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Friday, May 29, 2015

Fwd: A Disaster Waiting to Happen







                                     A Disaster Waiting to Happen

I don't know about you, but I'm very health conscious. That is to say, I'm not healthy and I am conscious of that gnawing fact. I'm that way with the environment too, I'm messing it up but I am aware that I am. That was until my attempts last weekend.
Because of recent events that took place on the water here and around Vancouver in the last moth or so, I decided to take action and see what I could do to help clean up the  Vancouver shoreline.
The events I refer to were a large fuel spill from a freighter in Burrard Inlet polluting miles and miles of pristine beaches. And then the other fuel spill here in Richmond from a sunken fishing boat.
At the time of the accidents the weather was cool and rainy and I didn't go down to help because it was cool and rainy. But now the weather has warmed, and people have returned to the beaches. The perfect time to clean up an oil spill.
Now don't get me wrong the first responders did one heck of a good job. It's a dirty filthy job that had to be done quick, and not in the most of an ideal of conditions. But now the sun is warm and I can go down to the beaches that may have been overlooked as being perhaps too far away from the original spills. Like,...perhaps,...Wreck Beach I mentioned  to the wife in passing. To which she rolled her eyes and called me a little little man.
So now with spousal support (that's about as close as it gets) I devised a plan to attack the beach.
Dawn dish soap was the cleaning detergent I chose to clean the oil drenched water fowl I might encounter. They had used it in the gulf years back for their oil spill, and, it was on the counter.
To absorb the sticky heavy diesel fuel that might wash up on the shimmering beaches I chose a brand of paper towel that is advertised by men in full Sponge Towel attire. What better way to say I'm here and  I suck  up messy spills than dressed head to  toe in roll after roll of Sponge paper towel. And there were boxes of it in the garage.
And so it was I found myself at the bottom of a very long steep path at pre- noon on a Saturday morn. Surveying my job, dish soap in hand, I was suddenly aware how bulky my paper towel cocoon had become as a naked man and lady, about my age, walk past me with some amusement. But it was I who should be amused. For men over the age of 40 should always wear a shirt to the beach, as it confuses the children. Then realizing, not only did he not have a shirt, he and the wife had come down to the beach to air their differences which defeated a modest shirt.
Advertisement after advertisement for the male anatomy walked past me making me question my choice of beach to protect. I quickly, as a roll of paper towels could, rolled toward the shoreline to a less populated point of land on the beach. Rounding the point I encountered three other guys dressed exactly like me all sitting on a log, and all four of us having the same game plan. Rescuing young oil soaked maidens returning from the water, shivering, covered in oil, which would hinder their natural ability to tan. Thankful, non-English speaking Norwegian maidens that would......? Well that's about as far as we thought ahead. And to be honest it was our wives assessment of what they thought we thought would happen. A wife can always see through the old caring for the greater good of the environment go to the nude beach trick.
So there we sat, the four of us looking for oil soaked sea birds of the Norwegian variety.
But there were none. Not Norwegian nor English or French Greek, African, Oriental, Swiss, German or American oil fouled fowl, or chicks. No double breasted kind of anything with which to jump into action to aid.
We four just sat there trying to keep our feet dry from the lapping tide and avoid our sweat soaked suits from becoming any heavier. My veiled attempt to do something for the environment was a failure.
And so it was for fear of proving our wife's right, in that we were just little little men just out for an ogle fest, that we all decided to phone some TV stations and enlighten them to our cause. Then they could come down and film our gallant efforts in ridding a nude beach from an oil spill. And show us as environmental heroes.
What oil spill? It's old news! All the oil is cleaned up already was their reply to which we countered, it's a nude beach, and that we would carry their heavy cameras and sound equipment back up the path if they came down.
Okay. Said two stations, but they wanted us to buy them refreshments as well. A small price to pay to prove our wife's wrong we all figured.
Larry, myself and another guy named Bob met the TV station guys at shores edge. Big Barry it seems was suffering from heat exhaustion and stayed by the log, but promised to try and squirt any birds with soap so the TV cameras could film us heroes in action.
We showed the cameras how we would rip parts of our suits off and place them on the water if we saw oil. Then we substituted other Bob for an oil soaked babe,..I mean bird, and covered his head in Dawn dish soap. He chirped like a bird and pretended to be in distress till we got soap in his eyes, and then he started to swear and they had to stop filming. It was at about this point the two stations started to load us up with their heavy equipment to top the hill when Larry noticed a commotion down the beach. It was a beached Beluga!
The TV station guys chased us down the beach still carrying their heavy equipment to film the event. As we got closer other Bob, Larry and myself could see what looked like three heavy naked old hippy ladies rolling big Barry down to the waters edge. Barry, suffering from heat stroke because of his paper towel attire was singing Fred Penners Baby Beluga song. And these three ladies, suffering from some high other than life we're thinking baby Belugas just knew the song and automatically would sing it as they returned it to it's watery home.
Well what we saw and what they filmed were we're two different things. Myself, Larry and other Bob weren't even in the story. Good thing too because we had to completely unroll ourselves to make three costumes for the three well meaning hippy ladies. The TV people did stories on them rescuing Barry from heat stroke while we sat behind them crossed legged naked on a log in the background like some weirdos. Which, is what my wife saw on the 6 o'clock news. And then again at 11pm, it was seen by everyone my wife could phone between 6 and 10:59. She now had a lifetime of ammo.     
Other Bob, Larry and myself hadn't really thought ahead and found ourselves now naked with no clothes trying to get home. It did though save us from carrying the heavy TV equipment up the hill as they had no desire to follow three naked guys up a narrow trail.
Armed with only the remains of three bottles of green Dawn, seaweed and our superior intellect we turned our pasty white selves into the three green men that everyone recognized from the hockey games.
Our new found hero status found us at a huge party for the Chicago - Anaheim hockey playoff game in Surrey. We became known as Larry and his brother Bob and his other brother Bob! Had a blast!
And then I got another one when I got home. The hour at which I rolled in was equal to the number of days the wife wouldn't talk to me. Four days! Four days, and I was still self-bubbling in the shower. Four days it took her to look at me and say "You're a little little man." Four days to devise a better plan for the next inevitable oil spill.
1. Bring clothes.
2. ...

Bob Niles.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fwd: How many Lightbulbs does it take to change an old guy?






  

"Honey!" (that's what she calls me when she wants me to do something) "If you're not doing anything today could you change the lightbulb over the bathroom vanity?"
"Sure no problem" I lovingly retort as I clear the history on my computer. "I'll phone the electrician!"
"Good, can you phone the plumber too, and have him put the toilet seat down as well, Mr. Wisebottom!" She calls me Mr. Wisebottom when the grandkids are there. But they know what she really means.
And with those sweet parting words the wife heads out the door to work. Which, gives me ten hours to change the lightbulb.
With lightbulbs I have found that the easiest way to tell if they need replacing, is to turn them on. 'CLICK'... Immediately I feel my body heat up. My eyes squint in all it's eight, no, seven, 75 watt, clear globe splendor. This must be what God looks like!
I hold my hands to my eyes as if looking at the sun and with superior intellect surmise its the second bulb on the right. I power down and grab her 'Voluptuous Full Valentine Red' lip grease and draw an arrow at the bulb and write 'Replace this one as all the other 8, no, 7 work just fine'. And then I sign my name with what was left in the tube. I do this just in case I die while out buying a bulb. This way her new husband will know which one is burnt out.
Having made my way across town to the 16 acre parking lot of the 'not-so-local do-it-yourself super store of everything that every wife's been nagging every man on earth about', I try to remember the number of watts on the lightbulb. I stare up at the sun to try and get an idea what it might be. I figure about 1000 watts, but seems a bit too much so I'll just buy something that looks like the other bulbs.
WRONG! There is nothing in the 80ft. isle of illumination that comes anywhere close to  what looks like a clear, triple or double digit watt-ed globe bulb. All the bulbs look like DNA sequences! Squiggles and turns and loops of frosted glass that last more hours than the entirety of my school education.
"No sir, we don't carry any incandescent bulbs anymore." said the man I had to track down in the orange shirt. "They've been banned by the government, for being an inefficient user of energy. It's against the law to sell the bulb you're looking for."
"So what do I do?" I question as I raise my hands in the air. "Buy eight new DNA sequences because of one bulb?"
"If you'd like to borrow my phone sir to call the wife...." he mechanically responds as if he says it to every troubled male customer.
"Why,...do you think I can't make this decision on my own?" I respond with hands and arms still in the air.
He shrugged his shoulders,and raised his eyebrows. It was then I noticed every guy in the store was on a cell phone. These guys looked like they did a lot of things around the house, and knew how to do it right. They asked the wife. Well not me, I have a greater IQ than my bulb had watts. I think....
"PSSST...PSSST" I turned to see a guy in the next isle over had parted boxes of light fixtures and was trying to get my attention by forcing air between his teeth. "You looking for candy? Bright clear candy?" He whisper shouted at me. "Bright hot candy?"
I pointed my finger at myself, stuck my chin on my chest and in my best DeNero said "You talking to me?" He wiggled an excited index finger at me and motioned with a pull on his head to follow him. Sure, why not. At the very least I'll get candy or at the very worst I'll be able to report a  pervert is on the loose in isle 57.
It's out the doors and off to a far corner of the parking lot. I somewhat question my decision after having walked five minutes past my car. He stops at a old blue Chevy van with curtains on the windows. I'm thinking I'm not getting candy. He slides open the rusted side door and looks around the lot as he's doing so. I'm now thinking intervention! Has the wife paid this guy to abduct me and rush me off to some sort of place to reprogram my dependency for candy?
"Behold" he commands as he slowly motions his arm across boxes of incandescent bulbs of every shape and wattage. "C A N D Y" he slowly breathes. "In-CANDE-sent.. CANDY. Bright, clear and oh so hot CandyBulbs."
I'm now standing at the crossroad of my life. Do I commit this crime and illuminate my dark side for wanting a brighter tomorrow. Will I always be looking over my shoulder in fear of being called a nar - do -well for just wanting one matching lightbulb?
"If you'd like to borrow my phone sir to call the wife..."
"This is between you,.....and me" I state through clenched teeth, doing my best Clint Eastwood.  "I'll take a kilo, .....no 1000 kilos of Cande!" I quickly insert, and not knowing how much a kilo is.
"Whoa Mr. bad impersonation of a Italian Western Cowboy! Easy on the reins. I sell buy the box. Four to the box."
"I'll take one box then."  I slowly whisper through clenched teeth and a  Popsicle stick I'd found on the ground that substituted for a stogie.
"If you're caught, this never happened, you do not know of me. Tell them it's for your grandkids Easy Bake Oven. It's still legal to buy a full load of triple digit wattage if you bake with a bulb in a plastic oven. I have many ovens. Nobody gets burnt! It's how I get my stock of Candy.
It's then my phone alerts me I have a call from home. "Hello?...Oh hi Honey ( I call her that when I've done something wrong....she gets called honey a lot) Whats that? The bathroom mirror? Lip gloss?.....Could of been the electrician......my signature?"
This was followed by 3 1/2 minutes of me agreeing and crying yes honey, no honey and you're absolutely right honey. She hangs up and I collect what dignity I had left and inform the nice man with the blue van that I will not be needing any Candy today....thank-you. My lovely wife has seen a picture in the do-it-yourself book of weekends, (that stretch into months), that she would like me to purchase. An energy efficient cost saving light fixture to hang over the bathroom vanity.
I spit out my Popsicle stick, pull my pants up to my chest and turn, with head held high, back toward my original intended destiny of the everything do-it-yourself super store.
"Hey Mr. Eastwood I can fix you up with my cousin! He's an electrician!" (he shouts but his offer is incomplete in it's entirety as he can't hold back from laughing). His laughter pokes at my ears as I reach the car, then take the extra five minute more to walk back,...   to,...   the,...  store.
"Isle 57, isle 57, customer service in isle 57."

Bob Niles

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fwd: I Love my Part-Time Neighbours




                                 


 Many of us here in Vancouver are faced with an unusual situation. The situation being that the old house next door was demolished, then a new one was built and sold, but nobody moved in. And now we all of a sudden live in a fancy neighbourhood with no neighbours! Or, part time neighbours that just live next door once in awhile. Neighbours that are gone months at a time and leave their large investment in The City of Vancouver's real estate in your care.
 "Fools!" my wife calls them. "Who would dare leave there beautiful house, worth almost 3 million dollars, in the care of an nincompoop like you? Fools!"
 No argument here. But I'm not a complete nincompoop, I've developed my limited level of nincompoop-ary through years of paternal training. My Dad was the best at messing up any and all jobs Mom gave him. His motto was 'Get it wrong the first time and she'll phone someone the second time to have it done right.' Besides they didn't ask me to redo their house plumbing.
 My wife's also mad cause they gave me a key to their house to....? I forget. But now it's become my second home. I hauled my TV over and bought an extra 100 ft. of coaxial cable. Now I get all my TV stations in HDPnQ.  High Definition Peace-n-Quiet.
 And the longer they're away the more it's like home to me. After the second month of their absence the wife and I barely see each other as I have taken up full residence in their home. A situation that the wife is jealous of because I live in a nicer home than her. And a situation that almost got me arrested.
 I'm in their house (because I now live there)  having a long hot shower, when some idiot comes in their driveway and lays on the horn. You run from the shower ( soaking wet because you forgot to bring a towel with you) and wrap yourself in the curtains to find out what nincompoop making all the hullabaloo. And it's them! My part-time neighbours.
Their horn is blaring because your brother-in-laws broken down motor home is blocking the driveway.
You quickly paste your clothes on ( it looks like that when you dress wet) and run out the back door, in an effort to hide your somewhat illegal entry. And in doing so forgetting to remove the nice neighbour lady's shower cap. "Welcome home!" you suggest as you suddenly remember, and remove the ill-gotten shower cap. And it's at this very moment you realize the gravity of the situation.
The motor home's in the driveway because it's transmission is in their carport. An electrical cord is running from their house to your teenagers room to power some very bright lights (some sort of science project he says). Their 16 piece patio furniture set is still at your mother-in-laws. Your filling your in ground pool from their hose. There's still a load of laundry in their washer, one on top of their dryer and one in the dryer. You still haven't cleaned up from the party you had in their back-yard two weeks ago. The toilets plugged to overflowing. The grass you said you'd cut and water is so far just an empty promise. And then all of a sudden you remember why they gave you their key. Something about making a commitment to feed and water their cat Mitsy.
 All this plus you've rented their basement out to a non-English speaking, perhaps Eastern European, perhaps drug underworld, perhaps violent and somewhat shady character till the end of the week.
Lucky for you your neighbors  don't speak English. Which for a time (or maybe longer) is going to save your butt. Oh they'll look at you funny for a long time, and never leave anything in you care again (something the wife already knew 'Fools'). And sometime in the far distant future they'll get over Mitsy. A long haired cream coloured Persian cat last seen in and around 38th and Carnarvon St. With the possibility of a reward, or will take care of your house for an extended period while absent. Anyone?



Bob Niles.       





Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fwd: Oh How Sweet my Sundays Were








                             Oh How Sweet my Sundays Were
 

 My Dad looks over at his four boys now sitting quietly in the church pew. Their earlier hyper activity had stuck their shirts to their backs and plastered their hair flat to their heads soaked in sweat. His little army for the Lord are all doodling notes on a sermon of eternal hell fire and damnation to the unsaved soul. Now content that his brood was finally well behaved he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a gun.

Three hours earlier:

 "Boys! Gordon! Supper!"  
 It was 5:30 on any Sunday Night, and my Mom was calling her family for a quick dinner before church. We were a Sunday go-to-two-meetings kinda Christians.
 Church, and traveling to and from church were our Sundays. With a half hour commute to church either way, and going to two services each Sunday, it took more than two hours in travel time alone. Combine this with a fiery preacher, who needed more than one day a week to expound on his teachings, and was terrible at telling time, it  became a day that was not one of rest. All this combined with at least a half hour of pre-service prayer found our little family taxed for any free time. And so it was our Sunday lunches were a hurried affair, followed with a brief rest and a quick easy dinner.  And what's easier and quicker for dinner, that would be a treat for her long Sunday suffering boys and tired husband?
 Solution? Ice-cream and cookies!
 What a great idea! Let's load four pre-teen boys up on sugar and then make them sit.....sorry, try and sit still in church for a couple of hours. And then let's do it every week because her boys just loved ice-cream and cookies.
In my Moms defense it was the sixties and the effects of sugar on four hyper boys had never been tested,.......unless you count us.
I loved being a Christian! Ice-cream and cookies every Sunday. Us boys figured all the preacher had to do to win souls was just to let all them sinners in on my Moms recipe for a pre-service Sunday meal.
Hell-fire and damnation! No! Ice-cream and cookies! And you get to go to heaven, filled with enough milk and honey to make ice-cream for all eternity.
The only bad thing about our Sunday meal was that it was Mom's one chance to pray for the food during the week. She seemed blind to the fact that ice-cream will melt if you pray long enough. This being her one kick at the can for the week she made sure she thanked God for all he had done since last Sunday.    Then she thanked Him for everything she hoped for till next Sunday. For everyone and everything!  All the missionaries in far off countries, all her family, all my Dads family, the neighbors that needed salvation, her friend at work with the dry patchy skin and even the lady two doors down that had lost her cat! On and on she went thanking God for her beautiful garden, her roses and petuinias and  the lady in the lost and found at church (Helen Hunt) who located her umbrella.  And all the while my ice-crane lies thereevaporating in front of me. It's shrinking! My precious Sunday meal, the reason I'm a Christian, is shrinking! Doesn't my Mom, a true friend of God, pray during the week? Why did she go on and on and on?
Then I hear it, the word that ends all prayers, my four favorite letters. 'Amen'. It's Christian for let's eat!
My once cherished rock hard mountain of ice-cream now renders to my spoon like mash potatoes. No chance of a brain freeze here! If only Mom could trade for Tuesdays she could pray all the way to 8:30 if she wanted. Cold meatloaf is as good as hot meatloaf.
Dinner now done, and we're in the car off again to church.
Our arrival at church was at about the same time the sugar in our blood stream was pulling into crazy town.  We couldn't wait to jump out of the car. We were like hound dogs on the trail of a late night possum. My three brothers and I would run all the way into church, howling as we ran. Dad always parked a few blocks  from church, it gave time for Mom and him to take a nice leisurely walk to while his boys feverishly chased the trail of some imaginary game.
Into the church burst four boys as if chased by the devil himself. Crisp white shirts stuck to our backs with sweat. If we had run all the way in the rain we wouldn't have looked any different. Only difference, we would have been steaming. Zoom! Off to the prayer room for a half hour of pre-service prayer. Now our church encouraged lively prayer, and that's just what they got from us four boys. I think the church elders were quite impressed with the high level of energy my brothers and I brought to pre-service prayer. Stand-up, kneel-down, hands raised, swaying back and forth, jumping up and down and all the while loud hallelujahs ringing off the rafters was what we gave them. But to most people looking on I'm sure it looked more like four crazed hounds howling at the moon.
The Sunday evening service would usually start with lively songs of praise, which were easy to enter into by us boys. We would clap our hands, tap our toes and sway to the music in a rhythm slightly faster than four-four time. Our cheeks and ears were a brighter red than Christmas candy. Sweat covered our foreheads and trickled down our backs. We gave off more BTUs than the old boiler in the church basement.
 Lots of movement with our arms and legs, singing and clapping was what we needed to release our build up of energy. Slow songs and equally slow sermons were our downfall.
 On a slow worship song we were louder, several words ahead (and usually not the right ones) and out of tune. We had to sit on our hands to stop from out of tempo clapping through 'Amazing Grace'. Our Dad had a whole bag full of stern, don't you dare embarrass me, looks that would shut us down and keep us in line.
Now what we needed was a new way to burn off a sugar buzz.
Pain was found to be a great reliever of hypertension. Pinching your brother beside you and refusing to squirm was a great detractor to a sugar high. It was always the first one to move or cry Moses was the one that lost. Standing in quiet prayer squishing your brothers thumb on the pew in front of you, till you were sure it was going to pop was an all to frequent past-time. Or, putting your full weight on his little toe was also a great way to turn sugar energy into parent pleasing calm, that if done correctly could do permanent damage to the little piggy that went 'wee wee wee al the way home.'
But the hardest time to get through was the sermon. Here clapping was frowned upon. Totally! You could shout out the occasional 'Amen', to release energy but here you would have to pay attention to the placement of your personal approval. Here, more often than not you became an embarrassment to your parents.
The Sunday evening sermon was a cold-turkey moment. We were required, expected to and to strongly refrain any and all signs of our sugar buzz. Which was about as likely as pigs singing in the choir.
We were four boys sitting shoulder to shoulder to shoulder to shoulder in reverence, trying to give their full attention to the preachers sermon.      Thankfully the sugar buzz was now slowly starting to ease it's grip on the possession of our souls. Yet, still demanding enough energy that when we four sat in a row we could get the pew to vibrate. To vibrate with enough force to make the washers on the bolts, that held the pew to the floor, to loosen and sound like coins dropping in a offering plate. Not an all to unhappy sound we figured  given it's surroundings.
It's here Dad would flip us a look that would confirm death was eminent when we got home if silence was not obtained immediately. Mom fearing for our lives would separate us and spread us apart while questioning under her breath that she was sure she had no idea what was wrong with her boys.
Three scoops of chocolate swirl and four double fudge cookies........I'm thinking.
About half way through the sermon sugar had all but released the hold it had on our bodies. Our shoulders now dropped, muscles in our legs, back and arms had relaxed, and our bodies had become tired and sleep would try to overtake us. But! my Mom wouldn't allow this. Nodding off would look like the preacher had bored us. The thought of a message of eternal salvation, delivered by a man of God, a leader in the community would somehow bore her children was not an option my Mom would accept. She solved this by giving us paper and pencils so we could draw. She was convinced, that to the preacher it would look like we were so interested in the sermon that we were taking notes.
My Dad now looks over at his four boys sitting quietly in the pew, shirts stuck to their backs, hair plastered to their heads soaked in sweat. His little army for the Lord all taking notes on the sermon of which he himself had no idea  what it was about. Content that we were finally well behaved he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a gun.
Oh not a gun of steel and gunpowder, but yet a gun of equal destruction, one of sugar......Candy! One by one he offers that gun to each child in turn, and each child in eager acceptance not knowing that soon an all to common chain of events were about to unfold. Events that would cause husband and wife to question the legitimacy of their own children. Events that would embarrass my parents enough to maybe look for a different church next week. Events that would make a father grab his son by the shoulders and on bended knee look him straight in the eye and plead more than ask "What in the wide world of sports has gotten into you?"     

Bob Niles       




Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fwd: Mother's Day is Father's Day as well







                                  Mother's Day is Father's Day as well.

 We say it with flowers, cards, balloons, banners and chocolates that our moms are the best in the whole world. Nobody anywhere this side of the moon has done more for you, has helped you through crisis after crisis and kept smiling but your mom. From diapers to  diapers to diapers starting with you, then your kids and then their kids, mom has changed them all. She's been there for every boo-boo and mishap. Through every cold and sickness she's sacrificed her own health to care for you. There is none better than mom.
And how do we thank this woman of such valor? We get her all gussied up and have her stand in line with many other gussied up mothers at your favorite restaurant. After that we may, (weather permitting) take her for a lovely walk to let her know, and to prove to her, you still remember how she taught you to walk.
And where's dad through all this? He's on the couch leisurely creating an outline of himself in potato chips while watching TV. Dads right where he wants to be. Left alone, just him and his stinky dog watching about 89 different TV channels. But yet watching nothing at all. Every time a commercial hits he changes channels, then forgets where he was in his two dimensional life. He starts something else, then it too has a commercial and he gets lost again. But old dads having a ball!
Mom meanwhile has gotten her patten pink pumps plastered in shi., poo from walking across a soft spring lawn in Minoru Park. I try with some success to clean off her patten pink shoe while she stands like a stork using my shoulder for support.
"We should of stayed on the artificial playing field to avoid this mess" I huffed as I her gallant knight placed the slipper on her foot.
"Yes" she noted in hindsight, "But with my luck the artificial field would of probably caught me up with an artificial plastic poop" she joked.
 We continued on to more supportive paved paths that wound through flowered gardens. She's marveled, laughed and shivered in the cool air as she delighted in in the May flora and the company of her offspring.
"Much better than spending the day with your father" she states as she squeezes my hand in affirmation.
The day got longer and longer for mom as it went from splendor to feeling like a queen to my face hurts from smiling to I wish I was home so I can use my own washroom.
'Meanwhile back at the ranch' dad has had his best day of the year once again. The one day of the year that it wasn't up to him to make sure it was 'happy wife happy life'. This day for him was all about what he loved. Alone at home! A clothing optional, no need to close the bathroom door, don't have to say excuse me, crank up the music, slip back to the 80s and move to the grove. No ones watching, cause no ones there! Even the neighbors are spared his Fruit of the Loom dance tribute to the man formally known, and now again known as Prince. He's committed the unwritten no-no of pulling the curtains shut while the sun is shining. But he don't care, cause no ones there.
At this point even the dog's feeling uncomfortable seeing his master and best friend slip so far from the every day norm. Having to dance with him as they both howl at....? Who knows? But it's fun to howl! And howl they do.
At some point during 'Little Red Corvette' dad's dance move directs him at the kitchen. The very room his wife mentioned to clean up after himself in. The very room in which he has very much polluted  with his 9 pot and pan lunch masterpiece. A creation of leftovers, cold cuts, blue formage, canned meat and a three item lunch special from Wing Kees Canton Palace. These items of meats, veggies, cheeses, sauces, and secret oriental spices all combined for a sandwich of Biblical proportions. A sandwich you should close the bathroom door for, but because of the current amount of beings at the abode, don't. And instead relish the breeze.
Having seen and remembered that he should clean up after himself he dances himself and  the dog over to the kitchen. It's here the dog bows out as the slippery tile presents new challenges that even the opportunity to howl won't overcome. Dad is now solo, still only wearing knee high black socks and tighty white-ies as he begins the  insurmountable task of correcting this wrong he created in his wife's kitchen. However, he's not slowed by menial labour as he continues creating dance moves that only he and Buddy (dog) could appreciate.
That is until he hears "Hey Fred Astaire! You need more soap!"
The wife! She's home! She's,....in the bathroom. She sticks her head in the kitchen, makes an observation, continues on to the bathroom.
"I had the best day ever!" the bathroom door says. "We went for lunch at this place the kids like. Very expensive! Then we walked around the park till it got too cool then went for a drive past the old house on Camsell. Everything's changed there. New houses everywhere. How was your day? Did you get up to much? I'll clean up that mess in the kitchen after I change." the bathroom door continues as dad turns off the music.
He didn't hear much of what she said but understood everything. Mom's happy. She had the best day with the kids. But, he interjects to himself, not as good as mine.

Bob Niles

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fwd: I Hate Glasses!






                                             I Hate Glasses

"Honey where are my glasses!?" I accuse and ask the wife simultaneously. Knowing she'd moved them or hoping she'd seen them as I blindly search in vain for my visual aids to an ever increasing touch screen world.
"Use mine they're on the kitchen counter!"
 I hate that,... using other peoples glasses. It's that whole washing behind your ears and eyebrows and hair and stuff. Or perhaps they chewed on the ends of them like some slobbery sexy librarian? Other people have no problem borrowing your glasses, talking on your cell phone that  you've spit all over, and writing with your pencil that you've hungrily ate the eraser and the top two inches off. Not me! No thank you!
"Oh here they are" I lie, to cover my phobia that she doesn't think I shouldn't have because it draws her kisses into question.
I now hunt for my glasses covertly and in silence. I start down the stairs...forget what I'm doing or looking for until my phone jingle buzzes to let me know I have a text. I reach for the phone and then remember what I was doing as I look at the screen. "I need my glasses!"
"You said you found them" shouts the house from somewhere.
 Dang too loud, gotta remember she can still hear.
 Never in the course of history has humankind been so needy of quality visual aids. Because everything you do now has some sort of screen that requires you to have vision equal to that of a young eagle. And my vision started to fail just as everything started requiring video screens. And what's bad about it all is I don't need glasses for most things. So rather than wear them all the time, I leave them all over the house so I can curse and fume for them later.
I only need glasses to read, or if I'm curious about something. I drive the car without glasses! And, as they say, if you don't like the way I drive stay out of the kitchen.
I have an HD TV and without my glasses on it's just like the TV I had as a kid with rabbit ears. My dad had heard that rabbit ears improved TV reception. But no matter how many rabbits he killed the TV still had a fuzzy screen. And top!
 I don't need my glasses to watch Walter Cronkite (I think its Walter) every night on the news to keep up with current events. I watch a retro channel for entertainment, as I remember what all the stars looked like in the 60 and 70s. And now with my memory, as good as it is,  they've started writing new shows again.
It's just the new things in my life that trouble me. Everything digital! And everything's digital! I can't make popcorn in the microwave or coffee in the 12 cup drip without hunting the house first. It's hunting,...then stopping trying to remember what I'm doing,..remember,...then hunting some more for the glasses before you forget again!
And it's not just at home that you need your glasses. The whole world has now replaced humans for touch screens in everything we do.
This morning I went to the bank to withdraw $100 bucks. The teller line up was so long (because there was only 2 tellers) I used the cash machine. Forget my glasses, and had to ask the nice skinhead (or he was wearing a nylon stocking?) man to punch in my password and withdraw $100 dollars for me. But he only gave me $60, saying the machine said that's all I could get before lunch.
 After that I went to buy a bag of groceries. It came to $78.54, and now have to use my bank card as my $60 won't cover it. I then realize the nice man back at the bank forgot to give me back my Debit card so I have to use my Visa Card. I hand,....(can't read her name tag) a girl, (I think) my card, and she points at a box with a keypad. I have no idea what the little grey box, that I'm suppose to put my card in, wants of me. Why can't I just sign a big blank line like I use to!? (I do a lot of !? !? !? As I get older) Thank goodness the check out girl remembered my number from last time I was there.
On the way home I stop for gas but my card won't work in the pumps! And I don't know why! The machine knows why! It's printed me a lot of information on its video screen to,... I guess explain why. But, I have no glasses!
I try blocking the sun from the video screen with my head and hand trying to ascertain why I can't get gas. I'm moving from side to side, up and down saluting the gas pump as I verbally abuse it.
"Here borrow mine" says the guy on the pump beside me as he hands me his glasses.
Awkward........are people this quick lending their toothbrushes? "Oh silly me! These special sunglasses I have on have a button I just need to push." I lie as I remove my James Bond glasses  and pretend to push some magical button. "Ah there we go. Oops says its rejected. Guess I'm poor. Well gotta go!" So off I drive on gas fumes wearing my James Bond shades with no idea why my card was rejected.
Hey isn't that the nice skinhead from the bank coming out of the liquor store? Can't be. He couldn't afford a whole shopping cart full of booze.
I drive to the next corner while thinking I should of asked him about my Debit card. It's there I cross four lanes of traffic and a big bump which I guess was the median to another gas station. I forgot I had $60 bucks!
"Home honey I'm high!" I joke as close the back door. I place car keys and hat on expecting hooks that through experience have been real timesavers.
"I'm not sure if he purchased a trip for two to Bora Bora. Let me ask him, he just came through the door." my wife says then places her right hand over the receiver.
I mouth the word 'NO' as I turn my head in a negative fashion as my glasses fall from atop my noggin.
"Yes go ahead and cancel the card blah blah blah blah no I'm sure it wasn't stolen, he's not beat up. But he soon will be!" she assures the phone as she makes a slashing motion across her throat and then points at me.
Well, found my glasses. They were under my hat the whole time. Yet another story about getting old you plan to keep to yourself. More and more these crazy stories fill your life with all the old people things we do.
"Let me get my glasses and a pen to write that down" she says into the phone as she reaches in the mug with the broken handle for a pen then gives me the universal sign to hand over my glasses. Then again.....and again. Fingers opening and closing.
I hand her my glasses as a child would hand over candy he was caught with. Hesitant and crying.
" What's your problem? They're mine anyway! Yours are in the bathroom." she's says. "You took mine off the kitchen counter by mistake trying to read a text on your phone! And I had to use yours to.....just you never mind what I had to use yours for."
My mind runs wild with the things my glasses might of been used for or had seen in the bathroom. Now I've got to boil them without her seeing! She thinks I don't love her when I boil my things after she uses them.
Interrupted, my pants vibrate and do a ring buzz as I search for which pocket the phones in. Dang, it's a text! Where did she say she put my glasses? Here we go again! I hate glasses!

Bob Niles