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A Real Lifesaver

I love my husband but he does have some anger-management issues.  Most of the time he’s a real puppy dog, but when he loses it, he will clock me pretty good.  I know I should report him to the law or head for a women’s shelter or something, but gosh, I just love the big lug. Sure, I’m abused, but are a bunch of shiners too much to pay for marital bliss most of the time? He works like a dog and I lay on the couch all day eating bon bons.

Afterward he beats me up, he’ll be apologetic for days and he swears that he’ll never do it again. Of course I don’t believe him, but I think that he believes it himself. Then when he starts getting wound up again, he’ll say that I made him do it.

Anyway, I was down at the hardware store the other day and I bought a 12″ cast-iron skillet that I needed, as I do cook. The thing weighed a ton. A black beauty. You can’t hurt it. I accidentally left the fire on under it the other night after cooking dinner and although it got hot enough to melt lead, it was otherwise unscathed.

The other wonderful thing about the skillet is that I’m strong enough to take it by the handle and give my hubby a whack in the noggin with it that will send him into cuckoo-land on the kitchen-floor linoleum for a good ten minutes. When he comes to, he isn’t angry any more. His head hurts too much. You can also make an unbelievable omelette in it.

Classic Bug

I bought a classic ’67 VW bug from a guy relocating to Florida. I paid him fifty cents, which was all I had at the time, and moved in immediately.

The bug sat in an empty lot on 116th Street. No wheels, but the doors still locked. A good growth of tall weeds surrounded it and provided a rustic feel.

The seats were long gone and the floor was covered in layers of cardboard. Pretty ritzy! This was a movie up from an ancient Morris Minor for me. Luxurious.  I’ve got a buddy who lives in a Buick up on 125th by the river. He’s got room in there to invite some folks over, they smoke a J, drink a little Thunderbird; in other words, he entertains. He’s like that. Me, not so much.

It’s part of the American Dream, right? Own your own place. King in your castle. As far as I’m concerned, ’67 was the last good year for bugs. After that, they switched to those ugly new bumpers, which I hate.

Heat

You ask me, flame throwers don’t get the respect they deserve. Well, maybe they do if you’re facing some guy with one in your hands, all lit up and ready to barbeque him. But I mean from day to day, hanging around the office, bs-ing with your friends. Unless they’re into Call of Duty or suchlike, you’re lucky to find a guy who has built a flame thrower from a kit. As for women, forget about it!

To be clear, I’m not talking about these safer, commercial, gas-streaming models. I’m talking about manning up and throwing a good long stream of burning liquid out there onto a crowd or building.

Yes, I was a yellow, underweight weakling with thinning hair, cardboard lifts in my shoes, and a congenital fear of leafy vegetables. Yes, my mom forced the vegetables, either raw or cooked to a consistency of gray-green mush. Yes, I wouldn’t play outdoors.

But then my dad died and I was able to sneak down into the basement without him threatening to kill me, and it didn’t take long to find the heat. Two tanks of oil-based liquid fuel, a tank of compress butane, a gun housing, and an ignition valve. My first trip over to the playground where all those little rats from my class hung out, that was probably the best day of my life!

4 Responses

  1. Flamethrowers? Wonder what Freud would say about that…

  2. As we moved from rental house to rental house during 40 years of fractious marriage, my wife and I craved quiet, privacy, self-sufficiency and a really large garden. We were subjected to loud drunken parties and hysterically barking dogs from the people who lived next door. We detested neighbors leering over the fence at us. We hated depending on civilization for fuel, water, and power. We resented landlords grumbling when we tore up a bit of lawn for a tiny garden with one letuce plant, three beans, and two potatoes. Our irritation with our neighbors distracted us from our incompatibility as a couple.

    Finally, we bought five acres of woods on an island. We put in a well, bought a chainsaw and a generator, planted more trees to block the occasional skimpy patches where our few neighbors might catch a glimpse of our house. I went to the hardware store to buy a shiny, brand new Craftsman shovel.

    We put in a huge garden, bought dozens of varieties of seeds from the Burpee catalog. For the first time, we planted our own orchard of fruit trees.

    Once we had privacy, a measure of self-sufficiency, and a really large garden, our incompatibility began to become apparent. After a day of bickering and fussing, I said to my wife, “Now that we are both retired, now that we are alone in the woods, you can do me in, bury me in the woods, and nobody will ever notice.”

    She said, “Don’t worry. I am a small woman. I can’t dig a hole that deep.” I slept better with that assurance.

    One day, a few months later, she said to me. “I hired a plumber to reroute the water line from the well to the garden. However, to save money, I said we would dig the trench for the new water line.” She handed me the shovel. She had drawn a line on the ground to indicate where to dig the trench.

    Using my spiffy new shovel I began digging. Usually, I use the chain saw to cut wood for our wood stove, but while I was digging the trench, my wife wielded the chain saw on some of the smaller bushes. After about a week of digging and shoveling, I realized I was almost done with excavating the trench.. As I tossed spadefuls of dirt on the side of the ditch, standing shoulder deep in the cavity, I glanced up at my wife working with the chain saw. What’s wrong with this picture? I asked myself.

  3. Here I am. If you can see my hand sticking up out of the dirt, please give me a hand up.

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