Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the category “humor”

Miss Sugar Gets Carded

Young people are carded in order to prove that they are old enough to purchase cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.  The sellers of such products require identification showing a birthday in order to calculate age, usually with a drivers license or a fake drivers license.

Miss Sugar looks young for her age.   Her age is, however, more than 21 years.  She is entitled to purchase cigarettes, but refrains.  She seldom purchases adult beverages, but she is legally entitled to do so.

A few days ago, Sugar came home in an unusually good mood.  “I was carded today,” she gleefully announced.

No, she was not trying to purchase alcoholic beverages nor tobacco products nor to attend an adult film.

Do I have your attention?  Are you waiting with bated breath?  Are you curious?

Sugar went to Goodwill on senior discount day.  The cashier would not sell anything to Sugar for a senior discount because Sugar is clearly not a senior citizen.

Except, legally and chronologically, she is (how should I say this,?) — of age to qualify for the senior discount at Goodwill.

So, in order to convince the cashier to extend the discount even to someone who looks like fair Miss Sugar, she had to show her drivers license.  She had indeed been carded.


Her drivers license photo doesn’t help convince of her advanced age, yet it shows her birthdate.

I wonder if Christie Brinkley has the same problem.


Couch Potato

gus on sofa

We used to really like our tan leather couch.  Now we are ashamed of the new cup holder that Gus carved into the seat.  He did not think we would notice if he nonchalantly stuck his leg in the hole.  But we noticed.


All American Mom

When my mother was growing up, there were not many opportunities for girls to participate in sports.  Here is what happened when I tried to include female participation in basketball at our garage, which had a backboard and rim attached, and a driveway which served as the court.

To fully appreciate the setting for this story, I must tell you that my mother had an older brother who was an All American football player.  He also was a basketball star and a good track athlete.  So good, that his nickname was Flash.  He is in the Nebraska Sports Hall of Fame.  I am not in the Nebraska Sports Hall of Fame, but when I was in 5th grade, I fully expected future induction.

So, I was shooting hoops with my friends and my mother came by on her way to the backyard clothesline.  We were, as you could have seen if you had been there, excellent athletes, whereas my mother was, of course, just a girl or, more accurately, a lady who was my mother.

I teasingly passed the basketball to her.  She caught it and immediately shot the ball.  It went into the basket.  The shot was from the side, maybe 15 feet from the basket.  Swish!

Then she made like she was wiping her hands and offered to play with us again when we improved.

I don’t recall ever playing with her again.  She was one for one.  Perfect record.

Mortal Frenemies

mortal enemies (2)

Our puppy Gus apparently subscribes to the sentiment behind the immortal words of Will Rogers, “I never met a man I did not like.”

Gus believes that no one has ever met him who will not like him, including our cat, Camo.  Camo deserves credit for being tolerant of the puppy.  Sometimes.



Senior Menu

I remember well the day I was offered a senior meal discount at Burger King.

I had been going there regularly for breakfast on the way to work.  I knew exactly what it cost to get a croissanwich and coffee because I was in a rut.  I had my money ready.  The young lady at the counter was new.  She did not know I was a regular customer who knew my menu prices.  She charged me less than expected, less than usual.

To impress her with my honesty, I corrected her and said the  price that I was used to paying.  My what a guy!

The cashier, without any discernible public relations skills, pointed to a sign that said, “Free coffee for seniors with purchase of sandwich.”  She had assumed that I was a senior.  So I asked her the age requirement to be a senior at Burger King.  She told me age 55.  That means she believed that I looked to be 55 years old.

She was wrong.  I was merely 53.  I informed her that I would be paying for my coffee for two more years.

I resisted telling the manager of the incident and insisting on her discharge from employment.  I was benevolent and forgiving.  I even resisted boycotting Burger King.

I continued to patronize the establishment.  They probably noticed my saintly behavior.  They probably had a meeting about it at the regional office because from that day on they allowed me to pay full price.


Runaway Garbage Truck

It was a steep hill.  As the garbage truck moved down the street, of course it had to stop every couple of houses as the collectors went into the backyard of each house to empty garbage cans into their carriers to take the garbage back to the truck.  Yes, it was long ago, before the plastic containers on wheels that residents now put on the sidewalk where they can be lifted to be dumped into the truck.  It was a very hard job, with lots of walking and carrying and lifting.  And moving the truck every couple houses.

A childhood memory for me is the day the garbage truck rolled down the street, made a slight turn on the way down, and collided into the detached garage for the last house, the one on the corner, right before the intersection with the busy street, which is a good thing because it likely would have hit one or more cars, hurting or killing someone.  Instead, our neighbor lost his garage.  It was flattened.  The garage was empty.  The garbage truck had no driver or occupants. So no one was hurt despite tremendous property damage.

We heard the crash while eating breakfast.  Fortunately for me, I was wearing my pajamas that looked like a baseball uniform.  Therefore, I went outside with confidence.  No need to put on clothes.  Everyone would think I was wearing a baseball uniform.  As you can imagine, a crowd had gathered.  I was a late arrival to the scene because we lived near the top of the hill.

The people of the neighborhood gawked at the destruction.  We guessed that the brakes of the truck were not properly set.  Those of us who were experts at operating garbage trucks knew the cause.

Then, while I was seemingly fitting into the crowd as one of the cool kids, Mary Perchau ruined it for me.

“Hey,” she exclaimed, “You are wearing pajamas!  Look everybody, Al did not even get dressed.”

Have you read the story about The Emperor’s New Clothes?  I was in a role similar to that of the emperor.

That darn Mary!  I tried to explain that my garment could be used either as sleeping apparel or as sportswear.  Obviously, it looked just like a baseball uniform.  I was not yet old enough for Little League, but I was prepared.

Mary was probably unaware of my destiny.  Perhaps I had not yet told her that my Uncle Luke had been a Major League pitcher for the Cardinals.  She did not understand that ballplayers such as myself did not dress like those merely in the general public, such as Mary herself, who undoubtedly lacked my intimate connection to Major League Baseball.


Beeing a Bride

model and bee

If you can see clearly enough, you will observe a bee (or maybe wasp) on the bride’s “train” very near her right elbow.  Maybe he liked her perfume or was attracted to the flowers.

Now I will tell you the rest of the story.

First, please allow me the pleasure of introducing the main characters and the setting.  The bride is my bride, Sugar.  The occasion, however, was not our wedding.  So, you wonder why she was wearing a bride dress unless it was her wedding?  Miss Sugar, I have mentioned in other posts on this blog, was a model for many years, and, as such, was called upon to pretend to be a bride.  The photo above was taken for an advertising spread for some planned  bridal event in Boulder.  The photo shoot was outside.  So was the bee.

Moments after the photo, Sugar felt the bee on her arm.  When she went to swipe at it, she was stung.  She tore off her headgear (I forget what it is called) and screamed.

Oh, well.  The photographer got his shot for the ad.  The show must go on.


Proper Introductions

Gus and Kitty

The image above is of a puppy and cat meeting through the glass of a door between our kitchen and deck.  The cat is a barn cat named Camo, who has brought us rabbits as big as himself, which he preys upon.  We were concerned that he would see Gus, the puppy, as prey, so we have kept them apart.  As you can see, they are curious about each other.

Now I will tell you the rest of the story.

After the featured picture was taken, I took Gus outside and carefully placed him in the dog pen we have.  Of course, the cat can enter or leave the pen at will.  When Camo came into the pen, I picked up the puppy and removed him from the pen, then put him on the grass in the yard.  The cat left the pen to be with us.

The cat, great hunter that he has proven to be, continued to study the awkward puppy.  I stayed by the puppy, confident in my quickness so that I could grab the puppy if the cat threatened.

The bumbling puppy left the safety of standing between my legs and recklessly bounded toward the cat before I could swoop him up.  I feared that Gus was in harm’s way.  It would be my fault if the cat scratched his eyes out or hurt Gus in any way.

And, as Gus boldly ran right up to the cat, Camo did indeed defend himself by snarling and raising a claw-equipped paw.  I did not blame Camo.  Gus was the aggressor.  Still, I wanted no harm to either pet.

I wish I had a movie of what happened next.  The cat decided that Gus is not a rabbit, albeit rabbit-sized.  He recalled the proper world order, which is that dogs chase cats.  Camo ran away from the ferocious puppy.  Actually, the puppy seemed friendly and wanting to play, as he tries to do with everyone else in our family.  He attacks Sadie and Beau.  He attacks Sugar and me.  He attacks tennis balls and stuffed toys and bones.

Camo fled to a branch at an elevation just slightly beyond the reach of Gus, who barked at the cat in a scolding manner, challenging him to come down.  Camo did not come down.  Gus lost interest and followed me back to the house.  Now he is sleeping.  No doubt dreaming about battles won and to be won.

It looks like it would be lots of fun to be a puppy.  This one is a brave hero in his own mind, unaware that he looks more cute than tough.



Masculine Behavior

beau and gus

“In me you see a relic from a long-lamented age, when masculine behavior wrote a grand romantic page….”    With a Sword and a Rose and a Cape song from the musical Carnival

I pride myself on masculine behavior.  It troubles me when a male fails to display such behavior.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love our new puppy, Gus.  However, it disturbs me that Beau and I are so utterly masculine while Gus, (well, how can I say this delicately?), pees like a girl.  That, my friends, is where Beau and I draw the line.

As shown in the photo above, Beau has been mentoring the puppy about bones and life in general.  I have been hoping that Beau’s example of lifting his leg during urination would teach Gus how it is done in the male dog world.

Since that has not worked so far, I guess I will have to take a stab at it.  Perhaps I am viewed as more of a leader.  I will let you know.  Good thing we have no neighbors within view.

We Slept Together the Very First Night

sleepy gus

So my wife and I picked up our new puppy yesterday.  His name is Gus.  He is a Yellow Labrador Retriever.  He joins Sadie, who is almost 14 years old, and Beau, who is 6 years old.  They were not too enthused about the idea of bringing in an 8 week old baby to change their lives.  Three is a crowd perhaps.

We spent the day as an orientation period.  Gus seems smart and curious.  He is pretty brave.  He likes following the older dogs.  He wants to make friends.  They are usually tolerant, but Beau snapped at Gus when he got too close to his personal bone.  Sadie left the living room at bedtime and, instead of sleeping there as usual, showed up in our bedroom.  Turns out that was a smart idea.

It was a smart idea because Gus cried and cried from his crate, which I had placed in the living room, thinking he would be comforted by having the other dogs around him.  Not so much.

I remember my father sleeping on our screened porch when we got a new puppy years ago.  He did it so as to take the puppy out to potty during the night.  Also, I suppose, to keep it company.

So I copied my Dad in a modified fashion.  I found the puppy shut up as long as I laid down in front of the crate.  I stayed until he fell asleep.  Then I sneaked away to join Sugar.  An hour later, I was awakened by pitiful crying from the crate in the living room.   I took Gus outside to see about peeing or pooping.  Then I put him back in the crate.  Then he cried again.  Then I laid down in front again.

We repeated the process every hour or so.  We went out four times.

The successful part is that there have been absolutely zero accidents in the house.

Gus feels that I am learning quickly how to sleep in front of the wire door to the crate so he can watch over me.  It only took a few times for me to catch on.

I am sure gonna miss my wife.  I really prefer sleeping with her.


Gus at 8 weeks

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