Tuesday, January 16, 2018

WFW - Anywhere but there

This months Words for Wednesday prompts are being hosted by Cindi over at Letting the Words Escape, and for this week Cindi has given us these prompts:

birthday, robbery, earthquake, execution, Pooh, Paris
Hepburn, ferry, murder, rolling, ledger, Tobruk

Anywhere but there

On her BIRTHDAY we decided to get out of town for a road trip to an unknown destination, you know throw a dart at a map and hope that it lands on an exciting place like PARIS, London or Australia rather than Mexico, Yemen or somewhere like TOBRUK, Libya. These options were actually out of the question since all we had was a United States map and a LEDGER showing that our budget would not allow us to travel abroad anyway.

I placed the blindfold around Julie's head covering her eyes, and handed the dart to her, I held her by the shoulders and turned my back to the map on the wall guiding her to face her target. Behind her sitting on our bed was a stuffed POOH bear watching intently as Julie prepared to throw.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner was playing on the TV in our living room and I could hear Katherine HEPBURN as she said "Well... I don't think I'm going to faint, but I'll sit down anyway." I was so excited myself that her statement described exactly how I was feeling, and I probably should sit down.

I stepped to the side and watched Julie bring the dart up next to her head. "Here goes Kevin!" She said as she threw the dart towards the wall.

I closed my eyes and crossed my fingers praying for the dart to land somewhere in the mountains with a ROLLING river and lazy days in the sunshine, a ride on a FERRY to a deserted island, or anywhere to get us away from the next potential EARTHQUAKE and possible ROBBERY or MURDER.

Her EXECUTION was flawless by the sound of the Thunk as the dart buried itself into the wall. Julie ripped the blindfold off and smiled excitedly as she looked at the map, then her expression changed as she said the words "San Bernardino, California" that is only ten miles away...

We stared at each other and simultaneously shouted "Do over!"

Sunday, January 14, 2018

From a different perspective

Experiences from your past are often retold differently than you remember by everyone else who was in on it with you. It seems that everybody involved has a different perspective on what actually happened.

Like the time my buddy Robby and I took my baby sister Melinda for a ride up Paris Mountain to see The Devils Mansion. Robby and I were about 16 at the time and Melinda would have been 8. Melinda heard Robby and I talking about a local rumor that claimed a group of devil worshipers lived up on the mountain, and she had maybe but most likely hadn't asked us to go and try to find this mansion.

So out of the goodness of my heart I headed up the mountain, simply to fulfill my baby sister's request to find this mansion. And after searching for a while we came upon a big iron gate that was standing open but had a "No Trespassing" sign hanging on it, there was a big circle drive in front of a large house. A quick drive around the circle driveway isn't really trespassing if you don't stop...Right?

With Melinda screaming and crying I drove past the gate, and was welcomed by a group of Doberman Pinschers who were literally jumping against my car, barking loudly and biting my tires, yes they were seriously biting the tires. As I made the circle and was heading back to the road a set of headlights appeared behind me,  there was suddenly a long haired scraggly looking guy standing at the gate holding his hand up for me to stop, I didn't.

automobile headlights shining in the dark of night
I made a right hand turn and headed down the mountain, with that set of headlights right on my bumper. Melinda was screaming, and with Robby sitting in the backseat I recall seeing the back of his head silhouetted in my rear-view mirror, as he was looking into the headlights of the car that was chasing us. I pushed the gas pedal to the floor, weaving in and out of the curves as fast as my car would go, I out ran and finally lost that car by the time I reached the bottom of the mountain.

To my surprise at the bottom of the hill sat the car that had been chasing me, and a group of men standing next to it with the long haired scraggly guy shaking his finger at me and pointing back up the mountain.

There are three different takes on this story:

My take is; I remember taking my little sister for a ride and while showing her a scary place that she wanted to see, someone started chasing us, I did the best driving of my life coming down that mountain, good enough to impress any NASCAR crew chief, and I safely got us out of a bad situation. But seeing long haired scraggly guy at the bottom of the hill was freaky.

My buddy Robby has said; We took Melinda up Paris Mountain to scare her, and Jimmy got us into a mess looking for the Devils Mansion, he was all over the place coming down the mountain, it's a wonder he didn't kill us all, I thought he had lost them but those guys waiting on us at the bottom about scared me to death, that was freaky.

Melinda actually said; That was freaky! I didn't even want to go there, those dogs were scary...Jimmy was mean to me.

She did finish up her comment on the original story with... Oh by the way you wasn't mean to me, you just did mean things to me but you are the best.

See she said that I am the best...but we have three different takes on the same story, the only thing we agreed on was that it was freaky.

I have noticed that every time I talk with my siblings about things we did when we were younger that no one remembers it the same, there are four of us and there are always four different interpretations on every situation, but I am the oldest so that means mine is the most accurate... Right?

Is there a story that you remember one way, but others involved remember differently?

Friday, January 12, 2018

Rogue road pooper

My new years day was spent with Cindy's brother replacing both toilets in our house. As we start aging, getting older, growing up it appears that toilets seem to get shorter and shorter. The toilet in Ray's bathroom was starting to give us some problems so we decided to install one that is a bit taller to make things easier for him, you know things like standing up.

front side of toilet bowl taken from low position to make toilet appear taller.
How tall is your toilet?
And if we were going to buy one tall toilet we might as well buy two, because standing back up after you have sat down is really important to me too.

"This will only take us about 30 minutes each" Cindy's brother told me, and I knew it was going to take a lot longer than that, especially when I saw that we were already thirty minutes into our little project and only one toilet had been unloaded and carried inside the house.

We actually were really lucky because there was only one snag. You know what happens when you tighten a nut onto a bolt "just one more turn?" Yep you guessed it, something breaks. Cindy's brother gave one more turn to the nut attaching the bowl to the floor and "Snap!!" The bolt broke off at the head, I was happy that it wasn't the bowl, but to fix it we had to remove the toilet and start over...

The second toilet went in much easier because all of our mistakes were made on the first one and even though it took longer than 30 minutes each, we now have two toilets that do what toilets are supposed to do.

As soon as the toilets were replaced and flushing fine Cindy's brother made his escape, he escaped before we had disposed of the old toilets. My first thought was since he hauled the new toilets to the house he could at least haul the old ones away, and since that didn't happen my next thought was flower pots. I suggested strategically placing them into our "fine landscaped lawn", fill them with dirt and plant some posies, Cindy said no posies so I suggested maybe roses, nope no roses, I almost suggested another flower when Cindy made it clear that it wasn't the flowers she was opposed to...

Ok tomorrow is trash day so I will haul them out to the curb and see if I can get the trash company to pick them up. I grabbed my handy dandy hand truck and proceeded to move two toilets from the back of the house out to the front, proudly displaying  both toilets on the side of the road. With the toilets out of the yard and the hand truck put away Cindy's cell phone rings, it's our buddy Chris from next door.

Two Toilets sitting on side of the road
Modern day two seater outhouse.
"Hey Cindy, I see you have a couple of toilets sitting in front of your house." "Yeah Chris, Jimmy replaced both of our toilets today." Cindy replied. "That's good, so why are the old toilets sitting on side of the road?" Chris asked. "So the trash company can pick them up, why do you ask?" This is when Chris laughed and said "I just figured you would hold onto them and have Jimmy plant you some flowers in them..."

Tuesday morning I called our trash company and asked when they could pick up the toilets. "We are in your area picking up large items every Tuesday" the representative told me, "Perfect" I said, "Today is Tuesday and the toilets are already on the curb", "Oh No", she replied "We can't do same day pickups, it will be next Tuesday before we can pick them up", "Well I guess I will have toilets sitting on the side of the road for a week then", I laughed. "No you have them out too early, you don't need to place them on the curb until next Tuesday morning!"

"It's going to be a week before the toilets will be picked up" I said to Cindy. I went on to say "I have a good idea, we have the neighbors dogs that visit, and Melissa brings her dogs to see us, so why don't I bring the toilets back into the yard, I can sit them in the backyard and fill them with water...you know a "Toilet Water Bowl!" the dogs will love it, you all know that dogs love toilets." Cindy didn't love the idea.

two toilets sitting in flower bed next to a concrete driveway
Toilets that I had to hide in the honeysuckles
I had to bring the toilets back in from the side of the road and "Hide them" in the honeysuckles next to the driveway, per my wife's suggestion. "You can't leave them on the side of the road for a week Jimmy!" She said, "What if somebody comes along and breaks them?",  "Yes Cindy, I don't want anyone coming along and breaking our broken toilets, or even worse I don't want anyone using them!"

"What do you mean use them? Nobody is going to use a toilet on side of the road!" Cindy said to me, which I had to reply, "Just picture this, late at night when everything is quiet, and everyone is asleep along comes a rogue road pooper who stumbles across not one but two toilets just sitting there begging to be used, you know kind of like one of those old two seater out houses, he may decide to use them both."

That is when I got my orders to hide them in the honeysuckles.

two toilets sitting in a flowerbed next to honeysuckle vines with Dixie our dacshund looking at them
Dixie wondering why the toilets are backwards.
Dixie wasn't fooled she found them right away...See I told you dogs love toilets.