WHAT A RUSH

Hello everyone, everywhere,

This has been the busiest week I have ever spent trying to rest. My fibromyalgia  attacked me so badly these last few days that, as angry as I get to fight it, I felt I was losing the battle. But now, as always, I’m winning out. My back is swollen on one side but I am getting better every day. I’m happy, so be happy for me. Enough of that.

The band, Soulful Noize, is moving forward. We’ve started writing more originals, and hopefully soon we’re going to try to record something. We just haven’t figured out how we’re going to do it yet. Lots of money would help.

The weather here, (well in Alberta, I’m sorry about you guys out east), man we usually get it bad every day for about six months, so this is nice. A bit of a break. Of course it’s damp as hell so my fingers are swollen like tree logs, which makes snapping my fingers to a tune almost impossible right now. But I keep the tune in my head and when my hands are ready we’ll get to it. That’s it.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts, if only for a moment…and rest. Until we meet again at Henry and Wilma Juggins Home of Pick Your Own Used Car Parts and Antique Vases Emporium, situated in the Juggins luxurious backyard garage. The motto is “Grab a fender, grab a vase”.  It’s just up the corner from Gladys Spriggs’ Embroidery and Spy School. You’ll find them at the the corner of Route 70 and Last Gasp Boulevard.

NORMAN SPLINTER’S WORST DAY

Party hat

Norm Splinter is turning 45 today. He’s not so happy about this birthday. Come on along. You’ll see.

Well, to spell it out, Norm stutters. To ask Norm though, he’d say it was his tongue having trouble letting go of the words. Then he laughs at himself. He loves his h-h-h-h-h-humour.

His parents are coming to dinner: Fran and Jerome Splinter. They always bring people with them. Norman thinks his parents want somebody there to justify their great deeds. There’s Aunt Velma, and of course the twins, Cecil and Bernice (they’re lovely), and Norman’s uncle Percy Zappo.  That about rounds it off.

Luckily this visit will last only  an hour or so. Norman’s parents play canasta at 7 p.m. sharp. (Won’t be late, Norm’s dad Jerome).
Every Wednesday the same line. Five p.m.. Clockwork precision on that one, Norman. Well done.

Doorbell rings and poor Norman is sweating already. Door opens. In come the herd. (You know that’s short for family, well at least Norman Splinter’s family).

Norman says hi as easy as peasy. But that wasn’t flying with this crazy bunch. In unison, they all looked at Norman like he just won money or something. And then it came. “Did you all hear Norman say hi?” Now as most people who stutter now, it happens when they are either excited or freaking. Norman is freaking.

And here’s the Zappo twins, aged 10 going on 50 already. Same thing. “Uncle Norman, it’s your birthday, so say something p-p-p-p-p-p-please.” Then they always backed that up with, “S-S-S-S-S-Sorrry Uncle N-N-N-N-Norman. I told you they were lovely.

Norman’s parents started singing happy birthday to Norman. Nice, yes? No, I wouldn’t think so.

“Sing with us, Norman,” says his mother, as she’s pulling his face. I think to make words come out better.

And it wouldn’t be a birthday without Norman Splinter’s dad spouting out, “It’s your birthday young man, ha ha, tell everyone what you did all day.”

So Norman started with the morning. And then what he did to amuse himself later. Norman would start every sentence with his dad snapping his fingers. “Get on with it Norm!” he always said. He liked to remind Norman what a patient man he was.

So anyway, Norm would start, as I said, and everyone would finish the sentence. They thought they were helping, Norm guesses. His family surmised that the must need help. His dad confronted this issue like all good dads. and figures that there must be something wrong with him.

Six-thirty p.m. Time for the family to get on their way. Norman looked at all of them and…waved. (Safer all around he thought).

So ended Norman Splinter’s 45th birthday. As he went to rest for a while, Norman laughed to himself and thought, I should be miffed. But these people are a flippin’ riot.

Maybe it wasn’t Norman’s worst day, but he had a good laugh! Happy birthday Norman Splinter. That’s all.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

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By jamesghutcheson

A WAVE GOODBYE

Hello everyone, everywhere,

It’s been a harrowing week. Apparently selling the castle is quite an adventure. The moat hasn’t come up in three days; it’s been very busy.

Michelle and I are working really hard at finding me a new residence. It’s going to be the beginning of something new for sure. Because one thing that life guarantees you is change. As I feel that the house will be gone soon, I’m sort of in a conundrum. I mean, I know I want to get going, but I just don’t know where I’m going to. I don’t mean where I live. I mean…what’s next? Well, we’ll see. I’m excited. And for now…that’s it.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts…and rest. Until we meet again at Bud and Stacey Allgone’s Home of Crystal Seahorses and Horseshoes Emporium on the corner of Flo Street and Eddie Avenue, right next to Bob Splint’s house, the one with the decorative porch. Yeah, you betcha, that’s the one.

THE TIRED MAN

2657976-waving

Efrem Mosby is a little man. Though if you know him, he stands as tall as the occasion calls. (If you get my thinking on that).

Efrem feels that this last year has aged him plenty. You can always tell by the eyes. He lost his boyhood best friend of almost fifty years. A brother, don’t you know.

Efrem saw his good friend Howie at the hospital, first there as a great friend to Efrem’s brother, but then Howie’s best friend was also leaving us in the same hospital. Poor poor Howie. What are the chances of that? Not many be told.

And last but hardly least, Efrem Mosby’s brother’s close friend Vern. Well, he sort of took care of… you could say…ensuring his brother’s legacy. Well done, you’d say.

Efrem Mosby has been the caretaker of the homestead (so to speak).

The days have blown a cold window on Efrem, for, I guess you could say, it feels like forever. Time always has a way of turning people upside down, but then, ever so softly, things become right again. For now though, it’s all right if Efrem Moseby’s a tired man. That’s all.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP).

By jamesghutcheson

SWEEPING OUT THE GHOSTS

Hello everyone everywhere,

Well, the sign went up today. The castle is now up for sale. I’m glad that it’s finally time to get going because I’m ready to get going. When I stand in that house I remember all the sounds and noises that used to go on when Merv was alive. He had a lot of friends and they used to come around a lot. And the house was always full of laughter. He’s gone, they’re gone, so it’s time for me to be gone.

Our concert on Friday night with my band, Souful Noize, was beautiful.

Well, I’ve got to do a lot of thinking this week, so I’ll tell you more next week.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts, if only for a moment…and rest. Until we meet again at Sherman and Shelly Splinter’s World Famous China Collection and Pellet Gun Range, just down the street from where Betty used to live. Yeah that house, that’s the one.

 TED’S IN A FUSS

Guy

Oh yes, Ted is in a fuss you see.

Cause today he’s mad at society.

They do not get his pain and despair.

So he quietly sits and talks to dead air.

 Ted lives by his own whim. That’s fair.

On a good day he’s happy with the bustle and hustle.

Ted strolls to parks and even goes downtown.

He smiles to the people but he’d really rather frown.

When the pain and the dreams come at night,

and the stillness ends, dark becomes fright.

The next day Ted got on his way.

He was showered, dressed nice, a working man you’d say.

That same morning he missed the bus.

I feel Ted is always going to fuss.

That’s all.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

By jamesghutcheson

HELP INDEED

Hello everyone, everywhere,
This past week I have been in need of help, and I’m not very good at asking for it. Never have been. I’ve always done everything on my own. Saturday I was shoveling, and there was so much snow, and I was tired. And then I looked up and there was this young guy from across the street. His mother had sent him. She knows who I am.

So he says, “I’m here to help you.”

And I said, “I don’t have any money.”

And he said, “I’m going to do it for free.”

So he helped me, and he was brilliant. I couldn’t have done it without him. He’s a good kid. I asked him where his dad was, and he said to me, “I don’t know my dad.”

So I just looked at him and I said, “Well the snow’s not going to shovel itself.” And he laughed, and we just kept shoveling.

He did so much, and I was overwhelmed by it all because I didn’t realize how much snow there was. So when I was done I said to him, “What’s your favourite chips and pop?” He couldn’t think of one, so I told him that I had to go the store and to ask his mom if he could go with me. She said he could, so off we went. I got his mom a little plant for sending him, and I got him a bag of chips that he liked, and a big 7-Up for his mom and him. It was nice to spend some time with him, and I think he liked that too. I took him home with all his stuff and told him to thank his mom and that if they need me they know where I am. That’s it.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts…and rest. Until we meet again at Wendy and Wendell Seeper’s Algae Farm and Fine Skin Products Emporium on the corner of Heywatchit Road and WellIOughta Lane, close to where Dewey dropped his watch.

THE BIG GAME

Hockey

It’s on. Remember me? I’m Arnie, with a capital A, and Flamm with a capital F.

Tonight is the night I bin waitin’ for. I mean, oh crumblydunk, the championship for the world, wait for it. Yeah, you’ve got it. The road hockey game.

Now you see that this is not something to be fooled with. Of course you know. (I got that line from my dumpy dad Roger).

Then my dad says the words that can almost break your heart. The wrong way.  He says, “Boys, you’ll be needing a coach.”

Don’t get me wrong, thanks dumpy dad Roger. But in my head I’m thinking, the family relatives are coming for dinner. Who’s coming? Well let’s see. Grandpa Dick for sure. He farts funny. And that of course means Aunt Frieda is right behind. She’s fun. She cackles when she laughs. I seem to be the only one who thinks that’s funny.

Now you know who’s going to be at my house for supper. Who cares!

The mirror in my room says, “You are a great road hockey player.” I agree, I think, as I check myself out. Buffed up and ready to go. And then the great bubble buster walked into my room. Yep, it’s my mom, Eunice.

She smiles, and says the words that would break any young teenage boy playing…road hockey. Eunice says, “We are all coming to your game Arnie. Won’t that be fun?” Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Great! Nice to have the family with you. Right?

NO, NO, NO! Arnie thinks to himself. Because why, okay. Just listen.

My mom says I decided your dad can’t possibly coach without me. Roger…Roger, are you listening? Then my mom looks at me with a look of joy. Now I know it’s bad.

“Arnie,” she bellowed (that means at least pretend to listen). “Aunt Frieda is going to blow the whistle for every play. What luck we only had one! Frieda, blow your whistle!”

I and all the guys heard Aunt Frieda all right. Oh. I forgot to mention…it was my dumpy dad’s duck call. Not at a whistle but a duck.

It’s Canada, it’s winter–4:30 p.m. in January means night time. Already a blanket of stars, dark sky, cold. Just perfect for the championship game of 1963. And then it started.

My mom, (dumpy Eunice in case you forgot), yelled at me, “Arnie Flamm, you are not using those good tennis balls I inherited from Cousin Myrna!”

I look at my dumpy dad Roger and say, “What do you think about that, Dad?”

My dad Roger looks at me, rubs his chin, squints his eyes, and says, “Do what your mother says. That’s all I got,”

Well we played finally and we stuck to our name, Squirrel Creepers. The other guys were called Boogers, (at least by us). A quarter to six, we had scrimmaged for over an hour and a half. Tie game 3-3.

My mom Eunice screams across the road to my aunt Frieda, “Frieda hon, supper in 5 minutes, okay? Roger…Roger did you hear me?”

My father sighs and replies, “My dear, I’m sure they heard you in Saskatchewan.”

So dying moments of the game. I got my game face on. Face off on their end. Puck drops, Aunt Frieda blows the duck call, Grandpa Dick farts, Aunt Frieda starts to cackle. The Boogers and most of my team stops playing. And just looks at them.

I, of course, had seen and heard it all before, so I kept playing. Shot the puck. Goalie was still laughing at Grandpa Dick’s fart, so I scored.

Then Eunice announced to, I would say, most of the neighbourhood, “It’s supper! Arnie get off the street. Now!”

That ended what should have been a great game. But who cares, we won. Go Squirrels! And especially thanks to Grandpa Dick.

I would like to think things will get better in time. Wait and see. Till later, Arnie Flamm out. That’s all.

(NEVER EVER GIVE UP)

By jamesghutcheson