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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fwd: Superior Dribble: Trash Talk

re-posted






Trash Talk



"Honey! It's garbage day tomorrow, you have to prepare the trash! If you're looking for your glasses I last saw them on top of your head! I'm heading out."
She knows I need my glasses to prepare, not take out, but to arrange and properly place unwanted articles and food waste in their respective bags and boxes. I need my glasses to find that dad-blang triangle on the plastic containers. Lord forbid if I get the wrong numbered triangle in the recycle box. If they could make the numbers bigger or colour them it would certainly make my life easier. I have to twist and turn them trying to get the light right, running my finger across the ridges trying to caress out a single digit number. I look like I'm trying to strum some instrument made of recycled garbage. The wife's jealous of her plastic salad box, complaining it gets more loving attention on the way to the Blue Box than she does all week.
Now the plastic's taking care of, it's time to wash the bottles and try to remove labels from the glass. I say try, because usually that's all it is, is an attempt. If they (the garbage police) want labels off, why do they (again the garbage police) let companies crazy glue them on. They are at one with the glass! Hot water, soap and razor blades are needed to try and hide the fact that it was once a pickle bottle. It seems anonymity is very important to the people down at Bills Brought Back Broken Bottle Bin. Where their motto is 'Be an un-labeler enabler!' I think Bill drinks what's left at the bottom of the bottles.
Onward to the papers! For this I refer to my 'Recycle With Confidence' section of my recycling bible (provided by our fair city) which I now find out got mixed up with the recyclables last week! And thrown out! So now with anything but confidence, I attempt the next to impossible. The house receives and brings in a lot of paper. And for this we have two different bags with which to recycle our papyrus. So do I use the blue bag or the yellow bag for a non-glossy insert flyer with removed plastic window made from cardboard with a newsprint insert. I hum and haw over this one for some time, and then with little confidence place it in the yellow bag. I then get off the floor and phone Tom next door to see which bag he used. No answer.
Newspaper after newspaper checked for hidden paper infractions. Cardboard boxes flattened, and staples removed. Egg cartons squished. Plastic windows removed. Tearaway all traces of my name and address on any envelopes. Become like the pickle bottle. Find interesting article in 'Time' magazine and waste ten minutes determining if your spouse is cheating on you.
Now, not only am I not sure I've got the right paper in the right bag, I now lack confidence the wife is staying true to our wedding vows! I'll try Tom again.
Still bothered by the flyer made of cardboard with the newsprint insert, I complete all paper products and move on to food scraps. Confidence builds. Either cooked or non-prepared foods all go in the kitchen container and then the green cart. What my wife can do with a $30 dollar roast is criminal. I just throw it out before it becomes a crime scene. For Christmas one year I got her a serving platter with the white chalk outline of a roast. Like the police do with a dead body. In response, she used my suit pants that day as a pot holder to remove the turkey from the oven. Asked why, my now ruined expensive suit pants became a pot holder, she replied 'Thats what you use them for!'
I search fridge and freezer for all past and future offending food scraps. Careful to leave the frozen fruitcake from Aunt Tilley that's been there for three years, then away for two, only to be re-gifted back to us for an additional four years more.
Now waving and clapping my hands I make my way to the kitchen container. I look like a blessed, praising church - goer as I enter a small cloud of fruit flies. I affix both hands to its smooth exterior, careful not to slop any residue on my skin. It'll stain, burn and stink on contact, immediately, and for an extended period of time. Eye protection is a must! Now down a flight of stairs, opening two closed doors I reach the green cart outside. I clear a ten ft radius to pour the offending odor into the green cart. I open the lid of the kitchen container and my fruit fly herd triples in size as they try to escape my wifes meat loaf. I carefully pour out this offending odor, turning nose and eyes away, noticing all the lights at Toms house are off. Now it's off to the end of the driveway for tomorrows pick up.
I see Toms Blue Box is at the curb already. I go through his yellow and blue bag to see which one he used for the flyer ( I'm sure we both got one in the mail) made of cardboard and newsprint. No luck! It's not there. I try his phone again.
Several more trips to the end of the driveway conclude garbage eve. All garbage has been prepared and expelled less than one week from entering my abode.
The digital alarm clock shows the score all tied up at a dozen apiece as I lay in bed looking at the ceiling. I lay there wondering where my wife is and thinking back to my youth.
"Honey! It's garbage day tomorrow have you taken out the trash!?" My Mom would ask my Dad.
"I'll do it during the commercial!" was his reply. Two minutes done! Which is why I guess we are where we are today.
And then I think............., and then toss and roll and notice all the 2s on the clock. The wife's not home yet. I get up, put on my housecoat, outside to the Blue Box and retrieve my worrisome flyer. Back to the house, crumple it up and flush it down the toilet. Problem solved! Tomorrow I'll wipe up the water from the toilet over flowing and unclog the throne from its offending flyer.
I lay there, now at peace wondering why I never thought to separate the papers from the flyer. Silly me. S l e e p y...I hear a car...next door....Toms car....my wife tip toes into the room. I sit up and turn on the light, "Honey it's 2:30 in the morning! Do you know which bag Tom used for that stupid flyer!?"


Bob Niles


bobby did this  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fwd: Camp Atcha Ownrisk







                                     Camp Atcha Ownrisk

Dear Mom and Dad,
Grandma thought I should write a note to let you know we are all okay here. The fires and smoke have only added to our camping experience with Grandma and Gramps. Gramps said it was a good thing he had built the campfire on the west side of his van as the flames ran away from our campsite rather than through it.
Gramps is a really good driver and is teaching me to drive when his eyes get too tired from all the smoke. He works the three pedals and the shifter and I'm the eyes that steer Gramp's 'Millennium Falcon. Oh don't worry it's only on the back roads where little traffic is seen as most of the residents that use the roads must be away on holidays. That's what old Gramps figures anyway.'. Grandma sure gets excited easily.
Last week we spent an extra day in this little town that was under a vaccination order. It sure was a quiet little town.I guess everybody's hiding from getting their shots like Peyton and I did.  Gramps had to fix the brakes on his old camper-ized van so we camped behind the tire shop in town. The man that owned it was evac..u..something and  wanted Gramps to come with him and his family off the mountain. Gramps laughed and waved him a cheery good-bye. But before they went (and in a big hurry)  they had left the bathroom at the back of their shop open for us to use at night. 'Good thing!' Gramps said because the tanks on the van were overflowing so we couldn't use the toilet. Gramps said he'll dump them soon somewhere because with so much extra weight, stopping the Millennium Falcon is more of a suggestion than conclusion.
Grandma and Gramps sure pray a lot. They were praying so hard and all the time that they would find Peyton again. But I guess you already knew that we found him. Gramps said he used his secret computer to computer-ize you the message. The hospital fixed Peyton's leg with a cast and now he's as good as new. It will still take a while for his hair to grow back though because of squirting gas on the fire. But gramps said you knew that too.
I guess he told you about the EpiPen too then. Gramps figured we needed some nuts with our beers. Kidding! They were light beers. Anyway that  'blue to the sky and orange to the thigh' TV ads paid off big time! Twice! Gramps can't believe so many things, like mixed nuts, have actual nuts in them. Then he got all bothered and wanted to know how everybody went from allergic to intolerant overnight. Grandma said she's going to start reading the labels on all our treats from now on. And we eat a lot of treats!
Gramps tuba sure takes up a lot of room in the van. But he swears by placing it on the picnic table at the camp site it usually keeps the sites on either side empty. And if not, like our last stop at Camp Atcha Ownrisk  the teenagers guitar at the site besides us, at 10 o'clock at night, makes good fire kindling.
A couple of nights ago gramps and I went up to the top of a nearby ridge that's burning and empty the septic tanks on the fires. Whatever septic is, besides stinky. I figure he should  get his picture in the paper for helping put out fires but he's not interested. He said he wanted to keep it our secret.
You sure got a cool parents Dad. After they go to sleep Peyton and I can stay up as late as we like. Don't worry we don't go too far out in the forest as gramps says there are black bears and grizzly bears around. He has bells that we wear and we carry bear spray. We know they're around as we see bear droppings all over the place. Peyton's gross cause he looks in it to see what they eat. Gramps and him found berries, grasses and fur from maybe a rat in the black bear scat this morning. And bells that smelled like bear spray in the grizzly scat just behind Gramps van. Gross eh?
Grandma is going to show me how to mail this at our next stop. My first mail! Gramps won't let me use his secret computer to email you. I think he's a spy! We're going off now to look for him as he's wandered away again. Doing spy stuff probably. Last time we found him he was spying through the fence of a colony of nudists back in the woods.  Grandma kicked him in the bum and scared him. He almost knocked the fence over and let the nudists out.  Grandma said nudists are naturalists so I guess they eat berries and nuts and,....hey maybe they eat bells!
"So Emmett are you and Peyton having fun?" you ask. Do nudists eat bells and poop in the woods!? Of course we are! Ha ha! That's old school LOL
Love you! See you in 10 sleeps maybe.
Emmett Griffin
Grade 4

Bob Niles

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fwd: Fan Appreciation







                                             Fan Appreciation

Squirt, squirt "Are you going to buy groceries today!?" My wife yells at the top of her voice. I look in the direction of the cool splashes and see her moving her lips while using her fingers to keep her hair out of her mouth. "No I'm not going anywhere near Surrey today!" I holler back cupping my hands to form a megaphone around my mouth.
I get off the couch to go toward the kitchen and feel, this time, three shots of water. This must be important. The wife is now coming this way, but her hair is ahead of her and then to the left of her as she moves from one seemingly magnetic force field to the next. Again words rise above the constant wwwwwwwwhhhhhrrrrrr of the room but again I respond negatively to any Surrey destinations.
She points me to the cone of silence, the bathroom, and I do as directed. Now with the door closed all the rooms power down as independent motion detectors detect no life forms.
"Are you going to get groceries?" She asks while fixing her hair in the mirror.
"In Surrey? No I thought I'd go to the Value Save- On Market around the corner." I say.
"Surrey?" She questions my reflection. "Who said,....never mind! Just pick up some plastic wrap for the sandwiches were making for the church social this afternoon. O K?"
"Okay! Message received" I salute her in the mirror, click my heels together and then clap both hands together at the right side of my head, which commands a collection of rooms throughout the house to power up fans that I've hooked up to The Clapper.
 I have many fans. My wife not being one of them right now. But not that kind of fan. I mean I have the air blowing and air sucking, 2000 rpm, pedestal, table top, ceiling, 10 inch, 14 inch, 24 inch, 36 inch, finger removing blurry bladed fans! All used in my effort to stay cool, and drive my wife nuts.
I don't mean to drive her nuts and lord knows this isn't my first attempt nor will it be my last attempt to inadvertently do so.
She attains this level of mental instability due in part to the fact that each conversation during this heat wave has to start with a well aimed squirt from the mister bottle. This, because verbal language skills cannot rise above the whirring drone of dozens of fans.
It's the large use of fans that keep me cool during this current heat wave. And it's because of this, spoken word is now substituted with lip reading. And to what level of intensity emitted from the nozzle of a spray bottle sets the tone of the conversing.
A floating mist carefully placed on a whispering wave of air, delivered to the cheek of your spouse is one of passion. Where as a direct couple squirts to the face commands that you must pay attention, now, and is also more likely.
Not only is annoying conversation with a spouse done away with, because of multiple fans, but so also is any clue as to having a kitchen full of fruit flies. With four and sometimes five fans in the kitchen fruit flies are a thing of the past. Oh they're probably there in your handsome kitchen recycling bucket, but the minute that lid is lifted,  they are blown to,...? Don't care! It's all good my house of many fans. That is until they become silent.
She,..the wife, made me shut them off!
It was while we were wrapping up all the sandwiches for the church social with the 2500 ft. box of food film I had bought earlier that day that she,..the wife, pulled the plug. And I guess, in her defense she was right to do so. It seems, I, attempting to wrap the first plate of stinky egg salad finger sandwiches had used up half the box of food film trying to get a flat sheet with four, no five fans blowing. The food film kept folding up on itself! And I confess that I had said words that dear Sister Lofstrom, head of the Sunday School, would not of been proud of. And so it was decided to stop all the fans.
And then it was decided that I would now exercise my right to a clothing optional house (since all the kids moved out) and continue this chore in my tighty whitey's with a coffee stain on the crotch (don't ask).
Egg salad, cucumber, chicken salad and smoked salmon sandwich plates, one after the other all wrapped with expert precision whilst donning my official 'no fans no clothes food film wrapping uniform'. Working naked (almost) to help out at the church.
Things were going swimmingly,..until I went to place food scraps in the kitchen's recycling fruit fly container. A cloud, a black cloud of Biblical proportions (appropriate) rose as if angry ,and now with no wind to to hinder their annoying-ness took full advantage of getting in my face. And I, naked and vulnerable to their annoying-ness started squishing them by clapping my hands together.
All five,..no four fans in the kitchen were hooked up to The Clapper. On then off, then on again and then off again my blurry bladed fans met my unrealistic commands. My wife with her back to the situation also let Sister Lofstrom  down in her verbal barrage of questions as to just what I was doing. Food film was flapping as waves of warm fast moving air tugged at its corners. Corners were lifted and removed as the on again off again onslaught continued. Fruit flys peppered mayonnaise laden finger sandwiches and stuck like a wet sneeze to a screen door. All is lost.     Well not really.
Treating each infected sandwich as if it were a birthday cake we blew out most of the mayo imprisoned little black flies. The rest looked like pepper we thought, (not able to locate our glasses at the time).
And so it was, five dozen tiny sandwiches all made their way to the church social wrapped in about 2000 ft. of food film. All fans were now permanently banned from food preparation areas in our house. The fruit fly box was moved away from the kitchen and dear Sister Lofstrom expressed some unbecoming words upon trying one of our egg salad finger sandwiches down at the church social.
First the kitchen, and now the church,...I'm running out of fans.

Bob Niles

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fwd: The Value of Information







                                          The Value of Information

The rain pelted across the old Volkswagen windshield as if it had been sprayed on by a garden hose. The tired wipers complained with a stuttered  uh-uh-uh as they tried to keep ahead of the horizontal liquid barrage of all things blurry through every window.
To say it was dark would be an understatement. Because this dark suffered from black ink that blew sideways trying to knock the little car off the dirt road. Headlights?...Bill remembered he had them before the rain started but was now unable to confirm their existence.
Bill and Tammy were taking,....well,..Buddy home. They didn't know the poor guys name. They were doing a Good Samaritan / Designated Driver thing. They had found him slumped between two cars in the parking lot at the pub they had visited after the hockey game.
Bill had tried to get him back on his feet, but as soon as he had righted him, Buddy folded himself back up like a city map. His folds and creases just didn't look right.
"We've got to take him home Bill." Tammy insisted while Bill was trying to stop the bleeding. Seems Buddy had kissed the side view mirror in his effort to regain his original horizontal format.
It was after two more attempts at verbally insisting and physically attempting to vertically right Buddy that Bill gave in. Buddy was getting pretty beat up by they car they kept trying to stand him beside. A bleeding lip, a bloody nose, and a serious looking scratch which made him look a little like Al Pachino in the movie Scarface.
He gave no name but seemed happy with the temporary title of Buddy. And in his extreme state of inebriation in public Bill could relate as to why he might want to keep his name in question.
"Can you tell us where you live Buddy? Do you know where your house is? Is there someone we can phone? Are you here alone? We'll drive you....."
"45,..3? No 454,..5 Spp pruucee Lane." He sprayed, as he interrupted Tammy. Each number four he pronounced had about fifteen 'Fs' in it and probably about as many 'Fs' again in the fives. At least he cut back on the 'Ps' Tammy thankfully noted.
The rain now started to accompany the already annoying wind as Bill folded Buddy into the back of his space challenger. That is to say his vintage Volkswagen was limited in seating area.
Tammy, now wishing she hadn't worn a short tight skirt,  crawled  in the back with Buddy, holding a now bloody compress against his nose. Bill started the car checked his gas and smiled at Tammy in in rear view mirror as they started into the night.
Bill checked his watch as he turned left on to Spruce Lane. Chinese dentist time he smiled remembering his grandpa had always called 2:30 Chinese dentist time.
Slowly he followed the address to 4541, 4543 and 4545, destination achieved. Bill stopped the car on the road and pulled up on the hand brake. Tammy woke up Buddy with a cheery, almost excited "We're here! We got you home Buddy. Let's get you out."
Bill leaned the drivers seat forward as Tammy poured more than pushed Buddy out of the back seat. Bill wrapped Buddy's right arm around his shoulder and with Tammy manning the left side they made their way through a gate, along a walk, up a ramp and to the front door. Tammy pressed the door bell which started a dog barking in the back of the house, and with each bark it seemed another light turned on. Both Bill and Tammy sensing their job was done, and Buddy was home safe to face the music,  turned to leave before the door could open. Buddy, seeming to admit defeat to a vertical lifestyle again folded himself back down to his city map style just as the door opened.
Both Tammy and,...? Mrs Buddy, let out a little scream which deadened the sound of Buddy's head connecting with the door. Buddy, now much more awake began using and slurring words his former Sunday School Teacher would not have approved of.
Buddy ran out into the front yard. Peed on three trees and back into the house. Apparently Buddy was the dogs name as well. "Good boy Buddy!" Mrs. Buddy said.
No introductions were made as Bill and Tammy were now wet and wind blown and wanted nothing more than to get in the car and head home. Mrs. Buddy stopped them with a heartfelt thank you and wished there were more people like them. She then asked if he had been beat up and robbed. Both looked at each other and feigned ignorance as to his condition and assured her that he probably hadn't been.
"Well thank you again for bringing him home." Mrs. Buddy yelled over the wind as she cradled his head. "He sometimes gets like this when,...? Ya have to love them right? For better our worse."
She stood up gave them both a hug as they turned to go.  Bill had just opened the gate for Tammy when Mrs. Buddy yelled through the weather "Do you happen to have his wheelchair?"

Bob Niles


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fwd: Who Were You Before Father's Day?







                                  Who Were You Before Father's Day?

My Dad never got the chance to say good bye to me. I had so many more questions about his life before he became 'Lame'. His brain cancer had mercifully taken him quickly with little pain. One day he was my not so old Dad and then the next day he was a guy that looked like my Dad but in a hospital bed. An unresponsive memory with just a blank stare.  He was that guy for just a few days, and then he left our lives forever.
It was five days before Christmas 1996. A day in history I'll never forget.
I know many of us share that day. The last day and memory we will ever have of a parent. No more new memories to build or old ones to discover. We now just have to rely on the old dusty ones backed up by black and white and poorly coloured out of focus photos in old photo albums. Awkward poses, frozen in time on Kodak Kodachrome film. The not so, but at times all too distant memories that leak from the corners of our eyes. We are the lucky ones who have had that Mom or Dad that will be greatly missed, because of who they were.
We were lucky enough to have a parent live long enough to see their grandkids. One that stuck it through all the teenage crap we could throw at them, and have them love us through it. We were the fortunate to have a parent that sacrificed what they wanted to do, to drive us to ball practice. Parents that cried with pride at our wining trophies. Moms and dads that treasured the ashtrays (and neither smoked) we made them at school for Mother's and Father's Day. For all the races won, 'B's on report cards, graduations, weddings and new births, all of life's big and small victories either a mom or dad were  there to celebrate with us.
They were that mom, and or, dad that gave up everything they wanted to do so that we might have a better life. And we would show our thanks by constantly referring  to them as 'Lame' and real 'Buzzkills'!
We for years (from age12-22 yrs. for many) were embarrassed by our slack jawed, khaki wearing, mini van driving source of paternal care givers. The very people who gave up their cute little sports car and motorcycle to buy that minivan, because it was safer and more practical  for my siblings and me. They, who moved from their warehouse loft in the city to the suburbs, so we could have a house with a yard. And who then fought traffic every day back to a now second choice job in the city.
We, by birth made them lame! Mom was going to fight big corporations! But got a less glamourous job, or quit work altogether so she could have more time with her kids. Dad gave up his cool job and had to stop wearing jeans and rock-n-roll tee shirts in exchange for his so uncool khakis in an unfulfilling job to feed and put a roof over, his all to many times, ungrateful kids.
The very couple that use to stay up late, talk over big issues and eat weird food in exotic restaurants. The two starry eyed lovers who went to art galleries and plays and walk the city till the wee hours in the morning. Your future source of embarrassment who went camping, toured Europe and made big plans. Your parents.
 But big plans were put on hold. You and your siblings changed your mom and dads lives. A change where they chose to become lame, and one that they were willing to make. But it was never suppose to become permanent. But dad died before he got a chance to write that novel, and mom, she never got to act on the stage.
Moms and dads choose to become lame for the sake of their family. They want to set rules by example and display good common sense so that they in the first 20 years of your life will set you up for the next 60.
And how do we thank them? Well, in our early years we mostly don't. We make them feel sad for the lives they lost, and take every opportunity to YELL them so. But, if lives persist and kids and parents don't kill each other we have a Mother's and Father's Day once a year on the calendar. It's a sad notion that they would be worthy of only one day of our gratitude. It's sad because we are now parents ourselves and now realize our lives are 'Lame'. We are now the 'Buzzkills' to our kids and now appreciate what a sacrifice it took to get here!
So this Sunday, Father's Day take a moment and high five, bump fists, shake hands, hug or just phone him up, let him know how cool he was to turn lame for you. It's not common in the animal world for the males to hang around after conception but you appreciate him for not killing you so that Mom would naturally want to replace you with your younger brother Dale. Maybe if you ask him he'll tell you about what life was like before he became lame. What the war in Korea was like. His Sit Ins, demonstrations and peace marches. His and your Moms cross country trip to Woodstock. Maybe he'll show you some cracks and wrinkles in his life that you'll both laugh at.
Find out who was the man, and what he changed and gave up to raise you. I think you'd be surprised of how lame he's not. But do it while he still can. You never know with old people. They have a habit of disappearing.

Bob Niles