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Posted by on May 6, 2024 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired — ‘Foot Stool Meets Etch A Sketch’

Living Retired — ‘Foot Stool Meets Etch A Sketch’

Living Retired — ‘Foot Stool’ Meets ‘Etch A Sketch’

By Gary Chalk


Jan and I suffered a moment of weakness doing our spring-cleaning last week. This is what happened…


Similar to saying wedding vows, I held Jan’s hand and looked into her eyes: “Jan, I take you to be my wife, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until bedroom decorator pillows squeeze me out.” With that we agreed once and for all to go through ‘stuff’ we have been meaning to throw out ever since we got married!


Some of the stuff is mine. It came with me when we got married. One piece of my stuff goes back to when I attended public school. Jan picked it up, shook the dust off, and said, “Gary, what on earth is this?”


“Jan, that is the foot stool I made at woodworking. I was in grade six.”


“Gary, please explain to me why are we keeping this thing all these years?


There is a story behind my foot stool. I knew it would get a rise from Jan.


“Dear, it did not start as a foot stool. It was supposed to be a foot stool. It started as an end table that was four feet tall. I carefully measured all the pieces, sanded them smooth, and drilled the holes. But when I put it all together it wobbled.”


“But Gary didn’t the teacher instruct you to measure twice and cut once?”


“He did Jan. I measured four times! I couldn’t get the legs to balance. The end of the year was approaching, and I still had to stain the end table to get my final mark.”


Jan looked puzzled. “Jan, each time I shaved a bit off one leg, the three other legs wobbled. So, I did the next best thing. I cut the legs off and made a footstool that sits right on the floor.”


(I didn’t tell Jan about the aluminum vegetable peeler I also made. I missed the class on filing the sharp aluminum edges so when Mom peeled carrots, she ended up wrapping gauze around her bloodied fingers.)


Next up was an item from Jan’s childhood. It was red, about the size of an iPad. I picked it up and said, “I would like to draw your attention to your Etch A Sketch.”


Right away Jan wiped the dust off and shook it. Like old times she began twisting the two knobs drawing a circle and then a heart. “Here Gary, you try it.”


“Jan I was awful with an Etch A Sketch. I could only draw squares and rectangles. And I could write words that had letters with straight lines: B, D, E, F, H, I, L, P, T, and U.”


I grabbed the Etch A Sketch from Jan’s hands. Before you could say ‘There are only so many letters in the alphabet,’ I spelled FIT. HUT. TUBDLED.


Jan held the Etch A Sketch in her hands. “I understand FIT, HUT, and TUBDLED. But Gary, what is TUBDLED?”


“Jan, TUBDLED is the past tense of TUBDLE.”


Jan wasn’t buying it. “And TUBDLE also is not a word!”


“Jan, TUBDLED is the one seven letter word I could come up using letters with only straight lines.”



Living Retired is written by syndicated humour columnist Gary Chalk.


Listen to ‘Living Retired: The Radio Edition’ on The Mike Farwell Show Friday mornings 10:30 – 11 AM on CityNews570.


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