“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain
Welcome to Drivel Over Coffee. You are reading a blog that has become a reading must. Loyal readers are esteemed members of a group who proudly dribble our French Roast down our shirt while Driveling about our fate in life with a touch of opining. Sometimes our view of life becomes slightly skewed while looking through dog licked glasses.
I went down home last week. I had to visit the Dallas County Courthouse to get a copy of my birth certificate. It is a very neat old building. I went to the recorder’s office. The gal there was very nice and helped me out right away. I was told it would take about ½ an hour. I wandered around the courthouse marveling at how it really hadn’t changed much since my Junior High School County Spelling Bee contest in the late 50’s. The court room that was the sight of the spelling bee was just the same. There was a trial or hearing in progress so I grabbed a chair in the back row. I overheard a lady, who had been arrested for assaulting a Mammogram Technician, say, “Your Honor, I’m guilty, but…..there were extenuating circumstances.” The female Judge said, sarcastically, “I’d certainly like to hear those extenuating circumstances.” I did too, so I listened as the lady told her story.
“Your Honor, I had a mammogram appointment, which I actually kept. I was met by this perky little clipboard carrier smiling from ear to ear and she tilted her head to one side and crooned, “Hi! I’m Belinda! All I need you to do is step into this room right here, strip to the waist, then slip on this gown. Everything clear?” I’m thinking, “Belinda, try decaf. This ain’t rocket science.” Belinda then skipped away to prepare the chamber of horrors.
With the right side finished, Belinda flipped me (literally) to the left and said, “Hmmmm. Can you stand on your tippy toes and lean in a tad so we can get everything?” Fine, I answered. I was freezing, bruised, and out of air, so why not use the remaining circulation in my legs and neck to finish me off? My body was in a holding pattern that defied gravity (with my other breast wedged between those two 4-inch pieces of square glass) when I heard and felt a zap!
Complete darkness, the power was off! Belinda said, “Uh-oh, maintenance is working, bet they hit a snag.” Then she headed for the door. “Excuse me! You’re not leaving me in this vise alone are you?” I shouted. Belinda kept going and said, “Oh, you fussy puppy…the door’s wide open so you’ll have the emergency hall lights. I’ll be right back.”
Before I could shout NOOOO! she disappeared. And that’s exactly how Bubba and Earl, “maintenance men Extraordinaire” found me…half-naked with part of me dangling from the Jaws of Life and the other part smashed between glass! After exchanging a polite, ‘Hi, how’s it going’ type greeting, Bubba (or possibly Earl) asked, to my utter disbelief, if I knew the power was off.
Trying to disguise my hysteria, I replied with as much calmness as possible, “Uh, yes, I did but thanks anyway.” “OK, you take care now,” Bubba replied and waved good-bye as though I’d been standing in the line at the grocery store. Two hours later, Belinda breezes in wearing a sheepish grin.
Making no attempt to suppress her amusement, she said, “Oh, I am sooo sorry! The power came back on and I totally forgot about you! And silly me, I went to lunch. Are we upset?” And that, Your Honor, is exactly how her head ended up between the clamps….” The judge could hardly contain her laughter as she said, “Case Dismissed!” I was chuckling as well as I sat there for a moment visualize the scene. Being a guy I had no idea what goes on during a mammogram test but I do know what a vice is. Ouch, I thought.
I continued to wonder in and out of offices in the Dallas County Courthouse killing time until my birth certificate is ready. A clerk in one of the offices saw me and asked if I could help her. For the sake of her life, she couldn’t understand why her system would not turn on. The gal had plugged her power strip back into itself. Once I plugged it into an outlet, she had no problem. She was a deputy with the Dallas County Sheriff’s office, no less. Back at the recorder’s office I picked up my certificate. I looked it over to discover that my middle name was not correct and my mom’s name was misspelled. Uh, miss, there are a couple of mistakes here. I explained the discrepancies to her. Her response was as one would expect, there is nothing they could do. I would have to go to vital records at the state house. Yea. I was extremely pleased with that remark. She did give me a phone number which I dialed. None of the options applied to my situation so I chose the “Push 4 if calling from a rotary phone”. I am placed on hold for 20 minutes or so at which time I decided another form of communication might work. I chose the email route. It has only been a few days so I will wait a few more days for a reply.
The next day I went on a day trip up in Northeast Iowa where very few roads are straight for more than a ½ mile. Charles, not his real name, went with me. This trip had a couple purposes; first, we wanted to stop at the Calhoun Creamery in Churchtown for, what else, cheese. Why, you ask would we go way up into the corner of Iowa for cheese? That is a very good question for which I really don’t have an answer except this is my second year of doing this. From there we headed to Cabela’s near Prairie Du Chen, Wisconsin. I picked up some ammo. Next, we dined in Gunder, Iowa on the famous Gunderburger. My first time at this establishment was not a disappointment with the 1 lb. burger. A lot of it was brought home for the current wife. See the photo. Yes, there is a burger under there. This trip ostensibly was a payback for the use of his pickup truck during last summers’ flood. Debby had to move her stuff out to be on the safe side.
We were on the road for about 8 hours give or take and 325 miles +/-. Charles and I discussed a lot of stuff plus we had ample time to daydream and ponder things. The scenery up there is beautiful. If we only could have gone a few weeks earlier. Among the things floating around in my brain were questions like, if a No. 2 pencil is the most popular pencil in the world, why isn’t it No. 1? How about if Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why do they sing a song about it? Then if quitters never win and winners never quit, who came up with quit while you are ahead? If it is true we are here to help others, what are the others here for? Lastly, what happens if you get scared half to death twice? Shaken out of my ponderings by Charles who asked, “A penny for your thoughts.” I gave him my 2 cents worth. Pondering once again, I wondered what happens to the other penny? So it went.
Next to pondering, we exchanged our experiences with Idiots. We swapped a ton of stories. Back and forth we went all the way home from Gunder’s. Here are some that I can remember. You may have encountered these Idiots yourself. They walk among us and we should worry. I think the 2nd Amendment should allow us to “cull” the herd if you get my drift.
I handed the teller at my bank a withdrawal slip for $400.00 I said “May I have large bills, please?” She looked at me and said “I’m sorry sir, all the bills are the same size.” When I got up off the floor I explained it to her….
When my current wife and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. ‘Hey,’ I announced to the technician, ‘it’s open!’ His reply: ‘I know. I already got that side.’ This was at the Ford dealership.
We had to have the garage door repaired. The Sears repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a ‘large’ enough motor on the opener. Sue thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one Sears made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower. He shook his head and said, “Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower.” She responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4. He said, ‘NO, it’s not. ”Four is larger than two.” We haven’t used Sears repair since.
My current wife and I went through the McDonald’s take-out window and I gave the clerk a $5 bill. Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her a quarter. She said, “You gave me too much money.” I said, ‘Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar bill back. She sighed and went to get the manager, who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me back the quarter, and said “We’re sorry but we could not do that kind of thing.” The clerk then proceeded to give me back $1 and 75 cents in change. Do not confuse the clerks at McD’s.
My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for “minimal lettuce.” He said he was sorry, but they only had Iceburg lettuce.
We went to Las Vegas in October and had a great time but I had a variety of experiences at the airport. When I was checking in at the gate, an airport employee asked, ”Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?” To which I replied, “If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?” He smiled knowingly and nodded, “That’s why we ask.”
The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it’s safe to cross the street according to Charles. I don’t recall what town it was though. He was crossing with an intellectually challenged coworker of his. She asked if he knew what the buzzer was for. He explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, ‘What on earth are blind people doing driving?!’
At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker who was leaving the company due to “downsizing,” our manager commented cheerfully, “This is fun. We should do this more often.” Not another word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare.
How would you pronounce this child’s name? “Le-a?” Leah?? NO; Lee – A?? NOPE; Lay – a?? NO; Lei?? Guess Again. This child attends a school in Kansas City, Mo. Her mother is irate because everyone is getting her name wrong. It’s pronounced “Ledasha”. When the Mother was asked about the pronunciation of the name, she said, “the dash don’t be silent.” SO, if you see something come across your desk like this please remember to pronounce the dash. If dey axe you why, tell dem de dash don’t be silent. STAY ALERT! They walk among us……and they VOTED.
My neighbor works in the operations department in the central office of a large bank. Employees in the field call him when they have problems with their computers. One night he got a call from a woman in one of the branch banks who had this question: “I’ve got smoke coming from the back of my terminal. Do you guys have a fire downtown?”
Police interrogated a suspect by placing a metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopy machine. The message “He’s lying” was placed in the copier, and police pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn’t telling the truth. Believing the “lie detector” was working, the suspect confessed.
Two men were digging a ditch on a very hot day. One said to the other, “Why are we down in this hole digging a ditch when our boss is standing up there in the shade of a tree?” “I don’t know,” responded the other. “I’ll ask him.” So he climbed out of the hole and went to his boss. “Why are we digging in the hot sun and you’re standing in the shade?” “Intelligence,” the boss said. “What do you mean, ‘intelligence’?” The boss said, “Well, I’ll show you. I’ll put my hand on this tree and I want you to hit it with your fist as hard as you can.” The ditch digger took a mighty swing and tried to hit the boss’ hand. The boss removed his hand and the ditch digger hit the tree. The boss said, “That’s intelligence!”
The ditch digger went back to his hole. His friend asked, “What did he say?” “He said we are down here because of intelligence.” “What’s intelligence?” said the friend. The ditch digger put his hand on his face and said, “Take your shovel and hit my hand.”
There folks, now you have a small idea of just how our road trip through Northeast Iowa went. It may be a long time before we can go again but we will always have these memories to chew on these cold winter nights.
“It’s not that I can and others can’t, it’s I did and others didn’t.” Remember your Vietnam Veterans – All gave some, some gave all!! 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!