Where There’s A Will

Will

JACK’S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

Jack has died. His lawyer is standing before the family and reads out Jack’s Last Will and Testament:

“To my dear wife Esther, I leave the house, 50 acres of land, and 1 million dollars.

“To my son Barry, I leave my Big Lexus and the Jaguar.

“To my daughter Suzy, I leave my yacht and $250,000.

“And to my brother-in-law Jeff, who always insisted that health is better than wealth, I leave my treadmill.”

***

A weary traveler enters a pub.

The lady bartender says, “Welcome! What are you drinking?” The traveler, weary from his long journey, responds simply, “Your finest ale, please.” The bartender tells him, “Brilliant.” As she pours him a pint of her finest ale, she makes him an offer.

“Since you are a first time customer, I will offer you a gift I offer all of my first time customers.” The traveler blushes and nods at the bartender, who was easy on the eyes.

“You may choose either this first pint of ale is free or instead you may pay for the beer and I will give you a piece of valuable advice.” The traveler pondered this for a moment, knowing his coin purse was light.

“Though my purse is light, I am intrigued by your offer. I will pay for my ale, now please share the valuable advice.” The bartender grinned, counting the coins he had given her, looked him in the eye and said, “You should’ve taken the free pint.”

***

On his 70th birthday, a man was given a gift certificate from his wife.  The certificate was for consultation with an Indian medicine man living on a nearby reservation, who was rumored to have a simple cure for erectile dysfunction.
The husband went to the reservation and saw the medicine man. The old Indian gave him a potion and with a grip on his shoulder warned, “This is a powerful medicine. You take only a teaspoonful, and then say: “1-2-3.’ When you do, you will become manlier than you have ever been in your life and you can perform for as long as you want.”
The man thanked the old Indian, and as he walked away, he turned and asked:  How do I stop the medicine from working?” “Your partner must say 1-2-3-4,’ he responded, “But when she does, the medicine will not work again until the next full moon.”
He was very eager to see if it worked so he went home, showered, shaved took a spoonful of the medicine and then invited his wife to join him in the bedroom.  When she came in, he took off his clothes and said: “1-2-3!”   Immediately, he was the manliest of men. His wife was excited and began throwing off her clothes and then she asked: “What was the 1-2-3 for?”
And that, boys and girls, is why we should never end our sentences with a preposition, because we could end up with a dangling participle.

My friend asked me if I liked any sports.
I said that I was into shooting.
He asked if I was into anything mainstream.
Mass shooting?”

Ice hockey is just basically guys wearing knife shoes and fighting each other with long sticks for the last Oreo.

The first 5 days after the weekend are always the hardest.

If taking a shit is a call of nature, is farting a missed call?

What’s the dumbest animal in the jungle?
The Polar bear….and how did he get in the jungle in the first place?

Everything’s a UFO when you’re near-sighted.

The best place to hide a body is on page two of the Google search results.

Breakups are like;
“You’ll never find anyone like me.”
That’s the plan!

 

Advertisements

Under Pressure – Overtime

Recently, the son climbed out of the car and left his choice of radio station on.  When I climbed in, I left it playing.  Because of this, both of us heard David Wilcox’s, sexual innuendo, double-entendre song, Layin’ Pipe, with its line of, “Eight shifts a week is never enough.”

People like young, up-and-coming doctors and lawyers put in huge amounts of hours to guarantee future success, but often, hourly-paid workers will do the same, working two or three jobs, to get ahead.

One of my fellow auto-workers put in an 8 AM to 4 PM shift every Saturday at a cookie factory in the next city.  There was no problem when he was on day-shift, or afternoons, but, when our week ended after a midnight shift, Saturday at 7 AM, he had an hour, to drive 20 miles, and punch in by 8.

The son has a co-worker who works as a bus-boy/prep chef at a local family restaurant every Sat. & Sun.  On a straight midnight shift, he gets a few hours sleep, and works Saturday, from 2 till 10.  The plastics plant has offered a couple of Saturday midnight shifts recently, and he took them.  Leave the restaurant at 10 PM Saturday, drive across town and put in an 11 to 7, grab a few Sunday ZZZs, and back to the diner.

Fortunately, they were the weekends before, and after, Easter, giving him a week to recuperate.  The son worked both weekends also.  He had a four-day week with Easter Friday off, but followed by a six-day week.

My auto plant had a five-year stretch of prosperity, where there was overtime available every week and weekend.  As a union shop, the work went first to the person on the required job, and then by seniority.  A young man hot-forming vinyl sheets went through two packs of Hall’s Mentho-Lyptus cough candies per shift, to keep his mouth moist.

Someone suggested doing something on his day off, and he replied that he hadn’t had a day off work in 17 weeks, and many of them had been 12 hour days.  It was either the work stress, dextro-methorphan poisoning from all the Hall’s, or a combination of both, that lost him his job.  Not once, but twice, he phoned the plant manager’s house (who, of course, wasn’t home) and screamed at his wife and daughters and threatened them with violence and death.  I’m not sure if he demanded less overtime, or more.

The inspector/packer on my Jeep line was a little, Muslim, Turkish Cypriot.  As such, he had a great need for male children.  His wife first presented him with two daughters.  He bitched at her, but she was sufficiently Canadian to tell him that he only got back what he put in.

She finally gave him a son, but – Oh Horrors – the boy’s right ear was malformed, and he held it against her, loudly, constantly.  They had a nice little house, with a nice little mortgage.  She must have felt that, if he was going to either ignore her or belittle her, she wanted something that included room away from him.  Before long, they had a nice big house, with a nice big mortgage.

Soon, between abandoning her and paying down the mortgage, he was spending huge amounts of time at the plant.  One day, the supervisor distributed our pay checks and, without thinking, I asked, “Did you work any overtime last week?”  Then I slapped myself!  I worked the standard 40 hours.  He had a slow week at 80, 24 at time-and-a-half, and 16 at double-time pay, and yet, his check was exactly double mine.  All the premium pay had gone to the government as taxes.

He would work four hours over, each day – five 12-hour days by Friday – then come in on Saturday and Sunday as well.  If he wasn’t asked for overtime, he had a system.  Even if he worked till 11 PM Friday night, he was back at the plant by 6 AM Saturday morning, “Just to get something from his locker.”  He knew that, of a crew of 10 or 12, at least one would get drunk, or forget to set an alarm, and he would be invited to fill in.

He had another trick.  He would work the Saturday day-shift, come back at 11 PM and work the overnight midnight shift, get a bit of food and sleep, and return once again and work the Sunday afternoon shift, getting in three shifts over two days.

A few times, he managed to stretch one of the weekend shifts to 12 hours, giving him a total of 88 hours for the week.  Wilcox’s “eight shifts a week” is nothing; that’s eleven! At least once that I know of, he managed to get 12 hours on two of the weekend shifts, setting his record (and anybody else’s) at 92 hours.

He showed me a picture in his wallet once, of a handsome young man.  I thought it might be a younger brother or cousin.  It was just him, shortly before I met him, pinched, dried, wasted!  I own an 11-year-old car that I may not be able to afford to replace.  At 70, my mortgage isn’t paid off yet, but people still don’t believe I’m as old as I am.  I worked to live.  I didn’t live to work.

Huge work hours, and dedication to a job or career can buy you lots of “stuff”, but it often doesn’t leave you enough time or energy to truly enjoy your stuff.  I tried to attain a middle ground with my employment, and still often shake my head at those who don’t leave time for life or family.

Mom’s Shortbreads

At the behest of the illustrious BrainRants, GranmaLadybug has graciously consented to divulge the recipe for The Scottish shortbreads we make at Christmastime, along with some tips and hints she’s learned over the years.  Rants, and anyone else who wishes to, can add this to their cookbook.  Happy baking, and eating.

1 pound best quality butter (salted)

1 1/3 cups icing sugar

4 cups all-purpose flour

Knead everything together until butter & icing sugar has infused the flour.

Archon’s mom taught me how to make the shortbreads by putting everything on her kitchen table. She put out the flour first, then the sugar and topped it with the butter. She kneaded it together; adding flour a little at a time as she kneaded the dough, until it showed cracks at the edge.

Her philosophy was that the heat of your hand melted the butter & sugar, and was absorbed by the flour.

I started mixing my shortbread in a large shallow bowl by hand, but when I started with arthritis in my hands, this step was done with a KitchenAid mixer.  Usually over-mixing cookies is a no-no.  This recipe only improves with over mixing, but only use a heavy-duty, slow mixer, not the smaller, faster, egg-beater style.

Pat the dough out (small amounts at a time) using the heat of your hand to smooth the dough out to about ½ inch. (DO NOT rush this step. Just use the heat of your hand to do this, and a light touch.)

You can use a wooden board, or your counter top. I use a marble board for this step.

Use a thin metal blade to get your cookie off the board onto your cookie sheet. If the dough is sticking, gradually add more flour to the dough.  If you have to use too much flour on the board you can get a floury taste to the cookie.

Now to bake:  Heat oven to 275°F (using a slow oven helps to meld the flour, sugar & butter.) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes with your oven rack in the middle of the oven.  The cookie should show a lightly browned bottom.  Most recipes say not to brown, but to us the resulting cookies have a pasty taste to them.

Mom’s always had a brown bottom, and they were so rich they made you want more.

We store the cookies in a metal tin, and they are guaranteed to go with tea, coffee, hot chocolate or just on their own.

This guarantee is not valid if you changed the amounts, rolled the dough out, used old decrepit cookie sheets…….etc.  I once shared a recipe with a neighbour.  Her cookies did not turn out because she used the bottom oven rack and really abused cookie sheets.

The quality of your utensils, and attention to detail is what will get you the best results.

Oh I forgot, you have to also infuse the cookie with a lot of love……………..tks Mom.

Xmas Cookies – Rebake

Back by popular demand….  Well, only one person, but she’s the Empress of Arkansas, White Lady In The Hood – what am I gonna do??!  Lady asked if we had made some more of the yummy Christmas cookies, as we had last year, especially the decorated, look-alike sugar cookies we provide for our chiropractors adult “kids”.

Always happy to showcase the abilities of wife and daughter, and make you jealous that you weren’t here, ruining your diet, I took a few more photos to show you what may be the last time we do this.

SDC10492

This is one of two Christmas/fruit cakes we baked, just before it got wrapped in brandy-soaked cheesecloth, to age.

SDC10502

We’re still making the thumbprint cookies, with green and red glazed cherries.

SDC10501And we made up batches of decorated spritz cookies, Yule logs, cookie nests, regular and Maple shortbreads.  This year, the wife thinks she finally achieved the perfection of the Scottish shortbreads that she attributes to my Mother.

One of the Chiropractor’s married daughters (and her husband) had SDC10478a baby girl this past year.  We found a “baby” cutter, and included a replica of sensibly-named Alice with each kid’s batch, plus one un-iced one to the parents, for the little one to gum.  S D is “Superdad”, and his track pants, like mom’s apron, are a bit messy with handprints, spit-up, etc.

SDC10482

This is the other married couple’s matched cookies.

SDC10488

The third, unmarried daughter has a steady guy, and they’re looking to set a date, right after they finish their matched cookies.

SDC10497

SDC10487The son, the youngest, is currently studying hard to be a pharmacist.  Here is his voodoo-cookie, first alone, and then with all the boys.

SDC10496

Of course, each of them got a stocking with their names on.

SDC10499

We made a few extra “men and women”, in case one for the kids broke, or was ruined.

SDC10493

We made and decorated a few non-people sugar cookies as well.

SDC10500

We “adopted” the sweetest little Chinese snowgirl, and made sure she had lots of friends to play with.

SDC10494SDC10495

And finally, tired and hot from watching others be creative, and from slaving over a hot keyboard to tell this tale, I kicked back and cooled off with a bottle of my reserve signature beer.

SDC10503

CREDITS

Producer/Director – GranmaLadybug

Set Decoration – GranmaLadybug, LadyRyl

Assistant to Producer/Director – Shimoniac

And a little bit Archon

Gaffer, Bestboy, Gofer, Etc, Etc, – Archon

Photos – LadyRyl

Technical Assistance – GranmaLadybug, LadyRyl

Oleo Olio

Margarine

I never know where the next inspiration for a post will come from, especially my “Remember When” stories.  I am old enough, and was born in a small enough town, far enough off the beaten path, that I remember how things were, long before most of my readers were born.  I occasionally write about The Good Old Days, hopefully interesting and amusing a few good folk….

….So, the other day I wanted to put some margarine on a piece of toast.  I laid my left hand over the plastic tub, casually ran my thumb under the edge of the lid, and it popped right off.  We take packaging so much for granted, and have become so used to it.  Those lids can’t be taken off by grasping them firmly, and pulling straight.  The harder you grasp, the tighter they seal.  For as soft and fragile as they are, they would have had our ancestors of even a hundred years ago, looking for an axe or saw.

When the lid came off the first time, it was a two-handed, thumbs-working-in-opposite-directions move, because there was a sheet of plastic welded to the rim of the tub.  Squeeze bottles of salad dressing have plastic, heat-sealed over the lid, but even after you use a crowbar or flame thrower to remove that, you still have to twist off the cap.  Beneath that is yet another layer of plastic and cardboard that has to be removed.

When I was a lad….yeah, yeah, we know, grandpa – peanut butter came in too-easily-broken, glass jars.  You twisted off the cap, and dug into the peanut butter.  Actually, you probably got a knife and stirred it, because the non-homogenized stuff separated like milk, with the oil on top.  Nowadays, there’s another little cardboard and Mylar manhole cover under the cap – all these because some fool in Chicago wanted to get away with poisoning his wife with tainted Tylenol.  Back then, the boxes and bottles in the stores just opened up.  The cops caught him though.

Anyway, back to the margarine!  You thought you could distract me, eh??  Margarine was developed in the 1800s, in the midst of the Industrial Revolution.  Some years ago, when the elimination of CFCs was the cause du jour, I saw a woman on television who declaimed that, “If we could develop margarine, as a safe alternative to butter, we can develop a safe alternative to CFCs.”  The only problem with that is that it’s not true.  It wasn’t developed as a safe anything!

The first “margarine” was beef tallow, mixed with something like Worcestershire Sauce, horrible to eat, but it provided sufficient calories to prevent mine, mill and factory workers from fainting from hunger.  It gave the industrial barons the maximum labor for the minimum cost, sweethearts those guys.  History also has shown that the saturated fats in early margarine were as dangerous to health as butter, so the busy-body bitch was wrong, twice.

Here in Canada, the Milk Marketing Board, which was one small step less powerful than the American NRA, almost strangled margarine in its infancy.  They got a law passed that said margarine could not be marketed if it looked like butter, in every Province except Quebec, where they march to the tune of their own beret-wearing, red-wine-soaked piper.

They tried to market Marg in colors ranging from Kool-Aid orange, to cranberry red, but mostly just white.  I remember, as a kid, getting pound blocks of fish-belly-white stuff in cardboard boxes, indistinguishable from lard, except there was included a small paper envelope.  You tore the envelope open, sprinkled the colored powder on the block and stirred like hell in a bowl, till you got the familiar yellow.

Blue Bonnet came out with a plastic bag, similar to bagged milk.  On the inside of one of the flat sides was a little plastic ampule of liquid colorant.  You pinched it to burst it internally, then kneaded and mixed, kneaded and mixed, till it turned that golden buttery yellow.

I don’t know why we didn’t just eat the damned stuff white.  I guess this is where the self-psychology kicks in again.  I know I probably lose more calories and weight from body-heat loss in the summer than the winter.  In the winter, when it’s snowy and blowy outside, I wear underwear, socks, flannel track-pants, heavy tee-shirt and slippers – and the furnace has the house at 73 F.  In the summer, when it’s bright and sunny, I wear underwear, maybe socks, perhaps shorts, possibly a threadbare shirt, and slippers only if I have to go outside or down to the concrete basement floor – and the A/C has the house to 72 F.

In the mid-80s, the consuming public finally pried Milk’s thumbs off Margarine’s throat, and at last we could buy it in yellow.  The little frogs in Quebec had been making it like that for years, and they wanted to market it to the rest of Canada.

Initially, one pound tubs were not worth their while.  It was shipped in plastic bulk containers, like glass or metal baking dishes, 8 X 12 X 2 – five-pound trays, or 9 X 13 X3 – ten-pounders, with tight-fitting, snap-down flat lids.  (Sizes in inches for the metric crowd.  Americans, feel free to ignore the inevitable, and the rest of the world.)  Spatula or spoon it out into a serving dish.  Once empty and washed, they were handy nesting storage containers.  Years later, the wife and I still use them to protect those lovely Christmas cookies.

Soon, other Canadian, and American suppliers provided the easily-opened one-pound tubs, and I could have toast and margarine and peanut butter at the flick of a thumb.  And I will burn off those calories, because I’m sitting here typing this, wearing only a smile.

That’s Liebster, Not Bieber!

Liebster AwardI’m so ancient that some of my oldest friends were introduced to me by Pterodactyls.  Like the Dot.Com meltdowns, this blogosphere thing is relatively new to most of us.  There are a couple, like AFrankAngle, and Jim Wheeler, who have been at it for 4 and 5 years.  Most of the rest of us have only been polluting the interwebz for a couple of years, so it’s hard to have an old blog-friend.

As some of the brighter among you may have guessed, I have received yet another well-earned blog award.  One of my oldest followers gifted me with a Liebster.  This woman is determined.  She signed up to ride on my Tilt-A-Whirl shortly after I fell off the WordPress turnip wagon.  Then, through no fault of her own, she had to go into the Witness Protection Program.

She came roaring back, with a Groucho Marx disguise, a phoney gravatar, and the persona of, Pucker Up Buttercup, which she used to follow me again.  She couldn’t fool me though.  Her writing is too crisp, clear and informative, even when she is reporting from the other side of the battle of the sexes.  I bent over to pick up a nickel, (I’m not saying she threw it there.) and felt something slipping into my back pants pocket.  I was hoping that I was being molested, but the Liebster award is a lovely consolation prize.

As usual, there’s a bunch of silly rules, most, better observed by omission than commission.  There’s not even a rule that you must download and display a copy of the award on your acceptance post, but my ego needed to be shimmed up, so I grabbed one and slipped it in at the top.  I’m supposed to link back to my donor, to give you a chance to visit her site.  Two years of blogging, and I’ve finally figured out how to do that all by myself.  Next week the wife says she’ll teach me to open my own beer.

You must answer the ten Liebster questions put to you by your nominator.  I’ll get around to that, right after I list, and then ignore, the rest of the rules.  You are supposed to pick ten worthy recipients with fewer than 200 followers.  I’m depressed that I qualified.  You gals keep telling us, Size Matters.

I’m supposed to come up with ten new questions for my 10 nominees.  I can’t come up with ten lucid answers to the questions I’ve been asked!  Where am I gonna come up with ten new questions??  Wait!  That’s one – nine more??! Nah!!  So, I can’t think of any questions, and the terms of the day-parole pass don’t allow me on the internet long enough to find ten more gullible victims worthy recipients.  Ergo, I have no-one to notify of my nefarious plans.  Quickly, on to the Q & A.

Questions for my nominees:

1.   What’s the most important quality you look for in a friend?

A strong stomach, and the blind ability to overlook my failures and shortcomings.  My blog-friends see me like a reject Christmas tree, with the poor side turned towards the wall, and only the good part showing.

2.   What would your superhero name be?

Corporal Mediocre, because I’m not powerful enough to be a Captain.  Like Radar, in M.A.S.H., while everyone was oohing and aahing over the guy leaping tall buildings, I’d clean up the mess, and disappear before anyone knew I’d been there.

3.   Have you ever broken someone’s heart? If so, whose?

Not knowingly, or intentionally.  I did break a girl’s nose one time, but she shouldn’t have been standing so close to the door when she knew I was coming to pick her up.

4.   Is the pursuit or the capture better? Why?

Yes, and no….because, it depends on the target.  Sometimes it’s the thrill of the hunt, but, like a dog chasing a car, even if he caught it, he couldn’t drive it.  Other times, the goal is so valuable and worth-while, that the rigors of the chase are ignored in the pursuit of the fixated goal.  Sadly, sometimes we obtain exactly what we need and want, only to find that it isn’t.  Be careful what you wish for.

5.   What do you most wish you could do over?

With a view to “improving or changing” my current life?  Be born rich, instead of so damned handsome!  Actually, at my age, I’d like to do the whole damned thing over again.  I’d even put up with the dorky, slightly bullied childhood, for the chance to meet and get to know more people.  I can think of no specific life occurrence which was bad enough to need doing over.  Even if I could, the butterfly effect might ensure that the changed result would be even worse.  Let sleeping dogs lie, just don’t trip over them.

6.   Is it ever okay to put raisins in cookies? Why or why not?

Better to ask if it’s necessary to put cookie dough around these plump, juicy, tasty little nuggets.  No raisins in Oreos or Lemon Crisps, obviously, but Cowboy cookies, or brown sugar cookies, or oatmeal and raisin cookies (which, properly, should be raisin, and a bit of oatmeal, cookies) – Oh Yeah!  Some wino somewhere is sayin’, “I wish I had a couple of raisin cookies instead.”

7.   What’s the last compliment you were given?

I’m not sure if it was, “For a fat old fart, you don’t sweat much.” or, “You know, you’re not really as dumb as you look.”  At my age, I get complimented just for getting out of bed in the morning – well, afternoon usually.  Though five years younger than me, in the past couple of years, the wife’s physical deterioration has proceeded apace, while I, even pushing 70, remain a spry old guy.  As a way of thanking me for taking care of her, and just doing what needs to be done, the wife often compliments me.

8.   How important is the first kiss?

Oh so important!  It sets a tone.  Was it worth the wait?  Does it promise more, and even better to come?  Will the medication control the herpes?

9.   What’s the best name for a turtle, and why?

Bob – because – Bob!  What do you call a dog with no legs?  It doesn’t matter.  He’s not going to come when you call him.

10.  What do you wish people knew about you?

I’m as transparent as Swarovski crystal, and the Mississippi may have a bigger mouth.  I began this blog two years ago to get to know other bloggers, and for them to get to know me.  Any regular reader knows pretty much everything about me except my shoe size – just large enough to often insert in my mouth.  There was that one, “This has never happened to me before.” episode, but that’s not something I want people to know about.

That’s it folks.  Remember to wash your hands after reading the post, and please return soon, for another exciting episode of The Life and Times of Archon.

Liz

The couple of recent posts about cookies have reminded the wife and me about an ex-neighbor.  Far from stupid, she just suffered the all-too-common affliction of not noticing and not thinking.  A stay-at-home mother like the wife, she sometimes visited back and forth.

The first odd thing we noticed about her was strange eating habits.  She claimed to be Scottish, but no Scots ever acknowledged her.  Scots are frugal, for they’ve not got a lot to be frugal with.  One of her favorite snacks was to burn, not toast, two slices of bread.  Then she would slice pickled beets, and make a sandwich of them.  Maybe this treat had originated because of a need to consume food which would otherwise be wasted.

Perhaps a precursor to today’s entitled generation, she wanted what she wanted, Right F**kin’ Now, without the bother of work, or study.  Long an accomplished gardener, the wife had the entrance to our house nicely landscaped.  Liz complained that her place was so plain and bare.  The wife instructed her how to prepare a garden area, and told her to plant flowers in it.  She and her 14-year-old son prepared the bed, then she picked up some marigolds at a local nursery and planted them.

When the son came home from school, his first question was, “Mom, where are the flowers’ legs?”  She had buried them in the ground, up to their little chins – stems, leaves and all.  The little garden looked as if someone had plucked the blooms off and strewn them on the earth.

Next, she decided that she wanted a hanging basket like we had, and another neighbor went with her to the nursery and helped her pick out a nice one with petunias in it.  The nursery staff instructed her to pinch off mature seed-pods, to encourage continued blooms.  She complained to the neighbor that the stupid flowers bloomed at night when she couldn’t see them.  Turns out, she’d been pinching off all the ready-to-bloom buds.

Like our Chiropractor, her favorite cookies were ginger snaps.  She had to go to hospital a couple of times for extended treatments, and the wife visited with a can of cookies for a treat.  She pulled several of them from the tin, and stacked them within her fingers, like poker chips, all the same size and perfectly round.  She looked at the cookies, and then at the wife.  “I hate you.”  Like me and my Jeep parts, when you’ve made three-quarters of a million of them, you get consistent.

The wife instructed her how to make them, at our house.  After a miserable failure at home, she accused the wife of leaving out some ingredient or preparation step, so the wife agreed to visit her place the next time she wanted to try.  The mixing proceeded nicely.  Then she took out one cookie sheet, because that was all she had.  The wife has four aluminum sheets used only for cookies.  They are so clean and shiny that you can use them as mirrors.

Her only sheet was steel, and had been used for everything from baking squash, to roasting meat.  It was about the color of the dark-chocolate cookie buds.  Oh dear!  Well, if that’s what we have, that’s what we have to use.  When the oven came up to heat, the wife opened the door to insert the pan, and looked at the single rack.  It was down as far as it could go.  “Of course!  That’s where the heat is!” says Liz, and still didn’t understand why she had burned all the previous variously sized/shaped cookies.  The only baking she had done was to make Angel Food cake mix, and that is always baked on the bottom rack.

Her second husband was a police officer.  He went to work at 11 PM on a winter’s Sunday night.  At about 12:15, he got a radio message to call home.  Before cell-phones, he plugged a quarter in a pay-phone and called her.  She told him that the house was getting cold, as were the three kids.  She thought something must be wrong with the furnace.  He asked, “Did you check the fuse-box?”  She answered, “Oh Gord, don’t be stupid!”  He managed to locate a technician who made emergency calls, got him out of bed, paid him almost a week’s salary, and sent him over to the house.

For the week’s pay, the guy took her fuse, and screwed it into her fuse box.  “But Gord, it’s a gas furnace!  How was I supposed to know it ran on electricity?”

When pre-aged, stone-washed jeans were the rage, he decided he wanted some, but the store he went to was sold out.  How a mere man might know, is a mystery.  Perhaps one of his drug informants gave him the info.  You can pre-age bright blue jeans with bleach.  He bought two pairs of very expensive pants in regular finish, and gave them to her with the instruction to soak them with “a bit of bleach.”  She put both pairs in a large pail, poured an entire gallon of Javex bleach on them, and left them for a week.  He got back wet, pale-blue Kleenex.

A fun friend, and a nice companion to my house-bound wife, she was also the source of considerable unintentional humor.  When they sold their house up the street, she told the kaffee-klatch that it had gone to “The Curries.”  Oh, you know their names already?!  We discovered some unexpected racism when she explained, that was another term for “PAKIS– duh!”  Both families have moved several times and we have lost track.  The wife and I are still trying to decide if that’s a good thing or a bad one.