Posts Tagged ‘memories’

The players:

Farmer Bob. 

First, he is not a farmer, farmer Bob is a consultant for farmers in Tennessee. Here is a very brief and simplistic explanation of what farmer Bob does.

If farmer John’s crop is not quite right  he calls farmer Bob and sends him a plant or soil sample, farmer Bob can then possibly  tell Farmer John what he needs to do to grow a healthier crop.

Secondly, his name is not Bob.

Lab technician Clarice.

Who is  really the Assistant supervisor in an environmental testing lab.  In brief, Clarice tests plants (and water) for a variety of chemicals for a variety of reasons mostly for the betterment of growers and researchers to produce better products.

Her name is not really Clarice, (but she is my wife).

So what in blue blazes is this post about?  It is about small worlds. 

Farmer John in Tennessee is having problems, so he calls farmer Bob, who gets plant samples which he sends to the lab (here in Pennsylvania) where my wife works.  There is a slight glitch and Bob calls Clarice, and as always happens with my wife, they get to talking.

Before Bob went to Tennessee he was in California.  My wife lived in California until she was 19.  Bob used to do consultant work in California one of his clients was a poinsettia farmer.  My wife used ride her horse on the same poinsettia farmers land.    Bob raced motorcycles, my wife was also involved in motorcycle racing, (see where this is going?) it turns out not only were they part of the same SCORE (International Off Road Racing) for the famous Baja races in mexico, they also raced at the same raceways in California. They clearly didn’t know each other back then, but chances are pretty good that they crossed paths, probably more than once.  Here they are 30 yrs later in different parts of the country doing business and sharing shared memories together they didn’t know they had. 

Kind of makes you wonder how the moron driver you flipped off on your way to work this morning is going to fit into your life 3o years from now.

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During my stay in the hospital I shared a room with MR. B. who happened to be the grandfather of one of my brother’s childhood friends.  Despite the difference in our age (about 40 years) we ended up having a great deal of fun.  We were both hospitalized for stomach issues, (although he had a few other things going on at the time) and we would cheer each other on every time one of us would pass gas because that is a sure sign that things were on the mend.  The passing gas that is, the cheering had nothing to do with getting better.

There was a period of two days that we had a burned out light bulb in our bathroom.  Why did it take two days?  That’s exactly what we wanted to know.  Turns out that the nurses were not allowed to change a light bulb so they referred the issue to maintenance who claimed that because it was a regular light bulb and not an incandescent bulb that it was an orderly’s responsibility, of course the orderly’s didn’t think that was correct and would refer it back to maintenance.  Mr. B and I wanted to see how long it would actually take so we were not about to change it ourselves, besides who needs a stinkin’ bathroom when you have a bedpan?  Mr. B’s grandson couldn’t let it go and stole a light bulb from somewhere and put it in our bathroom.  Otherwise I am sure 30 plus years later that bathroom would still be dark.  This is ironic when you understand that it was Mr. B’s grandson who used to steal street signs and decorate his room with them. 

Seeing the opportunity for something to amuse himself Mr. B would throw a ball of tissue on the floor to see how long it would stay there till somebody picked it up.  I couldn’t understand why he would always make sure and throw it directly across from his bed.  To be fair the tissue would only be on the floor a few hours before somebody picked it up, once it took three days because it was a long weekend.  Finally I had to ask:

 “Mr. B. why do you always throw the tissue to that particular spot?”

“Because I like to watch the nurse bend over and pick it up. I’m old, not dead”

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Growing up we went to amusement parks I never really enjoyed them.  I didn’t hate them I just don’t like the rides, the noise or the crowds. I distinctly remember my father once saying that out of the four of us children I was the cheapest to take to an amusement park.  All I need is a park bench a greasy slice of pizza and I’m happy. 

Many, (way too many) moons ago the family went to Knott’s Berry Farm in California. I remember two things very distinctly, 1) there were no cows.  What kind of farm has no cows?  Not a very good farm, that’s what kind of farm.  The other thing I remember is the flume.  I hate sudden drops, I don’t like get splashed and I’m not a freak for speed.  Why on earth would I go on a flume?  I get the distinct impression that the choice was not entirely mine.  The memories of being in the log, moving slowly up the tall hill are very vivid.  I remember knowing that we were soon going to be going down…very quickly.  I remember, off to the side just as we were about to crest over the top there was a stop sign.  I don’t know why it was there, but if you ask me stopping would have been a lovely idea but did we?  Nooooo.  Just beyond the stop sign there was a little booth, inside the booth was a lady sitting at some sort of controls.  I remember wanting to get off the ride and I remember they wouldn’t let me.  In fact the lady just waved as we plummeted to my death.  Okay maybe I didn’t die, but the possibility certainly existed.

I have quite a few such memories as we went to many parks,  but nothing compares to the cars at LaRonde, an amusement park in Montreal.  I’m talking about the little kid racing cars, and I was indeed a little kid and my little car was broken!  I know there are some people who will insist that it wasn’t broken but ask those people the following questions;  were they in the car?  Do they know anything about kid racing cars in amusement parks?  The answer to both is ‘no’.  Therefore the only person qualified to know if the car was broken is me because I was the only one in the car and I was the one driving the car.  The car only went to the right and it went in that direction until it wound up against the curb and could no longer move.  The guy in charge of the little cars tried to make it right by turning the steering wheel and pointing the car back on the track.  However the minute I hit the gas pedal the car would turn and end up nose first against the curb.  Why did do this?  Because it was broken.

When I was a little older I wound up on Space Mountain in Disney World, I knew it couldn’t go that high (as it is indoors) so there was no big drop involved, but I was worried about it going upside down. Just before we got on the ride and we could still change our minds my mother asked the attendant if the ride goes upside down.  He promised that we would not go upside down.  So we got in, the safety bar came down over our laps, the car had just started to move when the attendant called out to us.  “But it does go underwater” F’ing asshole.

It is not always the thrill rides.  There was the time, also at LaRonde, with my big sister and my friend Richard. Rich and I were hopelessly lost in the maze of glass.  The walls were all glass so you keep walking into the stupid walls not knowing where the real openings were.  Rich saw my sister on the outside and she decided to take pity on Richard and direct him through the maze.  She wiggled her finger indicating that he should walk forward.  Suddenly there was a loud bang and the entire building shook Richard, not knowing how devious my family can be trusted my sister completely and walked straight and hard into the glass wall.  Better him then me, but I’m smart enough not to put that kind of faith in family.  To this day I’m not sure how Rich escaped without a broken nose.

Then there was the runaway train.  I was terrified the entire time, holding my breath waiting for the sudden drop.  Then I saw the station coming up, the train slowed down to a stop.  I breathed a sigh of relief as the attendants stepped forward.  But it was a ruse, we had been tricked.  It really wasn’t the station, it was a mock station.  Suddenly the attendants were laughing as they stepped back, the train started moving faster, then the screaming as were suddenly  plunging straight down into the endless darkness. F’ing assholes.

After reading this one question stands out.  Why do I put myself in these situations?

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