Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The collie and the sausage

Well, today I managed to get outside for a bit and do some more work - put up another handrail - even dug the post hole myself (a job I normally delegate to the younger more supple among us) because I knew that if I dug, my back, knees, and arms would hurt, which they are doing. Nevertheless, I did it (at least this once) because an operating mantra for most of my life has been don't ask someone to do something if you yourself have neither done it nor would do it.

(Note: I don't do horses, and I fail miserably at cleaning up someone Else's barf. Note2: When I was training to be a McDonald's Manager, I did work at a store doing ALL the different types of jobs. My favourite was working the grill - flip those patties, man! My second favourite was working the Shake machine - hows 'bout a little extra squirt (or three) of the chocolate syrup, man! My least favourite was janitor. Yes, I actually did clean the bathrooms, with all kinds of unspeakable filth left behind - and that was just the ladies bathroom. Yes, the men's did have barf [why is it that drunks ALWAYS go for a big juicy Big Mac - with its "special sauce" - swallow it almost whole, then decide that it and the gallon of beer they drank previously really don't mix, and regurgitate the whole stinking mess via dollops of chunkiness into the "public" washroom of the dining establishment - leaving said deposit NOT in the toilet to be flushed down by said drunk, but rather deposited on the floor by the door for the benefit of the next person to enter, who then comes screaming complaints that the washroom is in DESPERATE need of attention & clean-up], and naturally of the 5, I say again 5 (five) Manager Trainees on duty that night it was I, sadly I, who was acting as janitor and whose duty it was to boldly go where no one in their right mind would go - especially those of queasy stomach - and confront said mess with all the aplomb available to one who retches at the thought of - well never mind what. Needless to say I involuntarily added a small deposit of my own to the pile - which meant that I was tasting and smelling my own barf (which somehow made the task easier - I guess the idea ties into that one's own farts don't stink.)

The other thought that occupied me while mopping was a memory of my Sister's dog, a Scots Collie (named Montgomery Beaumont - Monty for short) - a good dog, but stupid, with very poor table manners. (sample picture - NOT Monty)

As the baby in my family (which is why I pity Critter), even though it was my Sister's dog, it was on occasion my job to feed the stupid thing. One day I dutifully mixed a large can of Dr. Ballard's Beef Stew with several cups of dry kibble, mixed it up real good (as my Sister had shown me), put it before the dog who unceremoniously bit and swallowed - no chewing - downing the bowl in maybe, just maybe, 5 or ten seconds. Fast enough that I was impressed and surprised. Even more so when, within the hour, the dog started to act real strange and I swear his stomach was rumbling and growling and the dog's eyes grew real wide and he started to huff and puff and wheeze and all of a sudden he arched his back, opened his mouth wide and with a mighty heave barfed out a perfect sausage mixture of Dr. Ballard's Beef Stew 'n Kibble! A perfect loaf maybe a foot long and 3 or four inches in diameter, smooth sided and in one long unbroken piece - there, right on the floor, just inches from my feet. On that sight I managed NOT to barf myself, but broke out laughing at the sight of that poor dumb dog. Now what DID GROSS ME OUT is that the dog, seeing this delightful monstrosity, sniffed at it several times, circling it - making it literally the centre of his attention - and with multiple approving shakes of his tail RE-ATE the thing in several, smaller, bites and floor-lickings with much careful chewing this time around. There was not a trace of it left behind. Having finished this "second" meal, the dog of course wanted to express his gratitude to me, and did, indeed, try to lick my feet/hands/face in boisterous obeisance until I, laughing, managed to fend him off until he gave up and trotted off blissfully unaware of the memory he had left, perhaps permanently, for me to draw on when needed. That was how I managed to clean up Mac n' beer chunks in a McDonald's washroom in London in 1973.

Unfortunately, now when I see barf the FIRST memory is the Mac n' beer, which explains my propensity to barf, too.

All because of the collie and the sausage...)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Where's my rubber duck...

or how I train ny daughters to use hammers and power drills.

Okay, okay, I admit I am more of a thinker than a do-er. I like to sit, and boss the kids around. The latest project, build a little walkway, level some ground, and get ready for an above-ground pool. I even took some pictures (actually, so did the kids - of me!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ahhh, the smell of...

Okay, okay, I know - boys and their toys. But ya' gotta' admit, there's something FUN about operating a tractor with a bucket on it so's you can move shit (literally!) around. Of course, there's also nothing like the smells associated with freshly disturbed horse poop, or the aromas emanating from good ole' plain dirt as it's scooped up, or tilled, or otherwise moved from one spot to another.

I had a reasonably fun day in the sun yesterday, moving this and scooping that. Except when the time came to do some real work - like stringing chicken wire. Especially single-handedly. I gave up after about fourty feet - got too difficult to keep tension on while nylon tying the wire to the posts. Where's a three-armed mutant when you need one? There was only Daniel and my good wife around, everyone else having deserted the home roost for other points far afield. Daniel was busy doing needed maintenance on the truck. Janet decided it was a good time to detail the inside of the van - it hasn't looked that good since we bought it.

So I sat, in the sun, sprawled over the (still) rain-soaked couch on the deck. I had forgotten what a soggy wet butt feels like, but since I was feeling like crap anyway it was hardly noticeable. I was able to be a man-of-leisure for anly a short time, though. Oh well, tomorrow is another day...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sleepless in Seaforth...

... all through the house
not a creature was stirring
(if you ignore the damn mouse...)

I do not know if it is because of age, or the deluge of water I've been made to drink (my dear wife appears out of nowhere bringing gifts of gallons of water for me to drink because of my "bladder condition"), but it seems that in a regular manner I have been lately getting up in the night to empty said bladder.

Back in the good ole' days this was a rare occurrence, generally occasioned due to having imbibed in too many non-water drinks of a happy-kind. Nevertheless, tonight I went to bed early - a little after 10:30 pm - so here it is a little after 4:00 am and I was forced out of my warm bed, on short notice, to run to the batroom.

Now, our downstairs bathroom is beside the family room in which the cats are imprisoned at night. There are 2 frosted windows in the bathroom, there to let light in from the family room. The problem is at night, the bathroom lets light into the family room, letting the cats know that SOMEONE is UP AND ABOUT AND SHOULD BRING US FOOD. So, being cats not of the genteel persuasion, they start running around, bumping into things, and being vociferous in the usual cat methodology. Which, of course, makes any semi-awake person-who-gets-up-in-the-night-to-go-pee morph into a WIDE-AWAKE person-with-no-hope-of-getting-back-to-sleep-soon.

By the way, the dogs - who have lately taken to sleeping in "dad's office", that is to say the library, are sprawled on the floor looking at me with eyes that say, "ARE YOU NUTS!!?? GET BACK TO BED!!" I think that is why dogs ARE "man's best friend" and cats are, well, to put it mildly, not.

Now, part two of my dilemma is this: Now that I have ignored both the cats and dogs, and "awoke" my computer to share these last few moments with you it is now 4:45 am. Because this is a truck day, in a few short minutes Daniel (and sometimes Jay) will come stumbling down the stairs, trudge though the living room into the kitchen, will throw on every light possible in the kitchen, and will generally be cat-like in the thumping and banging of things and be similarly vociferous - saying such things as: "WHAT!! WHO ATE THE (generally some vague thingy) I WAS SAVING FOR LUNCH?? NOW WHAT AM I GONNA' MAKE??!! THERE'S NO FOOD IN THIS HOUSE!!"

At this point, most times, their genteel mother, ever mindful of sucky babies crying for food, will herself get up, trudge into the kitchen, will show mounds of edibles in the fridge, in the freezer, in the cupboards, etc., will pour herself a coffee (the first of 3) and will commiserate with the children until they are off and running. She then will stay up, so as she will have ammunition with which to complain about later in the day when everyone else finally awakes and starts to trudge around as well.


Welcome to my world.