WOW #45

Moping Emoji

I was gonna do the post for this word earlier. I really was. It’s not procrastination. I was in a blue funk.  Even though blue is my favorite color, I just couldn’t seem to find a reason to tell you about

MOPERY

All the interesting words that I could come up with, and I managed to find one that means

Noun

The actions or attitude of a person who is sunk in dejection or listless apathy, sulking, brooding, or dejected

I thought that ‘listless’ meant that I wasn’t keeping up with my 2019 A To Z Challenge words, but I found that it just means ‘not interested’ or ‘indifferent.’ I don’t give a damn.

Then I found out that someone had opened a Papa John’s Pizza outlet, right down the hill from me. We really needed one. Within a two-block stretch we only had a Gino’s, Topper’s, Little Caesar’s, Domino’s, and Double-Double. I need a little variety in my life. The Pizza Hut, just up the street, closed some years ago, so I guess it’s karma that the second pizza chain that John started is now here to tingle my taste-buds.

pizza

An all-meat pizza with hot sauce, and I’m out of my funk, and back to Funk and Wagnall’s dictionary for my next WOW. See you there.

How To Be Taken Seriously

Serious

PLEASE ENSURE MIND IS IN MOTION BEFORE ENGAGING MOUTH

Whoever you are, whether Christian Apologist, Flat Earther, Immigration Protester, or Climate Change Warrior, to be taken seriously, it really helps if you get your facts straight before you start spouting off.

It does little good for the Pope to insist that the Bible is inerrant and free of contradictions, when one of God’s commandments is, “Thou shalt make no graven images.’ and two chapters later, God instructs, “Thou shalt make two graven silver cherubim, and place them at each end of the Ark of the Covenant.”

I’m all for combating global warming, but a do-gooding tree-hugger recently had this op-ed published; Aircraft exhaust 10 or 11 kilometers above the Earth’s surface is thought to have considerably more polluting effect per person-mile, than automobile exhaust at ground level, per person-mile.

I’m not sure what his point was. Only transcontinental flights go up to 40,000 feet – 10/11 kilometers. The pollution from a few thousand flyers each day is much more than offset by the total of hundreds of millions of cars driving around. He could fight a more down-to-Earth battle. He’s tilting at one little Dutch windmill, when there are thousands of giant wind-turbines ruining people’s lives in the name of ecology.

Your favorite jovial old tundra-dweller recently became aware of ‘Blue Monday,’ the third Monday in January. It’s not something that affects me. A sociologist did a somewhat un-scientific study. He took into account things like the weather – cold and snow, the lack of sunlight for the last month, friends and family visitors who have now left, the shopping hassles of Christmas, back to work after some time off, and now the bills arriving. He felt that Blue Monday would be the day that cumulative depression would be most likely to affect/be noticed/felt by the average North American.

Immediately, the usual suspects began their howling. Psychologists, and counsellors whined that the day somehow belittled people with depression, when it actually raises people’s awareness of the condition and its causes.

One denier objected to the way the day was chosen, complaining that, “It’s like adding the speed of your jogging to the color of an apple.” And yet psychologists and penologists know that certain colors of prison uniforms and cells help calm prisoners down. One Arizona Sheriff makes his inmates wear hot pink overalls, and violence has reduced significantly.

It should be taken seriously, yet it is no more real that the chubby Santa Claus that Coca-Cola invented. Speaking of people who don’t know what they are talking about, a local radio announcer doesn’t get it. He claimed that, “It is the most depressing day of the year.” It is not the day that is depressing. It is merely the point in time when all the previous depressing influences come together in a confluence – like the perfect wave – and people are most likely to feel depressed.

A newspaper story about a truck crash wrote of ‘semi-tractors.’ (Surely, they are semi-trailers?) In another, a 10-year-old boy wrote to every automaker in the world, and requested ‘decals.’ He got back a hub-cap, hood ornaments, trunk logos, and key-fobs…. because, aside from those little generic warnings on your car windows – auto-makers don’t use ‘decals.’  I don’t know what he (or the article writer) thought ‘decals’ were.

First my Dismantling of Faith post, then all of these, in one week. Does nobody pay attention to the details of reality anymore? It helps, if you want to be taken seriously.

A To Z Challenge – L

april-challenge

I had an L of a time deciding what to write about for the letter

letter-l

I’ve decided to say a few (hah!) words about

LEVITY

noun, plural levities.

lightness of mind, character, or behavior; lack of appropriate seriousness or earnestness.

an instance or exhibition of this.

Anyone who has read more than a ‘few’ of my words, is probably aware that my writing – in fact my life – is crammed to the scuppers with jokes and humor and comedy. Everyone deserves a smile or two each day.  More than that, there should be a mandatory, Minimum Daily Intake of humor.

Laughing releases feel-good endorphins. It’s almost as good as sex, and group comedy is almost as good as….No it’s not, but it’s still good.  Group humor is the social lubricant that glides tension and stress away.  Sharing a couple of jokes in emails, or at lunch, or around the water cooler makes our lives and our jobs so much easier to take.

It’s all well and good to take your life, your job or your marriage seriously, but All Work And No Play – can make Jack a real pain in the ass. Anger turned outward is aggression.  Anger turned inward is depression, but anger turned sideways….is humor.   😆

Just as science-fiction helps its readers take a serious alternate view of the world and its social situations and problems, humor can accomplish the same, in a light-hearted, nonthreatening manner. Subjects and situations that are a bit too touchy or taboo to discuss or even think about – can be gently joked about, thinking initiated, and solutions suggested.

I even disagree to a certain extent with the, “lack of appropriate seriousness or earnestness” portion of the above definition.  Anything, or anybody, who claims to be so important that he/it shouldn’t be joked about, is exactly what needs to have a little (or a lot) of levity applied to its thin skin.

Levity is my fall-back position. If I can’t think of something to write about….publish some jokes.  That’s why H in this series was for Humor, and J was for Jokes, to apologise for that insipid I post.  Don’t ever think just because I or someone else is telling jokes, that we are not taking the subject, or life in general, seriously.  This a serious essay, about a serious subject.

Gerry Seinfeld and a friend once spent an hour debating whether to use the word ‘a’ or ‘the’ in a joke.  He replaced the word ‘dog’ with the more specific ‘German Shepherd’ in a limp joke about a blind skydiver – and the new wording killed.

When I went to the online dictionary, to pick up the exact meaning of Levity, I came upon the following definition.  I’ve included it to show you just how hard I work to levitate all my levity to you.   That’s no joke.

Definitions for lucubrate
to work, write, or study laboriously, especially at night.
to write learnedly.

 

 

Oops

Mommy & Uncle Paul

 ‘Hello?’

‘Hi, honey. This is Daddy. Is Mommy near the phone?’

‘No, Daddy. She’s upstairs in the bedroom with Uncle Paul.’

After a brief pause, Daddy says, ‘But honey, you haven’t got an Uncle Paul.’

‘Oh, yes I do, and he’s upstairs in the room with Mommy, right now.’

Brief Pause.

‘Uh, okay then, this is what I want you to do. Put the phone down on the table, run upstairs, knock on the bedroom door and shout to Mommy that Daddy’s car just pulled into the driveway.’

‘Okay, Daddy, just a minute.’

A few minutes later the little girl comes back to the phone.

‘I did it, Daddy.’

‘And what happened, honey?’

‘Well, Mommy got all scared, jumped out of bed with no clothes on and ran around screaming. Then, she tripped over the rug, hit her head on the dresser and now she isn’t moving at all!’

‘Oh, my God!!! What about your Uncle Paul?’
‘He jumped out of the bed with no clothes on, too. He was all scared and he jumped out of the back window and into the swimming pool. But I guess he didn’t know that you took out the water last week to clean it. He hit the bottom of the pool and I think he’s dead.’
Long Pause
Longer Pause
Even Longer Pause
Then Daddy says, ‘Swimming pool? …………
Is this 486-5731?’
No, I think you have the wrong number …

*

Kids’ Logic

6-year-old Jimmy, a precocious kid, always told everyone he wanted to be a doctor when he grew up.
One day as Jimmy was running through his house playing, he ran into the corner of a table and hurt his eye.
Being a little kid, Jimmy cried for a while but also kept saying, “Oh no, now I can never be a doctor when I grow up.”

Jimmy’s mom trying to reassure him told Jimmy that he could still be a doctor but Jimmy kept insisting that he couldn’t.

Finally she asked, “Why can’t you be a doctor, Jimmy?”

Holding one hand over his injured eye, Jimmy said, “Because now I will have to be a pirate!”

***

The doctor explained to Jenkins that he had a serious ailment for which an operation was absolutely imperative.
The patient turned pale and asked, “Isn’t it very dangerous? “
“Yes,” the doctor replied. “Five out of six who undergo this operation die, but as for you, you have nothing to worry about. “
“Why not?” eagerly inquired the patient.
“Well, you’re sure to recover, because my last five patients died,” the doctor reassured him.

***

Two men were sitting at the Club, and one said, Say, how is that gorgeous secretary of yours?  Oh, I had to fire her.  Fire her!  How come??  Well, it all started a week ago last Thursday, on my 49th birthday.  I was never so depressed.  What has that got to do with it??  Well, I came down for breakfast, and my wife never even mentioned my birthday.  A few minutes later, the kids came downstairs, and I was sure they would wish me a Happy Birthday, but not one word.

As I say, I was most depressed, but when I arrived at the office, my secretary greeted me with a big Happy Birthday, and I was glad that someone had remembered.  At noon, she suggested that it was a beautiful day, and that she would like to take me to lunch at a nice intimate little place in the country.

Well, it was nice, and we enjoyed our lunch and a couple of martinis.  On the way back to the office, she said it was much too nice a day to go back to work, and suggested that we go to her apartment, where she would get me another martini.

That also appealed to me, and after a drink and a cigarette, she asked to be excused so that she could go into the bedroom and change into something more comfortable.  A few minutes later, the bedroom door opened, and out came my secretary, my wife and two kids with a birthday cake, singing Happy Birthday, and there I sat, wearing nothing but my socks.

OOPS!

Pick A Number

This will be a list with numbers, just not a numbered list.

We had two women start work at the auto-parts plant at the same time.  I don’t know how long they had known each other, possibly from high-school.  They had worked together at a cookie plant.  When times got tight, and they both got laid off there, they both got a job just outside the city, at a chicken processing/packing plant.  When that company had to cut back, they both came to work for us.

Like the Polish Contessa at the deli, they both came to work immaculately turned out.  They wore clothing to a vinyl-parts plant, better than I would wear to church, if I attended church, perfectly coiffed and full makeup, with gorgeous nails.  After about a year, one of them managed to swing a job in the office, as the general manager’s assistant.  About the same pay, but with office hours and better working conditions, if you didn’t mind being on your knees under the desk, looking for the cigar.

When the other one got transferred to my line, as the inspector/packer, I found how she kept the gorgeous nails.  She had most of the guys, excluding me, beguiled into doing a large portion of her work.  She suddenly started yelling at me one day.  “Don’t do that!  Oh, that’s horrible!  Don’t do it!”  I found out that I had yawned, and she saw the back of my throat.  Another day, she suddenly wailed, “Oh, that’s terrible!  I hate that! Why did that have to happen to me!??  Uck!”  It turned out that a drop of water, distilled from the muggy air had fallen on her from the mold-chiller pipe.  It doesn’t come much purer, especially in a manufacturing plant.  I often wondered how she had conceived and bore two children.  I did not wonder why she had an ex-husband.

The wife and I are not butterflies.  We have always planned long-term, and have done more so as we age.  In almost 45 years of marriage, we have lived only five places, the last three, 18 years, 13 years, and we’ve been in this house for 10 years and expect to go out feet-first.

Despite the work I’ve done on it, the back lawn gets more and more uneven from ant hills, worm castings and frost heave.  We have flower beds along the fences but have turned them more to shrubs and bushes.  The disabled wife loves to garden, but finds moving across the lawn increasingly difficult.  As a result, most of the flowers we have, are in pots, on or beside the back deck, or in planters, hanging from fence posts.  Since they’re not in the ground, they require daily watering.

To facilitate this, we have five 55 US gal. plastic barrels catching rain water.  One is at the front of the house, under the porch downspout.  Three more are at the side of the house, on concrete paving stones.  I diverted the rear downspout and ganged the three together with hoses.  When one fills, the overflow fills the other two.  There is one more, at the back of the property which I filled by hand, as a last resort against drought.  As the mobile mate, it is my daily job to take water from these barrels to the plants.

Early in the season, when the plants are few and small, it only requires one two gallon watering can to do them.  As the season progresses, and the wife pots more plants, and they all grow, the task grows with them.  We planted three tomato plants for home consumption, and those babies want water.  Soon I add a small long-spout waterer, then we include a larger long-spout for the hanging baskets.  Then it goes to two of the two gallon, plus the two smaller.  I think I’ve reached the max by now.  I now need to lug two of the small, two of the medium and five of the two-gallon.  Come on, weight-loss!

When I was making 450 Jeep parts a day, I thought of the old Tennessee Ernie Ford song, I Load Sixteen Tons.  I asked the Quality Control guy one day how much each part weighed.  The answer, the next day was, 18.2 pounds, times 450 parts/day equals 8200 pounds.  But wait, I had to lift that off one production table and place it on the press, and then remove the same weight in finished parts and place them on the inspection table, so I moved it twice, for a total of 16400 pounds a day.  No wonder I have to watch my weight, now that I’m retired.

With all the roofs and pavement and hard-packed lawns, the city has trouble dealing with storm-water runoff when it rains, so they’ve instituted a runoff levy to pay to upgrade the system.  If you catch, hold and slowly release 13,000 liters of water, you get the levy refunded.  Despite the fact that I’ve been doing this for years, my five barrels only total 10,000 liters.  There was a company selling rain barrels at the Cherry Festival, but even if I could squeeze in one more, it would only get me to 12,000.

Also for years, we have composted garden and kitchen scraps.  They disappear and come back as more top-soil the wife can use in her gardens.  We have four composters, two near the house, handy for kitchen waste, and two more at the back for garden scrap.  We also have one Green-Cone Digester.  As the name says, it’s a flat-topped green cone, almost as big as the composters.  Inside, with about a half-inch of air-space, is another black plastic cone.  These two trap and hold solar energy, so that this thing can break down stuff like meat and bones that can’t go in a regular composter.

My Depression-trained Scottish mother and relatively low income have taught us how to conserve and stretch our resources.  We were reducing our carbon footprint long before others had heard the words.