Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
Drivel Over Coffee, the blog, focuses on milestones and memories in this issue. The milestone, our 300th issue. This journey began in 2010. I had retired and I was looking for a way to release pent up stress and as a method of counteracting the effects of late onset PTSD. It seems that for 40 years or so, I had been masking it with my workaholic attitude. Who would have believed that it would have continued for 300 weekly issues? What is more surprising is the fact that I have a dedicated group of followers. I tip my hat to you all.
Just about every topic on earth has been covered with some threads of the lives of characters, some real and some made up. There was the Bailey’s Doggie Day Care and Spa, the employees and vendors to the Spa. There was the ETEVIRP Canasta Card Club and the antics of these card-playing Grandmas. There have been rants of one kind or another. The favorite topic seems to be the solid waste agency, the waste collection agency and everything in between. I get on edge every Tuesday morning as I take our containers to the curb and place them in the dictated manner at the dictated time. There have been reflective issues on the Vietnam War, my grade school classmates, growing up on a farm in Iowa in the 50’s. Oh, and I can’t overlook the occasional humorous ditty or two.
As I stumbled, er tripped, down memory lane, I feel I owe my personality to my Grandpa Dallas for the most part. He was a man of ample girth which I have yet been unable to forgive completely for sharing. He was a bald man, wore glasses, rolled his own cigarettes and lived with my folks in our two story farm house. Grandpa had a huge funny bone and was full of pranks. Whenever you groan at one of my stories or attempt at a witticism – blame him.
Grandpa had a nickname for everyone. I don’t think he knew our real name after a while. My nickname was “Mud”. How come you ask? I don’t have a clue. He would sit me down next to him and tell me about his friend Roscoe. Oh, the stories he would tell about Roscoe and him. They were really neat. I came to believe Roscoe was some made up character, a figment of his imagination because I had never seen him. Fast forward to a month ago. I have tried to find Roscoe over the years to no avail.
Grandpa has passed many years ago so I couldn’t interrogate him after I had grown. I have assumed Roscoe was real but still had my doubts. The only info that I had was that he lived in Nebraska on a lake. How hard would it be to find him? Nebraska doesn’t have that many lakes. I can up empty. Out of the blue a month ago, I was approached on a social media website by a person named Roscoe B Good Jr. I was taken back by his questions. Questions which one would have had to have knowledge of our family. I vetted this person extensively. Turns out that Roscoe B. Good Jr. is the son of THE Roscoe that my Grandpa Dallas had always talked about. He has been searching for relatives of Grandpa Dallas for 20 years or more. Just how cool is that? We have been texting back and forth daily. He has given me a whole new perspective of my Grandpa.
Walmart – After I retired, my current wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Walmart. Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women – she loves to browse. Yesterday Sue received the following letter from the local Walmart.
Dear Mrs. Bailey,
Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Bailey, are listed below and are “documented by our video surveillance cameras”:
1. June 15: He took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people’s carts when they weren’t looking.
2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5- minute intervals.
3. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to reserve a bag of chips.
4. August 14: Moved a ‘CAUTION – WET FLOOR’ sign to a carpeted area.
5. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers they could come in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department – to which twenty children obliged.
6. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, ‘Why can’t you people just leave me alone?’ Emergency Medics were called.
7. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.
8. September 10: While handling guns in the Sports department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.
9. October 3: Darted around the Store suspiciously while loudly humming the ‘ Mission Impossible’ theme.
10. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled ‘PICK ME! PICK ME!’
11. October 20: Took a box of condoms to the checkout clerk and asked where the fitting room was.
12. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, and then yelled very loudly, ‘Hey! There’s no toilet paper in here.’ One of the Staff passed out.
Not everyone who lost his life in Vietnam died there. Not everyone who came home from Vietnam ever left there. If I can make at least one-person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. Until we meet again -TA!