Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Trip

Oh boy what a trip! Jan, Henry and I had just returned from a skiing trip in California to our home of San Francisco. Now you may wonder about my veracity, but yes, we did go skiing in California. Where we three went skiing is called Big Bear Mountain and it is just a short distance from Bakersfield. Returning to the events of the trip we must mention that the three of us almost broke our extremities with which God had blessed us.

Let me relate to you exactly what took place. We took a cable car to the top of the mountain which was covered in snow about 3” deep. Almost immediately after exiting the car we rented skis at $25.00 a pop, plus a sizable deposit. In order to combat the snow we put the skis on. Jan decided at the last minute she needed to have the handsome ski instructor teach her the art of skiing. She was an accomplished skier, so I lean toward the appearance of the ski instructor as being the motivation for her visit.

Logistically, the instructor was located about 100 yards from where we got off the cable car. As Jan was on her way to the instructor for her lesson, she lost her balance and proceeded to ski down a steep incline. Actually, she was such a good skier that she could have managed the situation by herself. But, being the coward that I am, I talked Henry into going to her rescue. He began to gain the speed that Jan had already attained, until he hit a ridge. This caused him to do a summersault that was at least a 1 and 1/2 and be propelled onto the shoulders of Jan.

Fortunately, when Henry was in the process of doing his 1 and 1/2 his skis came off or they really would have hurt Jan. As I have stated, under normal conditions, this little girl is an excellent skier, but she was in a situation that was not normal. So she faltered in her quest of skiing down the mountain safely. I found the whole event to border on the humorous, until in between chuckles, a little boy accidentally pushed me down the mountain. At least I think it was accidental, because if it weren’t it was downright destructive.

Nonetheless, I was now skiing down an incline that was steeper than the ones of Jan or Henry. And I was going at a fast rate of acceleration and as mentioned, I am not only gutless, I am also a very poor skier. I can only relate to you that the change in moods from humor to fright is very difficult to adjust to. The same ridge that Henry had hit, was the one that I managed to also hit. Due to my increased acceleration I flipped in the air 2 times. In the process, I also lost my skis and I was propelled onto the back of Jan’s skis, which greatly increased her falter-ism.

As I held onto Jan, I discovered that our route included trees as we were headed straight for one. Apparently, the weight of two additional “guests” dramatically slowed our momentum and Jan was able to stop just before we collided with an oak.

“Oh, how great it feels to once more be safe,” we all said to ourselves. “Our prayers have been answered.” We decided to return to the lodge and forget about the money we had lost. Not that we ever would have found the skis. Besides we had concluded that the loss of funds was better than spending 10 days in a hospital bed. Over a hot drink and a roaring fire in the fireplace of the lodge and discussed our return trip to the city of the un-chaotic. In short, we tried to adjust back to normalcy.

Making waves = creating waves

And the creator of those waves is judged by society as being different from what is considered the norm. The primary reason for this is he/she has created another obstacle through which the average man must laboriously stumble. But, there never has been an outstanding individual who wasn’t viewed as different from the norm. And generally that outstanding individual influences the direction of many lives.

The individual who has dramatically influenced my life is Teddy Roosevelt. During his life, he was looked upon as a lousy businessman, a loner in general in that he would go into the badlands of North Dakota for several weeks by himself and gave a disproportionate amount of his ranch to his ranch hands. He also was considered a poor politician.

On at least two occasions he was confronted with his death and had he not been physically fit he would have succumbed to the grim reaper. When he was but a youth, his father demanded that he exercise on a regular basis to overcome his severe asthmatic condition. He did strenuous exercise to overcome this malady. And his extreme physical fitness carried over into his adult life. Two of his most famous quotations attracted me to the man. “Everyone who resides in this great country of ours is able to share in her abundant freedoms. In return we must show her our true allegiance. Both full and faithful,” and, “Heredity is important, yet anyone living in this country and showing their allegiance to another country, is living in the wrong place.”

While John F. Kennedy was the youngest to be elected president, Teddy was the youngest to occupy the office. He went from the “rough riders” to Governor of New York to the vice-presidency of the United States. When McKinley was assassinated, Teddy Roosevelt inherited the job of president. At the time he assumed the responsibilities of that office he was only forty-two. As president he made several significant decisions from the Boer War to choosing the location of the Panama Canal. And that my friends was not an insignificant decision, as many members of Congress and the electorate preferred Nicaragua as the optimum route for the canal. A close vote in the Senate settled the route.

The Panama Canal is listed among the modern wonders of the world as a magnificent engineering feat. In the process of performing his tasks as president, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was the first sitting president to be awarded this prestigious compliment.

His accomplishments and failures have greatly influenced my life. Why should I bring out failures? Simply because a sum total of his failures contributed to his accomplishments. Teddy was smart enough to learn from his failures, which sadly I must say, is also greatly different from the norm.

What is considered the “normal individual” is scared to death of making a mistake. Or being considered a failure at his attempt of being a success. Generally, his unrealized greatness will not shine upon many people. Many times in my life I have grasped for veracity, when my soul knew what was truthful. The truth is generally most uncomfortable, whereas rationalization can be so comfortable that you can peacefully go to sleep.

For guidance with application of that truth I look to Teddy Roosevelt on the human level and God on the spiritual level. And that my friends is what making waves is about.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


The toll-free number on the instruction guide was dialed to rectify a problem that either I or my “labor saving” device was experiencing.

I could feel my knees weaken as I sank to the floor and assume the profile of one who is praying.

“ Please God don’t make me be forced to calculate numbers, may I speak to a human and may I understand what that human is saying.”

Apparently this split second request was slow in arriving as once again I was subjected to a virtual bouquet of numbers.

After being greeted by a cute sounding woman, who was actually just another computer, the statement was made that they had just redesigned their menu so I would need to listen closely.

( I immediately thought how lucky I was to have purchased an item from such an innovative company, as that was a phrase totally new to my ears. )

That statement was followed by the question that if I needed to hear the message in English, I should press 1.

( Hey wait a minute!! This is America and over a million Americans have sacrificed their lives just so that I could speak English freely in America. But, that is another debatable subject .)

The operator further stated that if I knew the extension of a person, to dial it immediately. Now, I ask you, how is it possible to know the extension of someone when you don’t even know their name?

Nonetheless, “she” forged ahead with another statement that for customer service the caller should press #1--and the numbers went on.

Finally, we arrived at #6, which I was to press for technical assistance and the opportunity to speak with a consultant.

My enthusiasm was slightly increased as I pressed 6, but this ascension hit the proverbial brick wall when the technical consultant uttered her first words.

Now, I have not been granted a license to ridicule the ethnic origin of another, except when it comes time to seek technical assistance.

But, since we’re attacking another’s deficiency, mine is a strong inability to understand those who have graduated at the top of their class in voice instructions.

In other words, I have difficulty understanding clear English.

Nevertheless, regressing to the consultant, her first words to me were, “Sahib, could I have your telephone number beginning with your code.” Right then I knew I should hang up, because the remaining time spent would be a waste.

After adjusting to being addressed as master ( I am pretty sure that’s what sahib means in English, but on the other hand, it could be a very derogatory way of addressing a person in India. ) we proceeded to attempt a rectification of the problem.

Following her directions, with only 11 “excuse me-s," 21 “I beg your pardon-s,”  16 “would you please repeat-s” and a few “uh-s” thrown in for good measure, we managed to place the widget where it was supposed to be.

Much to my surprise the devise resumed its normal function.

My faith in God and technical service had been restored.

Shortly I resumed my function, with the devise performing as it was intended.

I was smiling, waving at the neighbors and completing the work, when suddenly the device stopped.

As hard as I tried to re-start by repositioning the widget, the more tenacious the machine was not to start.

Upon my utterance of a few choice words and the continued failure of the labor saving device, I was painfully aware that there remained only one option opened to me.

And that was to once more endure the 1-2-3’s.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011



I feel an immediate tap on my right shoulder the moment the traffic light changes.

In fact the tap is so fast that it is a severe test of my reflexes, which in general are on the slow side. These reflexes could disseminate to the point that they control my entire body. This would cause me to be placed in the category of very slow, which I am.

In fact, I am so slow that I emulate the tortoise in that famous tortoise and hare fable which automatically places me in the winner’s circle, 'cause you know who that race!

I have a wife and two daughters who have said their prayers for me tonight.

Not to invade their privacy, but I heard them the other night, and their prayer goes something like this, “Now I lay me down to sleep, (whatever comes next, and whatever comes after that),” with the finale being “and please let Dad at least place in this race before he enters La-la land.”

These three are very proud of committing that prayer to memory at their ages.

And I am very proud for them.

Their respective ages are 70, 49 and 46.

Next week we begin working on the 1st Psalm, which contains several more words. Nonetheless, the three have promised me that they will commit those ---------at this point I feel the compulsion to level with you.

Not being a Biblical scholar, I don’t have a clue what 1st Psalm is. Therefore I don’t know whether it contains more or less words. Nonetheless, the girls are going to try another prayer next week because they are tiring of the old. Prayers around our house don’t remain in the same place very long as they apparently share much in common with the living room couch.

---“Wait just a minute, you ask, you were receiving a tap on the shoulder at a traffic light and now your on a couch. I am completely lost”---

---I am so sorry about that, as my thought pattern was also apparently lost---

---“I assume that the traffic light and the tap was your main thought.

This being the case, who was driving?”---

---A question like that comes very close to insulting me, as if I were I not driving and sitting in the front passenger seat, a tap on my right shoulder from the driver, my wife, would insinuate that I am married to an Orangutan!---

---Had I married an Orangutan, that would indicate either very poor choice on my part or very poor vision

However, as it is my wife who we are talking about, the tap on my shoulder is an indication from her, that it is lawful for us to proceed.

And never, no never, question if it is O.K. for you to move upon receiving “the tap.”

---Wait a minute!! You can’t question whether it is safe or defensive?---

-Absolutely not, if you want to continue maintaining a right shoulder!!-

Generally, my wife and I are together in the car traveling to one of those jovial destinations, but I remember once I was traveling alone.

A potentially serious accident was prevented by not having my wife in the car at the time.

The trip I was making involved mailing a letter. On the way to the mailbox, there was a four way stop.

I had the right of way over an opposing car, and would have received “the tap” on my right shoulder if my wife had been along.

But, the guy in the opposing car decided not even to stop, and after that, ran two more stop signs, that were very close to the intersection. (Apparently he had abused a few too many substances.)

Once again, I digress from the subject matter, but anyway I can virtually guarantee you that had my wife been present with her “shoulder tap,” there would have been a pile of cars at that intersection. So that night, by virtue of the fact that there is an April 11, someone’s life may have been saved.

Really the date April 11 doesn’t have any significance.

But, my birthday falling on April 11, does.


P.S. I can easily see that many of you are awaiting an end to this article so that you can rush to the store a buy me a birthday present.

Unfortunately, I have moved from my former residence. But, on an upscale note, I have tried to cover all of the “bases”.

I have left a forwarding address.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Things You Can Do In a Wal-Mart

I am the spirit of Sam Walton and I am the founder of Wal-Mart.
Rumor has it that I was a pretty nice guy while I was alive. I don’t know about that, but like all of us I entered that arena called reality and realized that all good things must come to an end. Consequently, I left earth in 1992.

At present I am in heaven, and have access to a computer.

That computer is referred by all of us up here as Earth’s Heavenly Connection. We think of the computer as a fabulous advance in technology, although we must admit, that sometimes we have felt like throwing Earth’s Heavenly Connection off our cloud.

You probably knew I was an avid hunter when I was on earth.

And I used to like to get to my hunting grounds in my old truck, which my wife disparagingly referred to as a “junk heap.”

We have also appropriately nicknamed my truck “Red.”

The reason we chose that name is that 1) an old hooker would probably look like my truck and 2) that hooker would probably have great familiarity with the color red.

Although, we gave serious consideration to changing the name of my truck to STD after the christening, which involved a $10.00 bottle of champagne, a small amount of ribbon and a slightly inebriated right tire.

We decided that the change would not be good, as we felt any association with that name would greatly affect the income of a hooker.

The lady, to whom we refer, might well be color blind so in reality she probably couldn‘t recognize any difference in color. But, she would easily recognize a difference in earnings.

However, yesterday I was surfing the internet and I happened to run across a site called Helium, Nitrogen or one of those rare gases.

This site is dedicated to a bunch of writers who do what they probably do best--write!

One of the subjects that they are writing about is what they would do in a Wal-Mart store.

Now, by the looks of me, you would probably say that I don’t generate very much electricity and that I am totally lacking in charisma.

Well, you're probably right, but tonight I am going change for you and share with you my vicariously generated electricity, which is hopefully charismatic.

By that I mean, I’ll tell you what the founder of Wal-Mart would do, if he were ever given the opportunity to do what he wanted to do, without any restraints, in a store.

First I’d drive ole Red down to the gas station and make sure he had a full tank of gasoline.

As I understand it up here, at the reasonable prices they are charging for gas down there, that shouldn't be more than $400.00.

Then I’d head on over to the local Wal-Mart and hope that it would be one of those new super-centers with much activity.

After playing dodge 'em with a group of pedestrians in the safe walking area I’d take ole Red through the front doors.

This might sound destructive to some of you, but ole Red is a short truck in height and there would be no damage, whatsoever.

Besides that, you must remember that the stockholders own the store, so I do have a vested interest.

Once inside and past the smiling greeter and her shopping carts, which she will gingerly offer me ( she will be oblivious to the fact that I am in a pick-up truck ), I’d then drive ole Red to aisle 13.

Why, aisle 13 you ask, with a smile that isn’t quite as wide as the greeter’s.

Well, for some reason out of all the aisles in the store, aisle 13 has always held a deep fascination for me.

It could be that the reason behind that is 1) when I first started out in this business, I owned 13 Ben Franklin stores and 2) that is generally where sporting goods is located.

I may see a new item in Sporting Goods that would make my hunting or fishing easier.

Oh sure, we hunt and fish up here as well.

In offering these amenities Peter told me the only problem he has encountered so far is maintaining adequate water in the lakes when it rains. ( It rains down there, not up here. )

I remember now, I was fishin' away one day and it started to rain, which in itself is extremely rare.

I didn’t make it to shore fast enough ( it’s never cloudy up here, either, ) and wound up at the bottom of a 75 foot waterless lake.

You’d be surprised at the many things you see at the bottom of a lake.

It’s somewhat reminiscent of a fantasy land.

The drop to the bottom didn’t frighten me so much as the difficulty I had getting to shore. The bottom of this lake was real muddy. On my attempt to get to shore, I slipped several times. When I reached shore I felt and looked like the largest ball of mud in the world.

A bolt of inspiration has hit me, and I must share this story with you, as it relates to both the place I now call home and fishing.

Somewhere in Biblical teachings is the following:

If you give a man a fish, he will return the next day for another fish.

But, if you teach a man to fish, he will learn to sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

Nevertheless, let us return to aisle 13.

I generally take ole Red to the bottom of the aisle where there is not much in the way of activity.

Then I throttle the old truck up to its highest rev. and let her “rip,” taking my foot completely off the brake.

I generally “floor board” the accelerator, and go maximum speed ( which is a grandiose 35MPH ) up aisle 13. Until I get to the sporting good section, where I slow down to peruse the area for bargains and useful items, as well.

I never hit anyone, but I am confident that the individuals that are/were in aisle 13 become very respectable of me and ole Red.

I always try to be as astute in my observations as possible.

Most of the shoppers on aisle 13 are lacking in one item of clothing , although they are well dressed. That item is a sombrero, as most of them appear to be from South of the Border.

Nevertheless, I get out my trusty 12 gauge, and fire several blanks into the air.

I have noticed this act has a tendency to bring “the fear of the Lord” into the shoppers on aisle 13. Either that, or the Lord never directs them again to aisle 13, which becomes their main reluctance to ever visit that aisle again

It sometimes creates so much fear in them that I have noticed some of the shoppers from aisle 13 have proceeded to the check out with noticeable circles on their jeans in their groin area.

Anyway, I go up and down the aisle --ah yelling and ah shooting those blanks in my shotgun--, in hopes that I will moderately scare as many shoppers on that aisle as possible.

I certainly do not have the intent of injecting sufficient fear into the shoppers that it will scare them away from my store permanently.

No-no, I just hope to inject enough fear into them that is necessary to “keep them on their toes,” to recognize the next bargain.

Believe it or not, the fear I place into my shoppers seems to stimulate sales.

Now this could be attributed to several factors, but my personal view is that the shopper has to hurry to dodge ole Red.

In the process of dodging ole Red, they knock items off the self directly into their shopping carts.

Nonetheless, management has said that as long as sales increase, they will allow me to continue my antics on aisle 13.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Youthful Expression

Wally Michaels! Oh! Wally, I wish you were here so that I could personally thank you for the crystal clear reality check on life that you brought into my epicenter.

I often wonder where Wally is today and if he is doing O.K.

Wally was my best friend as I was growing up in a small town in Northern Illinois. We were inseparable and did everything together.

We played marbles together, ran through lawn sprinklers when the weather was hot and set up a lemonade stand in which we split the profits. The lemonade stand was a good idea in the wrong location. According to our ledger we generated a monthly income of $2.00, but in the process of making all that money we learned the realities of marketing. So, I guess you could say a poor location garnered a lot of “learnin”.

One day after arriving home from a high school basketball game, I went into my room and called Wally only to discover that he had left home for good after an argument with his parents. As I closely patterned my life style after Wally’s, that episode activated my thought process.

In that Wally and I were both sixteen I knew that his intellect and knowledge far surpassed his parents, just as mine did.

When my mother called Dad and me to dinner I assumed the attitude of someone vastly superior to anyone over 25 years old. As we all sat down to dinner my dad asked me to help him move something. As his pronunciation of words is rather staccato, I misunderstood him and thought he asked me to move.

“But move where?” I queried.

“No, no, your mother just wants a cabinet moved to the south end of the living room as she thinks that‘s a pretty good spot.”

Again, I misunderstood his pronunciation and thought he said South Bend was a good location and it suddenly dawned on me that Mom had gotten into the act as well. An argument ensued, in which my mother naturally took my dad’s side. Some vicious words were spoken, which we both wished we could retract, and I ended up packing and leaving home just like Wally.

I thought I would spend the night in our city’s park sleeping on a bench and then return to my home with a slightly blemished demeanor. But, the sole bench in the park was occupied by an infatuated couple. Little did I know that it would be 4 years before I would return to my house in that sleepy little town.

It was cold outside and so I instinctively headed South. “I’ll bet Kentucky is warm this time of year.”

So I caught a ride with a trucker, to leave temporarily my little, cold town. “Where to?” asked the trucker to which I replied “Anywhere that is warmer.” “Then you want to go to Florida or Georgia.”

I wasn’t sure where those two states were located, but my reply nonetheless was in the affirmative. “Yep” was my reply. That initial ride took me as far as Nashville, TN, as he had to turn his rig off the main route to head East.

The second ride I caught from the heart of Nashville was headed for Memphis, TN, so I agreed to go there because the driver said it was a warmer climate. Up to that point my body had been fueled solely by adrenaline and my new found feeling of independence. But, on our way to Memphis I began to get the pangs of hunger. In that I only had $10 to my name, I could provide fuel for my body for another 3-4 meals, so I discovered the initial drawback to my independence, I had to find a job!

I asked the lady who was driving the car if she knew of a place that I could find a job and she told me that her husband was the manager for a local newspaper and magazine distributor, and that they were hiring. That would be my first stop tomorrow morning.

In that we had reached the city limits of Memphis, I soon discovered the second drawback to my newly discovered independence. I had to obtain housing so that I would have someplace to lay my head that night.

Again, I asked the lady if she knew where I could rent accommodations. She gave me the directions and the best I could do was $35.00 per week. The only sad part of this story is that the rent had to be paid in advance. I was able to convince the landlord that he would wait until tomorrow evening to collect the week’s rent.

So after a night of “turning and tossing,” I reported bright and early to the magazine distributor. I landed a job selling magazine subscriptions, but the chief drawback was that it was based on straight commission.

Having the knowledge of producing $35 for my landlord that night provided me with the motivation to sell 6 subscriptions that first day.

So that left me with one more obstacle to overcome. Convincing my boss that he should give me a $35 advance against an income of $60 that I had generated. It was a hard sell, but convince I did and returned to my room with the $35 for my landlord. I was headed for his office to pay him when a policeman stopped me and asked me for I.D. I had in my wallet many pieces of identification including my new driver’s license.

In those days we wore pants that had a button over the back pocket. As hard as I tried, I could not get the button unfastened. I tugged at that button from every angle and finally after pure disgust I uttered a few words that would not be said in church. The policeman thought I was drunk and slapped handcuffs on me which were necessary to transport me to the local jail.

This situation seemed to be a total miscarriage of justice which I relayed to the officer. But, from him there was no reply. He was right and I was wrong!

They booked me for a public drunkenness, and threw me in the drunk tank to “sober-up”. In the “tank” I met two characters. One acknowledged that the best advice he could give to a young person such as I, was simply never to stay in the same location long enough to be heavily rained on. The other claimed it was he who had shot JFK.

True, I didn’t know much about the details of the JFK assassination, but I did know that this guy had nothing to do with it.

After my release for committing a misdemeanor I debated as to whether return to the rooming house, my house in Illinois or head south. In that I needed a good tan, before I returned to either, I chose to go south. But a dilemma shortly presented itself. I did not know where in the southlands that I should go. I had always heard about Miami, Florida, as being the capitol of the south, so that became my destination and temporary home.

I was hanging out at the beach ( to get that tan that I needed ) and I met three other guys. The four of us shared a lot in common and we decided to form a band which was minimally successful but it sure allowed us all to pay our debts.

I ultimately wound up where I should have been all along - that was back home.

But, those four years I was away surely did nourish my bank of knowledge. I was not an adult and yet I was forced to make adult decisions.

All that I can say is, “Wally, I give thanks to you for expanding my mind.”


Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Porch

There he is again--swat--bzzzzz. “Ah shucks!! He got away again.” ( You’ll notice that I have emphasized ah shucks which is entirely foreign to my vocabulary, but in that this is Sunday I thought it best to incorporate a degree of respect into this article. If the full truth were known, I said #$%& to myself.)

There are two events that my wife and I look forward to being a part of our every Sunday.

One would be our attendance at our Church, and the other would be sitting out on our screen-less but, newly constructed back porch with a cup of coffee in my right hand and a soft drink in my wife’s left hand.

The reason we both have a free hand, is that the other hand is generally occupied with a fly swatter which is generally attempting to swat that one aggravating fly who in turn is displaying his dire affection for either our bodies or our drinks.

“There he is on the window ledge,” is the general announcement, before I take another swat at him and miss, uttering under my breath the same words of disappointment.

--I immediately have discouraging visions in which I can clearly picture the fact that I’d never make it as a major league baseball player--

My wife then drops her fly swatter, as well as her drink on the floor when the door from the kitchen to the porch opens and there is a cheerful emission of the word “Hello.” ( I didn’t want to divulge this fact, but my wife suffers from un-co-ordination and is very startled by surprise. This has garnered our attention, and with psychiatric assistance ( which is mainly covered by Medicare ) we are trying our best to correct these two unfortunate conditions.

Nevertheless, that bright and cheerful “Hello” emanated from the mouth of our daughter in law.

We had completely forgotten that we had committed ourselves to watch our 6 year old grandson for this afternoon.

As a reciprocal gesture, she had baked us a chocolate cake with vanilla icing.

She showed us the cake, which for some reason she placed between my wife and I, on a small table.

Before our daughter in law had found enough time to leave, I was proudly instructing my grandson in the art of fly swatting.

Before she had found the necessary time to back out of the driveway, I had issued my grandson a fly-swatter.

Apparently, my grandson has a waning concentration, as he began to play with our dog, temporarily forgetting about my instructions, into which I had placed great effort.

This apparent total lack of respect was like “a slap in the face” to me, so I attempted to correct this void in my grandson, by calling for a squadron formation. I can not overemphasize the seriousness nor the importance of fly-swatting. ( Particularly, on our back porch. )

That annoying fly made his appearance once again, only this time on the lamp shade.

The swatting privileges were passed to both my wife and grandson.

They swung and missed at which time both had the same vision as I had of never being allowed to play in major league baseball.

That fly had to be very aggressive, as his next location was in the outer periphery of the cake.

I gave specific instructions, that upon my count, all three of us would swat the periphery of the cake where the fly appeared to be eating away. ( in that I am not an entomologist I really don’t know what he was doing. But, whatever the function was, it appeared to make him very complacent. )

Unfortunately, we missed the periphery of the cake. and all three of us hit the cake dead center. This total lack of alignment may be attributed to:

1) My grandson’s lack of concentration.

2) my wife’s lack of co-ordination.

3) my lack of good fortune.

Somehow the complacent fly had once again eluded his eternal destiny.

So, we heard those old familiar sounds--swat-- bzzzzz!!

However, the effect the hapless fly swatters had on the vanilla icing was similar to a very large elephant stepping into a jar of Vasoline.

In other words--there was a really big squish, which in turn caused the icing to become dislodged from the cake.

There was vanilla icing everywhere, except of course on the cake.

The icing was dangling from the right ear lobe of my grandson, in my wife’s hair and on my nose and in my left eye. A few pieces even made it as far as the drink spilled by my wife.

The icing also went up the right nostril of our dog, which I had to extract, after I was able to breathe and see once more.

It was not fun cleaning ourselves up to a presentable state and removing the liquid from the deck, but when we had, we all felt much better.

When this had been accomplished we resumed our Sunday siesta on the back porch.

A day filled with limited frustration and relaxation.

Relaxation, until we heard that fateful --bzzzzz!