Tuesday, October 17, 2017

WFW - A Convincing Clown

This months Words for Wednesday prompts are provided by Cindi Summerlin over at Letting the Words Escape. Drop by and let Cindi know when you join in so everyone else can enjoy your take on the words.

Keeping with October's theme, the words this week are taken from Stephen King's It.  

Clown, Tunnels, Children, Nightmares, Water, Friends
Visions, Red, Courage, Asthma, Recurrence, Hide

A Convincing Clown

I remember a time when a CLOWN was simply a man or woman dressed up to make people laugh, a white face, colorful hair, and a big RED nose along with a list of jokes and antics, or even a few magic tricks. A good clown would have CHILDREN laughing everywhere.

Creepy looking clown grinning at you.
Now with the appearance of creepy clowns and scary movies, people are avoiding clowns at all cost. A lot of good clowns have had to take off their huge shoes and hang up their air horns, because instead of a laugh, now that clown horn sends people running and screaming away.

We had taken our son Tim and his then Fiancee Elisa (now his wife) along with about six of their FRIENDS out to eat one night. We were at a local sports bar/restaurant when I spotted a local guy who always dressed up as B-Bop the Clown. I always thought it would take a lot of COURAGE to pull off a convincing clown act myself. B-Bop was walking around all of the tables making balloon animals for all the kids and cracking jokes to make everyone laugh.

I joked that I should call B-Bop over and have him make a balloon animal for Tim since he is our son, Tim spun around and glared at B-Bop, I actually thought that he was having an ASTHMA attack for a minute, Tim grabbed a fork and quietly growled "Keep that bastard away from me!", Tim wasn't Clowning around he was serious.

Tim stepped around to my other side in an attempt to HIDE himself from B-Bop. What's up with the clown, did he do something to you? I asked Tim. He leaned close to me and whispered, I don't like clowns, they really scare me.

How in the world can you have a child twenty one years of age (at the time) and you never knew they are scared of clowns. I suddenly had VISIONS of Tim as a kid running away from a birthday party screaming, we always thought he was joking because he was somewhat of a clown himself back then, and actually still is.

Tim is not scared of anything, he can walk through dark TUNNELS filled with chainsaw wielding psychopaths, zombies, ax murderers, or even follow the Evil Ice Cream man with his sister and he will laugh it all off, but have him come face to face with a good natured clown squirting WATER out of a flower, and suddenly a RECURRENCE of all of Tim's childhood NIGHTMARES begin once again, I don't even want to see what would happen if the clown actually squirted him.

Jimmy holding a My Buddy doll while holding his son Tim with arm around back of neck
So it's easy to say that Tim is not afraid of anything, except clowns...and My Buddy dolls, but that's a whole other post.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Arrival

Waiting at the airport for someone to arrive is always a very anxious time, you continue to check the screen to make sure the plane is still on time and then you panic when the flight from the layover to the final destination is suddenly cancelled. This happened when Tim, Elisa, and Benjamin were coming to see us last week.

They had a short layover in Phoenix and an hour later were supposed to be landing here in California, when suddenly their flight was cancelled. Tim said they were actually in line to board the plane when the cell phones of everyone in line suddenly rang in unison, he said that was an eerie feeling.

The calls were informing everyone of the cancellation, in spite of the fact that the screen at the airport was still showing the flight boarding, the agent who was directing everyone to board still didn't have the word that they were cancelled, and would have lead everyone right onto the plane had the doors not still been shut.

To make a long story short evidently the Vice President of the United States was flying out from there and everything had to come to a screeching halt until his plane was in the air and gone. Now wouldn't you think that simply putting everything into a holding pattern, and then loading everyone onto the plane they were originally ticketed to fly out on would be the thing to do? But no no no this is not how we do things, now they had to find new flights for everyone.

Line of people at an airline counter with our son Tim looking on to the airlines computer while an agent searches for a flight.
Tim looking onto the airlines computer (picture provided by Tim's wife)

Tim stepped in to help the ticketing agent find a flight for them, walked right up to the screen and gave her all kinds of advice, takes after his mom I want you to know. He didn't get kicked out or put onto the no fly list, but it did take the airlines another two hours to get the kids on a flight. Notice Tim is the only passenger looking at the attendants computer, while everyone else stays in line.

Mimi (Cindy) was in full panic mode by the time they finally arrived, I thought she was going to completely burst when we finally saw them coming down the stairs.

Our son Tim with his wife Elisa and their son Benjamin walking together down the stairs arriving at the airport
Elisa, Tim, and Benjamin on the stairs just before Benjamin spotted Cindy and I

Benjamin looked up and saw us and broke into a run down the stairs, Cindy knelt down and he jumped into her arms, I didn't think we were ever going to get them apart, his little arms around her neck and hers around his back for what seemed like an hour, yes I was jealous, Papa wanted a hug too.

Benjamin jumped up into my arms and out of the corner of my eye I saw Cindy place her hands on the floor, heck she was already on her knees, and I know that I can't just stand right up from that position anymore, it's not like we are getting any younger you know, so I didn't think anything of it, I was finally getting to hug the grandbaby.

Thanks, Thanks alot! Cindy says to me as I placed Benjamin down onto the ground. What are you talking about, you got to hug him first I reply. Cindy shouts, I'm not talking about that, I actually fell down on the floor, I think that I passed out! What do you mean you passed out? I hit the floor, I tried to catch myself, but I blacked out for a second when I turned B loose!

Jimmy: I thought you were just getting up, maybe he hugged you too hard.

Elisa: I saw you crawling on the floor, I thought you lost something.

Tim laughs and says, Only thing she lost was her dignity.

Oh fine! Cindy says, I hit the ground at the airport and everybody notices but my family, didn't any of you see that woman ask if I was OK?

Jimmy: I was busy hugging the grandbaby.

Elisa: I thought you were looking for something.

And Tim pleads the fifth...he ain't saying nothing.

Jimmy with grandson Benjamin and wife Cindy posing for pictures at the airport
Papa, Benjamin, and Mimi posing for pictures at the airport.

Why don't we take some pictures Mimi! I suggested. Yeah Mimi let's take a picture, Benjamin said.

Whew, saved by the Grandson, for now...

Mimi is OK, and for the rest of the day I heard the story of how she passed out at the airport and nobody in her family even noticed. I feel bad but I don't think that I'm living this one down...

Friday, October 13, 2017

Time for Breakfast

Back when the kids were all living at home and going to school, we barely had time in the morning to grab a cup of coffee and toss them a bowl of cereal before running out the door. With me heading off to work and Cindy firing up "Mom's Taxi" to haul the kids and their many friends who liked to hitch a ride to both the elementary and middle schools.

Time for breakfast on the weekends was much more relaxed, Cindy actually had time to cook eggs and bacon, biscuits and gravy, toast and jelly, you know all of your breakfast favorites. On Sunday mornings I took to the kitchen cooking grits and eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, pancakes, and for the younger kids I would pour a pancake into the shape of their first initial, or the famous "Mickey mouse pancake" that most of us have made at least once.

Mickey mouse is pretty easy to make, just pour out a circle then add two smaller circles at the top to form the ears, now the trick is to not lose an ear when you flip the pancake, if you do lose an ear just continue cooking with both ears removed and offer mini pancakes to go along with the Mickey pancakes that you will be successful at flipping after a couple of attempts.

My wife Cindy with her arm around our son Tim's neck standing in front of the kitchen stove with two pans in front of them.

While the kids were visiting us last week Tim decided that he would cook breakfast for us, out of self defense Cindy decided to help him because Tim is one of those kids who can walk into the kitchen and every cupboard door seems to spring open, along with the refrigerator and oven doors, he is a really good cook but I do remember him once making cookies and I literally found flour on the kitchen ceiling...

My son Tim cracking eggs into a bowl to scramble, standing next to the kitchen stove with a frying pan on top.

Tim started out by asking everyone how they wanted their eggs cooked, he committed all the orders to memory then went into the kitchen and made the executive decision to simply crack all of the eggs into a bowl and scramble them, I think his mom helped to make this decision.

They actually worked in precision, it was almost like their hands were moving in a blur while the eggs were scrambled, bacon was cooked, bread was toasted, pancakes were poured, the smells of breakfast filled the house, it was wonderful to sit back and enjoy this scene.

My wife Cindy and son Tim cooking bacon and eggs in front of the stove

Cindy was in charge of the bacon, she cooked up regular bacon for everyone and Turkey bacon for me since the doctor has me not eating pork. Cindy cooks the turkey bacon extra crispy so it tastes more like regular bacon, otherwise it can be a little tough.

I sat and listened to Tim lecture me on the benefits and taste of "real" bacon, his lingering questions were:

Where does Turkey bacon really come from?

Have you ever seen a pig in the wild with feathers?

How can they call something bacon when there are no bacon ingredients involved?

Tim ended his rant about bacon stating that it was sacrilegious to call turkey bacon bacon when there was no bacon in it, I just sat there crunching on my Turkey bacon while he talked, I handed a piece to him and he took a bite while he was still talking.

Hey Mom, you did good on this bacon, he said to Cindy. I'm not sure if I ever told him that he was eating Turkey bacon or not.

Earlier while Cindy and Tim were still cooking, I did learn something important for all of us to remember. My lesson began when I asked what was on the menu. They told me, and I just had to ask. Don't you think that you could cook some grits to go along with the eggs, and some biscuits and gravy too? Then I made the mistake of  telling them the proper way to cook the grits.

my son Tim and his Mother Cindy laughing and offering a box of Cheerios as an answer to my cooking suggestions.
Never tell the cooks how to do it while you are sitting and watching, you just may not like the answer.