’18 A To Z Challenge – K

 

Challenge '18Letter K

 

 

 

 

 

KIDNAPPED
BY Robert Louis Scribbledorffer

They did everything absolutely wrong!  If criminals were smart enough to get a real job, they wouldn’t be criminals, would they?

My wife and I were kidnapped, for the big ransom that my ‘rich’ father would pay.  One of them lived to regret it.  I don’t.  Dad’s money is all tied up in investments.  With the economic downturn, he’s barely making the mortgage payments on his ‘mansion.’  Besides, even though I’m an only child, I’m still not Dad’s favorite son.  They didn’t research that very well.

They got into the house somehow.  The first we knew of it was when one of them flicked the bedroom lights on at 3AM.  We woke to two scruffy oafs in balaclavas, waving guns at us, telling us to get out of bed.  They secured our hands behind us with nylon zip-ties, and prodded us in bare feet and pyjamas, outside into the back of their van.

The ‘leader’ warned us not to yell, or he’d shoot us.  It wasn’t till I really woke up that I realized that a dead hostage gathers no ransom, but they might have shot my wife, and I don’t know whether the neighbors would have roused, that late at night.

They didn’t blindfold us.  I’d seen their van, though not the licence.  I watched through the windows as we drove, at every street and every turn.  I saw their house when we arrived.  I could find this place in my sleep.  That worried me.  Did they intend to kill us?

They herded us into a back bedroom, and made us sit on the bed while they added zip-ties around our ankles.  Then they turned to walk out.  I yelled, “Hey, you can’t just leave us like this.  I have to piss!”  The Boss said, “Tough, hold it.”  Speaking of pissed – if I wasn’t before, I was then.

It is said, that a dog can strain against a leather leash, until it rots – or snap it with the first lunge.  I had no room for lunges, but I could certainly strain hard.  As soon as they left, I looked around the room.  On the far wall was a mirrored aluminum dressing table with squared-edged legs.  I rolled/crawled over to it, and put my back against it, and started rubbing the nylon wrist tie against the corner.

By the time baddy #2 came back in, the next morning, the wife and I were both a sodden mess.  He tipped half a bottle of water into each of us, and turned to leave.  Without much hope of it, I asked, “What about some food?”  He replied, “You better hope your Father brings some pizza, when he drops off our money.”

He came back with some more water later that afternoon, and again the next morning.  We, and the bedroom, got wetter and smellier, how demeaning.  Between the visits, it was a constant rub, scrape, rub, scrape.  Finally, on the second afternoon, just before I thought he might come in for our water break, the zip-tie parted.

I found a nail-clipper, and managed to get the tie at my ankles off.  That was about the best thing in the bedroom for a weapon, unless I wanted to hit him with a pillow.  I quickly rubbed full circulation back into my hands and feet, and moved to check the door – unlocked – well, of course, this is just someone’s house.

I risked a cautious look.  The bedroom opened into the kitchen, and there was no-one in sight.  I quickly eased out.  All kitchen knives must be in drawers, and I couldn’t risk making a noise, rummaging around, so I grabbed a heavy frying pan off the stove.

I peeked around the corner, into the living room.  The apprentice dummy was standing, looking out the little window beside the door.  I quietly padded across the rug behind him, quickly, before he smelled me.  Just as I raised the fry pan to knock him unconscious, he opened the door.

There, just outside, was ‘The Brains’ of the pair, coming back with a bag of groceries.  In desperation, I quickly swung.  Later, the police pathologist said that, instead of catching him with the flat of the pan behind the ear, I caught him in the first cervical vertebra, with the edge.  It crushed the bone and severed his spinal cord.  He died instantly, and dropped like a rock.

Still not too firm on my recently-shackled feet, he took me down with him.  Boss-man gaped, then dropped the food, leapt forward, and began clawing at his kidney area, I assumed, to draw his gun.  As I fell, I did the only thing I could.  On the way down, I backhanded him in the knee with the frying pan….  And another bad guy dropped like a rock – this one screaming until his face smacked into the floor, and he lost his gun.

They were armed.  I acted in self-defence.  Two minor, known-to-police hoodlums with guns, out of circulation, a dozen minor crimes solved, no-one said a word about the fact that one of them was dead.  Instead, I got a Civic Medal of Bravery, a television interview, and a book deal.

I was told that the ringleader will walk – not out of jail – but out of the prison hospital ward, once he gets a new knee and kneecap to replace the one I smashed.  Dad claimed that he tried to get the $2 million, but, you know….the markets – the banks.  Gee, thanx Dad.

We got showers and clean clothes at the police station where we made our statements and ate Whoppers and fries, a little book royalty to augment income, a new respect from neighbors and coworkers, and best of all, NO PTSD.  Guns and all, it was hard to take ‘Boris and Natasha’ seriously.  What an adventure!  Let’s not do it again.   😯

 

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Idiot Sighting #2

Dumb

Idiot # 1

I am a medical student currently doing a rotation in toxicology at the
poison control center. Today, this woman called in very upset because
she caught her little daughter eating ants. I quickly reassured her that
the ants are not harmful and there would be no need to bring her daughter into the hospital. She calmed down, and at the end of the conversation happened to mention that she gave her daughter some ant poison to eat in order to kill the ants. I told her that she better bring her daughter into the Emergency room right away.

Idiot # 2

Seems that a year ago, some Boeing employees on the airfield decided to steal a life raft from one of the 747s. They were successful in getting it out of the plane and home. When they took it for a float on the river, a Coast Guard helicopter coming towards them surprised them. It turned out that the chopper was homing in on the emergency locator beacon that activated when the raft was inflated. They are no longer employed at Boeing.

Idiot # 3 – A true story out of San Francisco:

A man, wanting to rob a downtown Bank of America, walked into the branch and wrote “this iz a stikkup. Put all your muny in this bag.” While standing in line, waiting to give his note to the teller, he began to worry that someone had seen him write the note and might call the police before he reached the teller’s window. So he left the Bank of America and crossed the street to Wells Fargo.

After waiting a few minutes in line, he handed his note to the Wells Fargo teller. She read it and, surmising from his spelling errors that he wasn’t the brightest light in the harbor, told him that she could not accept his stickup note because it was written on a Bank of America deposit slip and that he would either have to fill out a Wells Fargo deposit slip or go back to Bank of America.

Looking somewhat defeated, the man said, “OK” and left. He was arrested a few minutes later, as he was waiting in line back at Bank of America.

Idiot # 4

A motorist was unknowingly caught in an automated speed trap that measured his speed using radar and photographed his car. He later received in the mail a ticket for $40 and a photo of his car. Instead of payment, he sent the police department a photograph of $40. Several days later, he received a letter from the police that contained another picture, this time of handcuffs. He immediately mailed in his $40.

Idiot # 5

Guy walked into a little corner store with a shotgun and demanded all the cash from the cash drawer. After the cashier put the cash in a bag, the robber saw a bottle of scotch that he wanted behind the counter on the shelf. He told the cashier to put it in the bag as well, but the cashier refused and said, “Because I don’t believe you are over 21.” The robber said he was, but the clerk still refused to give it to him because he didn’t believe him.

At this point the robber took his driver’s license out of his wallet and gave it to the clerk. The clerk looked it over, agreed that the man was in fact over 21 and he put the scotch in the bag. The robber then ran from the store with his loot. The cashier promptly called the police and gave the name and address of the robber that he got off the license. They arrested the robber two hours later.

Idiot # 6

A pair of Michigan robbers entered a record shop nervously waving revolvers.  The first one shouted, “Nobody move!” When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him.

Idiot # 7 Arkansas:

Seems this guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he’d just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. Seems the liquor store window was made of Plexi-Glass. The whole event was caught on videotape.

Idiot # 8 Ann Arbor:

The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 12:50 A.M., flashed a gun and demanded cash.  The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away.

 

Another Challenge – Day 2

Another Challenge

#2 – How have you changed in the last two years?
I have not spent more than 70 years, getting my life into the optimum shape, doing the best I can with what little I’ve got, to go changing it at this late date.  Indeed, as my abilities and limits wane at an inverse rate to my age, I can’t afford to go changing things right now.  I am somewhat limited in chances to correct any poor decisions.  I don’t want to have to say, ‘Time’s awasted!’

The technological lifestyle thunders forward at warp speed, unchecked. I can barely keep up with what other people are changing on me.  I recently took the wife to the hospital, to register for her second knee-replacement surgery.  As her caretaker, I had to be able to be contacted.  The nurse demanded my cell-phone number, and was aghast and astounded when I insisted that I didn’t own one.  Hey, I’m all the way up to Windows7, what more do you want??

The Chinese have a curse which says, “May you live in interesting times.” ‘Interesting’, in that context, means frustrating, challenging, and perhaps dangerous. ‘Jackass’ is a show by, for, and about, young….jackasses.

#30 – What changed this month, and what do you hope will happen next month?

Things change every month, but I assume that this question refers to any significant change(s).  I made all desirable, big changes years or decades ago.  I’ll assume that a new brand of toothpaste doesn’t count.  I grow a little older, a little weaker, a little achier, a little poorer, a little more forgetful.  Next month, I hope for more of the same, but with less of an increase in all of them.

If we’re talking about “hope”, and not reality, then I hope that the son wins a lottery.  Maybe he could get enough money to send the wife and I away on trips, to get us out of his hair, or purchase a nice manor-type house with a granny-suite….probably with a bank-vault-type door between the two sections.

My number of published blog-posts changed upward this month. I hope that I’m still here next month, pushing my numbers up, but not pushing daisies up.  The only change I want, is change for a $20 – and I only gave the clerk a ten.   😛  Oh, and I want you guys to keep coming back to visit and read….but that’s no change.

Six Years A Blogger

calendar

Six years ago today, November 21, 2011, I burst upon the scene, and published my first blog-post. For H E Ellis, that’s 2192 days, exactly twice the count of my three-year celebration post, because I got to include another leap year.  Even without BrainRants’ interference assistance, they begin to add up.

Scottish Flag

Unlike the movie, 19 Years A Slave, I was not kidnapped and forced into servitude, but one way or another, I’ve become a willing slave to this lifestyle.

This is post number 843. I have lots more jokes for the bi-weekly comedy posts, and, between the 100-word Flash Fictions, and the WOW language essays, I get another post per week.  The A To Z Challenge helps flesh out the schedule.

I’ve just about run out of interesting anecdotes about my childhood, or work history, and, while they piss me off regularly, I can’t risk boring you with oft-repeated rants about religion, whether Christian or Muslim. I may have to soften my self-imposed publishing schedule, and cut back to only two posts a week.

I have a few blog-themes in a Word file, and I hope to get to at least 1000 posts before I have to give it up. Any suggestions or some ‘We’ll Miss You’ encouragement would be appreciated.

Today is the day that the wife goes in for knee-replacement surgery on the second leg. This time, she will be the first surgery of the day, and I have to have her to the registration desk at the hospital by 6:00 AM.

For two old fogies with a strange wake/sleep schedule, this means that, after I publish this post, we may get an hour or so nap, and then leave for the hospital at 5 AM, when we usually head for bed. It won’t matter for her.  They’ll medicate her, and she’ll sleep all day.  Me on the other hand….  😕

She goes in today, and gets out on Thursday. On Friday I have to take her to a physiotherapy clinic.  The physiotherapist(?) for the first knee never touched her.  He just came to the house and handed out Xeroxed exercise sheets.  She recovered so quickly and pain-free the first time, that this time she gets gym workouts immediately.  I’ll probably bore you with tales of She Who Must Be Obeyed-versus-hospital bureaucracy in a week or so.

I’ll be busy/distracted for the next few days. Don’t worry if I’m a bit slower than usual with comment replies, or miss a post.  Things should be back to their normal level of strange by early next week.  I’ll see you then.  Let’s see….What do I owe you??  Comedy??  Okay, laughs it is!   😆

 

Old Coots’ Horseless Carriages

The government allows the daughter 6 pain-med infusion treatments a year, so they are 8 or 9 weeks apart. Any further than that and the treatment wears off, and her pain levels mount quickly.  My hour drives up the highway with her are always on Tuesdays, because that’s when the doctor schedules the clinic in the hospital.

Late in July, the doctor wanted to take some vacation time, and set up a clinic on a Friday, so that people like the daughter wouldn’t have to go a couple of extra painful weeks. This was the Friday of the ‘Cruisin’ On King Street’ annual old-car show.

After the hour drive home, I dropped her off at her place, and walked a block into the big park where they were marshalling the cars. I took along my camera, and took photos of some of the older vehicles that caught my attention.

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1931 Ford ‘Vickie’ Crown Victoria

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Late ’60s Corvette, blah in straight white, side scoop should be contrasting color.

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1932 ‘Deuce’ coupe cabriolet, (convertible/soft-top) an “any color, as long as it’s black” that Ford never provided.

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It was reported that a 1939 Ford truck was the oldest vehicle in the show….and yet, here’s a 1923 ‘Bucket T’ model Ford, but it’s a kit car, with Fiberglas body and all-new frame and running gear.  While the ‘model’ is ’23, the hot rod is 2007.

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Another Coupe, this one with hard-top and rumble seat, and hot-rod wheels.

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A 1939 red Dodge Saloon, looking very much like my ’39 Pontiac, but with custom wheels.

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Now, that shade of green, or the blue above, would complement that ‘Vette.

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A 1961 VW Bug, not even ‘hopped up’, just prettified.

Back in the 60s, car companies and individuals had ideas about ‘Cars Of The Future.’ A few of them worked out – most didn’t.  We actually went back to ‘cars of the past’ for a few.  The PT Cruiser was mainly successful, while the Chevy SSR car, and the HHR van/truck didn’t fare as well.

Here are four 1960s artistic concept cars.

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A bit too Avant Garde, but this concept became the Chevy ‘El Camino’ and the Ford ‘Ranchero.’

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The Corvette’s grandfather.  Look at the models in these photos, and the clothes, shoes and hairdos.  They certainly weren’t advertising to the oil-soaked wrench jockeys.

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Somebody wanted to go back and recreate a 1923 T-Bucket Hot Rod with new engine and running gear. It was very much a niche market, and the private builders were more than enough to supply the market.

I titled my post a couple of  years ago, “Wasted Days.”  This day was definitely not a waste.  😎

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.

2017 A To Z Challenge – E

Challenge2017

I know that, according to my own, self-imposed schedule, I should have had a post composed and ready to publish today, about the letter

Letter E

Just about the time the daily A to Z Challenge bloggers were posting their offerings for the letter E, I contracted a case of 48-hour flu. By the time I got back to the computer, it was too late to acquire a list of possible theme words.  Between the virus-induced mental incapacitation and the lack of inspiration, nothing got written.

The situation was made worse by bureaucracy. One of the drive motors on the daughter’s power wheelchair seized, and Murphy worked overtime to ensure clerical catastrophe.  What should have been a (bad enough) two weeks inconvenience, has become more than three months of dragged-on denial of service, before the Provincial disability office finally decided that it’s too expensive to repair a 13-year-old chair.

New rules say that, since she doesn’t need it all the time, she can’t have a new one.  Now she has to break in a new case worker, and jump through all the hoops to find an acceptable handicap scooter, for which the Government will (eventually) pay monthly rent.  Winter cabin fever was bad enough.  Now, the nice summer weather is here, and she still can’t get outside and be independent.

Besides the afternoon-long, hour drive up the highway and back, for her anti-pain treatment, this means that I have taken her shopping several times, to the Farmers’ Market, twice to her dentist, once to the next city to pick up cheap, bulk, dog and cat food, and each week to a counselling forum which helps her deal with the physical and emotional problems of having her loving, supportive son 500 kilometers away.

Eighteen months after being told that the wait time would be 12 months, the wife was finally contacted by her orthopedic surgeon, (the same guy who installed my artificial shoulder ten years ago) and was told that her first knee replacement, the right, was a go.  This required two trips to the hospital to fluff their paperwork.  The first was a mere two hours, the second, an extended, four hour clerical comedy show.  At least it’s finally going ahead.  On June 27th, Hobble-Along Cassidy meets Dr. Stabby McStab-Stab in a dance to the death.

All of this means that, instead of having time to write my usual, knife-sharp, crystal-clear, diamond-hard posts which inform and entertain you, you are being afflicted with this whiny, apologetic, idiosyncratic, fogbank collection of Excuses, for my E contribution.

Thanx for your sympathy, and I hope to see you in a couple of weeks with something a little more solid, for the fabulous letter F.