Tag Archives: happy

Man In the Mirror Redux ©

Last month my wife, Emmaline and I rented the old mountain

cabin where we have stayed nearly every year for the past 27 years.

The cabin is located deep in the woods. This year we also rented the

cabin (capacity 12) next door. Our kids and grandkids joined us for a

family get together.

One of the reasons we love going to the cabin is that it looks

just as did when we first stayed there back in 1989. The cabin is miles

from town. It stands above a boulder-strewn river that begins

somewhere high in the tree-covered Appalachians. A wall-sized

outside window looks straight down from the cabin onto a narrow

river. The cabin is on a single floor with partitions for the livingroom

bedroom and bathroom, which is is at the far end of the cabin.

Emmaline had gone to get groceries. I was alone and it was in

the bathroom mirror that I saw, instead of my own face, the face of

the Little Dutchman—an old man with a long beard and a tricornered

hat. I panicked when I saw him. I ran back to the front

room. But there he was, standing on the kitchen table dressed in

antique Dutch garb—a cloth jerkin strapped several times around

the waist, breeches decorated with rows of buttons down the sides

and bunched at the knees. He looked like he had just stepped out

of the story of Rip Van Winkle. That’s when my first adventure with

him began.

Back then the Dutchman and his pals, with their beer steins

foaming, and I with my foaming stein of root beer, took a bumpy

ride down the river, floating on truck tire inner tubes.

I thought later that the whole episode was a figment of my

imagination. I told myself, “If you want to avoid dreaming about

bearded Rip Van Winkle characters, then don’t eat onions and bleu

cheese at bedtime.” Little did I guess.

Last month Emmaline and I and all the family made the trip

and gathered in the front room of the cabin. We wanted to toast the

cabin and our many happy visits there. We bought a whole bunch

of plastic wine glasses and two magnums of non-alcoholic

champagne. Just as we raised our glasses there was a knock at the

door.

“There’s no one at the door.”

I had a premonition.

“Look down,” I said.

“Wow!”

“It’s the Dutchman, right?”

“And all his pals.”

I handed Emmaline my glass and walked to the door. The Little

Dutchman and about a dozen others were on the porch gesturing

and pointing down the wooden stairs. Half a dozen inner tubes were

moored to the cement landing below. The Dutchmen wanted

everyone to join them on a float.

“Come in and have a drink, first,” I said. After a moment’s hesitation,

they all trooped inside and stood in a semi-circle. Someone handed

them glasses of ersatz champagne.

“To the cabin!” I said.

“To the cabin!”

“To the Dutchmen!”

“To the Dutchmen.”

The little Dutchman touched my thigh and gestured. I

recognized the gesture immediately.

“To the River!” I said.

“To the River!”

There being no fireplace, and the glasses being plastic,

everyone simply put them on the table and walked to the door.

“To the River!” someone shouted, in an entirely different

context.

“Don’t trample the Dutchmen,” I yelled. But I needn’t have

worried. My nimble little pals were already half way to the landing.

Emmaline and I paused in the living room for a moment and

embraced.

-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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Man In the Mirror ©

This column is a beloved favorite by many, including yours truly. Enjoy!!

 

“Surely,” thought Rip, “I have not slept here all night.”
–Washington Irving, “The Story of Rip Van Winkle,”1819.

My wife, Emmaline and I recently rented the old mountain cabin deep in the
Smoky Mountains where we’ve stayed nearly every year for the past 25 years.
Part of the reason we love going to the cabin is that it looks just as it did the first
time we stayed there back in 1989. It’s how we get away from the world. The
cabin is decades old. Beside the cabin flows a boulder-strewn stream that
begins somewhere high in the tree-covered Appalachians.
The front door of the long, narrow two-room cabin is always unlocked when we
arrive. A key, with a note from the landlady, is always on the table in the
kitchen/living room. After we have unloaded the car, unpacked the suitcases,
and hung clothes in the cabin’s only closet, Emmaline and I have our annual
encounter. It’s about who is going to go shopping.
In the early years I always drove the 10 miles back to the super market on the
main highway for groceries and supplies. Then sometime around the beginning
of the women’s lib movement, I spoke up. I said that grocery shopping should
be a shared activity. That led to negotiations that led to the creation of our
annual encounter. Each year Emmaline and I resolve the grocery-shopping –
duty-problem with a game of “Rocks, Paper, Scissors.”
I won this year’s encounter, and as Emmaline drove away, I headed for the
couch to take a nap. Less than 15 minutes later something woke me, and I
walked back to the bathroom.
I glanced in the mirror above the wash basin. and let out a yip. Instead of my
face in the mirror, there was an old man with a long beard. He wore a tri-corner
hat. He winked at me.
I fled to the living room.
There, standing on the table, was the same diminutive old Dutchman. He wore
an outlandish costume—like one that 18thcentury author Washington Irving
described in his famous short story, “Rip Van Winkle.” Here is Irving’s description
of the man I saw standing on the cabin table:
“He was a short square-built old fellow, with thick bushy hair, and a grizzled
beard. His dress was of the antique Dutch fashion – a cloth jerkin strapped round
the waist – several pair of breeches, the outer one of ample volume, decorated
with rows of buttons down the sides, and bunches at the knees.”
The little old Dutchman beckoned me to follow, hopped nimbly off the table,
and trotted out the front door
I stumbled out onto the wooden deck. The sun was still where it had been when
I lay down for my nap.
I heard what sounded like a gong from the river below, and walked to the edge
of the deck. There on the river bank was my knee-breeched, silver-buttoned
little Dutchman. And lined up along the bank were a dozen more little
Dutchmen, dressed just like him. Each held a small inflated inner tube and a
beer stein . Lying on the river bank was a big, inflated truck inner tube. On a flat
rock beside the inner tube stood a large beer stein.
I waved to the little Dutchmen, and they all raised their steins. I took the
stone stairs two at a time down to the river. I picked up my stein full of foamy
root beer, and hopped on the big inner tube. With a whoop, I pushed off into
the stream.
My Dutchmen friends whooped, hopped onto their inner tubes, and
pushed off into the stream. Then we all lay on our backs, trailed our hands in the
water, and floated merrily, merrily down the stream.
I awoke on the couch—this time for real—to the sound of Emmaline
calling for me to help unload the groceries. Dazed, I made my way to the front
door and looked out. I half expected to see 25-years-younger Emmaline
standing beside our old brown 1987 Plymouth. But fortunately I saw my 2014
Emmaline—looking prettier than ever—walking toward the cabin carrying a bag
of groceries. Then, from far away, I heard the joyful whoops of little Dutchman
voices as my new found friends floated down the mystic stream. If you don’t
believe me, go ask Rip Van Winkle.

 

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: www.daydreaming.co

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Alien Boinks©

My friend from outer space, KB-11.2, was worried and out of sorts the other evening as he and I had a soft drink together at a dingy roadhouse north of here. The Enchantment is the kind of joint a college town like Letongaloosa must have to keep its academic accreditation.
My friend Kaybe isn’t one of those scary bug-eyed, green-skinned aliens that you read about.Kaybe looks like a giant tuna fish can. Erector Set® arms sprout from the curved sides of his body.
Three spindly metal legs drop from the flat underside of his stainless steel torso. He has ball bearing wheels for feet, and three sensor-eyes wave at you from the ends of floppy antennae on the top of his lid.
Customers at The Enchantment don’t even raise an eyebrow when Kaybe rolls in and joins me at one of the back booths. They’re accustomed to seeing unusual folks around the place–people like Harry the Hulk and his diminutive pal Miniature Mike, and Four-Finger Fannie and Dogface McGee. It’s a down home kind of place, and the alien KB-11.2 and I fit right in.

Kaybe wasn’t himself the other night. He was distracted and preoccupied. When I was a young man, Kaybe saved my engagement and marriage by teaching me Mujerspeak, the language of women. Kaybe has always been cool, kind, and methodical. Now he seemed feverish, and that’s difficult for someone who has a tin can for a body. I put my hand on his rounded stainless steel torso. It was warm.
“Kaybe, you’re feverish,” I said.
“I know. I’m so worried that I’ve overloaded my diodes,” he said. “I’ve fallen into the clutches of the Galactic Boinks. They’re fiscally flagellating me.”
“What are Galactic Boinks?” I asked.
“I don’t know how to describe boinks,” said Kaybe. “There’s nothing here on earth to compare them to. Boinks are galactic institutions that serve as financial intermediaries. Originally boink operations were simple and straightforward. You deposited your financial resources in a boink and drew them out as needed to pay bills, mortgages and for other living expenses,” saidKaybe.
Then he described how a bunch of executive goons had taken over the galactic boinks. “These thugs added all kinds of products and complicated services that had very little to do with the boinking business,” said Kaybe. Boinks3
He said they also devised complicated and draconian systems of fees that preyed on
depositors. If their computers said your account was overdrawn the boinks began to
manufacture penalty fees. Within microseconds they added nonpayment of penalty fees to the regular penalty fees. Your debt mounted hourly. Boinks didn’t care that your records showed your account was solvent. The boink worker bees just said, “The Boink isn’t responsible for keeping your account solvent, you are. We have no idea what has happened, but computers don’t make mistakes, so this is YOUR error.” That was it, end of story, and the penalty fees just kept mounting.
“My account was in the black. I’d never been overdrawn. Now I owe penalty fees on top of
penalty fees, and I’m in trouble with creditors and galactic merchants from here to Alpha
Centauri,” said Kaybe.
“You’re right, Kaybe,” I said. “There’s nothing like that here. Stuff like that just doesn’t happen on Earth. Is there anything I can do to help you? I’d be happy to lend you a few bucks.”
“Thanks, but I’ll just have to straighten this out by myself,” he said. “When I get solvent again I’m going to hide all my resources in a cave on some derelict asteroid out beyond in Orion’s Belt. I’ll never trust a boink again.”
Just then someone sidled up to our booth. It was Four Finger Fannie. She gazed at Kaybe in
silence. Kaybe moved his three-eyed sensors toward her. They communicated telepathically.
Then Kaybe gave a little bounce.
“Is it all right if I let my friend in on this conversation?” said Kaybe. The words came to me
telepathically. There was no sound.
“Go ahead,” said Fannie.
“Thanks,” said Kaybe. “Say on, mademoiselle, this is great news.”
Fannie’s words flowed silently into my head.
“Like I just told you, the Associated Galactic Press is reporting that the Supreme Governing Council has launched a full scale investigation of the boinking industry. The council has apparently had it with complaints from all over the galaxies about people getting ripped off. The council has forced the boinks to cancel all overdraft charges, and has ordered them to refund all the other phony fees they’ve been charging.” said Fannie.
Kaybe’s telepathic “Whoopee,” was so loud it gave me a headache.

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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“Jump Shot Jim” Says Goodbye

Jim Higgins reminisces as he looks down from the press box high above the court.  He is preparing to broadcast the last play-by-play of his long career as the voice of the Letongaloosa Community Junior College basketball team.  Fittingly, the Leopards are playing the La Mancha Mongrels.
In a game decades ago against the Mongrels, Jim earned the title “Jump Shot Jim.”  In that contest, Jim had launched a desperation shot from midcourt just as the buzzer sounded. The ball swished into the net, breaking a 41-41 tie and giving the Letongaloosa Leopards the game and the conference title.
Higgins has been known as “Jump Shot Jim,” ever since.  His transition from player to broadcaster was seamless.  He received a degree in Duplicative Communicology from LCJC, and landed a job at radio station LCNU- FM.  One night the station manager said:
“Zip down to the gym.  You’re going to do the play-by-play of the Leopard’s game.  Richard Handley’s voice cracked as he was doing the pregame show.  He sounds like Donald Duck.”
Jim zipped down to the gym, clattered up to the press box, and slid behind the microphone just as the announcer began introducing the players.  Jim scanned the names of the players on the other team.  The broadcast went well and Jim became the new voice of the Leopards.
Jim did play-by-play as the team competed for conference titles and in postseason championship games.
One of Jim’s favorite trips was to the Florida Keys. He did play-by-play as the Leopards competed in the Banyan Basketball Invitational.  He loved southern Florida. Now, standing in the Leopards’ press box preparing to broadcast his final game, Jim watches the team warm up and studies the Mongrel’s roster.
It turned out to be a great game.  The lead went back and forth and was tied at the end of regulation play.  In overtime the Leopards came out looking tired and the Mongrels dumped in six unanswered points.  The Leopard’s coach called time out.
As the game resumed disaster struck the Leopards.  Finney Fraser, the high scoring point guard, got hurt driving for a loose ball and had to come out.  Two Leopard players had fouled out. The young sub who came on the floor was playing in his first post-conference game.  Jim ran his finger down the Leopards’ roster looking for the sub’s name, and found it:  Kurt Curtis, walk-on from Letongaloosa High School.
After the huddle and before the referees called the teams back onto the court, young Curt looked up at the press box.  Jim couldn’t figure out why, but he waved and gave the boy a big thumbs up.
As the overtime minutes drained away the Leopards fell behind by four points. They picked up three on a jumper from the right side, and another on a free throw. The game was tied with seconds remaining. The coaches called time out.
The Leopard’s coach told his team to run down the clock and then feed the ball to their high scoring forward who would drive in for a buzzer-beating a lay-up.  The play went perfectly until a high jumping Mongrel defender batted the ball away.  The ball flew to mid court and landed in the hands of the Leopard’s substitute Kurt Curtis.   Jim described the scene to the radio audience as Kurt let fly a jumper  from mid court.
It was a swisher.  All net.  The Leopards won by three at the buzzer.
Jim lingered after everyone had left the triumphant Leopards  arena. As he emerged from the door of the gym, young  Kurt Curtis jumped down from the team bus and ran toward him.
“Sir, I’m  Kurt Curtis.  I’m a Duplicative Communicology major.   When I was a kid my grandpa told me about your shot from mid-court that won the conference title.  I want to be a play-by-play broadcaster.”
“You’ll be great one,” said Jim.  “Everyone is already calling you “Key Shot Kurt.”
-30-
This particular column is near and dear to this ol’ humor writer’s heart. The Kansas House declared April 28th, “Bob Davis Day” in honor of KU’s beloved broadcaster’s , Bob Davis’ recent retirement. Rock Chalk!!

 

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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A Visit To The Ice Cream Shop

My nephew sent this story to my inbox the other day. It made me chuckle. It just goes to show there is humor in every day life. Enjoy!!

A little old man shuffled slowly into an ice cream parlour and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool… After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split.

The waitress asked kindly, ‘Crushed nuts?’
‘No,’ he replied, ‘Arthritis.

 

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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Andrew Klees & the Gadget

After all these years, the Mob came back for the limo.  It gave my friend Andrew Klees another real scare.

Some time ago, Andy got himself in trouble with the Mob after he saved a fine old stretch limousine from salvage.  The limo had been damaged in a collision. A wrecker brought it to the auto shop where Andy worked, and Andy fell in love with the limo at first sight.

His boss said it would take too much time to repair the limo, but Andy intervened.  He is one of the best body and fender men in town. Andy knew he could restore the limo, so he paid the salvage fee and told the driver to tow it out to his place.

After Andy had repaired the limo, a couple of Mob enforcers showed up. They were looking for a “gadget” hidden in the limo’s passenger compartment. They wanted to take Andy for a “ride,” but they couldn’t start the limo. They ordered Andy to start it and  drive out to the country while they searched the passenger compartment.

After a few blocks Andy looked back. Both men were out cold.

“I put them to sleep,” said a melodious female voice that came from somewhere inside the dashboard.  “They are bad men. Take them to the police station.”   The police arrested the mobsters.

Andy drove his shiny stretch limousine all around the countryside. In the summer time, folks heard Andy and a woman’s voice singing as the limo rolled by but they never saw the woman.

Then the Mob showed up again.  This time it was a slick lawyer.  He drove up in a town car. The Mob lawyer introduced himself, and showed Andy a sheaf of documents. He said papers proved that the limo belonged to his clients, and that  Andy’s purchase was invalid.

The lawyer said his clients were willing to pay Andy a ‘finder’s fee’ in exchange for the limo, and produced a document that said Andy relinquished all claims.

“Just sign here,” said the Mob lawyer.

Andy didn’t know what to do, so he stalled for time.

“Let me sit in the limo for a minute,” he said.

“Give me the keys first ” said the lawyer.

Andy handed over the keys, then got into the driver’s seat and shut the door.

“What shall I do?”  He had never spoken to the limo first.  She had always spoken first.

“The Mob wants a gadget that’s hidden in the passenger compartment,” said the melodious voice from the dashboard.  “It’s a thumb drive that contains records of deals the old Mob boss made with crooked politicians.  Years ago his rivals sent the goons to get the gadget, but when they failed, the Mob boss let you keep the limo.  Now he died.  His Ivy League nephews took over and want the gadget, but they sent a lawyer after it instead of goons.”

The lawyer tapped on the window.  “Let’s go,” he said.  “Get out here and sign the papers.”

“What do I do now?” asked Andy.

“You let your lawyer handle it,” said the limo.

“I don’t have a lawyer,” said Andy.

“Of course you do,” said the limo.

Just then a car drove up.  A young woman with a briefcase got out.

“I’m Megan Street,” she said to the Mob lawyer.  “I represent Mr. Klees.  I assume you have your clients’ power of attorney.”

“I do,” said the Mob lawyer.

“Kindly step into the limo, Mr. Klees,” said the young woman.

Andy opened the door and climbed into the passenger compartment.  He saw black thumb drive on the back seat and picked it up. Andy climbed out of the limo and handed the thumb drive to the Mob lawyer.

The young woman laid the quit claim document on the hood of the limo. The Mob lawyer signed it, got into his town car, and drove away without a another

word.

“How can I ever thank you,” said Andy.

“You can take me to lunch,” said Megan.

 

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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Eloise & the Dark Stranger ©

 

A slick Basque conman tried to marry Eloise Simpelkins, and take her for millions of dollars, but an old friend from Letongaloosa showed up just in time to save her.
It all happened at an exclusive private club on east 55th Street in New York City. A romantically smitten Eloise Simpelkins was having dinner at the Toure Club with what she thought was a handsome Spaniard . He called himself the Marques de San Selmo. His real name was Zigor Ordoki, the slickest con artist the Pyrenees had ever produced.
Eloise Simpelkins, is founder and chief executive officer of a highly successful home cleaning enterprise, and until she fell for the phony marques, was a very level headed woman.
Eloise was born in Letongaloosa on the wrong side of the tracks. She spent the early years of her life cleaning houses in La Mancha, the posh section of town. She was as plain in speech and looks as the phony marques was handsome and eloquent. As an entrepreneur she had turned an astute observation about the fastidiousness of upper middle class women into a highly successful cleaning business.
A friend introduced Eloise to the phony Marques at a charity ball. As they danced, the hard-headed entrepreneur who had never had time for romance, melted like a marshmallow. The phony Marques had pursued a number of wealthy single women. He chose Eloise because she looked to him like the richest and the dumbest.

Now, it was show time, and as they sat after dinner in the Toure Club, the Marques was ready to spring the trap.
“My darling Ale-low-eez, I have fallen madly in love with you. Will you do me the honor of being…” At that moment his elaborately planned marriage scheme was interrupted. A tall long-faced man with big ears and a loopy smile called out to Eloise from across the quiet dining room.
“Eloise Simpelkins, is that you?,” The man was Blair Trimert , a dear friend from Letongaloosa. Blair stood and threaded his way to Eloise’s table.
“Blair Trimert!” cried Eloise, “why it’s been years.” They embraced.
Eloise and Blair were children together in Letongaloosa. After they grew up Eloise made made a fortune in business, and Blair inherited a fortune from the Basque parents who had adopted him as a baby.
Blair spoke fluent Basque.
“Please join us,” said Eloise, for whom courtesy was an inbred quality. She introduced the Marques as a dear, dear friend from Spain. Blair guessed the rest of the story from her eyes and voice tones. The Marques masked his frustration with a practiced smile, but his eyes were cold as flint.
A waiter arrived and they ordered after dinner drinks. As Eloise and Blair were catching up on each other’s lives, the Marques’s cell phone rang. He took it out.
“Excuse me,” he said. “I have to take this.” He stood and turned away from the table.
“Yes,” he said in English. Then the Marques spoke again in Basque.
“Ez dago arau bat izan da.” (“There’s a slight complication”).
He listened and then said “Relax. Ez dut hau ergelak uso behatzak bidez irrist utz du. Bakarrik hartuko du ogun bat, hor, da dena. Gogora tu oraigdik dirutza bat ogin onderen, hemen duga.”
(Relax. I’m not going to let this stupid little pigeon slip through my fingers. It will take another day, that’s all. Just remember, we’re after a fortune here.”
Blair understood perfectly the words and what they meant. He squeezed Eloise’s hand and whispered, “This guy is speaking Basque. He’s some kind of conman who is trying to get your money.”
Blair grabbed the cell phone from the to the Marques’s hand.
“Zu pukas, langun!,” he growled. (“Your’re busted, Dude!”).
Without another word, the phony Marques fled, knocking people out of his way as he ran from the Toure Club. The police caught up with him a few minutes later.
After that Blair moved back to Letongaloosa, and Eloise, still single, opened five more franchises on the West Coast.

 

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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