Tag Archives: Weekends

Cheap Dirt

Maggworth’s Flea Market–excuse me, Maggsworth’s Antique Mall—is named for a guerrilla leader who raided our town and killed a lot of people during the Civil War. Colonel Moriarty Maggsworth was his name, and kill and pillage was his game. He and some of his cohort were later hanged.

Its name is the only thing exciting about the “mall.” The place itself is pretty drab—there’s a bunch of stalls set up in an old warehouse near downtown.

There are jewelry booths, pre-owned clothing stalls, furniture booths, sports card booths, and a both where they sell toilet paper holders made out of armadillo shells. The mall is only open on Saturdays and Sundays. You don’t quit your day job when you open a stall at Maggworth’s Antique Mall. But owning a booth at the mall, or shopping there every weekend does give the townspeople something to look forward to. Other wise they’d be sticking their tongues into electric lamp sockets to break the monotony.

One Saturday morning a stranger came to the mall and asked to rent a booth. There were four or five stalls unoccupied at the time so Ana Maria Symphonia Schultz, president of the mall cooperative association, signed him up, collected a month’s rent and showed him to a stall.

“You’re not going to sell dirty magazines are you?” asked Ana Maria Symphonia.

“No,” said the stranger.

“Good,” she said and went back to the booth where she and her partner Greta Soulsworthy sold exotically contorted ceramic vegetables.

The stranger dusted off the shelves and stacked them with cheap white Styrofoam cups—the kind you buy when it’s your turn to furnish hot cocoa for 150 people at a church bazaar. Then he nailed a board across the front of the booth for a counter and hung up a sign. It was hand lettered and it read: “DiRT fOR SaLE.”

With his merchandise in place the stranger sat down on a folding chair and began reading a magazine.

“Whatcha sellin’?”

“Dirt.”

“What?”

“Dirt.”

“Ya mean DIRT?”

“Yes.”

“Lemme see.”

The stranger handed the man one of the Styrofoam cups.

“It’s fulla dirt.”

“Yes.”

“Hey, Maggie, git over here. This guy’s sellin’ dirt.”

Maggie didn’t respond. She was gazing into a glass case containing several sets of authentic kidney stone earrings. Others, not so deeply absorbed, sauntered over to the stranger’s booth.

“This guy’s sellin’ dirt,” Gertrude’s husband said as a small crowd gathered.

“How much?” asked a pragmatic 13-year-old who had pushed his way to the front.

“The large containers are 75 cents, the middle-sized ones are 50 cents, and the small ones are a quarter, tax included,” said the stranger.

“Where’d the dirt come from,” asked somebody.

“From my back yard,” said the stranger.

“You just dig up dirt in your back yard and bring it in here to sell?”

“Yes.”

“What does it do?”

“Nothing.”

“You’re selling dirt that don’t do nothin’?”

“Yes.”

“Hot dog,” said the man. “I’ll take three big ones and a middle-sized one.” The stranger had sold all his dirt in an hour. He never returned.

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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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Coping Advice For Men

 

When you were a youngster and your Mom gave you a task, you coped by dawdling, delaying and hiding. Eventually you she caught up with you and forced you to do the task. But you did it as slowly and dawdlingly as possible. That always hacked Mom off.

Now you are grown up. You have a wife or significant other. You realize that the boyhood task-completion strategy didn’t work. Your mom was on you every two minutes, and finally she stood over you and supervised the work.

As a mature individual you have learned better than to follow that boyhood strategy. You have adopted a new one. Now you jump in and get the task done as fast as possible. You’ve learned to your chagrin that strategy doesn’t work either. If you do it fast, you’ll have to do it over. Guaranteed. So here’s some counter-intuitive advice: Go back to you boyhood strategy, but with a slight adjustment.

Accept the task cheerfully. Then—this is the counterintuitive part— you do the task slowly and methodically—in other words, you dawdle. If you take 20 minutes to do a task that your wife can do in five, your pace is about right. She will assume that, because of the time you are taking that you are being thorough. Even if she inspects and finds something amiss, you’ll get credit for giving the task your full attention. That’s the thing. You respected the task and the task master. She might even pat you on the head.

 

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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Hacked Off

It hacks me off when television news commentators and sport announcers say, “Who will be the next xxx-college player to opt for the NBA?  We’ll tell you when we come back.”  Then the station goes to a four-minute commercial.  I’m in mass communications.  I realize  that the station (or the network) needs to make a buck.  But the technique of  “Mommy will give you a cookie after you eat your turnips,” still hacks me off.

 

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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What Did You Say? ©

The Friday afternoon faculty meeting had gone well. They had dealt with the agenda in less than four hours. Dean Ima Farseer thought she might have time for a quick TGIF restorative before dinner. Dr. Farseer is dean of the School of Electromagnetic Communigraphics at Letongaloosa Community Junior College.

“Thanks everyone. Have a good weekend.” At that point Prof. Walter “please don’t call me Wally” Tremmorer, who taught Palliative Communication Theory, spoke.

“Dr. Farseer,” said Prof. Tremmorer, “We didn’t deal with ‘Other Business.’ It’s the last item on the agenda sheet.”

“What other business do you want to bring up?” she asked.

“Swearing,” said Prof. Tremmorer.

“Oh, for hell’s sake,” said Prof. Rita Vozalta.

“That’s what I mean,” said Tremmorer.

“What?” asked Dean Farseer.

“She swore.”

“She said, ‘Let’s get out of here,’” said Farseer.

“No.” “She said, ‘Oh, for hell’s sake, let’s get out of here.’ That’s swearing,” said Tremmorer.

“!@#$%^&*(^&*,” said Prof. Vozalta.

“Everyone heard that. That’s swearing,” said Tremmorer.

“Move to adjourn,” said Prof. Tom Smoorzly. He had moved to adjourn five times since the meeting began.

“Point of order,” called Prof. Richard Yardley, who had raised point of order six times.

Ima Farseer frowned. Hope for a TGIF and quiet dinner was fading fast.

“I’ll appoint a committee,” said Farseer. She was trying to save her evening.

“No!” said Prof. Tremmorer. “We must resolve this matter right here and now. It’s a legitimate item under ‘other business’.”

“The Hell it is!” said Prof. Altavoz.

“She swore again,” said Tremmorer.

“Move to adjourn,” said Smoorzly.

“Point of order,” said Yardley.

Then Pablo Molama spoke. Prof. Molama had been hired recently from the private sector to teach courses on personal and social effects of using personal digital devices.

“Prof. Molama has the floor,” said Dr. Farseer. Her voice was lost in a clamor of voices. She slammed a heavy textbook on the table.

“Prof. Molama,” said Dr. Farseer firmly into the ensuing silence, “has the floor.”

“We can give this to a committee and take three months to work on it, or we can solve it here and now in fifteen minutes. The results will be the same, I assure you.”

“Go on,” said the dean.

“I suggest we all do five minutes of online research on swearing. Then we’ll spend five minutes sharing what we’ve found—most of it will be duplicative data. In the last five minutes we’ll formulate a resolution and vote on it.”

“So move,” yelled someone.

“Second,” yelled another.

“All in favor,” said Farseer.

There was a chorus of yeas.

“Opposed.”

“Motion carried. Get to work.”

Five minutes later Dr. Farseer stopped moving her finger across the screen of her high end digital tablet and said, “Time’s up. What have you found?”

“’Hell’ is described as a mild expletive,” said someone.

“It’s still swearing,” said Tremmorer.

“How about ‘heck,’” asked someone.

“That’s not a swear word,” said Tremmorer. “The Oxford English Dictionary says that ‘heck’ is a mild euphemism for ‘hell.’ It was first recorded in 1885 in the phrase, ‘Well I’ll be go’d to hecky.’ So that’s not swearing.”

“ !@#$%^&*,” said Prof Altavoz.

“THAT IS swearing,” said Tremmorer.

“Move to adjourn,” said Prof. Smoorzly.

“Point of order,” said Prof. Yardley.

“I’ve found something good,” said Prof. Molama. His voice was lost in the clamor.

“Bang!” Dean Farseer slammed the book on the table. Silence.

“Dr. Molama has the floor.”

“A study by Norich’s University of East Anglia into leadership styles found the use of “taboo language” boosted team spirit,” said Molama.

“The study was published in a refereed journal in 2007,” Molama continued. “Professor Yehuda Baruch, professor of management, wrote: ‘Taboo language serves the needs of people for developing and maintaining solidarity, and a mechanism to cope with stress. Banning it could backfire.’ I move we adopt that language as our policy on swearing.”

“Second,” yelled someone.

“All those in favor,” said Farseer.

There was an enthusiastic chorus of yeas.

“Opposed.”

Prof. Smoorzly’s was a lone, dispirited nay.

“The motion carries,” said Farseer.

“Oh !@#$%^&*,” said Smoorzly, let’s make it unanimous. “I vote yea.”

“Adjourned,” said Farseer.

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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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