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Monday, September 15, 2014

Daddy Can Fix It. (c)

Daddy Can Fix It

Daddy Can Fix It

"That's okay grandpa, daddy can fix it."
Them seven words hit me hard! My own granddaughter feels I'm incapable of gluing a leg back on her doll. A doll she doesn't really even like! So even if you did a bad job she wouldn't even really care.
Now I know that I have probably led her on to believe that old grandpa is useless at fixing anything. And Lord knows grandma is always reminding her that I can't fix anything. But it's all part of my master plan. A plan that has taken me years to perfect.
Early on in our marriage I went out of my way to be incapable. Wise is the man who does so. Otherwise, a jar appears in the kitchen with a 'Honey-do' label on it. And it becomes full of weekend killing projects that take you away from what your real desires are. Which are, anything but fixing stuff around he house!
I say 'Live with them broken, or buy a new one or hire someone to come and have a look at it'. And by adapting this mantra I free up all my free time.
But now this 'daddy can fix it' statement, by my own granddaughter has got me in a quandary. Do I come forward after all these years and admit it was all a rues and that I have home fixing abilities far beyond what they know or could even dream of? Or do I continue the lie and have my own sweet granddaughter think I'm incapable of the slightest task?
I want my granddaughter to think I'm strong and smart and capable! The rest of the world I don't care what they think about my skills. But to her I've got to somehow blow my cover and go against what my Dad had taught me.
My Dad had schooled me in the fine art of being useless around the house. Mom would get on him to fix the thing-a-ma-bobby on the do-ma-hicky (using made up names is very important in being a complete nincompoop) and he would take so long and then mess it up so bad after three trips to the hardware store that Mom eventually gave up on him and call in a professional. Dad was now free to wander the basement and do things that interested him.
Wandering the basement has been a little tricky for me though. I don't have one! I have to resort to the side of the house that has no windows where I can't be found, or closeted up in the master bathroom. Both have their downfalls as the neighbor has windows on that side of her house (she thinks I'm a Peeping-Tom hanging around the side of my house for hours) and the master bath is full of jobs the wife wants done. What if by mistake I did one!? I've had many a nightmare on just such a circumstance.
I've got to fix that doll and let my granddaughter know I did it without letting the wife or the kids (they own homes too) know that I did it.
First off I need that glue that that guy used to glue his hard hat to the steel girder and hang from. I'll go see Gus at the hardware store, he'll know the right stuff I need.
"Gus? Gus Pound? Why he retired 15 yrs. ago!" the lady with the blue hair at the cash register informs me. "Maybe I could help you?"
You're an old lady! What do you know about fixin stuff I'm thinking. But she directs me to isle 35 (seems Gus has expanded the place since he changed the name to Home Depot) and shows me a whole isle of glues and adhesives.
"What kind of home project ya got on the go that needs gluing?" she asks.
I don't want to tell her I'm gluing a 'Baby Pee Pee Doll' so tell her I've chiseled a life size wooden bear, and one of it's claws broke off.
"You'll need a wood glue then. One formulated for natural wood fibers."
"No I don't! It's,...it's,...it's made from a plastic like, like a baby doll." Now I sound weird! "I melted dolls to make the paws and claws for the bear I chiseled out of a tree." Now I sound weirder!
She recommends some instant glue that I take home and glue myself to the 'Baby Pee Pee Doll! What now!? The wife is home and I can't get to the computer to find out how to get rid of my conjoined twin. I go outside and hide at the side of the house till she goes off to the mall on her daily excursion. I try to look natural for the first hour and a half so the neighbor doesn't think I'm weird too. I think I did pretty well all things considered.
The wife finally leaves and I'm back in the house on the computer looking for a solution for a separation. Nail polish remover is what I need and I'm sure we must have some because I have a wife with nails. As it turns out she has no nail polish remover, or nail polish that needs removing. I phone the daughter but she starts asking questions. Questions that might blow my cover. I hang-up. I'm desperate!
Ding-dong, "Oh hi Cindy! ......What?.....Yes that is a 'Baby Pee Pee Doll' I'm carrying. You might of seen me at the side of the house with it. I was practicing CPR on it....You thought I was doing what with it?....Oh no I assure you it's not stuck. (my wife and her talk) I was flinging it around like an airplane propeller to increase oxygen to the brain. It's how they do CPR in Denmark and do you have any nail polish remover?" I then confess to a substance problem and need a fix.
Back home with knife in hand I start to cut off 'Baby Pee Pee's' leg from my right hand. I'm not good at cutting with my left hand. It will be that terrible neighbor lady's fault if I sever my limb while trying to sever 'Baby Pee Pee's' limb from my limb. She had nail polish remover! I just know it. Said she didn't want to be part of the problem by enabling me.
Job done! 'Baby Pee Pee now has a hairy leg with some torn skin on it. But, it has two attached legs! The granddaughter will be so happy I fixed it. It will be our little secret.
Oops the wife's back, and wouldn't you just know it the neighbor lady runs over to meet her in the driveway. I've got more problems than just hiding my gluing talents it seems. Now I have to pretend I have a substance problem as well as being unable to fix things.
It's days like these that make retirement interesting.


Bob Niles

Monday, September 8, 2014

What Kind of Shaver Would You Like.....(c)

What Kind of Shaver Would You Like,...The Ball Kind?

What Kind of Shaver Would You Like,...The Ball Kind?


As a kid I would watch my Dad shave his face with an incredibly sharp butter knife. I'm sure it was a razor blade but to a kid it looked like a table knife that we used to spread jam on our toast with. He never told me different. He just told me not to touch it and if he caught me doing so he'd hit me with something that looked like a piece of wood.
I think back to that time as I find myself in the grocery store looking at a wall of ways to shave my face and anything else I can reach and see. Hair is out and skin as smooth as butter is in. And boy do they have the choices to make it so.
Two blades, three blades, four and five, that all promise a smooth comfortable shave. Razors I can throw away that come in many different colors. Razors that have huge heads, the size of a small hoe, that promise the best shave ever. Men's razors and women's razors with weird shaped handles that use the word silky to describe their finished result.
It was,...well I'm not sure how long, but long enough to encourage a store clerk to ask if she may be of some service. To which I responded in an affirmative manner. I told her I was looking for a new razor and I think it was everything she could do not to say 'Well DAH!'. I told her I had an old two bladed model which again I'm sure she really could of cared less how I achieve my non Duck Dynasty look.
At this point she took matters into her own hands and directed me over to the latests shaving sensation of the year. "Maybe," she said while assuming the stance of a 'Price is Right' model "the new Gillette ball kind of shaver is what you're looking for."
Well I should of blushed but didn't. All I want is a razor for my face I told her.
She blushed. Then assured me that my face was the main location that this razor was designed for. It has four razors attached to a ball that follows the curves of your face that keep the cutting edge at a perfect angle. It has all new scientific flex ball technology she says. Okay okay I say, lets go with scientific progress.
First the wife's vacuum now my razor, seems like a funny progression for the ball to take in making our life better. You'd of thought it would of been vacuum, lawn mower then razor.
It was later that afternoon the wife and I are watching the TV and on comes this commercial of these guys making all these funny faces. It turned out that's what men look like trying to get the best shave. Then on comes my new razor and I get all excited and tell the Mrs. that that is what I just bought. A ball shaver thing that has four incredibly sharp blades stuck to it. Her excitement was underwhelming. 'Big deal my ball on my vacuum is bigger than your ball razor any day!' she touted. Sheeeeesh!
Admitting defeat I excuse myself and she says she didn't smell anything. After 24 yrs. of marriage it never gets old.
I decided to see what all the hype is about with my new razor. I load up my face with with shaving cream and with my razor in hand I put to test this new flex ball technology.
I watch myself in the mirror as the shaving foam comes off with each pass of the razor. But it's as if I'm shaving someone else's face! It looks like me (well after 59 yrs., more like my Dad). But the shaving experience is missing. I'm removing the stubble from my face but it's like I've had a stroke and lost the feeling in that part of my body. More and more the shaving cream falls from my face reveling my Dad. It's like I just shaved a picture of my Dad! I touch my, now smooth as butter, face with my finger. Yup, I feel that, it's me alright but what just happened? Where was the pulling? The bleeding? The little pieces of toilet paper stuck to my face,...not there!
If a blind person came up and read my face they'd think I was the ugliest baby in the world. I'm smooth,...I'm silky smooth! Like b-u-t-t-e-r.
Day after day I looked forward to shaving that picture of my dad in the mirror. It was my daily out of body experience where the routine had turned to something of a pleasure.
But alas, after many shaves my own face started to again appear. The blades were getting dull and I could feel the shave returning. To be fair, the blades lasted an incredibly long time shaving my ugly mug and I think once or twice on the wife's legs.
I asked the wife to pick me up some of the blades for my face glider while she was out at the mall the next day. She returned with 6+2 plastic double bladed disposable razors!
Said my happy blades cost too much.
No! No! I cry, I can't go back I've been to the other side. I want to shave that picture of my Dad in the mirror!
Well use these up and then we'll by your precious blades she said.
That was four weeks ago and I still haven't opened the 6+2 package of shaving hell. Im growing a beard! I'll show her what it's like to live in Duck Dynasty! It's just a matter of time before she breaks.
Please break. I've never scratched so much! How do them Duck guys stand it? I want my flex ball Gillette back!

Bob Niles

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Whistling Old TV Tunes Attract Spiders

Whistling Old TV Tunes Attract Spiders,....No really!

Immediately she jolted upright in bed. All around her was a cool blackness. Now quiet. The screaming had ended. She reached across the bed for her husband. Bob was gone. His side of the bed was cool to the touch.
EEEEEEEEEKKKKEEEE!! Somewhere an 8yr. old girl (sounded like she was 8) was in great danger.
"Bob! Bob!" She whispered,...she shouted into the darkness.
"Here down the hall in the bathroom!........Huge black spider on the shower curtain!"
"Well get dressed! Hurry! I heard a little girl screaming close by."
"Ahhhh, that was probably me. SPIDER!"

That's my wife's account of the events that lead to that life threatening night.
It wasn't quite like that. It was more of a Tarzan scream is how I emptied my lungs for help. She's wrong about my little girl scream. It's a Tarzan scream, and Tarzan screams scare spiders. And she'd better get use to it as its this time of year spiders move into our homes to try to scare us out of them.
They start by building their webs close to the house across sidewalks and in front of doorways. Invisible webs, unseen till you're wearing it across your face.
Your fear begins!
If you're lucky and happen to see a web before you're wearing it be sure to use the longest pointiest stick you or your neighbor have to rip it down! With garden hose and stick in hand, pant legs and sleeves taped and with any kind of hat rip and tear at this nightmare. It's anorexic cotton candy consistency, but with far fewer calories (and here you're assuming by its taste) are soon and thankfully wrapped around the stick. But the spider always gets away! It's some sort of Ninja thing. Hey, if they can spit thread from their bum stronger than steel,.....they can disappear! Scary right?
They next send into our homes their smaller spider friends as spies. They test to see how much of a Nancy (or other feminine name to mock your male macho-ness) they're working with.
I find one in the kitchen on the rim of my mug. I scream (like Tarzan) and run for the bug spray. I blast the whole can on it, but from a different room through the crack of a secure door.
Start to get dizzy from all the spray.....Must not fall.....Spiders will put icky low calorie webs across my face.....Must lie down in bathtub.....Spiders hate bathtubs...
Spiders are doing high-fours downstairs behind the furnace. They're going to have a warm winter! The folklore about this wuss was all true.
Now it's time for the big boys to play in the shadows. Just at its edges. Cause questions and doubts. Create panic!
"What was that?! Did you see that!? Was that something? I saw something! Go look! I'm not gonna go look! You look! My big boy pants are in the wash. Hey! A monster spider was just in the next room about to jump in my mouth off my coffee mug! They needed cleaning!"
Fear escalates.
Now two of the bigger spiders are sent out. But not together,...separately. You'll enter a dark room and turn on the lights, and whatever plans they were scheming, they stop. You move,...they move. You scream, like maybe Tarzan, and run to another room. They follow. You again emit high pitched, maybe girly, sounds as you cartoonishly try to run. But your legs get you nowhere! Your arms outstretched as your feet spin as if you were riding a stationary bike. He's gaining on you! Again you scream (as manly as you can), but now seeking help from anyone! But you get your wife. She runs downstairs thinking you've cut off you hand in the table-saw by the volume and pitch of this new found octave. She arrives to find you clung to the side of the doorjamb a foot and a half off the floor. She kills the spider with your Tiger Woods #5 iron. You climb off the wall and recommend your Sears #3 wood next time and make a mental note to buy a new #5 iron.
Fear is now at levels unknown to man.
Later that night after several hours of horizontal unrest (cause you know the other one's out there) with a full bladder you exit the bed as one would leave a boat to the dock. Cautiously. Somewhat fearful of what's between bed and floor. You gingerly step, almost dance your way down the hall to the bathroom. Destination arrived you take the only seat in the room. You calm your fears by whistling the Andy of Mayberry tune. Unbeknownst to you, whistling attracts the other spider. Spiders love whistling! Especially old TV tunes. He now reveals himself from a fold in the yellow rubber ducky shower curtain two feet from your face. He's big, black and hairy and you're thankful you saw him while sitting on the toilet. Only for the reason that if you had your big boy pants on,...they'd be dirty again. You open your mouth but nothing comes out. The Lofstroms German Shepard down the street answers back. Firmly grabbing the edges of the toilet seat, hyperventilating , while trying to control your urge to flee you manage to eek out a more audible cry for assistance. This comes in the form of 13 Es and four Ks all jumbled together in perhaps, some would say, a very girlish way.
Bob! Bob! Responds the wife,...and then something about a small girl screaming for help. This scares the black menacing eight legged arachnid away! After that #5 iron thing spiders are afraid of my wife.
So after that we save the little girl that had fallen down the well. Yadie yadie yadie, I'm a hero! Seems her screams and mine combined together awoke the community and made them venture out to see just what was going on.
Well,...that's my story. So who to believe if it was a Tarzan yell or a little girl scream? Do you want to believe some #5 iron wielding spider killer or a true Canadian hero?
Spiders are afraid of heroes........right?

Bob Niles.