WELL, THAT WAS INTERESTING

Hello everyone everywhere,

Hey, this week has  been great. The band is getting ready for our February 6 concert, and we are so looking forward to it.  Last night was a great night for me because I had Michelle and her husband Dean over for supper. I made a roast beef dinner, and it was beautiful. I really enjoyed cooking a meal for them. The weather has  been cooperating somewhat, although finds it Michelle and me in great pain sometimes because of the dampness.

Because of the weather and the fact that we’re both in pain, this post is published on Tuesday.  This story is a rather bizarre tale, but it has a good ending. Read it all.

And now it’s time, if only for a moment to close our eyes and our thoughts…and rest. Until me meet again at Sam and Sassy Lampun’s Home of Exotic Plants and Fireworks Emporium on the corner of  Kleenex Road and Sleeveit Street, down the road from Lizzie and Jim’s place. Oops, I meant Harold and Lizzie’s place. Sorry Lizzie.

BUDDY’S LUCKY DAY

Dark_Room_by_ikiz

1964. Summer. Cool wind. (You might think this is unnecessary but these facts light the tale).

Buddy Henshaw was 10 years old. Despite his age, Buddy was already his own man. He lived in a house that, at the time, seemed large. Buddy was always searching for something that would spell…he didn’t know… maybe…safe. Different. Not sure if he should really settle. You following this? Of course you are.

That cool summer’s day’s breeze turned Buddy’s attention indoors. It was 10 or 11 a.m. (that means morning, just checking), and Buddy was standing there, all five foot five of him, wearing a green sweater, brown pants, a yellow shirt, and brown shoes. Buddy was a smart dresser. His thoughts were on exploring this house. Not really the whole house. The basement. Wait, he thought! The subbasement!

And Buddy went down to that subbasement equipped with nothing more than wonder.

In that concrete room, no windows, no sink, nothing but a beautiful old wardrobe chest. The chest was on the back wall, almost shadowed by lack of light.

Buddy could smell the wood. The dark brown of the chest pulled him closer.  He looked at the chest, old and beautiful, and pulled the lid. To his amazement, it opened.  As Buddy, barely ten years old, gazed into the chest he thought, yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. He was staring at his grandfather’s World War I medals. Buddy had known his grandfather when he was just a kid and he was full of love and pride.

Without thinking, Buddy leaned in to grab the medals. He fell in, and the top shut. (Oh, did I mention that Buddy was alone in the house? Well, he was).

Buddy landed on a stack of blankets that were piled high and firm. There were little nails sticking out from the inside of the lid. Buddy didn’t know that at first, because obviously he couldn’t see. After punching his knuckles on the lid and getting nothing more than holes in his hands, he stopped punching.

Somehow Buddy knew he must stay calm. So he listened for a sound, a voice. But for minutes, nothing.

So, Buddy thought, at least I’m dressed well. And then he thought of the sky and the wind. He closed his eyes, and he could almost, not quite, but almost, feel it.

Wait! Sound! Mind already playing tricks. Very tired. Buddy made one last attempt to call out for help.

It was mom. She heard Buddy calling. Desperately, she called, “Where are you?”

Buddy kept saying, “I’m down in the basement. I’m here!”

After what seemed like an eternity, his mother’s anguished cries were rewarded.

When Buddy’s mom opened the lid of that box, she was spent. She grabbed little Buddy, and pulled and yanked to get him out. Buddy’s face was blue as his mom (let’s call her Ellen), dragged him outside. Back then, nobody had ever heard of mouth to mouth or anything that would have helped.

After Buddy’s face started to come to life, his mom phoned the doctor. About an hour later the doctor showed up. Buddy was laying on the couch.  The doctor put his light in Buddy’s eyes. Buddy blinked. The doctor looked at Ellen , and said, “Don’t let him fall asleep for at east an hour. After that he’ll be right as rain.” And he left.

Kids. If you are listening, (and you know you should be, right? Right). If you’re alone in the house and you want to go exploring…stop. Think. Walk away. In retrospect, it would have been a dumb idea anyways.

That was Buddy’s lucky day all right. But if you aren’t smart, your day might not be as lucky.

That’s all.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

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By jamesghutcheson

SO SAD, TOO BAD

Hello everyone everywhere,

I’ve been feeling a void this week. Everything seems to be going along all right. The weather’s cheering up. But I’m in a lot of pain and I’m really tired, and I guess that’s getting to me. I’ve had a lot of pressure for a long time and sometimes I get tired. But it’s just a bump in the road. I always get over it, and I will this time too.

My voice is coming back. We will be in concert February 6 at the Hub, downtown on Ross Street in Red Deer from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. We’re the featured band. It’s $15 per person or $30 per family. It’s a great show. You should come. Bring everybody. Tell everybody. It’s all about fun and happiness and great music. I guess that’s why we’re called Soulful Noize.

Other than that, I’ve been working with Michelle and that keeps my head above water. And I guess for now that’s it.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts….and rest. Until we meet again at Neil and Natalie Pert’s Home of the $3.99 Eat All Day Special and Weight Loss Clinic Emporium next to Freida’s Place. You know, she’s the one with the shades.

WHERE ARE YOU, EDWARD?

Frustrated man

You were so busy trying to do and remember, you did not hear him leave. It could have been all the excitement of the day. Then, arriving at the shopping store…no Edward. Look everywhere. Think. Think. Damn you. You can’t. And then you can. You just cannot remember. Ask people. Maybe someone saw him. To the folks at home listening, (and you know you are, don’t you?) understand one thing. He was my confidante, so to speak.

We talked during the days, and sometimes into the lonely nights.  In one way or another, Edward has been here, well over 20 years. It was time to go. Some would say, though, Edward was only a cane.

I suppose to some this is an ironic tale. Doesn’t matter. Edward’s gone.

That’s all.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

By jamesghutcheson

IT’S NICE TO SEE YOU SMILE

Hello everyone everywhere,

You know, the past few days have been absolutely unbelievable to me. I’m not going to go into it but it was very topsy turvy so to speak. I mean, I’ve been walking around and it’s been snowing and I’ve been shoveling, and shoveling…and shoveling, and practising. Three days a week in the studio, four hours a day, and my left arm is shot. I need a break.

So…the weather’s warming up! Yahoo! When I saw that, I started to feel better. And the next thing I knew I was out for dinner at Michelle and Dean’s (it was a lovely dinner by the way), and then after dinner I was on my way home and decided to stop at the blues bar for awhile to watch the boys playing. So I went there and of course they always ask me to play but last night I said no. (“How come?” Michelle asked. “Because I was too tired”, I said.) But I did have a great visit with everybody and listened to some great music. And then I went home. That’s it.

And now it’s time, if only for a moment, to close our eyes and our thoughts…and rest. Until we meet again at Sue and Wilf Spadona’s Taro Reading and Bingo Parlour Emporium on the corner of Block Avenue and Head Street, right behind the old man’s house. Yeah, that’s the one.

THE TROUBLE STARTED ON SLICK STREET

Slick Streete

Nothing but trouble. That’s what Vern Stensel thinks every time he walks down Slick Street. I’ll tell you, you know, Vern’s seen a lot on old Slick Street. Now he’s elderly and cannot understand why these kids don’t give him the respect he’s sure he deserves. He walks down the street every day and he says, “Well what are you doing? Get out of the way. Is that mine? No, I don’t think so.” And he carries on. Vern has always thought of himself as a very sociable man.

Slick Street was where Vern started out. He was a rounder. That’s a guy who does some of this and some of that. But as time went on, Vern’s rounder days became a little more standing still days.  Since he’s got his cataracts fixed, Vern can see everything. And everything, according to Vern, has changed. That’s the trouble on Slick Street. Now he’s not sure if the people he was looking at before are the people he’s looking at now. He’s walking by and people have pins in their noses, and hair the colour of the rainbow, and pants down to their knees.  Vern thinks to himself, “Gee, now that I can see, I wonder if my girlfriend’s ugly.” And now he’s wondering, does he have a cat or a dog?

“The trouble started on Slick Street when I got those damn cataracts fixed. That’s all.”

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

By jamesghutcheson

HEY STAN, THE FUTURE’S CALLING

Hello everyone, everywhere,

Welcome to 2015. The snow’s falling, it’s cold, but who cares? It’s winter. Get over it.

So here we go. It’s a new year. I feel that great things are on the horizon for my band and my writing. I hope I find a publisher. And I feel that all of you are going to have a great year because last year was crazy. So let’s forget it.

One thing about the past is that you’ve just got to keep going. Here’s how I’m looking at the future. The other day I had to go for some x-rays early in the morning. I was thinking before I was parking, and I pulled into a stall that was too tight. When I realized my error I tried to back out, and I almost made it. But I was in “the Grey” (my mini-van) and I took out the last panel window of the van beside me. I felt like crap, especially because it wasn’t even eight in the morning. I couldn’t talk, and I had only half a cup of tea and honey that morning. I wasn’t happy. But anyway, I asked around and nobody seemed to know anything about who owned the van.

I moved on and found out that my appointment wasn’t for that day at all. I had missed it. It was for the day before. In my frustration I got in my van, and I just left. I said to hell with it all, I don’t care. Later in the day, (after talking to Michelle of course), I realized that my conscience would not let me walk away from this nonsense. I mean it’s only a bloody window, right? So I phoned back and left my information. I felt great. Relieved. And I knew it was the right thing to do. The right thing to do, apparently (Michelle keeps telling me), is the way we’ve got to go. So onward and upward 2015. That’s it.

And now it’s time, if only for a moment, to close our eyes and our thoughts and…rest. Until we meet again at John and Belle Decker’s Bird Hospital and Shooting Range Emporium on the corner of Laid Out Crescent and Get Over It Road, across from Smiley’s Bar, where the slogan is “When you see a bird, DUCK!”

THE DAY BARNEY B FLIPPIN KICKED THE PAST

Old Man

It started out like every other day for Barney B Flippin. He got up, he looked in the mirror, and he was just as grumpy as could be. And he didn’t mind that one bit. Mr. Flippin just didn’t seem to get along with anybody. And he thought that they were all out of synch with him.

He dated a few ladies in the past. There was Gladys Ergle. She was a nice lady but she didn’t like when Mr. Flippin told her how she should clean her apartment. So that ended that one.

Then there was Eunice Barkley. Eunice was lovely. She used to bring Barney B flowers and tell him stories about what was going on in the world today. And yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that. Do you see where this is going? So in his own way, Barney B tried to be sociable with Eunice. But in the end she just sort of bugged him. So he’d say, “Good night to that, Eunice.”

And then last but not least, (or least but not last, either way you look at it), there was Peggy Brownstone. He liked Peggy. She was a bowler. Barney B Flippin used to go bowling with her on Wednesday night. Barney went twice. He hated bowling. And then he started saying, “I don’t think I want Peggy Brownstone either. She’s a bowler.”

Now Barney B definitely needed a bit of a tuneup. He was the grouchiest man around. Until he ran into Licorice Larry Levin.

As Barney B walked down the street he decided that he needed a haircut. So he stepped into of the Grand Hotel on Main Street to get his hair cut by his barber, Walter. But unbeknownst to Barney B, Walter had retired. And now it was Licorice Larry Levin. That day, Barney B Flippin met his match.

He said to Licorice Larry, “You know what’s wrong with this world? Better yet, I’ll tell you while you’re working. I’ll tell you all about what’s wrong with the world.”

Licorice Larry Levin looked up at Barney B Flippin and said, “You know, all the grouchiness in the world is not going to make you any happier, so why don’t you just try smiling for a change. You just might like it.”

And Barney B said, “I came here to see Walter and complain. That’s what I do. A little off the top please.”

And Licorice Larry said, “No complaining. My man, it’s time to kick the past. That’s all.”

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

By jamesghutcheson