Categories
Artsy Fartsy Book Mentions Radio Les Short Fiction Stories The Waitress the Whiskey & the Handcuffs

Freshly Booked Interview on Blog Talk Radio…

I Have An Interview!!
I Have An Interview!!

Here’s yesterday’s interview about The Waitress. It was SO much fun!

I’ll be posting in a day or two about what a freaky-deaky set of mishaps I had leading up to it… nearly didn’t manage it at all.

Meantime, if you haven’t already, PLEASE pick up a copy of the book. This “Starving Artist” phase ain’t nearly as romantic as the media makes it out to be…

Check Out Books Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with WritersOnlineNetwork Radio on BlogTalkRadio
Categories
Kyla Becker Music Radio Les

Hush…

Kyla Becker, 2010
Kyla Becker
© Les Becker, 2010
Taken November 4th, 2010 with Nokia N97 Cameraphone

Another gift from my songbird….

Hush – © Kyla Becker, 2010
Click it! Click it!

Categories
Kyla Becker Music Radio Les

Our Day Will Come…

"The Evil Hypnotist" © Les Becker May 6th, 2010 Taken with Palm Pre  Cameraphone
“The Evil Hypnotist”
© Les Becker May 6th, 2010
Taken with Palm Pre Cameraphone

See my kid? That’s my kid up there. She’s a songwriter. Check out one of her latest below.

Our Day Will Come – © Kyla Becker, 2010
Click it! Click it!

Categories
Radio Les The Landlady

The Burglar Song

Image: The Burglar Frog

The Burglar Frog
Taken July 29, 2009 with Canon PowerShot A550

Ruby has this motion sensor frog ornament in her breezeway. I don’t like the thing, because I forget that it’s there, and every time I go to visit her it croaks at me and scares the shit out of me.

Every single time.

I once asked her why she had the horrid thing, and she laughed and said, “To warn me if a burglar tries to get in.”

Since then, I’ve always referred to it as “The Burglar Frog”. It would scare a burglar away, too; I’m certain of it.

I was over there in the wee hours of the night (possibly yesterday?), and we were sitting there having our coffee and working the crossword puzzle when the Burglar Frog “went off”. I waited for a knock on the door, but none came.

“Is someone here…?” I asked Ruby.

“Why?” she wanted to know.

“Your frog just croaked,” I replied.

“Huh. I never even heard it,” Ruby said, getting up and going toward the door. “I must have a burglar.”

I didn’t particularly like hearing that and got up to try and beat her to the door. I was over there later than usual, since my sleeping patterns have all been blown to hell. It was after midnight, and although Ruby is a night owl, the idea of her answering her door to a burglar kind of made the heebie-jeebies start in me.

She still managed to get to the door first, though, because she made me pause when she called back to me, “Remind me to sing you The Burglar Song….”

We discovered no burglar… the frog was playing tricks on us. I still wanted to hear The Burglar Song, though, whatever that was, and when Ruby sang it to me, I immediately wanted to know if she would let me record it and post it here.

She agreed.

I was a little surprised at how readily she agreed. I think she’s starting to enjoy the notoriety of being my Blog Star, such as it is. Just in case she changed her mind, though, I booted it home to get the recorder (encountering no burglars), and booted it back in less than three minutes. I love living this close to her… 🙂

I powered up the recorder and she started to sing. Half-way through the song, she realized she’d left out a verse.

Take 2: She got half-way through again, and had herself a coughing jag.

Take 3: She got half-way through, and suddenly couldn’t remember one of the verses.

Take 4: Success!

I came home, not in the least bit sleepy and decided to write this post…

And my F-ing computer told me there was no room for the audio file. I said my Dad’s Magic Word about then, I think.

I spent the rest of the night backing up old photos and video and clearing space on the hard-drive.

Later, having slept for most of the day, I was back at Ruby’s for more coffee and a fresh crossword.

“Did I sing to the internet?” she wanted to know.

I had to tell her that, no, I hadn’t got the post written, nor the photo ‘shopped, nor the audio edited.

“Oh,” she said, sounding disappointed. “Do you still have your thingamajig in your pocket?”

I pulled out my recorder, wondering what she was going to sing for me this time…

“I was hoping I could hear myself,” she said, and I obligingly pushed the ‘play’ button…

Whereupon, Ruby discovered that she’d left out an entire verse during Take 4. Again.

She said that just wouldn’t do, and after dictating to me the first line of every verse on her notepad, so she’d have something to jog her memory, she proceeded to sing the song again perfectly, without ever looking at her cheat sheet.

Give it a listen – it’s funny as hell. I’ve provided the lyrics below the player link, if you have any trouble with Ruby’s Canuckian accent (this means you, CardioGirl).

The Burglar Song – Ruby Daniel
Click it! Click it!


The Burglar Song

I’ll tell you a story of a burglar bold
Who went to rob a house.
He opened a window, and then crept in
As quiet as a mouse.

He looked around for a place to hide
‘Til the folks were all asleep.
And then, said he, with vehmeny,
“I’ll take a quiet sleep.”

So under the bed the burglar crept,
He crept up close to the wall.
He didn’t know it was an old maid’s room,
Or he’d never have had the gall.

He thought of the money that he would steal,
While under the bed he lay.
At 9 o’clock, he saw a sight
That made his hair turn gray.

At 9 o’clock the old maid came home.
“I am so tired,” she said.
She thought that all was well that night,
So she didn’t look under the bed.

She took out her teeth, her big glass eye,
And the hair all off of her head.
The burglar, he had forty fits,
While he watched from under the bed.

From under the bed, the burglar crept.
He was a total wreck.
The old maid wasn’t asleep at all,
And she grabbed him by the neck.

She didn’t holler, or shout, or yell.
She was as cool as a clam.
She only said, “The Saints be praised!
At last, I’ve got a man!”

From under the pillow, she drew out a gun,
And to the burglar she said,
“Young man, if you don’t marry me,
I’ll blow off the top of your head.”

She held him firmly by the neck.
He hadn’t a chance to scoot.
He looked at the gun and the big glass eye,
And said, “Madam, hurry and shoot.”

Categories
Kyla Becker Music Radio Les Terry Becker Video...

The Girl Can (Still) Sing…

I always thought she could sing. This one, though…. It’s the latest new tune in development by Kyla Becker and her father, known here as The Sire of Turkey.

It was recorded on-the-fly in the kitchen of a near-abandoned house (not mine)… please note the cat interruption (also not mine), followed by the dog interruption.

The l’il ditty is called “I Don’t Have You,” and it’s my new favourite song. What do you think?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz3LRuIMCi8&hl=en&fs=1]

Categories
Oh Mother...! Radio Les Real Life The Father Chronicles

There Were Moments of Stupidity…

Image: Peekin' Over...
Peekin’ Over…Taken March 2, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

 

RadioLes Returns!!

 

 

There Were Moments of Stupidity… – © Les Becker, 2010
Click the link to hear me tell the story..

(Oh, come on! Ya know ya want to!)Holy shit – 21 days into 2009, and this is my first blog post of the New Year. I should be ashamed.

I’m not.

I’m busy. It’s a good busy, that I am, and I’m happy not to have too much idle time on my hands. I’m not so happy that it’s my blog that has to suffer first, but I’m hoping to alleviate that over the rest of the month.

Hope springs eternal. Sigh…*

I’m off the night-shift – that move was not my idea, and it pissed me off, at first, but holy ol’ shit, Blogosphere, did you know there’s a great ball of fire in the sky for a short period of time every day?! I KNOW!!! I’d forgotten all about that! Good to know it’s still there.

Now that I’m actually dancing in the parking lot* in the daylight for eight hours at a time again, I seem to have more energy left over for other stuff… like cleaning house. The Idiot Child (AKA The Evil Hypnotist) was tiring of being the housekeeper all the time, so she prefers me on the day shift, too.

I’m still not cooking, though. Methinks, that will never change. The kid turns out to be a not-too-shabby chef, anyhow. Granted, she hates it as much as I do, but prefers eating to starving, and so continues to make my meals. Life is good. 😀

Sault Ste. Marie has, for the first time in possibly a decade, NOT had a January thaw. There are no complaints about the lack of snowmobiling/skiing/snowshoeing snow among the 5-Minute-Conversationalists in the parking lot – just fears of frostbite.

My father speaks to me in the middle of my head at some point during every shift: “Stamp your feet so your toes don’t fall off!” – his mantra during the winter Cockburn Island treks of my youth. I’ve taken to saying that to “my boys” – the young fellas with whom I dance every day – some of whom The Conversationalists mistake for my children, which I’m trying to find funny. I’m failing at that, but the boys think it’s right hilarious. If they were my kids, they’d be grounded for laughing at their mother.

Back to the snow, though…

The photo above was taken in March of last year, but that snowbank was even higher the other night – I know because I took a photo on my way home from Ruby’s, having forgotten I’d already done so last year. Thankfully, I don’t have to shovel (except that J.O.B. parking lot, but getting paid for something makes it less of a chore, doesn’t it) – my wonderful landlord has the Prissy-Van’s security parking area plowed every day, and Prissy has no trouble getting over the build-up the plow leaves around her, so I see no need to do much of anything about it other than gun through it in reverse and try not to hit the fence behind me.

Nine times out of ten, I hit the fence. Hitting fences in reverse at high speed is nothing for Prissy – another plus to having purchased an “All Plastic Vehicle” circa 1992, which, I understand, they don’t make anymore. I did see a similar mini-van marked “MPV” the other day… what’s that stand for, do you think? “Mostly Plastic Vehicle”?!

But, I’m spending too much of this post talking about snow, when I wanted to create my own January Thaw with a story from a late summer event that I wasn’t even in existence to witness. So on with it…

In 1962, my father tried to kill the entire family.How’s that grab ya?

The only reason I’m here to write about it is because everybody lived, and nobody called the cops.

No, he wasn’t trying to kill them all on purpose – it was one of those moments of brilliance-turned-stupid. He tried to asphyxiate the family, himself included, at the family cottage.

This was the Before I Was Born Camp – I wasn’t around, then. My parents bought a camp on Basswood Lake down the line, right next door to my dad’s nephew’s lot. Dad’s nephew, Lorne, was a good buddy – his dad, Marvin (yes, that Marvin), was a lot of years older than my dad, so Lorne and Dad were good pals. Their closeness in age confused many people into thinking they were brothers – and there’s a whole ‘nother story about a town-wide misunderstanding that had my father dead before his time, and my mother labeled as a nutcase because of that confusion. I shall have to tell it here, sometime.

Anyway.

Late one summer, probably in ’62, based on the age of My Brother the Trespasser, who was about two, Dad took the brood to the camp for the weekend, and Lorne took his, as well. As was the routine, the two families ate most meals together, supper being cooked by the men on the barbecue.

Now, this wasn’t the Hibachi of my experience, but one of those round, tri-legged thingies – state-of-the-art in the early 60’s, fueled with charcoal.

Also routine, was the marshmallow roast on the BBQ embers after supper, just before the kids went to bed. Apparently, juicing the kids up on pure sugar and sending them to “sleep” actually worked in 1962.

This marshmallow roast, though, was more exciting than usual.

The evening was cold. It was late August, and my dad said there was a cold snap – frost in the mornings and everything, which isn’t uncommon in Northern Ontario, but it sure can put a damper on a marshmallow roast. The kids’ hands were warm enough, holding their sticks over the barbecue, but their little feet were freezing (“Stamp your feet so your toes don’t fall off!”).

My father was a problem-solver extraordinaire, though, and of course he had himself a bright idea.

Which is how he and Lorne came to drag the the barbecue inside the camp.

Yeah.

The kids thought that was right cool. They had their marshmallow roast, and the only dark spot on the occasion was when Big Sis, who would have been around six at the time, started to feel a little, ummmm, unwell.

My mother tucked her into bed, wondering what bug was about to flit from one kid to another until she had four sick children to sit up with all night.

Thankfully, Mom always said, when she and my dad told this story in tandem (oh, the duets between those two, when they told a story – it’s a shame those days are over, now), the rest of the kids seemed more sleepy than usual, so she was able to get them all into bed and sleeping with none of the usual arguments or cajoling to stay up later. Un-Brother Ken, the oldest, was surprisingly willing to go to sleep without a fight, so my mom was pretty sure he was already nursing that nasty bug, whatever it was…

Kids tucked in, the grown-ups sat around the barbecue with a beer each, set to enjoy the rest of the evening. Lorne’s wife, Kay, was the one exception, having gone over to her own camp to put her kids to bed. My parents and Lorne began to chat about the day, and one after another, they started to yawn…

By the time Kay came back, my mother had decided she was going to turn in early. Kay noticed Lorne was a little loopy, which aggravated her somewhat, and she told him they’d better get themselves home. He reluctantly agreed.

Left alone, my dad checked the barbecue and decided it would be okay for the night, and yawningly got himself ready for bed.

He wasn’t sure why he decided to check on the kids – it’s not something he normally would have done, that being my mother’s habit. He checked on them, though, and all were sleeping deeply. He checked on The Trespasser – “The Baby”, as he was called until I came along four years later to usurp his position – last of all.

This is when he noticed something odd…

There was something… ucky… on The Baby’s pillow… on closer inspection he realized he’d been sick in his sleep. Dad couldn’t see leaving him like that all night, so he gently removed the pillow from under The Baby’s head and set it on a chair where my mother would be sure to see it in the morning and take care of it.

Yeah. It was 1962…

And then Un-Brother woke up, complaining of thirst. Dad brought him water to find he’d gone back to sleep already. He rechecked Big Sis and Tootie, to find that they had an odd tinge to their complexions…

Hmmm… whatever was ailing these kids, it wasn’t something he’d ever seen before… He thought he’d have to make sure to mention it to Maude in the morning.

And then My Brother the Trespasser upchucked all over his bed.

That did it for my dad. When the baby starts barfing up BBQ, it’s time to wake up my mother.

Except my mother wouldn’t wake up.

And that scared hell out of my dad.

He flew out the door and over to Lorne and Kay’s camp. They were still awake, having mysteriously become less loopy shortly after they left my parents’ place, and Kay went over to see what was what. Lorne got into the car to go fetch the doctor.

Dad went back to wring his hands and nervously wait for the doctor to arrive with Lorne, and in a fit of “keep busy-ness”, he decided he’d better put the barbecue back outside so the doctor wouldn’t accidentally bump it over…

Done.

The doctor arrived. Slapped my mom around a little in an attempt to wake her, and finally frowned and asked my dad how she’d been feeling before bed. Dad told him about the Mysterious Bug that seemed to be traveling among the kids, and the doctor went into their room.

Checked The Baby. Fine, if a little vomity.

Woke up the rest of them, one by one. Sleepy, they were, but that was kind of to be expected. No sign of a strange pallor with either of the girls, either.

The doctor was a little pissed at being called out into the middle of nowhere for nothing, and told my dad so. And then, as he was going grumpily out the door, he heard my dad tell Lorne he thought he’d bring that barbecue back inside, since it was still so chilly….

Whereupon, my father got a loud lesson in charcoal fumes, asphyxiation, poisoning, smothering one’s family, and how-can-you-possibly-not-know-that-are-you-stupid?!

My father conceded that he just might be. About charcoal fumes, anyhow.

After Lorne left with the doctor, Dad opened all the windows, and threw more blankets on the beds. My mother slept the night through, waking up to a slight headache and a good story, thankful that the kids were bug-free.

Thankful that she woke up at all.

– – –

* I say “dancing in the parking lot” because it sounds way fancier than “pumping gas for a living”. So, uh, no: I’m not a stripper.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Your Cash Ain’t Nothin’ But Trash” – Huey Louis & The News

Categories
Little Bits of Stupid Radio Les

Guess What I Found on the “Dance Floor”…?

Is It, or Isn't It...?Taken November 7, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550In a Parking Lot, Wellington St West, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
Is It, or Isn’t It…?
Taken November 7, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550
In a Parking Lot, Wellington St West, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Right, so I worked a night shift today (or last night), and have not yet slept, although I’m working through the night again tomorrow (or today [or tonight]).

You’ll have to excuse me; my brains have had a stir. See above.

It’s a lonely vigil, the night shift. There’s nobody else to dance with, for one thing. Not that I mind dancing alone (and I do dance in the parking lot all by myself, through the long night. I do.), but there are fewer 5-minute conversations, because there are fewer people – which is why I’m alone to begin with; fewer people to deal with means no side-kick for Les to dance with – and those few people tend to be tired and grumpy. Especially when it rains.

Myself, I like the rain in the middle of the night. I don’t have to sweep the “dance floor” in the rain, although I kind of like that part of the job. It’s rhythmic and soothing, and sometimes I find cool things. Like money – in 5 cent, 10 cent, 2-bits, and sometimes (gasp!) even whole dollar increments.

And then there’s that thing at the top of the page, stuck up there before the words start. Yes, it does look like that, doesn’t it? Or what I’ve always imagined that that would look like, if ever I encountered it, and up until I came across that ziploc bag while sweeping prior to the rain in the middle of last night, I had never encountered it.

If that’s what it really is, anyway.

And you know I’m not going to tell you that, at least, until the end of the story, right?

Right.

I’m going to interrupt here, one day later, to add some audio. With thanks to Suzi and Dale, I’ve worked up the guts to record the remaining portion of this post, as practice for The Waitress AudioBook project – you know, test the equipment and software, find my public speaking voice again, blah, blah, blah.

I’m pleased to say, that I dropped back into it with very few mishaps, and no tears whatsoever. In fact, I actually enjoyed myself, which I wouldn’t have believed possible, previously. I may just do this again.

Click the link – have a listen – read along. Sorry about the lack of a bouncing ball to follow, but maybe I’ll work that in when I switch the blog over to flash, which should happen sometime next decade with the flash conversion success rate that I boast…

Introducing…

Radio Les!

Guess What I Found in the Parking Lot? – © Les Becker, 2008
Click it! Click it!

(You know you want to…)

So….

I stand there in the parking lot, broom in hand, staring down at this ziploc bag, and nudge it with the very manly steel-toed toe of my very manly steel-toed boot…. and I look around as nonchalantly as is possible when one comes across what might be seriously illegal ziploc baggie-filler in the middle of the night at one’s place of employment, with Han Solo’s voice running through my head: “I don’t know! Fly casual!” Or, in this case, sweep casual….

Eventually, I get up the guts to pick it up. It’s heavier than I would have imagined cocaine would be; packed into a hard little, perfect little, ultra-thin zippo-lighter-sized rectanglular-shaped brick.

A nasty thought strikes me: Is this some kind of test?!

Not a “set up from the Boss” kind of test… I’m thinking more along the lines of God, or the Universe, or Whomever/Whatever really runs things… a kind of like, “Here! Have some of this. Free, even!” kind of test. I mean, if I had found a baggie of pot in the parking lot in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t be blogging this.

And I’m pretty sure I’d be sound asleep right now, too… 😀

But it very obviously isn’t pot… and I’ve no idea if it’s what I think it might be, which is coke, and on top of that, no idea if, assuming I had the opportunity/nerve to open it up, I would be able to tell cocaine from anything else that might resemble cocaine.

All I really know, is that whatever it is or isn’t, it’s illegal, and I’d better “do the right thing”, or risk arrest, and the loss of my groovy-cool new J.O.B.

So, what’s the “right thing to do”?

Do I sneak off to the bathroom and unwrap the thing…? No. I’m not worried about temptation (although wouldn’t that be a bugger – to crawl out from under, find a job I like for a change, and then get hooked on coke in the employee bathroom the first time out because I found somebody’s lost stash and thought, “Ah, what the hell…?”), but opening it up wouldn’t exactly look good on me later, would it?

Do I take it in to the “inside” side of the parking lot, to Pretty Girl who’s working tonight and Show and Tell it to her? I decide against… Pretty Girl is nice (she dances when I tell her to), but I don’t really know her that well. What if she’s a coke-head? It could happen – maybe she dropped it.

I decide to go inside and call the Boss – yes, wake him up out of a sound sleep, and ask him what to do. That’s the ticket.

At which point, a 5-Minute Conversationalist rolls up to park, grumpy as all hell, and I stuff the baggie in my pocket and go conversate.

And then I forget all about it.

I KNOW!!! Can you imagine?!

But that’s what I do… until the sun rises, and I’m suddenly surrounded by 5-Minute Conversationalists and it isn’t until the Boss pulls up and parks that I remember it.

And then shift-change is upon us, and things go nuts, because we have to shut everything down for a whole minute-and-a-half and all the grumpy 5-Minute Conversationalists are freaking because they have to wait for their conversations, and by the time it calms down and I’m free to talk to the Boss about the baggie full of drugs I found in his parking lot, my Idiot Child (now don’t come down on me for renaming my formerly wonderful albeit sometimes stupid kid – she’s a full-blown teenager now, clinically insane and has recently earned the new name, believe me) comes flying into the fray to tell me she missed her bus, and can I please, please drive her all the way to the far edge of town to school?

To which I find myself driving in a downpour, with a minor child, and me with no purse (hence, no driver’s license), with my pockets stuffed full of cocaine.

I’m certain I’m going to be stopped for driving erratically. I am, in point of fact, driving very erratically, being in a panic about my pending arrest and all. The knowledge that I am about to become the much-honoured Family Cup Holder does not please me nearly as much as I’ve always believed it would.

I’m sure that, even if I don’t get stopped by the police, I’m certain to run a red light, plow through twenty-seven other vehicles, roll the Prissy-van, mow down a whole bloody mess of school-children, and eventually wake up from my coma in handcuffs because somebody is going to find cocaine in my pockets, dammit, and, somehow, I don’t think, “I found it in the parking lot,” is gonna fly… Nuh-uhhh.

I decide to drop my Idiot Child off at school, and then drive to the police station with my contraband and turn myself in. I’m pretty sure they’ll believe the parking lot story if I surrender the goods of my own volition, so I concentrate on not killing anyone, and driving safely, and I must be doing alright, because I turn into my driveway having had only two fists shaken in my direction, and three or four fingers, ummm, fingered at me.

Yes. I turn into my driveway… having driven by rote and gone home rather than the police station.

At this point, I decide, to hell with it all, I’m going to flush it and forget it. I get inside, lock the door, lock the bathroom door, you know, to be on the safe side, and unwrap the hard little, perfect little, ultra-thin zippo-lighter-sized rectanglular-shaped brick.

Which turns out to be a dead camera battery wrapped in a tissue and folded into a ziploc bag for recycling.

Lucky for me… because a few minutes later, I discover that my toilet won’t flush.

Some drug dealer I’d make. I’m disgusted with myself. I don’t deserve The Family Cup after all.

And Google is going to send me some wicked-weird visitors because of this post, I know it.

Not-So-Random Song-for-the-Day: “Cocaine” – Eric Clapton

Categories
Radio Les The Landlady

Knickety-Knackety Now-Now-Now…

Almost Edible
Almost Edible
Taken July 1, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

Ruby wanted me to post a picture of snowshoes for this post. I would have, too, but I couldn’t find any snowshoes to take a picture of, and the ones stealable online were all too small to suit me. Besides, Ruby’s cherry tomatoes are gorgeous, aren’t they?

Ruby and I got talking about snowshoes in the spring (I know, I know – I’m SO behind in these posts!), when I mentioned that another winter had gone by, and I hadn’t bought snowshoes for the kid and myself.

I used to snowshoe in school, and on Cockburn Island with my Dad, but Ky would never even entertain the thought of going with me, until this year, when she took it up in school herself. And fell in love with it, just like I did. We never managed to get ourselves any equipment before the snow melted, though. Sigh…* Next year, maybe…

Anyhoo… The mere mention of snowshoes got a story going…

We used to snowshoe all the time in Northland, you know. We used those old catgut snowshoes – ever see them?

Me: Yes, I have. I used catgut snowshoes, too. My Dad had them on Cockburn, and I think that’s what we had in school.

Well, they don’t make ’em like that anymore. Now, they’re those lightweight aluminum things. Don’t take nothin’ to get those things going. The ones *I* used were heavier than *I* was!

Me: Yup. And if you don’t bang the snow out them every so often, you’ll get bogged down with the weight…

That’s right! You have be careful how you bang ’em, too, or you’ll end up on your face.

(I laughed hard at this – I remember ending up on my face more than a few times.)

I think we spent the whole winter on snowshoes, now I think of it. We wore them for syruping, too. Imagine hauling pails of sap with snowshoes on…! We did it, though. We worked hard, now I look back on it, but I don’t think it occurred to us that we were working. We were having too much fun!

Me: Did you ever just snowshoe for the sake of snowshoeing?

Of course! We snowshoed all winter. Everybody did – even the teacher. He boarded at our house, you know. Slept with my brother.

Me: Your school teacher boarded with you?! God, you must have hated that!

You’re telling me I hated it! I didn’t like that guy much. He thought he was funny, always joking around… Any time a man walked into our kitchen, he’d yell at me: “Ruby! There’s somethin’ in the kitchen with pants on!” He used to make me so mad!

(Let’s all take a break here, while I try to stop laughing…)

I teased him back, though, I guess. I got in big trouble with him over that once.

Me: What’d you do?

Well, he got sweet on this girl in our class one year. He wasn’t much older than us, after all, and he took a shine to this pretty thing that had her nose in the air all the time…

Me: Uppity, was she?

Uppity?! She wouldn’t even talk to the rest of us girls, that’s how uppity she was! Anyway, the teacher was sweet on her, and one day when us kids were all out snowshoeing on the ice, this girl was with us, and we started teasing her about the teacher. She got mad at us, and sat down on the ice and wouldn’t speak to us at all.

So we thought, “Oh, to heck with her,” and off we went without her. Well, when we come back around again, she was gone. We could see two sets of snowshoe tracks making off into the bush, and we knew the teacher had come by and they’d gone off alone together. We made fun of them back and forth to ourselves all the way home. I could hardly keep a straight face at the dinner table that night, with him sitting across from me, let me tell you!

Anyway, that night, my sisters and I were upstairs getting ready for bed, and I got singing…

“She sat on the ice, and she wouldn’t talk
Knickety-knackety, now-now-now.
When the teacher came along, they went for a walk,
Knickety-knackety, now-now-now.”

(At this point, I must interject with the news that Ruby actually began to recite a ditty she’d made up over 70 years ago, and probably hadn’t thought twice about since…. I was flabbergasted. I daresay Ruby was too.)

Well! Didn’t that teacher hear me from down in the kitchen! He came barrelling up those steps – scared the bejeezus out of me! Told me right off, and I got mad at him! I said, “Oh, but it’s alright for you to say, ‘There’s somethin’ in the kitchen with pants on,’ every time somebody comes in!”

And he turned right around and never said another word.

I finally had the sense to dig out the digital recorder. I turned it on, fully expecting her to balk, but…

Ruby sang! When I asked her if I could blog it, she actually agreed. “But,” she said, “You should put up a picture of catgut snowshoes. I’ll bet most people that read your blog have never seen snowshoes!”

Ruby’s tomatoes will have to do, though. I’m more excited to share her voice with you. Check it out.

“Knickety-Knackety” – Ruby Daniel, 2008
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Random Song-for-the-Day: “I Kissed a Girl” – Kerry Perry

Categories
Little Bits of Stupid Radio Les

Wanted: Used Tuba, Suitable for Cat

Cat in a Tuba
Come on; you can do it!

RadioLes!!

 

Wanted: Used Tuba, Suitable for Cat – © Les Becker, 2008
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My site was reviewed today. The phrase “Cat in a tuba” was the the best thing about it. You can read the review HERE, if you like, along with my comment about it.

Needless to say, the “review” was disappointing. Not because it was a little pissy, either – I expected pissy. Pissy is this guy’s schtick. I mean, he calls his site “I Hate Your Website,” so he’s bound to get a little um… rude. In fact, I didn’t find the “review” nearly as rude as I would have expected.

But.

The few other reviews he has up, at least the few I read, actually have some honest (if pissy) constructive criticism about the site thrown in there. Yes! They actually, actually do! Not mine, though. This guy’s dislike of cats and old people is apparently intense enough, and my blog is boring enough, and my friends don’t like me enough, that my site is not worth any constructive criticism about design, layout, content (other than cats and old people), adspace, whitespace, or anything else that might give me an idea about how it might be improved for readability or traffic.

The only constructiveish thing he mentioned was that I needed an “About Page” – because he didn’t know how old I was or what I do for a living… information that is repeatedly interspersed throughout many entries; not that I could reasonably expect him to read enough entries that he could be guaranteed not to miss those two gems. I’m not sure how knowing my age would make him like my blog any better, but maybe I shall, from now on, end each and every entry with the phrase, “My name is Les Becker. I’m 42.”

Yes, Carl, I’m 42. That’s also “The Answer to The Ultimate Question”, how cool is that?! Pretty cool if you’re me, I guess. I’m not that cool, though. I’d be more cool if I owned a tuba.

Anyhoo, all because of Carl, who is also cool in his own little way, I have set up a separate “About Page” – just for him. I even dedicated it to him. Cuz he’s pissy and cool and inconsistent, all at the same time. That deserves recognition.

And –

I hereby declare that from this day forward, February 14th will now be known as “Cat-in-a-Tuba” Day, in honour of Carl. Oh alright, it can still be Valentine’s Day, too, but only ‘cuz it would be too hard to break you all of the habit. Happy VD, btw, people. You, too, Carl.

My name is Les Becker. I’m 42.

Random Song for the Day: “Something in the Way” – Nirvana

Categories
It Helps If the Whole Family Is Crazy Kyla Becker Music Radio Les

The Wedding Singer

My Un-Brother, Ken and his new wife Sylvia made the trip to visit us from Fort MacMurray to show off their new wheels – bought by the insurance company that covered the damage done from the freak hailstorm that hit ten minutes after they said “I Do.” Now, if that ain’t God talkin’, I don’t know what it is. I tried to warn them. They didn’t listen. Now they have a brand new truck. Shows what I know.

The Happy Couple
The Happy Couple

A “wedding dinner” was hosted for them at a local restaurant on Tuesday evening. Ky wanted to sing for them as her wedding gift. I told them it was from me, too, ‘cuz I don’t “do” weddings, and I’m a miser. I only went to the dinner for the free food and beer.

The Wedding Singer
The Wedding Singer

And now for your listening pleasure, a small snippet of Ky’s “Wedding Song” for the Happy Couple: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, sung a cappella.

“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” – Kyla Becker: a capella
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