Category Archives: Humor

Little Stars And Sunday Morning

The black cat was back this morning, though I didn’t realize it until I saw TWO black cats down the landing – one of them being my cat Güino. Luckily, the old scruffy and long-haired black cat was friendly. It sat and meowed at Güino, somehow knowing that he was the equivalent to the Gump of cats. The scruffy black cat had on an ornate collar and looked well-fed. I don’t know why it recently started coming up to the landing to lay and watch the activity below. It’s no bird hunter. If Danny DeVito were a cat, this would be him. I walked down and had a conversation with both cats before picking up Güino and cradling him. The black cat was being social; my cat was fussing and pissy because he wasn’t ready to leave his new would-be friend.

The morning was hot, even at 3 a.m. But the breeze was brisk and lovely.

Yesterday, I went to the new discount store in the old Toys Я Us building. The prices change depending on the day. It was fun sorting through the messy bins. Most of the things are of course overpriced. There’s a section where you can buy a $50 mystery box, too. The store will do well at first, given that it’s new. For me, anything of interest I found tended to make me want to find it on Amazon (where most of the stock originates) and buy it there. The best find was a red frilly unitard-looking article of clothing! Can you imagine me wearing that? Yes, you can. I apologize in advance for the mental image.

Someone left me an ornate surprise/offering on my doorstep last night. He or she scattered a handful of decorative stars around the door, too, an added flourish that made me laugh. Yes, that’s one of those eyeballs that floats in the liquid inside a clear orb. There’s also a cat silhouette pin and two crosses on beads. It almost looks as if the person gifting me the little plate of surprises left an offering to my fairy/sprite Larkma, who presumably still uses the fairy door in the picture. It’s almost certainly a female who left me the surprise; my logic isn’t necessarily solid though because something like this is exactly what I might do and according to my birth certificate, I’m allegedly male. My inability to listen when it’s in my best interest is all the proof I really need, though.

A friend posted a picture and tribute of someone she loved who passed away a few years ago. I went into the rabbit hole of using my research skills to find her footprints in life. She lived one month short of 100 years. Though I never knew her, I imagined the tapestry of her life through the years. Millions of stories. Can you imagine how many she had in one hundred years?

In the last few days, even though my powerful laptop isn’t supported for Windows 11, I did the workaround and installed it anyway. (It’s ridiculous that an I-7 processor and 16GB of RAM might not be enough.) I keep my important stuff backed up locally and in the cloud, so the worst-case scenario was going to be a pain in the ass reverting if it didn’t work. I’m not afraid to try anything, a lesson I learned from a friend named Jason years ago. I’m still aghast at how many people don’t scan and keep their precious photos safe, whether they are on their phones or in albums that human eyes never adore. My main computer is named “backupeverything” as a constant reminder that if you’re not vigilant, you will lose everything at some point. It’s inevitable, like snagging your pocket or sleeve on a drawer when you shut it.

Ann Landers said this: “If you want your children to listen, try talking softly to someone else.”

I’d add a corollary I wrote: “If you want people to talk about you, do anything interesting or different – or be happy.”

Love, X

Dead Tree Remix Day

Dead Tree Remix Day

I don’t know if my dead tree project will ever be finished. I continue to add new painted limbs and branches to it. It’s currently standing in my extra room. I rescued the dead base of the tree from the woodpile near where I found the baby shower box a couple of weeks ago. The little branches I’ve added are from some of my favorite spots along the trail and near the hospital, so it’s a well-traveled creation. I love the idea of it in part because it’s something made from discarded and desiccated remains. That I can add an infinite number of pieces to it, all rendered in luminescent color makes me happy.

The day contains the same elements of any other day. It can be a repeat of the familiar. It can also be an anomalous remix, both familiar and strangely new. Like freshly-sliced jalapeños on vanilla bean ice cream.

For fans of both Merle Haggard and Survivor, I ask you to search for “Survivor and Merle Haggard – Eye of the Haggard.” It’s an example of juxtaposing two things that should not work together but somehow do. Musically, it’s a masterful bit of wild production and melody.

In other news, I don’t like to watch baseball. Albert Pujols joined Babe Ruth as a 600 HR hitter and a pitcher. I love it when anything interesting happens in baseball. It joins bowling and golf as two sports that are like watching my hair dry. Yes, all 11 of them.

I’m looking at the new day with the eye of a tiger and the pancreas of a hyena. (That joke might be a little too esoteric.)

Before I leave for work, I will turn off the light in the room with the dead tree project. The colors will fade to the eye until the sun washes through the window and illuminates it.

It will have its day in the sun.

I hope each of you does too.

My cat will jump up to the windowsill multiple times during the day. I added extra-wide sills to all my windows so that both he and the few plants I have can enjoy the second-floor view and light.

It’s what Mondays are made for, though most of us begrudgingly wake up groggy-eyed and unready for the presumptive start of the workweek. If you’re going to spend 20% of your work-life experiencing Mondays, you might as well find a new perspective to enjoy them.

Take the pieces that don’t work and refresh them. Remix and enjoy.

Love, X

Redactyl Speaks

My dinosaur Redactyl found a cigarette butt on the ground. I don’t know how he picked it up. Now the problem is that his tiny arms won’t reach his mouth to light it!

He says the forecast today is hot with a very small chance of rain.

He has learned a lot more Latin. He told me that today’s phrase is: “Vincit qui se vincit.” I already knew that one. It means, “… He conquers who conquers himself.”

Love, X

Chalk Rebuttal

The older lady in the pink shirt was walking with her husband. I could see it on her face, the reprimand approaching. She did not appreciate me having fun by the trail.

I said good morning.

She scowled and did that “ack” sound.

“Don’t you have something better to do?” Her voice was crawling with derision.

I replied in gibberish, as if I were speaking a foreign language. Although I thought it was impossible, her face became even more ugly with disapproval.

Because I’ve seen them on the trail several times, I know they will return this way in 15 or 20 minutes.

So, I pulled out my trusty stick of chalk and wrote this:

“Dear Pink Shirt Lady… I’m grateful that I’m happy. And sad that you’re not.”

I can only imagine the consternation and the infinite acking noises she will emit when she sees my chalk-scawled message.

Love, X

Traversing The Road

Starting with a laugh… as I walked West Miller Street close to my apartment, I watched a greyish blue Chevy Traverse round the deceptively sharp curve to approach me. It was speeding of course. I walked along the right-hand side of the street on the grass. As the vehicle approached, I observed the older woman driving and notice the approaching speed bump. It’s not high profile. Had she simply driven over it, there would have been no laugh. Instead, she braked hard to avoid going over it at 35+ mph. The younger woman in the passenger seat didn’t appear to be wearing a seatbelt. She was turned sideways in the seat, drinking a presumptive soda through her straw. As the driver braked, the passenger went forward unexpectedly. I couldn’t quite see it when it happened, but she squeezed her styrofoam cup as she was jerked forward. The passenger bounced off the dashboard. Weirdly, both the driver and the passenger looked at me simultaneously as I walked and laughed. The passenger started pantomiming her displeasure toward the driver. She wildly pointed down and across her lap. I assume she was baptized in soda. I shrugged my shoulders when the driver looked at me again, having come to a full stop a couple of feet past the speed bump. When I looked back at the vehicle a few seconds later to note the make and model, I laughed again at the fact that it was wrongly named the “Traverse.” It certainly didn’t this afternoon.

Now I want to add another speed bump on top of the authorized one and watch as speeders coming from Woodland school hit it without warning. I could give it the name “Speed Wall” instead of a speed bump.

When I exited the convenience store a few minutes later, I drank my diet soda and crushed ice with enthusiasm. A nun dressed in all white entered as I held the door open for her. One of the regulars who is also quite the scam storyteller asked me if I wanted to buy some weed. With a very serious face, I said, “Yes. I need five pounds of it if you have it.” The look on his face was priceless. “Five pounds? How long will that last you?” Not missing a beat, I replied, “Oh, I’d say about nine or ten days. Can you hook me up?” He shook his head, still not realizing I was joking. “No, I can’t get anywhere near that amount!” I told him I was very disappointed in his inventory problem. I walked away, shaking my head, pretending to be concerned. I didn’t look back. I didn’t dare. There is no way I would have been able to avoid laughing.

At the intersection with Onyx Coffee, I watched as drivers carelessly drove across the crosswalk and ignored the road markings. Because I was feeling clever, I crouched down and pointed my fingers on the concrete, pretending I was a sprinter about to take off across the crosswalk. My eyes were focused on the red indicator across the street. As I did so, a white Chevy pickup pulled all the way across the crosswalk in front of me and stopped. His intention was to make a right turn, even if he had to block pedestrians to do so. I walked in front of his vehicle. Instead of pointing at the crosswalk or the sign across the street, I instead pointed at the grill of his truck. “Oh my god!” I said. And kept pointing. “You need to see this,” I told him, continuing to point. He put his truck in park and exited his truck to see what I was gesticulating toward on the front of his truck. As he did, I walked across the street and kept going. I didn’t look back that time, either. I wondered if he might get angry and return to curse at me. He’d have to make at least TWO more turns to head back in my direction, though.

When I walked two streets past my apartment, I watched a man climb inside the dumpster on the corner. He was having trouble, so I told him to use the truck fork holes as steps. He must have been a newbie to the dumpster scene. I didn’t talk to him long, but it turns out he has a decent job in the evening. He’s been scavenging and reworking furniture and different items. His truck was parked several feet away in the apartment parking lot. He also told me something interesting: that he often found construction workers’ beer in there. They often use it to hide their alcohol while they’re on the job site. He told me that last week he found a bicycle that required only a few dollars of parts – and that he sold it for $100. I wished him luck and told him that he should take a look in the dumpster at my apartment on Sunday afternoon. He thanked me.

I didn’t see another Traverse as I crossed the speed bump again.


“For The Birds”

I stopped at a hardware store on Township after work. Surprisingly, it’s named “The Hardware Store,” which confused me. I definitely wanted some watercolor art prints. I was shocked and pleased that they carried oversized outlet plates AND a huge variety of screws. I am now fully screwed, I’m pleased to report.

As the clerk checked me out, he inquired about my brooch. Being where he was, he of course didn’t refer to it as a “brooch.” No self-respecting retail clerk selling manly items would ever utter the word – even under threat of a whipping.

I laughed and asked if he wanted a rundown of possible answers.

“Ha! Of course,” he said and laughed.

“It’s a pilot’s license.”

“Really,” he seriously asked.

“Yes, it allows me to indiscriminately fly the bird anytime I wish to.” And I held up both birds using both hands to demonstrate.

Not expecting that, he laughed hard.

I listed a barrage of other explanations, some funny, some bizarre.

I’ll go back. Not just for the great supply of items, but also to test their credulity and sense of humor.

Love, X

Pretxel Fish Is Born

What is Pretxel Fish? Arkansas’ newest LLC. Due to the craziness of my name, Arkansas had trouble understanding that my first name is just X. I used the ongoing bureaucratic melee as a reason to replace the ‘z’ in ‘pretzel’ with an X. If ‘xylophone’ can be pronounced with an X, anything can. (One of my favorite words is ‘xanthous,’ which has acquired new meaning lately.) What is Pretzel Fish, the name from which I derived my company name? A reminder to be grateful and to experience whatever is at your feet. Not the potential of what could be or what you’d like to be. You can make moves to change your life incrementally or you can adapt and find lemon moments where you are. It’s up to you and me. I’m not sure what I will do with this new business. And that lights me up a little with both humor and expectations.

Love, X

Powdered Cat

Powdered Cat

Sometimes, instead of drinking my protein drink I make with recycled coffee, I opt to eat a scoop (or two) raw with a teaspoon as I start my morning. I love the texture and flavor.

This morning I woke up early and sat at my computer. My cat Güino loves to jump up and interfere and sit in my lap, his little nose popping up constantly to block my wrists as I type. In front of me were a cup of bitter coffee and a little black bowl of protein powder.

The first couple of bites of powder caused no problems other than caking my teeth temporarily with a pasty mixture. After each bite, I took a sip of coffee and petted the cat as he popped his head up for attention.

The next bite? It was like the cinnamon-challenge-gone-wrong. Somehow, I breathed in sharply as I took a spoonful of powder. It started to invade my lungs as I breathed in. This produced an involuntary cough response.

The powder spewed out of my mouth in a small cloud. Güino’s head caught the brunt of it, covering him in a fine brown powder. He looked at me in surprise, his little whiskers covered in chocolate protein powder.

And then the barrage of little sneezes started, his head bobbing strongly with each sneeze.

I laughed, ignoring the mess of powder on my lap, keyboard, and desktop.

I took the picture when Güino jumped back on my lap a couple of minutes later. I was still amused.

You can tell by the cat’s expression that he wasn’t amused.

Powdered donuts? No. Powdered cat for breakfast.