2017 A To Z Challenge – J

Challenge2017

When I was looking at others’ A to Z Challenge ideas, searching for inspirational prompts, I didn’t always read the complete posts. I thought it might be from a fan of legalization of marijuana, when I chose
JOINT SUPPORT,
as the title of the post for the letter

Letter J

The wife has tried for years to get knee replacement surgery. Her doctor asked her one time if she was a good Catholic, but her days of kneeling are long past.  Finally, she got referred to the Orthopedic Surgeon who replaced my left shoulder 10 years ago.  He now specializes in knees.

She was told that the first one would be about a year, and the second, six months after. Government funding cutbacks stretched the first to almost 18 months.  Despite hours of hospital interviews and paperwork, they still managed to f….oul things up.

Despite clearly marking that she was allergic to pineapple, they served her fruit salad for every lunch and supper – with pineapple in it. (I loved it.) One night, supper was sweet and sour chicken – with pineapple in the sauce.  She says that, without me bringing her fresh fruit and vegetables, and Tim Horton’s Tim-Bits (do-nut holes) and coffee, she’d have starved.  She lost almost 10 pounds in a 3-day stay.

She also impressed upon her surgeon, that she was allergic to the nickel in (surgical) stainless steel, and insisted that he use sutures, instead of the far more common staples. They still teach suturing techniques in doctor school, but her surgeon has never practiced much.  She had hoped for small, delicate stitches, perhaps in a soft blue silk.  Instead, he put in 18 big, ghastly, bride-of-Frankenstein’s turkey-trussers, with black fishing line.  Still, it healed nicely.

When I had my more complex shoulder surgery, the arm was put in a sling, and I was told not to use it for six weeks, as it healed. Only then could the long, painful process of stretching and strengthening rehab begin.  Knee surgeries have become so easy and common, that she was expected to get out of bed, stand and shuffle a couple of steps, the day after surgery.

I worried about the Princess and the Pea wife not doing painful exercises, but have been pleasantly surprised.  Although she had already been looking forward to having the second knee done, it’s possible that she’s not looking forward quite so hard now.

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2017 A To Z Challenge – C

Challenge2017

In mining other people’s prompts for this post, I dug up a lot of other options but, for the letter

Letter C

it all came down to one choice. I have to write about CANADA!

Canada 150

This is Canada’s sesquicentennial. That’s just a sesquipedalian word that means we’re 150 years old this year.  We’ve been at this ‘country’ thing for a century and a half.  The Government is so thrilled that it directed the Bank of Canada to issue a new, commemorative $10 bill, which features people and places that even Canadians have never heard of.

Canadian Bill

The US gained its freedom by revolting, a definition still agreed on by much of the world. Canada became independent by asking nicely.

50 years ago, we celebrated our Centennial. I should apologise to the rest of the world, especially the Americans, for Pamela Anderson.  She was declared Canada’s Official Centennial Baby, being born the soonest after the stroke of midnight that began July 1-1967, CANADA Day.

The problem was that she was born out on the Left-Coast, beautiful-bud, British Columbia. The Centennial was already 5 ½ hours old in Newfoundland and the rest of Canada, by the time it dawned on her.  Continually told throughout her childhood that she was Special, as she grew older she decided to inflict it on prove it to other people, by getting into TV/movies.

The best thing that she ever did for Canada was move to California, where she became the bulbous Baywatch bitch. After that was cancelled, she became a born-again vegetarian, and endured a lackluster career of dressing up in lettuce leaves and shoving her boobs and her unfounded, ill-considered opinions into other people’s faces.

Canada Kicks Ass

The wife and I got married as a Centennial project. We were going to leave it until the next year, but saw little reason to wait, so we moved the date up to Dec. 2 – 1967.  We almost caused an evil-minded, judgemental, Catholic sister-in-law to wear out her fingers, counting the months till the birth of our first child.  The daughter fooled her, and saved her fingers, by being born 10 months and 1 day after our wedding.

When we got married, both we and Canada were filled with naive optimism. For proof, you can click on the YouTube link to see and hear.  The French have the stirring, martial, Le Marseillais.  The Americans have the patriotic Star-Spangled Banner, with bombs bursting in air.  We have Canada’s Centennial Song. One little, two little, three Canadians – Weeee love you. Now we are twenty million. That was then.  Now, 50 years later, we are 33 million – perhaps 34 million, if you count the illegal immigrants being welcomed with open arms by the RCMP, as they leak across the border into Manitoba and Quebec, trying to get away from Trumpetopia.

As the wife and I near our 50th wedding anniversary, both we, and the country, are older if no wiser.  Both have become harder and more cynical, especially now as we endure a Care-Bear, second-generation Prime Minister who is spending the country’s, and our children’s, financial future on frivolous, feel-good, social-engineering plots.  When he visits Donald Trump, he’s on his knees, and not to pray.

This too shall pass! We are tough.  We will prevail.  You can tan my hide and make work boots out of me.

Please use your boots to walk back over here in a couple of weeks, to see what indignities I inflict on poor, unsuspecting Letter D.   😯

Canadian Flag

The Humor Page

Extra Extra

That’s what I thought I was reading – the Humor Page!  Then I looked up at the top, and realized that it was the Religion Page of the newspaper; two Christian articles, both by women.

The first was the usual tale of a young woman being told that having unmarried sex made her a terrible sinner. After slipping, and giving it away once, she lost all self-respect and began throwing it away indiscriminately.

The article was titled, ‘Why I chose abstinence again.’ The sub-title was, ‘Despite feeling let down by my Church, I still want to walk in the way of my faith.’ Oh….  So many qualified psychotherapists!  So few people who really, REALLY need the help, actually getting it.

This is masochism! ‘You’ve hurt me before, so go ahead and hurt me again.’ This is hypocrisy!  She, and others, was told that ‘sex was the cause of all the problems in a romantic relationship,’…. and she wants to let this Church run/ruin her life again.

KARMA, KARMA, KARMA, KAMELEON

The second article had my “Tough luck! Couldn’t happen to a nicer person” meter pegged over to maximum.  It was titled, “On our second date, we went to Church.”

A 26-year-old, single, white female, perhaps getting a little desperate, set up a Meet-A-Pervert (No, wait.  That’s Craigslist) Tinder account.  Seeing several others who listed as atheist or pagan, she made sure to include the descriptor, “Jesus is my homeboy.”

During a nice, restaurant first-date, her Good Christian young lad mentioned that he was surprised at the number of non-Christians listed, and asked her exactly what she meant by her statement. Following a chaste, curbside, goodnight handshake, she suggested that their next date should be going to church.

He laughed, and she thought it was because he felt that she was joking.

He took her to his Catholic Church that Sunday. He taught her when to stand, when to kneel, and when to wave her hands magically in the air – but he wouldn’t let her go up to the front for the juice and cookies buffet.

Still hungry, they went for a lovely brunch afterward, and she believed that God had a plan for her.  They parted company amiably, and she believed that He had provided her a companion.

A couple of days later, choir boy sent her a message, saying that he just felt that something was missing.  He dumped her, by text, because she wasn’t a good enough Christian (Catholic)!   😆

WOW #5

Dictionary

The Word Of this Week is;
Shivoo

Look out! There’s been a mudslide.  The mundane mumble-tongues couldn’t understand, remember or pronounce the EYEtalian word Charivari, so it slid down the linguistic hill, and entered the English language as

shivaree

noun (US & Canadian)
a discordant mock serenade to newlyweds, made with pans, kettles, etc.
a confused noise; din

Also (esp. dialect) charivari  

Then it made its way by tramp steamer to Australia, land of kangaroos, platypuses, and Diggers who can’t handle three-syllable words, where it ended its ignominious tumble, as the Abo word

shivoo

noun, plural shivoos. Australian.
a boisterous party or celebration.

Origin of shivoo – origin uncertain

This is like the story from several years ago, where a Florida woman had been brain-dead from an accident for five years. Her husband wanted to pull the plug on the life-support machine and achieve closure, but her Catholic parents fought him in the courts.

His/their family name was Chiavo, and even the more intelligent of the TV talking heads insisted on pronouncing it Shy-voe, when any good Italian made three syllables of it, and pronounced it Shee-ah-voe.

Out among the street trash, one could get kicked in the nuts, or the balls. Some tried to describe being mugged with a more upscale word.  Whether it was too intellectual, or simply too long to say, gonads quickly shrank to ‘nads.  The mud has slud even further.  Now, ‘nad’ is (mis)pronounced nard, a word which used to mean ‘an ointment used by the ancients.’

Jimmy Cliff sang I Can See Clearly Now. If we could get more of the great unwashed to hear and pronounce clearly, communication and comprehension would benefit greatly.   😯

St. Patrick’s Humor

So, these two Irishmen walk out of a bar….
No, seriously, it could happen. 

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an
important
meeting and couldn’t find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said,
‘Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass
every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!’

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, ‘Never mind, I found one.’

****

Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and asks the first man he meets,
‘Do you want to go to heaven?’
The man said, ‘I do, Father…’
The priest said, ‘Then stand over there against the wall.’
Then the priest asked the second man, ‘Do you want to go to heaven?’
‘Certainly, Father,’ the man replied.
‘Then stand over there against the wall,’ said the priest.
Then Father Murphy walked up to O’Toole and asked, ‘Do you want to go to heaven?’
O’Toole said, ‘No, I don’t Father.’
The priest said, ‘I don’t believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don’t want to go to heaven?’

O’Toole said, ‘Oh, when I die, yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now.’

****

Paddy was in New York.  He was patiently waiting and watching the traffic cop on a busy street crossing. The cop stopped the flow of traffic and shouted, ‘Okay, pedestrians.’ Then he’d allow the traffic to pass.

He’d done this several times, and Paddy still stood on the sidewalk.

After the cop had shouted, ‘Pedestrians!’ for the tenth time, Paddy went over to him and said, ‘Is it not about time ye let the Catholics across?’

****

Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend, Finney. ‘Did you see the paper?’ asked Gallagher. ‘They say I died!!’

‘Yes, I saw it!’ replied Finney. ‘Where are ye callin’ from?’

****

An Irish priest is driving down to New York and gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut. The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest’s breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car.
He says, ‘Sir, have you been drinking?’
‘Just water,’ says the priest.
The trooper says, ‘Then why do I smell wine?’
The priest looks at the bottle and says, ‘Dear Lord! He’s done it again!’

*****

St. Patricks

Walking into the bar, Mike said to Charlie the bartender, ‘Pour me a stiff one – just had another fight with the little woman.’
‘Oh yeah?’ said Charlie, ‘And how did this one end?’
‘When it was over,’ Mike replied, ‘She came to me on her hands and knees.’
‘Really,’ said Charles, ‘Now that’s a switch! What did she say?’
She said, ‘Come out from under the bed, you little coward.’

****

David staggered home very late after another evening with his drinking buddy, Paddy. He took off his shoes to avoid waking his wife, Kathleen.

He tiptoed as quietly as he could toward the stairs leading to their upstairs bedroom, but misjudged the bottom step. As he caught himself by grabbing the banister, his body swung around and he landed heavily on his rump. A whiskey bottle in each back pocket broke and made the landing especially painful.

Managing not to yell, David sprang up, pulled down his pants, and looked in the hall mirror to see that his butt cheeks were cut and bleeding. He managed to quietly find a full box of Band-Aids and began putting a Band-Aid as best he could on each place he saw blood..

He then hid the now almost empty Band-Aid box and shuffled and stumbled his way to bed.

In the morning, David woke up with searing pain in both his head and butt and Kathleen staring at him from across the room.

She said, ‘You were drunk again last night weren’t you?’

David said, ‘Why would you say such a mean thing?’

‘Well,’ Kathleen said, ‘it could be the open front door, it could be the broken glass at the bottom of the stairs, it could be the drops of blood trailing through the house, it could be your bloodshot eyes, but mostly …… it’s all those Band-Aids stuck on the hall mirror.

Oh, Grow Up!

Rink

On an irregular basis, the local newspaper allows 500-word articles from members of the Youth Editorial Board. These are intelligent high school students.  I am often impressed with their knowledge of social problems, and their mature suggestions.

I was recently sadly disappointed by a female Catholic student’s rant, titled Complaint About Rink, Masks a Bigger Problem.  A family in this hilly little town had found a large enough flat spot to build a small rink in their front yard.  By-law Enforcement had become aware of it, and the City gave them two weeks to dismantle it.

I share her opinion that Canadian kids are overweight and out of shape, and need all the outdoor exercise they can get. The City has sufficient good reasons to specifically make this behavior illegal, and mentioned several of them in their media release.  To ensure compliance, a possible fine was stated.

Not one to let the facts get in the way of a good story, she went on to paint the family, not as lawbreakers, but as Phys-Ed heroes, and later, as downtrodden victims.

If she built a snowman on her lawn, would someone file a complaint about that too? If it were eight feet high and blocking sightlines at an intersection – Yes!

She felt that vanity(?) was triumphing over enjoyment.  All exercise and fun obtained in a back yard would be just as enjoyable – and less dangerous.

She felt it was unfair that they had to dismantle the illegal structure because just one person filed a complaint. It’s possible that the entire street narc-ed out these people, or that only one did, with the knowledge and support of many others. How dare the City threaten a fine?  It wouldn’t be imposed, if they just obeyed the directive.

The list of weasel-word excuses that she used to rationalize her denigration of the complainant was long and impressive. She listed: intimidation and oppression, lowering self-esteem, verbal and physical abuse, criticism can follow creativity, attack with negative words, victims, power and control, lonely perpetrator craving attention, jealousy, compensating for their own troubles, anger, unfair, bullying, and frustration.

The City’s main stated reason for not allowing this behavior centered around the 14 inch steel tent pegs used to anchor the frame boards. Things like this, driven into the ground, could damage telephone and cable lines, power cables, and water and sewer pipes.  These would not happen if the rink were situated in the back yard.

Not mentioned by the City, were things like wobbly figure skaters or body-checked little hockey players crashing into passing pedestrians and baby carriages, or even worse, onto driveways, as cars pull in or out. Hockey pucks or frozen rubber balls can break windows and dent cars and garage doors.  Kids chasing them into the street can easily be run over.

The midnight-shift worker who tries to sleep during the day would be none too pleased with a noisy crowd of kids beneath his front bedroom window. None of these things have anything to do with vanity or oppression, merely safety and good manners.

Just wait till she gets older, gets married and moves into her own little house in the suburbs, next to a neighbors-from-Hell family like the one she’s currently defending.  The people who casually violate City ordinances about front-yard rinks, do it so that their kids have fun, not so that neighbor kids get exercise.

These same people are the ones who own a dog which is tethered outside 24/7, to bark its head off, or a cat that they let run loose to shit in your carefully tended garden beneath your living room window. They think nothing of having an illegal campfire in their backyard, which fills your house with smoke, and forces you to close all your windows on otherwise lovely days.

They feel entitled to blast loud music from their stereo out through windows and French doors, all day and night, while they throw loud, drunken parties on their deck, or in the pool or hot-tub. Now who’s intimidating, oppressing or bullying?  Ah, the joys of living in the city, there’s one on every block.

When we moved in here, the 10-year old from across the street wanted to play one-on-one street hockey with his friend, using their driveway and ours as ‘goals.’ I told him clearly that I would not allow it.  I didn’t want our car, or the house, dinged and marked, or the work and expensive garden plants wasted and ruined.

We left to go shopping one day and came back to a hockey net blocking our driveway, and the two boys resting on the curb. He jumped up and moved the net – the first time. I repeated that it was ‘my’ driveway, and I didn’t want him playing here.

We had lunch and went back out. On returning the second time, there was the net, blocking our access again, and he was now too tired to get up and move the net.  My son got out of the car and threw it onto the boulevard.

Not five minutes later his mother came over to accuse the son of ‘putting a hole’ in it.  It’s a hockey net.  It’s all hole!  And I don’t care how much healthy exercise he’s getting, it doesn’t belong on my driveway.

I think our little ‘fitness and fun’ defender’s entire screed “masks a bigger problem.” She needs to grow up, and I think when she does, our rose-colored-glasses wearing, sheltered little Catholic, is in for some nasty surprises about urban reality.

Horrible Example

Priest

I recently came upon a totally-expected Christmas-time rant from a ‘good Catholic’. It opened with the question, “after all, aren’t these Holidays solely and specifically about the birth of Jesus Christ?”

I commented: “In a word, NO! While it might be the most important for you – the Muslims celebrate Ramadan, the Jews have Chanukah, the Wiccans observe Solstice, the blacks celebrate Kwanzaa, Pagans have Yule, Hindus observe Diwali, Japanese have Bonen Kai….. and many more, all at the end of the year. Do as Christ would, and include them all, not with a bragging, exclusionary Merry Christmas, but with a ‘Happy Holidays’ to one and all.”

I got back: “This is exactly what I mean… There has never been a time anywhere except in the last 10 years where people like you, have imbibed this political correctness crap and pretend that this season is anything but Christmas in countries which have a strong Christian heritage. So get back to work and Merry Christmas.

He was railing about the use of the inclusive ‘Happy Holidays’, instead of his exclusionary favorite, ‘Merry Christmas.’ He seemed most piqued about Muslims, and their growing acceptance in the USA.  (but not Islamic religious terms of course, those are acceptable). Well, we will have none of that in our household!

Ignoring the fact that I had just shown him that dozens of cultures and religions have some sort of year-end celebration, he was convinced that none but the anointed Christians should partake. “you should tell them that they should stop benefitting from this holiday and be made to go to work instead. Perhaps if they are to be totally honest with themselves, they should also shun the revelry that goes with it, but out of the Christmas spirit, do so after, perhaps during lent when you’re fasting.”

A subsequent reply to my comment from another of his narrow-minded regulars asked, “How is it exclusionary?  I say Merry Christmas to my Jewish landlady, and she doesn’t mind.”

You may think that yours is the Rolls-Royce of religions, but you don’t include anyone by insisting that they share a ride in it to YOUR CHURCH.  Exclusion is not allowing me to drive my crappy Chevy to my religious services – or to none at all.

I know there are worse examples of religious intolerance, but I don’t know how to access ISIS or Boko Haram’s websites. I think that there are many, I hope a majority of, Christians and Catholics who are more loving and acceptant than this.

His snotty reply incited me to publish yet another example of narrow-minded entitlement. He must have smelled me coming.  When I tried to access his site to copy quotes, I found that he had deleted my comment and his reply, and turned off all comments – but we know that NOTHING is ever really erased from the internet, don’t we?

If you’d like a look at the original, click here https://astrugglingdad.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/merry-christmas-there-i-said-it/comment-page-1/#comment-883 .  Take backup, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Happy Holidays to each and every one of you, whichever Holiday you wish to celebrate. Bah, Humbug to Bob Cratchit Catholic, and all his head-in-the-sand, Trump-supporting buddies.