Smitty’s Loose Change

Smitty's Loose Change

No more ‘Shotgun’, no more ‘Seinfeld’, no more ‘Triviana’ (at least for a while), I have a new title to list my stream of confused consciousness posts.  This one will be:



Number 600

This is my 600th post!  No big deal, I just wanted you to know that I’ve (almost) got over my paranoia about where the next blog-theme is coming from.


I finally seem to have got both my mind and my publishing schedule straightened out – three posts a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In January, despite it having 31 days, I only published 11 times.  In February, despite it having only 29 days, I assaulted your optic nerves with 13 posts.


On March 26/16, I rolled out of bed at the crack of noon, stumbled downstairs wearing socks, YSL briefs and my usual befuddled look. As I was feeding and watering various animals, four-legged and two- legged, there was a discreet knock on my door.  Expecting the neighbor lady, I cracked it open and remained behind it.

I was confronted by a young female who was working with a group to organise a ‘Polar Bear Plunge’. I’m 72, and have to wear socks to bed to keep warm.  They’re going door to door for an April event??  Wha’ happen to a New Years bath?


I am on a National Do-Not-Call List, yet still get numerous phone calls from Pakistan where they can’t read Canadian law. Recently, the son added another way to fu….foul them up.

“Hello, could I please speak to the owner of the house?”
“No!  I’m sorry, he’s in jail right now.”
“Uh…. then who is speaking please?”
“I’m a bail-bondsman, doing an assessment so that we can repossess this place.”
…. Click!


When we bought this house, 15 years ago, it was owned as a place-holder, by a young newly-wed couple. They were having a house built in the next city, where he hoped to get on with the fire department.  Three years later, as the son was driving to work over there, he hit a patch of black ice, and got tee-boned.  His first words when he called to tell us, were, “The airbags work.”

A young fireman climbed into the back seat to support his neck (just in case) and also to provide emotional support. “Where ya from?” “Kitchener.” “Yeah, I lived in Kitchener for a while.” And the little light went on.  “Is your name Carl?  Is your wife’s name Cindy?  Did you used to live at xx  XXXX  Crescent?” Who are you, and how have you been reading my mail? “Yeah, we bought your house.  So, you made it into the Fire Department?  Thanks for coming out.”


I have to walk a block to pick up my mail at a community mailbox. We are getting to know Mr. Amazon really well – books, Keurig coffee pods, Puffs tissues with lotion, which don’t seem to be available in stores anymore.  Sometimes, with the mail, is a key to a larger, parcel box.  I remove the package and drop the key back in the mail slot.

I recently found a key, even though I wasn’t aware of anyone expecting anything. When I got home, I read the label, to know which co-conspirator to give it to, and found a sample pack of Similac baby food, addressed to Cindy.  Fifteen years we’ve been here.  She’s still havin’ kids, and giving out the same old, wrong address??!


I aided my computerless brother in getting tickets and lodging for The Brier, Canada’s big curling finale, in Ottawa. He took along his friend Norm, to split on gasoline and hotel expenses, thereby saving $625 over a nine-day stay.  When he called me with the details, he vowed that, if he ever goes again, he’ll do it solo, or find another partner.

I’ve written of Norm before. He’s a great believer in the ’24 hours in a day – 24 beers in a case’ credo.  My father said he’d never seen Norm without a beer in his hand – never drunk….but never sober.

One day, Norm insisted that they cross the river into Quebec, to get some cheap beer.  Beer in Ontario is $40.99/24case, or $1.71 each.  In Gatineau they put them 4 by 5 on a cardboard tray, stack three trays high, shrink-wrap 60 beers to a cube, and sell them for $61.  Add a bit of tax, and a 5 cent/can deposit that he’ll never get back, and each 55 pound lot cost him $73.00, or $1.21 each.

He bought 8 bundles, spending $584 to save $240 on 480 cans, or almost 500 pounds of beer, enough to last him a month or so.  They almost took the wheels off the hotel’s luggage cart when they moved it into their room.  Now the brother knows why he insisted on driving his new Ford F-150.

7 thoughts on “Smitty’s Loose Change

  1. Jim Wheeler says:

    I’m on the no-call list too, and I too continue to get the occasional call. Lately, they want to take care of my computer for me. I seem to have found my own turn-off response, which has been quite effective: “Does your mother know what you do for a living?”


    • Archon's Den says:

      His/her mother is probably the manager of the call-center.
      For the ones who want to clean our ducts, we tell them that the home is all-electric, with baseboard heaters. (This is actually true for the daughter’s one-floor, handicap unit.) For the ones who want to fix our malfunctioning Word program, we tell them that we only have Apple products.
      If you ignore them, or hang up, they just leave you on the list and call, and call, and call. Giving a valid-sounding excuse might reduce the intrusions.
      I’ve been toying with the idea of leaving a printed script near the phones. When I get one of these calls, I will push a button to get an electronic tone, and read something like;
      “This call is being recorded, and equipment is tracing its origin. Please identify yourself and remain on the line. The number you have accessed for commercial purposes is a registered Do-Not-Call line. By doing so, you have violated Federal law, and can expect investigation from Federal officials and Telecom service providers, to determine possible imprisonment, fines or denial of further telephone service.”
      It’s a little complex for a simple joke, but at least I’ll take up the time he’d have spent making the next call – hopefully with a couple of stains in his sari. 😆 😛 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sightsnbytes says:

        My favourite one is “I am calling from Windows. Your PC computer is broadcasting illegal signals. Please give me your credit card number so that I may fix it for you” We have no PC computers in our house. My wife and I both own Macbooks, our kid has an ipad. Yet those ‘computer geniuses from ‘Windows’ (they never say they are from Microsoft, but from windows) argue that somewhere in our home, we have a PC.

        So I admit it. We have many PC in the house. Presidents Choice products from Dominion. Now if I can only figure out how my bag of frozen vegetables are sending out illegal signals, I will be laughing. Thank you persons from third world countries who work at call centers for alerting me of this problem.


      • Archon's Den says:

        When the scam first started, they used to claim they were from Microsoft. I got a few calls like that. Then Bill Gates’ posse heard about it. Since Microsoft has more world power than India, and employs the other 50% of ragheads who run computers (and could make a building full of them disappear without anyone asking questions) it soon got changed to ‘Windows.”
        A local woman fell for a well-known scam. Someone phoned her, claiming to be from CRA (income tax) and told her that she owed $8000, and would go to jail if she didn’t pay immediately. She mailed off 16 $500 prepaid ITunes cards….like the Federal Government deals in ITunes cards.
        We used to have Dominions locally, but they seem to have slid East. We have Loblaws-owned Zehrs stores, a couple of actual Loblaws, and a couple of giant Great Canadian Super Stores.
        They were known simply as The Superstore when they first opened, and had a couple of young clerks at the front in roller-skates. If you wanted to exchange a dented can, or a leaky bag of milk, it was so big that they skated back to get the replacement, and quickly rolled back up. After the first few collisions with other shoppers, they hung up their skates. 😯


  2. BrainRants says:

    I like the way your brother thinks. I can get a case for $17.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Brother almost never drinks. When he does, it’s a bit of gin – never beer – he hates it. Norm on the other hand…. 😯
      Do I dare make a snide comment about American beer only being worth $17/case? They oughta pay you to haul that stuff away.


  3. […] In my youth, I was occasionally called ‘Smitty.’ That didn’t last long.  I guess I just don’t look or act like a Smitty, although I’ve begun a new series of random-facts posts, titled Smitty’s Loose Change. […]


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