Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Desperate times call for...

Editor,

I'm a humor columnist living in Laconia but I have no humor column besides my blog and since I forgot the password I don't even have that anymore. No paper can include too many amusing columns about life and ducks and snow. Don't you agree? If so, then let's talk business. I can supply a joke a line for 1000 words for five days a week. What do you have to offer? Canned food would be a good start. Included is my new humor column: Manager's Special. It could be appearing daily in your paper as early as tomorrow if we can agree to terms that will satisfy me and my bookie. It might sound like I'm a 90 year old retired fish salesman, but I'm actually eleven years old. This is my mom's computer.

Yours truly,
Oggy Bleacher

P.S. The New York Times was interested but I told them it was too far to travel just to test review the coffee shops.

Manager's Special: By Oggy Bleacher
Humor at Half Price

The Manager’s Special is my new best friend. I just bought 11 skinless hot dogs for ninety-five cents. I had to wrestle them away from two other shoppers but that’s an acceptable environmental hazard in my opinion. They had the last laugh when I went to pick up frankfurter rolls and saw them leaving with the last two bags. I bought hamburger rolls instead and cut the hot dogs in half. I call it a frankenburger. At least this way I won’t have an odd number of hot dogs with an even number of rolls. I can always fit another hot dog between a hamburger roll. I might try frankenburgers with cheese if American slices are ever given the manager’s special treatment.

Budget-wise, I had a choice between cider and milk but I didn’t buy either. Instead, I poured water in an old orange juice carton. It tastes just like water from an old orange juice carton which you’ll agree sounds more exotic…more vintage than “orange juice.” I’m thinking of marketing it to a boutique beverage company in Los Angeles: Juice Free Water! Fewer calories! No Trans Fats!

Most of the world lives on two dollars a day, which is one dollar more than I spend so at least I know who to ask for a loan.

A friend told me I can get rent assistance at the City Hall. She also told me that chicken and pork come from the same animal so I don’t know what to believe. I took a chance and went down to City Hall to see if she was telling the truth. The worst that could happen is I’d end up listening to a debate about street light regulations. It was pretty quiet when I arrived with hat in hand.

“I’m running a little low on money,” I said humbly. “I lost my job. I’m looking for work but you know how it is. The rent is coming due and…” that’s when I realized I was in the old Belknap sock mill. The next thing I knew I’m darning socks on a water powered machine with about a million needles and hooks. They put me to work at 1922 wages, which means I’ll be able to afford this month’s rent in the year 2025. But I’ll never want for socks. No, sir. I’m wearing ten pairs right now. They said if the river freezes then I’ll be laid off so I go out after work on a canoe and break up the ice. For that I wear extra socks. I still haven’t made it to the City Hall but plan to in the spring. I hope they’ll still offer assistance because, obviously, I need it. It doesn’t matter what kind of assistance. Rent. Work. Swimming. Checkers; if they’ve got it then I’m signing up.

My mother’s father grew up in these parts. No wonder he was so mean. He was completely bald before he graduated high school. He had bald pride. We bought him a toupee once and he used it to clean the furniture. He would rub his head and make squeaking sounds with his mouth.

“I have to polish the dome or your grandmother can’t recognize me,” he explained.

“I use it as a mirror, honey. Tilt a little forward.”

Grandma fixed her own hair, which flowed like a volcanic eruption.

“Thanks, baldy.”

My grandmother never met a blueberry that didn’t end up in a recipe. She was always baking something. We had blueberry pancakes, blueberry muffins, blueberry cake, and blueberry pie. I went to the doctor when my grandparents moved to Florida.

The doctor asked me, “What color do you think your tongue is supposed to be?”

“Blue. It’s always been blue.”

My grandparents moved back to New Hampshire because they didn’t consider “orange juice” to be a season. My grandfather was a ski jumper back when you had to carry your skis to the top of the jump. The highest point in Florida has an elevator. I think he liked to know ski jumping was still an option even if he wasn’t going to do it. He’d had knee replacement surgery and called himself the “Point One Million Dollar Man.”

“That’s what your toy knee is worth,” corrected my grandmother. “The rest is worth about…oh…twenty dollars…and some change.”

“You thinking about trading me in,” chided my grandfather.

“For what? A plastic dustpan? I’ve already got one. Besides, I like knowing if there’s a hair in the pancakes then it’s mine.”

“Squeak squeak squeak,” said my grandfather.

When I’m not at my job at the sock mill I’m at the nice Laconia library. I wish they would start a fire in the fireplace. I’d gladly tell stories to anyone with some wood to add to the fire. I know a fire in a library isn’t the best idea but I can’t seem to get my marshmallows to melt when I hold them near the radiator. And the librarians seem to have a problem with me putting my 20 wet socks over the heat vent. Well, excuse me for living in New Hampshire! All this would be solved with a fire in the fireplace. When I finally get to the city hall I’m going to submit a sharply worded resolution for review. At least we would never run out of kindling…I mean stories. The library is full of them. Stories, I mean. Right now the librarians have gathered together New Hampshire authors on one of their Theme of the Month shelves. I think it’s an improvement over their last theme: Global Disasters, although I now know everything I ever wanted to know about Mt. Vesuvius. New Hampshire is famous for Maple Syrup and Robert Frost, in that order. When Robert Frost wrote about maple syrup it was like the stars had aligned over the Granite State. I had a social studies teacher named Mr. Frost. For some reason I thought he was related to Robert Frost. Maybe they were related in the same way I know there are two identical snowflakes on my lawn right now: I don’t have proof, but I have my suspicions.

It snowed so much the other day I swear I saw ten or twenty snowflakes that were identical. I know: that’s what everyone says. So I brought them into my scanner and tried to capture the proof but all I ended up with is a wet scanner. The ten little puddles of water look identical too. Is that enough proof to finally put to rest the myth that no two snowflakes are the same? I mean, let’s be reasonable. There’s gotta be at least a thousand snow flakes on the lawn right now. I’m not going to check every one. Can’t we just agree that two of them are identical? The odds are really in my favor.

Last October I watched my neighbor rake his lawn for three days. I didn’t move a single leaf. Today I looked outside and both our lawns appear identical just as I expected. Who’s the genius now? Next fall I’m going to start a business as a leaf consultant. I’ll analyze each lawn and decide if it needs to be raked or not. I’ve already completed the paperwork. One spreadsheet says “Yes.” The other one says “No.” (Between you and me I’ve printed boxes and boxes of the “No” page.) If I can turn a profit I’ll qualify for a job as a mortgage broker. You probably can already guess my position on shoveling snow. I’m strongly opposed. For one thing, it would expose several years of rotting leaves on my lawn, and another thing it would do is tempt me to look for those two identical flakes. Imagine moving snow flake by flake. That would take hours! No, I leave the snow where Nature put it. If Gunstock wants the snow that lands in my lawn then that’s another matter entirely. I’m not above a little commercial trade. I figure they are the snow experts. If they can confirm that there are two identical flakes out there then I’ll give them my snow. Operators are standing by.

Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.