Archive for October, 2017

Home Cooking for Husbands Who Don’t Cook

In our house, my wife does a lot of the cooking… okay, most of the cooking… okay, all of it. I’d gladly do more.  I don’t claim to be the world’s greatest culinary expert, but I can microwave a six-minute Stouffer’s Mac N’ Cheese like the best of them. For some inexplicable reason, though, my wife does not consider that “making dinner.” She once had the nerve to tell me toasting two frosted cinnamon pop tarts does not constitute “preparing breakfast” either. She’s so unreasonable.

There are millions of husbands who love the challenge of preparing sophisticated haute cuisine meals using exotic ingredients like foie gras and arugula, with a side of home-made Dijon-pepper sauce. I’m just not one of them. I never grasped the appeal of laboring for an hour to prepare a lavish feast that I will scarf down in fifteen minutes, only to spend another 45 minutes cleaning up the four pots, five bowls, and nine ladles required to turn my kitchen into a disaster area.

Hey, I can prepare a home-cooked meal every bit as well as the next husband who has never cooked one. But recently, my wife decided it would be a good thing “for our relationship” if I were to pitch in more in preparing our dinners. She presented a ridiculously lame argument about how she has been making the meals for our family for the past thirty years. I countered with a much more cogent argument about not messing with a good thing. Surprisingly, she didn’t take that as a compliment. In my defense, I handle all the clean-up after every meal. And I try extremely hard to make sure I whine about it out of ear shot of my wife.

But my wife is no dummy – despite evidence to the contrary in the form of her decision to marry me. She had signed up for a service called Home Chef, which sends you a box filled with all the ingredients pre-measured to readily conjure up fancy meals like Salmon in Brown-Butter Tomato Relish or Sumac-Spiced Steak & Butternut Squash. Nowhere on their list of entrée options could I locate Chili Dogs with Fries. Go figure.

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  • I would highly recommend that you stay at least a football field length from any room that contains a stove,…
    Eleanor rushworth
  • Published On Oct. 25, 2017 by TEJ
  • A Very Scary Fairy Tale – The Angry Orange Ogre

    Tim Jones: Hey kids. Wanna hear a bedtime story?

    Several young children: Yes, Mr. Tim! Please tell us a story!

    Tim: Okay, but I should warn you. It’s a scary tale!

    Johnny (age 9): I love scary stories, Mr. Tim!

    Tim: Well, if you insist. But this is a very, VERY scary story!

    Kevin (age 8): You can’t scare me, Mr. Tim!

    Tim: We’ll see about that, Kevin.

    Once upon a time there lived a mean and angry ogre called the TRUMP. The TRUMP was YUGE. He had an ugly orange face, like the scariest Jack-o’-lantern you’ve ever seen. His hair was made of golden straw. He lived in a fancy palace built of gold. And every few years, when the TRUMP tired of his latest wife slave, he would trade her in for a younger, prettier mail-order bride.

    The TRUMP was feared by all. If anyone dared speak ill of him, his orange face would turn red and his straw hair would stand on end and he would threaten to destroy them – or worse, sue them for all the pennies in their piggy bank. Oh, he was a very mean ogre!

    The TRUMP hungered for fame and power and palaces. So, one day, he declared he wanted to become ruler over the entire kingdom. He told the simple folk that their lives were miserable and that ONLY HE could make them happy again. They believed him – especially the ones living in the red villages.

    The peasants gathered throughout the land in record-breaking crowds, wearing his red cap, chanting his name and singing his praises. The TRUMP grew wild with power. He spread lies to incite his followers into hating foreigners and he warned them only to watch Fox News. Before long, all the simple folk believed that the TRUMP would MAKE THE KINGDOM GREAT AGAIN and they chose him to become their ruler.

    On the day the TRUMP took the throne, little did the simple folk know that the only creature he cared about was himself. He insisted that his servants only tell him good news about how his subjects loved him. And he banished anyone who questioned his wisdom, with these frightful words: YOU’RE FIRED!

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    • Now you have gone to "FAR" .... covfefe
      TerryC
  • Published On Oct. 12, 2017 by TEJ
  • Things My Father Taught Me

    My father was an extraordinary man. He was an attorney who won 99% of his cases. He played piano like a virtuoso even though he couldn’t read a note of music. He was extremely well-read. That is, I assume he was since we had a room the size of an apartment devoted to his book collection.

    He also was a perfectionist with a serious case of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I remember the time he admonished me for placing the tape dispenser in the drawer on its side rather than upright. I believe that was the moment my father realized that my education was sorely lacking. I was 15 at the time. For, in the years that followed, my father took it upon himself to teach me the “proper” way to handle many different challenges that life presented.

    Let me explain with an example. Say you’re alone in the house and you hear a scary noise that sounds like it might be coming from inside the house. You’re in total darkness. Should you:

    1. Grab a crowbar for protection against a possible home invader.
    2. Yell loudly to scare away any wild animals that may have strayed into your house. Or…
    3. Use the back of your hand to switch on the light.

    The correct answer, according to my father, was, of course, C. One should always flip on a light switch with the back of one’s hand. The reason is obvious – to a crazy person: To avoid leaving messy, oily finger prints on the light switch plate. Evidently, that should be your primary concern when you suspect burglars may be breaking into your house in the middle of the night.

    My dad died in 1979. In the 24 years that I shared this planet with him, he taught me scores of similar life lessons. Most of these were things I thought I had mastered by the third grade. Apparently, I was wrong. I might be performing a mundane task, such as brushing my teeth, when I’d notice in the mirror that objects were closer than they appeared. Specifically, my father, who would be standing in the doorway, quietly studying my technique, shaking his head in dismay. He would then deliver a lengthy dissertation on the correct procedure for a routine that I was evidently still mangling after all these years.

    If it weren’t for my dad, I never would have realized the cutlery hazards that awaited me at the dinner table. Do you know the proper way to put a spoon in your mouth? Is it:

    1. Open your mouth BEFORE inserting the spoon. Then close said mouth and suck in the food.
    2. Fill the spoon only halfway; gently insert the spoon into your mouth, avoiding a slurping sound. Or…
    3. A gentleman NEVER puts a spoon into his mouth. He brings it to his lips and gently tips the soup onto his palate without the spoon ever crossing the threshold of his lips. Where ARE your manners!?!

    According to my father the correct answer is C. But technically there was no correct answer – because whatever I did, it would have been wrong. Because, my dear father was (how can I put it gently?) flippin’ crazy.

    I have so many fond memories of those bonding moments with my dad. I even (surreptitiously) kept a list of every life skill he dadsplained to me: How to use a bottle opener; How to make toast; How to bite my tongue when he routinely insulted my intelligence. I gave my private list a snarky title: “Things My Father Taught Me.”

    I feel morally obligated to pass this wisdom onto you, my readers, so that you too may prepare your children for the harsh world that awaits them.

    Thank you, dad, for teaching me:

    How to water a plant

    How to toss something into a trash can

    How to lift a suitcase

    How to unpack a suitcase efficiently (I didn’t know that was a thing)

    How to adjust the angle of a table lamp for optimal reading lighting

    How to dry dishes

    How to walk properly

    How to chew food properly

    How to hang a shirt on a hanger (don’t forget to button the collar button and the third button down)

    How to open a shower curtain

    How to fold a towel and put it on a towel rack (make sure the width at the top is the same as the bottom)

    How to hold a sharp knife (this would have come in handy, had I opted to pursue a career as a mugger)

    How to close a door behind me

    How to buy low and sell high (I really should have paid closer attention to that lesson)

    How to pour soda into a glass

    How to hide the body and not leave prints (Okay, I made that one up. Just wanted to see if you were still paying attention)

    How to hold the steering wheel (always at 11 and 1, never 10 & 2. My Driver’s Ed instructor was apparently a charlatan)

    How to sit at a table (your back should NEVER touch the back of the chair)

    How to say hello properly when answering the phone

    How to dial a rotary phone (Always use your middle finger. To this day, I still use my middle finger for all sorts of situations.)

    And yes, the proper position of a scotch tape dispenser when placed back in a drawer: upright.

    One day, my father discovered my incriminating list hidden in my bottom dresser drawer, underneath my pajamas. Surprisingly, he did not take it as a tribute. Go figure. On that very memorable occasion, he taught me another valuable life lesson: Never hide in your pajama drawer something you don’t want your crazed father to find.

    As misguided as his lessons were, I know my dad meant well. I think about that list every now and then. Occasionally, it makes me cringe slightly – usually at the moment I catch myself telling my 21-year-old daughter the proper way to hold the steering wheel.

    That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

    PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

    Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

    ©Tim Jones Betsy Jones, View from the Bleachers 2017 (Betsy Jones is my sister and my editor. In fairness, she actually re-wrote most of this piece).


    • Sounds so much like my own father that it's scary - we could have almost been brothers! My…
      Anonymous
  • Published On Oct. 05, 2017 by TEJ