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Posted by on Jan 9, 2023 in Gary Chalk, Humor, humour, Reading, Retirement humor, Retirement Humour, Retirement Living |

Living Retired — ‘Reading Room’

Living Retired — ‘Reading Room’

Living Retired — ‘Reading Room’

By Gary Chalk.

It has to be at least a week ago. Jan and I were reading in bed one evening when she closed her book and said, “Gary, do you want to invite some friends over and entertain in the downstairs family room? I have changed the furniture around and it is now a reading room.”

“Jan, just so I have this right. You are telling me we would invite friends to come for an evening and sit around reading? That hardly sounds like an invitation list people would give their eye teeth to be on — maybe their library card.”

Jan laughed, saying, “Everybody could do a book report when they left.”

“Jan, I will leave it to you to invite Susan and Lewis, but instead of bringing a bottle of Robert Mondavi wine, they should come with David Baldacci’s latest novel.”

Perhaps I am reading between the lines, but I imagined the telephone call in my mind…

“Hi Susan. It’s Jan. Gary and I thought it would be fun to have you and Lewis come over on Saturday evening to read a book. What do you think?”

“Gee Jan, Lewis and I already have plans Saturday night to fix the sump pump.” CLICK.

We decided to try our new reading room the other evening. Jan said “Let’s give the reading room a dry run. Just you and I.”

“Hmm, Dear does it have to be a dry run? Can’t we also have some drinks?”

Jan settled into the leather sofa and opened a Stephen King thriller. Before you could say ‘Dewey Decimal System,’ I stretched back in the recliner, put my feet up, and turned on the television.

“Gary, why on earth did you turn the television on? We are supposed to be reading.”

I pressed the television remote and tuned in CNN. “See Jan I am reading the screen. There is the weather report, the time, and the current stock market prices on Wall Street. Even the price of an ounce of gold, the cost of a barrel of oil, and the pork belly futures from 2011 when they were phased out. They even have the price per bushel of soybeans at the Chicago Board of Trade!”

“Jan, across the bottom of the screen the White House response to the latest inflation rate is scrolling. And look! There is ‘BREAKING NEWS’ on the screen. And now there is a ‘DEVELOPING STORY.’ In no time at all I will have read everything I need to know.”

Five minutes later…

“Gary, I can’t read with Wolf Blitzer yakking incessantly. Does that man never go home?”

I tried to explain that Wolf was in the Situation Room, but Jan was having nothing to do with it, saying that we are in our reading room. “Gary, if Wolf is in the Situation Room why do they have a commercial of an elderly man strapped in a chairlift moving at the speed of molasses going up the stairs in his house?”

“Jan, you know this could be me in a few years coming down into our reading room.”

“But Gary the man in the commercial looks like he has it all together. He is wearing nice slacks; they aren’t torn, and his slippers aren’t held together with duct tape.”

Next there was a commercial for reverse mortgages. “You know Jan the man on the television says with a reverse mortgage we may be able to stay in our house longer and enjoy the reading room. Just saying.”

Ten minutes later…

I it is me who cannot concentrate. Jan speed reads. I swear every few seconds she flips to the next page. “That’s it Jan! I am going upstairs for a beer. Or do we need a license to serve alcohol in our reading room?”

“Gary don’t be a smart aleck. And bring me a glass of wine. Reading in the same room with you and Wolf is enough to drive me to drink.”