Roundabout #400 4/24/2018

In the chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty, I want to be in the warm hold of your loving mind.
Catch The Wind 1965 Donovan

Welcome to Drivel Over Coffee. The Drivel rambles through this thing called life, stopping here and there for reflection, an enlightenment, some storytelling, and a touch of humor perhaps. All while my brain reverberates with the best music in the world – The ‘60’s and early 70’s. Yep – Lost in The Sixties.

We finally got a weekend worth talking about in an enjoyable way. I personally have been waiting for these types of days for a month or so. Taken by the beauty of the day, I went out to Jimmy’s Grill & Bait Shop by the river Sunday afternoon. I sat on the patio overlooking the river and watched the drunken idiots in the boats doing all sorts of crazy tricks. They were just begging to get injured to such a degree that they wouldn’t be able to enjoy the rest of the summer. Duds you do that on Labor Day. Then who cares, it turns cold and snowy and you can’t do anything any way. I was the only one out there for a long time, sipping on a vintage Blatz that Jimmy has saved for preferred customers. I think this one had a born-on date of ???? Shoot they did birth them in those days I guess.

My mind started to wonder a bit. I noticed for instance how the splice into the pipeline was hardly noticeable. Mustard did an excellent job on that. The solar power outdoor self-service walk-in cooler that customers can serve themselves with live bait and fresh, or almost fresh fish. Nice little setup on sunny days. Somewhere along the line, I drift into wondering why we chose to put iodine into salt. Now don’t go groaning. It is a legitimate question.

Someone, somewhere, sometime had to say something like this; “George, you know I have been talking to doctor friends of mine. They say they are seeing a lot of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities caused by deficiencies of iodine. Before the word gets out, I have bought an iodine mine in Japan and will be on the ground floor to provide this nutrient to the 2 billion people with the deficiency”. Well, there you have it. 1924 iodized salt was introduced to reduce the goiter rate and drastically increased the United States intellectual and developmental abilities as evidenced by the mechanical revolution, the computer revolution and now the cyberspace revolution. All because of iodine. BTW – I editorialized a bit in this last sentence.

So here I am basking in the slight buzz from the aged Blatz and fantasying on rather trivial minutia when the phone rings to jolt me back into reality. I wasn’t going to answer it because I was just ranting in my head about how stupid our city engineers are with putting traffic roundabouts all over the city. It is like the hottest craze coming from the newly graduated engineers it seems. These brilliant minds are putting one next to an elementary school for crying out loud. Does that conjure up a tragedy waiting to happen. I think they should make these roundabouts temporary. Make them portable. Put them down at an intersection, see how they work and put a permanent one in later. I mean look how they have managed the street traffic in downtown Cedar Rapids. Pure chaos it is.

I was so at peace having gotten away from what had become a zoo with Kinnick, an elderly yellow lab, Murphy, my Boston Terrier, and my wife who just returned from a quick trip to Colorado and was exhausted. Kinnick is staying with us while his parents, Jenny (the Iowa Elder) & Sven (the Chef), took a little vacation to Vegas. Now Kinnick is a great dog but he is old, like 13 years old. He doesn’t move well and lays around a lot.

On the phone is my current wife. “Will I stop at the store?” she asks. Those of us who are husbands know that this is not a question, it is an order, a demand, a command if you will. She rattles off a list of things as long as my arm. Off the phone I think about the zoo at home. Now, Kinnick has settled into a routine of sorts around the house. He, like Murphy must follow me, and only me EVERYWHERE I go. Murphy is used to doing that. I don’t stay in one spot very long unless I am at the computer. Kinnick, with his age, follows along and lays down every time I stop for a second and that is fine. However, he reminds me of these traffic roundabouts. He will lay down right smack dab in the middle of a door way, hallway, aisle, or any place that is restricted and will not move. He was trained to follow not lead and that is what he does to a fault. You must go around him tippy toeing so as not to step on him, or over him. He knows what he is doing because he is smart enough to turn his head and tuck it away from intrusive feet. He is more of a workout than those drills in football practice when I was in high school.

Hey, you didn’t come here to listen to my tale of woes, but it was a nice weekend. First off today is a little tale about a preacher and two ornery boys.

Preacher Discipline

Mother sends her sons to be disciplined by a preacher. The two little boys, ages 8 and 10, are excessively mischievous. They are always getting into trouble and their parents know if any mischief occurs in their town, the two boys are probably involved.

The boy’s mother heard that a preacher in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The preacher agreed, but he asked to see them individually. The mother sent the 8-year-old in the morning, with the older boy to see the preacher in the afternoon. The preacher, a huge man with a deep booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly “Do you know where God is, son?”

The boy’s mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there wide-eyed with his mouth hanging open. So, the preacher repeated the question in an even sterner tone, “Where is God?” Again, the boy made no attempt to answer. The preacher raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face and bellowed. “WHERE is GOD?!”

The boy screamed & bolted from the room, ran directly home & dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, “What happened?” The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied, “We are in BIG trouble this time!”

“GOD is missing, and they think WE did it!”

NATIONAL PIGS-IN-A-BLANKET DAY

On April 24, observe National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day with just a few ingredients.

Celebrated across the world, the term often refers to a variety of different dishes. In the United States, Pigs-in-a-Blanket are often hot dogs or sausages wrapped in biscuit or croissant dough and baked. Pigs-in-a-Blanket are generally served as an appetizer or as breakfast. However, it can be served any mealtime!

In High School

I ONCE worked in a department store’s service booth, at which customers could buy tickets for concerts, sports events and theatre productions. One day a woman approached the window where I was on duty. Pushing several packages at me, she said, “I need three shirt boxes, one tie box and a box big enough for a casserole dish.” “You’ll have to go to gift-wrapping for that,” I explained politely. Stepping back for a better look at the sign above me, the woman shouted “Don’t give me the run around, young man. That sign says BOX OFFICE, and I want my boxes now!”

◆ A MAN purchased a wing chair and asked that it be wrapped so that his wife couldn’t guess the contents of the package. Barney, a high-school student who worked for us, spent hours gift wrapping it, struggling with a bulky refrigerator packing case, reams of paper and yards and yards of tape. The giant box looked stunning as it was loaded on a truck for delivery. But, when the customer strode into the store and thrust a card at us that he had found tucked under the ribbon, we weren’t sure Barney’s efforts had been a big success. In our gift wrapper’s careful printing was this message: “Next year, give Jewelry.”

Idiots – Me Included

AFTER toiling over a 1000-piece puzzle, I was unable to finish it because there was one piece missing. I returned the box to the store and explained why. The clerk was obviously not a puzzle aficionado. As she refunded my money, she asked pleasantly, “How far did you get before you realized that there was a piece missing?” Uh, let me see, I guess it was right after I opened the box and finished counting the pieces!!!! I think not. Perhaps when I needed one more piece to complete the thing.

◆ I just remembered this story from probably the 70’s. It was a Monday evening I think, upon arriving home, I was met at the door by my sobbing current wife. Tearfully she explained, “It’s the druggist – he insulted me terribly this morning on the phone.” Immediately I drove downtown to confront the druggist. Not even waiting for an explanation from her and demand an apology. Before I could say more than a word or two, the druggist told me. “Now, just a minute – listen to my side of it. This morning the alarm failed to go off, so I was late getting up. I went without breakfast and hurried out to the car, just to realize that I locked the house with both house and car keys inside. I had to break a window to get my keys.

Then, driving a little too fast, I got a speeding ticket. Later, when I was about three blocks from the store, I had a flat tire. When I finally got to the store there were a bunch of people waiting for me to open up. I got the store opened and started waiting on these people, and all the time the darn phone was ringing off the hook.” He continued, “Then I had to break a roll of nickels against the cash register drawer to make change, and they spilled all over the floor. I got down on my hands and knees to pick up the nickels — the phone was still ringing — when I came up I cracked my head on the open cash drawer, which made me stagger back against a showcase with a bunch of perfume bottles on it. . .half of them hit the floor and broke.

Meanwhile, the phone is still ringing with no let up, and I finally got back to answer it. It was your wife – she wanted to know how to use a rectal thermometer. . . . .so, I TOLD HER!” I bought a forehead thermometer and slinked out of the store as gracefully as possible.

……..Well my friends, there you have it as told by yours truly to you’all. Thanks for allowing me back into your day, if only for a brief time. It is always an honor. If I can make at least one-person smile, laugh till they leak, or maybe spit out a drink, my day was not wasted. Until we meet again -TA!” or as the Norski’s say TATA!

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