1

I was shopping in my local Wal-Mart in the middle of the night on my birthday last Sunday when I happened upon a cell phone sitting unattended on a shelf next to the Pringles.

I picked up the phone with the intention of giving it to a store manager. After all, I would want someone to give my phone to store management if I were to leave it by the Pringles.

I was along on the shopping trip as muscle; I never know what I need until Gail tells me to pick it up. I got a bit bored so I decided to see if I could get a clue about the phone’s owner.

I turned the phone on…I browsed… I could tell that the phone’s owner loved her/his dog…a big black Lab mix with a smile that could melt an iceberg. There were pictures of the dog outside, on a couch, under covers in a bed…this dog had a sweet gig with lots of toys and the run of its house.

Other pictures on the phone led me to believe the phone belonged to a gynecologist/urologist that diagnosed problems by looking at photographs of the appropriate areas of her/his patients…some patients two or three at a time.

I quickly turned the phone into the store manager. When I told Gail what I found on the phone, she made me wash my hands.

Back in my day, I never took my porn collection out in public and left it lying about with my name and phone number attached to it.

Nothing on your phone is secret. Very little of what you have on your phone is on your phone. It sits just outside your phone in “The Cloud” ready for quick recall or subpoena.

Or… a snooping teacher, boss, or stranger in a Wal-Mart…or, even worse, Mom.

2

Three weeks ago the right front wheel bearing on my Honda committed suicide after dark. Gail and I were 20 miles from home. If I drove slowly, the terrible grinding sound dropped below a roar, so I turned on my hazard lights, cut my speed to 20 miles per hour, and got off the main roads and onto the less travelled back roads.

Gail and I were creeping along at 20 mph in the dark with our HAZARD lights blinking.

On our limping quest for home, only six or so cars came up behind us. Two of the cars slowed and passed when it was safe. Four of the cars rode our tail for a while and flashed their brights.

Three of those four drivers threw in the extra special treat of screaming, “F%&k you” as they roared around us. Rest assured that Gail returned their greeting…just one of the many reasons I love that woman.

Hey, sorry the HAZARD lights and the 20 mph wasn’t a big enough clue that we were having car trouble. Oh, and just in case those folks missed what Gail said when their heads were shoved firmly shoved up their butts…”F%&k You Very Much.”

3

My dog Otis thinks he can catch birds. He loses what’s left of his mind when he sees a bird on the ground. He strains at his leash and barks out what has to be the doggie equivalent of, “Let me at him. I’ll murdelize him!”

At first, my oldest dog Edgar ignored the birds, but Otis began to convince him that, if they worked as a team, they could get all up in those birds’ beaks and raise some dog Hell. Now Edgar will bark at whatever Otis deems necessary. When we first got Otis, Edgar would have nothing to do with him, but three years later, Edgar is backing Otis’ play.

I was hoping Edgar’s Jack Russell smarts would rub off on Otis’ Chihuahua/Pug single mindedness, but Edgar is the mountain and Otis is the scouring wind.

4

Don’t you hate it when your grown children don’t talk to you for whole years at a time and it would have been even longer if you hadn’t run into them accidentally last Labor Day and you know it’s because they are angry at you for divorcing their mother 11 years ago?

And don’t you hate it that they seem to get along fine with the guy their mother has spent the last 11 years with, but they show no respect for you or the person you’ve spent the last 11 years with and with whom they shared your house when they needed a roof over their heads during high school and college?

Here’s the damnedest thing…I hate it less every year. I don’t like it that my heart is hardening, but it is…what’s that about?

I very nearly knocked this last bit out of my blog, but, world, meet my dirty laundry; dirty laundry, meet the world.