Does Anybody Need Mustard?

Does Anybody Need Mustard?

If you check out our pantry, you may notice we have no shortage of condiments. At last count, we had enough mustard to top 3 million hotdogs – the long ones.

If you check out our pantry, you may notice we have no shortage of condiments. At last count, we had enough mustard to top 3 million hotdogs – the long ones.

Quick question: Do you need any mustard? We’ve got tons to spare. That’s because while I do the grocery shopping, it’s my wife who makes up the grocery list. And there the problem starts. You’d think in making a shopping list one would check current inventory. Not my wife. Perhaps it’s a Canadian thing (she is from Toronto).

Hence, we currently have seven jars of mustard. In full disclosure, that’s just a guesstimate. There could be more hidden in the medicine cabinet or in my wife’s art supply closet. You see, my wife also takes charge of putting away the groceries, and she has a peculiar storage system.

Don’t get me wrong. My wife is wonderful, but she does fall short in a few areas – starting with her height of 5’0”. Not sure what my point was. Oh, now I remember. My wife’s organizational skills are roughly on par with those of a schnauzer.

Think of that cute dog with 10 bones. What’s he going to do with them all? Bury them around the yard, of course, never to be used because he forgot where he put them all. That’s my wife with a jar of capers. No, she doesn’t normally dig in the dirt, but I swear we have jars of capers buried in every closet. Far be it for me to suggest she place it neatly on the lower shelf of the pantry, next to the other five jars she forgot we had.

My spouse is equally gifted at not putting away her clothes and not loading the dishwasher, not to mention not emptying said dishwasher. But I digress. Back to mustard. We could fill a small swimming pool with all the Grey Poupon we have – if we had a swimming pool.

So, if you happen to need any Dijon, just text me. Happy to pass it along. I’ll even throw in some cinnamon, balsamic vinegar, and baked beans from our hefty cache. But order fast! We only have enough to get through the pandemic – if it continues until 2029. And if you want to serve soup to an intimate gathering of 130 guests, come peruse our stash of Campbell’s Chicken Vegetable. I’m pretty sure I got you covered.

I’m not sure when my wife began hoarding and hiding, but I found a clue on a mayonnaise jar that was stuffed behind 9 boxes of kitty litter. It read, “Use by June 1989.” Interesting. It turns out her affliction extends beyond food stuffs. I was housecleaning earlier today and discovered that we also have plenty of Windex, bath & tile cleaner, and cold medicine, enough to last well past my own expiration date (2050).

I’m half-tempted to deliberately catch a cold just to clear out some inventory. We also have a small mountain of post-it notes. I’m confident I could cover all four walls of our bedroom with them, floor to ceiling, and still have some left over. I think I’ll use a post-it note to tell her to stop buying so many post-it notes.

We could throw pillows out the window all day long and still have enough to supply our entire community. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. A few couples may need to share.

We could throw pillows out the window all day long and still have enough to supply our entire community. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. A few couples may need to share.

Thanks to my life partner of 33 years, we are the proud owners of enough Ziploc bags to pack lunches for the entire school district – K through 12. If I display the temerity to point out that perhaps we don’t actually need a seventh roll of aluminum foil, my wife will quickly change the subject, saying something random like, “Well, then. Care to explain why you feel we need five bags of grass seed and four bags of weed killer, which I found yesterday in the outdoor storage bin?” 

I have no clue what her point is. Besides, I think we’re drifting from the premise of this commentary, which is that my wife never checks how much stuff we have before adding it to the shopping list. Let’s stay focused here, okay?

My darling wife has also stockpiled an impressive supply of hair scissors, band aids, gauze, and stain remover – all in the laundry cupboard. I have no idea why she needs all this. My current theory is she’s planning on cutting me to ribbons in my sleep (scissors) for constantly nagging her about her excessive acquisitions; then, in a moment of regret, she will attempt to save me (gauze and bandages). After which, she will insist I clean up the blood (stain remover). It’s just a theory. There may be a different, more nefarious explanation.

Perhaps I should take over writing the shopping list and let my wife do the shopping instead. Fortunately, there’s an ACE Hardware next to the IGA grocery, so on her next trip she can swing by there and pick up a bag of grass seed and weed killer.  Make that two bags. I think we may be running low.

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

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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021. Edited by Betsy Jones.

My Wife Wants Me Recalled

My Wife Wants Me Recalled

Dear Ms. Jones,

Thank you for your recent letter to Husbands-R-Us regarding your purchase of a husband, specifically the Tim Jones BSE (“Basic Spousal Edition”) in April 1987. In your 12-page diatribe, you demand that we recall this “badly broken down jalopy” (your words) due to, as you put it, “innumerable product defects and previously hidden deficiencies” that you claim were not made known to you when you purchased this unit.

We at Husbands-R-Us appreciate your business, Ms. Jones, and under normal circumstances, we would gladly recall your model and provide you with a satisfactory replacement at no cost. Regrettably, these are not normal circumstances. Our 30-year marital protection plan is unmatched in the industry. Since you purchased your spousal unit in 1987 – over 33 years ago, your husband is now officially out of warranty.

It is not uncommon that the components of a husband of that vintage will start to wear out, which is why we always recommend regular upgrades – advice you did not heed. In fact, not many models last that long, so we don’t carry replacement parts for such old versions.

Even if we could make an exception and let you retroactively buy an extended warranty, it has also come to our attention that you recently took your husband in to get both its knees replaced. Your decision to have these repairs performed by a non-Husbands-R-Us mechanic would void your warranty anyway.

In looking at your account profile, we discovered this is not the first time you’ve filed a complaint regarding your matrimonial purchase. Indeed, you have written us on at least nine prior occasions, including:

January 2007: “I noticed that my husband is losing its finish – especially on the roof. Is there any way to preserve what little protection is still remaining?”

March 2011: “My husband’s motor is making loud grinding noises at nighttime, making it impossible for me to sleep. Can you install a muffler to make it run more quietly?”

October 2015: “This model’s headlights appear to be dimming and have difficulty making out nearby objects in low light. Can these be replaced?”

August 2018: “This piece of crap you sold me routinely leaks gas. And its motor sputters and turns off after very short distances – often stalling out on the couch when I try to steer it towards mowing the lawn.”

And then there were those missives you sent bemoaning its declining performance in bed with each passing year. That’s really not covered by the warranty. Your owner’s manual clearly states, “Your mileage may vary.

We also appreciate the occasional correspondence from your offspring, arguing that their DAD Model TLP (“Totally Lame Parent”) was “unfair and a loser” for refusing to buy them cell phones when they were seven years old. We got a chuckle over their most recent lament regarding its styling and appearance – “It’s, like, so out of date, we’re, like, awesomely embarrassed to, like, be seen riding around in public with it, like.”

We understand your collective disappointment. Full disclosure, we’ve actually received scores of complaints lodged by other individuals about your particular Tim Jones BSE model – from former bosses, neighbors, and several of its middle school teachers.

Interestingly, most of the grievances were submitted by people who felt harassed by a systemic barrage of weekly sophomoric humor articles they received in what some described as this unit’s “desperate attempt to seek approval.” We have never heard of this glitch before. Apparently, this particular Tim Jones is no laughing matter.

Please understand, when your hubby was originally manufactured back in 1955, husband manufacturing technology was still in its infancy. Back then, the industry simply lacked the quality controls that are commonplace on today’s more intelligently designed, longer-lasting husband models. And the slimmer, sleeker body styles many women prefer would not become the norm until many years later.

Furthermore, please note that your purchase contract clearly specified that we are not liable for damage caused by reckless driving (or eating). The fact that your husband’s engine was routinely fueled by frosted cinnamon pop tarts and Mountain Dew for the last 40 years goes against all the maintenance recommendations found in your service manual.

Still, given you’ve been a longstanding customer, we at Husbands-R-Us would like make a one-time-only offer to compensate for your troubles. We will give you top value for your husband if you trade it in for a newer, more high-performance version. We have a wide selection including an exotic, luxury model just imported from Italy starting at $95,000.00. We estimate the worth of your Tim Jones BSE, based on its age and current condition, to be roughly $50 (we’ll make it $100 if you throw in its 60” flat screen man cave TV). But hurry. This offer expires at midnight.

It can be disheartening to discover one has unwittingly gotten locked into a long-term husband purchase contract with restrictive return policies and onerous payment terms lasting 20, 30 or even 40 years. If that describes you – and based on your voluminous correspondence over the years, it sounds like it might –we recommend you consider our attractive leasing program, BOTS (Boyfriend On The Side). We have an excellent inventory of new models – many with very low mileage and ample sized engines that really go the distance. You can even do a month-to-month lease – and trade them in for new BOTS for a small restocking fee.

Here at Husbands-R-Us, we look forward to serving you again when you’re in the market for a newer, more advanced husband or just to take one of our BOTS out for a test drive.

Or perhaps you’d like to forget about men altogether and buy a shiny red sports car instead. Many wives tell us, compared to their husbands, new cars are far less hassle, much more responsive, smell way better, and come with firmer, sexier rear ends.

Sincerely,

Brad Millington

Customer Relations Manager

Husbands-R-Us

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

A Letter to My Future Son-In-Law

A Letter to My Future Son-In-Law

So you want to marry my daughter? Have you totally thought this through? Let me tell you what you’re in for. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

So you want to marry my daughter? Have you totally thought this through? Let me tell you what you’re in for. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

[Author’s note: My daughter is in her mid-twenties and has a boyfriend. The days of “Will he ask me to the prom?” have evolved to “Will he ask me to marry him?” I thought I should prepare for that frightening eventuality by jotting down some notes for what I might want to say to her future husband when that important day approaches. This is just a first draft. Suggestions welcome. – TEJ]

Dear Possible-Future Son-in-Law,

So you want to marry my daughter? What on God’s green earth gives you the right to stomp on my heart and steal my little girl, you hateful, wretched son-of-a-b*tch? Have you met my close friend, Mr. Smith and his buddy, Mr. Wesson? If you think for one minute you’re going to swoop in out of nowhere and take my place after all I’ve done to raise her right, well, you’ll have to come through me. Ya’ hear me, fella?

(Okay, I’m feeling a little cranky. I haven’t eaten in hours, so that opening was a little hangry. Sorry. Let me try this again.)

Son, my daughter has informed me that you would like to marry her. How exciting! I could not be happier for you both. This is a very important decision, so, I hope you’ve thoroughly thought it through.

My daughter is a very special young woman. In the remote chance you’re not quite as familiar with her charming quirks as I have come to be, perhaps I might share a few words of counsel, to help ensure smooth sailing as you embark on your new life together.

You may have noticed by now that my precious little angel is rather, um, strong-willed. She’s been that way forever. When she turned two, she insisted on baking her birthday cake all by herself, proclaiming, “I DO IT MYSELF, DADDY!” I still can recall the proud look on her face as she diligently mixed the cake batter, added the rainbow sprinkles, Frosted Flakes, and bananas, and then poured the entire concoction into what she called “the blender,” but which we adults usually refer to as “the toilet.” The plumber and I sure had a hearty laugh about that, up until the moment he presented me with his $575 bill.

I also hope you’re not terribly concerned with a particularly tidy home. My little Entropy Engine, as I like to call her, is more of a free spirit in that regard. As far back as I can remember, her room always has looked like a Category 5 hurricane had just swept through. I wouldn’t waste your breath asking her to load the dishwasher, or make the bed, or clean up after herself. She’ll no doubt remind you: that’s what maids are for. Hope you earn a good paycheck, young man.

Oh, and a word about pets: DON’T – unless you like getting up at 3am to let the dog out. Because there’s no way you’ll be able to nudge her out of bed. After all, she needs her nightly uninterrupted ten-hour beauty rest. No, when it comes to pets, her job is to cuddle them. Don’t get me wrong. My daughter loves animals – or more accurately, YouTube videos of them, especially fuzzy hedgehogs and baby penguins. If you’re really serious about pets, might I suggest starting with baby steps, say, a bowl of fish? On second thought, scratch that suggestion. It might end badly.

You’ve probably noticed by now that my daughter is remarkably independent. We raised her to be that way. And you may notice she has a slightly elevated need to be right a fair amount of the time – but only when she’s conscious. She will be quick to point out when you’re wrong about say, your taste in men’s fashion or perhaps the latest Star Wars film or where you both should go out to dinner tonight. But she will overrule you with the cutest expression on her face, so you won’t even notice. My Little Miss Sunshine is absolutely willing to listen to your point of view on a wide variety of issues – just so long as your point of view happens to be the same as hers. Just practice saying, “That’s a great idea, dear.” You’ll do just fine.

If my precious jewel has decided that you’re Mr. Right, that says a lot about you. You are clearly a wonderful young man, hardworking, smart, sensitive and a devoted companion, who has compiled at least a six-figure 401K by now. Well done. Oh, on that last point, I’m not saying that my daughter just wants you for your money. Let me be clear. I just want you for your money.

Your future mother-in-law and I plan to move in with you guys when our retirement nest egg runs out. Not to worry. That won’t be for at least another three years. Be sure to buy a large enough house so we can have plenty of privacy – and a view of the ocean and a very large en suite… with a Jacuzzi and a 65” flat screen TV. You’re going to make such a good son.

I hope this will help you feel more comfortable as you contemplate spending the rest of your life married to this incredible young woman, who for the first 18 years of her life I affectionately called my Prima Donna Angel Monster Princess. Welcome to the family.

Remember, in the long run, you needn’t worry about us. Worry about yourself – um, perhaps I phrased that poorly. I mean, life is short. In the end, all that matters is your and my baby girl’s happiness (albeit not necessarily in that order). Make a point to laugh together, love and support each other, and never forget what’s really important in the life you create together: Grandchildren. I really don’t feel I should have to explain this to you. Don’t disappoint me, son.

Signed,

Your soon-to-be “Dad”

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

Fifty Shades of White

Fifty Shades of White

50 shades of white - crayonsWhen I was first learning how to color in 1st grade, my art teacher taught us about red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black and white. Pretty much all the colors I’ve needed ever since. Then I got my first box of 64 Crayola crayons. It blew my mind. So many colors I had never imagined. One called Reddish Orange. Another one called Orangish Red. And Indian Red, which I could not in clear conscience draw with until they renamed it Native American Red.

Recently I learned that Crayola has actually retired 34 colors – including Lemon Yellow, Teal Blue and Thistle. Did you know that for the rest of eternity there will never be anything drawn in either Burnt Umber or Magic Mint? And yet for reasons unfathomable to the normal brain, they continue to crank out that annoyingly wimpy color, Periwinkle.

They’ve replaced the retired colors with nouveau-sounding ones like Asparagus, Bittersweet, Inch Worm and Tumbleweed. What the hell color is Inch Worm?

It’s hard enough for my 8-color-palette brain to grasp the difference between Sage and Mint. More astonishingly, for all the colors in Crayola’s 64-color box, I’ve discovered there are literally hundreds of shades of white. When did that happen?

My artist wife and I were discussing what color to paint her art studio. Apparently, it’s important that artist studios be painted in neutral tones like white – I have no idea why. I had suggested Bubble Gum Pink, but apparently that’s not quite neutral enough pour ma femme artiste. No, she insisted, it had to be a shade of white. A shade of white? Hmmm….

Continue reading “Fifty Shades of White” »

My Wife’s Silly Concern That I Waste Too Much Time Watching Football

My Wife’s Silly Concern That I Waste Too Much Time Watching Football

[Author’s note: I meant to publish this article earlier, but I simply could not find the time. There were eleven college football bowl games I had to watch, plus four NFL playoff games. A man has to prioritize. – TEJ]

Like millions of other American males, I love to watch football. My wife thinks it’s a total waste of time. She’d rather watch a nature program or a documentary about Marco Polo. Who would want to learn something when you can spend quality time yelling at your TV over the officiating?

Like millions of other American males, I love to watch football. My wife thinks it’s a total waste of time. She’d rather watch a nature program or a documentary about Marco Polo. Who would want to learn something when you can spend quality time yelling at your TV over the officiating?

In recent years, there has been a national crisis brewing. No, I’m not talking about climate change or the latest measles outbreak. It’s the bane of millions of wives that their husbands are watching far too much football and totally ignoring the little lady (I’m not being chauvinistic. My wife is truly a little lady at 5’0″).

Recently, this topic became a source of strain in my own marriage. After many heated discussions, we decided to visit a marriage counselor to help my wife work through her silly problem. Below is a play-by-play transcript of how our first session went. 

Dr. Robert Taylor: Good afternoon. I’m Dr. Taylor. I understand that there are some concerns you have about your marriage. Who’d like to begin?

Michele: I will. I’m convinced that Tim cares more about football than he does about me.

Dr. Taylor: Tim, care to respond to your wife’s assertion?… Tim? … Tim, did you listen to what your wife just said?

Tim: Sorry, doc. I was just watching highlights from last weekend’s Saints – Vikings game on my phone. Could you believe that non-call in the end zone in overtime? Um, what was the question again?

Dr. Taylor: Your wife feels that you care more about football than you care about her. Care to comment?

Tim: About what?

Michele: ME! And put down your stupid phone. See, Dr. Taylor. This is what I’m talking about. Tim sits back in his recliner every Saturday and Sunday to watch his dumb football games. Tim, in a marriage, we’re supposed to be a team. Do you understand the problem our team is having?

Tim: I sure do. The Seahawks have absolutely no pass defense. They rank 25th in the league. That’s not gonna get them far in the playoffs.

Dr. Taylor: Tim, I don’t think that’s the problem your wife is talking about.

Tim: She could be right. Their pass blocking is equally suspect.

Michele: Tim, for God’s sake, can you hear yourself?!!? The problem is not the Seabirds’ pass blocking.

Tim: You make a salient point. I agree, their play calling is so predictable. But it’s not the Seabirds. It’s the Seahawks.

Michele: I don’t care if it’s the SeaWEEDS! You’re not listening to me. Every weekend, it’s like I’ve lost my husband to that stupid game. What exactly is so important about that ridiculous sport anyway?

Tim: You think football is a ridiculous sport? Might I point out that your parents love to watch curling? Now THAT’S a stupid sport. 

Michele: Don’t change the subject. I’m talking about how on weekends you spend more time watching football than you spend with me!

Dr. Taylor: Tim, is that true? Do you even talk to her during these contests?

Tim: I talk with her all the time as I’m watching. I’ll say things to her like, “Did you see that incredible catch?” and “What a horrible call by the official. Can you believe that call?” And “Can you make me a grilled cheese, honey? More cheese than last time, okay?”

Michele: You just don’t get it! All you talk about during these games is football, football, football.

Tim: That’s because I’m watching football. Would you prefer me to provide a commentary on the finer points of Badminton instead? Why would I do that during a football game?

Michele: ARGH!! How about talking to me about something – ANYTHING – other than sports? Like the last book you read.

Tim:  I could do that.

Michele: Really? That would mean a lot to me.

Dr. Taylor: And what book was that, Tim?

Tim: I just finished the pro football classic, “America’s Game”.

Michele: Unbelievable! What is so important about watching a bunch of over-sized men pound each other in pursuit of a little ball? I don’t get men’s obsession with this sport!

Tim: It’s football. Men like football.

Dr. Taylor: Tim, what I’m hearing from Michele is that, come weekends, you don’t seem to care about her interests. Am I understanding you, Michele?

Michele: Yes. Exactly. I mean, would it be so difficult for him to take a break from the flat-screen TV and go on a hike with me?

My wife says I never talk to her when I’m watching a football game on TV. That’s not true. Why, just last weekend, we discussed the possibility of her making me another plate of nachos and getting me a beverage. Her reply: Over my dead body.

My wife says I never talk to her when I’m watching a football game on TV. That’s not true. Why, just last weekend, we discussed the possibility of her making me another plate of nachos and getting me a beverage. Her reply: Over my dead body.

Tim: I hear you. The center really needs to work on his hikes on punts. Last week, he sent the ball over the punter’s head.

Michele: Dr. Taylor, see what I’m up against? He thinks any game on TV is more important than spending time with me.

Tim: Not if it’s the Dolphins – Bengals game. You can hardly call that football.

Dr. Taylor: Tim, I think you may be missing the point.

Tim: What point? Did someone score? Let me check my phone.

Dr. Taylor: No, Tim, you’re missing Michele’s concern, that you’re so engrossed in football that you forget to focus on her needs. What would happen if, just for once, you turned off the TV and missed a game?

Tim: I believe the answer is obvious. As you said, I’d miss the game.

Dr. Taylor: And so what if you did? Is that so bad? What if you went out for a walk with your wife instead?

Tim: Could I still listen to it on the radio with just one ear bud? She could listen on the other.

Dr. Taylor: Tim, are you willing to make any sort of compromise in your viewing habits in the interest of helping your marriage?

Tim: Okay, okay. I get it. How about I only watch football every other Sunday. And the other weekends, we do a fun outdoor activity together that Michele likes, say kayaking?

Michele: Well that’s a start, I guess. And I do like kayaking. Thank you, honey.

Tim: In fact, how about we start this new plan on February 3rd?

Michele: Let me guess. The Super Bowl is on the 2nd, right? 

Tim: Wow! You know when the Super Bowl is?! I think you secretly like football.

(Michele leaps from her chair but Dr. Taylor intervenes.)

Tim: Nice block, doc. You’re a natural.

Dr. Taylor: Well, I did play left guard in high school. (Whispering to Tim) Say, who do you think will win the Super Bowl? I’ve got $100 on the Ravens. Their quarterback is unstoppable –

Michele: Not you too, doctor. Unbelievable!

Dr. Taylor: Uh, um, well. I think we made some progress. Unfortunately, I have to wrap up early. I’m catching the playoff game with a few friends of mine. Oh, and one last thing. Rest assured that everything we’ve discussed today will be held in the strictest of confidence. – that is, unless your husband decides to publish the details of this session in an upcoming blog post.

Tim: I would never do that. Why would you even think such a thing, doc?

Michele: Oh no…..

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