Monthly Archives: February 2015

~ Something Is Burning ~

Sit back and enjoy a story of intrigue and suspense.  A mechanical crisis hit the Ladder Truck of 31-C shift, and I was on hand to witness the drama.  But since I couldn’t 1) hear or 2) understand their lingo, I’ve had to ad-lib a bit.  The following is my understanding of what went down…….

Something in the Engine Bay didn’t smell right.  An acrid stench of hot rubber and grease filled the air like a sleazy carnival on a sweltering August day.   With his super-human strength, Gravy heaved the cab off the axle and engine so the shift could better sleuth the problem.

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Capt: You’re right. This doesn’t smell good.  Something is burning.

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Capt:  Something is hot.  Very hot.  Hotter than a two-peckered alley cat.  Let’s get this cooled down.

Connor (to himself): How does the Capt. know how hot a two-peckered alley cat is?????

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Capt:  And let’s get as many eyes as possible on this, so we look like we’re fixing it.  We’re County workers, for God’s sake.  We need numbers, men!  Get everyone out here.

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Capt:  And Craig, go ahead and send a prayer up.  Between that and Simple Green, we should be able to handle this.

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Capt:  Oh good, more people.  Let’s gather around here and hem and haw, and feel generally testosteronie.

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Capt:  And scratch a lot. Scratch something.  You know that always helps.  Well done, Caleb.

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Craig:  Connor, I don’t know what you’re sniffing, but stop it.  It’s weird.  Unless by sniffing you actually diagnose the problem, in which case it’s cool.

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Gravy:  Hmmm.  This water hose can cool off many things…..a hot engine, a hot pump, a hot-headed Captain….

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Capt:  What the heck just hit my head?  Was that water?  Gravy?!  Did you just spray me??

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Gravy:  Er, what do you mean?

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Craig: Capt., is that thing over there supposed to be dangling like that?

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Caleb:  You’re kidding me, right Craig?  It’s called a Dingle-Dangle Transmogrifier for a reason.  Of course it is supposed to dangle.

Connor:  I think the Dingle-Dangle Transmogrifier needs more Simple Green.  Ain’t nothin’ worse than a dirty Dingle-Dangle.

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Craig:  And what the heck would YOU know about dirty Dingle-Dangles, Connor?

2015-02-11 21.01.38

Connor (under his breath.) : Enough to know that they like to be clean.

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Lt. Tom:  I’m going to go check in the bunk room, under my bunk, to see if we have any spare Dingle-Dangles.  I might be a while….say, 8 hours or so.

2015-02-11 21.07.27

Capt:  Hey!  What’s this!

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Connor: It’s not something I’ve ever seen before, sir.

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Capt:  I haven’t seen one in a long time.  Sure makes sense, though.

2015-02-11 21.08.04

Capt:  Damn. Never thought I’d see one again.

2015-02-11 21.08.06

Capt:  Gravy, pretend I can see you, and try to show  – even if you have to fake it – a modicum of repsect for me.  Or if not for  me, how about my pate?  And Gentleman, what you are looking at here, is none other than a two-peckered alley cat. Which, of course, explains why it smells so damn hot.

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Caleb: Should it be dangling like that?

Gravy: l think we need to spray it with more water.

Craig:  I wonder if I could sell that on E-bay.

2015-02-11 21.08.48Connor: Do you think we ought to clean it with Simple Green?  Do two-peckered alley cats like Simple Green?

Craig:  Son, I’m about done with you and your Simple Green. If you’re so hell-bent on cleaning, I’ve got a job for you.

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Connor (Under his breath): At least I know a dirty Dingle-Dangle Transmogrifier when I see one.

2015-02-11 21.12.02

Gravy:  Hey…Capt., is your wife going to put us in that crazy blog again?

2015-02-11 20.58.54Me:  Ah…um…er….Exit! Stage Left!


***Author’s note:  Any likeness of these characters to any real person is purely coincidental.  The views expressed herein are solely those of the author.  No two-peckered alley cats were harmed in the writing of this drivel.

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~ Cranberry Sauce From Hell ~

I don’t ask for much in the way of affirmation.   As Mama, one of the many responsibilities expected of me is exhortation of the clan.  I am the ‘Jack Handy’ of our home and family.  Feeling low?  I’ve got a lap and a hug for you.  Achieve something noteworthy?  I’ve got a high five and a celebratory dinner for you.  Angry at your sibling?  I’ve got an admonition of patience for you.   Have an aspiration or dream?  I’ve got the push to keep you trying.  I’m all about support.

And in return, all I ask is a little grace.

Like, when I attempt to make a low-sugar version of homemade cranberry sauce to go with a fantastic chicken and stuffing dinner, and it is maybe a little on the sour side, that you don’t have to turn it into a dare at the table.


I’m not saying that you have to fall over with untruthful flattery about it.  And heck, you don’t even have to eat it.  But I don’t think it is necessary for each person at the table to challenge the person next to them to see if they can ‘man up and eat a bigger spoonful’ than the person before them.  And no, the extra credit for seeing if you could hold it in your mouth longer before you swallow it was not cute.

And I don’t think it’s necessary to compare my culinary attempt to Warhead Candy (the one with the triple ‘X’ on the wrapper).

And the jokes about burning ulcers in your esophagus are unwarranted.

And the selfie you took with your cranberry-puckered duck face is not attractive.

I’m not asking for much, you don’t need to ask for the recipe, as if you want to make it too.  And you don’t have to lie to me that you are allergic to Cranberries.  But the crack about your urinary tract never having been healthier was uncalled for.

And no, I won’t make a batch for you to take to the firehouse as a prank.

But I know some people who, when opening their lunchboxes at school and at work tomorrow, will find NOTHING BUT jars of homemade, low-sugar Cranberry Sauce from Hell.

With love, your favorite Sour Puss.

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