Monthly Archives: December 2015

That Bugger Didn’t Even Write a Prayer

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Ah, Christmastime.

Being a righteous person, I decided to lead my family in a religious devotional reading on Christmas Eve in advance of the gift-ripping event the next day.

“Sit down,” I yelled at my adult kids. “We’re having a family homily time before dinner. So if you don’t listen with your mouths shut, you can’t eat.”

“How can we eat with our mouths shut?” asked Biff.

“You can open your mouths to eat, but only after I read this family devotional booklet that I picked up at the Substance Mart checkout line.”

“Are we allowed to breathe?” asked Rhonda.

“Funny,” I growled. “Now pipe down while I read this inspiring biblical story.”

I glanced at the date on the page. December 24. I had previously noted that many of the devotional messages were written about famous holy people, such as Saint Augustine, Papa John, and Louie Louie. “Darn,” I said as I looked at the Christmas Eve page. “The bugger who wrote this one didn’t even include a prayer!”

My daughter Lisa made a suggestion. “Why don’t you say your own prayer?” she asked.

“Okay,” I retorted defiantly. “I just might do that. Just watch me. So now you all have to bow your heads.”

I bowed my head but kept my eyes open to see if the other heads were bowed. “Dear God,” I said. “Thank you for Christmas, and thank you that we can read this devotional booklet from the Substance Mart express lane. And thank you that when we are knocked down by life’s troubles we can pop back up like inflatable, Bozo-the-Clown punching-bag toys. Amen.”

Bart snorted, “What? Bozo? Are you kidding? That’s a prayer?” Lisa, Biff, and Rhonda looked at each other and snickered.

“That’s enough guffawing out of you all! We’re reading this over my dead body! And it’s a serious story! Not funny!”

My wife got up to turn off the beeper on the stove, because the toast casserole was done. Biff, Bart, Rhonda, and Lisa continued chuckling and chatting during the temporary distraction. I realized I had lost control of the family Bible-reading fellowship time, but I plowed ahead anyway.

“Lena Horne had trials in her life,” I read. “But because of her cheekbones, she pressed on.”

My wife brought the toast casserole to the table. Everyone started eating. I gave up and started eating, too.

Maybe next year family devotional time will go better. I can always pray.



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R U Liss Ning?

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“Okay, Blair,” said my wife. “I’m going out and I won’t be back until late this evening. I have to run to the store, to the dentist, to the police station to pick up my fingerprints, to the car repair shop to get a cup of onions, to the insurance office for my glasses adjustment, and then to the beauty parlor to put air in our tires.”

“Mmm hmm,” I said as I tried to compose an email to an employment agency.

“So while I’m gone, it’s very important while I’m gone that you do a couple of things for me while I’m gone.”

“Okay,” I said mechanically, my eyes intent on editing my email.

“Are you listening?”

I glanced at her. “What?” I said. “Are you kidding? Of course I ate lunch.”

“You’re not. Listen, I have to tell you some important things,” she said.

I made eye contact. That convinced her I was listening.

But I wasn’t.

She continued. “So first, I need you to complete and scan the medical form from the doctor that I picked up and… blah… blur…  mumble… jumble… words… words… noises… yiminy… yamina…”

“Okay,” I said to my wife as I reread my email for the third time:

Dear Human Sources,

Thank you for rejecting me as a semi-tractor trailer truck washer. I appreciate your time in bothering to respond…

My wife continued, “…and after you’ve scanned that document I gave you… adda… babba… rhubarb… soliloquy… potsdam…”

“Yeah. Mmm, hmmpf,” I said, not looking up, still rereading my email.

“I need you to such… but… so… and… zither… lather… saucer… dish soap…” she continued.

“Mmm. Umm. Hmm? Zmm,” I said.

“Bye,” said my wife as she shut the door behind her.

I looked up. “Bye,” I said. “Wait, what did you say? What am I supposed to do with the horse pump?”

But she was gone.

On my desk I saw her documents and a cryptic note she had left me. So I did the best I could with her instructions.

I sent her private medical records to my son’s college newspaper.

I glued three of my wife’s decorative teacups to a bookshelf.

I put a five-pound bag of flour in the oven at 400 degrees.

When my wife came home and saw what I did, she was not happy.

“I tried!” I pleaded.

“You didn’t listen!” she cried. ” Now I have to spend extra time undoing all of your mistakes.”

“Can you forgive me?” I asked, surreptitiously glancing back at my computer.

She said, “I honestly… wallaby… pakistan… salvo… mystic… spatula…”

I wasn’t listening, but I did hear her final few words as she left the room. “Oh well,” she sighed. “I still love you.”

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Wow, Am I Glad I’m Not Stuck Alone in a Cold Car in a Dark, Freezing Forest!

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I was driving on a lonely, snowy back road when my car fishtailed. I spun and landed at a 45-degree angle in a snowy woodsy gully. Saplings wedged my doors shut.

No problem, I thought jauntily. In this day and era of gadgety and computerized automobility, I’ll have no trouble connecting with someone to help me escape from this misshapen Chevy.

I scrounged my pockets for my portable Commodore phone, but I discovered I had left it in my other phone holster.

No problem, I thought in a lively and cheerful manner. After I push aside this cumbersome and intrusively deployed airbag, I’ll easily access assistance via our car’s handy-brandy, blueberry-tooth, space-aged, drone-like, satellitistic messaging system. Hmm, now where did I put the recipe for that digital wigga-whammy?

I couldn’t find the digital wigga-whammy nor the recipe. I think both are in my other glove box.

Well, I thought with confident optimism. This is not like the olden days when people fishtailed on ice and ended up alone in a snow-filled woodsy gully ditch in the middle of nowhere because their car slipped off the road after spinning. In those days there was no way to communicate! Those days are over! Finished! Kaput!

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All I have to do is punch in my friend Ed’s number into my conveniently portable dashboard–slash–windshield-washer roboticizer, and Ed will pick up one of his sundry devices and will jiffy pop over here to rescue me from this ever-darkening and ever-creepier woods where it is now starting to snow again harder this time.

I stuck the suction cup to the window and plugged the wire into the e-cigarette porthole. I pressed the Search key. Nothing happened.

Hmm, I thought. Electronical system not working. Probably a short in the trunk.

I attempted to maintain my sprightly mood.

When I finally managed to access Ed’s voicemail, night had fallen. I left a message for Ed. Ed returned my call three days later as I recovered in the hospital from frostbite.

“Hey, Blair,” Ed said. “I just saw your message. What’s up?”

“Thanks, Ed.” I said. “I almost died in a terrible car accident, and I called you for help. Where were you?”

“How do I know where I was?” said Ed. “That was three days ago. I don’t even know where I am today, ha ha ha!”

“Ha ha ha” I muttered. “Some friend. Thanks a lot for rescuing me.”

After saying goodbye to Ed, I hit the nurse’s call button to request additional jauntiness medication, but instead I mistakenly activated the hospital’s sprinkler system.

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