Monthly Archives: June 2015

Ring missing 55 years

A few decades ago, when the late broadcaster Paul Harvey used to provide “The Rest of the Story,” he told about a well-to-do couple who’d given each other expensive wedding rings, engraved, with names and dates, before taking a trans-Atlantic cruise on a luxury liner.

Not accustomed to wearing a ring at all, the new husband must have let it slip off his finger, falling into the deep blue sea. As Paul Harvey explained, the couple, then years older, took the same voyage, and on their return trip sat down to a seafood dinner. Suddenly, Harvey related, the husband bit into something hard, almost chipping a tooth.

The man discovered he’d bitten into a . . . into a . . . fishbone!

Surprised? What are the chances that a tiny object in millions of cubic miles of ocean would end up in the owner’s bicuspid? Continue reading

Coffee, newspaper: inseparable

There’s nothing like the tactility (is there such a word?) of skin-to-paper contact with coffee as a chaser. It’s been my passion for decades.

Let me explain:

Few people will disagree about the benefits of having a morning newspaper with their morning coffee. It’s a natural. And those lacking a morning paper — well, what do we do? Do we save last evening’s newspaper and treat it as if it where a morning paper?

I’m referring to recent changes at the Albuquerque Journal that somehow made my neighborhood, the Camp Luna area, off-limits for home delivery. The policy change came up suddenly, so today I write this column without the benefit of having seen the metropolitan daily this morning while in PJ’s.

Saturday, I received a recorded phone message from the Journal circulation department, announcing that the next day, Sunday, I was to receive no paper. Instead, a rebate check for my paid-up subscription would arrive soon. Well, that was small comfort. How do the Albuquerque Journal-ists expect subscribers to swallow their coffee without a newspaper in hand? Continue reading

A pamphlet or a tome

For as long as people have existed, many have cultivated the Art of Exaggeration. Strange, but when it comes to minimizing things, we aren’t as skillful.

Let me explain:

Watch any childhood scuffle on the school playground, and the loser will tell Mommy that “Jimmy almost suffocated me and practically knocked all my teeth out.” Instead of the playground, the brutal assault is said to have taken place “right in the middle of the street, in heavy traffic.” If Mommy reports the assault to the school principal, the kid is likely to effect a limp, struggle with breathing and fail to show all his teeth. A red badge of courage might also help.

Now is MY account a bit of an exaggeration? Perhaps. But nevertheless, I’m sure we’re all aware of the syndrome called “Hyper Inflammation of the Imagination.” As a child, the youngest, I used that tack as well, especially when an older sibling roughed me up, making me hope Mom or Dad would “really give it to” one sibling or the other. Continue reading

It’s not part of my bivouac

It’s interesting when people consistently use the incorrect word and can’t tolerate any correction, even when it’s offered politely.

Let me explain:

A friend with whom I once took classes at Highlands had been hobbling around on crutches a couple of weeks ago. I saw her this week, sans crutches and asked how she was doing. “Much better! I’m just glad I’m not ambulatory anymore!”

Now w-a-i-t a second. Maria had fractured a bone in March and needed crutches to help her get around. She was able to walk on her own this week. Obviously, at some point her doctor used the term “ambulatory,” which my friend must have taken to mean “laid-up,” “unable to walk” or “gettable aroundable only with a wheelchair.”

But that’s just the opposite! I hope to remain ambulatory the rest of my life. Apparently, the sense of “ambulance” entered her mind and she pictured herself being wheeled around on a gurney. Continue reading