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Whenever we go to Uncle Albertsons, Someone stops in the store to open an app and look for coupons. Someone regularly looks for coupons and his buying is influenced by what he finds.This drives me to distraction, for I am on a mission to buy what is planned and get out ASAP. When one is initially dating someone, one ought to ask some basic questions like are you a smoker/are you religious/which way to you vote/what do you find funny. ‘Do you clip coupons’ may be one to add to this list or crucial questions. I did not grow up in a ‘coupon-using’ household’ so I find the whole concept bewildering. To me, coupons seem suspect on two accounts:

A. They get you to buy things you weren’t wanting in the first place, now being bought on the grounds the coupon cuts the cost. For example, you are not intending to buy yellow gumdrops, but on the Albertsons app there is a coupon for 30% off, so you buy some.*

B. The money the manufacturer or store saves is passed onto others viz. Urs Truly, who doesn’t clip coupons.**

So far as I can tell, thems clipping coupons mostly do so to save money. Time is more valuable to than money for me, so the time used to browse the ads that regularly show in the post doesn’t seem worth few dollars the coupons may save me. Sometimes I am in the grocery checkout line behind a person (always a woman, I don’t see men with coupons) with a handful of clippings that accumulates to 5-10 dollars savings. I guess this could be an important savings for her budget. Sometimes this hypothesis is questioned after looking into her cart at the expensive imperial tidbits in she is purchasing. hohoho.

Another type of coupon-user is thems who feel good for paying less than others. In the early 90s, Robert the Roommate regularly bought a thick book of coupons for local restaurants and carry-out places. He did this not because he couldn’t afford to go out, nor was he originally planning to go to these places. With 15-20% off each purchase he felt good to do so. He called these coupon booklets “Jewish food stamps” and they often influenced what we would be eating on a weekend. ***

Apparently the process how store coupons work is a complicated time-consuming process I shan’t bore you with. It makes me wonder why on earth the maker of coupons bother, but I suppose ‘they work’ , otherwise why bother? Perhaps coupons are an overall ‘loss’ but not enough for thems who make them to scuttle the system. I know ‘anti-coupon’ types who feel their use supports a complicated exploitative system. I don’t follow the logic to this if anyone can help me out here.

Funny that while I never bother with using coupons, I enjoy delight in reading one of two blogs who regularly write about their use of coupons. These crafty dames obviously know how to work the system, clever girls they are! I wonder though do they start with wanting product “A” and go find the coupons for it, or they find a coupon for “A” and go buy “A” rather than “B”.

I will end this entry with an exception to my rule. Bloodbath and Beyond continually sends us coupons, which Someone collects in a drawer so when we want a kitchen gadget or something he scoops them up and applies all of them at checkout towards the purchase. I am grateful for this savings. I wonder how BBB manages to survive doing this sort of thing. Someone says they aren’t doing very well for this reason.

In the end coupons seem to be an intriguing combination of economics, psychology, and anthropology I find fascinating.

Do you use coupons?

Do you use them for things you wanted to buy or the other way around?

Does your Significant Other think you nuts for using or not using coupons?

*Based on a true story. Oh the pain.

**Pharmaceutical representatives are very big into providing coupons for their products. In theory the patient gets a free or heavily discounted first month. The process how they are activated and work sound even more complicated than the paper coupons process. I always have to hold my tongue not to say rather than coupons why not just lower the price to something reasonable for everybody?

***He assured me this was a very funny and acceptable expression at Temple. He made a comparison to Vics Vapor Rub as being called ‘A sacrament of the Lutheran church*. It still sounds awful and I would never use it. However, to this day when I use a coupon, I think of Robert, the dear !

Note: This entry I started a week or so ago but I didn’t get very far with it; I meant to expand it someday. It’s a busy Friday; I am up to my oxters at work. I decided to post this ‘as is” so there is something up for the day. The suzerains for whom I work have me under a contractual obligation to put out, as it were. Spo.

For someone who has spent thirty years in psychology and how people work, it is a mystery why I am still bewildered by the behaviors of others. This isn’t literally true: I can always surmise the likely reasons to explain what I see. What’s missing of course is the person’s thoughts and history that contributes to their actions. It would be indecorous and ill-mannered of me to approach a stranger with some shenanigan and inquire why are they doing that. I do this for a living anyway and I am not wanting more work as it were. All the same, the scientist in me so wants to interview certain types:

Men in the locker-room who dress/undress underneath their towels. This phenomenon has increased in time. It often looks comic: some burly dude with a large towel wrapped around his waist and thighs, trying not to fall over, as he wiggles his undergarments off or up as the case may be. I am dying to him ‘why’. My best guess is thems doing the towel routine are ashamed of their bodies, or fear their genitalia are deficit. I see this more in younger men than in the oldsters, and more in Hispanic men than the whites. There are a lot of LDS members in these parts. Does anyone know if they are instructed not to be exposed? I am not one to use the sauna but I see men going in and out of them and they are nearly always fully clothed. Saunas attire (I recall) were nude affairs or towels-around-the-waist protocols. Same questions arise about the sauna – why?

Spo-fans of the male persuasion: to you see this at your gyms a well?

Women laughing whenever men say something. Correct me if I’m wrong but I sense women reflexively laugh at even the slightest feeble joke the men make. The men-folk don’t to this as often or readily. Having grown up without sisters there is a part of me that wonders if mothers instruct their daughters to always laugh at what a man might say to them. Perhaps it is something picked up unconsciously somewhere around puberty.

The Spo-fans of the female persuasion please instruct me if this has some truth to it or is it all rubbish.

Folks who buy lottery tickets and cigarettes and the same time. OK, I know this is about selective bias towards risk. Thems buying tickets and smokes are hoping to win the lottery despite abysmal odds while hoping they will not ‘win’ at the safe bet of developing respiratory and heart disease. In my hypothetical interview with them I would ask if they haven’t connected the dots or have they already done so but are denying it in favor of wishful thinking. We all do this viz. pick and choose risks. Cognitive dissidence is more apparent when two risks are presented at the same time, making it more difficult to suppress the facts.

Note: this one puzzled The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections. They couldn’t conclude if I wrote it while upset or angry or ‘just trying to be funny again’. I told them I am always trying to be funny, but no, I wasn’t upset or angry. Perhaps I was a bit peckish, particularly for seafood. Spo.

This week The Bosses sent an email telling us the business has been sold. The He-boss is going into sweet semi-retirement after decades of running the show. The She-boss will still do some management.* We are told the new owner(s) is a conglomeration of mental health clinics, thus making the place a sort of like a chain restaurant, like Red Lobster, without the cheddar biscuits . I have christened the owners The Overlords and their headquarters resides in Florida., I get the dubious new title of “Florida Man”.

I have never been through a buyout, so I don’t know what to expect. Human nature being what it is, the staff (including myself) are curious and/or anxious about ‘what happens”. Will it literally be ‘business as usual’ or will there be major changes, like uniforms with lobster bibs.

The Persian Empire (I recall) did a good job with its hegemony by taking over but not really changing things. They didn’t demand the population change their religion or goings-on or even their rulers. So long as the taxes came their way Darius the Great et. al. didn’t fuss with the status quo. The email conveys The Overloards will be taking this approach and there will be no changes, but who can say what will happen, in time? Then again, changes happen anyway in time, so it is comparing apples to apples.

A couple of counselors have approached me asking if I was staying.** Quitting hadn’t crossed my mind. If The Overlords change things to my displeasure I would retire or leave; I don’t know of any out-of-work shrinks. I’m curious to see is if supervision and work modalities change. Brother #2 and SIL #3 both physicians often grumble administrators and know-it-alls constantly tell them what to do and how to work. Happily I don’t have that. The Bosses have always taken a laissez-faire approach with me doing my job. Will the new ones make me wait on more tables, as it were? Time will tell.

My first emotional reaction to reading the news was ‘Well, maybe somebody will finally hang up the paintings”. Around the place are lots of wall hangings, all piled up, that the owners haven’t gotten around to either hang up or throw out. There is also a lot of old office equipment needing a clear out. It gives the place a sort of still moving into look. These are superficial cosmetic concerns I know, but it would make the place look more attractive. Perhaps some nice scenes of lighthouses and lobster traps would be nice.

The Overlords soon arrive from faraway Florida to shake hands as it were. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in their meetings with the therapists and the clerical staff! I can imagine these get-togethers resembling an orchestra of scorched cats with their anxiety towards ‘Will I keep my job (clerics)?’ and ‘Will you be telling me how to work (therapists)?”. The Overlords don’t have a meeting set up me, which is curious. Perhaps they think it better not to poke me. In a way, it’s a disappointment. I hear tell they are bringing lunch, maybe fried shrimp.

With all of this I am taking the ‘not to be worrying approach’. If I am turned into a sort-of Reb Lobster waiter mental health provider (oh, how I hate that word!) I can pack up and go elsewhere. When I do, I am taking with me all the wall hangings with me. After all, they are mine; I hung them up when I got tired of looking at blank walls.

*Both are well over four feet if you were wondering.

**They didn’t convey if they were seeking a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer.

I started writing (as is my wont) ‘to see what comes out’ only to discover nothing was coming out – at least nothing of importance or of interest. I didn’t have anything profound or witty to write; there are no amazing goings-on. I thought to delete it all but decided not to. A bad day at the gym is better than not going to the gym at all, and I suppose this applies to writing.* Not all scribbles will be stellar.

I am rawther tired of the heat. Highs remain in the 40s (C) and the night walks remain stifling. No fun this. You could bake an egg in the closed garage with its southern exposure. The house is bedecked with autumn decorations but it still feels like summer. This is the Arizonian equivalence to late February in the Midwest: you are bloody sick of waiting for the season to change.

This Wednesday morning I go get my seasonal bloodwork done to monitor a borderline elevated glucose level, so I’ve been extra careful with my eating this week, hoping to dodge again the pre-diabetes diagnosis. Being on a more austere diet doesn’t help the cantankerous moods that arise from a hot September.

Even work seems a bit dull. It is mostly ‘med checks’ which are long-timers doing well, obliged to come in from time to time to tell me they are still well and what they are doing remains good. Of course this is a good thing, but it is not especially interesting. As my dance card is getting full, I don’t see many new ones these days; newbies keep me on my toes. There is a pharm rep lunch this week Wednesday but I don’t remember what they will be flogging.

For folks who keep up with this sort of stuff, I’ve put a perfectly good chair and IV pole out by the curb and no one has taken them. Someone took the broken lawn umbrella. Can you imagine? I’ve put outside another painted rock. This one is two-colored (how daring!) of dark blue and bright yellow. I hope the HOA don’t have any Spartans on their board.

A final Tuesday tidbit of no importance: I ordered butterscotch sweeties for the Phoenix office candy dish. Given the heat and the circumstances, candies must be individually wrapped and not the sort that easily melts. I add to the candy criteria “something I don’t particularly care for” so I don’t end up eating them myself. I’ve never been a big butterscotch fan, and I don’t know anyone who is – which makes me wonder why the flavor endures.

Tune in tomorrow maybe I will have something better to post.

*I went on line to get a quote and was comforted to find my mentor Flannery O’Conner as saying: “Not writing is a good deal worse than writing.”

Behold the intrepid Crockpot de La Casa de Spo !

La Casa de Spo has only one crockpot, which is enough I suppose. It was Someone’s before we met. I think he got it when he was at college. It looks to be from the 70s, given its brown and yellow tones. It is simultaneously too big and too small for my needs. It is too small that every recipe I try to make is always too much volume to fit into its brown bucket, but too big as no matter what I make it is always too much.

Today I am making beef barley soup – or stew, depending how ‘soupy’ it comes out. Like a lifeboat with only so many seats in it, I have to modify the contents of the recipes to make things fit. You can run a divining rod over the results and not find the original recipe. The recipe/guidelines I am doing today calls for letting it sit at low volume for eight hours. I trust Ms. Crocker knows what she is doing for that seems a long time. I am in no rush today so there it is.

My late Mother had a crockpot decades younger than the one we have. I remember hers was white, with two sides, and it was deep as Lake Michigan. One could cook for a whole household, which she did. I wish I had taken it, although what two OBs* need with such a device is beyond belief.

Sometimes I think to ask Santa for a new king-size-titanic-unsinkable-Molly-Brown crockpot (no rubbish types) but The Someone Crockpot takes a licking and keeps on ticking and shows no signs of letting up. Its heavy brown ceramic bucket shows no signs of cracking, despite subconscious attempts to drop it and be done with it.

My favorite recipes are the lazy ones where you chops things up and open some tins and dump it all in and Bob’s your uncle and wait. Many crockpot recipes require browning things first on the stovetop in a skillet, which seems to defeat the point of a crockpot. Might as well just continue cooking everything in the pan and be ready in a fraction of the time it takes to use the crockpot.

There is something serene about a pot of vittles slowly cooking all the day, filling the house with warmth and redolence of something scrumptious. This works better in the autumn and the winter months. Indeed I think of crockpot cooking as a seasonal thing, which is probably why I got it out this morning. It is also a good way to use up leftovers, which I christen “Stone Soup”. These can be hit and miss depending on the ingredients. Alas, Babylon! The good ones cannot be repeated easily. I should write things down.

Just don’t lift the lid to peek in during the eight hours or others in the house will sense this from rooms away and shout out Joan Crawford-like imprecations not to do so, ever.

*Old Bachelors

The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections was pleased as Punch with the outcome of yesterday’s entry. As a group, they are not one to ‘talk about their feelings’ or use reason to solve conflict but go immediately to slapping and fisticuffs to settle differences. By the way, The Board Directors etc. oblige all visitors to Heorot Johnsons II to wear masks and leave their weapons at the door before entering. While fearless in fights they are easily spooked by contagion.

As I type this, it is raining – through the sound system. Emanating from the Logitech speakers is the sonorous sound of continual rainfall with the occasional thunder in the distance. I love this sort of thing. Outside is it perpetual sunshine without a cloud in the sky – and this is likely to remain so for many weeks. Many people move to Arizona for just this reason. I would be quite content to live in a rainforest. My ancient Nordic/English genetics must make me feel at home with inclement weather, for rainy days invariably cheer me up and make me feel good. Snow and blizzards do the same thing. If by some chance I manage to make it to retirement, I want to live in a place with seasons that include rainy springs and blizzard-like winters. Proper storms, no rubbish types.

A different interpretation of my feeling good to hear rain and see snow it these are the sounds of nature, and I don’t hear that sort of thing often anymore. In AZ it is nearly impossible to open a window so one hears only the hum of the AC and the din of an office. There are a brief lovely times in the early spring and late autumn where the temperatures are just right to open the windows at home to let in some noise. At night I hear the coyotes howl, which is nice to hear.

I sometimes wonder how much of our woes and stress would lessen if we had more access to Nature. For 300,000 years (give or take a few years) we’ve been in constant contact with Nature. We were enmeshed. Now, many of us are cut off from Nature. It is something we see on screens. This must do something bad to our psyches, to be out of touch with such.

There is a fellow in mythology named Antaeus. His strength came from being in contact with the ground. Mr. Hercules defeated Mr. Antaeus by lifting him off the ground, depriving him of his connection to his strength, and thus crushing him in a bear-like hug. Do not try this at home.

Apparently Hercules crushing Antaeus is a popular sculpture.
I posted this example as it has a scotch.
Why the stationary is there is a mystery.

Mr. Antaeus’ connection to Nature for strength makes the point we need to be likewise. I try whenever possible to open windows and walk without shoes. Hikes into the wilderness ought to be done on a regular basis. Heck, the Japanese are actually prescribed this activity. It is called Shirin-yoku, or “forest bathing”. It is not merely the walking exercise or the removal of ones self from the grind that works. The phytochemicals and sounds one get into our lungs and up our noses press all sorts of buttons in the brain that correlate with wellness.

Easier said than done. Here, it is so hot most of the year one must do this sort of thing early in the morning, before the sun rises. Certainly our dog walks ‘count’ as Harper gets a lot of good things up her nose. In future trips (whenever they are feasible) I think to go to less cities and to more parks. I need to get my inner-Antaeus firmly ensconced into the land.

Spo-fans: tell me where you go for a walk in the woods as it were. Have you forests? Seashores? Parks? How often do you go? And, do you leave the phone behind?

I do not want to wait until Wednesday to try this ‘W’. There is no lack of lacklusters, loafers, and loungeabouts in need of slapping. Some insufferable sods suffer from what the Germans call Backpfeifengesicht. Most however just need a sound thrashing. Here are nine to get things going, one for each level in Mr. Dante’s nine circles of Hell. I somewhat sorted them ‘top to bottom’, with the ninth level holding the worst of the wontons. Spo.

Thems who put maraschino cherries in my ‘dry’ drinks. When I order a dry Manhattan the bartender should know this means dry vermouth and a lemon twist, not a neon-red cherry with a quarter-cup of cherry juice. This is not a dry Manhattan but a date-rape Shirley Temple. Oh the pain.

Thems that don’t return their grocery carts to the corral. This particularly burns my bacon when the corral is a mere few footsteps away from the miscreant loading their car, which is usually an SUV. There is a correlation it seems between thems who drive SUVs and an uwillingness to walk ten paces to put the damn cart where it is supposed to be.

Thems who page me on weekends for something not urgent. This doesn’t happen often but when it does it is usually the same scenario. Dicky Purdy or his sister Sue pages me to say they feel depressed or anxious. I tactfully put out they have long time felt this way so what’s different that they paged me on a Sunday afternoon. Pages are supposed to be for acute/can’t wait matters to triage what’s to be done. Mr. or Ms. Purdy are usually bored or lonely – and haven’t been seen in awhile. If these sorts are on Level #4, perhaps a little lower (level #4B) are thems who text/call me directly on my phone surpassing the page system.

Thems who gripe but don’t do anything. This is also known as ‘complaining”. I wish I had a shilling for every time a patient or acquaintance kvetches about some misery yet don’t work on change. Sometimes I try to help. “You know what I think?” I tell them “I think you should do something” meaning make a move/effort/change to alter the situation. Sometimes they acknowledge this with a ‘yes, but..” to convey they feel powerless/helpless to do anything at all. Then I try to help with this. When I connect the dots they are not willing to do any work, I stop trying and I listen (bored) to their ongoing same complaint and tell them their life sucks and I will see them in 3 months.

Thems who pontificate on topics they don’t know diddly-squat. Worse than the whiners are the know-it-alls who always have the right opinion and know the answers – often on subjects they know nothing about, having picked up their so-called facts from some other know-it-all type (usually on-line).

Thems that step out of a theatre and promptly stop to converse with someone, blocking everyone else’s exit. These types are lower down as as while one can walk away from the gasconades it is harder to do with the ones blocking the exit doors. “Speedbumpkins” I call them. Someone is more verbal at these types telling them to ‘get a room’ or ‘oh to have a cowcatcher’. Trouble with this approach is the speedbumpkins are absorbed in their conversations and either aren’t aware or are ignoring the ones trying to get around them.

Thems who throw away half-consumed water bottles. Spo-fans may question why these types rank so low. It touches upon waste and sloth and carelessness. I live in a desert, where every drop of water is precious. A closed half-consumed bottle of water in the rubbish! I ask you! Couldn’t they have have drained into the sink first? The plastic bottle is another matter. Take it home to a recycling bin. If you only need a few sips of water, there is a drinking fountain in the gym – two of them actually. I won’t accept fears of contagion as you are walking around the gym maskless, grasping gym equipment for which you did not wash your hands before or afterwards.

As we descend further into the depths of hell, searching for Whos to slap, I find I am getting cross and writing with less tact…….

Thems who wear their masks below the nose. I sense these villains wear masks with their noses sticking out are playing lip service and at the same time defying others, not unlike an impudent child sticking out its tongues. I am unafraid to say ‘Hey, friend, your mask has fallen up over the nose now’ just to see them drop their façade to reveal they are only wearing it as they ‘have to’ and not from concerns of others.

Here we arrive at the bottom, the ones whom I want to slap the most:

Thems that quote The Bible to support whatever they are flogging. The best approach to these sordid sorts (apart from slapping them) is to tell them any quotations from The Bible used to defend politics is irrelevant. The Bible is not something this country uses to make Law and do Justice.

Now I am thoroughly grumpy. I probably need slapping myself.

Spo-fans: Who needs to be slapped silly in your neck of the woods? Do tell, provided it does not raise your blood pressure to do so.

I thought to write on the topic of running away. It would be a ‘serious’ entry, so I ran it by The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections for their thoughts and approval. Herbert, the archivist, reminded me I did something like this in 2012. I could not interpret this as ‘ja or nay’ so I went ahead with it. It’s been on my mind anyway. Spo

Back when I was smaller and people were taller I often longed to run away. Sometimes this was a positive longing to see far-off better-than-this-place lands. If Alice, Milo, Lucy, and Dorothy could do it, why oh why can’t I? Most of the time it was a negative desire. It came up whenever could not bear being part of the general idiocy and disappointment that was reality. It had an element of cowardice to it. Rather than face my fears (school, state, nation, the world) I would withdraw and not deal with any of it. I would fall into a book or go the inner compartment of my mind where no one has ever entered. 

The emotion to run away and withdraw has been lately stronger than ever. I felt after the last presidential election things were getting a little better but they have not. I don’t have data to support this, but I sense it is only going to become worse. The desire to close the door, lock it from within, and throw away the key is as strong as it has ever been. 

I call this complex “The Dark Fairy”.  In many fairy tales and stories there is some magical malevolent entity or people calling the protagonist to join them in their land, of so different and faraway from here. The Odyssey has The Sirens. The Japanese have Yuki-onna, the Snow Woman. Here are some examples in poetry and song:

From the poem “Stolen Child”, by Yeats:

‘Come away, O human child!

To the waters and the wild

With a faery, hand in hand,

For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.’

The movie ‘Hocus Pocus’:

‘Come little children 

I’ll take thee away 

Into a land of enchantment 

Come little children 

The time’s come to play 

Here in my garden of shadows.’

Curious how many of these calls involve music and singing, and a sort of hypnotism. No matter how alluring it sounds, one should not go that route.  Succumbing to the sonorous sounds of The Dark Fairy does not result in peace but madness or death.

Milo, Alice, Dorothy, and Lucy all come back from their escape from boring problematic reality to see ‘real life’ better than they thought it was. That’s the right way to withdraw. You return, you don’t stay there.  

“Well, I would like to make another trip but I really don’t know when I’ll have the time. There’s just so much to do right here” 

Emerson said “Always do the thing you are afraid of” and Marie Curie said “Nothing in life is to be feared but understood”. May their bright songs outsing and outshine the call of The Dark Fairy and her ilk.

Someone went again to the office today. As the weekend chores were accomplished yesterday I have an open day. I could do nothing, which is rare and almost impossible for me to do. Mind! There is always something that needs doing, so ‘doing nothing’ is a choice to abstain from all those things asking my attention.

People covet status, wealth, and possessions but what I want most is Time. Every day I am given the same twenty four hours allowance I and everybody always gets but it feels more ephemeral and precious as I age. I don’t resent work and chores sucking up my time but the extraneous factors. I am limited myself to time online as it is my major time suck. Whenever I go onto the internet with a specific task it feels like walking down a street towards a specific destination but first I have to maneuver around all the pan handlers holding out their hands for my money. Seldom do I come away from websites feeling I hadn’t been lured into spending more time than I meant to do. Everything seems to literally pop up and say ‘Look at me! Pay me attention!’ Stores, roads, podcasts too are saturated with advertisements. One wants to wear blinders like a horse.

The first step to a problem is knowing you have a problem. The second step is not to unplug the internet but limit time there.* At home I try better to direct my hummingbird mind to stick with the one topic at hand before wandering off, losing orbit towards some shiny object.

Probably the main matter (and hardest) is to keep cognizant the question what is Time for. “Wasting time” and “doing nothing” are nebulous and highly-charged words. Most of my displeasure of ‘wasted time’ rests on the proposition I haven’t well defined what it means. I still remember my grandmother telling me reading novels are a waste of time, when I thought this was as an excellent way to spend Time. I need to do some-self analysis where this Time-Complex originates.**

Today is ironically Labor Day when I have the day off. I will go to the gym and for lunch I might make lentil soup. I could make a pasta dish for dinner (I have heaps). I might clean the living room which hasn’t had a proper cleaning in ages. Throughout the day my Time-Complex will be wondering (and judging) if I am using Time wisely or foolishly. Complexes cannot be banished but they can be dethroned as ‘not the boss of me’.

At the end of each day I write in my journal ‘what I did today”. Maybe today I will write ‘nothing’ and smile at the accomplishment.

*I stopped Twitter and most news sites. This feels quite nice.

**Not my parents. They enjoyed their leisure time. Sundays were spent watching sports and reading the NYT and doing the crossword puzzles -something my grandmother did NOT feel was wasting time.

Here at WordPress I have a handful of half-baked ideas unfinished. When The Muses (or someone like them) fail to send email with inspirational topics, I pull one out one of these and work on it. Alas, Babylon! What’s there now have lofty and erudite titles like “Time”, “Fate”, and “Why I hate strip malls”. No fun, these. Last week I did an entry in which I confessed things I have never done. It was quite popular and I enjoyed the comments/interactions. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections was pleased as Punch; they thought I should give it another try.*

Death on his mortiscycle

Rode a motorcycle. Many on my mother’s side sold insurance for a living. They all had horror stories about motorcycle accidents. This negative biased view was enhanced in medical school attending young men brain dead from motorcycle accidents. Now that I am nearly sixty, I am even more dubious to mount one. I remember being on a scooter, once, in Bermuda. I did not enjoy it and I probably made myself more prone to accidents by driving at an alarmingly slow velocity. Do you own a motorcycle? If I promise not to scream, would you take me for a ride?

Been to a professional football game. I grew up in Michigan. We had ‘The Lions’, whom my father referred to as ‘The Pussycats”. It was an annual Thanksgiving TV tradition in our house to see them lose. If one wanted in-stadium football, one went to the college games, which. I am open to attending a pro-football game, provided it does not harm anybody. I cannot recall if Phoenix has a team.* Have you ever been to a professional football game? Who is your team?

Operated the home entertainment system. There are three control devices and there are even more in the cupboard. Why we have three I do not know. I can work none of them other than I sometimes discover how to turn down the volume. With effort I could figure them out, but I don’t watch TV other than when Someone is doing so, so he does it for us. We have subscriptions to certain channels that allow us to watch Dr. Who and movies. What I want to see is seldom available. Asking for something resembles The Monty Python Cheese shop sketch: I propose a movie and Someone says it isn’t available. In October I long to see several movies, apropos for the season. I hope Someone doesn’t charge more than reasonable attorneys fees to find them for me. Do you have a home entertainment center? Do you know how to use it, really?

Ate an oyster. Raw ones, anyway. Having majored in microbiology with curiosity towards the lifespan of parasites I will not eat anything raw. It is both surprising and not surprising people are fearful of touching things out of fear of contagion but think nothing about eating raw seafood. I am certain I’ve had fried oysters. After all, I’ve been to Howard Johnsons. Do you eat raw seafood? Have you ever been sick from doing so?


Back-talked my parents. What can I say I was a good kid. At most I was resentful towards their conventional ways but being a good boy I didn’t tell them. At most I was a mardy one, even that wasn’t too long or intense. I must have modeled good manners to my brothers, as none of them ever back-talked either. This is a problem growing up in the Midwest with mostly Swiss-German genetics. In a way I feel deprived of having a normal adolescence. I remember I could be cheeky to my uncles but daren’t pull such with my aunts. Were you one to back-talk your parents?

Attended a production of “Grease“. And I don’t intend to do so. I’ve probably seen the entire movie/show through countless clips at “show tunes’ nights at the bars, but never the full movie from start to end. I hear tell it is quite popular to put on in High School productions (oh the horror) probably because it has a lot of chorus members. Have you ever been to a production of ‘Grease’?

Summoned demons to do my bidding. From what I read, this usually goes badly. I think Beelzebub et. al. would be sorely disappointed to learn I don’t want riches or power but someone to clean the house on a weekly basis. Summoning Might Maids is probably less hazardous and they do windows too. Have you ever summoned demons but instead of providing Faustian pleasures they gave you a haircut and a complete make over and you are too embarrassed to tell anyone?

*They volunteered to contribute some of their own, but were declined. “I have never flossed’ and “I have never eaten a vegetable, willingly’ were some of there less-than-charming confessions.

**I looked it up. The Cardinals. I don’t know if they are any good. Compared to The Lions they probably are.

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September 2021

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018