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Fire And Rain October 25, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, Mindfulness, People.

At Bridge one afternoon, the fire alarm in the Church Hall went off.  I looked up from my cards to assess the situation.

Inside:  No flames.  No smoke.  Exit doors just steps away.

Outside:  A torrential downpour.  A real gully washer.  Thunder. Lightning.


After raising inquisitive eyes toward the blinking alarm box on the wall of the hall, no one moved from their seats.  Everyone seemed content to “wait and see” what the rest of the players planned to do.

The alarm rang out for about 30 seconds, then went silent.

After it stopped blaring, we issued a collective shrug and returned to playing cards, sensing it was a “false alarm” triggered by the staccato lightning strikes that had punctuated our play all afternoon.

Five minutes later, three burly firefighters in full regalia burst into the room.

They seemed as surprised by our presence as we were by their arrival.  After all, it’s not every day you see a dozen card players playing cards.

Regaining their composure, they strode across the floor and went straight to work checking the alarm boxes.

Glancing at the huddled trio, I sensed palpable displeasure that we hadn’t evacuated the building at the sounding of the alarm.  Waves of disapproval emanated from them.  They couldn’t understand why we were inside playing cards rather than huddled outside dodging raindrops and lightning bolts.


Sure enough, as they turned to leave, one stopped to ask, “Did any of you hear the fire alarm go off?”

All nodded.  (Even those few who had left their hearing aids at home on their dressers.)

“And none of you exited the building?  You just kept playing cards?’

All nodded again.

Hearing no apology and sensing no sign of remorse, he turned from us in disgust and followed the other firefighters down the hall.

Figuring they had a handle on the situation, we returned our calm and concentrated attention to the cards in our hands.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Elementary, My Dear Watson! October 15, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, People.

Who’s the first literary character that springs to mind when you think Aquatics Safety?


Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde?
The Green Hornet?
Homer Simpson?
Robinson Crusoe?

Hold that thought.

The other day we arrived at the beach for our walk and noticed a red and white striped pavilion-style tent on the beach, with a film crew bustling about.

We walked over to find out what they were filming and to ascertain whether they had all the necessary permits to film on the beach.

Not that I know which permits are necessary, but it never hurts to expand one’s base of knowledge.

Donald-DirectorThe director yelled, “CUT!”

Time for action.

I wandered over to ask what he was filming.

“Hi.  What are you filming?”

“A training video.”

My litigation background kicked in and stood me in good stead as I countered his rather terse response with a question designed to elicit additional scintillating details.

“What kind of training video?”

“Aquatics Safety.”

Deciding to expand my base of knowledge elsewhere, I scanned past the hustle and bustle of the film crew and noticed two actors sitting on the sidelines studying their lines.

Of course, at that distance, I couldn’t be certain they were looking over the script.  It could have been a Take Out Menu for lunch, but I suspected script.

Their distinctive dress was a dead giveaway.  In less time than it takes to flip off my flip flops, I deduced they’d been cast as the first literary duo that springs to mind whenever one considers the topic of Aquatics Safety . . .

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson!

What’s that?  You don’t see the glaringly obvious tie-in between Holmes, Watson, and Aquatics Safety?

Too bad.  I had hoped you could clue me in.

Anyway, BFF and I watched a take or two and then I got a chance to talk to Sherlock during a break in filming.

“Sherlock, you lucky dog!”


“I see you are garbed in a wool cloak, a woolen vest, wool trousers, and a deerstalker cap.”

“Quite right.”

“You will, of course, agree that that gabardine garb would be quite unbearable and, indeed, vastly uncomfortable, if the temperature here on the beach hovered in the mid- to upper-90’s . . . as it has for at least 98 of the past 100 days.”


“And I suspect you will also concur that, given the sudden recent shift in weather from the standard seasonal summer setting of “BLAZING HOT” to autumn’s vastly more reasonable”FUN IN THE SUN,” your gabardine get-up will NOT cause your get up and go to get up and go before the director’s done filming.”

“Quite so.”

“If you will permit me, I will go so far as to venture one further observation.  And that is this:  In light of the gorgeous cooling breeze blowing inland from the Gulf, you, despite your attire, will NOT perspire or expire from extreme heat exhaustion, no matter how many takes the director takes.”


“Ergo. Ipso. Facto.  E Pluribus Unum.  Quid Pro Quo.  Res Ipsa Loquitar.”

“Yes!  Yes!  Exactly right.  I see the reasoning of your logic and the logic of your reasoning.”

“I thought you might.”

“I am, indeed, one lucky dog.”

“Now, tell me old chap.  Just what do you and Watson have to do with Aquatics Safety?”

“Haven’t the foggiest.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Save Your Breath October 8, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People, Travel & Leisure.

Broccoli-Mocking-StewieSome/most of the stuff people piss and moan about “today” pales in comparison to the hardships endured by people trekking across the plains in covered wagons while gnawing on buffalo jerky.

Compared to the challenges endured during the Civil War and its aftermath, most of us have nothing to complain about.

And, yet, we persist . . .

We regale each other with nitty-gritty details of petty complaints in order to garner sympathy and attention for our insecure egos.

What a waste of time.

AirplaneNext time someone starts to complain about lost luggage or a missed flight connection or some other minor travel or traffic delay, I’m going to encourage them to change their perspective from feeling bad/sad/mad to glad.



Mickey-OKI’ll point out that the ability to gripe, groan, and grouse about an airline snaffu proves, unequivocally, that they did NOT crash land in the Rockies and get cannibalized by the flight crew.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  A Complaint Free Day (Cleveland Clinic Wellness) * Frankly My Dear (Before Morning Breaks)

Scrutinizing The Status Quo September 17, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.

Mickey-SurferAfter our morning beach walk, we stopped at the outdoor showers to wash the sand off our feet.

As we turned to leave, a barefoot and bare-chested man in his mid-50’s approached the showers.

He turned on the water, stepped into the spray, and pulled out the waistband of his swim trunks, creating a gap between his bare belly and his trunks.

He peered into the chasm as the water made its descent, scrutinizing the situation to ensure that his quo was status:

“Everything OK down there?”

“Yup.  Everything’s good.”

“Any shrinkage?”

“Some.  But we’ll bounce back.”

“Great.  Everyone present and accounted for?”

Mickey-OK“Yup.  All aboard.”


After taking stock of his nether regions, the man released the elastic waistband of his trunks, turned off the shower, and headed back to the beach.

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Two Hour Long Infomercial September 15, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Meditation, People.

Mickey-DiverI tuned in for Craig Hamilton’s webinar on Tuesday night, fifteen minutes before the scheduled start time.

Lovely music played.  I focused on my breathing and relaxed into the Now.

Just going with the flow.

The music stopped.  And . . . NOTHING happened.

I refreshed the page and got a message saying that due to the vast numbers of unenlightened beings trying to listen in, the server had crashed.

No worries.

The what is, is.

Mickey-SurferI decided to look around his website.

Turns out he’s offering a 12-week course in Direct Enlightenment for $547!

That gleaned intel provided the only “A Ha!” moment of the evening.   Although, to be honest, it might have been more of a “Ha Ha” moment.

I tried again to join the webinar to see what he had to say.

Success!  (In a manner of speaking.)

I managed to grab a seat at 9:27 pm and listened to Craig speak in a hushed monotonous monochromatic monotone for the next 90 minutes.

It took him that long to say absolutely nothing.  Then say it again.

I was not impressed with the information he conveyed . . . or the hypnotic, sleep-inducing manner in which he conveyed it.

Mickey-LoungingBottom Line:  I’m not signing up to take his 12 week course for $547.

Sitting through one 2-hour infomercial was more than enough for me.

I think I’ve seen the light!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Restrain Your Self! September 10, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, People.

Wikipedia ~ Handcuffs (in Public Domain)

After a short but heated criminal  trial, the judge asked the defendant if he would like to say anything before the court passed sentence.

Nodding, the defendant jumped to his feet.

His attorney reached out to restrain him . . . to no avail.

Staring defiantly at the judge, the defendant grinned, “Yeah, I got somethin’ to say.”

As defense counsel cradled his head in his hands and prepared for the worst, the defendant smirked and said,  “Your honor, you’re a fat, four-eyed son-of-a-bitch!”

With that, the defendant sat down, a smug look of satisfaction on his face.

His attorney looked toward the judge, hoping the judge would have a sense of humor about the comment.

With a small smile tugging the corners of his mouth, the judge peered over his glasses at the defendant and drawled, “Well, I daresay you may be right about your first two observations . . .”

After pausing to remove and clean his glasses, the judge dropped the other shoe, “but that last comment is going to cost you an extra 90 days.”

“Defendant is hereby remanded to custody . . . ”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Self Restraint . . . you never know when it might save you some time.

Inspiration:  a joke I heard many moons ago

King Arthur & The Ugly Old Woman August 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, People.

RWS_Tarot_01_MagicianKing Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighboring kingdom.

The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur’s youth and ideals.

The monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question.

Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and if, after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.

The question . . . What do women really want?

Such a question would perplex even the wisest man.  To young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch’s proposition to have an answer by year’s end.

He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: the princess, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer.

Many people advised him to consult the old ugly woman.  She would have the answer, but the price would be high.  The woman was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged for her wise counsel.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the old woman. She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her price first.

The old ugly woman wanted to marry Sir Lancelot, the most noble of the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur’s closest friend!

Young Arthur was horrified. She was hunchbacked and hideous, had only one tooth, smelled like sewage, made obscene noises, etc. He had never encountered such a repugnant creature in all his life.

He refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden but Lancelot, learning of the proposal, said nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared to Arthur’s life and the preservation of the Round Table.

Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the woman answered Arthur’s question thus:

What a woman really wants . . . is to be in charge of her own life.

Everyone in the kingdom knew that the woman had uttered a great truth and that Arthur’s life would be spared.

And so it was.

The neighboring monarch granted Arthur his freedom and Lancelot and the ugly woman had a wonderful wedding.

The honeymoon hour approached and Lancelot, steeling himself for a horrific experience, entered the bedroom. But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen lay before him on the bed. The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened.

The young beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared ugly, she would henceforth, be her horrible deformed self only half the time and a beautiful maiden the other half.

Which would he prefer? Beautiful during the day . . . or at night?

Lancelot pondered the predicament.

During the day, a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old ugly woman?  Or, would he prefer having a hideous woman during the day, but by night, a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous intimate moments?

What would YOU do?  Make YOUR choice before you scroll down.


Noble Lancelot said that he would allow HER to make the choice herself.

Mickey-and-Minnie-kissUpon hearing this, she announced she would be beautiful all the time because he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life.

The moral to this story:

If you don’t let a woman have her own way . . . things are going to get ugly!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Patience Pays Off August 3, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, People, Travel & Leisure.

TucanNormally I write more during the summer months.

Because I can write inside.

In air-conditioned comfort.

Avoiding the blazing hot tropical sun during scorching H~O~T mid-day hours.

But not this summer.

This summer I’ve spent hours inside getting back into Bridge.

It’s a great game.

My favorite.

But learning all the ins and outs of counting cards, bidding, communicating with partners, and playing finesses with finesse is time-consuming.

That’s OK.

Being impatient with the here and now adds to our suffering.

Mickey-LoungingLearning to go with the flow and allow life to unfold without futile attempts to push the stream pays big dividends.

Patience pays off as we pursue our pursuits.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  How To Be Patient (Raptitude)


An Amazing Super Power June 18, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.

Donald-Duck-MadOnce, when trapped on an elevator in the courthouse with a VERY ANGRY person who was spewing venom at a judge who had just ruled against him (as his “sister” nodded along and kept the vituperative juices flowing) . . . I decided to use my most amazing super power in a death-defying feat.

First, I stated the obvious:  “You said the F-word.”

Then I flashed a B~I~G grin.

Donald-Duck-LaughingInterrupted mid-tirade, he swiveled in my direction, glared at me, opened his mouth to tell me to mind my own fucking business . . . and then the grin on my face registered and he burst out laughing!

Humor may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but it can diffuse the ticking time bomb of ANGER with a single grin.

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Tip of the Iceberg June 15, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.

220px-PinocchioIt’s hard enough to know people we spend time with on a daily basis since we see only the tip of the iceberg.

Much of who they are is hidden below the water line.

It is next to impossible to know people we’ve never met . . .

Setting aside speculation based on fertile imagination.

Once we stop analyzing others to find their “fault lines,” we often realize that who they are is not an issue we need to tackle.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  In Which A “Doofus” Makes Himself Known In The Colonoscopy Waiting Area (Ally Bean); Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring About What Other People Think (Wait But Why)