Living Retired — ‘Slip of the Pen’
By Gary Chalk
Jan and I have not travelled very much since Covid-19 confined us to home. During our two years of covid couple confinement I tried my hand at cooking, while Jan held a dish towel in her hand — frantically waving it at the smoke alarm. Finally, after religiously preparing all these burnt offerings we travelled to Ottawa for a couple of days last week.
Driving along Highway 401, I suggested to Jan we should celebrate our first road trip since Covid. “I’ve had enough coffee I think we should stop at every service centre to pee. It will be just like old times.” No response.
Checking in at the hotel it was as if nothing had changed: I signed the papers, picked up the room key, and walked away with the hotel pen.
In the elevator Jan said, “Gary, do you realize when you picked up the room key you also took the pen?”
“Sorry Dear, I don’t know what to say other than it was a slip of the pen.”
The following day we enjoyed lunch sitting outside on the Chateau Laurier patio overlooking the Rideau Canal and parliament … Read the rest here
Living Retired — ‘Learning To Channel Frustration’
By Gary Chalk.
Last week Jan and I did something we had absolutely no business doing whatsoever!
It was a moment of weakness. Jan didn’t realize the gravity of the decision we were about to make. And I was, well, asleep at the switch; err, remote.
“Gary, I think we should do it. We have talked about this for quite awhile.”
“Dear, I know this is an important step forward in our relationship.”
With that we threw caution to the wind and handed over our credit card to the salesclerk. We were the proud owners of — brace yourself! — A SMART TELEVISION! OMG!
In Ontario you have to be 18 years old to vote. Same age to join the Canadian Armed Forces. You must be 19 to purchase alcohol. BUT they allow 70-year old’s to buy a smart television. There is no quick cognitive test. If baby boomers wearing relax-fit jeans yanked up under their armpits with compression socks and memory foam, air-cooled Skechers can say ‘Netflix’ we qualify to buy a smart TV!
When we arrived back home the reality of what we had done suddenly hit us.
“Jan what … Read the rest here
Living Retired — ‘Forgotten Words’
By Gary Chalk.
The other evening a group of friends were reminiscing about things we no longer say. For instance…
I no longer ask Jan where my reading glasses are because she will become upset with me and say, “Gary, this is the umpteenth time you have misplaced your glasses TODAY!” Then she will add something totally unrelated. “Gary, your fly isn’t done up!” As if there is a relationship between my missing reading glasses and my pants zipper!
But most of what we don’t say anymore goes back to when things were different. I can’t remember the last time I said, “Jan, if you are the one who left a Beta movie tape in the VCR it’s jammed and won’t come out.”
“Gary, it wasn’t me. I’ve got all my Jan Fonda workout tapes with my leggings.”
Everyone agreed that most of the things we no longer say are comments we often said when our children were young.
One couple recalled going to their sons T-Ball games. “We sat in lawn chairs. Towards the end of the season my husband couldn’t take it anymore. He screamed at the top of his lungs: “Don’t just … Read the rest here
Living Retired — ‘Condiment Catastrophe’
By Gary Chalk.
Recently I met up with our son Tyler and two of his friends at the Rogers Centre in Toronto to watch a Jays and Boston Red Sox baseball game.
In about the fifth inning I discovered the difference between 40-year old men and 70-year old men at a baseball game: the 40-year old’s enjoy the game sitting in their seats holding a beer; the 70-year old’s can’t hold our beer so we watch the game on large television monitors overtop the urinals in the washrooms. Just saying.
When I told Jan the game I was attending was ‘Schneider’s Loonie $1 Hotdog Night’ she rolled her eyes, “Loonie and Gary go together like wieners and buns.” I sure didn’t see that curveball coming!
Before the first pitch Tyler and I hit the concession stand. I bought 4 hotdogs for $4 — a great deal! And that included a mitt full of those little packages of ballpark mustard and relish. Tyler purchased 2 beers for us at the staggering price of — get ready for this! — $29!!!
“Dad, just so you know beer sales stop in the seventh inning.”
“Tyler, beer sales … Read the rest here
Living Retired — ‘Tom’s Toothpaste To The Test’
By Gary Chalk
I tried a new brand of toothpaste the other morning. But when I squeezed the tube I couldn’t believe what oozed out onto my toothbrush! After I brushed my teeth and spit into the sink I was, well, gobsmacked! Suddenly the expression ‘my lips are sealed’ took on a new meaning.
Toothpaste is usually white, mint, or perhaps striped in colour. But not the contents in the tube of Tom’s of Maine Anti-Cavity Luminous White. The blob that came out onto my toothbrush was, get ready for this, black! It resembled the black tar you squeeze out of those damn hand-cranked thingamajigs when you seal your gutters. No way I was going to put what looked like deer droppings on my toothbrush into my mouth! Hmmm, would Jan?
I left a piece of paper towel with the black goo on the kitchen countertop and waited for Jan to come by.
“Gary, are these the dark chocolate rosebuds you bought for the special dessert I am making this weekend? Thanks”
“Jan, so you are baking toothpaste tarts? I will take a pass licking the bowl.” When I told her it … Read the rest here
Living Retired — ‘Wordle Wars’
By Gary Chalk.
Jan and I are in the habit each evening of settling down in the family room to complete that days Wordle puzzle. We enjoy the challenge of having six attempts to come up with a five letter word to win the puzzle. I do Wordle for relaxation, whereas Jan is, well let’s just say she is much more competitive. Here is what I mean…
I grab my iPad and stretch out on the sofa and put my feet up. Jan’s sits beside me. She is armed with a pad of foolscap paper and a pencil. She doesn’t wear a camouflage top, but I swear she smudges enough eyeliner under her eyes that she looks like a pro football player running onto the gridiron.
“Jan, we don’t need to replay Orson Welles ‘War of the World.’ Wordle is just a game.”
“Gary, I want to give it my best. It may be more challenging today because I missed my high-protein pregame meal.”
“Jan, before we begin Wordle I am going to grab a beer. Would you a glass of wine, or Gatorade?”
Each night we alternate who enters the first five letter … Read the rest here