Defending one’s own

My grandson is two years old. He is fortunate and blessed to have very loving parents and devoted grandparents. He is, however, at a distinct disadvantage in his current state of affairs. Let me explain.

When I was a young’un back in Amarillo, Texas, a little fellow’s value amongst the neighborhood boys was measured by the size and number of one’s personal fleet of toy (they were more than mere toys to us) construction, farm implements, race cars, and pickups. The vast majority were built by Tonka™ or Nylint™. They were sturdy models and very much up to the tasks of a bunch of elementary school boys.

The MOST important thing, however, among the varied fleets was a fellow’s ability to defend it. So, while we played ad nauseum with our fleets, the real attention was on the size of one’s Army. That Army ranged from bags and bags of plastic soldiers and their attendant tanks, artillery pieces, and the odd missile or two, all the way up to the GI Joe and his vast equipment to be used for defending one’s fleet that was busy building, farming, racing, and wreaking havoc where and when ever.

My own defense was of a certainty the largest and most lethal force on Hall Street. If memory serves, my defense force consisted of at least three brigades of plastic soldiers (they were bought in bags of 100-250 at TG&Y on Western Avenue) in various permanent attack poses. In addition, there were within my force a battalion of tanks and artillery pieces, both self-propelled and static. I even had an air force of ten or so fighters and one or two bombers.

I did have one bag of civil war soldiers, but they were not much good against anything except one boy who had nothing to defend his too small fleet. It would not be worth anybody’s time to attack him.

So, how does this involve my grandson? He has been gifted with a large and varied fleet of trucks of every type and size. He can with ease tackle and complete any job put before him in the sand box in his backyard. Yes, he has a wonderful and varied fleet.


He has no Army, Navy, Air Force. He has no way to defend his interests. I am at such a loss and concern for the security of his fleet, that I have taken on the task to help him in the building his armed forces. I began this endeavor a couple of days ago thinking it would be an easy task. Thus far, I have been to three large stores that are known to sell any shape or size one could imagine. The result? I cannot find any soldiers, tanks, airplanes, or ships.

What has our nation come to when our sons cannot defend their sandboxes? My son told me I might find them at an on-line site known to have about anything a body could want. I hope there is time before “They” realize he is defenseless. The search goes on.

Just what is your name anyway?

     There is a young lady that works where I do. I think her name is Sally. She does computer stuff of some sort or another. Actually, I think her name is Tina. She has a habit of never remembering my name. She gets the first letter alright. After that, who knows. I have been called Sid, Sam, Stanley, ad infinitum. There may have been a Stupid in there too (joking of course – Melody likes to joke – I think). In an effort to get her to remember my name (no small task) is Scott and not Sidney, I decided to introduce myself whenever I passed by her desk. Bear in mind that I pass by her desk somewhere north of ten times a day. I always remind her who I am, and Sheila NEVER get it right! The most recent attempt to make my name known, resulted in a new moniker of Stewart. “Stewart!?” I said in a somewhat elevated tone. “Do I look like a Stewart?” She did not respond as is typical for a Cruella. I reiterated, AGAIN, that I bear no resemblance to anybody named Stewart, Sam, Stanley or anything else but a SCOTT. I think Patricia ignored me.
There has been no improvement is Cissy’s ability to remember my name. I have been giving some thought to pasting my picture on her PC monitor but that would just generate more names and its possible use as a dart board. I think Tammy now has a habit of calling me a different name every time she sees me just to get my goat. I would not be surprised to see a Nancy or Elizabeth do something like that but, I would never expect it from Briana. I am at quandary what to do. I have the occasional customer that stops in to see me. What would happen if Barbie sent them to see Stewart or Sam or somebody else with an “S” name. I don’t know how many “S” employees work there. Who knows where they would wind up. I shudder to think.
The end result will have to be some permanent means by which Angela can remember that I am Scott. I asked her once. She ignored me. Catherines do that.

A trip to the big city!

(With your permission, we will take a side track from The Clod Wars and take a detour of sorts)

The wife and I had the opportunity to go to Las Vegas last weekend. You know Las Vegas, right? It’s in Nevada and that’s a four hour plane ride from here due west. It’s in the desert which means it is pretty hot most of the time. Anyway…

I went there on business and took the wife with me. We figured on maybe seeing a show and then going to Hoover Dam. Ought to be a fun time.

We stayed in one of them fancy resort motels. There’s lots of them there and they have all kinds of stuff to do. Why, in the main hallway of the fancy hotel we stayed in they had this great big room with all kinds of tables for playing cards and other tables where folks threw dice all across the table for some reason. The game with dice was called craps I think.  Then they had these other machines that folks called “one armed bandits.” I don’t know why. Oh, and they had lots and lots of pretty girls all over the place. I don’t know why either. None of them seemed to be playing any games.

Well, we were walking through this big room (you can’t get anywhere in these places without walking through the big game room). and all of a sudden, I felt a stabbing pain in my right rib cage. I looked and there was nothing near my right side except my wife. I asked her what hit me and all she said was “You know.” Well, no, I did not know and said so. She didn’t say a thing as we kept on walking. She wasn’t happy about something or other and it was too close to dinner to start a fight.

I was enjoying the walk through the big game room and all the scenery when, without warning, I suffered yet another stabbing blow to the ribs cage. It was on my left side this time. I looked left and there was my wife and nobody else. “Did you elbow me just then?” I asked. She looked at me with what I would call an ornery face and said, “What do you think?” I told her I had no idea and asked her why she had elbowed me. “Well, if you don’t know, I am sure not going to tell you.” I had no clue what all the fuss was about but, by now, we got to the elevator and to our room. The only time I got elbowed was when we were going through the fancy game room. She never did explain herself. I let the matter drop.

I still don’t know what she was all fired up about.


A Pterodactyl?! Really?!

An interesting discourse took place on Facebook™ just the other day. It seems a friend of many years has a daughter who is in a family way. The day the post of which I refer was the day in which she would learn just what manner of grandchild she would be welcoming into her family. Her excitement was easy to sense and her friends were just as exuberant. That is as it should be. The responses were a tad unusual, though.

The first response was a prediction that there would be triplets. A prediction of twins was put forth by more than one correspondent as well. That could be a possibility. If memory serves, there are, at least, one set of twins in the family. That could be one possible answer and it would be a joyous one indeed.

I was, however, surprised that one individual whose identity is to be shared on Facebook and not here, put forth the idea that the joyful mother-to-be would produce a Pterodactyl. Of a certainty, I can see the value of a pterodactyl about the house. Home security would no longer be a consideration. I am at a loss how a burglar, or any other unwelcome party for that matter, would be brave (or stupid) enough to invade a house with a pterodactyl in residence. Traffic jams would not be an issue either as, if I can remember the teaching of my youth, pterodactyls have the ability of flight and therefore could simply pick one’s means of conveyance up and relocate it to a more advantageous location. Yes, I can see the many advantageous to a pterodactyl. There are, as it turns, out many inconveniences to having a pterodactyl about which would take more time to explain in the space that I have here.

There was another prediction that the mother-to-be would bear a Raptor. How anybody could imagine a raptor in one’s house is beyond me. They are always hungry and thereby impossible to keep fed. They wander off at the slightest provocation and can be counted on to never be around when a burglar is nearby.  A raptor is, and always will be, impossible to keep and to suggest otherwise is sheer folly.

I have just this minute checked the Facebook entry regarding the expected arrival. It has thus been reported that the mother is expecting a baby boy. I am sure that my friend’s joy is without limit and I wish her and her family the greatest joy at this news.

Thank the heavens it was not a pterodactyl.

The crapper controversy

Inasmuch as I have endeavored to be of service to my fellow man, and inasmuch as I have used this medium towards that end, I herewith seek to address a controversy that has befallen those of us in civil society since the year 1596. You may recall that was the year Mr. John Harrington (an Englishman) invented the flush-able toilet. A side note: a lot of people think Thomas Crapper (also an Englishman) invented it. Mr. Crapper did manage to get his name forever attached to the flush-able toilet. There’s an explanation for it in Wikipedia©.  A common version of this story is that American servicemen stationed in England during World War I saw his name on cisterns made by his company and used it as army slang, i.e. “I’m going to the crapper”. Sounds better than I’m going to the Harrington. Well, it does to me….

No, the controversy I allude to has nothing to do with names or origins. It has everything to do with two questions. The first one is “toilet seat up or down?” This is, without fail, the first argument in every marriage (makes you wonder what newlyweds fought about prior to 1596, doesn’t it?). Without exception, every wife wants the seat down and every husband wants the seat up. Many a night’s sleep has been interrupted by a misplaced “crapper crown.” The ladies in the house do not want to forget the seat is up in the middle of the night and wind up “in” the toilet and the men want a larger space for aiming purposes. That’s the argument at least though I fail to see feminine logic in this. The reason should be obvious.

The second argument has to do with the installation of the toilet paper in the dispenser. That debate rages on though there seems to be no rhyme or reason from either side of the bed. It would seem there are some who want the paper installed in its dispenser so that the paper comes out on top and some who insist that it be pulled from the bottom. For the life of me, I cannot see the logic for having toilet paper removed over the top though the wife would disagree in the strongest of terms. This discussion has gone on and off again for the majority of our almost thirty-eight years of wedded bliss. I have even gone so far as suggesting that we install his and her dispensers though that was met with vigorous opposition. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know and I’m not sure I want to know.

These questions have gone unresolved for four hundred and twenty years and there seems no end of the matter. I do not foresee any resolution in the future either. The reality is: You’re

Rock thieves

The wife and I went on vacation not long ago. Costa Rica is a spectacular place and we had a wonderful time. We were also glad to get “Back home in Indiana” even if it was a lot colder here than in Central America. So it was that we resumed the day to day rejuvenated by our time in the warm climate that is Costa Rica. We were not, however, prepared for the disaster we would find on our return.

Some two weeks after our reinstatement into daily life, I was putting out the garbage as is my habit on Thursday mornings before going to my day job. Having stopped to examine our front yard after a recent snow fall, it seemed as though something was not quite right. I noticed some mud along the sidewalk that had come from the garden bordering the driveway. That should not be there I said to myself. The landscape stones along the driveway should prevent that. Wait. Where are the landscape rocks?! They were GONE!! I discovered, to my dismay, all of the landscape rocks that bordered the driveway were gone!! It is estimated that some thirty rocks were absconded with. Some gang of hooligans had taken advantage of our absence to help themselves to rocks that I myself had scrounged some years ago. Rage swelled within me.

In righteous indignation, I rushed inside to inform the wife of this treachery against us. She was still asleep and I did not have the heart to wake her with this horrible news. I bore this burden alone to work.

As my anger and desire for justice rose, it was decided to take action and file a report with the local constabulary. The report was filed on-line and an officer called within the hour to begin the investigation that would, it was hoped, result in the arrest of this malevolent gang of rock thieves. The officer was the very soul of professionalism as he took the information that he needed to help bring the rock thugs to justice. It was at the end of the interview when he asked what the rocks were worth. I did not know (and told him as much) as I had scrounged them from a construction site (with permission!!) some time ago. The interview ended with his promise that local law enforcement would be keeping a sharp look out for any hot rocks in the area.

Having returned home later in the day to break the news to the wife, it was with full expectation that she would join me in righteous indignation. Instead, she reminded me that I had expressed a desire to get rid of the stones, being difficult to mow around. Oh. I had forgotten.

I wonder if they will come back and get the rest.

Cheer up!

I ran into Maranatha the other day at church. I have known her and her fine husband, Travis, for a number of years. They are about as good and nice as any couple you’d meet anywhere. She is a pharmacist and he does accounting or something like that.

Anyway, she works for a grocery store from which I get all the pills and what not that keeps me up and taking nourishment. I know most of the folks that work there and most of them know me. They have been victims of my bad jokes on more than one occasion and, so far as I can tell, I have been the recipient of their good medicine in return. Least wise I am still walking and talking. Maranatha told me that my buddy, Kristen was having a singularly bad day at work not long ago. It was during one of the darker moments of the day in question that Kristen made the observation that her day was going downward and stated, “I wish Mr. Emmett would come over and tell me a couples of jokes.” In an attempt to be of service, I let Maranatha know that anytime that she, Kristen, or anybody else among that stellar group of folks needs cheering up, she could be assured that I was just a phone call or text away.

I have seen this time and again. Who has not had a bad day (or worse, been the victim of someone having a bad day) and been in desperate need of cheering up? Most of the time I can tell if someone is having a tough row to hoe and, in my own way, do my best to bring some cheer into a life or two. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

“Before laughter, nothing can stand.” Mark Twain wrote that a number of years back. It is as true today as it was whenever he wrote it. I hope, in my own small way, that I bring a smile or two to each of you that take the time to read this.

Oh, and Kristen. Next time you have a tough day, you know how to find me.