Monthly Archives: August 2014

Chris saved me big bucks

A few years ago, I wrote a let-me-now-eat-crow column in which I explained having taken credit for a really trivial act. It seems that a local woman, attempting to buy gas at Allsup’s, asked my son, Diego, to hold her place in line at the pumps.

She’d driven up to the wrong side of the pump, and fearing she’d lose her place in line, she asked Diego to order her $4.18 worth of gas. I was already in line at the store, so Diego asked me to do the honors. Noticing the amount was 82 cents short of five dollars, I rounded up the amount. As I left Allsup’s, I saw the grateful woman and admonished her to “help the next person who needs it.” She nodded, thanked me and drove off.

As Diego and I left Allsup’s, my son set the record straight: “Dad, you probably think I paid for her gas; she gave me $4.18, and you put in 82 cents. Stop acting like such a philanthropist.”

Well, he had me there. I’d thought Diego had underwritten most of the purchase and I’d added the extra change. My contribution enabled the woman to drive about 260 feet farther than if I hadn’t put in my share. Continue reading

In our right mind

“Right-handed people use the left side of their brain, so left-handers are the only people in their right mind.”

Thus read the message on a T-shirt I once owned. I picked it up at a yard sale in Columbia, Mo., in 1974.

Except for dining with members of my wife’s side of the family I don’t pay much attention to my left-handedness, certainly not thinking of it as a handicap — despite what much literature and public opinion say about it.

As for Bonnie’s family, well, her late mother, Velma, her sisters Donna and Beth are all left-handed. That means that when we’d sit down to dine, we needed to choreograph an elaborate dance to place us in such a way that we didn’t bump one another.

When Bonnie’s father, a right-hander, was still with us, and I joined the dinner table, that meant four of the seven of us will have been left-handers, and that kind of proportion is unusual. We represent only 10 percent of the world’s population and 57 percent of those at the dinner table. Continue reading

The rule of threes

Going through my Facebook pages — a routine I follow almost every night — I came across the news that Robin Williams, 63, that comic genius has died; he committed suicide through asphyxiation, the early reports say.

By “came across the news,” I played down the expression. It’s not as if I simply stumbled across that bit of news: It’s all over Facebook, and on virtually every TV channel, and certainly on the next day’s front pages of newspapers.

It hurts. Though I don’t consider myself a hero-worshiper, I feel bad that the world has lost such a person who could make everybody smile. My favorite Robin Williams film was “Mrs. Doubtfire,” about a man on the verge of being divorced who applies and gets hired to become a nanny for his own children.

The elaborate disguise, as an elderly British woman fools even his children. The movie is laced with frantic costume changes wherein he needs to switch from his regular self to the nanny, then back again. Continue reading

Tattoos don’t just wash off

On visits to the Abe Montoya Recreation Center, I easily get my fill of tattoo art. Some patrons enter with a mish-mash of strange, multi-colored drawings on their arms, legs and backs. And as for the men, well they have even more to show off.

The practice of having tattoos applied on one’s body has grown over the years. It used to be that self-applied artwork came from a needle and a bottle of India ink. I recall that even in the ‘50s, when I was in school, some of the students would self-apply tattoos, usually in the shape of a cross, with radiating lines made to look like sun rays.

I drove a school bus to Los Alamos, a village between Sapello and Watrous, when I was in college. On my route I met a student who’d taken the India ink routine a step farther: Not only did my passenger have the customary cross on the hand, but one on the forehead as well.

Tattoos don’t wash off with the next shower, and erasing a tattoo is expensive and, we hear, possibly painful. Continue reading