For years, a flock of California quail have returned to our property to breed in Spring. But last year, for some reason, they didn't migrate and instead stayed here all winter. They are ground dwellers and with 2 feet or more of snow there was precious little to eat, so they hung out near our bird feeder. In addition, there were two periods of bitter -40 degree cold. The flock started out as 12 birds. By mid January, they were down to 8. In early March I saw but 5 of them, and this morning, only 2, both males. 7 months ago, somebody in that flock made a fateful decision; bad choices are not limited to human folly.
April 2, 2023
Overheard a senior salesman talking to a junior salesman.
-- Sales are hard. I don't know if I'm cut out for this.
-- Tell me about it. I've been doing this for 20 years; people are getting cheaper and meaner.
-- What do you hate most about the general public?
-- Hands down, stupid people. Male or female, doesn't matter.
-- Why is that?
-- Stupid people think you're as stupid as they are because they don't know how stupid they really are.
-- Stupid people don't know they're stupid. And they can't imagine not being stupid, it's beyond them. So they think everybody's as dumb as they are. And they treat you accordingly.
-- Can't you just ignore them?
-- We're salesmen, Ritchie. We sell to anybody, including the truly brainless ones.
-- But how do you...do you dumb yourself down to deal with them?
-- You have to. You have to get down and wallow in their mud to make a sale.
-- I dunno...is there maybe a better way to deal with these people?
-- No, stupidity is their shield, their defense. You can't penetrate someone's stupidity when they have no idea they are stupid in the first place. You can only lower yourself to their level; you can't raise them to yours.
-- You want the real kicker? 92% of the world is stupid.
-- Stick with me, kid, live and learn.
April 3, 2023
Michelle removed her shoes and then quietly tiptoed into the house but the cat heard her and attacked. Michelle wildly flapped her arms but Mitzie was a slashing, clawing machine and she sliced and diced that girl something awful. Michelle hated coming to her mother's house because she hated Mitzie. And Mitzie hated Michelle because...well, she's a cat. Who knows what planet they're from.
April 4, 2023
Love poem 101
I love you
Sometimes I don't know why
Sometimes I do
Is your sister Melissa coming this weekend?
I like her
What do you mean by 'too much'?
I love you
Sometimes I don't know why
Sometimes I do
What? If you died would I date Melissa?
Uh, sure, why not?
I did not wish you dead to be able to do your sister!
This is a trap!
Oh, it's not Melissa coming, it's Frida
Frida and I don't exactly get along
I see, that's why you invited her instead of Melissa
Did you just call Melissa a minx?
And a whore?
Am I sexually attracted to Frida? No way
Ok, sure, maybe just a little
Don't cry, honey
I love you
Sometimes I don't know why
Sometimes I do
Hey, where you going
Frida's coming soon
Why didn't I marry Melissa?
Because I love you!
Sometimes I don't know why
April 5, 2023
He said his name was Bill but he preferred to be called Ronny. His wife said her name was Sandra but she preferred Barbara. The person who introduced me to them was Bart but everyone called him Frankie. With all these nom de plumes, I'm either at a writers conference, a get together of people in the witness protection program, or some sort of role playing game. You know how when you meet someone and seconds later you have completely forgotten their name? Now double it! I know! This was going to be tricky.
April 6, 2023
Overheard a couple at the pub.
-- How 'bout one more round.
-- Are you trying to get me drunk?
-- Good, I'd hate to think I'm doing this to myself.
April 7, 2023
The city had closed off Main Street for the annual Pet Parade. Children and adults walked with all kinds of dogs and cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. There were horses, pigs, goats and parrots. There were snakes, hamsters, lizards and gerbils. Some had spiders, rats and mice. One guy had a mobile fish tank. Others had sheep, ferrets, donkeys and turtles. It was mostly an orderly procession except for a couple of dog fights and a horse that kicked a parked car. In truth, a lot of the animals seemed nervous and kinda freaked out, but the Pet Parade is for humans, despite its name.
April 8, 2023
I was doing an interview on a German podcast. I was asked where I live and when I told him Salmon Arm, he refused to believe that such a town exists, let alone one named after fish parts that fish don't have. The interviewer suggested that if I was going to make something up, it would be much more believable if I had said Salmon Fins or even Salmon Roe, but it was completely unacceptable to give the fish arms it never had. My god, he finished, is that not a horrible mutation to contemplate? What a flashy start! This was going to be fun. 35 minutes later it was over. I believe the podcaster was as confused at the end as he was at the beginning. Keith looks away slyly.
April 9, 2023
When was the last time you saw somebody reading a book? A real book, not a computer screen. Well if you visited Maggie Sharlow's house you would see just that. Maggie, 34, has eschewed the digital revolution. She has no computer, no cell phone, no Kindle and no desire for any of it. She has no idea about toxic social media and couldn't care less about influencers, billionaires or crypto. She has never been bombarded with spam, phishers, trolls or scammers. She likes to read books, has no need to keep up with the news of the world, the latest celebrity crap or politics. She has a TV but only watches the Weather Channel and PBS. People would call her old school, but maybe she's onto something?
April 10, 2023
I was sent a DVD with the title, 'Aunt Shirley's Australian Vacation'. I don't know who sent the disc. I don't know any Aunt Shirleys and to be honest, I'm not the least bit curious as to what she got up to on her Australian vacation. I threw the disc out without another thought.
Two days later, another DVD. 'Aunt Shirley Goes To Thailand'. Since I have no idea what could possibly be on these discs and I don't care to find out, I toss that one too.
You guessed it, 3 days later another Aunt Shirley arrived. The title on this one was just 'Aunt Shirley'. So I guess she's back home. But I'm no more curious now than I was before. For the umpteenth time, does this stuff only happen to me?
April 11, 2023
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I've just discovered a discrete button on the front of my computer tower that I've never noticed before.
Should I push it?
April 13, 2023
A famous actor friend told me he no longer does autographs. Seems that years ago a fan had him sign her breast and then she went to a tattoo parlour and had it permanently inked. When her husband saw the actor's signature across her left boob, he was most unhappy and sued my famous friend. But my friend's lawyer argued that he had only written his name with a Sharpie that would have worn off in 2-3 days if she hadn't had it tattooed on. So it was suggested that the tattooist be sued instead. All parties agreed, case was dismissed, and that is why he no longer signs autographs.
April 14, 2023
This is going back some, but I never saw Edgar Allan Poe smile once. He was a gloomy fellow with a crooked mustache and no sense of humour. Look, I'm not one to tell tales out of school, but the dude was dour, into the macabre and it showed. He looked the part, he wrote what he knew. That's all I'm sayin'...
April 15, 2023
Cheerfully yellow, 1 bedroom birdhouse with generous roof overhangs. Located in a quiet wooded area approximately 6 feet off the ground on a firm foundation. Please observe the pillowy soft grass below, something cushiony to land on if your brood fails their fledging flights! Security-wise, the front door is tiny. No eagles entering here to snatch your babies! Full disclosure, there is a murder of crows who live in the next woods over and they can at times be boisterous, living up to their reputation as the motorcycle gang of the bird world. Rent is 1 worm a week. Call Derek 555-9220.
April 16, 2023
Not only did the CEO and the CFO have different ideas, they didn't like each other and disagreed on the direction of the company. Because neither could implement their plan without the other, it came down to a coin flip. The CEO lost. The CFO took the company on a fiscal slice and dice through cost cutting, divestiture, termination of departments and employee firing. None of it worked, they still lost their ass and the company was sold out from under them. Disgraced, the two men retreated to their private lives. Ten years later, they ran into each other at a mall.
-- I wish you would have won the coin flip. We might still be in business.
-- You ruined my life.
Ten years after that they ran into each other at a McDonald's.
-- You again? I used to eat at 5 star restaurants. Now it's this slop. I hate you.
-- Yeah, I get it.
Ten years later, the CEO learned that the CFO had died.
-- Good riddance, loser.
6 months later, the CEO had a heart attack and died.
The two men met each other in the afterlife and finally had it out, whatever that means for wherever they were.
The moral of the story? Just 'cause you're dead, doesn't mean it's over.
April 17, 2023
They were a couple with a 35 year age difference. Her boy toy made her feel sexy. In an effort to feel younger, she dyed her hair blond. Her boyfriend hated it. It wasn't until she let her hair go back naturally gray that he approved. She was a mother/whore figure for him and looking any other way was unacceptable to his fantasy. For her part, he was proof she still had it despite the years. Would it last? Of course not, but like the song says,
I used her, she used me but neither one cared
We were gettin' our share
April 19, 2023
Look, you don't have to do mankind any favors. No one is looking for you to be a hero. In this existence, all you have to do is find out what you can about yourself. Literally. The more you know, the better off you'll be. Capish?
April 20, 2023
LETTER OF THE MONTH
What happened? I planned my life out a certain way and none of it has gone like it's supposed to. I have been filling notebooks about what I was going to do since I was 8. I knew exactly when I was going to be married and when I would get a great job with promotions and all the kids I'd have and the house I've always dreamed of... What happened? There is nothing going on in my life that remotely resembles my plans. What happened? I want to know why have I been robbed of my dreams.
Bummed in Seattle
You are upset about unfulfilled expectations. However, while ruing the past, you have still been living a life, just not the one you thought you wanted. What if you embrace your current life and make new plans from where you are now?
April 21, 2023
UNKNOWN QUOTES FROM UNKNOWN PEOPLE
"The whole thing stinks! It's an epic, rotten stinkeroo!" Billy G. Bagnall
"First I act like I didn't hear him and then I pretend I do, then I ask him to repeat what he just said and then I say, Why didn't you say that in the first place? It drives him crazy!" Kitty LaFrance
"My husband wants a sex slave not a wife." Ginny 'I've had enough' Sanderson
"Don't get me started on why I think the way I do." Harold Nickle
"Seriously, are those blow up dolls any good?" Ginny 'I've had enough' Sanderson
"I don't know why it's news to you. I've always hated the French." Jules Piquant
"I wish my boss wasn't my second cousin and he was gay." Chucky Clark
"What about AI sex dolls? They making those yet?" Ginny 'I've had enough' Sanderson
"There is no greater joy than sharing the love." Reverend Callou
"I never touched that kid! He's lying!" Reverend Callou
"Eggs. Hate 'em." Darryl Penny
April 22, 2023
It's Earth Day. Much love to this marvelous rock. Where would we be without it.
April 23, 2023
Mary was a 68 year old accountant. She was still using a Windows 95 computer with a 14 inch monitor and Lotus 1-2-3 as her spreadsheet. Standing close by was a dot matrix printer with a tractor feed hooked to an enormous box of fanfold continuous paper. Mary was offline and out of date. When asked why she never upgraded her equipment, she looked confused. Why? It all still works, she said. Huh, maybe when you reach a certain age, just having everything 'still work' is good enough?
April 24, 2023
Today is not my birthday but that didn't stop me from finding out that on my birthday, 266,351 other Keiths were born on the same day. There are over a quarter of a million of us on this planet with my birthday! Sure, they might be named, Charles, Vera or Gracie, but they're all Keiths to me. Are too.
April 25, 2023
Overheard two older ladies at a bus stop.
-- I am so tired.
-- Me too.
-- I can't believe we still have to work at our ages. Most days I just want to take a nap.
-- We got to pay that rent, Louise.
-- Sometimes I envy the homeless people. They can lounge around all day, maybe panhandle a little, but their time is their own. They don't have no bosses. They want to take a nap? Look, there's a nice bench in that park over there. They got no rent, no responsibilities-
-- They ain't got no beds to sleep in either, Louise! And when it's raining, they out in it. And what about the lice? Filthy clothes? And never taking a shower?
-- It's called work 'cause it is, Louise. We do it 'cause we have to.
-- Still, a person can dream.
April 26, 2023
She was stunned. All the numbers checked out. She had won the jackpot on a scratch off lottery ticket. Soon she was dancing around the living room whooping it up and repeatedly kissing the little piece of paper that guaranteed she will have enough money for the rest of her life. She was rich! This giddy moment, when no one else knew about her good fortune, when she doesn't yet have to deal with the realities of friends and family expectations, and financial and legal advice still a long way off, now was the purest, most joyful moment about a windfall win. It was just her, the ticket, and her imagination. Spectacular.
April 27, 2023
There are some uncool nicknames out there. Take the case of Harold 'Buttflake' Carson.
His parents tell the story of how when they were young they had scored some coke just when baby Harold was learning to walk. They were down on the floor encouraging the tyke when he lost his balance and sat down on a pile of cocaine. 'Buttflake' was born.
However, his sister tells a different kind of story. She said that Harold was in the bathroom and there was no toilet paper so he had to just pull his pants up and walk out of there like there was nothing wrong but of course there was. According to her, that's how 'Buttflake' was born.
But his elementary school teacher has yet another origin story for Harold's nickname. She said that she had already privately nicknamed one particularly obnoxious boy 'Butthole', but when Harold started acting up in class too, she settled on 'Buttflake' because Harold was a flake and 'Butthole' was already taken.
And finally his ex-girlfriend tells the story of how Harold flat out refused her offer of anal sex and forever became known as 'Buttflake' because of it.
One bad nickname, 4 equally bad origin stories. There are some uncool nicknames out there. Take the case of Harold 'Buttflake' Carson.
April 28, 2023
If animals could suddenly talk, do you think that would be a good thing or a bad thing? Discuss.
April 29, 2023
Pete had begged his parents for a dog but his mother said animals were filthy and his father was indifferent. One day a stray dog followed Pete home and when he asked his parents if he could keep it, his mother said no and his father just shrugged. He couldn't believe his parents were so callous to a stray animal that needed help and love. That refusal iced Little Pete over. He never again spoke to his mother and father. He left home at age 14. Pete grew up to be an eco-terrorist. If ever asked, he credits his parents for his path in life.
April 30, 2023
As April recedes, we have once again, an ending of sorts, and tomorrow, a new beginning. Lo, these are the months of our lives.