“We Have Met The Enemy…”

If any of you follow this blog regularly, perhaps you’ve noticed that I try to stay far away from politics when I send out Happy Friday!!! stories. Well I’m gonna veer away from that just a bit tonight, and jump on my soap box for a bit. Actually what I’m going to write about is really not a political issue, but it is, but it’s not. Politicians will play a role in it, but the bottom line is that all of us need to act. No exaggeration here, it’s a matter of survival.

Although many seem to be in denial, there is abundant scientific evidence that we humans have caused many unwelcome changes in our Earth’s ecology. One of those is climate change; and unless you live in a cave, it’s likely you’ve heard of the young people protesting about it. One of the most well known is a young lady namedGreta Thunberg, and she was seen on TV imploring U.S. politicians not to listen to her, but to listen to science.

The sad thing about all this is: scientists have been warning about the toxic effects climate change and pollution have on our ecosystems for many, many years. And no, I’m not just talking about all the hooting and hollering hippies like me were doing in the 1960s and 1970s. No, even the ancients knew that humans could affect local climates by actions like draining swamps or deforestation.

As economies evolved along with, and often because of technology, the degree we humans parted from Nature widened. The result: too much of our society is addicted to a lifestyle that has sprung from a dependence upon fossil fuels and massive agricultural operations. In short, we’re addicted; and the consequences have been rearing their ugly heads. The consequences include an increased frequency of intolerable heat, powerful storms; and reductions in wildlife numbers. And until recently, not enough clamor arose to stop it. Not sure if you’ve ever met a heroin addict or maybe really learned what addiction is all about; but for practicing addicts one thing is always true: they engage in destructive behavior and ignore the consequences.

That is of course until they get caught.

Guess what? We’ve been caught. By children. Children!! All I can say is, Thank God for the Children!! So Greta Thunberg is what… 16? That means that we hippies are indeed having an impact. How? Well, these are our children’s children. So we can take pride in our legacy. Millions of young people around her age are loving what Greta has to say. And guess what again some more? They’re gonna be voting soon. This is a very good thing.

Some politicians and big business folks are trying to demonize the Green New Deal. Boy would something like that be stupid or what?? A totally crazy and brand new idea: create much needed jobs here at home; slow climate change, and clean up the planet all in one fell swoop. Pretty ridiculous logic, eh?

Well I try to be a “glass half full” kind of guy. I like to believe that most humans are decent and loving; but there are all too many humans who insist on maintaining the status quo with absolutely no regard for negative consequences.

When I was a kid, there was a wonderful comic strip called “Pogo” by Walt Kelly. One of my favorite quotes is Pogo complaining about the follies of human nature, “WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US.”

Ain’t it the truth.

And now for some of those hippie environmental tunes…

An Open Letter To My Favorite Grandsons

Dear Abe and Gollie,

I would like for both of you to please remember to ask all the crayons not to scream so much while we’re eating our new favorite cereal: Kitty Kat Krunchies. Yes, I know they look just like the dry cat food that’s in Freddy the Freeloader’s bowl, but believe me, all the insects in the yard are cheering when our refrigerator tires go flat.

Do either of you remember when we never sang that “Hey Thanks For The Dried Compost” song?? Well I know I sure would. In fact wood has never been more colorful when sniffed during a Dried Fly Moon. All the fancy nose stockings will surely be reminded to cross the street quickly when the Purple Dust Mixing Bowls come zooming past the stinkberry patch.

Holy Cow!! I forgot to tell you: I’ve changed my elbows into toilet paper tubes!! I’ve waited all my life for my elbows to experience the same crackly shouting noise a greasy buffalo makes when it’s yelling at the traffic lights. Of course, Sir Wilbur Snackhammer of Floofington Castle will be making his famous Mac and Cheese Toothpick Snacks while the rest of us sit around burping loudly during pet food commercials. Oh yes, these are the days for celebrating!! Send around a bag of nails!! Chase a few tree shadows!! Jump backwards into a small pile of figs!! And don’t forget to recite that new Apple Smashing poem I’ve never heard about!!

Ching!! Ching!! Ching!! goes the huge rock when it’s dropped on a glass of water. The noise is delicious; and reminds me of the time my big toe was shooting gumballs out of each radio muscle. Sometimes people give me strange looks when I’m trying to lick my ears; but I just figure they are jealous because they can’t teach their own basketballs how to speak Italian. All the moss flavored candy in the world is not enough to make me want to yell “KABOOM!!” every time a freshly picked pizza cabbage comes rolling into the house. So please don’t try to tell ME how fast a battery can roll into a ketchup scanner!! What do you think this is?? Anyhow??

In closing, thank you for being who you are, and especially for not being me. As the old saying goes, “it’s always better to be you that for you to be me; and although you can count to it, eight is a word.” Therefore, my dear young men, go softly into Dirty Sock Forest and try very hard not to wake up the moochy moochy monsters. Yes I know they are harmless; but all this shouting of “moochy moochy!!” is especially delightful when I shave my new fruit basket. One time they even offered me some creamy rust powder to drink with my liquid donuts. I respectfully told them to take their wiggly eyebrows and their strange headlight sausages elsewhere.

Now I can’t find my pants.

Peace, Love, and Very Quiet Shouting,

Norzle P. Yendlebonk – “The Traveling Mustard Thief”

Communicatons Kaboom

Once upon a time, there was an Industrial Computer Flunky (I.C.F.) who was minding his own business in the world of a manufacturing plant that uses lift trucks which very easily smoosh handheld scanners and then of course he had to scrape the pieces off the floor because it had a repair contract and they will replace the broken oh-fooey-kersmooshlings even though it was our fault but who cares it’s only money and electronic waste and then here comes Filbert Wonkletoes from Zoomophone Networks who was sent by someone in The Mother Ship (Corporate Headquarters) to run a patch cable from the Good Old Network Thing (G.O.N.T.) to the Brand New Network Thing (B.N.N.T); and hey I could have done that and why didn’t they tell me he was coming but hey I’m just the Onsite Computer Flunky (O.C.F.) so who gives a flying mahookey about me anyway and HOLY COW this run-on sentence is almost a million words!!

*Whew!! *

Breathe… breathe…

OK. It’s just frustrating, ya know?? I’m the only Industrial Computer Flunky at the place… so here I go, gathering names from poor Filbert Winkletoes and I told him “This is no reflection on you, but who sent you?? I’m really sick of this surprise stuff!! It would be nice to get a ‘heads-up’ to know you’re coming… What if I wasn’t here? What if I had a contagious rash? What if my tricycle had 3 flat tires?? Doesn’t anyone care about the likes of me??”

Well, OK, I may have only said a small part of that.

This lack of consideration makes me want to sing the “Leave Me Alone, I’ll Bite You” song:

Leave me alone, I’ll bite you!

Your nose is full of bees.

For why you are mean to me in this way??

You need to eat some fleas!!

And of course, this would be sung to the tune of “Leave Me Alone, I’ll Bite You.”

Am I the onliest one in the universe who is enjoying such communication kaboom? I’m pretty sure I’m not. It wouldn’t be so bad if this was an uncommon occurrence; but it’s getting worse and worser and even worserest all the time, and my frustration even makes me misuse and invent fake superlatives of “worse!”

Seriously, I consider it bad manners. Is all this because “plan” is a four-letter (so therefore bad) word; and folks are oblivious of the need to play nice when they formulate one? When I was growing up, if you had a plan that involved others, you let them know ahead of time when they could expect to be part of the plan. Too many folks in my Professional Universe (P.U.) (and yes, it’s beginning to stink) are doing their own thing to get stuff done; and not thinking about the possibility their activities might affect another person’s day.

OK, that’s fine. I’ll fix those monkey-headed wombats! Tell ya what I’m gonna do!! I’m gonna craft a nice e-mail to the Big Kids And Maybe Some Of Their Underlings (B.K.A.M.S.O.T.U.) to alert them of their decribbulous putrefaction. Yep! I’m gonna give them what-for with my shouting words and abrasive tone so they’ll instantly snap into shape and communicate like adult people who know how to effectively and courteously implement a plan! And I’ll use lots of bold italics and exclamation points!!! Then I’m gonna call every single one of them unanimously and sing “Leave Me Alone, I’ll Bite You” into their voicemail compartment thing-a-ma-doodles (technical talk). Finally, I’ll send them expired donuts in the mail.

Or not…

Instead of being fired, I’d like to actually retire in 5 months and 25 days. But who’s counting??

The communication is almost as effective as when these guys talked about baseball.

Joining The Evil Empire

So there we were, minding our own business, on Sunday of last week, when what to my wondering ears would appear but some blinking and beeping from there and from here!! Our electrical stuff was doing very strange things. Some things were flashing, others simply didn’t work at all. Having had enormous fun with similar power strangeness, I quickly went to the basement to turn off the main switch in the breaker box. Very soon after, our son texted me: “You guys have power?” “Nope,” was my reply.

No storms, no winds, so we figured no big deal. Didn’t really mess up any plans either, because we were planning to go bike riding anyway. We have a generator, but the only thing I used it for was to run the air compressor so I could pump up the tires. On our way to the bike trail we saw the power crews had already sprung into action to fix what had apparently been caused by a huge tree branch. We had a very nice ride, and stopped for an elegant meal at the local Taco Bell and headed home. We noticed the traffic lights were working once again, so we figure all was well at home.

Well almost.

After turning the main back on, everything woke up except for our internet. Total bummer. You see, we are spoiled Americans. Even when we don’t have internet, we are spoiled Americans; but when we can’t play on the interwebs we get a smidge cranky. So I call the support number. Nobody’s home. Left a message. No call back. Left an e-mail the following day from work. No reply. I call again and leave a message. Nobody cares.

The lack of response is probably due to our subscription to the Podunk Holy Mackerel Super Fast Wireless Internet Service. For a mere $39.99 a month, we got all the data we could swallow; but you’d be lucky if you got 2 mbps (pretty doggone slow by today’s standards). Well hey, these folks did the best they could. They got us much faster internet than dial up; and it has worked most of the time. They came around about 10 years ago as the result of a federal grant that was handed out to local companies to send “high speed” internet to rural homes. Was great for us because we couldn’t get DSL (we are too Podunky I guess); and there were no cable providers running anything in our neck of the woods.

But they could’ve called…

Well their lack of give a hoot gave me the shove to go shopping. I work in IT so I figured things may have changed a bit in 10 years; and sure enough it didn’t take long to hit pay dirt. Well, I’ll be paying them… but anyway; called Frontier and no, they still don’t have any lines down our road. “But we’re always updating our network…” which is what they said 10 years ago. Then I thought, “hey our son has Comcast and he lives around the corner.” I’ve read many reviews about Comcast internet; and some folks love it and others hate it. Customer service is known to be poor, but this is true for pretty much all internet service providers. When I told my friends about our internet woes and mentioned we’ve decided to join the Evil Empire, everyone I told replied, “Comcast?” “Yep!” I replied. And of course, sure enough!! They were “running a special” for new customers; and for $20 a month for the first year, we could get 25 mbps!! That’s like 12 times faster than what we had before. Of course, after the first year the prices goes up. I think it’s like $9713.57 per month (OK maybe only $50).

Now we can run faster and jump higher!! Oh wait, that was that old commercial for PF Flyers (sneakers of yesteryear) (Holy Cow I just Googled them and they’re still being sold!!) (Who the heck puts all these parentheses in one sentence??) (Me!).

Have I mentioned we are spoiled Americans? Yes, we are, and we’ve sold our souls to the Evil Empire. But boy can we stream videos now!!

Now all we need is an All Electric Home!!

Sixteen Thousand, Seven Hundred And Ninety Days

Sixteen Thousand, Seven Hundred And Ninety Days

Five Hundred And Fifty Two Months.

Forty six Years.

Forty six years??? Holy Moly time flies when you’re having fun. I mean jeez, it seems like it was just a couple years ago when the Beatles first came to America on the Mayflower (or something like that).

As of Sunday, August 21, I’ve had the privilege of being married to the Most Beautiful Woman In The Universe for 38 years. Now if there are any other Beautiful Women reading this, please do not despair. Here’s why: although it is impossible for you to compete with my Lovely Girlfriend for the title of Most Beautiful Woman In The Universe; please be very aware that all the other women in the universe are the Second Most Beautiful Women In The Universe. So even though you cannot be the Most Beautiful in my universe, you are now and always will be the Second Most Beautiful.

That is my professional opinion. If you don’t believe me, just ask me some time.

Sheesh… 46 years?? Feels like we’ve been together forever; and I say that with the utmost gratitude. Our relationship is pretty much as natural as breathing, really. However we still have a few (very few) times when it feels like we are breathing in a few bugs and they get stuck in our throats. But after a few pittoooeys or boohoos or maybe a grunt or two, it’s all better and time to kiss and make out. In other words, life is not always peaches and root beer. We do disagree, but we can finally disagree without being disagreeable 99.999% of the time.

Here’s a nice bonus: SHE LETS ME KISS HER!! Now that’s really nice, ya know??

Sometimes we are asked how we’ve managed to pull this marriage thing off. Well here are some observations and / or suggestions I’d like to offer for your reading enjoyment:

1) We were very good friends for several months before we started wondering what was hidden under each other’s clothing.

Q) When we realized it was true, we made sure to tell each other “I Love You” at least once a day.

27) Before we got married, we made verbal contracts. Things like: “we must always tell the truth no matter what;” and “if we have kids, we can’t have just one, but no more than two.”

B) We go on dates. Movies, concerts, picnics, vacations. Sometimes it’s something simple like renting a video and taking the phone off the hook. Or maybe even just taking the phone off the hook…

V3) We say “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome.”

#) We hold hands often. One of my favorite stories about this: Unbeknownst to our daughter’s best friend, we were walking ahead of them on the way into the grocery store. She said “Look at those cute old people going into the store holding hands,” to which our daughter replied, “that’s my PARENTS!!”

8F) I tell her she’s beautiful. And of course, I mean it.

And last but not least,

K!) Communicate, communicate, communicate. Never assume. Talk stuff over. Big stuff, little stuff. And be nice about it all. God knows we live in a crazy world, there’s no need to fling fire at each other at home.

I could go on and on… suffice it to say that we’ve learned how to treat each other as if we were best friends. That’s probably because we ARE best friends. This marriage thing hasn’t always been easy, but definitely worth it.

Life is good. We have enough to eat, a nice home, beautiful offspring. Yes, the verbal contract stated two kids They aren’t kids anymore, but they’re ours so we’ll call them “the kids” whether they like it or not. Except to their faces… then we let them know that they are simply beautiful people. And we tell them “I Love You” whenever we see or talk to them.

And the coolest thing is, we’re still very much in love. Did I mention I have the privilege of being married to the Most Beautiful Woman In The Universe?? It’s true you know. If you don’t believe me, just ask me some time.

We’ve actually been married two times: first in a courthouse, then in a church on our 10th anniversary. But neither wedding went anything like this one…

Lawn Laziness

Happy First Day Of Summer!!!  I think.  Yes.  The calendar says so.  Wasn’t sure it would ever arrive, judging by the weather we’ve been having.  Cool days, much rain, very little sunshine.  And this has been going on since pretty much April.

So now it’s finally warming up, and of course hot weather plus recent rains makes the lawn grow like crazy. Then of course it must be mowed. But hey, I’m sorry… I’m still convinced that this is a totally STUPID human custom! Lawn mowing seems so fruitless. We certainly spend a lot of time tending a crop we can’t eat! Well, I suppose you could eat it; but you can never be sure of whether it’s tainted with doggie weewee.

Perhaps the only reason our lawn gets cut is that I have a spouse. Left to my own devices, my yard would probably grow into the giant weed patch that God intended it to be. But our marriage contract would never allow this; so I have come to accept the weekly ritual of beheading the huge conglomeration of plants we call a lawn.

We don’t harvest the clippings or fertilize or anything, just mow. Fortunately, my wife and I agree that the less work a lawn brings, the better off we are. Sure, she would LOVE to have golf course quality turf; but she begrudgingly respects my organic gardening philosophies. In other words, no chemicals are ever applied to our lawn. Consequently, grass grows but so do lots of other green things. Some people are very fussy though; and they water, fertilize, and carefully count the blades of greenery. They want to make absolutely sure that grass and ONLY grass is growing. I’d love to invite some of those types to inspect my weedy ground, and watch them go nuts. Then I’d invite them in for a grapefruit milk shake and rationalize the value of a weedy lawn.

Many of those “weeds” mingling with our grass are actually beneficial! Here are two examples: clover is a legume, so its roots make nitrogen (as all good legumes do), which feeds the lawn. Dandelion greens are rich in vitamins and minerals, and the tender young leaves have long been valued by the French and many other cultures as one of the earliest vegetables available in the spring.  And their flowers feed the bees!!

Personally, I find myself grateful for clover and other weeds. They join together with the grass to form a nice carpet at my place; one that I’m not afraid to play Tackle The Grandkids on. If we go a little longer between mowings, we get some beautiful flowers, too! Hate to mow then, because the bees are feeding!

I mean, we must be doing something right, because the lawn is always nice and green, and we never water it. I’m beginning to think there are some sick puppies out there, because I see a lot of lawn watering. There is only one result of watering the grass. It GROWS. Then you have to MOW it. Are there really people in this world that LIKE mowing? If you’re one of this strange breed, lemme check your temperature once.  You may have a bad fever that’s affecting your brain molecules.

Some eggplant-headed folks (pardon my French) even post KEEP OFF THE GRASS signs! That’s more anti-American than flag burning if you ask me. How do they mow the stuff if you have to KEEP OFF? They’re probably the same guys who have their automatic sprinklers going full goose Bozo during thunderstorms.

Thank you Uncle Eric, I love “full goose Bozo.” Do you even say that anymore?

Anyway… the kids are grown now, so long gone are the days when I could pass the job to them whenever I could get away with it. Ahhh those were the days… I could actually focus on much more productive chores like spending more time in the garden. And as I pulled weeds and munched the occasional radish, I could daydream about them mowing down my baby trees and flinging rocks at the picture window at 87 mph. But I distinctly remember taking comfort in the fact that they finally understood why I freaked out about all those toys that used to hide in the lawn on mowing day. Nothing like the “ker-CRACK!” of a squirt gun being processed by the mower! Or the unmistakable “VOOOFF!” of a Nerf Ball disintegrating with a single pass.

Oh well. In the interest of domestic harmony, I will continue to obey and help with the lawn.  I do the trim with the push mower, and my Beautiful Girlfriend pilots the Cub Cadet.  We both wear ear protection in an attempt to save what little hearing we have left.  However, I miss the days my Sweet Honey Pie would ride the tractor and sing out loud to the songs I put on her MP3 player. Of course, she had noise reduction headphones on so she can’t tell whether she’s off key. I confess I’ve had a chuckle or two listening to her Cub Cadet Karaoke sessions while I was out running the trim mower.

Where else do you get a free workout PLUS entertainment??

Speaking of entertainment, the cartoon for this week has nothing to do with the lawn, but I found it rather entertaining.

Bugs Are My Friends (?)

Summer will soon be in full bloom here in Michigan Land, and with warm (and lately wet) weather comes:  BUGS!!! RAARRRGGHH!!  GET THE GUN! GET THE GUN!

No no, no guns.  I’ve often been tempted to carry a shotgun on a walk with me and blast a hole in one of those big mosquito swarms that follows me around.  But that might not be practical, and I doubt that the neighbors would appreciate it.  And if you use a gun inside, well that makes holes in your home that are unsightly and drafty in the winter.  Oh yes, and people can get hurt too (duh).

Sure, I hate mosquitoes and other such nasty insects, but I keep telling myself that Mom Nature has a plan for the stupid things.  We rarely use poison to kill bugs… sprays and foggers are usually worse than the bugs you are using them on.  I very rarely use bug repellents like OFF or whatever.   I’m sorry, but I’d rather suffer than put poison on my body.  And in the case of those outdoor foggers, unfortunately they also kill many GOOD bugs.  The same goes for in the garden, and because we don’t spray, we get lots of beneficial insects like praying mantis, lacewings, ladybugs and the like.

Other friendly bugs are spiders.  Wait a minute… SPIDERS!! ARRRGGHH! GET THE GUN! GET THE GUN!  Oh wait, no guns.  So ok, we don’t really freak out quite that badly.   In fact, spiders actually get a fair trial at our place. I’ve actually learned to appreciate the beauty in those little eight-legged alien beings. Being the organic gardeners that we are, the family has learned to respect beneficial bugs as a valuable resource. Yeah, I know. Spiders aren’t technically bugs. Tell that to your six year old and see how far you get!

Anyhow, spiders don’t strike terror in our hearts these days (ya, right). That statement is pretty much true, especially if :

A) WE KNOW WHERE THE SPIDER IS, AND

12) IT’S THERE WHEN IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE.

To explain item 12) above, I really need to come clean and admit that many spiders have been killed execution style simply by showing up near one of us by surprise.  But we really do try to save them if we can and I’ve even grown to the point where I can pick them up…sometimes. If they’re small enough.  But when those rascals are crawling on me unannounced, I have been known to do one of two things, either greet them with a sudden KERSMOOSH, or I do  a most unusual running dance. I also chant while run-dancing:  “OGodHolyCowYoySpiderBig!!!” Or something like that.  As I said, spiders will normally get a fair trial at our house. When discovered, they are captured and released in the garden. Spider sightings cause the family to summon me with big voices. If Mr. or Mrs. Spider (How do you tell, anyway? Don’t EVEN ask me to inspect their private parts!) isn’t too large, I’ll scoop it into my palm and carefully encage it in my hand. I set them free behind the compost pile, or someplace where they can find cover. The big ones, however, are strictly jar material.

An excellent critter catching device can be built with a jelly jar and one of those ejector type cards from a magazine.  You know, the ones that fall out of a fresh-out-of-the-mailbox magazine when you’re on the potty.  They’re easily identified by their large bold print that goes something like:   “YES! Send me 956 weeks of Dirteaters Digest for only $34.67, $50 less than newsstand price!  If you don’t have a jelly jar, a drinking glass is also a good bug holder. Such a device is also useful for wasps, which are also beneficial critters. Woe unto the spider or wasp who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, though. Those guys get the old El-Kabong treatment. Know what you have then? Bug guts!  Ooo, ocky, yicky. Paper towel, please.

Sometimes rain has fostered a population boom of a garden pest that rhymes with bugs, SLUGS.  Man, I hate those things.  I remember being totally intrigued by them when I was a kid:  “Wow!! A snail with no shell!!  Cool!!”    Now it’s:  “HEY!!  These *&%$ things are eating my plants!!  GET THE GUN! GET THE GUN!”  Oh right… no guns. Anyway, sticking to my organic ways, I won’t buy slug poison.  We saw some in the store and I wanted it badly.  Very badly.  But I figure there’s enough poison on our planet without me spreading more.

I heard years ago that beer will kill them.  You pour it into a shallow pan and put it on the ground, and the slugs are attracted and drown in it.  I reluctantly bought some a couple years ago for the first time ever in my new old life.  I say “reluctantly,” because before I learned my lesson, I’d already bought enough for one lifetime and I very nearly “drowned” in it… if you get my drift.  Now my oldness is new and I don’t allow beer (or any other intoxicant) into my body.  I’m allergic you see.  The stuff makes me break out in traffic violations.

However, the best slug remover I’ve found so far is beer.  Kinda funny when I go to a party store and ask for the cheapest beer.  I mean hey, slugs don’t care!!  If I put a little bowl of beer down near the plant I want to protect, the slugs go for the suds much more readily than they go for the veggies.  They are hopeless alcoholics… they drink themselves to death, and don’t seem to care that the bodies of their friends-and-neighbors type slugs are already drowned in the brew.  Might be a message there…

Anyway, sure, this organic gardening can be frustrating at times.  However, if you plan your garden carefully and encourage natural predators (beneficial insects and spiders), it is also very rewarding to grow food that you know is safe to eat.  And yes, of course I realize that slugs may rhyme with bugs, but they are not bugs at all, they’re gastropod mollusks. As far as I know, slugs have no natural enemies.

Well, maybe they have one:  ME.

Never had any termite problems, but apparently Popeye has…

What Was Your Name Again??

Hi Folks!

There is only one TRUE way to impress your friends with warmth and love, and that is by sending the following letter to all of them on a special day that neither of you will remember. So, since this I am writing this “Happy Friday” to all of you, my dear, wonderful friends, please take a minute to be bathed in the loving thoughts in the letter that follows. AND, as an added bonus, you can easily cut and paste it into your very own, original, plagiarized letter and send it to YOUR friends! No box tops or proof of purchase required!

OK? Here we go…

An Open Letter To The Best Friends I Have Never Known

by Me

Dear Snifflehead,

Don’t think for even one minute that you can even for one moment even possibly have a chance to realize anything about the possible chances of knowing what I was thinking a moment ago. Give me a break already. You know what I mean, right? Of course you do, that’s why we’re friends!

It’s been nearly three days now, and that’s longer than what I had anticipated before the three days began. That was at least three days ago. Now it is three days hence, and it feels a lot like three days have gone by. It may seem redundant to you, but I don’t wish to repeat myself on the point of being guilty of saying the same thing over again. That would be redundant, as you may have detected, but I

refuse to be accused of saying the same thing over again.

Our friendship goes back as far as I can remember; but to be honest, I can’t remember who the heck you are or what you look like. All I know for certain is that you will soon be receiving small packages of soil in the mail. Consider it a token of appreciation for all the things you have never done for me. The soil you will soon enjoy will contain very small mites which will observe you while you go to the

bathroom (they’ve been known to take notes). Please be aware that if you hear faint, high-pitched laughter in there while you are bathing, that is just those silly mites. They carry small video recorders; so don’t be surprised if your hiney is featured on “America’s Funniest Videos” in the years to come.

Let’s make a point of having bark salad sometime at separate restaurants together. Then we can have a nice telephone conversation with someone we REALLY like, and it would be much more meaningful than this garbage. You never contacted me in the first place; so if you think I’m going to write another word about this, I’m crazy. Take notes at the next sink-plunging session you get involved in, and remind me to laugh at the resulting jelly donuts you stepped in during the last Global Crybaby Kaka-Roach Festival.

Above all, quit following me. I can smell you in my dreams. I know the model of automobile you have been repairing lately. It is futile for you to hide from observation, there is a satellite transponder in the kitchen with your name on it. What was your name again? Nevnex? Something like that.

In the meantime, here are some friendly suggestions you may memorize each day until you lose the list; at which time I will cease and desist from any further wild cabbage infusions.

Jump loudly with bugs; they will appreciate the entertaiment.

Try not to eat too many crayons.

When you sneeze, grab your neighbor’s shirt sleeve quickly to avoid spreading snot globs.

Always keep extra cheese in your spare tires.

While shopping, yell “HOOT NAH!!” very loudly at 10 second intervals while waiting in line.

And finally, don’t forget to lose this list.

Your Anonymous Friend,

Me

Why Pigs Don’t Fly

In the true spirit of ghostly gestures, there will be no seance tonight due to heavy cream spoiling on the radiator. The remonculous odor of irregular toe cheese has permeated the room, and the spirits refuse to enter. Even dead people can’t spray enough room deodorant to quench the thirst of a pudding merchant! Besides, remonculous is NOT a word.

Now we get to the part where we have all been urged to smear mayonnaise on our arms and upper torso. Especially vital while at the beach, this activity is a truly soothing way to look like a total geek. After applying the mayo, several devotees have been known to roll in the sand for added excitement. This of course has been the primary factor in the development of the latest fashion craze, the

“sandshirt”.

New things have been added to potatoes which will improve their ability to float through the air. Small, retractable “air paddles” are located in strategic sections for locomotion and navigational stability. Since most active taters soon tire of loping along, starch rockets have also been introduced for rapid propulsion. Additionally, revolutionary velcro brakes have been installed for sure-fire

quick stops.

Next time your spuds go for a little spin through the house, listen closely for the barely audible click that occurs when the air paddles are engaged. Upon hearing the click, hunker down in your chair; because the starch rockets will energize shortly thereafter. Don’t be surprised if your assistance is required when their little joyride is done. Those velcro brakes stick to curtains like there’s no

tomorrow!

Pigs have not yet been able to get off the ground for more than a fraction of second. Air paddles were found to be miserably ineffective with pigs due to their large mass. It was once thought that the presence of pork fat would make a natural lubricant which would enable the air paddles to engage quickly and easily; but the fat inhibited the motion of the paddles instead. Those poor piggies would watch a spud go by and start clicking with everything they had, but to no avail.

Starch rockets would obviously be inappropriate for the porkers, but Mognut R. Wobbynock has proposed the following possible alternatives: pig poppers, pork propellers, and bacon blasters. To date, the bacon blaster seems to have the most thrust; but the exhaust from its tailpipe has induced passersby to invite themselves over for breakfast.

Well, as you know, the universe is a strange and wondrous place to be. Being includes singing, riding a whale to work, and eating pastry. My thorough understanding of this dimension should help all electrically sensitive people know that their medication is really a giant animal begging for the

latest news on powdered worms.

I have undergone much emotional turmoil lately, what with my clam running away with the family crescent wrench and all. So I offer you all my insights, and I’m sure that we will soon have salad with radial tires. If you become down in the dump, get out of there quickly because people throw the most godawful things in the garbage! Do not cling to your material possessions. Give them to me and I will sell them quickly for half of what they are worth. I like to have money to buy candy bars; so you will be doing me a great service and I will be sure to thank you.

BATHE REGULARLY AND PLAY YOUR RECORDS AT THE WRONG SPEED, AND

YOU WILL NO LONGER NEED A REASON TO SMILE.

Happy Vacation To Me! Unless You Are Also On Vacation.

Dear Friends,

I am on vacation, and you are not. Unless of course you are. On vacation. Are you? I am. And I’m enjoying every minute of it. Please pass the Lemon Flavored Soil Testing Kit while I rake these flavor crystals into a small, gently seasoned skillet full of fresh asparagus, mushrooms, peppers, and Dondo Frijole Jumping Beans.

See there?? That’s what happens when you work for a very long time, and then vacation comes. Well OK maybe not. But if I remember correctly, vacation is a time for escaping reality, at least to some extent. Reality is this: I like to eat food, and I also enjoy living in a home with electricity that powers various things I use to enhance my tender hair follicles and skin cells. Therefore, these conditions (among others) require money, and that means I need to go to work.

Not sure about you folks, but I work because:

A) I’m too proud to be a bum and

9Z6) I’m too chicken to be a criminal.

So I must work for my money. However, I have earned vacation so I am taking two whole days in conjunction with the Memorial Day weekend. Do the math: that means I get 16 days off in a row!! What?? No??? 5…? OK… 5. 5 days off in a row!!

I feel sad for those who feel compelled to do work stuff while on vacation. I almost always do not… although this time I actually got a call from the Help Desk and did a little “coordinating from the remote position” to help things along. That was yesterday. Today, I peeked at my work e-mail briefly, then put the iPhone down and ran away screaming. Or maybe I just put the iPhone down. OK I picked it up several times later; but no more e-mail peeking. It’s just not healthy to let my mind be consumed with work all the time. So I don’t allow that. I’m pretty good at maintaining strong boundaries that separate work from home.

My mission this weekend (5 DAYS!!!) is to get at least SOME of the garden planted. I’m so far behind… but as I always tell my Beautiful Girlfriend, “work interferes with my free time.” Next year at this time I’ll have a reeealllllyyyy looonnnggg vacation because I’ll be retired.

Got a bit of a start though. Bought some peppers, eggplants (not eggs from chickens. Eggs from plants) tomatoes and herbs. Yesterday I mowed the garden. HUH?? Yes, the quack grass was already out of control, so I took the garden tractor and put the mower deck into soil scrape mode. In other words, I put it on the lowest setting possible and scalped all the weeds and such. Then I began the laying out of the beds in preparation for tilling. And of course: rained much of the day today. I suppose I could have done more garden stuff, but I would have become very soggy. And yes, all this takes some preparation; which of course is time consuming. But the rewards are very great. We not only get wonderful food, but it is also very good for my spirit. And speaking of the spirit, I’m very happy to announce that I’m definitely in vacation mode now. I know this because I forgot what day it was today.

Success!!

This vacation is for staying home. Very few plans. Plant da garden. Be with my Honey Pie. Maybe catch a movie. Just not sure; and that’s OK.

So, I hope you are also on vacation. If not, well nyaa nyaa na boo boo to the likes of YOU!! Ha ha!!

Yours with 3 more days,

Kenny “Am I Retired Yet?” Compostflinger

Now I’m off to learn new gardening techniques from Porky…