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Can You Slip On A Banana Peel?

This afternoon, I embarrassed myself. If you’re thinking that is probably hard to do, you’re right. The sad part is, I didn’t do anything that was noticeable. It was just a thought; maybe a subtle action, but nothing more than that.

Banana Peels = Danger

If I put these on the bottom of my shoes, could I ice skate anywhere, even in the summer? (image public domain)

I drove to my gym and pulled in to a parking space. After gathering my things, I opened my car door to hop out. Two banana peels were on the ground next to my car. It looked as if someone before me had arrived at the gym, gobbled two bananas, dropped the peels out of their window and then went in to exercise.

As I stepped out, I thought “don’t step on those, you’ll slip and fall”.

Now, we all know that the proper thing to do in this situation is to ask yourself, or any person within earshot, “what kind of slob does something like that?”. Not me, I’m concerned with self-preservation. I don’t want to fall on my backside. Read the rest of this entry »


How Much Does It Cost To Thaw A Toilet?

Last week, I explained how I managed to prevent a plumbing disaster in our home by gradually thawing a toilet bowl in our home which had become frozen. I also admitted that the toilet was frozen because I thought it would be funny to see my wife’s reaction to my putting dry ice in the bowl.

A toilet, but not the scene of this crime.(image by usein CCbySA3.0)

A catastrophe was averted that day because of my patient and heroic effort. I managed to thaw the ice before it damaged our plumbing. End of story, or so I thought.

Meet Ted Luby

The next morning was routine. I got a few things done, had lunch and headed to the gym. As I started my time on the treadmill, my phone rang. The number on the screen wasn’t one I recognized so I just kept the treadmill moving; the caller left a message. After a few minutes, curiosity got the best of me and I listened to the message. It wasn’t good. Read the rest of this entry »

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How To Thaw Your Toilet

I don’t know, but I’m guessing that the obvious question you have upon reading the title of this post would be “why is my toilet frozen?” Well, I don’t know why yours is frozen. I can only account for how I froze mine, and I’ll do that before I explain how I thawed it.

This is not the toilet that we will be discussing today (public domain image)

The root of this whole situation is that I have a problem. Some people have a gambling issue, others abuse drugs. I have a joke problem. I love practical jokes and pranks, perhaps too much. If there were a twelve step program for this sort of thing, I’d probably be in recovery.

But there isn’t and I’m not in recovery.

It Might Be That I Have A Problem

Before I retired, I pulled my pranks at the office. With one hundred police officers in the division where I worked, I had plenty of targets who took my sense of humor well. Over the course of my career, I rigged desks, computers and cars. I caused a Japanese beetle swarm and redecorated my captain’s office.

Then my career reached its end. Before I left, I wondered what it would be like to walk away from my helping profession. It turns out, that’s been an adjustment. I miss looking after people.

And I miss having so many folks to pull my little stunts on. I imagine my wife wishes that I had a few more targets too; especially tonight. Read the rest of this entry »


Christmas Tradition: Hide The Pickle

Sometimes I think I know everything. When it is obvious that I don’t, I pretend that I do. Today I’m going to tell you about something I learned only recently .

Whenever I’ve heard the phrase “hide the pickle” I thought it referred to something people who like each other a lot do. Dinner & a movie and a bottle of wine on a weekend night have led to a round of hide the pickle for a lot of us. But today I learned something. Hiding the pickle means something different to some people.

I’ve just learned that hiding the pickle is a German Christmas tradition. Pickle hiding, in this context, is something people do while fully dressed. Read the rest of this entry »


The Perpetual Ring Of The Salvation Army Bell

People come, people go. There are a few kids who trot around in the afternoon. We live in a quiet neighborhood.

Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s silent. An occasional truck comes through. And the UPS man always blows his horn when he makes a delivery. I’m not sure why he does that; he never rings the bell, he just drops packages at the door.

Y’know, it really isn’t so bad when you get used to it. (image public domain)

Not far away, there is a quarry. That’s only briefly noisy.  If you happen to notice the warning whistle, the distant explosions aren’t so bad. The dynamite’s thump is more startling when you miss that whistle. But even high explosives aren’t the source of the most frustrating sound in the neighborhood. Read the rest of this entry »


Be Quiet And Eat Your Cranberry Sauce

A re-write of the most horrifying Thanksgiving story ever told. EVER told. Emphasis on EVER.

Today’s tale has all the elements of a great story – romance, family, a villain, a military hero, death, horror, and home-made cranberry sauce. Before you read this, know that when I say it is a great story I do not mean it is good literature. It is a great story in that it is a great one to tell after a few beers.

When this happened, I was in my early twenties. In my twenties, I was a lot like middle-aged me, except that young me was more mild-mannered than older me. People who know me well would tell you that I can be reserved sometimes. If you wanted to calculate who I was when this tale occurred, simply deduct thirty-something years of experience and confidence from a low-key middle-aged guy. Read the rest of this entry »


Guilt Comes In To Focus

In reporting on crime stories, media outlets commonly show photographs of involved parties. When a photo depicts a suspect along with people who’ve done nothing wrong, the identities of the uninvolved folks are protected by blurring their faces.

It is important to keep uninvolved parties from being associated with acts they had nothing to do with.  But these altered pictures look to me as if they are saying “here is the guilty party, among some decent, hard-working innocents”. This “guilty party” effect is so powerful that I believe that it can make innocent photos appear far more sinister than they actually are.

Allow me to offer an example. Read the rest of this entry »


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