Thoughts On a Sunday Afternoon
It’s been an interesting weekend, so far.
My dear brother and I made it to one of the smaller computer shows on Saturday to pick up some odds and ends – I was looking for a hard drive and floppy drive for my new Linux box, and John hoped to find one of the older Pentium 200 MMX processors to upgrade his
Linux box. We both
managed to find what we were looking for.
Did I also mention that Saturday was his birthday? Yes, John was born on the 20th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. So the trip to Manchester for the computer show was my rather lame effort at celebrating his 41st year on planet Earth. He was underwhelmed, to say the least.
On my trip down to Concord Saturday morning to pick up my brother for the trip to the computer show, I ran across an old acquaintance – Cadillac Man. (At least that’s what I’m going to call him from now on.)
You may remember I’ve written about him before
and his propensity to pay attention to everything except his driving.
This time was no different.
He was puttering along at 35 miles an hour (the speed limit along that stretch of highway is 55) having a grand old time. Of course when anyone tried to pass him he’d swerve slightly towards the centerline to discourage such a move. And when someone did successfully get past him he’d flip them the Hawaiian Good Luck sign. A couple of times he also honked his horn and flashed his high beams at the vehicles passing him.
When it came my turn to pass Cadillac Man, I admit I felt intimidated. But I didn’t want to be late reaching my brother’s home. So I backed off a little distance, dropped down two gears, and gunned it.
He saw me coming.
Just before I pulled even with him I saw the window on the driver’s side of his car roll down. As I pulled even with him, he stuck his arm out and flipped me the bird big time. Maybe it was because I was a repeat offender in his eyes, but no one else
passing him got the up close and personal touch. I’m not sure whether to be pleased or offended that he considered me a special case.
A discussion with my friend Dawn reminded me of some of the advice I’d given to her and her husband Tim when they first moved to New Hampshire from San Diego. This is advice she passed on to some other friends – Tom and Kelcey – who made the move to New Hampshire from California not that long ago.
“Ninety percent of town business is discussed, debated, and handled at the town dump. It may be formalized at Town Meeting in March, but for the most part folks hash out the issues at the dump on Saturdays and Sundays. The dump is also where you can find out just about anything about what’s going on in town. That, and sometimes you find pretty nifty stuff at the dump that you can make use of.”
This is one of those old Down East Maine kind of stories that everyone likes to hear now and then, the kind where everyone groans at the end. I first posted a version of it over at Liquid Courage because Vicky
was in a bit of a foul mood. I hope you get a smile out of it, too.
Stumpy Gilman and his wife Martha attended the Maine State Fair just outside Bangor every year. Every year there was a fellow there that gave airplane rides for the tidy sum of ten dollars.
And every year stumpy would say to Martha, "Mahtha, I think I'd like to take a ride in that young feller's aeroplane."
"But Stumpy," Martha would say, "that ride costs ten dollars! And after all, ten dollars is ten dollars."
Every year Stumpy would express his desire to take that aeroplane ride and every year Martha would tell him, "But Stumpy, that ride costs ten dollars. And after all, ten dollars is ten dollars."
Now Stumpy was getting along in years and he felt that if he didn't get his aeroplane ride this year, he never would.
It finally came to a head as Stumpy and Martha were standing at the fried dough stand at this year's Maine State Fair.
"Now Mahtha, I ain't gettin' any younger. I'm 71 years old and by gum, I'm gonna to a ride in that there aeroplane!"
"But Stumpy, we've been over this year after year. It costs ten dollars
! And after all, ten dollars is
Their arguing went on as they ate their fried dough and then their french fries (with vinegar) and their barbecued sausages. As their argument was getting heated, they happened to be passing by the fellow giving aeroplane rides. He could help but overhearing their argument and decide he should step in.
"I couldn't help but hearin' your argument, so I tell you what I'll do. I'll give you both a ride for free, but with one condition. If I hear a peep out of either one of you while we're flying, you'll both owe me ten dollars."
Well Stumpy looked at Martha, and Martha looked at Stumpy. No words were needed.
"All right, young feller, you got yourself a deal."
Martha and Stumpy climbed in to the fellow's aeroplane and strapped themselves in. The engine started, they taxied out on to the grass, and the next thing they knew they were flying over the State Fair.
Now the young fellow wasn't about to let the opportunity to earn twenty dollars slip by, so he proceeded to do all kinds of aerobatics, trying to get one of his passengers to say something. But they remained silent.
He did loopty loops, and swoopty swoops, barrel rolls, and even flew upside down.
But there wasn’t a sound from Martha or Stumpy.
Realizing that he wasn't about to get any money from the old couple, he gave up and headed back to the fairgrounds and landed.
As he started climbing out of the cockpit, he said to Stumpy, "Well, old fellow, I though I had you after that last bit of loopin' around. But I got to hand it to you, you didn't let out so much as a squeak!"
Stumpy finished climbing out of the airplane and turned to the young fellow.
"Well I almost spoke up when Mahtha fell out of the aeroplane, but after all, ten dollars is
The skiers have arrived. It’s one of the earliest starts to the skiing season in northern New England in some time. Some of that is because of all the snow that has fallen down in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. It sounds contradictory, but unless there’s snow on the ground south of the border, the skiers down there won’t be thinking of the snow up here.
The ski areas up here have been making snow for some time and Mother Nature has been adding her own white stuff to the slopes as well. Even Gunstock
, the local ski area near me, opened November 30th. That’s their earliest start in five years.
While out on a few errands this morning I saw quite a few SUV’s with skis on their roofs heading north. Almost all of them had out-of-state plates.
I can almost hear the cash registers ringing now.
And speaking of snow, it’s just started to do that here on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. Is it a snow squall, or something more? I wouldn’t mind a few inches by morning.
Something else I saw while out this morning – Ice fishermen. Some of the lakes and ponds are sufficiently frozen over enough to allow ice fishing. While Lake Winnipesaukee is nowhere near ready for anything like that, the smaller lakes and ponds have ice thick enough to support people walking on it.
I’m still waiting for some eager beaver to make the mistake of trying to drive his car or truck out on the ice a little too early in the season. Imagine the surprise when the ice breaks away underneath it and they'll get to watch their car or truck do an impression of a submarine. It happens almost every year.
I expect this year to be no different.
The New England Patriots beat the Buffalo Bills!
“Little girls, like butterflies, need no excuse.” – Lazarus Long