Birthday Potpourri Chuckeletto

Tuesday November 6, 2012. It’s election day. It’s my birthday.

The fun began Friday before my birthday. Ken, Kimberly and Kensley came from Albany in Southwest Georgia.. Katie Mae’s sister Sharon came from Summerville-near-Charleston. Paul and Caroline were already here. The house was nearly full. Everybody talked at one time. Sharon brought enough food to feed many people for many days. She brought exotic salads and cheeses and those Crunchmaster crackers that I would kill for. Katie Mae made a large pot of chili and another big pot of a special Lima bean soup that she likes to make for Ken.

Kimberly brought a pound cake to me for my birthday. Hope White baked it and it is so good that I did not want to share it. I fantasized about hiding in the closet and eating it all by myself. Ken and I (and everybody else) were especially fond of the crunchy crust that ringed the cake at the bottom. I went ahead and shared it in spite of my greed. I wondered if Hope White’s husband has the same problem I do. Katie Mae is a fantastic cook and I have a lard tire that waxes and wanes around my waist like the rings around Saturn. Luckily for me, Katie Mae is not a cake-baking, pie-making enthusiast as well as a super cook or I would have long ago gone the way of all fat boys with clogged arteries.

On Saturday morning we went to the UGA/Ole Miss game. We saw old friends. we enjoyed the largesse of Britt and Andrea and all the others who contributed food and drink for the benefit of the masses at SwilleyGate. I reported the game on under the title  “Athens-UGA-Homecoming 2012.”

We stayed at the game for hours and by the time the youngsters dragged the oldster home, I was suitable for framing…by my headboard, foot board and my bed covers. They kept referring to me as, “The Old Waddler.” I cannot multi-task. I cannot eat and drink that much and walk straight. I should have demanded a wheel chair.

Sunday comes and I actually got out of bed pretty early and stood almost straight up! The youngsters were scattered but I rounded them up and watched their eyes shine as I explained the attraction of a deep gulley not too far down the road from our house. I told them about all the gold that has been found in Georgia and how, no doubt in mind, that gold can be found at the bottom of that gulley in certain spots. I neglected to tell them all that gold was  discovered further north in the Georgia mountains but it really didn’t matter. They left with a small shovel, a bucket for soil samples and their eyes all aglitter.

They returned with just the bottom of the small sample bucket covered in mud. I was thinking this is a pretty meager sample but these are city kids and I better not try to work them too hard. They may fall out on me and there ain’t no way I’m going to be able to pick any of them up. I couldn’t even get Ken Ken back to the house in a wheel barrow and she’s the lightest one of the lot. I take the sample bucket and tell them we will pan that mud and get the results later. I thought if there was any gold in it, I might have to check it out for purity and negotiate ownership later on.

Then they got a couple of plastic grocery bags and start raking acorns from beneath this huge white oak tree in the front yard. This is referred to as “mast”  by my woodsy friends in south Georgia. If you follow my drift, you know what I mean and if you are a woodsy guy from the south, you know what the mast is for. We spread it out in a perfect place behind my house. Now we will have furry friends as well as feathered friends although I am not too sure birds and animals think of us as friends, or think of us at all. It reminds me of the lady bitten by the monkey who couldn’t understand why the monkey bit her. She knew the monkey liked her because he always grinned at her. She was a little slow on the uptake. When the monkey grins at you, it is a warning to run like hell before he bites you.

Sharon left early, Ken, Kimberly and Kensley left a few hours later and Paul and Caroline shared a big pizza with us for dinner.

The weekend was over and the birth/election day was on the way. When it all hit, the election results were not what I hoped for but the birthday was good because I am still alive and I enjoyed it for the humorous moments it gave me. That’s why I called this Birthday Potpourri Chuckeletto. It is a small mishmash of chuckles I encountered on my birthday. I’m sharing them with you because I think we all need something like a good chuckle several times daily to get us through the day and help balance the happiness with the sorrow we often encounter. I hope these help you, even if only for a little while.

Katie Mae’s birthday card to me reads: “In life you’re either the HAMMER or the NAIL…so on your BIRTHDAY, the question becomes ……….. (you open the card and it says) “Would you rather get hammered or nailed?

Now she asks me! Would I rather get hammered or nailed and I’m too damned old to be either. The health gurus have seen to that. At least the thought was kindhearted and I accept all invitations with an open mind. The spirit is willing but, unfortunately, the spirit is out there free-wheeling in space. Isn’t that what they say? The spirit is willing and you know the rest about the weakness of the flesh. Damn. Foiled again, by a feeble mind and a misspent youth.

“If a frog keeps his mouth open too long, he will suffocate.” This was on a birthday card I received. Why would someone buy a card like this? What did I do to deserve this card? Is it true? Did some strange person watch a frog hold his mouth open too long and then offer him absolutely no help when he began to suffocate. He could have been given mouth to mouth. I’ll bet those science labs have little bitty paddles you can use to jump start a frog’s heart. Did someone in one of those chambers of horror in medical school use tiny dental clamps to hold the frog’s mouth open until he choked down his last breath? Was the frog green? Did his face turn blue or purple? We need serious answers to serious questions asked here. I want to know if there are people going around deliberately suffocating frogs. I love Kermit. Is he safe? I want answers,  I just don’t know who to ask.

Another birthday card declared that after you reach fifty, Happy Birthday becomes an oxymoron and the sound of someone saying, “Happy Birthday,” brings thoughts of fingernails scraping on a black board. It is the lower frequencies of the nails scraping that drives us mad. It is comparable to a primitive warning cry of certain monkeys. Monkeys and primal thoughts keep troubling me. We still have those fearful scream receptors fused into our brain cells. In our fight or flight response to this cry, we most naturally try to run from the encroaching frailties of old age. It all fits! Almost. This was a hand- made card from an old friend who is institutionalized. Don’t worry. I don ‘t think they are ever going to let him out.

The last weird card I received was from my elderly son out in Texas. He is twelve years older than I am and I think I got my twisted sense of humor from him. Anyhow, the card was okay and suitably funny but he chose to enclose a note from retired attorney, Frank Faulk, Sr.  The note is a verbatim copy of a letter sent to the claim agent’s office of the A&Y Railroad in Greensboro, NC. The author of the letter was dead serious.

Mr.Faulkner                                                                                                                                A & Y Railroad                                                                                                         Greensboro, N.C.

Your railroads rund over my bul at the 20 mile pass on Wensday. He air not ded, but he mout as well be and I want your sexion boss repote him ded and pade for. He mash out both his seeds leafing mity little of his bag hit tared out a peace of skin a foot squar betwixt his pecker and nabul, he air totaly unqualifide to be a bul and he air mamed up to bad to be a steer and he air to dam tuf for beef, so I want you to repote him ded and pade for.                                                                                                                                      Yours and so fofe                                                                                                             Simon Green

P.S. He were a red bul, but he stands around looking mity blew these days.

It kind of makes me proud that I am 71 and I have never had problems like that. Birthdays are wonderful aren’t they? Just keep those artificial chalk-board monkey-screams to a minimum and don’t trust a live monkey if he grins at you.