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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fwd: Jesus Turned the Water Into Wine Not Knowing Barabus Had a Drinking Problem








            Jesus turned the water into Wine not knowing Barabus had a drinking problem

A phone conversation between Pastor Jim and church member Mrs. Jenkins

" Hello Pastor Jim, how can the Lord and I help you today? Oh, sister Jenkins so good to hear from you. Say we didn't see you in the service last Sunday. Come to think of it it's been some time now since we've had the pleasure. But I do see your lovely daughter in Sunday School every week. She's such a delight, always so full of Gods energy. At least I think it's God's. Could be the cookies and milk acting out after their snack time. What's that?...That's the reason you're calling ........I'm sorry to hear little Mercedes is having a problem. Allergies you say? Eggs and milk? Well she wouldn't be the first, when my boy was young he couldn't drink cows milk. We had to buy goats milk or he'd get a real belly ache. I'm sorry to hear your little Mercedes is allergic...... What's that she not allergic? Intolerant? She's intolerant of eggs and milk. Well we'll keep an eye on her at snack time then......That's really not good enough? She could by mistake drink milk? I'm sure she would know if it was milk in the glass sister Jenkins. Maybe at home you could set up three glasses, one with milk, one with water and the other with orange juice and see if she could identify the glass of milk.......Pardon? ....You've already tried something like that? She picked the cream did she? They're kinda the same aren't they? Not a good test group I'm thinking. Maybe if.....Sorry?....You'd like us to stop us serving milk to the rest of the kids and remove the cream off the adults coffee cart as well. Water or juice and a powdered creamer in their place,...I see. So you want the 150 kids and again probably that many adults to stop partaking of any dairy products in church?....As well as the cookies?...No cookies either!? I see,.. so many have eggs in them and again little Mercedes could mistake an apple slice for a cookie. Does Mercedes need glasses?.............But...........I do apologize. That was not very sensitive of me. I didn't know she thought her grandmothers glasses looked funny and she'd rather be dead than to wear glasses. But sister Jenkins if I cut out the cookies, milk and real cream in their coffee I'm going to lose half my congregation! They are a fickle bunch! Maybe if you actually came to church and sat with your child to make sure .... What's that? You're a very busy woman? And no I don't know how hard it is to get a tee time on a Sunday morning. But Barbara we don't want you to take your daughter to Sunday School. We want you to BRING Mercedes to Sunday School. Then everyone would be happy, drinking milk and coffee with real cream and eating cookies all under your watchful eye......Water, juice, celery sticks, carrot sticks and powdered cream makes you happy while your daughters here and you're on the golf course. Right. Well Babs I'll bring it up to the board and see how they feel.... Yes I know your brother-in-laws bosses neighbour is on the board. He's told me what a...he said he knew you.....Yes he's very important to our church. As you are Babs. We are all Gods creations tolerant and intolerant of people,......sorry I meant eggs or dairy. Well good bye then I guess we'll see your taillights this coming Sunday?....What's that? Yes I guess it will depend on a vote for you. The salvation of Mercedes versus eggs and dairy for the multitudes. Do we really have to take it this far? ... Yes I understand she is your only child. But YOU have to understand you're making this hard for God's only child's business......Absolutely! That's right He does have a dairy farm just out of town on Hwy. 97.????? You might of seen their billboards 'Got Milk Got Eggs Got God? And I gotta go. Good Bye."
"Oh Dear Lord! Do you hear what I have to deal with? Intolerant! Not allergic. No milk and cookies she wants me to turn them into juice and carrot sticks! This would never happen to You!" ' What He turned the water into wine?!! Doesn't He know Barabus has a drinking problem? I'm sorry you'll have to switch the wine to Gatorade or the weddings over!'

Bob Niles




Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fwd: If it's Yellow Let it Mellow......







                                                      If it's Yellow Let it...............
Two weeks ago.

"Why is the cat making such a fuss?" I shout as I remove myself from the front of the TV.
"Gabriella and I are giving her a bath!" Charlottes shouts back overtop Boot's disproval of her cleansing routine.  
I run downstairs to the laundry tub to where I wash Buddy-the dog- and find,...nobody? "Where are you?" I ask the house. No response. Just the pleas of the cat, begging someone to come and free her from her current situation. I run back upstairs and follow cat sounds. Cat sounds that I've never heard before. I've never heard them before because I've never bathed a cat! Cats are self cleaning. Why I've seen cats spend hours (it was a slow day) licking themselves clean. One time I was out in an alley with a co worker and we both were observing how a cat goes to great lengths licking themselves washing, and I commented that I wished I could do that. He said 'Go ahead he looks like a friendly cat.'
Back to matters at hand.
I open the bathroom door and find my two granddaughters bathing the cat in the tub. NOT! The cat's in the toilet! With the lid closed because, 'She was scratching us!'
I open the lid to a cat projectile. A projectile with the GPS coordinates of under the wife's and my bed. Somehow she managed to fit under her target, dodging more exercise equipment than I would like to admit. Or use. Or pay all the easy monthly payments for.
The girls are bleeding a bit causing a few tears. The floor and the little rug in front of the tub that the wife gets mad at me if I get it wet,...is wet! But most important, the toilet bowl is super clean. With the cat clawing cleaning power of Boots!
"We-e-e were helping  youuuu clean (this part is then interrupted with the backward nasal pull of about a pound of boogies) the-aaaa caaaaat." Explained the two sobbing defeated girls.
"And you thought that putting her in the toilet and flushing it a few times would do that?"
No answer, just tears and the backward reverse of of mucus was their only response.
Why is it, and what is it about the toilet that frightens and fascinates kids? They, at first cry and fret over being over it. Sitting on it scares them to tears but then five minutes later they use it as a time portal and flush teddy bears, trucks and balls through its black hole. And that's is if I'm lucky. I've had the toilet in the main bathroom off more times than the three little pigs had houses. Each time clearing a traffic jam of toys that couldn't make it in to our sewer system for the rats to play with. That would then eventually end up on the 'For Sale' table at the sewer plants annual toy sale. And here I must say a poorly attended event. I just go to see how much I've lost and if it's worth the risk to reclaim.
We now are experiencing a water shortage and the 'If it's yellow let it mellow. If it's brown flush it down' rule is followed at our house. The grandkids are over for four days a week and the four yr. old twins are great at following this rule. I think I'm also helping them learn colours as they place three yellow toys in the toilet bowl before the find a brown plastic farm cow and try to flush the whole mess down.
The girls are no better. They use half a Costco roll of toilet paper every time they sit down. If they make yellow twice (sorry but it's a toilet story I had to get a bit graphic) in a row there is no water in the bowl, just a paper pudding that won't flush. It becomes a solid platform for Big Bird to perch on.
Last Tuesday their pet Goldie who stays at our house died. Goldie is a goldfish that they got for free as prize from church that cost us $30 bucks for a bowl, gravel, water treatment and food. Anyway,.. they all fought for the right to bury Goldie at sea via the toilet. A right of passage I was more than willing to stay out of. And I did, as the oldest, Gabriella, was able to overpower the other three and with little noise. It wasn't till about four that afternoon that I went to check to see if I had to use the plunger to flush any of the toilets. And there in toilet no.1 (my command central) was poor dead Goldie floating in a bowl of,....well it was yellow and going off mellow. Gabriella had laid it to rest in the bowl and because of the no brown rule she had thought it had to stay till brown o'clock. And there it stayed, there all day. The boys had been using it for target practise standing on the edge of the tub peeing!
I felt so sorry for old Yeller that I fished her from the commode and we buried her in the backyard beside Peaches ( a treasured Guinea pig). We said a few words about what a good fish she was, and how she or he was a friend to everybody. I paid the minister a couple of hundred bucks and we said good bye. I was hoping to trade him some exercise equipment for his services but he seemed to need the cash. I'd hoped it wasn't for more goldfish. Oh well Boots probably would of clawed me to death had I tried to remove anything from her under her bed hide-out. She takes residence there every time the kids come over now. A temporary residence I myself have sometimes thought of too.
"Grandpa! The toilet is throwing up!" one of the twins now inform me. "I was just walking by and it puked stuff all over the floor. It got grandmas rug in front of the tub wet too. Boy are you going to be in trouble!"  I didn't ask why his socks were wet or where his constant companion Brownie was. I somehow knew as to its location.
Hundreds of dollars spent on toys and educational stimulants to further their mental and physical development and it's the toilet, trying to be used as a time portal that's become their educational stimuli of choice. It's times like this that I wish for the old outhouses. 'What's that you say? You dropped Brownie down the hole. Oh look! Do you want him back? No? That's what I thought...is that the cat down there? GIRLS!'

Bob Niles



Monday, August 10, 2015

Fwd: Happy New Year! (Story)







                                                          Happy New Year!

Remember when starting school in September was the start of the new year? It was our new beginning of a school grade that was hopefully a digit higher than that of last June. And it was going to be great!
Remember how you made new year resolutions  to change all the bad habits you'd collected over the past school years? And remember how you promised yourself that this year would be different? This was the year you would apply yourself and play well with others.
You started the new year with new clothes for a new look. New books, pencils, erasers, coloured markers and pencil crayons all together in a new pencil case. Why even a new pot of glue was required even though you can never remember ever needing or using glue in your entire school history. A new ruler marked out in inches. All 12 in a row like disciples, the way God wanted it. Not metric! If God wanted metric he would of only had 10 disciples.
And then there was the smell of new plastic binders filled with lined paper, Pink Pearl erasers, freshly sharpened HB pencils and for the low achievers,.. the smell of glue. The smells and sounds of thick denim and corduroy as they swished and wooshed  down the hallowed halls of education. New lunch boxes with a glass lined thermos that only lasted a week. New desks with old graffiti. New teachers giving you a chance of a new start. It was certainly was a time to celebrate a whole new year of school.
You were going to be smart that year. You were going to apply yourself to your studies. Do your homework and watch less TV you promised yourself as you got off the couch and turned off the old black and white Motorola for the first time since June. This was going to be your year!
Yes expectations were high of your new teacher who would spend the next 9 months leading you to the next grade. A teacher that wouldn't know anything about you. There were no such things as school records on kids. You hoped. To her you were a blank canvas ( which after about the second week of school that canvas matched your stare).
And all these school years were just over 9 months long. It's like we were on a separate planet that went around the sun at a different speed.
I remember our sleeps being longer and week days that would drag on forever and weekends that went by in a swoosh. Then for a period of about 10 weeks during our parents summer nothing happened. Nothing! Oh sure you rode your bike to nowhere, dug holes, built forts, looked at clouds (from one side Judy Collins), worried bugs and pretty much did all the 'I don't know, what do you want to do?' with your best friend.. But 'nothing' best describes the summer of our youth.  
And it's here where we find ourselves now. Our summer is just about over and the kids are going to begin their new year. Their Scholastic New Year. A time for celebration for parents, grandparents and all other family daycare specialists for your summer watch has ended successfully. Excitement is building, bigger than even if it were the calendar new year. Stay home parents are now again pouring bubbly libations and toasting one another to a quiet house full nothing. All the kids are getting dressed up and going out. Out! Away! Gone. Special foods and snacks mark the celebration, placed in metal boxes and bags taken to school and hopefully consumed. Moms and dads are dancing everywhere. If bands aren't playing they should be for this is a New Years  celebration.
Then, just as with all resolutions you sank back into 'the same old same old' around the second week. What happened!? It was going so good I had new books! New teacher! Glue? How did it go wrong so fast? Was it the compound fractions and me wondering where it would ever apply in my life? My need for visual stimulation from a large fat wooden box that was now presented it in living colour? Dam you coloured peacock! Was I angry because I couldn't get a cool drink at school because my thermos was now broken and the water fountains for some reason always ran warm. Was it because teachers in the smoke filled staff room shared stories about problem students and how they dealt with that same child last year? And, then they would note that the office had quite an extensive file on his behaviour. "Thank you very much school records!" I scream through clenched teeth, with fist to the sky doing my best Basil Fawlty impersonation.
I thought God was going to help me that year because of my ruler with its 12 disciples. Was it too much to ask for divine intervention when it came to my edumacation? I had to get not dumb, because I was going to be an astronaut. And as it worked out in my 12 years of public schooling I did do a lot of dreaming of being an astronaut. Why I even had some teachers  say that all I did was take up space.
Twelve times I celebrated the coming of a new scholastic year with the same great hopes and dreams. I believed I was going to do well that year, I was going to be better than a 'C' something average. I went at the start of each school year believing I'm better than I am.
For myself, the hope for a new me was short lived. But to many, this summer long hope of a new beginning is exactly why we shouldn't adopt year round schooling. Having all the nothing time in the summer to forget, and reevaluate the past and then the hype of the coming new year can be a driving factor to do better. Just as we adults do come January 1st every year. 'I'm going to be different this year!'  Kids need to go into a new school year triumphantly! Using the whole summer to think about ridding old bad habits and to start fresh come September.  And with new clothing, books, pencils, papers, rulers and for some reason pots of glue, a whole new attitude might be achieved. Just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean it didn't work for my doctor.

Editors note:

In the words of Popeye, 'I am what I am what I am' sums up who we become no matter how hard we try not to sometimes. Sitting still and learning wasn't for me, I had to learn things by using my hands. So I became a plumber, and that glue pot and I became well acquainted.
The fact that I quote Popeye instead of Socrates, Einstein or Twain says a lot about the space I took up in school.

Bob Niles




Friday, August 7, 2015

Fwd: Watch Out For the Dingleberries!






                                  Watch Out For the Dingleberries!


Is there a good way to pick blackberries? Do they really taste that good? So good that you'd risk cuts, mosquitoes and thousands of little hooks grabbing at all your clothes. 'Hang on a minute' hooks perfectly designed demanding that you stop to carefully attend to the removal of their prickly spindly arms. And would my life be any different if I never ate another blackberry?
I say no to all the above. And if it were found that blackberries cured cancer, and I had cancer, I'd still have cancer. The harvesting of blackberries is not for the likes of the unbalanced hemophilia, the infected inner ear berry lover or the involuntary palsy affected mortals. Or anyone breathing!
I say all this because my neighbours have blessed my back fence with a blackberry bush that has become my nemesis.  Between my fence and their garage is a three ft. (one meter) spot where I try to cage this beast. The neighbours don't bother with it as,...well, we can't see it who cares! They rent the place and it seems they have no need for space behind the garage. And if that beast just stayed there, I'd be okay with it, but it wants to climb over the fence all the time. So I treat it the same as the neighbour kid that tries to hop the fence to make a short cut through my yard. I go at the little bugger with the gas powered weed whacker.
Time after time each Fall I've gone at that thing with my weed whacked. -Not the kid the bush.- And every time it comes back with a vengeance. And then every spring that beast and I go at it again through the fence like a lion reaching through its cage trying to kill a porcupine. And I'm the lion with a machete.
It's a losing battle! I seek out expert help at the super duper hardware store to kill the beast but they just droop their heads like a child without the answer at school. I seek answers on YouTube  and a guy with a hump on his back with three eyes tells me 'There's nuttin better than that there Roundup!' He then yells at an imaginary friend, turns his nose into the wind, howls and runs off.  
I give it a maybe.
Then there's video after video of guys making their own kind of Roundup with vinegar, Epson salts, orange oil, dish soap, eye of newt and Draino. They just pours everything they have from under the kitchen sink and at the back of the garage into a bottle and makes a video of it.
But on YouTube I did find out that timing is key to its demise . The Fall when the sugars flow back into the root is the ideal time. "Pick the berries then kill it with some sort of birth defect causing poison" was proclaimed to be the most effective  plan of attack. But I really don't want the berries. I just pick them so I don't get leagues of blackberry eating rats in the yard grazing on the fallen numbers.
I think the only people who could pick blackberries without injury would have been King Arthur and his knights of the round table. Iron clad, from head to toe, harvesters armed with swords.   
Myself,..lacking the shining armour (pawned it after I got married along with my trusty steed) have tried thick clothing in blackberry brambles. But that just seems to attracts its long needle filled arms that hold you in space and time. So it was because of this I got the idea to do it naked. And here very slowly is key. Plan to start your berry picking just as soon as the wife leaves the house for the mall on a non windy day. Once you're out there you'll be surprised at how long it will take to do it in the buff. But what a difference berry picking with no clothes. Nothing to get hooked on while tickling needles lightly tingle and raise goose bumps across your skin. If you're careful and mind the dingleberries it's very pleasurable. But slow. And slow is how my wife let me know our neighbour, old lady Jensen was home from the hospital. How was I to know? And you'd think, as nosey as she is, she would of called the police right away rather than waiting for me to finish berry picking. It got cold out there with only my rubber boots on.
So because of this, and the other incident chasing little Peyton Griffin with the weed whacker I now have community service to do! I'm now tending a flock of goats grazing along a parkway.  Apparently they like to graze on blackberry bushes. Goats eat blackberry bushes! Who knew!
 I spent a whole day chasing goats in and out of blackberry brambles as payment for my crimes. Clothed! Some dumb farmer had lent his dumb goats to some dumb project of getting rid of blackberries. And I was the man in charge. In charge of dumb goats.
But I did see a smart solution to my situation at home. That night when the farmer came to get his dumb goats, I hid one in my car. The cute one. I told him it wandered off and that he should head back to his farm and I'll look for it. "See ya tomorrow!" I waved as I drove off home,...I mean to look.
I'm named him Barry. Barry Bush. A relative of George and Barbra on his fathers side. And knowing the Bush's probably the mother's side too.
Barry lived in my car for two days till I could sneak him in the house after my wife went to the mall. Upon her return the wife got wind of our new house guest. I told her I had adopted a dog which lessened my community service time. And she bought it! What a stroke of luck she thought Barry was a dog! One big ugly dog with a throat problem.
But what was even a bigger surprise for her was that her ugly German Shepard ate blackberries. And with great fervour. I removed a few boards from the fence for Barry to get at the bushes and he slowly chased them vines back to their roots. Ta-Da!
Now Barry goes back to the farm. But my wife loves her ugly dog now. And the city and everyone else in the world thinks it's a goat. So my wife, to prove them wrong thought Barry could be trained to be a seeing I goat,..I mean dog. But Barry would always lead them to a high place or in the middle of a blackberry bramble. Then the wife thought he could work at the airport searching for drugs. Barry ate them but in doing so became a better seeing eye dog.
Cadaver dog? He ate the rotten pig used as a cadaver test subject. Herding sheep? He just hung out with them and caught up on old times. Search and rescue? All he did was climb the mountain of crumbled building and stand and look around and do his funny bark from time to time. It was no use Barry was doomed.
I phoned up the farmer and told him I had found Barry. He said he knew. Our efforts had been well documented in the papers and TV news. And that the rental of Barry for the last two months came to a total of $720 dollars.
I swallowed hard then yelled at the wife to close the door but it was too late. "Ah man!" I said "Barry just ran out the door Mr. farmer." I lied. "If I find him again I'll give you a call." Then I hung up the phone.
All this happened last Fall. I eventually came clean with the wife about Barry. He was a goat. I stole him and I needed to borrow,...HAVE $820 dollars to give the farmer for his rental. And so it was with $100 dollars in my pocket this story came to an end. Except for the fact the blackberries are now back.
So if you'll excuse me I have to strip down and do some berry picking. Old lady Jensen's going to love this! I need Barry back.

Bob Niles


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fwd: I Wish I use to Have a Unicorn






                                   I Wish I Use to Have a Unicorn


I have the luxury of day caring my very active and sometimes hot tempered four year old granddaughter.  A cute little curly haired, blond angel with more time-outs than the meanest hockey player in the whole universe. From giggles, hugs and kisses while sitting in my lap to BOOM!....standing alone in the bathroom thinking about what wrong she had done in less time than it takes to warm up 'Beefaroni'.  
The language she learns in pre-school!
After one such time-out, and a hug with a "I still love you very much" she told me of all the wishes that she would wish if Santa came to her house.
"Grandpa you know what?" ( this is how she starts every sentence, or, it's with a Grandpa look at this!)  "W   H   A    T ?"  I ask with the full knowledge that this is going to be an indefinite period of time that's filled the weirdest collection of rambling unconnected thoughts that all 4 yr. olds have wired on chocolate ( her mom's coming to pick her up in 5min. and this is how I get back at her for being a teenage girl).  "Grandpa you know what?"  (again)  "W    H    A    T    !" "Look at this!"
"Charlotte" ( in my best cautionary tone that portrays the fact that grandpa's had 10 hrs. of 'you know whats?' and 'look at this!' already today).
"I wish you and everybody else wouldn't get mad at me. And I wish I liked broccoli and going to bed when it's still light outside. And my biggest best wish is,....I wish I use to have a unicorn! A purple one that could fly so fast that......."
"I wish I use to have a unicorn?" I interrupted ( oh sure I wanted to tell her everybody wasn't mad at her, broccoli was good for her and how in the summer months the sun barely sets at this latitude. But, 'I wish I use to have a unicorn!') "A purple flying unicorn? And you've already given up on the idea of ever owning one? What quashed that dream?"
"GRANDPA, unicorns aren't real! But they use to be..."
"Mommy's here!" came the happy sing-song jingle coming up the stairs. Coat, boots, back-pack, tattered old blankie and two videos that shorten the day were all collected. Then with a hurried 'We'll see you tomorrow!'
All's quiet. All the noise, questions, guess what, look at this, hurried life and unconditional love exited the house. In its place the tick and tock of the old battery clock over the fireplace. And a small dog breathing a lot easier.
' I wish I use to have a unicorn', kept going over and over in my mind. At 4 yrs. old a dream has already died. The belief in, the hope of and the knowledge there never will be, has already come been and gone from my granddaughters life. For just a blink of an eye she could of had a unicorn. Purple and able to fly across that new field of dreams she had just started to cultivate. Virgin ground without the weeds of reality, that ruin many crops of our dreams. But at four years old the weeds have claimed the hope of a small girl, and her wish of ever owning a unicorn.
The wishes and hopes and dreams of our children are very special. They are the lucky few that can do, be, hope and try to have anything they want. It's up to us as adults to nurture their field of dreams. Protect it.
All to quick someone wants to enter that special area of their imagination and tell them they can't grow that in their environment. The unknowing older multitudes that know better, that kill young plants in early fields. Watch what your children watch, who they play and talk with. Be mindful of your conversation when they are in the room, and pick up your magazines. Young dreamers have big eyes and ears.
I sometimes wish our kids could grow up like most of us did, without the computer. Childhood mysteries that dad and mom would answer at an appropriate date are now solved over at Billy's house on his computer when his mom goes to the mall. I rather enjoyed my constantly incorrect childhood knowledge changing from week to week and friend to friend about girls, cars and what chemicals under the kitchen sink will burn.
Did I mention girls?  
It all depended on which friend had the older brother that bragged about how much he knew for sure about girls and  life. And then through the process of time was proven wrong again and again.
"Tommy's brother said there's no Santa! But then again he said girls can become boys at birth if a mom or dad blew really hard in their mouths."
Santa lived on to die another day.
Dreams were harvested then replanted, harvested and sometimes replanted again. A crop of dreams took many years to mature and harvest. I had many fields of dreams and wishes in those years. Now most those fields are harvested and bare. Age does that.
'I wish I use to have a unicorn' haunts me.
I wish she still wished she could have a unicorn.

Bob Niles


Fwd: Why am I still in hot water if there's a water shortage?








                 Why am I still in hot water if there's a water shortage?

"Why are you just sitting under that tree?" My wife asks before she is even out of the car. "But maybe my first question should of been is where did you get that tree? Is that the chestnut tree from the Pounds yard across the street?" Again questioning and accusing  before she completely out of the car and both feet on the driveway.
"Good observation honey! You're absolutely right. They stuck an orange fence around it after they demolished the house so no kids would be climbing up in it before they cut it down. I just beat them too it and planted it here."
"You can't just go cutting,...or planting a cut,...???how did you get it over here? And what's that around your neck and wrists? Your stinking sports socks?"
"Oh I'm just playing it cool honey."
"Oh I'm the one who's going to be playing it cool honey! And for a long time!"
"You remember Ron and Dereck from my bowling team well they had a truck and a chain and I had a plan. And now I'm enjoying the cool shade under my new chestnut tree." BONK! "Look a chestnut just fell on my head, that's good luck!"
"No it was me and it was a rock! Not good luck." My wife stated now looking for another projectile in the form of a rock.
"Did you know the shade from a tree is cooler than shade from a building? The tree cools itself by water evaporation through its leaves thus creating a cool dome all around itself. And around my neck and wrists are my tube socks filled with frozen rice. The frozen raw rice form a tight fit around the areas with a lot of blood flow thus cooling me."
"Speaking of blood flowing what's in front of all my curtains covering all the windows?"
"Funny you should notice that. I nailed wet sheets over all the windows."
"You drove nails through my Venetian plaster to hang wet sheets, which are probably dripping on the hardwood floors so,...because,...??" She stuttered as she expertly launched proof she'd found another rock.
"It's just that the tape wouldn't carry the weight of the wet sheets." I defend myself as I dodge her expert aim.  "And they are there to cool the house. As warm breezes pass through them the water evaporated from your Egyptian cotton sheets thus creating a cooling effect. And the Egyptians knew how to keep things cool."
"Not as cool as your going to find it Mr. King Tut! Oh and look we have a pool in our front yard! Or is it just a massive pool cover!?"
"That's exactly what the neighbours will think when come back from holidays is that we have an in ground pool. Now whose keeping up with the Jones? And it only cost you a couple of hundred dollars honey. We can have faux pool parties around this beauty. Girls in bikinis with bikinis all in my yard expecting to swim but I'll just say the PH balance is too off to swim in your bikini right now. We'll be the talk of the neighbourhood!"
"We already are! And it ain't good! Mr. Bikini!" She exclaimed with both arms in the air. Which was unfortunate because when she tripped over the hose she couldn't catch herself.
"Why is there a hose running through my front door?" She demanded, in a yelling kind of way, from an almost horizontal position. "And why, may I ask is steam coming out of the lawn sprinkler which is where this hose seems to be attached to!"
I was surprised at how quickly she had righted herself. She then stooped over either looking for rocks or noticing the blood oozing out the hole in her stockings. But either way it would be a 'duck and cover' operation for me.
"Well," I defended while looking for cover "they say not to water our lawn or wash the car or fill up the grandkids pool because of a water shortage. But they don't say anything about hot water. There seems to be no shortage of hot water, so I thought I'd water our thirsty lawn from the bottom of the hot water tank."
"You can't water the lawn from the hot water t-a-n-k!
She expelled a thrust of air from her lungs in pronouncing tank because it was said while throwing a rock my way.
"That's what the guy from city hall said when he stopped in his car." I said ducking behind my new chestnut tree. Which, caused it to lean a little to far into far into the yard and then it went from vertical to a more horizontal plane. "I told him I could, and showed him how I hooked it up at the tank. He continued to say I couldn't do that but I showed him the tank even has its own hose tap at the bottom. Any----way,....we have to appear down a city hall on Tuesday at 10:00 am. I told him it was quite impossible as you have a job."
My tree had now attained full TIMBER status. Fully relaxed in a linear fashion across the pool cover and the wife's prized roses. I took a hit to the thigh with a piece of cement from the walkway. Made a mental note of where it bounced so I could retrieve it for repair.
"Well I don't know about you," the wife started out with just a tinge of anger, disgust and possibly hate,  "but I will certainly be cool tonight. There'll be no you, you heat radiating mammal  with your heavy breathing getting our,..no MY bed all hot!"
'Enjoy your tree Tarzan!' was the last thing she said. Then the sprinkler shut off, the hose was then thrown out the door and then the door achieved an even plane to the front of the house with a loud BANG!

Tuesday 10:20 outside city hall.
Well I showed them! You can water your front lawn from the tap at the bottom of your hot water tank. Then they showed me how very expensive it is in the form of a ticket. Good thing the wife's at work. Now if I can just get back in the house.

Bob Niles

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fwd: Cutting the grass sucks!








    Cutting the grass sucks!

"Honey I can't go to your sisters this afternoon because I have to cut the lawn!" I yell over the football game. She unplugs the vacuum, throws her arms in the air and gives me that look. You know the look, every wife has one. The one you never saw before marriage, but now after several years it has become a prominent facial expression.
"What?" I question. "I'm cutting the lawn after the game is over. I'm  waiting till the game has ended. Unlike you. You know I hate it when you vacuum during the game. And I think the rest of the people in the stadium don't care for it either!"
Ya right cutting the lawn, this summer? She knew I was just trying to get out of visiting her wonderful sister who has it so much better than her. Wow! Her sister has a vacuum with a ball on it. What is it with her and sucking? I dare not bring it up as I know for sure it will get around to me.
It's not the grass that needs cutting, but the dandelions. Them and their sunny disposition! Bright happy yellow faces blowing, dancing and waving at me - look at us we are survivors! They're about half a meter high my neighbour with the perfect lawn tells me. "Hey Bob them weeds are about 18 in. high on your lawn. Just about as tall as the fine looking wheat you're growing in your garden there."
I correct him by pointing out that it's corn, not wheat, I'm growing, and that he should jump on the metric train at some point in this century. He responds with something about not biblical there were 12 disciples not 10, then laughs and goes in his house. Which is what I wanted all along anyway.
I don't really want to walk the whole yard just to cut their heads off. Last time I did that I looked like that character Pigpen on Charlie Brown. A cloud of dust enveloped me, just like Pigpen as I walked behind the lawnmower making breathing difficult and the wife's laundry hanging outside,....well let's just say she wasn't happy. I got the look! And words! Then it got real quiet. For a long time.
It's so dusty because I don't water the lawn, and it won't rain. Down in California where it's really dry a special prayer service was called for by many of the churches. They just didn't have enough faith for it to rain it seems. Oh sure thousands gathered,...but nobody believed enough to bring an umbrella.
 I don't water the lawn because we have to pay for every liter of water we use. And with this dry spell I'm conserving water any way I can. The lawn goes all brown and people think I really care for the environment. But it's just that I'm a cheapskate, not an environmental-skate.
Besides if I cut the lawn I have to cut the clover that's in the lawn too. And when you cut the clover you're going to kill or collect a few bees in the grass bag on the mower. Dandelion heads, clover heads, bee heads and me be heading for the house as I pour angry bees into the Green Cart. I'm surprised they still let me buy honey after what I've done to them over the years.
I peek out the curtains as the wife leaves the house on her way to her sisters. All is now well in my world. Except for the yellow heads with the sunny disposition. It's then that it hits me,..no she's on her way to her sisters. Pay attention.
Her vacuum! 'Her vacuum hit you?' No! That's what I'll use to collect all them, laughing in my face, dandelions. It's perfect really when you think about it. It will suck up all the dust in the yard. It's counter rotating brushes will rip their lemon coloured heads off and then grind it's legs out at carpet level.  And it has a headlight!
At first I'm surprised at how quite it runs when it's out in the yard. It seems to be working well, but requires a bit of patience going back and forth over each weed. I select weed after weed adding extension cords as needed onto my new yard buddy. And voila, about as quick as it takes to make a left hand turn on No. 3 Rd. on a Saturday afternoon I had made it look like I had cut the lawn thus avoiding a visit to her well to do sister's.
"The lawn looks good honey." The front door states as my wife walks in. "Why's the vacuum in the carport?" My wife questions, as she kicks her shoes, and any chance I have of getting away with this, to the door
Lie! Lie! Think of something cleaver! My brain yells at me. You were fixing,...?? That won't work, she knows you don't fix things! Someone broke into the house and you caught them heading out the door with her precious vacuum. Maybe? Might work.
"I was in the yard vacuuming when I caught this guy leaving the house with your precious vacuum,..." I..stutter. And then I get the look. And then words, and then quiet. Very quiet. All I remember her last statement ended in a question. I have no idea how to respond. As usual. I may have whimpered,...I'm not sure.
That was two weeks ago and now I'm out in the yard with her vacuum again. Ridding the lawn of my cheery yellow friends. It's my vacuum now. The wife now has a new bagless Dyson with a big ball for a wheel, just like her sister. Small price to pay I figure to get things back to somewhat normal again. We're going to her sister's later today. Together! We go everywhere together now, and will be for the foreseeable future apparently.

Bob Niles