My Funny (Belated) Valentine and Insane Tulips!

I know that Valentine’s day was the fourteenth of this month and I am sharing my strange story a couple of weeks after the fact but I am an old person and I get a senior’s pass. I gave it to myself. You can do the same thing. Just give yourself a senior’s pass anytime you want. You deserve it.

However, when it comes to buying a Valentine for your sweetheart you cannot get a senior’s pass. You throw on some presentable rags and drag your ragged old fanny out there in the public world and you get that sweet other half (if you still have one and, if you do, be glad you do) a card that will make her smile as her heart jumps with joy. None of that probably works for you anymore but you can always dream on, especially around Valentine’s Day. Blackmail of the direst sort occurs on Valentine’s Day but don’t let it get you down. Embrace it and love the one you’re with!

It’s Esther Howland’s fault. She started making and selling the cards way back in the 1840’s up in Massachusetts. Nowadays only Christmas cards outsell Valentine’s Day cards. Over a million people make that inescapable trek to the store so they can buy 145 million Valentines for their loved ones. The Valentine’s Day trio of compulsory purchases includes the card, the chocolates and the bouquet of roses. Since I have so little will power but I am blessed with an unfaltering faith that the image I see in the mirror each morning is truly my own, I insist on skipping the chocolates.

The prediction for Valentine’s chocolate sales this year (in real dollars) was one billion. That’s with a “B” for those of you tracking the economy. Who knows how much is spent on flowers but statistics say 70% of all roses sold are red. Most women like softer hues but we are men and we cannot remember that women prefer lighter colors. We like red. Red is probably one of the few colors we can actually see. We are color blind most of the time. It is good to have women around to tell us when a color is something other than red.

Katie Mae and I shopped for Valentines together. We are not great lovers of cut roses. Katie Mae has taught me to prefer tulips. We were in Wal-Mart and we could find nothing but hundreds of bouquets of roses. Finally we found a vase of red tulips that were not yet in full bloom. We chose the plant. There were no cut tulips. Could we be the only weird couple in East Athens that loves tulips more than roses?

We went to the gift card section together. We went through about a hundred cards until we each found just the right card for the other. I turned to Katie Mae and I said, “If I were going to spend eight bucks for this Valentine, this is the one I would buy for you.” Katie Mae picked out a very nice card and said, “If I were going to buy you a Valentine, I would buy this one for you.” We told each other how much we liked the cards and loved the messages inside and each other and then we put the cards back on the shelf.

A guy standing next to us started laughing and said to me, “Now that woman really knows how to shop.” I said, “Yes sir, she is a great shopper and a wonderful woman.” He put his card back on the rack and I heard him mumble, “I gotta go find my wife,” as he walked away.

We took our fond memories of the purloined Valentine images and the tulips to the house. The tulips were on the little table in the kitchen area for less than a full week when we determined they were not mentally well. They drooped and the color had deepened to a dark dried-blood-like shade that cast a curious pall over the entire room. Katie Mae quickly banished the pot to the garage and sure enough, a couple of days later it had wilted down to an indescribable scrubby eyesore.

Valentine’s Day in Athens was good for us. We exchanged unforgettable declarations of undying love right there amongst the gift card section at Wal-Mart, we saved money on cards we did not buy and we barely escaped the curse of a crazy red tulip.



Mardi Gras, The Real Deal – Mobile, AL, Not Athens, GA

I have to admit I embellished a bit (more like lied a lot) when I wrote about Mardi Gras at a downtown bar in Athens, Georgia but I have actually been to Mardi Gras functions in Mobile, Alabama. Mobile holds the claim to fame when it comes to the first Mardi Gras celebrations in the US of A.

Mobile began their Mardi Gras carnival celebrations in 1703. This was fifteen years before New Orleans was even thunk of.

Katie Mae and I lived in Mobile for a few months after we were wed back in 1974. She worked with a printing company whose owner was an old Mobilian and a member of one of the Mardi Gras secretive mystic societies. The mystic societies throw all the big dances and balls and organize the parades during Mardi Gras. I’m unsure of the name of his group of mystics. I think it was a secret.

His daughter who was a young sweet native of that wild and wicked old town took me and Katie Mae to her father’s society ball. The girls were all dolled up in much finery and big bushy dresses and they smelled so sweet I kept swooning and falling down. Maybe I fell a lot because  I drank an alcoholic beverage……….. I drank a few alcoholic beverages.………. I got drunk.

There was no doubt in my mind that I was looking good but I think the real reason I kept falling down was the rented tux coat was for a guy about the height of Shaquille O’Neal and it had tails and the black tie and a lovely neat white shirt with a hand full of funny little buttons that came with it. It even had fancy buttons for the cuffs which came in a separate box.

The tails kept dragging the floor. If you ever want to really understand the word “comeuppance,” just wear a coat with long fish tails in a room full of older, heavy-set people. I finally had to sit out the dances which made both me and Katie Mae much happier but it took me a month to get over the whip-lash.

Anyhow we made it through the ball and all that jerky dancing (for me) and on Fat Tuesday our wonderful little hostess took us into town to watch all those wild parade floats go by. The masked members of the mystic societies stand on the floats as they pass by and they grace the great unwashed commoners standing in the cluttered streets below with “Throws.” Throws are colored beads, and Frisbees, and sweet cakes and faux gold doubloons and all kinds of other trinkets and sweets but most cherished of all the throws, I have learned, is………… MOON-PIES.

The first mistake made was mine. I saw a tiny old grandmother figure of a woman with a small boy who looked to be three or four years old. I decided I would give her a hand catching some trinkets and sweets thrown from the floats and then she could give them to the little lad. There were so many excited younger people thronging the streets you could see the reflection of colored beads and moon pies in their feverish eyes and I felt sure Granny was going to have a difficult time catching any of the throws for the little boy.

As soon as the first fist full of beads and moon pies hit the sidewalk, Granny knocked me on my ass. I never saw her again but I felt her run up my back and step on my head as she followed the float down the street. I thanked God that Granny was not a heavy woman and I had survived that severe stomping.

Things pretty much leveled out after that, parade wise, and as I watched the floats go by, I tried to sink my back deep into the granite facade of the bank where we were standing so no more old Grannies could attack from the rear.

As the parade began to wind down our hostess grabbed us by the hands and we ran through a couple of alleys to a spot on a street corner where we could watch the parade’s grand finale.

The grand finale consisted of these same masked men throwing more sweets and trinkets off the floats only this time I began to experience an odd feeling as if something frightful and sinister was afoot. Something told me to be careful. I think it was getting knocked on my ass by a 75 year old woman.

I was cautiously backing up a step or two when I realized the guys on the floats had an abundance of moon pies and they were picking them up by the box full to throw to the crowd. As I looked around I saw this crowd consisted of only small black children roiling like hungry minnows at the sides of the floats.

The guys on the floats began to dump box after box of moon pies into the thickening school of minnows at their feet. That harmless pool of small fishes instantly transformed into a shark frenzy of black kids trying to see who could grab the most moon pies. I was amazed and transfixed to the sidewalk as if I were paralyzed. Then to my utter astonishment we were stormed by the kids as one of the moon pie throwers unloaded a case of them right on top of Katie Mae’s head. Katie Mae and our young friend were suddenly swept off their feet and they almost instantly disappeared across a wave of backs of the black children. It looked as if the two girls were being swept away by rogue waves at the beach.

The Lord was still with me. At the last second I regained my senses long enough to shut my gaping mouth and reach out and grab each girl by a foot. I dragged them back across the undulating backs of all those moon-pie hungry kids and when I got them back on their feet I hustled them as far from that crowd as fast as we could limp away.

The last thing I saw as I looked back was a lone girl about ten years old screaming and cursing and holding an empty moon pie box as high as she could hold it. If her curses could have exacted revenge on all those who made off with the contents of that box the city of Mobile would still be trying to identify the bodies of all those little boys who had literally trampled her to seize the booty. I was glad my Mother was not there to hear that rant. I still blush when I remember the things she screamed in outraged anger.

That’s how we learned an old and cherished tradition of Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama. We were part of that tradition for only a few minutes but that is also how I learned a valuable lesson. Moon Pies can kill you and you don’t even have to be eating one.

If you are ever having a good time down on that old Gulf Coast around Mardi Gras time, remember two things: Rip tides can be extremely dangerous. Some you’ll encounter at the beach, however, some will occur when you least expect them so always keep an eye out for waves of small children driven like hunger crazed sharks. It can happen when there is only a whiff of a moon pie crust in the air.

Fat Tuesday in Athens

Mardi Gras in Athens – Fat Tuesday sneaked up on me in Athens. It’s easy to sneak up on me these days because I’m not alert, quick and graceful as I once was. This is pretty much a lie because I have never been any of those things as I recall and certainly Katie Mae has never complimented me on having any of these attributes. To be truthful she says I am as alert and quick as a somnambulant snail and as graceful as a tortoise trying to waltz.

The importance of the moment hit me when I saw an ad in the Athens Banner-Herald that told me there is a “New Orleans ‘N Athens” right downtown.  And sure enough because of our love of acronyms, it is called “NONA.”

I threw on my old “Fat Tuesday” togs and headed downtown. Katie Mae refused to go with me and I had a hard time driving because my “Cat Woman” mask kept slipping over my nose. When I parked I saw a blind pan handler with a seeing-eye dog. Since I couldn’t see through the mask, I gave him twenty bucks to use the dog a little while. I headed inside NONA to catch the full force of all the Athens Mardi Gras action.

It was a disaster. The place was full of college kids. I asked the girl who met me at the door if she were a waitress. She informed me she was a barista. I don’t speak Spanish. I thought she was telling me she was a bastard. I thought it strange that she should want to share with me that her parents were unmarried when she was conceived but you never know how crazy people get during Mardi Gras. Maybe all those beads were cutting off circulation to that miniscule brain of hers.

I think they were expecting a featured entertainer because she took a look at my gray hair and she asked me if I were “Fat Tuesday.” I said, “Listen kid, I am not only fat on Tuesday but I am also fat the following Wednesday and right on up through the next Monday.”

I asked for a drink and she carded me. They do that all the time in Athens. I’m obviously real old so I always think they are carding me to steal my identify and then it hits me that nobody in the world would want to be me. She took one look at my card and said, “You not only are not Fat Tuesday but you are too damned old to be in here!”

I attempted to angrily storm out of the joint but my big feet got caught up in a bar stool leg and the dog’s leash lassoed me around the ankles. As I pitched face forward over a table full of fancy cocktails the dog bit me on the butt.

Having seen how effectively a seeing-eye dog can lacerate your buttocks, none of the staff would come to my rescue. I could tell they didn’t want me in there but they were afraid to touch me. I crawled out of there on my own. I was crawling and yelling bloody murder the whole way. The patrons gave me a wide berth. The dog had become docile but I couldn’t help notice he was grinning at me.

When I got the dog back to his master, I told him the dog hadn’t helped much and he said, “Yeah, I know. I just keep him around because I feel sorry for him. Hell, he can’t see either. He has bitten me ten or twelve times in the last couple of years. You’d think the dumb barista would know me by now.” He might have said the dog was a dumb bastard but I was pretty confused at the time and I have a hard time hearing when my fanny hurts.

The only thing I think I learned by going to Mardi Gras in Athens is don’t try to be a young stud in a wild bar full of masked college kids. It is a futile pursuit and will eventually bite you in the ass.

Reality Shows! Is There Such a Thing as Fictional Fact?

Did you know the first reality show on TV was Alan Funt’s “Candid Camera” that first ran in 1948? Did you know, that now, there are so many reality shows, they can’t be counted. One of my sources replied to the question, “How many reality shows are there” with the answer, “Too damned many to count.” Another source listed 6,876. They count all the shows like “American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars” and each year’s new production is added to the list as a separate reality show.

82 percent of viewers say reality shows are totally made up, mostly distorted and they are wearing out their welcome. Apparently the genre is falling apart and it is doomed, so soak it all in before it evaporates.

Different web sources will give you differing ranks of reality shows but I have listed a few here that I got from this website:  I only talk about the ones that interest me and all my Southern blue-blooded redneck friends that have commented on the ones they seem to find interesting. Some of the rankings are intriguing in that they show you just how dumbed down we have become.

Some shows that are in trouble and in the courts being sued include “Whale Wars,” (I’m not sure of the ranking), #15, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” #17, “Storage Wars,” #54, “Amish Mafia,” and HGTV’s “House Hunters,” (not sure of rank).

“Whale Wars” is being sued for five million dollars for sinking a man’s ship. The ship owner says the show misrepresented the state and condition of his ship and sabotaged it to encourage viewers to donate to The Sea Shepherds which is an anti-whaling group. “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” has recently been accused of faking scenes. A picture said to be taken of Kris and Kim in Dubai in October was actually taken in an LA studio in December. The gals had the same outfits on or were seen with the same outfits both times.

#17, “Storage Wars,” is being sued by cast member, Dave Hester (Yuup, it’s the Yuup guy) for either 750K or millions of dollars depending which news story you read. Hester says the show persists in, “illegal activity and deceiving the public.” He says the show paid for plastic surgery of a cast member to hype up the sex appeal of the show. We are pretty sure plastic surgery money was not spent on Darrell Sheets or Barry Weiss. I like “Storage Wars” and the characters but if you watch this show and you think the events are real, you have a serious reality gap right in the middle of your empty head. Valuables are secreted in the storage rooms by the show’s staff. Think about it!!! If someone was so broke they could not pay the storage fee for three months, and by California law the contents could be sold, do you think the cash poor property owners would leave something they could convert into money? At one time “Storage Wars” was A&E’s most watched program, ever.

Lancaster, PA local police say that #54, “Amish Mafia,” does not even exist and if you see a picture of the police rousting out members of the, “Amish Mafia,” there are no police reports of detentions or arrests because they never happened. By the same token, HGTV’s, “House Hunters” are actually showing houses that are not for sale.

You might enjoy seeing the rankings listed below if you watch any of the reality shows.

#1 is either “Sunday Night Football” or “King of the Nerds.” It’s your choice and since the football season has fallen off the edge of the earth it must be “King of the Nerds.” I’ve never heard of “King of the Nerds,” and that’s probably a healthy thing for my last three surviving brain cells.

#2 is “American Idol” (Wednesday nights) and when they make their choice of which singer stays and which one goes (Thursday nights), the second night show will rank between #4 and #6.

#4 is “Duck Dynasty,” and it is immensely popular with just about every guy and gal I talk to down here in the sunny South. For that reason I would like to save my comments on “Duck Dynasty” for last.

#5: I’ve stuck “The Bachelor,” in here so the girls can get an idea where this show ranks. I don’t know any girls who care but there must a legion of you ladies out there burning up your TV’s on “The Bachelor” because you have shot that ranking through the roof.

#6 is one of my favorites. It’s called “Pawn Stars.” I like to see the strange items and antiques brought in to the pawn shop. I also enjoy “Antiques Roadshow” for the same reason. I love history and I love antiques. I enjoy the main man, Rick Harrison because he has no problem laughing at his own remarks. He amuses himself and I tend to do the same stupid thing. This is the show’s sixth year and it will be lucky to make a seventh year because the show is beginning to turn from unlikely to unbelievable.

Some other shows I know you are dying to hear about include:

#13 “Honey Boo Boo.” This reminds me of the days certain books were banned and it makes me think, “What’s wrong with censorship?”

#23-“Gold Rush, Alaska.” This is pretty interesting except commercials eat up 30% of the time you can actually see a show. That means you spend only about 40 to 45 minutes watching these guys and if they spent about 25 to 30 minutes trying to repair their old worn out mining equipment, you get very little quality gold-finding action. Something is broken or tears all to hell on every show.

“Teen Mom #2″ is ranked #29 but if you are wondering why in the world we had to have a ‘Teen Mom #2” you are right on the “real’ reality track and there may be help for you in the “Real” world. Our teen mom #2 is apparently such a fruitcake the staff and producers cannot control this gal and there will be no new season. I know this breaks many hearts but you will just have to suck it up!

#34 “Hardcore Pawn,” Believe it or not there are a heap of people out there willing to sit on their numb bums and watch this dysfunctional family bitch and moan the entire show except when they are bitching and moaning with their, so-called, customers.

“Sons of Guns” is #35 – I threw this one in for my gun loving buddies.

“American Pickers” is #37- Can be, at times, interesting and, many times, boring as hell.

“The Voice” is #45 for those of you who enjoy it.

For you lovers of big trucks and tow trucks, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that Lizard Lick Towing is #52. If you think this show is for real, please don’t tell anybody. Your wife can save pertinent information like this and, one day, when she gets “Really, Really” tired of you and begins to see the “Real” you, this will help her immeasurably in having you committed. I know because I fell in love with Sonia on “Operation Repo” and I caught Katie Mae making notes about my viewing habits. I think she’s building a case against me. A real let down for me was learning “Lizard Lick Towing” is #52 and my Sonia’s show was only #161.

Don’t give up. There’s more but it also gets more and more disappointing to people who love their “Real” high on a scale of, “Unreal.”

“Hoarders,” is #77. If you like “Hoarders,” you are undoubtedly living a super miserable life and you are way down in the reality trenches. Things will soon be looking up for you….because that’s the only place you can go from watching “Hoarders.”

For you swamp boys and fleshy headed ax men it’s getting worse, or better, as the case may be. “Gator Boys” is #51; “Ax Men” is #59; “Dog the Bounty Hunter” is #64; “Swamp People” is #115; “Doomsday Preppers” is #173 and poor old “Bering Sea Gold, Under the Ice” is way down at #312. I think we should be able to go ahead and bomb the “Doomsday Preppers” off the face of the earth and we won’t have to worry about them taking up valuable network time any more. Hell, it won’t come as a surprise to them. They’ve been expecting it! They should be ready for it by now.

I saved #4 “Duck Dynasty” until last for a particular reason. I have a lot of friends and relatives who like “Duck Dynasty” and I think I know why. We all wish we could support half a dozen families or more while tubing in a pond out back or wandering around at night gigging poor defenseless frogs (maybe not you gals) or all piling into a motor home and riding down the road to get a hot dog or some ice cream without ever worrying about who’s minding the store. This is so freaking unreal it’s pathetic. Have you ever seen them make a duck call from start to finish? Have you ever seen any of them actually producing even a small box of duck calls? Have they ever gone out to a big lake and called in some ducks. I have not watched all their shows but I can bet, and probably win the bet, that the answer to all my questions is a big, resounding, “No!”

So why do we love them? It’s because we are all from the South. I’m pretty sure I was in the fourth grade at Mulberry School in Albany, Georgia with Phil and Si Robertson back in 1951. Phil and Si had those long gray beards in the fourth grade. I had a crush on a girl that looked like Jase. She also had a long beard in the fourth grade. We had a fourth grade teacher who could have been Willie’s twin sister only her beard was a little lighter and a little longer.

Those guys are funny to us because we grew up with them. They have always been crazy as hell and nothing has changed them in all these years. Their lines are not usually that funny. That deadpan delivery makes them laughable. They’ll never change.

Our old Junior High School principal, Mr. Paul Robertson, was some kin to those boys. He broke the mold by learning to talk good English. He went on to become an educator. I don’t believe he ever made any duck calls but if he had, they would have been good’uns and he never slacked work like those Louisiana guys.

The only one that has got a damned lick of walking around sense is Miss Kay and those boys better take good care of her because they’ll be lost without her.

They’ll be just about as lost as I get when I start to wondering what ever happened to the television networks that gave us such good entertainment in the past. Where are our channels: National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, A&E and the History Channels? I’ll tell you where they are. They are all showing this same gibberish that makes us even dumber than we were when we were at Mulberry Street School in the fourth grade.

Boy, if we could resurrect folks like Mr. Paul Robertson. Mr. Rob had a duck dynasty too. He could royally burn your ass if you didn’t keep your ducks in a row.




Talking Dog in Athens, Georgia. Do Your Dogs Talk Back?

In Athens, Georgia – This weekend for thirty nine bucks you can see a fellow by the name of Tod Oliver perform with his dog Irving, who is billed as “Irving the Talking Dog.” Tod and Irving will be on stage at the UGA’s Ramsey Concert Hall. If you are a dog lover, I know you will want to go see Tod and Irving.

By the way, Tod Oliver is a ventriloquist and there might be some trickery involved in Irving’s vocalizing. If you go see Tod, you can be the judge of whether old Irving can speak for himself or not.

Now the article I read was written by Karah-Leigh Hancock in The Athens Banner Herald.  I don’t know Karah-Leigh Hancock but I suspect a woman with a hyphenated name probably has a dog and she probably talks to her dog. I’ll bet Karah-Leigh is no kin to my old friend Rose Hancock because Rose and I come from a generation and a kind that does very little talking to dogs unless, of course, they are Georgia Bulldawgs and they can really talk back. Take it from me, I have never met a Georgia Bulldawg who could not talk back, and with great volume too.

Kareh-Leigh raises my level of suspension about her style of reporting and Tod Oliver’s true ambition in life from the get-go. She says, right off, “Did you ever wonder what goes on inside a dog’s head” My answer would have to be, right off, “Not ever!”

She quotes Tod Oliver as saying, “I didn’t care about getting paid. I cared about making a good living.” Now, she misquoted that boy or his thoughts along the lines of, “Where is my next meal coming from,” are so convoluted that I can only believe he has not really been talking to Irving the Talking Dog. I feel one hundred percent sure that Irving is always totally concerned about his next meal and all the meals after that next one.

I think Tod probably does understand that “Getting paid,” and “Making a living,” are synonymous. He did not look anorexic in the picture they had of him in the paper.

So you be the judge. Do you really need to see a guy who has a dog that actually talks back to him or can you live on the faith, like I do, that dog lovers I know who are always talking to their dogs can hear the dogs responding?

That’s my excellent reason for saving the thirty nine bucks. All my dog-owning, dog-loving friends speak to their dogs. I am convinced the dogs’ owners can hear the pets replying to them. I often hear the loving owner repeat what the dog has said and it all makes perfect sense. I don’t think I need to hear Irving the Talking Dog’s voice. I know dogs can talk. I think it is wonderful that so many people have brilliant, intelligent, and wise four-legged friends who can so easily console their owners without vocalizing or using sign language. ESP works just fine between owner and pet and if it works for them, it certainly works for me.

I do draw the line at kissing the dog or in any way allowing the dog to kiss me or lick me on the lips. Dogs have absolutely no modesty and shame when it comes to licking their own bottoms. They even lick the bottoms of dogs they don’t know and to whom they have never been properly introduced. While most owners consider a kiss or lick on the mouth from their dog to be a loving kiss, I suspect most dogs do not really love you that intensely and they are giving you a taste of the old back door out of malice and spite.

Just be sure your dog really loves you before you let the dog French kiss you.



When Did Clementines become “Cuties”

I’m pretty upset with people who are constantly changing our words and adding new words and abbreviating the hell out of every good word we ever had. Nowadays it is not politically correct to cuss but don’t worry if you tend to become blasphemous. These so called wordsmiths will take a long line of beautifully strung together cuss words and change them into one long acronym that totally destroys the effectiveness of the curse you just used to mentally flog an imagined enemy.

It will come out like, “GYMDNFSGASESOSB,” and that wouldn’t scare a small child, much less a 93 year old grandmotherly antagonist. It really makes me so mad because this word changing foolishness can kill an old guy. It’s enormously dangerous to our health.

You will say that I am over reacting to something that isn’t a big problem but let me tell you how this stupidity can cost you your life.

Katie Mae gave me a short grocery list on Wednesday. Wednesday was the day the big storms wiped out parts of North Georgia. Luckily we are a little south of where all the bad weather was hammering towns like Blairsville but I left early for the store because of the impending bad weather and I was a little rushed to keep from getting caught by wind and rain if it came our way.

We had to have fruit. We have become convinced fruit will melt the excess lard from our less than svelte frames. We honestly believe some bright day we will once again be able to see our feet when we are standing.

So I took a quick trip down to Wal-Mart. Katie Mae had Cuties on her list of fruit. I did not know that Clementines were now called Cuties. We live in Athens so with Cuties at the top of my list it was fairly easy to pick up three UGA coeds. They were so cute. I thought it was too bad I couldn’t show them off in a red and black convertible. Katie Mae did not think they were cute. As protection I had kept the grocery list just in case there was a misunderstanding but it didn’t help at all.

I’m glad it was a short list because by the time I dug it out of my right nostril I had a terrible time getting those Cuties back to Wal-Mart. It was hard to see with so many tears in my eyes. I’d like to think I was sad and crying because I had to give up the girls. I suspect the real reason for the tears was severe spousal nostril abuse.

I cannot begin to tell you how cold, wet and windy it was trying to sleep on the deck Wednesday night during the storm. I was also harshly warned that getting that bed sheet dirty would mean real trouble.

I wonder if UGA has any free classes for old geezers who desperately need to learn new words and acronyms. I wonder if they know Clementines are called Cuties these days.


Biggest Loser? You! When You Race With Your Fat And It Gains On You!

When you get my age and you are still mostly male it doesn’t much matter anymore if you are pretty or not. However, if you have started giving a little thought to hanging around a few more years so you can watch the world go completely to hell then you might also think about all that excess fat meat you are hauling around. If you’re like me you are just a big taxicab for a bunch of free loading pounds that have been riding in the cheap seats. Unfortunately, we will ultimately pay the total fare for the free ride our big fannies have been getting.

We have been creeping along at an old snail’s pace but we’ve still managed to blow January totally off the 2013 calendar. Now it’s a big blank in my memory. I want to try to take a slower approach in February so I don’t get stressed mentally or physically. Katie Mae questions me in a calm, kindly, motherly voice, “If all your nerve endings are dead and you lost your mind in 1963, how can you be stressed anywhere?” A woman’s logic always baffles me.

Anyhow, I know I have to look pretty good, in a manner of speaking, when I wear my Valentine’s outfit and the third day after Valentine’s, she would like for me to look suitably alive for her birthday. I was thinking of, “Spiffy,” but I remembered last year when she and Paul took a look at me and said the word should be “Spoofy.”

Because stress makes you body slam people standing between you and the kitchen, (that’s where we keep our refrigerator) we are trying to stress…..less stress. We all know stress makes us pig out. If you perceive you are going through tough times or if you think hard times are just around the corner, your food choice is going to be high calorie. Women who binge-diet generally weigh 50 pounds more than women who diet consistently and peacefully.

So I’m going for the easy. I just read another weird diet about how you can make vegetables so attractive that you will want to smear them on your face instead of eating them. But seriously, this diet makes you work! I can’t believe a diet that makes you work is going to help the problem. By the time you peel and chop all those vegetables, you are going to be so hungry that you will eat everything stored in your vegetable bin. This diet had you preparing all kinds of veggies, as they call them, and then preparing this wonderful, delicate, lighter than air sauce to dip them in. Or you could have a spinach, celery or maybe Vidalia onion smoothie. That is work! You can’t lose weight working! You have to eat a lot in order to be fit and able enough to work that much in the kitchen! Kitchen work is hard work!!

My suggestion is to take it easy on your new diet. Don’t hurt yourself. The diet is really no good if you kill yourself working to maintain it.

Here are several hints and tips I recently picked up on dieting and weight loss. They were given to me and they are yours for the taking. Just don’t get stressed:

Do not try to lose weight by eating donut holes. Donut holes have no calories but eating your way through the donut to get to the hole can turn you into a vast waist land.

You can still count a banana split as a salad if you put a whole wheat crouton on the top and eat it all at one time while standing or while eating with someone you really like that is eating the same treat. You cannot have the cherry.

There is a new miracle spice that you can eat that will literally burn the calories away, or so at least one hundred spammers have told me through e-mails. Beware. This is a trick. We do not need anything else to eat. We are trying to lose weight. You cannot eat yourself slim. I suggest you try the, “Sighted Weight Loss Program.” Under this plan, you sit and stare at a picture of food that you really like. Start about 5:00 PM and continue to stare at it right through the 11:00 o’clock news. It works. Eventually you will pass out and when you wake, it will be time for breakfast.

Be sure you use a photograph. I tried it with a can of creamed corn and when I fell asleep the can almost broke the big toe on my right foot. It hurt for a good three minutes before I ate the corn to make my toe feel better.

My best plan yet is to find this gal I just read about who holds the world record for the largest hips. Her hips are eight feet in circumference. She is described as being, “Plus sized.” I don’t know where they got that description but calling eight foot hips, “Plus” defies all the math I was ever taught. That’s not addition, that’s multiplication. I am going to become her close friend. As long as I can be around her, I am going to look so slim and trim, I’ll never have to worry about another diet.

I may have to break down and exercise a little. A friend just sent this to me and I think there might be a smidgeon of truth somewhere in the good Doctor’s line. The doctor is speaking to his patient and asks him:

What fits your busy schedule best? Would you rather exercise one hour per day or be dead twenty four hours per day?