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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Fwd: Weight loss art


Fwd: I Tried Everything to Lose Five Pounds

> I Tried Everything to Lose Five Pounds
> and then
> I Lost Two-Hundred and Ten Pounds on the Greyhound System
> Every year about this time it's the same old thing with me and my belt. Do I buy a new one or is there enough leather in the old one to drill another hole? Another hole into a piece of leather so long that by the time I have one end into the second belt loop of my pants, the buckle and twelve inches of premium cowhide are still snaking their way across the floor.
> Why even wear a belt? Why not just let my ever expanding belly run free? Let it bump into people! Let it rub up against total strangers on the bus! Make them feel as uncomfortable as I am. And besides, without a belt I could tie these shoes (if there're the ones with the laces, I can't see from here) without the fear of passing out. Without a belt maybe my face won't turn that bright red waddling up them four stairs to the bakery. And, maybe I wouldn't sweat like a boxer in training when the weather gets warm enough to melt ice-cream.
> Or maybe I could lose weight?
> Been there done that, bought the XXXL tee-shirt.
> My Mother-in-Law figures it should be easy for a loser like me to loose weight. God bless her for believing in me but I've tried more times than a Mars Bar has calories. And, I've tried every method known to late night television. All the gadgets, pills, powders, pulleys and plastic power pumping weight reducing marvels of modern science that this one person can afford on easy monthly payment plans.
> It's that darned good looking tanned guy with more ruts in his belly than a farm dirt road after a rain storm, with his equally tanned good looking female counter part, that want to make me, a better me. All you have to do is lose weight and all your problems are solved, or so they would have you believe. And after you lose the weight your lighting is even better. Your before picture with all the extra baggage has that glaring bright light, all so flattering. Then once the weight magically disappears the lighting is warm and soft and makes your skin look like rippled toffee, that glistens and oozes health.
> That couple suck me in every time! And they're on every channel! Oh sure their face is different, but the well toned body is the same. They just change the head for each and every new gimmick that comes along. And gosh golly darn they all fit under the bed. Like this is the main selling point. "Well I wasn't going to buy the thirty-seven in one body toning, weight reducing, carbon fiber, life extending, job enhancing, the kids will thank you, wife will love you, three year easy payment exercise marvel, but hey it fits under the bed!" Every bed in my house has some sort of life changing equipment under it! Because, they gave me the idea to put it there! Every time I say my bedtime prayers I bang my knees! If they had of told me it fits easily in front of the car in the garage, it'd probably be there.
> Why? Because they use hypnosis to make us believe in their product. There can be no other reason. How else can you explain spending thirty dollars on forty-two cents of rubber tubing that you somehow magically think will be the answer to all of your problems. And then for some reason you want to stuff it under the bed.
> I even put my weight loss pills under the bed. Mostly for fear of embarrassment someone may find out I'm on them. Oh sure I'll leave the hemorrhoid cream in the medicine cabinet for all a visitor to see, but not my diet pills.
> This embarrassment I suffer from is due to the fact I've been scammed several times on my way to an easy healthier skinny me. Like the time I sent away fifty-two dollars to South Africa for an appetite suppressing pill that's made from crushed bushes that tribesmen have used for centuries to curb hunger. They didn't mention that that was all they had to eat. Just take thirty-two pills before any meal to reduce your caloric intake, the label read. And every time I did this, I did leave food behind on my plate. The total equivalent to the pile of thirty-two pills I'd eaten before dinner. Not only did it not work, it made my pooh smell funny.
> My Mother-in-Law, who never let anything slip by her without saying something, made sure she let me know she noticed 'The Smell'. And, that although she welcomed my efforts to lose the fat this change of smell in the house would probably affect her sensitive asthma condition.
> Next were the weight loss pills from Sweden. The ones that Border Customs gave me so much trouble on. Never wrap anything in plain brown paper coming from Sweden. Why? Because my Mother-in-Law now thinks of me as some kinda pervert!
> These pills I found out after a couple days were just laxatives, which I should of realized sooner because after the first day I couldn't leave the house. It got so bad I was dumping food I hadn't eaten yet! I was deathly afraid of sneezing in public, or private. If I had sneezed at work, (which they had phoned the house to see where I had been for the last week. I was there, just in the can) I would have to change jobs and move to a different city.
> In mid-January I signed up for a two year gym membership. By the end of January I was only going there to use the showers. All the hot water I wanted and no Mother-in-Law banging on the door to use the commode. Owners of the gym loved that I showered there, they said I was an inspiration for the others to work out harder, kind of an impersonal personal trainer.
> My next weight loss plan was a fail safe food system that would be delivered right to my door. Donny Osmonds little sister with that great big toothy grin, all looking slim and trim praising the weight reducing qualities of prepackaged food had me hooked. All my meals for a whole month delivered right to my house. Problem was in two weeks I had eaten what they sent me for the whole month. Now what? Wait two more weeks for food? I'll starve! Hey maybe that's how Marie lost all the weight? So what I did was sign my wife up, unbeknownst to her, and I ate that food as well. I now was eating two skinny peoples meals, and started to put on weight. I began to despise that Marie with her slim body standing beside her fat picture looking all happy and healthy, she's doing something more than just eating this crap.
> My Wife then told me about an article she had read about losing weight in one of her women's magazines. "Drink lots of water before you eat" she said "This will fill up your stomach and help reduce your food intake." Food intake? Why can't she just say eating? She thinks she's so much better than me because she's skinny. Skinny people are like that, they make fun of us gravity enriched people. She's getting just like that Marie!
> So I tried the water idea before each meal. I would drink three large glasses of water before I sat down to eat. Then half way through my hot meal I would have to take a bathroom break. To solve this I just took my dinner to the bathroom and eat while on the toilet. I really didn't mind, but I would leave the door open so I could hear the news on the TV. And, with only one bathroom in the house and my Mother-in-Law staying with us for an indefinite period of time, well it was bound to happen. She walked past the bathroom door and saw me sitting on the throne in all my glory. And her with her weak heart, and the cost of the ambulance, combine this with the medical costs at the hospital......well it was either close the door and become socially ignorant on news and views or try another plan of attack on the battle of the bulge.
> We switched battle plans.
> "Try eating from a smaller plate." my wife suggested across her mothers hospital bed, "I heard this will reduce the size of the portion intake."
> What's with you skinny people? Is eat a bad word?
> So now I'm eating from a plate that Is used to put under a teacup when company came over for scones. The rule my wife imposes is that I can put as much food as I want on the plate, but I can only have one plate. So I pile it high with as much food as I can. This plan for weight reduction finds me picking an awful lot of food from in, and around my swimsuit area every meal. I can't keep my food on this tiny plate, and I'm so hungry I don't want to lose a single morsel. I'm now chasing every calorie from my plate to my pants to the chair and on to the floor. I'm now giving the dog serious competition. It's my food! I want it! I need it! OOOH did the wife just drop something? Darn, Rex beat me to it!
> Which brings me to the best dietary system I've found so far, and quite by accident. Eating food from off the floor. Yes folks if you want to lose five, or ten pounds in just two days simply send me thirty-five dollars plus shipping and handling and I'll ship you a three day supply of my "Food Found on Floor." Now the beautiful tanned girl says "Guys do you want to lose that unsightly round gut? Do you want to have the body you've always dreamed of? And, without the sweat and pain of working out for hours every day." Then big fat me says, "Why just look at me, I use to look like this!" Camera changes to a picture of Marie Osmond....... Ooops how'd that get there. Camera now on a picture of me in a Speedo Swimsuit, and rubber boots cutting the lawn. "And now three days later look at the difference!" Soft lighting washes over me as I turn sideways and suck in my gut.
> Okay, okay this is all a dream, but losing five pounds wasn't. Five pounds! That's one-quarter of twenty pounds! I'm almost there! Just by eating food I found on the floor. So if you want to lose weight quickly, just do as I did, eat food off the floor and puke your way to a healthier, slimmer you.
> One quick note, make sure all the Swedish laxatives have cleared your system before you start eating off the floor. And for heavens sake remember to close the bathroom door! My Mother-in-Law thinks I'm on some sort of Super Model Diet. And I disgust her.
> Tomorrow I'm losing 210 lbs., I'm taking her to the bus station. I'm so excited about my extra weight loss, thanks to the Greyhound System.
> by Bob Niles

Monday, December 21, 2015

Jingles art

Created by my now 9 yr. old granddaughter Gabriella.

Old Jingles

Old Jingles

We all have that singing, dancing, repetitive, once amusing now annoying Christmas decoration. It caught our attention in the store and somehow, through the magic of marketing danced and sang its way into our shopping bag. And now every Christmas we have to live with it's annoying talents for a month.
For us, it's a dog wearing a toque with a big old bell on the end of it. You press it's paw and it starts to dance from side to side ringing that now annoying bell. Up and down back and forth he dances singing Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Over and over our grandkids, who watch the same cartoons 50 times, squeeze it's paw creating the repetitive Christmas carols that if I hear that stupid dog sing again I'll go crazy.
At first it was fun watching the first grandkid on her first Christmas react to the scary dancing dog. Her eyes would get wide and try to make out exactly what she was seeing. By her second Christmas she would laugh a bit and then turn to hug grandpa or grandma because it made her a bit unsure about her safety. And because grandpas and grandmas are 'hug junkies', we would do it over and over again.
By the third Christmas she would cautiously squeeze the spot on it's paw as if it were hot. She'd then jump back as it started to dance and sing and laugh her head off.
It was all fun when we only had one grandkid. But then the second granddaughter came along. And for her first Christmas old Jingles (the first granddaughter named him) went through two sets of double 'A' batteries. Our first Grandkid Gabriella, who is now four, played it over and over..... and did I mention OVER again!
Time and Christmases past and our oldest granddaughter is now eight. Two more grandkids have joined the fold. Twin boys, who are now three.
Recognizing a possible problem this Christmas I removed the batteries from Jingles, and lied. Yes lied. Lied to our own grandkids, that Jingles was broken. I know there must be a special extra hot spot in hell for grandparents who lie to their own grandkids. But, I couldn't take another year of Jingles throwing his head back and forth ringing that bell on the end of his toque singing at the top of his voice Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas!
This master hell bound plan of grandma's and mine lasted but for one Sunday visit. The next Sunday, the well schooled eight year old in battery toys reasoned that it probably needed new batteries.
"Ah,..Too bad grandpa doesn't have any more 'AA' batteries" I lied. AGAIN!. - Pour more coals on the fire.
"No worries" Gabriella sang, "I'll get them from another toy."
What! She can't do that can she? I didn't see that coming! I would of removed every battery in the house if I thought she'd grasped that knowledge. Or I would of kidnapped old Jingles and hid him under heavy boxes in the garage. Transplanting batteries! Now I could only hope for a 'AA' rejection between toys.
She went through all the battery toys like my wife at a BOGO shoe sale. Toys flying everywhere. Assessing battery size of each toy and if she could live without it till stingy old grandpa got around to buying new batteries. Gabriella and Charlotte (now five) both agreed that the 'Little People' castle would still play fine without its two 'AA' batteries.
My only hope was they would put them in old Jingles butt the wrong way. Mix up the positive and negative poles. That's when their dad, who hasn't done anything around here since he was 16, made the girls aware of the laws of polarity.
It was at this point I did something that I'm not proud of. Without thinking I said that if Gabriella got it working she could take it home with her.
I have now ruined my boy's Christmas from here on after, for all eternity with this singing blight of a decoration. -More coals on my fire.
But my problem is solved. No more Jingles!
So because of the fact my wife was now down one decoration she went out and bought this ever so cute snowman surrounded by kittens that do a squeaky sing song of Frosty the Snowman. The grandkids just love it!

Bob Niles

Monday, December 14, 2015

'Twas art

'Twas that day before Christmas

'Twas that day before Christmas

'Twas that day before Christmas
As I looked out my house,
"This rain's never ending!" or so said my spouse.

"Get outside, hang the lights round the chimney with care,
Get it done! Hurry up, before Nicholas gets there!"

The children are no help all sleeping in bed,
No visions of sugar plums, but iPads instead.

While Mama dictates I put on a cap
I slip on my boots and a coat with two snaps.

I opened the door and stepped in a puddle.
Then slipped on the lawn and now I see double.
My wife's in the window she doubles and laughs,
I staggered and tumbled, tripped over the trash.

My keys pierce my breast ,as I've fallen you know.
The wind how it blusters then swirls and blows.
My eyes start to water, some would say tear,
I've fallen on Rudolf and other reindeers.
I'm a little old mind you, but lively and quick,
I'm up in a moment all covered in sh...shtuff?

The poop from a beagle had made a large stain.
And I yelled and I shouted and called it bad names.
Dog- gone - it, dang- blasted that dog of the Nixon's!
Uncommon, dumb stupid, ah darn it I'm freezin'.
I hobble to the porch then lean against the wall,
Ah-choo-a, ah-choo-a, I sneeze, almost fall.

"Change to dry clothes! You'll catch a cold and die!"
My wife how she shouted. Her voice how it flys.
So into the house, off trousers and boots,
My coat with two snaps all covered in poop.

And then in a twinkling I knew what to do,
For hanging and dangling of lights from my roof.
I'd wear tightie whities that's all that I'd wear!
Outside on the ladder I just didn't care.

It's only tightie whities on my birthday suit,
As I climbed up the ladder midsts laughter and hoots.
'Twas the neighbor named Floyd who lives just out back.
"Hey Santa!" he said "Where's your clothes and you sack?"

My eyes they were stinging, the rain made them blurry.
My cheeks were like roses, my nose like a cherry.
My fingers were freezing, my toes were so cold.
As I worked from the ladder, hang lights, as I'm told.

The ring of a hook I held tight in my teeth.
My hands worked the cord the lights and the wreath.
I hold tight to the ladder with my face and my belly.
The ladder it shakes! It's my wife and she's yelling.

"Hey chubby! Two lights, both match, you need help?"
And I laughed as yelled "A go #%*%#€ yourself!"
With the blink of an eye I've set the screw head.
Hang green lights together her anger I dread.
She spoke not a word, didn't go berserk.
Then I climbed down the ladder ""I'm finished work!"

Then laying her fist aside of my nose,
It felt rather odd, then my face met my toes.
I then sprang to my feet, gave Floyd a whistle.
We hopped in the car, drove to town ore the trestle.

And I heard her exclaim as we drove out of sight
"Two green lights together, together green lights!"

Bob Niles

PS. #%*%#€ spells bite kids. It's an old ancient spelling.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Golden Bells

                                                       Golden Bells

"Angelo! Angelo will you please shut up! All you do is talk, talk, talk. Nobody likes you around here because of all your tall stories you go on and on about. That and your fashion sense. You still wearing that silly Christmas scarf with the bell on it for heavens sake!"
"Oh it's not silly when it's for heaven's sake Jimbo, and my stories ain't tall, they true. My Dad is very rich. He could buy this whole place and knock it down. He said he'd send me a ticket to fly back to his place anytime if I wanted. He could buy anything he wanted. He has this mansion with three swimming pools filled with mineral water that comes from a mountain piped directly"
"Angelo! Again, will you please shut up. It's your turn next. Get your blanket and cot number and let's go to bed it's been one long day."
"Next please." Called out the social worker from the Lighthouse Mission.

"What's your bunk number Angelo?" Asked Jim. "Are you 25? I'm 27, the one by the window."
"Yup 25 same as last night and all the other nights before that. Twenty-five must be my lucky number. Say Jim weren't you born on the 25th? Funny eh? Twenty-five,....doesn't seem that long ago I was 25 Jimbo. Had a full head-o-hair. Can you believe that Jimbo? Me with hair. Big old Afro hair-doo bouncing as I walked up Yonge St. Well more of a swagger than a walk. Yup them were the days Jimbo. Time was my friend, there were always tomorrow. Yo know what Jimbo I wish they'd knock this  place down. It stinks of smoke and everything musty, and it always seems wet in here."
"Well give your Dad a call, have him knock it down for you. But then where would we sleep? This mission is all we have for our home right now Angelo. And how do you know when I was born?"
"Yo come with me Jimbo! My Dad, he got a big ole mansion. He let you stay in one of the guest rooms. Hey Jimbo iffin he like yo he build yo your own big ole house. Get yo a maid and cook, like that Jimbo?  Hey Jimbo?... Yo told me when's yo born, Swiss cheese fo brains."
"Great Angelo! Great. Sounds great. Your Dad building me a big ole house. Pass me my pillow will ya. We got lights out in two minutes bud. But don't think I'll take you up on your offer though. The Granddaughter and I got married and we are going to live happily ever after in the magical forest."
"Excuse me Jimbo? Yo married your Granddaughter? Don't think that's legal no matter where yo from."
"Oh it's legal Angelo. Mr Bear married us in full attendance of all the playroom guests and friends. Elmo played piano and couldn't stop laughing he was so happy. Mickey, Minnie, Bert and Big Bird - couldn't find Ernie- and an assortment of Lego friends all had tea and cookies with us. We toasted each other and wished us happiness, candy rainbows and magical unicorns till forever. Till forever Angelo,...... till forever."
"Funny thing that forever in time Jimbo, has a way of biting you in the backside letting you know it's not for-ever but against-ever. Say Jimbo where" -RING- "you from anyway? You from around here? You ain't said too much about you."
"Me? I'm from,....? Well I'm from,...well ah from north, just north of here. Or is it west? Where are we? Some flop house somewhere?  And stop your silly scarf from ringing!"
"We're at the Lighthouse Mission Jimbo. Remember? You showed up about three days ago. Looking all lost in need of a hot meal and a bed. Really mad too! You thought you'd been done wrong to and how unfair life was. 'Doctors what do they know! Bunch of liars. What do they know!' That's what you said Jimbo. All yelling and upset causing a real ruckus at the front desk."
"Did you hear that Angelo?"
"Hear what Jimbo? I didn't hear nottin. But I did see you go out of focus for a second. Maybe get my peepers checked. You're one strange cat Jimbo. Don't know where you from, all lost and confused. What you all confused about Jimbo. Don't you like waiting? You got someplace better ta be? Like the place you can't even remember where it is."
"It sounded like my Granddaughter  calling me. Now she's saying a prayer I taught her for bedtime. You can't here that Angelo?.....Crash cart?? Code Blue?  What,...? Angelo is someone here sick?"
"Hey we's all sick Jimbo. Look around ya. Iffin yo heard crash cart then they is someone sick. Me I just need shut eye yo looking all blurry Jimbo. Come tomorrow I'm gonna call my Dad and yo and me, we outta here. We deserve better than this ole place Jimbo. Sound good to yo there Jimbo? Jimbo? Well I guess yo a sleeping. Yo sure do fall asleep quick there Jimbo."
"Lights out! Lights out boys." Byron the dorm super announced. "Two more sleeps till Christmas  and I know all you little darlings just can't wait till Christmas morning."
"Give us a break Byron." Came the call from a darkened room." We're not little kids all excited about a tree full of gifts you know. Just a better kick at life away from all this pain an"
"Now boys don't get all down in the dumps about waiting for something better. It will happen for many of you, but I'm sorry to say not for us all. Let's just pipe down and get some sleep. Night."
"Hear that Jimbo." Angelo whispered. "Two more sleeps till Christmas. We gotta get outta here, head on over to my Father's for Christmas. You know Jimbo it's his bestest time of year. He do love Christmas. We would have such a party at Christmas it was like birthday and Christmas combined. People from the church nearby come on by and sing songs light candles-n-stuff. They put on plays about the first Christmas with the Baby Jesus n-all. Sounds good Jimbo?.... Well yo justa go on sleeping Jimbo we'll talk in da morning. And Jimbo, when a silly ole bell ring this time of year,.....well yo know what that mean."

"Wow my chest hurts. That was some night."
"What's that Jimbo? Got some pain in yer ticker?" Angelo laughs. "Maybe it's you that needs the crash cart Jimbo. But you don't need no sleepin pill that for sure. You out like a light. Faster than a light! Light still on when you fast a sleep last night. Mr. Byron he come around a remind us it Christmas tomorrow. Probably have us some good ole turkey I bet, and mash potatoes. I do love my mash potatoes and gravy I do. Say what yo want to do today? Oh! Say I know we gotta get ready to go see my Father. We need say our good-byes to all da people here. Check outta dis place fear good now. Sound good Jimbo? ........Jimbo?
"Ya,...sure whatever. Sounds great man" Jim gets up out of bed and looks out window down to the street three floors below. "You don't hear that Angelo?"
Angelo sits up in bed and rubs his eyes and stretches. "Awwwwwwwwww (big yawn) Hear what?" As he blinks his eyes trying to focus on Jim. "I have got to get some eye drop er sumpin. Yo are one sight fer sore eyes Jimbo. Yo are out of focus again. Yo makin me dizzy.
"Funny could of sworn I heard my Granddaughter again. What would she be doing around here? And at this time of the morning? What am I thinking, she has no idea where I am because I have no idea where I am." Jim continues to stare out the window lost in thought as he ties the back of his shirt. "Angelo did you say Christmas is tomorrow?"
"So yo was listening. Ya Christmas is tomorrow Jimbo. Yous and me is getting outta here going to my Fathers fo Christmas. It's all planned. We gonna have turkey and them mash potatoes I love and collared greens with them little carrots and pumpkin pie for dessert. Sound good to yo Jimbo?......Will yo get away from that window. Ain't nobody down there. Yo making me dizzy Jimbo. Angelo says as he rubs his eyes and sits back down on his cot.
"Say Angelo old pal could you lend me a few bucks so I can buy my Granddaughter a Christmas gift? You know I'll pay you back."
"No I don't know yo'll pay me back. And besides I got no money. Iffin I did do yo think I'd be a staying here?"
"Your Dads loaded! At least that what you keep telling me and anyone else who will listen. How come you aren't rich if your Dad has it all?"
"Jimbo I am rich. But it's a different kind of rich. I'm rich in things yo can't see, things that will never wear out or go outta style or break down. I got more than I can axe for Jimbo."
" There you go again with that kinda talk that gets you in to trouble here with a few of the guys. They really get angry with all this talk you know. Keep it to yourself. You bragging about all your fine things and promises from your Father is angering some of the ones you don't want to mess with. Like the nice biker skinhead guy with all the lovely tattoos all over his face." Jim says rolling his eyes. "Say Angelo you seen my shoes? All I have is these slippers."
"That's what yous were wearing when you showed up here. That and that sickly blue kinda overcoat thingy. Don't yo have a suitcase er bag er anything?" 
"Apparently not Angelo. I guess I travel light. I'm a man of mystery,...Wow! Wow! My chest!"

               "Code Blue! Clear!" BANG "Increase to 200 hit em again.   Clear!"   BANG

"What's going on Jimbo? You having a seizure? I be calling Mr. Byron fo ya? Jim yo okay?"
"Whoa, whoa Angelo let me catch my breath here. Man that hurts. What did you do to me?"
"Me? I done nottin! Yo just about fly outta yo cot though! Look like yous layin down one second then you jump flat off the cot! Never seen nottin like it Jimbo. Say you hearing yo Granddaughter again? You going all fuzzy kinda. Funny how my peepers go all funny now when yo hear her. Yo  better just stay there in yo cot, I go get Mr Byron an check yo out. Yo lookin real pale like. I think we had just better stay round here today till yo get some colour back in yo face."
"I think you're right Angelo. I'll just lie here for a while. But don't be troubling Mr. Byron, I'm sure I just need a little rest is all. The only thing I wanted to do today is get a Christmas present for my Granddaughter and with my cash flow problem, maybe I'll just have to think of something I can do for her. That's it I'll just lie here and think of something I can do for her. Something to let her know Grandpa loves her. Grandpa still remembers. Gran....."

"Grandpa? Grandpa it's me Sophia Morgan. Remember me?" Jim's Granddaughter whispers as she takes his hand in hers."Mommy grandpa looks terrible! Hoses, bags, tubes and wires everywhere he can't  be liking what they are doing to him. Make them stop Mom."
"Your Grandpa needs all that so he can keep breathing dear. He's very sick and the hospital has to monitor how he's doing and all the hoses and wires help them do that." Jim's daughter explains as she rubs her daughters back.
"But it's been four days now and he's not better, he's even sicker than when he got here in the ambulance. Can't we just go home with him and start again all over? He's not my Grandpa laying here like this." 
"Be careful what you say Sophia Morgan." Her mother sternly warned. "It is very possible Grandpa can hear you, and you could hurt his feelings."
"Oh sorry sorry Grandpa! You're still my Grandpa and always will be but I miss the old you. Not that you're old! My Sunday School Teachers old! She remembers the old Bible days really well. You and me got more fun stuff to do. Like tomorrow at Christmas we gotta open my new bike and take it for a spin. I peaked under the tree."
"Sophia Morgan! What did I say about looking under the tree?"
" Well I didn't touch anything it's just hard to wrap a bike so that it doesn't look like a bike. It's not like wrapping the fancy underwear that dad got for you!" Sophia Morgan laughs as she pretends to walk down a models runway.
"Young lady that's just about enough from you." Her Mom jokingly scolded. "Now why don't you say your good-byes and maybe we'll come and see Grandpa tomorrow. It's awfully late"
"What,? Can't Grandpa come home with us now? He can't be here at Christmas by himself."
"Honey," her mother explained, "Your grandpa has had three heart attacks and I'm afraid he might not make it out of here. He's just so weak and tired to come home with us now. The doctor says he may never again be the same, even if he does make it out of here. I'm afraid your Grandpa might not gain consciousness again honey."
Sophia Morgan climbed up on her Grandpa's bed and smoothed his blankets out. 
"Honey I know this is hard to take, but I think maybe Grandpa is going to leave us soon. I think your Grandpa would be happier in heaven than hurting here with us. You would want Grandpa happy, right?"
"Doctors what do they know! Buch of liars. They aren't telling the truth Mom." Sophia Morgan angrily stated as tears ran down her cheek.
"Now you're sounding like your Grandpa because that's  exactly what he said after his first heart attack." Sophia Morgan's mom straightened up the cards and flowers on the bedside table and gathered her coat and purse. "Now honey I'm sorry but we've got to get going. Mommy's got a lot to do before tomorrow. I'm going to go in the hall and talk to the doctor and you can sit here beside Grandpa and wish him a Merry Christmas and say your good-byes for tonight." Sophia Morgan's mother walked out in the hall to find her Dad's doctor.
"Grandpa?" She whispered as she took his hand. "I just know you can hear me. I know you don't want to be here and I don't want you here either Grandpa if you're hurting. Cause that really makes me sad. I know we said we'd be together forever at our wedding but that was like forever ago. We laughed so much that day didn't we? You and me sure had some fun times back when I was a kid last year. Grandpa can you hear me?....sure wish I knew you could hear me. You know what Grandpa? You know what you can give me for Christmas?" Sophia Morgan wiped tears from her face with her sleeve. "Could you let me know you hear me for my Christmas present Grandpa? That would be the bestest gift I could imagine. Grandpa? I prayed my bedtime prayer the other night just before I left and it's the only prayer I really know. So I hope this helps you Grandpa. But before I do, I just want you to know that I'll be okay if you go cause I don't want you here in this stinky old hospital anymore. And especially if you're hurting. I'm a big girl now, starting school next year and I can't be around as much anymore. I'll be so busy you know. You did a real good job of taking care of me. I love you Grandpa so much. Okay I'm gonna close my eyes now. You taught me this remember? Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my,....Mommy! Mommy! Grandpa squeezed my hand! Mommy!"
Aeeeek aeeeek aaaa aaaa-alarms and alert tones fill the hospital room -aeeeek aeeeek aaaa aaaaa RING aeeeek - as  a Code Blue is alerted. Nurses and doctors filled the room as Sophia Morgan is pushed to the rear of the room.
         "Grandpa? Grandpa can you hear me?"

December 28th
"I loved the song you sang and the wonderful story you told about your Grandpa at the service this morning." Said an elderly man to Sophia Morgan. "You were very brave, he would of been proud of you." 
"Did you know my Grandpa?" 
"Yes, but it was years and years ago when we lived in Toronto. We had met actually quite by accident. I had been living on the streets in,... Well maybe your a little young for such a story. I will say though your Grandpa saved my life. He was just a young man about 20 and he had volunteered at a mission on Yonge St. He took me under his wing so to speak. He prayed with me, worked with me got me to go back to school to complete my education. If it hadn't been for your Grandpa I'd of never become a pastor to a small church."
"Wow you worked for God?" asked Sophia Morgan.
"I sure did, and still do. Helped a lot of people too. Well I won't keep you but I just wanted you to know how much your grandpa loved you. He talked of you a lot and loved to tell about the time you two got play married."
"He told you about that?"
"Sure did. You were the light in his eyes honey. Well I really should be going your Grandma wants you. Oh, one last thing, did he get you anything for Christmas this year? He was all worried as what to get you."
"Yup. He let me know he was with me right till he went to his Fathers home in heaven. Mom says I was very special in his life."
"Yes, yes you were."
"Sophia Morgan?" came a call from the kitchen.
"Over here Grandma" she said as she made her way through the many guest that had stayed after the funeral.
"Where were you?" asked her grandma.
"I was talking to that man, that man in the picture there." Sophia pointed to a collection of pictures celebrating her grandpas life. "He's a pastor grandma."
"Oh dear you tell such tall tales. That man's name is Angelo and he died many years ago saving homeless people from a fire at,..I believe it was the Lighthouse Mission. He did his preaching there to the homeless men."
"No grandma he's over here I was just talking to him." Sophia Morgan pulled on her grandmas arm as she guided her through the crowd. "He's right in here grandma."
Angelo wasn't there. Sophia Morgan's room was empty. All except for a silly Christmas scarf with a golden bell all covered in soot and smelling like a campfire.

Bob Niles

Monday, November 30, 2015

Fwd: This will look good under heavy boxes

           "Thank-you very much. This will look good under heavy boxes in the garage."

"Why thank-you so much, but you really shouldn't have." But because you've screwed up so much this year on the job you figured this gift under $25 should compensate for losing the Griffin contract. Oh look, you're still smiling at me. I'm thinking you want me to open this now, and here's me  run out of ways to try and sound gracious. Quick! Think of something else to say. She's waiting for you to open,..what probably is a paper weight. It's heavy. It's small. Yep it's a paper weight. Now hold it to the light. Show other people around the room and ooooo and awwwwww over it. "This is exactly what I needed! You know how windy it can get in the office." If ever a window on the 27th floor were ever to have someone jump through it trying to escape this lame office Christmas party.
Yes boys and girls it's that time of year again. A time when adults are inundated with gifts they never really wanted. Useless gifts for around $25 that retailers make 27% of their annual revenue from. Gifts so lame and unnecessary they have to be given by a secret Santa. Is it anything like a Victoria's secret? Or is Santa in some witness protection program from young school children. Little tykes who laid open their hearts to ole St. Nick at the shopping mall, who of recent years found out he was a fraud? Are the beard and suit just a cleaver disguise?
Well I know how to pick out secret Santa's in the stores. They're the ones standing in front of coffee mugs with the stupid sayings. They're the ones humming and hawing over which Chia Pet the guy in book keeping would want. Want? Or they're the ones all happy with themselves over the 'Breaking Bad' cutting board with 'Let's Cook' written on it that they got for $10 off an already over the top asking price. And to my wife, I only followed that women into Victoria Secret because I thought it had something to do with a secret Santa. It was research for this story. How was I to know she was going to ask me my opinion on bras.
Yes the good people of Asia, -who make this crap-, thank you for buying everyone you know a little something.
It's a chance for them to use up left over material from cell phones and TVs and,...well everything else you bought in the last year. Then they make some piece of crap from it, rather than filling their dump sites with it. They then ship it over here, and we give it to people we care about. Just don't let little Jessica chew on her doll as there has been trouble with the paint in past years.
And if you just can't find that perfect piece of junk to wrap up all pretty, for the love of candy canes  don't ask for help from anyone in the store. Because you have to know they've had staff meeting that morning where the boss is saying 'I've got a container load of this crap and I expect my loyal employees to move this junk -(Junk I got for $2 a unit and am selling it for $25, after $10 off coupon)- out the doors. Why they'll just love the after market ashtray for their Stairmaster.
Or worse yet you'll walk into a store with cash that you can spend anywhere and walk out with a plastic card equivalent to the cash you had in your pocket that can now only be spent in that store. And perhaps with the stipulation that you have only a limited time to do so. Thank you very much secret Santa. Now I have to go to a candle store and spend 45 minutes picking out a candle, I didn't want in the first place, and then had to lay out an extra $10 bucks to your generous $25 to pay for taxes and a vanilla scent which I can use to cover up the poop smell in the bathroom when guests come over. I mean, why else do you think a dude would want a candle.
I know I sound down on gifts. And I am. Especially when two fully grown people spend silly amounts on gifts neither one of them really needed. If I had wanted such a thing I'd of bought such a thing. Oh 'it's the thought that counts' you say. Then buy me a card from the dollar store and write it out. Or buy me a pork chop and say it. I'll eat eat it, have the memory and be satisfied and fed.
Or here's an idea, take the true meaning of this season and donate what you were going to give to me, in some form, and take a picture of what you did. Put that picture on your computer and challenge others to match your random act of kindness that you experienced for $25. Maybe we'll surprise ourselves on just how much this time of year brings out the best in us all.

Bob Niles

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Christmas gone is my Christmas present

                               Christmas Gone is my Christmas Present

As I've aged, I have realized that Christmas doesn't feel like Christmas until it's over.
It's not until after all the baking ingredients are bought, baked and consumed that I find Christmas.
Christmas for me happens long after a turkey is stuffed, baked and devoured. It's not until after the gifts are all purchased, wrapped and given, and family has come and gone, that I can find that childhood Christmas peace the season's about. The gift of peace that became evident because of that first Christmas.

The house is now quiet from it's annual Christmas Day celebration. The fancy nut and chocolate dishes are left with a small array of what once was. The baking that earlier slid from overladen platters is evident only from crumbs on the many dessert plates scattered and hidden around the room. Punch glasses in varying degrees of half empty and half filled compete with dessert plates for position. The kitchen is filled with dirty plates, cups and bowls that we only use for fancy occasions. It's a special kind of mess, thats all around the house that's only at Christmas.
"Let's leave all this cleanup till tomorrow and go to bed." The wife directs as she tops the stairs. "You coming?" She asks, more out of courtesy than a need to know.
"No" I'm just going to drain the last of the coffee from this pot and enjoy the lights on the tree for a while." I respond, knowing she can't hear me anyway behind the bathroom door.
I turn off the little orange light on the Mr. Coffee maker as the upstairs goes dark leaving only the Christmas tree to guide my way back to my old favorite chair. 
Oh look, I can see the floor under the tree again. For weeks it's had a condition where colorful boxes and bags would appear at it's base, blocking floor access. And by doing so, any way of watering the now fire hazard that's been in the house for three weeks.
Tomorrow,...I'll water it tomorrow, I think to myself as my butt is halfway to the chair beyond the point of I'll stand up and do it now before I forget. But it's today! I see only three numbers on the digital display of some gadget around the TV. I was expecting four. I try to convince myself it's still Christmas Day. But, it's not.
Christmas is over. Done, complete, finished. That was a short two months, of everything and nothing but Christmas. I guess I'm glad it's over. Maybe I can breath again. That was a lot of work to get to this moment. All the 'they need, they want, they gotta have or it's not good enough', is done.
I exhale at the thought, blowing across the top of my coffee as I take the first sip. As I focus on the level of coffee in my mug I see a reflection of Christmas tree lights in the coffee. It's just me and the tree now. I don't know how I'm going to break it to him that he's now trash. The now highly decorated, illuminated but poorly irrigated, fire hazard will soon be striped of all it's illumination, man made bobbles and bangles. Soon to be tossed aside and then dumped in a yet unknown location. It's  once proud eight foot splendor has started to become a needle dripping, unloved eyesore.
Pondering on which neighbors are away on holidays, and would enjoy an eight foot  horizontal Fir on their front lawn upon their return, I'm visually drawn to a childhood memory. Back in the tree behind the 20,000 or more bright LED lights, hidden by plastic ornaments from China and Korea is my childhood Christmas memory. A glass ornament of a choir boy holding a hymn book, mouth open, eyes closed, singing Pop Goes the Weasel. Well, probably not, but as a kid it was fun to think that he was. He was with two other singers back then. The first hand painted boy band from Germany,  
They originally had been my grandmothers which would make the last remaining member of the group about 100 yrs. old. Which would make him old enough to be in the Rolling Stones. Nothing says Christmas like a little glass figurine of Mick Jagger hanging in the tree. 
As a kid I would lay under the Christmas tree and enjoy the colored lights, ornaments and the smell that the tree held. It smelt like the little cardboard tree dad had around the rear view mirror in the car. 
Ornaments would sparkle under the colored lights and compete with tinsel to see who could outshine the other. Christmas carols would play on the big stereo HiFi.  A source of pride for my Dad, who would brag that it was big enough to bury him in. 
All these sights and sounds would combine with the heavenly smell of Mom's Christmas baking. All together, creating an outdoor cinnamon kind of aroma. 
My problems back then were too few to worry, which is the luxury of the young. I had needs and wants that money could still buy. My whole life was ahead of me and it looked exciting and good. It was a time, that as a kid I could lay under a Christmas tree without someone dialing 911. Just lie there in peace and be hypnotized by the sights, sounds and smells of home comfort.
I take another sip of coffee and wish for more sugar. 
My little singing old choirboy is looking straight at me through,...I was going to say lights and ornaments, but time, seems more correct. He looks across the time that's been my life. From my youth filled with happy Christmas memories with all the family there. To what my life's become 55 yrs. later.
My Dads gone now, but we didn't bury him in the HiFi. We wished we had of though. It would of been easier having six guys carrying him out in it, than trying to recycle its 7 ft. HIFI splendor. My Mom can still bake but infrequently is her main dish now. And me, I only lay under the tree to water it now. Which if not done in a speedy manner scares the wife.
I've married, twice, and am now happily into my 25th year with my second wife. We share three wonderful children and four even better grandkids. We've worked together to build a family we're proud of. I'm lucky to have lived long enough to where money can't buy me what I want anymore. And all my problems I thought were a problem are in my pine scented rear view mirror.
The furnace kicks in and reminds me to turn down the thermostat before I make it to bed. My coffee's cooled to where gulps replace sips. And my shoulders relax as I breath deep the satisfaction of another happy family Christmas.
Was all the work and effort worth it? Yes it was. All through my life, every Christmas has been with family. Thank you Mom and Dad. You made memories that will last more than your life times. It's was your solid  foundation that you set for me, so that I can build on for my family. The one my wife and I are forming, that's being enjoyed and remembered by my kids, and their kids. We're building on solid rock, sitting strong in these stormy times.
Ahhhh I breath out and reach over to squeeze the wife's hand...Oh ya. 
All is right in my world little choirboy. Even though outside my door trouble, hate, disease, and wars abound.  I'm at peace. Bethlehem peace. An inner peace, found only because of that night so long ago. A comforting peace, that spans throughout all time. An all encompassing peace to surround the grandchildren. One to shelter and comfort their fears of wars, disease and home grown terror. A peace that's anchored by strong roots in my humble home. Now reminded by an old, still precious, almost hidden symbol. One that was once celebrated at the forefront of our family Christmas tree. So much like the real meaning of Christmas for most of us. It's still there. Once you get past all the glitz and noise of the season. Down deep behind the lights, ornaments, presents and other distractions. So precious, still valued,...that quiet kind of Christmas peace.

Bob Niles

Dedicated to my big Brother Ian who was with us every Christmas and for many more to come.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fwd: Secret Agent Man

> Secret Agent Man
> It's starrrr--ted, the whole Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus multi cultural onslaught of advertising we've all come to expect at this time of year. A season bombed with every imaginable product to make it all happy and bright. Magazines, television, billboards, bus stop shelters and every newspaper are heavily pregnant with gift ideas for every person you ever knew. And my granddaughter wants it all.
> She has learned, through my wife, 'Ask and You Shall Receive'.
> Now she knows better than to try that tactic out on mom and dad. They, as most parents do, give the kid the reality check and let them know 'You Don't Always Get what You Ask For'. And, to be fair to my wife, when our kids were growing up that rule applied too. But then God invented grandchildren for retail suppliers. And they with their wants, and gotta haves, fill the retail hoppers to overflowing at this time of year.
> And you're welcome! On behalf of my wife and her gold Visa card may this time of year carry you through the leaner months ahead in 2016.
> Me? I have little to do with getting out there in the trenches for the hand to hand charge card transactions. All that lining up before dawn, in single line formation out side the business you're about to invade,......not my style.
> I'm the spy kind of guy, more of a James Bond. I find out what information the grandchild posses in regards to their wants. I find out what makes them happy. Their desires. Sometimes I'll play the game of double agent and steer the kid into what they want because the wife bought it when it was on sale in July.
> Mine is not an easy life at this time of year. Me being a spy, is not all the glamor filled Casino Royale nights one would expect being a spy. No, my days are filled in front of a TV with a forty pound child standing, squirming and jumping on my lap. Preschool television to the point of brain dead boredom. Then, shockingly interrupted by a foot filled Dora the Explorer sock to the groin. This then is usually accompanied by 'Grandpa! Grandpa! I want that or Christmas!'
> The number of jumps on my swimsuit area determines how well the gift is liked. One jump being, I'd play with it until the next gift is in front of me. Two being, I'd play with it as much as the box it came in. And three being, I like it enough to take it home from grandma and grandpa's. And if there is ever a fourth jump, I've either gone numb in the once treasured swimsuit area, or it's an iPad commercial.
> This is the torture I must go through to find out what the little boogie eating, lap stomping, I need a drink (well so do I!) Beefaroni gulping, cartoon watching, I want everything kinda kid wants for Christmas. All, so I can tell grandma what to buy.
> Sean Connery never had it this rough!
> The whole 'Grandpa!..I want that for Christmas' starts about two days after her birthday in July. I soon tire of all her over information and do the old 'If you ask for one more thing you will never get anything'. To which she responds in quick fashion to,.. 'Gabriella (the other granddaughter) would like that for Christmas'. So now we're on to Gabriella would like that! Gabriella would love that!
> Apparently Gabriella would like to have a under garment to handle bladder control because 'Hey we all Pee' as the commercial says.
> "Why would Gabriella want underpants ( and here I'm assuming without a 'Barbie' on them) that these old ladies are wearing." I ask.
> "Well they're dancing and having a good time and Gabriella likes to do both of those things." she reasons.
> The conversations I have and punishment I take just to narrow down the gift field is brutal. If she could only write like Gabriella and make a Christmas list all this lap dancing she does could stop.
> But then my spy days would end. No more deciphering drawings for gift ideas or listening in on toy cell phone conversations. Me, following her around toy stores seeing what she shows an interest in. Or the hours in front of the bright lights of a television made to watch the very commercials I avoid like the plague when I'm watching TV on my own.
> But maybe I like being a spy. Maybe I don't want to turn in the remote and drink box. I like the interaction had in getting inside their little heads to see what makes them tick.
> Oh sure they lie and give misinformation. 'No! No! I don't have to go to the bathroom!"
> I won't get fooled by that one again!
> Suddenly I'm brought back to the now, and the present. The present she wants from this commercial. "Grandpa! Granda! I want that for Christmas!" Its a two jump, no three before I can stop her. So I'm shaken, not stirred by a remote T-Rex dinosaur whose eyes can change color when angry. It's a strong contender to be under the tree this year. It's, it's fourth strong showing with two weeks to go before cutoff and shopping begins. Then there'll be no more Grandpa I want this! Or I want that, it'll all be over.
> Mission complete.
> The wife, little Miss Money Penny will refer to me as The Man with the Golden Card and start her mission using my intelligence as her guide. She approaches her buying for the grandkids as The World is Not Enough. And then come January and the bills I just give them to her and say its For Your Eyes Only. That bill in that envelope is A View to a Kill and a License to a Kill if seen by me. It scares The Living Daylights out of me.
> She blames me, letting her go on her own! Me, Dr. No, is suppose to be there to hold her back.
> Me? I blame that little cute boogie eating, lap stomping, I need a drink, Beefaroni gulping, cartoon watching I want everything kind of kid! And the fact that we are lucky enough to be grandparents we can Never Say Never Again.
> Bob Niles (007)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mars calling Venus, is dinner ready?

                                  Mars calling Venus, is dinner ready?

Reality TV has brought me to the realization that my wife and I live in two different worlds. We share the same house but are in different universes when it comes to likes and dislikes on TV. 
Her unscripted TV choices consist of rich catty housewives fighting each other over.....?  Then we have heavily manscaped real estate agents putting each other down so one can look more successful than the other? Then there's the every day joe, like myself, trying to renovate bathrooms and kitchens by themselves. Lost and under budgeted sinking into renovation overload. Or worse, they pay someone to do it and then they take off leaving them helpless and hopeless to finish. But then to their rescue comes a saviour  ripping it all down while repeating over and over again minimum code requirement.....Then we have couples looking to buy homes near or afar and how much work and money it will cost to make it to their liking. 
I watch Yukon, Alaskan, northern, crab catching, mining, trappers digging holes with big machines and skinnin critters in shacks.
The only thing our shows share in common is both trappers and high class housewife wear fur.
My shows make the money her shows spend the money. My guys live in an 8x8 log cabin or a trailer on wheels. Her shows aren't happy no matter where they live. My guys seem like they are dirty all the time her guys are,.....? No, her real estate guys and housewives are dirty too. Just in a different way.
My parents never entertained the thought, mind or visual senses of anything but same likeness. And if they did my brothers and I certainly weren't aware of it. My grandkids all they have to do is walk in the house to realize grandpa and grandma have nothing in common. Grandmas upstairs watching rich ladies yell at each other, and grandpas downstairs watching a hermit skin, gut and eat a member of the weasel family. The poor kids don't know where to go to watch their own programs.
And that's another thing. Kids now have their own networks. They too can zone out to their personalized tastes. And thank God for it. There's too much explaining and trauma to them viewing our TV interests. I don't think my mom or dad ever had to tread softly over any issue raised by Andy, Barney or hillbillies from where rich housewives now live in my formative years. 
TV use to bring us together, now it isolates us. My friends and I growing up shared the same three or four networks. We were a closer in our likes and dislikes because of the lack of choice. And we were happy with that. The wife and I drifted to two TVs then to two different worlds. 
The whole men are from Mars and women from Venus thing has us now back on our originating planets thanks to TV programming. Oh sure there are times when we both meet on earth to watch men fight each other on a playing surface for sports, but she just likes the fighting. Me, I think about how much gold it takes to pay these suckers to play. So really we're still off in our own little worlds. Maybe if rich housewives were to play beach volleyball we could each sit in the same room and appreciate it for what it is. Me, the little man that I am, and her enjoying the fight in the sandbox.
Maybe if they wore fur bikinis?

Bob Niles

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fwd: See the rainbow. Taste the rainbow. Now eat his chocolate friend.

                 See the rainbow. Taste the rainbow. Now eat his chocolate friend.

"Honey what did you do with the leftover Halloween candy?" My wife asks in a yelling kind of accusing way as she slammed open and closed kitchen cabinet doors and drawers in need of a sugar fix.
I manage to swallow the soft chewy caramel centred chocolate bar and through calorie laden teeth yelled "Who's Al O'Ween? Honey leapt over Al O'Ween's caddy? Never heard of him. Who does he caddy for?" This buys me time in the living room  as I try to clear the crime scene of incriminating evidence. Wrappers, foil, cups, tiny boxes, little bags and peanuts with the chocolate sucked off of them.
"No dufass!  HALLOWEEN,.. HALLOWEEN CANDY! Where?" She corrects as she rounds the corner to the crime scene.
And here let me set the record straight that when she entered there was not a chalk outline of me on the hardwood floor but by the end of our conversation,, inquest, I would totally expect there could be one.
I had been caught with my hand in the candy jar. No really, I couldn't get it out. If I'd of been smart enough to let go of the 'Mars' bar I could of, but chocolate makes me dumb. Plus in my haste to wipe clean the crime scene the back of my other hand was covered in chocolate. I'd used it to wipe sweet sticky evidence away from around my mouth from ear to ear.
"Oh Halloween,....." I pause. I realized that Halloween cannot be said without showing ones teeth. And I realized that she probably can't see my teeth as there is a thick layer of caramel and chocolate making one great big brown coloured un-toothy grin. I try to recover, realizing my mistake and say "Hallowan? Let me tink." I say this through teeth that are easily stuck together.
"Gigs up Willy Wonka! Hand em over!" I pass her the soggy un-laden chocolate peanuts and the empty candy jar with my fist in it.
She talked me down from the 'Mars' bar and I was able to remove my hand. This was then followed by ten minutes of 'What did you do? How could you? Think of your health. Why would you treat your body this way?' And the ever popular ' I could kill you!' I took comfort in the word could, because it wasn't should. I was safe for now.
I tried to defend my actions as best I could. But it sounded all so empty through my dumb  chocolate grin, all the while licking off the back of my hand, like a cat, and trying to justify my unthinking selfish ways. I then asked her, and I probably shouldn't have, if I could have that last 'Mars' bar back.
Then the word could didn't change to should but rather gonna. "I'm gonna to kill you! Or should I just let the chocolate do it for me?" I voted for the chocolate and she left with her arms in the air. " Like ya just don't care." I fool heartily added. It's the chocolate talking.
I take her departure as approval to me having the last chocolate bar. I figure if she had wanted it she would of stayed.
I blame the chocolate for my behaviour. It makes me dumb. So dumb that I justify small amounts of its creamy goodness over many and long periods of time as harmless. One little bit here, and another here and one little bit more........All good. It isn't until a couple of weeks later, when things get a bit tight and pinching that you say 'It's the dryers fault.'
Why can't they invent fat that makes you fat right away? Don't make me full! Make me fat! Then  the ten little candy bars I was thinking of eating, after the first five, might live to see another day. I want to know the damage now, not a month from now as I'm kicking my hat to the curb so I can pick it up easier.
We live in a world of instant gratification. We want everything now. Can't afford it? Charge it! Take that trip. Buy that outfit. You deserve it, have it all now. That is all except fat, and the removal there of. It sneaks up on you then stays forever.
My kindergarten class - class of 1960 - is having a reunion. I can't go! I've gained 150 lbs. since those crazy days. How could I justify the weight gain? "Well yes I've gained a few but I now know my phone number and can tie my shoes, if I could see them."
If they can't invent a way to make you fat right away then they should find a way to streamline fat removal. If I waddle up a flight of stairs I want an instant way of knowing that this is better than taking the elevator for my health. Not me gasping for air as I'm puking my guts out on the top step thinking this is good for me. Feel the burn. It's called stomach acid.
But my pleas go unheard, for the scientific world makes fortunes from feeding frenzies of fat fools. Hearts that stop on a dime and arteries clogged up tighter than a hair ball in the Kardashian's plumbing makes companies like Phizer very wealthy. No it will take the fashion world to bring rolie and polie back to make me enjoys this time of year again. Fashion must be ready for a change, enough with the skinny! How many models have to fall down road drains before something is done about it.
Now's the time fashion world! From October to January it's  Thanksgiving then Halloween then Thanksgiving again -- if you speak American-- Christmas, Hanukah and several other merry and happy times.  And then to top it all off, New Years. And all of them to the tune of food which impede my progress of making the top stair. So then I make a  resolution to eat better at the start of every year. Here we go again. Ten days of trying, and 355 days of guilt. All thanks to making the stairs so high and Calvin Klein!
"Honey I'm sorry you can have the last,....last half the 'Mars' bar. And the peanuts have dried out a bit more now. You're absolutely right, you can kill me instead of the chocolate if it'll make you happy. You were kidding,...right? BUUURRRP whoa! Feel the burn, taste the burn. Must be getting healthy.

Bob Niles

Monday, November 2, 2015


                "HELLO!   HELLO?  EXCUSE ME!   HELLO!"
                                  (a WW11 Vet talking to Santa)

"Excuse me......Hello?....Excuse there,....yes you, ah, Santa...........Oh no, no problem, I guess you couldn't hear me cause of you ringing them bells.........Oh and a Merry Christmas to you too! And a Happy New Year. I was just wondering,  could I just get around you there?......Oh yes it is quite a big job, LOL as the kids say.......Could I just step past you there?............Yes it is very crowded with all this Christmas display....very pretty. ......where has the year gone eh? Well you know there's just about two months left in the year so we're really only  10 months into the year..........Yes, yes so much to do before the  'Big Day'.....If you could just stop ringing for a moment, I need to get around you....well yes if you could just step aside that would be great!.......Yes of course be careful, don't want to break anything with only 2 months before your big night.......Yes, it's right behind you there that I need....No, no not the Christmas decoration.....Yes, that's it the box with all the poppies, I want to purchase one..... Well, maybe that's best, why don't I just hand you the money, there seems to be too much Christmas in the way of me and my poppy..... .....Thank-you......Yes I do wear it proud.....It's on November11th,  Remembrance Day,......Great! You'll be there. Good for you! But, maybe next year, and here don't take this personal, it's okay if you and Christmas don't  hit town till the 12th. I hope this doesn't put me on the bad list? I mean I love Christmas, but if you could just wait, hold off all the Christmas noise till we have our moment of silence to remember the fallen. They that paid the ultimate price, to be remembered.....Greatly appreciated!"

Bob Niles               

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fwd: Fruit Flies and Field Fouling Fowls

                                           Fruit flies and field fouling fowls

As surely as the swallows head to Capistrano, the monarchs wing their way to Mexico and the caribou traverse the tundra my fruit flies have also started their annual migration. They are off to parts unknown. Parts I care not to know. Parts I could care less about. Just as long as they are far south. At least I think they've flown south. Where else could they be?
Now we are getting ready to welcome our guest that fly in from the north and stay all winter. And I'm not talking about Uncle Art and his girlfriend, ex-exotic dancer Rita. Uncle Art just had his hip replaced and Rita's now working full time the the Shakey's in Dawson. Hopefully not dancing.
No, I'm talking about your friend and mine the Snow Goose. The field fouling flocks of fowls that fly here every autumn ( I could of said fall but figured you wiped the spit off your screen after fly)
And the geese don't tell us they're coming. But we now expect it. And they don't tell us they're staying. But we're getting use to it. It hasn't been that many years since they decided that they would tolerate our somewhat cold reception. But I guess what we offer here is better than the Russian tundra and their flight here.
"So how was your flight in from Russia?"
"The turbulence was awful! The flight was long and cold! And people shot at us every time we tried to refuel along the way!"
This is Shangri-La for them. No guns, lots of green grass all winter long and a mild climate. They just spend the winter eatin-and-a-pooping all over every school field they can find. And now we can't get rid of them. Lord knows we've tried. We just can't beat them! If you do old  ladies yell at ya!
Maybe if we'd all been a little nicer to the fruit flies, and not tried to kill them every chance we had, they'd of stayed long enough for the snow geese to arrive. Then our fowl friends recognizing a food source would then follow them south. At least I think they flew south. Not sure.
How did they find out they can't be shot at here? Was it just dumb luck? Was it some dumb duck hunter that  came back from the hunt and needed to wash off his decoys and left them on the school grounds to dry? 'Hey look,' said the geese 'down there on the big green field. Dumb birds like us eating what we like to eat. Let's check it out!' And the rest is history.
I myself am trying to make the best of this situation and come up with a way to market their annual visit. To make money from people who want to somehow interact with the snow geese in their winter habitat. And don't laugh. It was forward thinking like this that some brain-iac thought of making money off of tourists by making them pay to jump in the ocean and swim with the dolphins.
Now I tried several ideas to possibly capitalize on this golden goose. Like swimming with the geese in their winter habitat, but the water here is muddy and brain numbing cold. And their feathers are everywhere. I tried flying with the geese, but my ultra light hit an errant bird and we had to make a very quick unscheduled landing. I tried to market goose watching tours but with them everywhere I couldn't maintain the excitement that one gets over the hope of seeing whale. I thought of trying to market goose poop as the next go to ultra sheik face cleanser. And her I need more scientific research which doesn't come cheap. And a Hollywood A-lister willing to rub goose poop all over their face and pretend it's wonderful. I also thought maybe, since they let you get fairly close, and all they do is poop and eat grass, I could market the opportunity to poop with the geese. But only one guy signed up, and he had a court order to stay 100 metered from any school playing field.
Right now I think my best chance for profit is to rent out a goose to each home and they can place them at the kitchen recycling bin. The geese love to eat fruit flies. This will be a real surprise for our friends the fruit fly when they return north. Gosh I hope they're okay.
But whatever I do I'm not giving up. Where there's a gaggle of geese there's a gullible goof eager to part with his cash.
I started a fund to find fruit flies for field fouling flocks of fowls this autumn. Okay fall! I fear for the little fellas.

Bob Niles

Monday, October 26, 2015

Apple Box art

Not All Good Things Come in a Apple Box

Not All Good Things Come in a Apple Box

Back in 1980 something plus the next something, our humble abode had been broken into twice in two years. With the kids at school and the wife and I at work some master minded criminals figured out how to kick the back door in without setting off the alarm.
To be fair to the alarm company, we didn't have an alarm. And to be fair to the alarm we didn't have an alarm company. And to be fair to the master minds that kicked in the door we didn't have anything worth taking. But somehow all this made the community think we did, and my wife couldn't have been happier. And the fact they did it twice,...well she was over the moon.
"Do you think it was the same cat- burglar as the first robbery?" My wife questioned the chief inspector in heavy breathing tones as she took a long draw from an even longer cigarette holder.
I looked over at Barney of Mayberry, then back to the wife and then pointed out that cat-burglars worked at night and only stole diamonds and expensive paintings. I then made the case that if they had been here the once they certainly would have known not to return and that there was no cigarette in her holder. She, the victim of this perilous crime, my wife, took a long draw on the holder and shot me one of her looks that almost make me lose control of my bladder. She then put out the smouldering chopstick on the large wire reel we'd been using for a coffee table, holds the back of her hand to her forehead, claims a case of the vapours and retreats to the study (bathroom).
Officer Barney hands me his card and mentions if in a couple of days we can think of anything they could of stolen for insurance purposes he'd be happy to come by and make a report. I then show him to the door, which he carefully steps over, and then he's off, back to his secret headquarters at MI5.
My father-in-law Donn, hearing of the break-in, and in need of a laugh arrives as chief inspector, head of international break-ins and cat-burglaries clears the drive.
"Did they get the Van Gough or the jewels?" He asks loud enough for the neighbours to hear. Realizing he's been prompted by the wife a forehand, I assure him in a bellowing voice that the fortune is safe and that the gold we've hidden in the backyard is untouched as well (and here I'm hoping the neighbours will dig me a garden).
"You should get one of them security cameras like we have on our office building." Donn observes as he looks over our horizontal back door. "Even if it's just for the back door. Who knows, maybe that's what they were trying to steal."
"Keep it down will ya! I'm trying to get a vegetable patch put in. And besides that them cameras" I point out "are super expensive."
"Not if I make you one." He counters.
And so it was that we would have Donn make us a security camera. A camera with a mother board, nano switches, micro cards, perhaps circuits, some kind of gizmos with bells and a whistle, and??? Well I really don't know. There's a lot of technology in these things I have no idea of. And frankly I'm surprised Donn does.
It was until,....well it was next day Donn brought over the answer to all our security needs. He did note that he had most of the parts already and that the greatest problem is finding the right lens.
"Fisheye?" I asked. "No Slurpee" he answered as he set down the cardboard box.
I then told him I've never heard of a Slurpee lens. To which he countered that he'd never heard of a fishear lens. Funny I thought when a guy of his talent who knew so much about cameras had never heard of a fisheye lens.
"It's fisheye not fishear I said."
"What's fishear?" He asked absently as he worked about in his box.
"The lens! The lens! Is it a fisheye lens?" I ask, wishing this conversation would end.
"No I told you Slurpee. The lens is the top of a Slurpee cup. Slurpee. Haven't you ever had a Sluuurrrpeee?" Donn held his teeth together and stretched out his neck as he drew out the word Slurpee..
"You know I have." I answered "I just didn't think you could Macgyver a lens out of one."
"Well feast your eyes on this baby." Donn announced as he raised his technological wonder from the apple box. And when I say apple box I mean Granny Smith not Steve Jobs.
It was hard to know what to say and then it got hard to know where to look. So I stepped over the back door and called for the wife. She was always good in these type of situations with her dad. We had had a few.
She laughed! Not my first response. Especially when I had seen how much pride he had when he raised it from the apple box. (Again Granny Smith).
"What is it and what do you plan to do with that painted box with the dish soap dial and Slurpee lid glued to it? And isn't that cable vision (coaxial cord) wire stuck out the back?" She almost snorted.
"And don't forget this Sony name tag I glued to this side." Donn continued while moving his hands about his creation like one of the girls from The Price is Right.
"Again what is it?" And this time she did snort when she laughed.
Quickly I jumped in to explain that it was,.. It was,...a a a T- e -m -p -o -r- a- r -y security camera to fool the cat-burglars in case they came back. I then went on to say the head chief inspector captain general from the MI5 had told us to do it till we bought a real one.
"Okay." She said and walked over the door back into the house.
"Well I guess we have her blessing." Donn triumphed holding high his grey painted cardboard Sony box with the Slurpee lens and a dish soap top dial, operated through a fake cable system. "Help me with the ladder will ya and we'll point this baby at the door.

That was almost 30 years ago. And it's still there! And we have never had another break-in. Even after we got a real coffee table.
Donn was going to take it down just last week because it didn't look like a real camera anymore. To which I bit my tongue and smiled. "Leave it" I said "It will be a great story when the grandkids are old enough to notice it and ask 'What is it?'"

Bob Niles

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin art

Pumpkins, Christmas Trees and Spent Nuclear Fuel

Pumpkins, Christmas Trees and Spent Nuclear Fuel

"Grandpa, I want the biggest pumpkin we can find!" screeches my granddaughter as she's set free from her four point harness in the grandpa mobile. It's all I can do to restrain her four years of constant muscle building from running out into traffic. I hold tighter to her hand and promise her it will be the biggest one there, with hopes my 58 yrs. of muscle decay can lift it.
We don't want a repeat of last year when I went to lift the pumpkin ( and it wasn't the biggest one!) and my body said 'Fat chance fat boy!' and then backfired!
Squatting like some Sumo wrestler, with your chin between your knees, (which are trying to spread wide enough to encompass this great orange gourd), you inhale, turn your face a lovely beet red, and pop a few veins on the forehead. But the only thing that moves is air from somewhere inside you,....out to the great outdoors!
Well there's a Halloween moment the wife will never forget. And she takes full opportunity to share her love of a good laugh with her friends at my expense!
The biggest pumpkin is then followed, less than two months later, with the biggest Christmas tree! It's got to be the straightest, fattest, waterlogged Spruce ever offered to mankind.
It's enough to make me change religions. Oh sure before the celebrated event occurs they are a harvested thing of beauty. But after the candy's handed out and the presents given, they're as worthless as chicken poop on a pump handle.
Now you have to rid yourself of this once heralded growth of wonder to the garbage heap.
"Garbage Heap!?" My seven yr. old granddaughter (the one with the education) exclaims and questions. "You cant just throw Alexica ( she named the pumpkin) away, you have to recycle it!"
Well I sort of do recycle it. I leave it on he back fence and watch its once finely chiseled face start to melt like some Hollywood 'A Lister' who refuses plastic surgery. Nobody wants my pant-splitting, vein popping, wind breaking giant orange gourd. But at least it's easy to return to nature.
Unlike the Christmas Tree, which looks great in the house till Fathers Day.....well that's what I think.
That tree is a pain to rid yourself of. Oh sure you could put it on the roof of your car, a g a i n, and take it to some distant point and have a fireman chip it to smithereens for a donation. But I'm still upset at the original cost of a dead tree called Christmas. I'm not spending any more to kill it some more. Some years I wish it would catch fire and burn! It's easier to build a new room than dis-cabobbling it in all it's splendor, putting decorations back in boxes, dragging it down halls knocking off pictures, and then through three doorways that do their best to remove every needle that this tree ever had. My eight foot epic Christmas monument is now the size and girth of a Charlie Brown tree. The rest is in the couch, easy chair, rugs and floors.
Maybe if they put a deposit on these things? Then I could bring them back and get money and be happy. My memory would completely have forgotten I had already paid for me to come back to get the money I had already given you. Knowing me I'd just save them up till it was worth a trip.

"I'll take 'Garbage' for $200 Alex"
"Christmas Trees, Pumpk-kins and Spent Nuclear Fuel"
"What are three things my wife doesn't want to see in our backyard come the Spring, Alex."
"No..,I'm sorry. It's what is a Fir, Kin, Waste

In our house both answers were correct.

Bob Niles

boB nileS

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Trick-er-treat art

A How to Trick-er-Treat on November 1st

A How to Trick-er-Treat on November 1st

"Trick-er-Treat!" A common cry heard round all the neighborhoods on the eve of October 31st. But, on the eve of November 1st that is when all the cool stuff is to be had from door to door begging.
On the night after Halloween you don't have to settle for the tiny little bags of treats that so commonly fill Halloween baskets on the 31st. Your rewards are much greater! And on the 1st of November competition is minimal or non existent. Plus home owners are now filled with guilt after trying to eat all the leftover Halloween treats. They are now more than willing to rid their home of any and all leftover chocolate, salty, or sweet treats from the night before. Why it's been my experience they go through the house and bring out the big bags of goodies too. Guilt is a wonderful thing to work off of.
The tricky part of trick-er-treating a day late is to do it with confidence and then sell it. In my early years I have gone trick-er-treating as that rabbit from 'Alice in Wonderland'. "I'm late, I'm late, I'm very very late!" This saved my cotton tail more than once.
Also knowing the community you're trick-er-treating in is important in your to door to door deception of the afore mentioned eve. You need to find a housing group or community (perhaps gated) with mostly seniors like me in it. They'll answer the door defending their thoughts it's already happened and they might even mention that Halloween was yesterday. And it's here you'll have to agree with them and say 'It does seem like Halloween was yesterday! Where has the time gone! ' Then at this point cause a distraction, jingle your Unicef Box at them and tell him it's for Brad and Angelinas kids. It'll break their train of thought. I'm always distracted by loose change or bright lights. You don't really want to have them regain cognizant thoughts before you make your escape to the next house.
If someone calls you on it and maintains " Halloween was yesterday Dufass!" Just do exactly what you saw and heard from all the elderly like me that you collected from earlier. As if waking from a slumber "Oh, oh, ah, ya right.' start to leave, turn back, then jingle Brad and Angelina's box. "Collecting or the kids." Justify your off night call.
Yes boys and girls it's there for the taking. I wish you luck!
Happy Halllo-after-ween!

Bob Niles

boB nileS

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Work-out art

Working out work-out wear

Working out work-out wear

I don't like to sweat anymore. During my working years as a plumber I sweat enough to do me, and several other lifetimes. So if given the chance to work up a good sweat, I decline. But,.. I love to wear the pants associated with the word sweat.
Sweatpants. Gods way of apologizing for the male anatomy. The best thing invented for guys since the kilt. And like the kilt and a girls bike frame, both invented for guys but women stole them and made them theirs. And now they've gone and done it again with my sweatpants.
They stole the great idea of sweatpants and changed the name to 'yoga' and now it's a must have fashion item for every woman. And I doubt they all do yoga! They took our idea of using clothing to assimilate what men look for in a wife but changed it to what they look for in a guy.
We guys look for sweat pants exactly the same way we look for a woman. In sweatpants and in a woman we want our freedom. We want the option of floating around. And we don't want to be constricted or held tight in a relation or in our outerwear. The perfect sweatpants should only have enough binding elastic to hold them high. If you can put your iPhone in your pants pocket without them falling down then there too restricting. And here the pockets can't be deep. They can't be hard to get into. We want shallow. No pockets with deep surprises! And men are okay if the pants are not 100% natural. A little help here and there to help them keep their shape is totally fine by us.
Women (girls) who first started wearing guy style sweatpants had 'juicy' painted across their butts. Butt then, just as they do with any guy they decided 'I'll change him/them to fit my needs'. And apparently what a woman needs to be held tight. To have something or someone embrace and support, to lift up and hold lovingly everything that they feel bad about. And to make them feel comfortable about it, and to have them look good and appreciated. They wanted support without the cling. And as with nylons and men they didn't want any running. You gotta sit there and take it! And yoga pants had to fit right cause for years both nylons and men just have not fit quite right in the middle.
So now they've found out what us guys have known for years. That there can be a perfect clothing specifically created for their gender. And now that they have found the perfect attire they wear it everywhere! But a wife or girlfriend will always put up a fight if a guy tries to go out in his comfy sweatpants, even if he is wearing dress-shoes. Why I can't even cut the grass ( if the wife's home) in my sweatpants. Sure they suffer from a few holes or imperfections, but we love them even more for it. I don't want new sweatpants! I love them the way they are. I don't need a variety, I'm happy with the ones I have. But you women want many yoga pants. Not for variety, cause they all look the same. You just want the hope of a different outcome or the dim promise of something different. But the final result is always the same, he won't flush or put the lid back on the tube no matter how many pairs you own.
And the manufactures of the woman's answer to female sweatpants have realized what some of you want in their product. And they made them exactly the way you want your man. But, they like you got caught doing it. They made them see-through. A little too see-through. You don't want your guy, or any guy, realizing you have that ability to know what we're thinking. I mean I can pretty much see-through young boys thoughts see-throughing your yoga pants. I'm just jealous of missing those thoughts.
And as in dying thoughts there does come a day for some of us guys when everything you loved about your sweatpants dies. The support you took for granted is gone and what you thought was freedom was just the way you two fit together. But you don't throw them away! You bury them in a wooden box. A drawer.
So do you get new ones knowing they won't fit you like what you had and how they got more comfortable with age. Probably not. You'll just progress to a bathrobe, where everything is unsure. It's the next progression from sweatpants and one step away from a hospital gown.

Bob Niles

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Plumber and the Naked Lady

The Plumber and the Naked Lady

The Plumber and the Naked Lady

'ROPE ROPE ROPE' 'CLUMP CLUMP CLUMP CLUMP' (sounds of dog barking accompanied by running footsteps overhead). 'ROPE ROPE ROPE.' (door opens then slams overhead) 'ROPE ROPE ROPE ROPE.' "Ahhh! Tom there's someone in the bathroom !!! (lady screams from shower). But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's begin to start at the top of the beginning.
It was the Spring of 1980 something and sewage was in the air. But that's how it was pretty much for me everyday working as a plumber in the big city. Myself and two older brothers, I worked for as an apprentice, had arrived at a residence we were going to rough-in basement plumbing for. The plumbing van was unloaded into the basement through the basement door. Electrical cords strung out, tools set up, plumbing fittings all arranged and work was about to begin.
"I'll just go upstairs and let them know not to flush the toilet or take a bath or brush their teeth." Bill (Jack's older brother) said. These instructions were made because we were about to cut the main cast iron stack to the upstairs plumbing. The kitchen sink was okay to use as it was on a separate plumbing stack in another part of the home.
The man upstairs, (no not God!) the homeowner, understood and would tell his wife what we had told him. And in his defence, he did. And after doing so quickly headed out the door off to work.
Meanwhile downstairs
Measurements are taken to cut it in a 3 inch clean out at the base of the stack as all plumbing stacks need one at the base and this one was in want of one. Bill mentions how big the dog is upstairs. A cast iron cutter chain was looped around the stack and pressure was applied to make the first cut. Success! ( sometimes the cast iron is so rotten it crumbles) A second cut is now made with the same success. Bill jokes about the size of the dog upstairs. Now there's about a one foot piece of cast iron that's cut from the stack but it's still in place because of all the weight of the cast iron pipe and fittings above our vertical cut.
Discussions were made and past histories explored of previous jobs and it was decided that the present system of metal banding was sufficient to carry the weight of the plumbing stack after we were to remove the cut piece. Plus the ladder we needed was still in the truck. So with two (Jack and I) guys lifting, to get a bit of wiggle room, Bill removed the one foot piece from the plumbing stack and cast it aside which it then broke to pieces. This of course was the cue for the lady upstairs to start taking her shower.
Now true we said nothing of showers in our request of what not to do in the bathroom. So she had us on a technicality. She also had us standing holding up a heavy plumbing stack that the existing supports could NOT carry and her shower was running all over our feet with nowhere to go but stand firm and carry the weight. It was the decided with much discussion,...again NOT! Bill took off running up the stairs with great urgency. Water was running across the basement floor to the low spot, away from the drain toward absorbent piled cardboard boxes filled with what could be family treasures.
Cresting the stairs after momentarily stunning himself on a low floor joist he struggled with the always stiff ancient basement doorknob. We believe (Jack and I) this alerted their indoor horse with canine features. Of course we couldn't say for sure it transpired this way, we're just going on what we're hearing as we couldn't leave our heavy burden behind.
Just as soon as Bill was through the basement door to the upstairs that dog was on him. 'ROPE ROPE ROPE.' Jack an I had a blind mans front seat to all this. We couldn't see a thing as our story played out in surround sound. Our heads went left then right, then hesitated, then started moving again following urgent footsteps upstairs. Doors open, closed, footsteps and the tickety tick of dogs nails all pulled at our ears 'ROPE ROPE ROPE ROPE' Bill was on the move again. It wasn't till our heads were looking straight up that the screaming started. Bill had locked himself in the bathroom away from the dog that ate a horse. It was also in the same room the lady upstairs was taking a shower in and she wasn't too fond of male visitors in her bathroom.
"Ahhh! Tom there's someone in the bathroom!" She screamed
"Toms not home!" Bill pointed out.
Now this made her scream even louder! It was at this point Jack and I got the giggles and we couldn't stop laughing.
A door opens again, feet running, dog chasing rapid feet, screaming, Jack and I are trying to keep pace with the audio cues. The basement door opens, and a much louder 'ROPE ROPE ROPE' fills our ears. The basement door then slams shut and a dog yelps. Silence,...but for the dripping of water on the floor. The lady had shut off the shower, and judging by her footsteps was coming down to the basement to offer us coffee. NOT!
"Well that was a short day." I stated with great obliviousness as we drove away. Bill shot me a look that said if you ever mention this he had better be long dead and gone or it will be you that's dead and gone.
Next year it will be 30 yrs. that I lost my good friend Bill due to a heart attack. He was a kind church-going Saint of a man and an even better employer. And that was one of the funniest day I ever had plumbing. I think 29 years qualifies for long gone.

boB NileS