A Touch of Humor (an old joke)

Bob had finally retired and was looking forward to spending more time with Phyllis, his wife of thirty years.

This extra time with Phyllis made him aware of things that he had, regrettably, missed during all those years when he was  paying more attention to the wants and needs of others; and some things concerned him.  He went to visit his long standing friend, fishing buddy and family physician, Ed.

“Ed, I’m worried about Phyllis, I know she has a serious hearing problem.  Is there a way I can discretely test her, at home, to gauge the  extent of her problem?”

“Well, when she’s in another room, ask her a question; if she doesn’t respond, step about ten feet closer and ask the same question.  Again, if she doesn’t answer, step another ten feet closer and ask the question.”

“Great, I’ll do it tonight…and we need to go after those strippers next month,” and with that Ed, assured he had his answer and could confront Phyllis with empirical evidence of her shortcoming.

Later that afternoon, Phyllis was dusting in the dining room and Ed finished emptying the dishwasher when he asked, “What’s for dinner, hon?”  No answer.  Ed moved to the door between the kitchen and the dining room  and asked again, “What’s for dinner?”  Again no answer.  Ed stood beside his mate and again asked, “What’s for dinner?”

“For the third time, chicken.” 

Hell on Earth

All settled in with my B, PB, AB, AP sandwich (OK, that was tricky I know; Butter, Peanut Butter, Apple Butter, Apricot Preserves on multi-grain bread…vanilla bean ice cream on the side with dark French Roast coffee, freshly pressed); yesterday the 18 year old puppy got a glowing report from the vet after her annual check-up; the weed garden is starting to come alive, it is a great day…but…

I was thumbing through my book of questions:  How do you achieve world peace?, What must you learn from a blind, mute fool?  When does a person (it was originally written, “a man”, please forgive if I miss a word correction, I mean never to offend or in any way seem sexist, racist or any of the other “ists”) have all that they may have in this world and be in Hell?

This last question was one of the easiest to answer, I was 12.

A little history, when I lived with my grandparents, my mother’s parents, I was just past toddler, well into obnoxious and just shy of school; I lived with them during my second, third and fourth years.  Mom and Grampy were from well educated, in every sense talented, very strict German, Dutch, French stock.  The first book that Mom and I read together was “King Arthur and The Knights of The Round Table (there were no pictures).  The second book were addressed was “The Prince” by Machiavelli; Mom wanted to be sure I understood what was happening in the King Arthur piece (I was approaching four, like two weeks after my third birthday).

For my fourth birthday, Grampy (a man that had once had great wealth, he retained many fine things, but demonstrated his coping with poverty but slicing pot roast so thin you could read the news through it) gave me my first book; “Bulfinch’s Mythology” which I devoured.

The story may be Roman or Greek and as I remember it may not be word for word, but…I think you might understand what it says.

Vaicott (not the name in the original story, but will do) spent his best days mocking the gods, on his worst days he cursed them, he always denied them and would beat his servants for praying to them.

As age and illness attacked Vaicott dragging him closer and closer to his end he yelled to his children, his servants, to the world: “You see, pain and pox, age and anguish are all about me.  Should I throw pence or gold at statue or priest to have your gods heal me or am I fated like all to die and rot.”  Vaicott laughed, laughed his miserable chackle until he slept.

His children, his servants and indeed most of the world, with heads lowered walked away from his house.

When Vaicott awoke from his slumber he found himself in Paradise; the gods and goddesses greeted and embraced him.  They talked to a younger healthier man, a man that could drink in the beauty, the indescribable splendor that was this world.

He knew the embrace of a goddess, with passion…ecstasy beyond his wildest imaginings, he broke bread that the merest crumb would sate any hunger, wine that was indeed, ambrosia.

He looked up from the table a figure emerged from a splendid light, the figure became clear as all the lesser gods bowed and backed away.  Vaicott saw this god of gods extend his hand and place it on it on his shoulder, “Vaicott, you shall have anything you desire, wealth, health, any woman or man you desire, anything but death and not here.”

Vaicott awoke in his own bed, he was young, healthy, Kings and Princes bowed to him.  Praise seemed to come from swine, the finest food tasted like dung, nothing on this earth could give him pleasure; the gods had condemned him to Hell, Hell on earth.


I don’t know if I am spending a brief moment in Paradise, but my sandwich is, was terrific, coffee stimulating and this time we’ve spent together truly grand.

Never, never mock the gods they just may bless you…for a while.

Package Full of Memories


Today’s post contained a peace offering from my younger, shorter, smarter and angrier little sister.

Carefully wrapped in brown paper was an old cigar box; it once held 25 cent cigars, individually wrapped in cellophane, their foul aroma lingered, this had been Dad’s.

I opened the lid, held tight by a small, sharp now rusted nail.  Glued to the inside of the lid was a picture of a half-naked brunette, pornographic by 1959 standards, with braids, a head band, arms crossed to cover most of her ample breast and wearing a fringed loin cloth.  It was a copy of a Vargas painting that had been cut from one of Dad’s Playboy’s.

And there it was…my heart, the book of questions.  A small black book, 3” x 5” five ring binder and on every other page a question, questions asked by Grampy Vogt.  “You’ll have to give these some thought, Mikey.  When you answer some, they’ll make you smile, some you may want to share with the world and others…well, those will be the answers you will be looking for.

“There are sixty questions.”

The extent of my depression is such that there are unimaginable gaps in my life, some are over years and looking back over an emptiness like that; to keep from going totally mad, I fill the voids with stories, stories that are consistent with the scars that cover my body and my mind.

Holding this book in my hand; I remember that conversation as if it were this morning, “Grampy, what if I don’t know the answers…where will I find them?  Mom and Dad think I should have a Britannica for high school, will that help?  Do you want me to give you the book back when I’m done, and you can grade me?”

“You keep the book, and there will never be any grading, not between you and me.”

The first question:

How would you define eternity?

I don’t have to look at what I had written, I knew the answer.  I had used and abused this wording so many times, that it’s now etched in my brain.  I don’t know if I read this, someone may have offered a direction; but I was 15 when I first used this, in a love letter to a 14 year old girl describing how my love would endure.  I used it again when 17, sitting on a rock in front of Walter Colton Junior High, holding hands with Jeanette DeH.

Once, every thousand years, a crow is born on a windblown rock of an island off the coast of Ireland, this single crow is born with a destiny; it must fly to the moon and seek out a single mountain on the moon’s dark side.  This mountain dwarfs Mt. Everest and is a single piece of granite.

This crow flies to the top of this mount, unseen by any man in all of history and sharpens his beak and returns home.

When those crows have worn the mountain down to dust; that is passing of but a fraction of a second in eternity.

I Lick Your Nose (for those people controlled, rather, loved by cats)

I lick your nose

I lick your nose again

I drag my claws down your eyelids

Oh, you’re up?  Feed me



I Could Pee on This


By Francesco Marciuliano

As I live in this house at the pleasure of three cats and a dog, there are certain truths that must be made known to the world…it is already too late.