Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Moving On

A week spent packing up his in-laws' belongings and preparing their home of over four decades for sale stirred up a little dust and a lot of memories for the Colonel -- both of which made his eyes water more than just a little. 

The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda, her twin sister -- the beautiful and brash Miss Linda, and their mother -- the wise and courageous Miss Martha, lovingly and tearfully boxed up clothing and treasures representing six decades of the Jack and Martha Cannon Show.

As far as he is concerned that show was a hit, deserving of recognition and praise far beyond the capability of the Colonel's feeble phraseology.  So, he'll dispense with any further attempt at laudatory language.

Suffice to say, last week was hard, both physically and emotionally.

Two -- count 'em, two -- 26 foot U-haul trucks were rented and packed to the gills; one headed for Texas and the other to the Colonel's vast holdings here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere.  Per the Colonel's direction, every box had either "TX" or "MS" marked on it and every piece of furniture had a similarly marked strip of tape.  As helpers carried a box or piece of furniture out of the house, the Colonel and his brother-law ensured each went on the right truck.  

With more than a score of personal household moves under his belt, the Colonel has more than a little practice at packing boxes and packing trucks.  There are two cardinal rules to follow.  

    1. Heavy stuff goes in little boxes.    

    2. Boxes are loaded on the truck first -- floor to ceiling.  

Failure to faithfully follow the foregoing fails the faithful fellows filing in and out filling the truck. 

Packing a truck is a lot like working a giant, three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle -- once the boxes are loaded, all the stuff that didn't go in a box is stacked and packed in place, in layers, front to back and floor to ceiling.  Toward the end of this operation it is handy to have a fearless pre-teen to climb up on the pile and fill nooks and crannies with stuff.  

If you don't have a fearless pre-teen handy, a crotchety little Marine colonel with a fully-checked bucket list will do. 

At the end of the week, late in the night the day before the planned departure for the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere, the Colonel and his bride stood at the back of the truck marvelling at the job the Colonel had done packing one half of his in-laws' worldly possessions on a truck half as big as needed.

"Good grief, Knucklehead, is that a refrigerator up there on top?"

"Why, yes. Yes it is."

"How did you get it up there?"

"Not real sure.  The shooting pains in the Colonel's back are clouding his memory somewhat."

"How in the world are we going to get all of this unloaded back home?"

"The Colonel has been thinking about that all week, and he thinks he has a plan."

"Does your plan involve high speed in reverse and slamming on the brakes?"

"Um, yeah.  How did you know?"

"Knucklehead, this isn't my first move with you."

The Colonel is happy to report that no refrigerators or grandfather clocks were harmed in the making of this move.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Farm Surveillance

The Colonel thinks his phone has been tapped.

He also thinks someone is following his participation in FaceBook posts and discussions.

The worst part is the Colonel has strong suspicions that this surveillance is being conducted at the behest of, if not in-person by, someone very close to him.

Yep.  The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda is spying on the Colonel.

The evidence is just too clear and voluminous for the Colonel to come to any other conclusion.  He wants to believe that his bride of four decades would not trample on his rights so egregiously, but there's just no other way to interpret the evidence.   At least no other way the Colonel can cobble together enough brain cells to conclude.

He's said it before, and it bears repeating, the Colonel ain't smart and you can't make him.  But, it don't take a whole heap of smarts, nor a very sharp crayon, to connect the dots in this case.   

For example, every time the Colonel posts something on FaceBook about the commencement of a labor-intensive infrastructure project aboard the Colonel's vast holdings here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere, the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda suddenly makes herself scarcer than a government worker at an ethics rally.  How does she know that the Colonel's keen supervisory skills are about to be brought to bear?

The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda is spying on the Colonel.

Further, the Colonel thinks the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda is employing some sort of advanced smart-phone application that alerts her whenever the Colonel accesses the camera application on his phone.  The Colonel would like to document the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda in action, but the second he even momentarily diverts his supervisory attention to thumb open the camera application on his phone, she drops her tools and vanishes faster than a conventioner's morals in Vegas.

Look, the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda is no less intuitive than the average member of her fair gender, but intuition alone is not enough to provide complete situational awareness of the Colonel's very intentions before he even knows them.  The Colonel is predictable, for sure, but this kind of prescience begs credulity. 

It's just too obvious.
The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda is spying on the Colonel, and the NSA only wishes they were as effective.

The Colonel is even starting to believe that the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda has developed her own version of predictive software that allows her to see the future with regard to the Colonel's actions.  The Colonel submits the following regular interrogation conducted by the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda whenever the Colonel leaves the Big House.

"Where do you think you're going, knucklehead?"

"Oh, just out to ride Semper Field for a while."

"Semper what?  You mean the smelly old tractor you get stuck in a mud hole every other time you take it out?"

"Uh, yes, dear.  And, the Colonel hasn't gotten it stuck since last week."

"You haven't ridden it since last week, knucklehead.  What field are you going to?"

"North field."

"Be careful."

Did you catch that last remark, dear reader?  That whole 'be careful' thing smacks of a combination lack of confidence in her man and pre cognizance of his actions.

Seriously, how does she know that the Colonel is going to throw any semblance of caution to the winds and drive his rusty red tractor with less situational awareness and more immature idiocy than a college coed in a daddy-bought SUV.  

The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda is spying on the Colonel.

She probably sees him walking back from the field and knows what he's gonna say.

"Hey, Babe.  Watcha doin'?"

"Cleaning up after you, as usual, knucklehead.  Where's your tractor?  Did you get it stuck again?"

How does she know?  The Colonel rests his case.

The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda is spying on the Colonel.        


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Rebellion is Brewing

The Colonel delivered his annual address to the citizens and legal residents of the Tallahatchie Republic (a virtual nation state established with tongue in cheek and hand on wallet) yesterday.  It was neither televised nor recorded in any fashion, save indelible imprint on the very psyche of each and everyone in attendance.

The address was delivered in the cavernous family room of the Big House, sited on a ridge overlooking Eegeebeegee -- the Colonel's vast holdings at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere.

Excerpts, and description of the speech's reception, follow:

"Citizens, residents, and friends of our great enterprise: the Colonel bids you well and wishes to bring you up to date on the progress of projects and future plans to keep Eegeebeegee great.  Please hold your applause until the end."

The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda sighed and interjected, "Are you going to do this, now?  Wheel of Fortune is on."  

The Colonel leveled his steely-eyed gaze on his bride, "What part of 'hold your applause until the end' did you not understand?"

The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda returned the Colonel's steely-eyed gaze with her patented look that can cook a steak well-done, "Wasn't applauding, knucklehead.  Take your incoherent babbling to another room, willya."

"Who you callin' incoherent?" the Colonel retorted indignantly.  "Be careful that the Colonel doesn't declare you 'an enemy of the people' and have you deported."

"Deported?!"  The wattage of the Colonel's Lady's gaze increased exponentially, approaching temperatures suitable for welding steel. "Who do you think you are?  And, stop referring to yourself in the third person -- it's seriously getting on my nerves."

The Colonel comported himself, shuffled the ream of papers in his hands, and resumed his address, albeit in a lower tone and from a position out of the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda's line of sight to Vanna flipping letters.

"The long dreary days of the month whose name will not be spoken come to an end this evening.  Tomorrow will dawn with the promise of brighter, warmer days.  And, the Colonel assures you the tempo of infrastructure projects will increase with the lengthening daylight and rising warmth.  There is no project too tough for us to tackle."

"Huh!," the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda huffed.  "What is this 'us' business?  You mean 'no project is too tough' for ME to tackle!"  

Sensing an opportunity to deviate from his prepared text in response to the crowd's enthusiastic reception, the Colonel ad libbed, "The Colonel pledges a redoubling of his supervisory effort to ensure that our republic's workforce stays on task."

"Workforce?!  So, now I'm just 'the workforce!'  Listen hear, knucklehead," the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda intoned, using her favorite term of endearment for her man, your 'workforce' is hereby on strike!"

The Colonel deviated further from his prepared remarks, "Strikes, slow-downs, stoppages, and other forms of workforce rebellion will be dealt with swiftly and severely..."

"Rebellion?!  I'll show you 'rebellion!'  I'll stomp a mudhole in your Manassas!"

Sensing an undercurrent of discontent in the crowd, the Colonel summarily adjourned the joint session of the Congress of the Tallahatchie Republic and beat an organized, if hasty, withdrawal to the friendlier confines of the Oblong Office, formerly known as the Colonel's Knotty Room, to revise and extend the contents of his remarks for the record.

The Colonel hopes the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda cools off soon.  It'll be time to plant and tend the garden before too long, and the Colonel is loathe to bring in migrant labor.