20 April, 2016

Oh MY - it was like living one of me nightmares

20 April 2016

R. Linda:

I was down at the local fire station waiting for a man who was getting me a burn permit. Now this is a volunteer station where the firefighters, EMS people and dispatch are all manned or womaned by selfless individuals who would do good for our little town. So it was, I went down to the station to find out about burning and such, as I had last fall's trimming of the trees in a large open pile on me property leaving lots of wood branches that could be burned. I meant to do it while the snow was on the ground but was too busy shovelling to find the energy to burn the rubbish. So just as the weather forecast our last snow I decided to go down for me permit. Otherwise, the weather has been dry and burning is a no-no, but with the snow on the ground, I could do the deed.

As I waited, I noticed there was an older woman in her nineties who was sitting at a microphone behind a desk. She had been checking logs when there was a call for a brush fire outside of town. Within minutes men and women started arriving and the one engine we have was made ready but could not go as an "officer" (a person designated to drive), had not arrived. Finally, he did and without any hesitation or a how are ya, he jumped in the cab and out they roared. I thought how much me kiddos would have liked to see all that. Then it hit me the man who was getting me permit left on the engine!

I asked the woman at the desk, who now had two other people in the "office" with her if I should leave and come back another day.

"No, Marilyn here can do that for you. Just sit tight." She turned to a lovely young woman who had heard this and was already getting out the proper paperwork. She smiled and started writing when I informed her the other guy had already taken me particulars and that must be lying around.

"Oh, okay let me look." She said and busied herself.

It was then that the fire call came in as three alarms since engines were slow to respond.

The man who had actually arrived too late to be on the engine was making coffee and offered me a cup, which I gratefully accepted. As we sat, the squawk box on the desk came to life with a little static and then a voice said, "We need an engine for (town name). Can you send?"

Well, this was the next town over and that engine had gone out on the same one as ours, so there was no engine to be had. This the older woman, one Hattie told the man.

"I will try ((another) town name)." Was the response as I guess there was another fire and that town had its engine at the brushfire and now had a fire of its own to put out but no engine.

After a bit the voice came back.

"Okay, well we need someone to cover this station." Was the response.

All three of them froze and exchanged looks. Then the shaking of heads.

"We need someone to cover station (town name)." The voice repeated.

"Matt you want to go?" Hattie asked, her voice low as if the voice on the radio could hear her, her finger poised on the toggle switch to answer if there was an affirmative.

"Nope." Was his response as he started pouring coffee.

"Mari?" Hattie asked the young thing.

"Not really."

"Are you there? We need coverage for station (town name)." The voice bristled.

"Sorry, what was that?" Hattie asked back.

"I asked for coverage for station (town name)."

"Sorry, you are breaking up, please repeat." Hattie said as me eyebrows rose into me hairline.

"I ASKED FOR COVERAGE FOR STATION (TOWN NAME)!" Was the shouted reply.

Nothing, Hattie sat there with her finger on the toggle switch. We were all sipping coffee as the static came back on and the same voice, repeated his request.

"Are you both sure you don't want to go to (town name)?" They both nodded they were sure.

"There is no one here." She flipped the switch and said.

"YOU'RE THERE." Came the irritated voice.

"I can't leave this station." Was Hattie's reply.

"Never mind." The reply came back rather cross.

Giggles in the office. REALLY? I kept me coffee cup to me mouth like I had nothing to say. Strangely I felt right at home. This would be what a Weasil manned fire station would be like. I was sure of it. He'd do the same thing. I settled in as the rest of me fire permit was filled out and handed over.

"We could use an able bodied young man like yourself," Hattie said to me.

"Oh no, no, I have three kiddos and well, time just isn't mine to give, BUT when they be grown perhaps then," I said nodding thanks to the man who made the coffee, to Marilyn who gave me the permit, and Hattie who would make me a volunteer. I backed me way out with small niceties and then made a run for me car. I tell ya!

I did wonder what would happen in a medical emergency and I kind of had to wonder if Hattie just didn't answer right away was because she be hard of hearing but that didn't explain the other two who heard just fine. The thought was like a waking nightmare it was. Truly what does one do? I think drive oneself to hospital because they might not hear the call. You think? Or worse, get a lawn chair and watch your abode burn to the ground?

Well, in all fairness I did come to realise that the needing a body at a station was to babysit it until all returned and to take any emergency calls which are few considering these are rural towns (not even towns) with just a few hundred people living in them. Yet . . . the 'voice' probably wanted to go home or back to work, or whatever and was stuck babysitting his station when he didn't want to be there. I suppose that is.

Gabe
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

07 April, 2016

An addition to the family -- no not mine!

07 April 2016

R. Linda:

I got a phone call, it went like this:

"Halo Gob! Itz Rubbie here."

There was silence on me end as me poor brain tried to process what I just heard. I got it after a few seconds, Hello Gabe! Its Robbie here. OK not great so I said, hello back and to what did I owe the honour.

"I ma here wit Clar and Rut me sisters."

Again, silence as I tried to interpret what I heard. I think it was I'm here with Claire and Ruth me sisters. I think that was it. So I would have said I never met Robbie's sissys but then if I said that I'd be in for a whole conversation about their lives BOTH OF THEM and really I hadn't the time nor the inclination. So instead I said, Hello Claire and Ruth. I felt the fool but I wasn't opening THAT door.

"We haf-tue tell yer arse thot our Weasil be a Da fur the third time ova. Yup numbuh three!"

Another few seconds it came to me, a prickly chill creeping up me spine as it began to sink in: We have to tell your arse that our Weasil be a Da for the third time over. Yes number three. Then a few more seconds as THAT bit of news sunk deeper into me soon to be savaged brain.

"WHAT?" I near shouted in the phone.

"Ay, he an Manda did it they haf-a new addition. Named the boyo Dickens."

No, I did not just hear that, no, no, no, they never did and no they did not. I asked if this was a joke and was told, "nah ha, no jape iz dis here as I say."

I must have moaned into the phone because he piped up with: "I saw the little tweezer in pierce-in."

Tweezer? What? Did he mean wheezer?

"You . . . you saw the new addition in person did you? Where are you?" I was curious to know how close I was to a Scottish invasion.

"Ay, I did, we did!" He corrected.

That meant the sisters saw the demon child as well. Oh I know and I am sorry to call it that, but you know any spawn of Weasil's be not right in the head. Yes, I know I be making it worse, but you know the daughter Tasmania is mad as a hatter and experiments on THINGS in the attic and the other one, the eldest son, well he be the spitting image of Leonardo DiCaprio until he smiles (demonically I might add) and you see where his sister has pulled AND knocked out most of his teeth!

"In Scootland, wherelse?" Robbie said, booting me back to reality. "I knew it was impotant you knoo."

"Thanks for the warning," I wanted to say but didn't. A simple thank you for thinking of me was the answer. Then the thought hit me and I voiced it out loud by asking when the Weasil was ever home long enough to make babies. That was answered by a laugh and a "Well Gob, now ye knoo the news so me and the gails moost git the shoe on the rude. See ya."

And that was that. He and the girls (sisters or no?) were getting the Scottish show on the road, so be it. We are all forewarned now that there is another Weasil in the world and we all know we are not better off for the news. All I can do is think of moving to the North Country maybe to Colebrook or forego New Hampshire and move to the North Kingdom of Vermont where he and his progeny will never find me. I be sorely tempted. I tried to talk me wife and Mam into that last night after getting the alert, but I didn't tell them why so it be a hard sell.

WHO in their right mind names their baby Dickens? Why not something presentable like Shakespeare? I have to wonder what being brought up with that as a first name will be like. Will this boy really be a dickens? Under Weasil's tutelage I be quite a bit certain of it. Geez!

I live in fear R. Linda, I really do that someday SOON the Weasilman's will appear on me doorstep with all three kiddos and they will ask me to babysit the bundle of joy. You know what that will do to me. You know I can't say no because I be never given the chance to, so I will be the guardian of Rosemary's baby and the problem with that is, they drop it off and never come back!

Gabe or Gob as the case may be.
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

02 April, 2016

A Bizarre story, not a tale, but a lot of nonsense

02 April 2016

R. Linda:

So I am in a dark room with a long table. Weasil be sitting at the table munching and I ask him what he's eating and he says, "Your kiddo." I stare at him in open mouthed terror realising me oldest kiddo was in the room. "I was peckish," Weasil says smacking his lips. "WHAT?" I roared at him. "Only having a jape on yer arse, April fools!" says he, and as me eyes adjust to the dark I see me oldest kiddo at the end of the table licking a vanilla ice cream cone.

As I be starting to relax the Dragon lady appears with an opened newspaper, her reading glasses perched on the end of her nose and as she reads to me, a spotlight bathes her, "Fire up the girl and get a jump on summer?" I realise she has misread grill for girl. I am beside meself again.

I sit down at the table as Dragon sits next to the Weasil and continues browsing. "Fighting season opens on the big lake. HUH?"

"Fishing," I correct her.

I be across from them both. I feel like something terrible is going to happen when yup it does, in the vast darkness I can see what looks like a huge yellow nimbus floating towards us. I gasp in horror as I realise what the nimbus is, it be hair! And it be attached to Dewdropper's head that she carries in her hand. The head be detached from the body but the head is animated and smiling at me. I sit back so the vast halo of hair doesn't touch me from across the table.

"I want you to cut it all off Gabe," Dew says and hands me a pair of scissors.

"You . . . you . . . you want me to do the deed?" I ask and the head shakes in affirmative all on its own, which sets me to hyperventilating. I somehow find a paper bag thrust at me and I be breathing into it and when finally in control of me facilities I ask tentatively, "I see you have already been cutting." I try to smile, and she bats her eyelashes in a coy way and purrs, "Oh, you noticed that." Well, un huh I did, gees Louise it isn't everyday you see a headless body walking about holding its head in the dark! I thrust me head in me arms on the table to blot them all out.

While I be in this position I hear a hum, like machinery coming fast and realise there be a motor headed straight for us out of the dark. I lift me head to see beyond Dew's halo of hair two headlights coming fast and I stand up and yell for everyone to run, but no one does, it is as if they don't hear the car. That machine jams on its brakes feet away from the table coming to a screeching halt sideways. The lights go out, a car door slams, I be feeling an ominous presence coming but can see nothing. Then I hear a voice, a familiar one with an Irish accent say, "So here's where the parrrty is. Got sushi, we need feed it ta Weasil's worm infested bran."

I faint dead away at the thought of worms in the brain, even if it be Weasil's which as I faded out of consciousness wondered how it was he had a brain, I thought he was brainless.

It was (I felt) sometime later I revived to find meself tied to the table bench to keep from falling off of it. Across from me leaning on a wide swath of Dew's hair to keep it down and out of his face, was Wolfie. He had a Chivas Regal and was sipping it watching me come to. Ah ha, he was the driver of the fast car now why didn't I think of that before. "YOU!" I said in an accusatory tone.

"Yeah ME, what of it Gab ree ill?" He sneered at me.

I was taken aback, what had I done? I started shaking free of the confines that held me to the bench.

"Oooh duncha Gab ree ill me soony buy." Oh me gosh it was me Mam coming to the table with a large pot of Irish stew she started slapping into bowls I hadn't noticed before. They were wooden with green shamrocks on them. "Here ye gue me buy," she says to me, "eat oop an hardie now." I find a wooden spoon in me hand and start slopping the stew in me piehole, and it was wonderful stuff.

"Parsonally," I say with me mouthfull, me accent coming out, "I feel like it be me birtday, or da fort of July!" And I laugh like this be normal which it be the furthest from normal.

"I'd never disapint ya Gabriel." Mam smilingly said patting me head like a good dog. Then she turned to Wolfie and said, "Ye dunt git any of dis here stew cause yer not from R-lynnd, yer a Scotsman!"

This started an uproar from the Weasil protesting that Scotsmen were good people if not a wee bit stingy, but still. Me Mam told him to set his arse down she wasn't talking about him, he wasn't an occupier of Ireland. Well, he would have none of it, he flung stew her way, and well all hell broke loose because they were all shouting and throwing spoonfuls of stew at each other, all except Dragon who was looking over her glasses at all of them like she was thinking what side to choose. I slid on the long bench down the opposite end of the table to be out of harms way. Poor Dewdropper was screaming about the messy stew that was in her hair and well, I just put me head in me arms trying to blot the whole ridiculous scene out. But that didn't happen because a voice from across the table was telling me it was snowing again in Denver. I looked up to see you, me muse, sitting there as if the argy wasn't going on at the other end of the table. You looked all weary because of the weather and had a box of tissues you were using to blow your nose.

"Pneumonia, you know," you said to me as I looked questioningly at you.

"What again?" I asked as a huge chunk of stew meat hit me square on the nose.

"Here, you need these more than me," you said sliding the tissue box across the table. I took one and mopped me nose, but what a mess, the gravy that coated the meat was thick and drippy. "How'd you get in here?" I asked. "Can you get me out of here?"

"Nope no can do, this is YOUR dream you figure it out."

"Its a dream? You mean none of this nonsense is real? Then . . . " I thought a moment and I realised I was not there at all but in me comfy bed. BUT I couldn't move me body, it was like if I didn't I'd die. Did you ever have that happen? You will yourself to move but nothing happens and you are in a panic someone will find you have died in your sleep? Well, that's what was going on. I knew I had to get out that dream before I was covered in stew and somehow I did, but then I couldn't move! Me brain was awake, but me body was not! No matter how hard me brain willed me body to get up, it wasn't happening until the bloody alarm went off and wow did me body react. I was up in a flash looking around wondering what was buzzing and then I saw the flashing digital clock and with pounding heart turned it off. I sat there in a daze, me heart racing, the memory of the dream was fresh and I had forgot the paralyses entirely. How does that work? I will tell you in all honesty I did NOT have spicy food that night. I had Irish stew, so go figure.

Gabe
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

22 March, 2016

That's the last time I do that with someone from another country

22 March 2016

R. Linda:

Today was exceptionally memorable. In one way I be saying I lived through what for me, was an ordinary experience turned deadly extraordinary, and for two, the next time I find meself in a dire situation, be sure I speak the language.

So here it is. This weekend was muddy because of the spring-like weather. Then yesterday it snowed and the trek into Boston was salt, sand and generally dirty if you are a car. Last night I parked me Saturn in the garage and was home before the wife. When SHE came home she had to go around me car and oops rubbed up against all the road dirt and being displeased, she told me that the next day (today) would be a good day to get me car washed before I came home. SO this I did. The only time I had was at lunchtime and if I had known what I know now I'd never have done the deed.

One of me associates be sponsoring a young man from Somali. A nice young man this, getting used to wearing a tie and suit for the first time and chaffing a little at the tie, but proud to have mastered the hang of it, as it was. He be from a small village and had never seen a car (a jeep yes), had never ridden in one, nor had he been on a plane, or seen a big city like Boston until very recently. As you can imagine, all this culture shock takes some getting used to. His English be coming along at a rapid pace, as he be a bright young man. He be in a programme to better himself and learn about American customs, country, language, and get some skills he can go back to Somalia and earn a good living with the acquired knowledge.

Now Martin, as he calls himself be still finding honking horns, blaring sirens, multitudes of people hurrying along, and the city of Boston a wee bit daunting, but he's taking it in stride and learning. I rather like him, he's a tall drink of water like meself, and skinny like me, and he has exhibited a sense of humour much like . . . ME! It was natural we struck up a bit of working friendship. He was in me department learning what we do there and I was his mentor for the week. It started off great until today. Today was a new learning experience for us both.

At lunch I told him I would be going out, if he'd like to come I'd treat him to lunch and if he didn't mind, I'd be stopping to get me car washed. He said he would like the adventure and so off we went.

I took him to a pub that has the best sandwiches (I think) in our area and he tried an Irish Rubin, which was two thick slices of corned beef (boiled in Guinness), thousand island dressing, sauerkraut (dyed green), Swiss cheese on marbled Irish rye bread. He loved it, and had two! He downed both with two glasses of Guinness (I said, I'd not tell if he didn't about the alcohol) and so we two were very happy fellows when we left.

I pulled into a car wash that was on the way back to the office. Now here be where it all turned pear shaped.  I paid the money, and pulled up to the door of the wash. I said to Martin to make sure all the windows were closed on his side. He did and asked me if we were going to get out and wash the car. That should have been a hint, but stupid me gave it no thought and told him no, the machines do the cleaning. He looked puzzled as I pulled up and the men came out with the power hoses to spray the tyres, to which he said, "Oh, I see." But he didn't really and neither did I.

I was told to put me motor gear in neutral, foot off the brake and as the car started forward into the dark misty tunnel Martin asked me how the car was driving itself. Before I could answer, the jets opened up a rainbow of soap blocking out the windows with a loud splat, and poor Martin was stunned speechless.

The Soap which makes for a claustrophobic experience

Martin pointed nervously and moved about in his seat in a hyper nervous fashion. Before I could say a word, the giant brushes came out the sides and top (moon roof gave a great view of one of them pounding the car top) and the noise was so loud even if I shouted, I would not be heard or understood and that's exactly what happened.

Soap being moved around the sound was deafening!

Poor Martin was in fear for his life and was yelling in Somali (which I did not understand a word), tearing at getting his seatbelt off, wildly gesturing and trying to open the door. I caught him before he could and we'd be drowned and he began to fight me off like he didn't know who I was. He was shouting, "caawinta, caawinta!' which I later learned meant help, help!

We made it through the brushes to the wax. Oh my God, the wax came down in bright colourful streaks and his eyes got really big and he was waving his hands at it on the windscreen as if he could magically make it go away.

Was coming

WAX ON

The drying strips came banging into the windows next and he started screaming.

Drying strips came crashing down, poor Martin thought we were going to be crushed and then flogged to death!
Just as he got into full panic mode, suddenly there was that rumbling sound, the heat jets!

Wax nearly off when the rumbling sound of the heat jets kicked in.
I thought his eyes would pop out of his head as he felt the vibration and looked at me aghast. I kept trying to tell him it was ok and fend off his flaying arms at the same time.

I finally got him settled (I be not sure how exactly) when the jets started to wind down and in front of us was this:

THE DOOR TO THE OUTSIDE WAS CLOSED! Its the red thing in the picture.

The poor guy thought the car would smash through the door and he looked back and saw through the cleaning strips, brushes, and assorted sprays, and the HEADLIGHTS of another car right behind us. We were going to be crushed and that was that!

Oh my God we were doomed!
As we slowly inched up, heat jets vibrating, the door to escape didn't open. I was still trying to manhandle Martin to keep him settled. I had child locked the doors and windows so he couldn't get out, which when I let go of him he went for the handle and looked at me like he couldn't believe I'd forcefully lock him into his own death. It was all I could think to do so he wouldn't jump out into the middle of hot wax, hot water and hot jets! It also would keep me car from filling up with the same and possibly asphyxiating yours truly!

As we got closer, miraculously the door began to rise and thank the powers of the universe we were OUT and FREE of all the sound, fury and panic.

I did not know or even think what a car wash would seem like to someone who'd never been in one. The poor man was tear streaked down his face and sweat soaked through his new suit and well, the tie, the tie was frayed and askew as he had pulled at it to loosen it from choking him in his extreme anxiety. I felt terrible about this I did. I offered to buy him a new tie, have his suit cleaned and told him to keep the box of tissues Tonya always keeps in our cars for the kids snotty noses.

We were three blocks from the office parking garage by the time the experience wore off. Martin actually laughed albeit nervously, but laughed all the same telling me it was an experience he'd not soon forget, and now that he understands what it was and that it was safe and not going to kill him, he'd like to try another car wash someday, but no time soon.

When we got back to the floor where me department is, everyone turned around looking at a very dishevelled Martin, tear stained suit, rumbled and damp from sweat, even his dark mahogany skin was three shades lighter. Poor man's eyes were still bugging from his head and he looked like a deer caught in headlights. I looked no better, I was a rumbled mess from his fending me off from jumping out the car. I explained me stupidity to everyone and left early for home just to manage me own stress of the moment.

Of course, me Mam being the only one home, I told her the sordid tale and what did she do? She laughed so hard her sides ached. I thought I'd get some commiseration from her, but no, it was funny to her. I dunno, but I have me a straight up Jamesons to dull the memory which as you can read is still with me and probably will be until Martin moves onto another area than mine.

SIGH!

Gabe
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

12 March, 2016

Dragon Sayings - what happens when you need a cataract operation

12 March 2016

R. Linda:

Below are some of the pearls I had to put up with while the Dragon lady convalesced at me abode. I will miss none of this, but I do hope she gets that cataract operation and soon. She near drove me up a pole each morning as I poured me cup of joe, all set to slowly wake up and then, with a rattle of the newspaper she'd announced the daily headlines (Dragon version). I put in parenthesis the word she misread.

Brain (burn) victim transforms herself with makeup. How does someone do that? I mean . . . how?

Let me see that I said. I read what it really said, and she got up to fetch her reading glasses. Her glasses have that beaded chain that hooks around one earpiece and then the other so they hang around her neck if she needs them. Me, being me said nothing of the fact she was wearing them and let her go hunt about the place for what was right in front of her. Tonya was the one who put me game to bed by informing her mother her reading glasses were where they were.

The next day I got another read out.

Police say sweating (swatting) hoax led to shelter in place. Since when do the police come if someone is sweating? I don't get it.

Here let me see that I said, and read it but not out loud. OH that's a new policy the department put into effect a few weeks ago, said I. She looked at me frowning and I said, yes indeed, the road department can get pretty sweaty. That's when Tonya came over and took the paper, read the headline and corrected both of us. I had that Dragon going I tell ya, it was amusing to me at least, while it lasted.

Utah (UNH) studies oyster farming. I thought Utah was landlocked? Are there really oysters in the Great Salt Lake?

Now used to this crazy blindness, I said yes, yes, that's right a new study and the male dominated Mormons wanted to study the effects of consuming oysters, to which I was shut down pretty quickly by the wife AGAIN. Then there was this:

Geek (Greek) governor seeks help with migrants. Where is this? Is this where they send the geeks from Staples?

I said nothing, but almost choked on me cup of joe, and neither did the wife or me very own apple cheeked, gray haired Mam pipe up with correction. We let her keep that one. None of us had a retort. Though I made up for it on the next misread:

North Korean fighter (freighter) impounded. Just how do you impound a fighter and when did North Korea have boxing?

Oh, says I, they have a great boxer, just one mother Abdullah. Just one, but he is a feisty one he is (I started throwing air punches to emphasise that statement). He is so feisty, right Ma (I said to me Mam who was keeping a suspicious eye on yours truly) to which she nodded. Well there you go, if me Mam agreed it must be true. Tonya was getting the kiddos ready for school so I got that gem under me belt. Yesterday she reads this:

Search for gift (girl) underway. WHAT?

I took the paper, there was a teen missing and I didn't want to make light of that, but she had no clue, so I quipped that the Mayor's birthday present had gone missing and well . . . to which me wife walked in, looked over Dragon's shoulder, read the headline and gave me an angry look. I dropped it knowing I had gone too far. Then just this morning I walk into this:

Chaos as magnates (migrants) jostle for food supplies. Since when do magnates need to compete against each other for food? Why I never. What is this world coming to?

OH, said I, is Donald Trump about those steaks again? But I didn't get far the wife caught me and that was that until Dragon read another line out to us.

Mother of three sleeping on sheets (streets). Well, where else would she be sleeping? Tsk!

I nodded in commiseration that the news reporting was just plain stupid and said so. I mean, I said to her, it must be a slow news day that my associates stoop so low as to write commonalities that we are all aware of. Yes, I said shaking me head, it is awful when nothing much be happening and you have to write about someone sleeping on sheets or worse not being able to read what is really there because they are blind as a bat. Yes indeed.

For that I got from the wife, Stop that right now, enough of this foolishness in the morning.

Well, me amusement be over, the Dragon be on her way to airport as I write this, yes she is got her broom and headed out with her pointy hat and shoes. I can't say I will miss the old bat, but the morning read out of the daily headlines will be not the same. SIGH. But I be so damn happy she's gone home to the Pine Barrens to take up her mantle as the Jersey Devil. So damn happy I can't express it enough.

Gabe
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

28 February, 2016

It all went so horribly wrong!

29 February 2016

R. Linda:

Me Mam has made friends with a few ladies since she moved to this side of the pond. One of them lives in the town next to ours, which is a place with scattered small lakes. So you have that mix of lake community type homes and then you have your rather nice bigger homes that dot the wooded area around the lakes.

It wasn't until one of Mam's friends husband passed away I found out that the place is a swingers haven. Or so I was told. I went to the biggest of the lakes in that town for a day of ice fishing. As you know cold weather sports are not me thing, just the sport of forced shovelling of snow be me expertise, but I went not so much to fish (I'd let the kiddos do that) but for the camaraderie of it.

So the first thing I see as we pulled up is a sign THIN ICE. Well, yes, because of the strange spring weather most of the ice has melted on the smaller lakes, while it hasn't formed at all on the bigger ones. I saw most of the bob houses were pulled to the shore except for two and a mobile trailer home. The trailer home was sinking into the ice as people with cameras were recording the event and well, I was thinking going out on that ice not a good idea with wee people.

Can't you just hear them saying: "What to do?"
For one thing, who parks a trailer home on a lake with hot sun reflecting off of it melting the ice? Two, how does one get it out of sinking to the bottom as water fills it, and three, will three guys be able to haul it up even with cables? Nah, the answer is let it sink and every day its down there pay a $500 fine until spring when you can get someone with an industrial winch to bring it to shore. I tell ya!

Anyway, not me problem, me problem was finding at least five inches of ice to drill a fishing hole. I needn't worry there were a few holes already dug where the saner among us had deemed it not safe to stand out on melting ice and fish. With that in mind I told the kiddos it would be a short fishing trip because of circumstances, but I needn't have worried, they saw friends on shore and that's what they wanted to do, play on the beach instead. Well, I didn't even touch the fishing tackle, I made merry with the blokes on shore watching the mobile home we dubbed the Titanic, slowly sinking down, down, down!

It was as all this was going down (ha ha), that I heard about the swingers in town. Well, the stories were on the fantastic side and I won't repeat them, but for one name that was familiar to me. That was me Mam's friends husband. I found out he died of a heart attack during a liaison with another woman who was in the circle of me Mam's friends. I was at first amused and then horrified. Did me Mam know this about the people she was associating with?

When I got home she was wringing her hankie and tears were streaming down her face as she told me Harriet's husband had passed away and poor Harriet this, and poor Harriet that. I asked her after a time how he had passed and she told me straight out what had happened.

"Did you know this bit of stuff was going on?" I asked.

"Well, for sure and I did, but Harriet didn't at first mind Gabriel, but the old geezer had found that Viagra and well . . ." she trailed off shaking her head.

"OH!" Said I rather surprised. I knew nothing of the Viagra.

"You will go to the funeral wit me won't ye?" She asked me.

What was I to say? I didn't want to, but I said yes and asked when it was. Well, to make a long story short, I found out there was competition for years between Harriet and the other woman. They were at one time best friends in high school and the friendship continued into their old age. BUT this woman who I will call Fredricka, always had a crush on Harriet's dearly departed (or not so dearly departed) husband, Muggie as he was affectionately called, because he would mug for the camera, or as me Mam more accurately put it, photobomb everyone's pictures because he was an egomaniac.

When Muggie discovered Viagra he near drove Harriet to distraction and she knowing Fredricka was single and liked Muggie, sort of set them up to get him out of her hair. This went well until Fredricka introduced Muggie to the rest of the swingers in town and well, he was having a Viagra good time.

When Harriet found out she confronted both of them and put her foot down that enough was enough. She told Fredricka never to darken her doorstep and took Muggie's stash of Viagra and flushed it down the toilet. You can imagine the scene all that presented.

"If you ever get with that woman or any woman, I hope you have a heart attack and die!" Harriet shouted at the complaining Muggie.

Well, it came true, Muggie got more of the miracle working blue pills that made him feel like a teenager again, and hooked up with Fredricka and the rest is history.

This was the funeral I was being dragged to. I didn't want to go. I knew no good was going to come out of it until I realised I might get a story for you. So off I went, me Mam acting all sorrowful for her friend, but secretly thinking Muggie got his comeuppance.

We walked into the funeral home and there at the front of the room, was Muggie all laid out. The coffin resting on one of those metal elevator type things which you see gurneys on. I thought because of the wheels they just wheeled Muggie in and out when it was viewing time, or as me Mam referred to it, "Show time." I tell ya the woman be something.

Everyone acted tearful and sympathetic until Fredricka darkened the doorway. Oh my goodness me, R. Linda, the room actually hushed and Fredricka cast a shadow from the light of the hallway behind her which all she needed was a DA TADA DA and the scene would have been complete. Suddenly as if on cue Fredricka let out a wail and with open arms ran to the open casket as we all in shock watched. Making sure she was the centre of attention she said things that stunned everyone, but not the widow who watched the scene as if she was watching a tv show -- completely detached. Without any warning Fredricka reached into the casket and started shaking Muggie to "wakeup!"

Then without any warning to Fredricka, the metal elevator thing collapsed from her weight leaning into it and from the shaking of Muggie. It was like slow motion the casket, Muggie half in and half out, and Fredricka, skirts up to her panties coming to a bounding rest with Fredricka part way in the broken casket with Muggie's arm around her.

Everyone was shock still. No one moved, but I had the presence of mind to look at their faces and they were trying not to laugh! Until Harriet let out a huge guffaw and well . . . you can imagine the chaos as people and funeral attendants ran to disentangle Fredricka from the corpse and the busted casket. So much Fredricka for making a scene.

Never in me life R. Linda have I been to a spectacle like that. I told me Mam to reevaluate her friends because I was not accompanying her to anymore funerals. I was done. Anyway, me Mam assured me she was not friends with Fredricka but couldn't desert Harriet in her time of need. I don't think Harriet is in any need, Muggie left her well off and she's on her way to tour Germany and Austria, so much for mourning. As to Fredricka I hear her house is up for sale and no one's seen her since the scandal she caused at Muggie's departure. I would expect Dragon lady to have these kinds of friends, but me Mam? I don't know about the woman sometimes.

Gabe
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

26 February, 2016

Shopping with me MOTHER

26 February 2016

R. Linda:

Last weekend me Mam thought it would be nice to visit a new business a friend of Tonya's set up. Now Tonya never suggested this, but for some reason, me Mam thought it a great idea to help the business along and at the same time score Ton some brownie points for being a good friend. She was hot to trot on this, and I can only think because snow was melting, it was 50 some degrees outside and she was feeling a need to get out and away from the Dragon (who was making Mam into her own personal nursemaid).

So seeing the problem I agreed to go, and was thinking that opening an antique shop a strange venture since New Hampshire be an antique collectors dream. You could take a month and it would not be enough to visit every antique shop in the state. There is even a map called the Antique Trail, that one can follow all over the state if one be so inclined.

I took me Mam to the newly opened shop and as we walked in, there were cafe tables and a coffee maker with different kinds of coffee available. I suppose this be for the weary collector who be needing a jolt of joe to wire him or her shopping experience up. I wanted to wait there and drink meself into oblivion but me old wan wouldn't hear of it.

We went to the book section first and meandered through all the mouldy and ancient tomes covered in dust. Most were books on art collection, or porcelains, or state papers, and stuff I have no interest in, but every so often me Mam would shout at me, "Oh luuk Gabriel, here be a buuk on Catlick chorches!" OH BOY just want I'd want to read.

Another section over and I found meself in the "old treasures" section which was really the junk section, and from behind the wall of books I hear, "OOOH luuk Gabriel, here be a buuk on Nort Iron!" Yeah well being from there I didn't need to read about that either.

Further into the junk section I was intrigued by the selection of old riding boots. Who in their right mind would want some raggedy and muddy riding boots that were also bent at places that would take the skin off ones shins should they try to walk in them?

I was blasted out of that perplexity of thought by, "OOOH GABRIEL, ye should see dis here buuk, it be all about da twelt apostles and da las sooper."

Yee-ah. Time to get her out of the book section at which she was sneezing her fool head off from picking up the dusty volumes.

But she wasn't parting with a paperback book entitled HOW TO FIRE A CANON. I did not ask.

We made it around the entire store in an hour and 15. The only thing we had to show for it was the crazy paperback book. Mam had already announced who we were when we came in to the owner at the cash register, vowing to do him proud with a few "porchesess". So when we walked up to the register, me Mam made another announcement, "I con't say I will win da prize fer mose expensive porchess of da day!" Oh ha ha Mam.

I didn't know how bad it was until the man at the cash register said, "That will be one dollar."

OMG OMG OMG!!!

Could she not have found the cheapest book in the store? I tell ya. But that wasn't the worst of it.

"Do ye want dat in change?" She grins.

I wanted to crawl out the door but the good natured owner said, he preferred a bill but if she wanted to count her pennies, that was good too. Oi!

She slapped a dollar bill on the counter with a huge smile and he laughed. I wasn't laughing.

"Do you want a receipt?" Asked he only making it worse.

"Why fer sure," she had the nerve to answer. I could stand it no more and started to walk out like I wasn't with her, but no she called me back to carry her "porches" which embarrassed me to the core, because I had bought nothing.

At dinner that night she regaled Tonya how she did her friend a good turn and even bought a book. Tonya was all polite and somewhat charmed. I was shaking me head at her not to be so charmed, but like Lady Edith of Downton Abbey me Mam went on a glowing tribute to herself but all was squashed when our resident Lady Mary (Dragon) piped up and said to Tonya, "Before you get all carried away dear, know she did spend over an hour in your friends shop and she did buy herself a book. Yes, a lovely book on firing canons and the best part is, it only cost a dollar."

Smiling smugly the Dragon went back to her meal while me Mam looked with chagrin at her.

"Oh that was so good of you," Tonya addressed me Mam, "I wouldn't have bought anything after about the same amount of time. We don't have that kind of house anymore. Antiques would look so out of place here. And what an interesting subject canons. There is that old makeshift canon the boys have, you know the one Mam, it faces the guest room? I wonder if your book would tell you how to fix it to really work."

No one said a word, that was that, Lady Grantham had spoken and we got the gist of it. Yes, Dragon has ensconced herself in the guest room where so-called canon faces it on the other side of the wall.

I did notice a sneer cross me Mam's face as she looked at a rather surprised Dragon and muttered, "I wonder . . ." Oh ladies, ladies, ladies!

Gabe
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

23 February, 2016

The Great Muffin Caper

23 February 201,

R. Linda:

Last night I was feeling a bit peckish. The ladies of the house usually have baked goodies hanging around the kitchen, but lately because of the Dragon lady's convalescence, the baking department is pretty much closed down. Yes, indeed and when one, such as meself, has an operating sweet tooth that is in residence 24/7 it is agony I tell ya!

The problem has been the constant needing to be waited on hand and foot. The Dragon lady is to be up and about as you know, exercising the new knee but because of her weight, it be taking a tad longer to heal than skinny old me did. We complain of being tired and needing to sit down for a spell. Yes, she does, and I be very accommodating by saying, "Yes Ducky, you must sit it down, throwing all that weight around must wear your poor self out." Oh I do say that because I can no longer hold me displeasure of the woman in. She hardly talks to me and I act like I be offended but secretly I be very pleased with meself, not to be engaged in the senseless Dragon conversations.

The main reason for this be not me dislike for her (though that factors in), but the fact she still has not had her cataract operation and so she reads things askew. She drives me nuts with things like, "What is this pigs on sale at the produce section?" It said FIGS not PIGS. And then there was "Hog licenses are due by April 2?" It was a notice for DOG licenses, I swear because of her inability to see and her SIZE, her mind be on swine.

So because people avoid the kitchen area where the Dragon stakes herself out most all day and all night, the O'Sullivan Baked Goods be closed for business. Neither me Mam nor the Dragon's lovely daughter, will venture into the kitchen only long enough to make coffee or tea, and that's about it. A liquid diet doesn't do it for the candyholic. So desperate for something sweet, I ventured into the kitchen last evening, when the ladies of the house (including the Dragon) had gone next door for coffee and cookies at a neighbour who had been going through a horrendous divorce (when we first moved in) who now wanted to meet her new neighbours. That is the ladies of me abode, but not the husband because she now hates men. Thus, I was home with a promise from me apple cheeked gray haired mum to steal a few cookies for her sonny boy, ME!

There I was looking through the cupboards for anything I could whip up in a jiffy. The only thing was a box of cranberry muffins. Well, better than nothing I thought and when saw all I needed to add was a cup and a quarter of water, well easy peasy!

I did this, got it all mixed by hand with me only audience, me hyper setter and Dragon's hound, I popped those babies in the oven. Yes, the hound is back! I heated the oven to 400 and while I waited, boiled water for me French roast coffee. I had the muffins in, me feet up on the table (I could get away with that since the ladies were out and about), and so I waited. After 20 minutes, the baking was done. I got the hot water in the French Roast to steep, and got all the muffins on a wire rack to cool, when suddenly the fire alarm went off.

I realised I left the oven door open and I suppose some of the batter had dripped on the elements below causing smoke. Well, I ran over to the cellar door which be where the alarm be located and fanned the door back and forth to disperse the smoke before the ADT people called the fire department and oh my how embarrassing. The fire department had been over three times in a week already because, one time the fireplace kicked back smoke because it was cold when we lit it. The second was the carbon monoxide alarm went off when we lit the wood boiler downstairs. It had been cold too and kicked back smoke when first lit with a lot of carbon monoxide. We have had an exceptionally warm winter so heat not needed, but those two cold nights well, it was fire department time! The last was me wife had put in a pork pie she made special for me in the oven, and the oven she used (we have two) needed to be cleaned but she forgot to use the other oven and well, the fire department was here again for the smoke. Oi! So it was imperative I beat the ADT people to calling the fire department for the fourth time in a week. I whipped that door back and forth like a man out of his mind I tell ya! I had only a few more beeps before the system would kick in and the firemen arrived. I worked me tail off moving that door back and forth like a bellows.

Meanwhile, the two cats were creeping up the basement stairs to make an escape and I was doing me best to fan the door and kick in the air on the basement side to keep the two escapees below. However, as I was doing this which was becoming hard work, I hear behind me a crash and then dogs fighting. I turned as much as I could and there were the two dogs with the muffins, on the floor, fighting over them. They were dashed to pieces and the alarm was still going off, the cats were still challenging me kicking leg to get passed me into the kitchen and well R. Linda I was cursing at all of them especially the dogs. FINALLY I got the alarm to stop, ran to the stove, closed the door and then to the counter where I rescued four muffins! FOUR MUFFINS R. LINDA that's all I had left of me stash of cranberry goodies! Then I rushed to me phone to see if in all the noisy excitement me phone had rung with the ADT people calling to tell me they had called the fire department. To me relief there was no call so I caught it in the nick, BUT at the cost of me muffins! I was beside meself in grief. Much like you feel when you've made a batch of fudge and leave it to cool and to come back to find the Daddy Man has eaten it all!

And to add insult to injury one is dented! Probably from a dog tooth.

And equal time to the two miscreants who ate me fresh handmade cranberry muffins. You will notice the one, THE HOUND has not the brains to cover his guilty face, but me dog does. She be thinking by wearing that mask I won't recognise her guilty self. Uh huh.

The guilty HOUND

The equally guilty SETTER

I be so disappointed in both of them.

Gabe
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

10 February, 2016

Primary Time In New Hampshire

10 February 2016

R. Linda:

It was a long night, a night that seemed to go on forever. If they gave people the day off to vote it might have been a shorter night, but the folks in Hudson and Merrimack were so many they had to keep the polls opened longer. I do wonder that the Clinton people begging the State House to keep the polls open in Merrimack was a wise idea. Something tells me those where all Sanders voters waiting to get to the polls. Gulp.

As you know, it was primary time in New Hampshire. That means the craziness explodes in road signs, yard signs, people with signs at traffic lights, big rock star-like buses whizzing by with candidates names and slogans, diners full of media, town dumps alive with candidates pressing the flesh, and town halls full to the brim! Yes, but this year because of Trump and Sanders there was more interest and excitement than usual. The usual craziness got downright bizarre at times and politically correct? What's that mean? That term went right out the window this time round. It was say anything, think it out loud and anything goes don't worry about it.

Oh yeah, the circus came to town and it was bigger than usual this year. There were candidates I had never heard of, those guys on the fringe and me Mam was one of them. She was running for a while until someone pointed out she was born in Ireland and wasn't eligible. Bummer for Mam let me tell you, we have a basement full of Elect Mam signs.

It was the year of the woman, if you are a woman and not voting for Hillary than maybe you should be voting for Carly or the alternative (as Madaline Allbright said) is end up in hell! If you are a vulgar man or woman do get in the front row of a Trump rally and call the opposing candidates any vulgar tag you can and you can be sure the candidate on stage will repeat it for everyone in the world to hear. If you are a candidate and find a way to eliminate another candidate and your name is Cruz or Christie, then by all means go for it on stage in front of an international audience, with your target standing next to you, it works no matter what network is broadcasting you, because if they should not dwell on your onstage strategy CNN will certainly pick it up and talk about it for weeks!

If you are a candidate and happen to repeat your scripted line over and over that will be pointed out to anyone who will listen that you are wet behind the ears and would make a great stage actor. You missed your calling Senator Rubio. With your memory and looks, sheesh, Academy Award easily.

But wait, lets get those wives out in front. If you want to play down your being Jewish, bring out the Irish American wife before you say anything and introduce her to the crowd by her Irish American name and all the religious stuff is forgotten. OR, if you just want to scare people there is the first lady of New Jersey when she smiles. OR, if you happen to look like a movie star and happen to have married a cheerleader -- don't hide her, bring her out to show how successful you are in the wife department. OR, if you happen to be a millionaire and have a beautiful foreign wife, don't let her say anything like, "You people need to vote for dat mon my husbond so I can get into little Vhite House and paint it vit gilt and remove dat portrait of George Vashington and replace it vit a real painting -- a Picasso!"

I know I am being a horrible person, but you know what? I be sick to the back teeth. I was so glad the voting was over, I was so glad they were all leaving last night or today. I know this isn't over, I know they will be back. They will find me, plant signs in me yard, sticker me car, stick brochures in me door, flood me mailbox with campaign junk, take me favourite diner booth, and waylay me at the town dump to shake me hand and ask me to vote for them. I will not be able to get through a traffic light for the campaign volunteers waving signs at me so I can't see and probably have an accident which will bring the media and more exposure for their man or woman.

I will be subject to commercial after commercial of each one of them disparaging the other and expounding what is wrong with me health care. How about that student loan Gabe? Well, Gabe doesn't have one thank you very much.

How about building up the military Gabe? I have two dogs thank you don't need a military. NO Gabe, THE military not ADT. Oh!

Hey Gabe, taxes too high? Vote for Bernie and feel the Bern. Oh I do feel the Bern. Believe me each time I open me tax bill and you know what Sanders people? I don't want to lose what money I have left to socialist causes, done that, been there, got the UK t-shirt.

Hey Gabe, you need to be mindful that the Mexicans are illegal in New Hampshire and we need to build a wall at the Massachusetts border. Mr. Trump, I know one Mexican American and she isn't illegal and she doesn't live in New Hampshire!

Hey Gabe, you think Senator Rubio's ears are a little too long for his head? Senator Cruz I don't notice things like that. Ask me wife that question.

I know I be mad, letting off steam. Too long a night for the outcome I thought it would be. Want to not see another debate, another campaign bus, another campaign volunteer at me door, want it all gone. I know those damn road signs will not move until a candidate drops out. So bye bye Christie and Carly. Jeb, Trump, Sanders, Hillary, Cruz, Kasich, Rubio and Ben well sooner or later you too will begin to disappear UNTIL the candidates are selected at the conventions and then it starts all over again! But at least it won't be like Primary Time In New Hampshire. That is unique and a nightmare.

Gabe
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

06 February, 2016

Revenge mail turns into jumbled dreams

06 February 2016

R. Linda:

I was realising how many times me email was binging and it occurred to me it was quite a bit. Not a wee bit, not a big wee bit, but a big bit. I also realised it was you emailing me for a story. Well, I had nothing funny going on. Of late leg surgery (though it went splendidly) makes Gabe grumpy when he can't go out and do the things he used to do. Especially when Gabe wants to get away from an unwelcome visitor in his abode. I know patience and it will all correct itself, but for the moment .  . .  you get me drift.

I got so used to hearing the bing from me phone as you continued with the pleas that went to threats about me not writing anything amusing, I almost was able to tune you out. I tried to be oblivious and ignore the constant binging. I think it took 130 bings before I got up off me arse and went to the computer.

Me purpose was not to write a funny story (as I had none) but to write revenge mail back at ya. However, as I waited for the soft glow of the computer screen to rev up, I was interrupted by me sainted dear old Irish mam with an Irish treat I hadn't had in years.

"Here ya gue, I haven't made dis treat fer a horses age." Said she shoving a plate of yellowman at me.

Who could resist this Irish treat? Not me, I plowed in with two huge junks of the stuff as she complained there was plenty and I'd choke meself. Then she added, "I put in new ingredients sos yer shoulda taken a wee bite first."

Well, the yellowman did taste peculiar to say the least.

"Wot?" I chewed looking up at her thinking that yes indeed, the candy tasted funny and I was not enjoying the "bite" (want for a better word to describe it).

"I tink I overdid it wit da cream of tartar and da cilantro."

You should know the woman has taken up looking at reruns of Emeril Lagasse, "kicking up" his recipes and she's taken it upon herself to do the same. The results are NOT good. And what be most annoying is her shouting, "BAM!" each time one takes a bite of whatever it is she's "kicked up."

Okay yellowman is a potato based sugary treat, and it shouldn't have either of those ingredients in it. I wanted to spit it out but I was being a bit of a pig and I didn't want to insult her, because if I did, she'd probably never make me another treat again (on hindsight that might not be a bad idea). So I gulped it down, or more accurately, forced it down. I had no more of it and will never eat yellowman made by me mam ever again!

Add to that horror, the Dragon lady has arrived with about ten suitcases because she was impressed with me surgery, she wanted the same for herself. So not bothering to find a surgeon in her own state she called up mine and scheduled appointments for eventual knee surgery here, so she has to recoup at me house. Goody NOT! But the deed be done and she be home from hospital and taking up an indefinite residence in me abode. I know now never to give out me personal surgeon information or say how easy me surgery went.

So between me mam "kicking up" her cooking to a state of inedible, and the Dragon moving in hooked up to drugs for the recovery, is it any wonder why I cannot find a funny story?

I had to lay down after ingesting the yellowman, and it felt like I swallowed a brick of cream of tartar mixed with a healthy sampling of cilantro. By the by, I don't like cilantro. In this state of dickey tummy, I mercifully fell asleep to avoid not only the tummy rumbling but the awful taste in me mouth.

So it was I had a revenge dream about YOU. Yes, all this took its toll it did and because me mobile phone was stilling binging away as I drifted into a miserable kind of sleep state, YOU were on me mind mixed in with the Dragon and the cement me mam tried to pass off as candy.

As it happened in me dream, I was seated at the kitchen table staring at Dragon's massive underpants as she had her newly operated knee propped up on the table. I felt the need to blind meself for life, but the large plate of tainted yellowman in the middle of the table got me attention. There was you, me mam, and me wife, all munching on the stuff talking about it's attributes as a culinary wonder. Yes, in me dream I was sitting with four nutcase foodies.

Suddenly, me mam says, "Oh da laundry room, da only place its safe ta drop yer pants ya noo."

What? I be thinking. Where did that come from? Has she lost her mind? Too much cilantro on the brain was it? What does the laundry room have to do with yellowman, and why be me attention back on Dragon's massive undies? I was so grossed out I wanted to get up but then you said this, "Yeah the laundry, do it yourself service, establishment not responsible for lost socks." And you all laughed like this was terribly funny, grab your gut funny, pee a little in your pants funny, roll on the floor funny. Which is what each of you did! I sat there thinking I was in an insane asylum laundry room with cuckoos munching cement candy.

I mumbled something like, "I can't take this," and started to get up when a male voice said, "I will tuck in on that."

In mid getting up, I looked over to see the Weasil next to the Dragon lady reaching for a block of yellowman.

"Don't cha do it!" I shouted, but too late he had the chunk of yellow cement in his mouth and oh my God, he was savouring it like it was delicious which I knew it was not, but it gave me pause that he actually seemed to be enjoying it.

"Are you nuts? That has cream of tartar and cilantro in it." I pointed out.

"Ummm ummm ummm." He said, his eyes closed in ecstasy.

"An insult said, how reassuring," me mam said to me pulling the plate of yellowman within Weasil's reach.

I sat down reluctantly and put me head in me hands and heard another male voice.

"What I just eat? Call a doctor."

And Weasil answered him with, "What are ya doing'?"

The voice answered, "I am Googling a doctor. It says you should see a doctor immediately after ingesting something distasteful."

I took me hands down to see Wolfie sitting between me mam (who looked at him with distain) and meself, himself furiously punching the keys of his mobile phone.

I sat there with me mouth open and noticed Dewdropper coming in the door. She looked at Wolf as he  kept punching in doctors, but before she could ask what he was so intent on, Weasil said, "You have to taste this."

She took a piece of the yellowman as I looked aghast at him that he'd even suggest such a thing.

"What does it taste like?" She asked no one in particular as she examined the block of yellow cement masquerading as Irish candy.

"Well . . . ," Wolfie said scrolling through emergency numbers, "old tyres, rotten egg, and . . . uh . . . burnt leaves."

Dewdropper dropped the candy like it was a snake back on the plate but not before Weasil intercepted it and popped it in his mouth. He chewed it like it was such a damn treat and was grossing me at least, out. Me mam was handing him more candy and he was eating it like there was no tomorrow.

"Wow that was delicious, Ima full now."

"Why stop when you're full," you said pushing the platter closer to him.

Meanwhile, Wolfie's scrolling was annoying the Dragon.

"What ARE you doing?" She challenged him.

"Its a hobby of mine, scrolling . . .  ," he said offhandedly.

"Hobby a nice word for addiction." You interjected.

THAT got his attention and he looked up at you. It was the first time I saw him lost for words. He was genuinely amazed. Before he could think of a retort, you reached behind you and slid a tray of tamales with salsa in front of him. Immediately Weasil's eyes lit up (as well as me own). Where you going to give the guy with nice hair all those tamales I wanted to know and asked out loud.

Before you could answer, everyone tucked in. It wasn't until me sixth tamale I realised I was on fire. I tried to put the raging tamale fire out by consuming vast quantities of tequila (which materialised out of Dewdropper's purse), which only made it worse. I watched as Dew slugged back shot after shot of tequila, her hair growing into a giant blond cloud, mercifully blotting out the view of Dragon's massive underwear. When I finally I got the fire out (well some of it out) by drinking ice cold Coke A Colas, bottle after bottle (20 bottles to be exact that Wolfie produced out of thin air), I found I was so blotto and bloated all at the same time, all I could do was fall asleep in me chair to escape me hot reality.

With a tequila numbed brain this was quite easy to do actually. I was left at the kitchen table by everyone who retired to the family room for the TV (probably to watch Emeril "kick up" some BAM food concoction), and later, I suppose they all went to bed, leaving me snoozing and snoring off the tamales still in the kitchen, and I would guess Wolfie off to the hospital to get his stomach pumped.

In me dream I found meself with the Weasil, and the Wolf after a time, fresh back from a good stomach pumping. What a combination that huh? I am not sure where we were but it was foreign like I was in Hong Kong or someplace like that because the Weasil was saying it was the "crosse roadies of the worldie" and we three were about to partake of some culinary peculiarities. Oh yes, we were, AGAIN!

While Wolfie was looking at the menu and muttering under his breath that "Everything is wasabi," I was perusing the menu thinking how many ways can you make tamales? There was five dozen different offerings of tamales in every imaginable sauce you could think of. I was tempted to order the tamales in corn chowder for the New England taste but realised we were not in Mexico so these tamales were probably not what I thought they might be, just like me mam's yellowman. I know . . . what does New England have to do with Mexico? No clue, but that was the way me dream was going.

"Why am I here?" I asked me two dinner companions. I was thinking I had done something wrong and this was the punishment, dinner with Weasil, in a foreign country, ordering food no one in their right mind would partake of.

"Because your life went down like the Hindenburg." Wolfie muttered. "Tandem knee surgery with the Dragon lady."

For the life of me, I couldn't think when and how that happened.

"I like tamales so . . . " I said trying to reckon a life failure with eating tamales.

"I wanted to go to the Comptoir," Wolfie glared at Weasil over his menu, "but someone, I won't mention who, insisted on Chinese tamales."

"What is a comptwah?" I asked saying it the way I heard it.

"Comptoir, like in Paris," Wolfie glared at me. "An informal and casual place to dine. Not this tres frequent'."

"Whoo hoo someone is a snobbity." Weasil chortled mockingly offended. A first actually because NOTHING offends the Weasil.

While I was trying to wrap me tongue around a tamale in caramel/wasabi sauce, me brain was trying to wrap itself around the word "snobbity" and worse me voice was trying out Wolfie's command of the French language with tres frequent.' I shouted out with tamale bits and caramel/wasabi sauce, "Croissant!" because that was what me voice could say I thought reasonably well in French, AND the only French word I sort of knew.

"Quah-so!" Wolfie corrected me with the French pronunciation, as he removed bits of me food from his clothing.

"Oh you want "quah-sos" do ya?" A voice said slamming down plates of tamales covered in duck sauce, wasabi, soy and I don't know what other Chinese sauce.

I looked up to see you, me muse, all indignant over croissants being desired over tamales.

"I need to get out of here." I said looking at the bubbling sauces permeating the tamale husks.

"YOU are going nowhere until YOU write me a story!" This said by you, hands on hips, looking like a fight was to be had. I knew you'd force the Chinese tamales down me chicken throat so I sighed and reluctantly mumbled if you'd wake me up, I'd go write you a story, sorry as it would be, which is what this is.

With deliberate glee you lifted the oozing platter over me head and the tamales hit me like a ton of yellowman bricks, the hot sauce making me stand straight up. I was AWAKE!

So there, you have your revenge, and I have mine. A half arsed story of our fav subject FOOD, but this was not food this was cement, liquid fire and a swift kick in me arse by the people who bedevil me for stories most.

I think I won the revenge battle. At least I be proclaiming victory here and now. Ha ha.

Oh and just for you me muse, I will give you this so you can gloat. THIS (see below) happened yesterday so your revenge of me not writing and sending me YOUR weather actually took place. So off to shovel!

When it was all said and done there is 6" of the white stuff for me to car plow
Gabe
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

21 January, 2016

Back to the leg and leaving the hospital

21 January 2016

R. Linda:

As it happened, I was sent home with a torture device from the hospital. Yes, I was. I was told this mechanical wonder was prescribed by some surgeons to speed the leg bending process after surgery and others wanted the patient to work out the kinks on their own, I had the first kind of surgeon. Well, I was strapped into this thing first day in hospital . . . here let me show you, see below:

Continuous passive motion machine AKA torture device for some
I was all set for a pain filled gruelling session of torture, because I had heard about this device while in the hospital, actually I saw it being used on some poor soul a few rooms down. Me PT person was walking me down the halls to get the leg exercising when he stopped to ask a nurse a question, and there I was standing outside one of the patient rooms. I looked in because I could hear complaining.

"Oh hell is it time for that infernal thing?" A cranky voice shouted.

"Now sir, you know your doctor ordered this. Is that comfortable?" She asked strapping him in.

"You know it isn't when it starts moving!" Was his retort.

Well, having one of those "infernal things" delivered to me room made me take an interest.

The machine was turned on and the moaning and the "that hurts dammit" made me take pause. I was to be subject to this very same torture. I reluctantly went back to me room to stare at the machine sitting across from me bed. It was all lined in sheepskin making it look like it was a comfy thing but now I knew better.

In the nurse came, the same one that had strapped that other patient to one and that made me cringe. Me roommate groaned when he saw it and said, "Oh God that thing! Glad it isn't for me! Had that the first time I had knee replacement surgery and oh God, how that hurt. Passive my ass! I thought I'd go through the roof each time I had to use it. AND the PT people kept making it move my leg higher!"

So with that statement I was ready for a screaming session followed by a yelling session. I was strapped in and told to ignore the guy next door, which was pretty hard when he asked them to close the curtains between us so he didn't have to watch the torture. She told me they had it on 70 degrees and I needed to get it to 100 as soon as I could, because using this thing would improve me ability to bend me knee. The degrees were the angle of bend in the knee. I told them because of the swelling that was impossible. She told me it was not. So much for me protests and excuses.

She turned it on, and this gentle whirring noise started and I lay there watching me knee being pushed back towards me chest waiting for the pain to start. I lay there wondering why I wasn't in excruciating pain. It was the ON-Q that had blocked the pain sensation and so me leg was easily gliding back and forth. I will say by the second day of me being home and machine home with me, I had reached the desired 100 degrees. But back in the hospital, me roommate had them open the curtains to watch with a stunned expression on his face that I wasn't wrestling me way out of the machine. I do believe if I did not have that pain inhibitor I would have been doing just that.

Once home I found getting into me bed an impossible task. We have an old fashioned four poster bed which is set high off the floor. I couldn't get in it for the life of me. Me operated leg felt very heavy with all the new metal inside it. Between me mam and Tonya they took the mattress and box spring and put them on the floor so all I had to do, was to slightly sit down and there I was. I am not one for sleeping on the floor as you well know, especially after the mattress tried to murder me in me sleep when I first moved in. I be sure you remember THAT episode (see Don't Try This At Home -- for that matter don't try it PERIOD! February 16, 2015). This sleeping in this manner made me frustrated so I worked those PT exercises to death to be able to get more mobility and did it in three days time. Tonya and mam got the bed back together calling me a wuss and all sorts of nice names because it was a chore to undo the bed and there I was demanding they put it back.

PT day one was very interesting for me at least. The first person to show up was a young lady who did heart, blood pressure, and paperwork. We chatted a treat and then in the afternoon the PT person showed up. He was missing fingers on both his hands and I politely did not ask about that, though I was very curious. He slipped on blue latex gloves and I watched the empty finger holes with fascination. It was hard to look away, and I wondered how he did his job without most of his digits. He was a bruiser of a guy, so no messing around. He had me in contortions that again if not for the ON-Q would have had me begging for mercy. At one point as we were finishing up the torture, he became fascinated with the electric fireplace. He went over to look it over, telling me to do 10 more receptions. He'd turn to ask me a question as I struggled with tired muscles until I realised he wasn't really paying any attention to me. I started doing the exercise with me other leg which was very easy. He had no clue and had turned to talk to me several times, and there I was with the wrong leg pumping away. I know I was cheating, but gees the first day home and six exercises right off the bat, with 10 reps each, three times a day, well to this guy it was rather much. All in all, I was able to do what he told me on me own and worked me way to three visits total from home care before being released to the outpatient PT services. On his last visit he took the ON-Q out and left me quaking that now the pain would start. To me surprise it didn't. I was sufficiently mobile with the knee not to need a pain killer.

My first visit to outpatient PT had me jittery I'd not last the car ride there. I sat with me legs across the backseat hoping I could last the 25 minute ride to the facility. I did with ease. Me new PT person was a woman who did a lot more than me last PT person when I had first broken me leg. She explained what muscles were weak and why we needed to strengthen them something the other one had not. She set me to coming three times a week but by week number two, I was down to two times a week and we got rid of the cane.

So I be progressing. Am back at work part time but from home. I can drive but they don't want me driving on slick, snowy roads, so I wonder if I be home all winter! Snow coming in this weekend so looks like I will not be driving for a while. I am bored I will tell you that. There is just a certain amount of exercising one can do twice a day that keeps one occupied for an hour and then there isn't anything to do because why? I moved to the freaking wilderness and I can't go out for the icy snow, the impassable roads, so here I be making paper air planes. Maybe I will take up origami. Make shamrocks and crazy stuff, annoy the family.

Gabe
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

19 January, 2016

Taking the tree down - quite literally

19 January 2016

R. Linda:

We have been remiss in taking down the Christmas tree. Yes, it is past the time, Epiphany to be exact. All of us have made remarks in passing like, "Tomorrow I am taking down the tree" said by me wife. Two days later, "Oh I just didn't have the time. Maybe tomorrow" also said by the wife. Then there was me mam, "Dear meself make a noot to take doon da tree." Then a few days later she comes back with, "I just doont noo when I kin find da time ta take down dat tree dere."

Well, I wasn't taking down the tree, that was for certain. Here I was hobbling around with rods in me leg and THE APPLIANCE in me knee. Now during all this procrastination, the three boyos never indicated they heard about the tree coming down one way or the other. I think as far as me two oldest were concerned, it could stay up until next Christmas. But there was a certain something going on inside the head of me youngest. He didn't pay attention to his mother's threat to take it down, but he did me mam's. He has become very attached to her these days, and I wouldn't have noticed anything, if it wasn't for her last remark, that he was standing there actually listening to her. His eyes were slits in his head as he turned and looked at the lighted tree as if he were sizing it up. I should have been more observant when he walked over and gave out a big sigh and looked at it from top to bottom. But I be clueless, all concerned with meself and me leg that I didn't think anything of it.

A day or so later, we awoke to the sound of crashing glass. I will say to have to rush up out of bed, grab walker and shuffle meself to the sound was a dangerous thing. I almost collided with me mam as she came out of her bedroom throwing on her robe, Tonya not far behind us was muttering about break-ins.

I needn't have worried being out in the middle of nowhere, because it wasn't a break-in, it was a tree being taken down.What we found was the Christmas tree sprawled all over the living room floor. It looked like a wrestling match had happened and we had no clue if the cats had tried to climb it or what exactly happened. However, we hadn't far to look. There sprawled on the floor, all worn out from his desire to help "take down the tree" was this:


Yup passed out from the exertion
We all have learned not to talk in front of little ears because now we have smashed ornaments and quite the clean up. He's just fine and very proud of himself the wee hooligan that he be. He did his part and well we get the mess. Hey at least the tree is down and put away!

Gabe
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved