Quarantine Quirky

So there I was, a couple months ago, working remotely because of the Corona Oh No, almost retired, then furloughed, then on vacation, then retired, and all travel plans that weren’t really planned but kinda were planned because we wanted to go places but with a deadly virus lurking in the bushes (and elsewhere) we dare not venture about in an unsafe manner so we hunkered down at home and began eating too much and OK, maybe we still are, a little bit, but that’s OK because whatchya gonna do anyway except make a sentence that is way too long about all this shelter in place stuff? Anyway??

I like chocolate.

Yes, these are strange times, but one thing I’m very sure of: my Beautiful Girlfriend and I are quite blessed, and we are truly grateful for it. We have more than enough to eat, a safe, warm place to sleep, and money in the bank. Spoiled rotten we are already!! Oddly enough, this quarantine business has actually helped us save money. We don’t drive around much, so we’re not spending much on gasoline. I go to the grocery store once a week now, which before was a multiple days per week sojourn. We cook more at home, so our dining out bill is cut drastically. We don’t go to the movies unless they are on our TV.

Cookies and milk are delicious.

Alright, we do have the Netflix. Lots of stuff to watch on there. But then I found this whole series of a show called True Blood that was available for free. For those who don’t know, True Blood is about vampires, werewolves, fairies and shape shifters. You know, ordinary folk we meet every day. Often my Sweet Honey Pie has watched similar shows that just didn’t really interest me. True Blood, however, was different. It was well written, scary but also quite funny, and I actually became a bit hooked on the shows for several episodes. It has everything a red blooded male likes: lots of sex, violence, and explosions.

Any more of those peanut butter cups?

Well as the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. True Blood is not a new show, but it ran for 7 seasons. Toward the end of season 6 of binge watching, HBO wanted money. This caused both me and my Honey Pie to say things like, “those dirty snot lickers!!” By this time I had pretty much lost interest in the show, but she was still quite hooked and became very sad. So, being the thoughtful boyfriend I am, I found that Amazon Prime had this True Blood series, and was offering a 30 day free trial. Bingo!! So she got to watch the first 3 episodes of the last season and guess what?? When trying to get episode 4 to stream, a message came up: “start your free 7 day trial of HBO to continue watching.” This cause us both to say bad words again… “those stinky bug poop licking mugglesnorts!!” Or something. So now I have two free trials to cancel. Oy yoy yoy.

Mmmmm Ring Dings.

Hey, these are really high-class problems, ya know? Sheesh!! There is an “up” side to all this: we’ve renewed our interest in snacking while watching a (sort of) big screen. And when I say “up,” I do mean “UP!!” As in weight gain.

I like ice cream.

We don’t have the problem of being bored out of our minds during quarantine. Well OK, technically we’re not quarantined at all, it just feels like it sometimes. I know some feel it’s OK to resume “normal” activities; but we are choosing to listen to those crazy science people and are staying home much of the time. When we leave home, we wear our face masks in stores, and other public areas. We also use disposable gloves in some cases. We wash and / or sanitize our hands regularly. And as extra precautions, we’ve chosen not to lick doorknobs, counter tops or pavement. Oh wait, we didn’t do that before either.

I like potato chips.

I think maybe I need to find something to occupy my time besides eating. Perhaps I’ll illegally change my name every other day, and create a new e-mail address to match. Then I’ll wait and see how many of my friends complain that they got some weird e-mail from Mirplop Burpsocket that included a picture of a roll of masking tape. A few days later I’ll follow up with a note from Zonina Grabblesnacks that has urgent instructions to ignore any e-mail that includes a picture of a roll of masking tape. Then again, maybe that’s not such a good idea.

I like radishes!! Maybe I’ll go plant radishes!!

Not sure how many of you watch the video, but I try to pick something that is either relevant or just plain fun. This one leans more toward the fun side…

Collar Your Plants Before The Cutworms Kill Them!

Here in West Michigan, it’s the height of planting season. We had a wet, cold spring this year so I’m a bit behind getting stuff in the ground. I did get my plants in pretty early though.

“Gotta get yer peas and potatoes in by Good Friday,” Grandpa Bunny used to always say. Well I didn’t quite make it. Just a week before we had quite a bit of rain. Since we live in Bear Swamp, I knew full well that tilling the garden would be very much like running a rototiller in ankle deep chocolate pudding.

So I waited a bit. Went to Weesies just before Mothers Day to buy my plants before the rush came. Around here, all the veggie plants become slim pickin’s by Memorial Day. Of course, if you let your peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes sit in those little tray thingies for very long they get root-bound. Therefore, each year I “commit sacrilege” by putting my frost sensitive plants in the ground before Memorial Day.

I love to share my adventures in the garden When I tell my friends I’ve had my peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes in the ground for almost three weeks, their eyes get big and they shake their heads and say things like: “Aren’t you worried about frost??” “I thought you weren’t supposed to put anything like that in until after Memorial Day!!” I reassure them that it’s very OK so long as you have enough “hot caps” to cover each one if there’s a danger of frost.

“Hot caps??” they ask quizzically. “Yeah, you know, buckets,” I explain. “Keep them handy so you can put them upside down over the plant before you go to bed. That way when the frost comes they don’t get killed. But make sure you take them off first thing in the morning or your plants will get roasted inside those things.” They’ll say “OOoohh…” but I can sense they are wondering whether I’m OK in the noodle or not. Of course when they hear I went to Dollar General and spent $50 on buckets they may really think I’m nuts (at least they were made in the U.S.!!). Seven buckets at $1.75 each and 13 waste baskets at $2.25 apiece. The guy at Dollar General said, “you must have a lot of trash!!”

Hot caps or no, there’s nothing quite so unnerving as carefully planting your baby tomatoes, etc. and waking up the next day to find a decapitated stem with its head lying next to it. It’s happened to me… but only once. The stupid pest didn’t even have the decency to eat the leaves that fell to the ground!! Here’s a picture of the culprit:

It’s called a cutworm. It’s not a worm at all, but a caterpillar; and after it devours the stalk of your baby plant it curls up just under the soil and takes a nap. Then off it goes later to search for another unsuspecting plant stalk.

The simplest way to prevent damage from cutworms is to install a cutworm collar when you plant. I learned about cutworm collars after one of my babies got decapitated many seasons ago, and I’ve been using them ever since. Very easy to make. I’ve tried paper drinking cups, but they often have plastic inside or are coated with wax, and I want something that will return itself to the soil after the danger of cutworms is gone. My new magical material is… drumroll… toilet paper tubes!! Yes!! I start collecting them in the winter and have more than enough by spring. I simply flatten the tube and cut slits about halfway up the roll.

Then I carefully prepare the seedling. For tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, I trim most of the leaves off the stalk and bury the seedling “up to its neck in dirt.” All of these plants are members of the nightshade family, so they will grow roots out of the stem if it’s in the soil (makes for a very good root system). Slide the paper tube over the plant and press it into the soil and cover with some dirt so the wind won’t blow it away, while making sure the leaves of the plant are above the top of the tube as shown.

Well, enough of that. This week’s video has absolutely nothing to do with cutworms. I’ve never grown Black Eyed Peas, but in my professional opinion, this video of theirs is a lot of fun.

So there.

The First Day Of The Rest Of My Life

After much hoopla and zippity doo, last Friday, May 1, was the first day of the rest of my life. In other words, I am officially retired!! As many of you know, I’ve been looking forward to this for a very long time. I even installed a little widget by the name of “Free Countdown Timer” on my work computer, Every day for about 2 years I had a little window in the top right corner of my screen that reported the number of years, months, days, and even minutes left to go till my retirement date. It’s also possible that I reported this information to friends and family on a regular basis. Got to the point where folks what ask, “what’s the countdown?” when they saw me out and about. I’ve been rather geeked about the whole idea for a long time!

So now I’m retired!! I’ve been asked how it feels… actually it feels pretty much the same as it has for the last month or more. The corona virus had me working at home since late March. Then I was on bereavement for 3 days; and finally took 20 days of vacation until my retirement date. Can’t really travel much, since the stay at home order keeps getting extended here in Michigan. Although some may not agree, that’s actually a good thing. I have no interest in contracting the virus; and I absolutely don’t want to bring it home to my Honey Pie.

I can describe my feelings toward retirement with one word: grateful. Fortunately for us, we paid off all our debt long before The Big Day. No mortgage, no car payments, no loans. We have money in the bank. I moved our 401k and IRAs to slow growth / low risk funds long before the economy pooped out; so we haven’t lost any of our retirement savings. We have plenty of food, and since we aren’t burning much gasoline we’re saving even more money. There’s even enough to donate to our local homeless shelter.

Many have asked what I’m doing with my time. And of course, I’ve been sitting in front of the TV eating bonbons and binge watching vampire shows. Well maybe not all the time. Yes, we really have been eating candy and watching “True Blood.” which is a vampire series available for free from HBO. Let’s hear it for the Roku!! Those who have one know what I’m spewing about. My Beautiful Girlfriend has a greater appetite for binge watching than I do; but I’ll admit do get sucked into the shows.

Other times I’m doing foolish things like cooking meals, doing dishes, and cutting firewood. I’ve gotten some work done in the garden; and am looking forward to doing more once winter is over. Yes, I said winter!! In May!!! Sheesh!!! We had some nice warm weather in late April; but now we’re getting little snizzles of snow and have a hard freeze in the forecast. None of my frost sensitive plants are in the ground yet. I’m guessing the tomato and pepper seedlings were wondering why the !bleep! they were getting pelted with snow globs when I had them outside for some sun today. I’ve brought them inside for two nights now, worried that it would still dip below freezing in the shed. Oh, and I made my first “tulip tent” to protect my Lovely Bride’s tulip blooms. She planted a bunch of bulbs a while ago, but would shake her head in frustration when only a couple would bloom each year. Well this year she counted 15 blooms, so to protect them I built a tulip tent from some poles and tarps.

So yes, retirement has been very exciting. And no, I’m not being sarcastic! I’m excited that I don’t answer to anyone but myself… oh and my Beautiful Girlfriend. Yes, I’ve answered to my Beautiful Girlfriend for many years now; but that’s very OK with me. I’m excited about going to bed late and getting up without the screaming of an alarm clock. I’m not so excited that my britches are getting a bit tight from all the goodies we’ve been eating. Part of that is a result of the stay at home order I think maybe. We cook, we eat, we snack. When we don’t feel like cooking I’ll do the unthinkable and cook with my credit card (takeout). But most of all this eating too much is that we like food. A lot.

For now, retirement will mean obeying the stay at home order. Travel will happen only as needed for groceries, prescriptions, and so on. And yes, when I go to the store or other public areas I wear a mask and often some disposable gloves. But when the corona virus threat is over… LOOK OUT!! We’ll probably just keep doing what we’re doing now.

And that’s just fine by me!! And while my Honey Pie enjoys binge watching vampire shows, I’ll sneak off and watch some educational programs like this…

The Glass(es) Menagerie

As some of you who are reading this are aware, getting old is not for wimps. I’ve enjoyed 66 trips around the Sun on this globe we call Earth. My brain is pretty much convinced I’m still a young pup, then I go do something silly and try a spontaneous sprint. The result: a pulled calf muscle. OW that hurts!! This was never an issue when I was, oh… like maybe 30. But now if I choose to exert a burst of energy, I better do some stretching first or suffer the ouchy-wouchies.

And that’s just one example.

Fortunately, I somehow was blessed with pretty good eyeballs. Corrective lenses only became needed in my late 40s; and then all I really needed was some +1.00 readers. Used those for many years, and then I started needing stronger ones. When I went for an exam, I was told twice now that I “have an onset of cataracts,” but nothing requiring any action. I was also told “you passed the driver’s test without glasses.” Yet when I went to renew my license a few years ago, they said I needed glasses. That’s a bit confusing, but I just use readers (I’m up to +2.50 now) and all is good.

My Beautiful Girlfriend had cataract surgery a while back. She was offered a choice to either have good long range vision and only need reading glasses for close-up stuff, or no glasses for near but corrective lenses for distant vision. The choice was pretty obvious to her; and after some 60 years of nearsightedness she can now see stars like never before.

Over the years, I’ve built up a collection of reading glasses of various strengths. Still have most of them, and there are some favorite “John Lennon” style wire frames that I use for cooking special meals, even though a stronger pair might work better. It’s a spiritual thing I guess; if that makes any sense. I have glasses that come in two-part metal tubes. I keep a pair of those in my pocket when I’m in the garden. Nice because they don’t get smooshed, and I don’t worry about dropping them in the dirt. Of course I’ve also acquired several pair with cases that clip into a shirt pocket. Those really flashed the “computer geek” fashion statement while I was working. Although my Honey Pie could easily use one of my many pairs of readers, she has built up a collection of her own. I guess mine weren’t girly enough (duh).

These days, it’s possible we have 729 pairs of reading glasses between us. Some are kept in the car, some in the bathroom, some in the kitchen, some in the bedroom. So what happens when either of us tries to read a soup label or something? An exclamation is repeated over and over: “where the HECK are my glasses??” Often, this is answered in the same breath with a sighing, “oh there they are!!”

Regardless of the fact that we always know a pair is near (somewhere), one of us inevitably picks up a bill or prescription or something and squints almost painfully while barely making out the words. Then the other will say, “Honey!! Why don’t you grab your glasses??” Oh, and not to forget the frantic scramble to grab a document or something while on the phone with the doctor’s office and then muttering, “where the bleep!! are my blankety-blank glasses??” and hoping the nice person who called didn’t hear.

Got some pretty big chuckles the other day when was trying to read with a pair of cheap wire-rims. I thought one of my eyes was going bad, only to discover one of the lenses had fallen out of the frame. After finding the missing lens I howled with laughter. Then later I noticed my computer glasses were not working too well. That’s because they are +1.75, but now I’m better with +2.50. Sheesh!!

Yes, it’s a glasses menagerie around here! There are times, though, when I can’t help but amuse myself while hunting for glasses. I do some Three Stooges dialog out loud: “I can’t see!! I can’t see!!” “Whats the matter??” “I got my eyes closed!!”

On the other hand, you have the looking glass…

To Our Dear Grandsons, Whom We Miss Terribly

Dear Revilo and Leirbag,

Even though our faces have Facetimed, please be aware that we miss you terribly and have begun to wash our faces with strawberry jelly just before smelling the driveway juices run down the sides of the Very Important Egg Warmers (VIEWs), If you don’t believe us, well, I guess I can only remind you of the time that both of you never fell down from that gigantic pile of roasted pickle tires!! Right??? Yes!! And of course there was also never the time when you each tried to swallow my radio controlled sandwich bags!! Oh, and of course there was the incident when large whale pebbles never filled your sneakers when you weren’t hiding in the ocean during that one time that never happened!!

Of Course!!

Now I’m afraid I need to call the LAWYERS!! Yes!! You see, I woke up the other day (or was it night??) to discover sawdust flying from the rafters in our attic. When I went to investigate, I noticed that the landscape business next door had chopped away the side of our house to make a storage area for their weed whackers and assorted metal cylinders. I asked Nini what the HECK happened, and she just looked at the ground and mumbled, “um… they needed the room or something.” So I told her we needed to call the LAWYERS. Yes. Just before that I was riding around the hills in some sort of crazy tube thing. It was fun but I really had no control over where I was going so that was a bit weird.

Then I woke up FOR REAL, and remembered that we had pizza with ham, salami, pepperoni, sausage, and golf balls (OK, maybe no golf balls) for dinner that night; and eating that much processed meat often gives me very strange dreams. This is a true thing you see. And the dream seemed pretty real too. No foolin’. I call dreams like that “free movies.”

Speaking of movies, have you seen that one movie where those people were doing things in a place? And they talked to each other and also wore interesting costumes? Sometimes they were running around yelling, and other times they were very quiet except for the burping. I think the name of the movie was… um… OK I don’t remember. Perhaps you know it. Was that one cool or what?? I’m gonna make me a movie some day. I believe it will be “Mighty Mouse Meets Godzilla.” Rather than fighting, they become friends and team up to educate squid and also give teenage dung beetles the ability to find really good poop. A movie like that will likely become a franchise. I’ll be RICH I tell you!!!

Or maybe I’ll just be Papa.

My dear Grandsons, I really must inform you that when I write a letter like this, it comes from inside my socks which should really have been put in the laundry many days ago. Nobody likes bad odor in the foot area; and I am really tired of Freddy the Freeloader crinkling his eyes and calling me “Mr. Stinky Toes.” Tomorrow I’m going to try to recycle some old milk that is starting to smell badly. I believe if I put it in the washing machine with Mr. Monkey’s Milk Mender Solution it will make a really big mess and Nini will send me to the garage with a bag of old staple guns.

Alright then. I must away to the Interwebs to find for you a cartoon that is both nutritious and easily melted into a pleasant but invisible fire extinguisher. We Love You and may your nostrils never be filled with TV antennas.

Peace, Love and Social Distancing Hugs,

Papa (me)

Eye Can’t Believe It!!

Because I was born before The Beatles came to America on the Mayflower, I’m becoming painfully aware of something: I’m getting OLD!! Well, my body is anyway. My mind still thinks I’m young. In fact, I’ve been told by people much younger than me that I “don’t act like an old person.” I tell my friends that I’m a child in old man’s clothing. Then I pass a mirror; and if I dare to look, the truth slaps me in the head. I think to myself (sometimes out loud), “hey Mister!! What the HECK did you do with the young guy that used to live in there??”

Oh what the heck. This is me, wrinkles, receding hairline, and all. I don’t much care about how youthful I look anymore. Why should I? Not like I’m on the prowl for a mate or anything. I’ve been blessed: my soulmate is a Beautiful Young Woman (she’s a whole 3 months younger than me). We met when we were 17 year old kids and are still best friends. Nope… what you see is what you get with the likes of me. And as my Beautiful Girlfriend has been fond of saying lately, “better to be seen than to be viewed.”

I’ve also been told that this getting old crap is not for sissies. Ain’t that the truth!! This stuff can be painful!! Remember that statement about my brain thinking I’m a youngster?? Well that can cause problems when I try to do anything that involves physical effort. Sure, I can do pretty much everything I’ve always done over the years; but sometimes it takes longer, and other times it hurts. Even getting out of bed can produce very annoying SNAP!! CRACKLE!! POP!! noises those Kellogg’s Rice Crispies commercials touted back in the day.

Thankfully, my eyes seem to be “hangin’ in,” as Aunt Joyce used to say. Just before retirement I went to the eye doctor for a checkup, and I was told I passed the driver’s test without glasses. He also mentioned an onset of cataracts, “but no need to do anything about it.” Same diagnosis as my last exam which I think was about 4 years ago. I use readers to compensate for aging lenses inside my 66 year old eyeballs; but otherwise I see pretty well. Or at least I thought I did, until two days ago.

I woke up the other day and put my glasses on to read while in the… um… library (bathroom). Weird… my right eye was seeing strangely fuzzy text. I took off my wire frame glasses, rubbed my eyes a bit, put them back on and resumed reading. Still a little fuzzy. After breakfast I opened my laptop and started reading some e-mails. “What’s up with this right eye??” I wondered to myself. Went in the bathroom and doused both eyes with eye drops. Put the glasses back on. Seemed a little better… oh wait… nope!! Still fuzzy.

Now I’m getting a bit frightened.

Took the glasses off again, this time soaked a washcloth in very hot water and applied the hot compress to my eye; hoping this method could dissolve whatever this film might be. Put the glasses back on… Nope!! Now I’m getting scared. I sought out my Honey Pie (glasses still on). “She’s a nurse,” I told myself, “she’ll notice if something is wrong.” “Honey!!” I pleaded. “Can you look at my right eye and tell me if it looks OK?” She gazed carefully… “No, I don’t see any film or anything.” She did mention maybe I had an indentation on one side of my eyeball, but seems like I clunked myself there many moons ago. But I was primarily getting upset about my vision.

My magnifying mind started wondering if I had some sort of obscure stroke; or how I should type out a search string on the interwebs to figure out what the heck the deal was. Off I went to the bedroom for something (who knows why). There on my nightstand was a lens from a pair of glasses. MY pair of glasses. The ones I was wearing!! The instant I saw this lens, all I could do was laughed very hard.

So my friends, as you can see, this getting old stuff ain’t for sissies. And it seems that no matter how old I get, some of the terrible things that plague my existence are completely imagined by my magnifying mind. The miracle for today is: I CAN SEE!! It’s AMAZING!! And I can laugh about it.

Life is good.

When I grow up, I wanna be like Grampy….

When Silly Jumps Out

Dear Snail Dance Participants,

There was once a time when I would sit for hours on end. Then I would stand up and realize my end was getting numb from sitting so long. This is no way to extract naturally sweetened stapler receptacles from small pink laboratory telephone handsets.

You may well wonder, “what the HECK-A-MA-HOOKEY are you trying to say?? Anyhow??” Then again you may not wonder that well. If you do enjoy going to the Wonder Well, you may have already noticed that this has absolutely nothing to do with the German Chocolate Cake that was left outside to shiver during that last forest fire that never happened in my back yard. On the other hand, you have a small insect crawling carefully away so as not to awaken the dreaded Ritz Cracker Ejection Robot.

Now I know that sometimes I may have been known to write completely silly things. There have also, of course, been other times when I was not known at all. Ah, those were the times… You see, there are things that make us cry, and there are things that make us wish cars would run on jelly beans. I prefer smiling over crying, although crying can be helpful if you need to wash your soul. After the soul washing, however, it’s time to get out the lint brush and get on with life as we know it here on Amplo-Snavorkey (that’s the Crelbian name for Earth, The Cosmic Dirt-Water-And-Air-Blob).

There have been other times when friends at work would receive a very strange Instant Message From Me, And Only A Few Words Would Be Capitalized. For Example, I’ve Been Known To Send Such Crazy Sentences As: “My ears are full of sand again. Can you please pass me the bread wrench?” That one just caused me to laugh at my very own writing, which may be cause for alarm.

No, I must say this about that: it would be much MORE alarming to go through life without laughing at all. Even though our world is being attacked by The Corona Monster, I’ve determined that I need to keep two things in mind:

A) I must always be grateful because I am blessed in so very many ways.

34) I must try my best to be happy (or at least pleasant) while I’m also being alive in this plane of existence, and

H2) I must never say I need to keep two things in mind when I really meant more than two; and of course

9x)  I sure do love those Reese’s Easter Egg Candy Things you can get at the store right now.

One thing I’ve learned during my 66 trips around the Sun is that people would really much rather be happy than sad. Therefore, I have tried my best to spread smiling on the walls of peoples toenails (and shoe horns) whenever the dog manure jumps out of the spider webs. Sometimes I tell a joke. Sometimes I make a silly face. Sometimes I dash into the kitchen and whip up some roasted kitty dander with a nice garnish of avocado pit puree. Usually by Sometimes number 3 my friends have quietly left the building and I don’t have to worry about them being sad, at least not around me.

So my friends, as you can see, my brain still maintains a goodly amount of chowder dust in the depths of its ammonia flavored barnacle snack bars. Nothing that was written here tonight will ever have anything to do with Cream Of Flamingo Soup or any other nuclear missile lobotomy. All I ask is that if you are interested, please try to smile once in awhile. And if you can do that, please send one (or more) to a friend or even a stranger!

Sincerely Yours,

Hyram C. Gilmore

Captain of the Royal Licorice Cabbage Brigade
OK, now for da cartoon thing.

Just Trying To Help

Corporate greed seems to have become a global phenomenon. In too many corporations here and abroad, the people who call the shots seem to live in a different universe.  They really don’t care much about the average family person who is trying to make a living.  They may say they do, but they really don’t.  Otherwise, jobs in this country would not be moved to other countries.  Sure, if we kept the jobs here it would “cost more to do business,” which mostly seems to mean that the Really Big Shots wouldn’t get their millions.  Well maybe they don’t need millions.  Does anybody really need more than a million dollars??  Not me… so they can just give me a million and I’ll quit complaining about corporate greed.

Or not…

Anyway, since I know people whose jobs are in jeopardy, I thought maybe I’d try to be a helpful with this week’s Happy Friday thing.  I have been the victim of corporate downsizing in the past; so I’ve been there and done that.  It wasn’t the end of the world.  Actually it was the beginning of a pretty cool journey.  I explored some alternative career ideas and got to know myself and my family better.  And finally after many moons of being out of work, I got a job.

One thing I’ve learned is:  probably the most important ingredient of a good job hunt is a resume.  Keep it to a single page.  Emphasize your strengths and achievements, and especially focus on the skills you have that an employer needs.  What I ended up doing was keeping a general resume “on file” and modified it to suit the particular job I was targeting.

Another good tool is an introductory cover letter.  For a guide, I dug an old one out of my archives and thought I would share it with you.  You have my permission to steal it and alter it in any way you see fit.  This one may (or may not) be the exact same letter I sent to Ludmilla Sunkenchin, who was HR director of Blammo Manufacturing.  So without any further ado, here it be:


To Whom It May Concern,

This is in response to the advertisement for a Working Type Person. I understand that you were accepting money up front, to get people jobs and stuff like that. I intended to respond sooner, but my cat threw up inside my shoes, and then even my slippers!! So I’m sure you can empathize that I’ve been distracted.

Please consider this as a letter of application because I need a stinking job.

The jerks I have been working for at XYZ Industries these past 27 days have laid me off ; and I’m sure I don’t need to tell a person like you how that makes me squirm inside.  However, I believe that I the skills I acquired there were probably useless, but that doesn’t really matter now does it??. I’m really good at taking breaks, and I know how to impress the best of them. I figure that if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull manookey. I worked on various types of equipment during my career at XYZ, but most of it was pretty old and always screwing up, so I don’t really know how to run anything without a large hammer in the immediate vicinity.

I have computer experience… after all, I do own a Sony Playstation.  Them video games have really increased my ability to react quickly under stress. There goes a fly! HA! Got it!!  See what I mean? As for my ability to interact with others, I enjoy meeting new people, especially when they give me money. Those are the nice ones, ya know?

Please let me know the exact date upon which I can expect to apply my skills at your place of employment. I am available for an interview, and would enjoy the opportunity to give you $20 up front and more if I get the job. I will be “checking in” frequently with you to keep tabs on your progress in hiring me.  Get back to me soon, or else you may soon find some “souvenirs” from my kitty’s litter box in your mail slot.

Ha ha, just kidding I think maybe.

Thank You,


P.S.:  I did not choose to share my name at this time, as you will learn more about me during the hiring process, and especially when I have learned of my start date.  Some upfront information:  I can’t work where women are present, because I usually have pretty offensive gas.  Also, if there are men around, they should stay away from me, because they normally have even worse gas than me.  Other than that, I can do work real good unless I don’t feel like doing what you ask me to do.  In cases like that, just ask me what I feel like doing that day and I’ll probably get right to it.


Well my friends there you have it.  As I said, feel free to use this cover letter in its entirety if you wish.  Or maybe tweak it a little… but I think it stands on its own merit.  If you find it useful, please let me know very soon; as I also have some bridge property for sale at reduced rates for special people like you.

Hopefully, your next interview won’t go like this…

Corona Oh No

Wow… what a difference a week makes!! Last week I was merrily hopping around, hugging all my friends, shaking hands, enjoying life, the universe, and everything. This week, I still merrily hop around, and I still enjoy life, the universe, and everything; but no more hugging or shaking hands. For those I hug, I’m switching to the following procedure: I look the person in the eyes, smile, and say “I Love You.” Same as a hug really…

Well, almost.

I work in a factory, and thankfully we have a big shrink wrap machine. So for my own protection I’ll be getting shrink wrapped every day for the next few weeks. I’ll put drinking straws in my nostrils so I can breathe, and just hop around like that. For safety you see. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do when I need to go to the bathroom. Oh, and eating lunch might be a challenge. Holy Carp!! I’ll need my hands to work!! So I guess no, I probably shouldn’t do the shrink wrap thing.

I consider myself a pretty healthy guy. You know, a strong immune system and such. However, the facts are very convincing. I’m getting older now, and I could become very ill if I get this virus. But even if I get just a mild case, or don’t get infected at all, I have to be very wary and stay germ free for the sake of my Beautiful Girlfriend so she doesn’t get sick. And I sure don’t want to inadvertently pass a bug to someone else who has a family member that could suffer badly from COVID-19. I’ll admit I was not eager to stop hugging; nor to avoid gatherings. But this really does need to be taken very seriously. We all just need to work together and change how we interact with each other so we can slow this stupid virus down. All the guidelines are being blasted into our eyes and ears in the form of TV and radio news reports; and of course all the internet is roaring with stories.

We just need to help each other get through this. I’ll sure I’ll be fine… I’m spoiled rotten. I’m very grateful that I have income, plenty of food, and no debt. I am blessed with enough that I was able to donate some bucks to our local rescue mission this week. I consider that to be the very least I can do. Many folks are not nearly as fortunate as me. I pray for them often, and I’ve been praying for them even more often lately.

My friends, if you see me out and about, it’s probably because I need groceries and so on. My Lovely Bride and I are laying low to avoid direct contact with people as much as possible, until otherwise directed. If you normally get a hug from me, I hope you’ll understand when I keep some distance and say “I Love You” instead. And of course, I refuse to stop being silly. I’ll continue to post very silly things on Facebook in an effort to help people smile. I will also be using a strange type of technology called a telephone to check in on friends from time to time. We have one of those weird landline things that has an ancient device known as “The Answering Machine.” If you know our home number, be prepared; I plan to change the greeting often for your amusement (it’s possible I have a little fun with my recordings).

We can get through this. If we all do what’s recommended; things will improve. But I must say, nobody told me there’d be days like these!!

An Open Letter To Saggy Hands And All Other Tongue Owners

Dear Saggy Hands,

In the interest of Corona Oh No, I’ve claimed a small part of the planet and have renamed it to suit my dog’s knees. It’s a quaint little place with hot and cold running wildly; and although clams are rarely served with dessert we could probably order out and enjoy the Mange of La Muncha while throwing fluffy red sculptures toward the full moon. In My New Country, of which I alone am In Charge; nothing will ever be achieved without the express permission of the Zagnut Flinging Champions and their two children, Smeeb and Grackzample.

Even though I’ve always refused to enter your home, you must comply with my reverse hospitality which dictates that I’m pretty sure you owe me a visit here in Tinkle Frost. Yes, that’s correct my friend. That’s the name of the New Land which has been Claimed By Me. Please consider yourself indignant and always keep a special place in your hamper for the Beautiful Newly Claimed Land. Keep in mind that only residents of Wrinkle Fist will have the privilege of snorking gravy up their noses while stocking up on toilet paper and making hand sanitizer out of donuts.

Additionally, please be aware that once you’ve become a citizen of Jingle Crust, you must extinguish all other amplified hacking and coughing that comes so naturally to those who run with a mouth full of lollipops. This is not only mandatory but is a requirement that must be blindly obeyed with full goose Bozo and thank you Uncle Eric. Once the clicking ritual consumes all your waking hours for the next 76 weeks, you must eloquently memorize your shoe size and call the Pineapple Salesman before washing ashore for the Greatly Exaggerated Beef Jerky Festival.

Finally, if you ever divulge the location of Wrinkle Dust to the Tax Man (or any other demonized ear wax removal tool), you must be banished to the Whisker Treatment Factory where the staff will make certain that you’re gradually recommended for a walk down Mammary Lane to enjoy the breast of times; and maybe even some wings or a thigh, and perhaps also the Chicken Nuggets that will be available in large packages of Drum Stick Yellow #7 or maybe even Giblet Surprise Pudding, which of course is served not only with crackers but in some areas of the globe you can even buy tickets to watch this guy actually dress his dog to look exactly like Sir Reginald of Pringlesauce County; except this rendition is nothing close to the original because that would be too tacky and nobody would even care because it’s all a crock of moose juice anyways but because it’s been awhile since I wrote a run-on sentence I thought I’d throw one in here for the halibut and I hope you found it inexcusable.

OK. That’s quite enough for this digestive illumination. Please, just make sure, as I never requested earlier in this writing, to schedule your visit to Tangle Flask sooner rather than later. If you refuse to comply, I’ll remain your devoted friend and will shower your cat with condominiums and other pleasant sundaes. I will conclude with a small amount of acrobatics, which I’m sure would amuse you if you were here to watch.

Yours in Seven Dimensions,

Grelben “Stinky Pores” Zortenfloom

a.k.a. “The Wheel Barrow Worm Rancher”

On the other hand, politics according to Gracie Allen was very similar to what we see today…