Reading?: The Every Other Daily Corona

Chaucer, Hardy, Frost, Shakespeare, Swift and Twain.  Amongst others, they were on the long list of my required reading in college.  The latter two were a couple of my favorites.  Do I wish to go back and re-read some of their classic novels, plays or short stories during a time when we do have time on our hands?  Not me.  It’s not the type of reading meant for the toilet.  Maybe a couple of Thomas Hardy “classics” which would ultimately clog our septic system.

I do love to read, especially when it’s not required.  Even though it will be obsolete, until it is, I will still subscribe to the newspaper.  One of my favorite parts of the day is taking the Super Quiz with my wife even though the man producing it often gets bored. Subject: Different Fonts.  How riveting!  We like American culture, geographical areas, famous prisons, some science, sports,  languages and other topics besides Plain Clothing or Band Aids.  It’s fun.  I then read her the daily Seattle Rant.  These can be hilarious.  “To the man next door who keeps his ten cats in a tree on his property.  They keep me up all night caterwauling.  I hope he burns in Hell.”  I used to read the sport’s page, but, well you know.

Saying 75% of my reading is done on the toilet is probably an understatement.  When I’m interested in an article from The New Yorker (my most pretentious magazine) my wife may walk by the bathroom and politely ask me if I’m ok.  “I’m fine.  Though, I may be little sore when I exit this room.”  When the New Yorker becomes too sophisticated, I mean when those ridiculous cartoons which are somehow published for unearthly reasons become agonizingly thought demoting, I return to a favorite standby….Readers Digest.  Written at a sixth grade level, it’s right up my aisle.  Additionally, most of the publications are uplifting and educational.  If I ever decide to get a pony, I now know because of R.D., one of the pony’s many attributes is licking the skin of an unripened avocado until it’s ripe in only twenty licks.  Pretty cool.

Then there’s the internet.  I can read various articles which may or may not convince me to join certain clubs or cults.  This flat earth society one is really tricky.   I’m right on the border.  My wife would say, “You mean the border of insanity?”

I want to believe in Bigfoot, but most of the stories on the Net attempting to convince you of its existence, really just push you in the other direction.  The elusive Sasquatch was not your taxi driver.

We also like looking up lists such as the top 50 movies of all time.  We’ll make bets on who will guess the most out of the top ten.  I lost the last bet because I put Cocktail, Road House, and Breakin Two, Electric Boogaloo on the list.  Personally, I think I was robbed.  There must be a reason they are on cable all the time.

Sadly, my favorite author, Pat Conroy, passed away.  I haven’t read a novel since his passing.  Oh my God!  I almost  forgot about the Bible.  It reminds me of a movie my family has cherished for years, and has now become one of my wife’s favorites as well…  Paint Your Wagon.  Portraying a full time inebriate, Ben Rumson is played by Lee Marvin.  One of his lines after a very pious lady asks him if he’d ever read the bible was “I have read the Bible Mrs. Phinney.”  Mrs. Phinney:  “Didn’t that discourage you from drinking?”  Ben:
“No. But it sure cured my appetite for readin.”

Whether you like or don’t like the Bible, novels, the paper, magazines or any other form of reading, it still stimulates our minds.  That’s a good thing, and like the great and powerful former Vice President Dan Quayle once said, “A mind is a terrible thing to lose.”

Prayers for all.


The Daily Corona: The Good News

The good news is we can watch T.V. during these trying times. The bad news is we can watch T.V. during these trying times.

tv-addictThe great news is we can watch movies like The Bad News Bears.  Anyone who doesn’t love this movie can shove it straight up their ASS!  That’s a semi direct quote from the movie.  The boy shouting this after losing the championship little league baseball game is a white haired child who believes authority is overrated. (He reminds me of someone I know.) The boy, Tanner, was suggesting where the opposing team could place their trophy.

We also knock down some Datelines from time to time, but when that becomes too much of a downer, we switch gears and check the Mafia Channel.  It takes much less time to find out who kills who.  This is definitely not “Whodunit” theater.  It also provides early morning conversations about which one of us had the worst nightmare.  Good times!

I get my exercise when Desperate Housewives of Rathdrum, Idaho shows up on our screen.  She gets hers when I switch to a Classic Major League Baseball game from the late seventies.  Pathetically, I do remember games I watched when I was six.  Hell, I even remember most of the players.  As I’ve stated previously in blogs, we both love baseball, and we miss it, but she doesn’t understand why I sometimes live in the past,

We do occasionally pry ourselves away from the T.V. long enough to take morning and evening walks with our lunatic dog, and I try to cook up something edible daily.  Well . . . this blog is getting as old and boring as watching Corona T.V..





Writing is never easy, unless you talk to my wife for less than seven seconds regarding the confused guy she, or even an intelligent child, should replace as the Potus. No disrespect to my wife.  (she’s not a child)

My wife recently stated,  “I want to cough all over that guy.”  (She’s not even from Jersey)

She also wants to beat him up, kick him in the balls, and yada yada yada…….

Britt, my wife, who doesn’t allow me use her real name, is refined enough to only entertain me with this banter in the warmness of our home.  I’m choosing to write this because, sadly, I think it’s a little funny, and I enjoy celebrating and sharing her gift of humor.  I will also sacrifice my balls if she becomes the next US President. The V.P, of course, will be a mechanical monkey.

I’m so pleased to be on her good side.

47 Cakes

Happy Birthday!  Is it?!!!  It’s quite basically an obligation to feel good.

I had to wish someone happy birthday today.  He is about my age, and I hope he didn’t give a crap if I said it or not.  He probably didn’t want me to acknowledge it, but since I work with him on a daily basis, it’s better to be on the safe side of the cake.

My birthday always felt like Thanksgiving. That’s what it really was.  Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday and my birthday transformed it to a relatively easy Thanksgiving for my mother. German chocolate cake, and shake and bake chicken for everyone.  Wish granted.

Growing up as a hillbilly, we didn’t have parties.  We didn’t have ho downs  We had two cows, Ferdinand and Issabella, sniffing at our screen door waiting for their dessert. As the youngest of 13, the only rule was to wait for the candles to ignite and then blow them out to defuse the potential catastrophe.

Don’t get me wrong.  Or, maybe you can. There’s nothing wrong with taking an adventure to Sir Charles of the Cheddar Cheese Factory or dry heaving to the smell of dirty socks on your birthday.  Just don’t invite me.  The last one spent with Chucky was for one of my many nephews, Quinn.  Someone invited to the party was a neighbor who had her nose recently bitten off by a dog.  She was a foul and angry cuss.  The party guest, not the dog.  (That’s not funny.  That’s not funny at all.)  Actually, it was a little funny because she showed up to the party wearing a costume….according to the other guests who thought they missed that memo.  Fully recovered from the injury, it did leave scars.  The doctors replaced her nose with a clown like prosthetic.  It was a chunk of flesh they took from her hind side.  That’s not funny either.  However, this not being the merriest of neighbors, she would lecture the dog daily about staying out of their yard.  She did it in such a fashion which eventually would lead to her nose’s demise and embarrassment.   Ultimately, after the settlement, she was furnished with a new house, a car and a dose of vanity.  One guest at the party walked up to her and, unknowingly, said in the dimmed lights of Chucky Cheese’s palace for hungover adults, “I didn’t know this was a costume party”.  She thought the victim was dressed as a clown.  According to my brother and I, evidently, clowns can make you chuckle.

I was invited to many of these parties only costing me fifty dollars a pop donated to a child I didn’t even know.  Crappy pizza, flat beer, and awkward conversations with the guy dressed up as a mouse wishing me to pour a beer down his dirty costume was just downright uncomfortable.

I feel sorry for the guy who is turning 47 today, because it will be the fourth birthday he must celebrate this year with his two children and wife.  All he wants for his birthday is a nice dinner at a decent restaurant.  He never gets to choose where this restaurant is, because his wife can veto any of his choices, resulting with them going a restaurant of her choice.  Poor bastard.

It’s his birthday penance.  He told me once he personally suffered during his own B-Day party at the age of ten.  He had an uninvited brother, age 8, sneaking into his special party.  After embarrassing his brother with insults and “get the hell out of my party, you twerp.  Scram!!”  in front of his friends, my friend was beckoned by his father to join him upstairs for a private meeting of the buns.  He was wailed on 10 times, and then told he would be the age of 50 if he didn’t welcome his younger brother to participate with kindness and respect.  End of story.  As the youngest of 13 children, I never was surrounded by this environment.  My older siblings were too busy eating and drinking their presents to even acknowledge my presence.

The last birthday I thoroughly didn’t enjoy took part in a classroom.  My middle school students, their parents, and other relatives decided to interrupt our class by surprising me with a party.  No beer, just cookies, soda, cake and students too strung out on glucose crack to participate with further lessons.  It did teach me a lesson.  Never tell a middle school student which day your birthday lands on the calendar.  If you wish to torture a fellow teacher, tell one of his or her students that tomorrow is his or her birthday, even if it isn’t.  They will never forgive you, which was my plan in the first place.  I paid my dues.  Let them pony up as well.  Mayhem results and spite usually conquers all.

Happy Birthday….even it’s belated, or early….even better!

My next complaint will be to the editor.  It is with regards to the Lord of all Sins: Surprises.




My wife is impossible.  She’s just so unreasonable.  She also scares me. Luckily, she is married to a man who uses reason, patience and kindness when dealing with her and our animals.  For months, she had been bugging me about getting a cat. Well, now we have one.  It’s the same old story all the time.  “Oooh….look at that cat.  It’s so cute.  I’ll take care of it, I promise.”  While she’s working three jobs, guess who will be taking care of it?  Yeah.  Exactly.  Me.  It burns and scratches my ass……quite literally.

Our cat, Otis, has his own personnel key to our house.  It’s actually a key to any room in our house.  We named him after my wife’s favorite character in The Andy Griffith Show, and he seems to be living up to his name.  Otis spends much of his time in his cell, or pantry number one after he’s had a snootful of catnip. He sleeps it off, receives a terrific breakfast from his Aunt B (my wife, Britt) and we wave him goodbye until the next weekend.  Sometimes, if he staggers into the pantry, he begins meowing uncontrollably.  We then read him a book by Dr. Seuss or sing him a song titled Cat Scratch Fever. This and these antics which follow are eerily similar to those exhibited by Otis Campbell on the A.G. Show.

Sometimes, he can’t find the pantry.  He may be passed out in the office, one of our closets, in the dishwasher, beneath the couch, or head first in one of our many urns occupied by former pets using their ashes as though they are his stadium’s many toilets.

Having never witnessed Otis Campbell throw a punch, I couldn’t tell if he was right or left handed.  Our Otis is definitely a southpaw, and I have the scars to prove it.  Sure, just like a champ, he’ll set you up with several right jabs and then surprise you with a vicious left claw.  My wife wonders why our blankets and pillow cases look like a crime scene in the morning.  DNA central.

Once, after we returned home from dinner, we found him riding around on our dog, a one hundred pound canine.  Otis weighs just over a pound.  This was after he found the key to the catnip cabinet.  Just like Barney Fife, I convinced my wife to allow me to provide some necessary form of rehabilitation.  After detoxing throughout the night, I started by giving him the renowned Sylvester the Cat Rorschach test.  After displaying a number of pictures, each response was the same.  “Tell me what you see on this piece of paper.”  Meow.  “How about this one?”  Meow.  The third one he just pissed on.  He looked at Britt with pleading eyes, and she laughingly dismissed him.  She thinks everything Otis does is funny.  She and Otis need to have their own act in Vaudeville.  I didn’t find it funny at all.

I did get back at him once.  Attempting to exercise on the treadmill, Otis came wobbling into the room.  He was fascinated by the treadmill.  With my legs moving, I remained stationary.  Instead of asking me, he just jumped on the treadmill, and after several cat rolls, went flying against the wall.  He hasn’t been on it since.  That made me laugh.

Ultimately, Otis is a pretty affable cat, and we can’t help but love him.  You have to, don’t you?  Just like you and your good for nothing, booger eating, pants pooping, can I borrow some money (borrow?….that’s a laugh) will you watch them for the night, soon to be spending time in the County Jail children.

My parents loved me.  Well, I’m pretty sure they did.



Thank This

Everyone hold each others’ sweaty hands.  We must give thanks and pray.  blachch…

All of you will have your turn at the table to release your souls and “out loud” tell us all what you are most thankful for this evening.

Gravy!  No.  Good gravy.  That’s all I’ve got.

Start thinking about it.  You only have a couple weeks to go before Thanksgiving judgment day.  I’m ready.

I’m thankful for paper towels.  I keep them with me, especially on Thanksgiving, like a man carrying his gun in his holster.  Spills will fly and herbs and spices will be splattered.  Since I am cooking here, that’s what I’m thankful for this evening.   I don’t care about the drunk uncle telling terrible stories at the child’s table.  I’m not thankful for him.  That may have been me a time or two.  I’m also thankful for my wife who is a septic inspector.  Not a fun job, but she has to earn the meals I provide her.

Fully loaded for Thanksgiving.  That turkey will pay for his sins.

First Day (The Wooden Arm)

My wooden arm only lasted one day.

School was in session this week for those educators and pupils young and old,  and I began to remember, as a retired teacher, what the first day would bestow upon the students.

As a former middle school teacher, I once entered the classroom on the first day of school acting as if I had a wooden arm.  I don’t really know why.  Perhaps, I just wasn’t prepared and I thought I’d just wing it. (I hate puns….that was purely accidental).  It wasn’t my first year of teaching.  I just wanted to shake things up a bit by providing some mystery on the first day of new clothes, possible friends and enemies as well as their newest teacher.  I developed the idea from some friends of mine walking around at parties similar to the police officer’s antics from Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein. This enforcer was a one armed ornery cuss who would place sharp objects in his arm, such as darts, just to keep track of them. My friends would have to move the fake wooden arm with their, quite capable left, (very scientific flirting) wishfully attracting the attention of girls.  They did attract attention, yet only making the girls stray.  The girls were indeed silent with intrigue.  Emptying my plastic cup of stale beer, I recognized how this could assist me in my professional career as a teacher.

When the, “what the hell did you do this summer?” essay, annually introduced by other teachers, I felt as though it sunk beneath the students’ ears and sailed aimlessly above  their heads like dusty glue only burnout teachers could clinch to themselves taking comfort in their inauguration assignments.

I chose a different route.  Evidently, middle schoolers are terrified of prosthetic limbs.  My wooded arm made its appearance before attendance call.  Stiff angled right arm was also in attendance.  Making myself three quarters present, my students were silent for almost a full period upon my entrance.  Unless you discount middle school day dreamers wishing to be home by the end of my preposterous scene, they would have given me an award for phoniest teacher.

By the end of the period, with mostly silence,  other than a call of attendance, I began looking aimlessly and helplessly for my pencil and pen holder.  Asking if anyone had seen it and describing it as a plastic great white shark with its mouth agape, they turned their eyes to the floor and elsewhere, either trying to help me or wonder when the actual lesson may begin.  The bright students believed in the phony arm, but they also thought I snuck into this school acting as if I was actually a qualified teacher, or just a bum who found some khakis left behind the thrift store along with a button upped collared shirt.

We continued our search for the pencil holder as if we were searching for the Northwest Passage.  Collectively, we became the middle school corp of discovery. One bold student asked me why this was so important to me.  I told her it was a gift holding dark memories for me, yet it was almost critical we find it together.   She was further mystified.  Is our teacher just flat out mad?   “Have any of you seen it?”  Most of them just stared in silence while others provided an awkwardly slow shake of their head.  I then stared at my right arm with disgust, fingers molded firmly for more than a half hour with elbow cocked in one position forming a right angle with my forearm and bicep.  Giving up hope on finding the pencil holder, I took my free left hand and lifted a sharpened pencil and said, not with anger or force, yet with subtle desperation, I have a place for this pencil. I was going to jab it into my wooden arm.

After the gasp, I displayed my proper upper torso and was embraced by the students . Then, I was informed, by my wonderful principal, Ms. Hoffman, who would fly by my room from time to time on her broom, I was never to pull that crap again.  One of my students had a relative who had lost his arm in a boating accident.  Not funny.  I obliged.  Ms. Hoffman and I still laugh about it whenever we speak.  She took great care of me, and was probably the only employer who could stop me in my tracks without being tripped.

The year went well, not without its glitches, and I can assure you, I pissed off plenty of students, parents and administration members along the way.  I can also say I taught them how to respect themselves, others, education and, yes, even a man with two arms,two legs, a full heart and half a brain.  At times, many could say I didn’t do everything the right way.  I didn’t.  That’s the beauty of it all.  I recognized it.  Those who thought they were always doing it the right way, sometimes missed the boat.  That boat could be surrounded by sharks.


Hitching Post 77

Picking up hitch hikers is something my wife and I don’t ordinarily do.  In fact, after almost ten years of marriage, this was our first time.  I’d never personally picked one up myself and neither had she.  The only hitch hiker I shared a ride with was in in the 1970’s when my father picked one up while a man was thumbing a ride across the State Line of Idaho, a place where no one was thought to be crazy.  I was six, and my two older brothers in the backseat were ten and twelve.  My father was in his fifties driving with an open beer in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other.   We were all in prime condition for hands on combat with a wandering weirdo.  Hand to knife?  No.  Hand to gun?  Negative.  I guess it turned out ok, because my father was a pretty good judge of character and maintained faith in the Lord.  Those were the odds my father held in his favor when potentially picking up a stranger with lethal weapons.  Are there any other kind these days?  Well,  I’m still here to write about this bold memory, and my wife are I are here cozily tossing and turning with the puppy who was there with us for our first hitcher.

Trying to locate a Veterinary clinic on a secluded island, our global positioning system went on the fritz, so we resulted to the ancient art of prayer to help us find our way.  Perhaps God’s GPS wasn’t working that day either, or He was teaching us a lesson for not attending church the week prior……or the week before that, or the week before that,  or on Easter and Christmas.  We were lost on a land with twisted roads surrounded by a sea of angry waves and AARP drowning victims.  We knew the majority of the island’s inhabitants were between the ages of sixty five and one hundred.

Our dog in the back was scratching her head trying to help us find our way.  She also had a terrible earache.  Seconds felt like hours before we saw a man gimping down the road in front of us with his arm straighten to the left and a thumb in the air.  We drove past him before my wife, the driver, felt a wave of island guilt pass within her after glancing in the rear view mirror.  Looking at me, she asked, “Should we pick him up?”

I responded, with befuddled fashion, “Seriously?”

She then began to tell me how she knew I had good judgement regarding these situations as though I drove around the streets of any city U.S.A. looking for hitch hikers with the sixth sense of knowing if I’d be hijacked or successfully helping a fellow man requiring assistance.  She also thought I’d get that warm feeling wondering if I’d be brutally murdered by a fellow citizen of the street.

I looked back and noticed he was an older man somewhere between 65 and 90.  He was also wearing a University of Virginia Tech (Home of the Fighting Hokies) sweatshirt screaming out, “Would a man wearing  a Va. Tech pull over ever be capable of killing a wife, her husband along with their stupid dog?  People, I implore you!”

Loving the fact my wife held such confidence in me, while shrewdly passing the guilt to me, I told her to turn around and we’ll pick him up.  She also stated it was my ass who would be held responsible for making the wrong decision.

Before allowing him into the car, my wife asked him where he was headed and then asked if he trusted us.  Trusted us?!!  What the hell was she talking about? Do we trust him seemed more appropriate.  I simply said, “Go Hokies” thinking this may break the wind, and ease any ideas he may have regarding causing harm to us.  Ultimately, he did trust us, and we trusted him.

Not only did this 77 year old gentleman, who had missed his bus ride back to town just three miles away, guide us to the Vet clinic, he then provided specific instructions to a little known breakfast spot only the native islanders knew.  We were both grateful and starving.

After bidding one another adieu, he vanished after crossing the street and my wife looked at me and said, “I guess I was right.”  It’s still a mystery to me if she was talking about herself or her right hand man potentially making the correct or colossally stupid decision. Letting that go, our dog’s ear was well taken care of and our bellies were eventually full.


Mother Hood

My wife and I are proud parents.  She is proud as can be of our animals, (me, not so much) and I am a Spokane Washington raised hood. She believes our animals should be in the Feline and Canine Hall of Fame.  I believe they should be in prison or Spokane.  I don’t know which is worse.


True Facts and CPR

This is a shockingly true story, so tighten up your Buster Browns.

A dear friend of mine works for  I can’t tell you exactly what the hell she does, but I know she makes a living.  She also lives in a house and drives a car.

The other day, she called me describing one of her days at work.  Evidently, people don’t work one day at Amazon. They work days.  This story can’t get any worse, but trust me, it gets better.

While on a conference call, my friend was auditing financial data, when one of her co-workers needed to take a break to perform CPR on her dog.  And one and two and three and four…The dog survived, and she was given a solid performance review.