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People are funny

02/04/2011 @ 1:53pm

It can be hard to hang onto your sense of humor, particularly in Minnesota where January is 87 days long.

We had another snowy day this week – not quite a blizzard, but a lot of snow.  According to the news, the storm would keep getting worse as it moved east and Chicago was in the path to get up to twenty inches.  I don’t have anything in particular against Chicago, but if it’s them or us, tough nuggies you toddlin’ town. 

I would’ve been happy to spend the day drinking coffee and looking out the window while I prayed for someone to make chocolate chip cookies, but my wife had to get to work to do payroll. Apparently her computerized bookkeeping system doesn’t have a button for “Snowstorm: couldn’t get to work.”  I’ve always appreciated that she pays half the bills, so I volunteered to fire up the four wheel drive to get her to town.

The drive in was…interesting.  No snow plows had gone by and everything was white – and I mean everything.  I could barely tell the difference between the sky and the ground, let alone see where the road was supposed to be.  I just focused my eyes on the horizon and headed for the middle of the gap where the road went between two groves of trees.  It’s not a technique I learned in Driver’s Ed, but it works, sometimes.

After I dropped my wife off at her office, I went to run some errands and kill a little time until she was ready to go home.  Turns out the town was full of people hanging onto their good moods. 

My first stop was to buy some chicken feed and I exchanged some grandchild talk with the lady in the office.  Her’s had visited over the weekend and she laughed as she told me that five minutes after he got there, “…it looked like a clothing bomb went off!”  I laughed out loud, because I knew exactly what she meant.   I don’t know what mystery of the universe is involved, but I’ve always been amazed at the mess thirty pounds of kid can make in almost no time flat.

Once I had the chicken feed in the pickup, I went to fill up with gas.  A young man was at the next pump, filling his snowblower tractor with diesel fuel.  I noticed a puppy riding shotgun and walked over to admire it. 

“Is he a lot of help?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said, “but some folks don’t like it that I have to charge double because it’s a two-man crew.”

The dog wagged his tail as if to let me know that he was getting his share of the profits.

I stopped in to see how my wife was doing, because the snow was falling even faster and I was ready to get home.  She wasn’t quite done and to get me out of her hair, she suggested I go pick up the mail.  Off I went to the post office and before I asked for the mail, I explained that I was acting as a temporary, unpaid, short-term employee.  The postmistress looked at me, shook her head, and said, “You need to work harder.  I don’t think that’s a very good job.”

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