Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the category “humor”

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.

 

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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

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.

Not Impressed

Last week, I went swimming at the rec center.  I was doing butterfly stroke, the Fly, flyin’ through the water.

When I stopped at the end of the lane after a lap, or half a lap, a young boy, appearing about ten or eleven, was standing on the deck of the pool, above me.

He said, “That was some good swimming!  I saw that in the Olympics.  Were you in the Olympics?”

I said, “Thanks.  I was in the Senior Olympics.”

He looked at me with obvious disappointment.

“Oh,” he said and walked away.  I guess my answer was not what he hoped for.

Me neither.  It was not the answer I wish I could give.

If given another chance, so as not to disappoint any young admirers, I will say, “Yes, I was in the Olympics.  Would you like my autograph?”

I might add, with feigned humility, “I also play for the Broncos.  I left my Super Bowl ring in the locker so I won’t lose it in the pool.”

That would make the kid’s day, to meet someone as admirable as me.

It would make my day too.

P.S.  I thought of how to sign my autograph — Walter Mitty.

Engineering 411

I do not know if any of my loyal readers are graduates of M.I.T. or any other fine engineering school.  (I myself am largely self-taught as a mechanical engineer, yet I do not denigrate the path of those who felt the need for mentoring).   If you are an engineer, you might learn something from me today.  If you are merely a member of the general public, you still might learn something, provided the subject is not way over your head.

First, some family history:  my maternal grandfather on my mother’s side was a civil engineer who worked for Union Pacific Railroad (as distinguished from a locomotive engineer who operates trains and probably has much more fun).    Like me, he did not go to engineering school, nor to college of any sort, going directly to work after graduating from high school.   One day at church, a man who knew my grampa at U.P., came up to me and asked whether I knew that the man who replaced my grampa had a Ph.D.

So, apparently I have engineering genes so strong that actual coursework is unnecessary.  And that brings me to the topic of the day.  I put together TWO home projects in ONE week.

My ever confident wife, Miss Sugar, purchased two items which each came in a box clearly labeled “Assembly Required.”

One of the projects was a fire pit from Home Depot.  It is no longer in the box.  It is actually assembled.  You should have seen me.  Anyway, we have had four successful fires.  Grampa would be proud.

The other project was a bird bath.  There were six, waddayacallem, yea, bolts, and just as many, you know what I mean, nuts.  I won’t explain the entire process.  All you need to know is that the finished product is already in use.  Charlie Sheen and I call that WINNING!

If you, loyal readers, ever have any home improvement projects, now or in the future, simply call my toll free number for expert assistance over the phone.

I will let you know when the number is working.  I have delegated that to Miss Sugar.

Gender Inequality and Numerology

During my childhood, I did not realize how unfair it was of God, I suppose, to allow unequal gender distribution in our family.  I felt secure and loved for several decades, but now I wonder whether I have been a victim in some manner, so I am writing this to see if there is some organization for people like me and, more importantly, if there is a compensation fund or government program to make it up to me.

Now that I have your attention, as well as anticipated sympathy, I will explain the situation.  It is really a mere census report rather than a sociological, psychological, or biological study.  I leave interpretation to the experts.

Do I still have your attention?

Bated breath?

Okay, here goes:  My paternal (i.e. father’s} parents had grandchildren of the following, i.e., hereinafter,  birth order and gender identification designations:

One granddaughter, Ten consecutive grandsons, and then my sister, who we shall label as the Second granddaughter and, simultaneously, Twelfth grand child.

Let’s focus on me, me, me for awhile.  Let us consider my particular location in the family tree of the family previously referred to herein-above-described as the  paternal side of my family as referenced in the paragraph preceding the paragraph immediately prior to this very paragraph.

I was the tenth of ten grandsons.

I feel special.

I was also the eleventh of twelve grandchildren.  It was a coincidence that no one noticed until it dawned on me as a write this, but get ready for a sleepless night:  I was assigned and wore jersey number 11 on a Y.M.C.A. basketball team.  How did Coach Lawrence know?

Think about it.  There are things we can never fully understand.

KarenAndAlAtCrossCreekRanch

 

Show Time

You know that awkward feeling when you ask if someone is going to a party that you will be attending and the person you asked tells you that he or she was not invited?

Out of kindness, I suppose, I have not told my wife, a former model and television actress, that I am being contacted on a daily basis by Casting 360, which has modeling gigs, acting jobs, and movie extra work for me.

I am not certain how this agency discovered me.  Perhaps this very blog site attracted their attention.  I imagine that some folks at Casting 360 have been ogling photos of me posted on this site.  I am surprised that they did not respond as positively to the many photos of the photogenic Miss Sugar also on this site.  So maybe I was discovered in another manner.  Sometimes, as I walk down the street, I notice people noticing me.  They never come right out and tell me how good-looking they think I am, but I can see it in their eyes.  Probably some of those admiring eyes work for Casting 360.  It is hard to say.

Nevertheless, for whatever reason, Casting 360 is desperately trying to recruit me.  All I have to do is pay $7.99 a month for them to send me notifications about the jobs they have for me.

That is a good deal.  My first movie job should more that pay for it.

That is when I will tell Miss Sugar.  She might notice my absence when I have to travel to the movie set.  For $7.99, I could use my connections to bring her back into the family business — show biz.    If you, gentle readers, also want to try show biz, simply send me your credit card information, Social Security number, and a portfolio of photos.  I will see what I can do for you.

I can’t make any guarantees, however.  Modeling and show biz are very competitive.  Good looks are all that count.  Some of us have it, some of us (present company excluded) don’t.   You know who you are.

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