Sunday, January 25, 2009


um*brage n 1:shade 2:resentment, offense(take~at a remark)
"I'm not here to make friends.

I'm repeating a famous quote from the Bulldog. He is a friend(I use the word loosely) I worked along side of for over a year. He sends me a story about a midget( respectfully:a little person) who wants to buy a horse. I can't and won't repeat the story because many people would take umbrage when the little person asks the owner if he can see the horse trot. I laughed. I laughed and laughed.

Surfing blogs, I come across a sad comment by a woman who's images of women breast feeding were removed. The site managers removed them because people took offense.

Nervous Nellies , I call them. I refrain from including excerpts previously written( Pigs In Clover) because the content would offend. I reread the famous escapade of the woodchuck in the barn and file it in the far reaches of my file cabinet. Don't want to offend the PETA folks. I'm reminded daily of the Paranoia in the media when every movie I watch has a disclaimer. The following commentaries do not necessarily represent those of....

Excluding Love in the Time of Cholera, each of the most recent works of fiction I read is prefaced with a disclaimer that the characters and situations are not real. Any resemblance between their work and real people is purely a fig newton of someone's imagination. There I go. I've pissed off the cookie company. So what follows is about a blind person. Visually challenged. Since it was sent to me in an e-mail by the man's wife, I believe that at least the Cook family
(names changed to protect their identity) will not take umbrage.

Don had a very unusual night at the races that Monday. He had a good looking car-not one of the old junkers that blind drivers usually get to drive. So it looked fast and ready to roll. Unfortunately, the guide that went with the car was useless. Don may as well have been in the car alone. The crowd did the verbal countdown to start the race. 5...4...3...2...1...GO! Don starts down the straight-away to the first corner....and...and...and he just keeps going-straight off the racetrack. His guide never told him to turn into the corner. From my viewpoint-Don, guide and car simply disappear from sight. No. Wait. He appears to be driving along the outside edge of the track. I can just see the top of the car over the corner banking of the raceway. Now he's turned a right angle onto the track and coming down the banking...directly into the path of an on-coming car (also driven by a blind driver). T-Boned! Don got hit on his side of the car-but luckily wasn't hurt. But the cars were stuck together and his opponent's car was stalled. End of the race. It wasn't until later, when I told Don what happened that he even knew he went off the track. He also wondered why he was going downhill(coming down the corner banking)since he never experienced that in a race before. His guide never told him where he was or why or anything. Don was extremely disappointed.

Our little township is notorious for the lack of insouciance of even the most mundane matters. Two women present the town with a bill for damage to a fence by the town snowplow. When the town chairman refuses to honor the $500 payment for what he terms- I rephrase his remarks-a rusted tangle of barbed wire; they threaten to damage his reputation and start a recall campaign. The town chairman recounts a time when he was accused of fathering a child of a local woman. He's in his late seventies. We're taking Spanish lessons from the daughter of the former town clerk.For awhile we exchange e-mails with the former town clerk. When she brings a relative to our country store, we treat him with in the usual country friendly manner. In an aside, we learn that she's barely spoken to this relative in the last thirty years over some real or imagined slight. The former town clerk sends me an abrasive e-mail when I describe in a previous e-mail, kissing Marilyn Monroe in a dream.( Marilyn just isn't a very good kisser!) Her obnoxious reply is similar to her reply to Jorge, the town flirt, when she tells him, paraphrased and edited; Are you looking for something more than friendship?

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