Alcohol Content.

JoeWhile we were sitting at the table eating lunch today, I was telling Joe and Dot about meeting my friend Faith at Portland’s Bridgeport Brewery on Saturday for dinner.  Their son had brought them home some fresh crab from the Oregon Coast so Joe and Dot were both busy using a wrench to break open their crab legs while I was telling my story.

Me:  “They had the BEST beer there too!  It was called ‘Stumptown Tart’ and it’s a beer brewed with raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.”

Joe:  “What the hell is this?!”

Dot:  “It’s crab.  It’s good.  Eat it!”

Joe:  “Okay.”

Dot:  “Did the beer taste like fruit?”

Me:  “Well kind of.  I mean, I could taste the fruit but it wasn’t a sweet beer.”

Joe:  “Is this a rock?  Why are there rocks on my plate?!”

Dot:  “It’s not a rock.  It’s a crab.  It’s good.  Eat it.”

Joe:  “Oh crab, okay then.”

Dot:  “I’ve never had a fruity beer.”

Me:  “Oh it’s good, I’m sure you’d love it.”

Dot:  “We usually drink beer with our crab.”

Me:  “I think you’ve got some beer downstairs, would you like me to get one for you two to share?”

Dot:  “No, not now.  Maybe with dinner.”

Joe:  “Are we having rocks for dinner too?!”

Dot:  “No, we’re having beer.  And that’s not a ROCK!  It’s a crab.  It’s good.  Eat it!”

Joe:  “Oh yeah, crab…”

Me:  “So yeah, it was pretty much the best beer I’ve ever had.”

Joe looked at me:  “What’s the alcohol content in it?”

Me:  “Alcohol content?  Oh, I think it was 7 percent or so.”

Joe:  “So like a beer then.”

Me:  “Yep, exactly like a beer.”

Joe:  “It’s easier to get drunk off of beer if you like the taste of it.”

Me:  “That’s very true, Joe.”

Joe:  “I mean, you can get drunk off of regular beer too, but it’s more fun to get drunk off of beer that tastes good.”

Dot:  “Joe!  Eat your crab.  It’s good.  Eat it!”

Joe:  “Oh yeah, crab…”

Tall Trees and Shrubbery.

Lois the FinLois just shuffled past my bedroom and she was wearing her little T-shirt and her cozy, pink slippers, but nothing else.

Me: “Do you need help with anything, Lois?”

Lois: “I was just going to look for a little snack.”

Me: “How about I fix you a snack.”

Lois: “Oh, that would be wonderful. Now I’d better go look for Baby.”

She opened the back door and started to call out for the cat.

Me: “Lois, don’t you think you ought to put on some pants?”

Lois looked down: “Well for Pete’s sake! Where’d my pants go?”

Me: “My guess would be in your bedroom…”

Lois giggled: “I gave the neighbors quite a show huh?”

Me: “You sure did!”

Lois: “Now where was I? Oh yeah, I’d better look for Baby…”

Still naked from the waste down, she opens the back door: “BABY? BABY!!”

This must be why God created tall trees and shrubbery.

Wyatt Marsh.

JoeWe were watching “Ellen” this afternoon when Joe said: “That fella reminds me of Wyatt Marsh.”

Dot: “Huh?”

Joe: “Doesn’t that guy on the tube remind you of Wyatt Marsh?”

Doe: “That guy there?”

Joe: “Yes, that guy right there.”

Dot: “Nooooooooo.”

Joe: “Why not?”

Dot: “Because that is a black man!”

Joe: “So?”

Dot: “So Wyatt Marsh is white.”

Joe: “He is?”

Dot: “Yes.”

Joe shook his head and chuckled: “Well Hell, you learn something new everyday!”

Spelling Bee.

joe_dotI could hear Dot in the bedroom asking Joe, “What’s that girl’s name?”

Joe:  “What girl?”

Dot:  “The girl who was just in here taking care of you.  What was her name?”

Joe:  “There wasn’t any girl in here taking care of me.”

Dot:  “I think I remember, her name starts with a W…”

I could tell that this conversation was going nowhere since it was the short-term memory equivalent of the “blind leading the blind” so I started to walk to the bedroom.  I was already entering the room when Dot shouted my name at the top of her lungs.

Dot:  “WHITNEY!!!”

She scared me half to death and Joe cracked up when he saw me jump (Dot had her back to me).

Me:  “I’m right here, Dot.”

Dot turned around:  “Oh yeah…um…now I forgot why I was calling you in here.”

We all sat in silence for a couple of minutes while Dot tried to collect her thoughts.

Dot:  “Oh yeah, now I remember.  Joe needs to S-H-I-T.”

Joe:  “What are you spelling, Dot?  Are you trying to keep secrets from me?”

Dot:  “I’m not keeping any secrets.  I was only telling Whitney what you told me that you have to do.”

Joe:  “You told her that I have to take a shit?  Why do you have to go and tell people about it?”

I tried not to laugh:  “Hi Joe, I’m just going to help you get on your commode okay?”

Joe:  “My what?”


Joe looked totally confused, so I clarified:  “Your toilet.”

Joe:  “Oh yeah, okay then.  What do I need to get on the toilet for?”

Dot:  “So that you can S-H-I-T.”

Joe:  “Why the hell do you keep spelling everything?!”

Dot:  “Because I don’t like to swear.”

Joe looked at me and grinned:  “She’s a good Catholic girl.”

Me:  “Yes, she is.”

Dot looked very proud.

Joe:  “Well, I guess I’d better go to the bathroom and take a shit…”

Me:  “Thank you for being so specific, Joe.”

Joe grinned:  “You’re welcome.”


Pedal to the Metal.

Joe was having a moment of clarity this afternoon, so I asked him if he would tell me how he and Dot first met.  Dot was sitting next to him on the couch.

Joe:  “We went to school together, didn’t we?”

Dot:  “No, we met at a dance.”

Joe:  “At the school?”

Dot:  “Well yeah, but at my school.  The boys from your school came to our dance.  I went to an all girl’s school.”

Joe laughed:  “Oh yeah, now I remember.  There were so many girls there!”

Dot:  “And out of all of those girls, you decided to ask me to dance.”

Joe:  “Well, either that or you’re the only girl who said ‘yes’.”

Dot:  “No, no.  You only asked me.  I know cuz I was watching.”

Joe:  “You were watching me?  What were you watching me for?”

Dot:  “Because I thought you were kinda cute…”

Joe burst out laughing.

Me:  “I think you just made Joe a little shy.”

Joe:  “Not me!  I’m not shy.”

Dot:  “Oh and tell Whitney about when we had our first date.”

Joe:  “Which one?”

Dot:  “There’s only one, FIRST date, Joe.”

Joe:  “Oh yeah, I guess you’re right.  I must’ve lost count.”

Dot:  “Well my sister brought her date along so that we could have a double date, because that’s the only way that my parents would let us go out with boys.  My sister and her date drove behind us, and Joe let me drive his car…”

Joe:  “I remember that!  That was a bad idea letting you drive, Dot.”

Dot:  “It wasn’t my fault that the gas pedal got stuck!”

Me:  “Wait…What happened?”

Dot:  “Well I was driving pretty fast, because I must’ve been trying to show off or something, and the next thing I knew, the gas pedal was stuck!  And I couldn’t get the car to stop!”

Joe laughed:  “Yup, I remember that.”

Me:  “So what did you do?”

Dot:  “Well, my sister and her date were driving behind us, and they said that they could see sparks coming out from under the car and everything!  I didn’t know what to do.  But lucky for me, Joe was there.”  She reached over and patted his leg then.

Joe:  “Yeah, lucky for you.  Not so lucky for me!  You darn near crashed my car!”

Dot:  “We didn’t crash.  You told me to turn the engine off and just focus on keeping the car on the road.  Eventually the car slowed down.  And do you remember the best part of the story, Joe?”

Joe looked confused:  “Better than you almost wrecking my car…?”

Dot:  “Do you remember where the car finally came to a stop?”

Joe:  “On the side of the road somewhere I guess…”

Dot:  “It stopped RIGHT in front of Mildred Johnson’s house.”

Joe:  “Who’s Mildred Johnson?”

Dot:  “Your ex-girlfriend.”

Joe laughed:  “Oh yeah…I thought that name sounded familiar.”

Dot:  “You’re not fooling me.  I know that you remember who she is.”

Joe looked all starry-eyed:  “Yeah, I remember Mildred…”

Dot cracked up:  “Yeah, I just bet you do.”

Joe:  “But I remember you best of all, Dot.”

Dot:  “Yeah, you’d better say that.”

Joe looked at me and winked.

Joe’s First Horse.

Joe and I were walking out to get the paper this morning when he started to tell me about his first horse.  He hardly every sparks up a conversation, so I couldn’t wait to hear all about it.

Joe:  “Yup, I was just a boy but I wanted my own horse so bad.  Dad told me that horses were too expensive so I’d just have to wait until I was a little older so that I could save up money to buy one for myself.”

Me:  “Oh bummer.”

Joe:  “No, it was alright because I walked into town the next day and ran into an old man with a horse.  I asked him if I could pet it, and he said, ‘Why sure, Little Fella’.  I loved that old horse the moment I set eyes on it.”

I could tell that Joe was kind of trailing off of the conversation, so I kept asking him questions to keep his mind on it.

Me:  “Did you tell the old man how much you wanted your own horse?”

Joe:  “Huh?  Oh yeah….yup, I told him that he was lucky to have such a nice horse…”

Joe stumbled then and I had to catch him before he fell right into the ditch.

Me:  “Whoa, look out there, Joe!”

Joe laughed:  “Can’t seem to walk straight these days.”

Me:  “It’s okay, you’re doing just fine.  So tell me more about that horse…”

Joe:  “Oh yeah, well the old man asked me if I had a horse, and I told him that I wanted a horse of my own real bad, but my family couldn’t afford to buy me one.”

Me:  “What did he say after that?”

Joe:  “Well he asked me, ‘How much money you got in your pockets?’  I put my hands in my pockets and pulled them both out empty, and left them hanging out so that he could see for himself.  Then he asked me to check my back pockets, and when I reached back I found my comb.  I held the comb up so that he could see it.”

Me:  “What did the old man say to you then?”

Joe chuckled:  “Well sure enough, he hollered out, “What do you say you trade me that there comb, for this here horse?”

Me:  “Wow, really?!”

Joe laughed:  “Yup.  So sure enough, I gave him my comb and he gave me his horse, and I thanked him over and over again and went on my way.”

Me:  “Holy Moly, so he just gave you his horse?”

Joe:  “Well, I paid him with my comb, but yeah…”

Me:  “What’d your dad say when you came back home with a horse?”

Joe laughed:  “Dad was sure surprised.  He hollered out at me ‘Whatd’ya got there, Shorty?’ and I just stood there next to my horse with a big, shit-eatin’ grin on my face.”

Me:  “Did he let you keep it?”

Joe:  “Oh yeah, well we had a farm and all, so there was plenty of room for him.  Dad told me that I had to build him his own stall, but I was happy to do that.”

Me:  “What did you name him?”

Joe:  “Name?  I don’t remember what his name was.  But he was blind as a bat is all I can remember about him.”

Me:  “The horse was blind?”

Joe chuckled:  “Yup, he was blind all right.  My dad and my brothers teased me about it all the time for letting an old man trick me into buying an old, blind horse, but I didn’t pay them any never-mind.”

I laughed:  “So were you able to ride him?”

Joe:  “Oh yeah, I put a saddle on him and away we went.”

Me:  “And you didn’t have any trouble, with him being blind and all?”

Joe:  “Well he was clumsy as all-get-out and he ran into shit all the time, so I had to really watch where we were going or he would’ve trotted us right over a cliff.  But other than that, he was a good horse.”

Me:  “Well I’m so glad that you got a horse that you could love so much.”

Joe got a little bit teary eyed:  “Yep, I did love him.  That blind little shit.  He was clumsy as hell, but I loved him.”

I patted him on the shoulder and smiled:  “That was one lucky horse.”

Joe looked confused:  “What horse are you talking about?”

Me:  “Oh nothing.  Let’s go inside and read the paper, huh?”

Joe:  “Yeah, okay.  I guess that’d be alright.”


156156_10151211092605862_32259767_nYou know that movie where Billy Bob Thornton plays that guy who growls, “MmmmHmmm” all the time?  Sling Blade I think it’s called.  Well, I swear to you that Lois sounds just like him when she gets really into a conversation.  It cracks me up so bad when she does it.

For instance, after dinner the other night we began to talk about the different kinds of foods that people eat around the world.  Lois loves to ask me questions about all of the places that I’ve traveled, so I told her a few stories about the cuisine in Thailand and Nepal, and to make the conversation even more interesting, I asked her if she’s ever heard of Andrew Zimmern.  Of course she’d never heard of him, so I began to tell her about how he has this show where all he does is travel all over the world and eat the craziest foods that he can find.

Me:  “I saw this one episode where he went into this candy store, but it wasn’t regular candy, it was like candied bugs and stuff.  Like, chocolate covered grasshoppers and cinnamon cockroaches…”

Lois:  “MmmHmm.”

Me:  “And I saw this other episode where he was eating rotten tofu…”

Lois:  “MmmHmm.”

Then out of the blue she asked:  “Does he ever eat crabs?”

Me:  “Well, yeah he eats crab.  But crab isn’t exactly a strange food…”

Lois suddenly got very serious:  “Didn’t your mom ever tell you about CRAB?!”

I was a bit started at her change in volume:  “No, I can’t say that she ever did…”

Lois:  “Well just think about it!  If somebody dies and ends up in the water somehow, their bodies just float to the bottom of the sea and then those crabs crawl all over them and EAT THEIR GUTS OUT!”

That was not at all what I was expecting to hear, so I just looked at her; totally shocked.

Lois nodded her head:  “MmmmHmm.”

Me:  “Wow…well, I guess I’d never actually thought of that…”

Lois:  “So when you eat crab, you’re actually eating PEOPLE!”

Me:  “So if people eat crab then they’re almost like….”

Lois:  “Cannibals.  MmmHmm.”

Me:  “Wow.  I have to say, I may never eat crabs again!”

Lois crossed her arms:  “MmmHmm.”

Later in the day, Lois got to talking about all of the blackberry bushes in her backyard.  She told me that she used to make cobblers and pies, but now that she’s gotten older she doesn’t bother with them anymore.

Lois:  “Well see, I’d be afraid that I might go back there to pick berries and then…well what if I fell down?!”

Me:  “Yeah, that wouldn’t be good if you fell down back there.”

Lois:  “No one would even hear me all the way back there!  And I’d get all tangled up in the blackberry bushes…”

Me:  “And you know the worst part?”

Lois was intrigued.

Me:  “Well see, you could fall down back there, and then you would get all tangled up in the blackberries, and then a bunch of crabs could come along…”

Lois just about died laughing.

Me:  “…and then they would…EAT YOUR GUTS OUT!”

Lois just about fell out of her chair at that point.  After we’d laughed about it for a few minutes she got all serious again.

Lois:  “And that is why it is too dangerous for me to pick those blackberries out there in my backyard.”

Me:  “I see.”

Lois:  “MmmHmm.”


As some of you know, I wrote a song many moons ago that quickly turned me into a One Hit Wonder.  It is a song called, “Run From the Moose”.

Last week I took my guitar with me to work so that I could serenade Lois with my (very limited) singer/songwriter abilities, and I wasn’t sure how she would react.

Well, as it turned out, Lois LOVED it, so I will definitely need to pack my guitar to work with me from now on.  Her reaction to “Run From the Moose” created quite an uproar though, I must say!

I played the song from start to finish, and once it was over I smiled and said, “The End.”

Lois (her face showing every kind of shock and awe imaginable):  “DID YOU WRITE THAT SONG?!”

Me:  “Yep, I sure did.  It is the first song that I ever wrote as a matter of fact.”

Lois:  “Have you trademarked that song yet?!”

Me:  “No I haven’t.”

Lois:  “OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO TRADEMARK THAT SONG!!  Has anyone else heard it?”

Me:  “Yes, I’ve played this song at least a hundred thousand times (maybe a slight exaggeration).  All over the world even!”

Lois looked defeated:  “Well then I’m sure that someone has already stolen your song and trademarked it for themselves.”

I laughed:  “No, I don’t think so, Lois.”

Lois:  “ARE YOU KIDDIN’?  How much you wanna bet that someone out there is a millionaire right now because they stole YOUR song?”

Me:  “Lois, it’s okay really, no one has stolen my song.”

Lois:  “Well you’re being pretty naive about it if you ask me…”

I tried to change the subject:  “Sure is getting cold out there, isn’t it?  What happened to our summer?”


She shouted so loudly that it actually startled me.

Me:  “Okay Lois, I will get a trademark put on my moose song.”

Lois:  “You’d better do it right now!  Before someone steals it!”

Me:  “Okay, I will go on my computer right now and figure out how to put a trademark on it.”

Lois shrugged:  “Well, it’s probably too late anyhow.  I’m sure that someone already stole it from you.”

Me:  “I can check on the Internet to see if someone stole it from me too.  Just give me a minute to do a search, okay?”

Lois:  “It’s such a shame.  Such a waste of a brilliant song.”  Lois hung her head and looked like she was about to cry.

I got my computer out and quickly pretended to do a search about “Run From the Moose” so that I could give Lois the good news.

Me:  “Okay Lois, I just searched on Google and so far NO ONE has stolen my song.”

Lois:  “Are you SURE about that?!  And what is this boggle thing you’re talking about…?”

Me:  “It’s called ‘Google’ and it’s the place where you go to look for things on the computer, and yes, I’m sure that no one has stolen ‘Run From the Moose’.  I’m trademarking it for myself right as we speak and…TUH-DAH!  It’s trademarked under my name now.  Just like that.”

Lois looked very suspicious:  “Well your computer thing-a-ma-jiggy is lying to you.”

Me:  “What do you mean, Lois?”

Lois:  “Because I KNOW FOR A FACT that someone else recorded that song on an album already.”

Me (trying not to laugh):  “Is that so…and which album is that?”

Lois:  “Well, I can’t remember the name of the album…let me think…ummmm…WOODY GUTHRIE!”

I wanted to pee my pants just for the mere mention of Woody Guthrie and myself in the same conversation.

Me:  “You think that Woody Guthrie stole my song and recorded it on one of his records huh?”

Lois:  “No, never mind, it wasn’t Woody Guthrie…It was…”  Lois started to scratch her head with both hands and she tried to summon up the name that was on the tip of her tongue.

Finally she shouted out, “BOB DYLAN!!”

Holy Crap, my head was getting bigger by the minute.

Me, once again trying to change the subject:  “How about I play you another song now?  I can play one that you can sing along to.  Do you know ‘You are my Sunshine?’ how about I play that song?”

Lois:  “Well alright.  Just don’t go playing another Bob Dylan song and trying to trick me into thinking that you wrote it…”

Me:  “Oh I won’t Lois.  I promise.  You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”

Lois:  “You make me HA-P-P-PPY when somethin’, somethin’, somethin’…”

Cowgirls and Indians.

I was trying to entertain Joe this afternoon so that he would stop trying to “go home” by looking through a book about rodeos.  Joe loves anything that has to do with rodeos.

As we flipped through the pages we notice that there were several old, black and white photos of Native Americans wearing fancy head-dresses, and there were several photos of some famous cowgirls as well.

I was trying to make conversation with Joe as we looked through the pictures, and the conversation went something like this:

Me:  “Wow, look at those beautiful horses, Joe!”

Joe:  “Why are there Indians sitting on them?”

Me:  “Well, I’m not sure.  It looks like they were part of the rodeo show at one point.”

Joe grunted.

Me:  “I’m pretty sure that if they’re wearing those fancy head dresses then they must be chiefs, don’t you think?”

Joe laughed:  “How would I know?  I haven’t been hanging out with any Indians lately.”

Me:  “Well, actually, technically I am a Native American.  My mom is a registered tribe member, and you’ve been hanging out with me…”

Joe looked shocked:  “Is that right?!  Well you don’t look like no Indian to me.”

I laughed:  “Funny how that works huh?  I got more of my dad’s coloring I guess.”

Joe:  “Well what I want to know is, if you’re an Indian, then what the hell are you doing asking ME about Indians?  You’re the expert!”

Okay, moving on.  I smiled at him and turned the page.

Me:  “Oh look, Joe!  Looks like they’re barrel racing in this one.”

Joe:  “There’s a girl on that horse.”

Me:  “Yep, it’s a cowgirl.”

Joe:  “Rodeos are no place for a woman.”

Me:  “Why is that?”

Joe:  “Because they could fall off and get hurt.”

Me:  “Yeah, but couldn’t a man fall off and get hurt too?”

Joe laughed:  “Well yeah, but men have harder heads.  Plus, no one cares if a man gets any uglier.”

I laughed:  “That’s a good point.”

Joe looked at me with his sweet doe eyes:  “Can I go home now?”

The Seafood Diet.

Dot was asking me about my diet this morning because she’s impressed with the results that I’ve achieved so far.  I explained to her that I’m not allowed to eat carbohydrates.  She had a puzzled look on her face so I said that I just don’t eat any sugar or flour; so no bread, rice, pasta or desserts for me.

Dot:  “Well I think that I’d like to go on that diet with you.”

Dot probably weighs 100 pounds soaking wet, so I told her that she didn’t need to go on any diets.

Dot looked at Joe’s expanding belly:  “Well then we should put Joe on that diet with you.”

Joe looked shocked:  “ME?!  I’m not going on any goddamned diet!”

Dot:  “Well, you should go on a diet!  Besides, this one sounds perfect for you…”

Joe:  “The only way that any diet will be perfect for me is if I can eat as much ice cream and as many cookies that I want!”

Dot:  “See?  This will work out perfectly!”

I stopped their argument to interject:  “Actually Dot, this diet is not perfect for either of you.”

Dot looked confused:  “But I thought that you said that all you can eat is sugar and bread…?”

I laughed, “No it’s the opposite.  The only thing that I CAN’T have is sugar and bread.”

Joe crossed his arms and gave Dot a look that said, “I told you so!”

Dot:  “Well that just doesn’t seem right not being able to have desserts…”

Me:  “I actually don’t know of any diets where desserts are permissible, Dot.”  I thought back and suddenly remembered a joke from grade school, and with a straight face I said, “Well, except of course the Seafood Diet…”

Dot looked intrigued:  “What do you get to eat on that diet?  Just fish and shrimp and stuff?”

I winked at Joe:  “Well it’s a simple diet.  Basically how it works is when you SEE food, you get to EAT it!”

Joe busted out laughing at that point.  “Ok, you’ve talked me into it.  I’ll go on THAT diet!”

Dot laughed too:  “Oh just never you mind about diets, Joe.”

Joe:  “Yeah, but now I WANT to go on a diet.”

I laughed and said, “Well it’s pretty much the diet you’re already on, Joe.”

Joe:  “Is that right?!  Well all right then.  That sounds alright.”  Then he went back to reading his newspaper.