Monday, February 12, 2007

Hold the gum

On the way to Jennie's Abe party, Mom and I stopped for a light snack. She had a chicken mandarin orange salad and I had a heart stoppin' burger. It was going down great until just before I finished. I discovered a wad of "used" chewing gum in the wrapper of my burger. I thought, "this ain't happenin'" but there it was in plain sight with teeth indentations, no less. Just before going to the management, Mom remembered she had discarded her gum before eating. She had placed it on top of a crouton package and when I picked up my burger I somehow incorporated the croouton package into my wrapper. So, I was greatly relieved and was able to finish my meal. Next time I might ask them to hold the "O" and the gum. But they wouldn't understand.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Waste not, want not

Well, my waste not, want not tendencies surfaced again. We've been boxing and moving things around in preparation for some remodeling. One thing I stumbled onto was a collection of wedding sized bubble bottles - the ones with the wand for blowing bubbles as the bride and groom depart. "No need to save them", I thought, but then I reasoned, "Why not use them for shampoo!" --- which I did. I am happy to report that the lather is better than expected and the fragrance is non-existent - at least it's not malodorous/repugnant, or too feminine for my taste. So it's been a good couple of days. (Yesterday I found a penny in the parking lot @ Colton's)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Yesterday Pat and I visited my Dad and "Miss Emma" in North Little Rock. Don't remember how it came up, but at one point Pop began singing some old songs. He sings old hymns and gospel songs regularly, night and day. Miss Emma said he sometimes wakes her up in the middle of the night and invites her to sing along. How disruptive to your sleep is that? Anyway, this one came from the 1940s and was recorded by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters and before that the composer, a guy named Al Dexter? Al had owned a bar in Texas and the lyrics were based on some real life experiences. The lyrics go something like this: "Drinkin' beer in a cabaret, was I havin' fun, But she caught me right and shot out the light and now I'm on the run. CHORUS: Oh! Lay that pistol down babe, lay that pistol down, pistol packin' Momma, lay that pistol down." Another verse went like this: Drinkin' beer in a cabaret, And dancin' with a blonde, But she came in and shot out the light, Bang! that blonde was gone... There are many verses and many numerous parodies of the original were composed. It was a favorite on the USO shows and hit the charts for a while during WWII. I am constantly amazed by Pop's memory. Not just lyrics, but all kinds of things that happened in his childhood/youth.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Yesterday I had our Toyota van serviced. Standard lube and oil change, but there is also an annoying seat belt warning on the dashboard. At first it was intermittent and would go away when relocking the seat belt. Eventually, it began flashing every 2-3 seconds without cessation and was becoming a minor nuisance. I even wondered if the long term visual effect of a flashing light would be to burn a hole in my retina. Out with the shades, I thought. So the guys in the shop checked it out and said they couldn't get the light to come on. I remarked, "You've really got the touch!". "Or touched", he replied. So I settled up with the cashier and headed for Little Rock. I hadn't gotten out of the parking lot when the seat belt light came on again and continued flashing all the way to Little Rock. I didn't have time to return and show them the light, but will follow up on my next trip. Touched? or Got the Touch?

Monday, December 04, 2006

The First Star

With the coming of the holiday season, I've been reminded of our (Practical Pat and I) first Christmas together. I was an intern at St. John's hospital in Tulsa, OK. We lived in an efficiency apartment (which suited our budget). Christmas was approaching and we didn't have a tree, wreath for the front door or any of the other trappings. Luckily, the hospital was throwing away some of the "aesthetically-deprived" trees and I snagged one. It reminded me a lot of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Well, we did our best to decorate it with what we had, but when we finished, we decided it needed one more thing. Yep. A star for the top! So, necessity being the mother of invention, I found a discarded KFC box and cut it out in the shape of a star. Punched a hole in the center and then covered it with Reynolds Wrap. Was it symmetrical? No. Was it pretty? No. Did it reflect the lights on the tree? Barely. Did it generate any comments? No. (But they were probably being kind). Did it become a part of our tradition for many years? A resounding YES!! I would give anything to have that star again. Somewhere in the moves, or packing and repacking the ornaments, it was lost. Now all I have is a memory. But that memory shines brighter with each passing year. I guess your first star is a lot like your first love. You will never forget him or her and you will cherish it in your heart of hearts forever.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

alimento reciclado

Was reading Jennie's blog and came across a post by Jackie Sue. Linked over to her blog and read about her 10 month old son and his hurling episode. Reminded me of something that happened to me many years ago. I was working for Del Monte Foods in Rochelle, IL. I had just finished my freshman year in college and was up there making big money ($1.12/hr.) working in the pea pack (Sweet peas/English peas). One night after work we got all spiffed up and headed for town. Since we had been eating the camp cook's offerings for about 2-3 weeks we were ready for some real food. Burgers, fries and cokes for the whole bunch. I was sitting in the back seat with my head out the window, taking in the cool night air and yelling at the passers-by. Wasn't paying attention to anybody or anything! Unbeknownst to me, the guy in the passenger seat up front had cleared his throat and with a mighty "patooie" spat into the night air. You can guess where it ended up. Yep. In the mouth of the guy in the back seat with his head out the window. My texture problems began that day. Second hand ground beef! Ugh! Double ugh!! I thought I would never get my mouth cleaned out. We remained friends as only two people who have shared a burger can. This is probably a little gross to post. Apologies to the weak at heart/stomach.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Up Up and Away

Why is it the guy with least knowledge is always left to manage the store? Yesterday we had some chimney caps replaced (the old sheet metal ones were 26 years old). Had to rent a lift (boom with basket) to install them. Well, the sheet metal company lifted two men to the roof and one man was in the basket running the controls and passing the new caps to the installers. I was on the ground watching (and praying that none of them would fall). The caps were passed off and the man in the basket prepared to lower the boom (not in a figurative sense). Midway between the roof and the ground the rig stalled. So there I am, three men in the air, trying to make something good out of the situation. Long story, short, I fiddled and diddled with the switches until I fianlly got it running, but it wouldn't activate the hydraulics. So, I called the rental agency and they sent a man out to rescue us. Meanwhile the trapped sheetmetal workers sunbathed, told stories and contemplated their respective navels. In no time at all the renatl company repairman had us going (switched some wires around) and it all ended well. But it did emphasize the point --- the guy with least experience/skill is always left watching the store.