Friday, September 26, 2008

Flashback Friday #5

You've got mail........and it's all black

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Flashback Friday. I hinted last week about how you go about blackmailing a seven year old. Here is the story behind it.

When I was seven, I wanted to grow up to be something brave & daring, like a big game hunter or pirate. As kids we ALWAYS had toy guns available, and if all of those were in use, a trusty stick would work.

One day my brother and I were sword fighting with dowel rods that dad had for some woodworking project he had going. The mock battle took place in the living room. We had futuristic swords, as they could transform into guns or spears at a moments notice. My brother hefted his dowel rod, and threw it like a spear at me, striking me in the chest. Mortally wounded, I heaved mine at him. He became a Dickens's character (The Artful Dodger) and jumped out of the way. The projectile sailed past him, right through the lampshade of the ruby red lamp that sat on top of the TV.

"AWWWWW!!!! I'm gonna tell mom that you damaged her antique lamp". I wasn't sure what antique meant, but it didn't sound good. "Nooooooo!!! Don't tell". I implored. "Can it be fixed?", I asked. At the bottom of the shade was a neat little hole that looked like I had taken a rather large hole punch to. We put the cutout hole back in, and turned the shade around, so no one would notice. "You're gonna be in big trouble when mom finds out." my brother growled.

"Please don't tell, I'll do anything." (Kids, if you ever find yourself saying these words, go immediately to your parents & tell on yourself. It will be much easier, I promise.) "OK, I won't tell if you do my chores today.", he said. Thinking I was in the clear, I heartily agreed. One day lead to another, which lead to another, (you get my drift). Between blackmail & the Tingler (see last Flashback Friday), he never had to do anything he didn't want to up to the time he joined the Army, seven years later.

After he went into the Army, I confessed to my mom that I had damaged her antique lamp. "What antique lamp" she asked. "The red one on the TV." I replied. "That's not an antique lamp." she said, "Your grandpa found that in the trash on his garbage route. It doesn't even work. I just thought it was pretty, and use it for decoration." To quote Charlie Brown "ARRRGGGHHH". Seven years of forced servitude for a lamp that was picked out of the trash.
If you get nothing else from this post, take these words of wisdom, "Mess up- Fess up". It could save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I work with Neanderthals

This was written on the men's room wall, over the urinal at my place of employment. I thought you were taught that in kindergarten. Someone later added "unzip" at the top, and "wash hands" at the bottom. I looked at the door, and it said "Gentlemen". No wonder it was empty when I walked in. Which is worse, the graffiti, or the unflushed urinals that prompted it?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Political Correctness Run Amok

Anybody who knows me well, knows that I HATE political correctness. "Be careful what you say, you might hurt some one's feelings". When I grew up it was "Sticks & stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me. I received the following in an e-mail, I thought they were so hilarious, that I had to share them with all of my readers (both of you).

If Biblical Headlines were written by today's liberal media...

On Red Sea crossing:
Pursuing Environmentalists Killed

On David vs. Goliath:
Psychologist Questions Influence of Rock

On Elijah on Mt. Carmel:
400 Killed

On the birth of Christ:
Animal Rights Activists Enraged by Insensitive Couple

On feeding the 5,000:
Disciples Mystified Over Behavior

On healing the 10 lepers:
"Faith Healer" Causes Bankruptcy

On healing of the Gadarene demoniac:
Local Farmer's Investment Lost

On raising Lazarus from the dead:
Reading of Will Delayed

Friday, September 19, 2008

Flashback Friday #4

Fear Factor Edition

What makes a child afraid? I don't know about anyone else, but I know what I feared as a child. In today's edition, we'll look at some of the things that scared me, and let you Freud wannabes analyze.

Fear #1- I am over 40 years old, and I still have a morbid fear of the dentist. The last time I was in for a cleaning, I came out wringing wet with sweat. What caused this, you ask? When I was four, I had something wrong with my baby molars (cavities?). I was taken to a dentist whose name was probably Dr. I. Yankum (we really do have a local dentist named Dr. Payne). He said they needed to come out, and either gave me no or too little anesthesia. His dental assistant had to wrap her arms around the chair and hold me down. I screamed like something was being ripped from my body (oh, I guess they were). I got a little toy jeep for my trouble. The next time I went to the dentist, I was 16 years old.

Fear #2- I cannot swim. I grew up around water, but swimming is beyond me. When I was five, we went to a family reunion. At the park where the reunion was held, there was a swimming pool. I've always loved wading, and being in the water, so mom let me go with my brother (Sir Gattabout) to the pool. He watched me like a hawk, until some of our other cousins joined us.

I was at the shallow end of the pool, with the water at neck level. I was having a grand time, until one of my cousins kicked my feet out from underneath me. The next thing I knew, I was laying on the bottom of the pool, looking at legs & feet. I couldn't figure out what to do. I felt hands picking me up and bringing me to the surface. I screamed like I was dying (see last Friday's post). Mom comforted me, and tried to find out who did it. Nobody confessed (would you?). I have had people try to teach me to swim as an adult, with no success.

Fear #3-The Tingler. When I was 5 or 6, Mom & Dad would go over to Uncle Kevin & Aunt Bessie's house to play cards every Friday night until the wee hours of the morning. Their two boys, and me & my brother were allowed to stay up, and play or watch TV. If I was six, my brother was 10, and my cousins would have been 12 & 14 respectively. What do kids that age like to watch? Scary movies that's what. We had a program on every Friday night called "Chiller Theatre". It showed a double feature of old horror flicks. There was one in particular that must have really scared me. It was called "The Tingler". I told my brother that that was a really scary movie (please note: if someone has a history of antagonizing you, DON'T tell them something scared you).

From that time on, If my brother wanted me to do something that I didn't want to, he would throw his head back, bunch his shoulders & arms up, roll his eyes into his head and protrude his bottom teeth over his top lip. He would then growl "Tingler, ...Tingler" (The hair is standing up on the back of my neck as I type this). I did his chores, fixed him snacks, anything he wanted, just to make the tingler go away. I think I was 18 before I would enter a dark room without first reaching & turning on a light.

Fear #4-Blackmail. How do you blackmail a seven year old child? I guess you'll have to wait until next week to find out (was that a shameless plug for my next Flashback Friday or what?).

Some of the greatest comedians faced adversity as a child. Perhaps these were some of the things that shaped (or warped) my sense of humor. What were you afraid of as a child?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm where, and it's doing what?

Most of you know that I live in the central Ohio region. I can be at the geographic center of Ohio in 15 minutes So why were we getting 75 mph winds? Hello, Hurricane Ike is 2000 some miles away.

We went to church Sunday afternoon at 4:30PM for choir practice. During practice, the lights flickered, went off, then came back on. Our choir director asked everyone to refrain from squealing & gasping if the lights went out while we were on the platform singing during service.

Since I drive the church van for Sunday night service, I have to leave while practice is still going on. While driving to our first stop, I watched a large limb fall out of a tree and land on a sub-compact car a block away.There were trees on houses & vehicles. We also had to watch for fire trucks heading out to extinguish flaming transformers. After detouring around trees across the road, i get a call from Lady Nottaguy-Tyg that the church has no power, take everyone back home & park the van. I was cool with that, the van was rocking like a boat in the waves.

When we got back to church the pastor says, I can have church with no light, I can have church with no air conditioning, I can have church with no music, but with no power, there are no bathrooms. (wells require a pump which is run with electricity). Those with small children had already left, so the rest of us had a time of prayer, and went home.

When we got home, several large limbs had fallen out of our tree out front, some in our elderly neighbors driveway. I pulled them all up front near the road, and went to the side to pick up the trashcans that had blown over. Before I had finished picking up the trash, more limbs had blown down. I waited until closer to bedtime to clear them, in fear more would come down.

Monday morning I drove to work, and there were detours all over due to fallen trees. When I got to work, there was a sign on the door. "We have no power, we will be closed 9/15". Thanks for calling the radio station.

Monday, at our compost area, it looked like a pick-up truck convention. I took three pick-up loads from my yard (and I have an 8 foot bed on my truck). There were a lot of trees & limbs down from the windstorm. I'm just glad we were 2000 some miles away.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Time To Roar

Usually this blog is humorous and light-hearted. BUT, There are times when, as the blog title states, I can rear upon my hind legs and roar.
I have fired off e-mails to the following links, and if you are offended with this cartoon that ran in the Washington Post on Sept. 9th,2008, I suggest that you do the same.
As a Christian, please don't make the e-mail mean spirited, but be firm. I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that they wouldn't have made fun of Sarah Palin's religion if she was Islamic. The radical arm of Islam would have burned the building to the ground.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Time to clean the grill

Admit it, isn't this how we all do it? It would work for me, but Sparky the dragon would eat the cat before the grill was cleaned. Perhaps he would use the grill FOR the cat.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Flashback Friday #3

I'm dying. No, let me rephrase that. (Roll eyes back in head, unhinge jaw, and bellow from the most inner part of your being) I'M DYING!!!

This was a familiar refrain heard around my house when I was but a lad. I must have felt that I was more fragile than a Ming Dynasty vase or something. Anytime I was injured in any way, I seemed to me that I was dying.

The earliest remembrance of this line comes when I was about six or seven. We were roasting hot dogs & marshmallows out back with the neighbor kids. One of the neighbors caught his mallow on fire and waved it around trying to put out the fire. SPLAT, flaming marshmallow on my bare leg (this is only one of the reasons that I am not outside in shorts anymore). I screamed, but didn't die. The fireball had left a blister on my leg as big as a silver dollar (Eisenhower, not Sacajawea). I somehow got the idea that if that blister popped, I would die (what a great way to keep a kid from picking at it).

Later that week, my brother (Sir Gattabout) was pulling me up the driveway at a rapid trot in our Radio Flyer wagon. He took a turn quickly, and spilled me out of the wagon into the gravel. That hurt. I looked down at my leg, and the blister was gone, replaced with a nasty scrape. I let out a scream that would frighten any Halloween ghoul. "I'm dying, I'm dying, I'm dying" I yelled out, and ran as fast as my wounded body could go. Mom assured me that I was still quite alive.

Another such instance came about two years later. While playing tag my brother went up a tree, and wouldn't come down, therefore he won because I couldn't tag him. I told him, you come down right now. He jumped from one branch to another only to hear a sickening CRACK! The branch broke under his weight, and he plummeted earthward. Luckily he had a little brother directly beneath him to cushion his fall. As he landed upon me, all of the air in my lungs was knocked out. I couldn't breathe. I ran into the house to my parents mouthing the words "I'm dying, I'm dying". If you try telling somebody something when you can't breathe, they just look at you strange, and say "what?". As I was turning blue, dad figured I had the wind knocked out of me, so he whomps me on the back. Sweet air flowed into my lungs. I then proceeded to continue with my dying monologue.

The last such instance that I will bring forth deals with the mother of all boils that I had on my neck. Dad wanted to lance it, but, OH NO, you're not coming near me with that needle. Mom had some kind of cream that she applied daily. After a while, it looked like I had a mutant hickey on my neck. While over at my cousins' house (Aunt Shelly & Uncle Phil's from last post) playing "Army", one of my cousins played some "gorilla warfare" on me.(yes gorilla, not guerrilla) He was hiding up a tree, and jumped out and grabbed my neck. The boil exploded like the Hindenburg. I was sure I was dying then, but Aunt Shelly told me to shut up and go back outside and play (her kids, all 14 of them, spent ALOT of time outside playing).

To this day, there are times I whine & moan when I'm not feeling well, or hurting. However, I know that I'm not dying, because Lady Nottaguy-TYG tells me I'm not.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Upon His Hind Legs -Elbonian edition-Conclusion

I forgot, Elbonians don't speak English. It's just as well, the post was probably written by a child laborer using lead paint. BTW, A "Thank You" goes out to Scott Adams for letting me use his country.

Upon His Hind Legs- Elbonian edition

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Outsourcing Of This Blog

Due to time constraints and budgetary concerns, this blog will be outsourced to the underdeveloped country of Elbonia. I will send them the title, and they will add the rest. I hope this is not too disconcerting to my reader(s). The first post from Elbonia will be tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Zoo Trip

Here are a few pics to show that we really did go to the Cleveland Zoo, just so you know I didn't post just to show you silly pictures of my grandkids. BTW, These were not taken in my house.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Go Bucks!

Proverbs 22:6-Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Flashback Friday #2

Hello, And welcome to another edition of Flashback Friday. In today's edition we cover a subject that is near and dear to us all. It is our "facilities", "libraries",""water closets", "loos", you know "the potty". While I was growing up, we didn't have indoor running water until I was 10 or 11, that meant we used "an outhouse" (I know I saw at least one of you shudder).

Most outhouses are little buildings that are set over a hole, and when the hole is filled, a new hole is dug, and the house moved. Our outhouse wasn't like that. Ours was built on top of railroad ties, and had a flap in the back in which "solids" could be shoveled or raked out, and thrown over the neighbor's fence (he had a hayfield, so he didn't mind the extra "fertilizer"). Ours had three holes, so if you weren't shy, there was no waiting.

At night, or in the winter we had a chamber pot indoors. We always told people that in the winter, we would take a cat out to the outhouse with us so we would have something warm to sit on. Emptying the chamber pot was a chore of the children (admit it. If YOU could get someone else to do that job, you would). And a chore it was indeed.

But I digress, the issue here is not chamber pots, but outhouses. Being outdoors, there could be anything in there at any time. We kids played this to the hilt. The hinges that held the previously mentioned flap rusted & broke, so the flap was discarded. What you had was an open space to about two feet off the ground, with about 6-8 inches between the ground and the floor. When someone we didn't like headed to the outhouse, we would circle around, find sticks or blackberry brambles, and thrust them up the opening in back and howl like a pack of wild animals. This is not how you make friends & influence people.

We also had a dog named Trixie. Trixie was a collie, Irish setter mix. She was pretty, but was strange. She had a cozy dog house, but she liked to weave between the "solids" piles and squeeze under the floor of the outhouse. Anytime we couldn't find her, that is where we eventually would. So how do dogs & outhouses mix? I was hoping you would ask.

I have an aunt I will call "Shelly". She and Uncle "Phil" had 14 kids (no multiple births). Anytime she got into the car, she had to "go " as soon as she got out, even if it was just down the driveway to get mail. One day they pulled up in our driveway, and she made a beeline for "the house out back". Moments later we heard a blood curdling scream. She came running out of the outhouse, pants being held up with one hand, and screeching hysterically. Everyone ran back to see what the commotion was. We all figured there was a snake in the outhouse. When asked what happen she wailed "Something licked my butt!!!!". Upon further investigation, we found Trixie under the outhouse. We figure that upon her entry into her netherworld, she looked up and gave Aunt Shelly a kiss on the cheek. This is the truth with my hand raised. I couldn't make up something that wild. (Well I probably could given the time, by why would I when I don't have to). Sometimes truth IS stranger than fiction.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Endangered Species

We of the Castle Nottaguy will be making a trip to the Cleveland zoo today. In honor of that event, I thought you might like to see some of the wildlife here.

This is the giant box tortise. It can pull it's enormous bulk into a shell no larger than a small box.
This is a distant relative. It is the box camel. It can go a tremendous distance (like the length of the living room) without getting hungry. It is very fond of popsicles.

This is the dwarf pygmy darter. It is full of energy, and can run around for hours without getting tired. Scientist have tried to harness that energy, but have failed.
This is the Zesty python. His jaws can unhinge and consume a creature ten times his size. He lures you in by being cute & cuddly, then WHAM, he's got you.

The reason these critters are endangered is because kids just grow up so fast. Enjoy them while you can.