Starvation Wages

Horses

A beggar walked up to a well-dressed woman
shopping on Rodeo Drive and said,
“I haven’t eaten anything in four days.”
She looked at him and said,
“God, I wish I had your willpower.”

***

A blonde bought two horses and could never remember which was which.

A neighbor suggested that she cut off the tail of one horse, which worked great until the other horse got his tail caught in a bush.

The second horse’s tail tore in the same place and looked exactly like the other horse’s tail.

Our blonde friend was stuck again. The neighbor then suggested that she notch the ear of one horse, which worked fine until the other horse caught his ear on a barbed wire fence.

Once again, our blonde friend couldn’t tell the two horses apart.

The neighbor then suggested that she measure the horses for height.

When she did that, the blonde was very pleased to find that the white horse was 2 inches taller than the black one.

***
A man and a woman who have never met before find
themselves in the same sleeping carriage of a
train, after the initial embarrassment they both
go to sleep, the woman on the top bunk, the man on
the lower.
In the middle of the night the woman leans over
and says, “I’m sorry to bother you but I’m awfully
cold and I was wondering if you could possibly
pass me another blanket.”
The man leans out and with a glint in his eye,
says, “I’ve got a better idea … let’s pretend we’re married”
“Why not”, giggles the woman.
“Good”, he replies, “Get your own fucking
blanket!”

***

A couple are rushing into the hospital because the wife is going into labor. As they walk, a doctor says to them that he has invented a machine that splits the pain between the mother and father. They agree to it and are led into a room where they get hooked up to the machine.
The doctor starts it off at 20% split towards the father. The wife says, “Oh, that’s actually better.” The husband says he can’t feel anything.
Then the doctor turns it to 50% and the wife says that it doesn’t hurt nearly as much. The husband says he still can’t feel anything.
The Doctor, now encouraged, turns it up to 100%. The husband still can’t feel anything, and the wife is really happy, because there is now no pain for her.
The baby is born. The couple go home and find the postman groaning in pain on the doorstep.

***

How many Witches does it take to change a light bulb?
It depends on what we are trying to change it into.

***

How many gorillas does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Only one, but it sure takes a lot of light bulbs!

***

I asked my friend why he walked away from his last job.
He said the pay was so poor that he couldn’t afford a car

***

 

CANADA – FROM EH TO ZED

What Canada Is

Canada Infographic

It’s Canada Day. I thought I might humorously show what Canada is to those of us above the 49th.

An example of our acceptance of proximity to wildlife;
I just got a wrong-number text from someone saying, “Hey, can we use your pool? There’s a moose in ours.”

Doughnut: A small fried cake of sweetened dough, used to lure people into unnecessary meetings.

More than half of Canadians over 25 have some post-secondary schooling. In light of our love of learning, here are some smarty-pants zingers.
Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?
What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?
A photon checks into a hotel, and the bellhop asks him if he has any luggage.  The photon replies, “No, I’m travelling light.

Possible Canadian movie titles;
The Never-Ending Sorry
Gone With The Wind Chill
The Full Mountie

Canadian Flag

We’re noted for our kindly manners. Just look at this testimonial. An American I know, said that his brother lost his wallet in Canada on a trip, and someone shipped it back to him along with souvenirs.

Hockey rivalries between NHL teams are serious business.

Q: How many Edmonton Oilers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A:  None!  They just sit around in the dark and talk about how good it used to be.

A teacher asks her students what their dads do for a living. She gets the usual answers: firefighter, businessman, police officer.  When it’s Billy’s turn, he says, “My Father’s a criminal who robs banks.”  Shocked, she takes Billy out into the hall.  “My goodness,” she says, “I had no idea about your dad.”

“Well,” Billy replies, “My father actually plays for the Montreal Canadiens, but I was too embarrassed to admit that in front of everybody.”

We’re not above making fun of our neighbours south of the border.

Q: How can you tell the difference between Americans and Canadians?
A:  Canadians not only have a sense of humour, but they know how to spell it.

The Canadian dollar is so bad that, when a clerk accidently gives me an American nickel in change, I turn around and mutter, Suckerrr to myself.

Even the police get into it. A Regina Police report included the statement, “I always wonder how many of the incidents we investigate started with someone yelling YOLO.”

Canadians aren’t as friendly as they may appear. They stab trees, and feast on their blood.

I used to be in a band called Missing Cat. You probably saw our posters.
I dedicate this blog to my father, who was a roofer.  So Dad, if you’re up there….
Recently in court, I was found guilty of being egotistical.  Rest assured, I am appealing.

Sometimes Canadians aren’t so peaceful. If everyone in my life would just read the transcripts of my impassioned shower monologues, we wouldn’t have these communications issues.

It doesn’t matter what country you’re from, everybody makes mistakes.
What idiot called it a dad-bod, instead of a father figure?
What idiot said that their foot was asleep, not that they had coma-toes?
What idiot called them coffee-shop renovations, instead of Java updates?

STATISTICS

Every single Canadian is separated by 6 degrees
Shania Twain has worn 16 acres of denim in her lifetime
Thanks to larger hockey nets, Wayne Gretzky now says that you only miss 95% of the shots you don’t take.

*Me, petting my cat*
Cat: “This is as happy as I’ll ever be!”
*A door opens*
Cat: ”Now is my chance to flee this prison and never return.”

We’re true, North, and strong, but not free of bad habits. When I die, my ghost will probably haunt a fridge.

A nurse beckoned to one of the expectant fathers at the local hospital, and announced, “You’ve got a new son.” Immediately, another man rushed over and began to complain.  “Hey, what’s the idea?  I was here before he was.”

A mailman whose right pant leg was in tatters, limped into the Post Office. “What happened to you?” asked the Postmaster. “I was on my route when a big dog rushed out and bit me on the ankle.” the mailman explained. “Did you put anything on it?” asked the Postmaster. “No,” said the victim, “he liked it plain.”

Canadians love a good case of quick thinking. A game-warden is walking along an East-coast beach, when he spots a guy with a bucket of lobsters.  The officer walks over, flashes his badge and says, “You’re in big trouble boyo.  Poachin’ lobsters is a serious offence.” The man answers, “You’ve got it all wrong.  These lobsters are my pets.  Every morning I let them swim around in the ocean for a few minutes, and then I whistle them back in.”

Skeptically, the warden says, “Okay then, prove it.” The man proceeds to throw the lobsters into the ocean, and both he and the warden stand waiting.  After a couple of minutes, the officer looks at the man and says, “That’s enough time, now whistle your lobsters back in.” The fellow turns to the warden and says, “Lobsters?  What lobsters?”   😆

Canada Kicks Ass

Smitty’s Loose Change

Smitty's Loose Change

No more ‘Shotgun’, no more ‘Seinfeld’, no more ‘Triviana’ (at least for a while), I have a new title to list my stream of confused consciousness posts.  This one will be:

#1

***

Number 600

This is my 600th post!  No big deal, I just wanted you to know that I’ve (almost) got over my paranoia about where the next blog-theme is coming from.

***

I finally seem to have got both my mind and my publishing schedule straightened out – three posts a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In January, despite it having 31 days, I only published 11 times.  In February, despite it having only 29 days, I assaulted your optic nerves with 13 posts.

***

On March 26/16, I rolled out of bed at the crack of noon, stumbled downstairs wearing socks, YSL briefs and my usual befuddled look. As I was feeding and watering various animals, four-legged and two- legged, there was a discreet knock on my door.  Expecting the neighbor lady, I cracked it open and remained behind it.

I was confronted by a young female who was working with a group to organise a ‘Polar Bear Plunge’. I’m 72, and have to wear socks to bed to keep warm.  They’re going door to door for an April event??  Wha’ happen to a New Years bath?

***

I am on a National Do-Not-Call List, yet still get numerous phone calls from Pakistan where they can’t read Canadian law. Recently, the son added another way to fu….foul them up.

“Hello, could I please speak to the owner of the house?”
“No!  I’m sorry, he’s in jail right now.”
“Uh…. then who is speaking please?”
“I’m a bail-bondsman, doing an assessment so that we can repossess this place.”
…. Click!

***

When we bought this house, 15 years ago, it was owned as a place-holder, by a young newly-wed couple. They were having a house built in the next city, where he hoped to get on with the fire department.  Three years later, as the son was driving to work over there, he hit a patch of black ice, and got tee-boned.  His first words when he called to tell us, were, “The airbags work.”

A young fireman climbed into the back seat to support his neck (just in case) and also to provide emotional support. “Where ya from?” “Kitchener.” “Yeah, I lived in Kitchener for a while.” And the little light went on.  “Is your name Carl?  Is your wife’s name Cindy?  Did you used to live at xx  XXXX  Crescent?” Who are you, and how have you been reading my mail? “Yeah, we bought your house.  So, you made it into the Fire Department?  Thanks for coming out.”

***

I have to walk a block to pick up my mail at a community mailbox. We are getting to know Mr. Amazon really well – books, Keurig coffee pods, Puffs tissues with lotion, which don’t seem to be available in stores anymore.  Sometimes, with the mail, is a key to a larger, parcel box.  I remove the package and drop the key back in the mail slot.

I recently found a key, even though I wasn’t aware of anyone expecting anything. When I got home, I read the label, to know which co-conspirator to give it to, and found a sample pack of Similac baby food, addressed to Cindy.  Fifteen years we’ve been here.  She’s still havin’ kids, and giving out the same old, wrong address??!

***

I aided my computerless brother in getting tickets and lodging for The Brier, Canada’s big curling finale, in Ottawa. He took along his friend Norm, to split on gasoline and hotel expenses, thereby saving $625 over a nine-day stay.  When he called me with the details, he vowed that, if he ever goes again, he’ll do it solo, or find another partner.

I’ve written of Norm before. He’s a great believer in the ’24 hours in a day – 24 beers in a case’ credo.  My father said he’d never seen Norm without a beer in his hand – never drunk….but never sober.

One day, Norm insisted that they cross the river into Quebec, to get some cheap beer.  Beer in Ontario is $40.99/24case, or $1.71 each.  In Gatineau they put them 4 by 5 on a cardboard tray, stack three trays high, shrink-wrap 60 beers to a cube, and sell them for $61.  Add a bit of tax, and a 5 cent/can deposit that he’ll never get back, and each 55 pound lot cost him $73.00, or $1.21 each.

He bought 8 bundles, spending $584 to save $240 on 480 cans, or almost 500 pounds of beer, enough to last him a month or so.  They almost took the wheels off the hotel’s luggage cart when they moved it into their room.  Now the brother knows why he insisted on driving his new Ford F-150.

Archonology – The Next Generation

 

A couple of years ago, I wrote of finding an old English bus ticket from 1942, in an old book. If you didn’t read the post, you’ll have to take my word for it because, despite my impressive filing system, I can’t seem to find it.

Like father – like daughter.  Recently, LadyRyl picked up an old hard-cover book at a Thrift Store.  As she was reading it, out popped an old post card.  Anybody remember them??

Image

Isn’t this darling? And isn’t that pile of concrete impressive?  It has all the architectural magnificence of a Russian tenement.  What a building!  You just know that important stuff happens in there every day.  Stuff like….merchandise marting.  Kind of like the Pentagon of its day.

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Here’s the back, where the more interesting, human-interest stuff shows up. It was mailed on Jan. 9, 1946, from Chicago.  Who wants to be in Hell-frozen-over Chicago in January?  Sent home to Grand Rapids, Michigan – a 185 mile, 3-hour drive these days, but probably most of a day, back before Interstates.

It was sent to ‘Bobby’, but the phrase “be a good girl” says that she was Barbara Jane.  It cost a whole penny for the stamp to mail it.  Back before ZIP-codes were even a gleam in a bureaucrat’s eye, it was addressed to Ward (8) in Grand Rapids.

The aunt and uncle senders were Val & Al – too cute for words. I don’t think Big Al had much to do with this piece of mail.  Aunty says she tried to call Bobby’s father, “but the line was busy.”  The entire family seems well enough off to afford a trip to Chicago, and a telephone when most folks didn’t have them.  I’m amazed that the phone was busy.  Without Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, what could they have had to yak about?

It’s not quite as old as my bus ticket, but it’s further before her birth, than mine was for me.  Like me, Ryl is guarding and preserving this piece of historical ephemera.  It speaks quietly from the past, of a society and lifestyle, a little more gracious and courteous, and far less crowded and frenetic than the ‘modern’ one we endure today.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRAINRANTS!

Birthday Cake

I sent BrainRants a birthday present!

From comments on previous years’ posts, I knew that BrainRants’ birthday was some time late in January. Using stalker senses honed by sticking my nose into Cordelia’s Mom’s business, I found a link to the employment consultant who was aiding him in obtaining suitable civilian employment.

She’s a lovely lady. Wanting to surprise Rants, I sent her a package, along with a note, asking if she could discreetly forward it to Mrs. BrainRants.  No black helicopters came winging north over the border, only an email saying, “Can do, and did!”

Rants’ new bride doesn’t know me from Santa Claus.  Inside the shipping envelope I included another note, asking if she could hand him the final package on the fateful day.  She obviously knows of his blogging, and coterie of blog-friends.

Perhaps the arrival of strange bundles, delivered in odd ways, isn’t all that unusual. All I know is that the FBI didn’t ask the RCMP to stop around and ask some pointed questions.

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During my ongoing housecleaning, I realised that I possessed two commemorative medallions, one bronze, the other aluminum, honoring astronauts, and the Apollo 11 and 12, 1960s Moon Missions. Knowing of Rants’ interest in science, NASA and the moon, I wondered if he might have any interest in them.

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I included a shield-shaped Canada shoulder patch which I picked up the day I went to photograph the tank and Spitfire.  I doubt that he has uniforms anymore.  The army made him turn all his stuff in.  He would only wear one for a special occasion, and the Maple Leaf patch would not be allowed because it is non-regulation.

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No cost was spared when I packaged his coins in the Costco box I received my membership-renewal Christmas gift card in.

While not ‘strange’, my plan was unexpected and unannounced. Mrs. Rants was apparently willing to go along with it.  She sneaked out an email to confirm that she had received his gift, and presented it to him.  I received another, from him, thanking me for my little piece of thoughtfulness.

This sending of physical packages and actual printed letters seems almost outdated in today’s electronic society. I couldn’t use a drone, because the DC area is a no-fly zone.  Somebody, perhaps Rants himself, would have shot it down.

If you haven’t already, drop in to his site, wish him a Happy Belated Birthday, and really make him feel old. I had hoped that another gift might be the ability to announce that he has secured gainful and productive employment.  We waited – but none of us as hard as him, and now everyone’s wish has been granted.  He scored a job – cube-drone trainee, working under Dilbert.  Still got the training wheels on. Good Luck, Rants, and thanx.  😎

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The presents, as they sit proudly in Rants’ house, at an undisclosed location in the Eastern USA.   😆

 

Graffiti Grabbers

Executioner

I read about 250 books in the above series over the years. It started with a Special Forces soldier coming home from Viet Nam to avenge his family, murdered by ‘The Mob.’  Seeing the limitations of this story arc, after about 30 books, the hero ‘died’ and was reborn as an independent Government agent, fighting terrorists, although this was back in the ‘80s.  They weren’t called that, then.

In one book, the hero pursued an agent who was bombing American Federal Government buildings and installations, all the way to Detroit. He then crossed the Ambassador Bridge into Canada, just in time to see a bomb blow up a blue, street mailbox.

Mailbox

I’m still not sure what value the author felt blowing up a Canadian mailbox had – a few pizza shop flyers destroyed and somebody’s unemployment cheque (check, for Americans) lost.  What caught my attention was the fact that the (American) author had described the Canadian mailbox as blue.  American mailboxes are blue, Canadian mailboxes have always been British Red.

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Graffiti taggers’ ill manners and lack of respect for the property of others started leaking north across the American border, like the Emerald Ash Borer, and deer ticks with Lyme disease. The more OCD at Canada Post began to be concerned about the look of their mailboxes.

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They began a program of refinishing them with a glass crystal surface like that applied to subway cars in the movie Turk 182. It’s so smooth that, if the paint doesn’t fall off on its own, it can be wiped off with a dry cloth.  The only problem is, taggers just hate an empty surface, and will keep tagging, no matter how many times it’s cleaned.

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Canada Post solved that problem by adding random, jumbled Postal Codes, so that the boxes look like they’ve already been pre-graffitied – so neat – so clean – so much better. Right….

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Apparently they were not eagerly accepted, so Canada Post has come up with something a little more artistic.

I recently pulled into the subdivision, and there was a van parked, and a man in a work uniform in front of the neighborhood cable TV junction box. I thought someone might be upgrading to the new fiber-optic service.  As I drove past, I saw that the worker had a small paint tray and roller.  The name on the van was ‘Graffiti Grabbers.’  He was painting over the taggers’ marks.

When I got home, a quick research revealed that graffiti ‘artists’ created enough vandalism to keep the above, and two more cover-up companies busy. I guess we can’t all be bloggers and only sully each others’ cell phones, tablets, and computer screens.

Flash Fiction – Part 1

That title is incredibly optimistic.  It implies ongoing capability and commitment.  I accepted BrainRants’ challenge to write a short-short story.  Go to Rochelle’s, Addicted to Purple blog.  Each week, she publishes a picture.  You are to use the photo as a prompt, and write a complete story about it, in only 100 words.  Below is my first attempt.

PENSIVE

miriam-reubenShe paused to reminisce.  She wrote to her mother regularly, but so many things had happened.

Those years ago, as a newlywed, leaving the safety of New York for the wilds of the Oklahoma Territory with an ambitious husband, had seemed both a wild risk, and a marvelous adventure.

His tenacity, intelligence and canny business sense had combined to make him the proprietor of the greatest and finest Dry Goods Emporium in the Territory.

Being his family had made her and their beloved children both safe, and well taken care of.  Civilization continued to sprout around them.  Mother would be pleased.