Drivel Over Coffee 275 8/25/2015

Not everyone who lost his life in Vietnam died there. Not everyone who came home from Vietnam ever left there.

Hello everyone. Glad to have you aboard once again. Let’s get started this week with a rant.

I have often times expressed some concern over how society is evolving in a less than desirable fashion. Usually I put focus on a specific segment that I feel is inept, power hungry, or just downright crappy. I will do that once again in this issue. An acquaintance, Charles (not his real name), related an experience he had recently. Charles is not new to the blog. Seems he runs into a rash of stuff all the time. His only solace is his model train development in his basement. He proudly told me the other day that he got his “hump yard” working. I, of course, congratulated him but in the back of mind I wondered just what the heck a “hump yard” is. Was it something masochistic or what. I did not have the courage to ask.

Sorry, I digress. Charles had reason to go down to our local power company to discuss an issue regarding rebates for newly installed lighting. Our power company has a very nice 10+ story building with a parking ramp. He motors down intending to park in the ramp as customers have done for years. At the ramp entrance he was greeted by a burly Gestapo Rent-A-Cop who matter of factly told him to turn around and park elsewhere. Not wanting to become a victim of police brutality, Charles reluctantly obeyed. Finding a spot a block or so away, he entered the building and told the receptionist his mission for the day. Charles was again matter-of-factly informed that NO ONE goes beyond this point. No, she could not have someone come down to talk to him. He would have to communicate by telephone or email. If that were still a problem, this other Gestapo Rent-a-cop could take care of him.

Charles left, shall we say, less than pleased. Now I just don’t understand this policy. I understand the need for some form of security, but let’s get real folks. These jerks don’t deserve my business with that level of customer service. If I could go off grid I would in a heartbeat. It reeks. I would suspect the decision makers have been compromised by being infected with the “Stupid” virus. I told Charles, “Even duct tape can’t fix “stupid”, but it can muffle the sound.

A man went to church one day and afterward he stopped to shake the preacher’s hand. He said, ‘Preacher, I’ll tell you, that was a damned fine sermon. Damned good!’ The preacher said, ‘Thank you sir, but I’d rather you didn’t use profanity.’ The man said, ‘I was so damned impressed with that sermon I put five thousand dollars in the offering plate!’ The preacher said, ‘No shit?’

I went to the Grout Museum in Waterloo, Iowa on Saturday with my current wife and daughter Debby. They have a Vietnam War exhibit. We wanted to see this particularly so the family could get my commentary. It was a very good experience for us. For me the two most poignant things was a time line. The time line had a rod stretching through all the years of the conflict. Above it were things going on at home and below were things going on in Vietnam. Hanging from the rod were dog tags of Iowans killed by year. Early on there were 7 killed. In my era (1968 – 69) there were a lot. It was sobering to see just a few dog tags explode into hundreds. But for me the most unsettling thing was the constant sound of helicopters flying overhead. I wanted to crawl under something.

As we were wrapping our visit up, a young lady approached and thanked me for my service. It is very gratifying when this occurs. I find that it is mostly young to middle aged people that do this. I haven’t had many peers say anything. That is disappointing. We visited for a moment. She explained she was the granddaughter of one of the Sullivan Brothers. Very nice conversation and experience.

The Grout Museum is quite a wonder. It is a nice building with many exhibits. They do have a tremendous need to hire someone who has a smidgen of common sense however. You see the several parts intertwined. The main entrance has parking for about 40 cars maybe. The Sullivan Brothers building has NO parking. Its entrance is clear around the other side of the building. Evidently you are supposed to park across a busy multi-lane street under the freeway. Not a good situation if you have trouble walking and etc. Now that wouldn’t be so bad if only there were clear signage or markings of some kind to let a person know this.

These past weeks I have had a hunger for a nice chocolate sundae. My current wife who is on her current diet has little interest so I went out by myself. I shuffled slowly into an ice cream parlor last week and pulled myself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool. After catching my breath, I ordered a chocolate sundae with whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry. She looked puzzled. ‘Do you want chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce?’ she asked. ‘No, Missy. Listen, a chocolate sundae is vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. Has been since they invented ice cream.’ I responded curtly. The waitress asked kindly, ‘Crushed nuts?’ ‘No,’ I replied, ‘Arthritis.’

You may have noticed that my mind will wander from time to time. As I am writing this today, I am thinking about a couple of things. First, if I am driving at the speed of light and I turn on my headlights, what happens? Secondly, why are there interstates in Hawaii?

We had our Men’s Breakfast last Wednesday. I was on the sausage station. I had to use alternative sausages this time compared to our normal fare. I went to our local Sam’s Club to purchase said sausages on Tuesday only to discover they didn’t have them. Upon inquiring, it is unknown if they will stock them any longer. That is the trouble with these joints. You are stuck with what they want to carry. I did find some alternates and they went over okay with my fellow old farts. While sitting eating and chatting, JR asked me why, after all these years, I still call my wife – current wife, Darling, Honey, Luv. What’s the secret? I replied “I forgot her name and I’m scared to ask her.”

Ole vas vorking at the fish plant up nort in Dulut vhen he accidentally cut off all ten of his finkers. He vent to da emergency room in the Clinik and vhen he got dar da Norsky doctor looked at Ole and said, “Let’s have da finkers and I’ll see vhat I can do.” Ole said, “I haven’t got da finkers.” “Vhat do you mean, you hafen’t got da finkers?” he said. “Lord-it’s 2015 and Ive’s got microsurgery and all kinds of incredible techniques. I could hafe put dem back on and made you like new! Vhy didn’t you brink da finkers?” Ole says……..”How da heck vas I suppose to pick dem up?

“It’s not that I can and others can’t, it’s I did and others didn’t.” If I can make at least one person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. Now, until we meet again. -TA!