Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Long Lost (with good reason) Lone Ranger Show

*In the opening scene we see the Lone Ranger with his trusty sidekick, Tonto, riding across the desert.  A few yards behind them are three wagons containing band members playing the “William Tell Overture.”

Tonto:  Kemo Sabe, me hear awful  sounds.

Lone Ranger:  You hear the band.  I’d prefer “Some Enchanted Evening,” but the director insists on that song, so  I use earplugs.

*Stopping to rest the horses, the two men walk into the nearby woods to look for nuts and berries to eat.

Tonto:  Kemo Sabe, me hear strange noise.

Lone Ranger:  It’s a mother bear and her two cubs.  Do not make eye contact; turn around and slowly walk out of here.  Don’t try to run, faithful buddy; no man can outrun a bear.

*A few moments later Tonto blazes past the masked man.

Lone Ranger:  Tonto,  I told you that you can’t outrun a bear!

Tonto:  Me not try to outrun bear, Kemo Sabe!  Me just try to outrun you!

*After getting back to their horses the two men ride away.  Soon they discover the charred remains of a building.

Lone Ranger:  Old-timer, what happened?

Storeowner:  It was the work of the Dalton gang.  I wouldn’t pay protection money so they burned down my bakery.  Now my business is toast!

Lone Ranger:  Don’t worry.  Tonto and I will bring those crooks to justice.

*After riding a few miles, Tonto dismounts and puts an ear to the ground.

Tonto:  Buffalo been through here, Kemo Sabe.

Lone Ranger:  How do you know that?

Tonto:  Now me have buffalo manure on ear.

* As night falls our two heroes make a camp.  As the Lone Ranger undresses, Tonto displays a disgusting face.

Lone Ranger:  What’s wrong?

Tonto:  You all messed up, Kemo Sabe.  Your feet smell and your nose runs!

Lone Ranger:  Great!  I get a comedian for a sidekick.  I wonder if Batman would sell Robin to me?

*The masked man and his trusty friend are soon in dreamland.  About three hours later Tonto awakens, and arouses the Lone Ranger.

Tonto:  Kemo Sabe, look upward.  What do you see?

Lone Ranger:  I see a wonderful array of stars.

Tonto:  What does that mean to you, Kemo Sabe?

Lone Ranger:  It is a reminder that God is the most awesome artist of all.

Tonto:  Kemo Sabe, as you look at stars you should become aware that someone has stolen our tent!

*In the morning the Lone Ranger, while sitting down to put on his boots, is bitten on the backside by a deadly rattlesnake.

Lone Ranger:  Old friend, you must ride to the nearest town.  Bring back the doctor before it’s too late!

*Tonto rides Scout at top speed, arriving in the town of Dead Man’s Gulch in twenty minutes.  Unfortunately, the town’s only doctor is in the middle of delivering triplets, so he cannot leave, but he gives directions to Tonto.

Doctor:  Hurry back to your friend.  Start a fire and sterilize this knife over it.  Then cut an X” over the wound.  Then suck out the poison.  Tonto then rushes back to the masked man.

Lone Ranger:  What did the doctor tell you?

Tonto:  Him said you die, Kemo Sabe!

 *Fortunately, heroes, at least  the ones in the movies,  are not killed so easily.  In fact, the rattlesnake died!

Lone Ranger:  Since we are near that town, let’s go see about a bank lone.  We have to feed our horses, pay our laundry bills, and the price of masks has gone up again!

*The two heroes enter the Last Chance Bank.  A clerk listens to their plea for money but must turn them down.

Clerk:  You will have to come back tomorrow.  The loan arranger is not here today.

Tonto:  You make heapin’ big joke.  Not bad for  paleface!

*A few hours later, while on the trail, over 1,000 Indians attack our heroes.  The Lone Ranger and Tonto take refuge behind a fallen tree.

Lone Ranger:  We’re in big trouble this time, old pal.  We’re surrounded by Indians.

Tonto:  What you mean ‘we,’ Kemo Sabe?

*Luckily for the Lone Ranger and Tonto, the raiding Indians were designated by the director to be the “bad guys,” so they were required to be awful shooters of both guns and arrows.  On the other hand, the Lone Ranger’s sharp shooting skills soon drove the Indians away except for the chief, who stayed to chat.

Indian Chief:  Man, you sure can fire that gun.  That’s the best shooting I’ve seen since we attacked John Wayne, which was a big mistake.  How can a thousand Indians defeat the Duke when in another movie the entire Japanese fleet couldn’t do it?

Director:  Cut!  You have to speak in “Indian.”

Chief:  Nobody I know speaks like that!  It sounds silly!

Tonto:  Right on, brother!  I’m  sick of talking like I’m one- year -old.

*After being promised  pay raises the Indians consent to talk “funny” again.  Two hours later our heroes capture the Dalton gang and return them to the city jail.  Upon leaving, Silver, the Lone Ranger’s trusty steed, rises upon its back legs as the masked man shouts, “High-ho, Silver, and away!”  Or was it “High oh, Silver?”  Maybe it was “Ohio, Silver.”  Whatever.

As the twosome rode  away, a townsperson asked: Who was that masked man?

Another citizen:  I think it was Zorro!

Another person:  No, I think it was Batman!

Even another person:  Well, he left something behind.

Old lady:  A silver bullet?

Citizen:  No, an empty six-pack of Old West Beer.

*A few miles from town, the Lone Ranger asks Tonto an important question.

Lone Ranger:  Tonto, just what does “Kemo Sabe” mean?

Tonto:  Loosely translated, it means “idiot” or “nincompoop.”

Lone Ranger:  That’s what I was afraid of.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Football Gene-A Scientific Analysis

Although scientists have not yet discovered them, I know for a fact that each human being is equipped with either a  recessive or a dominant football gene.  A relatively small number of women have the dominant version, but  it’s found in a high percentage of  males.  A neighbor, Jack, has the recessive gene; he’d rather shop than watch the greatest game ever invented.  According to my research, he is one of eight men in this country who was born with the recessive football gene.

Because of their genetic makeup, most women cannot  appreciate the importance of New Year’s Day.  To them it is merely a time to shop, eat a lot of good food, and socialize.  The majority of men will skip the shopping, thank you, but will look forward to the good food, the time spent with buddies, and, most of all, of course, watching lots of football games.

My wife Bev is certainly a holder of the recessive gene.  On a good day she can more or less pay attention to half a game on TV before she gets on the phone, goes to a neighbor’s house, or goes shopping.  Although extremely intelligent,  she has never learned the finer points of the game.  “Now, how many downs do you get?” she often asks, or “Why is that guy called a fullback when there is another guy behind him?”  Actually, the second question is not a bad one. Of course, unlike her, I have a recessive knitting gene; I can never remember if it’s pearl one, knit two, or the other way around (and I don’t care!)

Sadly, those females equipped with the recessive gene are incapable of understanding that football is as important as  the flag and apple pie.  Sadly,  Bev even makes fun of this  sacred All-American sporting event.  Once I promised to go shopping with her if she attended a local college game with me.

Halfway through the first quarter, she stated, “These fans sure are penny-pinchers.”

“What do you mean?” I inquired.

“They keep yelling to get the quarter back! Why make such a fuss over twenty-five cents?”

She probably read that in one of those women’s magazines that she and her buddies share.

Anyway, let’s get back to that most significant day, New Year’s.  With her recessive  gene activated, Bev shook her head and laughed while I hooked up three TV sets along side each other.

“Aren’t you overdoing it a bit, honey?” she asked.

“No,” I replied.  “At times there will be four games running simultaneously, so this way I won’t miss any of the action.”

“But dear, “ she said, “you’re still going to miss a game; you only have three sets.”

“That’s not a problem, dumpling,” I answered.  “Ron is bringing his portable set.”

Bev smiled sheepishly,  quickly rolled her eyes, and then announced that she was going to read in the bedroom until the guests arrived.

Meanwhile, I put out the chips, made sure the pop was cold, and rescued the hotdogs and hamburgers from the freezer.  Studies indicate that about 97% of men who have the dominant football gene also have a partially dominant cooking gene.  This gene allows us to excel in front of a grill as long as we’re doing hotdogs, hamburgers, brats, or other types of sausages.  Unfortunately, our limited  genetic makeup in this area does not give  us the ability to prepare more complicated dishes, and we inherited no concept of cleaning up after ourselves.  That’s why we men have been given the scientific name, “lazio erectus sloppymenius.”

Soon the gang arrived.  Those with recessive football genes (i.e., all but one of the women), went into the basement to watch some kind of romantic film that carries no interest for meat-eating, all-American football worshippers.

Within minutes we had all four TV sets on; wisely, we had the volume on for only the most important game.  Near the end of the first quarter the ladies came upstairs to the kitchen to grab some snacks.  While  the TV announcers kept us abreast of the game,  I noticed  that   the women were quietly talking among themselves  as they looked at us and laughed.

Several hours later, after we men and one woman had watched about twelve football games and everyone had headed home, I asked my wife why earlier in the evening  she had told her buddies  that we men were just overgrown boys.

“How did you know I said that?” she asked.  “I was whispering, and your TV set was blaring.”

“That’s true,” I admitted, “but when you watch four football games at once, and only one has the volume on, you develop the ability to read lips.”

This is merely another skill that is associated with the dominant football gene.  Wives and girlfriends beware-over  94% of football dominant men have developed this lip-reading ability!  Unfortunately for the females, however, over 99% of football dominant men also have inherited the selective hearing gene!  At times we can only hear such statements as: “Supper’s ready,” “Would you like a back rub?” and “I think you’re wonderful.”  Please don’t blame us; it’s all the result of genetics.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What They Say about Dogs

1. “Dogs are the leaders of the planet.  If you see two life forms, one of them making a poop, the other carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?”  Jerry Seinfeld.

2. “A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.”  Robert Benchley.

3. “If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater, suggest that he wear a tail.”  Frances Ann Lebowitz.

4. “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”  Groucho Marx.

5. “If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to Heaven, and very, very few persons.”  James Thurber.

6. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”  Mark Twain.

7. “The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.”  Andy Rooney.

8. “A dog will teach you unconditional love.  If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad.”  Robert Wagner.

9. “My fashion philosophy is, if you’re not covered in dog hair, your life is empty.”  Elayne Booster.

10. “Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.”  Sigmund Freud.

11. “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”  Will Rogers.

12. “Heaven goes by favor.  If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”  Mark Twain.

13. “Whomever said you can’t buy happiness forgot about puppies.”  Gene Hill.

14. “I loathe people who keep dogs.  They are cowards who haven’t got the guts to bite people themselves.”  August Strindberg.

15. “The more people I meet the more I like my dog.”  Anonymous.

16. “Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp-post how it feels about dogs.”  Christopher Hampton.

17. “For me a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog.”  Roger Caras.

18. “The dog has no ambition, no self-interest, no desire for vengeance, no fear other than that of displeasing.”  Count of Buffon.

19. “Dog lovers are a good breed themselves.”  Gladys Taber.

20. “I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that dogs think humans are nuts.”  John Steinbeck.

21. “Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”  Robert A. Heinlein.

22. “Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”  Ann Landers.

23. “Happiness is a warm puppy.”  Charles M. Schulz.

24. “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you.  This is the principal difference between a dog and man.”  Mark Twain.

25. “The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.”  Johnny Depp.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Adventures of Superman (satire)

I was a big fan of the 1950s  TV show, The Adventures of Superman.  In fact, in an attempt to emulate  my hero, at the age of six, while wearing my super outfit, which consisted of a long towel draped around my neck, I gave a big run, stretched out my arms, and attempted to fly off our back porch.  Unfortunately, gravity had its way that day.  So you can imagine how excited I was to discover a forgotten episode of the Man of Steel lying in the bottom of  my sock drawer.


Superman , looking out a window of the Daily Planet,  where as Clark Kent, he works as a reporter: “Oh my gosh!  That man is crossing the street against the light.  This is a job for Superman!”

Several people on the street look up to see a man in leotards and a cape fly out a window of the Daily Planet.

Crowd:  “It’s a bird!  No, it’s a plane!”  (An onlooker is hit)  “@##$%%%^!  It is a &%^**^&**^^* bird! “ Others:  “No, it’s Superman!”

Bobby Jones, a newspaper boy stationed  in front of the Daily Planet, thinks to himself:  “Wow!  It seems like every other day Superman flies out  a window of the Daily Planet.  He must be good friends with the staff.  I wonder why I never see him go into the building?  Maybe there’s a secret tunnel!”

Perry White, the editor of the Daily Planet:  “Great Caesar’s ghost!  In the last two weeks I’ve gotten only one column out of Kent.  Where in the blazes is he? “

Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter: “ Golly, Chief.  I haven’t seen him since Superman showed up and took that jaywalker to jail!”

White: “ Well, find him!  And don’t call me ‘Chief!’”

At noon Olsen goes to lunch with Lois Lane, a female reporter who is madly in love with the Man of Steel.  Lane:  “You know, Jimmy, that big sissy Clark Kent keeps asking me for a date.  I’d rather die an old maid than end up with him!  He’s so skinny and ugly!  I can’t stand to be around him!”

Jimmy:  “Golly!  Beauty is only skin deep, Miss Lane.”

Lane:  Then do me a favor and skin him!  I’m holding out for that big hunk of superhero!  What a dreamboat!”

Olsen:  “Golly, Miss Lane; I think that Clark and Superman look quite a bit alike!”

Lane: “You need your eyes tested, Jimmy.  They have completely different hair styles and Clark wears glasses.”

Olsen:  “Golly, Miss Lane; you’re right.  What was I thinking?”

Lane: “And quit saying ‘golly’ or I’ll smack you in the chops!” (Lois was one of the few truly liberated women of the 1950s).

Meanwhile, Kent is having lunch with his good pal form Gotham City, Bruce Wayne, who is secretly the superhero, Batman.  Kent:  “You know, Bruce, I’m getting just a little tired of some of the members in the Justice League.”

Wayne:  “Why?”

Kent: “ I really appreciate what you do with your gadgets, but some of those superheroes are not so super.  Have you ever noticed that when there’s a really big problem, I either find a large chunk of kryptonite in my lunchbox or I’m sent to a goofy, far-away planet to handle some squabble among twelve-feet tall, three-headed idiots?  I think some of those “lesser” heroes are just getting me out of the way so they can get all the glory.”

Wayne: “ I never did trust the Green Lantern.”

Kent: “ I know what you mean, and the Flash thinks he’s hot stuff just because he beat me in a footrace.  He can’t fly, he’s a weakling, he has no x-ray vision, and bullets go right through him.  The best thing he can do is run away from trouble.”

Wayne:  “Wonder Woman is easy on the eyes, but she’s not the brightest bulb in in the pack.  That lady brags about her invisible plane but then  she’s always asking me to help her find where she’d parked it, and that woman  thinks nobody can see her when she’s flying the plane.  All a bad guy has to do is lookup  into the sky and he’ll see a nice-looking lady seemingly floating along.”

After lunch, while walking back to the Daily Planet, Kent sees a robbery in progress at the Fifth Third Second Bank.

Kent: “ This is a job for Superman!”

Kent goes to the nearest telephone booth to change into his costume, but some guy is on the line talking to his girlfriend.

Kent: “ Excuse me, sir; this is an emergency!  I need that phone booth!”

Guy in booth:  “Drop dead, Bozo!”

In just two minutes the guy runs screaming from the booth.  Using his heat vision, Kent had raised the temperature inside it to 154 degrees.

Upon entering the bank, Superman is hit in the chest by several bullets fired by the bad guys.

First bad guy: “ Hey Boss, why do we have to shoot at him?  The bullets just bounce off the guy!”

Second bad guy:  “It’s one of the most important bad guy rules.  We must shoot at the good guys.  If this was a western we would have to miss him.  Don’t forget to throw the gun at him when you run out of bullets. And don’t call me  ’ Boss!’”

Back at the Planet, Kent uses his super speed to write fifty-three articles in two minutes.  He takes them to Perry White.

White: “ Great Caesar’s ghost! These articles are wonderful!  Lane and Olsen; why can’t you write like this?  Kent, my boy, you get a big fat raise!”

Two days later,  at Miss Lane’s cubicle, Jimmy Olsen speaks:  “Golly.  I mean wow! Yesterday I walked into the storage room and there was Clark Kent in his underwear.  He was taking off a Superman outfit.  Do you think Kent and Superman could be the same person?”

 Lane: “ Listen to me, Jimmy; we’ve been through this several times.  Clark is skinny and ugly and he is a sissy.  Superman is built like a brick house and he’s the most handsome and brave man in the universe.”

Olsen: “ I still think there’s a connection, Miss Lane.”

Lane:  “Look, like I’ve told you a thousand times,  they comb their hair differently and Clark wears glasses.”

Olsen: “ I guess you’re right, Miss Lane.  They must be two completely different people! Golly! “ (Jimmy quickly ducks).  This time it’s not a bird, a plane, or even Superman; it’s one of Miss Lane’s high heels whizzing past  the cub reporter’s head.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


I admire and respect women and even deeply love a few of them-my wife, daughter, sisters, etc.  Indeed, in many ways they are the superior sex.  However, with this being said, I’m glad that I’m a man, hairy knuckles and all.

First of all, I’d hate to have to shave my legs.  If you ever saw them (thank goodness you haven’t!), you’d see that chopping through that forest every few days would be a major project.  Shaving my face is hard enough, but now that I’m semi-retired I no longer have to perform that despicable task on a daily basis.

At my age I prefer comfort over style.  There’s no way I’d ever be caught wearing those torturous shoes called high heels.  My poor feet ache after a busy day even if I’m wearing tennis shoes.

I could never get used to the closeness that so many women develop among themselves.  The following is an illustration of something that men would NEVER say: “George, I have to go to the bathroom.  Want to come with me?”

“Sure, Frank.  We can talk sports while we’re at the urinal!”

Most of all, however, I wouldn’t want to be a woman because I’d hate to carry a purse.  I’m not saying that my wife carries around a lot of stuff in her purse, but each morning I lift it ten times to stay in shape.  If she’s out of town I simply lift the front end of our van.

I don’t understand why women need to carry around all those things.  The other day, while watching my wife empty her purse, I noticed the following items:  a bottle opener, a pencil with the eraser chewed off, a candy bar, a teabag, lipstick, a mirror, a change purse, a Christmas CD, an old Readers’ Digest, two jellybeans, a newspaper article, a picture of her father, three ink pens, four rubber bands, five paper clips (but no partridge in a pare tree), three nickels, eight pennies, and one red sock.

A man can  get along just fine with a wallet that contains a few pictures, a few bucks, some credit cards,  and a driver’s license.  The billfold goes into one pocket, a set of keys into another, and he’s ready to face whatever life dishes out.

Why was my wife  emptying her purse?  You see, she is the proud owner of what seems to be an entire fleet of purses.  There are summer purses, winter purses, fall purses, and spring purses.  There are smaller versions for short trips and humongous ones for multi-day adventures.

I, on the other hand, use the same old wallet for all occasions.  It’s usually in my pocket, so who’s going to know if I’m using a winter billfold in the summer?

My wallet is basic black.  I  put it in the pockets of my black, brown, blue, gray, green and tan pants.  The only reason I don’t put it in my purple pants is that I don’t own any purple pants!

On the other hand, my wife’s purse must be color coordinated with her outfit, and I might add that she has a bunch of outfits.  For example, one must never carry a red purse if she is wearing pink pants.  I believe that rule is from the eleventh commandment that Moses brought down from the mountain.

My wallet gets used until it begins to fall apart.  Then I simply go to the nearest store, find a billfold that has a change purse, buy it, transfer my relatively few  items, and stick it into my pocket.  It’s not that simple with a typical female.

Unfortunately, on more than one occasion I’ve been forced to go along while my beloved shopped for a new purse.  She always wants to find that perfect one, and she has no problem using half a day in searching for it.  After studying the pros and cons of fifty purses at three different stores I’m more than ready to go home, turn on a ballgame, settle into my favorite chair, and open a cold one.

While I’m captive at a store she will ask, “Do you like this one, honey?”

“I think that one is perfect, doll,” I would respond.

“You’re just saying that so I’ll buy it so  you can go home,” she’d angrily hiss.  Maybe I pushed my luck by saying the same thing about the previous fifteen purses that she had asked me about.

I remember a long-ago cartoon in which a rich guy owned a very long limousine.  In the trunk was a smaller automobile to be used in case of a flat tire.  Along those same lines of reasoning, my wife once bought a large purse that contained a smaller purse inside it!

One of my favorite shows is American Pickers.  They make a living going around the country searching old homes, barns, and garages for unusual items.  No doubt Mike and  Frank  would have a field day going through one of my wife’s purses.  I think it would make a great show.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Barbequing Advice from a Typical Guy

Bev and I have worked out a division of labor.  She does most of the laundry and all the sewing.  I mow the lawn, do most of the  painting, and take care of the automobiles.  We share the house-cleaning duties. Usually Bev is in charge of the cooking, except for certain special occasions.

Almost every guy I know has gladly ceded the cooking chores to his better half, except when it’s time for a good old-fashioned  barbeque.  Like watching sports and  drinking beer, we men consider barbequing to be an important part of the male domain.  Besides, when we do this outdoor cooking it gives our wonderful wives a little time off from preparing meals.

The first step in becoming a master barbequer  is to make a list of all the things needed for a successful event.  One must have bug spray to chase away pesky mosquitoes, suntan lotion to ward off deadly rays, and earplugs to shut out the mother-in-law’s never ending accusations  and demands.

When it comes to meat, go for a variety: sausages, hotdogs, hamburgers, and maybe even fish.  Be sure to have all the ingredients needed for a big salad, especially for any guests who are not carnivorous.  Don’t forget potato chips, baked beans, and soda pop, and of course, plenty of cold beer.  When the list is complete send your wife to the market to fetch these things.

When your better half returns have her prepare the salad and the baked beans.  Then direct her to clean the picnic table and put out the plates and silverware.  Meanwhile, be sure to drink a couple beers so that you do not succumb to heatstroke.

When lighting the charcoal go easy on the starter  fluid.  Once I singed my eyebrows when the fire quickly leaped  about eight feet into the air.  If I had been barbequing at night this flame could have been seen for twenty miles or so.

Always use a strong sauce.  If the mother-in-law is giving you grief, and as a result you lose concentration and scorch the meat, it will still be edible if it is smothered in a strong-tasting sauce. Give the most burned piece  to the mother-in-law.  She deserves it for telling all your friends and even your parents that her daughter should have married  “that nice dentist fellow.”

Remember, there is much more than cooking the meat when it comes to barbequing.  If you have little kids it is your responsibility to give them a hard time so that when they’re adults they won’t be coming around to gobble up all the goodies.

If your son asks if you can make him a hamburger, answer:  “Of course!  Poof!  You’re a hamburger!”

If your daughter complains that her face hurts from sunburn, add: “Yeah, and your face is killing me!”

As chief barbequer you are in charge of entertainment.  Once the meal is served begin telling jokes.  Your wife will appreciate that you care enough to relieve her of the burdensome task of creating conversation.  Your mother-in-law won’t appreciate your jokes, but that’s simply because she hates your guts!  Be sure to give your father-in-law a beer as soon as he arrives, and keep them coming.  Remember, YOU only have to deal with that lady on a part-time basis.

Since you are having a barbeque you should tell food-related jokes.  I’ll give you one to get started: “Uncle Al, did you know that my  dad flunked seventh grade?”

“No, I didn’t,” he’ll reply.

“The teacher asked him to use the word ‘officiate’ in a sentence.  So he said, ‘ My brother got sick from a fish he ate!’”

Trust me, everyone but you-know-who will be rolling on the ground with unbridled laughter.

No barbeque is complete without a fabulous dessert.  One of the best is homemade ice cream.  While you are sacrificing yourself over a hot grill, assign the wife to get out the ice cream maker and get to work.  Since you are the captain of this enterprise, it is only right that you accept all compliments for this tasty treat.

Finally, after the last guest has departed and your wife has cleaned up the mess, take a few minutes to mentally pat yourself on the back for a job well done.  Then, before finishing off that last beer, give yourself credit for being a kindly, sensitive husband for giving your wife a day off from all those dreary cooking chores.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Selective Hearing

My sister’s late father-in-law was gifted.  Whenever his wife was angry she tended to nag him for what seemed like an eternity.  Taking advantage of his hearing disability, he simply turned off his hearing aid.  While sitting in a  favorite easy chair and reading the newspaper he would occasionally mumble a “Yes, dear” just to keep her off track.  Eventually she’d be satisfied and go about her business while he was able to deal with the problem without actually getting bashed.

No doubt at least some women have developed this skill, but men have mastered it, much as we have with burping and scratching.  Throughout the years men have learned that this is a fairly good way to deal with the pressures of women trying to make us do the right things.  Sorry, ladies, but in many ways we’re just overgrown boys who like to do our own thing, thank you.

For twenty-five years I was blessed to work at a place that featured the most dedicated and talented employees ever assembled under one roof.   One of the employees was an expert at dealing with the negative side of meetings.  Usually he would sit at the back of the room.  When things got boring he would take a little nap.  The genius in his method was that this act was almost imperceptible.

While asleep he would not lean over, flinch, or drip saliva down the side of his mouth.  Unless you looked at his eyes there was no way to know that at least mentally, he had left the building.  However, his selective hearing powers were still operational.  If his name was called, he responded instantly.

I never had the skill or courage to catch a little sleep during  meetings, but I did use my selective hearing set.  With my eyes wide open and facing the speaker, in my mind I was listing the starting lineup for my favorite football team, managing the New York Yankees in the World Series, or sinking the winning basket for the Boston Celtics in the seventh and final game of the championship.  Of course, if my name was called, I could respond in such a fashion  that it seemed as though I was paying attention.

Selective hearing skills can help one get through life without facing so many slings and arrows, but if used at the wrong time it can heap much trouble upon a poor slob.  Many years ago, long before the days of cell phones, my wife suggested that we meet at a certain restaurant after work.  Since I was doing something very important at the time-watching a review of the previous day’s football games- I simply went into selective hearing mode.

During a commercial I definitely heard that we were to meet at five p.m., and I’m almost certain that she said to meet her at Restaurant A.  Just to be on the safe side I arrived at that particular eating establishment at 4:50.  Twenty minutes later I was still waiting.  Now I have as much patience as the next guy (that is, very little).  By 5:20 I was fuming.  The thought of being stood up by my own wife infuriated me.  Finally, at 6 p.m., I gave up and headed home.

My better half was waiting there, and she was not happy, either.  “I waited for forty-five minutes at Restaurant B and you didn’t show up,” she replied.

Luckily, I was able to convince her that she had told me to go to Restaurant A, and I graciously accepted her apology.  That was a close one!

A few months later selective hearing got me into another jam.  Earlier in the day I told my wife that I was going into town to pick up some important items, such as potato chips, pretzels, and soda pop.  Since her parents were coming over for supper, she asked me to pick up a roast.

Unfortunately, I didn’t come back with the roast; the folks had to eat hamburgers and hotdogs, but this was plainly my wife’s fault.  She had the audacity to make the request while I was watching the bottom of the ninth inning of the Yanks-Tigers game.  Ladies, men automatically slide into selective hearing mode when watching sports!  Sorry, but that’s the way God made us!

My wife was startled by an experiment she once conducted.  While I was reading the newspaper in the family room, she stood in the hallway and quietly remarked, “Honey, your supper’s ready.”  She was surprised when I put down the paper and rushed into the kitchen.

Actually, there are certain words and phrases that override even the most developed selective hearing abilities, such as “Would you like a backrub?” “Supper’s on,” and “Do you want to hear the latest gossip?”

On the other hand, the next day, while once again I was reading the paper, she shouted from the door leading into the family room that she had a few chores for me to do.  That’s what she told me later, for actually, I never heard her the first time..