Smiley Face Headphones And A Balloon Ride To Mars

Our grandsons are visiting, and as is customary I’ve requested their assistance with writing this week’s Happy Friday!!! installment. As I’ve done before, I’ll put their contributions in bold italics to differentiate them from the silliness that jumps out of my brain.

**WARNING!!** This story may be a bit silly. OK, here we go…

Smiley Face Headphones And A Balloon Ride To Mars

During a recent snowstorm, Sir Bobbington was found sleeping on the bathroom floor with the electric toothbrush jammed up his left nostril. Of course, such a traumatic event would at the very least cause strange dreams. For Sir Bobbington, this was no exception. And when he woke up he said, “I don’t know! I didn’t know my foot was bleeding this much! I didn’t feel it!” Then he went on to say some really strange things, apparently inspired by his dream. He bribbled and florped, then said, “This coming Sagnerday I will illegally change my name to Frapzak Mizzlepop, which of course was never a Native American name meaning ‘Slumbers With Chowder.’ Used donuts and apple chowder vinegar will be served in celebration.”

We used our garden tractor to get the toothbrush out of Sir Bobbington’s nose hole. It worked pretty well, but now there is a trail of gooey stuff all over the driveway. That should not be a problem because it will be winter soon and the snow will cover it up. Besides, it sealed some the cracks in our concrete quite nicely.

I asked him if he was OK after this ordeal. I mean, there was no blood or anything, and his nose was still functioning normally as far as I could determine. He assured me he was fine, but when I asked how in the hibbledy-boo he got that thing lodged inside his nostril, he said, Well that’s even harder making a story. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!” I gave him a funny look and he quit talking. Both of us just figured the horrible event caused him to talk a bit squirrely.

Well it didn’t end there. Next thing I knew I was also affected by all the excitement and began reminiscing about all the green dust I found in my shoe bottles during last year’s amplified crust removal incidents. I told Sir Bobbington, “I would like to take this opportunity to urge you to please have a Happy Merry and a Joyful Wonderful. Personally, I’m very much looking forward to the Cream of Mustard celery toppings and the Dead Snake Surprise desserts!!” Then of course it was his turn to give me a weird look!

We decided to maybe try to change to some more intelligent conversation; so we took a walk over to Peach Pit Park to enjoy a relaxing walk. There we noticed Sir Frinklefoot; who was often seen in the park doing some “interesting” things. You see, every time Sir Frinklefoot went to a park or other public place where there were benches he would feel underneath to see if there was any gum. This time we got brave enough to ask him why he always collected used gum; and he said he wanted to make it into a hot air balloon and fly that to Mars.

Sir Bobbington and I just didn’t know what to make of all that… so as a measure of desperation, we kind of quickly looked around for a way to steer the conversation elsewhere. I spied a pair of headphones lying on the bench next to Sir Frinklefoot… and my imagination kicked in as I pointed at them and blurted out, “look at the headphones, it’s a smiley face !!” Sir Frinklefoot gave us a puzzled look and shrugged his shoulders as if to say, “OK, whatever.”

We said goodbye to Sir Frinklefoot; and started briskly walking away. As we made our way down the sidewalk, I remembered an experience I never had that I just knew would impress Sir Bobbington. I told him, “Many of my enjoyments have wriggled right out of Mars and other parts of the Aurora Borealis.  I hope my cat learns to speak German soon.” Both of us stopped walking, shook our heads and roared with laughter.

Then we went for ice cream.

The End.

Here’s To F.N. Brussels Sprouts And Deer With No Eyes

I always get a little gooshy around this time of year. With the holidays upon us, I can’t help but reflect on past years. I have much to be thankful for, and even though I’m grateful most of the time, the holiday season deepens the appreciation somehow. A cultural thing I guess.

After turning 18, I entered into “party hearty” mode. That lasted for 17 years… what began as “having fun” evolved into fun plus problems, and then finally my partying habits produced very little fun but very large problems. Considering all the “fun” I had literally poisoning myself, I’m pretty lucky to be alive, let alone happy and healthy. Amazing how much better life got after I was finally willing to grow up!!

These days, I still “party hearty,” but it has absolutely nothing to do with intoxicants. Nope, none of that monkey business anymore. Instead, sharing a meal with close friends; maybe watching a movie with them, now those are good times. And of course with all these good times, very happy memories are made.

Thanksgiving kicks off a season of remembering too. I once heard it said that the best way to honor the dead is to love the living. Another way, in my book anyway, is to relate a story about a lost loved one that makes others smile. One of my favorite stories I tell around this time of year is when our dear friend Lew and his Beautiful Wife came over for what turned out to be his last Thanksgiving on this Earth. It was my turn to make Thanksgiving dinner, and Lew noticed I was cooking Brussels sprouts.

“Oh Ken! I see you’re making Brussels sprouts,” he said.

“Yeah Lew, you like Brussels sprouts?” I replied,

F*&% NO!!” he exclaimed; at which point we all burst into laughter.

We’ve had Thanksgiving at his Beautiful Wife’s house every year since then, and every year she’d make “F.N. Brussels Sprouts” in honor of her dear departed hubby. We use the initials because there are grandchildren, you see.  This year, however, because of COVID, we’ve agreed that it might not be too safe to dine at our Beautiful Friend’s house.  Holy POOP I hate this damn virus!!  Hopefully next year we can resume the tradition.

Another dear departed friend is our friend Tommy, who passed away all too suddenly a few years ago.  He too had a marvelous sense of humor, and I’ve been honoring his memory thusly:

“What do you call a deer with no eyes?” he asked,

“I give up,” I said,

“No eye deer!!” he chuckled; and continued: “how about a deer with no eyes and no legs?”

“Dunno,” I smiled.

Still no eye deer!!” And of course the grand finale: “How about a deer with no eyes, no legs, and no genitalia?”

“What?” I asked.

“Still no f*&%ing eye deer!!” and of course we both laughed. Naturally only “big people” get to hear the last part of the joke, and I always ask permission before telling the naughty part.

As I relate these stories, my memories of other loved ones lost over the years flood into my brain. Mom and Dad, grandparents, even cousins… and of course friends and yes, even children of friends. These memories, coupled with all those mushy holiday movies, will often make my eyes leak at the drop of a hat. Memories and gratitude. That’s what slams home the holidays for me. I’m so doggoned fortunate it’s ridiculous.  Thank you God for everything.

I sincerely hope all of you have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.  And if you are able, please donate to your favorite charity so they can help those who are struggling.

Now for the silly video.  This is an oldie but a goodie from Tex Avery about a turkey who outfoxed the hunter; but they both got it in the end…

I Love Those Leaves!!

Here in Beautiful West Michigan, Autumn is starting to wane a bit.  Most of the leaves have fallen; so there are quite a few naked trees running around.  Well OK, maybe they’re not really running; but most are definitely naked.  If you have a lawn, Autumn can be a very frustrating time.  Seems like we get a batch of leaves off the grass, everything looks nice, and then BOOM!! a hefty wind shows up and blows another gob of leaves all over the place.  Then we get our rakes, blowers, garden tractors (and if you’re lucky leaf vacuum trailer thingy) and go clean up the mess.

When I was a kid, seems like everyone burned their leaves. Not only a big waste of wonderful fertilizer, but a big source of air pollution. I remember when I was little, I lost much hair and eyebrows when I jumped into a leaf pile my father made. He sternly warned me to jump in BEFORE the fire was set next time! OK, maybe I didn’t really do that.  But hey, anyone remember leaf smoke filling the autumn air? Those were the good (?) old days when no one was very particular about particulates. Leaf burning is somewhat rare now. Instead, many of them are bagged up for the gobbich man. Hey, nobody asked me, but my two cents is that leaves are NOT gobbich, man!

Being an organic gardener, I have been a leaf collector for many years. Before I discovered the magic gold mine of free compost at our local landfill transfer station (affectionately called “the dump”), I would pull my trailer all over the neighborhoods and gather up bagged leaves.  Some people gave me rather strange looks when I parked my trailer in front of their house to make off with their leaves.  When someone was in the yard, I’d always ask first; and then they’d say, “Sure!” Then they’ll lead me to the other 195 bags in their back yard.

Leaf collectors are becoming more numerous now; as more folks realize their value in the garden as fertilizer and mulch. Not only that, a bunch of us leaf collectors get together at the old Breakfast Burp Cafe and trade leaves on Saturday mornings.  All of us wear masks and are socially distanced, of course.  My “prize leaf ” is a 1971 maple that really makes me proud. A nice bowl of leaves are really great with milk and sugar too! High fiber.

OK, I may be fooling again…

As I’ve already mentioned, and much to my Beautiful Honey-Pie’s chagrin, I would actually gather leaves from other people’s yards.  I’ve learned my lesson though; and in the interest of domestic harmony I make sure our yard is leafless before I go looking for more.  However, we do have some friends that bring me their leaves!!  This is a wonderful thing!! Initially they expressed concern that “we mostly just have oak.”  I reassured them that I take every kind of leaves I can get my mitts on: maple, pine needles, and yes even oak. Contrary to popular opinion, there’s nothing wrong with oak leaves in your garden; especially when they are composted. After 38 years of building up what used to be basically beach sand, my garden soil is nice and black, thank you very much.  This year, all the leaves in our yard got ground up nicely with our garden tractor / leaf bagger combo.   I put them directly into the garden, and got pretty much the whole thing covered with a nice layer of mulch.  Also tilled several loads into one of the beds; into which garlic will soon be planted.

Call me loony if you must, but yes, when Autumn arrives I really do love leaves.  I love them so much that I’ve unofficially renamed Autumn “Fertilizer Season.”  Whatever doesn’t get tilled into the soil is used for mulch; which keeps weeds at bay and prevents the soil from losing moisture.  I’ve also learned to spread a healthy layer of leaves over a bed of carrots to keep them fresh through the winter.  I just mark the bed with sticks before the snow flies, and when I want carrots I carefully shovel the snow off first, then scoop off the leaves, and pick carrots.  I get a couple more sticks and mark where I left off; then cover the rest back up with the leaves, and also put the snow back.  I’ve used this technique to enjoy carrots “on demand” several times, and when I have a good year I can have fresh carrots pretty much all winter long.

Well, cold weather will be here before we know it; and I’m absolutely certain that this is exactly the way all the woodland creatures will prepare…

Rock The Vote!! Again, And Again, And Again…

Say what??  Most of us in the U.S. are pretty sick up and fed with election crap, and we’re really ready to move on with life.  Doesn’t matter which side you’re on;  there is sure to be much more activism and mudslinging pretty much forever; or so it seems.  Lately, political rhetoric has reared its ugly nostrils and is sniffing in the deliciously annoying media compost bins.  And although this election saw one of the highest turnouts on record, some who complained the loudest decided not to vote at all(sigh)!  No excuse for that if you ask me…

As my good friend (not) Mr. Nixon would have said, “let me say this about that.”  While voting at the polls is a vital responsibility for those who wish to live in a democracy, there is also a type of voting all of us should really embrace as a way of life.  We need to determine what kind of planet we want to live on, and more importantly, what kind of planet we want for our kids.  So, we all need to rock the vote.  Again and again.  Not just with ballots, but with each dollar we spend; and every action we take.  Now, I can’t tell anyone what to do, but here are just a few examples of how I “vote” and why:

Chemical Pesticides, Fertilizers:  I do not buy them.  Ever.  Why?  Foist of awl, pesticides are poison.  Pretty good reason not to buy them, right?  Unfortunately, most pesticides often kill beneficial creatures like wasps and spiders; not to mention the harmful effect they have on humans and other animals (hey!!  I told you not to mention that!!).  Food crops can be grown with companion planting to minimize pest damage; and there are many other Nature-friendly ways of keeping plants safe from pests.

Fertilizers offered by Mother Nature are available in most places where plants grow naturally.  Composted leaves, grass clippings, and manure are good examples of soil building materials, and are natural fertilizers.  Because I grow a fairly good sized garden, there are times when hook up my trailer and  jump in my automobile to retrieve these things.  Usually all I need is available free at our local landfill transfer station (fondly known to us as “the dump”).  However, if I were to go to a store to buy even organic stuff, much more energy is consumed mining, processing, packaging, and shipping fertilizers and pesticides.  A lot of dinosaur juice (petroleum) is used to support this industry in the form of fuel for energy, and petrochemicals for processing.  And let’s not forget how they are packaged, either in paper bags (bye bye trees) or plastic bags (petroleum again!). And even more wonderfully, the factories that manufacture these goodies pollute, and when it rains their products also pollute.  And don’t even get me started on “weed and feed.”   Our lawn gets mowed, that’s it.  The neighbors probably cry when my dandelions are in bloom.  We think they are pretty, and the bees love them.

We get some pretty awesome veggies that we grow organically.  We do not spray any crops to keep the bugs off, but rather we use crop rotation and companion planting to keep insect damage to a minimum.  I’ve heard some folks say, “without fertilizers and pesticides you would not have all that wonderful produce you see at Meijer.”  Well that is simply a crock of moose juice.  Anybody notice the proliferation of certified organic produce at the supermarket??  Huh??  Guess what?  Those growers are doing pretty well these days.

Packaged Meals:  First of all, blech!!  We prefer fresh food and home cooking, thank you very much. Package meals are intended to be convenient, of course, but holy MOLY the ingredients are poisonous awreddy!!  Sodium, ingredients I can’t pronounce, sugars, sodium, and also more sodium.  What I’m saying here is that packaged meals are chock-full of chemicals, and many of these are known to damage our bodies.  Of course, all these nasties are made by chemical plants.  Chemical plants consume energy and pollute.  More petroleum.  Oh, and not to forget the packaging:  plastics and paper.  More dead trees, more dinosaur juice.

Automobiles:  One of my all time favorite hot rods was a Toyota Corolla.  I got 35 miles to a gallon, sometimes more.  When our son’s car died, I passed it along to him; albeit with a “serious defect”:  the odometer won’t go any farther than 299,999 miles.  It’s a known defect and the only way to change it is to buy a new instrument cluster.  The stupid thing is 17 years old and still runs like brand new!!  My lovely wife has a  15 year old Toyota Matrix, which will also get over 30 mpg.  Although we’d love to have electric or at least hybrid cars, we at least can drive vehicles that don’t burn so much dinosaur juice.  Our planet has a finite supply of oil, and cars are just a small part of the consumption of it.  So although I don’t have the bucks for an electric or hybrid car (yet) I do like the fact that the cars we own have a track record of lasting up to 20 years.  Call me a “tree hugger,” or whatever other radical environmentalist label you like; but Hummers and Escalades and the like should be illegal (in my professional opinion).

Electricity:  “Turn the lights off!!  Whaddya think, we own the Edison??  That’s what your Grandma and Grandpa would say ya know.”  My beautiful wife would shout this at the kids to remind them that power costs money.  She used “the Edison” to refer to the power company because when she was a kid growing up near Detroit, that was the name of the outfit that ruled the electrons.  So she echoed her mom and dad when yelling at our kids.  We must have raised them right, they both confess to be habitual light switcher-offers (technical talk).  Here again, electricity generation relies a lot on fuel, whether it’s coal or natural gas or whatever.  There is more and more alternative energy available these days but the percentage is meager compared to the output of fuel burning plants.  More demand equals greater dependency on petroleum, either directly (burning to generate power) or indirectly (shipping coal).  During the Arab Oil Embargo in the seventies, Mr. Nixon (holy cow, I mentioned him again) urged everyone to conserve.  Businesses were urged to turn off all lighting except that required for security or safety reasons when they closed up shop for the night.  Drive past any shopping mall and see if this is the case these days.  I think just a couple thousand people are leaving the lights on!!

Reuse, Recycle:  Reusing objects is pretty much the norm at our house.  Cloth grocery bags have really been a nice way to keep all those plastic bags out of the house.  Of course, we do buy disposable things like food storage bags (for example); but we wash and reuse them regularly.  There is a limit to this, of course, but plastic freezer bags can be washed and reused several times before they go into the trash.  We also we also do weird things like reuse plastic half gallon ice cream containers from Country Dairy.  When I make too much soup, I scoop it into the ice cream bucket, put a small hunk of tape on the lid, label it and date it, and into the freezer it goes.  Glass jars make very nice containers for dry beans, corn meal, popcorn, and the like.  We have very little trash left over after composting our veggie waste and recycling the plastics, cans, and glass.

Think Globally, Act (buy) Locally: “Everything’s made in (expletive deleted) China!!” That’s the refrain my lovely girlfriend and I chant when we go shopping. Never thought I’d actually say it, but I do my best to buy goods that were made locally or at least as close to home as possible. And yes, I do find myself looking for the “Made in USA” label. Of course, we buy things that are made abroad, but having some awareness is vital. Keeping the dollars at home will help our communities thrive.

Well, I could go on and on, and this could become a very very long Happy Friday.  Suffice it to say that I would love to see more people join a movement of “Let Every Dollar I Spend Send A Message.”  And yes, I’m sure there’s much more that I could do… I sometimes spend my money on crap just like anybody else.

Of course, I’m not so naive to think that voting with dollars is the answer. Rather, it’s the tip of a very large iceberg. Decisions we humans make have deep and lasting effects on our Mother Earth and all the Citizens of Nature (that includes all of US). Every action we take, every word we speak, really, really matters.  There IS positive change in the works, but it is woefully under-reported by the media.

My friends, we need to stand up for what’s right, but learn to disagree without being disagreeable.  We can do this.  Together.  With Love!!

It’s not a new concept…

Daylight Craving Time

“What to write for tonight?” he wondered (OK, he is actually me). Let’s see… there’s Hallowe’en coming tomorrow, but COVID has made us very unwilling to go house to house trick-or-treating in the middle of a pandemic. Instead, we’re meeting our grandsons and their folks at a cemetery to play “hide the candy on the kids.” This was our daughter’s idea… sounds like fun!

“But hmmm… what to write for tonight?” he (me again) continued to wonder. Well, there’s an election coming up… but nah. Folks are getting pretty tired of everything political about now. I use the mute button on the remote quite a bit these days when political ads hit my TV. It’s OK to be tired of all of it… BUT PLEASE VOTE!! We done voted already. But we’ll be very happy at our house when we start getting a little less junk mail. Well, OK, Christmas is coming; so the junk mail will still make the mailbox bulge, there will just be different ads.

“I know!!” he (OK it’s really me again) exclaimed, “I’ll whine about the loss of daylight after we turn the stinkin’ clocks back again!!”

So here we go again. A few weeks of getting used to the early darkness is on its way. I thought about writing some cockamamie jab at the history of Daylight Saving Time, but there are so many convolutions that I ran away screaming. If you’re really interested in that stuff, Snopes has a pretty good page that describes it all in a nice little nutshell, here:

http://www.snopes.com/science/daylight.asp.

Any who how, most of my friends here in Beautiful West Michigan are very OK with the concept of Daylight Saving Time during the summer. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy having daylight till 10:30 PM?

But now Autumn has invaded and the days are getting shorter and shorter. Gets dark about 7 or so now. And of course when Eastern Standard Time comes back, we gain an hour of sleep but the darkness comes to visit with the 6 o’clock news.

That’s icky.

Foist of awl, I’ve never really been a morning person. Sure, I used to get up in time to go to work each morning: I’d set the alarm for 6 AM and then snap out of bed… after I slap the snooze alarm about 3 times. But hey, I’m retired now.  I am don’t liking the alarm clock thing, OK awreddy?  My Beautiful Girlfriend still works twice a week, so the Screaming Alarm Clock Thing still yells at us at 6 AM, but thankfully only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  And guess what?  It’s on my side of the bed, so I get to slap the snooze (usually about 3 times) for my Lovely Honey Pie.  Oh well.  She IS the most Beautiful Woman In The Universe, so I oblige.  Some folks try to soften the blow by saying things like, “well, it will be light a little earlier in the morning.” WHO CARES?? I wanna sleep!! !! I’m not gonna play in the daylight at 7 AM!!  Sheesh.

Second of awl, I need to reiterate how spoiled we are here in Beautiful West Michigan during the summer!! Summer, after all, is my favorite time of year; and we get very long days. I really love being in the garden until it’s too dark to see; and as I mentioned earlier that’s almost 10:30 PM here during part of the warm months.

I try to remind myself of being spoiled, because I’ve experienced the other end of the toaster handle. When I was a kid growing up on Long Island, it was dark outside not too long after we got home from school. In those days, our local fire department touched off a siren every day at precisely 7 PM. Now, when you’re a little kid who has to be heading home “when the 7 o’clock whistle blows,” you still can have lots of fun with hide-and-seek because it’s dark outside at about 5 PM. We’d eat supper, go outside and play, and have gobs of fun running around “at night.”

So even though we haven’t turned the clocks back just yet, and even though I now live on the far western edge of the Eastern Time Zone, I’m already craving more daylight. Not gonna happen till March 14, I know (I just looked it up). Arizona and Hawaii don’t observe all this clock switching nonsense. I’d be OK with that, so long as we were able to keep Daylight Saving Time.

Please write to my congressman and woman to make this happen. I’ll give you $3.40 up front for an incentive, and I’ll even bake you an Apple Surprise pie (Surprise!! I put raisins in the apple pie for the fun of it!). If you can get this done before Sunday, I’ll even make you an Apple Surprise Surprise pie (Raisins and walnuts!!) !!

Well, it’s time for me to quit writing about time now. There was a time though, back in 1973 when I had a very nice time, listening to these guys. My very first rock concert in my living life.  All I could say then (and all I can say now), was WOW!!

Chicken Nuggets Billy Bob Llama Juice Coffee

Our grandsons are here for a visit, and what has now become something of a tradition, I’ve asked their assistance with some story ideas for “Happy Friday!!!” Previous renditions have revolved around strange titles, for which I was expected to come up with some sort of story line. Maybe I shot myself in the foot this time, but tonight I asked for some random sentences that I would incorporate into this week’s blog post. I got a few ideas; although the first suggestion came in the form of an interesting glob of words. Without further ado, I shall attempt to write something that utilizes their ideas; and you will know when it’s something they gave me because it will be in bold italics.

“OK guys,” I said, “tonight is Friday, so you know what that means? I write a story every week. I need your help with some ideas. This time, how about some weird sentences instead of just a title?”

After some hesitation, the first suggestion was “chicken nuggets Billy Bob Llama juice coffee.”

“Huh??” I asked quizzically. “Um… that’s not a sentence. Can you please think of some sentences? I don’t care whether they make sense; and they don’t even have to be related.” As these instructions flew out of my mouth I began to think maybe I was biting off more than I could chew. They did not disappoint, however, and here comes the result. Remember, their ideas will be in bold italic.

Chicken Nuggets Billy Bob Llama Juice Coffee

by Ken Hansen (kind of)

Late one day in the middle of the night, I decided to go visit Billy Bob. On the way to his house, I stopped at the local McBarf and bought some of his favorite munching things: chicken nuggets. I phoned him right after I left McBarf, and he said, “hey man!! Hope you didn’t get anything to drink!! I am making your favorite: llama juice coffee!! I’ll wait till you get here, because I know you love that stuff.”

Holy moly, when he told me about making the lama juice coffee I was totally geeked. I haven’t had that stuff in a very long time. Hard to get it because of COVID you know. My mouth started to water so bad I had to get out my drool cup to catch all the slobber. Billy Bob is a good friend, but although he means well sometimes he gets a little greedy with treats. I was really hoping he wouldn’t dip into the delightful beverage before I got to his house. But of course, when I pull up to his house, knock on the door, and go inside, what do I see?? Billy Bob is drinking the llama juice coffee!!

“Couldn’t wait, could you??” I blurted out. “Well, hey, can’t say I blame you. That’s some pretty good stuff.” Billy Bob apparently felt a little guilty for starting without me, and tried to conceal his cup by sliding it behind his back. “No, man!! I didn’t start without you!!” It wasn’t any big deal to me really, but I knew he was fibbing. I mean, hey, Billy Bob and I are both very aware that every time he enjoys our special treat, the llama juice in the coffee makes his face shrivel up. “Hey dude, take it easy!! I’m OK!! You were kind enough to make the brew, but you should know by now that you can’t hide the fact that you drink it. I mean, your face is really shriveled up!!”

Billy Bob must have been having a bad day, because suddenly he became a bit defensive. “I’m really sorry, man,” he explained, “but please don’t pick on me right now. After all, my ears are on fire.” “Say what now??” I asked with amazement. “Ummm it sure doesn’t look like your ears are on fire,” I replied. “But now that you mention them, they do seem a bit hairier than normal.” I stepped in for a closer look, but Billy Bob stepped back abruptly and shouted, “do not shave my ears, they smell like cat turds!!” Quickly he covered both ears with his hands as if to protect them (or maybe me… if they really did stink). Then he said something totally off the wall: the fribbleknockers on Mars always give away free stones.”

I had to step away a bit, and then it dawned on me… llama juice coffee has always had a strange effect on my friend. So I flat out told him, “Billy Bob my friend, I think we need to find us a different treat. I mean, you’re having some very strange reactions to this delightful beverage. Let’s go downtown and see if we can get another one of those grapefruit milkshakes at the gas station.” Billy Bob was instantly relieved. He liked the grape gas milk fruit station shake idea very much. We hopped on our 5 wheel scootercycles, hoisted up the sails, and waited for a few days for a nice wind to power us downtown. We had a great time during our 6 hour ride from Billy Bob’s house to the grape milk station. Once we arrived, we ordered our shakes. As we slurped our new treats, we smiled and promised each other to leave the llama juice coffee alone for a few decades.

What can I say? We are best friends!!

The End

Hmmm… what to do about this week’s video? I’ve got it!! Let’s “celebrate” the upcoming election!! Don’t forget to vote… for Grampy (?).

Columbus Corruptus

Happy October to all the boys and girls in the Gregorian Calendar Universe!! Whether you’re a cat or an ant lion, I hope you all have a wonderful October; and may the Great Pumpkin bring you lots of presents on Halloween. But, hey, if you really ARE a cat or an ant lion, it’s not likely you’re reading this, so just nevermind. Go eat some antmice or something.

For all youse human reading-type beings, Happy October already. Not sure about your neighborhood, but ours is extravagantly beautiful with glorious fall colors these days.  It’s truly a magnificent Autumn this year.

So this past Monday was Columbus Day.  A federal holiday here in the U.S.; which is why our daughter now refers to it as “no mail day.”  She actually calls it that for other reasons which I shall elaborate upon in a minute.  Even though it’s a holiday, nobody invited us over for Columbus Cobbler with Moosetracks ice cream and small waffles dripping with olive oil.  Maybe I was expecting too much!!  I don’t need any of that stuff, anyhow. My COVID midriff is already becoming large enough to store unused motor oil. Wanna go get a Whopper?  I think they’re on sale!!  Anyway, I remember hearing about Columbus when I was very young. Most of you probably do too; you know… he journeyed over here in 1492 in three ships: the Ninja, the Placenta, and the Hanna-Barbera. Or something like that…

Now that I’m an old fart and have learned a few things, I’ll have to say I’m a bit confused about the fondness for Columbus Day. Well, I understand how the Italians think it’s pretty cool; he was one of theirs, after all. But when I was a kid, the teachers lied to me with their faces. They told me that Columbus discovered America. This makes me cry inside. They even made us learn that stupid poem:

In fourteen hundred and ninety two,

Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

If he hollers let him go,

Eeenie, meenie, myenie, moe.

Pretty weird poem. Even though I may have it a little wrong, my revised version makes about as much sense as Columbus “discovering” America. Sure, he was able to talk Isabella into financing a voyage to look for a new route to India. He basically got lost and ended up in the Caribbean, in what later became known as the West Indies.

Eventually he figured out where he really was, so he made several more trips and got the ball rolling for Spain to conquer Central and South America. Then lots of Europeans were catching on to the riches in “New World.” Bad medicine for the folks who were already here for several thousand years (not so good for lots of Africans, either). The white folks were absolutely sure they lived in a Superior Universe, and if you didn’t believe them, they had the weapons to prove it.

OK, I digress.  Remember when I mentioned that my school teachers lied to me about Columbus “discovering” America?  Well that’s because archaeologists and historians have learned otherwise.  Turns out Vikings were here about 600 years before Columbus, and even tried to settle in a place they called Vinland. Didn’t work out so well, so they went back home. Guess they were happier chasing whales and herring.

My ancestors were vikings, but that’s not your fault.  Come to think of it, it’s not my fault either!!   And it’s also not my fault that when I was a kid in school, we white folks didn’t seem to get nearly enough information on the history of the Native Americans; who were really the first ones here. But hey, why should we have focused on any of that?  We Europeans stole this continent from them fair and square!

Can you tell I feel strongly about this?? I mean, Columbus didn’t discover ANYTHING. Lots of folks knew about this place before he did. When I was a younger lad, I’d rant and rave about this stuff like there was no tomorrow. Get really emotional and all that. Veins protruding from my neck, pale face turning into red face. With freckles. Now I’m still a young lad, but I live in an old man’s body; so I’m pretty sure all that red face vein protrusion stuff is not healthy.  But I’ve learned a few things over the years; and now I can do something REALLY weird. I can pay attention to what’s going on, and vote. Change the things I can, accept the things I can’t.  No more red vein protruding face stuff.

Sure, I love living in a free country and having the luxury of owning too much junk. But I try to be sensitive to those who were here first. I still get mildly irked about all the Columbus Day hoopla, but it’s numbed out substantially. Thankfully, the term “Idigenous Peoples’ Day” is being celebrated as a substitute for Columbus Day in more and more places every year.  As our daughter so accurately stated:  for us, “Columbus Day” is just another day when we don’t get mail.

As I said in the beginning of this little rant, the Autumn colors of the trees are pretty much at a peak. Now, THAT’S something to celebrate for a Happy October!! Fresh apples and lots of other fall harvest goodies are ready and waiting for us at the farmers markets and in the stores!!

Well, it’s getting late, there’s supposed to be frost on the pumpkin tonight, and the kitty wants in. He’s staring at us, just outside the door, and probably beaming messages for me to get off my hiney and let him be warm with us.

Guess I’ll go outside and “discover” cold air!

Oh, and remember when I mentioned that one of Columbus’s ships was the Hanna-Barbera?  They made a lot cartoons!!  Unfortunately, I could only find snippets of them on the interwebs; so I didn’t really want to plop one of those here for the weekly video.  So here’s a here’s an early Merrie Melodies gem I “discovered” after some digging (meaning I’ve never seen it before).  Hope you like it as much as I did.

I Love To Sing-A

Once upon a time, there was no way of understanding the amount of stress rapture which many (or most?) of us endure in these modern times. And if you take that amount of stress time, and multiply it by 13.7, you not only get an overuse of the word “time,” but also can even time how long it takes to type time three hundred and thirty four times.

What time is it again??

So there I was, watching the news, and trying not to cry too much or barf on the floor. You know, there’s so many storms and COVID monsters and political poop toss and on the other hand you have 5 fingers (I hope!!) and both of your fingers get caught in the toaster while the blender is playing “I Shot The Sheriff” but maybe that’s all a bunch of malarkey but you know I can get really stressed out from too much yikes and Oh My God and holy moly this run-on is getting way too long!!

Now I’ll use yet another run-on sentence to turn the page to the Retirement Days of My Great Happiness, because they are quite the opposite of stressful work days; and I need to stay grateful that I am now retired and have a steady (albeit much smaller) income that all the friendly Medicare scammers and make-a-believe car warranty thief people want to take rom me; so then it’s time to breathe… breathe… and then suddenly my friend Zignop has a computer problem and calls me to say “the trees are too noisy and I can’t extract data from this electronic burnishing tool;” so then I’m expected to fix their computer for free or maybe 12 cents and holy cow someone left a package of M&Ms on the stairs is anybody looking???

Yes.

Breathe…

Breathe…

OK. Better.

So! There are only 1,238 ways to deal with such stress. One way I’ve embraced is to sing. You know the popular saying… something like, “sing as if nobody’s dancing,” or maybe it’s “dance if nobody’s singing” I think. I really do love to sing. And I sing a variety of stuff as I’m walking about, and it helps me to relieve stress. Sometimes it will be a Beatles tune, sometimes Lorde, sometimes Al Jolson… and sometimes, much to the amusement of my grandsons, it will be completely silly. An example:

I’m keeping a sandwich in my nostrils for youuu…

And when I take it out it will be covered in glue…”

This of course is sung to the tune of “I’m Keeping A Sandwich In My Nostrils For You.”

Other times I will walk off to a small hiding area and belt out a very loud Tarzan yell (and I do a pretty good one if I must say so myself). Some folks find this very amusing, others run for the bathroom.

Bottom line is: if I allow stress to rent too much space in my kidneys, it will harm me badly. When my Serenity Alarm goes off, I better get busy and smell the donuts; or I may say something unkind to someone. Even worse, I may be unkind to someone I actually like!! Either way, I’d need to apologize, and even though crow is a dish better served warm, I try hard to avoid barking at people’s elbows. It’s always better to be kind and try to be happy than to be bitter and succumb to the yucky poohs.

So my friends, there you have it. If you need any more I’ll sell you some at market prices, multiplied by 13.7

Thank you for your “time.”

So… speaking of stress management, here’s some fun stuff that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I have over the years.

Everybody Still Has Cooties – A (sadly) Necessary Rerun

And we’re getting tired of it…

Unless you live in a cave, you’ve heard that our President has tested positive for COVID-19. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask EVERYONE to pray for him and his family to have a safe and quick recovery.

When writing “Happy Friday!!!” I normally stay far away from politics. I figure everyone hears more than enough from other media without me honking my horn. However, even though I am not a fan of the current administration’s policies, I am rather saddened when I see folks on the interwebs spreading ill will; regardless of to whom it is directed. I’m one of those old hippie freaks who still lives by such mantras as “make love, not war, ” and of course the refrain from one of my favorite Beatle songs, “All You Need Is Love.”

We need to heal our planet; and that will never materialize unless we all do our best to live by the Golden Rule.

Anyway, as a little reminder, I thought I’d republish this “Happy Friday!!!” that I posted back in June. Dunno about you, but my Beautiful Girlfriend and I are getting very weary of COVID-19. We all need to work together to get this nasty bug under control.

So here’s the rerun…

During prehistoric times when I was a kid, there were no video games or interwebs; so we had to find creative ways to amuse ourselves. Often, games of tag were morphed into various forms. One such form was to tag someone as “it” and proclaim loudly that the person had cooties. “Aaaaggghhh!!! Kenny’s got cooties!!! Run!!!” And we would scatter like wild little animals to avoid becoming “it.”

There was a more serious (and even repulsive) meaning back in those days, as many adults of the time referred to head lice as cooties. However, it would seem that the childish notions eventually won out, as evidenced by the arrival of The Game of Cootie; which involved constructing a cootie from parts that were garnered via the rolling of a die. These days, to say that someone or some thing has cooties is a way of expressing a dislike or perhaps even disgust toward that person or thing.

Now here we are in the midst of a pandemic. People all over the globe are getting killed by this deadly virus called COVID-19. By now we’ve all heard the guidelines to prevent contracting and spreading the virus. Here in Michigan, our Governor drew sharp criticism for issuing executive orders to prevent a bad situation from becoming worse. Her willingness to make tough decisions based on scientific evidence has paid off: the rate of new disease cases has fallen dramatically. Things are looking better, and slowly but surely the state is opening back up.

My wife and I tuned our brains into all the precautions very early for two simple reasons: 1) she has a preexisting lung illness and 2) we are in the “high risk” age group (over 65). We still wear a mask when we go to the store; and diligently wash or sanitize our hands and other objects when we’ve been outside our home. We’re also very selective as to which other humans we allow into our home. If we are not completely confident that they are following the guidelines; we make sure we minimize contact or at the very least we maintain social distance.

My Beautiful Girlfriend (a.k.a. my wife) and our Beautiful Daughter are both nurses. They know how to stay safe; which means they know what’s OK and what’s not OK. It has only been recently that we were able to visit with our grandchildren. And even more recently, hugging was finally allowed (no smooches!!). We have a list of “safe people” which includes our son, daughter, son in law, grandchildren, and a very small number of friends.

Since the opening up of various businesses, etc. we have noticed an increased number of people who don’t wear masks. There are also gatherings that are taking place; some of which are not being very mindful of social distancing. While we’d love to join the fun and have everything return to normal; we are holding back and remaining cautious. My Beautiful Girlfriend has often referred to me as her “social butterfly.” I’m the one who welcomes new friends and new social situations. But this COVID-19 stuff is serious business. It would likely kill my Lovely Bride. Therefore, until we each get a proven vaccine; we’ll continue to assume that everyone still has cooties.

Hope all of you are well; and hope you stay safe. This is not a game!

Well OK, these videos are about games…

An Open Letter to Noodletoss Anklebracelet

An Open Letter to Noodletoss Anklebracelet

All Others May Read But Do Not Sing The Chorus Out Loud.

(It frightens the radish grabbers.)

Dear Noodlestomp,

The Flooper Beetles keep eating the insides of my safety shoes. I’ll need at least 3 brand new, totally used hammers to eradicate them softly while donuts fly south for Spring. If no tapeworm dust is inhaled, apply bologna to both armpits before walking to the bathroom. When you’ve finally come to the conclusion that ice cream cannot be injected into the elbows to increase flexibility, you’ll find it completely obvious that not only does hair find its way into every part of your automatic transmission, it also can insulate the tree beepers; and this of course is only useful when the wind is multicolored with a pleasantly indignant odor that is often found to be not unlike cottage cheese that has been allowed to rest on the top of a night light during Barn Knocking Day in eastern Slooponia.

Perhaps you never heard that I’m collecting $$ for anyone who wants to attend The Great Flatulence Festival. Beans and boiled eggs are served round the clock to all participants; who of course wear the traditional festival garb of off-white Party See Pants. When the Festival commences, all the Party See Pants participants part ways in a most disorderly manner and select their favorite “brooping corner” so they can perform their musical Stink-O-Rama. Their amusing Farty Party ways will delight the crowds into extinction; and the Party See Pants of the participants will have the familiar tan but irregularly elliptical patterns where the noxious fumes exit the stinkulus holysmokeabus apertures. Additional medical terminology is often used to grade the performances; and of course the winner is permitted to leave before someone strikes a match to ignite the celebratory Kaka-Kaboom.

Tickets are $.27 each but nose plugs are $379.17 per unused pair. Used plugs are not for sale but may often be bartered for with enticements of extra Boiled Egg Bean Surprise available at the condescension stand.

In closing I’d like to demand that you remember about all that creamy slinky dust oozing from the back of my phone today. Not sure why today should be any different than the time none of us celebrated Webmiggle Day while wearing oversized raincoats.

Thank you again for not shrieking while I opened that 12 year old can of smoked caterpillar toes. You must admit they were delicious with those deep fried dust crackers!

Eat Well And Cause Mischief,

Milbert R. Wofflenock

Speaking of nonsense, these gentlemen were masters…