Morons

Did you hear about the moron who:

Ran through a screen door, and strained himself?

Wrapped his watch in cellophane to keep the ticks out of his pocket?

Took his knees apart to see if there was any beer left in the joints?

Took a bottle of whiskey to bed so that he could sleep tight?

Cut off his fingers so that he could write shorthand?

Watered his garden with whiskey so that he could grow stewed tomatoes?

Took a ladder to a bar so that he could get as high as he wanted?

Thought a mushroom was a place to neck in?

Sewed his fingers together so that he could wear mitts?

Ate gunpowder so that his hair would grow in short bangs?

Sat at the corner with two pieces of bread, waiting for the traffic jam?

Cut a hole in his rug so that he could see the floor show?

Saluted the refrigerator because he heard it was General Electric?

Slept on his stomach so that the Japanese couldn’t bomb his naval base?

Takes a yardstick to bed to see how long he sleeps?

Took a bicycle to bed so that he wouldn’t walk in his sleep?

Moved into the city because he heard the country was at war?

Sat up all night studying for a blood test?

Went to a lumber yard looking for the draft board?

Put his head out the window so that the wind would blow his nose?

Stayed up all night wondering where the sun went when it went down? It finally dawned on him!

Met a girl in a revolving door and has been going around with her ever since?

Took milk and sugar to watch TV because he heard they were showing a serial?

Took his nose apart to see what made it run?

Was so modest he went into the closet to change his mind?

Cut off his hand so he could play the piano by ear?

Killed his mother and father so that he could go to the orphans’ picnic?

Went to the Navy Yard to see a blood vessel?

Backed out of the bus because he heard someone was going to pinch his seat?

Sent six kids to bed and set the alarm for 3 because only three wanted to get up?

Put crumbs in his shoes to feed his pigeon toes?

Wouldn’t talk about crude oil because it wasn’t refined?

Thought he was dying so he went into the living room?

Stayed up all night trying to put a diaper on a cigarette butt?

Went to the hospital and had a chair put beside his bed for rigor mortis to set in?

Was arrested for not having a little moron? (more on)

Jumped off a tall building to show the crowd he had guts?

Typed emails to his girlfriend slowly because he knew she couldn’t read fast?

Went to the Post Office to pick up a letter, and when asked for his name he said he didn’t have to give it because it was already on the envelope?

Went to the lumber yard to see the Board of Education?

Went to the closet to change his mind but couldn’t find a clean one?

Poked out his eyes when he went on a blind date?

Ate five pennies and then asked people if they saw any change in him?

Wanted to know how many wheels a football coach had?

Cut off his left arm so that he could be all right?

Put his chin on the curb so that he could keep his mind out of the gutter?

Didn’t pay when he boarded the bus because his name was Crime, and “Crime doesn’t pay”?

Went to bed on his wedding night with all his clothes on because he’d been told he’d be going to town by midnight?

**

The Italian Who Went to Detroit

(Please read with Italian accent)

One day Ima gonna Detroit to bigga hotel. Inna morning, I go down to eat breakfast. I tella di waitress I want two pissis toast. She brings me only one piss! I tella her I wanna two piss. She say go to the toilet. I say you no unnerstan, I wanna two piss on my plate. She say you better no piss onna plate, you sonna ma bitch. I don’t even know di lady, an she call me sonna ma bitch.

Later I go out to eat at the bigga restaurant. The waitress bring me a spoon anna knife, but no fock. I tella her I wanna fock. She say evvybody wanna fock. I tell her you no unnerstan, I wanna fock on di table. She say you better no fock onna table, you sonna ma bitch.

So I go back to my room inna hotel and there is no shits onna my bed. I call di manager an tell him I wanna shit. He tells me to go to the toilet. I say, you no unnerstan, I wanna shit on my bed. He say you better no shit onna bed, you sonna ma bitch.

I go to da checkout, an di man at di desk say “Peace on You.” I say piss on you too, you sonna ma bitch. I gonna back to Italy.

Flash Fiction – Part 3

If you want to try this, go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple blog, look at the weekly picture, and write a 100 word story about it.

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Tentacles

I awoke with the sun in my eyes and covered in blood. I quickly rose and stared into the little woodlot.

Even with the gnarled stumps and trunks, it looked innocent, friendly, even inviting, so unlike last night when we had laughingly decided to take a shortcut to the party through Corpse Copse.

After what had seemed like – must have been – hours of tripping roots and grasping, slashing branches, I stumbled out, exhausted, and fell to the ground. What had happened to Bobbie?! Had she made it? What would I tell her parents? Worse, what would I tell the Police?

 

Minutia

Being another premium collection of Archon’s famous Rants and Rambles© – until I run out of breath.

Back when I was young and healthy, and working, chocolate milk and cheddar were occasional treats. Now that I am more subject to osteoporosis (bone weakening through loss of calcium), the wife ensures that brown cow juice and four or five types of cheese are available at all times.

A recent study proved that flavonoids in chocolate are good for you, the darker the chocolate, the better. Recently, locally, dark-chocolate milk has become available. MMMH, yummy! Now, if I could just get the folks who decaffeinate coffee, to decalorify all the food I like….

Because I’m compulsive, and have nothing better to do, we take receipts, and keep track of all the gasoline we put into the car. Last year’s total ran to just over $2200. We aren’t soccer moms, or run a taxi. I don’t know if that’s “normal” or not. Anybody got an opinion?

At the recent Detroit Gun and Knife show, they had a display of the two Tommy Guns, Thompson sub-machine guns, which were used in the Chicago, Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929. Somehow they migrated to the small town of St. Joseph, north of Detroit, and were later turned over to local police, whose taser-instructing Sheriff brought them down and stood guard over them.

Son, Shimoniac, has been at his current job as a plastic parts moulder for five years. Each year, he has applied for the position of Material Handler, and each year an opening has gone to an employee with less seniority. It just occurred for the fifth time. His supervisor is apologetic, and explained that it is because he quickly became indispensable.

He can make every part, on every machine, including 5 or 6 items like bagpipe mouthpieces and CPU anti-skid mats, which are only run once a year. He recently trained a new employee – who may not be there next year – to make the mats, and is usually the one chosen to train new temps. His part achieved shipping quantity the other night and, while they were changing the mould in his machine, he covered four other machines during breaks.

The most “Internet” of Internet sentences, is currently the incorrect, “Your an idiot.” It perfectly personifies the Wild West nature of the interwebz, although it may soon be replaced by, “It’s a hoax!”

As a language geek, I often wonder how we manage to communicate as well as we do. I recently saw a photo of a dog in the newspaper, with a caption declaring that it was a “Burmese mountain dog.” Ah yes, Burma, that low-land, coastal, swamp-infested country, not well-known for either mountains – or dogs, since that last restaurant opened. Perhaps they were thinking of the Swiss dogs, from the Alps Mountains, near the capital of Bern – Bernese mountain dogs? Nah, that requires thinking.

So many people just don’t concern themselves with the nuances and exactitudes of the language. The slang term “klicks” came into being from the American Army referring to kilometers, because they don’t speak Canadian. Since the one begins with a K, I would expect the other to do so also, yet 75% of the times I read it, even by professional writers, I see “clicks.”

A Canadian Army body transport team of eight male and two females, posed for a group photo around an aluminum casket. Two of the guys were wrestling, one was photo-bombing bunny ears on his buddy, and one was staring off into space and pointing, as if at a UFO. All the rest had cheesy grins. The female corporal posted it to her Facebook page, captioned, “Putting the FUN back in funeral.”

They were all off-duty, and there was no body in the casket, but the shit hit the fan. I say, you can’t be serious all the time, but what irked me, was the claim that this picture was a “selfie.” Selfies are spontaneous, self-taken photos. They have arms in them and the focus distance is two feet or less. Posed photos from 20 feet out, are not “selfies!”

I don’t ever pick up a book to read, with the intention of being a nit-picker, but posting a few recent book reviews has made me aware of the many things I notice, but used to just ignore, in the suspension of disbelief category.

I recently finished a Clive Cussler book where the only underwater action was the ten-page recovery of a locomotive which fell off a lake ferry in a storm. I question, but can’t prove, the impossibility of a 1906 Rolls-Royce in San Francisco.

I also read a non-Cussler book centered around an underwater base. The supply ship “hoved to.” It could have heaved to, or hove to, but not hoved! The crew shared a bottle of “saki.” Saki was the pen-name of writer, H.H.Munro, or is a current Japanese manga series. The rice liquor is sake. A pair of glasses swirling in a flooding airlock were called flotsam. If it don’t float, it ain’t flotsam.

They recovered gold ingots from a sunken wreck. A Scottish character gushed that they weighed 50 stone apiece, and were worth almost a half a million dollars each. 50 pounds apiece, perhaps. Stone is a British Imperial measure of weight of 14 pounds. 50 stone would be 700 pounds. Nobody a hundred years ago, without a forklift, would pour a 700 pound gold brick, and the tiny manipulator arms of a mini-sub could not grasp, or move one. If they did, each would be worth over fourteen million dollars.

Well, that cleared a bunch of bats out of this ding-dong’s belfry. I wonder if they’ll let me post when I’m in “The Home.”???

 

Flash Fiction – Part 2

You know the drill. Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site. Look at the weekly picture and write a 100 word story about it.

Copyright -Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Ascendancy

Up and down, down and up, that’s all I’ve done almost since that Otis guy invented my older brother. It can be boring. There are those times when I just want to try sideways for a change.

OWW! Watch that thumb, fella. Push the button gently! You don’t have to mash it. I won’t move any more quickly. I’ve been to the fifth floor; it’s boring.

Oh no, here comes “The Kid.” You know, we don’t have to stop at every floor! Where’s your mother?

I think I’ll unhitch my cables, and just go lurk in the basement for a while.

 

We’re Not QUITE Hoarders

I previously published a post titled Something For Nothing, where I listed several of the things I do to conserve or make a little bit of money, to help us, and others, in our retirement.  This one shows another facet, with some ideas some of you might want to think about, and maybe try, for a couple of reasons.

Less garbage = more money!

Reduce, reuse, recycle — and reap rewards. Really!

Hoarding gets a bad rap from many.  Some are joking, but many are serious.  Some of my behaviour could raise eyebrows among the non-frugal.  I even prefer to use the word frugal, instead of cheap or miserly.

I save or scavenge things like egg cartons, coffee cans, plastic containers, cardboard boxes and large envelopes. The difference between me and a true hoarder is that I use them, instead of letting them pile up — and they save me “a significant amount of money.”  In fact, such tactics save money in several different, interrelated ways.

For example:

  • The less waste  you generate, the fewer garbage bags you have to buy, and the lower your  disposal bills might be.
  • Buying in bulk  to reduce packaging waste means you get a lower cost-per-unit price.
  • Putting  leftovers into a pickle jar or bread bag reduces the need for foil,  plastic wrap or food-storage containers.

Repurposing used to be common. Outgrown clothes were cut down for younger siblings or reborn as quilt patches. Old buildings were torn down to provide lumber for new projects. My mother poured homemade jam into peanut-butter jars (which used to be made of glass) and sealed them with wax.

These tactics work

In a post on the Silent Springs blog, Vincent Smith suggests that “more thoughtful living” could greatly reduce waste. Why do we throw away an old shirt but buy cleaning rags?  Whether your motive is saving money or saving the planet, slashing waste is a giant step in the right direction.  We do things like buying in bulk to eliminate individual packaging, packing a lunch to cut down on fast-food waste, and bringing our own water and coffee containers.  You don’t need to contribute to that trash can outside Starbucks, overflowing with single-use paper cups.

I do many of these things myself and can attest to their cost-effectiveness. A roll of aluminum foil can last us a couple of years.  A used piece is often not “dirty.”  Wipe it with a damp cloth, to clean and flatten it, and fold it, ready to hold the next sandwich, or piece of pizza. Produce and bread bags get re-used until they shred.

We repurpose empty jars for storage, buying things like spaghetti sauce in Mason-mouthed glass jars, which later hold things like bulk cornmeal.  Wide-mouth plastic jars which held cheap crackers when we bought them, now hold bread crumbs and potato flakes, for cooking.  Not that we attend them anymore, but I have found Tupperware in the free-box at yard sales. A pile of reusable shopping bags lives in a plastic shopping basket in the car trunk.

We buy in bulk when we can, and choose large sizes the rest of the time. We make our own jam (sometimes using foraged fruit).  I’ve mentioned about buying condiments like ketchup and mustard in gallon cans or jugs, and repeatedly refilling the small squeeze bottles, for a fraction of the cost.

Adding less to the problem 

Not that I’m a green saint, mind you. For example, we drink a lot of Pepsi, and buy individual yogurts, both for the wife, who has a small eating limit, and for the son to pack in his work lunch. However, we do recycle the cartons and the plastic containers.

The municipal recycling committee recently complained about the cost of sending around a truck to pick up “air.”  I stomp flat, any plastic bottles or other containers.  As three adults, we often put out less than a Blue Box full of recycling.  The two adults, and two small children next door put out three, or even four boxes every week!

Recycling is not mandatory here in Kitchener, but I can feel it coming.  All allowable organic matter goes into our composters, but the Committee is also bitching that residents are not putting out enough in the City-issued Green Bins, to cover the cost of the disposal contract, so I guess I’m not the only cheapo in the city.  Compost includes tea-bags, coffee grounds and filters, citrus rinds and banana peels.

Bananas contain magnesium.  It’s good for you, and good for plants too.  The tea and coffee contain tannic acid, which also feeds plants, and breaks down the paper to produce good, rich loam to be used in the gardens.  We buy unpeeled shrimp (when we can afford a bit), for considerably less than pre-peeled.  The wife peels them and the casings also go into compost.  As the Indians taught the Pilgrims, seafood makes rich plant food.

We use cloth bags where we can, because local cities allow stores to charge five cents each, for plastic bags. We used to use those in the cupboard-door-mounted garbage container, but recently purchased a new model, and the wife prefers to use the ones specifically intended for it.  I save bags from trips to stores and vendors who do not charge, and use them for kitty litter waste, or carrying newspapers to the crazy cat lady for flooring in her kennels.

Clean ones are flattened and folded and given to our bookstore lady, to cut down on the number of new ones she must purchase.  Soiled or torn ones are accumulated and put out with the blue box, so that someone else can melt them down and re-use the plastic to produce new products.  One of our shopping bags has a little sign on it that says, “I used to be a milk jug.”

While I don’t kid myself about saving the planet single-handedly, there is a fair amount of satisfaction in not adding to the problem any more than we must. Also, it’s nice not to have to shell out cash for things like more aluminum foil, or sandwich bags, and reduced retirement income goes a little further.

An Apple A Day

Recently, we had a batch of tech-nerds/fanboys go door to door through the neighborhood, extolling the virtues of the Apple Corporation, and trying to convince people to buy Apple computers and gadgets.  They called themselves I-Witnesses.

They claimed that Apple was a great company to work for.  Employees still got paid after they lost their Jobs.

Steve had been concerned with childhood obesity, and had developed a pogo-stick-like device with a mini-computer which was supposed to urge kids to keep exercising.  The project had to be cancelled when it was found that they were promoting breakfast pastries instead.  Jobs had unfortunately named the device I-HOP.

Just when I thought the neighborhood was safe and sane, we had another batch of young ones go door to door, promoting healthy eating through pancakes.  They were Jemima’s Witnesses.

***

In my freshman year in high school, our class took a school trip to a small hobby farm.  Mrs. Olsen introduced us to her favorite cow, Landescog, and showed us how to milk her.  We added rennet to the milk to get it to separate into curds and whey, and pressed the curds into a cheese mold.

Near the end of our year, we were again allowed to visit the farm to see what had happened to our “cheese.”  Mrs. Olsen had made up a big batch of linguine, and most of us sprinkled our shredded cheese on it.  Since the farmhouse was crowded, I took my plate outside, and stood at the fence, under a tree.

Landescog, the cow, wandered over and, perhaps attracted by her contribution to lunch, stuck her head over the fence and mooed loudly, so I had Swedish meat bawl on my pasta.

***

Middle Managers’ Lament

Amtrak Style

 

I am not allowed to run the train.

The whistle, I can’t blow –

I am not allowed to say how far

The railroad cars can go –

I am not allowed to let off steam,

Nor even clang the bell –

But let it jump the goddamned track,

Then see who catches Hell!

***

The Farmer Learns Fast

A farmer bought a new car, after spending a lot of time pricing them.  By coincidence, a few days later, the dealer who sold him the car appeared at the farm, and said he would like to buy a cow for his small country place.  The farmer quickly wrote up the following, and handed it to the dealer:

Basic Cow  ………………………..  $200.00

Extra Stomach  ……………………..  75.00

Two-Tone Exterior  ……………….  45.00

Produce storage compartment.. 60.00

Dispensing Devices – four spigots

@ $10.00 each  …………………..    40.00

Genuine Cowhide Upholstery . 125.00

Automatic Flyswatter  …………    35.00

Dual Horns  ………………………..    15.00

Plus Taxes and Delivery  ………  595.00

 

Total Charge  ……………  $1,190.00

 

***

 

A Child’s View of Retirement in a Mobile Home Park

 

After a holiday break, the teacher asked her class how they spent the holidays.  One little boy’s reply went like this.

We always spend our holidays with Grandma and Grandpa.  They used to live here in a brick house, but Grandpa got retarded and moved to Florida.  Now they live in a place with lots of retarded people.

They live in tin huts.  They ride big three-wheel trikes.  They go to a big building they call a wrecked hall, but if it was wrecked, it is fixed now.

They play games and exercises, but they don’t do them very well.  There is a swimming pool, and when they go in it, they just stand in the water with their hats on.  I guess they don’t remember how to swim.

My Grandma used to bake cookies and things – guess she has forgotten how to bake.  Nobody cooks there; they all go somewhere to eat something they call an Early Bird.

When you come to the park, there is a doll house with a man sitting in it.  He watches all day so they can’t get out without him seeing them.  They wear badges with their names on.  I guess they don’t know who they are.

My Grandma said Grandpa worked all his life, and earned his retardment.  I wish they would move back home, but I guess the man in the doll house won’t let them out.

Flash Fiction – Part 1

That title is incredibly optimistic.  It implies ongoing capability and commitment.  I accepted BrainRants’ challenge to write a short-short story.  Go to Rochelle’s, Addicted to Purple blog.  Each week, she publishes a picture.  You are to use the photo as a prompt, and write a complete story about it, in only 100 words.  Below is my first attempt.

PENSIVE

miriam-reubenShe paused to reminisce.  She wrote to her mother regularly, but so many things had happened.

Those years ago, as a newlywed, leaving the safety of New York for the wilds of the Oklahoma Territory with an ambitious husband, had seemed both a wild risk, and a marvelous adventure.

His tenacity, intelligence and canny business sense had combined to make him the proprietor of the greatest and finest Dry Goods Emporium in the Territory.

Being his family had made her and their beloved children both safe, and well taken care of.  Civilization continued to sprout around them.  Mother would be pleased.