Looking Forward To: Celebration Time!!

WARNING!!  THE FOLLOWING STORM IS LACED WITH LARGE DOSES OF
PURE NONSENSE.  IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ASSIMILATE SUCH COMPLETE
SILLINESS, DISCARD THIS DOCUMENT IMMEDIATELY, IF NOT SOONER.
*************************************************************

Many of you may know this already, but I’ll say it again anyhow.  I am married.  Not only that, I married The Most Beautiful Woman In The Universe (FYI: all other women are The Second Most Beautiful), and we are very happy. This horrible marriage event occurred 44 years ago; and if we make it till August 21 it will be 45 years!! Is that crompulary or what?? We are best friends, and even love each other enough to smooch and all that other married people stuff. There appears to be no cure for our amplification.

So, on or about August 21, the date of our welding happen thing, we will probably go on our annual honeymoon. This reminds me of one of my favorite honeymoon outings at a nice getaway called the Hotel Frankfurter Hotdog Ranch, where you shell out $19.75 (or more, depending on the type of honeymoon suite you want) for a room, dinner and breakfast for two, taxes and tips all included in the bill.  Very nice.

Back in 1876, or perhaps it was another year, I don’t know, I had booked a Ranch Room 22 years in advance, as a surprise.  Finally the big day arrived.  There we were, in the 1971 Maverick we never owned, galumping along the Lake Michigan shoreline, and suddenly several policemen sang polkas to us while blue smoke from our tailpipe gases filled their eyebrows.  Then we started the engine and headed Up North to Frankfort ya shoor youbetcha by golly dere (dey are NOT yoopers dere… I just trew dat in for da halibut).

With an average speed of 12.7 mph, we made it to Frankfort in a record twelve days.  Several parts of the car were missing when we arrived, but we just figured the noises were from that funny rope we substituted for the fan belt back in ’83.  The hotel was everything we never expected it to be. Deep green clouds of putrid dust belched from the chimneys of the honeymoon suites.  We turned to each other and winked, knowing that it would soon be OUR turn to ignite those famous bricks of dehydrated pond scum.  At the main entrance, we backed up several yards and then ran through the masking tape barrier they put up to greet arriving guests.  On the other side, the staff greeted us in their traditional lizard suits, urging us to bring them insects from the nearby chocolate shop.

After checking in, we decided to take a stroll down to the pier before dinner.  There we found very sad fishermen chained to huge iron pilings.  To our amazement, that very moment they were sold into slavery and commissioned to teach giant squid how to read and write.  The squid plopped themselves on the pier and wouldn’t move to let us by, so we did our best to comfort the fish holders, who ate oversized jelly beans while they cried out for extra ballpoint pens.  Suddenly, I had a terrible sinking feeling…

“My Mom knew this would happen,” I uttered.

“What? She knew WHAT would happen,” Kathy asked.

“My left leg just turned into scrambled eggs,” I pouted.

Kathy scolded me, saying, “Kenny, get the heck out of that broken sewage line!!  This is no time for stink-o-rama!!”  I apologized diversely, and she promised to make some sock puppets when we got home.  She knows I’m a sucker for a bucket of removable training shingles (ching-ching!!).

We went back to the Ranch and waited in the basement to be called to dinner.  I must point out that this was my least favorite part of our celebration.  I couldn’t find the light, so of course I tripped over the giant rusty telephone and nearly fell into the washed popcorn they pulled from the dryer lint trap.  Our reservation was finally stained, and we were shown to our topsoil.

Dining at “The Ranch” is nothing short of elegant.  The long, dark hallway’s cracked cinder blocks are accented by the flickering light of Bunsen burners at each desk.  I had to sit on the side opposite the chair slide-in place, but that didn’t dampen my moisture.  I ordered fill-it magnum, and Kathy got shrimp on the half shell.  We shared and split the entrees down the middle with a chain saw and splitting maul.  Our waiter forced us to watch “Little Lulu” cartoons while we awaited the arrival of the meal.  But that was OK; because halfway through the 37th cartoon, Kathy’s mood had been visibly altered.  She gazed at me longingly, as if I was the next course, then began nibbling her napkin and pressing her butter knife flat against her eyebrows.  What a woman!!

Dessert, of course, was the house specialty, “Frankfurter Hotel Rocky Ranch Hot Dog Heaven,” made with fresh hot dogs that were caught the previous Wednesday.  They do magical things with mystery meat.  We were awestruck by the lovely appearance of the dish and the surprisingly delectable cherry sauce and imitation peppermint rice filled avocado pebble crunch with boat scrapings and black mold filter cream toppings.

After completely filling our tummies, the Rollers came and boofed us up the stairs to our room.  Special humor was exploding as they let us roll downstairs 23 times before the last upheaval; after which they finally shoved us into the room and slammed the room shut on us.  We laughed most jolly and tried to reach the pondscum fireplace with our bellies dragging on the floor, splinters in our garments and happy broken belt loops.  Needless to say, Kathy did the napkin-nibbling butter knife eyebrow thing the rest of the night, and I responded in turn by recycling the flypaper in the master cylinder accusation chamber.

You can bet we’ll be back again some other anniversary.  Until then, please deform all your friends and neighbors.  Their armpit hair, after all, will soon be converted into satellite receivers.  Now please pass those hot dogs!!

Oh… one last thing:  it has occurred to me that because I am older than most compost, many of you have never heard of nor seen a “Little LuLu” cartoon.  Well here’s one from 1945…

My Father Smelt Of Elderberries!!

OK, my father didn’t really smell of elderberries.  But he was the one who first told me about these lovely fruits of Nature when I was very young.  I remember when I first tasted them I found them a little less than wonderful.  However if you catch them at just the right time they are palatable.  Trouble is, the “right time” can slip away very quickly.  They ripen slowly over many weeks and then kaboom!! they explode on you as you walk along the trail.  Well OK maybe there’s no kaboom!! Seriously, they are only in their prime for a few days and then they become bitter.

Here in Beautiful West Michigan, elderberry bushes can be seen blooming everywhere. I see them every day, and some are making berries already. In a few weeks they’ll turn a dark purple, and they are ready to pick when the stems that support the cluster of berries also turns purple. The trick is to get them before the birds do… but I always leave some for the birds.

Elderberries have been used for eons, both for medicinal and culinary purposes.  Personally I’m trying to start a “revival” of the use of elderberries.  I say “revival,” because for many moons I would mention to people, “I picked a mess of elderberries over the weekend.”  They would smile politely and then ask, “what are elderberries??”  Many have heard about them in songs and whatnot, but it seems that the vast majority of people have not noticed them at all, much less picked them. Beautiful West Michigan is blessed with lots of water, and elderberries really like living near water.  You can see them along the roadsides (and elsewhere of course); large bushes with big white flower clusters that mature into the beautiful dark purple fruits.

If you ever get the notion to pick them, DO NOT be silly and try to pick them one at a time.  You’ll go crazy I tell you!!  You’ll be working for hours and get maybe a few cups of berries.  The best way I’ve found is to cut the berry clusters from the plant and drop them in your shopping bag.  Those plastic grocery bags from the store perfect for this, but make sure you take some that don’t have any holes in the bottom.  Bring a pair of scissors or maybe a sharp pocket knife and cut the berry cluster at the stem that connects it to the plant.  Oh, and as I mentioned earlier, please follow this very important rule:  always leave some for the birds.

Thank you.

Then take them home when you get your quota and prepare to spend at least an hour processing about a gallon of berries off the stems and into a container.  I find it good meditation to pick up the clusters one at a time and roll the berries off the stem gently with your fingers.  Your fingers get a bit purple from this, but it’s not permanent.  If you’re lucky like me you may have a beautiful and devoted spouse who will actually help process the berries. After we’re done, we just chuck them in the freezer. When you want to use them, just bonk them a little to loosen them up and then scoop what you need out of the freezer bag.

So why go through all this hassle?  Well folks, there’s simply nothing quite like elderberry pie with a glob of Breyer’s vanilla ice cream on top.  Making the pie is at least 197% easy.   First of all, I’m not ashamed to admit that I cheat on the crust.  I buy the crusts at the store from the dairy case.

Hey if you want to make your own crust, knock yourself out.  I mean that figuratively of course.  Wouldn’t be very pleasant if you really knocked yourself out.  Lots of people have told me that “crust is easy!!”  Looks to messy to me.  When it comes to making crust from scratch, I’m a lazy wuss, OK??

Other than that, I follow the same recipe for elderberry pie as I do for blueberry:

3 to 4 cups of elderberries

1/2 cup of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 1/2 tablespoon of flower

1 drizzling of honey

Mix these up in a bowl and pour them into a 9 inch deep dish pie pan with crust.  Take a spoon and fill the rest of the pie with more berries until you’ve filled the pie pan.  Then drizzle the top with just a bit of honey, and this is because elderberries are quite tart and just a little more sweetening is a good touch but certainly not necessary.  Cover the pie with the other cheating crust and poke some holes in it so the steam will vent out.  Cook in the oven at about 350 or 400 till the crust is nice and brown, or about 45 minutes.

I’ve also been known to make what I call “bluederberry pie,” in which I mix 1 part elderberries to 3 parts blueberries. Oh my, that’s good!

Then the fun part:  STUFF YOUR FACE!!  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!

So enjoy your elderberries, but when they start to come, don’t delay, they’ll be gone before you know it.  And if you don’t want any of such silly treats, that’s just fine.

That’s more for me!!

Now, regarding my father.. he was a full blooded Norwegian, so he probably smelt more of lingonberries, or perhaps even cod.  However, one of my favorite “insults” that I occasionally repeat aloud comes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  One of my favorite movies of all time contains a boisterous proclamation from John Cleese:  “Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!!”

Here’s a fun clip:

Berg Snerfles By Request

There’s a tradition at our house: when the grandkids are visiting, we watch cartoons till it’s late outside. My brain was running out of steam, so I asked our oldest grandson for some writing inspiration.

“What should I write about tonight, Ollie?” I asked, looking for ideas.

“Berg Snerfles that live on Mars,” Ollie replied.

“Bird snergles?” I wondered aloud.

Berg Snerfles,” Ollie retorted.

Once more, for verification, I asked, “Berg Snerfles??”

“Yes,” he said, “Berg Snerfles Who Live On Mars.”

“OK,” I replied, “I’ll see what I can do.”

So without any further ado, here goes…


Berg Snerfles Who Live On Mars

by Ken Hansen

Back in the day, which was the day before a few thousand days before today, on a Saturday, a large, pickle shaped meteorite fell to Earth with great screeching and flaming and smoke and kaboom. All the local folk saw it land in Clem Barfington’s corn field; and it seemed like just as soon as it hit the ground there was a crowd of curiosity seekers closing in to check it out.

Several minutes after the meteorite landed, there was still quite a bit of smoke floating up from the cornfield crater. However, the smoke was very strange… it was bright orange with green and purple stripes; and had a very unique odor. Cindy Tringletoes was pretty close to the site, and had been breathing some of this strange vapor as the crowd grew. Suddenly, her eyes opened really wide as she took a couple long, deep sniffs. Then her face kind of twisted sideways as she started speaking out of the left side of her mouth and said, “hmmm… smells like a combination of Zanga fruit and brope noodles!!”

After Cindy’s strange announcement, her Mom started to ask her what the HECK she was talking about; but was interrupted by a faint tapping noise coming from inside the meteorite. The tapping grew louder… louder… LOUDER and was quickly followed by a shrill noise as a part of the meteorite began to move. The movement continued and it quickly became apparent that some kind of door was opening out of the meteorite. The crowd gasped and stepped back quickly; and Steve Woofclank blurted out, “ummm folks?? This here ain’t no meteorite!!” Of course by this time the crowd was pretty aware they were witnessing something very strange.

The door opened completely and two strange beings climbed up from inside; and stepped out of what the crowd now knew to be some sort of space ship. A hush fell over the crowd as they stared in amazement. None of the townspeople had ever seen beings from outer space before; and the bright orange skin with green and purple stripes (very much like the strange smoke) fascinated them to the point that they all stood very still with their mouths open.

The beings sensed that the crowd was amazed, and maybe even a bit frightened by what they were seeing; so they quickly spoke through their cravnabs to introduce themselves. And yes, like every strange story about space beings, the visitors knew English…

“Hello Fellow Universe Beings!!” the first visitor said. “My name is Wognob, and this is my wife Bleeftok. We are Berg Snerfles from Mars, but I think we made a wrong turn near your moon. Hope we didn’t mess up your corn crop too badly when we landed.” After Wognob uttered his greeting, he turned to his wife and whispered, “oh my these strange beings are rather weird looking, aren’t they??” Bleeftok pinched Wognob’s cribnoot and whispered back, “the Creators made all beings in the Universe, we must not be rude to them even if we find them homely and smelling like Martian fish food.”

Then Bleeftok spoke up and said, “we need to get back to Mars soon because we’re missing the Celebration of Chiggles. But we’ll need some fuel and we hope you can help us.” Cindy Tringletoes, still very wide-eyed, walked up to them and asked, “I will help… what can I do?” “Well,” Wognob said abruptly, “we believe your Earth has just the fuel we need. We’ve been receiving your television signals for many years, and we are pretty sure that if we could get some of your Lucky Charms and a little milk that would help quite a bit.”

Very quickly, Bleeftok turned to Wognob with a puzzled look and asked, “how will that help our fuel situation??” Wognob’s face turned turquoise as he looked at the ground and said, “OK it won’t, but I’m hungry.” The crowd laughed, but Cindy and Steve took off and quickly returned with several boxes of cereal, some milk, bowls, and spoons. It wasn’t long before everyone was sitting down while munching on Lucky Charms and telling stories about their children and the upcoming Firefly Festival.

Bleeftok ate her share and stood up to thank everyone. “We very much appreciate your hospitality,” she said happily. “Now if we could just get a few hundred gallons of maple syrup and a pack of matches we can be on our way.” George Frocksnibble shouted from the back, “I have a load of syrup on the back of my pickup truck you can have!!” “That’s right neighborly of you, George,” said Bleeftok. So George backed his truck up near the space ship and Bleeftok jumped aboard and began slurping ALL the syrup out of the containers. Afterward, she got some matches from Brenda Shortsnout and pushed them into her left air sniffler.

Bleeftok’s head began to wiggle strangely as she ran back into the space ship. Suddenly, what sounded like a huge sneeze came thundering out of the belly of the ship; and very soon afterward the outside lights started flashing as a whirring noise seemed to signify that the spaceship was starting up. With a startled look, Wognob dropped his bowl of cereal and ran over to the door of the ship and shouted a few things to Bleeftok, who was still inside. With a few nods of his head, he turned to the crowd, smiled, and shouted, “sorry kids!! Gotta go!! Thanks for everything!!” Then he jumped inside and the hatch closed behind him.

The space ship shuddered a bit, then rose slowly as more orange smoke with green and purple stripes began to flow away from the landing site and over the crowd. Finally, there was a very large farting sound and the ship was gone. After getting a few sniffs of the weird smoke, the crowd all became very wide eyed and smiled broadly as they started reciting Martian poetry and did the Elbow Hooking Dance.

Wognob and Bleeftok were very grateful for all the help they received, and have been leaving messages of thanks on the insides of boxes of Lucky Charms ever since.

The End (…for now)

Tune in again some other time when another grandson requested story comes tumbling out of the Happy Friday keyboard!!

Sniff The Dog Wisely

Warning:  the following installment of Frappy Hiday contains large amounts of nonsense and intestinal worms.  Do not read any further if you are prone to sleeping with rubber bands in your cereal or have an allergic reaction to sense that makes no things. 

What the heck kind of title is that?  Anyhow???   Is this going to be one of those stupid dog butt sniffing stories?? Come to think of it, I’m not sure I know any dog butt sniffing stories.  I could maybe make one up, but there’s really nothing you can buy with three nickels anymore.  So why would I sniff the butt’s dog?  My friend Musky da sniffed a butt’s dog recently, and he seemed to be very intent with this activity.  Does this mean that sniff dogging is similar to wise wondering?

No, this is an adventure in stress relief.  You see, I’m being a bit indulgent here… and I’m going to just crack open a jar of petroleum jelly and a box of crackers, and make a nice snack that not only sticks to your ribs but lubes the bones and coats the skin with a nice shiny paragraph on Al Gore and his TV Dinners.  Then I’ll wash it all down with a nice tall glass of dry ice.   Work has presented numerous “challenges” of late, ok?  I placed “challenges” in “quotes” because there are some “people” who are getting on my “nerves” and I would love to “choke” them but I don’t want to go to “jail” just because the “kakaheads” are making me “crazy.”  You “know” what I “mean??”

Then there’s the “guy at work” who seems bell lent for heather to “drive me up a tree” and I don’t even have a seat belt for that tree or anything.  No air bags neither.  No smell phone to stick in my ear so I can drive like a zombie and crash into a giant salami.  I mean hey, if someone is determined to “tree me up a drive,” the very least that person could do is provide air conditioning and a hybrid engine that gets well over 93 miles to a gallon of ice cream.

Am I right or am I wrong??

Of course I am!!

I’m keenly aware that the only “solution” to letting someone “up me tree a drive” is to tune out their bullroni and strongly suggest that nasal cheese insertion be performed.  The instructions would come in a format very much like this:

“Hey you with the face!  For why you are asking for my resistance with these things you require yesterday or the day before, but you’ve jumped into this ‘project’ with no planning ahead or even knowing what the do you are hecking??  Are you in the want of pickled toilet paper?  I am now urging you vehemently to cram large cheese globs in your nose to enhance your breathing!!  And while you’re at it, why don’t you place your tongue in that electrical box over yonder??  That box needs testing, and you’ve just the tongue to do it!”

This, I am sure, is the only true way to diplomatically tell  flame-headed wombats just how wonderful you feel about  their actions.

Don’t you agree??

Of course I do!

I was also very compressed at the driving ability of one total bark-eating numbskull just yesterday.  There I was, careening down the boulevard in my 2014 racing Toyota Sienna, and going the legal speed limit or even less, and some tonk-mookler decided to pass me with less than 2 millimeters clearance between his bumper and my front fender with no regard for the safety of any insects or other humans.  I mean, this tampon-brain forced me into the evasive “holy cow” maneuver.  Then of course he (or she??) proceeded to cut off numerous other innocent sidebanders while zipping in and out of traffic.   Now THAT’S intelligence, don’t ya think?  Seedless to nay, I had a few opinions which instantly arose from my brain and out of my mouth as I flailed the steering wheel about while I tried to prevent the kersmooshing of metal objects and finely crafted petrochemicals.

Now, believe me, I understand that people don’t intentionally do things TO me, they just DO THINGS.  But sometimes I just let it get to me and then I go find a bug and try to teach it to sing karaoke.  I try to be tolerant of people who are less than wonderful…   I think I’m getting better at being nice these days; but while my eyes and mouth are being pleasantly neutral, my mind is screaming at the top of its lungs:

“HOLY MACKEREL, WHO GAVE YOU THE RIGHT TO BREATHE ON THIS PLANET??  I’M BECOMING CONVINCED THAT YOU NEED TO EAT BARK AND POOP AT THE MOON!!”

This is not very kind, so I’m very grateful that I don’t often react with nastiness to those type of folks.  Anymore.  Used to be I would actually SAY  the things that my mouth wanted to spit, but then I’d have to apologize and offer expensive candy or something.  Maybe that’s part of getting old enough to remember when the Beatles came over on the Mayflower, I dunno.  But I DO know that stress is a very small pair of pajamas that seek dogfood in a jar of jellybeans.  So the next time I get angry, please remind me that there really is a bus that has one way tickets to Indianapolis.  I don’t really want to go there, but if I never run away again it will be the next time.

I had an ice cream cone today.  That was helpful. And in spite of the intense heat, most of this tasty treat went into my mouth.

Perhaps I need a new job. You know, where the stress is zero minus 173 and you get paid for loafing. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello did a nice bit about just that very subject…

A Friendly Letter To A Friend Who’s Not Really A Friend

Hello Nice Friendly Peoples!

My brain fell out 3 times this past week, and each and every 139th time all the computerized floral arrangements could be seen waving their tusks at me with indecent cheese filled pasta pies.  Can you relate?  Do you find yourself blaming “The Amazing El-Farto” (or someone not even remotely similar) for all the troubles in your universe??

Well, if you do, you’ll probably never need or even want to send that person a letter expressing just how smelly the air molecules become when they are near you. But just in case, I’ve taken the liberty to compose an all purpose letter you can either send or deliver to someone who has gently taken your self esteem and crammed it into a hollow tree full of spiders and other (perhaps fire-breathing) ickety-boo monster animals. Please feel free not to use this ever at any time at all; but instead maybe read it sometime when the friend you thought was a friend simply turned out to be a very mean person who really doesn’t know how to be a friend so you really may want to just pray for them and ask the Creator Committee to help them be happy and healthy all the day long; even though you don’t like them, and of course please remember that all creatures great and small need and deserve love but that of course does not necessarily mean you will be inspired to make a new ice cream flavor in their name but maybe you could at least try to forgive them for being so nasty and I was wondering if I might please have that big piece of chocolate over there now?

Thank you! OK, here we go with the letter thing you probably should never send; but it might make you laugh away your crackling insoles:

—————————————

Dear Fossilbrain,

I’d like to apologize for allowing you to eat all those barnacles I accidentally put in the pasta salad. It’s just that I was very much enjoying the crunching noise and your interesting amazement at the happy culinary bewilderment. I would also like to apologize in advance for the discomfort you are sure to experience when these barnacles and their shells travel through your digestive tract; and the eye widening sensation they are certain to inflame just before they embark upon the journey to your septic tank.

You may soon discover that Tootsie Rolls do not write well on a chalkboard. If that should occur, please again accept my apology; this time for replacing all your writing implements with pretzels, licorice, and very skinny carrots. We all know that pointy things can make patterns in the sand, which is soon to be found in your pee nut butter and celery sandwiches. Drink 3 centiliters of popcorn oil while gargling with paprika and you’ll be treated to a very remarkable temperature tantrum.

I know you may not want to hear this, but right now I’m pretending to yell with a giant squid flavored amplifier that will cause even the most obstinate pair of moisture control pliers to wither and fly westward due to their foolish insistence upon trolling for sod without an adequate flashlight renewal calculator. Your pets and stain resistant dinnerware will one day thank me for all this.

In closing, I’d like to assure you that in spite of everything and in spit of everything else; I will do my very best to enhance the length of my string supply. After all, one can never have too much string. Thank you for your itchy sidewalls. Whenever I compare them to my inexplicable “potato dances,” life is clearly baffling; much in the same way a fluffy yet malodorous box of dandruff sneaks its way into a delicious rhubarb-liverwurst casserole.

Yours in Tender Shouting,

Breem Pifflewonk, Esq.

“Don’t try to sing while sneezing.  Your nostrils may create an unwelcome booger kaboom.” – Eugene T. Snackpincher

———————————————–

OK!! Now on to da cartoon!!

The Miracle of Healing: Old Ouch vs. Young Ouch

This past year I turned 64, which of course makes me older than compost. When I was a youngster, dinosaurs still listened to radios with vacuum tubes inside them, and telephones had these weird things called “rotary dials.” Ahh, the good old days. I call them the good old days because when I was a kid it seemed like my body could really take a beating and bounce back for more.

No, this did NOT mean I was out picking fights. I was way too chicken for any of that monkey business. I’m talking about things like riding my big Columbia bike as fast as I could into a hurricane fence, just because I was convinced that this bike was the toughest thing on wheels. Of course, I became airborne when the bike stopped suddenly, but I got away with a few bruises and bumps and went on to the next self-destructive play adventure. Healing up didn’t seem to take too long in those days; and for the most part I could endure lots of bodily clunkings with little residual effect.

But now…

So like there I was, minding my own business, mowing the lawn, when I barely brushed past a wild rose bush; and it scratched my skin. Didn’t hurt much, I mean I knew I was coming up to some thorny stuff. Felt a little scratchy ouching, nothing very intense at all, and a few moments later my arm feels wet. I’M BLEEDING!!! AYYYYYEEEEEE!!! Well OK, I didn’t shriek… but I was amazed at how thin my epidermis has become. Sheesh!! In the “good old days” I would have had a few light scratch marks and maybe just a trace of bleeding.

Oh… and another time… I was playing with our grandson, and decided, “what fun it would be if I ran backwards in a very vigorous manner!!” I said this silently to my self in just that exact way. Or not. Anyway, the next day, my heel hurt like a Giant Squid had impaled me with a Huge Stabbing Thing while I was Using Capital Letters in a Silly and Ridiculous Rant. But seriously, it hurted me awreddy!! Finally went to a physical therapist after a few days, and they said, “oh, you have plantar fasciitis.” To which I politely replied, “Do what??” And they explained further, “yes, you injured the ligament in your heel. Do these stretching exercises and get some inserts for your shoes. In the meantime, be more careful and quit pretending you are 13 with the backward zooming ouch happenings.”

They may not have said it exactly that way… but after a few months… MONTHS… the foot thing finally healed up.

So there I was again, wrapping up a skid full of printers at work, going around and around and around and around (and I didn’t barf from being dizzy) with the shrink wrap roll thing, and on one of the around and arounds, I clunked the 1-inch thick glass table top with my shin bone; and I said many bad words, and began to walk in a limpy way, and thankfully not only did I have the inclination to describe this just now in a very long run-on sentence but I also had some ice in the refrigerator in my work cave (an old server room) so I could elevate my leg and put ice on it and Google what I did (and HOLY COW this can take weeks to heal???); and I’m SO GLAD I put ice on it right away because it helped a WHOLE LOT; but such an ouchy booboo can indeed take weeks to heal and the injury and swelling migrate downward toward your ankles more aspirin please OH GOD I’m gonna DIE from a blood clot, no I’m eating aspirin 2 or 3 times a day, breathe… breathe… and sheesh I think this may be the longest sentence EVER so I’ll stop now.

And it’s finally going back to normal after like 3 weeks.

OK. So the moral of the story is: young ouch is better than old ouch. Well sometimes… I suppose it depends on how big the ouching is.

But as the great Henny Youngman used to say:

“Doctor!! It hurts when I do this!! So the doctor says, ‘DON’T DO THAT!!’”

“Get Your Head Out Of Your A_ _ _”

Don’t be frightened by the title… this is and always shall be a “family site;” meaning no smut or cussing allowed. Believe it or not, if the letters were not blanked out; there still would be no cussing… if you look closely you’ll notice that the last word has 4 letters (the A plus 3 blanks) instead of the naughtier 3.

Anyway, ever admire someone even though you’ve never met them? Well, on my way to work each day I pass by the Glenpark Animal Hospital here in Beautiful Muskegon Michigan. They have one of those signs that allow them to change the letters; and they do so regularly. Sometimes the message is serious; like reminders for folks to treat their furry friends for fleas and heartworms. Other times, it’s rather amusing; like:

“STOP ANIMAL TESTING: THEY DON’T PAY ATTENTION AND GET WRONG ANSWERS.”

Or…

“FREE KITTENS AND MIRACLE CURES ARE FALSE ADVERTISING.”

There were many more funny ones, but those two stuck in my mind for some reason. My current favorite (which happens to be their current message) is:

“GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR APPS.”

That one made me laugh bigly; and even though I’ve seen “bigly” in use on the interwebs, it’s not even a real word; but then again neither is “interwebs,” but both of these fake words are fun to say and type, and additionally it gives me an excuse to write a long overdue run-on sentence that rambles along like a chicken with no DVD player; all the while using commas and semicolons in a most confusing but almost grammatically correct manner.

But who cares… let’s get back to the removal of one’s head from their apps. You see, I’ve been a computer flunky for many Earth years; and a techno-flunky before that. I’ve seen a few changes along the way… from state of the art vacuum tube equipment to the amazing solid state (that’s old speak for “no vacuum tubes”) stuff we have today. Have you ever smelled a vacuum tube? Don’t put it in your nose while it’s warm!! OUCH!! Oh yeah… the apps thing. I’m getting there…

As devices became more portable, of course more and more people started carrying them around. Got to the point where many folks wouldn’t go anywhere without their battery powered stuff. And of course a few more Earth decades passed; ushering more and more radical change as the Earth times became the now times.

Huh??

Yes; have some.

So here we are, in the digital age, where personal privacy is rapidly losing its importance. I say this because as more and more people install more and more apps on their phones; more and more information about their shopping habits, whereabouts, even recreational tendencies is being given away to be scooped up by marketeers and in some cases, fraudsters. Folks everywhere are seen with their noses nearly smudging their smartphone screens; and they are often so involved with their device that they’ve become oblivious to their surroundings.

So even though I laughed bigly at the notion of folks being told to get their heads out of their apps; I admire the Glenpark Animal Hospital for the urging. Might be a good idea for all of us in these “Modern Times” to pay less attention to techno-toys and more attention to each other.

Speaking of “Modern Times,”  I really need to watch that movie with my grandsons.  Here’s one of the technological “miracle machines” from that Charlie Chaplin classic…

Completely Untrue Yet Scientific Observations About Muskegon

Warning: This message contains nonsense and may destroy your porcupine salad.

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Hello My Dear Frame Handlers,

Although most crustaceans were not aware, I’ve lived in Muskegon for approximately 932. So I must say, thank you for visiting us while we were not at home. Perhaps you have never asked me, “how is Muskegon?? Anyhow??” So I’m probably not overdue for an answer.

So, just how IS Muskegon?? Well, here are some of my own scientifically based observations: Muskegon is like a chicken with no milk for cereal. All the trees are planted upside down and one has a difficult time finding shade under the roots that stick up in the air. The squirrels are very large and strong, which is partly due to their diet of car parts. Wild dogs run the streets in packs of 12 – 20 ounce containers. Cabbage hammers often get lost during their walk home from the movies.

Many small children grow their own toys.

You’d think that in a large town as small as Muskegon there would be a library and perhaps even a delicatessen. Well, unfortunately the only service provided here is curb dusting on Wednesdays between 12 a.m. and 12:03 a.m. So obviously there’s no delicatessen, but rather a small collection of street vendors who, for a small fee, will abstain from throwing food at you while you walk along the freshly dusted curb.

All the fire hydrants have been painted with invisible ink. Nobody knows why, and now of course they cannot find any of them; so the 1973 Dodge Ram 1/2 ton Firetruck and its 14 man crew must rely on many bottles of Dasani and / or Aquafina for fire sprinkling enjoyment.

Muskegon prides itself on the “high quality” paving jobs of the city streets. The primary paving material is zebra mussels. The shells are crunchy and fun to drive on; and the bodies of the mussels are soft and gooey. Once a big layer of mussels is applied to the avenue, a steam roller flattens them to make Instant Road. Nose clamps are freely available at major intersections during “The Great Paving Festival” in early August. While they enjoy the festival, residents wear their nose clamps while singing that old time favorite paving song, “Holy Moly Bad Stink Oh My Gosh Wow.”

Well, I could go on and on, but then I’d soon be forced to join that self-help group, “On And On And On-Anon.”

If you have any questions or concerns, please, by all means, abruptly give yourself a swirly; and then think carefully about what it is you expect to hear from the likes of me.

Got it? OK, that’s fine.

Yours in Two Trains,

Gigglefoot B. Floopenhosen
a.k.a. “The Great Wide Giblet Hunter”

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School’s almost out!!

Zooming In The Giant Squishmobile

Well, you can sure tell summer’s coming.  Why?  Simple:  dead bodies everywhere!!  Raccoons, possums, woodchucks, birds, squirrels, even kitties and doggies.  The warm weather has lots of critters in mating mode, and they are moving about like they own the place or something.  Well, ok, they do own the place.  Or at least they used to...  

To show our appreciation for all of the Creator’s flora and fauna, humans have chopped up their habitat and shot roads through the parcels.  Then to add to their excitement, we drive through these zoomophone lanes with big metal honkers at 70 mph or more.  Most animals aren’t quite equipped to get across the road when a four wheeled zipmobile is coming at them out of nowhere.  So, we see lots of babies “sleeping” on various parts of the road.  Makes me sad for them… I try hard to slow down when I see animals near the roadway.  Sure, I have been guilty of assassinating some of those poor babies with my own four wheeled killing machine.  When I’ve been unfortunate enough to kill one of Mother Nature’s babies I have an immediate reaction:  being the big, strong man that I am, I cry like a baby and ask the Great Spirit for forgiveness.

Ok, so now it’s out.  I’m a big wuss.  I’m the idiot who stops on the expressway because I see a turtle trying to make its way across.  I turn on my flashers, pull off to the side, and dodge cars to whisk the little booger off the road and out of harm’s way.  Then I carry it about 50 yards from the road and stomp my feet until it lumbers off in the opposite direction of the traffic lanes.   My furry and feathered friends get the horn.  Most animals will run from the horn if you use it in time.   By “in time,” I mean at least 50 feet before you get to the animal.  Otherwise, if you honk when you’re right next to them, they’ll often freak out and run erratically.  Then you end up hitting them anyhow.  I’ll also pump my brakes if there are any cars behind me, hoping that other motorists will follow my lead and give the critter the right of way.

On the other hand, you have dead bugs.  Sometimes literally on the “other hand”… there’s nothing more rewarding than sticking your mitt out the car window on a warm day and having a bug go kersplat in your hand while you’re playing airplane.  Oh and by the way, no, I don’t swerve to avoid bugs.  Especially not on the expressway… I may be crazy but I ain’t no fool.  If I have time (which means at lower speeds), I try to miss beneficial insects.  You know, bees, dragonflies, butterflies, and of course wasps.  But even now, with the weather still fairly cool, you can tell that my windshield has already sent quite a few insects to Bug Heaven.  As I mentioned earlier, I’m a big wussy boy, and I get sad when I see beneficial insects bite the dust because of my Toyota Sienna Racing Van.

But hey, humans are critters too, and the Great Spirit built us just like all the other critters.  So, rather than try to dodge insects on the freeway and put the lives of other drivers in danger, I take small comfort in the fact that I may be feeding some birds with my car.  At least indirectly.  You see, one of the miracles of Creation is that living things adapt, sometimes in strange ways.  Believe it or don’t, there are birds who have actually learned how to pick up insect road kill for a quick meal.  I first noticed starlings doing this several years ago.  Red winged blackbirds, who travel with starlings during migration, have also learned this trick.  And they must be sharp cookies, because I have yet to see a squished starling or blackbird on the road.

I guess all is not completely lost when mammals, birds, and even turtles are executed by cars.  This much I’ve learned through the existence of things like “The Road Kill Cookbook,” which is a humorous rendition about an actual activity in the more rural areas of the country.  Yes, there really are people who eat road kill.  And why not?  We have farmers raise hordes of animals every year and they are killed for our consumption.  Can’t get much better at recycling than eating road kill.  Not that I’m eager to do it mind you.  But if it’s freshly killed, a road kill turkey, for example, would be lots healthier food than one you buy from the store.    No artificial anything.

I’ll stick to the store-bought animal flesh, thank you very much.  I was a hunter years ago, and am not really interested in cleaning any more dead critters. I’ll just try to be wary and keep my roadkill count to a minimum.

Speaking of roadkill, this week’s cartoon has absolutely nothing to do with it.  But it’s fun…

Time’s Fun…

Well girls and boys, tomorrow marks another anniversary for me and my Beautiful Girlfriend. We still celebrate May 19th of every year; because it’s the Anniversary Of Our First Official Date. The acronym for that would be AOOFOD; which sounds really dumb so please disregard that idea. Maybe I should change the acronym to DOOOFA: Date Of Our Official First Anniversary? How about OFOAOD: Our First Official Anniversary Of Dating?

Never mind.

Anyway, on May 19, 1972, my Beautiful Girlfriend and I officially became a couple. For those who don’t know the story, when we starting having mutually sparkling eyeballs, we both had long distance relationships. She wrote a “Dear John” letter to her boyfriend who was in the Navy (his real name was Richard). I drove my 1970 Honda CB175 to the local resort where my soon-to-be-former sweetie from Chicago was due to visit for vacation.

So here we are now, and after a year, my Amazing Honey Pie let me marry her!! That was very nice indeed. We reflect on our blessings (and to a much lesser extent, our challenges) during both anniversaries every year. The other day, My Baby sighed and said, “where did all the time go??” A former boss of mine handed out an answer for just such a question many moons ago, and I embraced it. So when My Lovely Lady asked where all the time went, I quipped, “times fun when you’re having flies!!”

That’s what frogs say, or so I’m told.

After my smart aleck remark, we both started reminiscing aloud. We’ve been blessed beyond belief, really. I consider myself a very wealthy man. Please don’t confuse my concept of wealth with affluence; although money is very helpful at times. No, I’m referring to wealth in the form of a very nice life that’s filled with joy (or at least contentment) 99.99% of the time. Of course our relationship had some rocky times. I don’t know that it’s possible to intimately spend most of your life with someone without some degree of turbulence. But we worked through those times; and came out better than ever on the other side.

So where did all the time go? Well, let’s see… there was courtship, marriage, having fun, growing up, raising children, growing up, having more fun, marriage counseling, growing up some more; being blessed with grandchildren, and having more fun. Oh, and stuff like work and chores were sprinkled in there… oh and sleeping… eating… bathing… going to the bathroom… Anyway, when I first met My Beautiful Girlfriend Who Let Me Marry Her (MBGWLMMH), she’d say, “life is laughing and crying, shagging and dying.”

Well OK, she may have used a much stronger term than shagging…

There’s a lot of truth to that statement! I’m hoping to learn from the past and avoid projecting what the future will bring. Sometimes I can actually do that!! All I know is, rather than sigh about how quickly life has rolled along, I’m trying to treasure each moment of each day. And each day with The Most Beautiful Woman In The Universe is a very fine day indeed.

And now for the mooshy stuff…