Tag Archives: Africa

Ned Goes To the Airport In Lagos, Nigeria

In the 1950’s oil was discovered in what is now Nigeria.  By the 1970’s Lagos was a sprawling megalopolis, and it seemed that every citizen of Lagos owned a car. But the roadways and infrastructure remained those of the African village it had been before  the oil boom.

My friend Ned Seelye had completed a business transaction in Lagos, and had booked a flight to his next destination.  As he settled his bill, the hotel attendant advised Ned to give himself plenty of time to get to the airport.

With what he thought was an excess of caution, Ned climbed in a taxi at 8 a.m. for a trip across town..  Ned and his taxi were caught in Lagos traffic for more than eight hours, and he missed his  5 p.m. flight.  True story.

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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The Best Medicine

To call Jeremiah Teancrumpets, the British billionaire, irritable, short tempered and demanding would be like calling the Sahara a dry sandy desert in North Africa.  His Excellency was known to a select few as “Jerry.” Everyone else called him “Sir Jeremiah,” or  “M’Lord.”

At least to his face.  But whether Jeremiah Teancrumpets was Jerry, or M’Lord to his face, many folks called him “that blankety-blank old blankety-blank,”  behind his back.

Sir Jeremiah acquired his fortune the old fashioned way–he inherited it. His father, Lord Regis Teancrumpets acquired his piles of money in the same way. It’s difficult, but if you look deep enough into the roots of the aristocratic Teancrumpet family tree, you will find  a gaggle of sharp-eared working-class ancestors.

These ancestors owned a dingy eatery where foreign entrepreneurs  met clandestinely with the wealthy landed gentry to work out the details of very profitable overseas transactions.  The clandestine proceedings were designed to keep the monarchy from demanding its cut of lucrative overseas deals.  The Teancrumpet ancestors listened in on these business conversations. They opted for the low road with the information they garnered. They didn’t inform the crown as was their bounden duty. Instead the Teancrumpet ancestors took a cut of the action from the conspiring businessmen.

It was cheaper for the entrepreneurs to cut the eatery extorionists in on a small part of the profits than to risk losing their heads in the Tower of London.  A couple of generations later, the lowly Teancrumpets were kissing the rest of the working class goodbye and moving on up to the the British aristocracy.

Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets inherited wealth, and, genetically speaking, he also inherited an irritable, short tempered, demanding personality, that almost cost him his life.

One of Sir J’s tirades precipitated a physical crisis that led to a transformation in his behavior.  One morning in his dressing room Sir J’s trouser zipper stuck. He flew into a rage, and was going through his repertoire of obscenities and expletives at the top of his lungs when he suddenly coughed, gagged, and fell on the floor  unconscious.

Tebbs, the butler, who was laying out Sir Jeremiah’s clothes, shouted to the upstairs maid and told her to phone for medical help. Then he began emergency CPR. Fortunately for Sir J, one of Britain’s leading research cardiologists owned the adjoining estate.  Dr. Hanover came at once. He stabilized Sir Jeremiah, and then accompanied him in the ambulance to the hospital.   It was Dr. Hanover who directed Sir J’s  recovery and recuperation.

When it was clear that Sir Jeremiah was going to make a full recovery, Dr. Hanover told him:  “Jerry if you fly into another one of those rages, you won’t survive it.  If you want to live, you’re going to have to change your behavior.  I can help you.  In my research I have developed a simple, effective way for you to deal with your angry outbursts.”

An uncharacteristically subdued Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets  inquired:

“What do I have to do?”

“Laugh,” said the doctor.

“LAUGH!” shouted Sir J.

“Out loud.” said Dr. Hanover quietly.

Sir Jeremiah’s left eye began twitching.  Blood rose to his cheeks and his bald pate.  Obscenities began to form.  Sir Jeremiah was about to launch in to one of his classic anger fits.

“LAUGH, YOU MISERABLE BLIGHTER,” bellowed Dr. Hanover. “LAUGH OR YOU’LL BE DEAD IN TWO MINUTES!”

Rage and fear competed on the face of Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets.  Fear won.  The obscenities died in on his lips, and out of his mouth came a strangled gurgle, then a weak, lugubrious giggle.

“Good,” said the doctor. “Again. Laugh again, you old blister!”

For the next half hour Dr. Hanover insulted and cajoled Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets, and for the next half hour Sir J responded with increasingly fluent laughter.

There followed weeks of laugher therapy in Dr. Hanover’s clinic.

Thus it was that Sir Jeremiah Teancrumpets learned to laugh his way back to good health–and increasing wealth.  Soon Sir Jeremiah’s laugh was striking greater fear in the hearts of his adversaries than his rage ever had.

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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World’s Longest Rivers

World’s Longest Rivers

1.Nile (Africa)

2.Amazon (South America)

3.Mississippi (North America)

4.Yangtze (Asia)

5.Venlsey (Asia)

Associated Press World Atlas, pg. 6

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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The Cosmic House Slippers©

 

I was disconsolate as I nursed a soft drink in a back booth of

The Enchantment. That’s a dingy roadhouse on the outskirts of

Letongaloosa. Every college town needs a joint like the

Enchantment to maintain its academic accreditation. The

Enchantment is where I go to have a soft drink and relax. On that

night I had gone to The Enchantment to brood. I had goofed up,

and I was feeling low. Then, happily, my robot friend Kaybe rolled up

to my booth.

Do you believe in aliens from outer space? I do. I’ve been friends

with one for decades. KB-11.2 doesn’t have green skin and luminous

eyes like the aliens one sees in sci-fi movies. Kaybe looks like a giant

tuna fish can.

Erector Set® arms sprout from the curving sides of his body,

and three spindly metal legs drop down from the underside of his flat

stainless steel torso. He has ball bearing wheels for feet. A floppy

two-foot antenna, with three sensor-eyes, stick out of the middle of

his lid. Kaybe comes from the Alpha Centauri star system. Many

years ago on a visit to Earth, Kaybe saved my marriage. Now here

he was again to cheer me up.

My wife Emmaline and I had taken a vacation to Northwest

Florida where we used to live. We had spent a lovely week at a

hotel in a room overlooking the beach. On the last day as we

packed and got ready to leave for the airport, I realized I hadn’t

packed my house slippers.

But there was not a smidgen of room in any of our luggage.

These house slippers were brown suede. And they were OLD. The

rubber sole of the right one was flapping, and the tops of both were

heavily spotted with toothpaste. So I stuffed them into an already

loaded trash basket, and walked out the door.

I felt a pang of regret immediately. I had worn those house

slippers forever. They were with us on our trips to the Smoky

Mountains, and with me on my journalistic assignments to Central

America and the Caribbean, South America, and Africa. Yet now I

had callously left them in a trash basket in a tourist hotel room far

from home. It wasn’t right.

Emmaline, practical and logical, said it was long past time to

get rid of those house slippers.

“The sole of the right one was coming off, and they were filthy,”

she said. “Filthy,” is a relative term with Emmaline. The word covers

everything from something that is undeniably dirty, to a tiny spot on

an otherwise pristine necktie.

Emmaline was right, of course. It was past time for the slippers

to go. But I loved them. And I was born in the year of the Dog. In

Chinese astrology, people who are born in the year of the dog are

innately loyal to their belongings. Even, apparently, a pair of worn

out house slippers.

As the plane took off, I thought how those dear old house

slippers would soon be lying under a heap of trash in some

malodorous landfill.

I continued to brood even after we had unpacked our

suitcases and put them back in the closet, and I had picked up the

mail that the Post Office had held for us.

“You need to go to The Enchantment,” said Emmaline. “Go

have a soft drink and get this out of your system.” That’s where I

was when Kaybe, my alien robot friend, rolled up to my booth.

Kaybe communicates and takes nourishment telepathically,

and he’s highly intuitive. Kaybe ordered a nonalcoholic beer from

the waitress, Four Finger Fannie, who is also an alien. I watched the

brew disappear from the mug without Kaybe ever having touched

it.

His words filtered into my mind, “You loved them, right?”

“Dearly,” I said. “They didn’t deserve to be abandoned like

that.”

“Then be of good cheer. Your house slippers are safe and well,”

said Kaybe. “I pulled them from the landfill, and I flung them into

space. Your dear slippers will sail happily through the galaxies

forever. Now go home and get some sleep.”

I tried. I really did. I said goodbye to the patrons at The

Enchantment, walked out and drove back into Letongaloosa.

Emmaline was asleep when I got home. I undressed in the walk-in

closet off the master bedroom and put on my pajamas. Then I

automatically tried to slide my feet into my dear old house slippers.

Duh! How dumb was that? I just walked back out to the living room

and collapsed on the sofa.

“I’ve got to get those back from outer space,” I said to

myself. It was late, but I got in the car and headed back to The

Enchantment.

Kaybe was there. He felt bad when he saw how glum I

looked, and few days later Kaybe located and retrieved my house

slippers from a Florida land fill and brought them back to

Letongaloosa. Bless him!

But I still had a problem. For Emmaline, those ratty house

slippers were objets non grata. What could I do with the sorrylooking

things?

Then I had a burst of inspiration. I would have my house slippers

near at hand without ticking Emmaline off.

Emmaline wanted me to toss the house slippers because they

were old and ratty looking. I had a plan to transform them. The idea

had come to me after Emmaline and I attended a baby’s first

birthday party and saw one of the gifts.

I transformed my ratty old house slippers from objects of scorn

to objets d’art. And now the dear old things occupy a prominent

place on my office shelf—as bronzed bookends.

-30-

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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