A Story of Mr. Gray, the Water Balloon Incident, and Retrospect Part 3

Part 1, Part 2   I like to imagine Mr. Gray grading our essays in the evenings in his bachelor pad over a bowl of Top Ramen. Of course he had a pad; this was the 70’s and he was a bachelor. They all had pads. I imagine him laughing over mine. I imagine him laughing so hard that he had to stop and clean up the Top Ramen that he inadvertently snorted though his nose. Thirty plus years has brought me not only a great deal of retrospect, but also a softening of the edges and a greater understanding of human nature. I don’t think he was really Mr. Haw. He was just Mr. Haugh, doing a job that, perhaps, no one else wanted to do. Clearly he was stiff and strict and “by the book,” but these days I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps he was… [Read More]

A Story of Mr. Gray, the Water Balloon Incident, and Retrospect Part 2

Part 1 Part 3 Mr. Haugh was someone with authority over everyone, liked by no one. He was a large man, as wide as he was tall. And he was quite tall. Which made him quite wide. He had fleshy hands, droopy jowls, was mostly bald, and extremely out of shape. The poor man probably hated his job and was at high risk of cardiac arrest but we didn’t think about those things in the 9th grade. We were just scared of him. He was usually scowling except for times like now, when he looked down at us past his ample nose with a grim self satisfied smirk as he turned the key in the detention hall lock. We were incarcerated. No innocence until proven guilt. Never mind that we had been caught red-handed. Never mind that the school janitor was probably, at that very moment, mopping up bucketfuls of water… [Read More]

A Story of Mr. Gray, the Water Balloon Incident, and Retrospect (Part 1)

Note: This post is a repeat of one I did on my original blog. If you have read it, thank you for still being here! I did some minor editing but the original content is pretty much intact. I do have new material in the works, but I felt that this one (and a few others that I’ll sprinkle in here and there) deserve a place on my “new and improved” blog.  Part 2, Part 3   Some thirty five years ago I was in 9th grade and Mr. Gray was my English teacher. He had a passion for the written word and imparted that to his students. Thus began my love affair with writing. The fact that I was also in love with the young and handsome Mr. Gray had nothing to do with it. Really. It didn’t. Well…maybe the the tiniest bit at the time, but I must… [Read More]

In Which I Am Declared A Saint and I Decide Against the Pink Porcelain Toilets

Apparently I am the patron saint of basketball hoops. Who knew? Over a year ago my son in law mentioned that he’d like to have a basketball hoop so he and some of his friends could shoot some hoops in my driveway. He and my daughter and their kids live in a duplex with no convenient place for a hoop and I agreed that this was a good idea. Shortly thereafter I found a free set up on everyone’s favorite website for used crap  trash  stuff thats’s too big for the regular refuse collection  things that no one, and I do mean no one, wants  stuff. (I would like to just mention as an aside that I have furnished my entire house and patio with stuff I’ve found on this site. I have two disclaimers: We have moved frequently recently, and we didn’t want to ship a bunch of stuff cross country that… [Read More]

In Which I Am Attacked By A Killer Schefflera or How To Win When Houseplants Turn On You

I love house plants. They have to be kept under control, however. You just can’t let them get the upper hand or before you know it you’ll have the Amazon in your living room, and then where will you be? I’m not talking about online shopping here, either.  I had a notable experience with a schefflera some time ago. It was once very civilized, minding its own business in a corner, providing a bit of green relief from the dark black leather furniture we like in our living room. We were very happy together, but one day it overstepped its limits. It had grown to the ceiling, and started trying to throw its weight around. Things got a bit out of hand and I had to serve it a reminder about who’s in charge around here.  I removed it from the center of activity in our home, lest it begin to think… [Read More]