Category Archives: vacations

Triple Down Bummers Now Come in Grape Flavor


You heard me right.  Grape flavor.  Specifically sour grape flavor.

I put my family on an airplane today to go be with my oldest son while he has surgery.

I get to stay home with the family dog because my back is hurting so fiercely from weather and arthritis that I can’t possibly spend hours on a plane.

So, sour grapes.

You know the Aesop’s Fable about the fox and the grapes?


The fox, seeing the luscious grapes, tries to leap and get the grapes.  He is hungry for the grapes.  Ravenous for the grapes.  But no matter how hard he tries, he cannot reach the grapes with his snapping jaws.

He buys a trampoline from Acme.  But it sproings him over the tree and into the river on the other side… where there are alligators.  (Yeah, I exaggerate here… but in my life there always seem to be alligators.)  He still can’t get the grapes.

So then he goes to Home Depot and buys a chainsaw to cut down the tree.  But when he tries to rev up the chainsaw he realizes… he’s a fox.  He doesn’t have hands.  He has paws.  He can’t work the chainsaw.  And on top of that, his credit card is denied because he’s a fox and his job only pays in dead mice and rabbits, and chainsaws cost money, not mice.  So Home Depot sent a Sheriff’s Deputy to arrest him for stealing the chainsaw.  And it turns out that in spite of consumer complaints, Home Depot has signed a huge chainsaw deal with Acme, so the chainsaw explodes because he tried to start it with fox paws.  And as he is flying through the air from the explosion towards the river with alligators… he realizes… grapes don’t grow on trees.  There has to be something wrong with those grapes.  They must be sour.

Now, this is exactly the way Aesop told the story.  Believe me.  It really, really sucks to be a fox and not be able to get what you want in life.

This surgery is a big thing.  But it is not life threatening.  My son will be fine.  My family will be able to go places and do stuff while they visit and entertain him.  It is like an extra family vacation.  His grandmother (my mother) and his aunt (my sister) have both had the same surgery for the same reason.  They both came through it and came out cured.  But the problem is most likely genetic.  So, not only do I not get to go and be with my family on this trip, the bummer reason for the trip is genetically probably my fault.     Yep, there are alligators in that danged old river.

I get these benefits only from the sour grapes; I get a lonely week to recover from alligator bites for myself, and I definitely have something to write about for today.


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Filed under autobiography, family, feeling sorry for myself, humor, medical issues, metaphor, Paffooney, self pity, vacations

The Mother of all Vacations

Dead pool

Well, vacation is a complicated idea around here any more.  I sit here blogging while my family is on vacation in Florida with the camper.  They went to see my son in the Marine Corps graduate from his MOS class, and they are staying for the beaches.  I got left behind because, for me, breathing and camping no longer seem to be something I can do both at the same time.  So, I opted to stay at home alone with the dog and the air conditioner to continually walk the dog, pick up dog poop in the park, and practice breathing.  Breathing is hard with COPD.   Chronic Obstructed Pulmonary Disorder basically means I have far too much lutefisk residue clogging up the storage sheds in my lungs.  (For those of you who don’t know about the horrors of living as an Iowegian… lutefisk is a dish made by Scandahoovians from Norway out of white fish soaked in lye soap until it turns into a kind of bad-tasting poisonous Jello.  Iowegians eat it constantly, and claim to love it, though I have it on good authority that eating it builds up your immunity to death… because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  And the funny thing is, I don’t even eat lutefisk.  Lutefisk in the air back in my youth has managed to encrust my lungs with lutefisk residue.  That, or the toxic chemicals we used to spray on the soybean fields… Naw, I’m pretty sure it is the lutefisk.)  (That last parenthetic expression just squeezed into third place all time on my longest parenthetic expression list.)  (But only by two words.)

mickey in powder

So, I chose this lonely vacation from vacationing because I kinda like breathing, and I am definitely not ready to risk finding out if the lutefisk in my lungs has actually made me immune to death in the Iowegian tradition.  And so, what happens while I am staying home alone with the dog?  Bill came to visit.  Bill is a tropical storm.  After the record setting water-soaked Texas month of May he is not a welcome visitor.  Take a look again at my family’s swimming pool.  That pool has about thirty cracks on the bottom perfect for making it act more like a sieve than a pool.  It has only held a few cup-fulls of rancid mosquito-water for the past three swimming seasons.  I had fallen far enough behind sticking chewing gum in the cracks that it does not hold water.  It was finally beginning to empty before Bill showed up and added six inches just today.  And rain is so good for COPD in the most sarcastic way I can possibly write those particular words.  I did not need Bill to visit.  I find I am forced to live with his visit, and he is not even a relative.

So I have been stuck in bed, drawing cartoons about Pirates who rob people by being bankers and throwing me into the powder room as their prisoner, practicing hard on my breathing, and feeling very depressed about missing vacation.  But, it occurs to me that, since I am now retired from teaching… for an entire school year already… and too ill most of the time to try to make extra money as a Walmart greeter, smiling and saying hello to ugly fat people in warm-up sweatpants, like I had planned and claimed I was looking forward to doing…  I am actually on the longest vacation of my life.  Longer even than the two jobless years of substitute teaching the Wicked Witch of Creek Valley sentenced me to.  I may actually be on vacation now for the rest of my life.  Whoa, baby!  Bring on the babes in bikinis… the non-alcoholic Margaritas… there is already water in the pool!

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Filed under humor, Paffooney, vacations