Smitty’s Loose Change #7

Smitty's Loose Change

I bought some Salvador Dali bagels today. I got them from the Chernobyl Unicorn bakery.

Bagel 1

Bagel 2

They’re created from multi-colored dough with food dye in it. The son tells me that he heard that rainbow bagels will be an upcoming fad among Millennials, but I’ve not seen them, or any mention of them, since.  These were made of a bread dough, rather than a bagel dough, and didn’t toast worth a shit.

***

In reading what others had to write about the blog-tag, ‘Truth,’ I was not surprised to find that 2 out of every 3 blog-posts was about God, or Jesus, or Christianity, or Church.  Those ‘Good Christians’ are sure full of something.  They call it faith.  I have a different name for it.

***

When they discover the center of the Universe….A lot of people are going to be surprised that it’s not them.

***

I wrote a post where I mentioned ‘double’ names like Todd Craig, Bradley Joe and Mark Terry, where either could be a given name or a family name, This happened because some male first names became family names.  I’ve thought that it only applied to male names, but recently I’ve been introduced to Stephanie Virginia ELLEN, Edna RHODA, Susan MARGARET, Barbara HILARY and Ann BEVERLY.

In my home-town, in the 1940s and ‘50s, boys were commonly given names like Beverly, Shirley, and Lynn. I knew that ‘Lynne’ was a girls’ name, but didn’t know that ‘Lynn’ was also considered only a girls’ name until the wife commented about it.

***

Photo0048

Photo0049

Photo0047

The son went to our Osteopath recently, and got some shots of the ride of another customer who had not made it to the ‘Cruise Night’, downtown. It’s a rebuilt, 1934 Buick, according to the custom licence plate.  Love that vibrant color!

***

I knew that I was really stressed, when I started getting on my own nerves.

***

I recently hit a blog-site where the English Nazi nit-picker must have been a Colonel, not a mere private like me. He ranted about those who use ‘lie’ when it should be ‘lay’, and vice-versa.  Okay so far.  Then he attacked a nursery rhyme, and insisted that, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” was incorrect.  It should be ‘lie’.  Better men (or women) than him wrote that verse.  I ‘lay’ my book down, and ‘lay’ my child down to sleep.  I ‘lay’ my pillow down, and then, correctly using a reflexive verb, I ‘lay’ ME down to sleep.

I was reading a post about ‘Eggcorns’. Like Mondegreens, they’re those things that you don’t hear right, and then don’t repeat right, like “curl up in a feeble position,” “fire excape,” and “hone in on.”  The name Eggcorns itself comes from someone who didn’t even know about ‘acorns.’  The writer was doing fine until he started ranting about ‘conversating.’  “There’s no such word!  You’re not ‘conversating’, you’re conversing.”  It’s been an accepted, idiomatic word since 1965; even WordPress’s SpellCheck accepts it.

I recently used the Latin phrase, Caveat Emptor, and noted that it translates into English as Buyer beware.  GrammarCheck insists that it should be ‘Buyer bewares’.  (There, see?  It just did it again.)

***

In my You Don’t Say post, I wrote of timid linguists who won’t say or write things they regard as “swear words.” Like Amsterdam, ‘I don’t give a tinker’s dam’ was a perfect replacement for the word damn, it being a small rivet-like stopper to repair a hole in old, non-stainless steel pots, without the damning N that could keep you out of Heaven.  Twice in a week I ran into, “I don’t give a tinker’s curse.” as a euphemism for a euphemism.  I need to (re)find the word which describes errors like this caused by advancing technology.

***

 

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Flash Fiction #150

Twins

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

DOUBLE THE PLEASURE DESTRUCTION
DOUBLE THE FUN

To have one rambunctious teenage son was….interesting. To have two – and twins – was stressful.  So different, and yet so much the same – and so competitive.  She almost needed a counsellor on speed-dial, and Valium in a Pez dispenser.  One for her; one each for the boys.

The contractor had said that the cost to repair the “Me first! No, Me!” front door would be reasonable, but would take a week.  Their automobile dealer said that the now-air-conditioned car would financially be another matter entirely.

Smart Car???! If they’d been smart, they’d have bought an old Police van with handcuff restraints.

***

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

Poppa Attack

poppa attack

Just to show that procrastination isn’t the only reason that I don’t get accomplished, what I should. Like Mary and her lamb, I love (most) animals, and they love me.  When I stop in at the daughter’s place, I don’t usually sit down.  I get in and out quicker.

The above photo, dark and murky though it may be, shows what happens if I sit in the big recliner chair. Daughter is hosting two short-haired female Chihuahuas for a breeder.  One insists on licking my entire face – could be for the perspiration salt – could be because she really likes me.  The other doesn’t lick faces, but will clean out both of my ears.

The grandson’s German Shepherd-cross never believes that the Chihuahua does my face correctly, and insists on re-licking it. With a much larger tongue, it should take her less time, but if I don’t insist on coming up for air, it could go on all afternoon.  She took out my sapphire ear-stud out one day.  I never noticed, and I’ve never replaced it.

The daughter’s younger male cat, who will not be picked up, has picked up on the fact that I’ve been practicing my petting and skritching at home.  He has settled onto the left side of my lap, while the little female loudly stands below him at my knee.

Not seen, on the sofa to my right, is Benny, the big son to my now-gone Contessa. He was battling a two-ear infection, with partial deafness and vertigo, but still loudly insisted that I reach out to him too.

The daughter sometimes babysits the breeder’s little, male, long-haired Chihuahua, when she’s on a business trip. He will let no man near him, but will run to the daughter when I arrive. She is allowed to pick him up, and hand him off to me.  There, he quickly settles into the crook of my left elbow, and closes his eyes as I stroke him.  He’d probably purr, if he were a cat.

The wife insists that I’m the reincarnation of St. Francis of Assisi. All this adoration is like high-octane gasoline; it fuels my soul.  It de-stresses me, and lowers my blood pressure, though it doesn’t help my memory or concentration.  “Why did I come in here today??  Shopping??!  What for?  What time is it?  What day is this?”   😕

Cripes!

My wife’s from the Mid-west. Very nice people
there.  Very wholesome.

They use words like ‘Cripes!’  ‘For Cripe’s sake!
Who would that be, Jesus Cripes?  The son of
‘Gosh?’ of the church of ‘Holy Moly’!

I’m not making fun of it. You think I wanna burn
in ‘Heck’?

***

Old age isn’t bad – when you consider the alternative.

***

The Lone Ranger and Tonto are riding along when
the Lone Ranger puts up his hand and says,
“Whoa.” He then climbs down from his horse
Silver, walks behind the horse, lifts his tail
and kisses the horse on his asshole. He then
remounts and they ride on.

A little while later, the Lone Ranger again
raises his hand and says, “Whoa.” He dismounts,
lifts the tail and kisses Silver on the ass
again, then remounts.

Tonto, not sure as to what is going on asks,
“Hmph! Kemo Sabe why you get off Silver and kiss
him on asshole?” The Lone Ranger replies,
“Chapped lips.” Tonto then says, “Ugh. That good
for chapped lips?” The Lone ranger replies, “No,
but it keeps you from licking them.”

***

HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS TO HELP YOU
ALLEVIATE THE STRESS OF TODAY’S
FRANTIC MOMENTS

1:  Use your MasterCard to pay off your Visa.
2:  Pop some popcorn without putting the lid on.
3:  Forget Weight-Watchers, and send yourself a Candygram
4:  Make a list of things to do, that you’ve already done.
5:  Get revenge for tax woes by filling out your forms in Roman numerals.
6:  Tattoo “Out to lunch” on your forehead.
7:  Leaf through a National Geographic, and draw underwear on all the natives.
8:  Go shopping!  Buy everything!  Sweat in it!  Return it the next day.
9:  Drive to work in reverse.
10:  Read the dictionary upside-down and look for secret messages.
11:  Bill your doctor for the time spent in his waiting room.
12:  Write a short story using alphabet soup.
13:  Stare at people through the tines of a fork and pretend they’re in jail.
14:  Make up a language and ask for directions.

I know some of you may have already used one or more of these sanity-saving stress reducers.  Feel free to try the rest, before you wind up like this guy.

thank you for holding

#455

Flash Fiction #49

Knowledge

PHOTO PROMPT – © Madison Woods

NOW YOU’RE LEARNING

Arggh, teenagers!  Jennine’s son was complaining, again, about having to go to school.

“I’ll never use anything they’re teaching.”

She surprised him by agreeing – almost.  With the exception of English and basic math, until you get to post-secondary, none of the subjects are really useful.

School is for learning to learn; to marshal your thoughts, to receive and research knowledge, to order and rate it, to work with others, to be an individual – and part of a group.

School teaches about stress, responsibility, persistence, honesty, and deadlines.  School teaches about reality, work, and life.  School can be an ever-flowing fount.

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

#454

Under Pressure – Overtime

Recently, the son climbed out of the car and left his choice of radio station on.  When I climbed in, I left it playing.  Because of this, both of us heard David Wilcox’s, sexual innuendo, double-entendre song, Layin’ Pipe, with its line of, “Eight shifts a week is never enough.”

People like young, up-and-coming doctors and lawyers put in huge amounts of hours to guarantee future success, but often, hourly-paid workers will do the same, working two or three jobs, to get ahead.

One of my fellow auto-workers put in an 8 AM to 4 PM shift every Saturday at a cookie factory in the next city.  There was no problem when he was on day-shift, or afternoons, but, when our week ended after a midnight shift, Saturday at 7 AM, he had an hour, to drive 20 miles, and punch in by 8.

The son has a co-worker who works as a bus-boy/prep chef at a local family restaurant every Sat. & Sun.  On a straight midnight shift, he gets a few hours sleep, and works Saturday, from 2 till 10.  The plastics plant has offered a couple of Saturday midnight shifts recently, and he took them.  Leave the restaurant at 10 PM Saturday, drive across town and put in an 11 to 7, grab a few Sunday ZZZs, and back to the diner.

Fortunately, they were the weekends before, and after, Easter, giving him a week to recuperate.  The son worked both weekends also.  He had a four-day week with Easter Friday off, but followed by a six-day week.

My auto plant had a five-year stretch of prosperity, where there was overtime available every week and weekend.  As a union shop, the work went first to the person on the required job, and then by seniority.  A young man hot-forming vinyl sheets went through two packs of Hall’s Mentho-Lyptus cough candies per shift, to keep his mouth moist.

Someone suggested doing something on his day off, and he replied that he hadn’t had a day off work in 17 weeks, and many of them had been 12 hour days.  It was either the work stress, dextro-methorphan poisoning from all the Hall’s, or a combination of both, that lost him his job.  Not once, but twice, he phoned the plant manager’s house (who, of course, wasn’t home) and screamed at his wife and daughters and threatened them with violence and death.  I’m not sure if he demanded less overtime, or more.

The inspector/packer on my Jeep line was a little, Muslim, Turkish Cypriot.  As such, he had a great need for male children.  His wife first presented him with two daughters.  He bitched at her, but she was sufficiently Canadian to tell him that he only got back what he put in.

She finally gave him a son, but – Oh Horrors – the boy’s right ear was malformed, and he held it against her, loudly, constantly.  They had a nice little house, with a nice little mortgage.  She must have felt that, if he was going to either ignore her or belittle her, she wanted something that included room away from him.  Before long, they had a nice big house, with a nice big mortgage.

Soon, between abandoning her and paying down the mortgage, he was spending huge amounts of time at the plant.  One day, the supervisor distributed our pay checks and, without thinking, I asked, “Did you work any overtime last week?”  Then I slapped myself!  I worked the standard 40 hours.  He had a slow week at 80, 24 at time-and-a-half, and 16 at double-time pay, and yet, his check was exactly double mine.  All the premium pay had gone to the government as taxes.

He would work four hours over, each day – five 12-hour days by Friday – then come in on Saturday and Sunday as well.  If he wasn’t asked for overtime, he had a system.  Even if he worked till 11 PM Friday night, he was back at the plant by 6 AM Saturday morning, “Just to get something from his locker.”  He knew that, of a crew of 10 or 12, at least one would get drunk, or forget to set an alarm, and he would be invited to fill in.

He had another trick.  He would work the Saturday day-shift, come back at 11 PM and work the overnight midnight shift, get a bit of food and sleep, and return once again and work the Sunday afternoon shift, getting in three shifts over two days.

A few times, he managed to stretch one of the weekend shifts to 12 hours, giving him a total of 88 hours for the week.  Wilcox’s “eight shifts a week” is nothing; that’s eleven! At least once that I know of, he managed to get 12 hours on two of the weekend shifts, setting his record (and anybody else’s) at 92 hours.

He showed me a picture in his wallet once, of a handsome young man.  I thought it might be a younger brother or cousin.  It was just him, shortly before I met him, pinched, dried, wasted!  I own an 11-year-old car that I may not be able to afford to replace.  At 70, my mortgage isn’t paid off yet, but people still don’t believe I’m as old as I am.  I worked to live.  I didn’t live to work.

Huge work hours, and dedication to a job or career can buy you lots of “stuff”, but it often doesn’t leave you enough time or energy to truly enjoy your stuff.  I tried to attain a middle ground with my employment, and still often shake my head at those who don’t leave time for life or family.

Shit Happens

In
The
Beginning
was the plan.

And then came the assumptions,
and the assumptions were without form,
and the plan was completely without substance,
and the darkness was upon the face of the workers,
and they spoke among themselves, saying
“It is a crock of shit, and it stinketh.”

And the workers went unto the supervisors and sayeth,
“It is a pail of dung, and none may abide the odor thereof.”

And the supervisors went unto the managers and sayeth unto them,
“It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong,
such that none may abide it.”

And the managers went unto the directors and sayeth,
“It is a vessel of fertiliser, and none may abide its strength.”

And the directors spoke among themselves, saying one to another
“It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong.”

And the directors went unto the Vice Presidents,
and sayeth unto them,
“It promotes growth, and it is very powerful.”

And the Vice Presidents went unto the President,
and sayeth unto him,
“This new plan will actively promote growth and efficiency
of this company, and these areas in particular.”

And the President looked upon the Plan,
and saw that it was good.  And the plan became Policy.

Ladies and gentlemen,
This is how shit happens!

STRESS

Is that confusion which is created when one’s mind overrides the body’s basic desire to choke the living shit out of some Asshole who desperately needs it.

This concludes our words of wit and wisdom for today.  We now return you to your work-life, already in progress.