A wrong number

                My phone rang. In what seemed like an older female voice, the caller asked me who I was.

“This is Scott. Who is this?”

“This is Edna.”

“Hi, Edna.”   (I paused here waiting for her to say something. She didn’t so I went on). “Did you call a wrong number because I don’t know anybody named Edna, though I am certain by the sound of your voice you are a very nice person?  I have always held the opinion that people named Edna are amongst the nicest people anybody would want to know and your voice confirms my hypothesis.”

                I started to ask if there was anything that I could help her with but she did not give me the time.

“Yes, I did call a wrong number. I’m sorry to have bothered you. Have a nice day.”

“You have a nice day too, Edna.”

                With that, Edna was gone. I do not have caller ID on my phone so, for all practical purposes, I will never hear from Edna again. It’s a sad thing, too, as she is the only Edna that I have ever talked to. What will become of her? Was she looking for a long lost relative? Perhaps, she is a messenger of sad news for somebody other than a Scott. I hope she found whoever it was she was looking for and I hope she is the bearer of good news. Given the fact that she has not repeated her incorrect dial, I can only assume she found who (or what) she was looking for. I will never know for sure unless Edna takes a mind to call me back and lets me know all is well. Somehow, I think not.

                I told my wife about Edna. She observed that there was an Edna in her old neighborhood in Seattle. I did not think that the Seattle Edna would make a mis-dial and wind up calling Indiana unless, of course, she was looking for my wife.  My bride said that the Seattle Edna she knew was from over thirty-five years ago and she has, without doubt, gone on to her reward. No, we both agreed, this was a call from the Indiana Edna. I have no idea how to look up all the people in Indiana who are named Edna but there can’t be more than a dozen or so. It is probably not a project that I would undertake though I would very much like to know how Edna is doing.

                So, Edna, if you are out there and read this, let me know how you are doing.

A rant

                I have noticed that there are some things kids just don’t do anymore. Back in my day in the Texas Panhandle we did stuff you wouldn’t hear of today. Stuff like…

                Drink out of a garden hose. Kids nowadays have to have Siberian iceberg filtered fresh spring water in a recycled plastic “green” bottle. Back then, we didn’t think anything about grabbing up a water hose at somebody’s house and taking a good long swig of Amarillo city water. I didn’t die from it either.

                Stay gone. Shoot, on Saturday morning, we would be out the door and gone from “see “to “can’t see” and sometimes longer than that. My parents never gave it a second thought. There were a few times I came back bloodied up or bit by something. As long as I wasn’t dead, they were ok. Nowadays, kids have so many activities scheduled for them; they don’t have time to “get gone.”

                Kids don’t seem to play pick up games anymore either. We had our own baseball diamond in the back field next to the haunted house. We built the backstop ourselves and everything. We had pick up games back then where there would be twenty guys in the field. It didn’t matter to anybody either. If we got cut up or otherwise hurt, you just kept playing unless, of course, you were dead.

                Do dumb stuff. I think they still do dumb stuff but we did different dumb stuff back then. There was a time when we all decided to go to the Toot n’ Totum (this was the same as a 7-eleven. We usually called it the phart and fetchum) to get an RC Cola™ and a Moon Pie™ . I didn’t have any money this particular day (I never did come to think of it) so I figured I could get a five finger discount on the Moon Pie and mooch a swig or two of RC Cola off Gary. Well, I stuffed the Moon Pie in my pants and headed out into the hot August Texas sun. What I did not know was that the wrapper it was in had opened up.  In the heat, all that chocolate and marshmallow goo came out in my pants. By the time I got it out, it looked like I had done a ”number two” right then and there. I never heard the end of it.

                Do really dumb stuff. Stuff like chase a girl (or a bunch of them) with a jug full of snakes (the venomous manner of which we did not know) or toss a salamander on a girl.  Worse yet, let yourself get caught smoking cigarettes that you stole from Mr. Russell’s grocery store.  Even WORSE than that…

                Wait. I’m not telling that story.

This is cool

If you have read the Franklin Township Informer, you know it to be about one of the finest weekly newspapers you’d find anywhere. It is owned by the Franklin Township Civic League which is dedicated to all the great things going on in Franklin Township, Indiana.

Beginning with their August 24th edition, the Franklin Township Informer will include “a commoner’s life” as one of it featured columns. The column is currently scheduled to appear twice a month. You will want to pick this paper up because the column that appears there will not be on this website until much later.

Find out where to get the Franklin Township Informer at http://www.ftcivicleague.org/informer

The Plot

                   It is always in the center of my thoughts that I should desire to assist my fellow man when I find him in some manner of distress. So it was just the other night when I discovered a nefarious plot concocted against one of my dearest friends. It was all the more shocking to learn that the plan against him was made by his own wife of thirty-plus years.

                “Randy and Misty” came to our house for dinner and games not long ago. They are dear friends of my wife and I and we always enjoy their company. On this night, they brought barbecue ribs from a local joint and we (that is, the wife) fixed all the other stuff. The dinner was fabulous and was followed by a round of cards. It was during one of our breaks from cards that the alleged plot was uncovered. Misty had gone off to the ladies room when Randy looked at me and dropped his voice.

“Misty is trying to kill me.”

I was stunned. “I don’t believe it. She loves you. Why in the world would she want you dead other than for the insurance?”

“Every morning, I wake up with what appears to be knife wounds in my side. I know they’re knife wounds because I can see the deep red impressions on my ribcage and she is not strong enough to shove the knife all the way through. Sometimes my nose hurts like it has been pinched hard too.”

                Right about that time, Misty came back into the room. I decided to confront the issue head on. I would prove Randy either nuts or expose Misty’s evil goal.

“Misty, are you trying to kill Randy?” My sudden accusation stunned Misty.

“Certainly not! Why would you ever accuse me of that?” Misty was clearly incensed. I told her what Randy had said. She stared at me for the longest time then shifted her attention (and wrath) to Randy.

“Those marks on your side are my fingernails poking you and your sore nose comes from me squeezing it.  I have been trying to get you to quit snoring! You’re so loud it wakes the dogs and they’re downstairs! You know what else, if I want to get a knife all the way through, I guarantee I am strong enough!” Misty left the room in tears and a huff.

                With this fresh knowledge, I knew exactly what I needed to do to restore matrimonial bliss to this sleep deprived couple.  When Misty finally came back into the room, I sat them both down and gave them the two best cures for snoring that I know of.

“Misty, when Randy starts to snore, put his hand into a bowl of water. That cure has been known to work without fail except when it doesn’t. I must warn you though, it does have the rather nasty side effect of also causing the snorer to go “number one.” When that happens, you’ll just have to get him up altogether and make him change the sheets.”

I went on. “If that doesn’t work as promised, Misty, get yourself a stinky sock. One of his would probably work best. Shove the thing in his nose and keep it there until he stops. It is guaranteed to either work or start a big fight.” 

                As they left, I knew that I had done a good and unselfish deed and my dear friend’s happiness had been restored. I have not heard from them since.

An answer to a recent correspondence

(It is necessary, dear friend, that you read the previous article, along with its attendant comments, in order for you to understand what follows).

                Last week, I was almost stranded for eternity on the north side of the city I live in. I and my driver were able to find our way back down south through our wits and the keen sense of direction known to exist in all males. A northern woman (who I count as a dear friend) upbraided me for not seeking her advice during my temporary travail.  She went  on to observe that she, as a woman, would have been more than qualified to rescue me from distress because women are known to have an almost supernatural sense of direction. Had I availed myself of her talents, she implied I would have saved myself no end of turmoil and strife as well as slow the departure of my hair. As I had been texting her on an unrelated matter  throughout this journey on the north side, she went on further to inquire as to why I did not seek her assistance while I had her attention.

                I am, at this juncture, honor bound as a card carrying man to make reply to my dear friend and so defend the male of the species. Herein is my retort:


                Please accept my deepest and most sincere salutations to you and your good household. You know in your heart that I hold you in the highest of esteem as a woman of honesty and integrity. If I were not otherwise informed, I would think you to be a southern woman; such is my regard for you.

                So, it is with regret of the highest magnitude that I must disagree with the idea you laid out in a recent comment submitted to me on the 4th of this month. I was saddened to read your assertion that women have a sense of direction that is superior to men. Please allow me to set the record straight. I know you would not want to continue in this deception and would further want to know your true friend would not allow you to persist in this misunderstanding of the known facts.

                While it is true that women make good navigators, I must correct you on their sense of direction.  Navigating is one thing. A sense of direction is quite another. Anybody can go anywhere with a map, but the male sense of direction is that which built this fine country of ours. There were no maps to speak of when our stalwart ancestors made the move from east to west to settle these United States. It was Lewis and Clark (I have it on good authority that they were both men) who expanded our frontier without use of maps and it was I who made my way, without map or any navigational aid, to the Southside of our fine city. I could go on but, as I know you to be a wise and understanding woman, you have, no doubt already come to understand and will gain from this wisdom.

                I remain your obedient servant.

S. Emmett