Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Did you ever...? (Restaurants)

Did you ever…?
by Melech

Did you ever wonder why some people decide to work as waiters or waitresses? I do almost every time I go into a restaurant. The vast majority of waiters and waitresses I have encountered have been exceptionally good at their job and have truly excellent personalities. There are, however, those few who make you wonder why they bothered getting out of bed that day. They always appear to be angry, impatient and in a hurry to go home, even when their shift just started twenty minutes ago.

The last time I went to a restaurant for dinner, the waitress asked if I was ready to order. I hadn’t even sat down yet. When I asked her if I could please have a menu, she rolled her eyes and heaved a sigh of impatience that could have filled a dirigible.

Twenty minutes later, she brought a menu and didn’t reappear for another half-hour to take my order. I asked for a steak, very well done. When she brought the steak, it was swimming in a pool of blood, and I was almost sure I detected a heartbeat. The steak wasn’t pink inside; it was red. I told the waitress I couldn’t eat that. “What’s the matter with it?” she snapped. “Well,” I replied, “I made a promise to myself that I would never bite into anything I had to apologise to.”
The fourth time she brought the steak back from the kitchen it was still rare, so I just asked for the check.
“Do you want this wrapped up to take with you?” she asked.
“No,” I said, “Just call the paramedics. Maybe with CPR it could still live.”
As I was leaving the restaurant, I noticed several buzzards circling around. I guess they knew the steak wasn’t going to survive.

Just then, I saw my friend Bing going into the same restaurant. I told him about my experience there and warned him against it but he wouldn’t take my advice. The last I heard of Bing, he was in the witness protection program and living somewhere in the Middle East under an assumed name. A week later, that waitress won the local “Miss Congeniality Contest” and was now considering a career in public relations.

As a last resort, and because I was still hungry, I decided to order from a fast food drive-up. I was shouting my order into the speaker when my sister and her husband drove up next to me and asked why I was trying to order food at a pharmacy drive-up window. I pretended I didn’t hear them and I drove away.

When I got home, I put two hot dogs in the broiler and burnt them to honour the memory of the steak that didn’t survive. I looked in the refrigerator to see if there was anything else to eat, but nothing appealed to me. Probably because I had also promised myself that I wouldn’t eat any food that appeared in the colour blue, or moved when you touched it.
The box of cereal in the cabinet had an expiration date of four years ago, and I was afraid to open the refrigerator again because the milk looked angry.
Maybe I should take my sister’s advice and learn how to cook.

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“Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©Copyright2009 by Melech. All rights reserved
The next column will be posted on December 05, 2009

File #RBCOL13

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Did you ever...? (The Telephone)

Did you ever…?
by Melech

Did you ever wonder what Alexander Graham Bell would think if he could see how far the telephone has advanced? Today, because of, or in spite of modern technology, the telephone is capable of prodigies and can do everything except reproduce. We have been overworking the telephone by constantly increasing its job description without paying it anything. I have no real proof of this yet, but this could be the reason why the telephone has started to rebel and get even with the human race.

Yesterday, as I was returning to the house after taking the trash to the bin, I heard the phone ringing and I raced to answer it. In my haste, I slammed my hand in the door, tripped over the bag of trash that I forgot to take out, cut my knee, ripped my shirt, and chipped a tooth. When I picked up the phone, there was only a dial tone. I checked the answering machine, but there were no messages. The Called I.D. indicated that no one had called. This could mean only one thing; the telephone knew that I was out of the house and it rang by itself. When I mentioned this to my sister, she hung up on me.

The telephone is capable of another talent which none of the telephone companies will tell you about. You can be in the house for hours without anyone in the family saying a word to you. If you try talking to them, they don’t hear your. Finally, out of loneliness and desperation, you decided to make a phone call. The telephone sends out a message to everyone in the free world to let them know that you are on the phone. You have been on the phone for exactly ten seconds when everyone in the house, plus a few neighbours you have not seen for two years, are all gathered around you and talking to you, asking questions which must be answered immediately or none of their vital organs will continue functioning. If you try to tell them that you are busy talking and you will deal with their questions later, the telephone decides that you have talked long enough, and terminates your call. Suddenly, the room is empty. Everyone has gone back to what they were doing before you got on the phone, and they no longer require your attention.

I called my sister and told her that I was going to take out the bag of trash that I tripped over yesterday, but that I was going to sneak past the telephone so that it will not know that I have left the house. Otherwise, it will start ringing again. My sister told me to take a pill and a nap instead, and then she hung up on me.

“Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
Copyright©2009 by Melech. All rights reserved
The next column will be posted on November 28,, 2009
File #RBCOL06

Friday, November 13, 2009

"Did you ever...?" (Little Demons)

Did you ever…?
by Melech

Did you ever wonder about the little man who lives in your refrigerator? You know who I mean. The one who turns on the light when you open the door, and then turns it off when you close the door. Every now and then, I suppose because of boredom, he will loosen the light bulb so it will not go on, he will uncover your leftovers, and rearrange or hide things in the refrigerator. All in all, he seems to be a pretty nice little guy and doesn’t cause too much trouble. His relatives, (and there are many of them) are another story. They are mean and vicious and have only one purpose in life; to annoy, aggravate and frustrate me until I begin to hear voices and they can put me in a home.

One of them (I think it’s a cousin) lives in my washing machine. He rips buttons off my shirts, shreds underwear and will only return one sock from each pair. I don’t like him at all. I like his brother even less. He lives in the clothes dryer and spends his time ying knots in my clothes and braiding the sheets. He also amuses himself by cleaning out the lint trap and spreading white lint on the dark clothes. Once in a while he will return clothes that do not belong to me. I probably should check with my neighbours to see if they are missing any laundry.

His other relatives do not stay in any one place. They roam about the house moving furniture so I will trip over it, tilt the pictures and mirrors on the walls, sprinkle dust on the furniture I just dusted, and knock over the laundry I have just folded and stacked neatly in the linen closet. Another really mean relative likes to tangle and knot my telephone cord, so when I try to use the phone, I only have about two inches of cord to work with. Rather than try to untangle the cord, I just make do by keeping my face pushed up against the wall so I can use the phone. A cordless or cell phone is out of the question. They will find a way to weaken the battery or hide the phone on me.

This morning I was talking to my sister on the phone and she said: “I can’t understand a word you’re saying. Do you have your face pressed up against the wall again? Why don’t you just untangle the phone cord?”

I told her about the family of invisible little demons who live in my house, she said I needed a rest and she and her husband would be happy to drive me to a convalescent home. When I told her I couldn’t go because I was busy unbraiding my laundry and scrubbing the wallpaper pattern off my face, she hung up on me.

File #RBCOL04

“Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©Copyright 2009 by Melech. All rights reserved

The next column will be posted on November 21, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

"Did you ever...?" (Good Mood Guy)

Did you ever…?
by Melech

Did you ever wonder how some people are always able to stay in a good mood no matter what happens to them? That’s my neighbour Buster. He and my neighbour Bing are best friends, which just goes to prove the old saying that “opposites attract”.
Nothing rattles Buster. He remains calm and cool through any major or minor situation.
Bing, on the other hand, becomes unglued if there is a wind shift that wasn’t predicted by the weather report.
A few weeks ago, Bing and I were helping Buster store some lumber in his garage that he was going to use to build a recreation room in his basement. I accidentally dropped a 2 x 4 and it klunked Buster squarely on the head. He claimed to be amused by having been knocked senseless. Bing, on the other hand, didn’t talk to me for weeks after the time I backed into him with the riding lawn mower. I still don’t believe they had to cut the shoe off of his foot.

Then there was the time when Buster was putting up the Japanese lanterns on his patio for the big party he and his wife were giving. Without realising it, I leaned on the power switch. Every hair on Buster’s head stood straight up and didn’t come back down for two days. Even when his eyebrows and eyelashes fell out and his left eye was rolling, whilst the right eye remained fixed and dilated, he remained in a good mood and said that accidents happen. I still felt bad because Buster was the only one who couldn’t attend his own party. How different from Bing who fell apart when I accidentally buried him under twelve feet of snow with my snow thrower. He eventually dug himself out and only suffered a mild case of frostbite, but he still blames me for the partial memory loss and the fact that his teeth and his eyebrows are still numb.

How can I ever forget the time when a few of us went bowling and I dropped the bowling ball on Buster’s foot? Did he get angry? Not on your life! He just smiled and said that the ball probably wasn’t a good fit for me. He didn’t even mind that he couldn’t bowl the rest of the game and that he had to be carried to the car. Bing could take lessons from Buster. Somehow or other, the bowling ball got away from me on the backswing and hit Bing in the stomach. When he regained consciousness, he said he didn’t want to bowl anymore and that he wanted to go home. Bing still claims that his stomach was blue, purple and yellow for two weeks. I’m not sure I believe that.

I haven’t seen Buster for a while. As a matter of fact, the last time I saw him was when I was helping him build the recreation room in his basement. He was humming and smiling a lot, and his left eye was still rolling. Today, I noticed a “For Sale” sign in front of his house, and no one was at home. My sister told me that Buster’s wife was visiting him at the convalescent home. They say he broke two teeth trying to chew his way out of the restraints, but he is still humming and smiling and now, both eyes are rolling; in opposite directions. Naturally, I wanted to visit him, but when I asked my sister which convalescent home he was in, she pretended she didn’t hear me, and she hung up on me.

“Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech.
©copyright 2009 by Melech. All rights reserved
The next column will be posted on November 13, 2009

File #RBCOL38

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Did you ever...?" (Cooking)

"Did you ever...?"
by Melech

Did you ever wonder how some people get to be such great cooks? I believe that all people fall into three categories. The first group is made up of men and women who are just natural born cooks. Everything comes easy to them and whatever they cook or bake turns out wonderful. My sister belongs to that group.

The second group is comprised of people who take classes or read books and become quite proficient at cooking and baking. My neighbour Buster and his wife both belong to that group.

Starving people would reject the food cooked by the third and final group to which I belong. It's not that I don't try; I really do, but nothing turns out the way it's supposed to.

My pancakes bear a vague resemblance to Frisbees, and when I accidentally dropped one, it cracked the ceramic floor tile.

The recipe for chili looked fairly ease to follow, but as I was stirring it, the metal spoon dissolved and the chili refused to give the handle back to me.
How difficult could it be to roast a chicken? Nothing to it. When I opened the oven six hours later to check it, there was nothing in the roasting pan except some burnt pudding. Nobody will ever convince me that the chicken didn't run away from home when my back was turned.

Wouldn't you think that beef stew with dumplings would be the easiest thing in the world to make? You just throw in some meat, vegetables, seasonings, and then drop the dumplings on top when it is boiling. I had no luck with that at all. The dumplings absorbed every bit of the stew and then hardened into a solid mass. I had to use a hammer and a chisel to get it out of the pot.

My hamburgers didn't turn our right either. I am still using them to replace the cork coasters I ate one day, thinking that they were the cookies I baked a few days ago, because they tasted just the same.

It’s a good thing that I decided to make macaroni and cheese one day. I was able to use it to re-grout the ceramic tile in the shower.

The perch fillets were a big waste of time. I think I used too much oil and they all swam away when I wasn't looking.

Who would ever believe that a tuna-noodle casserole would vanish in the oven? All that was left at the bottom of the baking dish was one dried-up pea and part of a burnt noodle.

I don't know what went wrong with the meat loaf, but I broke my electric knife and my neighbour Bing’s chain saw, trying to cut it. Bing isn’t speaking to me, but all was not lost because I am using the meatloaf as a doorstop.

I opened a can of soup and had to eat it cold from the can because I ruined all my pots and pans and couldn't heat up the soup. Ever since I left the aluminum foil on a toaster pastry, my microwave is angry at me and refuses to work. It goes into "failure mode" whenever I approach it. I couldn’t use my electric frying pan either. I replaced the frayed cord, plugged it in, and knocked out all the power in the neighbourhood. Now, none of my neighbours are speaking to me.

Yesterday, I saw a book entitled, "Cooking is Fun". I bought the book and raced home with it. It was just the right size to replace the broken leg on my bed.

"Did you ever...?" is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©copyright 2009 by Melech all rights reserved
The next column will be posted on November 07, 2009


Friday, October 23, 2009

"Did you ever...?" (Junk Mail)

Did you ever…?
by Melech

Did you ever really read all the junk mail and coupons that you get? I usually just scan them and chuck them in the bin. Last week I took the time to read and examine all the junk mail I received.

The first coupon to catch my eye was advertising tires at an amazingly low price. It was time to buy tires for my car anyway, so I thought I’d check into it. When I got to the tire shop I was informed that the sale tires were only for cars built during the second week of June of 1948 on a tiny island in the South Pacific where they do nuclear testing. With a sad sigh of resignation and defeat, I crumpled-up the coupon, stuffed it in the salesman’s mouth, and left the shop.

The second coupon I came across was one for ten percent off on a package of generic lemonade that was guaranteed to hurt my kidneys, harden my liver and give me a headache and stomach cramps. I threw that one away immediately.

When I found a coupon for half-price on any size pizza with one ingredient, I was sure I had picked a winner, so I called and ordered a small pizza and told the lady who answered the phone that I had a coupon. It was uphill from there on.

“Do you want sauce on it?”
“Yes, of course I want sauce on it.”
“O.K., that will be £1.50 extra. Do you want anything else on it?”
“Well, I wanted cheese, but….?”
“That’s another £3.50 extra.”
“Miss, the coupon states half-price on any size pizza with one ingredient. What is the one ingredient?”
“The crust. Now is this for pick-up or delivery?”
“For delivery if it’s….”
“There is a £6.75 delivery charge plus the tip for the driver, so your total will be
£32.85 cash only. Oh, I forgot to ask; do you want this baked? If you do, that will be another £5.00 oven fee.” I hung up the phone without responding and deposited the coupon in the trash bin.
The rest of the coupons were pretty much the same. Grocery coupons usually expired whilst I was waiting in the checkout line. Coupons for 15% off only applied to items that were out of stock and discontinued.

I was walking back to the house after disposing of all the coupons and junk mail, when my neighbour, Bing ran up to me and asked me if I had seen the coupon for the big sale on tires. I snatched the coupon from his hand. It was the same tire shop I had been to. I crumpled it up, stuffed it in his mouth, and told him to go in the house and not speak to me unless he could do so without mentioning coupons or sales. I haven’t seen him since. Yesterday, I heard that they had to call the paramedics because Bing was choking on a coupon. He’s O.K. now, but he said that he didn’t ever want to speak to me again.

Today, when I was talking to my sister on the phone, I mentioned that I was going to buy a new mattress and box spring for my bed. She told me that there was a really big sale at…….I interrupted her before she could finish. When I asked her if she would mind holding on to that sale paper until after I had bought the mattress and box spring, she hung up on me.

- - -

“Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©Copyright 2009 by Melech. All rights reserved
The next column will be posted on October 30, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Did you ever...?" (Inventions)

Did you ever…?
by Melech

Did you ever wonder how so many people could come up with so many wonderful inventions? What great minds they must have! I am in constant amazement at these brilliant men and women who have invented so many things that have made my life easier.

The smoke detector:
I will be forever grateful to the inventor of the smoke detector. Without this gadget, how would I ever know when my dinner was done ?

The VCR:
This amazing device was a little more difficult for me to adapt to. After two-and-a-half hours, I finally located the on/off switch. Then, by working constantly for three weeks, followed by four months of therapy, I learned how to insert and play a video tape. The instruction manual informed me that I could watch a programme whilst I was recording another, and that I could record programmes when I was not at home. I haven’t tried this yet because the doctor said that I would need a few more months of therapy before I attempted to program the VCR.
The clock and several other display functions blink constantly, but, every time I try to correct it, it sets off the smoke detector and several other small household appliances. I asked my neighbour, Bing, if he would help me with this, but he said: “Why bother? The VCR is becoming obsolete now. It is being replaced with DVD’s.”
“Bing,” I shouted; “I refuse to believe that anyone would want to replace VCR’s with underwear.”
“Not BVD’s;” he said. “DVD’s.”
I pretended I understood what he was talking about, but I don’t think he believed me, because he walked out and now he isn’t speaking to me again.

The Microwave Oven:
This is a great invention for those who know how to use it. Personally, I never fully mastered the art of microwave cooking. Eggs and potatoes exploded; a ceramic coffee mug melted; and, I was treated to a spectacular “electric light show” when I didn’t remove the aluminum cover from a microwave dinner.
My microwave is afraid of me now, and it goes into “failure mode” whenever I approach it. I could swear I heard my microwave crying and screaming in the middle of the night. I suppose I will just go on cooking the old fashion way, and let my smoke detector tell me when my dinner is done.

I thought about these great inventions and decided to become an inventor. I bought some equipment and set up a small laboratory in my basement. Three explosions and four fires later, the police, Scotland Yard, The Home Office, and an official document from Buckingham Palace advised me that if I wanted to continue my experiments, I would have to do it in another country. They suggested Castle Dracula in Transylvania. When I told this to my sister, she asked when I was leaving, and said that she would help me pack, and then she hung up on me.

“Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©copyright 2009 by Melech. All rights reserved.
The next column will be posted on October 23, 2009

File #RBCOL37