Friday, February 25, 2011

Outhouse Races at the Guest Ranch.

I’ll be there – at the outhouse races at the Nemo Guest Ranch. From everything I’ve been told, the event is an absolute hoot and it’s coming up this Saturday, February 26 at the Nemo Guest Ranch starting around 10AM.

The premise is simple: build a mobile “outhouse,” get together a team and push, pull or drag your structure around a timed course. The team with the fastest time wins.

Wins what? I don’t know, but I’m sure the prize is something ’spectacular.’

There is a $75 entry fee for every outhouse entered and those fees go to a good cause. The outhouse races are part of a day-long event that serves as a fundraiser for a local charity. This year the beneficiary of the event is the Northern Hills Alliance for Children and the new First Step Child Care Center.

Last year, more than 1,000 people showed up for the fun day which includes: a bonfire, indoor and outdoor bars, a chili cook-off, a barbecue cook-off, silent and live auctions, a raffle drawing to win an expense-paid cruise and shovel races for the kids. I’ve never seen shovel races before either, but I’m betting they’ll be worth a good laugh, whatever they are.

It’s going to be a cold one on Saturday, so bundle up if you go

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Henry Snordbee, A Danger to Himself?

Henry Snordbee lives in Snordbee Cottage, Cloverdale. He is proud of his independence. His family has tried repeatedly to commit him to the care of Cloverdale's Nearly There Home for the Elderly and Insane. Each time resulted in a court challenge. Each challenge was defeated. Henry celebrates each court victory by hanging a red star in his front window. A drive by his home will show the six stars currently displayed. His children are not happy and vow to continue their effort, saying he is a danger to himself and the neighborhood because of his forgetful ways.

Henry does have his forgetful moments but quickly reminds the social workers that every senior does. Yes, he nearly burnt his home to the ground four times. Yes, he has forgotten to collect his mail, pay his taxes, collect his newspapers, etc. Yes, he forgets to fill his car with gas, blocking traffic. Yes he forgets red zones are for no parking and has, on occasion, confused the gas pedal with the brake (luckily with no injuries to himself or to others). He claims to have Heaven's only Guardian Angel forced to work overtime.

Perhaps some day Henry will lose his case and committed to the Home. But until them, Henry will cherish his independence and take great joy in driving his children to drink.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Melissa Loves Johnny

Johnny Walker of 34 Creek Lane, Cloverdale is on the lookout for Melissa List and has been since Valentine’s Day. Both are students in the same 6th grade classroom at Confederacy Primary School. Melissa became smitten with Johnny on the day of their class Christmas Party. At 3:15 P.M. Johnny’s hand brushed up against Melissa’s while they were throwing away Christmas wrapping paper left from the class gift exchange. Melissa looked deeply into Johnny’s dark brown eyes and instantly fell in love. Johnny, not realize his precarious situation, made the mistake of smiling.

Johnny is now the target of Melissa’s desire. Melissa spends half the school day focused on the teacher and her lessons, the other half of the day she stares at Johnny. Melissa and her friends stalk Johnny on the playground during recess and lunch. Johnny’s friends are supportive and do what they can to protect Johnny by creating a human protective shield whenever Melissa’s gaggle get to close. Melissa writes numerous notes, only a fraction of which ever get to Johnny, thanks to his network of interceptors throughout the room. They apprehend most of Melissa's notes, write something nasty on them, and send them back. Yet, she still stands undeterred in her devotion. After all, he held her hand at the Christmas party and whispered, “I love you” at the trash can (her version of what happened).

Valentine’s Day was the worst day in Johnny’s life. This was the day his friends couldn’t intercept Melissa's sure to come Valentine. At the appointed hour the sixth grade students were dismissed row by row to deposit their Valentines in each other's decorated boxes. Melissa's row was the first to be called. Melissa made her rounds as the teacher monitored from the front of the class. The slowly moving ribbon of children froze to a stop when Melissa reached Johnny’s desk. They didn't want to miss what would surely be the best Valentine of the day. Johnny looked down at the floor - his face was dark crimson in embarrassment.

“This is for you Johnny,” Melissa cooed as she held out a pink envelope covered in unicorn stickers and rows of XO’s written in pink fluorescent pen. Johnny sat motionless. The pause grew awkwardly long.

“Johnny, Melissa’s has something for you. Be a gentleman,” the teacher saw the situation and acted to keep the Valentine exchange moving. Johnny continued to sit motionlessly.

“Johnny!” the teacher said sternly.

Johnny reluctantly looked up, held out his hand took Melissa’s Valentine. Giggles filled the silent void. Melissa stared down at Johnny and waited for him to open it.

“Open it,” she said impatiently. Several students jumped from their seats to watch, not wanting to miss this true act of puppy love.

Johnny opened the envelope and removed a card decorated in bright purple, pink and blue heart stickers. A note was written in the same pink ink. “You get ten Valentine’s Kisses. Love Melissa”.

The bottom of the card was cut with ten pull tabs, each reading "One Kiss” followed by a heart.

“Is there a problem here,” the teacher walked toward Johnny’s desk, pulling students away and pushing them ever so slightly back toward their own desks.

“No ma’am,” Johnny said as he quickly stuffed the Valentine into his box. It was the worst day in Johnny’s young life.

It has been one week since Valentine’s Day. Johnny has yet to cash in any of his ten gifted kisses. That hasnt‘ stopped Melissa. She pursues him relentlessly reminding him of her special Valentine gift.

Johnny asked for advice from his brothers, sister and parents. Instead of advice, his brothers laughed at him, his sister warned him to be nice and respect the girl’s feelings, his father gave him a punch in the arm and an “at’a boy” and his mother gave him a loving smile and wistful look as she remembered her first true love.

Johnny has three more months of school. It will be the worst three months of his life.