Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mind Yer Own Business

Mind Yer Own Business

It never occurred to me 'til the other day that the whole world is busy livin' everybody else's life. I normally associate that with individual people who got nothin' better to do than to gossip about somebody else. Well it turns out that's what the whole dang farned world is doin'. There was a program on the TV about Cuba, citing the changes they were makin' in freein' up human rights an' movin' to more of a market economy. The story line was about a fellow who now had the chance of openin' his own little business to suppliment his income. He was selling everythin' he could get his hands on, includin' the kitchen sink. He was doin all this while still working at a hospital as a trauma doctor. Well, there was other stories too, but this one illustrates how people manage in a restrictive economy.

While the narrator was busy yammerin' on about abject poverty, the lack of opportunity to pursue ones dreams an' all that, I couldn't help but notice in all them fine vintage circa 1940's an 50's cars they drive down there. Man, they bring back some memories. Well an' while I was at it, I noticed some pretty well dressed people meanderin' around on the streets of Havanna. Makes one want to redefine the abject in abject poverty.

Of course it's mainly the U.S. that's still pissed off at the nationalization of a number of industries in Cuba. Under Batista, they (the banks and other industries) had free reign over the island paradise. That was an expensive deal for them. Of course, as somebody said recently, the world revolves around the United States according to Americans. Empire builders tend to be like that. They carry long grudges. Too bad they don't see the shoe is on the other foot in their dealin's with the American Indians.

If it were up to me I'd tell 'em to shaddup an' mind their own dang business instead o' stickin' their big noses into everbody else's. But they don't see it that way. After all, they single handedly won WWI and WWII as well as the war of 1812, so they have a sense of entitlement. I remember the missus telling me one day about a woman who had come into her shop to buy a dress for a party on a Friday night. Saturday she was back wanting to return it. Of course on refusal, she let the missus know in no uncertain terms that she was an American an' Americans don't put up with that kind of nonsense. Diplomatic as ever, the missus was happy to provide phone numbers for head office to the lady and wished her well. Needless to say that was aonother war the American(s) didn't win.

There was a piece on the TV the other night about things goin' on in Syria. The journalist was talking to a little girl of maybe six years old who was sittin' on a stoop. She (the six year old) was explainin' about bombs an' mortars by sound an' how you could tell where they would land. As they were talkin' the girl suddenly looked up, her eyes wide an' then she calmly said, oh that was a such an' such a projectile an' it was aimed at another area. So she just went on talkin' as though it was nothin' special.

I guess what I'm sayin is that people in these repressive places know how to survive. Given enough time their situations will right themselves one way or another without outside interference. Ask any cop who's ever tried to settle a domestic dispute. No we'd be best off to realize we don't understand the various cultures and bases for the abuses that go on around the world an' we don't know what we're talkin' about, so we should shaddap an' mind our own business. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Great Goatee Caper

The Great Goatee Caper

Holy mackerel, I never thought I'd end up in a windstorm like I did over this goatee business! The missus says to me one day, “You should grow a goatee. It would look nice on you.”

Well, she shouldn'ta said that.I sit here every day lookin' at a picture of Buffalo Bill who had a magnificent moustache and goatee. The only thing I'm missin' is the ten gallon hat. An' I'm thinkin' maybe it's not such a bad thought. I can always go buy a hat. After all, both my grandpas had goatees at one time or another. So I figure, why not? At my age it's a miracle if anythin' grows where it's supposed to so it ain't all that certain that anythin's goin' to happen. If Don Cherry can grow one, so can I. Heck, he's a year older than me an' he looks pretty snappy.

About a week or ten days into it I go down to Sunshine Records for some business, sporting this ugly white stubble that's growin' crooked on my chin an' what do you suppose? Both the guys over there are sportin' goatees. What the H E double hockey sticks? I feel like we all got the measles or somethin' and the beards are a rash that's developed. The only thing is, it's never gonna go away.

Let's face it, these attachments are just plumb ugly. Don't take my word for it. Look it up on the internet. I did an' was dismayed. The only people who looked good with that chin scrubble were also wearin' ten gallon hats. It seems you gotta cover what's missin' on the top o' your head so the junk on your face looks a little better.

I said that to the missus an' I could see by her expression she didn't agree so I didn't talk aboit it nomore. I shouldn'ta mentioned it at all 'cause she started on about puttin' a special conditioner in the blamed thing to make it nice an' soft. Yeah, right. Like I'm gonna let her take ownership o' stuff on my face. I don't think so. She done that before on my eyebrows an' my moustache without my knowin' what she was up to. She had a handful o' purple jelly she painted all over them things an' told me not to wash it out for two hours. What – now she owns my face too? Well I sat there, starched for two hours like an obedient little boy. Then I went an' cleaned it off an' sure enough everythin' was whiter but I think it only looked like that cause of the purple. Actually, I had in mind to clean it off with the razor instead of soap an' water. Well that's what happened to Ab Marley way back when. He was one o' them WWII air force men whose most distinguishin' feature was his pencil moustache. He went all through the war wearin' it an one mornin' about ten years after he gets home he walks into the office without the thing. Seems he was day dreamin' while shavin' and before he knew it, half the moustache was shaved off. Over forty years he'd worn it and suddenly half of it was in the sink. Well, nothin' to do but shave the other half off an' start over.

Well that's what I was thinkin' about. Now I got a whole new protocol of shavin' an' it seems I got to do acrobatics to keep the thing straight an' not carve a piece out of it in the process. The last thing I need is a gapin' hole in the blamed thing if I slip up. An' the second last thing I need is some o' that purple starch on my kisser an' I'm gonna tell the missus that too! What I do need is a ten gallon hat an' I'm gonna get me one. Then maybe I'll look the part an' the goatee will start to grow on me. At least that's how it seems from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I have Seen my Destiny

I Have Seen my Destiny

Imagine being able to know your destiny when you die. No more guesswork about where your spirit will end up, no fervent prayers asking for forgiveness for all the wrongs you done or your evil deeds in this life. Suddenly you know, you KNOW clear as a bell just what will happen to your spirit when your body gives out. An' you know you ain't goin' to heaven OR hell neither. No, you're goin to a place called Purgatory. Well that's not really a place, it's a state of bein', a place o' torture, as it were (accordin' to the dictionary).

I didn't even have a concept o' what that meant 'til this mornin' durin' our usual conversation over breakfast coffee. We usually talk about the weather or dyin' or that kinda stuff, but this mornin' it was about cats, of all things. My position on cats is well known. I dunno why the Missus keeps bringin' it up all the time but she does. Every time she sees a cat at somebody's house, she wants one. Well so far, I been winnin' the argument.

I threatened to throw all my clothes all over the floor, the furniture and the plants. The wife was confused. What the H E double hockey sticks did I think I'd accomplish with that, she wanted to know. I'd be the same as a cat, I said. They shed their fur all over everythin' an' don't ever pick it up.

“Well,” she comes back rather smartly, “what do you think the vaacum is for?”

“An' who does the vaacumin' around here?” I come back just as smart. I got her there. She ain't got no argument against that (even though I can see she'd like to).

“Okay, you win,” she concedes reluctantly, “but when you die, I'm gettin' a cat an' callin' it Victor!”

“What the - - - you wouldn't!”

“What'll you do about it, bein' dead an' all?” she quips.

I have no idea how I came to losin' this argument but it seems there's no way out. Now I gotta think of how to reply. I always teased my cat lovin' grandchildren that if I ever got a cat, it would be a cat named Bob, or alternately that I didn't want a cat – I wasn't hungry. None o' that would work in this case though.

“So you're sayin' that after you're done with me you're goin' to be married to some wussy pussy.”

“Don't be so silly. I'll name the cat Victor an' it'll be your spirit in the cat. It'll be just like you never left. You'll be rumblin' around here quietly all day like you do now an' you'll be all soft an' cuddly at night on the pillow. Sounds great to me.”

Yep. That's Purgatory alright. Victor the cat! Well at least now I know my destiny. Listen, it can't be all that bad. At least I know the layout, an' the place'll be nice an' clean an' I won't have to vaacum neither. If I gotta suffer this kind o' torture, it won't be that much torture I figure. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Jusr sayin'.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

What's in a Birthday?

What's in a Birthday?

I celebrated another birthday the other day, Feelin' proud of myself for havin' lasted this long and still in fairly good health, I set about the day to make the most of it. Before I knew it the missus was up an' came over to wish me a happy birthday. Well that was nice an really bolstered my spirits. Thus bolstered, I went about the business of takin' a slice outta life.

Well, a couple'a things had gone haywire durin' the course o' the week so I thought I'd tackle them an' get things put back on an even keel. First thing was the blinkin' barbecue that wasn't workin' proper. So I brought it in the house to thaw out first of all. I put it on MY desk in MY office, right on top o' the missus' duster, sayin' nothin'.

“Just what do you think you're doin' with that thing in the house?” she says to me.

“I'm fixin' it,” I says.

“You're not fixin that piece o' junk! We only paid twenty-five bucks for it!”

“Hey! When we first moved to the city, twenty-five bucks would pay a month's rent AND buy the groceries, so don't knock it.”

“Yeah, well that was seventy years ago.”

“Don't matter. At least I know the value of a dollar.”

“Don't matter is right. You ain't fixin' it! We'll go buy a new one.”

Well the whole business of who's fixin' what an' who's buyin' what goes on for a while an' no body's getting' wore down in the argument. Finally she says. “You have no authority!”


She's got this smug look on her face. “No authority,” she says again quietly.

There's somethin' in that tone of voice that makes me think I'm gonna lose the argument. “Now look here lady,” I start. “I'm settin' here in my office where I'm the supreme commander an' YOU'RE tellin' me I got no authority? I think you're wrong there!”

“I don't care where you're settin'. You're an old man. In fact you've never ever been this old before. You've come full circle an' are now in your second childhood. Some body's got to take charge. So you're NOT fixin the barbecue.”

Well, I got maybe one gambit left. “Well, fine! You want me to do any more barbecuein' then you dig into yer own wallet an' come up with a new barbecue!”

“Fine with me. I know you want to be cremated, but it ain't gonna happen on our balcony before you're even dead,” she says. “I don't fancy pickin' your guts off the railin's to hand them over to the crematorium.”

We kind'a both won that argument. That's what I'm thinkin' anyways. Well okay, maybe I lost, but at least I got a free barbecue out of it, an' I don't have to fix that old piece o' junk. That's the nice part about arguin' with your best friend. You can always figure it out so's you both win an' nobody get's their nose outta joint. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin'.