All In The Touch

GirlDown-DrainAlong with all the other attributes that make them so desirable, persons of the feminine persuasion possess a very special touch, whether soothing the cheek of a crying infant or wiggling the stubborn lid off a jar of applesauce.  It’s a genetic gift that guys just don’t get …  one that’s involved with thinking and reasoning rather than with simply grunting and pulling things apart.

This gift is most likely related to the same gene that enables a woman to find the keys, glasses, pens and other objects a guy doesn’t see when he’s staring straight at them, because of the ‘kill and fetch’ bone that God stuck into his head instead … back in the apple and snake days of the original garden.  While the female of the species has evolved through many centuries, men have managed to maintain pretty much the same hammer and chisel mentality.

Take, for example, our chronically clogged sink drain that continually threatened to swamp the bathroom and drown its inhabitants during a simple tooth brushing.  I poured about every drain cleaner known to man down there, including a few not commercially available.  I ran the hot water for ten minutes per the instructions, even tried cold.  Nothing.  Finally I got the plunger.  Muscle!  That ought to do it!  I took a full masculine grip on the handle, two hands, and began to plunge.  I plunged and plunged until my arms ached, then plunged some more … sucked up all sorts of black smelly stuff, even some hair and fuzz balls.

A manly grin relaxed my thinned, tightened lips as I confidently turned on the water.  In the reflecting pool that was once again forming in the porcelain bowl, I could see the corners of my mouth curl slowly downward.  I repeated the plunging process several times, even jiggled the stopper thingy that lives in the middle of the drain, only to watch the pooling water rise even faster than it did before I started ‘fixing’ the sink.

Now, I’ll play with electricity to nearly any extent necessary, no problem … the worst you might get is a tingle but you don’t have to mop it up.  I’ll pull electrical stuff apart all day, but I refuse to play with water beyond the dabbling I’d already done.  So with the announcement that we’d have to call a plumber to clean out the clogged elbow, and a thirty-two ounce swallow of male pride, I put down the plunger and surrendered.

As I was about to leave the bathroom, a small voice from the doorway that had witnessed most of this, gently said, “Do you mind if I try?”  The all-knowing manly grin returned as I said, “Go ahead.  Plunge your heart out!”  With that I headed for the kitchen, it was Miller Time!

The cap was barely off the bottle when I heard the pitter-patter of little feet behind me.  It was the little voice.  “I fixed it,” Vigi said rather matter-of-factly.  “You fixed … you, you fixed it?”  “It’s fine” she smiled.  “How, how’d you do that?” I stammered.  “It’s all in the touch” my womanly woman calmly replied, as she handed me the plunger and went off to dust something.  I’ll always figure I must have loosened it for her.  I must have!

PS:  She says she’ll give me credit for that.

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The Christmas Sandwich

SubwaySandwichThe first major snowfall of the season was expected within the next twelve hours and the temperature would soon be dropping into the single digits. It was getting dark and I had just finished my last in a long line of errands … buying a box of religious cards for Mom.  Even with her failing eyesight, she never misses an occasion and, of course, Christmas is extra special.  My marching orders were clear:  They had to say both Christmas and God or Jesus in the text and must have an angel, the wise men, or the Holy Family pictured on the face. I had met all criteria for the cards but, as luck would have it, not for my lunch; I had missed that altogether.  No wonder my stomach was snarling at me in some foreign tongue!

Fortunately, right next to the card store was one of those cookie-cutter submarine sandwich shops … you know, the one where the guy on TV ate nothing but subs for six months and became an individual instead of a group? It was either that or the Italian sausage place with grease-frosted plate glass windows; I opted for cold cuts.  There were Read the rest of this entry

A Turkey’s Tale

ThomasTurkey200Thomas was a handful from the very beginning.  The day he was hatched, he went around pecking open the other turkey’s eggs … and as he got older, he took great delight in pulling pranks on the other barnyard creatures.  Thomas would sneak up on the hens and tug their tail feathers while they were trying to lay eggs.  Another favorite was climbing up on the old tree stump and suddenly leaping into the middle of a brood of small chicks, scattering the little peepers in all directions.

He would strut around the barnyard like he owned the place, puffing out his chest and poofing up his feathers to make himself look larger than he really was.  The older turkeys tried to warn Thomas about his outrageous behavior, especially about doing things that would cause the farmer to notice him … but he only laughed and called them a flock of old fuddy-duddies.  After all, he was the farmer’s favorite.  Sometimes, the farmer would even come over to the pat the cocky rascal’s belly and rub his head!  That made both man and bird smile.  The farmer would say friendly things like, “You’re plumping up very nicely Thomas.  I think you’re going to be ready real soon.” Read the rest of this entry

The Mansion

Haunted-House---McNaughtonIt was a time when ghosts and goblins were real, penny candy still cost only a penny at the corner drugstore and holidays like Halloween were a season, not just a single day. Any kid who didn’t have a haunted house in his neighborhood probably also missed out on Three Musketeers bars, wax lips, chewy little Coke bottles filled with sugary syrup and those tooth-snapping colored dots on narrow strips of paper. The wide-eyed trio toeing the curb, anxiously searching every window of the rickety old house across the street, had missed none of these things.

JoJo had a problem saying his “L’s” so lemon would come out “yemon” and his treatment of yellow was a thing of beauty! Lenny had a limp, since he’d been born with one leg slightly shorter than the other, and was a frequent recipient of the kindness typically bestowed upon any eight year old perceived as different by his contemporaries. He sort of hung out with the other two because they didn’t seem to notice … at least they never said anything.  Read the rest of this entry

See What You Hear

needle-on-vinyl There was once a time when I enjoyed listening to tons of music.  I don’t mean just turning it on, like some people turn on a radio or TV just to have some company or hear a familiar dull roar. I mean, I spent hours completely absorbed in every note, every phrase, and just let the whole experience wash over me like a warm shower or a cool breeze!

Then something happened. I could still put the music on, but it didn’t pull me in. After only few songs it sometimes even became annoying. How could my music possibly be annoying? I started to accept that I was probably “all music’d out” from years of Disc Jockeying and endless loud studio sounds assaulting my eardrums … but a few evenings ago I had an epiphany.

Vigi and I were watching an old movie when I saw a tone arm settle onto a record. That’s how old the movie was.  Before I knew it, I’d hit the pause button on the remote and pressed rewind two or three times, to see the process over and over again! I must have presented the Read the rest of this entry

Monsoon Burgers

I went to the meat place yesterday … you know, where they turn a perfectly good steak into a highly malleable material that can be sculpted into deliciously thick, round patties? Well, half an hour or so, before I was about to fire up the barbie, I noticed that the sky was getting darker and we heard a clap of thunder. One clap. “Where’d THAT come from?” I asked rhetorically. “We’d better get it in gear … make up the burgers Hon, I’ll go warm up the grill!” Vigi began frantic preparation of the patties, potato salad, pickles and all the trimmings.

Plate of beef patties in hand, I opened the screen door and the first raindrops pittie-patted onto the plate … at that moment. Also, at that moment, the little voice inside my head insisted that these burgers had to be barbecued … outside. That’s what we planned from the beginning and that’s what we had to do. There could be no compromise, such as broiling them under a harsh electric element … inside. “Besides,” Read the rest of this entry

The Lone, Who?

Walt must be rotating briskly somewhere on Boot Hill! Everything I read says the Disney people are wondering why the new “Lone Ranger” movie is bombing. Are you kidding? I don’t usually comment on things like Hollywood or politics but this effort is so disappointing that I had to say something out loud or bust … you know I never have an unexpressed thought, anyway.

What I expected was a Lonesome Dove quality film but featuring my pure as the driven snow hero — the original good guy in a white hat — worthy of a cloud of dust and a hearty “Hi-yo Silver!” What I got was a movie made for the wrong generation … most folks under 40 don’t even know who the Lone Ranger is or much care. The studio didn’t seem to understand they were making a pleasantly nostalgic “American Graffiti” kind of film designed to evoke warm childhood memories for guys with a touch of silver in their hair and more than a few wrinkles in their cowboy outfits. Instead they substituted the chaotic cutting and in-your-face effects of Read the rest of this entry