Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Year’s Resolutions

It is the end of the year and a good time to make new resolutions. Therefore, I hereby resolve to

• Lose weight, preferably by convincing my mother-in-law to move to Kentucky.

• Drink while driving only if Bleb is familiar with the route.

• Print a disclaimer on the Wizard Water© bottle absolving me from responsibility for any misuse of the product, including but not limited to: rapid hair growth, rapid hair loss, sudden blizzards, general disatisfaction and bovine combustion.

• Find a quicker way out of Atlanta, Augusta, Cartersville, Dahlonega, Savannah, New Orleans, Memphis, Tallahassee, Paducah, and any place with a new jail.

• Invent a grease that will increase the squeaking of door hinges, and market it as a burglar/husband-coming-home-late-at-night alarm.

• Find new uses for Wizard Water©, perhaps in the area of whiskey production.

• Be more patient with Yankees, particularly when they are betting.

• Teach Bleb French, or the French shuffle.

• Teach Yankees to accept Bleb at the poker table.

• Keep Bleb out of the neighbor’s tobacco barn and far away from all incendiary products.

• Learn to speak fluent politician.

• Kick the pigs out of the basement as soon as the weather warms up.

Life is too short to be lived quietly, and too long if you do.

copyright ©2010 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Festive Food

A Holiday Dinner

If you are a bachelor, or your wife is away visiting relatives and has left you to your own devices, you might try this easy-to-fix holiday meal:

1 can beans
several thick slices of bacon
a handful of candy canes

Fry the bacon in a large cast iron skillet. When bacon is fried, add beans and cook until the beans are hot. Pour into a bowl. Stick candy canes in the bowl. Serve.

If you have a block of cheese, you can make a fancier version. Chop the cheese into small chunks. Stick a candy cane into each chunk. Serve with the beans and bacon. Use the candy canes to dunk the cheese into the beans.

Your guests, if you have any, will be impressed.

copyright ©2010 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Trouble with Christmas

lump of coalThe trouble with Christmas is the conditions you have to meet in order to reap its benefits. Hot apple cider is a necessary restorative in cold weather. You shouldn't be expected to sing for it. Stuffed goose with all the trimmings is just the thing for a hungry man who has labored all night playing poker in a poorly heated saloon; he shouldn't have to wait additional hours for in-laws to attend the meal.

Last month I expressed my dissatisfaction over such requirements with my friend Kringle during a friendly game of checkers at Mr. Nix's store.

"Just who exactly decides what is 'good'?" I asked. "I'm very good at selling Wizard Water©, but every year I find a lump of coal in my stocking. My wife, on the other hand, can't bake a biscuit that doesn't require a sledgehammer to break apart. They are only useful as wheel brakes, and yet every year she gets a new hat. I wish you would clarify what you mean by 'good'," I told him.

"Good," replied Kringle "is what benefits others, not just yourself. At least your wife's biscuits have some use."

"If I can do something that benefits others, then will you bring me a new hat, too?" I asked.

"I'll think about it," said Kringle. He excused himself to speak with Mr. Nix.

While he was out, I noticed a pair of squirrels lying on the frozen ground in front of the store. They hadn't been there a few minutes before. I walked outside, removed my scarf and gingerly picked them up. They appeared to be breathing. What would benefit these creatures the most, I wondered?

I remembered Kringle's red wool sack lying near the potbelly stove that heated the store. "A few minutes in a warm place might revive these fellows," I thought. I walked back and gently placed them inside the cloth bag. I intended to tell Kringle, but saw the sheriff approaching the store and decided to leave by the back door.

A week later I was in Mr. Nix's store again, and Kringle accosted me.

"I've been looking for you," he said. "Last week I was taking a sack of lace to the Ladies Home Aid Society for their annual potluck dinner and fundraiser. When I arrived at the dinner and opened the sack, a pair of squirrels jumped out. They were tangled in the lace. They dragged it through the puddings. Then they dragged it up the windows, but not before running across a half-dozen iced cakes, leaving a trail of footprints. By the time they were caught, there was pudding and icing smeared all over the floor and curtains. One of the creatures had to be fished out of the punch bowl. The table holding all the food was overturned by screaming women who were trying to leave the hall."

"You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?"

"We experienced some very cold weather last week, as you recall," I said. "No doubt those poor squirrels needed the warmth of your sack. I would thank whoever put them in there."

"I would not," said Kringle, glaring at me.

"But saving those critters benefitted them and not the person who put them there, didn't it?" I asked. "That qualifies as good, doesn't it?"

Kringle gritted his teeth. "Technically, yes," he said. "And because you have shown me what type of good you are capable of, I'm going to ask you to do something that I've never, ever asked anyone else to do."

"What?" I said.

"Don't try to do any more good things this year. You've done enough." With that, he left the store.

I'm terribly pleased.

I hope he knows I wear a hat size seven and a half.

copyright ©2010 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wizard Water Restores Energy

Doc asleepWizard Water©is a wonderful energizer, but should not be used in place of a good night's sleep, at least not on a regular basis. A little Wizard Water© may help you work through the night, but does not eliminate the need for rest. When its energy is expended, you will sleep for as many hours as you missed, plus a few extra. A stingy ranch boss I knew who was too cheap to hire a crew of cowhands did not heed this instruction. Instead he stayed up for three months in order to guide a herd of cattle by himself from Texas to Chicago. As soon as he delivered the herd he stopped taking my elixir. Six months later he awoke to find himself covered with tattoos and wearing a turban, on display at a sideshow exhibit outside Cairo, Illinois. They called him "The Sleeping Sikh" and charged the public five cents per person for admission. He is now embroiled in a lawsuit with the circus owner for a share in the ticket receipts.

So beware -- there are hidden risks. I recently used Wizard Water© to help me get through a lengthy a poker game. This game stretched over four days because several of the players were using gold dust and would only up the ante one grain at a time. I outlasted my competitors, but I paid for it. I must now sleep for the remainder of the week. I must also share my winnings with my wife. To do otherwise, she warns me, and I risk being sold to the nearest vaudeville troupe as "The Dozing Doctor."

copyright ©2010 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.