My Heroic Recovery from Knee Replacement Surgery

My Heroic Recovery from Knee Replacement Surgery

Recently, I survived a horrible ordeal. I went in for knee replacement surgery. Oh sure, I was unconscious, so I didn’t feel a thing. But what made it so traumatic was that the doctor replaced my elbow instead.

Recently, I survived a horrible ordeal. I went in for knee replacement surgery. Oh sure, I was unconscious, so I didn’t feel a thing. But what made it so traumatic was that the doctor replaced my elbow instead.

When it comes to health matters, I ’m a very private person. I almost never air what’s ailing me – unless I’m talking to an immediate family member, close personal friends, neighbors, second cousins, co-workers, or a stranger lucky enough to be standing next to me in the grocery store checkout.

That’s why it’s challenging for me to share with my readers the details of my most recent medical ordeal. But I’ll try – just this once (and perhaps in parts 2, 3, and 4 of this multi-part essay).

Recently, I underwent knee replacement surgery. My doctor said I was one in a million, which made me feel very proud of my achievement and grateful that I’d beaten the odds – until I realized he meant that easily a million others had endured this procedure this past year as well.

The day of reckoning was inevitable. I had been diagnosed with “bone-on-bone” advanced osteo arthritis in both knees eons ago. I’d long since accepted the harsh reality that the Olympics were not in my future – mostly due to my deteriorating knees (and perhaps in part because coaches said I lacked the requisite speed, strength, endurance, and talent). Rationalizing that it made economic sense to postpone this surgery until I reached Medicare age, I have earned martyrdom for pounding the pavement many years beyond the expiration date of my knees. This past January I turned 65. Time to face the music. Thanks to Medicare, the whole procedure cost me only slightly more than a KFC Family Meal.

The doctor broke the news that the odds of a full recovery were barely 999 out of a thousand. But I decided to laugh in the face of the Grim Reaper and boldly go where no man has gone before. “Let’s do it, Doc!” We’ll skip the pre-game show (checking in, changing into a backless gown, propositioning the doctor as the anesthesia took hold) and go to the actual slicing and dicing. I won’t lie. The experience was brutal. I now can relate to those brave Civil War soldiers who, in the heat of battle and bleeding profusely, were carried on stretchers, barely reaching the medical tent and a medic wielding a rusty saw, with nothing to dull their searing pain but a shot of whiskey and a stick to bite on.

My experience was eerily similar – except for the fact I had no gushing blood, was unconscious the entire time of the surgery, and when I woke up, I was lying in a comfy adjustable bed in a sterile hospital with a stunning view of the Olympic Mountains, and was offered all the ice cream I could scarf down. That being said, not one of the four nurses waiting on me hand and foot offered me a shot of whiskey. (I may file a complaint.) So, I had to gut it out the hard way – with morphine.

As I came to from the anesthesia, there was a bright light glowing all around me. I sadly mused that I was not among the 999 – that the brilliant rays of Heaven were beckoning. But why was this angel wearing a white uniform and stethoscope? It turns out that the bright light was not the rays of Heaven welcoming me home but a nurse opening up the curtains in my earthly recovery room. It was incredibly sunny out.

People have kindly asked how I’ve been feeling in the days and weeks post-op. If I had to summarize it in one word (without using a thesaurus), I’d say: “OOOOWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!” – followed by a flurry of expletives that my editor censored, in case kids are reading this.

I’m home now, recovering. I’m determined to tough it out – in quiet desperation, all alone in my man cave, since my wife abandoned me after only 12 hours of my whining. Frankly, I would rather not dwell on the devastating pain I’ve withstood hour after hour, minute after minute… but if you insist, here goes…

Every day throughout this never-ending saga (it’s been three whole weeks) I go through the same torturous routine: it starts with encasing my knee in an ice wrap, then lying in the recliner, elevating my knee, and reaching for the remote. I am trapped in a living hell every second of every day, with nothing to do but watch movies on Amazon Prime (or Netflix or Hulu or HBO), pat a kitty, or stare at the incredible scenery outside my window, with a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream – or an occasional slice of pizza. Don’t feel sorry for me. I’ll be okay – even though I’ve already powered through Season 3 of Mrs. Maisel, and Season 4 doesn’t come out for another 9 months.

Here I am back home, recuperating on the couch, with my walker, ice machine and thigh-length compression socks. Feelin’ sexy. Growwwl.

Here I am back home, recuperating on the couch, with my walker, ice machine and thigh-length compression socks. Feelin’ sexy. Growwwl.

For a full month after surgery, I’m not allowed to drive – partly due to the powerful meds and also because my doctor said I’m a terrible driver. And because my right knee currently has the strength of a hamster – who has just had knee replacement surgery. Despite my misery – or perhaps because of it – my wife and I are much closer, often right next to each other in the car, as she drives me from my doctor’s appointment to PT to Burger King and anywhere else I fancy.

I try to show my appreciation by calling her “Sweetie” at least forty times a day, as in “Sweetie, can you get me another slice of cake?” or “Sweetie, can you pick up my phone? It’s fallen and it can’t get up.”

Any time I ring the bell, she’s right there at my side. Whenever I start to feel a tad guilty that perhaps I’m imposing on my kind-hearted wife, I remind myself, “Hey, I’m the one confined to the recliner” and then I ring the bell again, because I’m in the mood for a grilled cheese sandwich – and she obviously loves cooking for me, as evidenced by the fry pan always in her hand when she appears.

While it’s been arduous, I won’t let it break me. Just last night, in my darkest moment (stuck in the closest with my walker, unable to locate the light switch) I looked deep within my soul and said to myself – and to anybody checking my hourly Facebook updates – that as God as my witness, someday – I don’t know when – I WILL drive a golf cart again!

That’s the view from my recliner. 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, View from the Bleachers 2020

Things I hope people won’t mention at my funeral

Things I hope people won’t mention at my funeral

Tim funeral - football coachRecently I turned 35 years old, and by recently, I mean 30 years ago. But more recently, I turned 65 – this past January. When you turn 65, you start asking yourself uncomfortable questions like, “How long has that mole been there?” You ponder your own mortality and your legacy and how is it that AARP got your mailing address so quickly.

Lately I’ve begun asking myself challenging questions: What have I done with my life? What do I want to do with the limited time I have left on this planet? Did I have breakfast yet? Where did I leave my car keys?

I wonder about the impact I’ve had on the people in my life. What might these people say about me if they spoke at my funeral? It got me to imagining, which got me to worrying…. a lot…. about what they might have to say:

My earliest childhood friend, Danny: Yeah, Timmy and I were tight – until he destroyed my purple bicycle. I loved that bike. You son of a bitch. When you rode it into that pond and wrecked the frame beyond repair, from that moment on, you were dead to me. You hear that, Timmy? You’re DEAD TO ME!

My first grade teacher, Miss Kelly: I remember Timothy, yes I do. He was a rather chatty young lad. An unhealthy need for approval, if you ask me. As I recall, he had the worst penmanship and he was a very slow reader. Took him forever to get through the book Fun with Dick and Jane. And every crayon drawing he ever did always included a rainbow. I privately wondered whether he might be gay. Continue reading “Things I hope people won’t mention at my funeral” »

The Time I Saved Ten Lives

The Time I Saved Ten Lives

[The following is a true story.]

Above: Ten very fortunate Survivors. Behind them lay icy cold waters that, had they not been lucky, could have caused their painful deaths.

Above: Ten very fortunate Survivors. Behind them lay icy cold waters that, had they not been lucky, could have caused their painful deaths.

Many years ago, I saved ten innocent lives from almost certain death – well maybe it was eight innocent lives, one borderline and one utterly without any redeeming qualities. But I digress.

I really don’t like to talk about it. Even my kids have no idea about my Herculean actions. I certainly don’t consider myself a hero – any more than Gandhi or Malala – or that guy who leapt onto a NYC subway track and rescued a man from an oncoming train. Like him, I was just in the right place at the right time. I did what I had to do. If you were as incredibly selfless as me, you might have done the same thing.

It’s hard for me to discuss the events of that traumatic day some 18 years ago. I can still see their seemingly lifeless bodies floating in the icy cold waters, unable to escape to safety. Death was knocking – no, POUNDING – at their door. To be honest, in some ways I blame myself for this near tragedy. They never would have gotten into their perilous predicament had it not been for my own carelessness. Even worse, there was no way to blame my wife for this disaster, as she was out of town at the time.

Let me take you back to the beginning. It all started when our then seven-year-old daughter Emily brought home a plastic bag filled with ten teensy guppies. Her teacher had entrusted her the school of fish on the condition that she take good care of them. Being a first grader, my daughter had not yet acquired the requisite level of maturity necessary to handle this immense responsibility. In the weeks that followed, she would grossly overfeed them and then neglect to feed them for days on end. She never bothered to clean their tank, so their habitat soon became discolored and grimy from, well, poop. Not a pleasant sight.

Not ready to broach the topic of where guppies go after they die (let alone Is there a Santa Claus) with my young impressionable daughter, I came to the rescue, as all competent helicopter parents do. I took over the care of these tiny, fragile, inch-long sea creatures.

After implementing a strict feeding regimen, I donned a Hazmat suit and faced the onerous task of scouring their tank. Using a net, I scooped these little critters one by one out of the murky waters and deposited them into a salad bowl we would plan to use later that evening for dinner, now filled with clean H2O. I scrubbed their glass dwelling thoroughly and refilled it with cold tap water.

I then dumped them all back into their sparkling clean home. They swam with fresh abandon. But did any of them give me so much as a nod of appreciation? Nope. Not so much as a flick of a fin. In case you’re contemplating adding guppies to your family, you should know they are incredibly self-absorbed and will never offer even the slightest acknowledgement of gratitude for anything you do for them. Not unlike your kids.

I started to clean up the bathroom. Then out of the corner of my eye, I noticed some of the guppies were no longer darting back and forth the way they usually did in relentless search of an escape from their glass prison. Before long, very few of them were moving at all. And some were starting to flip over on their backs. Something fishy was happening. In minutes, all ten of them were totally motionless. Uh oh. Somehow – I really did not know how – I had killed them. All of them. I was a terrible guppy dad.

What was I going to tell Emily? I tried to conjure up some elaborate fish story about the “ten that got away.” I had not fully formulated my lie, but I concluded our cat Boodles would figure into it. Since he lacked the ability to formulate words and gestures in his defense, he was the obvious patsy.

The first step was to hide the evidence by extracting the corpses from their watery graves and feeding them to Boodles (thus appeasing and framing our cat in one move). I put my hand into the tank… Whoa! The water was incredibly cold! Had I frozen the poor devils to death? What kind of monster was I?

As I stood over the tank, pondering how easy it would be to hide my crime, my mind leapt to cryonics – body freezing for future revival. “I wonder…” Maybe all was not lost. If they could be frozen, perhaps they could be unfrozen. I quickly poured out half of the cold water and replaced it with hot, making the overall mixture approximately room temperature. I held my breath….  Two agonizing minutes later, I spied a flicker. Then another. One by one, the once dead guppies were wiggling back to life. THEY’RE ALIVE! IT’S A MIRACLE! THEY’RE ALIVE!  The murderer had become the savior. Before long, all ten were happily zigging and zagging all around the tank – and of course, without a word of thanks to me for saving their lives.

I sometimes reflect back on that day and cringe about the near calamity I had caused. I had practically killed  these ten innocent young lives. Blood was almost on my hands. But in the end, I was able to save them all from an icy cold death. So, in a way, I actually was a hero. Now before you start posting congratulatory comments about how great I am for saving all those lives, just know that my heroism doesn’t make me a better person than you. (Okay, well, maybe just a little. Barely worth pointing out, if you ask me.)

[Footnote: In case you were curious about the photo at the top of this piece, it’s of some of the cast from Season 3 of the TV show, Survivor. I just always liked that show.]

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, View from the Bleachers 2020

Introducing the Amazing, Incredible MIRACLE BOX!

Introducing the Amazing, Incredible MIRACLE BOX!

Welcome to the future. Behold MIRACLE BOX – an incredible breakthrough technology that will change your world forever. Imagine having a tidy, organized home, where everything is neatly stored away. Now that dream can finally be yours – unless you have young children.

Welcome to the future. Behold MIRACLE BOX – an incredible breakthrough technology that will change your world forever. Imagine having a tidy, organized home, where everything is neatly stored away. Now that dream can finally be yours – unless you have young children.

Once every generation, an entirely new product comes along that is so powerful, so game-changing, that it redefines how we live. In the 1920s, it was radio. The 1940s launched television. The 1960s introduced the microwave oven. In the 1980s, we discovered the power of personal computing. And the millennium catapulted humanity into the future with the Internet and smart phone.

As life-altering as all those innovations have been – to how we spend leisure time, share information and eat frosted cinnamon pop tarts – perhaps none has revolutionized how we live as much as the latest technological breakthrough. Introducing the amazing, incredible MIRACLE BOX.

Brought to you by VFTB Enterprises, the makers of Placebolax and Dyzastra, MIRACLE BOX can be used for hundreds of applications. So, what exactly is this latest disruptive technology? MIRACLE BOX is an ingeniously designed quadra-sided containment vessel that features a perfectly flat foundation and symmetrically aligned vertical walls. Think of a giant Rubik’s Cube whose internal void can be accessed manually, and you have a vague concept of what MIRACLE BOX looks like. Its unique patented rectangular design allows people for the first time in history to put things away!

Consider that growing stack of Golfer’s Digest and People magazines that you just haven’t gotten around to reading. Insert them inside MIRACLE BOX and rediscover your missing cat that’s been hidden underneath all these years. (I’m sure he’ll be okay.) Don’t know what to do with all your daughter’s childhood art projects? The clay hand print, the Popsicle stick reindeer, the sock puppet? Put them in MIRACLE BOX, and you’ll never have to look at them again!

Still shoving those Playboy magazines under the bed and praying your wife never dusts under there? Improve your odds and save your marriage by making that mess disappear, thanks to the wonder of MIRACLE BOX.

No need to further alienate your teen by hounding him to put away his laundry. He can just stuff it – the laundry, that is, into MIRACLE BOX! [Our top researchers are currently working on a laundry containment version of MIRACLE BOX.]

MIRACLE BOX comes in countless sizes and colors – so there’s sure to be one to suit your eclectic style. Need to conceal a corpse? No problem. Just order our Ultra Grande size (S&H fees apply).

MIRACLE BOX comes in a variety of sizes, colors and textures. Perfect for storing everything from party supplies to towels. CAUTION: Not recommended for storing boys or girls – unless they have been behaving extremely badly.

MIRACLE BOX comes in a variety of sizes, colors and textures. Perfect for storing everything from party supplies to towels. CAUTION: Not recommended for storing boys or girls – unless they have been behaving extremely badly.

For too long, people have endured the hassle and frustration of clutter. What to do with those 5,000 must keep baseball cards that represent every good (and fading) memory of your youth. How to protect your Hot Wheels collection from the sacrilege of being sold at a garage sale!  Your well-meaning wife might protest, “Just throw them out! You’re 52 years old, for God’s sake.” Now you don’t have to. Just cram them (and your emotions) in a box – a MIRACLE BOX.

A basic MIRACLE BOX comes in your choice of cardboard or corrugated fiberboard. Choose from an array of texture upgrades, including plastic, plywood and metal. For the real storage connoisseur, why not impress your friends by choosing our Limited Edition premium model, constructed with 100% Malaysian teak or Amazonian mahogany? They’ll all wonder how rich you must be.

MIRACLE BOX offers a variety of useful options, including a handy feature we call a “lid” – perfect for when you want to effortlessly cover and uncover its contents. Need to quickly relocate some contraband because you suspect the cops are on to you? Why not order our MIRACLE BOX with convenient “handles” upgrade?

And check out our special ventilated MIRACLE BOX – perfect for storing recalcitrant rabbits, when you prefer not to suffocate them (Note: contents may expand without warning – especially if contents contain both sexes).

The response from people who have tried MIRACLE BOX has been overwhelming. Check out these actual testimonials from satisfied MIRACLE BOX customers:

“Before I discovered MIRACLE BOX, I never knew what to do with my extensive bottle cap collection. But thanks to MIRACLE BOX, now I can put them all away. I even saw a YouTube video that showed me how to stack my MIRACLE BOX on top of other MIRACLE BOXES. That blew my mind!” – Justin Idyott, Biloxi, MS

“As the poppa of seven kids, ages 3 through 6, I used to wonder where in our trailer park home to put all their toys. Not anymore. Now I just put them all in 15 MIRACLE BOXES, with convenient labels such as “Lego’s” and “fireworks” and “ammo.” Thanks, MIRACLE BOX!” – Bubba Moronski, Tulsa, OK

Introducing the latest innovation from MIRACLE BOX – The MIRACLE FORT! This easy-to-assemble citadel is the perfect way to entertain young children for hours. (Sharpie, tape and box cutter sold separately.)

Introducing the latest innovation from MIRACLE BOX – The MIRACLE FORT! This easy-to-assemble citadel is the perfect way to entertain young children for hours. (Sharpie, tape and box cutter sold separately.)

“I run insurance scams for a living. I started running out of office space for all the fake claims and bogus receipts. That’s when I discovered MIRACLE BOX. I went for the optional ‘lid’ upgrade. I’ll never go back to using my pool table to store this stuff – thanks to MIRACLE BOX.” – Frankie ‘Fingers” Barbato, Bayonne, NJ

So, what are you waiting for? Why not join the thousands of people who have discovered the amazing MIRACLE BOX? Order your MIRACLE BOX by midnight tonight and we’ll throw in a free set of MIRACLE LABELS. Wonder what’s inside that large box in your storage room? Thanks to the incredible MIRACLE LABEL, you need no longer wonder where you stored your first aid kit – or your medical cocaine.

LIFE IS A MIRACLE – THANKS TO THE MIRACLE OF MIRACLE BOX! 

Disclaimer: MIRACLE BOX should not be used to store children or pets (unless you order the Deluxe ventilated edition). Do not use MIRACLE BOX as a guest room for your in-laws, as they may have difficulty finding the exit. MIRACLE BOX is not recommended as a place to keep expensive jewelry or rare coins, unless you clearly label your MIRACLE BOX with a misleading label, like “Nothing important inside” to deter theft. While indeed miraculous, MIRACLE BOX will not save a failed marriage nor restore hair growth. In rare instances, MIRACLE BOX can be fatal, as when in a drunken stupor, you ingest MIRACLE BOX, take off all your clothes and challenge a gang leader to a duel. If you paint a large black tunnel on the side of MIRACLE BOX, do not attempt to drive a truck through it.

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, View from the Bleachers 2020

Hey, Your Trees are Blocking My View (of Trees)

Hey, Your Trees are Blocking My View (of Trees)

I am on the Covenants Committee of my local homeowner association. My job is to review complaints about trees blocking views and sheds that are infested with rats. Trust me, nothing brings neighbors together like having someone file an angry complaint about your over-height trees.

I am on the Covenants Committee of my local homeowner association. My job is to review complaints about trees blocking views and sheds that are infested with rats. Trust me, nothing brings neighbors together like having someone file an angry complaint about your over-height trees.

Is your job no longer motivating? Would you like a change of pace? Maybe have the chance to get out of your generic office cubicle, drink in the fresh air and meet interesting people?

Are you the kind of person who thrives on the futile challenge of coaxing feuding neighbors to set aside their petty differences and resolve their longstanding dispute over an incessantly barking dog? Sure, the pay is $0/hour, but you get a clipboard and measuring tape.

If this sounds too good to be true, I suggest you re-examine your life. Or you could consider joining my community homeowner association’s Covenants Committee, where you too could incur the wrath of seemingly docile retirees. I’d gladly swap my prestigious role for your cubicle. Whatya’ say, buddy?

Let me back up. My wife and I moved to this semi-rural island community five years ago, attracted by the slower lifestyle and stunning views of mountains, saltwater and nature – just like the other 15,000 residents who moved here before us. And like the other island-dwellers in our community, we were required to sign a document called The Covenants, outlining in convoluted legalese our rights and responsibilities as homeowners. We were hesitant to affix our John Hancock’s, but decided it was for the greater good.

Not long after, a former friend of mine caught me in a moment of weakness and convinced me to get more involved by joining the Covenants Committee of our community’s homeowner association. Since I had spent my career managing people and mediating conflicts between employees, it seemed this post would be a piece of cake. Um, I still haven’t forgiven him.

My duties include reviewing complaints and settling disputes as amicably as possible. In other words, I am an enforcer – not unlike Dirty Harry, only without his enormous persuasive talents, by which I mean his .44 Magnum revolver. Typical grievances range from “I’m sick and tired of looking at their rusted-out junkyard of cars on blocks” to “For God’s sake, it’s 2019! Make them remove the “Re-Elect Nixon” placards from their front lawn!”  (We’re still working on that one.)

Far and away the most common complaint, however, is about too tall trees that are blocking one’s view of mountains, the sound, and, ironically, other trees. You’d think this issue would be easily remedied. I mean, how tall does a tree need to be?

Ours is a congenial community – most of the time. Once in a blue moon, there’s that one curmudgeon with the decrepit motorboat and the lawn he last mowed when GW was president. And he’s quite happy knowing it’s all driving the rest of us crazy.

Ours is a congenial community – most of the time. Once in a blue moon, there’s that one curmudgeon with the decrepit motorboat and the lawn he last mowed when GW was president. And he’s quite happy knowing it’s all driving the rest of us crazy.

And, there’s the “legally binding” Covenants,  which specifically detail the maximum heights of trees and hedges, so people would readily comply, right? 

Wrong. When someone buys a home in our community, upon receiving their signed copy of the Covenants, they are instructed to file this important document somewhere secure, which apparently means, “somewhere you’ll never, ever be able to locate it again.”

Sometimes my attempt at a friendly conversation in which I diplomatically request that they work with their neighbor to find an amicable resolution doesn’t always succeed. Take Ned Withers and Carl Johnson, for example. Carl requested that Ned trim his 45-foot cedars so that Carl and his family could catch a peekaboo view of the mountains in the distance. Ned said there was no way he was going to lift a finger for Carl because of Carl’s extensive collection of three-feet-tall garden gnomes (75, to be exact) that aggravate Ned to no end.

In situations like this, I may have to escalate the matter. By escalate, I mean, drafting a formal complaint on Covenant Committee letterhead, instructing the affronting party to take specific steps to address this problem within, say 30 days, or else we will have no choice but to take legal action. I usually throw in a few random Latin phrases just to sound like I mean business. My personal favorite is “Ego vere diligit lardum.” (That means “I really love bacon.”)

Most residents check their mailboxes only on Wednesdays – as that’s when the IGA grocery coupons arrive. So, getting a prompt acknowledgement of one of my official letters is a bit like waiting for the cable company to return my call about the billing error on their last statement. In 95% of the cases, the offending homeowner simply ignores my official certified correspondence. In the other 5%, I am treated to a creative reply like, “No problem. I’ll get right on this – just as soon as Hell freezes over.”

Ah, the joys of having quirky neighbors, who carry a grudge.

Ah, the joys of having quirky neighbors, who carry a grudge.

Sometimes, the complainant (that’s legalese for whiner) may push too hard, trying to browbeat the perceived offender into compliance. That rarely ends well. Imagine a simmering Hatfield – McCoy feud that began with Ned Withers’ flood light shining directly into Carl Johnson’s neon-lit bedroom – only instead of resorting to rifles and pistols, the weapons of choice are a Black & Decker AS6NG alkaline cordless screwdriver and a ladder.

Don’t get me wrong. The vast majority of folks here are considerate and accommodating, willing to work with their neighbors. But sprinkled among the reasonable denizens, we have our fair share of Ned’s and Carl’s.

It comes down to a fundamental problem: people here love to gaze out over the treetops at the shimmering  water and snow-capped mountains. What a view! It’s why they moved here. But some are not quite as concerned with their neighbor’s view. To be fair, most of the folks here are perfectly willing to consider a fair compromise – so long as they don’t have to lift a finger – or a chainsaw – and they can leave everything exactly the way it is.

It can get exhausting. But I feel like we are slowly starting to make some headway. Just this week, I was able to get Carl to agree (albeit, reluctantly) to stop blow-torching the branches from Ned’s cedar trees that are hanging over his side of the fence. And in return, I convinced Ned, finally, to stop sneaking into Carl’s yard after dark to knock over his garden gnomes. So, that’s sort of a victory, right?

Baby steps. Baby steps.

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, View from the Bleachers 2019

Ten Years of Silliness – A Look Back on a Decade of View from the Bleachers (Part 2 of 2)

Ten Years of Silliness – A Look Back on a Decade of View from the Bleachers (Part 2 of 2)

So, you’ve come back for Part 2 of the most popular View from the Bleachers columns from the past ten years. You seriously have nothing better to do with your day? If you don’t know what I’m talking about because you missed Part 1, you can check out Part 1 here. At the bottom of this post, you’ll see a TOP TEN LIST of my own personal favorites.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Health and Fitness 

Getting a Colonoscopy is Better Than Having Sex… with elephants, that is. And not by much. Read my true embarrassing story of my recent colonoscopy procedure. Warning: This post may not be suitable for people with weak colons. And kids, don’t try this at home.

Important Health Safety Warning: These Foods Will Kill You! – Turns out that a lot of foods are really, really bad for you. Even a 32-ounce bottle of water can kill you, if it falls on your head from a height of 5,000 feet. Read this week’s important health scare, er, alert, about some foods that can kill. Spoiler alert: Brussels sprouts are actually not harmful, unless stuffed up one’s nose. 

My Private Workout with Obama – People routinely accuse me of telling over-the-top fabricated stories, like having had a private workout with former President Obama. No, wait, that actually happened. This is the 100% partially true story of the time I pumped iron with Obama. Why would I make this up?

The Amazing Happiness Diet – Recently, I lost a lot of weight. No, I did not do one of those crazy fad diets. I created my own. I call it the Happiness Diet. There are only two steps involved. Easy-Peasy. Read how simple it is to lose weight – and friends – with my proven diet formula.

Computers and Technology 

Alexander Graham Bell’s First Phone Call – Using Skype – Imagine if Bell’s first phone call – the famous one he placed with Thomas Watson – was done via Skype. Read this dramatic reenactment of how it might have sounded and looked. 

The latest innovation from Google – Google Translate – Family Edition – The brilliant technologists at Google have improved their Translate service to help families understand each other better than ever. Now husbands can decipher what their wives are nattering on about into plain English. Our lives may never be the same.

My Love Letter to My Internet Help Desk – Read my THANK YOU letter to my Internet Service Provider, detailing my gratitude for my 19-hour ordeal in which their tech support call center was unable to fix a problem that corrupted my computer that resulted from installing their internet security software to prevent internet security threats from corrupting my computer. 

Business and the Workplace 

Business Lesson #39: Awlays Proffread Yoru Wrok – If there is one thing that separates the winners from the losers in business it’s the ability to compose persuasive, articulate, error-free emails, memos and presentations.  That and being the offspring of the CEO. 

My Short-lived Career as a BINGO Announcer – After all these years, I thought I had finally found the job of my dreams – BINGO announcer at the county fair. I rocketed to stardom, and then just as quickly, crashed and burned like a meteorite. Read my heartbreaking story of the dream job that got away. 

How to Blow a Job Interview – There is no shortage of self-help books with practical strategies on how to make a good impression in a job interview. So boring. But there are no experts doling out advice on how to totally blow up your job interview – until now, that is. 

Click on the image to read another one of my favorites the story of what life for others would have been like had I never been born, in It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better).

Click on the image to read another one of my favorites the story of what life for others would have been like had I never been born, in It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better).

TIM’S TOP TEN LIST OF PERSONAL ALL-TIME FAVORITES

In no particular order, here are my own personal favorite VFTB articles from the past ten years.

I Just Found Out I’m Related to Jesus – On My Mother’s Side – A recently deciphered ancient Coptic Christian papyrus text reveals that Jesus was probably married. It’s not too big a leap of logic from that revelation to the conclusion that I must be the savior’s direct descendant. I mean, just look at any 15th century painting of Christ. I totally have his chin.

According to Google I am a terrible person – I used to think I was a pretty good person – a decent husband and a parent who tried to set a good model for my kids. All that changed when I did a Google search on my name. Wow, from what I found out about myself, I appear to have done some horrible things.

My Fleeting Friendship with an Internet Scammer – This is part one of my actual email exchange with the nicest man from Latvia wanting to purchase bleachers.  I thought I had made a new friend across cyberspace, only to learn that the scammer did not really want to be my friend after all. What a shock! (This is a two-part piece.)

Have You Heard About Dyzastra? – If you haven’t, where have you been? It’s the latest miracle pill that cures everything. But there may be just a few teensy weensy unpleasant side effects.

Humor Writer Admits to Using Banned Substances and Lying to Everybody – In a stunning revelation, Tim Jones admits publicly that he used banned performance-enhancing substances to gain a competitive edge against other humor writers. Based on writing samples we have tested, it apparently hasn’t helped.

Kids, Ask Me About God – By Reverend Tornquist – This week’s special guest tackles the tough questions about God and Heaven that kids need to know, like In heaven, do I still have to eat my peas? And Will my daddy get all his hair back when he meets God and Jesus?

It’s a Wonderful Life (but it could have been better) – I had a dream, much like that Jimmy Stewart film, It’s a Wonderful Life. In my dream, my guardian angel showed me what life would have been like had I never been born, in order to show me the impact I’ve had on so many people’s lives. Turns out, um, not much impact after all, really. (This is a two-part piece.)

An Important Message From Your Cat – There are a couple items of business that your cat needs to discuss with you, starting with some apparent confusion over whose house this is. Your cat sets the record straight in this guest commentary.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent – My Recent Run-in with the Law – The true retelling of the time I got caught by the police in a major criminal act – er, well, I violated the speed limit, sort of. It’s hard to explain.

My Open Letter to the Guy Crossing the Street Against Traffic Without Looking Up – We have all seen this person – the one who is completely oblivious to everyone around them, as they walk into traffic glued to their phone. This is my open letter to that person on behalf of all of the rest of us they’ve kept waiting all these years.

Thank you to all who have accompanied me on this slightly misguided journey over the years. I appreciate you giving me a chance to mess with your minds and perhaps brighten your day. I apologize if I inspired a bemused smile that caused your partner to wonder what you’ve been up to. Thank you for clicking the LIKE button and adding your own comments, humor, and wisdom. A particular shout out to Garth Nesmith of Duluth, Minnesota, who claims to have read every single one of my 360+ posts since September 2009. All I can say is, Garth, seriously dude, you really need to get your priorities in order.

If you have a personal favorite that is not included here, I’d love it if you shared which one it is in the COMMENTS section.

If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here. Or check out VFTB’s TOPIC DIRECTORY, which lists all of these posts – and hundreds more- by topic category.

This blog would not be possible without you, my readers. Thank you for putting up with my sophomoric jokes and crazy stories. Finally, a special word of appreciation to my enormously talented sister, Betsy Jones, who, for the past ten years has been my incredible editor. Unlike most of you, she has had to read every single post I have ever written. Talk about a glutton for punishment.

Tim Jones

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, View from the Bleachers 2019