Living Retired — ‘This Is a B-Rated Column’
Living Retired – ‘This Is a B-Rated Column’
By Gary Chalk
Jan mentioned the other day to me that a friend of hers asked – these are her friends’ exact words – “How on earth does Gary come up with all the cockamamie ideas for topics for his Living Retired column each week?”
“So, what did you say to her Dear? Did you mention my unique abilities as a storyteller? Or my keen sense of humour? Ahh, I know you probably told her that I worked hard to develop my innate gift of wit from birth.”
“No Gary. I could have lied and said the meds you are on have a strange effect on your brain. But I told her the truth: your sister Dianne smacked you on your head with a plastic baseball bat when you were 6-years old, and you haven’t been the same since.”
The baseball bat incident is true, but I suggested to Jan that she should have mentioned that I keep a notebook on my night table which is where I jot down potential topics for columns when they come to my mind.
“Gary, all I know that you write about in our bedroom are the decorator pillows.”
“Jan, decorator pillows is what readers have come to know me for in the bedroom.”
‘I am not sure that is what you intended to say, but it is true, Gary.”
I don‘t know where this idea for a column came from but here goes…
Today, Living Retired is about the letter B – things you likely do not know about B. Work with me on this one.
The letter ‘B’ is the second letter of the alphabet and the first consonant. It comes from the Phoenician alphabet 3,000 years back. B has a long history that really deserves an A+. I skipped over letter A because back in school if I got a B I was happy. Jan on the other hand always got A’s. Sort of like B’s try harder.
These days in the United States the letter B is a classification of US military aircraft – the B52, a long-range subsonic, jet-powered bomber. Here in Canada instead of ‘doing the bombing’ we ‘get bombed’ on B52’s: Baileys Irish Crème, Grand Marnier, and coffee liqueur. Just saying…
“Jan what do you think about a column about the letter B?”
“Gary, it sounds like the hairbrained column you wrote that you titled ‘Underwear Gets A Bum Wrap.’ How about this B word Gary: BACKOFF!”
There are B movies. “Gary how would you know about B movies? You have slept through every movie we have watched.”
“Well Jan, lets talk about the B sides of records. That is more in my wheelhouse. ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen was the B side of their other anthem ‘We Are The Champions.’ I bet you didn’t know that.” (If you are under 40 you will have to look up the word ‘record’ in a dictionary. Before that look up ‘dictionary’ in Wikipedia.)
Healthcare likes to take the letter B and add another letter – blood pressure and bowel movement come to mind. There must be something terribly funny I can say about BP and BM but that hit I took to my head is still with me all these years later.
The consumer package companies have the term BO for body odour. Again, anything I came up with didn’t make sense.
In science B is the symbol for the element Boron. In finance B stands for Billion.
Someone took B and added S to come up with BS. Enough said.