Evil Comes To The Suburbs…

When it was just my wife, the 2 boys and myself, we decided to get our first family dog. We went to The Humane Society, and found a puppy. It was a Staffordshire Terrier-Hound Of Hell mix. We took it home, proud that we had rescued a dog from certain doom. We named him Rocky, but as he was the third dog that I had owned named Rocky, he was affectionately referred to as Rocky lll. We had the dog house broken very quickly, and it had become a member of the family.

One evening, we all went out, leaving the dog alone. We were gone 2-3 hours, and returned to find our home torn to pieces. Window coverings had been bitten off and chewed up, sections of laminate flooring had been lifted in the kitchen, and the bag of dog food had been spilled all across the kitchen floor.

“What happened here?”, my wife asked.

“Well”, I said, “either our house was broken into by an interior decorator who hated our decor, or this dog is possessed!”

“You think that little dog did all of this?”, she asked, as the dog gagged, and threw up pieces of forest green Venetian blinds all over the floor.

“Um, yes, I do.”, I replied.

My father, who had been training dogs for most of his life suggested we purchase a cage, and when we go out, lock the dog in the cage. I went to the pet & pet supply store at the local mall, and purchased the cage. We trained the dog to spend time in it when we were home, and he was fine. He would simply lay down, and go to sleep.

Several days later, we went out again. I secured the dog in the cage, and left him with a few toys, and a bowl of water. Two hours later, after a Tex-Mex extravaganza at Lonestar, we returned to find the dog out of the cage, with the bowl of water turned upside down on the floor. There was a trail of dog food across the kitchen and into the living room. There were chunks of wood missing from the frame of the door on the main floor bathroom, and deep scratches on the back door, leading to the driveway.

“Oh, my God.”, my wife said, putting her hands over her mouth.

“This is crazy.”, I said, looking at the dog in disbelief. I examine the cage and it seemed secure enough, but somehow this dog had figured out how to escape. The following day, I ventured out to the pet supply company to return the cage that obviously didn’t work for my dog. I explained the circumstances of my returning the cage, and it was suggested that I try a breeder’s cage which, I was told, was escape proof.  I took the new cage home, and introduced it to the dog.

“Do you think this one will work?”, my wife asked.

“Not even Houdini could get out of this cage.”, I informed her. “If it happens again, he’s gone!”, I added.

For several days we watched the dog in the cage. He was content, and not once did he try to break out. We would go out, and walk to the back of the house, peering in through the living room window. The dog seemed to know we were there, turning around and looking back at us. “How does he know we’re here?”, my wife asked.

“I don’t know.”, I told her. “But this is not a normal dog!”

Believing that the cage was secure, we again went out, leaving the dog in his cage, with toys and water. As we returned home, we all sat in silence, deep in our own personal thoughts about the dog.

I parked on the driveway, and we entered the house through the door leading into the kitchen, and so far nothing  seemed amiss. We walked down the hallway, into the living room, and found the door to the cage still locked, and the dog laying on the couch. My wife shrieked.  I went upstairs to the bedroom, and found trails of shredded linen on the floor. In one of the bedrooms, the blinds had been pulled down from their frame, and several planks of the hardwood floor had been ripped up and chewed. When I returned downstairs, my wife was shaking.

“I want him out now!”, she stated, rather sternly. “This is very creepy, and I don’t get a good feeling about this.”

“I’m way ahead of you.”, I said, as I picked up the dog and walked towards the door. “One of us will be coming back, I hope.”, I responded.

“Well,”, she said, “I’m not sure which one is a bigger pain in the ass.”

I dropped the dog off at The Humane Society, and returned home. As we laid awake in bed, my wife kept hearing the sound of a dog whimpering, and growling. “Did you hear that?”, she asked.

“I didn’t hear anything.”, I told her.

“What if its the the house that’s possessed”, she asked, “and not the dog?”

“Well”, I said, “if that’s the case, I won’t be the one coming back.”

 

 

When Worlds Collide

 

I never knew my father-in-law. He passed away before I even met my wife. I did spend a lot of time with his brothers and sisters, my wife’s uncles, aunts, and her cousins. These are the Spanish-Moroccans.

7931076-sahara-lifestyle-and-camel-caravan-stock-vector-camel-cartoon-desertAt some point in time, the family left Spain, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, and settled in Tangiers.    There are stories told, about the family patriarch, my wife’s grandfather, who died long before she was born. Rumors abound that he may not be who he claimed to be. It is told, around a table, that offers Chicken Tagine and couscous, that he was a foundling, roaming around the Moroccan desert, where he was taken in by a man, who having no children of his own raised him like a son, and gave him his name. No one knows why he was wandering in the desert, or what his name really was.  It gets weirder. After marrying and spawning 9 children, he died after being kicked in the head by a horse.  No one can explain what he was doing to the horse at the time, but I have my suspicions.

 

One by one, this family left Morocco, with most coming to North America and settling in Buffalo, which, when they tell the story, and they often do, makes me laugh out loud. Of all of the places in The United States, they chose Buffalo. Any way, as they were all uneducated, with cartoonhousepainting1not one finishing high school, they took jobs as factory or warehouse workers. 2 of my wife’s uncles, became house painters. I was informed that they were the best, No body could paint a house like they could. I was shown their work, and it is true, they nailed the green paint in the living room!

As life went on, they all married, and had hoards of children. It was at the wedding of one of these offspring, a cousin to my wife, that I began to understand these people. Now bear with me, as the tale gets quite confusing. It will be difficult to tell the relatives apart, as all of my wife’s male cousins are named Michael and David, and the female cousins are called Lisa or Coty. It is their tradition to name everyone after their parents and grandparents. Even with a program, it is difficult to tell the players apart. I will therefor label them with numerical suffixes.

robberSo, at this wedding, I was able to meet a myriad of dysfunctional Spanish-Moroccans, all related to my wife.   David 1, a successful and prominent financial planner, was not able to attend the wedding, as he was living somewhere in Latin America, after having been charged with extorting several millions of dollars of his clients’ money. When caught, he packed up and vanished. Without a trace. It is worth noting, that he also absconded with monies belonging to his siblings and cousins. He was found guilty of fraud and embezzlement in absentia, and has never been heard from again.

 

David 2, operated a window sales and installation business. He actually lived just around the corner from me. He had 2 trucks, and what appeared to be a thriving business. While at the wedding, he approached me and informed me that if I ever needed anything, like a TV,  or camera, or jewellery, or fur coat, or stereo, or perhaps a refrigerator, I should let him know. He could get me a great deal. A few weeks later, as my wife’s birthday was approaching, I went to see him at his home, to see what he could get and at what price. He took me downstairs, to the basement to show me his wares. There were closets filled with fur coats, and suitcases crammed with assorted jewelry. There were cases ct-west-side-stolen-goods-ring-20160714of watches, and bins filled with cameras, and video. There were televisions, still in boxes, lined up against the wall. As you probably guessed, David 2 had never installed or sold a window in his life. He sold stolen goods. I don’t know if he was the thief, but he knew where to get stuff. Several years later, he left the country without warning. Rumor has it that he went to prison, but the romantic in me likes to think that he fucked off to Latin America, and is enjoying the sun and surf with his cousin.

Michael 1, a dimwitted insurance salesman, who had been under the care of a psychiatrist for a personality disorder,  had just branched out and opened his own brokerage, specialising in group benefits and accident insurance. During his sales pitch to me, he began making incredibly rude and provocative comments and gestures towards my wife.  It is quite fortuitous that he sold accident insurance, as the ensuing misadventure of my fist striking his face, required  him to be under the care of another doctor. I apologised to my wife, and we left he wedding, amid Spanish squawking.

Joseph, a cousin in law, was insanely wealthy. He was in the clothing business, manufacturing a line of women’s fashion and wholesaling it b9253c5a5b71f0a43b4b876658a365cdout to major, upscale retail outlets across North America. My wife took me to his house once. it was approximately 10,000 sq, ft., with an indoor swimming pool. I actually got lost on my way to use the bathroom. Their dog, who has been trained to locate and retrieve  lost and injured travellers, brought me back to the living room, after giving me some water so I could re-hydrate. About 5 years later, we had heard that Joseph had lost his business, boycotted by his customers for violating several labour and human rights laws in the manufacturing of his products., Seems the putz had factories in the Philippines, and was operating sweat shops. Now he dabbles in the sales of assorted items he imports from China.

Michael 2, one of the house painters, had retired from painting due to back issues. We would go visit them on Saturday afternoons, and he would fall asleep in his chair while talking. His wife, who was 15 years his junior, would often expose herself to me. Everytime she bent over, leaned over, or crossed her legs, I saw things I shouldn’t have seen. It was a regular occurrence, this dinner and a show routine she performed, and I often felt obligated to give her the $20 for the performance. My informed that it was not necessary, unless a lap dance was involved.

1-cartoon_sexy_womanSo, these 2 had opened a prepared food business with both a retail location, and a catering operation. My wife and I went down to the store to visit and to wish them well. My wife never fully believed my tales of Peeler Pearl, but all of that changed when Pearl called me into the kitchen area to see the operation. I went in, with my wife following, and there was Pearl, blouse unbottoned to her navel, no bra, and a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains there for the taking. I kind of felt sorry for Uncle Michael, the poor bastard, but he was a mean S.O.B. anyway.

And then there was Aunt Coty, the family witch. The purveyor of potions and spells. The story goes that her husband had upset her by not permitting her to purchase something quite expensive. She put a curse on him, the hex of hexes, and turned him catatonic. The man never moved, or spoke again. He was tube fed, and had round the clock nursing. The official story is that he suffered a massive stroke, and never recovered. The family still talks, in clandestine gatherings, and whispered voices, about Coty’s ability to weave magic. Shortly after my wedding, my wife informed me that Coty had advised her to have a curse put on me that would have me remain in love with my wife forever. All that was required was a pair of my wife’s panties. Ya, pretty weird.

My mother-in-law, who is not Spanish-Moroccan. adores me. To the rest of my wife;s family, I am an outsider. I cant begin to tell you how pleased I am with this. They do not speak English when I am nearby. I wish I could tell them that their conversations, entirely in Spanish, are of no interest to me. My wife, however, insists that I be nice. They are her family. We have been invited to some Spanish-Moroccan event in April, although we are not sure exactly what it is celebrating. I have suggested that it is either the extradition hearing of David 1, or the installation of a stripper’s pole in Michael 2 and Pearl’s retail outlet. Either way, I am not looking forward to it. I have promised not to kick the crap out of Michael 1, provided he abstains from trying to get his hand down my wife’s pants. It is a moot promise at best, I mean, I don’t think he can help himself. And me, well I have been working out on the heavy bag, just in case.

 

 

 

Life Is A Carnival

I seem to have a propensity for not being able to hang on to money. I never really spend any, yet I rarely come home with the money I left the house with. I don’t buy anything. I simply lose it. Not nomoney1gambling losses. I just can’t find it. It was in my pocket, and then it is not! My wife says that she has seen people follow me around, just waiting to pick up the money that falls from my pockets. She has decided knows not to put money in my hand. If I am going shopping with one of my kids, she gives them the money. I am permitted to debit. But no cash.

I suppose there are good reasons for this. Many years ago I went to the drug store to pick something up for one of the kids. I left with a $20 bill, and returned with a $10 item and no change. I had no idea what happened to the other $10. “Did the cashier give you back the change?”, my wife asked.

“I don’t know.”, I replied. “Why wouldn’t she?”

“Where is it?”, she asked.

“I don.t know”.

My wife called the drug store, and, when they closed, they discovered a $10 overage. “Well, at least I didn’t lose it.”, I told her proudly. I drove back to the drug store to collect the money.

It is not just money I seem to lose. I have misplaced, or forgotten my debit card at ATMs and gas stations. I have left packages or newly purchased items on the counter of stores after debiting. And, on one occasion, I forgot my infant daughter in a bank after depositing a cheque. Now, I didn’t leave her there. By the time I got to the car, I realized that I had left her in the bank, and went back confusedto retrieve her. My wife insists it is a memory problem, possibly early onset Alzheimer’s.

She tells me there are times when I get lost. Okay, there was the time in WalMart, when I wandered off, and couldn’t find her in the store afterwards. I roamed up and down the aisles, but to no avail. I decided to sit on the bench at the front of the store believing that sooner or later, she would head for the door. About 30 minutes later, she appeared, not the least bit concerned that I had been missing, but focusing on whether or not I had learnt my lesson about wandering off. I didn’t. I still do it.

I am no longer permitted to cook unless someone else is home to check up on me. It seems I have a habit of forgetting to turn the oven or stove top off when I am done, and forgetting that I have left something in the oven cooking. She is afraid that the house will be incinerated, and therefor, the kitchen is off limits unless I am supervised.  She bought me a kitchen timer, which I am to set for cookingthe time needed to cook. It rings when the time has expired, and that is my cue to go back to the kitchen, check on the food, and turn the oven off. Can you see the problems with this plan? Yes, I usually forget to set the damn thing, and if I do set it, I don’t always know what the ringing is for. My kids have said, and they laugh quite hard at me for this, that they have seen me answer the telephone when the kitchen timer goes off.

A doctor appointment was made to look into this. I sat with my doctor who asked me a series of questions. What day of the week is it? What year is it? My date of birth? My address? my wife’s date of birth. All of these were answered correctly, and he concluded that I do not have Alzheimer’s.

As if this was not enough, I have been told by 2 of my daughters who live with me, that I do some rather bizarre things. Once, after putting groceries away, my daughter found a package of cheese in the cutlery drawer, and canned tuna in the freezer. To my credit, this drawer is right beside the fridge, and well, I cannot explain the tuna in the freezer.

clumsymanI have been breaking many household items recently. We have a shopping cart to bring groceries home so we can walk to the stores. Well, I have broken the wheels on 2 of them. And, somehow, I have broken the electric can opener. I am not certain how, but it now requires a butter knife be inserted between the lever and the activation button in order to operate. In essence, one requires 3 hands to use this small appliance now. I told my wife it promotes togetherness and cooperation. Surprisingly, no one wants to participate.

While changing a light bulb in the kitchen, I dropped the fixture, and well, we no longer have a fixture in the kitchen. I installed a ceiling fan in the bedroom, and was surprised there was so much left over hardware. The fan works, however it seems to sit off to the left, making a whirring noise as the blades spin. We don’t use it much. Years and years ago, we purchased a small, charcoal barbecue that I had to assemble. While putting it together, in the backyard, I dropped some screws handymanand nuts in the grass. I finished the assembly, and we began a wonderful Sunday family event. Once the coals were just the right color, and the flames had ebbed, I put the food on the grill, only to have it collapse. I think we ordered in Chinese food that night.

I remind my wife that I never claimed to be handy. Not in any way. I have a list of people I know who are handy, and I can call them and they will be here as fast as they can to fix, build, construct anything. That is my area of expertise. Knowing who the right person for the job is and getting them to do the job. Enough said!!! I remind myself that most of these ‘accidents’ were intended to impress my wife, to demonstrate some level of testosterone driven manliness. If not, I hope that at least I have made her laugh. And that seems to more than compensate for the lost money, broken items, and potential fire hazard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EAT, DRINK & BE WORRIED

I am tired of worrying about things. Global warming, infectious diseases, war, and the food I eat.

chicken2I don’t want to know that chicken isn’t really chicken, and beef is not really beef. I don’t care if chickens run free, or eat organic grain. I don’t eat organic grain. I don’t care where my chicken comes from, so long as it is Popeyes! I don’t want to know what they put into my beef. I only want to know it has been cooked medium-rare. I am less concerned with my food being given steroids and hormones, than I am with it being cooked the way I ordered it. I am less concerned about popeyesalmonella and Ecoli, than I am with paying 3 times the price for food that has less in it, and is touted as being better for me. Fruits and vegetables are not free from portrayal as potentially dangerous. I still don’t care.  I read that there is olive oil on the market that is not really olive oil. Well, perhaps we should ask Popeye to identify the real Olive Oyl

cowWell I don’t want to worry anymore. I am an old man. I just want chicken, and the occasional steak. I want olive oil, even if I only think it is olive oil. There is far too much for me to worry about anyway. Eating should not be added to the list.