25 Mar

People Will Do Weird Things When They Are Bored

Ed, my neighbor next door, was suffering from a full blown case of boredom last week. He talked to me at the post office Tuesday morning and learned that we were planning to travel to Yorkton in the afternoon. In his boredom, he asked to ride along to Yorkton. Ed assumed that we would be going to Walmart or the mall, as he likes to shop in Yorkton if it doesn’t cost him anything for gas.

In the car on the way into Yorkton, Ed found out that we were going to the Godfrey Dean Art Gallery, and his boredom turned to panic. My neighbor is a tough art critic. He only likes realistic art. He is very vocal in saying that it isn’t art unless you can see what it is supposed to be. Ed said to me that he supposed that I had some useless information to share about art. I said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Then I threw out some other quotes that I like for Ed. I told him the artist Andy Warhol said, “An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.” Ed agreed with Andy that people don’t need to have paintings especially if they don’t make any sense. Ed rejected the words of another artist’s words that, “A painting is never finished, as it simply stops in interesting places.”

22 Mar

Everybody is Eager to Be the Boss, Throw Their Weight Around

Ed, my neighbor next door, met his match last week. His uncle Fred arrived from Edmonton for a two-day-stop-over on a train trip to Winnipeg. Could it be, that if family members are, too much, alike then, things don’t go well? Is it like having a mirror in one’s face for too long? Seeing yourself, while you shave or put on make-up is necessary, but a glance in the mirror isn’t meant to take all day. Ruby said that Ed’s uncle Fred is an older edition of Ed, as stubborn, and as know-it-all as Ed.

Apparently, when Ed was in high school, he worked with his uncle in construction for a summer. His uncle was foreman and a tough boss on everyone. My neighbor said that his uncle never pitched in to work with them, but found fault with everything that the workers did. He was a boss who threw his weight around and made sure everyone knew he was over and above his workers. When his uncle got moved to another worksite, the workers rejoiced; until the next foreman came, and he turned out to be the same boss in a different body. Ed decided during that summer job that he hated taking orders. On the farm, he could be the boss of himself. Ed still sees his uncle Fred as a bossy, know-it-all, and his uncle still sees Ed as someone who needs his correction. The two-day visit was a long one for Ed.


22 Mar

Look Out, as Friends May Stab You in the Back!

Ed, my neighbor next door, does not take criticism well. Like most of us, he is much better at giving blame than receiving it. My neighbor has been bowling with a friend for years but recently their friendship ruptured like a loud sounding gutter ball. When Ed was telling me about it, I asked if it happened around the Ides of March. Things have been known to go all wrong on the fifteenth of March. I was referring to Julius Caesar being stabbed to death in a meeting of the Senate on March 15, 44 B.C. It was such a great act of betrayal lead by his trusted friends Brutus and Cassius, that even to this day people say, “Beware the Ides of March.”  March 15th is seen as a reminder that even your most trusted friends may betray you and your most permanent relationships may shatter to pieces without warning.

My referral to the stabbing of Julius Caesar resulted in Ed getting angry at me. He said, “Who cares what happened in 44 B.C.? Caesar probably deserved a knife in the back. I’m the victim, and my friend was the problem.” Ed ended by saying that it wasn’t worth the effort of complaining to me. All he wanted me to do was confirm that his friend was out of line. I disappointed Ed as usual, but it didn’t matter much to him. Since a trusted friend had stabbed him with words, he had to decide if he would forgive his friend or forget him.

Prove Yourself

6 Mar

The Final Score Never Tells the Whole Story of the Game

Ed, my neighbor next door, found his heaven recently. He was watching television absorbed in curling. My neighbor was glad to see his favorite teams proved themselves as winners in the heat of competition. One of his curling teams repeatedly lost, which had Ed deciding if he would give them another chance, or pick another team. Ed summed it up this way, “You have to keep proving yourself to your fans. A person wants to watch winners, not losers!”

Do our favorite teams owe us a win? Do losers need equal recognition for there can be no winners without losers? Hunter Thomson has commented that losing is bad for one’s imagine. For some like Vince Lombardi, there are no good losers. He stated, “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.” For many spectators winning is everything. No one wins all the time, yet, Ed still wants to see his favorite team win. Are there valid reasons for losing?


6 Mar

Colds Are Contagious Along With The Whining About Having One

Ruby, the wife of my neighbor next door, sought sanctuary at our house twice last week. She had to get away from Ed, who was suffering from a cold. Ed becomes a self-absorbed, whining baby, all six feet of him when he has a cold. I am not saying that about Ed, but it is what Ruby said about Ed. Ruby went to work early and worked late to escape Ed’s dying of his cold behavior last week. Twice she came for coffee and refused to leave after three refills. If you think it sounds insensitive towards Ed, please understand colds and flu bring out the dramatic in my neighbor. It is like he is working for an Oscar nomination for a reality show on suffering.

I’m glad to report Ed has recovered pretty well from his cold, and Ruby has come off her valium. Colds prove that sickness can cause stress to the one sick, but to their caregiver as well.  Recently, I was beaten up by a cold, and felt sorry for myself. Feeling sorry for one’s self is a side effect of colds, flu, and all sicknesses. It seems to be a quick choice when anything disappointing, unfair or bad happens to us. When we whine, “Poor me,” it never satisfies us, as one poor me leads to countless more, and we become positive we will never get any better. I read that if you want to be happy you should stop, or drop feeling sorry for yourself. I dare say that the person who said that has never had a cold.


21 Feb

Some Tests Can Bring a Person to Tears

Ed, my neighbor next door, was full of questions last week. He wanted to know why I wasn’t using, my snow blower rather than shoveling the snow. I told him that my snow blower needs a repair and won’t work until I fix it. My neighbor’s observation was that it was stupid to have a broken snow blower in the garage when it is now regularly snowing. I was to see that this was not nearly as important to Ed as me bringing a bunch of books into our house. That caused Ed to come over in panic on the pretext of needing coffee. “You haven’t changed your mind about moving have you?” he asked with anguish. Ed had seen me carrying books out of our house, as I have been donating books since our house went up for sale. Ed was a little calmer when he heard I was doing a college writing course online, and the books were reference reading. I have heard that men will cry in their beer, but when Ed heard that we had rejected a couple of offers to buy our house, he seemed to be crying in his coffee.

He claimed it was a little speck of something in his eye. I suggested that maybe Ed needed to pray in earnest that we would get an offer on our house we could accept. I then added that the only other answer was for him to buy our house, and rent it out. Then he would have his pick of neighbors next door. That brought a faint smile to his teary eyes.