Sally in The MIX

Friday, September 23, 2016

The ‘Shotgun!’ Rules

I am an only child. Strangely, all my first cousins were also the one and only child of their parents.

I don’t know what was going on back then. Maybe it was something in the water. The result was neither I nor my cousins knew about “calling shotgun.”

So when my own three children (maybe the water improved) started “calling shotgun,” they had to explain the rules to me. Of course the rules change quite often, and even expand as the grandchildren begin showing up.

So for all future parents of multiples and grandparents, here are some of the official rules for “calling gunshot,” or, for those still not in the know, this determines who gets to sit in the front passenger seat.

The shotgunner must be in clear sight of the car, and shotgun can be called regardless of whether the driver is in sight of the car.

If you are the first to be picked up on a journey you are automatically given shotgun. You retain this position for the entire journey, unless you violate rules 10, 13, 18 or any other rules stipulating the loss of shotgun.

You cannot declare shotgun if someone has previously declared shotgun for that journey.

When simultaneous shotgun is called, there is then a foot race to the passenger side door from all the people who called.

Shotgun cannot be called while inside a building (unless you are in a multi-story or underground parking garage).

Shotgun cannot be called in advance, only while on the way to the car for the journey.

Once shotgun has been called the driver has the option of a reload. The driver yells “reload” and this means that all previous calls of shotgun are void and the first person to call shotgun again gets the seat. This is helpful if the driver really doesn’t like the person who first called shotgun. It is often used when there is a simultaneous call and the driver is unsure of the outcome. Note that a shotgun has only two barrels so a reload can only be called once.

If the regular driver of the vehicle is drunk or otherwise unable to perform their duties as driver, then he/she is automatically given shotgun.

Once the journey has begun, the driver is the controller of the musical entertainment. However if they feel the road requires their full attention, music duty is passed to the shotgunner. However putting on crap tunes or allowing for silence will result in demotion to the back seat.

Anyone calling shotgun must have his or her shoes on. This is to stop people running outside and calling shotgun, then having to go back inside to put their shoes on and slowing the journey. This is known as the Shoe Rule.

Shotgun overrules Dibs and other girly calls!

When travelling with a couple, one of the couple MUST shotgun the front. No one wants to chauffer two of their mates while they are in the back all over each other.

If someone has successfully called shotgun, they have the right to the front seat. They do not have the right to correct the driver on their navigation skills or driving ability. If the passenger does this, then they forfeit their position as shotgun holder.

If someone says, "what’s shotgun?" after it has been called then they have to walk.

If the shotgunner attempts to open the door just as the driver is unlocking it and jams the lock half open so that the driver needs to lock it and unlock it again, the shotgunner forfeits their position. This is known as shotgun suicide.

Automatic "couple's rights act 1997." This law states that, if the driver is the boyfriend/girlfriend of a passenger in the car, that passenger has the right to the seat of their choice.

If one of the potential occupants of the vehicle is dressed (convincingly) as a pirate then they are given automatic shotgun. In the event of more than one pirate being present, a sword fight shall determine the successful shotgunner. This is known as The Pirate Rule.

When riding in a two or three door car, it is the responsibility of the shotgunner to allow rear passengers in and out of the car, NOT THE DRIVERS regardless of weather conditions.

Obviously the previous rule on the subject didn’t clarify things completely with everyone coming up with a new rule that overrules shotgun. NOTHING overrules shotgun. Shotgun is final and cannot be overruled!

It is the shotgunner’s responsibility to be on the lookout for police and cameras. If the shotgunner doesn't spot a speed camera and this results in a speeding ticket it is immediately their fault and not the drivers.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Football Funnies

We are nearly to fall and we’re already into football and I am happy. Yes, this grandma is a football fan, and most everyone knows that.

So one of my Fhunny Fhilosophers shared the following with me this week. I laughed. I hope you do too, and seriously consider the truth (Ha-ha-ha) in the following Football Fhunny Fhilosophies.

-“It is better to have died a small boy than to fumble the football.” John Heisman

-“I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game.” Bear Bryant, Alabama

-“It isn’t necessary to see a good tackle, you can hear it!” Knute Rockne, Notre Dame

-“At Georgia Southern we don’t cheat. That costs money, and we don’t have any.” Erik Russell, Georgia Southern

-“The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.” Lou Holtz, Arkansas and Notre Dame

-“When you win, nothing hurts.” Joe Namath, Alabama 

-“A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall.” Frank Leahy, Notre Dame

-“There’s nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.” Woody Hayes, Ohio State

-“I don’t expect to win enough games to be put on NCAA probation. I just want to win enough to warrant an investigation.” Bob Devaney, Nebraska

-“In Alabama, an atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in Bear Bryant.” Wally Butts, Georgia

-I never graduated from Iowa. But I was only there for two terms—Truman’s and Eisenhower’s.” Alex Karras, Iowa

-“My advice to defensive players is to take the shortest route to the ball, and arrive in a bad humor.” Bowden Wyatt, Tennessee

-“I could have been a Rhodes Scholar except for my grades.” Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State

-“Always remember Goliath was a 40-point favorite over David.” Shug Jordan, Auburn

-“I asked Darrell Royal, the coach of the Texas Longhorns, why he didn’t recruit me. He said, ‘Well Walt, we took a look at you, and you weren’t any good.’” Walt Garrison, Oklahoma State

-“Son, you’ve got a good engine, but your hands aren’t on the steering wheel.” Bobby Bowden, Florida State

-“Football is NOT a contact sport. It is a collision sport. Dancing is a contact sport.” Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State

-After USC lost 51-0 to Notre Dame, the coach’s post-game message to his team was, “All those who need showers, take them.” John McKay, USC

-“If lessons are learned in defeat, our team is getting a great education.” Murray Warmath, Minnesota

-“The only qualifications for a lineman are to be big and dumb. To be a back, you only have to be dumb.” Knute Rockne, Notre Dame

-“We live one day at a time and scratch where it itches.” Darrell Royal, Texas

-“We didn’t tackle well today, but we made up for it by not blocking.” John McKay, USC

-“I’ve found that prayers work best when you have big players.” Knute Rockne, Notre Dame

-Ohio State’s Urban Meyer on one of his players: “He doesn’t know the meaning of the word fear. In fact, I just saw his grades and he doesn’t know the meaning of a lot of words.”

I LOVE football!

Friday, September 9, 2016

New Earthquake Detector in Place (on the Couch)

I know we’ve been here before, but if Oklahoma keeps shaking, I’m gonna’ keep complaining.

I had just sat down with my first cup of coffee for the day on Friday, and was making lots of plans for a weekend family party in my backyard. Ten people were expected, plus two toddlers, and I wanted to cookout. Extensive plans were needed.

Then my couch trembled. It was more like my derriere felt that first ripple.

“What?!?” I thought.

I checked on housedog Penny, who was lying next to me. Sometimes she gets an itch and scratches hard enough to shake the couch. Nope. Penny was sound asleep.

“That can’t possibly be an . . .” and before I could finish the thought the whole house trembled. It did more than tremble. It shook like a big dog that just climbing out of its bathwater. I sat there astounded while my house rumbled and things fell off shelves.

Yep. That can be an earthquake. In fact, that was an earthquake reminiscent of Alaska where I lived for three years and learned how to live with earthquakes. It was a good 5.8 shake.

But I can’t get used to earthquakes in Oklahoma. Along the Pacific Rim, yes, earthquakes are expected. But they are not, or were not, to be expected in the central United States.

Well they are now, say the experts, who blame our shakes on fracking and disposal well drilling. But no one is really sure. We are sure the following has occurred in Oklahoma:

    * 8 earthquakes today (as of noon Friday)

    * 69 earthquakes in the past 7 days

     *144 earthquakes in the past month

     *2,524 earthquakes in the past year

Only got one thing to say. If I wanted to live with earthquakes, I’d still be in Alaska! Now we live with the threat of tornadoes and earthquakes, and wouldn’t you know, the remnants of a hurricane are expected to arrive this weekend and douse us with rain.

All of nature’s calamities should not be expected in one place! Not fair!

I called my insurance agent.

“Do I have earthquake insurance?” I wanted to know.


“Well, I want some.”

“You really don’t need it.”

“Yes I do.”

So now I have earthquake insurance, although I gotta’ say, the deductible is kind’a high. I almost let my insurance agent talk me out of it, but, as of Friday morning, I’m glad I’ve got it.

That’s because my new earthquake detector detected another earthquake late Thursday. Yep. I got a derriere tremor. I confess, as an NFL fan, I was watching the Denver Broncos hang on to beat the Carolina Panthers, and that game would have made anyone’s derriere tremble. It was good, especially if, like me, you’re a Broncos fan.

But the NFL doesn’t usually jostle my derriere. My heart might pound, but derriere doesn’t.

So when derriere got the shake signal I immediately thought, ‘Oh no. Not again.’

Housedog was sound asleep again, as usual. Hum, was it another mouse? Those one or two of you that like to read these meanderings might remember my last report on strange derriere signals. A search of couch turned up a smashed mouse.

Well, this couch potato had not smashed another mouse. Derriere had detected a 3.8 earthquake to go along with Friday’s 5.8. I have a new weapon in earthquake detection – my rear end, or derriere. So rest assured readers, if my derriere trembles any more, I will immediately report it on Facebook.

Who needs a seismograph when I got a derriere?

Friday, August 26, 2016

It’s the Scatter that Matters

Country Philosopher sent me the following today. No comments needed. Just read.

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas. 

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me. 

‘Hello Barry, how are you today?’ 

‘H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them peas. They sure look good.’ 

‘They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?’ 

‘Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.’ 

‘Good. Anything I can help you with?’ 

‘No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.’ 

‘Would you like to take some home?’ asked Mr. Miller. 

‘No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ‘em with.’

'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?’

‘All I got’s my prize marble here.’ 

‘Is that right? Let me see it,’ said Miller. 

‘Here ‘tis. She’s a dandy.’ 

‘I can see that. Hmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?’ the store owner asked. 

‘Not zackley but almost.’

‘Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble,’ Mr. Miller told the boy.

‘Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.’

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, ‘There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.’

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles. 

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts. . .all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. 

Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and laced his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband’s bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

‘Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim ‘traded’ them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size, they came to pay their debt. 

‘We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,’ she confided, ‘but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho.’

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral: 
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles - A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself; An unexpected phone call from an old friend; Green stop lights on your way to work; The fastest line at the grocery store; A good sing-along song on the radio; and Your keys found right where you left them.

It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived!

Monday, August 22, 2016

My Bad Penny

“Are you sure?”

“You really don’t want that dog!”

“NEVER adopt a mini-pin!”

That was the advice I was given when that little chestnut red miniature pincher walked into my life. Funny thing, she walked in through the back door at my workplace. The back door had been left open. So the little mini-pin just walked in. And scampered right back out after all we dog lovers tried to catch her. First thing to learn about a mini-pin – They are extremely agile and hard to catch.

So I called Sallisaw’s animal control officer, Randy F. Turned out Randy F. had been trying to catch this mini-pin for days. We told him about her last sighting, and I told him if he could catch her, I wanted her. I thought mini-pins were just the cutest things ever!

Randy F. gave me that doubtful, eyebrows up look, then grinned. “O.K.,” he said. Turned out not only had he been trying to catch this mini-pin, he’d been trying to get rid of her too. While in custody, she had been turned over to a foster family, who promptly unfostered her. Turns out mini-pins have personality deluxe, and if you are not prepared, you will pay, and pay, and pay.

It took Randy and several police officers to catch the mini-pin, who was promptly delivered to me. And then the animal control officer quickly left the building.

I told some friends I had adopted a mini-pin. One, who does dog grooming, told me straight out, “You DON’T WANT a min-pin. They’re crazy.”

She was so right.

My mini-pin, all 12 pounds of her, tore my drapes in half, knocked over all my house plants, and actually broke two windows to escape. When she kept escaping, I sort of gave up on her. ‘Fine,’ I thought. ‘Go live somewhere else.’

But she kept coming back, and so she was named The Bad Penny.

Now just known as Penny, she has also been the subject of so many of these columns, readers ask about her health, not mine! But that’s OK. I have come to love my Penny.

With age, Penny appeared to have settled down. Or so I thought. Oops.

The recent spate of really hot Oklahoma weather prompted my family to install a much bigger air conditioner in my window. Thank you Darling Daughter. It works great!

Then Penny found the flimsy little fans on the sides of the air conditioner. Uh, the other air conditioner had the same sort of fans. What happened!?!

And Penny escaped. Penny’s a house dog for her own safety. She’s not allowed to run freely. Never mind what I think. Penny figured out how to open an AC fan last week, jumped the five feet to the ground, and apparently had a great day running around the neighborhood.

I was astounded when I came home and found her outside. Had the house been burglarized? Nope. Just Penny escaping, again. And she had not the slightest intent of letting me catch her and bring her in. I figured out you just leave the door open, and when Penny wants to come home, she does.

The next day, I piled heavy weights in front of the fans to block Penny’s new escape route. Came home that night to a happy Penny running around the yard again. All the weights were laying in the floor.

Hum. Stacked tall, skinny cartons of Pepsi in front of the AC, and blocked them in place with dining room chairs. Came home that night to find chairs on floor, Pepsi cartons torn to shreds, and Pepsi cans punctured by tiny mini-pin teeth, and empty. Apparently Penny needed a soda pop so she could continue her great outdoor adventures.

Hum. I gave up, sort of. I just leave the AC fan open now when leaving the house so Penny can have her day out. But I am determined not to be out-foxed by a mini-pin. So, I have bought lumber and long screws to board up the sides of air conditioner. Hopefully my Bad Penny will not be able to chew her way through solid wood.

But then I wonder, shouldn’t such a tiny free spirit be allowed to run free? Perhaps I should use the lumber to build Penny a staircase out of and into the window. I’ll think about it.

What’s there to think about? My back door will always be left open for My Bad Penny.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Top 10 (or 20) Zen Zingers

I love my Funny Filosophers. They often put into words the things I’m too cowardly to say. So I went searching this week for some of their Zen-in-cheek thoughts and came up with the following.

Or, to be truthful, I have sat on the couch all week and watched the Olympics, which obsess me. Consequently, I have nothing else to talk about.

So relax, read, and enjoy.

1. One Zen student said, "My teacher is the best. He can go days without eating."
The second said, "My teacher has so much self-control, he can go days without sleep."
The third said, "My teacher is so wise that he eats when he's hungry and sleeps when he's tired."

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a flat tire. 

3. Q How much "ego" do you need?
A: Just enough so that you don't step in front of a bus.

4. A Zen master once said to me, "Do the opposite of whatever I tell you."
So I didn't. 

5. Drink tea and nourish life.
With the first sip... joy.
With the second... satisfaction.
With the third, peace.
With the fourth, a Danish. 

6. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

7. Wherever you go, there you are. Your luggage is another story. 

8. To practice Zen and the art of Jewish motorcycle maintenance, do the following: get rid of the motorcycle. What were you thinking?

9. Be patient and achieve all things. Be impatient and achieve all things faster.

10. Q: What happens when a Buddhist becomes totally absorbed with the computer he is working with?
A: He enters Nerdvana.

11. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. 

12. Why did the Buddhist coroner get fired? Because he’d always record the cause of death as “birth.”

13. Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together. 

14. It may be that your sole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.

15. A student is on one side of a raging river. There are no bridges. He has no boat. He shouts out to the master on the opposite bank. “How do I get to the other side?” The master shouts back: “You are on the other side.”

16. Q: Why don't Buddhists vacuum in the corners? A: Because they have no attachments.

17. So, I hear reincarnation is making a comeback.

18. Q: Why are politicians proof of reincarnation? A: You just can't get that messed up in one lifetime. 

19. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

20. I didn't believe in reincarnation the last time, either. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Cat Named Nutter

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. . .

Not really. It was just up the road a ways, and a friend prompted my predicament. I only use that opening cause I love “Star Wars.”

My friend, Delanna Nutter, hates cats. I like cats. So when a kitten showed up at her house, she called me. That was seven years ago, the best we can figure out using veterinarian records.

I claim I just foster this cat, named Nutter in Delanna’s honor, and she still owns this cat. She is in denial, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

That’s because Nutter is nuts. Really nuts.

Nutter doesn’t like people. No one has ever seen Nutter unless he was forced to show himself, such as going to the veterinarian for shots and such. My daughter said she thinks she saw Nutter once. My granddaughter, who was housesitting one time while I was on vacation, freaked out one morning and called me, terrified. She was sure someone had broken in because a table top had been disrupted, lamps knocked over, etc. I told her not to worry. It was just Nutter, doing his nutsy things. Granddaughter has never seen Nutter. Not once in seven years.

The last time Nutter went to the vet for his shots, it took three people to hold him down while one administered the shots. And the whole time Nutter made noises like an angry grizzly bear. This all took place in a cat cage! I was the only one who shed blood.

But Nutter likes me. I’m sure that’s because I’m the one who delivers his cat kibble every day. And even then he doesn’t like me in the summer. It’s too hot to like anybody. The only thing Nutter does in the summer is lay in front of the air conditioner, spread out like a bear rug. He likes me more in the winter cause he likes to cuddle up when it’s cold. 

But this house cat, who I swear must have a little bit of raccoon in his blood cause he likes to wash his paws in his water dish, weighs about 20 pounds. So, when he cuddles up in the winter by wrapping himself around my head or perching on my chest while I sleep, he often just gets kicked out of bed.

In the summer, Nutter’s life is just eat, sleep and make stinky messes I have to clean up. I was seriously considering kicking him out. It was time for him to return to the real, outdoor world where he could make it on his own. And find a sand pile I didn’t have to sift daily.

But while I considered de-catting my house, the rats moved in. I’m not sure why. Several years ago, we had a pack rat epidemic. Pack rats like to chew on vehicle wires, and I had to have mine towed in three times for repairs. Once I ended up in a long line. “There’s a pack rat epidemic,” I was told. A few poison baits solved my problem, but I sure don’t like to do that.

Then, all of a sudden, here the rats are again. I hate rats. I suspect bird feeders attracted the rats to the dropped bird seed. It sure attracted the squirrels and rabbits. So I stopped feeding the birds.

The rats persisted.

And when one decided it was going to make a home under my new riding lawn mower, and its wiring, I took drastic measures. I turned the lawn mower on. OK. OK. I felt a bit guilty later, but that rat’s demise was quick, and I hope painless.

I didn’t care about that rat that moved into the house. Rats in the house get instant death penalty. I bought a rat trap. How does a rat get the peanut butter off the trap without getting snapped? It even broke the trap!

Poison is out of the question. Too dangerous for all involved, like grandchildren and pets.

I was still mulling over my options – like locking all foodstuffs up in metal containers – when Nutter solved the problem and eluded eviction.

On a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night last week, I was surprised to find one very dead rat, on its back with all four feet in the air, neatly deposited in my bathroom sink. I might have screamed just a bit when I discovered the gift. But I know Nutter put that rat there just for me. If Nutter had thumbs, he would probably have wrapped a red ribbon around it.

So far, no more rats have been seen, and I believe Nutter has taken care of the problem. So Nutter is back in my good graces, and he is back to laying in front of the air conditioner. We’ll see how long this lasts. He is Delanna’s cat after all.