Categories
Photography Real Life Wasted Time...

The What’th of September…

Waste Not, Want NotTaken September 22, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550
Waste Not, Want Not
Taken September 22, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

Ruby needed to know the date the other day, and that’s how she asked it: “This is the what’th of September…?” It struck me as a good title for a blog post because it’s felt like the “what’th of September” for pretty much the entire month.

The photo is fairly symbolic for my September, as well. September has been a waste: blog-wise, writing-wise, and life-wise. I’ve done nothing of note this month, and nothing productive, unless you count cleaning the bathroom.

I don’t count cleaning the bathroom as productive unless it’s been an horrific mess and takes a while to clean, and that hasn’t been the case in some time. And if this new-for-me bathroom were to get itself into the state of “horrific mess”, it would still only take 10 minutes to clean it – I’ve seen bigger broom closets.

I’ve spent most of my September taking stock of things. One would think that would be productive, but it’s turned into a waste of my time. I’m becoming more aware of “time” lately, since I overheard somebody say to somebody else, “Time is money….”, and the somebody else replied, “No. Time is life.”

Scared me a little bit.

I spent very little time during August purging enough stuff to allow me to fit myself and my child into this wee small space. I expected to agonize over what to keep and what to toss, and I was surprised how easy it was to just get rid of it all – shred it, trash it, give it away. Everything I owned held some meaning for me at one point and every previous attempt over the last 25 years to unclutter my living space has always been impossible when it came to memorabilia: photos, letters, stupid little bits of things that would mean nothing to anyone else, but meant everything to me.

Nostalgia is a weird thing. This time, when I started to cull the junk, everything I picked up could have been someone else’s memory. It didn’t mean much of anything anymore.

Now, it’s time to cull the things I’m wasting my time with and start getting productive. I thought I knew what I wanted, but now I’m not so sure.

[[[… time passes…]]]

How weird is this?! I’m in the middle of this post when I get a phone call from a friend asking me what I’m doing about “this writing thing you’re into”. 26 minutes of Kick-My-Ass has convinced me somewhat that I should continue the dream.

Except, I think it’s time to quit dreaming and start doing. I’ve already wasted too much of my time.

Time is Life, after all…

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Doctor Who Theme” – Orbital

Categories
Finances Real Life

Goodbye, Captain Underpants…

"The Tattered and Worn"
“The Tattered and Worn”
Taken November 10, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

Tattered and worn is how Ky and I both feel about now. Our move of residence is imminent. As in, Today.

I hate moving. I wanted to space it all out over a period of a couple of weeks, and the plan was working for awhile, even. The J.O.B., though, has me worn out. When I’m there, I’m thinking of all the packing still left to do, and when I’m here, I’m too overwhelmed and “procrastinatey” to get much done.

I don’t have to be completely gone from this building until the 31st, but The Fly-Girl’s wedding reception is on the 30th, which requires an overnight… and nope- can’t book the following day off for the last little pickings involved in moving house, so I’m hoping I can get it done ahead of the celebrations. And that I’m not hungover at work the day after the dog bites me.

I hate moving. I said that already, didn’t I? Well, I hate it even more now, than two paragraphs ago.

We’ve been chauffering little stuff in boxes over since the 15th, with much of it going the opposite direction to the charity drop. I’m forced to abandon items that I would have clung to fiercely a year ago, and I’m surprisingly at peace doing so. There is no room for more than is absolutely necessary, and no storage space. At. All. The place we’re moving into is even smaller than the one we’re leaving. I wouldn’t have thought that to be possible, but…

I took the place sight unseen (or is that site unseen? Whatever.), because every apartment I did look at was filthy. And expensive. And filthy. I considered buying a small house. Even looked at a couple. They were filthy, too.

And then Ruby suggested I check into an apartment above a store, right around the corner from her. She figured that even if they didn’t have anything available, they might know who owned the really well-kept up, retrofitted house next to them. Turns out “they” own both buildings, and a basement apartment would be available in the retro just in time for me.

It was small, they said. Very small. Newly renovated, though, with new fixtures, and floors, and appliances, and cupboards, and a sauna. Convincing Ky to take an unseen apartment (with a sauna) was actually a simple procedure: “Want a sauna?” “Duh! YES!!!”

I stood outside the building, not being able to see the place, yet, because of the squatter that refused to leave it, and pictured a full basement. I convinced myself that if it wasn’t bigger than the place we were leaving, it at least had to be close to the same size.

I paid a deposit. And the landlord hit me with another zinger.

We have no walls.

Hmmmm…. Okay, so it will be a Basement Loft with Sauna, then, won’t it? I signed a contract, and wrote out a bunch of post-dated checks. Accepted a key, and signed for that.

On the 15th, we went to see it.

It’s about this big.

Well, the new landlord tried to warn me, didn’t he? I’m taking it anyway, though. I can’t imagine looking at any more filthy, little expensive places…

There are all those pluses, too… I could spit and hit Ruby’s door… security parking for Prissy, behind a chain-link fence, complete with barbed-wire ruffles at the top… cheap rent, all inclusive… decent landlord…. the new everything he put in the place… Oh and did I mention

The Sauna?

And I’ll be glad to get out of this place, finally. It’s not the same without Ruby at the helm, and about the only things I’ll miss are the considerable whack-jobs populating the block.. like Captain Underpants, who moved in across the street last winter, and introduced himself to the neighbourhood by walking around barefoot in the snow, wearing nothing but his green boxers, beer in hand, yelling “Howdy!” to everybody he saw. Every day.

Now that the snow is gone, he yells from his kitchen window. I don’t think Captain Underpants likes heat. At least I know I won’t find him in my sauna some day.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “i am the walrus” – The Beatles

Categories
Photography Real Life The Walk-About

…Of Wheels and Walk-Abouts

Faeries in the Flowers
Faeries in the Flowers
Taken August 9, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

So, the Mini-Van Saga is finally over…. and it turned out to be a trilogy, at that. I was originally going to be leasing The Fly-Mobile, so-named because it was The Fly-Girl’s ride, and she wanted to get rid of it.

I liked that mini-van. Turns out, the Fly-Girl did, too, and decided to keep it after all, even though she had to pay a bzillion dollars to get it registered in the U.S. after she got married and jumped The Ditch (Traitor!).

I got over it, though, when Fluffy (so-named by Kyla, because he’s, well, fluffy – 🙂 ), the Fly-Girl’s partner-in-car-sharking, found me another mini-van just like the Fly-Mobile, except fully powered and, um… purple. Which prompted Ky to name it The Grape-Mobile. And that prompted me to like it. I like pretty much anything provided it has a cool, freaky, and/or plain ol’ weird moniker.

And then the Grape-Mobile kakked on the operating table during the certification. And I do mean kakked. It barfed out every kind of fluid running through its veins, through all orifices, including new and bewildering orifices that no vehicle should have. So Fluffy shot it. Ky was pissed.

But, Fluffy turns out to be a Genie of sorts, and magicked us up a pristine (albeit older) one-ownered as-yet-un-named mini-van of the Chevy Lumina APV variety, that positively beamed throughout its certification, and Ky loves him again. The two cases of soda, three bags of potato chips, and two large jars of pickles he soothed her with may have had a part in the forgiveness, mind you.

The Pristine Un-Named was delivered to me Friday evening, whereupon, I immediately drove it the three blocks to Ruby’s house to show off. And I drove it the six-ish blocks to the J.O.B. yesterday, and then had to return to the mall from half-way home, having forgot it in the parking lot when my shift was over. Having wheels will take some getting used to…

Anyway… it was decided last evening, now that we have transportation, that we should pick up Ky’s doggish-type companion from her father’s place and get us to a too-far-to-walk-a-dog hiking trail with the camera. I put on a pair of sneakers for the first time in what feels like forever, and off we went.

During said Walk-About, I took the above photo, and noticed when I uploaded it, that there seemed to be a face peering out at me. This face looks eerily like my daughter, until it’s zoomed-in on, whereupon it just turns creepy.

Eeeee-Vil
The zoom-in just looks… Eeeee-Vil

Methinks, Shrinky may have sent a faerie over from the UK. She’s always catching them with her camera. I hope she doesn’t do it again, though, because it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

This afternoon, we will be traveling to Teeny-Tiny Town to visit my Mom, and bring some flowers to the cemetery for my Dad. We will be listening closely for the sound of him rolling over in his grave at the thought of me owning a vehicle. His response to my news, months ago, that I was planning this lease was: “God help the trees on the side of the road.”

Now, that’s a story I should tell some day…

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Love” – John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band

Categories
Real Life Zenishness...

Pink Fantasy…

Image: Pink Fantasy
Pink Fantasy
Taken February 22, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

I’m right impressed with myself over this picture. I seriously doubt I’ll get another shot even half this good for the rest of the year. I kind of hope I don’t – I’m really proud of this one. I want to blow it up to about garage-door-sized and hang it on my wall.

The inside of my head feels a lot like this pic – kind of dreamy… gauzy… lazy…

I’ve been busy, mind you….

…picking away at a website I’m building for a charitable organization here in town…

…picking away at painting my little apartment – we’ve decided not to move, after all. We’re finally getting this place “prettified” the way we like it, and the thought of hauling all the stuff down the stairs…. Blech. It’s still small, even though we’ve gotten rid of 60% of its contents, but it suits us, and the larger (huger) place comes with a big jump in rent.

The more we thought about moving, the more we realized that the only good thing about moving was that it was just downstairs (no way am I giving up my landlady!), so packing would be… well… it wouldn’t be, would it?

I’m still waiting to actually get on the schedule at the new J.O.B…. they insist that I’m hired. Every time I call… “Uuuuuuuhhhhhhhhmmmmm…. probably…. some time…. uuuuuhhhhhhmmmmm…. next week….? Maybe….?” They tell me this once a week. I should have applied to work in HR instead of sales… I think they need the help.

So, in the meantime…

…I drink a lot of coffee, and work a lot of crosswords, and watch a lot of movies (and ball games… and hockey games…) with Ruby.

…I continue to scan the J.O.B. boards and newspaper ads, in the undying hope that something not involving sales, customer service or telemarketing jumps out at me.

…I Walk-About to my parents’, drink rum, and listen to a new story once a week. Yes, I’m writing them down – heck I might even get around to posting them…

…I swear over the apparently uninstallable software that will allow the coolest Ruby post ever posted to be posted… finally. I hope. Gulp…*

…I dance with The Turkey – who, by the way, has just finished the second edit of her first novel. At 13. Yup. I feel a little useless when she’s in the room. She’s also re-dyed her hair purple, and has taken to stealing the pre-stolen “Grampa-shirts” out of my closet (I stole them first, but there’s never one to wear when I want one), and wearing them with neckties. I’d post pics, but the kid doesn’t stay home long enough to catch more than her shirt-tail in the view-finder…

…I drive around with The Fly-Girl in the Soon-to-be-Mine Minivan (I think I’ll name it The FlyMobile, whad’ya think?), singing old rock tunes from when we were young and thought we’d be 16 for-freaking-ever.

…and I spend a lot of time staring at this picture… and drifting off… somewhere…

Random Song-for-the-Day: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” – Elton John

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
Click it! Click it!

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
Real Life The Landlady

Leap to it, Ladies!

Drained
“Drained”
Taken November 17, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

That’s about the only word I can use to describe how I feel right now. It’s not a bad “blah”, so much as a really, really tired one. It’s also not really a bad “tired” – just… ah. No words for it.

It’s been a busy last little while. We have made The Hummingbird’s sojourn here a little more “official”, which has required a few meetings and several thousand forms to fill out. I have not yet got all the forms filled out, in fact. Once I have it all done, I think I might own the kid. If that turns out to be true, I’m going to sell her on eBay, just to pay for all the miles I’ve walked and all the “signaturing” I’ve had to do.

Tonight is the first chance I’ve had to work on a post – The Turkey made supper… cuz she’s a good kid, and I’m a bad mom. Actually, I probably would have remembered to make it myself, if I hadn’t spent three hours dancing around the living room with her, so it’s all her fault anyway.

But, I’m full of rice (She made rice. Just. Rice.), and so I’m now powered up enough to tell you all what Ruby has to say about Leap years…

Is this year really a Leap year?!

Me: Yup.

Well, now – here’s your chance!

Me: My chance for what…?

For a man!!!! (And she cackles long and loud, clapping her hands.)

Me: Ruby! I don’t want a man!

(laughter)

Me: I don’t!!! Besides, if I did want a man, why could I only get one on a Leap year?!

Because on a Leap year, the girl gets to do the askin’! Haven’t you ever heard of a Sadie Hawkins?!

Me: You mean, as in a “Sadie Hawkins dance?”

Yes, a dance! And the girl does the askin’! We only had them on February 29th… Leap years. A girl could ask a man to the dance, and she’d go pick him up and the whole nine yards. They were lots of fun! And they worked, too, you know… there’s more old maids married during Leap years than any other. Or there used to be, anyway. Times have sure changed. (sighs)

Me: I’ll say…! We used to have Sadie Hawkins dances in high school, but we had them every Hallowe’en, not just on Leap years…

Well, you cheated, then. They’re supposed to be on February 29th, not Hallowe’en.

Me: So, why not take your Leap-year-given right, Ruby, and go out and get yourself a man this year? You’ve still got a few weeks to pick one out.

Me?! What am I gonna do with a man?!

Actually, every now and again, I sometimes wish I did have a man. You know, to take me out to dinner and then out for a drive. Then he’d have to go home.

You know, after Roy died, I had a friend who kept trying to tell me how to get a man. She used to say I should go to the grocery store and look for some poor confused-looking fella and help him tap a melon or something. She’d say men are so grateful over stuff like that that they’ll up and ask you out next thing you know! (laughs) Or she’d say, “Ruby, go to the laundromat. Help some poor idjit fold his clothes. He’ll follow you right home, you’ll see!”

Me: So did you go to the laundromat, then?

Of course not! I’ve got my own washing machine! I should have maybe done just that back then, though, now I think it over.

Me: Well, it’s not too late, is it? And it’s a Leap year!

No… I should’ve gone twenty years ago. I wasn’t so buggered up then as I am now.

Random Song for the Day: “New Soul” – Yael Naim

Categories
The Father Chronicles

Ruby’s Right – You Can’t Trust That Internet.

Horses in Winter
Team in Winter – Source Unknown

I found this info while looking for links for this waaaaaay back story of my dad’s that he told me on Saturday. I’m still shaking my head.

Ruby says you can’t trust that Internet – and I guess she’s right, this time, at least. This is not a “Ghost Island” I’m about to talk about, although there aren’t many that can say they live there year ’round. And apparently the Canuckian Government Census-Takers ought to make the odd phone call now and again.

Cockburn Island (Island Week)



Cockburn Island is a ‘ghost’ island in Ontario, which despite the apparent signs of life (there’s a small town and marina) has an official population of zero. The 1996 census listed a population of just two, but both people had left by 2001, making this the least populated incorporated municipality in Canada.

Some of these abandoned houses are supposedly still used as holiday homes, but what interests me if the makeshift airport to be found deep in the forest. It’s evidently still in use but I’ve found no mention of the airport around the internet. Most websites say that the marina is the “only way of getting on the island”, but it’s clearly not. If you asked me, an abandoned island would be the perfect place for an evil empire to keep its headquarters…

Thanks: Matt Blum & Taylor

  blog it

Clearly, one can’t believe everything found on the internet. Wikipedia has this to say, slightly (slightly, I say) closer to the truth:

“Cockburn Island is an island in the Canadian province of Ontario, located in the Manitoulin District. It is separated from the westernmost point of Manitoulin Island by the Mississagi Strait, and from Michigan’s Drummond Island by the False Detour Channel.

Cockburn Island had a permanent population of ten in the 2006 Canadian census. The island does, however, have a recreational summer population of anywhere from 50-200 people. In the 2001 census, the island’s population had been reported as zero, due to Statistics Canada’s counting method of rounding off population figures for communities of smaller than 15 people.

It is the least populated incorporated municipality in Canada, and township offices are located on the mainland in Thessalon, actually in the district of Algoma. The island is not connected to either Manitoulin or Drummond Islands by bridge or ferry service. The only available transportation is by private boat or float plane from Manitoulin or Thessalon.

A small portion of the island is taken up by the Cockburn Island 19 Indian reserve, which also has no permanent population; this is a heritage land belonging to a First Nation whose primary community is located on Manitoulin Island. The remainder constitutes the township of Cockburn Island.”

First of all, the “airport” is an airstrip, upon which small planes can land and take off, and sometimes, they even do! In really stormy weather, when you can’t get out by boat, and you have a heart attack, or appendicitis, or you fall out of your tree, making a radio-call for a plane is the only way off the island to a doctor… assuming the weather isn’t so bad that a plane can’t fly, in which case, you’d be SOL. Luckily, this doesn’t happen often.

Secondively (Suzism), “both people had left by 2001″…?! Nope. One died, and her husband most likely spent that winter on the Manitoulin. He went back to Cockburn, though, and eventually remarried. Ummm. Not sure where he found her, but it probably wasn’t anywhere on the Island itself, which is only 15 miles across – hard to miss a woman, even if she’s trying to hide. I haven’t met the new wife, but my kid has, and she says the new wife is pretty groovy. They raise peacocks. Or something.

Thirdly, Cockburn Island proper is now privately owned, by some rich guy from somewhere in the U.S. I haven’t met the new owner, but my parents have, and they say he’s pretty groovy, too…. He’s let everybody that owns land and buildings keep what’s theirs… I think they have to sell to him when they’re sick of the place or something. Fair enough, I guess.

AND….. no. It’s not pronounced the way you’re laughing at, either… It’s pronounced “CO-burn.” Stop laughing, now.

So how do I know all this? Well, my parents are “Haweaters,” having been born and raised on Manitoulin Island, as opposed to “Sandtrampers”, which is what they’d be if they’d been born and raised on Cockburn Island. There’s always been a fairly friendly rivalry between the Haweaters and the Sandtrampers. Having been raised by Haweaters, but having spent much of my childhood on Cockburn Island, I wonder if I might be able to call myself a Hawtramper…? Sandeater…? Hmmmmm….

Thessalon is where *I* was born and raised. I generally refer to it here, Where the Walls are Soft, as “Teeny-Tiny Town”. My dad opened up a farm machinery sales business in “Teeny-Tiny Town” in 1947, married my mom in ’48 and moved her there from the Manitoulin. His business turned into a Ford dealership (please, no “Found On Road Dead” jokes…) and eventually, he sold it – 1977, that was, and got himself a job rebuilding, and then captaining a big ol’ steel tugboat called “The Debbie-Cin”, with which he hauled a barge back and forth from Cockburn Island to Thessalon for The Midway Lumber Company.

Dad had a cottage on Cockburn Island by then, although we’d spent many summers docked at the so-called “marina” (cement pier) there, before the camp, as we Northerners call a “cottage”, was built. The town on Cockburn, by the way, is called “Tolsmaville”. So there, Internet. I taught you something.

Anyway, back to the job my dad had, hauling timber on a barge… it’s interesting, mainly because my mom and I got to go back and forth with him. What would have been an hour’s boat ride in my dad’s 31 ft cabin cruiser took about four hours in The Debbie-Cin. That’s when we were towing an empty barge from Thessalon to Cockburn. The return trip, with a full barge, was more like 7 or 8 hours. I did a lot of reading that summer.

But it’s even more interesting, now that I learn that my dad came full circle when he got that job. He had another job hauling stuff from Thessalon to Cockburn during The Dirty Thirties. 1938, to be exact. He was 18 years old.

That was my first job off the Manitoulin. I guess it was my first job for anybody other than my own dad, now I think it through a little. My brother Marvin got it for me. He’d been hired to haul hay to Cockburn from Thessalon, because he had a team of horses. Not everybody did, you know, and most of them worked in the bush hauling out timber, although you didn’t see much of that in the winter, I guess.

The boats couldn’t run in the winter, obviously, and sometimes Marvin would get a job carrying the mail, or hauling farm parts over the ice. There was a lot of people living there then – they didn’t start moving off the Island until after the War started. World War II, I mean.

Me: That’s when the ferry stopped, wasn’t it?

What ferry?

Me: The ferry from Meldrum Bay to Cockburn.

(snorts) I don’t know where you hear this stuff. There wasn’t no ferry from the Manitoulin to Cockburn! You’re all mixed up. They tried running a ferry from Blind River to Cockburn for awhile, but they couldn’t make a go of it, and it shut down after a year.

Me: I thought I heard it from you..!

Well, like I say, you’re all mixed up. Now, where was I?

Right, Marvin had a team of horses… So, he could usually get a job hauling something in the winter. He didn’t have a boat, so people like Bill Jones made runs in the summer, carrying the mail, and goods, and people back and forth between Cockburn and Meldrum and Thessalon, but Bill would usually hire Marvin to help out in the winter, and that year Marvin asked me to give him a hand. They had hay to haul from Thessalon to Cockburn, and Bill Jones only had Marvin’s team, and his own and one other to do it. Gord Nichols, I think it was.

Remember how we’d go on the snow machines and follow the tree-line? That made the trip easier, when they set out everybody’s Christmas trees in a line all the way from the breakwater in Thessalon to the breakwater on Cockburn. Any old idjit could follow that. They didn’t do that in 1938, though, and a lot of idjits got lost and froze to death. (laughs)

Bill Jones knew what he was doing, though. He’d been doing it awhile. It was my first real job, and I was nervous. We had to haul a great big sleigh full of hay, and I was driving. I didn’t have to worry much about getting lost, because I was following Bill, and Gord Nichols was behind me. I was kind of leery of the ice, mind you, because the Great Lakes don’t really freeze. We were on the North Channel, and you could usually count on decent ice, but you had to be careful because there’d be air pockets, and sometimes you’d hit open water real sudden. Lots of people went in, and lots of people lost their teams.

Anyway, we got about half-way to Cockburn and decided to stop for lunch. It was cold as hell, and we stomped around a lot, clapping our hands to ward off frost bite. Remember how I used to make you do that at the half-way mark? You gotta make sure to do that now and again – if you sit still too long your toes’ll fall right off, when you take your boots off.

So we stomped around and unhitched the teams and led them up to the back of Bill’s sleigh to feed. We were just about to eat lunch ourselves, when Bill noticed the water coming up around his feet. He started to yell at us all to get the hell away RIGHT NOW!!! I never run so fast in my life!

Marvin had the double-trees and he’d just managed to hook the goose-neck into them (Les Says: I have no idea what that means, but I didn’t want to interrupt him at this point…) when the back end of the bob went down through the ice and dumped all of Bill’s hay into the channel.

I don’t remember who hitched up Marvin’s team, might even have been me, but all of a sudden we were flying over the ice, with Bill yelling to spread out so we didn’t all go down at once for the weight. I was scared to death and I didn’t have anybody to follow anymore. I was sure I’d somehow do something wrong, so I kept trying to hand the lines over to Marvin, but he wouldn’t take them.

I found out later, that Marvin had already lost two teams that winter, delivering mail, and that’s why he had me driving in the first place! I was mad over that for a long time.

We did finally get to Cockburn. We’d lost a sleighful of hay, but the horses all got there, and so did we, so I guess it could have been worse.

But I never hired on with Marvin for a run like that again.

Random Song for the Day: “Oh No” – Gogol Bordello

Categories
Gift Shop Short Fiction Stories

The Waitress, the Whiskey, and the Handcuffs – Part III

The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs
The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs
The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs
Part 1 of The Ruby Chronicles

Ruby Daniel is a 30-something widow trying to get by in a small backwoods Northern town in the 1950’s. Her chicken farm is failing, and she takes a weekend job as a barmaid at an illegal drinking establishment run by a crooked police officer, hoping the extra income will allow her to keep her farm and raise her kids.

When her crude and offensive employer plays an embarrassing prank on her, Ruby gets revenge with the help of her mother, whose devious tactics and unrestrained glee in the details of retaliation leave Ruby in awe, and a little fearful of the woman who raised her.

This comedic short story will leave you laughing out loud and cheering Ruby on, as she learns that standing up for herself can sometimes backfire, but revenge really does taste sweet – and an indignant mother is a surprisingly fierce force to be reckoned with…

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The Landlady

Ruby Strikes Again…

…strikes me funny that is. Another little collection from “The Landlady”.

“She still hasn’t forgiven me for that time I hit her over the head with a shovel.”

“I was black and blue from all the pokin’ around.”
(About a nurse drawing blood…)


“I had the stupidest dream. It was Christmas, and all these dead people showed up. You should’ve SEEN all the presents!”

“I was just beside myself. I should’ve got a lot more done.”

…and after she realized why I was laughing so hard…

“Don’t you write that down! I didn’t mean to say that.”

Categories
The Landlady

Struck Me Funny, It Did…

Ruby has gotten used to me writing down everything she says, now. She even seems to be looking forward to reading all the stuff I’m making up about her, if I ever get it printed and bring it over. I hope she still feels that way once she reads it.

Contrary to what I told Mushy in a recent email, Ruby just turned 82 a few weeks ago (I had added a year on – and she wasn’t altogether too impressed with me when I told her that, either). Her stories have made a big difference in getting me writing again. My own mother will be 83 in October, and I’m working on getting stuff out of her, too.

I’m able to visit Ruby more often than my mom, though. Ruby’s just up the street, and full of stories as she is, sometimes it’s the one-liners that she comes out with that make my whole day. I’ve gathered up a few to share. I don’t know if they’ll turn into “Landlady Stories” or not, or if you’ll find them as comical, but they sure struck me funny, as Ruby herself would say.

“He wasn’t really a dwarf.”

“Donkeys aren’t very obliging animals.”

“I can crawl around out there and stick ’em in the ground, I guess.”

“I’d be scared to try it (Pot). I’d get addicted.”

“I wish I could get in and out of the bathtub as easy as I can get in and out of that truck. I got stuck in the tub. Twice. Once was on New Year’s Eve, and by the time I got myself out, I was pret’near too tired to go out.”