WOW #70

I was recently reading an historical novel.  In it, a commoner performed an uncommon act of intelligence and bravery.  As a reward for this selfless act, the Grand Panjandrum – or Grand Poobah – they both indicate a pretentious or self-important official, like a High Muckedy-Muck, bestowed upon him the reward of a

Carucate
[keyr-oo-kate, (yoo)]

Because I was reading a dead-tree book, I couldn’t just tap the Kindle screen to find out what a carucate was.  I had to play Twenty Questions until I got upstairs to the computer.  Was it a gem – a jewel, like the Blue Carbuncle in the Sherlock Holmes novel?  Was it a lavish dinner in his honor?  Was it a warm, if not willing, bed-companion?  Was it a mani-pedi down at Omar’s Tent and Sail Shop, and Spa?  Don’t ask – don’t tell.   😉 

It turns out that it’s another archaic measurement quantity, equal to 40 acres of land, or a quarter-section – one quarter of a square mile.  It was the amount of land that a team of oxen could plow, and the amount of tilled land that it took to produce enough food for a farm family.

While the measurement is described as square, especially those with water frontage, were a mile long, and a quarter-mile wide, farming spaghetti, or rhubarb.  It was hard to turn an ox-team and unwieldy plow around. It was easier to let the team catch their breath, and just start another furrow in a straight line, for eight furlongs, and this gave more tenants shipping/travel access . Quebec’s Eastern Townships, in Canada are like this, only larger, all fronting on the St. Lawrence River, and looking like a bowling alley on a map. 

Was it possible that this Grand Vizier – Why do all these $3 potentates describe their titles as Grand??! – wanted this potter…. or leather-worker…. to leave the city, and become just another subsistence farmer??  He could sell it, or lease it to a share-cropper.  At least he took his dictionary along, and I learned a new old word.  😀

What’s It Worth?

I was just lounging in a big tub of nostalgia.  (Do I still have any on me?
When I was a kid, a dollar meant something, and there weren’t very many millionaires.

First, the farthing (quarter-penny) disappeared – then the half-pence – now, Canada’s penny is no more.  As inflation lops off the bottom, it piles more on top that we soon get used to.

I recently had the chance to re-watch the old movie, The Girl, The Gold Watch, And Everything.  The hero is accused of absconding with$27,000,000.  At first, I couldn’t understand the fuss that was being made.  Now, twenty-seven million is a nice piece of pocket-change.  As the embezzling Congressman said, “A million here – a million there – pretty soon it starts to add up.”  Pretty soon, mere millionaires are a dime-a-dozen.

The son dug out and lent me the John D. MacDonald book that the movie was based on.  He had the 1980, movie-novelization copy, but the book was originally written in 1962.  An online conversion site showed me that One 1962 Dollar – is worth $9.83 today.  The missing 27 million would be worth over a quarter of a $BILLION in 2021 – now that’s worth getting upset about.

This all reminded me of a television show that aired from 1955 to 1960, titled The Millionaire.  Each week, multi-millionaire John Beresford Tipton, had an agent GIVE a cashier’s cheque for $1,000,000 to someone he had chosen.  Tipton’s socio-psychological curiosity was the reason that the show then followed each recipient, to see what they did with the money.

One man who had lost his wife, was despondent, and convinced that he would never find such a love again.  He took a round-the-world cruise, met a sweet, young, available thing onboard, and it all worked out with soap-opera predictability.  One million, back then, would be the equivalent of $10/12 Million today.  The interest alone would accumulate so fast that they never need get off the ship, except to purchase a Rolls-Royce for each port.

The running gag in this show was that, like Charlie, in Charlie’s Angels, except for a hand passing off the cheque at the beginning of each show…. We never saw Tipton, and yet, when I went to research the show, there was a listing for Peter Frees – as Tipton

I had forgotten that voice actors get credits also.  Peter Frees is the most famous person that you’ve never seen.  He actually did three unseen voices during this series.  He has lent his dulcet tones to dozens of video games and dozens of animated movies.  His list of voice credits is longer than the late, great Mel Blanc – Ehhhhh, what’s up with that, Doc?

’21 A To Z Challenge – A

April’s First Challenge Post – And So It Begins.

Here’s a word that dictionaries insist doesn’t exist – but really should.

ASSHOLERY

There’s something about the X-Y chromosome that fouls many males up.  They don’t know whether they’re coming or going, so it applies mostly to boys (of all ages), although some of the fairer sex qualify.

A nearby 19-year-old was caught doing 221 Kmh in a 100 Kmh zone.  He was late for a Darwin Awards presentation.  Daddy’s Lexus was impounded for a week, and the repair bill for an overstressed engine might be as much as the hefty fines and impound fees.

A local man went downtown, to deal with a department in City Hall.  When he came back out, he could not find his white Mercedes…. with his 4-year-old son in it.  😯  He called the police.  Within minutes – and a short walk – they located…. his wife’s red Jeep, and the child safe.  He has been charged, public intoxication, care and control of a vehicle while impaired, driving over .08 (local alcohol limit), and endangering a child.  His wife is gonna be thrilled!

A man in Toronto duplexed his house.  His upstairs tenant called 9-1-1 because a carbon monoxide detector kept squealing.  Three-tiered response – police, fire and EMT – discovered 100 pounds of carfentanil, 31 pistols and two “rifles”, although one of them was a Tech-9, like the one above.  More an overgrown handgun, than a real rifle.

If guys like this had any real brains, they’d have a real job.  If you’re gonna do something that creates carbon monoxide – stop doing it – ventilate the area – disconnect the detector!  Duh!!  🙄

Donald Trump still insists that he won the 2020 election.  Of course, he also insists that he has more Grammys than Beyoncé.  Women have to own some of this assholery, because far too many of them voted for Trump, and also for Canada’s wunderkind pretty-boy Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.  They’re the answer to Kojak’s question, “Who loves ya, baby?”

Bungling Burglars

Phone a Bungling Burglar!

A bungling burglar in the USA has been arrested after he left his mobile phone on charge at the house of one of his victims. The man was disturbed while rifling through rooms in the house in Washington DC and jumped out of a window to escape. Police searched the house later and were surprised to find a cell phone that didn’t belong to anyone at the house, charging in a socket. Officers called one of the numbers in his contacts, told them the phone owner had been involved in an accident and asked for his name. That led to the 25 year old man being arrested and later charged with ten burglaries.

Dutch Bungling Burglar

A stupid criminal was caught after he fell down a chimney while escaping over the roof of a house he had just broken into. Police in Maastricht, Holland, arrested the 33-year-old after being called out by the house owners who heard his calls for help. The man had tried to flee out of a roof window with his booty of cash and jewellery, but tumbled in the dark and got stuck inside the chimney.

Another Bungled Chimney Burglar Story

A burglar who got stuck in a chimney while trying to break in to a Los Angeles home has been jailed for two years. Bungling burglar Marco Antonio Espinoza was also ordered to pay the owners of the house more than $10,000 to repair the damage done when fire fighters freed him. When he was caught, he told the police that he was doing building work on the house.

Bagging A Burglar

A ‘would be’ robber had to drop his bank looting plans after he forgot to take with him a bag into which the stolen money could be put. Apparently, the young man in his 20’s, entered a local Chase Bank branch early on Monday morning and passed the cashier a piece of cardboard on which was written ‘Give me your money,’ reported the Detroit News. He told the bank teller to ‘hurry up,’ but when she asked him if he had a bag to put the money into he became flustered and confused and ran off without the cash.

The Bungled Get Away

The two criminal masterminds planned their heist carefully. They knew the courier would have a suitcase full of cash.  They waited for his car to pass, then pursued him at high speed, shooting at the vehicle until the courier was forced to pull over. Armed robbers made off with what they thought was a suitcase full of cash – they were in for a surprise. Back at their secret hideout, the bandits prepared to force the locks and spring the cash.  That’s when they noticed their plan had gone horribly wrong; instead of taking the money, they made off with a first aid kit. Police spokesman Johann Steinlitz said, ‘If there was an award for the dumbest crooks, they would certainly be in the running. ‘

Car Thief – Loser of the Week

A car thief who ran out of gas in rush hour traffic was arrested after police helped him push the stolen vehicle to the side of the road reports The Moscow Times.  Helpful officers in Moscow, Russia, were about to leave the scene and let Alexei Ashurin wait for breakdown services when they noticed the red 15 year old Volkswagen’s lock was broken and a screwdriver was sticking out of the ignition. After checking the number plate, they discovered the vehicle had been stolen and that Ashurin was wanted for a string of other motoring thefts.  He admitted to stealing the car and this stupid criminal is now facing up to two years in prison.

A Funny Magistrates Court Story

This hilarious story may make you laugh at the stupidity of some crooks.  We cannot, however, vouch for its veracity. A man arrived the magistrate’s court, he was charged with impersonating a policeman. On arrival he was wearing a blue baseball cap with the word ‘police’ on it; a fluorescent yellow jacket, with ‘police’ on it, he was carrying a truncheon, a can of CS spray, and he had blue flashing lights in his car. You will, no doubt wish to know how he came to be arrested. It apparently happened like this: he flagged down a car with two men in it, pulled them over and said ‘Police. You’re nicked.’ They answered, ‘No mate. You’re not police – we are.’ Funnily, he had stopped two off-duty detectives in an unmarked police car and so ended up in court. You could not invent a story like it.

Bungling Burglar From Mexico

Robbers broke into the Telefonica Movistar cell-phone store in Morelia, Mexico recently with the aim of stealing some mobile phones. In their haste to get away they grabbed the first phones that came to hand – hollow replicas, used normally for display purposes only. Employees explained that the bungling burglars overlooked real cell phones and cash in another part of the shop.

Surely One of The Dumbest Criminals:

A man who had spent 20 years in prison for bank robbery back in 1963 thought he would try again in 2003 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, USA. He demanded and received several thousand dollars from two surprised bank cashiers and as he fled he spilled $100 notes in his wake as he attempted to stuff the cash into his pockets and get away. When he reached his hired getaway car this stupid criminal realized that he had locked his keys inside. This bungling burglar promptly took to his heels and fled the scene on foot followed by two passersby who grabbed him. The fleeing felon attempted to pull out his gun but failed, and shot himself in his leg but kept fighting his would be arresters; one of whom shot the suspect. The local police have charged the robber with 8 felonies, including robbery and 2 counts of attempted murder. The suspect was attended to in hospital and recovered. No, you couldn’t make it up

Rave On

A Flash Fiction about a rave in a park, brought questions from ‘Old Fogeys’ about WHY.  I responded that I once worked with a young fellow who said that, after work, he was going to the big bar down the street, to party with 300 strangers. He was strange enough to fit right in. I didn’t see the attraction.

The answer may lie in the ability to make a drunken (and/or drugged-out) fool of yourself in anonymity.  A second layer to that answer may relate to ‘Good Christians’, who want to engage in (to them) SINFUL behavior, without friends, relatives, or neighbors finding out.  It’s how my Father and Mother met and got married.

During the 1940s and ‘50s, in my area, it was not considered wise to go drinking (and perhaps, pursuing the company of young females) in a local establishment.  I heard the axioms, ‘Don’t Shit Where You Eat,’ and, ‘Don’t Mess Your Own Nest.’   During the war years, young men of Armed Service age, who were  drinking in a bar, might be loudly and forcefully accosted.

My Mother’s younger brother and a pal, used to drive 30 miles north, to my Father’s home town, to do their drinking and Hoo-Rahing.  My Mother returned from Detroit, sans husband.  When my Father returned from Naval Service, her brother was quick to point out that she was single and available.  Introductions were made, and soon, a marriage was performed.  Don’t start counting on your fingers.  I was born 14 months after the wedding date.

Even after he was married, the local undertaker/furniture store owner used to drive 30 miles south every Saturday night to go anonymously drinking.  The town was a mile off the north/south highway, and the access road used to come out to a T-intersection.  Drinking and driving must have been an Olympic sport.  So many cars wound up through the fence, and into a farmer’s field, that the Department of Highways added a 90 degree curve merge ramp.

One Saturday night – actually Sunday morning – he went screaming around the merge ramp at highway speed.  Normally, at that time, the highway would be empty, but this night there was a young family returning from a visit to his parents.  If he even noticed them, he still slammed into the side of their car, spinning it out of control, first into a tree, and then a deep drainage culvert.

The mother and young boy were killed instantly.  The father survived, but was so badly smashed up that he could never work.  The dark joke around town was that the undertaker was just making more business for himself.

You want to party?  You want to get drunk?  You want to do drugs?  You want to do it –not at Cheers – where nobody knows your name?  You have the right to be stupid.  Just carry ID, so the cops know who to notify – either for a funeral, medical treatment, or bail.

Click to hear Buddy Holly going to a rave, back in 1958.

Gahh!!  I’ve Been Shot

Just found out that I qualify for the Pfizer vaccine….
….Apparently if you buy 20,000 Viagra a year, you’re a preferred customer.

Despite the incompetence and disorganization of the Canadian Federal Government, the Provincial Government, the Waterloo Regional Council, and the local medical association regarding COVID19 vaccinations – the wife and I each managed to get our initial shot on Easter Sunday, April 3rd.

The clinic was held at a new medical building, about a mile away.  This is where I took the wife last November, for her standard flu shot.  In the fall, they did a drive-thru system at one end of the building.  Since the main floor is not yet leased, with the volume of customers, this time we had to walk inside.

We were accosted by a greeter at the main door, who would not allow us in until we’d sworn that we were not suffering from a long list of medical ailments that I’m sure included leprosy.  I worry about the future of the human race.  There was enough hand sanitizer being splashed around to sterilize the entire next generation, not that it mattered to this crowd.  The clinic was for those over 70.  It looked like a false teeth and hearing aid sale down at Codgers-R-Us.

The bureaucratic duplication was thicker than usual.  The greeter directed us across the atrium, to a pre-screener, where we presented our health cards and gave our names, address, and birth dates.  This is something I learned to do long ago, when I received someone else’s dental anesthetic – plus my own.

We then proceeded to a screener in a large U-shaped room as big as half the building, which wrapped around the elevator shaft… where we presented our health cards and gave our names, address, and birth dates.  Following colorful dots on the floor that looked like the Easter Bunny had hopped through, the maitre d’ soon escorted us to a small table near the washrooms.

We were greeted by an Oriental man…. where we presented our health cards and gave our names, address, and birth dates.  He did not profess what medical training he might have.  He might have been the maintenance man, but he was quite quick and efficient.

We were given a cash register type of receipt, giving our names, Health Card number, date of injection, and the type of vaccine.  For the medically morbid, we did, in fact, receive Pfizer-Biontec COVID19 mRNA-PB.  He then directed us to a waiting area where we would be observed for any adverse reactions.

We sat for 15 minutes to prove that we could stand and move safely on our own, although there was a forest of canes and walkers.  Aside from possibly the hypo-wielders, most if not all of the attendants were volunteers – and there were a ton of them.  I don’t know how we maintained a 6-foot clearance.  The place looked more like the Wuhan wet market where COVID was born, than a socially-distanced medical recovery area.  It was like Jeff Foxworthy’s Grateful Dead Seniors Tour.  It’s Metamucil!  Take a hit. Pass it down.

I took the photo below as we left, during an unusual lull.  There were twice this many people when we sat down.  We then had to proceed to a liability-waiver, after-mission debriefing…. where we presented our health cards and gave our names, address, and birth dates – to prove that we were as hale and healthy leaving as we were when we arrived. We’re scheduled to go back for our second shot, and play this game again on Sunday, July 25th. 😯 For as many Stations Of The I-Was-Cross there were, it still moved though quickly and smoothly. Including the 15 minute cool-down period, we were in and out in half an hour.

If/when you get your chance, take it.  If I can do it, any wimp can do it.  The only reaction that I got was that the next day, I felt like the school-yard bully had punched my bicep.

I Have One-liners All Sewed Up

The guy who fell into the upholstery machine last week….
….Is now fully recovered

I need to practice some social distancing….
….From the fridge

My friend Jay had twin girls recently, and wanted to name them after himself….
….I suggested Kaye and Elle.

There’s not too many old guys like me left….
….The last mammoth stampede killed a lot of them.

Let me describe myself in three words….
….Lazy

Sex jokes aren’t funny….
….Because I don’t get it.

Wanna hear a joke about ghosts?….
….That’s the spirit

To keep up with the times, shouldn’t TV dinners….
….be called satellite dishes?

You’ve reached my age….
….if one of your favorite memories, is a comb.

How many Grumpy Old Dudes like me does it take to change a light bulb?….
….None.  We just light a candle and wait for a woman to do it.

How many managers does it take to change a light bulb?….
….We’ve formed a task force to study the problem of why light bulbs burn out and to figure out what, exactly, we as supervisors can do to make the bulbs work smarter, not harder.

How many shipping department personnel does it take to change a light bulb?….
….We can change the light bulb in seven to ten working days, but if you call before 2 p.m. and pay an extra $15, we can get the bulb changed overnight.

How many Management Information Services people does it take to change a light bulb?….
….MIS (IT) has received your request concerning your hardware problem and has assigned you request number 359712.  Please use this number for any future references to the light-bulb issue.

Yo Momma is so fat….
….That no-one can social-distance her.

Yo Momma’s so fast….
….She ate the S

Yo Momma’s so fat….
….It took three days to find you when you were born

I just learned sign language….
….I find it quite handy

I’ve been trying to come up with a joke about erections….
….But it’s too hard

I always wanted to be rich….
….But everybody still calls me dick.

What do men with Erectile Dysfunction need?….
….Some help from a speCIALISt

Flash Fiction #253

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast  

FREE BIRD

It is so comforting to Know – to know no doubts – to have all the answers, even when they are not the right ones.

People feel safe when they can identify – apply labels to others – politics, religion, gender, language, nationality.  It gives the illusion of control of their lives.

Other folks, and their related social problems, are complex, and fully-formed.  They are not easy, one-dimensional, cookie-cutter simple.

It is usually better to make decisions and form opinions based on reality, rather than preconceived notions.  More people should try it.  They might find those feared – and hated – Others…. are quite sweet.

***

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