Showing posts with label Humor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Humor. Show all posts

Sunday, September 04, 2022

TWO SCREWS (1/2” & 2”) STORY (published 9-4-2022; article #354)

Introduction

What is that photograph? Why did I take it? Papaw Aby William Wood would understand. As a child, his sense of humor inspired and developed mine! He was born on 9/4/1901. He went Home on 3/14/1983, when I was age twenty-two. His soul brought even more humor to heaven!

Since October of 1994 – when Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I moved to Moscow, Russia – I've been writing short notes, of daily events, on desk calendars. The photograph (above) is from my 2022 desk calendar, opened to September.

Yes, I'll go into the details. I hope that you laugh by reading my two screws story! I look forward to telling Papaw Wood this story, once I join him at Home.

The Other Stuff

First, I'll explain the other stuff in the photograph, by date.

September 1, Thursday: Meteorological fall began! (Yes, I know that astronomical fall starts on 9/22/2022.) My ol' 2006 Frontier and I went out and about. Tony, my barber and friend, gave me another best clip haircut, at Tony's Best Clips. My ol' truck got another good hand washing, at Synergy Auto Wash (Halls). My 9/2/2022 article explains the Wendy's meal that cost me $10.04!

My article of yesterday (9/3/2022) explains the WWII notes (on Thursday and Friday), the Saturday note on Mom and Dad's wedding anniversary, the Tennessee football team victory (over a “high school” team), and Biden's diatribe.

September 2, Friday: Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had a day off from work. She went to the grocery store, played “'Mater Lady” a while, and so forth. I published a website article. It rained, about 8:30 PM. (Yes, I write down stuff like that.) My youngest sister-in-law drove in from “Nashvegas.”

September 3, Saturday: aside from what I've already mentioned and will mention next, we had rain all day, until about 3 PM. My Georgia Bulldogs stomped #11 ranked Oregon, 49 to 3! Why did the pre-season AP and Coaches polls rank Georgia #3? Didn't Georgia win the 2021 national championship? Oh, yes! I wrote about their victory, on 1/16/2022! Go 'Dawgs!

Okay, that's the summary of “life, such as it was,” for those days – except the two screws!

The Two Screws

A few weeks ago, the tire pressure sensor, on our (the wife's) 2012 Nissan Sentra, came on, about once a week or so. It was always the right rear tire – down a couple of pounds. I could not find a hole. I used my air compressor to fill up the tire.

On Thursday, the first day of fall, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman made it from work to home, with tire pressure sensor light on. The left rear tire looked very low. After the tires cooled, I checked. Three tires were fine. The left rear tire was 12 pounds only! How she made it home, I don't know. This Appalachian Irishman had some work to do. I never did find a hole in that tire.

Yesterday, before the Georgia football game came on, I drove our car to the fixin' place, at Service Street - Knoxville (which had been Ralph's Automotive, years ago). When I asked, they wanted me to add them to my “Business Recommendations: upper-east Knox County, TN” list. I have done so.

They removed the two rear tires and floated them in their water tank. Brent showed me the two screws, which I kept! The 1/2” screw was in the right rear tire. (So, that's why it lost a few pounds of air, about once a week!) I don't know how Mrs. Appalachian Irishman collected that 2” screw, in the left rear tire! (I wonder how that tire held 12 pounds of pressure!)

The good folks at Service Street - Knoxville patched both tires and inflated them. The tires are fine now. I asked them to change the oil and filter and to do a couple of other service items, while I was there. They provide great service, and they are open on Saturdays!

Conclusion

By the way, did you notice that my ruler was “made in USA?” I've had that ruler, about twenty years. I wonder if rulers are still made here.

Well, this was my two screws story! I had to write a funny article – to get the bitter taste out of my mouth – from the article that I felt compelled to write yesterday.

Don't let the “woke,” socialist, propagandists screw you, America! Insist that they follow the original meaning and purpose of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution! (Okay, I'm sorry. Papaw Wood liked the humor of this article. Dad liked my “poly-tics” ending.)

Don't labor too much on Labor Day, tomorrow, y'all. I won't. I am enjoying my retirement well enough.


Friday, September 02, 2022

AUGUST 2022 - NO TN SALES TAX ON FOOD MONTH (published 9-2-2022; article #352)

FREE image of Hand Picking a Pepper, by People Creations, on PikWizard

Introduction

Howdy, y'all! Did you enjoy the 8/29/2022 article by “'Mater Lady” (Mrs. Appalachian Irishman)? After over sixteen years of trying, I prodded her into writing her first article. Let's see if she keeps it up! (Yes, dear, that's another prod.)

I kept a record of the food that we bought last month. The State of Tennessee did not collect sales tax on human food, in August 2022. I wanted to see how much we spent and how much “big money” we saved – just for the purpose of writing this sarcastic and humorous article.

Are y'all ready to dine on my words? Let's eat!

Context

The Tennessee State Government website, under Sales Tax Holiday, states:

For 2022, there are three sales tax holidays. The Tennessee General Assembly has approved two more sales tax holidays in addition to the traditional sales tax holiday on clothing, school supplies, and computers.

That website page indicates that one “sales tax holiday” is:

. . . on food & food ingredients (grocery sales tax suspension)[sic] which begins at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, August 1, 2022, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, August 31, 2022. Click here for more information.

If someone bought groceries – at 12:00 AM, on 8/1/2022, or at 12:00 AM, on 9/1/2022 – he was unlucky! The bureaucrats are precise, to the minute, on minutia – while they swat at gnats and swallow camels. (Adapted from Jesus' words, in a more profound context. See Matthew 23:24.)

Warning: the “click here for more information” link, in the quote above, downloads a PDF document, from the Tennessee Department of Revenue, titled “Sales and Use Tax Notice #22-10, June 2022,” which references “Public Chapter 1131 (2022).” The bureaucratic details are mind-numbing. Don't click that link! If you do, and read it, you will swat at gnats! It's already September. The camel has been swallowed.

Our August 2022 Record

8/06   $98.08 all human food. 28 food items.
            $6.13 not charged/”saved” TN sales tax (6.25%).
8/13   $95.90 ($4.38, 2 cans wet dog food, for Molly). 29 items. 27 food.
           $91.11 human food.
             $0.41 TN sales tax (9.36%) on dog food.
             $5.69 not charged/”saved” TN sales tax (6.217%; $10 coupon).
8/19   $83.84 (includes $4.69, one tube of toothpaste). 16 items. 15 food.
            78.72 human food.
            $0.43 TN sales tax (9.168%) on toothpaste.
            $4.92 not charged/”saved” TN sales tax (6.25%).
8/20   $19.90 all human food. 6 items.
            $1.24 not charged/”saved” TN sales tax (6.23%).
8/27 $135.94 ($6.00, 2 bottles laundry detergent). 37 items. 35 food.
        $129.38 human food.
            $0.56 TN sales tax (9.333%) on laundry detergent.
            $8.09 not charged/”saved” TN sales tax (6.25%).
8/31   $48.48 (includes $5.19 cold deli, prepared food taxed).
          $42.68 unprepared human food. 13 items. 12 unprepared food.
            $0.61 TN sales tax (11.75%).
            $3.31 calc./”saved” TN sales tax (7.75% Sevier County).

Total 08/2022 human food items: 123.
Total 08/2022 human food cost: $459.87. ($3.74 / human food item.)
Total 08/2022 TN sales tax not charged/”saved:” $29.38 (6.38%).

Analysis

Our financial software provides snapshots of our grocery expenses. The following are five snapshots, by year.

  2001: $2,387.60 annual / 12 = $198.96 monthly.
  2010: $3,149.59 annual / 12 = $261.80 monthly.
  2017: $5,037.49 annual / 12 = $419.79 monthly.
  2020: $5,799.43 annual / 12 = $483.28 monthly.
  2022 (8 months): $3,843.49 / 8 = $480.43 monthly.

Do you see how I can swat at gnats? I apologize for the minutia! We'd like to go back to when groceries cost us about $260 a month – in 2010. We'd settle for about $420 a month – as in 2017. We still buy about the same type of groceries – fruit, vegetables, lean meat, juice, bread, and so forth. We buy very little, if any, unhealthy junk food. Of course, our income increased over the years. The grocery bill, however, has continued to hunger for bigger bites of the budget.

By the way, yesterday, while my ol' truck and I were out and about, I ate at a Wendy's. (That's the first “fast food” that I've eaten this year.) The standard hamburger, fries, Coke, and tax cost $10.04! I remarked to the cashier that the cost, decades ago, was about $4.00. I, however, am digressing.

Conclusion

Thanks, Tennessee State “Guvrmint!” In August, we spent $459.87 on human food. We saved $29.38, which is chump change. That's about like buying a pair of blue jeans. You pay $25.00 plus tax. The store price was $50 but marked down 50% off. In other words, you did not “save” $25.00. You spent $25.00 plus tax.

Who knows? I may send a $29.38 check to the Tennessee Department of Treasury. They might be able to “invest” that $29.38 better than we can spend it. I doubt that they can.

Well, I've swallowed my own camel, by swatting at a bureaucratic gnat. I'm done! Y'all take it easy. My next article will be profound. I promise.


Monday, August 29, 2022

'MATER FUN with 'MATER LADY (published 8-29-2022; article #351; Mrs. Appalachian Irishman article #1)

Introduction

Hey, folks! This is Mrs. Appalachian Irishman (aka 'Mater Lady) -- publishing my first article here! On 8/28/2022 -- as I was taking the above photograph, of the prettiest Cherokee Purple tomato that I have grown this summer -- Mr. Appalachian Irishman commented that he would invite me to be a guest writer on his website. He said that I should write about the tomatoes. He was really goading me and making fun of my photograph taking of a tomato. Well here we go!

'Mater Fun

Let’s start at the beginning. In late April, I found out that a local school was having a plant sale. I went online to a website that a coworker provided me and discovered that they had several varieties of tomatoes for sale, at 50 cents per plant. They also had flowers for sale.

I bought about four dollars worth of plants -- six tomato plants and two kinds of flowers. I had the coworker, who had given me the information, pick up the plants and bring them to me at school, my workplace.

It took me a few days to decide where and how to plant the tomatoes. I put the flowers in flowerpots on the front porch, after a few days. I then decided to plant the tomatoes in three large pots, two plants to a pot, since I had three varieties -- Cherokee Purple, Better Boy, and Celebrity.

Mr. Appalachian Irishman has been a little leery of eating the Cherokee Purple tomatoes, because the first ones picked were cracked. He thought that they were diseased, moldy, and “full of rot.” He carried on so about this! I must admit they did not look good, but they were tasty. The latest harvest has looked much better.

Conclusion

That is why I snapped the photograph, on 8/28/2022, to send to my sisters and niece. It's the photograph, about which the man just could not resist making fun.

By the way, my youngest sister suggested having a good ol' 'mater sandwich. Good idea!

Editor's note (by M. Fearghail, “Mr. Appalachian Irishman”)

Well, dear! After all these years of trying to get you to write on my website, I prodded you enough to write your 'mater story! You have one article. I have written 350 articles (from 3/6/2006 to 8/28/2022). Will you catch up? I'm kidding, dear! I'm glad that you wrote an article finally. Love 'ya. Mean it.

By the way, I took the photograph, below, earlier today. I had to add a bit of extra humor, with a serious ending.

I was in the kitchen. In 2002, I designed the kitchen nook, so we could place a small table and chairs there. I can't eat at the kitchen table. Why, you ask?

Do you see nine tomatoes, six flowers in pots, and one laptop? (All the potted plants aren't visible.) There is no room for this Appalachian Irishman to set a plate or cup of coffee!

As a serious close, the large, green plant is the gift from my youngest brother and his wife. The gift was for my mother-in-law's funeral. She passed on to everlasting joy, on 4/30/2017. That plant has thrived for over five years so far. My mother-in-law thrives everlastingly.


Sunday, August 28, 2022

STAGFLATION & MONEY TREE: “Engine Air Intake Hose” Story (published 8-28-2022; article #350)

Introduction

A man might as well just laugh about it. What else can he do? After a while, it just becomes funny. Sometimes, it starts off funny and stays funny – sarcastically – such as this article.

This is a story about the “engine air intake hose,” in the context of Biden's stagflation economy and the money tree. Y'all might as well laugh with me! (Insert smiley face emoji here – if you “like” 👍 that type of silliness.)

The Story Begins

On Thursday morning, 8/25/2022, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman drove – alone, as the “new normal” – our 2012 Nissan Sentra to work. (My 6/15/2022 article mentioned our vehicle trade.) After arriving at work, she called to say that the “service engine soon” light was on. The car displayed no problems. Hum. What could it be? Our new, ol' car had checked out “A-OK,” mechanically, before and just after we got her.

At any rate, my wife made it home fine. I checked our new, ol' car to find nothing wrong. I'd already called the local Nissan dealership and service center, to arrange the next day appointment. (I plan to buy an inexpensive diagnostic tool, to see what “service engine soon” light means! It could save us money, if I can diagnose and repair myself.)

The High Dollar Engine Air Intake Hose

The next day, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman drove my new, ol' truck (2006 Nissan Frontier) to and from work. I asked how she liked driving my truck. She didn't comment much, but I saw her little grin, when she said that she had “done alright.” My truck didn't seem to mind. He rolled over to 186,000 miles on the trip.

Earlier that next day, I'd taken her car (2012 Nissan Sentra) to and from the Nissan shop. The appointment was at 10:30 AM. I arrived at 10:29 AM. I paid the bill at 12:20 PM. At least the part was in stock. So, I didn't have to get “favorite” sister-in-law (retired) to help or to pay for a one-day rental.

What part, you ask? I took the photograph, below, yesterday (8/27/2022).

Do you see the black flexible hose, with the piece that looks like a “walking stick handle” on top of it? (Clamps are on both ends of the hose.) That is an “Engine Air Intake Hose Part # 16576ET00A.” The old hose had a small crack in it. That crack had triggered the “service engine soon” light, on 8/25/2022.

What did that little part, plus labor, plus supplies, plus tax cost, you ask? Well, the following is from the bill (with my notes added, in bold italics).

     Engine Air Intake Hose Part # 16576ET00A  $102.35
     Labor (for about 1.5 hrs. work)                    $194.67
     Shop supplies (what supplies?)                     $27.25
     Tax                                                                   $29.99
     TOTAL                                                           $354.26

That relatively small part cost way too much! The labor was way too high! (The labor rate calculates to just over $125 an hour.) I'd like to have seen the shop supplies that cost $27.25. I might have wanted to keep what I bought. (Insert smiley face emoji here.)

Yesterday, I did some browsing, on the cost of that part. Nissan North America, Inc., in Franklin, Tennessee, shows the same cost - $102.35. Nissan Parts Deal, by Auto Parts Prime, Inc. – in South El Monte, California – shows the cost at $72.46. Wholesale Parts Express – in Lauderdale, Florida – shows the cost at $28.95. Now, $28.95 would have been very reasonable, but I wouldn't have waited, while the part shipped in from Florida.

On Thursday and Friday, I'd told the folks at the Nissan dealership and service center not to send texts to my cell phone. They did anyway. I did “STOP” replies. Their text, after the work was done, asked me “to provide feedback” on the service

So, yesterday morning, I checked to verify that the website was valid, and I provided my “feedback,” as follows.

8/26/2022: Sentra - Engine Air Intake Hose Part # 16576ET00A - $102.35 + $194.67 labor (about 1.5 hrs.) + $27.25 supplies + tax = $354.26. At least the part was in stock, and I didn't need to leave and return, to await service completion. Total time, from arrival to payment - 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM. Service was excellent. Cost for part + labor was too high. Sara fixed quickly, with no charge, the right front passenger window, which the driver's side main control couldn't roll up or down! Thanks, Sara! Service worked out. I've had service there before. Service is always excellent. Cost for parts and labor had been reasonable. That cost is now too high, in context of current stagflation. Three stars -- only due to high cost for parts and labor. I'll return, as needed. I hope that I don't have to do so for a long time!

Yes, the driver's side master, for the four side windows, would not roll up or down the right front passenger window. I'd tinkered with the master control. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had done so. Neither of us had any luck. I'd notice the minor problem, on our 6/4/2022 test drive.

Sara managed the service. Just before I paid, I'd indicated the problem and stated that we might come back, to have it checked. Sara went to our car and punched the various master control buttons – as we had done. Sara must have been “holding her mouth right,” as folks say around here! The driver's side master can lower and raise that window now! That's why Sara got my thanks!

Yes, as a man, I will admit when a woman does something mechanical that I couldn't do. It doesn't happen often. (Insert smiley face emoji here.) I hear you laughing!

Stagflation and Money Tree

Ol' man Webster (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) defines “stagflation” as “persistent inflation combined with stagnant consumer demand and relatively high unemployment.” Y'all know what that it. We're in it. A Forbes article, of two months ago, told us it was coming. See “Stagflation: Causes And When It Will Come,” by Bill Conerly, Senior Contributor, Forbes, 6/28/2022, 7:30 AM EDT.

My readers, who are old enough, remember the “good old days” of Jimmy Carter stagflation. Those “good old days” are back! (Insert smiley face sarcastic emoji here.)

At some point, I may write another article on the USSA Money Tree ($Tree). I searched my website by “Money Tree” and picked five articles to reference here. Four are from last year: 2/28/2021, 3/22/2021, 4/2/2021, 5/22/2021. One is last month: 7/27/2022.

Earlier this month (August 2022), the Democrat Socialists and Biden, the First President of the USSA, printed more Monopoly Money – on 8/16/2022 and 8/24/2022. For 8/16/2022, see “Biden signs $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act into law, slams GOP for voting against the tax, climate deal,” by Brooke Singman, Fox News, 8/16/2022, 4:16 PM EDT. For 8/24/2022, see “Forgiving $10,000 in student debt could cost the U.S. $300 billion,” on CBS News Money Watch, by Aimee Picchi, updated 8/24/2022, 5:47 PM.

That's a total of $1,039,000,000,000 ($1.039 trillion) in Monopoly Money – in one month! (Insert smiley face sarcastic emoji here.)


On 6/6/2022, D-Day anniversary, I'd noticed a viewer spike on my article of 2/24/2013, “'ELIMENTRY' LESSONS for the 'GUVERMINT EDUKATED, SO$IALIST' FOLK.” I'd wondered what had spiked views, in 2022, to an article I'd written over nine years ago. Who knows? I may publish an article or podcast that is similar to that one. You can too! Just find the facts, shave off eight zeros, and apply to a household budget – as my “Lesson #1” did, in my article of over nine years ago.

Conclusion

My “Engine Air Intake Hose” story, in this article, is one example – of billions (pardon the pun) – of Biden's stagflation economy. I don't blame Biden exclusively. From Trump, going farther back, the “guvermint” has been “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul,” for decades.

Pick either US Treasury Debt to the Penny, US Debt Clock.org, USA Debt Clock.com, or Worldometer United States National Debt – to see the USSA debt keep piling up. The spinning numbers on three of those websites will mesmerize you!

The USSA keeps spending itself into “Socialist Utopian Oblivion.” Don't worry! A man might as well just laugh about it. What else can he do – except write another article?


Saturday, August 20, 2022

MAYBERRY VALUES - BIBLICAL VALUES (published 8-20-2022; article #347)

Public domain image from CuteWallPaper.org

Introduction

On the morning of August 11th, 2022, I had been just sottin' thar thinkin'.” I recalled the previous evening, when Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had watched an episode of The Andy Griffith Show. (Molly, our ol' puppy, had been watching with us, or bouncing in and out of the house, or playing the “got 'ems” game with me.) The episode included the Darlings. We'd seen it many times, but we enjoyed the show and the musical numbers, once again.

Today – while I ate a handful of potato chips – I realized that I'd not yet finished and published this article. (I eat a few potato chips, once or twice a year. The potato chip bag is still half full bag. The “best use by date” is 11/2021.)

This article has a humorous and serious side – as The Andy Griffith Show does. Please enjoy the humor, but stay around for the serious conclusion.

Mayberry Values

The Andy Griffith Show aired on TV from 1960 to 1968. Reruns are on TV to this day. I hope that they continue. What were “Mayberry values?” Those who watch the reruns know.

Did you know that the Darling family (and their music) were actually The Dillards, a bluegrass group? I didn't, until I did the research. See “The Darlings were actually The Dillards on 'The Andy Griffith Show,'” by Cheryl E. Preston, 12 months ago, in Entertainment, on Vocal Media Geeks.

Did you know that Rodney Dillard was an original member of The Dillards? The Dillards website states:

Rodney Dillard, as founding member of the legendary group, ‘THE DILLARDS’ (aka the Darlings), is seen nearly everyday somewhere in the world thanks to the still enormous popularity of The ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW reruns.

The Dillards website includes The Mayberry Values section, which states:

The Andy Griffith Show has captured the hearts of Americans since the 1960’s. Its emphasis on family values, Christian principles and simply “doing the right thing” made it the most popular show in television history.

RODNEY DILLARD was one of the beloved “Darling boys” on many episodes.

The Mayberry Values section indicates that Rodney Dillard and his wife are or have been:

. . . bringing a wonderfully acclaimed program to churches all over America, proclaiming those cherished MAYBERRY VALUES that are so rapidly disappearing in our society today. Using humor, stories, testimonies, scriptures, song and video presentations, the Dillards are able to touch and inspire families and individuals of all ages. As they say in Mayberry, lets get “all keyed up” – this time for the Lord.

As far as I can figure, Rodney Dillard and his wife are still living, but could be near age 80. I trust that they “keyed up” many “for the Lord.”

Where's the music, you ask? Dillardgrass (on YouTube) includes nine songs (with video) on The Andy Griffith Show Playlist. So, sit back, turn up the volume, and listen to those songs – “ifn ya want to.” I'm partial to Andy Griffith - Leaning On The Everlasting Arms.

Biblical Values

I found Mayberry Podcasts interesting. I listened to a couple of recent podcasts. Y'all might want to visit there and listen a while. I'd suggest “Episode 91 – Sin Is Sin, by Brian, 8/12/2022,” as it fits the theme of this article.

The “Articles on Worldviews in Conflict” section of my website lists three articles that I published, in June, 2022 – on 6/7/2022, 6/26/2022, and 6/30/2022. I thought about including this article in that section, but I didn't. The reading, or re-reading, of those three articles would be helpful.

Have you read Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, in the inspired gospel of Matthew, chapters five to seven? The Bible Gateway website has Jesus' sermon online in NIV translation.

Reading Jesus' Sermon on the Mount encapsulates and defines biblical values. Many other sections of God's inspired word, the Bible, affirm and define biblical values. This article simply points to the Bible, to read – correctly, in immediate and remote contexts of passages – and to understand biblical values. To readers who doubt the Bible and critique its value system, remember that a text, taken out of context, is pretext. (I may unpack that, in a future article or podcast.)

Conclusion

Mayberry values” are biblical values. A return to “Mayberry values” is not nostalgia. This once great nation should repent and return to those values – if the majority of folks would decide to do so.

Old fashioned” biblical values will not be “out of style” on Judgment Day. Are you ready for that day? If not, you are welcome to contact me. I can help you!

Best of luck, to you and yours!” “Tell them, Gomer says hey!”


Thursday, August 04, 2022

REDNECK TOILET HANDLE (published 8-4-2022; article #344)

Introduction

An outhouse does not need to flush. Water does not fill a tank. There is no need for a handle to connect to the lever that lifts the flap, to flush an outhouse. An outhouse is easier.

Redneck Toilet Handle

Yesterday, after I got up, from sitting on my indoor toilet, I pushed down the plastic handle to flush the porcelain throne. The plastic connection from the handle to the flush lever (inside the tank) broke. I had to remove, from the top of the tank, my reading library, soap container, and box of matches. I took the lid off the tank. I raised the flush lever to flush the throne.

I pondered on how to fix the problem. I could drive to the gettin' place, to buy another toilet handle and lever – probably made in China. The other option was the redneck solution! I took the photograph, below, after my work was done.

Do you see the new handle! I took an Allen wrench from a toolbox in the garage. I wrapped enough Duck tape around the short end, so it would fit into the opening in the lever (inside the toilet). It worked! I placed the lid back on the tank. I placed my reading library, soap container, and box of matches on top of the lid.

The photograph includes the broken toilet handle (that I'd tried to glue and Duck tape back together) and a nail (that I'd tried to use to make a new handle). The nail head was too large to fit into the opening in the lever. The glue and Duck tape didn't hold.

Yes, I keep a plunger next to my throne. I don't need to read my library, while I'm sitting on my throne. I just like the way my bathroom library looks. I enjoy the comments by folks who visit, for the first time, and use my toilet. Folks who have come by enough times know about my bathroom library.

Conclusion

My 5/1/2022 article includes a section “3/27, Sunday: Coat Hanger.” I had replaced the plastic rod that adjusts the blinds with a coat hanger. That was educated, country boy ingenuity.

I though that you would like to know that I've done it again! This article is another example of redneck practicality. Why do I keep a box of matches at my toilet? Well, y'all figure it out!


Tuesday, August 02, 2022

“RESIST THE DEVIL, AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU” - JUMP FROM THE BARN LOFT: THE HORNETS THEN THE BULL (published 8-2-2022; article #343)

Introduction

Howdy, y'all! To my viewers in East Tennessee, don't we need more rain? It's been too dry for too long! Okay, that was my dry humor – on yet another partly cloudy day. I reckon that the rain may hit later this afternoon, as usual, unless it goes around us again.

The inspiration for this article is from “The Bull and Baseball,” on Blind Pig & the Acorn, 7/22/2022, by guest writer, Garland Davis. Please pause reading here, to read that article. It's a down right funny one! Garland Davis explains how the bull “took up the shortstop’s position.” His words created a video image in my mind! I entered a comment on that article, on 7/22/2022. Thanks, Tipper, for publishing Garland's article!

This is Not the Bull

The photograph, below, is not part of my story. It may, however, help you imagine the video that I hope my story creates in your mind.

Free image of “Black and white bull in the barn” by FreePik

The bull is not “in the barn!” He's in the barnyard. That bull does look as big and mean – as the bull that I hope that my mental image video will create for you.

My Hornets then the Bull Story

The Setting

When I was a boy, Mom and Dad rented the old Livesay place – just off dead man's curve, near Highway 11W. The old farm house had an upstairs and downstairs. The coal furnace was in the unfinished basement. (Mom stored her canning on the basement shelves.) The pump piped spring water from the spring house to the house. (The spring house was about 100 yards or so from the house.) Dad heated with either coal or wood. (I busted up a lot of coal and split a lot of wood.) The wood stove in the living room and the coal or wood stove in the kitchen helped the furnace (when it worked). We knew how to sleep under several layers of blankets in winter. Mom and Dad moved us to our new home, in 1974, the year that I started high school. The old Livesay place served Mom, Dad, and us four boys. (My youngest brother was born in 1973, so he doesn't remember the Livesay place very well.)

The Livesay homeplace was part of the Livesay farm. I had a lot of fun, roaming the fields and hills. Two barns, another barn for tractors and such, a smoke house, a chicken coop, and an old two-seater outhouse were meant for exploring – well, except the outhouse. We had indoor plumbing.

I'm the eldest of four boys. I was lucky to have two guys, my age, nearby. We all lived within a few cow fields of each other. One of the guys had a younger brother, who was about the age of my next to eldest brother. The five of us boys hiked, camped, built a couple of tree houses, jumped our bicycles across cow ponds, swung on grapevines, skated on iced ponds, snow sledded, had firecracker and BB gun wars, had tobacco stick wars in barn rafters, and had a lot of fun together. I'm surprised that we survived childhood.

The “Jump from the Barn Loft” Game

One game that we played was “jump from the barn loft.” One of the barns had a way to climb up to the loft. The loft had a door (usually open) that opened to the ground below (where humans, cattle, tractors, and wagons could come and go). Hay bales could be tossed from the ground up to the loft, or visa versa, through that door. The drop from the loft to the dirt below was about six feet or so – as well as I can remember.

My buddies and I played “jump from the barn loft” often enough. It was fun! We often played tag while doing it. Often in who got tagged order, we'd take turns, in a line, jumping from the loft to the dirt below. We'd go back around, climb back up, and jump again – several times – until we got tired.

My Last Jump

On a fine, sunny, summer day, the five of us boys were hard at our game! We'd been at it a while. It was getting close to noon – or dinner time – or “lunch,” as Northerners call it. Mom had vittles for us. We were hungry.

I was the last to jump. My buddies had already jumped and headed to the house. I must have been piddling around a while by myself. (Start your mental video recording now.) I smacked the top of the loft, with my left hand, before I jumped. I remember yelling “Geronimo!” I was feeling my oats!

The Hornets then the Bull

I don't know why that we hadn't seen the hornets nest, up in the dark, left corner! I had smacked their nest. The hornets came after me, as I landed on the barn floor.

The bull greeted me. (We had been warned to watch out for him. We hadn't seen him. I saw him, about a second after I'd jumped!) He was standing near where I'd landed, looking mean. He dug one front hoof into the dirt. He snorted.

I took off running out of the barn, through the field, and toward the house! The fence line was about 40 yards away from the barn. The house was about another 100 or more yards from the fence line. The hornets stung me a few times. The bull chased me. I could hear him snort – as I ran -- while the hornets were stinging me.

I out ran the bull and slid under the barbed wire fence, just in time. (Our dogs, Bandit and Blackie, had dug out a spot under the fence, so they could cross under.) That saved me from the bull!

The hornets were still after me. I had to jump over a gate, to get to the gravel road that lead to the house. (Usually, I'd climb over the gate. I managed to jump over it that day!) I ran into the kitchen through the open screen door. I recall hollering, “Open the door! Hornets are chasing me!” Someone held the door open. The metal spring closed the door automatically, once I was inside. That stopped the hornets. Hornets bounced against that screen door a while but left finally.

Mom, bless her heart, treated my hornet stings – about four or five, mostly on my neck and head. I finally ate my dinner. I had to take it easy a couple of days, so Mom could keep treating the hornet stings until they healed. My buddies and I didn't play “jump from the barn loft” a while – if we ever did again. (You may turn off your mental video recording. Be sure to save the tape!)

Conclusion

Over the years, I have told my “the hornets then the bull” story many times. I've told it to young folks – at youth rallies, at church camps, and so forth – to make a spiritual point, which I will do next.

The inspired apostle Peter wrote:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:6-11, NIV)

The inspired James wrote:

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, NIV)

I “resisted” those hornets and that bull – by running away fast! My “resistance” did not force the hornets and the bull to flee from me. I had to flee from them!

The devil, or Satan, is a “roaring lion,” who wishes “to devour” us. Satan, however, is not as powerful as we think he is. When we submit to God, cast our cares on Him, endure suffering a little while, and resist the devil, then Satan will run away from us! Yes, Satan may “devil” us plenty, but it will be only a little while – when we think in the everlasting perspective.

Lord, my faith stands firm and trusts in you! Devil, I resist you, by faith in Christ, so tuck tail and run away from me! Satan, you lose. God wins. I stand firmly with the winning team.

Y'all are welcome to share my “hornets then the bull” story – either just for fun or, more importantly, to help folks tell the devil to go run off somewhere else and to leave them alone! If folks submit to God and resist the devil, that lying Satan will flee from them.