Friday, September 03, 2004

JUNE 17, 2004

It's the As The Bladder Fills Club again, another day, another installment. Ivan tells a joke, then says I shouldn't tell you what it takes to satisfy an Amish girl. He doesn't want it to sound like he insults everybody with his jokes.

And I suppose the fellows won't be too happy with me telling about the shipwreck they were talking of. What shipwreck? The boatload of Vaseline that sunk, headed for the Virgin Islands.

One of the fellows misses something that is said. Another of the guys shakes his head: "He don't know the score. He don't even know who's playing."

Linton Lull is talking about rain in Arizona, says "that's the driest rain you ever saw."

Bobbi Miles, my hostess at Ingleboro Mansion where I'm staying, comes in and sits down with us. Ivan says "That's Bobbi with one 'O.'"

He says, "Do you know that story?"

Bobbi says, "This fellow registered at Ingleboro. He said, 'My name is Bob, with one o.' I said, 'Well, my name is Bobbi, with one o.' How did this story get up here? Oh, it was you." She points at Dick Stroup, her neighbor.

Someone down at the other end of the table is telling a story. I don't hear all of it but I pick up the bones. Seems two prostitutes were driving around town advertising their services with a sign on their car. A cop stopped them and said "You can't be doing that. Get rid of that sign or I'll have to arrest you."

One of the prostitutes sees a car with a sign on it that says "Jesus Saves."

"What about that?" she asks the cop.

"That's okay," the cop says. "That's religious."

The next day the two prostitutes are driving around town with a sign on their car that says "Two fallen angels looking for Peter."

They're talking about rainfall again, and about reading rain gauges, and Ivan says "You've got to read the bottom of the meniscus, that's what you have to measure."

One of the other fellows says "that's the part that grows watermelon, and Ivan knows how to grow watermelon. A guy came in here one day. He had grown the largest watermelon in a three-state area and here's Ivan telling him how to grow watermelon. The damned-est part is the guy sits down and listens to him."

Tom asks: "Ivan, do you have to work today?"

Linton Lull answers me before Ivan can: "No - he's already worked this week."

I thought Linton was such a nice man. Here it was, Thursday, the fourth day I've had coffee with these fellows, and it's the first time I hear him take a poke at Ivan. Ivan draws an awful lot of fire, that's plain to see. I think it's probably because he gives back as good as he gets. But Linton has been pretty mild compared to the other fellows.

"Linton a nice guy?" one of the fellows asks with some exaggerated astonishment. "Why, when he was a banker, he re-possessed bees. He took a guy's bees away."



I left home early this morning, to take my wife into the hospital for tests. Now it is 6:25 a.m. and I sit in her car in a nearly empty parking lot at work, watching the sun come up. It is a "rosy-cheeked dawn." The picture should be in National Geographic - the sun above a dark line of trees in the distance, a layer of ground fog hunkered down low on the marsh across the road, a pale blue, slightly hazy sky. Morning is singing its song. If the day could sing, it would be saying Hallelujah. I go in to work - another day underway.

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