Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Word About The Top Shelf

A Word About the Top Shelf
I figure after all these months of me spoutin' my opinions, observations an' rants from my place up on the top shelf, I should say a word or two about its place in my life. An old Ojibway Elder friend of mine used to refer to this part of my life as the slow slope down the last hill of our journey on this earth. Well, THAT just sucks! It's right up there on a par with "These are the golden years". Yeah - right.
The whole business started when I seen our picture sittin' on the top shelf of somebody's bookcase somewhere's an' I thought to myself that this was a good omen_ sittin' way up there lookin' down on everybody's foibles an' follies an' havin' a good laugh about it. It provides a degree of separation between the observer an' the observed. Well you gotta know we're the ones who provided the pictures in the first place, frames an all, so you get some idea of who these people might be. There was a time when we were important in their lives to one degree or another. In fact, we may have exercised some influence on them from time to time.  At that time our pictures would'a sat on the mantle or maybe even on a coffee table. Of course now they need that space for their own pictures, or their children's pictures - so we get moved up progressively until we reach the very top shelf on top o' the bookcase.
You'd think on the face of it, we are bein' relegated to oblivion, waitin' for the grim reaper. Ha ha! They forget that it was people like us who made them what they are. Do they really think we're gonna stop now? Not on yer life! We can just smile down on them while they make the same stupid mistakes we did an' go "tut, tut", purposely forgettin' our own follies of another era.
Come to think of it, we've got photos of our parents and grandparents hangin' up on the wall in the bedroom above the closet door. Well it ain't a bookcase but it's just as high up. Neither one of us think about them a great deal neither. They're just there in case we wanna have a look once in a while an reminisce. Then we go on with our business. I guess that's what the children and grandchildren do. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.
Just sayin'.

Saturday, August 20, 2016


I think everybody should take the time to read Re Green's "The Beginners Book to Women". Well it ain't foolproof but it sure does have a lot o' useful information in it. To me it's pretty well the reference book I use whenever a "situation" arises. One o' the things I got outta it was that it's pretty good politics to try bein' helpful to yer spouse = or at least suggest that yer willin' to help at just about anythin'. It's the butterin' up process that improves with the thickness of the layer o' butter you apply.
Well, I done that last Tuesday - or Wednesday, I don't remember which. I was quite proud o' myself, in spite o' the fact that it didn't really work. The gesture itself was just fine, but it turns out the help was neither needed nor wanted.
We'd been out runnin' errands, shoppin' an' all sorts o' sundry stuff the day before until we were about done in. It all started out well enough. First we went to the dry cleaners. The Missus says, "Wait in the car, I'll be right out."
I reply, "My name is Victor and I'll be your waiter today."
"Ha ha," she says (with a wry little smile on her face). It was shapin' up to be a good day. Well it went on like that 'til about 2:00 p.m. when we finally got home. It was another hour before the Missus finished puttin' everthin' away (includin' ourselves for an afternoon nap).
The day was hummin' along just fine by the time dinner was done. The Missus was out on the patio readin' her book an' I was bein' helpful by doin' the dinner dishes. Well I finish up an' retire to the patio, all smug an' self satisfied when she says, "I'm all pooped out. We done too much today. Tomorrow I'm gonna do absolutely nothin'!"
"You want some help with that?" I ask enthusiastically in the spirit o' bein' helpful.
"Naw, I can manage," she replies, rollin' her eyes.
Well I get nervous when she's rollin her eyes, so I say: "No really, I got lots o' experience. I can help."
"Don't talk," she says, "I'm readin".
That pretty well ended my efforts to be helpful. At least that's how it seemed to me from up here on the top shelf.
Just sayin'.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Name Calling

Name Calling
 She says; "Ah damn, that's a beautiful apple! Have a bite."
He says; "Oy vey! That's one sour apple." an' spits it out.
Ya get the connection don't ya? Well it stands to reason don't it? The amount o' times he screwed up, or forgot to do somethin' after they was kicked outta the Garden of Eden had got her naggin' him about it an' every time she done it he knew she was hollerin' at him until he figured his name was Adam.
An' Oy vey, that's actually the Yiddish pronunciation of the Arabic word Eevee. Well you know how things are between the Arabs an' the Jews. Every time she started "Ah damning" him, he'd just roll his eyes an' say "Oy vey". Well you know that didn't go over very well. She didn't much like it at all. That 'Oy vey' business seemed to be a derogatory term, the way he said it. An' that 'Eevee' business wasn't much better neither, but at least it had a bit of a ring to it, if ya left off the last 'e'. That was it! She's call herself Eve! If that horse's petoot wanted to talk to her, that's what he'd have to call her or she wouldn't talk to him at all.
Well, Adam. Or Ah Damn, whichever you wanna call him, he had to mull that one over for a bit. On the one hand, the silence would be a relief. But on the other, he'd just have to put up with them two boys o' theirs. The one, the sugar cane farmer, he was about as interestin' as a root canal. Adam just called him Cain (that was his accent comin' out again). An' the other one; the aggressive hunter, well he was no bowl o' cherries neither. But he was able to pick his boring brother off with a rock at a hunnert paces, which would shut him up. Well the able guy was able to provide meat for the table, so he became called Abel in Adams vocabulary.
What's that got to do with anythin', you ask. Well  . . . . . nothin'; zero. An' that's what you find when you look up how names was first invented on Google. Nearly every site tells you how the Egyptians invented "zero". So they don't know neither. So you can take my explanation of it as gospel. Who's to refute it? Nobody   . . . . . . Zero! At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.
Just sayin'.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

It's all About Decoration

It's all about Decoration
Well I suppose I could write about all them things goin' on in the world an' lament about all the injustices bein' wrought on humanity. But what's the point o' that? It's all over the news an' social media anyways. Besides, I don't agree with any o' them yahoos anyhow. Naw, I'd rather write about somethin' far more important to the men of this world: an' that's women's perception o' things. The degree of importance is directly proportionate to what kind o' misery you wanna find yerself in for eternity.
See, I'm the sort that's got to keep busy. The day usually starts on my computer at about five a.m., then on to my picture puzzle when I get bored an' so on. But in the mean time my hands get fidgety so I gotta work on somethin to make them happy too. I used to love wood workin' but don't have much chance to do that nomore.
The other day I just had a yen to make somethin' - maybe another walkin' cane. I've made a few o' them before an' I just like makin' them. So I glued some pieces o' white maple together an started carvin'. It was a comfortable little handle to fit a lady's hand but didn't look like much because o' the glue joints. So I painted it - bright red along with the brown stained stem. Well that was apparently a big mistake! I should'a painted it all black. That, along with the fact that it was downright ugly, and also that it wasn't all black - I considered throwin' the whole thing out.
But then I had an idea. I went down to the dollar store an' bought some o' them glue on rhinestone stickers. Havin' glued one on over the screw holdin' the red handle down, I now had a "diamond cane".
"Oh," says the Missus, "Let me see that!"
Suddenly this old piece of no class "junk" that wasn't painted black had a new personality. It fit nicely in the hand an' that "diamond" makes it just perfect. "I could use that if I ever needed a cane" says the Missus. "Put it up with the other ones."
Imagine holdin' a diamond worth a whole bunch o' karats right in the palm o' your hand - even if it's a fake piece o' glass. Well I don't know about that. What I do know about is that I pulled the proverbial rabbit outta the hat without havin' to paint the thing black or throw it out. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.
Just sayin'.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

All About Skin

All About Skin

Well what kind of a blog will this be - all about skin? C'mon, we can do better than that. No, not really. Well lets face it. Skin is the largest organ on the human body I'm told, an we don't even notice it. We take it for granted. That's what we put our tattoos on, that's what we put our makeup on, an' that's what we drag over to the tanning beds to fry to a crisp. We do all these things to our skin an' never even acknowledge that it is an organ just like our heart an' lungs.

Durin' our lifetime we fill our faces with Pizza an' Pasta an' stretch our skin to the breakin' point. Then we get concerned with our weight an' go on a crash diet, losin' a lot of it. We've managed somehow to expand this major organ to contain all them calories 'til it was to bustin' with nary a thought to the consequences. We never figured out that skin grows to accommodate what we put into our bodies, but it don't go back as the innards of its contents get smaller. It's a one-way stretch an' it don't shrink back! So then we gotta go to the body tailor to have the excess skin taken in - just like you have yer pants taken in at the tailor's when they're too big. Sorta like alterations, except one costs about five bucks an' the other about ten grand.

Well the Missus notices somethin' the other day an' she says "Look at this!" When I say "What"? she points to her arm an' says "Look at my skin hangin' down!" I say somethin' stupid about her hair dryer an' heatin' up the skin to make it shrink tight like they do with plastic on windows to keep out the frost. It's a good job she don't have any tattoos to get all saggy. "Oh shaddap!" she says, "you got the same thing!" Danged if she ain't right. I never noticed before.

I wouldn't want anybody to rip off my skin an' replace it with a smaller model. No sir! But - but if them tannin' bed guys could come up with some sort of a ray that could shrink the skin down to a size to fit the body, now that would be somethin'. You'd think with all the things we can invent these days, what can be so hard as to come up with a simple skin shrinker? I mean, how hard can it be to make such a thing?

If there's anyone out there with the same idea, they could probably get a government grant for it, or at the very minimum, money from one of the pharmaceutical companies. At least, that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hakuna Matata

Hakuna Matata
Well why not? Listen, we've survived the likes o' Genghis Kahn, Hannibal, Napoleon, Joe Stalin, Adolph Hitler, to name just a few, an' we're still here - plottin' other ways to screw up the world an' the people in it. So far we ain't managed it. So I say Hakuna Matata, a Swahili expression roughly meanin "no worries" that was used in the movie "Lion King" to great success. That's what made me think of it and think of how appropriate it is in the fate of the (human) world.
Well when I think about England divorcin' itself from Europe and leavin' itself open to attack from the other countries in the EU through that tunnel under the English Channel I say Hakuna Matata! An' the French bein' mowed down by their own country men in massive killin' sprees, or the Turks repealin' the capital punishment law just long enough to execute some six thousand people accused of treason, I say Hakuna Matata! An' let's not forget our neighbors south of the border. As they follow their presidential candidates into the sewer hole of hell = who cares? The only people startin' to cheer are the Indigenous people at the opportunity to get rid of the descendants of them disease ridden, money grubbin' palefaces. An' even as black people lose their fear of the mock justice system an' go after the cops, who cares? I say Hakuna Matata.
Well I can't leave out Canada's chosen people, the Albertans. They appear to have been given the divine right to expect a hundred dollar a barrel oil revenue and to be able to ship it however an' wherever they want, regardless of spills an' pipeline breaks, an if they don't get their way, blame it on Rachel Notley. It seems to be their God given right to waste our water on frackin, pollute rivers an' streams, poisonin' fish an' wildlife an' why are people wastin' time on science anyways? Well to these people I say Hakuna Matata! Karma will find you sooner or later.
See, I don't have to worry about what other people do or think. I can't do anythin' about it anyways. So I end up bein' much happier sayin' Hakuna Matata, an' let Karma take care o' the rest. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.
Just sayin'.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Steinbach Caper

The Steinbach Caper
I know, I know. We're gettin' a little long in the tooth to be marchin' in a Pride parade. So I figured I'd better explain how we got there in the first place. There was never any thought of it until that terrible attack in Orlando, Florida. When the Missus found out that the girls and their kids was goin' to the Steinbach Parade, it was decided (not by me) that we would go an' march too. (Well, I done that in 1995 after Ron's passin' an' had a hard time with it. I even spoke at the steps of the Legislature). Well, the Missus put on her boss pants an' said we're goin'. That wasn't a request. Fortunately, I was on side with her. Human rights abuses are as abominable to me as they are to her.
My biggest worry was vandalism of my car while it was parked out there. Turns out that Yvonne, who has her mother's organizational instincts says we should go to their place an' then all ride out in one car. Okay I say, Bob's yer uncle. Well wait, if that ain't enough, we got a semi - invalided passenger with us. So, continuin' with her organizational mind, she decides to drop the aged an' infirm (that's me an' Judy) off at City Hall steps so we don't have to walk any sort of a ways, an they'll continue on to the Jake Epp Library where the parade is to start.
So we get perched on the sidewalk in front of City Hall on our camp chairs in the heat an' brilliant sunshine watchin' folks go by, greetin' us an' sayin' good mornin' an' other pleasantries. Several times my infirm partner hobbles off into the shade to have a smoke an' cool off, leavin' me there in the sunshine to people watch for a good couple of hours.
Finally, FINALLY, the parade shows up down the block an' suddenly a sea o' people ooze onto the City Hall front yard, almost swallowin' me whole in the process. I jump up and fold up my camp chairs in absolute terror, hopin' to save myself from bein' trampled. Before I know it, all six of our women are standin' around me, takin' pictures an' yakkin'. I put my folded up chairs in Yvonne's walker when the speeches get underway. I can't see nothin' cause o' them people all around, wavin' their arms, an' I can't hear nothin' cause o' all that screamin' an' yellin' goin on every time somebody says somethin' they like. It reminded me o' them Niverville church services where the preacher finishes his sermon early an' asks the congregation if anybody has anythin' profound to add. There was always somebody an' the service goes on forever 'til nobody can hold their water no more.
I finally got claustrophobia an' headed to where the car was parked only to find Judy sittin' on a bench nearby, havin' another smoke. After another hour or so of watchin' the Mounties direct traffic away from the crowd, the women finally return an' we head for home.
Well the upshot o' all this hullabaloo was that Steinbach certainly lived up to and exceeded it's Mennonite traditions, showin' respect for the celebrants and were repaid in kind. No vandalism, no protests, no interruptions.  . . . . (and unfortunately, no rollkuchen which is somethin' like Mennonite Bannock). Except for those, Steinbach showed the world how things ought to be done with respect, tolerance and dignity. At least, that's how it seems to me from up here on the tops shelf.
Just sayin'.