Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mom Could Have Been President

The Presidential Seal

Mom just turned 98 years old.

I called her and asked how does it feel to be 98?”

She said, “Just like when I was 16.”

“Really!” I said.

“Well, maybe 18,” she said.

I asked how she lived to be 98? Mom chuckled, “Well I’ve always been a good girl.”

“Mom, I can’t hardly believe that,” I said.

“I never got any spankin’s, when I was a little girl,”

“Why not? Didn’t you ever do anything bad?” I asked.

“Of course I did,” she said. “but I was always the first to say ‘he did it!’”

“You mean Uncle Dick took the punishment for you?”

Here the President is exaggerating the size of the fish he caught. Well, the fish somebody caught for him.

“Sure, I blamed him for everything. He was a Rupublican.” She said. “Everybody thought he was so smart cause he went to college. He wasn’t that smart.”

“Mom, its not a sign of intelligence to blame the other person,” I said.

“Obama is getting away with it and everybody thinks he‘s smart,” she said.

“But he’s a politician,” I said. “They all do that.”

“Just think, I could have been President,” Mom said. “Do you think if I’d run this year and win they’d keep me alive four more years?”


Filed under Mom

If You Succeed Don’t Act Surprised

Jerry Lucas was good. When he scored or duncked he didn't act like it was the first time he would do it nor would it be his last.

I recall viewing an old high school game film of famed basketball player Jerry Lucas sinking a twenty-five foot jump shot at the buzzer to win a tournament game. He was expressionless. He seemed almost embarrassed at the attention. He acted as if ‘what did you expect? I’ve made that shot hundreds of times.’

That is a far cry from athletes today. Some player dunks a ball in the middle of a game with his team up by twenty and he goes into a steroid-induced rage. They should be caged without exception or question. They act like a primeval titan that has no soul and lusts for blood, fame, and victory.

When I was a fourteen year old Pony Leaguer playing first base; I snagged a line drive over my head that I had to leap to catch. The other team sneered and said sarcastically, “Looky what I found.” Although I was surprised and wanted to parade around the infield holding the ball over my head, I didn’t. I acted like that was nothing out of the ordinary. Jerry Lucas was my role model.

A few years ago I heard a story about Cleveland Browns’ great running back Jim Brown. During pre-season a rookie asked him for some advice. Jim Brown said, “When ya score a touchdown act like it’s not your first.”

High school and college has put in a ‘no taunting’ rule. I don’t like the rule because it is sometimes left to the discretion of the referee.

A couple of seasons ago Boise State’s wide receiver Austin Pettis, somersaulted into the end zone. There was no penalty, but Pettis sat out the rest of the game. The punishment was handed out by head coach Chris Peterson.

It’s a character thing; not a rule thing. And dignity!

So here is a shirt to remind you that if you actually plan on succeeding don’t act like it is a surprise; it is the product of hard work and dedication.

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Filed under Essays, Jittery Goat Store

Repercussion: The Pot Belly Stove Of Rode Apple Junction (Part 5)

(Continued from last week.)

An old flatbed Ford Hersh and Midge set sights on and wanted to buy when they were teenagers.

Furgy called Hersh and Midge and asked them to meet him at the Jittery Goat the next day at ten in the morning.

Hersh and Midge walked in at nearly the same time both thought that Furgy calling them had signaled that Furgy was taken their side. Both walked to the stove. There were a half-dozen or so other men there. The conversations stopped immediately. Clem brought two cups of coffee; the first time in a month Clem had brought coffee to the stove for either man.

The other men, one by one, with each his own excuse filed from the Jittery Goat. Clem hung the closed sign on the door. Every place else that means the business is closed, but in Rode Apple Junction it means the conference room is in use.

Hersh and Midge did not look directly at each other. They sipped their coffee at the same time. It was cold and the expression on each one’s face was repulsion.

“Cold,” Midge said.

“’’Sposed to get colder by the weekend,” Hersh said.

“I’m talkin’ about the coffee,” Midge said.

Hersch chuckled. “Me too.”

Midge grinned. “Got those hogs to market yet?”

“Nah,” Hersh said. “The market’s flat. I thought I’d put a few more pounds on them.”

Midge walked over to Hersh. He lifted Hersh’s cup from the rail. “I’m gonna get us some hot coffee.”

“Ya don’t hafta do that,” Hersh said.

“Ya think Clem’s gonna do it for us?” Midge said.

“I don’t think so,” Hersh said. “Not after the way we been actin’.”

Midge brought back two cups of hot coffee. They both sipped.

“Ya know Clem makes good coffee,” Hersh said. “And it’s still a nickel.”

“There’s talk in the big cities of it goin’ up to fifteen cents,” Midge said.

“Yep Clem can’t hold out much longer he’s gonna have to go up to at least a dime,” Hersh said.

“Remember when we worked from Ole man Dillard down at the cannery for fifteen cents an hour? Midge said.

“We was gonna put our money together and buy that flatbed Ford that sat next to the water tank at the tracks,” Hersh said.

“Remember how sick we felt the night Old man Dillard rolled the truck on the track so the ten twenty-two could hit it?” Midge said.

“The insurance company was gonna take him to court for filling a false claim,” Hersh said, “But he didn’t file one. That wasn‘t his intent.”

Midge and Hersh started laughing.

“The insurance company asked; Why did you wreck it?” Midge said. “And Ole man Dillard said, ‘The only way I could get it hauled out of here was if it was in two pieces.’”

“What ever happened to Ole man Dillard?” Hersh asked.

“Remember he was tryin’ to demolish a ‘39 Chevy on the tracks and he didn’t get out in time,” Midge said. “It was a terrible thing.”

“Sure was,” Hersh said.

“Ya know that flatbed Ford the Ole man Dillard destroyed on the tracks,” Midge said.

(Next week; what happened to that flatbed Ford.)

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Filed under Adventures From Rode Apple Junction

French Fraud Toast

The Millau Viaduct; built so the French could be in awe of themselves.

The French do nothing out of practicality or necessity. Have you ever sat next to one on crowded bus? Where’s the ode de Cologne when you need it? They do things for the sake of grandiosity, pretentiousness, and impressing others (mainly themselves). Look at the Eiffel Tower, the Millau Viaduct, the Maginot Line; all testimonies to the French desire to create grand things that are useless.

Take Champagne and caviar; people pretend to like it. It’s like listening to a Frenchman speak English; you pretend to understand them.

If you question them you relive a scene from the Pink Panther:

Clouseau: Tell me do you have a reum?

Hotel Clerk: I do not know what a ‘reum’ is.

A gun on the Maginot Line; built to stop the German invasion of World War II.

Clouseau: [looks up the word ‘room’ in his German dictionary]

Hotel Clerk: Ah, a ‘room’.

Clouseau: That is what I have been saying, you idiot. Reum.

However, French Toast is the only French item I like. Which leads me to think it may have been stolen from the Belgiums. (Little known fact; the French have been envious of Belgium waffles for years, also equally not known is the French stole their language from the Belgiums.)

The first time I had French Toast was in a small restaurant in Marysville, Ohio (I know it would have been more exciting to say a small French café on Avenue des Champs-Élysées). For some reason Mom, one of my sisters, and I were traveling to Columbus. We stopped for breakfast on one of the main streets near the middle of town. Mom ordered French toast for me. This was my first introduction to French cuisine and culture besides the French fry.

The Eiffel Tower; built to observe the invading German Army marching from the Maginot Line.

That French Toast was one of the most delicious foods I had to that point of my young life. I wondered what else was being kept from me?

When I became a cook particular attention was given to how it was prepared.

French Toast is simple. Here is a recipe I prefer;

4 eggs

3/4 cup milk

3 tablespoons brown sugar (evil white sugar can also be used and you may wish to go as much as double the amount)

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Sliced bread

Dip the bread in the batter and toast on a lightly buttered grill set at 350 degrees. Toast each side lightly and serve with your favorite syrup. I don’t get the pat of butter thing. If you can’t taste it why even do it? If you’re going to do butter do Paula Dean portions – ya‘ll (spoken with irritating nasal quality).

Creamy French Toast

French toast; it can't be French, it tastes too good.

A couple of years ago I expanded the recipe a bit. I made a simple cream cheese filling. As an example; Purchase a tub of whipped cream cheese or an 8 oz. package. Add a cup of your favorite pie filling. Blend until smooth.

Any pie filling bought off the shelf is fine; apple, blueberry, cherry, peach, etc.

Here is something that will send it over the top; Add a glub of rum for you boozers or a dash or two of rum extract for the temperate.

Take two freshly dipped slices of French Toast and brown them on one side. After one is browned flip it over. Add a tablespoon or so of the cheese/filling mix on the flipped slice of toast. Then flip the other slice on top of the slice that has the cheese/filling mix. As soon as the grilled side to is toasted flip it to toast the untoasted side.

Your favorite syrup can be used as a topping, but don’t overdo it – unless you are French.

Her is a simple syrup;

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup water

1/2 cup light corn syrup

Bring these ingredients to a boil for about seven minutes, then add the following to it.

1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The flavoring or extract can be substituted for what ever you prefer.

If you want to skinny it down a bit, use fresh fruits.

I have had people try my French toast and its many variations and speak fluent French ,or to be more precise, Belgium immediately.


Filed under Cookin'

Houston, We’ve Got A Problem

Unfortunately the last image of a person is the one we remember. It's sad, but if that's the way we chose to live our life than that is the true picture of who we are. That's the real legacy.

The term “legacy” often comes up when a person of fame and notoriety dies, such as Whitney Houston.

Her voice and range was incredible. The clarity and tone, few will be her equal. It is well that her artistry is preserved. Artistically she has preserved a legacy as a fine singer.

She absolutely is not a role model. To say that she is denies the obvious.

She was a person lost; lost within herself. That is truly sad. She had no message to pass on. She inspired nothing of lasting value. The inspiration last no longer than the song she sung.

It is an unfortunate commentary on the world today that idolizes persons of artistic talent as great in every way. The entertainment world has clamored for legitimacy and equality with the academic and cultured world for centuries. They stand as being used by the wealthy and influential to silence and appease the masses. They are fed morsels from their table in return for temporary fame and gratification.

When people grieve it is often for what should have been or what could have been for the future. Often times when a person of entertainment notoriety dies the expression often heard is, “they were about to get their life back together.” It is as if something unseen and undefined played a cruel joke on that person and taken them away so they could not change or repent. The truth often is that it was them that cut their life short. They are victims of their own doing. And they knew it! They were not babes in the woods.

Whitney Houston’s only legacy will be her daughter who she probably introduced to her life style of free-living, drugs, and degradation.


Filed under Essays

Mom Didn’t Like The Beatles

Mom and Dad bought a reel to reel tape recorder. It was the CD of its day.

Mom and Dad bought a reel to reel tape recorder one Christmas. I was the only one to use it, but it was for Mom and Dad to.

I don’t know whatever happened to it, but I’d sure like to have the tapes. I taped the Clay/Liston fights. Sometimes I left it running when Mom and Dad were around and played it back to them. It was great fun. They didn’t like the idea of being secretly recorded.

When I went through that stage of wanting to be a rock ‘n roll idol I recorded my voice. I was very bad. Those efforts were quickly recorded over.

I recorded songs from the radio, but my favorite recordings were of the Beatles’ first appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. They were listened to over and over again and again. To this day when I hear one of those songs I expect to hear the next in the sequence in which I recorded them; Baby’s in Black was always followed by Slow Down.

My favorite recording was Twist and Shout. I could not imagine anyone not being able to hear and appreciate the artistry, talent, musicality, beat, lyrics, and raw emotion of the Beatles’ arrangement of that song.

Over and over I played it one day; Nothing else, but Twist and Shout.

Finally Mom erupted. “Turn that %&*(#*#!* music off. It’s disgusting and sickening. I‘ve never heard such trash. Those guys are freaks. They can‘t sing. They need a hair cut and an a** beating. You ever look like that and I‘ll disown you and kick you out of the house.”

“That’s not as stupid as “Mairzy Doats,” I protested.

I shouldn’t have said that. That’s all I heard Mom sing for three days. It’s called pay-back.


Filed under Mom

There’s Something Wrong With People Who Like Cats

Is there a pattern emerging or does a brick have to fall on your head first. There is something eerily strange about cats and people who like them.

I never met a cat that I liked. Kitties are cute, but the inevitable is they will be a cat. Hitler, Lenin, and Stalin were all cute as a baby too.

Cats are sneaky. They have their own agenda. They please no one but themselves. They attract the same type of person or a person that can be easily manipulated; a weak person, a person who can’t think on their own. Check it out. Look deeply into yourself if you are a cat owner or look deeply at a cat owner you know.

If you have a cat as a pet there is a problem with you. I know, you think you are normal, but everybody is talking behind your back.

You allow a cat to defecate in a litter box inside your home, perhaps feet from where you eat. You kiss your cat within moments after it has cleaned itself; you are sick! Then you allow it to crawl around on food preparation areas and dining tables; you are disgusting!

Only a weak-minded person can be trained to accept such behavior.

I wonder if a cat knows the difference between a bowl of grape nuts or cat litter?

Once I said, “Cats make wonderful meals for coyotes.” and three women cat lovers verbally confronted me.

They demanded a retraction.

“On what basis?” I asked.

“We are animal lovers,” one said.

“They are God’s creation,” another said.

“We are stewards of earth’s animals and this is our assigned duty,” yet another said.

“Than where are you guys when the cat is brutalizing the mouse!” I said. “I’m just defending rodents everywhere. You ever see the good time they have with cute little squirrels? Who stands for them? Not you, not you, not you.”

Cat people are narrow-minded. They have been trained by their cat to see the world from only the cat’s point of view.

As for the Chinese, they’re on the right track, except why eat them?

Here are some gifts for the cat hater or something just to irritate a cat lover, which doesn‘t take much.


Filed under Jittery Goat Store