’18 A To Z Challenge – O

 

Challenge '18letter-o

 

 

 

 

 

OBSESSION

When is a door not a door??  When it’s ajar.  When is an obsession not an obsession??  Are we obsessed if we always do the same things the same way, or is it that, through observation and practice, we have found the best way??  I’m not stubborn.  My way is just right.

Obsession is a matter of degree.  If you check that the doors are locked before retiring for the night, you’re careful and cautious.  If you check that the doors are locked before retiring for the night – 15 or 20 times – you may be a bit obsessive.

Even if we don’t have to seek professional help, most of us have a thing or few that we’re a bit obsessive about.  My father was obsessive about putting butter on bread: actually, about NOT putting butter on bread.  Somehow it disturbed him to have a bit of unused butter on his knife when his bread was covered.  He hated to have to scrape the excess off against the edge of the butter dish.  It could take him 3 or 4 tiny little diminishing dabs, to complete his task.

Since the wife’s life centers around food and cooking, so do her obsessions.  We own 3 butter knives, another household item not common in our social/financial neighborhood.  She uses one to add dabs of margarine to a casserole of scalloped potatoes, as she assembles it, or to spread pâté on rolls or crackers….  because, apparently, a kitchen knife won’t do it.

As a teen, an older sister impressed upon her that, All dishes have to be washed in a sinkful of hot, soapy water.”  Not a bad idea on its own, but – we own 4 or 5 sets of measuring spoons.  If a recipe calls for a tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon of salt, and a half-teaspoon of cinnamon, she measures out the tablespoon of sugar.  Sugar doesn’t stick to slick, stainless steel spoons.  If it did, I would wipe off an offending grain or two with a dishcloth.  The other size spoons aren’t used but, she throws the entire set into the sink, to be washed.

Then she gets out another set, measures the salt….and throws that set in the sink.  Then, she gets out yet another set, measures the cinnamon….and throws it in the sink too.  It’s a good thing that there are two dishwashers in our home.  General Electric built one….I am the other.

I remember the first time she caught observed me cleaning out a saucepan of reheated chilli and eating with a spatula.  We don’t do that at our house.

She ‘translated’ cooking instructions for a rice maker, from Imperial, to Metric, and came up with the weight of rice at 389 grams.  I obsess about that ’messy’ looking number, and use a nice, round, 390 grams without ever telling her.  It’s almost as bad as the swishy little women’s section editor in our paper, who published instructions to chill something down to the freezing mark, 0 degrees Celsius….or 33 degrees Fahrenheit.  I obsessively called him and asked how in Hell he’d got 33 degrees.  He just figured it out with his calculator.

My obsessions center around the English language, and word usage.  If you’ve read any of my word posts, like last year’s rant, you know how I like to poke fun at lazy, stupid, unthinking misusages, especially by professionals.  Things like the headline, “Pope considers taking “leave.”  Taking “leave,” is a Lieutenant-Colonel with 30-days of R&R – a temporary absence.  What they meant to punctuate was, “Pope considers “taking leave,” as in, a resignation, a retirement, a permanent giving up of the post of Pope, the way that Benny The Dick wisely did.

The headline writer took leave of his education and training.  I don’t want you to take leave of this site.  See you back here soon??  Please!  🙂

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Flash Fiction #171

Adam and Eve

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE

What kind of tree did you say that one is??  A fig tree??  Nah, that can’t be right.  A fig tree should have leaves as big as palm fronds.

Well, in the Bible, it says that Adam and Eve were naked and ashamed, so they made clothing from fig leaves, and covered themselves.

I don’t know how well…. endowed Adam was, but those leaves wouldn’t cover a beauty spot.  Make concealing clothing from those tiny leaves?  I don’t really think so.  They’re more like the sequins on a high school girl’s prom dress and they’d cover just about as much.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story

Friday Fictioneers

Murphy’s Law

Murphy's Law

The following are some of the rules of the Universe that we have to abide by.  Feel free to add any that you’ve learned through sad experience.

MURPHY WAS AN OPTIMIST!

No good deed goes unpunished
leakproof seals – will
self-starters – will not
interchangeable parts – won’t
there is always one more bug
Nature is a mother
don’t mess with Mrs. Murphy
90% of everything is crap
The moment you light up a cigarette, your bus will arrive
If you’re feeling good, don’t worry, you’ll get over it
all warrantees expire on payment of invoice
where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit
never eat prunes when you are famished
friends come and go, but enemies accumulate
if you try to please everybody, nobody will like it
a short cut is the longest distance between two points

ANYTHING THAT CAN GO WRONG, WILL GO WRONG!

You will always find something in the last place you look.

The chance of a piece of bread falling with the butter/jam side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

No matter how long or hard you shop for an item, after you’ve bought it, it will be on sale somewhere, cheaper.

No-one’s life, liberty or property is safe while the Legislature is in session.

The other line always moves faster.

In order to get a loan, first you must prove that you don’t need it.

Anything you try to fix will take longer and cost more than you thought.

If you fool around with a thing very long, you will screw it up.

A $2000 HDTV will protect a 10 cent fuse by blowing first.

If it jams – force it.  If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.

Force to fit – file to hide – paint to cover

Any tool dropped while repairing a car will roll underneath to the exact center.

The repairman will never have seen a model like yours before.

When a broken appliance is demonstrated to the repairmen it will work perfectly.

A pipe gives a wise man time to think, and a fool something to stick in his mouth.

Everybody should believe in something – I believe I’ll have another beer.

Build a system that even a fool can use – and only a fool will use it.

Everybody has a scheme for getting rich that will not work.

In any hierarchy, each individual rises to his own level of incompetence, and then remains there.

You will remember that you forgot to take out the trash when the garbage truck is two doors away.

The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong – but that’s the way to bet.

There’s never enough time to do it properly, but there’s always time to do it over.

When in doubt, mumble.  When in trouble, delegate.

Everything good in life is either illegal, immoral, or fattening.

It is morally wrong to let suckers keep their money.

A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.

Murphy’s Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

Everything East of the San Andreas Fault will eventually plunge into the Atlantic Ocean.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train.

Celibacy is not hereditary.

Never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.

Beauty is only skin deep.  Ugly goes right to the bone.

To know yourself is the ultimate form of aggression. (Freudian psychology)

Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

A Smith & Wesson beats four aces.

If everything seems to be going well, you obviously have no idea what the Hell is going on.

If more than one person is responsible for a miscalculation, no-one will be at fault.

In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.

Never argue with a fool.  People might not know the difference.

***

I apologise for the above.  I’m not always like this.  Lots of days I’m nowhere near this optimistic.  See you soon – if all goes well.  😯

Abstinence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

confession-box

Three couples are trying to get married at the same church. There is a young couple, a middle-aged couple, and an elderly couple. The three couples meet with the priest and discuss when they can get married. ”If you wish to get married in my church, you must all go one month without having sex,” says the priest.

One month later the three couples return to the church and talk to the priest. He then asks the elderly couple, “Have you completed the month with sex?” ”Yes we have, it was easy,” replies the elderly couple.”

”How about you?” He asks the middle-aged couple. ”It was hard, but we didn’t have sex for the whole month,” they respond.

”And how about you two?” He asks the young couple.  ”No, we couldn’t do it,” responds the boyfriend.  ”Tell me why,” says the priest. ”Well my girlfriend had a can of corn in her hand and she accidentally dropped it. She bent over to pick it up and that’s when it happened. ”The priest then tells them, “You’re not welcome in my church.” ”We’re not welcome in the supermarket either.” says the boyfriend.

***

LITTLE SHEET HEADS

Two Syrian refugees compete to see who can become the most ‘American’ in three weeks.  After three weeks the Syrians meet again at a McDonalds. The first Syrian makes his case for him being more American by saying: “Every day I have taken my son to softball practice and my daughter to ballet. I just purchased my first car and it is a Chevy El Camino. I’ve recently started listening to Toby Keith and Lynyrd Skynyrd and my favorite football team is the Dallas Cowboys. Beat that!” The other Syrian simply replies with: “Get out of my country, you fucking towelhead.”

***

Yesterday I had an appointment to see the urologist for a prostate exam. Of course I was a bit on edge because all my friends have either gone under the knife or had those pellets implanted

The waiting room was filled with patients.

As I approached the receptionist’s desk, I noticed that she was a large unfriendly woman who looked like a Sumo wrestler.

I gave her my name, and in a very loud voice, she said, 

“YES, I HAVE YOUR NAME HERE. YOU WANT TO SEE THE DOCTOR ABOUT IMPOTENCE, RIGHT?

All the patients in the waiting room snapped their heads around to look at me, a now very embarrassed man. But as usual, I recovered quickly, and in an equally loud voice replied,

“NO, I’VE COME TO INQUIRE ABOUT A SEX CHANGE OPERATION, BUT I DON’T WANT THE SAME DOCTOR THAT DID YOURS.”

The room erupted in applause!

***

For all the ladies who have to drive alone….

“I had a flat tire on the highway yesterday; so, I pulled over, got out of the car and opened my trunk.

I took out my cardboard men, unfolded them and stood them at the rear of my car facing oncoming traffic. They look so lifelike you wouldn’t believe it!

Just as I had hoped, cars started slowing down looking at the men, which made it much safer for me to work on the side of the road.

People honked and waved, and it wasn’t long before a police car pulled up behind me.

He wanted to know what the heck I was doing so I calmly explained that I was changing my flat. He told me he could see that, but demanded to know what the heck my cardboard men were doing standing at the rear of my car.

I couldn’t believe he didn’t know! So I told him …

Well, I explained to the angry Policeman …

They’re my Emergency Flashers!!!!

Emergency Flashers

I go to court next week.

(Damn Police. No sense of humor.)

***

WOW #37

Newspaper

All opinions expressed in this blog-post are not of the management, but solely those of the author…and, in MY opinion, the Word Of the Week

TEMERARIOUS

is arty, and pretentious.

I was thrilled to find it, although less thrilled to find that I was not already aware of it.  I was correct to deduce that it was the adjective version of the noun ‘Temerity’, which means audacity, effrontery, foolhardiness, reckless boldness, or rashness.

Without really thinking about it, (Oh, Damn!) I always assumed (making an ASS out of U and ME) that the adjective form would be ‘temeritous,’ but never had the need or occasion to use it.   I was not disturbed to see it used by a newspaper advice columnist.  Lord knows, I only have a Grade 12 education.  This lady may have a string of letters behind her name.

Eleven letters and five syllables in it, I was disturbed to see it used by a newspaper advice columnist, for people whose largest piece of vocabulary might be ‘Wal-Mart.’

I always advise to write to the level of the anticipated readership.  If I had to go and look this up, I’m sure that there was a passel of confused John Deere drivers.

Now that I’ve entrusted this ostentatious, mostly useless, $8.47 word to you, try to be careful with it.  Please keep out of the reach vocabulary of children.  Perhaps reserve it only for TED discussions.

As my Father used to say, before they changed the name of the country to Ethiopia, ‘Abyssinia’ later.  😉

Doppelganger

Doppelganger

I recently met my blogger doppelganger.  Actually, like the movie Looper, I ran into the 20 30 40 50 years-ago version of me.  His short little post was about

Five words that describe me
Listed below are five words I feel describe me and why I picked them.

Here’s what he has to say, and what I have to say about that.

  1. Determined. No matter what task it is I set out I am determined to see it through.

I too am determined, or perhaps stubborn, or obstinate, or even possibly obdurate.  I feel if a thing is worth starting, it is worth completing.  Please disregard any previous mentions of procrastination.  It is perhaps why I have been married to the same woman for over 50 years.  I please myself by thinking that a lesser man would have beaten, strangled, or divorced her.  Of course, I don’t say that out loud.  I am no great prize.  She picked me off the “Reduced For Quick Sale” rack.  All sales final – No deposit, No return.  😯

  1. Intelligent. I am fairly smart. Mostly just wordy.

So I’ve got a 147 IQ, so what?  I wear slip-on/off boots so that I don’t have to know how to tie shoes.  Then I spend paragraphs telling you about it….verbose, loquacious, garrulous, rambling.   How alike we are!  Let’s ramble on to the next point.

  1. Introvert. I like keeping to myself for the most part.

Did anybody actually hear me say that about myself??!  No, of course not, I’m here at the computer, alone.

  1. Active. I love outdoor sports. Let’s go hiking!

Here’s where the 40/50 years ago comes in.  When I was young, I swam, and sledded, and ice-skated and roller-skated.  I biked all over our small town.  I hiked through the nearby bush-lot, and walked across lake-ice to the island.  Occasionally I would walk 5 miles home from high school, if I couldn’t get a ride hitch-hiking.  Now, my exercise program is a little less hectic, and is accomplished mostly inside our house.

  1. Nerdy/Geeky. Love nerd geek culture. Video Games, yes please! Doctor Who, check! Debate Marvel vs. DC sure let’s roll!

The nerdy/geekier the better.  I know a muon from a pion – and a prion….rare earths, noble metals, inert gases.  I still play Solitaire and Mah Jongg, on the computer (Doesn’t everyone?), and I’m thinking of purchasing a copy of Tetris.  It’s great for spatial manipulation practice.  I’m not into the MMORPG type of games. 1 – I’m a loner, and 2 – I apply Occam’s razor.  There is no need to make things unnecessarily complex.

Dr. Who??!  Yes please!  Been watching the show for almost 50 years – can hardly wait till the new lady Doctor is released in North America, in November.  DC Comics had been around before I was born, but I watched the birth of Marvel, and read them both.  I like Marvel’s flawed heroes better than DC’s brooding navel-gazers.  I’ve seen several Marvel movies, including both of the Deadpool ones.

The printed comics were fun, but the movies are just getting out of hand.  They’ve become only an excuse to make more money, like the Beach Boys.  After exhausting every surfing and hot rod theme on the West coast, they came East, to sing about a Caribbean paradise named Kokomo, which I thought was in Indiana.

If you didn’t already, you now know some things about me – including the fact that I’ll plagiarize someone else’s theme, to get one for myself.  I’m not the only one.  Rochelle’s blog-site warns you to be nice, or you could end up in her novel.  I’d like for you to end up back here again, soon.  Seeya!   😎  🌯

 

’18 A To Z Challenge – Neighbors

 

Challenge '18letter-n

 

 

 

 

 

Neighborhood

I accidentally did another favor for my neighbors – and I don’t regret or begrudge it.

I wrote of being able to do several favors for them, several years ago.  Those favors have been returned like bread upon the waters, 7-fold.  The ‘rot-proof’, pressure-treated posts that support our common fence are over 30 years old, and they rotted.

As I sadly stood considering the tilting fence, morosely calculating what it was going to cost in money, energy, time, and lost skin, the neighbor asked me if I would mind if he repaired it.  His son runs a small landscaping firm, so he had access to a powered post-hole auger.  His first thought was that he could bore out the concrete bases….FAIL!

Digging them out by hand was difficult and time-consuming.  Suddenly, inspiration struck.  He cut 2 feet off a 10-foot panel, moved the necessary holes two feet, and spliced the orphan back in at the end.  All he asked, was $100 for lumber and supplies.  The wife tipped him an extra $20 for saving me the trouble.

Recently, his first-marriage daughter stayed with them for several days.  They are both non-smokers, so she sits on the front porch to puff.  One spring evening, in the dark of 9:30 PM, I left the living room to use the powder-room, next to the front door.  The pebbled glass in the lower pane made car lights on their driveway seem like they’re on our front lawn.  I stood tippy-toe to look out, but it wasn’t their car.  I turned on the light, and peered out again.  The car quickly backed out, and drove off.

I hadn’t got my ass back on the couch, when the phone rang.  They were at a friend’s, and the daughter had called.  While she was sitting, smoking, some guy had just pulled into the driveway and said, “Wanna come over here, Babe?”  She’s a sturdy lass of 25, and could probably handle any problem, but she stepped inside, locked the door, and called them.  Would I please take a look and see if there was any trouble?

I told her that my neighborly nosiness had already driven him off.  She was reassured on an immediate basis, but now she, his daughter and I, were all somewhat perplexed.  Was this just some random guy, approaching random women?  In the dark, neither of us got a good look at the driver, the car, or the licence plate.  In our quiet, safe suburban subdivision, do we have a hooker, or a drug dealer working?

The wobbly wife wants a new rail installed on the deck steps.  The old ones are leaning as badly as the fence was, and she needs safe support, when she follows the new puppies that you’ll read all about in a month, out onto the lawn.  Maybe I can leverage this into some design/installation help from the amateur carpenter husband.  😀