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Faking It

February 25, 2018 Leave a comment

Some people take on the preferences of the person or people they want to attract. This is reckless. If the person you wish to attract is not aligned with your ideas of what life should be like, and how it is enjoyed, it is unwise to fake, or pretend that you fit in with their preferred style and activities.

I know a woman in her fifties who is uncomfortable about her body. She encountered a man she with whom she hoped to spend time. She succeeded in having him invite her for a weekend away in a country setting. She accepted eagerly, although she is not a fan of the great outdoors, and usually avoids situations in forest settings or cottage country.

When they arrived in a remote, secluded area, the gentleman set up his camping equipment beside a gently flowing river. The setting was beautiful, but the beauty of the environment was lost on the woman. She did manage, however, to accept the basics of sleeping in a tent in a sleeping bag. Even watching him cook dinner on an open fire was not too difficult for her to endure. The night passed uneventfully, as the zipped-up sleeping bags kept them isolated from each other.

Morning came warm, dry and sunny. The woman crawled painfully out of her insulating sleeping bag as she noticed the gentleman was already gone from his bag. She heard the fire crackling and smelled bacon frying cheerfully in a pan on the open fire. She emerged from the tent well covered by her loose-fitting garment that hid the shape within that was an embarrassment to her.

She did her best to enjoy the bacon and eggs on her tin plate, and the cream free coffee in the tin mug. Their conversation was cordial as the gentleman was patiently aware of the woman’s misgivings. All went well as the meal was enjoyed as much as possible in the surroundings that were very unfamiliar and awkward to the woman. When the meal was completed and utensils were washed by the host in the adjacent flowing river, the woman was overwhelmed by his next suggestion.

He said he was eager to enjoy the cool, clear water, and with barely a pause he stripped down to be completely naked. He stood in the morning sun by the river’s edge and enjoyed the feeling of unfettered freedom. The woman, although somewhat aghast, couldn’t help but notice that he had a very attractive body for a man in his fifties.

He strode into the river carefully on the slippery stones on the bottom and dove into the current. He emerged with his longish hair slicked back and urged emphatically that she should join him. After some rather insistent urging, she humiliated herself by finally stripping down, doing her best to keep hidden by the surrounding foliage. Ashamed as she was of her drooping breasts, heavy thighs, and sagging backside, she dashed from behind a bush into the water.

Unfamiliar as she was with the country life, she stepped on the slippery rocks in the water and fell heavily on her very white, bulbous backside in the shallows. Her flabby breasts swayed loosely as the gentleman hurried carefully to help her up. The water was cold, and her large nipples grew erect as she moved desperately to deeper water. She sank to her knees and immersed herself up to her neck in the flowing current.

The gentleman chose to overlook the woman’s physical imperfections, and implored her to join him in a swim. She dared not move, and the man indulged himself until he was satisfied with the activity. Standing straight, tall, and unashamed, he strode out of the water and lay back on a folding chair to let the sun warm and dry him.

While he relaxed, eyes closed against the brilliant sunshine, the woman crawled over the rocks and out of the water. She moved swiftly behind the foliage and found a towel in the tent. She dried and dressed herself and joined the gentleman in the warming sun. They spoke little, and she was wishing she knew what he was thinking of her.

The weekend was cut short, as the relationship potential was properly gone. The gentleman went about closing down his campsite and stashing it all in the car trunk. On the drive home the pair was almost silent, with few words exchanged. While she berated herself in her mind for having been so hasty, the gentleman did the same to himself.

When he dropped her at her apartment house, he stepped around the car as she exited it. They shook hands, and he said he’d call her. She knew he never would, and she was glad of that.

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Women are not Ornaments

February 6, 2018 Leave a comment

pri_68161917      Many fans of Formula One auto racing are upset that the iconic ‘grid girls’ are to be discontinued. I am pleased that the girls will be gone, because they should not stand in rows, dressed in identical, sexy outfits. I raced sports cars when I was younger, and I always felt that it was not a good idea to have women in the pit areas unless they were part of a team, working with the crew in a real job.

The grid girls are just a distraction for fans of the sport. Race time is a time of intense focus and concentration, and women in the pits for the sake of ornamentation are clearly out of place. When watching a Formula One event, I have always wondered why the pretty ladies demeaned themselves in that way. They are doing nothing other than perhaps holding a sign with a number on it, or some such thing. They are superfluous.

The smiles are pretty, the legs are lovely, but neither has anything to do with the very serious and expensive event that is a Formula One race. The women are obviously instructed to smile prettily and applaud vigorously as the sweating drivers hurry past them to the cool down rooms. I have never seen any driver even notice the girls. They know that the smiles and applause are just set up for the viewing audience, and have no real meaning to the participants in the event.

I am pleased that I will no longer feel sorry for the girls that were positioned on the grid and in the entrance hall to the cool down room. I am sorry that they are losing whatever small pay they received for that humble occupation. The truth is that only women who are either driving the car or working as part of the crew should be in the pits of any motor race. Just the same as men are not a good fit in a crocheting group. Men should be there if they are fans of crocheting and participating in the craft, but not to be stand-by ornaments.

In this modern age, no job need be gender-specific, but being good looking and standing holding a number sign is not a worthy career goal. Ladies are welders and builders and lawyers and doctors as good as any man can be. They are well-advised to build careers rather than be pretty and hold signs. Any job that can be replaced by a post on a base is not a job for an intelligent person, male or female.

You Don’t Know Their Burdens

January 26, 2018 Leave a comment

It’s rare to see a person on the street or on public transportation with a pleased or contented expression on his or her face. While observing people personally, we might wonder what our own facial expression is as we look around ourselves. It seems that people in public often do not look at each other.

We move among each other, but we do not encounter each other. I expect that our primitive primate senses govern our behavior. Perhaps eye to eye contact invites conflict, as it might among chimpanzees. Smiling at a person might be seen as a threat if one’s teeth are displayed. Sometimes, a smile at a person in a library or a restaurant can lead to verbal communication. That could lead to almost anything.

The hundreds of faces one might see in a single week are most likely to be sad or blank. We overlook the unwelcoming atmosphere because we know that each individual is carrying the facts of their lives with them. One might be planning what to make for dinner. Another might be concerned about a meeting coming up at their office. Others worry about sick friends, lost dogs, rent increases and anything else.

We move through our days, our faces showing our feelings. When it’s a lovely day and all is well in our own little world, there is peacefulness in our expression. When our own relationship with the significant other is in jeopardy, stress or concern is shown.

If we could master the art of compartmentalizing the matters in our lives, we might be able to always wear a peaceful expression by dwelling on the sweet parts of life.

The Planet Rebels

January 21, 2018 Leave a comment

A religious person might see God’s will in the wave of natural disasters that have swamped society. Hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes befall societies throughout our planet. An atheist, on the other hand, might see it as natural sequences of events, not completely free of human contributions.

The planet Earth is a living, evolving entity. I see the Earth’s crust as its skin, like the skin on my face. We have all seen pimples emerge on our faces. First it shows as a small, reddish mound. Later it becomes less red, and begins to peak. Finally, it is a pimple, filled with material your body rejects. It is also this way with our planet.

I used to own a hobby farm where we kept horses. My favourite chore was to go out into the forest and cut riding trails throughout the many acres. The forest is healthy, so each summer I’d travel the trails again, to trim off the bits that intruded into the riding space.

There was a patch where two trails intersected. As the years passed, I noticed a small area, about twenty inches square in the cleared part of the two trails, where the grass was dying off. The following year, the grass had been replaced by moss. A year later, the moss was turning from green to brown, and looking ragged. Following years showed a granite boulder pushing up through the earth. Eventually, it was a large rock on the trail.

As with Icebergs where we see just ten percent of the lump of ice and below hangs ninety percent so it could be with that rock. It might be just the tip of a boulder that’s the size of a house. That’s why I see the planet as a living thing. As our skin ejects wax, fat or whatever, the earth ejects rocks and whatever as it evolves into eternity.

The life of the Earth is obvious in its seething center, boiling granite that sometimes bursts through the planet’s skin and runs down in rivulets until, at some time in infinity, it becomes more rocks to later be expelled.

Meanwhile, we enjoy the luxury of Earth’s life; trees of fruit, trees of shade, rain, snow, fields of green, fields of gold and seasons.

We need to take better care of The Earth, and greed gets in the way. The oligarchs are our enemies.

Men are childish, women are women.

November 6, 2017 Leave a comment

There’s a big deal on television. It’s called the Super Bowl. It gathers a vast amount of attention and costs people a vast amount of money. It doesn’t mean anything. The Super Bowl is meaningless, yet a great deal of false meaning has been injected into it. Fanatics pay thousands of dollars for seats that are worth thirty bucks. They could even watch it for no charge, in their own homes, with their own snacks and get a better view to boot.

Any sort of fanaticism is not a good idea. Things like Nazism, Aryan Brotherhood, Super Bowl and so on. This obviously doesn’t include harmless fan preferences like fans of Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Harrison Ford, Dolly Parton and so on. Not all Super Bowl fans are childish and some women do as some men do for the big game.

Although some people paint their faces and even their bodies in the colours of their preferred team, it is childish. It’s fun, it’s troublesome and it’s childish. There are women who cook and serve special snacks to be consumed during the game. It is a game, remember. It’s only a game that for some reason commands great attention and much money.

Well, not for some reason – for the reason that it’s a business enterprise. The people that own the teams, the stadium and the series of games, spend much money to hype up the interest in their business. Fanatical fans should remember that it is not really a game, as in a game people play for pleasure like bowling and poker. It is somebody’s business. The painted faces and heaps of snacks are all in celebration of someone’s very successful business promotion.

We all know that men are childish. It’s true that little boys grow up to be big boys with big toys. It’s true that little girls grow up to be women, and they take care of life more properly than do men. We have to mention that while men behave childishly, women also have their oddities.

Women prepare their faces like painting on a canvas. Black lengthening material is applied to lashes. Colour is applied to upper lids, sometimes with sparkles in it. Dark lines are drawn around the eyes and beyond their corners. Skin is enhanced with skin coloured crème. Lips are enhanced with colour, sometimes two shades on one lip. Cheek bones are accentuated with highlights and shadows carefully applied. Breasts are usually prominent when the woman is proud of them.

There’s not room for all the hair and body enhancements to be described, so we’ll end here… except to say that women are odd too and should willingly forgive men for loving their trucks and painting their faces to show their fanaticism.

Why I Started Smoking

November 4, 2017 Leave a comment

In the summer, we had a little cave-like hollow in a ravine across the street. Our little hollow was deeply hidden by thick bushes. We tried to smoke cigars of dried oak leaves that we rolled. They were foul, and wouldn’t burn.

One year in shop, I made a bow and bought some arrows. Down in the ravine, in the dry summer grass, Dave and I tried to figure out how to shoot an arrow properly. On one of my shots, I pulled the string as far as I could and let go. I stumbled as I let it fly, and wasn’t sure where it went.

An old garage stood on the edge of the ravine. Some earth had crumbled and slid down from the garage and left a corner jutting out in the air. While looking for my arrow, we wandered around in the grass near the exposed corner. I glanced into the open hole at the bottom of the garage and saw a printed box. I pulled it out.

It was a carton of 20 packs of Lucky Strike cigarettes. I looked up through the opening and saw that the garage was full from wall to wall with thousands of cartons of cigarettes. Smuggled cigarettes, I realized when I noticed that the tax stamp on the top of each pack was American. They were cigarettes from the USA about which Canada customs and excise knew nothing.

We took a few cartons of Luckies and a few cartons of Camels. We hid them in a variety of places, and fetched them, a pack at a time, when we wanted them. We smoked them, and enjoyed them. Non-filtered, strong burley tobacco typical of USA brands of that era had us hooked in no time. I continued to smoke the American brands until I quit. I had been a smoker for 40 years. I haven’t touched tobacco since that day in July, 1992.

I was sitting in my car at a red light in the heart of the city. While waiting, I was enjoying looking at a tall, beautiful woman standing on the corner, waiting for the green light as was I. As I admired her, her hand that I had not seen came up and put a lit cigarette to her lips.

She sucked at it eagerly, and then frenetically flicked her fingers on the smoldering cigarette to drop the ash. She became completely unattractive at that moment. I thought perhaps that I looked like that kind of weak fool. At that moment, the car radio announcer said, “It’s quit smoking week, folks, so let’s do it!”

I had three Camels in the pack in my shirt pocket. I wrapped the pack tightly closed with an elastic band and threw it into my briefcase. I never smoked tobacco again.

The Sheeny Man

October 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Sheeny man

In the 1950s, one could still see horse-drawn carts on the city streets. Some were the bread men, some were the ice men, some were the milk men, and some were the sheeny men. My sheeny man was Mr. Mintz, and his old horse was Annie.

I say he was my sheeny man because he was the only one I ever met or spoke with. Not too much speaking, of course, because I speak English and he spoke Yiddish. I worked on the weigh scale at a large scrap yard. Mr. Mintz came with Annie and the cart full of scrap about once a week.

It was not good scrap, in fact we’d really rather not have it. It usually consisted of old rusty bedsprings and tin oil cans. It cost more to have two men take it off the cart and throw it onto the scrap heap than it was worth. However, Mr. Mintz was a quiet, poor, religious man, so we accepted his scrap, doubled the weight and paid double the value.

One Friday afternoon, Mr. Mintz clopped through the scrap yard gate and positioned Annie so the wagon was on the scale. I weighed the wagon with the load and Mr. Mintz guided Annie to where two of the yard workers could drag the bedsprings, tin cans and rusty pieces of metal off of the cart and onto the scrap heap.

It was the end of my day at the yard. I weighed Mr. Mintz’s empty cart and subtracted the light weight from the loaded weight and paid for the difference. As usual, we cheated in Mr. Mintz’s favour and gave him double the value of his load. I realized that Mr. Mintz would be eager to get home before sundown, in time for the evening Sabbath prayers.

I left the office in time to see Annie and Mr. Mintz clopping along Carmody Street. I had always wondered what Mr. Mintz’s life might be like. Where does he keep his cart? Where does he keep Annie? On impulse, I decided to track Mr. Mintz to his lair. It was a mild evening, I was only 18, and Annie was slow. I could follow him on foot for as far as he was going.

I was surprised that it was barely six blocks to Mr. Mintz’s destination. At first, I was surprised that he went to Bellaire Boulevard, a wide residential street with large, elegant mansions on both sides. These mansions had long since ceased to be single family dwellings with servants. They are rooming houses, divided into small flats, but still, the boulevard is elegant, with old, large maple trees overhanging the street, casting cool shadows.

Annie crossed Bellaire and clopped past the street of mansions until she turned right into a back lane that ran behind the walled, mansion properties. Most of them had old sheds, garages, or parking areas accessible through the lane.

The horse stopped at a row of sheds, taller than the others around it. Mr. Mintz climbed down from the wagon and led Annie a bit farther on before he went to an overhead door in one of the sheds and had the horse back the wagon into the shed. With the wagon in the shed, and the horse outside, Mr. Mintz took the tack off of Annie and opened a swinging garage door to lead the horse into a spacious stall.

Mr. Mintz had seen me following him all along. He looked down the lane at me and waved me over. I stood near him as he saw to Annie’s bedding, grain and hay. She had an open window that looked out on the yard of the mansion beyond it. Mr. Mintz asked if I would like to see inside. Obviously, he perceived my fascination, and I jumped at the chance. He closed Annie’s shed and led me to a pedestrian doorway in the third shed.

One large room was neatly laid out and maintained. A small bathroom contained a toilet and old-fashioned bath tub on claw legs. A small kitchen area with a 4 element stove and small refrigerator covered a wall. A Formica counter carried a sink and dish drying rack, with a large window that looks out at the garden behind the mansion.

There was a full bookcase, but there was no television. An easy chair beside a reading lamp completed the room’s furnishings. I asked where he slept. He opened a door in the wall that faced Annie’s shed. There was a bed between Mr. Mintz’s shed and Annie’s shed. He said he liked to sleep close to her. Her body heat gave him comfort, and his presence gave Annie peace.

I walked back to my car, contemplating the life of Mr. Mintz, the Sheeny man. He was as happy and satisfied as anyone I ever met.