Friday, July 23, 2010


“I think I might be pregnant,” the 7-year old said.

“Wow,” I said, very surprised. “And what makes you say that?”

“Well-l-l-l,” he said rather slowly. (That’s right, he said.) “My mom is pregnant and she says she’s always craving pickles and I love pickles, so-o-o-o … maybe I’m pregnant too.” He was very serious about it and began rubbing his belly. Then he added, with a smile as endearing as his faulty logic, “But I don’t think I’m very pregnant. Maybe just a little.”

I decided to let his mom or dad explain the difference between pickles and pregnancy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I had stopped by Larry’s house to pick up some equipment he had borrowed and to find out how his camping experiment went. As he was recounting his nightmare of setting up a tent, in the rain, while wondering what unreachable or unpleasant spot on his body the next spasm of monstrous mosquitoes was going to attack, his daughter Carrie walked in.

“Hi, daddy. Hi, Mr. E.” Her usual bright-eyed expression had a hint of secrecy to it. “Wanna meet my new friend? His name’s Mr. Birdington,” she said matter-of-factly. “But you have to be quiet because he’s still sleeping,” she said in a half whisper.

She held out her cupped hands and slowly lifted one of them to reveal a bird resting limply in her hand.

“Oh honey,” Larry said gently to his daughter. “I don’t think Mr. Birdington is just sleeping. I think he may be with Jesus now.”

“Oh no, daddy,” Carrie said. “He’s just sleeping. I met him when I was sitting by Mama’s zinnias. I was talking to him for a while and then I asked him if I could hold him. He didn’t say anything but I knew it was okay. So I picked him up and on the way to show you, he fell asleep. So he’s not with Jesus, he’s just sleeping.”

Larry and I looked at each other, knowing our hearts were melting but not knowing how to break Carrie’s heart with the reality of a dead bird in her hands.

“Here,” she said. “I’ll show you.”

She half-cupped her hand over the bird so that the body was covered but the head was still showing.

“Mr. Birdington,” she said softly. “Mr. Birdington, it’s time to wake up now. I want you to meet my daddy and Mr. E.”

She blew softly on the bird’s face and gently shook her hands.

Larry and I looked at each other and shook our heads. Then we looked back at Carrie and Mr. Birdington, who surprisingly, was slowly opening his eyes. Mr. Birdington blinked a few times, but otherwise sat still, obviously feeling safe and secure in the warmth of Carrie’s hands and heart.

“Wow,” Larry said. “Carrie was right. Mr. Birdington was just sleeping.”

So, how are your first impressions panning out?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


It had been a long and tiring day at work. The temperature in the shade was over 100ยบ because of the humidity and the air conditioning in her office building had quit working around noon. The afternoon had been almost unbearable, made even worse by her manager’s demand that everybody needed to work a little faster. It was outside the realm of possibility because without air conditioning, the computers had slowed to a snail’s pace and no matter how loudly he yelled, working faster just wasn’t going to work.

She was looking so forward to getting home and taking a cool shower, sipping on an iced tea, and sitting in front of a fan with the air conditioner on high.

She walked into the apartment and looked around. Slowly. She couldn’t believe it.

“Not today,” she thought. “He can’t be hurt today.”

She called her husband’s cell phone, but there was no answer. She tried again in five minutes, but still, no answer. “He should be home in about an hour,” she thought.

She hoped it wouldn’t be bad, but knew she’d just have to wait to find out.

She took her cool shower, poured a tall iced tea and sat in the cool living room, trying hard not to worry.

She heard the ping of the elevator as it announced it had arrived at the top floor. A minute later, she heard the familiar jangle of her husband’s keys as he fiddled to unlock their door.

He walked in and exclaimed, “Oh beautiful, sweet, cool air. I think I’ve arrived in heaven.”

She jumped up from the sofa and rushed over to him. “Are you okay, baby?” she asked.

“What?” he said, a deeply puzzled look creased his face. “What do you mean?”

“Well, you’re hurt aren’t you?” she asked, looking him up and down.

“Why would I be hurt?” he asked her, the puzzled look managing to twist into an even more puzzled look.

“Well, when I walked into the kitchen and saw what had happened, I naturally assumed you had been hurt.”

“What happened in the kitchen?” he asked, and headed toward it, not knowing exactly what he was going to find. He looked around. Slowly. “What the heck was she talking about?” he thought.

“What’s wrong with the kitchen?” he asked.

“Oh my God,” she said. “Your eyes were hurt? What happened to your eyes?”

“Nothing. There’s nothing wrong with my eyes. What are you talking about?”

“Well, if there’s nothing wrong with your eyes, and you don’t have any broken bones, then why the heck didn’t you do the dishes?”

“The dishes? You’re talking about the dirty dishes? That’s what this is about?”

“When I was leaving this morning,” she said, “you said you didn’t have to get to your office for another hour and that you would do the dishes and clean the counter. They weren’t done so I had to assume you were hurt somehow.”

“And you’ve been worrying about me since you got home?”

“You can’t be that stupid,” she said, with an obvious hint of sarcasm.

“If I am, am I in less trouble?”

If you have to ask, it’s already too late for you. But to make sure you understand …

Yes, you are that stupid, and no, you’re not in less trouble.

And maybe you should seriously consider turning in your Man Card until you can truly fit in your big pants.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


“Why are you playing games with me,” she started screaming. “I bought the plates here, they’re broken and I want my money back.” She was getting red in the face.

“I’m sorry, ma’am,” the clerk said, obviously working at maintaining a polite demeanor. “But you’re receipt is over four years old and you’ve admitted that you froze the plates then dropped them on a stone floor taking them out of the freezer.”

“I accidentally dropped them, you moron,” she screamed. “Why aren’t you listening to me? They were slippery and I dropped them, ac-ci-den-tal-ly,” putting extra emphasis on each syllable of the last word.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said. “I understand. You dropped them accidentally. But you’re …”

She interrupted him. “They’re supposed to be unbreakable and they broke. I want my money back. Just gimme my money back. Don’t you understand English?”

“Yes ma’am. But the warranty on the …”
“Don’t tell me something I don’t want to hear,” she interrupted, again. “Just give me my money back.”

“But I can’t ma’am. The manager says the warranty is …”

“I don’t want to hear about no damn warranty. The plates are unbreakable and they broke. Just give me my money.”

“I can’t ma’am, because the …”

“I want to talk to the manager, you dummy. Get me a manager.”

“You’ve already spoken with her, ma’am. She said …”

“Are you all on stupid pills here? I want to talk to the owner then. I want my money.”

The well-dressed gentleman standing in line behind her and in front of me, touched her shoulder and said, “Ma’am, here’s $40 and my apology for making this so difficult for you. As soon as you leave, I will have a discussion with the young clerk about this incident.”

“Well it’s about time, young man,” she said. “All I wanted was my money back. I don’t understand why you just couldn’t give it to me in the beginning. When I get home, I’m going to call my friend and tell her what happened and we may stop shopping here.”

“I understand, ma’am. And I hope the rest of your day is more pleasant.”

She half-stomped away, shaking her head and muttering, “I just wanted my money back, that’s all. I just wanted my money.”

“Can I help you, sir?” the young clerk asked the gentleman. “And if you don’t mind, sir, could you tell me why you did that?”

“Sure,” he said. “It was worth the $40 to me to bring a little sanity to the situation and to the lady’s life. It was a relatively cheap price to pay for peace.”

And so it was.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Don’t go there.

Just enjoy your Monday Morning Chuckle.