Humor

The Curse of Instruction Manuals

When I was young, cursing was frowned on in our family. I was raised a Catholic and it was a mortal sin to take the Lord’s name in vain. But I remember shocking myself one day as I led a pack of Stowe ski friends down the mountain after a 20-inch snowfall in a game of “follow the leader.” To show off, I veered off the summit trail and over the cliff that begins the National, a notoriously difficult racing trail. The new snow had obscured a chain and a pendant sign across the trail indicating it was closed. I felt the sharp pain in my shins and pitched forward over the chain. Both skis and one boot released, and …
Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Opinion | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Children should never be allowed to name pets

I’m not obsessive about pet names. I usually leave them to the kids, perhaps with a little parental guidance, like avoiding undistinguished names likeFluffy or Spot, or ambiguous names like Pussy, or aggressive names likeGenghis or Trojan. So, when we drove up to Frank Bryan’s hill farm in Starksboro to choose a tiger kitten from the dwindling array of barn cats left after an onslaught of fishers had depleted his neighborhood of most domestic pets under forty pounds, we decided on a double-toed tiger male and brought him home in the arms of my then 5-year-old daughter, Anna. Looking small and confused on the floor of our kitchen, the still nameless kitten relieved himself mightily. I muttered under my breath, “Oughtta name him sphincter.” Anna …
Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Opinion | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What Lies Beneath?

I’m losing my war against field mice. This time they chewed through the power cord to the freezer. So, with the freezer thawing, it’s time for a family cookout. I’m pulling chunks of hoarfrost-covered packages out and sorting them on the garage floor. The 3, 4, 5-year old labels are illegible. Let’s see, this looks like liver – but lamb, venison, beef, or pork? These round things must be organs. That’s a chicken, or is it the wild turkey our lawn-mower guy gave us? My worldly wife spent some of her youth in France where people eat much more of an animal than we finicky Americans do, like tripe, trotters, head cheese, veal kidneys, pork cheeks, sweetbreads, and the like. …
Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Opinion | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Hearing loss? Speak up ! Stop mumbling!

Real men don’t have “hearing loss.” Their spouses just mumble as they get older. It was true for my grandfather and father, and it’s true for me.  My wife keeps telling me to go to Costco and get my hearing checked. I explain that Costco is for red meat and toilet paper. I hear perfectly well, despite 55 years waving a chainsaw around, three years of concert-sound reinforcement for rock bands, and another ten years in a recording studio control room when I was young. If people just spoke clearly, hearing loss wouldn’t be such a relentless and annoying topic of conversation. For example, my wife asks, “How ‘bout a little snuggle?” to which I answer, “Sure, if the snow …
Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Opinion | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Car Lust

My car lust began when an older buddy let me drive his father’s army surplus jeep in circles in a hayfield. I was like Toad in The Wind in the Willows. I was twelve. My car lust died a few decades ago when I had to be surgically removed, like a bad hemorrhoid, from a friend’s Mazda Miata. At 71, my automotive criteria are much simpler. Do I fit? Will it start? Is it inspectable? Will it make it? As a kid, I had to wait five years to consummate my budding car lust. At my high school graduation, my parents gave me the keys to a well-used 1958 VW. It had no gas gauge, an auxiliary fuel tank, and …
Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Opinion | Tagged | Leave a comment

Beware the Mt. Peculiar Jabberwalker

The Mt. Peculiar Jabberwalkers With apologies to Lewis Carroll on the last day of the 2015-16 session   ’Twas quiblous in Peculiar Town Rambunction and dysfunction, As Ceres eyed the legisphere’s compunction for injunction, Where Hobblespend Expropriations meets to cringe and oft to whinge About some new Progressive binge and tot infernal revenues. Next door, as if to complicate, the Caliphate Adjudicate Meets now to make more things illegal … to shake a fist or point at beagles Where lobbygobblers lurk and glom And green teens shuttle pros and cons Between their Fleecebook posts and texts. Beware the fearsome Job Creationist, haunting smokeless chatter rooms, Undone by tax and regulation, minion wage hikes, fambly leave, Bestowing gifts and currying favors, …
Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Opinion | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Phinxter

I’m not obsessive about pet names. I usually leave them to the kids, perhaps with a little parental guidance, like avoiding undistinguished names like Fluffy or Spot, or ambiguous names like Pussy, or aggressive names like Genghis or Trojan. So when we drove up to the farmhouse in Starksboro to choose a tiger kitten from the dwindling array of barn cats left after an onslaught of fishers had depleted the neighborhood of most domestic pets under forty pounds, we decided on a double-toed tiger male and brought him home in the arms of my then 5-year-old daughter, Anna. Looking small and confused on the floor of our kitchen, the still nameless kitten relieved himself mightily. I muttered under my breath, …
Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Opinion | Tagged | 1 Comment

I Once was lost and now am found….

Any honest priest who knows his altar boys will tell you they’re prey to mortal sin, especially as they pass through puberty and their fervid imaginations evoke that which they have yet to experience firsthand – stern admonitions of wimpled catechism sisters notwithstanding. I was one of those altar boys in Morrisville in the 50s. We often caucused to share euphemisms for our particular sin. We’d stand around before mass, looking nervously at our palms and suggest such vocabulary to one another that would hopefully elude the hearing of our father confessor in a rapidly stated litany of otherwise venial sins. Altar boys must take communion and one cannot partake unless one is in a state of grace. Thus to …
Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Opinion | 1 Comment

Sphincter and the Rabies Shot

After Tigger died at 21, the pantry soon filled again with field mice skittering about and adding what looked like rough-ground pepper to our rice, nuts, pasta, and silverware. “That’s it, time for a new cat,” I announced. Steve and Anna were delirious at the idea of a kitten to play with. We had the usual ya-ya-ya talk about chores and responsibility and then headed off to Frank Bryan’s farm in Starksboro to pick a kitten from his hay barn that housed countless homeless barn cats and their kittens and minimized his loss of grain. Steve, then 7 and Anna, then 5, picked out a double-toed tiger and we headed home to prepare a grocery box for his bed and …
Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Opinion | Leave a comment

Air Travel, Isn’t It Just fun?

After my wife stuffed a last minute contraband wheel of very ripe Livarot cheese into her carry-on luggage, we entered the airport, cleared security, and settled into our seats for the seven-hour flight home from Paris. Just in case you didn’t know, the word “travel” comes from the French word travail, which means work or burden. The etymology is apt. A man of similar girth to my own dropped into the aisle next to my wife and, after the plane taxied what seemed like half way home, we were suddenly airborne. The other passenger compressing my wife was a seasoned and well-accessorized traveler. After adjusting his Bose noise-cancelling headphones, and the font size on his Kindle, he inflated his fur-bearing …
Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Opinion | Leave a comment