My 2016 Holiday Requirements

Dear Beautiful Ones,

Some of you remember that around this time of year, I carefully urge everyone who might read this to drop whatever it is they are doing and run (and I do mean run) (no cars, that’s cheating) down to the nearest Holy Mackerel This Is Expensive Junk store and fulfill my annual need for material goods that either enhance my quality of life or are merely amusing or perhaps just delicious and please believe me, this sentence is not only way too long but I’m using all these extra words to let you all know just how serious this really is.

Really.

Those who know me understand that I’m an old tree-hugger peacenik hippie kind of guy who really has been “blessed” (too much stuff is not necessarily a blessing) with more stuff than I’ll ever really need. However, I am a spoiled rotten American, which means that Greed is my middle name and I have every right to insist that I get what I deserve. Therefore, in the spirit of all the Holiday Commercials That Are Trying To Sell Us Even More Stuff Than Any Of Us Will Ever Need, I hereby lay down my list of Holiday Requirements for 2016.

M) This one is very simple: please have Santa come every day and top off my gas tank on our minivan. I know that sometimes this is inconvenient; but that doesn’t matter. I have important places to go, you see.

x9) Please stop squeaking that silly dog toy. The dog is sleeping anyway and all you’re doing is trying to wake up the baby. Don’t you understand that I already had the chicken pops? Would you like a hot chocolate?

R4) I really need a new Happy Barber Poultry Styling Kit. I’ve been practicing the art of making really cool, fashionable, and yes, noise reducing Chicken and Turkey Haircuts. I call them haircuts because if I start saying anything about feather cuts (which is what really would be cut), they start running through my house and hiding all the remote controls. Not very often I get the chance to do some feather styling, but just in case I need to be prepared.

GL12) Before Jangulary 75th please get one of those cardboard Interstellar Mailing Tube things. I hope to send more messages to my friends in the Skoldern Galaxy, Sector 23 VX but I’ll need a much larger sling shot this year for launching the aforementioned Intergalactic Sailing Lube things. Nobody can really do much Interstellar Mailing without Intergalactic Sailing Lube, now can they??

Y5) I need a new app that will hasten my retirement while building my savings to an enormous level. Once my retirement begins, this app will slow the days down so they last much longer. I’m pretty sure someone is working on this in either Saskatchewan or perhaps Bermuda. Make sure they send me the evaluation copy with a lifetime free trial.

And finally,

*^%) I can’t seem to get my cat to have dinner ready for us when we get home from a hard day at the Doorknob Mines. Doesn’t he know that our meager $.17 / hr. is what’s bringing home the cardboard disguised as bacon? The least he could do for us is try to at least get some take out at the local Skoldern Galaxy Surprise Buffet or something. Sheesh!!

OK. That’s enough Material Madness from the likes of me. Just please make sure it all happens; because what I really want is that all of you and yours have a Happy Merry and a Joyful Wonderful, and that you forget to sneeze in each others’ eggnog while zipping happily through the forest on the brand new, diesel / solar powered cyber rocket that I’m pretty sure you bought for me already.

You’re so nice!!

Maus In Da Haus… Again!!

Hope all of you had your fill of turkey (or whatever you fill your tummy with on Thanksgiving) this past weekend. For the last several years we’ve enjoyed our Dear Friend Ruthie’s cooking, complete with F.N. Brussels sprouts. Didn’t get those last year, so this time around my Beautiful Girlfriend made it a point to put her dibs in for F.N. Brussels sprouts. Tradition is important you know!

Before Lew, Ruthie’s hubby, passed away, Thanksgiving would migrate depending on whose turn it was. I’d cook one year, then Ruthie the next, and so on. The last year Lew was alive, he noticed I had a pot with Brussels sprouts on the stove. “Ken,” he said, “I see you’re making Brussels sprouts.” “Yes, “ I replied, “you like Brussels sprouts, Lew??” “F*@# NO!!” he exclaimed, at which point all of us laughed very bigly. So ever since that day, we celebrate Thanksgiving at our Dear Friend Ruthie’s house, and every year (except last year) she made some sort of dish with Brussels sprouts. Because her grandkids would often come to dinner, they became known as F.N. Brussels sprouts. We don’t want to pollute the little ones any sooner than life will!!

So because we really love turkey, I cook up a “Thanksgiving” dinner a few days later. Our son, our daughter, son in law, and their two boys help us devour a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. This has become a tradition that includes putting up the Christmas tree. I love to cook, and I also love to grow good things to eat. So this year, instead of regular mashed potatoes, I’m making Maus (pronounced “mouse”). And since I like to be different, this year’s Maus will be blue. It can’t be helped, you see… I grew Adirondack Blue potatoes; and they are blue inside and out! Not sure, but I have a feeling Mrs. Spoelma might get a kick out of blue Maus.

God bless Mrs. Spoelma, the “Hollander” (Michigan term for Dutch) lady who lived next door to us when we first moved to Muskegon. She and her husband were often outside in the yard, and we’d have many a conversation across the fence. That was 39 years ago (wow!!), and one couldn’t ask for nicer neighbors.

When our daughter came into the world, she started bringing us food. Most often, she brought an odd mashed potato dish we’d never had before. “This is Maus,” she said when she brought over the first batch. “It’s an old family recipe: mashed potatoes, kale, and barley. Oh and a little bit of onion, too.” It was simply wonderful. Perfect food for a couple of tree huggers with a brand new baby. Free food is always pretty doggoned perfect if you ask me; especially when it’s delicious. “Maus” is not merely wonderful as a side dish for meat and another vegetable, maybe even some gravy. It is especially yummy the following day, reheated with an over easy egg or two on top. MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

When I first wrote about Maus a few years ago I scoured the web for a recipe that resembled this remarkable dish. No such luck. After many variations of the words potato, mashed, kale, barley, and Dutch, I found several interesting cooking ideas but nothing that resembled what our dear Mrs. Spoelma made. After a little trial and error, I think I’ve been able to replicate the flavor pretty closely.

Because it’s so doggoned yummy, I feel it’s my duty to share the basics with you. I love to cook but I rarely follow any recipe exactly. Mouse is no exception; but without further ado here is a rudimentary description. Try this and alter the quantities of barley, kale, and onions to your liking next time.

Maus: Delicious Mashed Potatoes, Kale, Barley and Onion

Ingredients:

Potatoes : enough to fill a 6 quart pot a bit more than halfway when diced

Barley: ½ cup hulled barley (pearled barley is OK but not as nutritious as hulled)

Kale: 3 – 4 tightly packed cups, chopped

Onions: one large onion or 4 or 5 small onions, diced

½ stick of salted butter

½ cup of milk

salt to taste

Potatoes, barley, and kale will be cooked in separate pots.

Add more than enough water to the barley to cover, at least 2 inches higher than the barley. Boil the barley until tender, then drain, cover and set aside.

Add 1 cup water to the kale, and cover. Bring to boil, remove from heat after 2 or 3 minutes boiling. Toss the onions in with the kale and cover again, let that sit for about 5 minutes. The heat will cook the onions just enough. Drain, then set aside.

Wash and dice enough potatoes to fill a 6 quart pot a bit more than half way (we leave the skins on). Fill with water till the potatoes are barely covered, and boil until tender, drain. Add butter and mash, adding milk and a dash or so of salt along the way. When the potatoes are creamy, add barley, kale and onions to the potatoes and mash together until mixed thoroughly. OK, you’re done! Now, don’t just stand there, it’s time to eat!!

By the way, this has nothing to do with Mouseketeers…

Thank You God For Everything

Here we go again, the holiday season is upon us. In the U.S. we start the ball rolling with Thanksgiving and continue on through Hanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Lots of celebration and material giving, lots of TV commercials, lots of crazy sales, lots of parties.

Personally, I find all this commercial everything just as distasteful as the political ads that lead up to election day. Now that I’m an old dinosaur 1960s hippie peacenik tree hugger geezer dude, the holidays mean a whole lot less about all the stuff and a whole lot more about all the people I carry with me in my heart, both here and on the Other Side.

I’ve finally made it to the point where I can delight in the good times of childhood and let the not-so-good times fade away. Although it took me way to long to understand, I get it now: our parents did the best they could with us kids. They did the best they knew how. I can honestly believe that today and miss them with love rather than hold on to resentments. Of course, I’m a spoiled American so I do indulge in the material gift giving. But as time marches on I find myself getting increasingly gooshy about how fortunate I am.

That’s right, I said it, SPOILED AMERICAN. That’s me. I have plenty to eat; a job, a home, family and friends who love me, even cars that work. When I focus on those areas I become very aware that I’m rich beyond measure really.

So this time of year I find myself saying Thanks to God, whoever THEY are. A good friend of mine once gave me a bumper sticker that read: “God is too big to fit in any one religion.” Well amen to that. When you look at the similarities in all the various faiths; it becomes increasingly apparent that we’re all praying to the same Divine Spirit.

Yes, I truly am an old dinosaur 1960s hippie peacenik tree hugger geezer dude. I “keep the faith” that we humans will eventually get our act together to wage peace rather than war, and harmonize with Mother Earth rather than rape her. I pray for these things often, and as one of my favorite people often sang, “I’m not the only one.”

Here’s wishing all of my friends and loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope we can all take a moment to help those less fortunate than we are. Speaking for myself, I know that this Spoiled American could donate a lot more. Every little bit helps. Maybe put an extra buck in the Salvation Army kettle so the bell ringer can have something to do besides watch people walk past. Or maybe donate to the Red Cross. The opportunities are pretty much endless and the need is great.

Above all, don’t give up. Try to be happy, it’s what God wants for all of us. Work, pray, and vote for peace, love and a healthy planet. Embrace the Golden Rule. It’s never too late. Persistence will pay off, I believe this with every fiber of my being. And for those of you who think maybe I’m Somewhere In Dream Land; well I’ll just keep praying for youse, too.

If I Were King

Can we call a do-over for the election please? Seems like both sides settled for some seriously flawed nominees. Hillary was immensely qualified; but there was that pretty big e-mail thing; and yeah some other trust things. Also, try as she might; she didn’t connect very well with all the frustrated folks in the so-called “rust belt” and elsewhere. Then of course you have Mr. Trump… who is… um… well… Mr. Trump.

All kinds of emotions played in my noggin during all of this; and none of them were very happy; especially when Bernie lost the primaries. I am, however, very grateful that both candidates assumed their new roles pretty gracefully and even humbly. Hillary gave a whopper of a concession speech; and Mr. Trump spoke more humbly than most of us have ever heard before. Whether our nation can heal effectively depends on what happens next; and I truly hope we can all pull together to make that happen.

Anybody listening? I truly hope we can all pull together. Lots of protesting in the streets these days by disillusioned citizens. While I agree with many of their sentiments, I can’t help but ask, “where was youse kids before the election??”

So, enough about all that (for now). This is supposed to be another installment of “Happy Friday!!!” and I’m gonna try to make it something that will produce a smile or two. Therefore and to-wit (that’s legal talk), I’ve decided to appoint myself King for a Day. Tomorrow, you can be King. Unless of course you’d rather be Queen; in which case you are probably much more powerful than a King because of all the cool moves you can make on the chess board. So the next day someone else can be in charge, and it will be a rotating kind of thing. Kings and Queens, Princes and Dukes; run around in circles till everyone pukes.

Now of course it’s time to steal some lyrics from a Three Dog Night Song:

If I was the King Of The World,

I’d tell you what I’d do.

I’d throw away the cars and the bars and the war

And make sweet love to you.”

Perhaps I wouldn’t make love to you; because I don’t even know you. Besides, my Beautiful Girlfriend allowed me to be her lover for many years; and I don’t want to mess that up you see. She’s my One and Only. I don’t care how much candy you have in your glove box or how much pickled herring you “accidentally” left in my fridge; my lovin’s are reserved for my Honey Pie and nobody else. Get it? OK, cool. Yes, I’ll give you hugs and love you unconditionally. Just not in a married kind of way. Am I making myself clear? Do you get where I’m coming from?? Do you know who this is?? Do you know who you’re tawkin’ to???

OooK… sorry I got sidetracked. Alright… make-a-believe I’m King of the World. First order of business: everybody has to be nice to each other. NOW!! Don’t make me say this again!! Do I have to stop this car?? Do you want to go in the corner?? Whatsa matta wichyoo?? Anyhow??

Sheesh. Just be nice awreddy.

Second order of business: this home we call Earth is getting pretty doggoned dirty with human garbagey pollutiony thingies. Poisons! Broken stuff! Single use plastics!! Oy yoy yoy!! Time to clean up or no more play time!! You see these toys you like so much? Huh?? You wanna play with them ever again?? Well you better listen up and clean your room!! And yes, by your room, I mean Earth!!

That’s a pretty big room…

Third order of business: BE NICE TO EACH OTHER!! Oh wait… I said that awreddy. Well I’m sorry… but youse kids have me all fired up here and now you got me tawkin’ like I’m still livin’ on Long Island.

Fourth (and last) (for today) (I think) order of business: keep a close eye on all these elected official Bozos (and Bozettes). Remember that silly statement, “government of the people, by the people, and for the people?” That means us… it’s our responsibility to make things right. The people we voted for are merely representatives; and we need to keep them accountable. Sure that takes time and effort; but if we don’t do that we’re letting the foxes guard the henhouse.

Ooops!! One more order of business (then I’ll let someone else be King) (or Queen): one of the strongest, most effective votes we have is how we spend our money. Buy locally, think globally. Pay attention to where your food comes from and how it was produced. Give the locals first chance at your dollars. We need to support each other!

Now is the time for the extra long sentence which I forgot to include in many previous “Happy Friday!!!” installments because I was either too cribbly boo or perhaps too forgetful to remember (oldtimer’s disease?) that such sentences often bring joy to those who like to see grammar mangled into a small moldy piece of cheesecake in the bottom left corner of the refrigerator; which of course reminds me of the fact that although I know how to pretend to spout off orders as if I were King, I don’t know anything; I never did know anything; but now I know I don’t know anything. I used to think I knew lots of stuff; but that was before I got learnified via the pains of growing older and wider (<— not a spelling goof there) and realized that the more I learn the less I know.

Knowing that I don’t really know much makes me wonder if I’m now qualified to run for office.

NO!! I just wanna be King!!

Cubs Win!! A Very Welcome Distraction.

Those who know me well are very aware I’m not a sports guy. Never really got into sports when I was a kid… although I did play in Little League for awhile. I wasn’t very good; but I enjoyed it nonetheless. When high school years arrived, I became something of a nerd who was much more interested in getting the grades than in anything sports related.

When the TV is on at our house, it’s almost never because of a sporting event. The only football game we ever see is the Super Bowl; and much of that is because of the commercials and the half time show. My wife and both root for the underdogs, but often we’ll just turn off the game after half time.

Baseball is a bit different; for me anyway. Perhaps that’s because I can actually understand the game. Not much in a baseball game that leaves me puzzled. Football puzzles me from the git-go; because I can’t for the life of me see any sense in running out on a field with the knowledge that someone seeks to drive your nose into the dirt before the game’s over. Pretty violent stuff. No thanks.  To top it off, there are all these flags the referees toss into the field for no apparent reason. I have no idea…

My lack of interest in sports was put on hold this week because of the Chicago Cubs. Those poor fellers have had a very long streak of tough luck. Unless you live in a cave somewhere with no human contact; it’s likely you know they won the World Series after a 108 year dry spell. Pretty darn cool!!

I actually watched most of the games. Even shouted at the players a few times, sometimes with joy and sometimes with annoyance. My Beautiful Girlfriend watched some of the action along with me, but she was pretty bushwhacked after working this past Wednesday; so I turned off the TV and went upstairs to listen to the game on the radio. Rain delayed the game for a bit; and it was past my bed time so I hit the hay with headphones on so I wouldn’t wake up my Honey Pie. When the 10th inning got underway, my Baby started to stir so I asked permission to turn the TV back on to watch the last few minutes. “Honey, can I turn it back on?? I wanna see this!!” “Sure,” she murmured.

Such joy!! Such history!! And such a welcome distraction!! With all the horrible things making headlines and all the election garbage in the media, this was very good medicine. Being the prehistoric relic I am; I still like to listen to AM radio while bopping about in the car. Often I’m tuned into 720 WGN out of Chicago in the morning on the way to work. Until this past Wednesday, the elections have pretty much monopolized the topics of any given day. Since the Cubbies won, though, very little else was being mentioned (thank God!!). This morning, host Steve Cochran asked one of the insiders if there was to be a ticker tape parade for the Cubs today. The answer was yes; then Steve went on to make note that there are no longer any stock tickers in operation these days. The name “ticker tape parade” was quickly reaffirmed though, because “…it sounds much better than a paper parade.”

So Chicago is on fire tonight; but it’s not the destructive kind. They had their ticker tape parade and all the speeches and comradery that goes with such a monumental event. The fires of Love and Happiness are burning brightly in Chi-town as well as much of the rest of the country. So if you’re itching for some good news; tune in just about any Chicago TV or radio station and enjoy the buzz while it lasts.

Can you believe it?? The Cubs won the World Series!!

Grandma Loftus used to sing this one… can’t help but love it…

Halloween… Lights??

Halloween is a bit of a strange holiday to begin with, but it evolves into something more ghoulish every year:  COMMERCIALISM.  Is that a word??  I guess so… but it’s not like communism, although sometimes it seems equally repulsive.  My friends call me a “tree hugger.”  I guess I am.  I go around hugging trees all day long and tell them I love them.  Well maybe I don’t really do that… but all of the products that have sprung up for holiday celebrations have me wondering just how much more of all this manufacturing madness Mother Nature can take.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy jack o’ lanterns and fake skeletons and stuff like that there, but lights??  We never had Halloween lights when I was a kid.  Christmas lights, yes.  But Halloween lights??  Sounds like an oxymoron to me.  I mean, Halloween is all about having the wits frightened out of you by witches and hobgoblins and such.  So all these happy Halloween lights are making big brightness of the night which transforms a perfectly scary evening into orange-on-black-holy-cow-look-at-all-the-lights-on-that-house happy joy dead monsters fun world.  

Yes, they are cool in their own Halloweeny way… but I’m thinking maybe some of our neighborhood home owners have electric meters that are going so fast they’re ready to blow an axle.  Our “neighbor” Mike (about 2 miles up the road) has quite the awesome display this year. I even stopped to tell him so one night on my way back from Whitehall. Never knew his name before then, but he was abrim with joy when he described the acquisition of each part of his remarkable display. I must say, it’s pretty impressive!!

But back to my traditionalist whining: how in the heck do you sneak up on someone when the yard is blasting out all that light??  Sheesh.  Now you wanna hear something really weird, when we were kids it was “cool” to walk around on Halloween with a big fat sock full of flour.  Why?  So you could sneak up on people and bop them with it!!  Makes a nice big mark that is really fun to apply, and easy to get off.  And it looks totally cool when you swing your sock full of flour and connect with someone’s back or maybe their booty.  A big POOF and white powder all over the place, and of course a sock print on the point of impact.  And this prank relied on darkness.  You can’t sneak up on anyone in the midst of blazing Halloween lights and bop them with anything.  

Simpler times… I know.  Those days, Frankenstein’s monster scared the living crap out of us, because we knew he was lurking in the dark and was gonna jump out and rip us all apart if we didn’t scurry from house to house with our pillow cases to get those yummy Black Cow suckers, Jujubes, Neccos and Mary Janes.  And if you were lucky enough to hit a well-to-do neighborhood, you could even score a fair amount of chocolate!  Once in a great while you’d stumble upon the “bad kids” who actually had eggs.  And you always knew that bad kids… and worse yet, you knew they would actually throw the eggs.  At other people no less!!  And again, successful egg tossing required a secret ingredient:  darkness.    

Well, Frankenstein’s monster is considered a big wuss now.  Sure, in movies of yore the monster did indeed kill people, and the villagers told of his awesome strength and the ability to tear men apart with his bare hands.  But these days, such a movie would flop unless the monster was shown opening his victims’ bodies with a machete, eating their kidneys, and washing them down with a Sierra Mist.  And it’s all because of those stupid Halloween lights I’m tellin’ ya!!

OK, maybe not.  

Awright, awright awreddy!! I give in: I really do enjoy looking at everyone’s light displays. Those who know me are fully aware that I’m a little goofy… maybe I’ll dress up like a dust mop and go hide in the custodian’s closet at work or something.  Pretty sure there won’t be any Halloween lights in there so it will be very dark.  I’ll mark the doorHAUNTED HOUSE” in big letters; and when some unsuspecting soul opens the door, I’ll make terrifying dust mop noises and mopping motions!!

Nah… I’ll just enjoy watching our grandkids run around our almost-a-granddaughter Fern’s and almost-a-grandson Lake’s neighborhood like crazy to fill their candy buckets. When we all get back to our almost-a-daughter Andrea’s (Fern & Lake’s Mom) house we check their haul to make sure there’s nothing harmful. Along the way, each of us will probably “make really sure” some chocolate is safe to eat with by carefully testing it with our very own adult chompers.

I hope all of you have a safe and Happy Halloween.  Enjoy the lights, and don’t forget your flour bopping socks!

This week’s video is one that gave me goose bumps when I was a kid…

You Gonna Eat That??

Several of my friends know I’m a garden geek. Lately, a common question is: “So Ken, the garden’s pretty much done, huh?” “No, there’s still plenty to do,” I reply to their surprise. Of course, some folks are indeed done with growing food; but our garden still has lots of groceries waiting for us.

Autumn is in full swing here in Beautiful West Michigan; and in the garden there are still many chores to be done. Clearing out withered remnants of warm weather crops is of course one of those. Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant don’t do so well after a frost. Although I’ve been known to erect makeshift tents with tarps, poles, and bailing twine to save a few plants that still have fruit; there comes a point of diminishing return. Might frost tonight, but I’m ready to move on to the rest of the food plants and let Mother Nature take her course with the sensitive stuff. Whatever dies gets pulled out of the ground and thrown into the compost pile.

“What do you have left to pick?” my friends wonder aloud. The answer: squash, kale, beets, carrots, potatoes, wild cabbage (ancestor to kale), Swiss chard, parsley, rhubarb, and a little cilantro. Oh, and there are of course a few straggler tomatoes and such that survive the first couple of frost nippings.

My friend Kit was asking me these kinds of questions just the other day. Then he tickled my funny bone by asking, “do you eat everything you grow?” “Well,” I replied with a smirk, “we give some of it away…” I couldn’t help smiling a bit more as I visualized myself eating ALL of the produce in one big snarfing session (what can I say, I get amused easily). “No,” he wondered, “I mean do you eat all the kinds of vegetables you grow?” “Well sure!” I responded with a grin. By this time my warped mind silently kicked into silliness overdrive with possible responses:

“Well, we like to plant all kinds of weird, disgusting foods so we can watch them mature and them mow them down with the tractor.”

Or…

“No, I just like busting my hiney to grow food so I can make some kick-butt compost with it!!”

Or maybe…

“Whadda you nuts?? Vegetables are disgusting!!”

Seriously though, yes we do indeed eat what we grow; and I’ve gotten better at planning the garden according to what my Beautiful Girlfriend and I both like to eat. That’s not very difficult since we both pretty much like any vegetable put in front of us. She’s very tolerant when I plant different things for the fun of it. Ground cherries are one example of a home run with my Honey Pie, she really loves those things. Well OK, I like them a lot too!!

A byproduct of living the first 3 years of marriage in the south was that both of us are smitten by greens. Kale, wild cabbage, Swiss chard, and beet greens are some of our favorites. We eat them steamed as a side vegetable; mixed into a stir fry; added to and egg “scramble” (sauteed mushrooms, onions and other veggies cooked into scrambled eggs with a little shredded cheese on top). These days I have greens almost every day for lunch at work. So simple… the night before I just chop some up stems and all; then toss them into a Pyrex bowl with diced onions and whatever protein is left over from dinner. Into the fridge they go till lunch time the next day. Couple minutes in the microwave and lunch is ready!

In case any of you are wondering, yes, we did consider ourselves vegetarians early in our marriage. We ate eggs and dairy products, but no meat. Why? Health reasons of course, but our belief system was evolving too. We didn’t like the idea of killing so we could eat; but then we watched shows like Wild America and Nature. Those programs illustrated the fact that all animals, large and small, are part of a diverse tapestry of beings that will either eat or be eaten. Kind of flushed the killing stuff in the toilet for me… and besides, to paraphrase a bumper sticker, if our Creator didn’t intend for us to eat animals, they should never have been made of meat!! I did my share of hunting when I was a kid, but would rather not do that anymore. To this day we still eat a lot of veggies, but don’t eat very much red meat at all… mostly dead fish and dead chicken.

And you may not be wondering, but I asked my friend Kit if it was OK to have some fun at his expense for this week’s “Happy Friday!!!” So thank you Kit! Sometimes the creative well runs a bit dry and this helped the words flow.

Speaking of word flow, that has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween; but because it’s just around the corner I thought I’d share this very old but very cool cartoon we watched with our grandsons tonight.

A Paperless Papers Letter

Dear Battery Holders,

As you may have noticed, this letter is not printed on paper.  No… you see it’s like this:  I’d like to warn you in advance that what follows is something of a hot topic. Please, if you have any interest in maintaining a trove of printed documents, DO NOT be like me.

As an egg sample, I often can’t seem to find my brayne. Those of you who are getting older will appreciate this, and maybe some of the younger ones too. There we were, in the process of getting a better car for our son. The purchase was to happen within days; but do you think I could find the title for his ’97 Grand Am POC (Piece Of Crap) so we could trade it in? Well of course not. That would be way too convenient. I looked everywhere except under the sofa. Fortunately, the car salesman reassured us that we can apply for a lost title thingy when we go to the dealership.

Then I’m thinking, “where might our license plate renewal stuff be?? I know I saw it the other day.”

Well sometimes we have a problem. We heat with wood. No, that’s not the problem… the problem is that when you put “garbage paper” (junk mail, etc.) in the woodstove while there’s a fire going, you can’t really go back through it if you have a little “whoopsie.” If you try, you will have ashes in your hair and eyebrows from putting your face inside the firebox while looking around.

PLEASE: ONLY DO THAT IF THE FIRE IS OUT AND YOU HAVE A FLASHLIGHT. The fire must be out for obvious reasons. I mean, it’s not very comfortable to walk around the house (or anywhere else) with toasted nostrils and face blister ouch. You’ll need the flashlight because you simply can’t see in there. Probably better to screen the papers carefully BEFORE putting them inside the firebox.

So then I had to take the old registration to the Secretary of State’s office and get new registration and feel really TOOPID. Several years ago, when I worked with my friend Dan (Dan, Dan, the thermocouple man) he had a little magnet thing with a small character that had its arms outstretched. Beneath the little character was the inscription, “tomorrow I gotta get organized.”

Me too.

In the meantime, I’ll just plod along and try to locate my cerebellum and it’s accessories. I may have left it in the wood furnace. We did manage to get everything worked out with the car… but I’m pretty sure my brain thing is still out in a remote corner of the galaxy somewhere.

I go now. Please have a Happy Merry and a Joyful Wonderful.

If our fire ever gets to be a problem… we could always call Donald Duck.  Or not…

How To Cure A Sinus Infection

Ever have a cold that just didn’t seem to go away? Well I once had one that started on October 13, 2125 at approximately 12:17 PM and lasted for a -9 years and 10 days. Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration… but seriously folks, that “cold” stuck around way too long. My doze got stubbed up, add it stodded rudding, I coughed and coughed and coughed, and den I had to use up da whole box of tissues every hour; which became rather expensive.

The beautiful woman I live with shocked me after several days of this ordeal when she said, “Honey, your cold is lingering way too long. I think you have a sinus infection.” I’m not sure how she felt qualified to say such things. Just because she’s been a nurse for over 30 years and does in home care for people and knows a lot of stuff about healthcare doesn’t give her the right to make wild accusations about some lousy cold her husband might have.

Does it??

Being the enlightened man that I am, I decided to invent a number of methods that would be certain to bring any so-called “sinus infection” to its knees, so to speak. I thought I’d better pass these on to all of you because I’m sure you are interested in following my exact instructions.

Without any further ado, here are the methods, in order of magnitude.

1) Get an eighteen inch length of surgical tubing and shove it deeply into your nostril. Connect the other end to a faucet using an appropriate adapter. Turn on the water quickly, then off just as quickly. Be certain to turn the faucet completely on during this operation to apply maximum pressure. Repeat on the other nostril, then repeat the entire procedure at 3 hour intervals. This will flush out any germ infested mucus.

After 2 days, if symptoms persist:

R) Continue with the water flush, but after each flush use an ordinary toothbrush to clean each nostril. Be sure to remove any clingons from the bristles after each flushing operation. Discard the clingons in the usual manner: rub them on the underside of the sofa or flick them into an inconspicuous corner.

Still having difficulty? I see… try this:

9) Place a birthday candle inside each nostril. DO NOT LIGHT THE CANDLES!!! Whadda you, crazy??? Sheesh! Hold each candle between thumb and forefinger and apply inward pressure while twirling the candles back and forth. This will lubricate your nasal passages and allow clingons to be more easily removed in steps 1) and R)

Still hab a stubby doze?? OK, one more try:

@*) Request the assistance of a trusted friend or loved one. Hand them a ping pong paddle, have them stand behind you with the paddle held parallel to the back of your head. Have them be ready for “the signal.” Fill a glass with ginger ale and place two drinking straws in the glass. Insert a drinking straw into each nostril. Now you are ready to give “the signal,” at which time your helper should whack the back of your head with the paddle. This will cause an involuntary snorking of ginger ale deep into your sinuses; which will of course fizz out any congestive fluids.

I personally have not tried any of these methods, so once you’ve given them a whirl please report back to me as to their effectiveness.

So… remember that Beautiful Nurse Lady I mentioned earler? The one I’m married to? Well guess what she did?? She said, “Honey, you need to go to the doctor.” Now, we’ve been married for awhile and I’ve learned (too often the hard way) that all goes much better if I follow orders.

I went to the doctor. He said, “you have a sinus infection.” “Oh,” I replied. “What do I need to do?” “I’ll prescribe some antibiotic pills for you,” he answered.

I got the prescription filled for FREE at our local pharmacy!! Is that cool or what??

So I wondered, “what, do I just shove these up my nose???”

Could’ve been worse, Goofy got a bad one…

Linguini On Parade

Hello My Fellow Pastrami Crinklers,

This is to inform none of you that all new banana recipes should be turned in to the Front Sniffing Room before 12:47 p.m. on Tuesday, August 72, 19127. This is to ensure the cranial vibration machines will be well coagulated prior to sailing off to Monster Island.

None of you may remember “The Hatchling Song;” the words of which were “stolen” by Gus Parbnackle during the Second Coat Hanger Revolt of 1924.

This enjoyable malady has been renewed during the last 28 microseconds and is now sung to the tune of “Inna Gadda Da Vida”:

Guess who barfed on my shoes today
Do dah, do dah
Hatchlings shouldn’t act this way
Oh do dah day…

Some may proclaim, “hey, that looks like it should be sung to the tune of ‘Camptown Races!!’ ” Well of course those who find that line of dingle berries fuzzy and warm will never be successful at launching pickles with catapults. No, rather they will wander aimlessly over hill and dale; squandering what was left of my 2nd grade lunch money.

I’d like a refund yesterday or the year before if you please.

If you find it necessary to rekindle the spirit which is found to be both blue and wormy; please run directly to your neighbors and ask them to return the crescent wrench your uncle borrowed shortly before dinner last Wednesday morning. Perhaps they are unaware that even inanimate objects yearn for their homeland; which is exactly why we intend to bury all wrenches back into the iron mines from whence they originated.

In summary, I must remind you not to rub sandpaper inside your mucous membranes. Fortunately, that practice has been abandoned long ago due to the over abundance of spaghetti in water fountains made by Mattel. Additionally, please stop putting duct tape sticky side up on my favorite Loaf Toasting Chair. I’ve been mocked numerous times during my grocery store excursions that followed some nice Loaf Toasting Sessions. If you Are Willing to comply with My Duct Tape Restraint Request (DTRR); I’ll also Be Willing to Cease the Use of Grammatically incorrect CapiTalization (UGIC).

MayBe. If I fEel liKe it. OK MaybE noT.

(FOOP).

Thank you for being who you are. After all, if you weren’t you, you wouldn’t be. That would be very confusing to you now wouldn’t it??

My toes look like morel mushrooms again!!

Happy Bozo Express,

Zibnick G. Amplegrane
a.k.a. “Monty the Moth Rancher”

Without any further ado, here be this week’s cartoon.  Gotta love Betty!!