Saturday, March 27, 2010

I went to see my heart doctor this week. He’s the one who helped me through my bypass surgery last year and he was pretty critical of my condition. Over this dreary, wet winter I’ve put on some pounds that I really need to shed. My pants are getting tight.

Most of the reason for the weight gain is a lack of exercise. I’ve become sedentary, spending far too much time sitting at this computer. It’s bad enough that I am chained to one at the office for eight hours a day, but I’ve developed some bad habits at home too, playing games, reading and writing, bathing in the soft glow of the monitor while worshipping this seductive god called the internet.

It has to stop. Springtime is here and Big Brothers is finding a little friend for me to play with so I’m heading back to the gym and out to the garden. I’ve vowed to reduce my internet time to one half hour each day so I’m giving up my blogs.

I want to thank everyone who visited this blog. It was fun for me and I appreciate it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Plugging the King's Arse

John Turner was in the other night with his wife. She doesn’t drink so he asked for a Coke and a Charles Dickens martini. I played along and said, “Ah, will that be with an olive or twist?”

“Oh, you’ve heard that one, then.”

“I’m a publican, John. I’ve heard them all.”

“No way, there’s bound to be some you haven’t heard.”

“Try me.”

“Okay then, how about this one.

A man walked up to the Pearly Gates and St. Peter said, ‘I see in my book that you've done some good things and some bad things. It's sort of balanced out. Have you done any good deeds recently that might tip the scales in your favor?’
The fellow told him, ‘Well, I saw a woman whose car was broken down by the edge of the road and she was surrounded by a gang of bikers who were about to rape her so I stopped my car and jumped out, clutching my tire iron, and told them to leave her alone.’
‘That was very brave of you. And when did that happen?’
‘About three minutes ago.’

“That’s pretty good. I can’t say I’ve heard it, something similar, but not that one. I owe you a beer.”

We have been trying to increase our business some lately and someone suggested that we need a new slogan so I put up some notices for a contest. I offered dinner for two with a bottle of wine for the winner.
Then I placed a box by the door so people can put their ideas in and said that we would have a reading of them on Saturday night with the winner decided by applause.

There were a lot of slips of paper in the box when I opened it. Now, I know the sort of folks that come in here and so I expected that there would be some very ridiculous slogans but I had hoped for at least some serious ones. I was wrong.

Marion and I took turns pulling out pieces of paper and reading them to the small crowd.

The first one said, “The King’s Arse, where everybody know’s your shame.”

Then there was, “No one is stuck up in the King’s Arse.”

I said, “You clowns. I wanted serious ones.”

It was followed by, “Come see our drunken bums.”

Then, “There’s a wise crack in the King’s Arse.”

Marion started giggling and read, “There’s a nice soft stool waiting for you in the King’s Arse.”

I slammed the box shut and told them, “That’s it. Contest cancelled. I should have known better.”

I’m staying with our original slogan: You can’t beat the King’s Arse.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Unkindest Cut

A few nights ago, Ms. Wolf was sharing a table with Tina, a feisty, if somewhat spooky, Irish lass who always seems to have a writing pad with her.

They were sitting close enough that I could hear some of what they were saying.

Ms. Wolf said, "I can't remember who said it but it's true. The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents and the second half is ruined by our children."

"Amen to that. Insanity is hereditary. We get it from our kids. So, what happened?"

"We were on our way to the mall and I got stopped for speeding. I was trying to talk my way out of a ticket by flirting with the officer but my son thought it was all funny and kept saying thingsto the cop like, 'hey, aren't you that guy from the Village People?' and 'You're not gonna check the trunk, are you?'. I stopped him before he could offer him a doughnut. Needless to say, I got the ticket. Oh well, how's the writing going?"

"I'm stuck. I've got this nice pad of clean, white paper and can't think of any good stories to put on it."

I spoke up and said, "I didn't mean to overhear what you were saying, but..."

"Oh sure, George. I've seen how hard you try to not hear everything that goes on in here," Tina said, laughing.

"Now, I can't help that I was born with excellent hearing. I was going to say that if you're looking for stories you should ask around in here. These blokes have a million of them. Of course, none of them are true, but you're looking for fiction anyway, aren't you?"

She thought it was worth a try so I made an announcement that our resident writer needed some inspiration.

Old Ben Carvey was sitting nearby and said, "well, this may not be what you're a-wanting but I was just remembering something that happened to me and my wife a long time ago."

Everyone stopped to listen because Ben Carvey is a humorous old gent who always has a little smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. He's also full of... silliness.

"You all remember that fellow named Bobbitt and the terrible thing his wife did to him?"

All the men were wincing and nodding because it was the sort of thing no man could forget.

"Well, a lot of people don't know that after the cruel woman took the knife to him she ran out of the house and drove off in her car with his... wounded pride still clutched in her fist.
She drove off into the night, intending to get rid of it for good, despite the strict littering laws in that state.

The missus and me had been to the movies and were heading home in our pickup truck. I remember it was really dark out and it was raining a little so there was no moon at all. As we drove kind of slowly down the road there suddenly came a bright light up behind us and a car flew past us doing at least forty miles an hour. That was the moment she decided to toss it out and to our great surprise her husband's... pride and joy hit our windshield and stuck there for a second until the wipers swept it off into the darkness. It scared the hell out of both of us and we stared at each other for a minute. Then my wife said, 'Good Lord, Ben. Did you see the dick on that bird?'

Of course, later on we heard the news and I went to check my truck. Sure enough, there it was. It had landed in the bed of my truck so I wrapped it up and took it to the hospital where the doctors sewed it back on. We still get Christmas cards from that gentleman."

By the time he finished his story Tina had closed her note pad and was shaking her head.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Willy Tucker is a little overweight, about 100 pounds overweight, and when he came in last week someone said, “Hey, what’s shakin’?”

He said, “Four cheeks and two chins.”

Willy asked for a lite beer and Pat Tillett asked him if he was on a diet or something.

“What’s it to you?” Willy snapped.

“Hey, sorry. I thought fat people were supposed to be jolly.”

“Yeah, well we had a meeting and changed the rules. Hey, sorry if I was rude, but my wife is on me to lose some weight.”

“Well, that’s one good way to do it. It’d be better if you were on her though.”

“She said that if I get any bigger I’ll have an innie instead of an outie, and she wasn’t talking belly buttons, either.”

Pat, who was into his 4th rum and coke of the evening, was watching the telly which I keep on but with the sound down low. One of those entertainment shows, you know, news about the stars was on. A picture of Oprah came up and Pat said, “Man, that is one hot babe.”

I picked up his glass and told him, “That’s it. You’ve had enough.”

He laughed and said, “Look, there’s Elton John. What are they saying about him?”

“It’s Sir Elton now, you know.”

“Oh, that’s right. He got knighted. Oh well, I guess all that practice paid off.”

“What practice?”

“You know, all that time he spent on his knees in front of a queen?”

“Ouch. Good one, Pat.”

“Did I ever tell you, George, about my three stages of drunk?”

“I don’t think so.”

“My first stage is when I get really smart. Second stage is when I get really good looking and the third stage is when I get invisible.”

“Where are you now?”

“Oh, I’m feeling really good looking. I think I’ll go talk to that lovely lady over there.”

“I wouldn’t, if I was you. That’s Ms. Wolf.”

“So? I ain’t afraid of Virginia Wolf.”

“I don’t think her name’s Virginia. You ever read Poe?”

“A long time ago.”

“Well, I hear she prefers the pit to the pendulum, if you get my meaning.”

“Oh, I believe I do. Well, think she’d like to meet my sister?”

“She’s nice, now. Don’t bother her.”

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Brushing up

Pete was having his noon pint of beer and his usual lunch, my free peanuts, when Bob Byford came in. Bob was walking a little funny, as if he was in some pain, and eased himself carefully onto a bar stool. Pete pushed the bowl toward him and said, “nuts?”

Bob shook his head and said, “No, no, just a touch of arthritis.”

We have Trivia night here on the last Saturday of each month and give out small prizes like free drinks or gag gifts. Bob was the winner of last month's door prize, a brand new toilet brush from Wal-mart.
I asked him, “So, Bob, getting much use from that door prize?“

He said, "Well, I guess it's okay for some folks but I think I'll stay with toilet paper."

“You look like you’re a little down. Anything wrong?”

“Not really. I’m just sort of annoyed with my wife.”

“What did you do this time?”

“Well, this fellow at work brought in some homemade candies that his wife had put together. She’s been taking classes and they turned out really good and she shared them with us. So anyway I took some home, just to, you know, show my wife what other wives can do.”

“Oh boy. I’m guessing that wasn’t a good idea.”

“No, I guess it wasn’t. Now every time we go out somewhere she keeps pointing out other people’s nice houses and cars just to show me what other husbands can do.”

Bob’s a pretty funny guy. One time he made us laugh when the subject of religion came up. Reverend Turner was starting to get preachy so Pete decided to have a little fun and said he was an agnostic. That got the ball rolling and someone asked Bob if he believed in the Almighty.

Bob said, “Absolutely. I know there’s a God.“

“Really? How do you know for certain?“ I asked.

“Well, somebody sure is out to get me.”

The Reverend was getting a little tipsy and said that he was trying to learn to do miracles and believed that he would soon be able to turn water into wine.

Bob piped up and said, “Hey, that’s nothing. I can turn wine into water, but it takes me a couple of hours.”

Friday, February 26, 2010

Home Alone

Big Ed, the school teacher, came in on Saturday afternoon, which was very unusual for him. He always waits until after dark to have his pint. I could see that he was looking sort of thoughtful so when I filled a glass for him I asked if anything was the matter.

“No, not really. It’s just that I just saw something strange.”

“That’s not surprising, around here. It wasn’t Pete, was it?”

“Hah, no. I said strange, not scary. I’ve been out delivering notices for the elementary school book fair, going door to door reminding everyone about how important the fund raiser is. I’ve got these fliers I’m giving out. Here’s some for you.

Anyway, you know little Alex Suttles, don’t you?”

“I think so, lives over on Fairhurst, doesn’t he?”

“That’s right, he’s one of my students. Well, I rang his doorbell a couple of times and was about to leave when his brother Tommy opened the door. Tommy’s about 12, and George, he was standing there in a green velvet evening gown that came down past his knees and high heel shoes that were too big for him. He had on a curly blond wig that I’m sure I’ve seen his mother wear and to top it off he had a martini in his hand. I was so stunned I forgot what I was going to say and wound up stammering, 'Uh, is your mother at home, Tommy?'
He giggled and took a sip of his drink and said, 'Oh, Mr. Maples, what do you think?'
Then he closed the door, laughing."

I couldn’t get that picture out of my mind all evening.

Another interesting thing happened a little later. A few more of the regulars wandered in and we were having one of those rambling bar conversations that jumps from one topic to another. Somehow the subject of bananas came up and Big Ed mentioned that Cuban bananas were small and red and sweeter than the yellow Johnson variety that we get here in the US. I had never heard them referred to as Johnson bananas but a light bulb suddenly came on in my head and I immediately understood something. I said, “Ooooh…” at the very same time that four others said it. Realizing that we had all made the same connection we looked at each other and burst out laughing.

Marion asked, “What’s so funny? Why’s everbody laughing? I don’t get it?”

I said, “Marion, I’ll tell you later. Or better yet, ask your mother.”

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lady in Distress

We get some celebrities here at The King’s Arse, local celebrities anyway. One who comes in frequently is Roger Bright, the morning DJ on the local radio station. He’s got that show with Bob Early, “Bright and Early in the Morning” but I almost never get to hear them because we keep some late hours here at the pub.

Anyway, Roger is a pleasant fellow and you wouldn’t know it from his radio personality, but he’s pretty shy and meek. I like to mess with him sometimes, just for a laugh, so the other day Big Ed walked in while I was talking with Roger and I said, “Well, here’s Big Ed now, let’s hear you say that to his face.”

Well, we hadn’t even been talking about Ed, who is 6’-6” tall and looks like a biker, but is really a gentle soul who teaches second grade. I winked at Ed and he played along.

“What the hell you been saying about me, Roger?”

Roger panicked. “Nothing, Ed. Nothing. I swear it. Damn you, George, tell him you’re kidding.”

Big Ed and I both started laughing and soon calmed him down.

Roger has a crush on Marian, our bar maid, and likes to call her Maid Marian, which annoys her more than a little. He plays up the whole knighthood thing and when he’s had a few he will say dumb things like, “Thou hast my heart, fair Lady”. She just smiles and ignores it because he’s a good tipper.

Recently Marian’s mother, Rose, was visiting and she got a little tipsy and started flirting with Roger who tried to be polite but was obviously not interested in her. At one point Marian almost dropped a tray of glasses and was saved by Roger who grabbed the tray at the last moment. She thanked him and he said, “Always happy to help a lady in distress.”

Rose grabbed his arm and slurred, “Well, how about the Lady in this dress?”

After Roger left, Rose got a little depressed and started talking about dying. I tried to cheer her up and told her that she had many years to go before having to worry about death.

She said, “When I die I want to go like my daddy did, peacefully, quietly in his sleep.”

Marian said, “Now mom, you know that grandpa died in a car crash.”

“He crashed because he fell asleep at the wheel of his taxi cab so he never knew what hit him. All the screaming came from the couple in the back seat. I don’t want to go like they did.”