"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How do it know? It must me magic!

Here we are in 2016 and it seems the magic of Harry Potter, Star Wars and the mystery of Vampires and Werewolves are never old.  Maybe that's because everything else in the world is more confusing than the fiction writers can dream up after a bad Chinese dinner.  But the older I get, the more things seem like magic.

Years ago, the biggest question in my first innocent recollection was, "How does a thermos know how to make liquids put inside of it, hot or cold?"  Then at the age of six I was plagued by the query of, "Where do the voices come from that emerge from the radio. Is it a very small family living in there? And folks making music on little tiny instruments who live inside the box?"

Then I wondered if there were other little people inside the traffic lights to shine their red and green flashlights through their windows to help us all be safe...I had a friend tell me they were the cousins of the people who live inside the
TV box in your livingroom who change the scenery and quickly put on different costumes as you turn the knobs. This made perfect sense to my seven year old mind, and  I guess as the years passed the people in the boxes painted themselves colors because they got tired of looking so grim in black and white.  "Where do they go to the bathroom?" I said to myself.  "Oh, How silly those questions are now that I have other concerns."

At least these wonders had to be hooked up to a wall with a wire that went somewhere to make them work. In those days anything that turned on with a switch, knob or button...had wires.  Wires went all over the place running along inside your house then out to poles of power which were alongside the wires that connected to other homes so voices spoken into telephones could travel along to someone elses' wires and into their house.  "That totally makes sense, right?"  You are connected by wires which have information, voices, power to light up bulbs and appliances and also the pictures which run along wires to reveal themselves as you turn on a switch or knob.  "My, how dumb I was to think little people lived in the boxes."

All got confusing again because they cut the wires and you could carry the handset to the phone around unconnected, "wireless" (All those folks who made wire, too bad for them, as they had to find other jobs.) And still somehow you could talk to the person you wanted by dialing their number.  But did the voice travel through the air?...Yes! they say. But I say, It must be wizardry and magic to tell a message in the air how to know which house to land upon and allow it to hook up with the correct person. (Must be like the thermos.)  Then I thought, "Do the air messages bump and collide with other messages and pictures as they travel in the air.  So many are up there travelling around how can they get to the right place?"  After a while you didn't even have to be near the receiver and you could put the phone into your pocket and go mow the lawn. Just think, "That message knew you were outside cutting grass...Wow!")

Along came pagers who were for doctors and drug dealers and people who had the money to pay for a device that buzzed and informed of a phone number or a person who needed their attention. These were important people who had special messages come through the air by trickery to land in the small box they carried...and I was sure there was a little man with palsy who ran around inside to make it wiggle and let the person with the "box on their belt" know they were needed. ("I can blame those silly thoughts on the fact that during this time I had five children in our home and claim half my brain had gone amiss.")

When computers became the "thing", the world wide web was soon to follow...web what?  Like Charlotte's web and spiders?  "Well sort of," my Microsoft Padowan son Patrick would explain, and then launch into a detailed explanation of how the different parts of the computer needed to talk to each other. (I never let him know I was thinking in my middle-aged innocence, "So are we back to having little folk inside a box talking to each other?")

Cell phones and texting are the worst advances to arrive in this century, and in my estimation are "The Devil", invented to make we, more seasoned citizens, feel like dolts. But the worst is using these instruments to talk and text messages while driving, causing many a problem, and traffic tickets. I have also seen young people sitting next to one another who feel they must text each other rather than speak, and I believe soon, like our appendix, our vocal chords will be obsolete!... I have gotten on buses in Seattle that are more quiet than our Church during the passing of the Sacrament as the riders busily tap away on their phones and I-pads. (Please see previous blog, "I'm not in OZ", about our trip to Washington)

Downloading bits and bites through the magic that happens in the air; games, maps, school work, movies and inconsequential information can clog the phone and the mind...too much information can overload and confuse or kill, quicker than any accident.

Streaming TV shows and movies is a mystery that goes far beyond the realm of my grey cells to comprehend. I have
given up trying to understand because instead of the old days of going to a theater and having the guy up above you in the projector room turn the switch so the film rolls. A person can now (through the air, mind you) tell the TV box in your house to let some other person or machine very far away start up the reel of film you want to see, and have it pop up for you to view...or if you want...on your phone, if you are bored, and have the time to watch, most likely while waiting in line to pay for your groceries.  (When else would you have the time to watch a movie on your phone) and how 'bout the fact that without a wire you can play a game with some stranger in another land far far away  who speaks a dialect of Swahili. Hmm, I guess that's best because if the person in Africa or Taiwan does the happy dance because he is the winner and claims victory in front of his friends, no one in your vicinity need know you lost the war, or the journey, or the quest or whatever.

How do it know?...I am beginning not care one little bit...or is it simply Alzheimer's kicking in?


Friday, November 11, 2011

OLD PHOTOS AND BLACKMAIL!, Chicken for Halloween!

Pat the Dad
My oldest son is complaining about the old family reunion photo on this blog...he was a bit "fluffy" at the time. (I think he was still handsome...but I'm his mom)  He has worked hard to lose the weight for his health and now looks like he did when he was in high school...a really handsome guy with dimples. But he hasn't sent me any new pictures yet.  When he knows you are taking a photo he makes a face like a sour-puss, (so why did we pay for braces all those years ago)...I'll put up some better ones when he sends them, so far he has sent one where he looks like a terrorist, or a bad guy from some James Bond movie, completely covered in black from head to toe!

Chicken Me!
Now... I have some bad photos taken which seems to be the delight of my family as they post the odd and non-flattering images as often as possible.  With my husband, and his sense of bizarre humor and penchant for teasing it is amazing more of the awful photos haven't been posted for the world to see.  Okay, so here is another awful one of me and I am beating him to it.

You see he is always wanting to be a chicken for Halloween. This year when I was looking for a few props for my "Glenda the Good Witch" from Wizard of Oz, (I am usually a Witch or Gypsy but decided I didn't want to scare the little kids at the door.) I found a chicken beak for him to wear and when trying to convince he to wear it...he took a picture with his phone...(those things are evil)

Several years ago I made him a giant chicken suit....I can make really odd costumes and wonder why I was not a costume mistress (can you use that word anymore?) for film or theater as I am pretty creative.

The year I made that big chicken costume, I went as Mother Goose.  He wore that suit with giant beak and huge chicken comb for several years until one year I made us matching Mickey-Minnie Mouse outfits.  I only wore that costume for one year because I caused a medical emergency.

I was teaching at the convent at that time and thought it would be fun to wear my "Minnie" suit during lunchtime when the patients (retired nuns and priests) from the long term care area of the "Sisters of Nazareth" convent...were having lunch.

I was fully decked out with huge ears and a polka dot dress as I wandered into the dining room passing out candy to the residents.  All was going well until one of the residents needed me to do the Heimlich maneuver as she sucked in a hunk of hot dog into her trachea and couldn't breathe!  I had scared her so much she panicked.  I totally forgot that some of the patients had dementia or Alzheimer's, and this one old lady thought I was really a huge mouse!  I had truly scared her as I came up behind her using my best Minnie voice.  I never wore that outfit again!

Last Year 2010 Halloween
Becca and Family
I love Rebecca,  her husband and kids getting into the spirit of dressing up (maybe it's genetic) Becca  is never shy about taking a photo...flattering or not...(She's a really good sport as her husband is the oldest of five boys and one sister...so like my husband he is a tease)...now with four boys...she is more than ready for anything.
Pat as James Bond with Broc, Meg and kids with Hershey the dog...on a Snow Board trip...so how is this better than the family reunion one at the top of the Blog?

Patrick NOW!
if Patrick will ever send a nice photo I will most likely faint...But...here is one of him I sneaked when he was eating.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Eighth Wonder, One Hour in Church

                        Eighth Wonder of the World...

Each day I see zombie people wandering aisles with their carts
Butts tucked into stretch pants along with other parts

The girl with a petition for the ballot, banning bacon accosted me first
However, it a large man in a wheelchair who protested her impudence

"How dare you deny me bacon for without it, I can not eat
Are you insinuating that's why I can't get up upon my feet!"

They have movies in a bin, some one dollar other's five
but why get a fiction film when this place has the action of a hive

For here you can get most anything your little heart desires
Like food, or drugs or guns to shoot and stuff to make a fire

Now some say Disneyland is the best place to people watch
But if you hit this wonder, your viewing pleasure goes up a notch

For you can get a parenting lesson on the aisle with all the toys
Which is near "Appreciation of Music," It's the place will all the noise 

Adventure and Romance is at the lingerie rack where a lone burly man
Tries to buy his wife a gift wishing she'd asked for a new frying pan

So if your cash is low for frills and can't pay the power bill
Just hit the local Walmart to get your entertainment fill

One Hour in Church

Can I dance the wool from my brain as this hour begins? 
Concentration is nonexistant so watch the big-cheek baby grin
I wonder, Do I have more sunsets behind me than in front?
Can I make this time count, so my rent on earth is paid.
Will I find the flakes of gold, from the small make something great
Why does the man who spoke for just a minute make more sense
Than the one with words abundant, voice thumping like a fan

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Skate for the T-birds? Never trust a Frenchman!

For some strange reason my husband has been blessed with an innocent face and most things he says folks believe.  I have heard people say he looks like a cop...and since his name is Patrick...he looks like, an Irish cop...an honest fellow.  Not So!   He is a Frenchman...and is as slippery as they come!

He is the master of words and can croon unbelievable stories that sound true...especially regarding me his sweet and innocent wife.  I have heard it said how rude the French speak, but I think mostly they are masters of disguise, and I know for a fact the phrase, "Never trust a French Man." rings true.

Please remember I came from a quite formal New York City family where dinner was only served on a white linen tablecloth, and one never told stories unless they were the honest truth...and his family of five boys were from a ranch in the middle of no- where and quite close to cave men in their behavior.  They also delighted in deception.

Soon after we married my husband would introduce me as his "little roller skating wife."  When people would ask, he then explained we had met when he attended a roller derby match at the Los Angeles arena and I was a jammer for the Lady Thunder-Birds rollerskating squad.  He did this with such a quiet and sincere voice and face everyone believed him.  At first I was stunned and would loudly protest, but he would shush me and say, "Now Dear, don't be ashamed of your past...and you were so cute in your tight uniform and were a very skilled roller derby girl! I fell madly in love." And much to my chagrin, over my complaints...most all believed him and were in awe of my talent and also a bit afraid that if confronted I would punch them out, since Patrick would then explain, "She has a bit of a temper, so watch what you say and don't set her off."

Soon I gave up trying to protest as I knew my words would fall on deaf ears once he had persuaded all within earshot, I was only shy and did not want anyone to know of my fame and talent.  So after a while I didn't try to convince others his words were a lie, hoping this would quell his enthusiasm for embarrassing me. Oh! not so.  It didn't work.  So, I then began to agree with him and added tales of my prowess and stories of my victories.  This did not stop him either, so I gave up and when he started with his deception of my past when introduced to new acquaintances, I would walk away in disgust and leave him to weave the tale of our meeting, much to the amazement of those listening.

I found this talent extended to the office where he told the office help his wife was a "little person" or quadriplegic, or double or quadruple amputee.  Most would feel sorry for him and amaze at his kindness and concern.  That he, such a big and virile man would have the consideration and compassion to care for such an invalid never questioning what he said.  All the while he was chuckling at their gullibility.

However, as the years past, some became aware of his deception and wild imaginative stories and knew he was a tease and that he would patiently wait to spring the joke that trapped his audience.  But they were never quite sure about his tales and always held in reserve the tiny possibility that he told the truth.  My daughter Rebecca and her family a few years ago dressed as nerds for Halloween and the photos were quite funny.   About a month later he showed the photo to a secretary in the office who had a particularly tender heart.  He told the story of how proud he was of his middle daughter who was handicapped..."Eugenia" and the husband she met at the institution, and the sweet, yet mentally handicapped children they bore.

The secretary, slowly and (knowing Patrick was a tease,) quietly with trepidation responded with sympathy and concern.  It was several days later he showed her a real photo of Rebecca and her handsome...very smart boys.  This secretary didn't speak to him for several days saying she had wasted her emotions and worry about him and his daughter Eugenia.  From then on she called him "The Devil", and "Doctor Evil."  He wore the monikers with pride!  Imagine!

While he was in Chandler he told the engineers and other Superintendents his wife was a "little person".  This happened when someone in the office was speaking negatively about some TV show regarding midgets.  He told the person he was offended by the word midget especially since his wife was a "little person."  Of course he said this all with a straight face, and then immediately walked back to his cubicle as if upset by the conversation.  I guess there was a buzz in the office for a while..."Is it true Pat's wife it a...ummm "little person?"  No one knew, and so they called to the office in Anaheim Calif...those guys had never met me and didn't know, or couldn't tell them for sure. And the men were not quite sure if he was telling them the truth or not, and when asked repeatedly, Patrick of course, would only bow his head and turn away with a few tears in his eyes.

I visited Chandler for the first time during Spring break from teaching at COC.  The first morning there I drove him to the work site at Intel and dropped him off so I could have use of the car.  I guess all the guys at the office were still wondering about the little lady who was Pat's wife...quite a match since he is over 6"2 " tall.  When I arrived to pick him up that afternoon I noticed the parking lot was loaded with quite a few men milling around and talking in groups.  Patrick stood by himself near the stop sign so I slowed to allow him to climb into the passenger seat.  I noticed several of the men had disgusted looks on their faces as they turned and walked away and when I questioned the behavior the reply came..."Oh, their disappointed your not a little person, that's all."

"Up to your old tricks again.  If you had told me I could have scrunched down in the seat and looked through the steering wheel to go along with the joke," I responded, as I had learned...It's better to go along with the gag than to fight city hall.  If not, he just would have invented some other story for his amusement!  It's amazing to me after all these years he can still pull suckers in (I guess there really is one born every minute) and hook someone to reel them in like an unsuspecting catch while he laughs like mad on the inside.  Often times the "catch" never learns the truth... "Leave 'em guessing and that's the best reward," or so he says!

Somehow, after all the stories he tells, I am starting to be convinced I was quite the skater,
yes I was....
I know I was...
wasn't I?