19 July, 2014

Welcome to America Mam!

19 July 2014

R. Linda:

Well, me Mam be moved in and she seems as settled as she can be with three kiddos finding her a novelty. The poor woman has no time to herself, no none but she's been very good and patient with the three whirlwinds that ambush her as soon as she appears anywhere in the house.

She also has managed to pick up three suitors in a very short period of time. The first one at the grocery store. She was all about going to an American supermarket so I took her. She got a cart and I got a cart. She insisted she needed a cart of her own, thus two instead of the one we really needed. I went to put mine back but she told me not to, because I had Tonya's shopping list I should go take care of that and she'd pretend shop for herself. I didn't ask, I just did as bidden.

We'd meet occasionally and in one aisle she had a bag of Dove white chocolate bits and that was it. I smiled and went on me way and she smiled and went on hers. At one point I caught up to her in the drink aisle. She had in her cart (besides the chocolate bits) two large packages of chicken wings, a six pack of some beer I'd never heard of, two cartons of Coke A Cola and a 12 pack of Snapple Iced Tea. As I came up to her an old man about her age also came upon her and he looked in her cart and said, "So you having a party?"

Looking rather stunned, she stammered, "Yes, yes I am."

"So looks like you have all the fixings. Chicken wings, beer, that's going to be a GOOD party."

"Oh, oh I hoop so," says she in her Irish accent, flustered and looking in her cart.

"Your husband's a lucky man," he grins.

"Oh, noo, noo, noo hoosband," she says shaking her head in adamant denial.

"So whens the party?" Asks himself.

"Oh . . . Oh . . . Wednesday," she finally says brightly, thinking Americans are a friendly lot.

"Can I come?" Asks himself.

That's when I stepped in.

"Mam's what's this then?" I said pointing to the items in her cart.

"Oh I taught I'd make ye soom of me special chicken and I bought soom beer fer ya sonny." Says she.

I looked at the old geezer and raised me baseball hat in greeting and he continued on his way getting me subtle message to move on. I tell ya!

We had a short 'discussion' on me paying for the goods in her basket but she wouldn't hear of it she wanted the 'full American supermarket experience'. So we pulled over to a checkout and I let her go first. The man doing the bagging looked like a leprechaun with dark brown hair. His eyebrows were arched in the most mischievous demonic way I'd ever seen. He shouts (because I be thinking he might be hard of hearing) at me Mam, "HELLO THERE! HOW ARE YOU TODAY? DO YOU WANT THE BEER IN A BAG OR OUT?"

Well, me Mam be used to answering one question at a time and I heard her mutter under her breath, "Oh dear me."

She smiled and looked at the checkout girl who was busy ringing up her items then back at the loud little man. She heaved a sigh and quickly said to him in a rather loud voice to match his own, "HELLO YERSEL, I BE FINE TODAY, NO LEAVE DA BEER OOT."

"OH IRISH ARE YE?" Says he with a huge smile, "ME TOO! PEOPLE FROM COUNTY CORK!"

"OH HOW NICE FER YERSEL." Says she nodding and I knew she was thinking, ugh County Cork!

He asks her about bagging this and bagging that, or keeping it out, and he's busy putting bright orange stickers on everything to indicate they've been paid and all the time he is keeping a loud and running conversation with herself and she was trying to keep up until he too asked if she were having a party but he wanted to know if she was eating all that chicken herself because if she was, he'd love to join her.

At this she turns to me and whispers, "Are dey all like dis? Or, is it da chicken?"

I smiled and shrugged for in reality I've never been accosted in the supermarket but one time and it wasn't even comparable. I had been at the checkout with heavy items, like soft drinks, fruit drinks for the kiddos and some beer for meself when I noticed the bagger was an old woman who looked like she was in her 70s. She was slowing putting the crisps and Cheetos in a bag and so I thought to help her along by putting the heavy drinks on the bottom of me cart. She stopped what she was doing, put her hands on her hips and informed me she was "very capable of doing THAT!" Oh yeah shopping in America be a whole different adventure to bringing your own bags to market and bagging yourself.

But back to me grey haired apple cheeked Irish Mam. She pulls on me sleeve and whispers up, "Do ye tip dese people fer putting da food stuffs in da baggies?"

"Oh no, no, no, no." I said quickly.

"Are ye sure?"

"Oh yes, very." I replied.

With that she returned her attention to the man ignoring that he had left a question about eating chicken lingering in the air. She paid the bill, and he asks her if she needs help getting her market items to the car. Oh no she informs him and points at me and says, "Dat's me strapping big sonny boy, he can do it." And with that she goes off with her cart leaving him looking after her, or I should say leering after her until he turned to look at me and start bagging me items.

"FINE WOMAN THAT!" He says to me, "YOU VISITING FROM THE OLD SOD OR LIVE NEARBY?"

Well, I wasn't telling him where we lived, so I said SHE was visiting and I lived in Vermont. Thought to do some shopping on this side of the border. Like he believed THAT.

I got out of there and got to the car. Me Mam had finished putting all her wares in the boot as I came up. She wanted to know if she could drive the car as she wanted to experience the great American highway. I took pause.

"You do know they don't drive on the right side of the road here, they drive on the other?"

"Of course I knoo dat, so give over the keys and I will be careful." She said.

I reluctantly handed over the keys as I finished putting me items in the boot and she went to familiarise herself with the dashboard. I did all this packing up food items slowly trying to think of a way to get the keys back and get her in the passenger seat. But I could think of nothing she couldn't argue me out of. Oi!

Well, after many seat and mirror adjustments she got herself situated and carefully she backed out and got to the service road and she was fine, then to the highway and she got into the slow lane and she was fine with that too. She informed me we needed petrol and should she stop at the petrol station she could see up ahead. I said yes and that the gas tank was on me side and to just pull in. The station was one of the few that was not self service so I stayed in the car as the attendant came around and he looked in and smiled at me Mam. He was a little younger than her, but he didn't seem to notice an age difference as he said, "Hello lovely lady what can I get for you?"

Not expecting THAT she giggled the silly woman, and then looked at me and asked, "Regular?"

I nodded and she said "regular" and the attendant went to put the gas nozzle in. But then he came back to chat and the smile was one of infrequent teeth, but me Mam made not to notice and they were talking about the weather when he suddenly asks, "Did you say you cut hair?"

"Uh . . . noo, I did not." She answered a wee bit flustered.

"Oh I thought the last time you were in you said you were a hairdresser."

"Dis be me first time here." She informed him.

"Oh? I could have sworn . . . anyway the gal cut my hair cut it too short," says he running a greasy hand through very short cropped hair. "You can see my bald spot." He shook his head in disapproval.

I won't bore you with the give and take that went back and forth on the haircut that was got so he'd look good when he went to a gun show. Did she like guns, oh she supposed so. I sat there thinking I didn't just hear that, but I did. Was she new to the neighbourhood, well yes, yes she was she was still moving in. OH was she now? Well, if she needed help he'd be glad to run over and help her unpack. Yeah I bet he would. I tell ya!

Well, we laughed about the three pickup artists and I looked at her and thought, you know she doesn't look her age and she's kinda of a cutie even if she is me Mam.

"So which one of those guys is the new man in your life?" I asked half jokingly.

"Och! Notta one. I be done wit men, never again, I be strictly me own woman and I don't need a man!" She protested with I will say a lot of Irish vigour. "Besides I be livin' in a hoose wit tree young boyos and den dere be yer grown self. Dat be quite enough."

I had to chuckle to meself, she be a strong woman and a wilful one. I don't think I have to worry about her with all these "friendly" American men. She'll get the hang of it soon enough. But how is it these guys can sense a single woman without having ever seen her before?

Like she said there are a lot of old geezers in the world, oversexed, overrated, and more ready for the undertaker than they know. Trying to capture their youth she says, while she'd rather enjoy her family and grow old gracefully. I think she's on to something there.

Gabe
Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

16 July, 2014

It was a dark and stormy night -- oh yes it was

16 July 2014

R. Linda:

Tonya had gone to Jersey to visit her sister. Sister had a baby recently (I mentioned that to you I believe) and so big sister winged her way down to help out the new mom and dad. With everything going on here and us being so busy I thought it was a good idea Tonya go for a long weekend and the kiddos and I would be spending quality time together. That's what I thought anyway.

After seeing Tonya off on a very early flight, the kiddos and I went home to go back to bed, but you know when you are overly tired it's hard to just fall back into sleep mode no matter how much you want to. As a result only one of us, the middle child Guido, was able to do that and he did it sitting up propped against a wall, a Legos character in one hand and the other just dropped on the floor in exhaustion. The eldest, O'Hare was zooming around the room dumping toys everywhere and I could do little about that because the baby was wailing up a storm he was missing his Mamma.

All day long it seemed I got no rest for me weary bones. If I wasn't picking up toys that were a danger to me staying upright, I was pouring chocolate milk or making peanut butter and jelly sannies. In between all this I was getting bottles for the baby and changing his nappies.

I planned a movie night so I went out and rented Frozen, though they've already seen it, I was sure all that singing and silly girly empowerment stuff would put them out like lights. Well, they complained they'd rather see Shreck, but that movie has more action than Frozen and the kiddos were more likely to act out characters in Shreck than anyone in Frozen. So I put me foot down and made them sit on the couch to watch while I popped up some popcorn and denied them Mountain Dew (which would wire them instead of do what I wanted, go to sleep). I even thought of making turkey sannies because of the melatonin in them and that would make them sleepy. But they only wanted popcorn and to complain about "Who eats popcorn with milk I wanna know?"

"Well, you do," I said to a complaining O'Hare.

"It ain't fair havin' to watch us a girlie movie when we want SHRECK and eat popcorn with milk!" O'Hare battled back.

"Dis sucks it iz like havin' Weasil as a father!" Guido declared glaring at me as he put down his glass of milk. "Ya dunt expects us to drink dis stuff does ya?"

WOW to be compared to Weasil was just . . . awful. BUT I held me ground it was milk and no sugary drinks of any kind.

Somehow we got through 3/4 of the movie. There was a lot of sighing, shifting positions, blowing out air, to such an extent I asked them if they'd rather just go to bed. Surprise to me, they took me up on it and marched upstairs. Luckily baby went to bed before the movie and was sound asleep, which was one down and two to go and a good thing -- to me at least.

When I got upstairs their room was strewn with Legos everywhere. I ordered clean up and was told by O'Hare that the mess was all Guido's who reluctantly admitted it was. I told O'Hare to brush teeth, jump into bed, put his light out and Guido would do the same once all was cleaned up. With that I went back downstairs.

There was no moon that night, and rain and wind had come in just about the time I escorted the two kiddos upstairs. I thought it would be a perfect night to catch up on some writing so I turned off the lights as I went and decided to use my wife's computer downstairs (because I didn't want to disturb the boyos by going to me loft upstairs), so I started working on a story for you (not this one).

It was a "dark and stormy night"  quite literally
I had been at it for maybe 45 minutes when I heard a sound behind me. It didn't really register until I heard the sound again and I turned to look into the dark shadows of the hallway but I didn't see anything. I turned back to the computer screen when I heard, "Ah hem!" which had me quickly turn around to be looking at some dark small shape with points like devils horns standing right behind me. I switched the lights on quickly, nearly jumping out of me skin to see THIS:

Yes I was visited by BatBoy in the dead of night, a dark stormy night at that
I sat back down staring at this dark apparition on a dark, stormy night. It said in a very deep and cryptic voice, "Batman has a message for ya, Batman doesn't like chores, chores suck!"

"Uh ok, but does Batman know if Guido has cleaned up all the Legos and gone to bed like a good boyo?" I asked playing along.

"Batman helped him! It wasn't fair he hadda do cleanup by hiz self!" The deep voice said as if I should be ashamed of meself.

"Okay then. I got the message Batman, now I will assume you want to leave as stealthily as you entered before I go up to check on Guido and O'Hare?"

"Yezz but let dis be a warnin' ta yerself." The deep voice said as it majestically swept around cape flapping behind him, but then he stopped, put the cape up to his face again and gave me a parting shot before disappearing up the stairs, "An no more girlie movies fer Guido and O'Hare!" With that he was gone.

I sat there and chuckled to meself, completely out of story writing mode. I decided to switch off the lights and go up too, but not before I made sure Batman morphed back into Guido. By the time I slowly reached the boyos room, their lights were out and I could hear O'Hare snoring, but Guido was in bed feigning sleep like I didn't know he was Batman. I closed their door and put the hallway lights on so I could make sure there were no toys to trip over. As I reached me bedroom I got a thought for the story I was working on prior and so went to me loft and quietly started to write the thought down when suddenly there was a flicker of lights from the storm. I stopped writing, looked up, and the flickering stopped. I went back to me writing when I thought I had noticed something unusual sitting by the door when I looked up at the lights. I did, there sitting next to the baby gate was THIS:

I tell ya! Creep me out more why doesn't he

There just sitting still staring at me through slits in the Batman mask was me dog! Me Irish Red and White Setter! I was like what the hell be this then? There was a note on the floor that must have fallen off Batdog and it said, "Ima watchin' ya! signed Batman."

How perfect to have the watch dog watching me. OK!

"You poor thing, come here girl let me take that off you." I said and nothing. She just sat there content to stare at me through the eye slits. I got up and when I did she went tearing around the room, jumped the gate and was gone flying down the hall, her cape waving in the breeze of her motion.

I hate to tell you this, but I spent the better part of the dark, stormy night chasing that dog around the house. I couldn't leave that outfit on her for fear she might get caught in it, thus the running after her. It got to be a game, I'd be waiting for her in one room and she'd go shooting through to another. Finally, I sat in me desk chair in me loft in exhaustion trying not to fall to sleep, the one thing I wanted most.

I'd catch meself because every time me eyes would start to close around the corner came THIS:

Batdog on the prowl
By the time Tonya arrived I needed me a holiday. So I went to Ireland to get me old Mam to come back with me and I will say THAT turned out to be no holiday at all.

Gabe
Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

22 June, 2014

Hippies making coffee, quiches filled with corn, and an artist from outer space

22 June 2014

R. Linda:

Last weekend me wife and kiddos went for a weekend in Jersey to visit the Grand Dragon who unfortunately has the distinction of being me mother-in-law. So off they went leaving yours truly on his own. I had to work Saturday anyway, so I had Sunday to meself. Now me neighbour to the northwest, one Arnold by name was also on his own and unlike meself, he had no clue what to do with his free time. I had run into him at the pizza shop Saturday night and he expressed surprise at seeing me kiddo-free and I asked after him and he told me about being lost with what to do without his wife who was on a business trip to Chicago. As we exchanged commiserations it was somehow decided I should join Arnie for breakfast the next day.  We'd go out to this beanery place he knew of as he heard they had the best coffee and as you know, yours truly is addicted to the stuff so it was a date!

The next morn, bright and early Arnie pulls up what he thinks might be the driveway, and out I come, hop in and off we go to this hyped coffee place. When we got there I was rather surprised it looked like a hippy hangout, you know the type, the women in long skirts and blowzy blouses and the guys all sporting scruffy beards and dirty long hair with beads around their necks. Certainly not what I was used to, which are the suave hipsters plugged in and either texting with their smartphone or using an I Pad, very techie types dressed in the latest designer duds. Yes indeed. No Boston here.

So we looked at each other and Arn says to me, "Well . . . my daughter has a friend who displays her artwork here. I promised if I was down this way I'd go and look at it. This artist left college to spend all her time on painting." And then he sighed.

"Why the sigh Arnie? You think she should have stayed at university?"

"No, just that she's . . . well I met her twice, she's a pretty thing, but she's . . . uh." And he shrugged.

I didn't want to pry as I got the impression the "pretty thing" was odd, so I asked no more and got out and followed Arnie inside. It was so laid back in that shop you could lay on the floor and no one would care. I mean people just lounging around hanging on the counter, sitting in the window, or just lazing and humming to themselves or sipping Joe as you stare at the wall or off into space. The service was the same. We had to wait for the girl to give someone their coffee order, then she proceeded to wash the dishes! Yes, fully knowing we were next in line, I tell ya. When she was done she asked what we would like. Well, I saw on the board they had quiche so I asked for that. She pointed to a clear plastic display where there were three quiche pies. I looked for a plate there were none, just napkins and excuse me but I wanted my quiche heated please. Well, she handed me a paper plate like I had killed a tree and waited for me to open the case and take a quiche. I did and placed it on the corner fully expecting she'd pop it in the micro but instead she asked me if there was anything else. Well, yes, yes there was I'd have the . . . the . . . good heavens there was no regular coffee it was all almond mocha this or honey cream that or roasted cinnamon to where confused I blurted out I'd have a honey nut almond cream latte! And by George you would think I asked for something more involved the way she looked. She got out the honey nut liquid, then the almond cream, then the whole milk, then she poured the coffee which I suspected was regular coffee, then she placed it under some kind of super blender and Viola! I was handed a tall cup of whatever with a foamy leaf design on top. Well OK!

Meanwhile the quiche sat on the counter.

Arnie steps up and orders something with the insane name pinnacle toast with butter and an almond mocha latte. I paid for both orders thinking that might hurry along me quiche being microwaved, but nah, the dude who used the "heating implements" was busy making Arn's pinnacle toast which as we watched he did in slow motion the buttering of the strangely named bread. But we couldn't see the butter only the slow slow motion of the knife as he worked the stuff over the top of the four slices. And it took forever! When it was finally slammed on the counter the toast was covered in homemade peanut butter and oh my Arnie is allergic to peanuts!

Meanwhile the quiche sat on the counter.

I said to the hippy lad that me friend ordered the butter not peanut butter.

He looked at me and said, "So enjoy he got more for his money," and he shuffled away into the inner recesses of the back room where I am sure he went back to his bong.

"You don't understand," I shouted to him but all I could see was a haze of smoke and little else. I turned to the girl behind the counter who had been filling coffee orders the entire time but Arnie said not to bother, he'd scrape it off and a little of the stuff wouldn't hurt him . . . too much. Maybe a bad case of hives. I told him I thought the artwork was in the side room to take his stuff and I'd join him as soon as I got me quiche heated.

Another hippy child appeared from the smokey back and right away I picked up me quiche and asked politely if she'd heat it. She said nothing but you could tell she did not want to do it. As it was heating she started to give me a lecture on microwaves and how I would be consuming them, etc., and how dreadfully horrible they were. I wanted to walk out I was so incensed, but Arnie was waiting so as soon as the quiche came out I'd free meself from the lecture. But she told me to go join me friend she'd call when the quiche was ready.

I turned to go and thought, hey wait a minute it doesn't take but a few seconds to heat a quiche. Was she going to nuke it? Make it hard as a rock? As I turned around there it was me quiche sitting on the counter, herself fading into the back smoke filled bong room. I wanted to tear me hair out.

Well, I grabbed the quiche, went to the side room and found Arnie looking kind of green with read blotches on his face as he sat munching and looking at the wall beside him. There was a good sized painting he was staring at. So I sat down and looked at the picture too. The entire canvas was covered, there wasn't a fraction that didn't have something on it. Talk about minutiae the painting was many subjects jammed upon each other and most of the things represented were skeletons, people holding hearts as their bones protruded from different parts of their bodies. Everything was in black and white except the blood red and dripping hearts!

I absentmindedly cut into me quiche and took a mouthful only to stop in mid chew and look down. The quiche had CORN IN IT! Who knew corn was used in quiche? Certainly not this guy. It was the oddest tasting quiche I'd ever eaten. Before I could say anything Arnie was getting up and signalling me to move to another table, the picture was a bit much for breakfast decor. So we slid over to the table across from us and started to peruse the painting on that side of the room.

The painting was in brown tones with flares of colour here and there, but it was of skeletons with guitars with butterflies acting as one winged musical insect notes that turned into big horrible looking angry bugs.

"This your daughter's friend's work?" I asked.

"Oh yeah that's her, lots of problems . . . deep psychological problems." He shook his head as he stared at the artwork.

I am thinking oh yeah there is. Lots and lots of problems. How am I supposed to enjoy the corn quiche looking at the very busy morbid artwork? I suggested another table, but on second look around we stayed where we were. All the work was bizarre and busy, very very busy.

"It must take her years to complete one of these." I said.

"I guess," Arnie said not able to look away from one incredibly ugly and threatening looking bug.

I bit the bullet because I had to know, "May I be so bold as to ask what her problem is?"

"Aliens."

"Aliens like in spacemen?" I put me fork down I had lost me appetite as concern took me over.

"She says she is abducted almost every night by aliens and when she comes back she draws what she saw." Arnie explained.

I got up and looked at a few more of her works and they got worse and darker and busier and I am thinking psychiatric institution needed. So I sat back down and told Arnie that now I was depressed.

"Then lets do what our wives would do, let's go shopping!" He perked up.

I was looking at his swollen red face. No way, he looked like he had the plague. I made up some lame excuse I had a Tonya assignment, I had to mow the lawn and as I am saying this I realise he lives just above me, so now I have to mow the lawn, stupid me!

As we are walking out, this pretty petite brown haired girl is getting out a Volks Beetle (well what else would her hippy self drive?) and she takes a double take and sees Arnie. She screams his name and comes running over to throw her arms around his neck and jump up and down in like a dog who's owner has returned. It was rather embarrassing but Arne took it in stride, disconnecting her bony fingers from around his neck.

"O M G!" She throws at his appearance. "Did THEY come for you too last night?"

"Hives, I am allergic to peanut butter and even though I had a small bit . . . how bad is it?" He asked realising what she said and walking over to the car side mirror. Well, when he got a gander of what he looked like, I am sure he felt foolish for suggesting shopping in public.

"They came, didn't they?" She said looking at him all hard and serious.

"This isn't happening," I said to meself and started walking towards Arnie's motor.

I don't know what was said, but she was animated like a cartoon and he was backing up towards the car. I leaned over and opened his door wide so he could just fall in and not struggle to get away. And he did get in quickly, slam the door and turn the ignition. SHE was still out there her mouth running a mile a minute, the prettiness gone, a strange expression that looked very alien taking over her face. I thought she'd turn bright neon green next. I looked back as we drove off, she still standing there running her mouth, the long skinny arms gesticulating and the bony fingers pointed at the heavens.

"Well," I said brightly, "at least you got to see the artist."

Gabe
Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

10 June, 2014

One thing is for certain -- he isn't Mr. Ed

10 June 2014

R. Linda:

I did not grow up on a farm, nor did I belong to any animal husbandry or agricultural clubs when I was a wee kiddo growing up in the town of Newry, Northern Ireland. This sort of thing just didn't go on in me little corner of the town. I don't think I ever gave a thought to barnyard animals in all me born days so to put me in charge of a large barnyard animal, that the size alone scares the bejaysus out of me . . . well it was a unique proposition it was.

Me old neighbour who lets us poor folk in the woods (whose road was taken away -- your remember THAT) use his paved driveway to get to the road out of the woods to the highway, has been nice to never complain about us three neighbours coming and going at all hours up or down his driveway. No, notta word. However, recently he asked us (the men of the  households) if we would be kind enough to keep an eye on the old farm while he and the wife went to visit their only child out in Vermont. It would be only three days (Memorial Day weekend) and that would be it. So if we could just feed the animals and clean out their mess well it would be much appreciated.

What can one do when one does not pay to use the man's driveway, and yes I know and he knows there is no other way out of the woods by means of his drive, and he even plows up to our rocky driveways any snow or ice in the winter without being paid for doing so (though we have offered but he always says, "No, one day when I need some help you all can do payment that way") and that is what occurred. Yes R. Linda, the day had come!

I was the last one down to the meeting in the barn so I got the chore that was left. Oh yes I did, and that chore will teach me NEVER, NEVER, NEVER be late for a meeting because the leftover chore OR more correctly the one nobody else wanted was saved for yours truly! Oh yes it was and what a chore it be.

I was in charge of Armageddon. Yes and you may well imagine with a name like that this animal was trouble with a capital T. He is a horse, a jet black Frisian (I was told that is the breed) just a tad smaller than a freaking shire horse. This big guy I was told was master of the barn, ruler of the farm, and full of himself and I can attest he is all that. And I found this out the hard way.

When I looked in the stall he seemed bigger than I remembered, but to be fair I've always seen him at a distance, all harnessed up pulling heavy stuff for me old neighbour, making it look rather easy. But when I thought back on some of the large trees he'd pull out of the way, or the waggon filled with heavy machinery that was being hauled to fix some broken part, well this be one powerfully strong mother.

I looked at him in the stall as he munched on his hay. The size of the hooves were gi-normus! He didn't like me looking at his shiny self and to let me know he didn't like me looking, he'd pick up one of those big feet and slam it down on the stall floor making me glad me own large feet weren't underneath his.

"So is he tame?" I asked reluctantly.

"Oh sure," the old man laughed, "once he gets to know you he's like a cat."

"A cat? Not a big goofy dog?" I asked thinking cat? Really?

"Well Gabriel, he's sly like a fox and clever like a cat. Big goofy dog," more laughter, "no, not anything like that."

I was told to come down in the morning and give him his hay first, then his grain and lastly get the water bucket, clean it out and refill it to the top. Because Army (as he is affectionately called by his owner) will drink lots and lots of water. I was to let him eat in peace and comeback in an hour, and if the weather was nice to let him out in the field, if it rained keep him in. If it rained I'd have to muck the stall with him in it, but just give him hay and he'll be a good boy.

"Oh and Gabe, if he's in you'll have to come down several times a day to make sure he has hay because he'll destroy the stall if he's bored and lots of water because we don't want him dehydrated."

My neighbour Chemical Ali (as we call him behind his back) had arrived first for the meeting and so all he was doing was feeding the poultry. All he had to do was let them out of the coop and spread the stuff they eat on the ground, put the hose in the water thingee and he was out of there until the afternoon.

Charlie the other neighbour got the keys to the house to go in and feed the dog and the cat, let them out for some exercise and then come back at the end of the day for the same procedure.

The cows were up in the fields and Lois was always their caretaker so she wasn't even at the meeting and not really considered one of the driveway freeloaders so she really had nothing to do but keep an eye on the bovines.

I was shown were everything I needed was, and well I was not happy I had heavy shite to shovel and haul away (at least I had use of the tractor) and then I had to shovel sawdust into a wheelbarrow and then spread it around the stall. So I tried to psyche meself into this, I told meself that here it was me opportunity to pretend I lived on a farm and this was the prize stallion I was in charge of, etc., but walking passed me hammock on the way home made me NOT WANT TO DO IT!

So the next day, me first day on the job, I go down at 7:00 a.m. resenting I cannot sleep on me day off, to feed and get Army ready for the day. Unfortunately the heavens decided to rain the entire day so that meant Mr. Army would be indoors. This unfortunate turn of events, I found out quickly did not sit well with that gi-mougus horse.

When I got there and opened the barn door I could hear him stamping impatiently so I opened the stall window so he might feel a little less confined. I turned the lights on and suddenly forgot what I was supposed to do first. So I went to the tack room and got down the feed bucket and started to fill that when I hear him slamming the stall window. I looked out and he picked the thing up with his teeth and hauled it upward and then released it and BAM it slammed down hard on the stall door. He did this the entire time I was trying to measure out the grains he was to get. I shouted to him I was coming, gees give me a chance I be new at this sort of thing.

I got the bucket and he saw me coming and stopped the banging of the stall window watching me come on. I thought good, he's quiet. I go to unlatch the stall door (oh and there are two latches because he's a Houdini, he can unlatch the top one and has let himself out, therefore a bottom latch he can't stretch that powerful neck to get at with his teeth). So I bend down to unlatch the bottom one and suddenly I feel this awful pressure on me back like someone took a row of clothespins and clipped them to the skin on me back. It hurt! The black devil had bit me and what an unpleasant surprise that was. I dropped the bucket luckily not spilling it because I didn't know how I'd have cleaned it up with those flashing teeth above me, and he was snapping the long yellow choppers as he stretched his long neck out the door trying to bite me again.

Lesson one: Never, never, ever open the stall window until AFTER stupid has feed in his bucket.

I put the bucket down which got him front kicking the stall door with those massive hooves as I went for a push broom which I raised in his face to back him up long enough I could shut the stall window. Once I had that he had moved to the back of his giant stall and was kicking now with one of his hind legs the back of the stall. I was afraid to go in. I had thoughts of opening the stall door a crack and throwing in the grain, but I thought better of it. So slowly I opened the door after grabbing the bucket and entered slowly, me back up against the opposite wall from Mr. Horse and then very quickly I dumped the grain in the wall feeding station and then quickly hoofed me way out as he came at that feed station like he hadn't had feed in years.

I tell ya! I got that door closed and wondered how I was supposed to complete the rest of the morning ritual. Oi! Neither of me other two neighbours would appear until around 8, as those animals could go longer than Mr. I Am Going To Kill You And Then Eat You.

I will be honest once he was at the grain I quickly got the water bucket out of there, hosed it down, filled it up, lugged it back to it's place, clipped it to the wall and ran out. I looked outside the barn and it was drizzling. I checked me phone and it said rain all day. Oh goody. That meant I had to muck that stall with snappy horse inside with me.

I got the muck buckets, the shovel, the rake and filled the wheelbarrow full of sawdust. I was all set except for one thing, me good trainers were not going in that stall one more time. I saw me old neighbours Wellies and put them on. They barely fit, but I didn't care. It was then I remembered the hay. I hadn't given stupid his hay ration. I went over to the bale on the floor and took a section and started for the stall but stopped just five feet from it. Mr. Grouchy had finished the grain, didn't want the water but was sizing me up standing there with the hay. His eyes were red in his head R. Linda, I swear they were. The demon horse from hell stretched his neck trying to reach me and the hay and curling his lips back over those long yellow teeth, he started snapping at the closed stall window. He used his teeth to grab hold a bar but couldn't grip the bars that well.

Talk about intimidation that horse was the epitome of that word. I approached slowly and took a handful of hay and threw it at the window but it was too light and fell shy the window. Which meant I'd have to bend over and pick that up but at least with the window closed, I'd not get bit again. So I took a bigger and heavier handful and squeezed it through the bars, and he grabbed it and threw it over his head. He looked at where it fell but made no move, instead he was facing me waiting. I did the only thing I could to keep me safe, I slid the door open a tad and threw the whole section at him just missing him as it landed next to his bad self, but at least it was inside the stall. There he started to rip it apart and munch.

I left him at it deciding to come back later and muck. It was just too much adventure for a man who hadn't his morning Joe.

I did find an ingenious method of looping the water hose through one of Army's outside facing windows where the water bucket was just beneath. Once I had it lined up I turned it on and easy-peasy water in the bucket without harm to yours truly's life and limbs. I left the hose there all day thinking I would periodically come down and refill the water bucket. Only stupid had other ideas on that score. He must have grabbed the hose with his long teeth and pulled the hose into his stall until it was strung taunt from spigot to window. I had a hell of a time hauling it out the stall window so I could re-set the nozzle up with the bucket. The third time I had to do this exercise, I got just so far and could not get the hose to slide out the window. Frustrated it was hung up on something I went around and inside the barn and there he was, standing on it. I shooed him from outside the stall but it took me getting a horsey treat to get him off the hose. He was turning out to be a real pain in me Irish butt.

I would also feed the hay through the stall window bars so I'd stay safe. But it came time for the evening feeding and the mucking of the stall. Sigh. Gearing myself up for an unpleasant time, I got everything I needed situated outside the stall door. I heaved a sigh and started forward, but he came at the stall door like he was going break it down. That gave me pause it did. I decided to get a section of hay and offer that, get him to the hay rack on the other side of his stall. I started to open the door and as soon as I was half in, he grabbed the hay and ripped it from my grasp. I was not happy. He was in me way now so I kicked the hay towards the rack to where I scooped it up quickly and threw it in.

Whew! He was over there ripping it back out and munching, so his teeth were occupied. I hurriedly got the muck buck and rake and started the back-breaking art of stall mucking. Horse manure when combined with sawdust shavings can get very heavy. I was a sweaty mess in no time. I had been busy on one side of the stall and had made me way to his end. I noticed he'd rip out a chunk of hay and then go to the water bucket, throw it in, wash it around with his muzzle and then clamp down on the twisted wet mess of hay and proceed to eat it! I guess since he wasn't getting pasture grass he was doing the next best thing. I thought that quite smart and amazing until he started splashing me with the wet hay. Then he'd wave the wet hay around over my head so I was dripping in dirty hay water. Yes R. Linda, he was a real fiend.

Finally, finally, finally, I got the damn stall cleaned out and new bedding spread around but I had help on that last. I had dumped the sawdust in a pile, and went back to get the rake to spread it but no, no, no help needed there he was with those giant feet pawing at the stuff and it flew, oh yes it did. Then he got himself down and rolled in it! I thought he was having a fit, I had no clue he was enjoying himself.

He got up shook himself like a giant dog and faced me as if to say, "Where's me dinner?"

I hustled to get the fresh water in first as he stood there watching me, snorting the whole time making me move even faster. Then I got the feed and instead of rushing for it like I expected he started at me while pawing at the sawdust. I had done something wrong and only realised I didn't get the hay in there before the grain. Mr. Army had a routine and I was not playing by the rules, so as soon as I walked in with the hay, he grabbed it almost biting me hand off in the process and he threw it in the corner! Yes he did, he threw it all over me clean bedding job. Then he turned his back on me like I was a nonentity and not worth his time. I tell ya!

I'd like to say me three days of horsekeeping got better, but it was touch and go for a while. I had another day of rainy weather so he was in and unhappy. The last day was nice and I was relieved because I was sure he'd kill me if he did not get out. I had to go in and clip the lead on his halter after I fumbled trying to figure out how that thing was put on. I be sure I didn't have it on right, but I didn't know. So I clipped the lead, opened the stall and he shot out of there like there was no one on the end of the lead. I was half dragged to the paddock. I had scuffed me jeans and when I fell he did drag me a good couple of yards before he stopped to look back and horse laugh at me.

Somehow I got him in the pasture, and as I tried to unclasp his bad self he took one big tug and the lead was out of me hands and he was flying around the pasture with it trailing in the breeze.

"Oh please don't fall on that, I be in big trouble you do," I mumbled to meself watching him throw up his heels and kick and then rear and buck and finally rolled around on the grass. He'd show me what freedom was. Freedom from me that is.

I'd like to think it ended there, but alas it did not. I had to go bring him in. I chased his giant arse over that field for two freaking hours! I could not catch him and he wasn't about to let me. He'd stand there looking back at me his giant butt facing me. As soon as I was within four feet of his head, he'd snort and run off. It was a game, a frustrating game. I was near tears, yes I was, like a girl, but you had to be there, the sun had gone down and there I was three hours overdue for me own dinner!

I collapsed me tired self in the middle of the field when I saw this figure in muck boots making her way towards me in the twilight. It was Lois, thank God for naked favours. She said she'd been up on her porch that overlooked the field and laughing at the antics.

"Antics? Right. His antics, me frustration!" I moaned as she walked up to me.

"Let me get him, Army and I have a good relationship," she said, but before she could even go get him, he whinnied and came trotting up to her like she was just the greatest thing on two legs. I tell ya!

She gave him a lump of sugar and he chomped down on that, his eyes for the first time totally content and happy. She picked up the lead and started off to the barn like she was leading a docile dog, but I knew if it was me he'd be anything but docile.

"You go on home Gabriel, I'll close up." She said, waving at me as she and the dark giant faded into the distance.

I sat there for not long at all. I got me defeated self up, brushed me butt off of grass and clover and headed over the fence for home. I could see the lights of me abode welcoming me and I could imagine the smell of a hot dinner waiting for moi. As I stepped in, Tonya came up with a martini and handed it to me.

"Here you need this. I saw you and El horse in the field, gees Gabe if Lois didn't get down there I'm afraid you'd have been there all night."

"IT WAS BLOODY DREADFUL! AWFUL, AWFUL EXPERIENCE!" I shouted letting it all out. I know very lady-like, but you don't know how scary that horse was and how careful I tried to be. I didn't tell the old neighbour that his beloved devil horse was just that. I made him out to be a perfect angel, but the old man knew I was lying.

"Angels and demons, Gabe, angels and demons." He said walking away as we parted the day after.

I thought that's exactly what it was, I was the angel Gabriel come to help the not help able demon horse Armageddon and he just can't be saved! Neither can I, yeah I realised I be a helpless wonder when it comes to barnyard animals. As if the turkeys aren't enough and the beavers, don't forget those mailbox stealing buck toothed beavers! Now I have a horse to contend with, and I know I will be stuck again, because that's Murphy's Law for Irish Gabe!

The demon horse next door
Gabe
Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

16 May, 2014

Tracking Tags - Gabe's little plastic saviours

16 May 2014

R. Linda:

After many years of, "Hon, do you know where I left me phone?" And "Hon, I can't seem to locate me wallet," or, "Hey hon, did you see me mobile phone?" and "I know I parked in that section over there but I don't see our car," there comes an early Father's Day present because the wife said to let this continue until June was just nuts. She got me an app that finds your keys, your wallet and your car. Yes it does and I found it has other uses too!

For $39.99 this app can be yours. The funny thing about this phone app was that I thought I was the only brain damaged man in the world who misplaces stuff. But no, when I went to download the app, I was like person number 39,489! So I be not alone. And it is so freaking easy, just stick the tag on anything that goes MIA and you, yes YOU, are in business. AND the things don't just beep they have little LED lights that flash too! I am impressed can ya tell?

"The pleasure in owning such an app is that now that I have it I probably won't misplace anything ever again," I said with glee, "you know Murphy's Law."

I spoke too soon. BUT the good news is I know the app works.

Last Wednesday we went to the mail to get a baby present for Tonya's sister-in-law who is having her first baby. Well, before we left, I couldn't find me wallet. I just pressed a button on me mobile phone and I heard a beeping sound on the other side of me house. There it was in the laundry room where I had pulled it out to wash a pair of jeans. To make matters worse I couldn't then locate me keys which I thought I might have left in the pair of jeans I threw into the wash. But they had no keys in the pockets and I looked in the washer and nothing. Easy-peasy, click on me mobile phone and guess what? Beeping in the kitchen -- I had left them on the counter. GREAT.

So off to the mall we go and I misplace the car. I had dropped Tonya off to get a parking space so she wouldn't have to walk a great distance. Well, when we came out I couldn't remember what I did with the car. AND I realised I must have left me keys in the car so I couldn't press the button for the lights to flash. But esay-peasy, click the tab on me phone and beep, beep, beep and there was me car and inside beeping away were me keys! Luckily I didn't lock the car and even luckier no one stole it.

The only problem I had the next morning was I couldn't locate me Smartphone. I had no clue where I put it. Since everything worked off the phone I was in a quandary until the wife got me keys and pressed the tag and guess what? Me car was beeping, me wallet was beeping, and me smartphone was beeping on the coffee table in the living room where I left it the night before, I tell ya! Everything was beeping and then . . . I couldn't shut it off!

So I took the tag off the offending keys and put it on the dog along with all the other tags and I let the beeping dog out. Yes, I did. She went outside beeping and flashing around the woods and well, I have since found I can put a tag on the telly remote, I can put a tag on the kiddos, I can put a tag on just about anything I happen to misplace. Yes, I can.

It is quite a trick when your keys can find your wallet and your wallet your phone, and your phone your car, and your car your kids, and your kids your dog, and it goes on down the line. Yes, I ordered more tags for just about EVERYTHING I might happen to forget where I put that item or person, or dog or cat, you get the idea.

Gabe
Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

14 May, 2014

The Dead Bug Collection And Then The "Other" Collection - Makes for harrowing antics at the abode

14 May 2014

R. Linda:

This might be more indicative of a Weasil child than one of me own. But it happened just this way.

Me eldest O'Hare, is very attached to grandmother Dragon, so for Mother's Day he wanted to send her something special along with whatever Tonya was going to send mummy dearest. So he searched around and could find nothing that suited the bling-bling loving Dragon. His Mam offered to help him but he didn't want her to, he wanted it to be from himself, you know special.

Now, I suggested he create something with crayons, glitter and glue but he vetoed that as being "too babyish." Well, ok then.

After three days of this, I noticed Guido and O'Hare with their heads together and I knew something was in the works. I didn't have long to find out what.

Guido had heard in school that it was really thoughtful when one gave a gift that was not only special to them, but would become a family heirloom of sorts later on. I had thoughts back to when I was told that very same thing and made me Mam a birdhouse I nailed out of boards I found in the yard. I was maybe 5 years of age and I used overly big nails to nail it together, not to mention I nailed meself with the hammer a number of times -- you know big hammer, long necked nails and little hands -- bound to have injuries. And then I painted the rather bulky and lopsided with nails sticking out birdie house with me water colour paints. Yes, I did I used green because that was me Mam's favourite colour, and blue because that was mine, and red just because it was the only other colour I had. I slopped on the watery paint and when it was dry I proudly presented it on Mother's Day. Of course there was the cooing over it and all and the more me Mam fussed the broader me smile got and I did notice me Da and me Grandda trying not to laugh their arses off but I thought THAT was about something I did not know, but in reality they thought the results of me efforts rather comical. SIGH.

Me Mam hung it outside she did and we got a rain shower and well the paint was gone within 10 minutes time. It sat out in the weather for a year before she took it down (actually, I think me Da took it down as it was rather a sight) and I never saw it after that having forgotten about it entirely, UNTIL, I had me first really serious girlfriend over for dinner to meet the family and well guess what was brought out much to me disgrace and chagrin. Yup, the birdhouse. When I saw it at the age of 23 I was quite a bit embarrassed and it was worse than I remembered. Me Da and Grandda told me lady never let me build her a house because it might look like the birdhouse. Yeah they did say that. Me girl, Jenny made all manners of fun of me in private but not as much as me Da and Grandda at the time of the unveiling of an old art work created exclusively by yours truly did. I tell ya! Is nothing sacred?

Anyway, back to me tale of recent events. Something was packed in a left over Hallmark jewellery box. Neither boyo would tell us what was in the box because they were sure we'd ruin the "surprise" for Grandma. Well, Tonya wrapped it all up nice in glitzy paper and she took it to the post office with her present and sent it on. Yes, she did, totally unaware of just WHAT she was sending her mother from her very own kiddos.

Meanwhile, that night I noticed a fruit fly buzzing me in the kitchen as I tried to eat me dinner. I swatted it away until finally I got up for the fly swatter and was instantly told to put it down because that was Harry zooming around me head and we couldn't have Harry killed.

"Who we talking about?" I asked perplexed.

"The fruit fly, him!" O'Hare pointed at the fly as it landed on the edge of the table, dangerously near me hand.

"You named a fruit fly Harry? Why?" Tonya asked them both.

"I didn't," O'Hare said with some show of exasperation. "Guido did."

"I hasta git em' back in da box." Guido said adamantly.

Tonya and I exchanged glances and said in unison, "What box?"

"Da bug box dats wot box!" Guido near shouted in frustration with us.

"He's got a pretty impressive bug collection." O'Hare chattered on as he chewed his mac and cheese with his mouth open which gave me the opportunity to tell him if he didn't chew with it closed he might be chewing Harry.  That got a small Guido hand clamped over his gob hole rather smartly.

"We needs ta catch us Harry!" Guido screamed, tears beginning to stream down his cheeks at the thought of his brother inadvertently chowing down on old Harry the fruit fly.

"Not until after dinner," Tonya said picking up her fork.

"NO NOW!" The wee kiddo complained at the top of his lungs as his brother finally pried his hand from his mouth.

It didn't matter our assurances none of us would eat Harry or swat Harry, or kill Harry.

"He's part of a matched set." O'Hare said, "Kinda."

"What you mean?" Tonya asked.

"Well, there is Wills and Kate but they are in the box. Harry escaped!"

"Hum, royal fruit flies," Tonya mused watching Harry land on the lamp over the table.

Well we got through dinner under the watchful eyes of me middle son watching Harry move about among us. The stupid bug actually alighted on Guido's arm and with a gentleness I did not think Guido capable, he closed his other hand over Harry and Bob's your uncle, Harry was captive and put back with his royal cohorts.

Intrigued, because we did not know our one son was collecting fruit flies of the royal variety, uh huh, we asked what other insects he had found. We are eternally sorry we asked that because the knowledge was just so repulsive I have lost some sleep at night feeling me skin crawl at the thought of the collection in the next room.

He has giant spiders, dead thank God, he has three grasshoppers he found dead at the end of the summer season, a live daddy long legs, one dead and very ugly locust, an assortment of dead ants (big ones, the carpenter kind), two giant bumble bees (dead also thank God), a variety of dead yellow jackets and brown hornets, and then a small amount of smaller dead spiders AND their egg sacks and you know what will happen if it gets warm enough, yes, those egg sacks will explode with baby spiders. So we did talk him out of the egg sacks and off we carted them to the great outdoors.

It wasn't until after the kiddos had gone to bed the thought struck me wife that she wondered if the boyos had sent her mother a dead insect since they prized them so much. No, they wouldn't would they? Oh yes they would, but that's not what they sent. We were in the wrong collection. We found out the next morning that in our house is another collection, equally as gross as the insects and it is an collection of enemies to the insects.

There was fighting going on, pushing and pulling between the two boyos who had a dirty brown string between them. When I broke it up, I saw what looked like a shoestring on the floor.

"That," I pointed to it, "is what you are fighting over?"

"I tole em' not to put it next to me bug collection and now all me bugs are a dead bug collection and most of em are missin'. Harry, Wills and Kate GONE!" Guido cried tears dripping onto the floor, little chest heaving for all he was worth.

I was confused. It was a HUH moment, until . . . I saw the shoestring start to wiggle away. Was no shoestring was a freaking snake! And while I can tolerate bugs (a little bit), I cannot tolerate SNAKES! Once the thing was recaptured by it's alarmed owner, that would be one O'Hare, it popped into me head about that box he sent off to his Grandmother. Yup it did, and in me black heart I was almost hopeful he had sent her a timber rattler. BUT that will teach me to think thoughts like that because when I asked what was in the box he sent to New Jersey, I was reluctantly told it was O'Hare's favourite "in da whole wide worl" snake!

Yes, they had wrapped up a snake and sent it in the mail. WHO DOES THAT BESIDES ONE OF WEASIL'S PRODIGY? I ask ya! I was in disbelief one of me own would do such a thing.

"Is it alive?" I asked with some trepidation.

"Yup it is." Was the answer.

When I told this to Tonya there was real concern. She had just read about the timber rattlers that were creeping down into our area and she was not pleased.

"What kind of snake was it?"

"Baby snake it was just borned." O'Hare said, gently putting the recaptured snake in a box marked Slitherin. I tell ya!

"No sweetie, what KIND was it?" Tonya urged.

"I dunno." O'Hare said.

"What did it look like?" I interjected.

He thought a moment and screwed up his face thinking hard.

"It was . . . it was . . . blackish brown."

"Wit diamond markins' on it's back and hadda yellow on it." Guido chimed in.

Tonya's eyes got big and she looked up at me who was thinking the same thing.

"No it didn't it has a yellow line down its back!" O'Hare countered.

"DID NOT!" Guido yelled.

"DID TOO!" O'Hare yelled back.

"You're sure it was . . . alive?" I asked with hesitation.

"It were when he put it in dere," Guido said.

"Phone, Gabe quick, phone." Tonya said getting up from where she had crouched down to O'Hare's level and wringing her hands.

I fumbled for me mobile phone and dialled the Dragon lady. Someone clicked me call but all I could hear was a lot of screaming and shouting, "keep that thing away from me, oohhh ohhhh get it, get it don't let it slither where it goes in the walls . . . ohhh ohhh!"

"Hello?" said Big Tony as it sounded like he was moving around.

"Tony, it's Gabe, did she open that present from the boyos?" I blurted out, we knew who I was talking about and, "oh yes she had just now and oh my God Gabe and it's a snake and she's deathly afraid of snakes, I told her there must have been a mix up. She wants me to kill it or catch it!"

"No! Don't kil. . . I mean catch it, send it back! It's a favourite pet." I said sounding stupid but the eldest kiddo was looking at me with horror in his eyes that his very own favourite grandmother would have his very own greatest gift in the world KILLED!

"She's got a broom Gabe, she is whacking it with the broom!" Tony breathed into the phone as if out of breath. "Tell me it doesn't bite I've got it."

I couldn't say a word, I was standing there speechless hoping it wasn't a baby timber rattler, I had no clue what to do but say "Drop it Tony! Just drop it!"

"Gabe you said to catch and I have it, I've stuffed it into the box. I have to put the phone down and tie it up so the thing can't get out. Hold on!" He said and put the phone down while me eyes bugged out of me head wondering if he had gotten bit and I couldn't say anything because the kiddos were silently pleading with their eyes to tell them it was okay the snake was safe. But to hell with that their grandfather . . . OMG!

I heard someone fumbling with the phone than Big Tony came on and said he had it all tired up and they'd mail it back.

I was thinking it was a very hungry snake by this time. I wasn't sure mailing it back was such a good idea but me brain was still trying to get me mouth to ask the question banging around in me head, did it bite Tony?

"Well . . . yeah it did but it's a little feller." Tony laughed.

I wasn't laughing. I asked if he knew what kind of a snake it was and he said he did after he got it in the box and the excitement was over.

"So . . . so . . . what kind is it?" I asked hesitantly.

"Oh its the garden variety snake, little black and yellow dude. He was panting from the broom whacking but I'd say he's okay just scared. I'll get him in the mail to you. I have to go down to the post office anyway send him over night mail, I think he'll be very hungry after all the excitement. Give him a few flies that should do him."

Guido heard that and ran for his dead bug collection to hide it.

Oh yes, that was a relief. I mean that Tony was not bitten by a timber rattler but it wasn't a relief small fry favourite snake in the whole wide world was on it's way back to US! And it arrived the very next day. Postman had no clue what he hand delivered to me. No he didn't. I smiled weirdly I know and he did look at me askance, but I just turned and went in the house and out the back door and into the woods and opened the box. But not the other box with Mr. Snake in it. I called O'Hare and Guido and they came running out. I explained that live snakes belonged outdoors to eat insects and rodents and that we needed to let this one go along with any other ones O'Hare was hoarding.

"I only have the other one," he sighed. But he ain't here anymore." And he shrugged.

That gave me pause.

"What you mean he isn't here? In the house? Where?"

"Yup in the house, but YOUR cat got him and he's no more. Had a funeral for him yesterday." O'Hare said all forlorn.

I was thinking extra sardine for Mr. Kits! I blinked and came out of that revery and opened the box with the snake in it. Sure enough it was a little garden snake. It slithered out into the leaves and curled itself up around a twig. A horsefly lighted on a leaf next to it and was instantly gone! We jumped back at the unexpected movement, but all was well. The snake slithered off after enjoying the warm sun. We have gone through the dead bug collection and have eliminated that. Slitherin is closed down and we promised the boyos we'd go to the pet store and maybe buy a lizard. At least Tonya did, I just stood there looking at her shaking me head no, but didn't matter, kiddos are all for it. Here we would have a snaky lizard who eats live crickets. Oh boy.

So here is Mr. Snake, THIS was what all the fuss was about. YUP it was.

Slimy Sam (yes he had a name) tasting freedom and flies.
Gabe
Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

04 May, 2014

Who REALLY poisoned Weasil -- I mean Joffrey!

04 May 2014

R. Linda:

All around the office the week before last, it was chat about Game of Thrones and who poisoned King Joffrey the twit. I try to not get into these water cooler chats as I have too much walking to do, I mean work! But a week of that sort of thing does subconsciously work its way into ones sleeping psyche it does, and that is exactly what happened two Friday nights ago.

Me brain works on having conversations with meself until I fall into oblivion -- which lasts maybe an hour that I am semi-conscious and in a conversation with meself just where I left off before the fall into the sleep abyss, and it goes on like that all night. But Friday the mind conversation started off in the office where it was phone tag time for the entire day as I tried to get away from the water cooler chatters, who decided if I wasn't in the lounge then they'd ring me on me mobile phone to talk about the Game of Thrones nonsense. Somehow me sleeping thoughts got mixed up in the water cooler chat and I found meself dreaming and talking throughout the night about a Game of Phones.

Sometime during the night me brain was conjuring meself dressed as a knight in a tarnished suit of armour with a small person with a sword she kept poking me in the back with while we were on horseback. She with the sword she named 'Spindle', was poking me because I wouldn't give her a pony and a warehouse full of fudge.

"Stop it!" I chided at her as I spoke to her on me mobile phone.

"Not until you get me a pony and fudge!" She shouted in her mobile phone at me as I tried to hush her.

Suddenly me dream/chat careened to a snowy place and there was Wolfie dressed all in black with this massive black cape coat, his long blue black and shiny hair blowing in the wind, snowflakes catching in it and I realised he was in a snow storm at the bottom, and next to a very long and steep ice cliff. He was shouting into his mobile phone, "Send the fooking elevator down now or I swear if I have to climb this ice, when I get to the top I will slice yer bloody fooking head like a ham!"

That must have frightened me because next I was looking through the bars of a dungeon where a very diminutive person in a green jerkin was sitting next to a post speaking into a mobile phone with a Mexican accent, to a man with a hook for a hand who was holding a phone as well outside the dungeon window. As I got a better view I realised the little person was you, me Muse, and the man with the hook for a hand was Capt. Jaack.

"I tole joo, I didn't due it. An I don't care cause when all is over an done wit, joo and all da others will be in da poor house and I won't care." You were saying all this like you really didn't care.

"Well bro I would try to avast you out of this place but our sissy wants your head on a spike. I was trying to tell her plank walking would do you better but she won't hear of it, har! AND she wants your other half found and their head on a spike too."

I was overcome with dizziness just then as I realised I was the OTHER half and suddenly I found meself at a wedding where Weasil was holding court it seemed, and shouting with glee into a mobile phone. He was dressed in rich velvets and wearing a gold crown on his noggin that looked like someone had painted a bunch of sticks gold and made a circlet of it, thus sticking it on his head.

"An for a final treatie I have da lesbian sister showdownie, a fightie to da deathie!" He was saying with malicious mayhem.

Everyone at the long table cheered into their phones unenthusiastically and I felt faint. But I didn't have time to feel that way for long because someone was kicking me in the ankles. I looked down and there you were somehow freed from the dungeon. You looked up at me and said into your mobile phone, "Keng Weasil is tahksic don't joo no?"

"He's wot?" I said into me phone looking down at you.

"Tahksic joo no, like when joo need a chower."

"Toxic and shower? Got it I think." I said into my phone. Then it dawned on me, "Hey, how did you get loose?"

"A fren len me a helpeen hook, I mean han. I geev heem Mexican chocolate fer beachin' yoob."

"Ohhh, ok," I said suspicious as to who this mysterious friend with a hook for a hand who would do a bitching job for chocolate was. Then I realised it was Jaack! He had let you out, of course it was him who else would be scared of you besides me? Then I realised you were two small people at the same time. How was THAT possible?

"I need a nap," I said to no one in particular, maybe me brain was the object of that remark.

"Eff joo nop joo will die eyoung." You said to me on your mobile phone.

"If I nap I will die young? Hey, why are you speaking like Charo with a Mexican accent you don't have a Mexican accent?" I whispered into me phone.

"Cuchi-cuchi." You laughed into your phone. "Because it throws them all off. I am not Capt. Jaack's brother I'm really the little twerp that's been poking you in the back wanting a pony and fudge, lots of fudge!"

I knew it! I thought you looked familiar, but it was the accent threw me at first.

Meanwhile back at the cliff face, Wolfie was still at the bottom, his black clothing and hair almost white from the snow . . . and his designer stubble was looking quite a bit frosty.

"Look YOU! I have to rescue the Clippers from Don Sterling's racist clutches and I have to do it NOW! Get the fooking elevator down here or I swear I will climb up there and slice your head like a bloody cheese!"

I shivered at the thought and was suddenly back at the dungeon and there was no one there but Capt Jaack looking out the barred door yelling for help and someone I won't name's arse. He used his hook to rattle the bars in the window while yelling things I can't print about a certain wee person who tricked him.

Suddenly I was back at the King's feast and there were these two giant short haired blond women going at each other with maces as King Weasil egged them on. I couldn't look it was so damn bloody and closing me eyes and clicking me heels I suddenly was transported to a snowy cliff top. I was looking down as I realised I was wearing ruby slippers and a dress!

It was then the elevator doors opened and out came a morose and very angry Wolfie. He looked at me like he was going to throw me over the cliff but then he said, "You should be glad I'm in a good mood." And off he went to do God knows what about the Clippers.

I realised I was fecking cold. I took meself to the same door I saw Wolfie enter and when I opened it and went through, I was looking out on a desert city and a dragon flying around the battlements of the main fortress. It was me mother-in-law! I shook me head in denial and went back through the door and found meself not on the snowy cliff top, but looking out at a dark castle.

"Wot the hell?" I said into me phone to no one, amazed that the door opened to another place.

"So what's the trouble now?" A voice said from below. I looked down and there you were on the phone with that damn sword you call Spindle ready to poke me in the shins.

"Do not do that or I swear this time there will be no pony, no rubber ducks, no wolf, no FUDGE!"

You weighed all that for a moment and then sighed as you sheathed Spindle. It was the mention of the fudge, gets you every time.

"Okay now that we understand each other . . . sort of," I said into me phone, "Tell me what castle that be over there."

"Thattt beee Castle Wolfieee. As dark and ominous as Himself." You explained wistfully.

"If I didn't know better I'd think you'd rather be over there with Wolfie than here with me."

"He does have good hair." You said with a malicious grin.

Something caught my eye and I pointed at it with me phone.

"Yeah, I can see the plume of white smoke coming from castle Wolfie and that means only one thing," you muttered into your phone.

"And wot might that be?" I bit, I shouldn't have but I did.

"Wolfie must have gotten engaged and broke the curse! Oh and look 48 pairs of black skimpies are being hung at half mast from castle Woflie!"

"This is like a Quentin Tarantino movie." I muttered to meself watching the panties flutter in the breeze.

"Maybe this will stop him trying to populate his own country." You said profoundly.

I squeezed me eyes shut, and shook me head in denial I was even listening to you. But you didn't go away instead you asked me why I was wearing a dress and ruby slippers. That gave me an idea and as soon as I clicked me heels together I found I was someplace else. Only that someplace else was back at the gore feast the Weasil was hosting.

There he was sitting behind the long table toasting the bloody combatants who where thrashing each other mercilessly with the maces. The people on either side of him had their faces covered all except one woman wearing sticking plasters stuck into her hairline to keep her skin from sagging, who sat there drooling over Highwayman Tom who just happened to be next in line for bachelor of the year since Wolfie had got himself engaged to someone named Hoda.

I did notice a wee hand adjusting Lady Grabaire's necklace down on the other end of the dias. I also noticed that one stone seemed to be missing after the adjustment. It was a second or so later I noticed that same hand crushing the stone into King Weasil's goblet and a second later Weas was taking a big swig and suddenly he stood up clutching his throat as the jewel encrusted goblet fell clanging to the ground. He did a wheelie of sorts as he spun around gagging and his mother Fioncee of the sticking plasters tore herself away from Tom and ran to catch Weasil but too late, he hit the ground with a thud. Blood streamed from his nose, mouth and eyes, and he looked a right mess as he grunted and pointed to his throat.

"I got it, you were poisoned!" Fioncee announced as Weasil nodded and succumbed to the evil draught. As soon as he was deader than a doorknob Fioncee stood up dropping the Weasil, who if he had been alive would have been sporting a giant size egg on his noggin where he hit the ground hard. Fioncee demanded to know where the short person had gone to. Yes, she meant you me muse!

"Bring that poisoner of my beloved son to me NOW!"

With that everyone ran off as if to do her bidding, but I knew they weren't doing what she wanted, they were all running to save their arses OR they were going to the pre wedding feast at Castle Wolfie.

It was just too much for me so I hung up me phone and suddenly was transported to Castle Wolfie where Lord Walder Rogue was holding court. He was Wolfie's distant cousin and had decided to throw Wolfie and Hoda a party, but he stood up there psycho-analysing them instead, and the analysis wasn't good. Something about Wolfie swearing an oath he'd never marry again and now he's gone and done it and as for Hoda, Hoda needed to stop beating dead horses because the dead horse population was getting massive and you needed to be very tall to step over all the dead horses. I tell ya!

I looked around bored out of me skull at the redundancy of it all and noticed that one of Walder Rogue's guests, a certain Rooster Bolton looked odd to me. Under his chain mailed cap I thought I saw a blond hair sticking out. On closer examination I saw that indeed there was blond hair and soft skin as well as violet eyes looking out of major stubble glued around the face. That wasn't Rooster Bolton, that was Lady Lenny come to do some damage at being jilted. And I was right, but before I could turn me phone on and dial Wolfie it was too late, she had walked up to him and garroted him with her nine inch dagger. He was toast I tell ya! He went limply down bleeding out as Hoda came crashing through the crowd and knelt down next to the dying Wolf.

Speaking into his phone in a rush of emotional words, Hoda professed he'd get even, and I thought Hoda had a very high voice for a man, but before Hoda could do that, Rooster Bolton, I mean Lady Lenny had stabbed Hoda too! Hoda fell over Wolfie and as he did his wig came off and there was this massive amount of blond hair that just flooded the room. It grew and grew and grew and I knew who Hoda really was, it was Dewdropper in disguise!

"Did ya think Wolfie was a gay man just because he has good styling hair?" Me muse phoned in to me.

"Wot? I though Hoda was a man's name." I spoke incredulously into me phone.

"Hodor maybe, but Hoda, nah, not so much. I knew it had to be Dewdropper in there somewhere," you said kicking the bloody hair out of your way, the hair was growing from the liquid blood like it was water. "It was all a set up to draw out the killer of King Weasil."

"How'd you figure?" I spoke clearly into me phone because I wanted to know where you got your intelligence from.

"I am standing here aren't I? They think I killed that little weasel varmint but I didn't." You said smugly.

"Then who was it?" I asked anxious to know because for some reason people in the room were looking at ME! "Tell me who it was!" I demanded.

"Hok K," you said reverting to that Mexican accent, "it was . . . "

AND I FECKING WOKE UP!

See this is what that water cooler chat does, I didn't know who killed Joffrey that entire week, and I didn't know who poisoned Weasil either. And the reason I woke up I can give you. I must have been yelling at you in my sleep to tell me who done it, when the wife had had enough and gave me a punch in the stomach to shut up. Yup she did that and yup it hurt and yup for a few minutes I was confused, and yup I got no more sleep that night. And yup I blamed it on you and to teach you a lesson I got up at 4 a.m. and made meself a pan of FUDGE. Yes I did. So there.

Gabe
Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

27 April, 2014

The gun and the mattress

27 April 2014

R. Linda:

When the children left for spring break in Florida, our Red and White Irish Setter missed them more than I would have guessed. She's been moping around with a hang dog expression on her mug and the sounds of doggy sighing are pathetic.

As you know the in-laws took the young ones to Disney World and not without a warning to not walk under the gondolas mind you, and it has been an adjustment for me and their mother. At first we were beside ourselves with glee that we would have only baby and all the freedom and QUIET for an entire week! Yes, stupid us we actually thought that. But as it turned out we didn't know what to do with all that freedom and quiet. We sat around sighing as well, looking at each other in question as to what should we be doing since we have the time to ourselves to do whatever we usually can't do with two young kiddos around.

Neither of us thought this temporary situation would stress out the dog. No, we didn't give the dog a thought. And we should have, because three days in, being off her kibbles, laying around like she was a hundred years old and on her last legs, she wandered into our bedroom and there in front of me, took a leak on our unmade bed. Yes she did!

She held us responsible for the disappearance of her cohorts in play and the piddling on the bed was our just desserts. I tell ya!

I yelled at her and came after her with a rolled up t shirt but she didn't move, just continued the wet trail as she walked bowlegged off the bed which was ruined. Tonya came in with baby as dog went out with her tail between her legs, head down, knowing she had been BAD. I told Ton what occurred and she was way upset. Oh yeah she was, as would anyone be.

"That was an expensive pillow top mattress! Oh my God, why did she do that, she's never done that in the house. Do you think there is something wrong with her?" This flooded out of the wife trying to understand the dog and at the same time bemoan the mattress.

There I stood thinking the wee ones get a free trip to Disney World and da and mam are out buying a  pricey mattress to replace the one the spiteful dog peed on. Oi!

Well, the wife got the rug steam cleaner and used that on the mattress but it was no use. I told her not to waste her time, we'd go out and buy another mattress and a kiddie gate to keep the stupid hound from the bedroom. Note here, if we close the door to the bedroom it gets really cold in there, so a gate was the only recourse.

I bought the mattress on Wednesday and they delivered it the next day. I had gone to work so Tonya was left with baby to wait for the mattress delivery. The two burly guys were happy sorts she said and were very accommodating as to setting up the new mattress. The box springs were fine and untouched by doggy urine, so all they had to do was flip off the old mattress, and put on the new. Only one thing Tonya forgot. We sleep with HER handgun between the mattress and box spring so when they flipped the old mattress up and off there was the gun and clip. Tonya right away picked both items up and was standing there as the two men froze.

Without thinking she said, "You will take that old mattress out and dispose of it won't you?" And while she said this she was unconsciously waving the pistol around.

"Oh sure, sure, anything you want," the men said together and strangely to her, acting nervous. Now why would that be do you think?

So all was done to her satisfaction and off they went without a tip. She tried to tip them but they didn't want the money, they just wanted to be gone before the swamp yankee wife decided to hold them at pistol point and order them to rearrange the bedroom furniture. Tonya could not for the life of her understand what their problem was. I had arrived home as the deliverymen were running for their truck. I thought that odd, but didn't give it much thought until I walked into our bedroom and the wife was animated waving the pistol all over the place as she told me how easy and FAST the mattress delivery was.

I had to step back as well and inform her she needed to put the gun away. This she did by shoving it between the mattress and box springs when she realised the problem. Yup it dawned on her that she probably looked like Annie Oakley to the two delivery guys and that's what prompted the speedy set up and retreat.

Only me wife! I tell ya.

Gabe
Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

21 April, 2014

Easter Egg Disaster That Almost Was

21 April 2014

R. Linda:

Well, here be a sad story for your entertainment. We had the Abdullah family up from Jersey for Easter dinner. Yes, the whole lot of them. Where we were going to fit roughly 25 people we had not a clue, but leave it to Tonya's dragon of a mother to rearrange furniture, bark orders and General Patton it all over the place.

I was in charge of all the small kiddos of which there were six and outside I took them since it was a nice day. This be Saturday I be talking. Thinking meself lucky to have missed the moving detail, I did not fully realise the impact of not putting me two pence worth in when 'the general' was ordering troops around.

I walked into me living room turned into me dining room with all the living room furniture up against one wall. I did think the dining room table backed up with the kitchen table gave us seating for 25. However, there was no table or chairs in the kitchen, and nowhere to really relax since the dining room was empty and the living room furniture was shoved against the wall. Right away I started moving the living room furniture into the dining room but then realised the telly was still in the other room, so what the heck was I doing? Dragon you see, had realised this before I came in, and neglected to point out this small disadvantage to me busy self. No, she'd rather stand in the doorway saying not a word, watching me break me back moving heavy furniture for nothing.

I had moved it all, yes I did by the time I realised I'd be sitting in the dining room doing not much but maybe reading me newspaper. I'd have to go into what was now the dining room to watch the telly in an uncomfortable straight backed chair! I was not about to move cables to rebook the telly in the former dining room. I was not about to move the furniture back in either, so that was that.

Sunday, was another lovely day. Cooking was going on, the women were like one unit in the kitchen doing their thing, clucking about like a gaggle of hens. The men sat in the living room at the table, eating breakfast and glued to the telly. The children were underfoot along with the cat and dog and all was sort of right with the world, but that me back was stiff as a board from sitting on a straight back chair the evening before.

Two hours before dinner, Tonya's two brothers were in the kitchen sampling the food that was to be served for Easter dinner. To get them out of her hair, Tonya suggested to them that they take the 50 candy filled eggs she had made up and go outside and hide them while the wee ones were busy playing a new video game Big Tony had brought them. So armed with the eggs, the brothers Abdullah went to do her biding.

I was thinking once outside and out of sight they'd be opening the eggs and eating what was inside. But hey, wasn't me going to get me head taken off by angry young kiddos, so I didn't care. Anyway, the brothers were out there a very long time. Finally, a family member was sent to fetch them back in because by that time, the novelty of the new video game had warn off and the kiddos were in egg hunting mode. So off they were sent with a bevy of Abdullah women to oversee the hunting and that no one got lost in the woods.

They were out there maybe a total of 40 minutes before all were trooping in, looking dishevelled, hot,  frustrated and mad that not one egg was found. No, R. Linda notta one! The cry went up to the entire house that the kiddos could find no eggs. Further, that the Easter Bunny was a cruel trickster and maybe he wasn't real. The men were muttering to each other, "What do they mean they can't find any eggs?" Everyone looked at the brothers Abdullah like they wondered as I did, if they had pilfered the eggs and then disposed of them.

Well, Dragon snapped into General Patton mode and whispered to the two idiots to get back out there, gather the eggs and hide them where the children could find them. And covertly they left as the rest of the adult population comforted the wee ones with reassurances that maybe the eggs are invisible and it takes a while for them to materialise. Yes, that's what they told them and I was wondering what telly programme did they get that from? And worse, the kiddos believed this rubbish.

So sitting in a circle, holding hands, eyes shut, they were told to concentrate on making the eggs appear outside. This they swallowed hook, line, and sinker! I was thinking I was in Disneyland somehow, but it worked, it kept them occupied for ten minutes when the two Abdullahs came in looking rather sheepish.

"We could find only 12 eggs." One of them whispered as everyone grew very wide eyed within whispering distance. How could they hide 50 eggs and lose most of them? Well, considering who hid the eggs it wasn't hard to imagine who. "Maybe we hid them too well." You think?

It was Easter Sunday, we couldn't run out to the closed stores to buy more eggs and candy. General Patton decided a detail was needed to go out there in the war zone and find those freaking eggs and she said it like they were land mines! And so I was one of those chosen and six of us guys along with the two reprobates, went outside to hunt eggs like we were kiddos again. I tell ya!

After twenty minutes we had all the eggs but three. And the places we found them, no one in their right mind would choose to look. Then like the good bunny troopers we were, we re-hid the eggs where anyone, even a blind man could find them.

Meanwhile, inside the kiddos were getting quite a bit upset about being made to sit in a circle and "meditate" as me eldest was screaming he was tired of doing.

But before anyone could shout over O'Hare's ranting, one of the buffoon brothers says loudly to his father, Big Tony, that no problem "we re-hid the eggs." And little ears are sharp and they picked that statement up immediately to which the ranting by O'Hare became a wee one's wail at the awful information being put forth that there was no Easter Bunny!

Big Tony hit the loudmouth upside the head and the women immediately came in to quell the small upset that was going on with the wee ones. They each took a wee one by the hand and led the sobbing child outside all the time saying that brother Abdullah was making an attempt at a poor joke, and they should not put any credence in ANYTHING he or his bungling brother said.

The eggs were gathered, the dog found the three missing ones, and guess what? None of the three had candy inside. They were in a cluster in the woods. Yup they were and when pointed out to the two candy stealers they had not much to say but that a raccoon came and probably ate the candy. Like we believe anything they tell us.

Just a peek at me day. Sigh.

Remnants of yesterday's hunt
Gabe
Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved

20 April, 2014

5th Degree Of Inebriation

20 April 2014

R. Linda:

So . . . I had this dream -- I know what you are going to accuse me of and you'd be right! I ate spicy food therefore, strangely stupid dream.

I dreamt I was in Ireland and sitting in a pub in Dublin when I was handed a t-shirt. I put it on thinking it was the name of the pub but it wasn't. It said, "1st degree of inebriation: SOBER" in great big yellow letters. I looked around to see if anyone else had a t-shirt like mine, and well, there were black t-shirts galore all with either yellow, red, blue, orange or green lettering, but I could not see what they said because people were moving about the place and it seemed a blur.

So I ordered me up a Murphys Stout and sat sipping me beer thinking the chat was always loud in Dublin pubs and I was wondering to meself why that was until I realised I was in one of those pubs made famous by the Irish Tourist Board where Americans come and Americans are by nature LOUD.

I shrugged to meself that that was the why of it and went back to sipping me beer. I then wondered why it was in a Dublin pub you paid an arm and a leg for your jar. I ordered me another as I thought of that and realised again it was the fault of the Irish Tourist Board touting such places to foreign travellers who they knew would pay an arm and a leg for the brew and the atmosphere. But I did not reach this conclusion until I was three Murphys in.

Someone came along and handed me another t-shirt. I put it on over the first one and looked down and noticed it was red and the lettering said: "2nd degree of inebriation: MERRY!" Well, I was sort of, at least I felt quite happy as I ordered me fourth brew.

As I sat there I wondered why everyone around me was so lively. I looked at me jar of Murphys and thought it looked no different than usual so was it the beer? Nah, not everyone was drinking Murphys, some had Guinness, some had Beamish, some O'Hara's Celtic, some Kilkenny and others Harp. So couldn't be the brew but then I realised the most lively among us was the whiskey drinkers swirling their Jamesons or Bushmills, the majority in their cups on Paddys. I decided to order up me merry way to an Irish whiskey and a Paddys was brought before me.

As I contemplated the smoothness of me Paddys Irish Whiskey, someone gave me another T-shirt and I put it on. I looked down and the letters were an electric blue colour and the wording said: "3rd degree of inebriation: DRUNK!" I realised I was sort of there I was, but that didn't stop me from ordering another Paddys.

Behind me was a wee bit of ruckus, there was a group of pub-goers hoping about with "DRUNK" t-shirts trying to do Irish dance but they just looked silly and everyone, including the would-be River dancers were laughing. I toasted the group and ordered another Murphys and a shot of Paddys. I was doing shots with me beer and lost count of how many beer shots I had until someone pulled a t-shirt over me head. I looked down and it was orange and the words said: "4th degree of inebriation: TOTALLY WASTED."

Uh huh that was probably the case and being in such a state I did not care. It was then I changed over to what everyone at the bar was drinking -- Irish car bombs! It was then I was wondering why the music was so loud and then I remembered, when I was half a block away I could hear that music and that sound led me to the pub. But the music was American not Celtic. But then this was a tourist trap and well . . . goes without saying.

I was on me tenth car bomb feeling no pain when the barkeep leans towards me with a folded t-shirt and informs me I have "arrived." I unfolded the t-shirt and in big green letters it said: "5th degree of inebriation IRISH!" Yup it said that and yup I put it on.

Seems because I did not open me gob, everyone thought I was an American and working me way to being Irish, or what Americans think Irish are . . . drunkards. I took exception to that I did, even though I had on the offending t-shirt. But then I clamped me gob shut thinking let them think what they will, we are making money off them as they try to be us, but know not a fig about us.

So in me dream I was an alcoholic, but in real life I be a coffee addict. Back home there is a pub on almost every street corner because for centuries the meeting place in British Europe has always been the inn or pub. And believe it or not, not everyone who frequents these places, and many of us do, are not alcoholics. It is chat up friends at the end of the day that be the real draw. The tradition survives to this day! Strange how being from another country and knowing better, one picks up what people living in the adopted country think of you. Not only that now that I live here, I have adopted the coffee craze of Americans. So what's up with that? Or more, what's up with me?

Gabe
Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved