Jack Fell Down

Jack fell down and broke his crown, and bureaucracy damn near killed him.

Actually, it was the wife who fell down.  She was just pulling up her pants after using the main-floor washroom, when her tinnitus, and other inner ear disorders upset her balance, and she keeled over backward, smacking her head against the door, and the floor.  Then followed five minutes of painful wriggling to move far enough so that the son and I could get the door open and help her up.

With COVID distancing mandates, it was three days before she even got a telephone interview with her doctor.  The doctor called at 2:00 PM.  When she heard of headaches, sleeping for 12/14 hours, and slurred speech, she suddenly insisted that we attend her clinic, immediately.

At 3:00 o’clock, she found bruising, and a droopy eye.  What we took to be a mild concussion, might be internal cranial bleeding.  She needs to know ASAP!  The city has two hospitals, but only one, shared, MRI machine.  A scheduled appointment could take weeks – too long.  She apologized, but said that, the only way to ensure an MRI today, is to go and sit in Emergency for seven hours.  Eventually, it will get done.

At 4:00 o’clock, we got the wife registered at Emerge.  It seemed simple.  Take the doctor’s work order out of the fax machine, and do the test as soon as a tech could be scheduled.  First, we waited twenty minutes to see a triage nurse.  She checked blood pressure, heart rate, blood-oxygen percentage and temperature, and directed us to the dreaded waiting room.  After another twenty minutes, another nurse showed up with a small cart, and took a blood sample for testing, and warned of a later urine sample requirement, and the need to see the on-call doctor before anything is done.

Then we settled in for the siege.  It is not first come – first served!  We know that she will be seen after the guy who slashed his fingers in a DIY accident, the woman with a bloody nose running down her face, and the young man knocked off his bicycle in traffic.  If we have to wait (and wait, and wait), at least we could enjoy the floor show.  Stupidity and larceny are in plentiful supply.

A chubby street hooker, with more ink than the New York Times, but no obvious distress, showed up.  A young homeless (?) woman, with a giant backpack and two stuffed shopping bags, managed to find a seat in the crowded room, to get out of the rain.  A young, female addict, who survived a minor overdose, stormed out and across the parking lot, still wearing the hospital’s blanket, and screaming, “Get away from me!  I don’t want to have anything to do with you!” at a boyfriend who has had enough, and is already half a block away.

Two security guards have an office with security monitors, just inside the entrance.  We caught a glimpse of them rushing outside, and chasing someone around the building.  Two male, and one female, Police officers patrol in and around the Emergency ward.  I looked for Tasers, but in tight quarters they might get grabbed.  At 6:00, I got her a coffee, and me a hot chocolate from the in-house Tim Hortons outlet, upstairs.  At 7:00 I got her a buttered tea-biscuit, and me a crème-cheese bagel.  It’s going to be a long night, and her diabetes needs to be fed.

At 8:00 a patrol-car cop brings in a young, female shoplifter.  He’s wearing a Taser, and she’s wearing handcuffs in front of her.  The wife later said that, around midnight, two cops brought in three young males involved in a bar fight, not only handcuffed behind, but also connected to ankle shackles.  One of them wailed that, He was just being paraded around, and everybody was going to know!

I had to reluctantly leave her alone at 8:30.  Our two little dogs have been locked in a cage for six hours.  The son needs the car to get to work at 10:30.  I was going to drive him across town, pick her up when she called, and drive back out to pick him up at 7:30 AM.  Already under work-stress, when he heard what was (not) happening, he took the night off, and ordered a pizza, because none of us was eating properly.

At 3:00 AM, she called to say that the (next-shift) doctor had examined her, and she was on her way to Nuclear Medicine.  At 3:45 she called to be picked up.  She entered the hospital at four PM, and finally got out at four AM.  The threatened seven-hour wait had stretched to twelve hours, for a five-minute test.  Thankfully, we now know that all is well.  Without any visible blood or injury, she still could have collapsed out of her chair at any moment.

Do you have a hospital horror story that you’d like to recount?  I will listen patiently, and commiserate.

Size X And A Half Fibbing Friday

I came ashore in a small boat, in the dead of night, like a French cigarette smuggler.  I sneaked through Pensitivity101’s back garden, jimmied the French doors of her study, and stole liberated another list of opportunities to lie and get away with it.

  1. What did Miss Muffet sit on?

The O. J. Simpson criminal trial jury.
2. Who tried to gatecrash her dinner?

Meat Loaf, but when he found that there was no actual meatloaf, only some weird, vegan, ‘curds and whey’ crap, he shouted, “But I won’t do that!” and musical history was made.
3. What did Wee Willie Winkie do?

We’re not really sure.  He was a Juvenile offender at the time, so his records were sealed, but he’s still on the Sex offender registry.
4. How many blackbirds were baked in a pie?

Statements from ‘witnesses’ vary, anywhere from one, to like a gajillion, man.  Pass the Doritos, and don’t Bogart that blunt.  Official reports indicate that they all got baked just outside the Marijuana dispensary, and never made it to the pie.
5. Who sold sea shells on the sea shore?

The same guy who sold refrigerators to Eskimos.
6. What did Peter Piper pick?

All the correct numbers for a $14 million Lotto win.  Immediately after receiving his winnings, he and his girlfriend were in the wind.  His wife is still trying to locate him for child support.
7. What ran up the clock?

Manchester United Football Club.  Ahead, one to nil, with three minutes left in the game, they got possession of the soccer ball, and almost scuffed the cover off it, playing iron-clad defense, taking no chance that an opposing player might get an expensive boot on it.
8. What was daddy going to wrap Baby Bunting in?

Alternating pink and blue ribbons, along with a carefully measured quantity of colored photographic flash-powder, for a gender reveal party – until his wife discovered his plans.  She lovingly said to him, “Are you f**king INSANE?  Aside from endangering our child – the last idiot who did something like this, burned down half of California.  Go sit quietly over there with a beer, and let the women safely and sanely handle this.”
9. Where did Doctor Foster go?

I think it was to jail, but I haven’t had a chance to watch the entire BBC-TV series yet.

  1. What was the old man doing when it was pouring with rain?

Buying Morton’s salt.

Th..th..th.. That’s all the prevarication for now, folks.  I’ve already stretched the truth more than the waistband of my track pants.

Parents Of Kids Say The Darnedest Things

Pros

Don’t cast aspirations on her femininity – Cast aspersions, instead.

It continues to reside in the attack. – I had to go up to the attic, to research this.

He spoke a sort of pigeon Galician – This pigeon thinks it should read pidgin.

So, needlessly to say – It was needless to use an adverb instead of an adjective.

He built the viaduct that brought the water – Then it would be an aqueduct.

Mary had a little lamb.  Her cheeks were white as snow – And the lamb’s fleece was white as snow.

The horseflies left whelps with their bites – The young whelps had welts on them.

The squad debauched from the fort – This debauched author meant debouched.

The pilot waggled the plane’s wings for an instance – an instance where it should read, instant.

The company was marketing Santinism. – They weren’t marketing the correct spelling of Satanism.

Phone gets stuck in base guitar – It’s fishy that there’s no bass.

Businessman revels how he got rich – If I were rich, I’d revel, but I wouldn’t reveal how I did it.

He sniffed his depreciation of the idea. – I’d appreciate him using deprecation

The family fortune was dilapidated – and my patience with this usage was depleted.

Amateurs

The idea has gained some exposer recently – Police arrested the exposer for indecent exposure.

Believe it or not – I found a Belief It Or Not Christian video – not wrong…. just wrong!

They were forced to be reckoned with. – I was forced to write, “A force to be reckoned with.”

An elderly none came in – but the nun would have none of that spelling.

She was dancing in the isleI’ll tell you that it should be aisle.

Vacuums don’t cause autism – Neither do vaccines.

I pulled up the parking brake leaver – Well, leave ‘er parked, and look up lever.

Darwin advocated ‘Survival of the Fitness’ – The fittest of us know that’s not true.

It could justify killing or torchering – That spelling is torturing me.

One only has to take a looksy – to know that it should be a look-see.

I was going to lambest him for saying that – I’s like to lambaste you for using lambest.

I’m into essential oils and incest. – Does your daughter know about this?

‘The Office’ is a meaty okra show. – About as mediocre as that spelling.

She said she got a Bachelorette Degree – Blondie meant a baccalaureate!!

I have only lent in my pocket – because you gave up your dictionary for lent.

A term that attempts to draft on an air of coolness – I drank some cool draft while I looked up graft.

This woman had the gull to insult him – A little bird told me she had gall.

He’s got the saddle soars to prove it – Lets waft on over to where they are sores.

***

Now that I’ve had something to say about some things that other people say, it’s back to business as usual.  What??!  Ranting IS my usual?  I dare you to read this post and say that.   😉

WOW #75

Yankee Doodle went to town
Riding on a pony.
Stuck a feather in his hat,
And called it Macaroni

MACARONI

How did he get to be a Yankee??  And what did it have to do with macaroni??!

Yanke Surname Definition: (Dutch) Descendant of little Jan (gracious gift of Jehovah); one who came from Holland; a name sometimes applied to a stranger.

The Online Etymology Dictionary gives Yankee its origin as around 1683, attributing it to English colonists insultingly referring to Dutch colonists (especially freebooters). Linguist Jan de Vries notes that there was mention of a pirate named Dutch Yanky in the 17th century.

From the mid-1750s – even still today – it was the custom of the upper British crust to ‘Do The Continent’ when they came of age.  Starting in Spain or France, they would party their way though Germany and Poland, and end up in Italy.  Italy was considered the epicenter of society and fashion.

Young English men became enamored of anything Italian – better than what was back in frumpy old Britain.  Costume balls were common, and clothing became more and more gaudy and ostentatious.  Of course, “everything Italian” did not usually extend to actually learning the language.

After they returned home, they would wax eloquent about Italian food and wine, the flamboyant clothing, the buildings, and the parties.  It became common to refer to “everything Italian” in verbal shorthand as simply Macaroni.

Some English in the New World (Remember, there were no ‘Americans’ yet) with less wealth and far less chance to party in Italy – were Yankees.  If they had servants and slaves, and were ‘idle,’ – they were a Doodle.  They displayed their wealth by being able to ride a fine horse – pony.  If they wanted to emulate their British cousins, they would adorn and ornament their clothes.  They would stick a jaunty feather in an otherwise simple, basic hat, and pretend that it was as glitzy as any of that Italian Macaroni.

So, this nonsense little poem has nothing to do with college survival food.  Instead, it is a reminder of how the early American common folk viewed those who claimed to be their betters.  I’d better make some mac-and-cheese for lunch.   😉   😆

’18 A To Z Challenge – D

Challenge '18
Letter D

 

 

 

 

 

It was inevitable, destined, pre-ordained, foretold even, that the blog post for the letter D, would be about

DESTINY

Do you believe in destiny?  Do you believe in providence, or fate?  Do you believe in prophesy or divination?  Do you believe in shwarma karma?  Do you go to astrologers, card-readers, fortune-tellers, or palm-, or tea-leaf readers?  See me early next month when I publish my F Is For Fools Alphabet Challenge post.  At the end of it, there will be a $100/ticket raffle for the Eiffel Tower.  Like Stevie Wonder said in his song, if you believe in things that you don’t understand – that’s Superstition. (Click to listen)

Like the belief in the unprovable God, I don’t believe in any of the above.  According to some of the smartest guys in the world, the flow of time is continuous and one-way only.  While a lot of con-artists people have claimed to be able to see the future, and a lot of gullible marks buy into it, no-one has ever proved that they’ve done it.

The Bible and the Christian religion are full of ‘The Prophets.’  I see a bunch of guys who made a lot of vague statements, and then took credit when something obvious occurred.  Even the Prophet(?), Elijah, who ‘predicted’ the birth of Christ, got it wrong.  He stated that the Messiah would be named Emmanuel.  He gave his ‘prophesy’ to a Hebrew king as a guarantee that he would win an upcoming battle.  Instead, the king lost the war, his city, and his life.

Ever the cynic, my Father told me that fortune-tellers made ‘predictions’ like, “You will pass water twice before you return home.”  Well, piss on that!  There are many things in life that we can’t control, but instead of paying some swindler to predict the future for us, we would all be better off getting off our tuffets, (What??  It worked for Miss Muffet.) and working toward something rewarding ourselves.  For anyone who doesn’t, I predict a destiny of poverty and disappointment.  There are profits in being prophets.

I can’t predict that all you lovely readers will return in a couple of days – but I prophesy that I sure would like it if you do.  C’mon, help me turn some profits in my stats.  😀

Note: This was published later than usual for me because of an internet outage in my area.  Please forgive me; I haven’t forsaken you, my lovely audience.

Pint Sized

Pint

Always fascinated with the details of English word usage, I recently read a post titled Euphemisms. In it, a young female explained how the seemingly innocent words of many of the nursery rhymes we tell our children, had a much darker meaning when they were first composed.

She apparently had a real vendetta against royalty and religion. Her first story was about “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary”, who was Queen “Bloody” Mary, trying to return now-Protestant England to the Catholic Church.  Her garden grew well, because it was fertilized with the corpses of the many that she had tortured and executed.

The writer claimed that “Three Blind Mice” were three noble men(sic) who plotted against Mary. She didn’t have them blinded, or mutilated (their ‘tails’ cut off), merely burned at the stake.  But, in reality, there were only two who plotted, and only one was a noble, the other, an Anglican Bishop.

“Goosey, Goosey, Gander” is about Catholic sympathisers hiding priests from Protestant torture and death squads. The line about grabbing them by their left leg was because priests were identified when they put their left foot forward as they genuflected.

Already cynical, she lost my belief when her mix of fact to fiction became too thin on the “Jack And Jill” story. This is word history, not political history, and something I’ve researched.

She stated that it referred to the execution of Louis XIII and Marie Antoinette. When Louis (not Jack – or even Jacques) was beheaded, he lost his ‘Crown.’  When Marie was guillotined, her head ‘came tumbling after.’  She didn’t explain why English commoners would make up rhymes about French monarchs.

This little rhyme is all about governments getting more tax income by screwing with sizes. It was something citizens were complaining about 400 years ago, and they’re still screwing us today.

A “Jack” was a leather mug, in which inns and taverns served 12 ounces of beer or cheap wine. Taxes were paid on how many ‘Jacks’ were dispensed. Suddenly, by Royal decree, the size of a Jack was reduced to 10 ounces, and taxes on beer and wine went up by 20%.

Crown

Taxes were often paid in ‘Crowns’, silver English coins. Soon both barkeeps and the drinking working man were going bankrupt (broke).  When the Jack fell down, he/it broke his ‘Crown’.

The Gill – or Jill – was a quarter of a pint, the amount of a shot of harder liquor. The Incredible Shrinking Jack trick had worked so well that the government tried it again.  A gallon had been 160 ounces, therefore a quart (quarter gallon) was 40 ounces, a pint was 20….and a quarter-pint Gill, was 5.

The gallon was reduced to 128 ounces, a quart to 32, a pint to 16. The 5 ounce Gill became 4 ounces, the tax on liquor went up 25% with the stroke of a pen, “and Jill came tumbling after.”

A later government restored the gallon/quart, etc. sizes, but the results can still be seen. The UK has ‘Imperial’, 40 ounce quarts, but the US never changed back, keeping their 32 oz. version.  The US has a Fifth (of a 128 oz. gallon = 25.6 oz.) of booze, where Canada insists that it’s a 26er.

When I was but a mere child, dairies delivered 40 oz. quart glass bottles of milk to the house. When glass yielded to cardboard cartons, the international conglomerates who now provided cow juice, did so in 32 oz. American quarts, without changing our cost.

In 1971, when Canada went metric, no-one really knew anything about metric sizes. Containers were now (34oz. approx.) liters.  Cost went up, but uncertainty kept complaints down.  40 oz. glass pop bottles became 1-liter plastic containers – at the same price.

To lull the population into happily accepting metrification, the Canadian government actually solicited poems from citizens, extolling the beauty and benefits of the Metric System. They were disappointed by the low turnout, and definitely did not publish the one that said;

When things go Metric,
Prices rise!
Surprise, surprise,
Surprise, surprise!

The Portuguese lady selling bread at the Market continues to shout, “Three bags for $5.” The old loaves of bread suitable for making trencherman farmers’ sandwiches are now so small that they’re barely big enough to make petit-fours.  The hamburger and hot-dog buns remain the same size, but the bags which used to contain a dozen buns, first slipped to 10, slid to 9, fell to 8, and, hopefully, have bottomed out at a ridiculous 7 per pack.

The only thing that I have as much left in my wallet as I used to, is lint.

Flash Fiction #50

Silo

PROMPT -© Marie Gail Stratford

THE COW JUMPED OVER THE MOON

All the corn plants were to be shredded and put into the tower as silage.  The crop was large, so ten-year-old Billy’s job was to tromp it down, so it all fit.

He brought one of their cows in through the little bottom door to help him.  For several boring hours, he and Bossy had plodded ‘round and ‘round.

Finally the level neared the top, and his Dad yelled that they were done.  “Just back out that little hatch, and climb down the ladder.”

MOOO!

“A cow??  You took a cow in there??!  How is she going to climb down??!”

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

#457