Humour

151 articles in category Humour / Subscribe

I originally wrote this essay a few days after the 9/11 attack. I watched the attacks and the destruction of both towers with my students on a 32-inch television that was placed in my room on a pole. I knew my life, the lives of my students, and the lives of everyone in the world changed that day.

Seventeen years later I am also feeling remorse for a time I understood what the world stood for; at least my world. We are now in a place that is separated by ideas. We are now a divided nation yelling at each other because one side thinks the other side is wrong.

Actually they not only think there side is the correct but also think the other side is against everything we’ve always loved, admired, and were proud of. I just can’t figure out whose side I’m on or if I am right or wrong.

I want to go back to a time when I was more concerned with my weight and what I was going to wear to hide it.

I want to go back to a time when I was angry that George W. Bush stole the election. I also want to go back to a time I got over it.

I want to go back to a time when my biggest worry was finding more hair in my sink. Today, I wish I could find some hair. Continue Reading →

As I was mowing my lawn for what seemed to be the millionth time this summer my neighbor wandered over from his task of allowing weeds to take over his lawn to ask me if I was sick of summer yet?

OK, I answered, but I reminded him of a time in mid-February as we were attempting to liberate our families from the snows and cold of winter, when he asked me if I was sick of winter yet? Because I am old as dirt, my mind started to question which season was easier to survive? Being the teacher I’ve always been I started to compare the two seasons.

First of all summer produces an incredible amount of heat. Winter, on the other hand produces an incredible amount of cold. As a science person I clearly understand that cold does not exist. Cold is simply the absence of heat. As to what is easier to survive is an interesting question. The heat of summer can be defeated if you have air conditioning in your home.

The cold of winter can be subdued by one’s heating system. Both are expensive. Air conditioning explodes one’s electric bill while heating either defeats one’s budget or breaks one’s back if they are apt to heat their house with wood. This question seems like a draw. In New England if you ignore these problems you will probably die. Continue Reading →

Clothes and souvenirs are not the only things stored away for the trip back home. Summer tales are also packed as memories to be brought out during various parties and family get-togethers.

Most of the stories are family tales about how the baby ate his or her weight in sand or how some aunt got her finger stuck in the lobster’s claw and had to be taken to the hospital to get it freed.

An Irish American named Jimmy Teague told by far the most interesting story about an affair on a mini-vacation on the beaches of New Hampshire. His title would be, “Fifteen seconds with the nude stranger.” Seeing him tell his story gives the listener the impression that his story is total fiction. However, all who were there support his rendition.

The night before their journey home, Jim, his wife Jeanne, and two of their friends, Dick and Jana stayed in a motel in Hampton, New Hampshire. This was a small motel that had a swimming pool and a small restaurant. It was the middle of the week so they were able to get adjourning rooms. Continue Reading →

There is nothing nicer that the beginning of Spring, after a long cold winter. I actually saw a little green the other day as I dared to go out into my backyard. I haven’t attempted that particular excursion since a few weeks before Christmas.

As I walked beside my home I noticed that many of the bulbs, that I planted years before, were sprouting and the air had that feeling of newness because it was filled with scents of the blossoming spring.

While Spring bellows in the coming of a new season it also introduces us to the newest of our backyard pests. They seem to change every year. I’ve gone through the appearance of ants, yellow-jacket bees, grubs, beetles, and even multiple families of snakes. For a few microseconds, I loved spring with all its newness and promise of things to come.

Then I walked around to view the back of my yard. It looked like a satellite photo of an estuary with all its tiny streams that were coming together into a giant pond. There were multiple runways that connected tiny openings in my lawn. Something that must have been living beneath the three-foot snow pack decided to make its own neighborhood with all of its streets and alleys in my backyard. Continue Reading →

We are working our way through another one. In fact, it is the first real one we have had for many years. The winter of 2018, brought back the snows and cold that all of us who live in Northern New England have come to both love and hate. Along with the weather of winter comes another famous tradition, cabin fever anxieties.

Cabin fever comes in many forms. The name comes from the necessity of all that live here to stay in their house to stay warm and dry. The days are shorter and the nights seem endless with the below zero wind chills and perpetual humming of our heating systems. Strange things happen to us during this time of year. We become aggravated by the most trivial of things.

For example, I enjoy those little pudding in cup snacks they sell at most grocery stores. I guess this is because I was fed the little jars of custard pudding baby foods when I was little until I was a senior in high school. The only problem is you can never tear off the plastic top on each portion. I understand there are arrows showing where one is supposed to pull but the easy open tabs never open. The company must use the same glue they use to keep the space lab together.

The other day I got so frustrated trying to open my Swiss Miss tapioca pudding cup that I resorted to using my teeth. Needless to say it took a bunch of paper towels and ice to stop the bleeding. I still didn’t get the thing opened. Continue Reading →

There I stood looking up at a white mountain of snow that seemed to reach the sky. The snow was packed tight with pale blue facets in the crevices and the wind whipped a fine spray from the summit like Everest.

I was absolutely awestruck by its size and beauty and I wished like hell it wasn’t in the middle of my driveway. The day after our first major snowstorm began with me trying to open my garage door. It took about half an hour, in sub zero temperatures, of me chipping away at the ice between the bottom of the door and the pavement that had sealed it shut like cement.

When the door finally opened to reveal the spectacular winter vista before me my first thought was how beautiful it all was. It was like that scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy’s world turns from black and white to color – except in reverse. The world had been transformed into a glittering white wonderland.

After a few minutes standing there admiring the view of nature in all its splendor I decided I better start my snow blower. Like my garage doors it wouldn’t budge. It was frozen solid to the garage floor. It took me a good 10 minutes heaving it this way and that, like a team of sled dogs trying to break the runners loose, before I was able to budge it and drag it over to the open doorway. Continue Reading →

Tthere are good days and then, of course, there are Bad Days. Now I am not overly prone to bad days but I do feel personally that my bad days are the worst. So, before you say anything, let me tell you how bad my bad days are. (Loosens his collar Rodney-Dangerfield style).

I can tell you I get no respect around here! So listen up and you will be able to go about your wonderful life miserably happy. It all started with the alarm clock; which is to say, was flashing 12 o’clock when I woke up. You know what that means, your already one minute late for work because someone at The Electric Company fell asleep at the controls, and sent power surges thru your electric lines.

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Wwhen we are born we have to figure out important things like how to breathe, eat and go to the bathroom. As we get older we try to figure out our strengths and weaknesses and how we might deploy our strengths to achieve some sort of success in life.

Then, just when we think we might finally have figured out the art of growing up, we find out that feeling good about ourselves has a lot to do with how healthy we are. We usually get that message along with the first chest pains.

This scared the hell out of me. My doctor said he didn’t know what was wrong with me? Even worse was his comment about me being in my late years. Didn’t he realize people lived well past 80 now and I was only 65? Okay, mathematics is not my strongest suit but I still didn’t like the comment.

I was then ushered into an examination room. There a very pleasant and efficient woman asked me to take off my shirt so she could attach a dozen or so electrodes to my body. The female technician took one look at me and said she would have to shave my chest so the electrodes would stick. Continue Reading →

Oon an island, close to the mainland, was a village called Hope. Over the years, the prosperity of its inhabitants had ebbed and flowed like the mighty Atlantic Ocean, which incessantly crashed at its steep shoreline.

Not having easy access to the sea, the options of becoming fishermen or smugglers were never practical and other ways of earning a living had never been easy. However, these close-knit, doughty people had grown accustomed to weathering the financial storms by leading a frugal but happy life. With only one access road, via a narrow bridge, they were in a ‘cul-de-sac of Time’ and with the stresses of modern-day living, ‘them outsiders’, as they were called by the islanders, were beginning to search for remote places, such as Hope, to relax in.

Slowly at first but then rapidly, bed-and-breakfast accommodation became a handy source of income. At first to supplement but soon after to take over from the centuries-old toil of vegetable growing. With this new prosperity burning a hole in their pockets, many of the villagers decided to expand by pooling their wealth. Very soon small weekend-dwellings started to sprout up in the vegetable fields. Success bred success and the villagers thrived.

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It‘s sometimes important to stay out of the way. I’ve learned this over the past 66 years of my life. This concept is especially true when you find yourself at the supermarket. I try to stand in front of the most innocuous products on display, in hopes I could hide as my wife picks out the most perfect bunch of bananas.

Following my wife through the supermarket or, as I used to call it, grocery store, I was impressed how easy it was for her to fly through the labyrinth of shopping carts and displays. They were placed in the middle of the aisles to not only sell the products but to drive everyone in the store to stress levels they never wanted to reach.

We worked our way through the store, to finally reach one of my wife’s favorite parts of the store. It had every type of vegetable I knew and a few I hadn’t imagined existed. Understanding only the vegetables I remembered seeing in my refrigerator, and could pronounce, I was surprised by a sudden burst of cold water flowing from the top of the refrigerator case.

At first, I though some sort of water- line had broken. An older, almost hysterically giggling woman came to my aid, explaining that a spray system is used to keep the vegetables looking fresh. Of course, I couldn’t quite understand how watering carrots in plastic bags could help them stay fresher. Continue Reading →