Thursday, April 30

"Two Peas In A Pod..."

The protrait on the left is the infamous Benedict Arnold, whose name has lived in infamy as being synonymous with the word traitor, having taken the course of defection during the mid-American Revolutionary War from the Continental Army to fight for the British Empire. The gentleman on the right is the far less famous Pennslyania Senator, Arlen Spector, yet, as of this Monday, nevertheless a latter-day traitor to his state's constituents, his previous affiliation with the Republican party and to his own, now fully exposed, shallow principles.

Specter's defection now assures the Democrat controlled Senate the 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority needed to far better assume the passage of President Obama's social engineering agenda. No matter how Senator Specter wishes to couch his reasons for jumping political parties, I view this switch of allegiance to be one not for philosophical principal, but for political expediency. Specter has long been regarded among his previous Republican cohorts as a RINO - a "Republican In Name Only" - his 5-term voting record in the Senate providing testimony to his more moderate and often liberal leanings than a consistent embracing of conservative philosophy. Not begrudgingy, I must give the Senator his just due, he being able to see the handwriting on the wall and realizing that his chances of winning a sixth term as a Republican candidate in his home state were slim at best, knowing that prior to the last general election 239,000 former Peenslyvania Republicans and independents switched to the Democrat party. Overtly opportunist or not, the pure and simple fact is, for Senator Specter it is a matter of political survival.

Lamenting over Specter's sudden departure form the Republican tent will little serve the future of the Republican party as a whole. As much as I am personlly skeptical of President Obama's current direction for this country, believing he is speading our nation too thin and future generations even thinner with his rampant bent on unchecked and far from vetted spending, I also undestand why many independents and Republicans elected to cast their vote for the Democrat party: the past Republican administration having adandoned their conservative base of supporters who looked to their party to uphold unwaveringly the principles of maintaining a vigilant stance on national security, a smaller and less intrusive government, and fiscal responsibility.

The true test of whether or not Senator Specter's gamble to jump ship will come in the 2010 mid-term elections when his constituency will determine his worthiness to remain their senior Senator, having by that time sufficient time to gauge their pleasure or displeasure with President Obama and the Democratic controlled congress's ever expanding social agenda. That mid-term report card may find Senator Specter the recipient of his sixth term in the U.S. Senate or on the outside looking in at a newly canonized Republican majority. Stranger things have happened. Even Benedict Arnold had a few admirers.

Wednesday, April 29

"Your Tax Dollars At Work..."

A $328,835 Faux Pas

The most recognizeable and extensively photographed aircraft in thé world, Air Force One, took to the skies again this past Monday morning over New York City for yet another photo-op, escorted by two F-16 fighter jets and flying as low as 1,000 feet above New York Harbor and the lower Manhattan financial district. Such an otherwise innoccuous mission would have, under normal circumstance, been but a mild curiosity to casual observers on the ground who happened to look up to view this armada of military aircraft. However, mild curiosity was not the prevailing response among the hundreds of pedestrians and office personnel who fled in a panic out of their office buildings, having no forewarning that what they were observing was not a horrfic repeat of the events that transpired on 9/11/2001 when two commercial airliners were deliberately flown by terrorist into the Twin Towers.

As more factual information comes to light regarding the mission it yet again becomes increasingly apparent that in the various halls of government bureaucracies that the left hand has no clue as to the antics of its opposite member. Official memos obtained by various reputable news agencies have revealed that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was aware of "the possibility of pubic concern regarding the Department of Defence (DOD) aircraft flying at low altitudes" in and around New York City. Yet the FAA demanded total secrecy from the New York Police Department, the Secret Service, the FBI and even the mayor's office, threatening federal scantions if the secret mission was revealed.

New York Senator Charles Schumer publically criticized the mission stating, "To say that it should be made public knowning that it might scare people, it's just confounding. It's what gives Washington and government a bad name. It's sheer stupidity." Well Chuck, ole boy, you were spot on with your sheer stupidity evaluation, but a little late to the table by offering that Washington has anything more than a tremendously disfavorable opinion by the majority of American citizens. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the queen of arrogant aggrandizement, insist that the United State military provide transport at her beckon call and whim in order that she, her family and staff may fly non-stop to and from Washington and San Francisco, the cost to the Amercian people for each trip continuing to accumulate in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, a little three hour photo-op by air Force One with military escort costing a reported $328,835 should, in the grand scheme of government ineptitude, be of little concern to we tax payers. After's only money and the U.S. Treasury will just print more.

Like the good citizens of New York City that witnessed this fiasco, run for cover. Your government is running loose unsupervised.

Monday, April 27

"It's Come Down To This..."

When I was a much younger buck I use to participate in all sorts of church sponsored athletic events, my favorite being church league slow pitch softball. My young adult years in North Carolina revolved around an extended softball season, which began in mid-February and lasted into late October. As anyone knows who has seriously dedicated their leisure time activities to this sport, church league softball can be quite competitive (read: "cutthroat").

The brief off-season was devoted to a two part new player prospecting endeavor. Part One was an evangelical "outreach" to secure un-churched athletes to come to our church and play on our team. (We figured "seasonal Christians" were better than nothing.) Part Two was an unending quest to lure the better players from other church teams to our team for the up-coming season. This particular farming practice was widely frowned upon, mostly by the pastors of their respective congregations, unless the pastor himself was an ardent softball player. I, at the time being a rather fleet-footed center fielder, was propositioned more than a few times about switching religious affiliation.

Beginning right after the perceived last snow fall of the winter, we wanna-be boys of summer would enthusiastically trot onto the first available practice field, break up the ice on the lingering puddles and get down to the business of preparing for the first scheduled pre-season tournament. To follow would be months of weekday league play and weekend tournaments culminating at season's end at the state invitational church team fall tournament. It was only after the conclusion of the season would the raw and forever enflamed strawberry on my right butt-cheek begin to heal, I having the entire season long a propensity to slide into every base with reckless abandon. I had promised my first wife, the week before our wedding day, that I would forgo that maneuver. She was less than thrilled on our honeymoon that I had broken my promise trying to stretch a single into a double.

Yes, those were the long past. Subsequent forays into league play in much later years came the realization that although my spirit was more than willing, my body was better suited for far less strenuous activities. Upon throwing a softball my shoulder made sounds like seashells being ground into fine powder and running at any speed was not unlike dragging a Maytag washing machine behind me. It was, reluctantly, time to quit and leave the sport to far younger participants.

So now it has come down to this... Our community group from church decided that it was time for another social outing. A vote was taken and the consensus opinion was that we would all meet at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club this past Friday evening to enjoy a leisurely few hours of friendly competition. Judi and I paired up to play against another couple, the object being to accumulate 75 points per match before our opponents could do so. Two hours later, Judi and I finally managed in match one to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Determining that additional play would put 90% of us way past our bedtimes, we retired to a local ice cream parlor to celebrate one's victory or lament one's defeat.

Shuffleboard... It ain't an aerobic sport by any stretch of the imagination, but I came away with my right butt-cheek in tact! There are better ways of stretching a single into a double...

Monday, April 20

"I've Always Wanted To Be A Subversive..."

Now I Am One!!

According to the April 7th, 2009 Intelligence and Analysis Assessment report released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - - the thousands of our fellow Americans who participated in the estimated 3,000 Tea Parties on April 15th or who express sympathetic support of the targeted dissatisfactions expressed at these rallies are considered to be "rightwing extremist" who could be dangerous and thus pose a potential threat to the domestic security and tranquility of these United States. Hum-m-m... Apparently it is, according to Vice President Joe Biden, one's "patriotic duty to pay taxes," but some how unpatriotic to peacefully assemble and dare bring the light of scrutiny to bear on the unchecked tax and spend crowd in Washington. Pogo is right...Apparently "We have met the enemy and (according to Homeland Security) he is us."

My previous April 13th post ["Bend Over Children...It's That Time Of Year Again"] elicited a well-reasoned email response from my daughter Megan (she having recently established her own blog:, in which she lovingly chastised me for my inflamed rhetoric (read: name calling) and the conspiratorial nature of my denunciations of the presently entrenched partisan leadership. One count one...guilty. Tagging individuals with whom I vehemently disagree with disparaging and slanderous names brings nothing of productive benefit to the table of reasoned dialogue, but rather serves only to further widen the chasm of competing ideologies. Therefore, I will henceforth attempt to temper my expressed discontent with such individuals with whom I disagree with a deliberate degree of decorum and respect for which I would wish also to be accorded.

As for count two, I portend that the jury is still out. I readily admit that the probability of some clandestine and nefarious government sponsored conspiracy to deliberately under mind the constitutional dictates of our republic is highly unlikely...basically because I do not believe that the present administrative and legislative branches of our government possess the requisite acuity to deliberately formulate such a diverse and intricate plan. What I do believe is that the historic inability of these government bodies to co-exist in a spirit of unity for the betterment of our country has lead and continues to lead to a sense of distrust and fear of the American citizenry, mostly in part, but too often in whole. It was the now Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who invoked an unfounded and ludicrous pronouncement that there existed a "vast right wing conspiracy" to denigrate her then President husband's conduct during the turmoil that surrounded Bill's inability to exercise extra-marital abstinence in the Oval Office. Her feeble attempts to deflect such reticule only served to portray her as a thoroughly scorned woman who was married to a man that unsuccessfully attempted to indeed conspire to keep his despicable affair with Monica Lewinsky a secret.

We now have that published Department of Homeland Security Intelligence and Analysis Assessment suggesting the possibility that there exists in some elements of our society a collection of citizens that openly assemble to question the direction that their government is pursuing and thus attribute this grass roots display of self-government as being somehow - by some far stretch of common sense - to constitute a possible conspiratorial precursor to a mass march on Washington to overthrow the government. I'd be personally wary of these folks too, fore this targeted rabble is comprised of fathers, mothers, their children, aunts and uncles, their neighbors and fellow citizens of every walk of life who raise nothing more threatening than their united voices and their protest placards, who stand by each other in quest of fair representation for their conservative ideology. Yes, these people are to be feared and placed on a watch list. After all, our government always knows best. It is unpatriotic to think otherwise.

Another wave of conspiratorial Tea Parties is being organized for July 4th. Also being considered is a million person citizen march on September 12th to Washington, D.C. It will be interesting to see how the leadership in our nation's capital shall react to this continual onslaught of citizen discontent. Will their tea bags be greeted by our government representatives genuinely willing to listen to their citizen bosses, or will these potential terrorist be confronted by National Guard troops? Personally I don't think either will happen...but I could be wrong. After all, we subversives are a dangerous breed. Just ask Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Monday, April 13

"Bend Over Children...It's That Time Of The Year Again..."

Oh Happy Day!! Oh Happy Day!! It's Tax Day Once Again!!

Unless I drop dead between now and tomorrow, the only other certain thing in my life that I can unfortunately count on with certainty is... You got it. Taxes. Yes, it is time once again to ascertain how much income we managed to scrape together last year and dutifully write a check to the Internal Revenue Service for that same full amount. That Saturday Night Live caricature we euphemistically call our Vice President, Joe Biden, said, without a hint of sarcasm, that it is "unpatriotic not to pay taxes." He went on to pontificate that he had spoken to a group of millionaires and allegedly explained in great detail why it is a good thing if the Federal government took away their tax breaks, where upon he received a standing ovation. Give me a break, Joe. These so called millionaires didn't make all of that money by being stupid, and, therefore, I find it inconceivable that they stood for anything other than to perhaps help themselves to another dose of cool aid that the V.P. was serving.

Want a few more nuggets of self-serving wisdom from old Joe? Try this on for illogical size... "We are giving tax breaks to people who don't need it. The top 1% got a $85 billion a year tax break. It is not needed. My dad used to have an expression - don't tell me what you value, show me what you budget. We need more revenue to be able to pay for things the governor and everybody else talks about. And there's only one way to do it. You either raise taxes or take tax cuts away from people who don't need them. I'd take them away from people who don't need them." Dear God in Heaven...who died and left this arrogant, egotistical jackass in charge?

A person doesn't have to be a bastion of economic savvy to comprehend that Joe, his Boss-In-Command, and the ilk of the likes of Pelosi and Reid unblinkingly believe in the deepest recesses of their socialistic hearts that income honestly earned by any segment of our nation's population affords these carpetbaggers unfettered licence to seize and spend as they damn well please. "Government" abides only by the dictate that the panacea for establishing and maintaining the well-being of all social enterprise is "more government." That is why loose cannon Joe unabashedly cries for "more revenue" so that the government can continue to expand and become even more intrusive in and controlling of every aspect of our day-to-day life. It is government that knows best. Our sole job is to meekly acquiesce, turn a blind eye to their thievery, and be thankful that "Big Brother" is looking after our every care. Death and taxes. If we the people continue along this unchallenged path, taxes will indeed be the economic death of us.

Let me suggest two places where we each of us can begin to make a stand. The first is to organize or to be a vocal participant in a local Tea Party that are scheduled for tomorrow in over 1,900 cities and towns across our nation. To find a Tea Party that is scheduled for your community, go to the following link: The second avenue for voiced protest is to visit and sign the on-line petition that calls for the total abandonment of the existing tax codes and in its place establish a more simpler, open and honest, and fairer tax structure. The present IRS tax code, with all of it's appendages regulations, contains 9,097,000 words! The Bible, in comparison, has 774,776 words. Between 1995 and 2005 the code has expanded additionally by almost 19%. The directions for filing a typical 1040 form is 161 pages. Want to utilize the "EZ" version? The IRS provides you with 41 pages of easy to follow instructions.

Do you still believe that our government officials have any thing more in their collective sights than the continued propagation of their own ever expanding existence? If your apathetic answer is in the affirmative, then by all means you enjoy sending more of your hard-earned money to them tomorrow. I'd say that they shall truly appreciate it. But in fact and in truth, they really think you're too stupid and lazy to do otherwise.

"Boxers or Briefs? Depends.."

Judi, my wife, is to the day a year and half older than me. According to her she married a man younger than her so she could raise me like she wanted. Not sure how that worked out, but after almost 26 years of being married, come next month, I suppose I've proven to be at least tolerable.

Just before her 55th birthday, she received in the mail a solicitation from AARP. The envelop was clearly addressed to her, but she wrote on the outside in bold letters, This Must Be For You!" "Hardly," I assured her. When my solicitation arrived a year and a half later, I in turn wrote on the envelop, "They're still hot to trot to get you as a member!" "Fat chance," was her reply.

Now six years later we receive in the mail last week the coup de grace of personal hygiene assumptions, a solicitation for DEPEND underwear, replete with a $2.00 saving coupon! Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Incorporated exhibits an obvious confidence that people of our age must surely need this product, as they provided a two full page, front and back, "sneak peek" advertisement touting their new and improved "underwear for men and women" that now comes in a new look package. Like I care what the package looks like.

Here's a brief expose for the content of the letter... "We have exciting news for you! You have told us about your lives, your needs and your desires for discretion and mobility. We're excited to announce our newest products - DEPEND Underwear for Women and Depend Underwear for Men. These new styles go beyond the pink and blue on our packaging to deliver the fit, discretion and customized protection specific to a woman or a man. Providing absorbent protection where a man and a woman need it most."

First of all it takes a wee bit more to get me all worked up into a tizzy. If DEPEND Underwear is from this point forward to be the high water mark (pardon the pun) of what excites me in life, I've got a lot more issues than merely having difficulty in holding my water! And just who is this "you" they have allegedly talked to about my life, my needs and my desires for discretion? It wasn't me. Was it you? Let me be discrete... When I start blabbing to some Madison Avenue type that I need a particular type of undergarment that is more absorbent and comfortable to wear than my present underwear of choice, then buy me a roll of duct tape so you can put me out of your misery. Who wants to hear that? And as for designing the product to "provide absorbent protect where a man and a woman need it most," with whom in mind did they previously design the product for? Martians? Seems to me that even I could figure out with little effort where such a product ought to place the emphasis for the most bang for the buck.

Listen, here's the bottom line. We each came into this world with no bladder control and for the majority of us we'll eventually go out the same way. It's God's little additional joke to keep us humble. As infants we didn't care or know any better. Unfortunately, if we live long enough, unknowingly we'll adopt the same attitude. In the interim, I'll just discretely piddle through life as best I can. Thanks DEPENDs, but, for the time being, no thanks. For the moment, I'm holding my own.

Thursday, April 9


With the world apparently headed to Hell ass-end over tea cup...some times it is comforting, if not necessary, to look for subject matter that is a little less dire in its potential consequence. With that quest in mind, I offer you a couple of examples of to why the State of Florida differs from California -the undisputed mecca of loony - only by degrees of longitude and latitude.

Dateline No. 1: Port St. Lucie, Florida. Meet 28 year old Roberto Carlos. This past Saturday evening Mr. Carlos was arrested on a charge of indecent exposure after being taken into custody by the Port St. Lucie police. As it turns out, stripping off his clothes and running butt-naked down the middle of a city street was Mr. Carlos' Plan "B." Plan "A" was to punch one of the city's police officers in the face, announce that he is an illegal alien, and wished to be deported back to his home country, Mexico. Both ill-conceived plans fermented into blurry existence as a result of a full Saturday afternoon of extensive consumption of hops laden beverages and further punctuated by an on-going argument with his "boyfriend." What's a thoroughly discontented foreign alien to do but resort to the back up plan when the local constables strongly suggested that his initial plan was patently flawed?

Currently Mr. Carlos is cooling his heels (and other parts of his exposed anatomy) on the cold concrete benches in the Port St. Lucie jail awaiting adjudication of the misdemeanor charge to be followed, no doubt, with an expedited hearing on his nationality status. I have to applaud Mr. Carlos' approach to airing his grievance, shunning the less desirable violent alternative in favor of exposing in plain view the root casue of his discontent. Makes me wonder what a guy has to do in order to get deported from this country?

Dateline No 2: Fort Pierce, Florida. Meet 39 year old Richard Corley, arrested for throwing a fish from atop a bridge at a boater below, striking said boater in the head. According to the police affidavit, Mr. Corley, along with several other fellow fisher type persons, were attempting to make casts in the same general direction and location of said boater. The boater, who was not named in the newspaper account, was allegedly asked repeatedly by the bridge occupants to move his boat. Said unnamed boater allegedly refused to do so. The resulting failure to communicate escalated to the point to where Mr. Corley took fish in hand and announced. "I'll make him move his boat!" whereupon Mr. Corley proceeded to hurl a disemboweled fish at said boater. Police were summoned to the scene, escorted said boater to location of incident, and identified Mr. Corely as the perpetrator. Police were unable to locate the fish to get its version of the incident, but additional eye-witnesses were sufficient to assess Mr. Corley with a felony charge of throwing a missile into a vehicle and an accompanying misdemeanor battery charge. Mr. Corely was released of a $15,000 bond.

At least in this second incident everyone kept their clothes on. Pity...

Wednesday, April 8

"Okay, All Together Now..."

"Happy Birthday To Me... Happy Birthday To Me... Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday... Happy Birthday To-o-o-o-o Me-e-e-e-e-e!!"

Oh stop!! My fragile ego can't handle all of these accolades. Please, please...enough already!

And, by-the-way, somebody in this crowd is singing way off key.

Today, ladies and gentlemen, I am celebrating the 40th anniversary of my 21st birthday. You guys do the math. I don't have anything spectacular planned for today. I've already checked the local newspaper this morning to see if my obituary was in there. Didn't see it, so that's a good sign. Ms. Judi is still out of town. Won't return until tomorrow evening. Maybe she'll have present for me. Wink...wink.

I might head on over to the local Waffel House and order myself a side order of hash browns. My blogging buddy Coffeypot would probably approve of that plan. Then I might stop in at the local library and see if they have any new books on growning older with grace. Then to top of the day I might go to the mall and stand outside Victorian Secret's and droll. It's that or make myself an egg sandwich and tune in CSPAN. That ought to get the blood perking.

Hey, it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and on balance I've got nothing to complain about. Life is good. There's still an ample supply of bread, peanut butter and jelly in the house and my cable is fully paid for the month. Put a little WD-40 on the hinges of my lounge chair and I'm good to go.

Y'all have a good day. I plan to.

Tuesday, April 7

"Let The Revelation Begin..."

There's a party being planned and you're invited!

The dictionary define "complacent" as being "self-satisfied and unaware of possible dangers." That is the predominate attitude each of we wage earners adopt when we deposit our pay checks in the bank. Very few of us take the time to really look at our pay stubs to realize just how much of our money is being removed in the form of incessant taxes. What is even more laughable, if not discouraging, is the gleeful midset we adopt on April 15th when we slap each other on the back and happily report that we didn't owe any additional Federal income taxes or we are actually receiving a refund. Are you kidding me!?! It's our money we're getting back. It didn't belong to the government in the first place. We earned it. We have only, over time, become so complacent in allowing the government to garnish our wages to the point to where we actually have succumbed to the perception that the government has the right to our money...with no questions being asked or accountability being required. This lemming attitude has got to be greatly revised. Not in the government's favor, but in ours.

President Obama and his congressional henchmen are prepared to pass a $3.6 TRILLION budget, $1.2 TRILLION of which is slated as deficit spending. In other words, it is a promissory I.O.U. that has no collateral guarantees other than the assumption that "we the people" will foot the bill in the form of future taxes. This budget deficit is over and above the in place $12 TRILLION in deficit spending already earmarked for future taxpayer repayment. That currently amounts to a taxable debt of $35,000 for every man, woman and child residing in this country.

Do you have any idea what a TRILLION equates to? Consider these comparisons: A million seconds equals 11.5 days. A billion seconds is 32 years. A TRILLION seconds is 32,ooo years! Multiply 32 by 13 TRILLION and you are looking at FOUR THOUSAND, ONE HUNDRED and SIXTY CENTURIES!! This is no longer the foundation for the continuing promotion of the American Dream, but a generational nightmare! A nightmare that our children and their children's children's children will never pay off. It has got to stop!

This reckless and unfettered spending has evolved far beyond a function of economics. It is a moral issue which should not and must no longer be ignored with just mere grumbling rhetoric. It is time for citizen action of unparalleled strength of voice and numbers. As of today's date there are being organized currently approximately 1,700 Tea Parties to be conducted all across the nation, each scheduled to occur on April 15th. They are not your typical parties. No festive favors are being planned, there won't be any refreshments, and no presents are required. It's a "come as you are party" where everyone is invited except self-serving politicians or currently elected government officials who would otherwise have to pry themselves aways from continuing their drunken indulgence at the trough of the public's largess.

The locations of these Tea Parties rallies in your immediate or surrounding communities may be obtained by accessing the following Web site: There is still time to organize a Tea Party in your community, but if you discover that one is already scheduled, plan to attend yourself and take with you a carload of your friends and neighbors. If you realize the moral obligation that our government owes "we the people," their bosses, then you will be in attendance. If you, on the other hand, you don't mind that the government can keep increasing your taxes with no say from you, who keep reducing yours and your family's quality of life with their unquenchable greedy and reckless spending, who are bankrupting this country for the present and uncountable generations to come, then you stay home. Try to be convinced that doing your patriotic duty includes being happy that come April 15th your government has decided that this year and in the years years to come that you don't get a refund...of your hard-earned money. Yes, try to be complacent about that.

Monday, April 6

"Hangin' Tough.."

I'm now into my fourth day of forced bachelorhood. I took Judi to the airport on Friday to catch a flight to Columbus, Ohio to be supportive of her older sister, Joanne, whose husband, Mike, passed aways after a many years extended illness. I elected to remain behind to keep our two cats company, work around the house, and wait for Mr. Obama to call to say that my stimulus check is ready to be picked up. Yea, that's going to be happen...

The cats don't seem any worse of wear and I'm hanging in there, subsisting on a steady diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. As long as there remains an ample supply of the ingredients for this diet staple, I believe I can last until I retrieve Judi form the airport this coming Friday evening. Since it has been my plan to drop a few extra pounds, this may turn out to be the week I reach that goal.

There are few downsides to my being without my helpmate. One being that I miss her companionship and another is that I am now responsible for cleaning out the cat's litter box. The agreement was that Judi could replace our departed dog with cats if and only if she was singularly responsible for their hygiene requirements. I readily agree to keep the bathrooms and kitchen clean and do assist with the laundry, but litter box detail is off the table. So much for my emphatic demand.

I don't do well with disagreeable odors, and cleaning out the litter box ranks right up there near the top. Cats as pets are, in this man's opinion, a feminine proclivity, whereas a good ole dog is man's man pet. Open the back door, tell old Fido to go about his business, and within no time it is a fait accompli. Tell a cat the same thing and the next thing you know the fire department is on scene extending a ladder thirty feet into the air to get the stupid cat out of a tree. So, the cats, as a rule, stay in the house and one must take daily care to dispose of their daily deposits. Gag me with a spoon!! Every time I am left with that odorous task it reminds of the time when my brother and I as boys were directed to remove the disgusting contents of a refrigerator.

We were living in North Carolina at the time on a little six acre farm that my Dad had turned into a horticulture wonderland. If it could be gown, cultivated and harvested, my Dad stuck it in the ground. Tomatoes was one of his favorites and that particular year we had a bumper crop. So much so, that what we didn't consume over the course of the summer and fall, Dad stored in a spare refrigerator located within a detached utility building just a few paces from our back door. Winter came and with it cold weather, thus necessitating the regular utilization of our home's fireplace. Mom, one evening wishing to build a new fire, proceeded to dispose of the ashes from a previous fire and did so by placing the contents in a cardboard box, which she carried out to the wood framed utility shed and set the box next to the door. Apparently, unbeknown to my dear Mom, there were still a few dying embers lurking in the ashy mix that were hanging on for dear life. About three a.m. brother John and I were awakened by the glow of an out of control fire and the blaring sirens of the local volunteer fire department arriving on the scene. Daylight revealed that the only thing not totally consumed in the previous evening's fire was that refrigerator.

Dad, forever searching for opportunities to present teachable moments to his two sons, determined that come the first tolerable warm day, John and I would be assigned the task of "cleaning the tomatoes out of the refrigerator." He failed to include in his instructions the knowledge that the contents of that enclosed box, after several weeks of unattended fermentation, had a toxicity that would give the Center for Disease Control pause. Not being privy to this information, came that fateful day, John and I, with bucket in hand, flung open the door and instantaneously dropped to the charred concrete floor, repulsed immediately by the stench that enveloped us like a wet, moldy blanket. I had never then nor have I encountered since such a mass of disgust that we found oozing before us on that day. Just recounting the experience at this time causes my gag reflex to kick in.

So, Friday can't come soon enough to suit me. I'm ready to relinquish the litter box duty to Ms. Judi. In the interim I'll daily don my full body isolation suit and respirator and do my best to keep the little darling's litter box fresh and clean. Ugh!! Maybe another peanut butter and jelly sandwich will give me the added strength to tackle that task. Later...