Sunday, December 19, 2004


Don’t you think that one of the fun things about getting to be alive is experiencing all of the different feelings? We have happy, sad, melancholy, tall, mad, glad, bloated, medium, and bad – just to name a few. I’m lucky because on just about a daily basis I get to experience many of the different feelings. That’s because of conversations I often have with a couple of co-workers who I will refer to as Auditors L. Last week I experienced misery, dismay, confusion, etc… Here are parts of conversations from last week.

Conversation #1
Larry: I’m not feeling so well.
A.L.: You are sickly.
Larry: Yeah, have I ever told you that when I was a little kid I averaged missing over 30 days a year of school? I used to get even more ill than I do now. Once I had mono and hepatitis at the same time. I nearly passed away.
A.L.: I had perfect attendance.
Larry: (dumbstruck)
A.L.: I was All-Defensive player of the year in softball.
Larry: (mouth agape, but silent)
A.L.: I was also All-State.
Larry: (walks away, defeated)

Conversation #2
A.L.: Hey, do you know how to make a double layer cake?
Larry: Yeah, you just make two cakes and put them one on top of the other with icing in between.
A.L.: Yeah, bet there is some kind of a cake pan you can buy that makes the whole thing together at once, right?
Larry: Not really. (stunned, walks away in disbelief)

Conversation #3
A.L.: Do you think a diamond necklace is a good gift?
Larry: I don’t know. It seems like an expensive gift.
A.L.: Well, it’s not about how much it costs. It’s about what it signififies.
Larry: Good lord. (walks away, defeated)

Conversation #4
Larry: My dog got hit by a car this morning.
A.L.: I could really use a smoothie.
Larry: I think my appendix is about to rupture. Will you please give me a lift to the hospital?
A.L.: No, I just had my car washed.
Larry: Well, could you at least call the ambulance?
A.L.: I might crack a nail on the dial pad.
Larry: Would you like me to go to the store and buy you some Nerd Ropes and Swedish Fish?
A.L.: Yes. Will you go now?
Larry: I would, but I’m internally bleeding to death.
A.L.: Did I tell you about saving 10% at Foley’s?
Larry: Yes, several times.
A.L.: They were giving 10% off to the first five people at the store at 2:30 in the morning. I am so tired.
Larry: (gasping for breath) Seriously, will you please take me over to the hospital?
A.L.’s cell phone: (ring a ling a ling)
A.L.: Hi Chris. What’s that? Really?
(hang up)
A.L.: I’ll see you later. They are raffling off tickets at Parks Mall.
Larry: Tickets for what?
A.L.: I don’t know. I think pre-season Cowboys tickets for 2007. See you later. Don’t die.
Larry: (laying in the fetal position, defeated)

Christmas Party

So last night was my annual Christmas party. For those of you who weren’t invited, I must say that you really missed out on fun. We had music, dancing (one of my lawyer friends brought his old Alfonso’s Breakin’ Board), cookies, a Chinese gift exchange, plus some other stuff. We took makin’ the Yuletide gay to a whole new level!

You should’ve seen me dancing! My white pants and green plastic shirt plastered with white Christmas trees glistened under the light of my green and red disco ball as I moved in perfect sync to the “Footloose” soundtrack. As I looked around I noticed everybody getting jiggy with “Let’s Hear it for the Boy”. Everybody, that is, except for my dog Albert.

Later, as I was eating figgie pudding with some of my doctor friends, my mind’s eye flashed back to that image of Albert laying there completely flat and oblivious to the beat of the music. Why, I wondered out loud to my successful friends, don’t dogs snap their fingers or tap their feet to the beat of music? Fortunately Dwight Yoders (my friend who happens to be a veterinarian to the stars) chimed in and explained that dogs can’t snap because their fingers aren’t long enough. Still, none of us could figure out why dogs don’t tap their feet to the beat of the music. The only theory was put forth by Connie (a super model). She said that my dog probably doesn’t tap his paws because he is “just a mutt”. She was pretty sure that her pure bred Shih-Tzu can dance.

Do any of you know why animals like dogs and cows don’t tap to the beat? Even the most uncoordinated people I know can clap or snap to the beat of a song.

Here’s something else. How come when people tell you about conversations they’ve had with other people, they always say things like:
“Yesterday I was talking to my rich friend Alan, and he said…”
“I saw my lawyer friend Merle the other day, and he was saying that…”
“You’ll never guess who I had lunch with today. My proctologist friend, Clive.”

Am I supposed to believe that none of you have friends who work at a junk yard or some place? Just once I wish somebody would say, “Gee Larry I’d really like to have dinner with you tonight, but my friend Thad just got out of prison and we’re celebrating his new job as Luby’s janitor.” I wonder if some people are really impressed when their friends who really haven’t accomplished much in the grand scheme of things talk about their friends who allegedly have. I just don’t get it sometimes.

My sister and her husband just released their second CD – “The Palo Pinto House Pants House Band – Volume II”. I think it’s really good, and I’m most impressed by the singing of Julie Ohman and Rob Rhoden. If you’re interested, I’m selling copies of it for $10 without their permission. All proceeds will be donated to the SPCA of Texas.

Finally, for those of you who insist on buying me Christmas gifts, here is a list of what I’ve already received: an Albert calendar, a Fat Albert book, a Doc Watson CD, brown socks, a red tie, a white shirt that doesn’t have long enough arms, a leaf blower/mulcher/bagger, a book about the wicked wit of Winston Churchill, a book of America’s most boring post cards, a couple of framed arts, a jar of almonds, a whistlin’ tea kettle, a book of “Baseball’s Firsts”, a book about how statistics can lie, a book by Peter Drucker, and cash. I AM STILL ACCEPTING CASH. If you haven’t shopped for me yet, it’s time to get on the stick. And if you don’t feel like buying me something, you’re welcome to get over here and mulch and bag my leaves. Let me know you’re coming by and I’ll leave the blower/mulcher/bagger out on the front porch.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Dr. L. Feathers – “On Nutrition”

Season’s greetings. Because it’s Friday night and Friday night is the night when I like to really let it all hang out, I just partook in a box of Pasta Roni. What better way to bring in the weekend than with a dinner of boxed pasta and butter sauce?

Before I began preparing dinner I noticed something odd in the “Nutritional Facts” section of the Pasta Roni box. It’s something I’ve noticed in the past on other foods, but for some reason it really got me thinking this evening. They provide two sets of nutritional info – one “as prepared” and another “as packaged”. Now who, pray tell, is the intended audience of the “as packaged” data? Are there people among us who like to eat uncooked pasta with a little packet of herbs and dehydrated butter?

Here’s another question: If I so choose to eat the “as packaged” version of the Pasta Roni do I get to eat the cardboard box? You’re probably thinking that it’s a ridiculous proposal to eat a cardboard box, but here’s why I brought it up. According to the nutritional information, the “as packaged” version of Pasta Roni has 210 calories per serving versus 320 calories if I bother to cook it. You should also know that the only thing you must add to the “as prepared” Pasta Roni is water – which, I am told by scientists, has no calories at all. My conclusion is that for every 320 calories you consume, you can reduce the caloric intake by nearly one third by simply eating an appetizer of cardboard box. Move over Dr. Atkins and make way for the Larry Feathers Cardboard Diet.

Now I’m looking at the Nutritional Facts on a bag of Fritos. Here are some lowlights: a serving of Fritos has 160 calories (90 of which are from fat), there are 170 milligrams of salt, 15 grams of carbohydrates, no Vitamin A, no Vitamin C, no Iron, and little anything else. Is it proper to put “Nutritional Facts” on what amounts to a bag of crap? Something should have to have nutritional value in order for it to have nutritional facts. Do cigarettes have Nutritional Facts? I know for sure that they come with a Surgeon General’s Warning, and I dare say that a similar warning about the potential effects of corn chips would be good information for consumers. And I am certain that it’s more honest than trying to trick people into thinking that corn deep fried in lard has some redeeming nutritional quality.

As a public service I’ve prepared a sticker to stick over the Nutritional Facts on bags of chips: “SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Merely being in the same room with this product will probably make you fat. Consumption is guaranteed to make your heart explode.”

Seriously though - have I ever told you the secret to good heart health? The heart is a muscle. To prevent atrophy your heart muscle must be exercised. Now all of these “medical professionals” will try to fool you into thinking that artery plaque is a bad thing. That is utter nonsense! Arteries without plaque allow blood to flow unfettered to and fro. Such easy blood flow makes your heart weak. What you should really be shooting for are plaque-caked arteries. As long as the blood has a little bit of room to get through there, you’ll be okay. Friends, think of plaque-ridden arteries as the heart’s workout partner. It figures that the harder your heart has to work to pump blood through your self, the stronger it will be and the longer you will live!

Just in time for Christmas and especially for you, here is some holiday heart healthy advice. Mount two IV bags next to your bed. Fill one of the bags with squeeze butter and the other with nacho cheese. Each night before you fall asleep, hook up the IV bags and allow them to clog your arteries as you rest. You too can have a strong and healthy heart. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Been Caught Stealin'

Hello and welcome.

First, let me tell you about a woman I know called Jean. She is a person and she likes to eat at La Madeleine most Saturdays for breakfast. A couple of times ago, she was sitting there eating her crepes or quiche or whatever they make when, suddenly, a guy at the next table started wiggling his chair this way and that right into Jean’s table! I’m not sure why that was a pre-requisite to what was about to happen, but it was! The guy – who we’ll call “LaMont” for reasons I can’t say on account of “what does him being black have to do with the story?” - hauled off with Jean’s wallet! The next thing Jean (who is practically 55!) did was take off after LaMont! She started hollering out, “I declare! Hand back my wallet!” and “Why you!” and “Stop thief!”. The man retorted, “Say, I did not take your wallet lady.” So Jean went right on up to him and started rooting through the papier-mâché he was carrying along. She quickly found out he was hiding her stolen wallet right inside the papier-mâché! Jean snatched back the wallet, turned around, and went back inside the bistro to finish her cuisine. At a time when I would’ve been too busy crying or wetting my pants to do anything about it if it had happened to me, Jean took justice into her own hands! I don’t give a crap what Doug Llewellyn thinks about it because I’m proud to know someone who took justice into her own hands. This is a story about bravery, and, like her fellow Democrat Zell Miller, Jean is a hero to all.

Hey, what kind of a lame crook hangs out at La Madelaine?

Now I’d like to tell you a couple of other fascinating stories I know about theft, s’il vous plait.

Before Garland turned it into yet another everything’s a dollar store, there once was a Tom Thumb. The Tom Thumb sat on the major intersection of Buckingham and Garland Road. One day a huge woman went in there to swipe some beef meat. The store manager (Merv) noticed her taking the meat, but waited until she exited the building to do anything about it. Merv started after the lady and the lady took off toward the street. As she ran toward the street her speed began tapering off at an increasing rate. When Merv caught up with her he found that her loot – which had been crammed into her long underpants – had slid down her big legs forming a set of beef shackles around her ankles! I love telling this story to others!

Then there is the case of a lady called Jeanette and her son who I think is Paul. Or it could be that Paul is Jeanette’s husband and I have no idea what the name of their son is. Anyway, these are a set of people that my parents knew while I was a baby. One day after I wasn’t any longer a baby and Jeanette, Paul, and possibly somebody or other had moved away to Charlotte North Carolina, Jeanette went over to the mall. As she was going back out to the car Jeanette got mugged by a white guy who let’s call Dan Vasser. The very next day Dan decided to go shopping with Jeanette’s stolen credit card. Dan went up to the counter to buy his pants or whatever and handed the credit card to the cashier. As it turned out the cashier was Jeanette’s son! Dan Vasser went to jail! This has been a true story about justice!