Living Retired — ‘Yen for Pens’
By Gary Chalk.
Throughout the years Jan and I have been married, she has called me many different things. I remember the time she really confused me when she called me out for — get this! — having ‘a depressed retail profile.’
“Jan, that is a new one on me. What do you mean I have a depressed retail profile?”
“Gary, it means you don’t enjoy going to stores spending money to buy things.”
I disagreed. “Jan, I am not buying that.”
Recently, Jan called me another name. This is what happened…
We stopped in at the bank to get some American cash from our US bank account. When I returned to the car with the American bills, Jan groaned. “Gary, you did it again. You walked out of the bank with one of their pens. I am going to start calling you a closet kleptomaniac.”
“Jan, you can call me what you want. But I prefer to call myself a pen collector. Besides, these bank pens are complimentary.”
“Gary the last time you came home from the bank you bragged about having thirty-seven of their pens. This brings it to thirty-eight! You may … Read the rest here
Living Retired — ‘Apple Avalanche!’
By Gary Chalk.
Here in southern Ontario a grocery store chain called Farm Boy has become my favourite store because when I shop there, I know what is, well, in store: a terrific selection of high-quality fruits and vegetables.
Farm Boy deserves an A+ for their produce presentation — except for their apple displays. At the core of my problem with their apple display is how they arrange the apples. Other grocery stores heap the apples mishmash. Not at Farm Boy. I’m thinking they developed their way of displaying apples at a produce department meeting that I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall — okay wrong choice of words. I imagine it went something like this…
“Good morning Farm Boy shoppers. Thank you for shopping with us. Would our Apple Associates please come to the staff meeting room.”
Minutes later the produce manager spoke with the Apple Associates…
“At Farm Boy we are produce-proud. I propose we provide plenty of pleasing produce presentations. Any possibilities?”
One apple associate said, “Instead of piling our apples willey-nilly like the other stores why don’t we arrange them in nice, neat rows?”
Another apple … Read the rest here
Living Retired — ‘Bugged!’
By Gary Chalk.
Long ago, Hamlet said, “To be, or not to be, that is the question.”
Last weekend, Jan said, “Gary, if you step on stink bugs do the squished stink bugs stink?”
“Jeez Jan, I don’t think I can even say what you just said!”
“Gary, all I am saying is we have to get rid of these stink bugs. We need to step our game.”
“Jan, I believe you meant to say we need to step down our game. These stink bugs are all over our patio. Although I guess if I stepped from the ground up onto the patio, I’d be stepping up our game.”
Jan sighed. “Whatever Gary. Just step on it.”
This all happened last Saturday. For a few days small, brownish-coloured bugs drove us, well, bugs! As fast as I flicked them off the patio door screen they were back. As quick as I whooshed them off the patio furniture they were back. What are they?
I Googled, ‘small brown pesky bugs in October in southern Ontario.’ Up came ‘Ontario insects (1197 found.)’ OMG! I can’t mention to Jan there over a thousand insects that look alike out there!… Read the rest here
Living Retired — ‘Watts Up?’
By Gary Chalk
Do you remember Debby Boone’s hit ‘You Light Up My Life’ back in 1977?
These days it is Jan who lights up my life. Here is what I mean…
We were getting in the car to meet up with friends for dinner. “Jan, you left your office light on.”
“Gary, one lousy light. What’s the big deal?’
“But you also left the light on when you were in the den.”
“Well Gary. I am zero for two. That’s pretty good in my books.”
“Jan, make that zero for three, you also didn’t turn off the light when you were doing your hair in the bathroom.”
“Stop the car! I’d better check that I unplugged my curling iron.”
Leaving lights on when they aren’t needed is a big bugaboo of mine. It is something I learned growing up. Whenever I left a room and didn’t turn the light off, my father would talk about wasting electricity, “Do you think I am made of money?” When I asked for a bottle of Wink, chocolate drip for my DQ cone, or a dime to buy a pack of hockey cards it was the … Read the rest here
Living Retired — ‘Cast of Characters’
By Gary Chalk
The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round — but ONLY IF the driver knows how to start the friggin’ engine! Here is what I mean…
Jan and I returned last week from a cruise from Montreal down the St. Lawrence River, around Newfoundland and the Maritime provinces to Boston.
In Quebec City we boarded a bus excursion to Montmorency Falls and rode a cable car to the top to view the water crashing down to the St. Lawrence River. That is when we discovered the bus driver was, well, wet behind his ears. He appeared disengaged, without a worry in the world. I whispered to Jan that I was naming him ‘Mr. Who Cares.’
“Gary, that isn’t nice; besides you should not talk behind his back.”
“Jan, when you are riding a bus you are always talking behind the drivers back!”
The tour guide was a pleasant middle-aged woman. “Good morning everyone. We are about to depart. Is anyone else hot? I’ll get our driver to turn on the air conditioning.” She frantically waved her clipboard to fan her face. The name I gave this middle-aged woman was ‘Mrs. … Read the rest here
Living Retired — ‘Please Leave a Message’
By Gary Chalk
It all began awhile ago when I asked Jan to call me on our home phone.
“Gary, why would I call our home phone to talk with you when I am in our house, and you are standing right beside me?”
“Dear, I changed our voicemail message on our landline phone and I’d like you to listen to it.”
Jan shrugged, shook her shoulders, and called.
“Hi. You have reached Jan and Gary. Please listen carefully as many of our extensions have recently changed.”
That’s as far as Jan got. She slammed the receiver down mumbling something about, “Gary we don’t have any telephone extensions so for the life of me how can they change?”
I explained that it seems whenever I make a telephone call I get a recorded message that says their extensions have changed. “Jan, I am trying to make us sound like we are keeping up with the times when people call us. Callers expect to hear the extensions have changed.”
Back to the drawing board…
“Jan, I have recorded a different voicemail message. Maybe you will like this one better.”
When Jan called the telephone … Read the rest here