Ask Auntie Linda, November17, 2015

Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, I have visited Great-Aunt Virgie every summer since I was a child.  She still lives alone in the little mountain valley cabin where she raised her family.  The cabin needs a lot of work or it will fall down soon.  She is now eighty-six.  Summer before last, we noticed she was slipping a little and called us by the wrong names a lot.  Our last visit was very worrisome, though she never left her stove on or appeared to get lost.  She is getting paranoid, thinking her neighbor of forty years is trying to steal her tobacco lease and did try to cook some sausage that was off.  When we went upstairs to go to bed, mice had gotten into the upstairs bedrooms and the beds were covered in rat pellets.  A window had fallen out and the rugs had molded.  My husband repaired the window, leaky toilet, porch steps, put a new gas line on her stove.  Hers was leaking and she was turning it off at the wall every time she got through cooking.   We cleaned the house from end to end, outfitting the all the beds in fresh bedding.  She wouldn’t let us throw the moldy rugs, so we took them out, beat them, and sprayed with disinfectant.  My husband did some much needed plumbing repairs in the kitchen.  We worked non-stop for two weeks.

We talked to my cousin.  He has since taken her to live with him and his wife.  Great-Aunt Virgie wrote us recently, letting us know Cousin Robert will bring her back home whenever we are ready to visit.  We never intend to go back there after that last miserable trip.  We told her we’d get a room near Cousin Robert and visit, but she is insistent.  How do we handle this?  We don’t want to go to her house again.  It’s sure to be in worse shape if she’s been gone for months.  Reluctant Guest

Dear Reluctant, Talk to Cousin Robert.  Let him know you won’t make it to her cabin this summer, but would like to get a room and visit her there in his town.  Once you’ve made sure he knows the plan, you can write and let her know you can only stay a couple of days and will take a room near them.  Don’t let Cousin Robert mess you up.  He might want you to do more repairs.  Auntie Linda


Dear Auntie Linda,  I moved in with a friend while I was still in high school.  My mother is toxic and my father has a serious brain-injury.  I moved out because his behavior was inappropriate.  He had no sexual-inhibitions and grabs any girl or woman within reach.  He said whatever crossed his mind.  Even though he was a wonderful father before his accident, that man is gone.  Life with him was way too stressful.  I had to leave to save my sanity.  My wedding is coming up soon.  I want a story-book wedding.  My mother wants to reconcile.  I don’t want her or my father anywhere near me.  My mother is threatening to show up with my father, saying it is her right as a mother.  I haven’t seen her or my father in six years, though my cousins say nothing has changed.  My mother is still horrible, behaving like a total witch when she is crossed and my father is no better than when I fled home.  My life has been so much better without any contact.  I can’t go back into that hell and don’t want my wedding ruined.  Am I horrible to be planning to leave them out.  What do I do?  Orphan By Choice

Dear Orphan,  If you fear your mother will intrude bringing your father, maybe you should consider having a destination wedding with only a few guests you can trust not to break your confidence.  No one has to know your plans.  People do that all the time.  Auntie Linda



Afternoon Funny

Mike the Headless Chicken (Rooster)

May 11 – FRUITA – While most communities observe Colorado Heritage Week with events dedicated to pioneers, the town of Fruita has decided to celebrate with something that only the Western Slope town can crow about. Rupert PumpkinMike the Headless Chicken Day on Sunday will honor a 1940s rooster who for 4 1/2 years strutted around, fattened up on grain and preened for hens – all without a head.

Mike lost his head in 1945 when a Fruita farmer, anticipating a chicken dinner, lopped off the head of a young Wyandotte rooster. Instead of croaking and getting sent to the cooking pot, Mike the rooster wobbled away from the chopping block and resumed his temporarily interrupted barnyard activities with the rest of the heads-on chickens.

His headless life garnered him spreads in Life and Time magazines and a listing in the Guinness Book of Records. He had his own manager and toured the country in sideshows with a two-headed calf. He was studied by scientists, who determined an intact brain stem was keeping Mike going.

Mike’s fame faded out after he finally died from choking on a corn kernel, but now headless Mike is in for a revival of sorts.

Mike the Headless Chicken Day will feature a 5K Run Like a Headless Chicken race, egg tosses, chicken jokes, a chicken lunch and chicken bingo, in which numbers are chosen by where chicken droppings fall on a numbered grid. There will also be music, microbrew competitions and historic tours of the town.

“To celebrate our history in Fruita, we wanted to have something light-hearted,” said Sally Edington, executive director of the Fruita Chamber of Commerce. “We wanted to celebrate this little guy because he was very determined to live. We like that.”

According to old accounts in the Fruita Times newspaper, Mike’s determination first showed itself Sept. 10, 1945, when farmer L.A. Olsen tried to please his mother-in-law while he was slaughtering dinner. Her favorite fried-chicken piece was the neck, so Olsen carefully placed his ax to leave as much neck as possible on Mike’s body.

Chickens have been known to flutter around for seconds or minutes after being decapitated, but after a few shaky steps, Mike fluffed up his feathers and went about his business in the barnyard with the other, heads on chickens. He went through the motions of pecking for food, preening his feathers and tucking what used to be his head under his wing when he slept. He tried to crow, but only a gurgle came out.

When he was still alive the following morning, Olsen decided he might be more valuable as an oddity than a dinner and started dropping grain and water into his gullet opening with an eyedropper.

When Mike was still alive a week later, Olsen packed him up and took him to Salt Lake City so incredulous University of Utah scientists could study him. From that time on, Olsen and a manager he hired were the ones running around like chickens with their heads cut off. They took Mike and Mike’s head, which Olsen had preserved in alcohol, to Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlantic City and New York City. They set up photo shoots with magazines and newspapers and kibitzed with scientists across the country.

Olsen also dealt with predecessors of animal-rights activists, who blasted him for leaving a chicken alive in such a state. They begged him to finish the hatchet job on the Mike. But Fruita old-timers remember that Mike grew and thrived and didn’t seem much bothered by being minus a head. Gayle Meyer, who interviewed Olsen in the 1980s before he died, said he described Mike as “a robust chicken – a fine specimen of a chicken except for not having a head.” Copyright 1999 The Denver Post.


Joe spent the evening tossing down a number of beers at the local bar. It was after eleven o’clock when he finally staggered out into the cold and rainy night in an attempt to find his way home. With the weather as bad as it was, he soon became lost, and found himself wandering through the town Cemetery. He slipped while walking and fell headlong into a freshly dug grave. In his condition, the rain and mud proved too much to handle, and he couldn’t manage to climb out.
“Help!” he cried out. “Help! I’m so cold!”

Before long a  second, really drunk guy came stumbling along.  Hearing his compatriot’s cries, he remarked.   “No wonder you are cold..  You kicked off all your dirt!”

'That's just a figure of speech. It doesn't mean that whenever there's a rainy day you can go and spend it all!'

‘That’s just a figure of speech. It doesn’t mean that whenever there’s a rainy day you can go and spend it all!’


So kind of you to carry my brolly for me, Son!

So kind of you to carry my brolly for me, Son!

One rainy day at work, one of my colleagues, Thomas, came across from the other side of the building to ours. Just to start a conversation, another colleague, Peggy, asked, “Is it raining heavily outside?” Without any expression, Thomas said, “Sorry, I did not carry a weighing machine.”

Lost on a rainy Friday night, a priest stumbles into a monastery and requests shelter there. Fortunately, he`s just in time for dinner and was treated to the best fish and chips he`s ever had. After dinner, he goes into the kitchen to thank the chefs. He is met by two brothers, “Hello, I`m Brother Michael, and this is Brother Francis.” “I`m very pleased to meet you. I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful dinner. The fish and chips were the best I`ve ever tasted. Out of curiosity, who cooked what?” Brother Charles replied, “Well, I`m the fish friar.” Father turns to the other brother and says, “Then you must be….” “Yes, I`m afraid I`m the chip monk…”


Footloose and Fancyfree (Part 4)


Inez was good company, but didn’t worry much about germs. It kind of bothered Mother when she wiped the baby’s nose with the dish towel and then put it back in the dish pan. After that Mother told Inez not to bother with the dishes. She knew Inez was tired and needed a nap. Mother didn’t like it much when she let the twins run around without Continue reading