Ed woke up from a nap, yawned and stretched, sat up straight on the sofa. He asked me, “What time is it?” I said, “Three,” and he replied, “That late?! I’ve been napping out of control!”
Judy described Pine, Colorado, the little town near her brother’s house in the Rocky Mountain foothills. She said, “There’s the Bucksnort Tavern, and there’s a drive by library.” My eyes widened, and then we laughed. I pantomimed a murderous librarian idling along a curb while slinging hard backs at cringing pedestrians. Judy went on to explain that the library was a box on the side of a building. Books could be borrowed or returned according to whim.
When my daughter Annie was a toddler she suffered from food allergies, and we had to carefully monitor her diet. One thing she could have was granola. When snack time came midafternoon, we sometimes said, “You can have half a granola bar.” When we asked her one day what she wanted (peaches were another option), she called out, “Half!”
One day I sat writing bills, grumbling as I balanced the check book. My water bill was high. The city of Casselberry had taken over our service a two decades before, and still charged our neighborhood an exorbitant rate. Annie (now a twenty year old) asked me what I was doing. I said, “Just writing a check for the Castle of Shitzelberry.”
I recently read a feature about how airline attendants punish surly flights of passengers. Changes in altitude apparently cause an intestinal upwelling of gas, and our friends in the sky walk up and down the aisle near the end of a flight to “dust the crops”.
Jack worked in the kitchen at a pizza restaurant with me, and when he wanted to go home early he would begin to sing loudly enough for the diners to hear. He chose Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” one night, but substituted his own version of the lyrics. The song became, “Another one bites the crust, another one bites the crust. Hey, it’s gonna get to you! Another one bites the crust!” That got Zukavecki the night manager to come running. Zukavecki told Jack to keep it down and that he had to finish his shift. Jack waited until the manager left the kitchen, and then belted out another Queen song: “Bohemian Rhapsody”. He focused on the “let me go” section singing, “Zukavecki let me go, Let me go, Zukavecki let me go, He will not let me go, Let me go go gooooo. Bee–ell–zuh–bub’s got a devil for a son in me, in ME.” Zukavecki let him go.
Sometimes when I’ve completed a job I announce, “It is Swedished.” My kids know better than to ask me what I mean by that. If they do I say, “Why should the Finns get all the credit?”