The Rest Of The Story

Llama

….so I says to him, if Bob can walk his albino python up and down the hall on a leash, why can’t I bring in my llama?? It’s an emotional-support animal too!

There’s a game where you and a friend (or a cell phone) are on an elevator with only a floor or two to go, and someone else gets on. You make some mind-boggling statement, like the one above, and then get off at your floor.

WE ALL WANT TO KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY!

Some of you, especially Americans, may have heard the great Paul Harvey’s radio broadcast of that name, where he tells ‘What Else Happened.’  He had a tale of a male British teen with a pure, sweet voice, who sang in the school choir.

One day, he was viciously elbowed in the face during a basketball game, and completely bit off almost an inch of his somewhat long tongue. A doctor sewed up the end of the rest, but told him that he would never sing again.  After he graduated, he became Mick Jagger – lead singer for The Rolling Stones – and that’s the reason for the Rolling Stone logo.

Back in the Stone Ages, when airplanes still had propellers, a young American man accompanied a Catholic bishop on a business trip to Chicago. As they neared O’Hare Airport, the plane was struck by lightning in a powerful storm, and a couple of the engines stopped.

The Captain came on the intercom and said that they might have to ditch. In the row behind the young man were a couple with an 8-year-old girl.  She began screaming and crying, further panicking other passengers.  The young man undid his seatbelt, and turned around, kneeling on his seat.  He began to make strange, funny faces at the little girl, until she, and surrounding passengers, were chuckling and laughing at him.

The engines restarted, they safely landed in Chicago, and Red Skelton went on to a very successful career in comedy.

I’ve had a couple of these cases where I was able to find out the whole story. During my late teens, my younger brother carried on a summer romance with a girl whose family owned a cottage on our beach.  She and her mother stayed all summer, and her father drove in every Friday night after work.

One time, she went home with him for the week. My brother looked forward to her return on Friday night.  When he arrived, she was shaken and sobbing.  Her father had run over and killed, an Indian on the highway through the adjoining reservation.

Later in the summer, I was hanging out with a lad that my Mother had warned me to stay away from. He told me the story of, earlier in the summer, going out to the Res (already risky) and getting drunk with a group of Indian teens – unpredictable, and far riskier.

They were walking beside the highway, facing traffic, when he stumbled into one of them. Instantly angry and irritated, the guy gave him a great shove, and he landed in the ditch.  The force of the push knocked the other drunken teen over backward….right into the path of the oncoming car.

I took my car to a mechanic for service. He also worked on the personal car of an Ontario Provincial Police officer.  His patrol area was down the big highway, almost to the airport on the edge of Toronto.  He told my tech a story.

One night, around 3 AM, he was sitting in a turn-around, with his radar gun aimed back up the road. At that time, the highway was almost empty.  Suddenly, a set of headlights appeared.  That in itself is unusual, because lights usually start as a distant glow, and increase.

The radar readout increases and gets more accurate as the vehicle gets nearer. The speed limit is 100KmH (about 62.25 American MPH)  He watched, stupefied….50 – 100 – 150 – 200 – 225 – 250 – 275 – 300.  Just as the blur passed him, the screen read 304KmH!

He thought about starting the cruiser….and then just shook his head.  He considered radioing for assistance, and shook it again.

About a month later, another friend of the mechanic dropped in for a visit. He owns the ‘Robin Masters’ Ferrari from Magnum P.I. because he’s a computer-tech genius.  He fixes big computer systems when they crash, and he’s on-call 24/7/365.  Calls can come at any time, and from Toronto to Taiwan.  Losses can be thousands of dollars per hour, so time is of the essence.

He was wakened about 2:00AM, with a computer-crash in Dubai. A chartered plane would be waiting at the Toronto airport.  Get there ASAP!!  He told his buddy that the highway was almost empty, so he really let’er out.  “It’s a good thing that there were no cops out that night, because I was really flying.  Musta been doin’ almost 300 K.”

And now you know ‘The Rest Of The Story.’

Come back in a couple of days, and I’ll tell you another fascinating story.   🙂

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Yay! Olympics!

When I was about eight years old, my father bought a camper-trailer.  Unlike today’s lightweight units, this one was built like a small shed, heavy as sin.  Being trailering tyros, we took along four full-sized concrete blocks to support the corners.  Thank something, that the days of heavy, powerful cars were not past.  I don’t know how we pulled that monster, but from then till I was 14, we went somewhere every summer.

I need to clean out the paint locker at the back of my mind and offer up another story of how a small-town boy had his horizons widened a bit.  In the meantime, this story isn’t about a trip.  It’s about who we saw when our trip was interrupted.

This was the summer of 1953, or ’54.  We had been camping here and there for almost two weeks.  We were moving from north to south, somewhere just east of Toronto.  We almost reached a main east/west highway and were stopped by a Provincial Police officer.  He told us we’d have to go back and around another way, or find a place to park at the side of the road until “She” went through.  She, who??  Queen Elizabeth, of course!  He took pity on a family of campers, and told us how to get down to the little city ahead, and where to park, but insisted that we could not cross the main road until after the parade.

We followed his directions, and decided that, if we were stranded, we might as well get a vantage-point on the sidewalk.  Mom and Dad piled up at the back of the crowd.  Mom was 4’ 11”, I don’t know if she saw anything.  Dad was 6’, he might have.  I was about eight or nine.  I just insinuated myself through the crush until I was right down front.  The crowd ran right to the curb, and wasn’t allowing any room, even for a little kid, so I just stepped off the curb and stood in front.  As the Queen and Prince Philip rolled regally through town, I was only eight feet away from her.  Big F…..ng Deal!  Can we get back to camping now?

It happened again last Friday night.  The wife and I went down to the Rec room, to watch Jay Leno, and there was that damned woman interrupting my planned enjoyment again.  The Tonight show was delayed by an hour for a broadcast of the opening of the Olympic Games.  Well, it wasn’t just her.  I got to see David Beckham, a man who makes his living on dry land, row his boat up the Thames and pass off a fancy cigarette lighter to some other guy, who gave it to a passel of pre-teen arsonists, who managed to start a big fire on the ground.

Get the feeling I’m none too impressed, yet??  How observant!  Actually, as shows go, it was a decent show.  The pacing fireworks as Bend-it’s boat raced up the river, how the individual copper leaves on the ground rose on gas-pipes, to amalgamate and form the Cauldron, the fireworks that went off after the flame was lit, all of these were grand theater.  At least they went off in a timed display, not like San Diego’s 10-second, Fourth of July, boom and fizzle.  But theater was all it was.  Bread and circuses for the masses.  Proof of this is the fact that responsibility for the show was given to a Hollywood director.

Owned, sponsored and controlled by multi-national corporations, it reminded me of the movie Demolition Man.  Do you know that attendees’ clothing style was restricted and controlled?  If you were wearing a tee-shirt mentioning Pepsi-Cola, you would be prevented from entering, because Coca-Cola bought all soft-drink promotional rights?

Perhaps it’s because I learned early that I can’t compete, but I’ve always been more of a fan of co-operation.  For every competition, there’s only one winner, and all the rest of 203 countries, are just a bunch of losers.  It’s all just a feel-good societal ego sop.  Millions of dollars poured into each country’s athletes’ training and transportation.  Tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of hours spent training for this soap opera, and when it’s all over, even if “we” garner a few fake medals, not a job has been created, our GNP has not increased, nor the national debt reduced, and banks still need bailing.

Us vs. Them prevails.  Tribalist chest thumping.  I wouldn’t be so cynical if people watched simply to see top-level athletic performance.  They’ll tell you that’s why they watch, but, the same folks who haven’t even driven past a swimming pool in the last four years, are suddenly experts on synchronized three-meter diving.

These games are supposed to promote international fellowship but their very competitive format prevents it.  It all boils down to, “Our team doctor is better at masking performance-enhancing drugs than your team doctor.”

Some of the “sports” that are getting in are just ridiculous.  One person synchronized swimming?  I could send over a dictionary so they can look up the meaning of synchronized.  And the little girls running around on gym mats, waving sticks with ribbons on them??!  Are they just so chi-chi that they got kicked out of drum-majorette school?  Trampoline?!  I thought the kids down the street were just playing.  Good Lord, what’s next, Tiddly-Winks and pie baking?

Ah well, it is the middle of the summer, and there’s almost nothing else on television.  Everyone can watch what they want but, I don’t watch chick-flicks.  If I watch something by a big movie director, it better have some adult language, rock-‘em-sock-‘em Kung Fu action, car chases, explosions, and maybe a little gratuitous nudity in it.  Why is Victoria fully clothed??!

I’ve kept my eyes tightly closed for a week now.  It’s half-way over.  Soon I won’t have to worry about this meaningless display for another four years.  What’s that??  What Winter Olympics in two years??  Will it include competitive Sno-Cone Serving?  Where’s a good movie when I need one?