Support Your Police! Uncle Ben’s Tips for Dummy Thugs

There are many kinds of thugs in this world. You might remember The Beagle Boys who were cartoon thugs. They were always trying to steal Scrooge McDuck’s fortune. Now that is an understandable kind of thuggery because there is monetary gain in stealing (sometimes) but, today, there is a breed of thugs in this confusing world who have no idea why they are thugs. Because today’s thugs are so uncertain of their purpose in life, it is imperative we support our police forces just as much as possible to protect ourselves from the sheer stupidity of the youth of today who have decided to follow the thug’s life.

The Famous Beagle Boys

The Famous Beagle Boys

I feel compelled to ask you to speak to as many educators as possible in an effort to convince them we probably should stick to “Common Core” and any other whacko system our far left educators have come up with to educate our youth because their systems are not working.

It’s good the system isn’t working because the kids are getting dumber and dumber, but fret not, oh teachers of the stony heads. You are unwittingly keeping us safe from the very same dumb-downed kids you think you are educating.

Saggy Pants do not a scholar make.

Saggy Pants do not a scholar make.

What little brain he has is in the seat of those drawers.

What little brain he has is in the seat of those drawers.

You keep teaching what ever it is you think you have been teaching  because if these guys (mostly guys) get any smarter we will have done the policemen all across this great country a terrible disservice. I will do my best to help out by listing a few basic rules for dummy thugs so the police can catch a break on having to continually lock them up because of their idiocy. My helpful hints include about ten or twelve golden rules that should still keep us safe but maybe give the police a break from having to lock up every dumbass walking the street after midnight.

So here goes folks – Benjamin Swilley’s Tips For Dummy Thugs:

1 – Do not text and drive in ditches, on sidewalks or medians at the same time. You are not      invisible.

2 – Do not smoke dope, drink alcohol (especially if you are underage) and drive a car with      no insurance, with no tag lights, with no tag, with no tail lights, with headlights off and no      driver’s license or with a fake driver’s license. You are not invisible.

3 – Do not stand on other people’s cars if you have your pockets full of Xanax and no              prescription. You are not invisible.

4 – Do not strike a police officer and then turn and run straight into a tree. You are not              invisible…… but, to tell the truth, the tree probably did not see you coming.

5 – Do not urinate in a downtown Athens alley if you have warrant out for your arrest. You        are not invisible.

6 – Do not go to sleep on the commode in the Waffle House if you have an outstanding            warrant for your arrest. You were very visible when the manager had to unlock the door      so the police could haul your dumbass to jail.

7 – Do not call the police to come to your house because of a disturbance if you have a            warrant for your arrest sitting downtown just waiting on you.

8 – Don’t try to run from the police when you’re in a stolen car and you choose to go down      a dead end street. You are not invisible. In other words…..THEY SAWWWWW YOU!!!!

9 – Do not do push-ups in the Varsity parking lot while you are roaring drunk and you have      warrants out for your arrest. You are not invisible.

10 – Do not drink booze from a flask in downtown Athens if you are a 20 year old gal who          is too drunk to drop the flask back into your pocketbook before the policeman sees            you drop it on the ground. This time you were really, really visible.

11 – If you are homeless, do not raise hell with people who are giving you a place                        to stay and then they have to call the police and then the police find you have                      outstanding warrants for your arrest and then – do not tell them you have no place to          stay because they know that is not quite true because the police know a place where        you can spend the night. You have gone way beyond being visible.

12 – If you are exalted members of the bar do not think you and your fellow barrister are so        highly educated you can do no wrong so you decide to kick back in your downtown            Athens office and fire up a joint with a lady friend. The policemen walking the beat may        not have such finely polished and filigreed diplomas as you guys but these two had            excellent olfactory systems and they followed their trusty noses right to your office.            You were only temporarily invisible before the fine sniffers of the lawmen ferreted out          the wrongdoers.


This fine little book has become a rarity in the world of readers. Few have read it. I think Amazon will sell you one if there are any left. Just try for more misinformation.

This fine little book has become a rarity in the world of readers. Few have read it. I think Amazon will sell you one if there are any left. Just try for more misinformation.








Return to Camp Kay – Ken Ken and Mary John – Athens July, 2015

Aunt Kay says to tell you she does have a few chairs around the house but we didn’t look like we had been using chairs. She thinks that is because They taught us at DW you can’t fall off the floor.

To my Mama –  Kim Cooper Brooks.

We blew into town on Monday afternoon in my beautiful white Ford Escape. Uncle Ben said Escape was a good name for the car because we looked like escapees he has seen in the past right before they are captured and returned to prison. He also said the little sign on the back of the car that reads “Ego-Boost” was appropriate for us because we looked like we could stand some ego boosting. I almost didn’t have heart to tell the old blind rascal that the little tag reads “EcoBoost.”

He said he was glad we didn’t roar into town in a Ferrari because he felt sure you and Daddy and Mary John’s folks would want us to be safe and well protected where ever we go and that might be tough for him because he gave away all his baseball bats years ago. He says baseball bats are best for knee-capping eager teenaged rebels who want to hang out around your door when pretty young girls are visiting. What does “Knee-Capping” mean?

Aunt Kay is taking us shopping this afternoon. I forget the name of the place but I think it is a French word for “Let’s see how much we can get in American dollars from these crazy women who obviously like to adorn themselves in baubles, bangles, bracelets, rings and other useless junk straight from China. Uncle Ben says that’s no real problem because girls usually bring home inanimate objects that are fairly harmless. boys bring home snakes and frogs and things that will either bite you or scare the hell out of you.


Uncle Ben says we are camera conscious lens hogs. The minute the camera came out we both turned and gave it a big winning smile.

Tonight we are going into town to eat at the Olive Garden. We chose the Olive Garden because Aunt Kay has a fist full of gift cards for the Olive Garden and Uncle Ben says he loves a woman who eats sensibly. He says he will clean up for the occasion but I heard him tell Aunt Kay he was tired so he was just going to shave the right side of his face. Then he’s going to sit to everybody’s left. If photos are taken his best side will be to the camera.

We are going to have our cameras ready tonight because Aunt Kay says she can use some good photos of him with just half his face shaved to show the judge when she’s having him committed. What does “Committed” mean? will actually sell you one of these totally self-immersible books. That means you can really get into it. It is not waterproof.



A Goodbye to Nick Lewis – Albany, Georgia – My Home Town

Ben and Nick at Chehaw 2

Chehaw Park – Raymond Barlow’s famous 50.5 Reunion of 1960 AHS graduating class. Two and a half years after our 50th reunion in 2010. Nick and Ben

Nick Reunion

1960 AHS Reunion – Fairgrounds – 2010 – Albany Georgia – From Left – Nick Lewis, Ben Swilley, Vic Miller, Chan Chandler.

Ben and Nick at Chehaw

Another picture at Chehaw State Park – 2012


Undated picture – Nicky Lewis probably Albany Junior High School in mid 1950’s..

50th Class Reunion 104

Nick sporting clown teeth 2010 – AHS 50th reunion with Rose Hancock Kemp

50th Class Reunion 070

2010 – Radium Springs-Albany, Georgia-AHS 50th reunion of Class of 1960. With Sister Miller, Rose Hancock Kemp, Ben and Nick.

50th Class Reunion 078

Radium Springs 1960 AHS reunion – 2010 – Ben, Spencer Lee, Nick Lewis.

50th Class Reunion 100

Nick and Linda Gray. Linda has also passed away after enduring a long battle with cancer. Rest in Peace Linda and Nick.

50th Class Reunion 080

50th class reunion AHS 1960. The group is pictured in front of the “boil” which is the source of beautiful Radium Springs.


Tomorrow in Jacksonville, Florida friends and relatives of Nickson Bruce Lewis will gather to memorialize and commemorate his life as they say goodbye to him. After battling a debilitating brain tumor for almost four years Nick left us Wednesday February 12. The eight years between the passing of his lovely wife Marsha Lynette Lewis and the time Nick’s brain tumor was discovered now seem so incredibly brief. Nick and Marsha had endured her fight with cancer for over fourteen years before she passed away.

But the time I want to strive to remember is the time of our youth. The time when we were growing up in Albany, Georgia.

The first time I ever saw Nicky Lewis it was a shock to my little self-centered red-necked existence. It was 1956 at Albany Junior High School. I was from the east side of the river and I think life was much


slower than it was for the cool cats on the west side and if there really was such a thing as a cool cat, his name was Nicky Lewis.

My memory is very dim at times but I believe the only Hispanics and Latinos we ever saw were in the movies. Nick Lewis looked exactly like a Pachuco and a Pachuco to us back then was a Hispanic gang member. They had a small tattoo in the webbed area between their thumb and forefingers that, as I recall, looked like a spider or a spider web. We only knew one guy like that and he was a phony because the biggest wus in our class whipped the Pachuco’s fanny one night after we got to high school. Shortly after the whupping the Pachuco left town.

Anyhow that’s how Nicky Lewis looked. He looked exactly like a banana knife wielding Hispanic killer. He had coal black hair combed into a neat, chiseled duck tail. There was not a Vaseline covered hair out of place. He was a fearsome looking dude. I always gave him a wide berth until one day in the restroom I missed the urinal and wet down one of his black engineer boots. You know, the boot with the single strap and the silver buckle across the top of the instep.

I thought then, “Oh my precious Lord, please do not let this greaser cut off my head with a banana knife.” I looked down at his shoe and then up at him and he was laughing so hard he almost fell into his urinal. I didn’t know what to think but he helped me out by saying, “You can’t see very well, can you?” I answered, “I can’t see at all on odd days of the week.” It was a Wednesday. He said, If you would step over to that sink and wash all of that crap out of your eyes, you might be able to catch an occasional glimmer of light.”

We were steadfast friends from that moment on and I can tell you a nicer, more gentlemanly and kinder Pachuco never lived.

I never really asked him why he had adopted the persona of a really bad Hispanic hoodlum but I will always believe that he was basically such a good person that the way he dressed and looked afforded him protection and grief from older, bigger guys because they were more afraid of him than we were.

These were the James Dean, “Rebel Without a Cause ” years. Everybody wore a red jacket like Dean wore in the movie or they got as close as they could get to that shade of red. The black engineer boots were hard to find because so many teen-agers were buying them. White T-shirts were hot items in department stores for years after the movie was released.

Just prior to the movie hitting the theaters, kids were shod mostly with black and white saddle oxford shoes. Everybody wore combinations of pink and black. The girls wore those ankle length black a-line skirts with a big pink poodle appliqué stuck on it. Even Elvis loved pink and black. His managers got him to hug a girl or two while he was wearing pink and black just so we would all know he was straight.

So it was a squeaky clean Pat Boone kind of world until James Dean and company topped our horizon driving a 1949 black, blocked, chopped, and dropped Mercury.

After that it was a Nick Lewis kind of world and he sauntered and moseyed into it dressed exactly like Marlon Brando in “The Wild One.”

He was one of a kind and totally the opposite from the image he conveyed at your first sight of him.

I keep hearing that old adage, “You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover” and it’s not Bo Diddley I hear singing it. It’s the voice of Montine Martin my favorite teacher at Albany Junior High School who taught me so much about people in such a short time.

She told me that after I had told her Nicky Lewis was a super-good person and lots of people had pegged him wrong because of the way he dressed. I failed to mention to her that I had become his friend by peeing on his foot in the restroom. I didn’t feel it appropriate to share that with her.

Goodbye Nick. I wish I could be there for the memorial service. You were always much loved my man and the memory will not die while we still live. I keep hearing the Mills Brothers singing, “The Song Has Ended But the Melody Lingers On.” And that it will my old friend; The memory and the melody will go on and on and on.



A Christmas Cat Home Invasion.

Sego on the deck

Sago from the bedroom window








Katie Mae is a short person and short persons often, like small children, can spot things those of us who are taller seem to overlook. I was not surprised then, when she opened the blinds to one of our bedroom windows that overlook the deck behind our house. She then questioned the presence there of a dark shadow against the far wall beneath a small potted Sago Palm.

The deck can be seen in the picture on the left. I took that picture on the same rainy day because I wanted you to see what Katie Mae saw when she opened those blinds. The picture does not show a dark shadow under the palm.

I also saw the shadow and told her it might be a cat. I went into the living room and opened blinds there so I could have a better look at the dark spot.

I then went back to the bedroom and told her it was not only a big black cat but it had more than one head and one set of ears. Even though it looked like a big black blob underneath the plant I could see a silhouette of more heads and ears than most cats usually carry around with them.

I carefully eased out the back door to the deck and the mama cat took off across the deck. As she ran down the deck steps she was followed by an agglomeration of little kitten ears, heads, tails and legs. Most astonishing of all is how thickly furred they were and all four of them were black as deep smut.

She led them through the thick woods behind the house and I guessed that was the last we would see of them. I was wrong. Later that night, I could hear a loud cry from a kitten coming from the back deck. Katie Mae said the cry was coming from the front porch and, once again, that short person’s perspective proved to be right.

I went to the front door and peeked through the panel windows on each side of the door and they were all there to greet me. Momma cat gave me what I would call “a warning smile” and a low guttural growl as she chased her brood from the porch. Her unpleasant greeting made me slightly hesitant to open the door so I didn’t.

I’ve seen her around the neighborhood before and I considered her a feral cat. It’s kind of odd to see any stray animals in our neighborhood but she has been around for a while. She is not completely black. She has orange markings on her side that look like a map of Tasmania. From the looks of her smile I suspect she could be a Tasmanian devil and apparently she has not been a totally single parent. So these kittens are not that kind of Christmas gift. I’m pretty sure she had help making them. If he’s anything like her I don’t want to meet him.

They stayed on the porch late into the night until they got caught up in a tangle that was more than they could handle. Katy Mae has tiny sentinel Christmas trees right outside the front door. They are lighted trees. You get my drift. That means they are electrified. They are about three feet tall and they have electric lights running all throughout their limbs or at least they did before those kittens Sego on the deck 2Order From Amazon.comgot to tussling, scuffling, tumbling and fighting amongst themselves and up under those little Christmas Trees.

I heard the loudest caterwauling I have heard in years coming from our front porch. The kittens were all wrapped up in the electric lights and they had taken to scratching and clawing and biting the wires. I jumped to get a remote control to turn off the lights before all those cats really got to smoking.

I turned off the lights and yanked open the front door just in time to see Mama Cat, kittens, trees, lights and all pass under a street light about a hundred yards down from our house.

I could still see dying flickers of colored lights going down the street and the smell of burning cat hair on the porch was strong enough to make me cough.

I’m sure it was the coughing that made me temporarily turn to strong drink.

The entire episode has been a “Bermuda Triangle” moment for me. I have seen no cats, no Christmas Trees and no lights since night before last.

They have completely and totally disappeared. That can’t all be bad. It makes me believe Santa Claus still loves me.


Kensley Report #4, 2013 – Who Brought the Dawgs In!

Where is Caesar Dawgustus? This is the most important question you will hear today in downtown Athens. The famous Bulldog statue all decked out in his resplendent Roman imperial trappings is no longer solidly occupying the corner of College Avenue and Broad Street in beautiful downtown Athens.

Where has he gone? Did some of those nutty kids from Alabama, Florida, South Carolina or Auburn abscond with him?

Do you know how many thousands of fine upstanding rock-like students and fans of the University of Georgia have posed with Caesar Dawgustus? You can’t just toss off losing Georgia’s favorite bulldog statue with total silence. Don’t you know he was a bigger attraction for Georgia fans than the sacred arches? Athens had no greater visitor attraction than Caesar Dawgustus.

Rumor had it that the big Dog had to go. There were too many people falling over him. Even sober people were getting tripped up in the masses who rushed to his side for the ultimate UGA photo op. Then there are the big drinkers. There’s no telling how many boys and girls wound up with bad sprains after having one too many and then posing for pictures while unsteadily wobbling on the poor Dog’s back.

Another rumor that surfaced concerns the liability the City of Athens might have for creating what Uncle Ben said used to be called an “attractive nuisance” right in the middle of one of the town’s busiest corners. If you create the attraction that causes injuries to others even though they were the ones acting the fool, you might have to pay for the damages.

Kensley and Caesar Dawgustus

Uncle Ben says you could alleviate that problem by stationing a large policeman on the corner with the Bulldog and have him lightly tap the drunks with a billy club. Then the cop could always claim the drunk attacked him. Uncle Ben says a little clubbing never hurt a drunk and it teaches them how to better comport themselves when out in public.

Uncle Ben has strange ideas and talks funny like that sometimes. That’s why Aunt Kay and I did not take him with us when we went to town looking for the Bulldog statues.

Uncle Ben did share with us the story that is probably the closest to the truth about the thinning out of the Bulldog statues. He said the statues were actually put in place about ten years ago by The Athens-Oconee Junior Woman’s Club. It was a big fund raising effort for the club and they called it, “Who Let the Dawgs Out.”

They ended the project in 2010 and some of the statues were sold to the highest bidders. Their auction raised in excess of $20,000.00 for AIDS Athens.

Uncle Ben said he read that 36 Bulldogs were originally placed in spots around Athens and when they were moved about 40 dogs were relocated but quite a few are still around Athens. You have to go looking for them.

And that is exactly what Aunt Kay and I did. We rode around town until we had found 14 of the big boys and she took my picture with every one of them.

The great news is Caesar Dawgustus is still with us. You can find him out on the Atlanta Highway in the showroom of Phil Hughes Honda and boy is he pampered. I’ll bet not one drunk has fallen over him since he has been in his new home.

Now if Uncle Ben can figure out how to get Caesar’s picture (with me of course) on this blog, you too can see him.

The Kensley Report – 2013- How not to Fly to Athens

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Getting to Athens was a little more than strange. Uncle Mel has an airplane and he can actually fly it. It has a real engine so you feel better about the trip when you hear the thing start up and you see the propeller start to turn.

Cason and Mom flew with us. Ten year old Cason was not his normal ebullient self and I think it was because he has always flown commercial in large planes. It was really unusual not having constant commentary from Cason who was relegated to the cheap seats and given a set of earphones that were purposely inoperable. He could hear us but we could not hear him. Some things work out perfectly.

The weather was good and the flight perfect. The big problem that we did not foresee was the thriving airport at the bustling college town of Athens, Georgia was shut down tight. There was just the flicker from an old Fourth of July sparkler to guide us. Paul had to chase down the runway waving the sparkler so we could see to land. We did catch the glint of Uncle Ben’s bald head in a helpful flash of light.

Paul and Aunt Kay had hailed a man on a small motorcycle who opened a gate for them so they could meet us on the runway. Uncle Ben kept sweating the TSA showing up and undressing them all. Uncle Ben is a very nervous person and highly resents being groped. If Aunt Kay and Paul had not caught the guy on the Moped we would have had a terrible time hoisting our fat fannies over the high fences around the airfield.

The big challenge occurred on the return flight to Dawson. We had no problem flying from Dawson but when Uncle Mel, Mom and Cason flew back toward Dawson they were not allowed to land in Dawson, Americus, Albany or Eufaula, Alabama because of heavy fog. I understand Cason grew quieter and quieter.

They finally were diverted to Dothan, Alabama to land and they had to get a hotel and spend the night in Dothan. The next morning they barely managed to fly out in front of a storm. There was a huge black storm cloud only moments behind them as they lifted off. Unfortunately they were once again refused landing privileges at Albany and Dawson.

Finally, Uncle Mel, who remained cool as the proverbial cucumber managed to set the plane down in a sharecropper’s back yard right near Leesburg ,Georgia and they called my Maw Maw (Barbara Cooper) so she could do what every lucky woman in the world would love to do on her birthday. She rode out to Leesburg into a cow paddy filled pasture to pick up her eldest daughter, her only son and her youngest grandson to taxi them back home.

It was a fantastic birthday present for Maw Maw because Mel got’em all back safely on the ground.

They actually set down on a crop duster’s landing strip on New York Road in Lee County. I thought saying they landed in a sharecropper’s backyard was a tad more romantic.

I understand Cason has once again found his voluminous cache of wild thoughts, words and crazy ideas and is now talking non-stop.

How Not to Fly to Athens?…………Drive your car!

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Banned in Athens – Banning the Disreputables!

Remember when they banned books and later, along with certain books, we were also deprived of “Color Music” or “Black Music” that was banned from the air waves?

Our parents warned us about such music destroying our minds and now I think our parents were right. Today if I hear the Platters sing, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” I tend to get a wide-eyed, slack-jawed expression, drool on my shirt and lose the ability to hold my head up. No question Rock and Roll was my immediate and complete downfall and I feel sure millions of tottering old idiots out there will completely agree with me. We are still strangely affected by our favorite old tunes.

But in serious self-analysis we are ultimately survivors and we have managed to survive by using people skills we developed over the last sixty years. Those skills have been honed and polished by our being thrown together with other nut-cases, equally befuddled as we are by this strange new life. You learn to protect yourself by watching other people and by being wary of those who exhibit behavior you consider a little strange, even in the hottest bar in town. For example, a young guy just entering a wild and crazy downtown Athens bar will want to steer clear of the cute little blonde on the first bar stool. Her jeans are on inside out. Pass on her. Her problem may be long-term and you don’t need the grief.

But Banning People???

Yes, now they are banning people and I see a dangerous trend developing that can totally deprive today’s young people of the societal gauges they desperately need to determine who is a simple clown, who is a real Bozo, who is only just a little drunk , who is totally bombed, who is bonkers and who to run from and when to run!

How are our unworldly neophytes going to be able to judge the good from the bad, the ugly and the uglier? They all look and dress (if you can call that dressing) alike so how will newly arrived innocents be able to fend for themselves in this pacifist jungle?

You can read about the banning of people weekly in the Athens Banner-Herald newspaper. Only a few days ago a young man was observed outside a Jittery Joe’s coffee shop. He was dressed in only his boxer shorts. Further observation revealed all his outer garments (that means his other clothing) was inside the store and overturned chairs littered the shop. He knew he had been partying pretty hard a few hours earlier but he did not really know where he was and what had happened to him.

Luckily the police got him before he rid himself of the boxer shorts that were hindering him as he tried to dance with the shrubbery. The article did not mention an arrest but the manager of Jittery Joe’s asked that he be banned from all Jittery Joe’s locations in Athens.

Now I read that a 21 year old man has been banned for two years from a Family Dollar store because he subjected some of the employees to verbal abuse. To make matters worse a 44 year old man has been banned for two years from the Normal Town Coin Laundry after he was found intoxicated in the business.

Many people do not realize how serious this banning of people can be. If we rid our businesses of border-line crazies how are the new kids coming along going to know how to act? How will they be able to distinguish good behavior from bad?

If you’re going to ban a few loudmouths, drunks and dope heads from our lives at least see if the police can’t build portable cells in empty storefronts downtown so the screamers and miscreant imbibers can be locked up close to all the action. That way greenhorns can be allowed to closely observe them.

It would be a relatively safe method of teaching college students about real life. They will learn how to recognize truly bizarre behavior. This will be a great and fantastic endeavor. Today’s politically correct society is teaching young people absolutely nothing about life.

Stop feeding grown children pablum. You’re turning every kid on the corner into a Milquetoast.

Start today! Start in Athens! We’ve got to start somewhere!





Only a few days ago

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.



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.