Humour

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That little bastard!

The outside is so much larger than inside anyone’s house. I don’t understand why anything would want to intrude into an area that was not meant for them. There is more food outside and the air is fresher so what makes any life form want to go someplace they are not wanted.

I know the buzzing little creature will drive both my wife and I nuts. This is also the reason why I now sit in a chair in my living room waiting for the flying S.O.B. to land in a place so I can remove it from the face of the Earth. So, what does one think about as the fly travels at a speed that far surpasses any chance of catching him in the air?

I start to wonder why I am beginning to hate the heat. A few months ago I was struggling to push my snow blower through my driveway in order to be able to free myself from my home. It was so damn cold. I was also convinced that there would be snow piles left through the month of July. It is now July and all I can think about is how damn hot it is.

I begin to remember how old I am. Years earlier I would be chasing the little black intruder through my house determined to not let anything invade my living quarters. I remember swishing my old reliable fly swatter in the air in the hopes the little black speck would be a little bit stupider than I and forget to get out of the way of the mesh on the end of a stick.
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Ii found out the other day there are certain things one shouldn’t do at 56 years old. OK, there are a few things that are quite obvious.

I should stay away from running in the Boston Marathon, enlisting in the marines, building a new house by myself, and of course the ever popular starting a new family. I added a new chore the other day after my father called me and asked if I could remove what was left of an old ‘burning bush’ my younger brother detached the other day.

The concept of removing a bush from the front of my father’s driveway seemed to be do-able. The only question was why my brother didn’t remove it with the rest of the plant. When I arrived at my parent’s home I found out why. A bush by definition is a shrub. A shrub by definition is a low several stemmed wooden plant. I am quoting Mr. Webster with this definition.

The concept of removing a shrub did not seem like a problem. That was until I arrived at my folk’s home and saw what he wanted me to remove. A giant sequoia should be lucky enough to have such a stump. It had to be at least a foot in diameter with multiple branches coming out of it that once held the rest of the plant. Standing in front of what I was asked to remove I imagined my hands around my brother’s neck because he left me with the back breaking task.

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Iiwatched as my wife put all her energy into scraping what looked like a white crust around a round wheel of brie cheese. She held it on its side on the cutting board.

She carefully used a cheese knife to peel away the white covering over a manila-colored soft cheese that is by far one of my favorites. I went over to ask if I could help and she gave me a look that told me to get away because she didn’t want to spend the afternoon cleaning up my blood off the kitchen floor. Knowing she was correct as usual I backed off and watched as she did her magic.

The reason for the scraping of the brie was we were having a few people over before we went out for dinner. Now this meant my wife would prepare some of the tastiest appetizers on the face of the planet. These little morsels of food usually tasted better then any of the food we would order out at the restaurant. In fact, the appetizers were so good it was difficult to order more then a small salad at the restaurant.

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Aas a life-long friend, please allow me to shed a little light. The TaleWagger is a complex character, who has used many aliases in his chequered career. He was originally called Tom Tom,(his father, a piper had a stutter) and he lived with his widowed mother, brothers and sisters in a shoe-shaped dwelling.

He and his brothers argued so much with one of the sisters, who was called Mary and was quite contrary, that his mother had difficulty coping. Partly due to this, a neighbour once said: “She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do!”  His brother Jack climbed a beanstalk one day and was never seen again.

This giant tragedy made the Talewagger decide that he too should leave home. With his cat dressed in boots and now calling himself ‘Dick’, he left to start a new life. They walked along a yellow-brick road, to a big city with shiny, golden pavements and there Dick was offered an important job with the council.

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Wwe are working our way through another one. The winter of 2015, brought back the snows and cold that all of us who live in Northern New England have come to both love and hate.

This year our New England winter seemed to be good to us. We flew through November, December, and half of January hoping that global warming had minimalized winter’s harsh effects. This was not the case. As I look into a bleached open field that once contained bushes, trees, and a mailbox I only see deserts of white blowing snow.

Any day now I expect Laurence of York to come flying over the dunes in a giant snowmobile warning people that the end is near. 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 to stay in a 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 that 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 airplanes together.

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Iimust have looked stunned as the woman at the checkout counter at Hannaford’s tried to explain to me the economics of potato chips. She was trying to explain why a bag of Lay’s potato chips were on sale for $1.99 while a bag of FritoLay potato chips were not on sale and would cost me $3.49.

She continued by telling me that if I wanted a bag of Frito potato chips I would only have to pay $2.29 because they were also on sale but if I wanted a bag of Frito Ruffles potato chips, that would be the regular price of $3.99. After a couple of minutes my wife snapped her fingers in front of me because I was starting to drift into a trance. I just couldn’t understand how bags of what are essentially the same product, made by the same company, could have so many different prices. FritoLay makes Fritos, Lay’s and Ruffles and many other similar products – but they all are potato chips.

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Aaconspiracy is threatening our nation and no-one has the power to stop it. I am not talking about the military industrial complex or foreign terrorists bent on the destruction of the United States. I am talking about a conspiracy of much greater magnitude between the confectionery industry and the weight loss industry.

Ever since Thanksgiving reared its head with pumpkin pies, chocolate-covered lollipops in the shape of pilgrims and those evil yellow peepers, the sugar industry has inundated our lives with tons of holiday delights. They could be found everywhere. When one woke up in the morning they were next to our breakfast cereal in the form of clover-shaped green marshmallows. Our coffee went from bitter and black to sweet and creamy. Driving to work, little bags of crispy treats were found on the front seat of the car and even the toll booth attendants gave out little foil-wrapped kisses along with their morning greetings.

Upon arrival at work everyone seemed to have their own sweet little treat. The exchange of candies and holiday cakes continued through lunch: at least what most of us used to think was lunch. The midday meal used to consist of a plastic wrapped tuna salad sandwich stuffed under a two-month old apple or pear. If you were real lucky you might find a brown-spotted banana in a brown paper bag. The holiday lunch consisted of jellied ham sandwiches, fruitcake, Christmas cookies and walnut-laden chocolate brownies smothered with powdered sugar to the point where you expected to see a small plastic man skiing down its slopes.

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Ii couldn’t believe I was conscious. A few hours earlier I had just finished a wonderful meal in the company of wonderful people and now I was sitting in my car surrounded by what appeared to be not so wonderful people waiting for all the big box retail stores to open up.

Yes, this was the year my wife and sister talked me into going to “black Friday”. This was the day all the stores opened early in the morning in order to start the Christmas Season off with a bang. I remember advertisements in year’s past that had the stores open up at 5 or 6 am. But, this year the hopeful merchandisers did not fool around. Many of them opened up at 1 in the morning trying to get a running start on one of the most popular shopping days of the year.

My day started like no other day had ever started before. Lying in bed I had this urge to open my eyes. There they stood; my wife and sister all bundled up and ready to begin their adventure. At first all I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head but this possibility was eliminated when my wife pulled the covers off the bed, told me to get ready because they were ready to save hundreds of dollars by beating the entire world to their favorite stores.

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Tthere I stood. In the midst of a labyrinth of highly decorated halls lined with stores offering everything from 30% off to doubling shoppers money if they would only go in their store to buy the perfect Christmas gift.

I had wandered up and down those hallowed halls for about an hour and a half. All I had accomplished in my travels was a half-eaten ice-cream cone and a soon to be discarded ice-cream-stained sweater. In other words, I was lost in a place where no man should pass. I was also panic-stricken because it was getting close to the time of year when my wife and daughter would meet before our perfectly-decorated plastic Christmas tree to find out how much we really meant to each other. This was the culmination of weeks, if not months, of shopping for presents that would be opened in seconds and talked about until the next Christmas shopping season.

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Eevery summer is defined by a pest. A few years ago I and most of my neighbors were plagued by an infestation of Japanese beetles. These little armored warriors ate most of my garden and almost destroyed everything that was green around my house.

I defeated the ‘sons of beetles’ using the best of insecticides that caused a slight chronic twitch on the right side of my face. Another year was defined by moles that made my lawn look like Boston’s big dig. Nesting birds caused me to plant my garden late one year because their nests were in the middle of what was supposed to be my tomato patch. These birds worked in pairs to not only scare the hell out of me but also buzz past my head like Kamikaze pilots.

I actually thought this would be a different type of year. Right through July an insect or rodent attack was not to be seen but then, one day as I was watering my garden, I felt a sharp pinch on one of my gluteus maxims. This was not a little pain. I jumped up hard, threw the hose to the ground thinking I was just struck by lightning and didn’t want anything to ground me, held my butt and looked around hoping not to see the monster that precipitated the attack. I saw nothing.

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