Show Me the Way

Wrinkled road warriors

Reflected in cars designed

To resemble faceted diamonds

Turn down services–formulated

For those that couldn’t say no

Help us, help you–wakey, wakey!

Persecution complex Freud

Dressed in Sunday best

Desperate to live

Survived–refused to pay retail ever again

My family, my way–he said

 

 

Twenty-First Century Good Fellas

“I really like you kid; in an appropriate, non-gender specific sort of way, of course,” Said Sal.

“Jimmy, you’re gonna’ go places if you follow a few ground rules.”

“What do you mean, Boss?” Asked Jimmy.

“First of all, you can’t go around cracking coconuts; like you did with Herman the German.  These are our clients; even if Herman’s Grocery doesn’t sell sustainably produced agricultural products.  Why, in the old days I woulda’ head-slapped you already.”

“Thanks Boss,”  Jimmy answered.

“Don’t thank me.  Thank Big Eddie for bailing you out.”

“Eddie, what the hell are you doing?  Are you going to sleep on me?”

“No Boss, I was meditating,”  Eddie answered.  Sal’s face was beet red.

“Do your meditating somewhere else, on your own time.”

Big  Eddie hadn’t been the same since bariatric surgery.  Last night, he ordered vegetarian lasagna at Luigi’s.  Lucky for Big Eddie, Sal didn’t know, he now practiced yoga.

“Don’t neither of you lugheads get too comfortable.  I’m not done talking.”  Sal was on a roll.  Big Eddie craved a smoothie in the worst way, but kept quiet.

“The business has changed.  Think of what we do as, Sal’s Security Services.  I want you guys to become marketing experts.  Instead of gourd cracking, you’ve got to play to people’s fears and anxieties.”

“It’s like being a bartender–saying things like, ‘How ya’ doin’ Pal?’ ‘That’s a tough break–I’m here for you.’ Listen to people–be sensitive to their needs.”

“They serve salty snacks at bars.  And how about salty, movie theatre popcorn?  Do You two knuckleheads have any idea why they do that?  Sorry, that was insensitive of me.  Do you two gentlemen have any idea why they do that?”

“So they can sell more drinks, Boss.”  That’s right Jimmy.  Keep thinking that way and I’m going to keep you around.  Think of people’s fears as salty snacks.  We will quench their needs for security, just like those 64 ounce, refreshing, cold drinks.”

“Big Eddie you’re looking good.  You dropped some weight, got those double chins tightened up.” “Thanks Boss,”  Answered Eddie.  “I’ve still got a ways to go.”

“Jimmy, stop wearing that stupid baseball cap turned around backwards.  At least, wear nice slacks and sports shirts.  We’re professionals–we want people to like us.  Next week, you’re both going to anger management and sensitivity training.”

Jimmy and Eddie looked as if they’d been shot.  Sal fractured many bones over the years–none of them sensitive.

Sal, alleged, but never convicted, wise guy, became Sal, mentor, philosopher, proprietor of Sal’s Twenty-First Century Security Services.  Jimmy and Eddie looked spiffy in their new, dark green, embroidered uniform shirts.  Eddie sighed, contemplated going home after work to play with his new boxer puppy.

 

 

Grow With the Flow #hair #maybe

Did you know the ebb and flow of tides may affect hair growth?

According to Dr. H. R. Weaver of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the tides have considerable influence on one’s hirsuteness.  Dr. Weaver claims to have studied 100 subjects over the last thirty years.

“It stands to reason if you really think about it,”  Said Dr. Weaver.

“The moon’s gravitational pull affects the tides.  Why would it also not affect humans and other species?  Certain species of fish only propagate under full moon conditions.”

“Of course Hollywood portrayed werewolves, vampires crazed by lunar lunacy.  There are really vampire bats–they just don’t morph into human form”

“The Bay of Fundy has one of the greatest tidal fluctuations in the world,” Dr. Weaver continued.  “That’s why I conducted my study there.”

“Compared to other parts of the world during full moon and high tide, human hair growth increased as much as 27%.”

What did that mean in terms of male pattern baldness?   …For those with hair loss from chemotherapy or disease?

“The predisposition to lack of hormones that foster hair growth can be remedied by a number of products–including Rogaine.  The purpose of my study was to track growth of existing hair.  Another interesting side effect of tidal rise was increased fingernail, toenail growth.”

Dr. Weaver’s plans for the future included establishing a chain of Hair Research Clinics throughout Canada and the US.  Maybe hair did indeed grow with tidal flow?  Why did cynical me think Dr. Weaver’s favorite song had to be “Ebb Tide?”

 

–Harry Neyvus, CTRN-News–

 

 

 

Post-Cruise Reflections

A week ago, this was beach day at Labadee, Haiti.  Here, it’s still late winter.

Morning routine has changed somewhat, from taking the elevator from the seventh deck to the fifth deck for coffee, and then up to deck eleven to watch the sunrise.

What did I like most about the cruise?  Mornings-leisurely greeting the day.  The Broadway-style shows.  Obviously, great food and rich desserts.  Roasted tomatoes at breakfast with scrambled eggs were delicious.

If one ruled out similar offerings of watches, diamonds, clothing, trinkets, there were differences at each port of call.  I searched for Paul Allen’s yacht at Georgetown, Grand Cayman to no avail.  I would not have recognized it, even it had been there.

Our Good Hope plantation tour on Jamaica with emphasis on culture was the highlight of the trip.  Other site tours offered zip lines, ATV trails, horseback riding.  We were exposed to local flora, fauna, and herbal remedies.  Cures for migraine headaches, rashes, upset stomach among other things.

Little did I know, that behind the scenes tours of the cruise ship’s inner workings, were offered upon request.

On the last day, at the Captain and crew’s question and answer session, out came the “penguin” story from the First Engineer.

The First Engineer, previously worked for another cruise line specialized in Antarctic expeditions.  The waters from Argentina to Antarctica, near the straits of Magellan, were the most dangerous in the world.

During one such rough passage a call came in from a frantic female passenger.  The crew questioned the passenger to repeat the problem–“There’s a penguin in my bathroom.  I want it removed immediately.”

The engineer took the call.  According to the ship’s doctor, the woman had overdosed on anti-seasickness patches–which caused hallucinations.

After assurance the penguin, all wild creatures had been removed from her cabin, and with some “drying out time,” everything was fine the rest of the way.

Memories of the, night before, motel stay that proved cheaper wasn’t always better have faded away.  The ship boarding line up that took hours has been forgotten.

I’ll never forget that Jamaicans referred to heavy-set people as being “fluffy.”  I’m feeling quite fluffy this morning.  Getting back to the gym may help in that department.

 

LEFTHANDEDNESS

August 13th, Left-Hander’s Day, and I missed it again–like I do every year.

One-armed, right-handed school desks, spiral notebooks; smearing ink on paper; writing on the blackboard–inconveniences dealt with over the years.

I don’t think about it much–except at restaurant booths.  I try to sit on the left of the other person, or on the end.

I’m among the approximately 11%, that writes, eats, holds things with my left hand.  I was put on this earth to fascinate curious right-handers, that can’t understand how lefties form letters, upside down and backward, when they write.

Making a big deal out of something that shouldn’t have been a big deal, was hard for some growing up.  Some were forced to use, non-dominant, right hands.  Being left-handed is just another characteristic of us humans–like blue and brown eyes.

The coolest thing about being a lefty–right-handers never know where we’re coming from.  There are unique ways to cope in a right-handed world.  Try using scissors left-handed sometime (if you’re a righty).  I was born left-handed.  I won’t rock the boat–and I’m not gonna’ knock it.

I’ve been Ayn Randed, nearly branded, Communist, ’cause I’m left-handed, but that’s the hand I use, well, nevermind…”

–‘A Simple Desultory Philippic’–Paul Simon

SUBSTITUTIONS, PHONICS, GREAT EXPECTATIONS

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I don’t remember much about junior high school.  It’s probably a good thing.  Junior high kids aren’t known for mature behavior.

Substitute teachers as a general rule were forgettable.  Most were nervous–afraid to rock the boat.  Like wild animals–students probed for weaknesses and took advantage by misbehaving.

Reading “Great Expectations,” by Dickens, I do remember.  It was a tortuous story about a freaked-out English lady, Miss. Havisham, and an orphaned young boy named Pip.  Miss Havisham wore a faded wedding gown to honor memory of what never was.  Pip was happy to do her bidding.  We read the story out loud in class.

In the midst of conjugating verbs; programming sentences; writing compositions; reading Dickens–entered Mr. McLaughlin.

Mrs. Huff, was off for a few days and Mr. McLaughlin filled in for her.  After “Great Expectations” how bad could he be?

In large letters on the blackboard–Mr. McLaughlin’s name spelled out and mysterious “secret code” words: “GH-O-TI=FISH.”  The room was abuzz before class.

The explanation was a creative phonics lesson.  The “GH” word ending, sounded as “F” in “enough;” “O,” pronounced like “I” in “women;” “TI,” like “sh” sound in “station, attention, and other “tion” word endings.  When assembled it pronounced “fish.”

Mr. McLaughlin played to short attention spanned junior high kids.  It was enough to make me forget about my boy crush on the regular teacher–for a few days at least.

Every day a mysterious jumble of words appeared on the board to be deciphered.  Suddenly, learning about proper punctuation was fun.  And, not all substitute teachers were bad.