by Calendar Hacksaw

Subject: Re: Constantly Missing Column Deadlines
Date: Fri 01 May 2003 23:59:59
References: 1

Hi, Rick and Donna; sorry about missing the deadline again, but things got a little hectic around here over Easter weekend. I had planned on writing my column Saturday morning, but Betty had other ideas. And, after that, she wanted new mini-blinds hung in the kitchen before her mother came over. As you know, Iím not very limber any more, and this job involved actually climbing atop the counter to secure the hardware with those lousy little slotted screws that come with cheap imported products.

Well, let me just pause right here to assure you that this was a very uncomfortable position in which to work for several hours, and my muscles tightened up like Mack Wimbush at a candidatesí forum.

When I went back to work on Monday, I was still so danged twisted that the only way I could get anything done was to go in the menís room and put a foot up on the side of one sink and then stick my left boot into the bottom of the next sink over, all the while bending 90-degrees at the waist and twisting left or right with a 9.6 volt cordless electric drill in my hand. It was worse than my wedding night.

Anyway, when the mini-blind job was finally done, it was all I could do to just sit in the yard sippiní lemonade while watching the brown and yellow butterfly thatís been hanging around here for the past two months. But even that was interrupted when a mature male parakeet decided to take up residence in my garage, forcing me to attempt some sort of a clumsy rescue.

Well, I collared the rascal easy enough and then put him inside a cage I borrowed from Maxine down the street, while Betty and Persephone hustled off to the store in search of bird seed. But as soon as I turned my back, our avian trespasser slipped through the mesh on the sides of his prison and took off like an Iraqi Fedayeen, leaving me with a $3 box of seed and a lousy danged cage that I still have to return to olí Maxine.

Anyway, there are three things I want to tell you about this month. If any land barons, whiskey drinkers or veterinarians are looking over your shoulder, donít tell them what youíre reading; itís none of their business.

* * *

A few weeks back, I took our old dog, Osa, to the vet to have her put down; it seems like this is all I ever do anymore. Osa was one month shy of her 20th birthday, so I think itís safe to say she had a splendid run.

Dr. S. is a good vet, and weíve known him a long time. He used to have his own practice down by the courthouse, and his wife managed the office. But I guess the years caught up with him, so in his late 40ís he caved in and joined a veterinary group. I imagine it took a lot of work off his shoulders, and he probably still makes about the same money, but without all the hassle and overhead.

The practice wants to get rich off his talents, though, so rates have skyrocketed.

On this particular occasion, I felt the need to accompany Osa on her departure, and Dr. S. was his usual kind and considerate self. An assistant joined us to steady the dog, if necessary, during the forepaw shaving and injection process. I must say, Osaís facial expression never changed a bit between the time she was still alive and the time she was dead; it was that peaceful.

As is his standard practice and demeanor, the doc put a hand on my shoulder and said just enough comforting words while shaking my hand. So, I headed off to the cash register to pay the bill. Hereís what I got:

Office Visit: K9/Feline$39.00
Euthanasia Ė Canine Ė Less than 30 lbs.$50.00
Cremation Ė Communal Ė Drop Off$35.00
Thank you for coming, and please come again!

* * *

I took granddaughter Persephone down to Costco last weekend to exchange a malfunctioning Harry Potter DVD, and as we were walking across the parking lot I spotted something strange: A 1.75 liter bottle of Seagrams Seven sitting in a shopping cart, parked inside the cart corral.

Stopping dead in my tracks, I pointed it out to Percy and said, "Itís probably an empty." But something told me to check anyway.

Yes, it was full, with the seal intact. $14.99 worth of blended whisky, seemingly free for the taking.

Never one to pass up a good offer, I looked left and right, up and down, considered the moral ramifications, then spirited it off to my truck. After all, we didnít want any underage kids to find it.

But when we came out of the store later, I told Percy that if I see some sad old man hanging out at the cart corral, my conscience would get the best of me. Fortunately, he was nowhere to be seen.

On the way home, we pondered what would cause someone to abandon an unopened bottle of whisky inside a cart corral. We couldnít think of any good reasons; just lots of bad ones.

But it didnít really matter to either of us, since we donít touch the hard stuff, so we just gave it away to a drunken friend and that was the end of it.

* * *

Finally, I have decided to buy undeveloped land somewhere around Twin Oaks, preferably within stumbling and crawling distance. As you know, Iím quite picky about my land holdings, so this will have to be the perfect place. At this point in my career as a columnist, the land is only an investment; I do not intend to build. I would, however, like to squat there from time to time, so it must be fairly private and secluded. Some of my leisure time pursuits, such as my desire to hold 24-hour communal "BBQs," donít sit well with County zoning officials. I want hills, rocks, rolling land, soft soil, good well prospects, a paved county road, telephone and electric. I do not want association fees or any of that baggage. Iím budgeting $30K, but thatís overly generous, and Iím sure I can do better than that. I prefer to hear from landowners; not brokers. Pitch me at, and provide full details or Iíll know youíre hiding something.

So, when you visit my new place near Twin Oaks, and you see all those little headstones arranged out back, feel free to count them and multiply each by $124.00 and youíll know how I intend to meet the mortgage.

Calendar Hacksaw still buries all his old columns at, and if youíre saving that American flag to fly on Memorial Day, Iíd like to remind you that first comes Armed Forces Day on Saturday, May 17th. Then again, today looks like a pretty nice day, too, doesnít it?

Last Month "Thunderhead" Next Month