see the lad. The last I knew he was heating his heels dancing at Shannon Airport, but no, no, here he was fresh from an Irish holiday. Lucky us right?

And it was with some trepidation we had watched his arrival. We had taken our coffee and tea to the back deck and were chatting and having a lovely time when we heard the crunch of tyres on the drive. Me Mam muttered, "Wondah who dat could be noow." And then Sean, "Ye noo anyone wit a RV dare Gabriel?"

And we looked to see out of the gloom of the twilight trees, came this huge RV rolling in. I thought to meself that maybe they mistook me driveway in the woods as a state park, which often happens, so I got meself all set to help them turn the monster around and down the steps I went only to be greeted with the honking of a very loud and huge horn, with a skinny arm waving to me out the driver's window. I looked and I looked and sure enough, it was the Weasil.

"Where did you get THIS monstrosity?" I asked him as he shut the motor down.

"Me new purchase fur driven aroundie da place ta see da scenery." Said he hopping out.

"Oh my." Me Mam said from behind me.

Weasil's new wheels
He told us he'd be staying overnight and camping out in his "camper." That was fine by me. We were given a tour of the fully stocked vehicle and it looked like Weasil could live for years in that thing. The only bad thought was that he could live for years in that thing in ME DRIVEWAY which was getting quite a bit crowded.

Before you or he had arrived, Sean went out and bought himself a hot tub from the guy down the road, who's wife had enough of the thing. Oh yes he did, and why? Because cousin Gabe (that be me) put the lad to work hauling rocks to make a cobble wall of sorts and the poor lad's back was breaking from the burden of that wall, so he went out unknownst to the rest of us and bought a hot tub. Never mind that I am paying through the nose for the electric, which as I have complained me bill be through the roof, was no matter to cousin Sean, as long as he be luxuriating in his hot water bath at days end while the rest of us . . . not so much.

Really? It isn't like it's 4 feet high - I even rented a dozer for him to make it easy
Not only will the electric bill now be astronomical, but where he put it be a crazy place. When he asked me where he could put it I told him where the sun don't shine and walked away. Well, in his mind he placed it where it would be out of the way in front of the steps to the front walk! See here:

Sean's big purchase
Life suddenly was taking on a "crazy" aspect it was. Sean was bad enough but now we had Weasil infringing on YOUR visit! I was near speechless and not at all happy. I have to admit everyone was determined not to let the interloper make things zany, as often be the case, and we did invite him to after dinner coffee and treats on the deck. Okay that was all fine and good for a while, but then Sean and Weasil got into a discussion of ten people hot tubs which had me squirming in me seat. That's all I needed was a large hot tub. We'd never see the front walk again!

You did a good job of trying to shut the Weasil down in his trying to convince Sean to size up. I was impressed with the idea of snakes slithering into the hot tub and bird doo raining down from the trees. But Weasil deflected that with a canopy (which made the whole image somehow worse) and (from experience) how good boiled snake can taste.

I don't know how we made it through your first night because it got more bizarre as the sun went down and we were inside and then since it was a lovely night, back outside with drinks. Seems Weasil, mixmaster extraordinaire, has quite the bar in his RV. He makes a mean whiskey sour he does, and after three of those rather easy to drink drinks we seemed to be having a gay old time on the deck. Weasil and Sean went to the hot tub with their drinks and we could hear the thing whirring away as we sat their discussing noise pollution and huge electric bills.

It was shortly after they had parboiled themselves they came back to the deck all excited pointing to the heavens.

"Didja see dat star moving and whirling up dare?" Sean said pointing to the sky.

We all looked up and you offered up that he was drinking too much and seeing things, Tonya offered it was a satellite, and me Mam, that he and Weasil were looking at a UFO. Yes, she be helpful always in that way.

We sat there for over an hour craning out necks looking at, "Da triangle of brightie stars. See da onie on da righty? It be moving an spinning." Weasil said pointing.

"Which one?" You asked sceptical.

"Da bright onie." He pointed and we all watched when suddenly a shooting star appeared and that was quite a bit fabulous. After twenty more minutes of "Lookie dere it be a moven'," something bizarre did take place a star was shooting but not down it went UP!

"Wot wuz dat?" Me Mam near shouted.

"I told you about that, I saw one of those a month ago," Tonya reminded us. "It looks like a tube and shoots UP and disappears!"

She did tell us this a few months ago (and no one believed her), in the meantime, some of us saw it and some of us didn't. I think the didn't sees weren't looking or were too seeped into their cups to notice much of anything.

"But lookie at dat star move!" Weasil said reverting the discussion back to some see it and some don't.

"I tink yer noots." Me Mam said to Weasil and Sean.

"Nah, not exactly nuts, bonkers!" You interjected.

Well, I don't know why we were trying to see what the two idiots were seeing. I never did, I saw a bright star going nowhere. I did think you pointing out a plane flying overhead quite a bit hilarious as you pointed to it coming over the roofline and shouted, "Look! Look! A UFO!" And for a fraction of a minute you had the two star seekers in excited motion looking at the sky jumping around like two buffoons (which they are).

It was a crazy end to a relatively nice day, but you really need not to go to the pet store with me Mam and buy a snake for the hot tub. Though I think that would freak Sean out, Weasil not so much -- he'd eat it, but it would certainly freak me if it got loose being so close to the house. You and me Mam (I can see) are a lethal mix. You both think alike and if this continues I will be more than certifiable by visit end.

Gabe
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

09 August, 2017

Space Station

09 August 2017
875

R. Linda:

Last night I was thinking it was too bad you weren't here now, because the space station flew overhead and I think you'd have found it fun to watch. But since you weren't I put in me one good picture (taken with me mobile phone, so amazing I have the detail I do) and also because a few weeks ago we were able to see a small bit of the aurora borealis (again mobile phone photos but not very good ones) I will stick one of those in too.

But take heart the station flies over me house every week or two so you'll get to see it. So here is space station and one northern lights (well as much as I got anyway) pics.

Space Station 

Unfortunately me phone did not pick up the colours, but there is a bit to the right top side.
I have not figured how to use me zoom on me Canon. It won't even click on telephoto for some reason. I have fiddled with the F stop and everything else. I guess I should go back to me little auto Canon and try that next time.

Gabe
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

07 August, 2017

A Game of Peppers

07 August 2017
874

R. Linda:

In anticipation of your arrival for a visit to the new abode, there was a lot of cleaning and polishing going on. In honour of your visit I decided to experiment with some Mexican food and made up a batch of spicy chimichangas. I know you like hot sauce so I was working with peppers, slicing and dicing and inadvertently rubbing me eyes and oh the pain that caused from the pepper juice! That's why I think me hot sauce didn't turn out the way I had hoped, or the chimichangas either, since me eyes burned and I couldn't see the recipe.

Determined to taste everything I made with the whole house watching and laughing, I made a show of it I did. I made like nothing was that hot, but oh my goodness the instant heartburn! I sipped the margaritas slowly and the alcohol made it worse. I thought I was going to die, but I tried not to give meself away. I smiled and tasted some more knowing each bite and sip was lethal. I know call me crazy but I just couldn't let the Dragon see me pain and give her something to dig at me with.

Once out of the kitchen and away from the hot stuff, Tonya came in with a huge glass of ice water and told me to go drink it in the bathroom so her mom couldn't see. I chugged that baby down like there was no tomorrow but it didn't put the fire out. No, I was now smoking through me nostrils, ears and mouth thinking me lower extremities would not be exempt from the fire I had foolishly fuelled in me stomach!

I had to lay down, I mean I was near doubled over and I couldn't let Dragon see that, so I said I was sleepy and going to have a lie down. And I did after Tonya brought me a refill of ice water. I tell ya, I was burning up. I tried listing the hot peppers I put in that sauce in an effort to escape consciousness. Repeating things I find usually puts me to sleep, so there I was whispering to meself, "Rellenos Poblano, Guindilla Verde, Chilaca, Cayenne, Guernica, Chipotle, Serrano, Habanero, Pimiento de Padron, Aji Rojo, and Piquillo too." I made a sing-song out of it and it did finally put me in chili pepper escape land. BUT that wasn't a good thing necessarily.

I had bad dreams like I mean bad dreams! I was being roasted over a spit by Ramsey Bolton. The fire licking me skin and it crackling or so I thought, but it was Ramsey's cackling as he turned me over and over. I passed out on the spit and then I was sitting in an outhouse when this very short person opened the door and pointed a crossbow at me! "You are on the wrong throne," she said pointing the ready to fire arrow at me. I hurriedly pulled up me pants which were the weirdest pants ever! They were leather with what looked like leather scales and me footwear was matching boots. I looked like a crocodile. She pointed for me to follow her down this long, dark hallway and there we came into this big room. It was filled with a few groups of people with their backs turned having conversations, so I didn't know who they were.

"There is your throne, sit on that." She said as I obeyed because she still had that crossbow pointed in me direction.

Who . . . who are you?" I asked her.

"Tyrion Lannister."

"No you're not," I said recognising you R. Linda.

"Am too! Everything's better with some wine in the belly." You said, pouring out a margarita not wine. I shook me head no, no matter the goblet was this jewelled affair, I wasn't drinking from it with me dicky tum, no way was I drinking anything burningly alcoholic.

"You . . . you killed Tywin Lannister with that thing." I pointed to the crossbow you still held.

"Oh, did I kill him? I've been very busy."

"YOU drink that and stop quoting Tyrion Lannister."

"I can drink myself to death on the road to Meereen." You laughed at me, as I watched you waddle away to one of the groups down the steps below me throne. I sat there looking around me, feeling the fiery ache in me belly from the hot sauce wondering about the big hall I was in. It was all dark stone and large tapestries I couldn't make out. Not to mention, but I am mentioning it anyway, the pointy chair I was sitting in was made up of swords and the points were up me bum and very uncomfortable!

Suddenly I was nudged by something and I turned me attention to what it was and almost jumped out of me hot skin. There in front of me was a huge dragon wearing spectacles. How I didn't hear that thing approach I don't know, but I lifted me long legs up under me and tried to blend into the throne chair.

A puff of smoke came from it's nostrils as if a dragon gesture of clearing its throat. It announced in a New Jersey accented American English,

"Today's headlines: First one -- Rainbow flies off track killing three."

I sat there stupefied. Rainbow? Flying off tracks? Railroad? Did it mean THAT?

"Second one: American spinster has epic reaction to beating Usain Bolt."

WHAT? Spinster? Beating Usain Bolt with what? Oh sprinter maybe? Not that kind of beating. Gees!

"Last one: Police arrest man suspected of kidnapping motel."

HUH? How do you kidnap a motel, oh than it dawned on me -- model. Damn that Dragon can't get anything right.

As I was tsking away the Dragon disappeared in a puff of smoke before I could correct it.

Next thing I know, you escorted two people from one of the groups who came slowly up the stone stairs to me throne. One was a good looking dark haired man dressed in black with a black wolf wrapped around his neck and a blond-haired woman, who's hair seemed to grow at every step she took.

You said to the dark man as you were nearing me throne, "Dewdropper is not about to head across the pond to fight an enemy she's never seen, on the word of a man she doesn't know, after a single meeting. It's not a reasonable thing to ask." Then you turned to the woman with the startlingly fast growing hair and said, "You don't have to believe Wolfie here. Let him mine the dragonglass. If he's wrong, it's worthless. You didn't even know it was here; it's nothing to you. Give him something by giving him nothing. Take a step toward a more productive relationship with a possible ally. Keep him occupied while we focus on the task at hand," and you whispered but I heard you, "O'Sully Rock."

"But the cave drawings," Wolfie began to protest.

"Oh wait, the cave drawings," I said, realising I knew this conversation. "You were gone a long time Wolfie Snow, down in that abyss of dragonglass. You had plenty of time to draw those figures on the cave wall. I know you are a bit of an artist."

Wolfie looked like he had been caught redhanded or in this case with chalk in hand which he did have and shoved into his pocket out of sight.

The blond woman's hair grew even quicker as she looked at him startled he do such a thing.

"And here I thought you were an honest sort." She stamped her foot.

"Now, now," you said, "he has fine good hair, he's a handsome one so what's a chalk drawing between lovers."

"Lovers?" I said getting up again, me blood racing in disgust, "he's her brother!"

Everyone in the hall turned around at me declaration, gasps coming from all at the revelation. Before anything could be said, this blond-haired kid rolled up in a rickety wooden wheel chair, his eyes white and a grey wolf lap robe over his cripple knees.

"Iz da three eyed raven an Iz is ere' ta tell ya wot da guy on da thronie sayz is truth!"

"Ee gads it's the Weasil," you said to no one in particular. "Three-eyed raven my ass."

Just then the great wooden doors clanged open as two women came in. One dressed like a salad with a sword and the other with flaming and I mean literally flaming red-hair holding a jewelled tankard. I recognised them both instantly, Fiona the Canadian salad expert and Gillian the Irish beer drinker. It was obvious both had been dining recently.

"He IS her brother he's a Targaryen and I'm Arya Stark." Fiona said as she chopped salad from her head with the sword. An amazing feat when you see it done.

"Noe he be NOT he's da bostard of da Nort as I be a priestess wit da mostest." Gillian said, her heavy Irish accent hanging in the air as she threw beer from the tankard on her flaming hair as if the fire was a minor inconvenience and beer was water and not an accelerant.

"That doesn't rhyme," you muttered.

"Bostard?" Wolfie said all indignant. "Whats a bostard? And YOU are that wench who fires up the barbie with deformed face young girls!" This last he threw at Gillian.

"OOH I DID NOTING OF DA SORT!" Gillian protested loudly.

I recognised her then as the Red Woman, it explained the fire on her head.

"Let me give ya soom advice, bostard . . ." Gillian began but was cut off by Fiona.

"Wolfie Snow knows nothing. And I mean nothing."

"Hey, I resent that . . ." Wolfie began.

"I am willing to over look the bastard or bostard thing," Dewdropper sighed looking at Wolfie. "Oh the things I do for love."

No one moved, no one said anything, Wolfie looked uncomfortable thinking what if the salad head was right and he WAS a Targaryen brother?

"After all," Dewdropper defended, "it's the family name that lives on. It's all that lives on." She finished that last wistfully, poor dear.

Quiet still reigned, no one moved, no one said anything until you piped up with this gem: "When dead men and worse come hunting . . . You think it matters if he's her brother?"

"You mean 'you think it matters who sits on the Iron Throne.'" Gillian corrected.

"Nope I don't mean that at all." You stood your ground even though you were low to it.

The large wooden doors clanged open again, as a fuzzy haired woman came in with a scroll.

"I am known as Missandei AKA Tonya. I come bearing the genealogy of the Targaryen line. I can put this brother sister act to bed."

Everyone exchanged alarmed glances and mouthed the word 'bed'.

"Oh please do," I said going down and leading her up to me throne by the hand.

A stone table magically appeared out of the ground and Missandei Tonya spread the sheet out. It was huge, it was complex, it was from ancestry.com!

"See here," Missandei Tonya said to all of us as she ran a finger from one name to another, "Rhaegar was the son of Aerys Targaryen and the older brother of Daenerys and Viserys. Lyanna was the daughter of Rickard Stark and sister to Eddard, Benjen, and Brandon. Wolfie Snow is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, that means Dewdropper here is his auntie. The rest of you Starks are cousins and I am sorry to inform the Lannisters, they are no relation.

"Well, that clears that up." You said relieved.

"Not quitie," Weasil shouted from the bottom of the stone steps.

A man who was announced as Jamie Lannister came in holding his arm where it was obvious the hand had been severed. It was bleeding all over the stones and he was cursing up a storm.

"Bloody Roos Bolton! I only meant ti giv er' a kiss!"

I knew that pronunciation of the name Rose as Roos and recognised me cousin Sean. I also understood I was KING so I ordered Sean AKA Jamie Lannister put in a closet to shut him up quite literally. Feeling kingly as everyone murmered among themselves I unconsciously picked up the goblet you had offered earlier as I felt very self-satisfied. I had taken two gulps when I saw everyone looking at me askance.

You were looking up at me with your head lowered so all I could see were your eyes. They had a demented glint to them.

"Whaa . . . ?" I said staring down at you.

"Well, JOFFREY I hope you go fast."

I dropped the goblet and it went clanging to the floor, the margarita juice all over the stones mingling with Sean's blood. I looked at everyone, quite taken aback and then I fell forward and don't remember a thing after that.

I woke up at 4 a.m. feeling the lessening of a slow burn in me intestines from the peppers. Never again will I do that pride thing of trying not to let the dragon know I made a huge culinary mistake. I do tend to eat me mistakes, but that's got to stop along with the pride thing. It took a few minutes but then I remembered me dream. A pride dream! That's what I get for doing stupid things with spicy food. I hadn't given the consequences much thought but I do realise if that dream had gone on, there would have been white hot pepper walkers and me running for me life to the loo I be sure. On that note, I am done with this which I know will make you the one who is self-satisfied. Uh huh.

Gabe
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

05 August, 2017

The Weasil Goes A-Flash Dancing

05 August 2017
873

R. Linda:

I wasn't there but I heard all about it! Seems our Weasil was in Ireland recently and while waiting for a flight to London, he was cooling his heels at Shannon Airport he was. Having some time, Weasil went shopping and not needing an Aran sweater or cap, or scarf, or even a trinket souvenir, he was totally bored out of his Weasil mind until . . . yes R. Linda, UNTIL he spied a footy shop and in he went!

And out he came sporting this:

Or, something similar though I think this be the one
Having a new found need to purchase expensive footy jerseys it seems the Kappa Remilo Team Club Wear be the Weasil's new passion. He is looking to get every Kappa jersey he can get his hands on. So walking around sporting his new look, he was not paying attention to a lot of other yellow jerseys, of similar look. Yes indeed, he was busy taking selfies on his mobile phone and flicking off photos of the new kit to his wife, kiddos, friends, anyone who would take a peek.

As he wandered thus in the middle of Shannon, he stopped in one area to take yet one more self indulgent selfie, quite oblivious that suddenly he was surrounded with yellow shirted people. With another unexpected suddenness Irish music began playing out of the loud speaker and the yellow shirted people around him started step dancing. The Weasil woke up quickly to the thunder of the heels to floor and the whoops and hoots and as one young thing and then another reeled around him he figured he better step his way out, but wait! There was no way out, he was in the middle of this musical chaos and so he did what any discriminating Weasil would do, he joined in!

Here is the muddled masses in yellow shirts for your perusal:

Photo Courtesy the above
Now you can see how the Weasil got mixed into this crowd? I tell ya, the young laddie be ever into the mix, whether consciously or in most cases, like this one, unconsciously. If you look closely he's in there somewhere. Well, from what I was told he danced his heart out knowing a few steps, but one must remember the Weasil be no Irishman, but a Scotsman. So what the Irish kiddos were dancing and what the Scottish Weasil was dancing, were two very different steps they were, but close enough I suppose for Weasil to get by.

He said at the end of this fiasco of sudden dance mania (for it was as you guessed a flash dance), the Weasil was mistaken for the lead dancer or even worse dance captain. Yes because his shirt was slightly different he was soon the main focus of everyones attention. Of course, it didn't help that as soon as the dance was over, the yellow shirted Irish dance kiddos dispersed leaving the Weasil standing quite alone in the middle of the floor.

At which point a few people came up to tell him, "Well done!" and of course Weasil accepted it as being his performance never mind the dance troop!

Oh poor Weasil you say, I couldn't agree more, but I do snicker at the whole episode. I don't know if any of this be true or not, as it is second and third hand joke information passed on from one reliable source and one . . . not so much.

I did try to get in touch with the Weasil for comment, but he was "unavailable" as his flight to London was in the air. I can't think of anything more humorous than a dancing Weasil, especially when the dancing be a surprise to his rather keen self. In this case not so keen was our Weasil. At least it wasn't me this time, as this sort of thing usually happens to me not the Weas.

Gabe
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

28 July, 2017

Colluding or Canoodling?

28 July 2017
872

R. Linda:

I be no political expert by any means but the climate I be living in leads me to pay attention to the politics or lack thereof, being bandied about. It be like a wreck where you don't want to look, but for the life of you, you cannot look away. That's how I feel about the Trump presidency and all that goes with it.

What happened to the ha ha, strong Republican house and senate? Seems we have a strong keystone cops (GOP) vs. the left over Clintonites (Dems). So far the GOP can't seem to "come together" (thank you Beatles) and the Dems have adopted the word "no" as their go to word. Nothing seems to be moving or getting done, but a few confirmations.

And even those confirmations find the agreed upon nominee finding himself fired, then another is fired, and now we have another that Trump wants fired, and another that may be in line for the same fate and yet another waiting in the wings, and one that be feeling the "chill" of possible firing. I be talking Flynn, Comey (non-nominee), Sessions and Priebus, McMasters, and Tillerson. And of course forcing your main press person out by resignation (Spicer).

Never has me American wife lived through so much turmoil in so short a time with a president who can't keep his mind or fingers still at strange hours to tweet out terrible accusations, or opinions, or orders. She no longer joins in any discussions because she frankly be at a loss for words.

Every time Tonya's mother throws out the latest episode in the news, Tonya opens her mouth, nothing comes out, then she throws up her hands and walks out.

Last night a friend of ours (Jim) was over. He said he regretted he voted Trump. He said the infantile, immaturely level with a feeling of self privilege on the side of our commander in chief, has made him think he has made a terrible mistake. He also wonders why more people haven't noticed and felt the cold chill of what all that could eventually lead to.

Well, while we were discussing this crazy political environment we were eating spicy tacos and you know what happened R. Linda. That night I had political epiphanies, yes I did. I actually dreamt I was a WH (White House) staffer and I was in charge of changing out all the WH dinner plate for Limoges on the orders of Sir Trump to please his wife that more "tasteful" dinnerware would be a hallmark of their State dinners. Then suddenly I found meself with long false eyelashes (courtesy of Kellyanne Conway to make me look more "feminine") and a baggy red sack with a slip showing being ushered out to sing "Scaramouch can you do the fandango?" in a falsetto worthy of Freddy Mercury at a dinner for Anthony Scaramucci.

Just as quickly Kellyanne pulled me off the floor and ushered me down the hall to take over as press secretary.

"Don't complain, you'll do fine." She said shoving me in front of the press podium.

At a loss, I asked, "Do I look fat in this?" I gestured to the red bag I was wearing.

Don't make fun of me manly legs and knobby knees not to mention those shoes! But worse me slip was starting to slip down. Try walking in those shoe with your slip slipping you up.
"Where's Sean at?" A reporter shouted.

"Sean's here, he's busy painting all the furniture gold, so I be filling in." I said trying to look smug like Huckabee Sanders. Then I realised I was Huckabee Sanders, OMG! I wanted to run but hands were waving at me from the press room. Conway was sitting to me right eyeing me like she would devour me like a Burmese python if I didn't take a few questions. I jumped in head first I might say and called on Jim Acosta, CNN.

"A few days ago you said Jeff Sessions had nothing to worry about. Well, now it seems he has a lot to worry about. The President has been tweeting derogatory tweets aimed at Sessions. Is it true he wants Sessions out?"

"Uh no, he loves Jeff Sessions, Jeffy be a loyal solider and helped get Comey out." I said looking as hostile as Huckabee Sanders can look.

"That's not what he tweeted at 3 a.m.," Jim continued to press, "he said he was unhappy with Sessions recusing himself and not telling him before he was confirmed he'd do that. The Russian . . ."

I cut him off before he made me look really stupid.

"Jim, listen it isn't that, you read that tweet wrong, President Trump was merely implying that Hillary Clinton's Russian ties were more serious than Jeff's."

Acosta looked at me for a long time like he hoped he heard me wrong. Then he slowly said, "Ms. Sanders, Clinton wasn't mentioned in that tweet."

"Well, Jim I said the word 'imply' you know what that means."

"Let's try a different approach to that same questions. Maybe if I put it another way . . . "

"Nope you had your chance Jim, lets go onto ABC News's Jonathan Karl." And I pointed at Jonathan.

"Yes thank you. Is President Trump trying to "airbrush" Sessions out like Stalin did to Nikolai Yezhov?"

"That's just ridiculous," I replied, "and I resent you bringing Russia into this."

"Hey, weren't you the Easter bunny?" John Roberts from Fox shouted.

I froze. How did he know? That was years ago and he knew, damn it he knew!

"Misinformation." I said looking as steely eyed as Huckabee Sanders knew how. I adjusted the bag and noticed me slip was hanging even lower.

"There are pictures . . . " he cited looking at me amused.

"Oh I be sure there are." I huffed. "What of it?"

"Getting rather combative aren't you Ms. Sanders?" He said with a snide edge in his voice.

I ignored him and pointed to Cecila Vega, but Roberts held up a picture of me on Boston Common dressed as the  Easter Bunny. He flashed it around the press room much to me embarrassment and everyone else's amusement.

"Show him out." I said to security and they came and dragged Roberts out, but the damage was done, me credibility was zero.

"Anyone else? Huh?" I said white knuckling the podium, trying to act tough like Sanders and snapping me gum like Spicer.

Ms. Vega cleared her throat and caught me eye. I lifted me chin up giving her the go ahead.

"If Sessions resigns, is President Trump hopeful that the Russian connection and possible collusion accusations will go away? And my second question is, does that open the tweet door for Mueller to be next? Or, is that just wishful tweeting on the President's part?"

"Wow two questions at once," I muttered but the mic picked me muttering up. "First if Sessions goes, Mueller wouldn't follow . . ."

"That is what was said about Sessions when Comey was fired. But the reason it seems that Sessions must go is so Mueller will go . . . The Trump campaign is accused of colluding with Russia to help win the White House for . . ."

I stopped her in mid sentence.

"You are making this a reality TV situation and it's anything but. You are all touting political rhetoric to make your ratings higher and get more viewership. I think that's disingenuous with all your fake news. No one knows what to believe anymore, you twist it all. It's YOUR fake news that's the problem!" I spouted insanely.

"We can't get a straight answer out of you," she persisted, "so if we have to comment on what you said and "implied" to use your own word, then fake or not we have to report as we see and hear it. It's YOU that's making the fake news. One day it's a White House statement, the next that very same statement is tweeted by the President as something entirely different, and then YOU come out here to put a SPIN on both and well confusion is the rule of the day!" She finished by looking me straight in the eye as if in challenge to say she was wrong.

I got a note from Kellyanne it read: Conference over get out now.

I called an end to the conference among the shouts of all the journalists hurling note pads and cell phones at me baggy dress. I got out as Kellyanne slammed the door to the press room behind me.

"Well, that wasn't much different than usual." She smirked at me.

"I guess I don't have the job." I sighed.

"Oh you have the job, you will go it alone next time." And she stalked off leaving me looking at me ever lengthening slip under the red bag.

"Oh and lose the eyelashes it makes your eyes look sleepy," she threw over her shoulder like the false eyelashes had been my idea.

I pressed me lips together in anger and then ripped the false eyelashes off not without a little pain for me trouble. Someone put their hand out to receive the eyelashes and I looked into the face of me old nemesis Diane Sawyer.

"Oh God," I jumped back, "for a minute there I thought you were Martha Stewart."

"And I thought you were Snoop Dog," she said snidely.

"Don't I wish, this being Sarah Huckabee Sanders be a real drag."

"I can see that," Sawyer said looking at me getup.

"I need to be laser focused," I said with a sigh. "I should go on a diet."

"You need to be focused on those reporters, and a diet might help but really you must shelve the eyelashes. Its great to have you with us Gabe, leading us off."

"Us?" I squinted at her studying her face, something was different. I thought she sounded like she had a faint Russian accent.

"Its great to have you as always," she said, "thanks to you." She started to walk away and I realised she knew I knew something was up. She started running when she heard me footfalls coming up behind her, soon she was running down the corridors with me in hot pursuit -- clunky heels and all. I held me slip up trying to keep it from twisting around me knobby knees and tripping me up. I caught her as she got to the door to the rose garden. When I grabbed her sleeve the sleeve came off and revealed a muscled masculine arm. I was stunned and grabbed hold of her other arm, same thing. She looked smug not upset and I stood there watching as she lifted her hands to her neck and started pulling at a Diane Sawyer mask. Standing there smiling at me with malicious glee was Vladimir Putin.

"Now YOU have Russian connection, eh?" He said poking me.

"YOU!" I was taken aback.

"Yes me, what I do you can't necessarily do, so let me point out you being here with me, meeting, yes meeting illegally, means YOU are colluding. No one will help you, everyone is hiding over there in bunker bushes thinking you're gonna die, when big explosion happens."

"Explosion?"

"When your head explodes from too much Russian secrets. Canoodling with Putin," he said wagging a finger in front of me startled face. "You my friend are in big trouble now."

"I thought I heard a hint of a Russian accent when you were pretending to be Diane Sawyer, really Vladimir pretending to be a woman?" I sneered.

"Oh and you yourself reporter person, wearing a sack with long slip and look at those shoes! At least I have chosen a women with style to impersonate, you not so much, hilly billy." He said laughing at me and pointing at me bag dress, slip, and shoes. "Oh and the eyelashes, too too long for you." He said batting his own high priced falsies at me. He took them off and the complete Putin stood in front of me . . . well but for the fitted dress and black stockings sporting Rustam Adykov stilettos.
Even his legs looked better than mine!
"Nothing but the best in Russian footwear," he sneered looking at me clunky heels.

"Really? We are going to stand here and discuss women's clothing?" I said taken aback and feeling extremely frumpy.

He reached for me and started shaking me and it was then me head exploded. I woke up to the face of me wife shaking me and informing me I knew too much about Russian high heels and who was she that I was having a dream conversation with? O-M-G!

"Vladimir Putin, she was Vladimir Putin!" I shouted.

"Yeah right Vladimir Putin." She let go of me and huffed out.

It's been three days and she still isn't speaking to me. All this over a crazy dream and to explain it would make it even worse than it already is. And she wouldn't believe me! I tried and she took me collision and made it canoodling. I can't catch a break, I tell ya! I guess I will have to wait it all out. In the meantime, I hope they don't broadcast live press conferences because to see Huckabee Sanders will ruin me day and if she knew about me dream, I'd probably ruin hers. But Vladimir would get a laugh out of it I'm sure. Not the Diane Sawyer part, me as Huckabee Sanders, hilly billy press secretary. Oi!

Gabe
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved