THE WRITTEN WORD

Many of us have a lot to say; and yet, we are at a loss as to how to express our innermost thoughts through rudimentary conversation.  However: Things change when we are seated before a keyboard and the ramblings appear on a small screen.  Here is our domain.   We can record our musings at random; and then, with a slight touch of a couple of keys, arrange or re-arrange the patterns into readable articles.  Another plus is the fact that this machine allows for the prevention of the dreaded disease called; “Foot in Mouth Syndrome.”

Beginning with a simple idea; we are able to expand it or abbreviate it, as the notion strikes us.  The first concept sometimes reminds us of similar occurrences within the same context:  The story then continues, or can be “edited” to change the original thought.

Many articles begin with one particular thought; and end with an entirely different approach.  All of this is possible through the genius of the computer and its ability to delete and/or change certain portions; with a simple stroke of a couple of buttons.

This is not to say that writing is easy for one who: For most of their lives; felt that the learning of proper usage of the English language: (Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar, etc.), was a ridiculous waste of time.   Without an editor in the form of my lovely roommate; the recording of ‘My particular thoughts’ would only amount to so much “Gobble-De-Gook”.

The majority of my work is derived from experiences from my past: And humorous anecdotes; that I have observed in the course of everyday living in and around the small towns of the deep South.

It is here that what many would consider run-of-the-mill happenings; can be reported in such a way that they appear ludicrous enough to be amusing.

It is not my intention to ridicule or embarrass anyone; therefore, names, times, and many events are changed and the manifestation is such that the incident could happen to anyone; anywhere.  In many incidences, much of the content consists of figments of the writer’s imagination.

It is my belief that by exercising a writer’s prerogative of; ‘Adding To;’ and ‘Taking From;’ an incident without departing from the original idea, can make for a more interesting text.

Although a few of my musings are of a more serious disposition:  Most are intended to be of a humorous nature.  If they invoke a smile or two, then I consider that my hunt and peck method of exchanging insults with a machine that desperately tries to out-think me; has not been in vain.  Remember; send for your copy today!  “Send no Money:  We’ll bill you.”

Demijon

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There “IS” a difference.

When I finally left the work force after more years than I care to recall, I was determined to concentrate on things that I enjoyed rather than the tasks that heretofore, had been delegated by someone else.

I would sleep late:  Lounge in pajamas until the spirit moved me to do something constructive:  If a job was not to my liking, “I could just say no.”  Independence was finally mine and I intended to take full advantage of this opportunity to do as I darned well pleased.  “WELL: let me be the first to say’;”  “That it didn’t work out exactly as I had planned.”

FIRST:  The habit of awakening early was so deeply ingrained within my mind that it was impossible for me to remain in bed past the usual 5:00 AM.

THEN:  A list of “Honey-Do’s” greeted me from notes left on the breakfast table instead of the morning paper.  I had learned very quickly just how much ‘Coffee to put in the pot’, in order to; “don’t make it too strong.”

Sorting through the notes; the first of which stated:  “Wake me before 8:00 because I have bridge today;”  I discovered that bread had been forgotten on the last trip to the grocery and “Would I please pick up a loaf.”

On another was written: “I need gas in my car and while you are out;  please buy more bird seed.”  “Vacuum and dust;” said another, and so on; until it was time for me to go to my part-time job.

Working part-time as a handyman for “Walking Around Money” had almost turned into a full-time job with the exception of the compensation. The snickers from the bank tellers when I would present my tiny check; attested to the fact that I would never become wealthy in this line of work. The check was usually; just barely enough to; “Pick up a book of stamps.”

Upon returning home I would discover that the neighbors have been complaining about the sad plight of our yard and:  “Will you please mow and weed the lawn?” Before I finished mowing; I would be told that we were having dinner with the Smiths and:  “You can’t go looking like that.”

Arriving at the Smiths:  I found that they had just returned from a Caribbean Cruise; and had been playing golf all day. They informed me that they both envied me for not having anything to do; and they wished that they could be as “laid back” as I was.

Little did they know that the years that I spent in the workplace were nothing like as hectic as my retirement life. While employed: I was only required to do two things;

#1: Was to show up when I was scheduled; and, # 2: Was to be on time.

NOW: there is only a Beginning Schedule.  “And the Pay ain’t nothing like as good.”

“What’s THE ADVANTAGE?”  You ask?

“You get to sleep with the BOSS.”

Demijon

“ABBIE – DALE”

My paternal grandfather was somewhat of a practical joker. He thoroughly enjoyed playing pranks on other people. Although he died when I was eight or nine, I remember some of his antics, and others; that I learned from my Daddy and Uncles.

He made one keg of “Persimmon Beer” every year. When I was very small and was permitted to visit him, he would let me sit on his lap, ‘puff on his pipe;’ and ‘Sip this Concoction’. This made me feel very grown up; and was a secret between the two of us.

He was also a champion teller of tall tales. One of his favorites to tell young children was about “ABBIE  –  DALE”   (I never knew the correct spelling because this was a figment of his imagination).

‘ABBIE-DALE’ lived in a hollow stump hole somewhere in the woods behind his house. He was huge and covered with hair and would only come out of his lair at night to prowl the area looking for children that had been bad. ABBIE-DALE’S favorite food was young children; who for some reason, had not obeyed their parents or had failed to do something that was expected of them.

Sitting there on his lap; terrified of this monster, but afraid to move; I would listen until he got to the part about what he would do if ‘ABBIE-DALE;’ got after me.  He would simply get his “DUM-DEVIL” and chase him back into his stump hole.

Grandpa’s ‘DUM-DEVIL’ was his own invention. It was a hollowed out log that he had smoothed on the inside as well as outside. Over one end; he had stretched a piece of rawhide. In the center of the rawhide he had made a small hole through which he passed a twisted string. Fastened on the outside of the rawhide, it ran the length of the log. The last operation was to wax the string.

Always careful to wait until a dark night, Grandpa would carry the ‘DUM-DEVIL’ to a location near anyone’s house that he planned to “SCARE.”  Cradling the contraption in one arm, he would slowly slide his fingers down the string inside the log. The tightly twisted string together with the wax caused vibrations in the stretched rawhide and produced a blood curdling moan.

If there was later, a lamp lighted in the “VICTIM’S house; or sounds of voices were heard; Grandpa’s mission had been accomplished; and he would return home and hide the DUM-DEVIL until another time. I’m not sure if anyone knew about Grandpa’s creation, other than the family, but we all knew how much enjoyment that he got from it.

My brother tells me that other favorite “BOOGERS” of Grandpa’s were two monsters, called “RAW-HIDE” and “BLOODY-BONES.”  I am glad that I was not subjected to these two, because I’m not certain that I could have handled more than ABBIE-DALE.

After his death, I remember seeing the ‘DUM-DEVIL’ around his house. I tried to operate it as did others in the family; but no one could produce the hair-raising sounds that Grandpa could coax from the simple invention from which he got so much pleasure.

Demijon

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Believe me: It happens.

No one is sure exactly why this happens, but happen it does. Once one reaches the age of fifty years or so, the brain begins to shut down. Gone are the days when you can recite from memory the first, middle and last names of all your acquaintances. You are lucky to remember your own.

I vaguely recall the time when it was not necessary to jot down everything that anyone said in order to remind myself that I did, in fact, hear it. Not only is this embarrassing, it can sometimes be downright humiliating.

For instance, when you are introduced to a person and five minutes later you are unable to remember their name. What usually happens is that you mutter some unintelligible words to disguise the fact that you don’t know who in the hell they are. And then, you wonder why they look at you so strangely.

To make matters worse, people who suffer from CRS will refuse to admit that it is they who are devoid of all sense of recollection. “If they would only speak up, then I would have no problem,” they are quick to say.

When this illness is combined with an acute loss of hearing, the result is, at best, catastrophic. Anyone who is unable to hear well and to remember even less is perhaps one of the most likely candidates for the dumb-ass of the year award, certainly, they are not a contender for a listing in the best personality file.

I am not aware of any cure for this handicap. I suppose that the best we can hope for is for the younger set to carry pictures of themselves with their names printed on the back and dispense them to all sufferers of this dreaded disorder. Then, all that would be necessary to remember the names would be to match the picture with the name. The only problem that I can see with this would be that we could not remember in which pocket we had placed the pictures.

Example: I received this message from a friend.

Bob was having dinner with a couple who had been married over 60 years. While the wife was preparing dinner, the husband kept asking her; ~~ “Sweetheart; Can I peel the potatoes for you?” ~~ “Darling: Can I set the table?” ~~ “Snookums: Should I put the steaks on the grill?”

Bob finally said to the husband,  “I think this is amazing. You two have been married over 60 years, and yet, you still use these terms of endearment for your wife.”

The husband replied;  “To tell the truth; I forgot her name over two years ago and I am afraid to ask her what it is.”

I have a request for all of you youngsters. Please extend a little sympathy for those of us who are afflicted. After all:  “Your time is coming!”

Demijon

Old is when; ~~ Invited to go upstairs and make love, your reply is, “Pick one: my Friend.”   “I can’t do both!”

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Obvious ??? “I Recon so!”

“Why are you doing it that way? Shouldn’t this be put together first? It would be better to do it this way.” For better than sixty years, I have been faced with questions such as these. It does not matter that my ‘better half’ has absolutely no idea of what I am trying to accomplish. Still, it’s, “I think that part goes in that tiny hole right there.” 

“REALLY!”  “At times; I wonder:”  “Why did the Wedding Vows “not get changed,”  during the big event???”

Has it ever crossed your mind that, why men hibernate in the confines of their workshop? Now you know the reason.”  We read and follow the best course, if we are left to our own designs. On the other hand; Our feathers ruffle rather easily when our superior knowledge is questioned.

Failure to read instructions is one of my lovely roommate’s” worst habits. She simply refuses to even unfold the manuals. “Read them and tell me what to do,” she says. When I read them aloud to her, I usually get the same response. “It seems to me that it would be better…??” If she lucks out and something works right, she smirks and says, “I knew it all the time.”

The first VCR that I purchased is a prime example of what happens when instructions are not followed. The salesman assured me that installation was so simple that anyone could do it. Seated on the floor behind the television, I began the task of connecting cables and wires. Realization dawned on me that they had not provided enough cable to connect this thing to my television.

Anger flared and words unfit for print flowed as I resigned myself to another trip to the appliance store. Suddenly I had a thought. “Demijon?, I thought:  Why don’t you read the instructions?” Finding the leaflet that came with the VCR, I discovered that I was attempting to connect the thing backwards. Finally, following the steps outlined in the instruction sheet, it became easy as pie to install.

Most men are naturally more adept when it comes to anything mechanical simply because we read and follow instructions. Is it any wonder that we get rankled when we are informed that our way is not necessarily the correct way when it is so obvious that the one doing the informing has absolutely no knowledge of the product or how to resolve a malfunction.

Until they resign themselves to the reading, understanding and following all the instructions, my advice to them is to back off and realize that we are smarter than they are.

Then and only then will things get repaired or connected as they should be and perhaps with a little coaxing, we just might be willing to provide some expert advice in the area of keeping things around the house in tip-top shape.

Believe me: If all the roommate’s are fashioned from the same mold as mine, then they need all the help that they can get.

It’s obvious.

Demijon

“Letters & Numbers

Quote:  “Me and Mary Lee drove the “OLD-XL;” all the way to Atlanta, Georgia.  It only took eight gallons of gas, and four quarts of 10-W-40 oil.”

“NOTE!”  The amount of gas and oil is not important here.  The idea behind this statement is to inform the uninformed, that our method of transportation is an “XL”.

Just when numbers and letters began to be an important accessory for an automobile is not quite clear in my mind; but the prominence of owning a numbered; (and / or), a lettered car is a ‘Status Symbol’ by today’s standards.

No one in their right mind, will refer to his car as a FORD, DODGE, or CHEVROLET. It must be; “THE 300-D;” “THE 280 Z;”  “THE 4.2-EX:”  “THE 360-EI;” or just plain “XL.”

There are other titles that are sometimes referred to when describing a vehicle.  Names like Prism, Rodeo, Spirit, Accord and Escort; but these names do not carry the same distinction, as do the numbered / lettered cars.  There are even clubs where membership is denied to anyone who does not drive a “300 XL” or equivalent. It is also entirely possible that one is placed on probation if their car sports only the “XE.”

Fortunate for me; I have never been a joiner.  My present means of transportation would tend to prohibit my membership from consideration in these exclusive organizations alone.

However:  If they somehow found that my idea of ‘Formal Wear’ is different from most people; my chances would be remote to say the least. The following ‘marks of disgrace / reproach;’ would be enough to forever ban me from membership.

I once harbored thoughts of attempting to join one of these clubs.  When I received the application, the first question was:  Designation of car?  The second:  What kind of formal wear do you own?

Being the truthful person that I am, I answered the first question with, “1931 ‘Model-A’- Ford Sedan;” and the second with; “Leisure Suit;  Polyester;  Circa; 1954.”  “Surprising, as it may seem: I was accepted.  However; along with the letter of acceptance was another note which stated.”

Dear Demijon:
“Upon arrival:  Will you please park in back, behind the “Dempsey-Dumpster:” Proceed to the rear door, and into the kitchen where a table has been set-aside for you.”  “It will be the one with the new ‘OILCLOTH’ on it.”  “Dis-regard the sign that states;”  “COUNTY WELFARE RECIPIENTS:”   (this table only).  

“Have a nice time.”

Signed: “YOUR BROTHER.”
NOTE: Another Denijon Exclusive. Dj.

In case you’re wondering…

Working all our lives to keep the wolf from the door, to raise and help educate two children and make a weak attempt to set aside a modest sum for retirement; took a lot of the wind out of both of our sails.   Finally, we did the math and decided that if we were extra careful with our spending, we could retire at the earliest date that we were eligible.

It didn’t take long to determine that our paltry retirement income was not sufficient to sustain us in the category of our former living standards.   We were both in reasonably good health, therefore, we sought and secured part-time work as a supplement for the items we did not necessarily need but thought we could not live without.

Working put the quietus on the extensive travel plans we had made for our retirement years, so we filed the travel brochures away until we had ordered all the “do-dads” in the package from the mail order firm that offered ‘free shipping.’   You see; we really were still being quite thrifty.  The money we saved for shipping charges went toward erecting more shelves to store all those “pretty things”. 

Eventually, we elected to curtail our spending and do our best to live within our income.  We brought out the travel file and separated the brochures into the one’s we could afford in one stack and the expensive ones into the re-cycling bin.   After sorting through them and finding one that was not so far away that we could “DO” in a couple of days, we opted for it.   Here, we found that the anticipation was more exciting than the actual “DOING.”   We returned home totally exhausted.

Our Son and Daughter-in-law own a rather large travel trailer with all the comforts of home.  It is air-conditioned, heated, has a complete bath, television, queen-size bed, Dolby sound system and I don’t know what-all.   They generously offered to tow it to the mountains, or wherever, for us to use and they would even come get it when we were done with it.

Although we appreciated their offer, we declined.  We have both decided that it is absolutely necessary for us to sit at home and guard all the “DO-DADS” we purchased with our TRAVEL FUNDS.  Being two years older than dirt “DO” make a difference.
Demijon

You may wonder why all my blog posts are posted very early in the mornings.  It is from experience that I have discovered that;   When person gets old and awakens to find that- “There are some things that simply won’t work.” or “If they do work; They hurt.”

“And now;   “You know.”
Demijon.

Watch It Buster

When the oldest survivor of the Johns town, Pa. Flood died, he was met at the pearly gates by St. Peter who inquired if there was anything in particular he would like to do.

“Yes.” replied the man, “I would like to explain how I survived the worse flood known to mankind.”

St. Peter assured him that a gathering of thousands would be assembled to hear his rendition of the escape from this tragedy.

After his initial briefing he was led onto a Golden Stage;before which sat the inhabitants of Heaven.  Although nervous before this large a throng, he was determined to speak of his daring evasion of the raging waters that destroyed so many.

An angel clipped a lapel microphone onto his robe; but before he could began speaking, St. Peter tapped him on the shoulder and whispered.  “I would be extremely careful with my choice of words if I were you.  Noah’s in the audience, You know.”  

***********

It was during her lunch hour that Mrs. Peabody; the head nurse at Memorial Hospital, left to pick up her laundry from the downtown location of Miracle Laundry, some three miles from the hospital.  She slowed; but did not stop, at an Intersection; and was traveling well above the speed limit; when a Policeman turned on his red light to signal her to stop.  She only reacted when he ‘let loose with a blast of the siren’.  The Officer approached the car and asked,  “Lady, do you know what a red light means?”

“Yes Officer; It simply means that someone needs to use the bed pan,” answered the unruffled lady.

***********

A minister who was known for preaching well over one hour began one particular sermon with the following; “I dictated my sermon to my Secretary, and asked her to delete anything that was dull or uninteresting.”  “And so, in conclusion,  A-men.”

***********

Every Person, older than 50 years should be required to carry the following sign; “I feel good today; but every time I feel good; I feel bad; because I know that tomorrow, I’m going to feel worse.”  “Would save explanations; don’t ya’ think?”

***********

A note to all Senior Citizens:  “Be nice to those grown Children and Grandchildren.”       “Upset them; and they will pop you in a Nursing Home in a skinny minute!”       

 Demijon.

 

 

 

READERS WHAT ???

Over many years in the past, I subscribed, read and enjoyed, this small informative booklet. Its precise narratives on many of the pertinent events interspersed with delightful humor and a “FEW” ads, made for interesting reading.

As the magazines began to accumulate, unread; I canceled my subscription.  However, I continued to receive renewal reminders for a couple of years.

When they finally decided that I was serious about not renewing; they changed their tactics, and began to include notices that I was the “number one” contender for their grand sweepstakes prize of$1,000.000.00.”

With this kind of enticement, I finally began browsing through all the unread issues. I actually found that I missed the little booger, and decided to subscribe again.  After all, I could use the windfall they had promised me.

I filled out the application; scratched the covering off the secret blocks to reveal three “Ace’s” that qualified me for the “Jackpot.”  Using the last Postage Stamp in my book; I mailed the application along with my check for another one year subscription.

Before my first issue even arrived; I received an important looking letter from the subscription department informing me that; “Since I was such a valued customer;”  they would ‘allow me the wonderful, unique, opportunity’ to “RENEW ” my subscription for “Three more years, at the 50% off the subscription price.”

“In addition;” upon receipt of my renewal they would place my name in the hat as the “number one” contender for the million dollars.”  Since I was already first in the running,” for this grand prize;  I elected to ignore the letter and to make a sincere effort to peruse the issues in the order that they were sent.  With this expected windfall, I could even afford to purchase additional bookcases for storage; (just as soon as I received that whopping big check).

Imagine my surprise when my first issue arrived in my mailbox.  It contained “205 pages; all of them filled with advertising.” I am certainly aware that no magazine can survive without advertising revenue; but I, for one, do not relish subscribing to a booklet full of advertisements with a only a “few topical features sandwiched between. 

In years past, I never objected, in fact, I even enjoyed learning about new and improved products that the sparse ads informed me.  But to subscribe to a 205 page magazine with only 129 pages of readable material is ludicrous in my humble opinion.

I have a request to the publishers for changes that just might alleviate proceedings under the “truth in advertisement” statutes.  Please curtail the ads to no more than 1/4th of the total pages.  If lack of interesting articles is a problem for them; they are hereby invited to contact “Me” for an adequate supply.  Writing interesting stories is how I spend my leisure time.

Failure to take advantage of my expertise, could; (and in fact, did), result in my once again canceling my subscription.

Quite a few years have passed and I am still awaiting the promised, “One Million Dollars.”  When R. D. gets around to fulfilling their obligation to me; I will immediately, enter a lifetime subscription for “READER’S ADVERTISEMENTS;” and, I don’t give a damn if they serialize Monica Lewinski’s Autobiography,” in each and every issue.

Demijon

 

“THEN vs NOW”

The ‘Youngsters’ of today;’ can’t hardly wait, until their ’16th birthday.’   This is the ‘long, awaited day,’ when they become eligible to take the test and become; “Licensed to operate an Automobile.” 

In today’s  economy; chances are good that, in addition: Quiet a few offspring, will also receive an Automobile for a birthday present. This was definitely not the case when I became 16.  “I did get my drivers license; But a car of my own???  “NO WAY!”  We considered ourselves lucky to have ‘ONE – ‘USED;’ automobile that served the entire family.

There was barely enough money to afford this one vehicle.  Although, income, from the small farm combined with “moonlighting” jobs provided enough money for food, clothing, shelter, and very little else: This almost guaranteed that “An Automobile,” was purchased on “CREDIT.”   “Payments, financed by the ‘Bank, or the Dealer’, were small:  They were nevertheless extremely hard to meet, and still keep our heads above water.

My Daddy was not the type of person to buy on ‘Credit’ if there was any way to avoid this. However, he felt that the necessity of owning an Automobile outweighed his reluctance of being in debt, ‘just this once’.  From month to month he worried about the upcoming payment, but somehow, he was successful in his efforts to meet this obligation.

The car was a “1931 Ford; Model-A”,  two-door sedan.  As most other cars of the day, it was black. It was not equipped with a heater, AM-FM radio, tinted windows, cruise control or white sidewall tires.  Air conditioning was unheard of in a Home, to say nothing of an Automobile.  I suppose it would be considered, “BASIC TRANSPORTATION”, by today’s standards; but this was the sole purpose of this vehicle:  To ‘Simply Provide Transportation.’

An updraft carburetor on the four-cylinder engine delivered adequate fuel mileage, and even though the price of gasoline was cheap enough, we were never allowed to use the car for any purpose that was considered wasteful.  No cruising in town on a Saturday night.  No pleasure trips that did not involve the entire family.  The car was to be used when needed ONLY.

Once the debt had been satisfied, my brother and I were allowed to “borrow” the car for an evening provided we had earned the money for gas. It was mandated that we bring the car home with the same amount of gas as it had in the tank before we left home.

Eventually, the car was traded for a later model, but they all were pre-owned or USED. The very thought of financing a new car was something that daddy could not comprehend.  As long as a used one would suffice, he could not even think of going back in debt for the cost of a new one.

I remember hearing him speak of owning a new car before the great depression.  It was a  “Model “T”. Ford.”  However the hard times that he had gone through was ingrained within him to the point that he refused to buy any vehicle that he could not pay cash for, EXCEPT that one “Model A.”  If memory serves me correctly, the price of that car was slightly above $150.00.  A new one could be purchased for around $600.  This was a fortune in that day.

Daddy would have never believed  that most families of today, own at least “Two Vehicles;” and that some own as many as there are members in the family.  He would consider this a waste.

His theory was that a car should be used only for going to work, to church, to the doctor, and an occasional ride on Sunday afternoon  Any other use was folly and he did not believe in squandering money in such a useless manner.

The very fact that I remember the days of the “Model A”  as well as the struggles my Daddy had in order to pay for one, have made me appreciate the few new Automobiles that I have owned. They were financed to the hilt; however, a better economy and a steady job made the payments within the range of my paltry income.

The very fact that I was raised during “hard times” enabled me to endure a steady diet of beans and potatoes until the debt had been satisfied. Astonishing as it may seem to some, I was well into my golden years before I was finally capable of paying cash for an Automobile.

If my upbringing during these “hard times“ combined with the teachings of my father did nothing else, it instilled within me:  “A fear of any debt that is not absolutely necessary.”

Demijon

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