Monday, February 25, 2013

Raising a Stink - A limerick

  The woman in a high-class role,
   With a pince nez, purse and a stole,
   Really did look the part.
   Too bad she let a fart;
   The booming blast took quite a toll.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

In the News

The Chattahoochee Valley Press-Prevaricator
If it’s news, it’s news to us.

BINGO!!! Chief says she’s got Harris this time

Staff Writer
   COLUMBUS – Police chief Irene Jones says Tom Harris is at it again. Six months ago, Mr. Harris ran afoul of Chief Jones for allegedly speeding and being careless in his motorized wheelchair.
   “The man is a menace,” Chief Jones said at the time. “I don’t know whose idea it was to put a motor on his wheelchair, but whoever the person was, he ought to have his head examined.”
   Chief Jones was asked at the time if she thought Mr. Harris should have his head examined.
   “Why?” she asked sarcastically. “They wouldn’t find anything. His ears are separated by a vast tract of empty space.”
   Mr. Harris’ driving is still an issue.
  “Zoom, zoom, zoom he goes, careening recklessly from dawn to dusk,” the chief said. “I don’t what his hurry is.”
   “Look, at my age, when you got to go, you got to go,” Mr. Harris told the P-P in an exclusive interview. “The plumbing ain’t what it used to be.”
   Chief Jones is still very concerned about Mr. Harris’ driving, and she depends upon a number of snitches to observe Mr. Harris’ driving and report any speeding or careless operation on his part to her. According to one of the snitches, who refused to give her name to this reporter, Chief Jones has encouraged the snitches and offered them bonus pay to make up stories of Mr. Harris speeding and endangering innocent pedestrians.
   “My job is to keep Mr. Harris off the road,” Chief Jones said. “If my snitches have to play fast and loose with the truth in order to do that, so what?”
   But Chief Jones’ biggest concern these days is Mr. Harris’ bingo calling. Thursday she stopped by the bingo hall – a cup of coffee in one hand and a donut in the other, according to witnesses – and heard a frustrated player ask, “Is there an O-62 in there?”
   That was enough to engage the chief’s interest, and she stayed to watch several games.
   “If there was an O-62 in there, he never called it,” Chief Jones said, wiping the residue of yet another donut from her face. “And I intend to find out why.”
   The chief said her department is undertaking a full-scale investigation of Mr. Harris’ bingo calling.
    “All you have to do is take one look at his beady eyes and you know that thieving Harris is guilty as sin,” she said. “Why do you think he drives so fast? Because he’s fleeing the scene of his latest crime, that’s why.
   “Well, he can run, but pretty soon he’s going find his hide in the big house. You can bet on that.”

Friday, February 22, 2013

Notes from the Home - February 22, 2013

   Maria can be crotchety. And with her acid tongue and sense of humor, the more crotchety she gets, the more fun she is to be around. She spices her complaints with well-placed hells and damns, which she delivers with added emphasis, as if to make sure no one mistakes them for hecks and darns. The complainers at Covenant Woods, for the most part, are a humorless group. When things aren’t to their liking, they blame it on the staff and management’s astounding stupidity. Maria complains about stupidity too, but she does so with the realization that stupidity is the human condition, and all of us are heir to it. And as she complains, she smiles.
   Saturday, as I was on my way to dinner, I met Maria headed the other way.
   “Going to breakfast?” she asked.
   Not a sound came from my mouth, but, “Oh my God, Maria, you’ve gone senile,” was written all over my face.
   “They’re serving breakfast for dinner tonight,” she said.
   That cleared up things. Every now and then on a Saturday, scrambled eggs are the only dinner entree. Sandwiches and salads are available, but for those looking for a meal, the choice is scrambled eggs or scramble eggs.
   “There’s going to be a change of management here on Tuesday,” she said, after making it clear she that scrambled eggs wasn’t her choice. “I’m telling you this because I know I can trust you not to say anything. But there’s going to be new management here. And remember, don’t say a word.”
   “What new management?” Sally asked, appearing in the doorway of the activity room.
   Until that moment, I was sure Maria was engaged in nothing more than a little heads-are-going-to-roll joking. But the look on her face when she saw Sally and realized she’d heard some of our conversation said, “Me and my big mouth.” Maria quickly concocted a story about a new manager at a local store, and we all went our separate ways.
   The Town Hall meeting was Tuesday, and the announced change was in procedure not management. At some unspecified date, the residents will stop marking their own menu cards. To make the dining experience more restaurant-like, menus will be placed on the tables, and the servers will ask the residents for their order. Pity the poor servers. Often, as soon as the server picks up the menu card the resident remembers ordering that which he did not. In those cases, the menu card is the server’s only defense when the resident berates her for incompetence and not paying attention.
   Early in the New Year, Richie returned from Rhode Island, where he’d spent the holidays visiting his son. A shoulder bag he’d carried on the plane during the return flight stayed for a while in Atlanta. Richie remembered having it with him as he waited at the airport for the Groome van to pick him up and cart him back to Columbus. But the bag was nowhere to be found when the van pulled up to Covenant Woods.
   Richie got the number for the airport lost-and-found from the van driver. The number is for a recording, which tells callers the airport lost-and-found does not process claims over the phone and refers them to a website. Surprisingly, for a man a year or two younger than I and who used to work on submarines, Richie is computer illiterate.
   So, he came over, we got on the website, and I typed in the information. There wasn’t much: a black shoulder bag with no ID tags, and a pair of boots, some toiletries and a couple prescriptions inside it. His chances of ever seeing it again were slim, I thought, and none after a week went by and he hadn’t heard anything. But last week, six weeks after the bag was lost, Richie got a call from the lost-and-found. His bag had been located and would be shipped to him. The package arrived yesterday. The easiest good deed I’ve ever performed.
   Al dropped in the other day. He looked at all the candy that has accumulated on the TV tray. Except for the two boxes of Girl Scout cookies that I bought the other day, all the goodies were given to me, most of them by Al. His prescription for good health: Three cups of black coffee a day, two glasses of red wine and all the chocolate you can.
   “Tom,” he said, looking at cache of chocolate, “is something wrong? You’re not eating.”
   “I’m fine,” I told him. “But I’m not the chocoholic I once was.”
   He looked at the table, then at me. He looked at the table again. Then, turning back toward me, he glanced at my midsection.
   “You ought to do something about this,” he said, patting his stomach with his hands. “You’re getting big around here. You better stop eating so much.”
   “You just said I should eat more chocolate.”
   “You should. They’re finding that chocolate is good for you.”
   Isabelle, who celebrated her eighty-seventh birthday over the weekend, has a wonderful sense of humor. She, her husband Ralph, Al and I were sitting around a table in the dining room one evening. Al was talking about the woman from the hospital who comes out a couple days a week to put him through an exercise regimen.
   “Now that I’ve done the exercises for a while, I’m feeling a little better. I’m not getting dizzy like I was,” he said. “Of course, I’m not drinking as much as I used to, and I’m not smoking as much.”
   “You’re not smoking as much because you can’t find any good grass,” Isabelle said.
   “Well, that’s true,” Al said. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ode to Cocoa

 N-E-S-T-L-E-S, blah, blah, blah.
   That commercial from fifty years ago irks me.
   “Chaaawk-let,” Farfel said. The whole thing sticks in my craw.
   Oh, I suppose Nestle’s Quik is tasty.
   The problem is, it is so very quick;
   Chocolate milk to be gulped in a single swallow.
   A cheap ploy to get kids to drink their milk,
   Lest rickets makes them sick
   And they grow up not to be Apollo.
   But a man puts aside things of a childish ilk
   And only a drink he can savor does the trick.
   Yet, a man is still subject to chocolate craving.
   His soul calls out, “Chocolate. Please, I must have chocolate.”
   And left unfulfilled, the desire turns to raving
   And he is shoved through the emotional gauntlet
   And in minutes he’ll be stark, raving loco
   Unless this great gnawing hunger is satisfied.
   But what, oh what, will still the man’s anxious tremor?
   A cup of hot cocoa!
   It leaves the body refreshed, the mind edified,
   Can a reasonable man ask for anything more?
   ‘Tis music for the soul – baroque and rococo.
   Cocoa steaming hot on a frigid winter day.
   Fingers, nearly numb, cold as ice, caress the mug,
   Absorb its warmth, regain the sense that went away.
   Across the table, sits the one you wish to hug,
   Her beaming smile and rosy cheeks light up the room,
   Her cheerfulness blending with the chocolaty balm.
   Sipping cocoa, you sit silently, watching her,
   A lovely rose in bloom
   Who delights in the moment and makes your world calm.
   A treasured time that the cocoa has made better
   Shared with a friend, who when she smiles, can lift your gloom.

The Resident Journal

This is the current issue of The Resident Journal, minus the pictures. Chuck Baston, a Covenant Woods' resident, came up with the idea...