For the last 2 years of the pandemic my good clothes have been hanging in my closet unworn and unthought of. But I just realized I have a thing coming up that will require greater sartorial display than my current uniform of sweat pants and a T shirt. The question is, after 2 years of hanging at home, will I still fit into my good clothes? He bites his upper lip. Can't lie. A bit nervous.
It's now 1 hour later and my suspicions have been confirmed. Clothes. Do. Not. Fit. I tried to back out of the thing but the bastards refused, said my ill fitting clothes were no excuse, bastards. Drat. Now I have to eat less and drop a few pounds to find the svelte, urbane self I know is in there. This of course will require will power, tenacity, and a strict avoidance of all things chocolate. I've heard said July is the cruelest month. Now I know why.
July 2, 2022
Her recently married husband was a professional baseball player. A month ago he got beaned in the head with a 95 mph fastball and hasn't been the same since. The medical tests confirmed he has Scrambled Brain Syndrome. The doctors said it might be permanent, his career might be over. Her question was whether she was expected to stay and take care of him forever or what.
What if she was into the pro athlete who made millions of dollars a year way more than she was into the homespun guy from Indiana who was sweet but now no longer elite?
She came to the conclusion that she couldn't imagine a lifetime of taking care of this guy.
Why should she?
What about her?
Now what did she do with that lawyer's card?
July 3, 2022
Went to a tech store and overheard a salesperson repeatedly lie to a customer. I couldn't figure out if the salesperson was being disingenuous, just didn't know the product or was simply securing a sale with someone who knew even less than he did. Do I say something? What would you do?
July 4, 2022
I was at a coffee shop and heard the staff greet a regular as he walked in.
"Herb! How you doin' you old bottom feeder."
"Look who's here, Mr. I'll-Take-A-Regular-Coffee and then spends 45 minutes in our bathroom reading the paper and destroying our toilet."
"Hey Herb, Mrs. Herb called, she wants her life back."
"Herbie! Good god, man, did you dress that way on purpose?"
Herb gets a regular coffee and disappears into the bathroom.
"How long has he been coming here?"
"Since before I started."
"Well who lets him stay in the bathroom so long?"
"I don't know. He's always done that."
"What about the other customers?"
"They use the Ladies."
"Even the men?"
"Even the men."
"Well that's either rude, or..."
"Or - hear me out - maybe he owns the place."
"Herb? The bathroom guy? Are you serious?"
"I don't know."
"Me neither, but he sure is taking liberties."
"That's just weird. Could Herb really be the owner?"
Some might say it was just getting good, but I left before their questions could be answered. Herb and his bathroom proclivities held no sway over me. Beyond that, nothing more need or could be said.
July 6, 2022
A local family took in a refugee Syrian family who didn't speak English. Evidently it was a bit of a nightmare. The Syrian family moved on to Toronto. This same local family then took in a refugee Ukrainian family who also spoke no English. After a bit, the local woman complained to her neighbour that even though there were like 8 people living in her house, she couldn't communicate with any of them and this too was turning into a bit of a nightmare. All she wanted to do was help these poor displaced people. Her neighbour said, "Why don't you just use a translation app on your smartphone?" The local woman looked like she had been clubbed in the head. "You know, their language to your language, your language to their language." Well duh. Modern problems require modern solutions. Good neighbour. Good good neighbour.
July 7, 2022
He drives a 22 year old car on purpose.
He has lived in the same house since childhood.
His dog is 17 years old.
He is still using a computer he bought in 2003.
He has been married for 39 years.
He still wears pants he got in 1987.
He has the first dollar he ever made.
He's got a tattoo of his grandparents on his leg.
He is into vintage, tradition and history.
His wife says he's stuck in the past.
Perception, as always, is in the eye of the beholder.
July 8, 2022
AR turns 95 today! 95! Can you imagine? I don't know what her plans are for today, but I hope it's a memorable one. Happy birthday!
July 9, 2022
He was standing in the middle of the mall, ranting.
"Don't watch the evening news! It will eat you alive! Twice a night at 6 and 11 you're spoon-fed death, destruction and calamity! Why bring other people's misery into your own lives? It will just make you sick and tired of the world. It will make you cynical. We don't need that! We need cohesiveness and peace among ourselves. The news defeats that! It makes you feel impotent and powerless! Stop watching it! Get rid of the sensationalism and click bait, I guarantee your life will be better because of it. Ok, I'm done. Thank you for listening. Sorry to have disturbed your shopping."
I guess it's official , Speakers' Corner been relocated to a mall in Canada.
Sure, he was a diaper wearing, bongo playing, bearded mess, but he was her diaper wearing, bongo playing, bearded mess.
July 12, 2022
He hated being fat.
Beat himself up over it.
Made himself miserable because of it.
Coped by eating more.
She hated him for hating himself.
She tried to help.
Put locks on the cabinets and the fridge door.
Bought healthy fare.
He just hid junk food under his pillow.
Failed at every diet he ever tried.
She tried tough love.
Told him to stop complaining and start losing, or else.
This scared him and he ate even more.
Eventually she grew tired of his hate for himself and living up to her threat, she left.
All of a sudden he was sad and lost weight without even trying.
Was she the reason he was fat all along?
July 13, 2022
All she ever wanted was a good smile. Her teeth were so messed up that she rarely opened her mouth to talk, let alone smile. It made her introverted and shy. That is why in her 30s she decided to get braces. She wore them for 2 years and when they were removed she had straight teeth and a beautiful smile. She assumed she would grin at everyone, even strangers. But it turns out that lifelong habits are familiar, comforting and because of that, hard to let go. Her initial attempts to flash her new smile made her feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. It wasn't her. It had never been her. Her new teeth were a 2 year disappointment. Even today, she's still shy, rarely speaks and smiles with her mouth closed.
July 14, 2022
Things that start with B.
Baby, it's cold outside
I'll try and think of some more B words later, but that will have to do for now.
July 15, 2022
Did you know that most Americans have no idea that Canadians pronounce the letter Z, zed? And that we take our shoes off before entering ours or somebody else's home, just like they do in Japan. Are you aware that in Canada the proper baby shower gift is always a pair of skates? Did you know that our kitchens are super cosy and quiet because they outlawed garburators (garbage disposals) decades ago? Or that we call the great outdoors, bush? What's that? More? Hey, I cannot explain all the Canadian rules! I am not a machine! Sorry. Really sorry. Shouldn't have yelled. Sorry. Tee hee.
July 16, 2022
I bought this rug to replace the threadbare one at our front door. I wasn't planning on buying a rug, but I was at a store where they had this giant stack of 7'X4' rugs at a ridiculously low price. I soon realized why the pile was so big, why they were so cheap, and why all sale items were non returnable. As I pawed through the stack - a phenomenal collection of the most hideous, vile looking rug designs you've ever seen - I found one that I thought I could live with in a jokey sort of way. I mean you wipe your boots on the damn thing, right? My wife hates it. Oh, does she hate it. She can't believe that the first thing everybody who comes to our house is now confronted with, is this.
July 17, 2022
Isn't it weird when you see an ex-athlete working a regular type job after their playing career is over? Say, isn't that so and so selling shoes? God, he used to be famous. Now he's here doing that? I think it's fair to say it's a letdown for everyone.
July 18, 2022
And don't think that chance to meet your acting heroes is going to go any better. It turns out they are just regular people and because of that, disappointment nearly always follows. For instance, say you're a Tom Hanks fan and you think he is the greatest, kindest, funniest person you've ever watched on The Graham Norton Show (next to Miriam Margolyes) and one day you run into him in a coffee shop where you gush that you are his biggest fan and you've seen everything he's ever done which is the same crap he hears from every stranger he ever meets so not only does he not believe any of it anymore, he's so sick of hearing it that he turns on you and tells you to screw off, leave him alone. get out of his face and get a life. You'd be disappointed, yes? See, that's what I'm talking about.
July 19, 2022
This was a fiasco. I'm killing time browsing a rock shop waiting for my wife who was in another store returning an item. My eye catches this dreadful looking rock. What is this? I pick up this grisly looking, super unsightly, horrid, trashy rock and the damn thing breaks in my hand. The store owner says, You break it, you bought it. It was ghastly, ugly, grim, and now broken. Turns out it's ancient. Worth a pretty penny. Of course. I sure didn't want it but I did kinda ruin it, so I pay the piper because fair's fair. I'm now holding this repugnant, aged rock, really two rocks now, when my wife comes up to me and says, Jesus Christ, tell me you didn't just buy that.
July 20, 2022
Overheard an older couple at a bakery.
-- Go grab a table. What do you want?
-- The usual.
-- Tell me now, Marlon, how am I supposed to know what "the usual" is?
-- We've been married for 40 years. Golly, Marie, I just figured you'd know by now.
-- I'm supposed to take notes on your food habits? You serious?
-- Jeez, Marie, get me one bear claw and a coffee.
-- Wait a minute. Don't you always get a Napoleon?
-- Ah ha! I knew it! You are well aware of what I eat for breakfast!
-- You act like you just won the lottery, Marlon. You make starting the day exhausting. Has anybody ever told you that?
-- Only you, dear. What are you having?
-- I don't know. We've spent so much time deciphering your cockamamie order that I haven't had time to even think about mine.
-- What looks good?
-- Oh, the usual, I guess.
-- Now you're mocking me.
-- Such a clever boy. Go grab a table, Marlon.
-- Yes dear.
July 22, 2022
I pull open the curtain on my office window this morning to find a substantial bear lounging in our yard. We look directly at each other. He's really a handsome devil - big, beautiful head, cute, rounded nubby ears... I don't know what he makes of me. We stare. We linger. Then I close the curtain and go to work in my office. He climbs the fence out of the yard and lumbers down toward the barn. We are the start to each other's day. Ah, the rural life.
July 23, 2022
Don't tell me you don't have time to do better. Doing better is irrespective of time and space. You could do it in a closet at 2 in the afternoon or a hole in the ground in December. Doing better means that a decision has been made to, uh, do things better. Capish?
July 25, 2022
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I'm sure I'm me
But are you you
July 26, 2022
LETTER OF THE MONTH
I am from Eastern Europe. My name is Irma. My father is professor and my mother is seamstress. I myself am lesbian. If we immigrate to Canada, are there jobs for professors, seamstresses and lesbians?
You bet there are! Professors, seamstresses and lesbians are some of the most employable people in Canada! Why, what have you heard?
July 28, 2022
Overheard two teens at the grocery.
-- My Mom is a health food freak. She never buys what I want. That's why I'm taking my babysitting money and getting just the crap I want to eat.
-- Marcie, you got like 5 packages of cookies in the basket. Where you going to hide them?
-- Hide them? They won't last long enough to worry about hiding them.
-- You'll get fat if you eat all that junk food.
-- So what?
-- Uh, boys?
-- Boys aren't paying attention now, Cindy. What's the diff?
-- You'll end up looking like Lucerne Smith.
-- That fat girl in algebra?
-- So what. Maybe we'll become fast friends and eat Twinkies together.
-- Sounds like you've already given up, Marcie.
-- So what if I have. Ooh, Ho Hos!
July 29, 2022
You don't have to do squat in this life. You can sit on your couch and veg or you can go change the world. You can invent and create or you can go fishing. When it comes to personal development - the raison d'être of living this life - it doesn't matter so much what you do as what you take from what you do. Capish?
July 30, 2022
He had had enough. He was just going to write a simple suicide note and be off, but the more he wrote the more he had to say. An hour turned into a day, the day into a week and the week into a month. He kept writing. His note had become a tome. When he was finished with everything he had to say, he no longer felt the need to commit suicide. He also realized he had a book on his hands. He found a publisher and The Suicide Note went on to best seller status. The problem was, everyone kept asking him why he didn't kill himself. Eventually that took its toll and he did. A cautionary tale? A self-fulfilling prophesy? Or just the tragedy that it was?
July 31, 2022
They married late in life. She was past child bearing age and he was impotent. On their honeymoon they went to a resort in Mexico. Many drinks later, somehow, someway, she came home pregnant. This raised many questions, forced them to make choices they never dreamed they'd have to make. It was a trial by fire. A test of all wills. A fine how do you do.