Saturday, August 4, 2007


Lately it seems to me my luck
Just isn't worth a lick.
No matter how I try, I get
The short end of the stick.

I never seem to fail to get
The raw end of each deal.
The shopping cart I pick is the one
That has a wobbly wheel.

Just the mere thought of vibrant health
Ignites some brand-new pain.
No one comes to my picnics' cause
They all know it will rain.

It seems, at work, my buddies all
Get the tasks that are fun.
I am assigned the dirty jobs,
Chores that are never done.

Out in the parking lot, my car's
The one with the flat tire.
And should our plant ever downsize,
I'll be the one they'll fire.

For years I've grown a large garden,
But wonder, "What's the use?"
The bugs, rabbits, raccoon and deer
Will eat my fresh produce.

I don't drink as much as my friends-
Considerably less-
But who suffers the hangover?
Care to venture a guess?

I once thought gambling would be fun,
And gave the cards a try.
Now with my money gone-flat broke-
I sit and wonder, "Why?"

A friend offers his sympathy,
Says, "I know how you feel.
I've been there myself once or twice,
That's the luck of the deal."

"Breaks will come your way if you pray,
You'll be kept safe from harm."
I prayed, but all the"break" I got
Was a fractured left arm.

I look back on great plans I've had -
Still unused, on the shelf.
Have I, by focusing on bad
Luck brought it on myself?

My future many times so bright
And rosy, quickly paled.
Was focusing on failure the
Real reason that I failed?

I pray that one day I'll arrive
At heaven's golden gate,
But, with my luck, they'll say, "We're filled.
You're two minutes too late!"

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I've always enjoyed the TV show "Cheers". Not only the first time around, but also the re-runs. Like most successful sitcoms, it had not just one star, but quite a large cast, consisting of talented, humorous, interesting, and lovable characters. The scene was almost always the same, a Boston bar, where "everybody knows your name." For all of Cheers' patrons, it seemed to be a "home away from home." A place where they could go to meet and associate with other friendly people, good-natured folks who, like themselves, were trying to escape at least a few of the pressures and problems of life in the real world.
Member of the Cheers cast were solid characters, and well thought out and crafted by the show's writers. All were at least a bit bizarre, but believable and recognizable as types you just might rub shoulders with in any friendly neighborhood bar. There are usually at least a few Sam "Mayday" Malones around-good fellows who have never quite outgrown their athletic world. And tavern patrons who possess, and are ready and willing to share all of the answers are seldom in short supply. Quite often you can find a small group that includes members vaguely resembling a Diane Chambers, Cliff Clavin, and Dr. Fraiser Crane, all fully qualified experts. At least one member of the group is sure to be armed with complete details regarding any subject that may happen to come and can explain them at great length. And there will always be a Norm Peterson around--the least successful but most popular guy in the place. With luck, you may be able to avoid a Carla Tortelli LeBec, who just can't resist agitating and antagonizing certain people.
It is not my purpose in life to promote the use of alcohol. I have witnessed some of the sad and serious problems and damage that result from the abuse and over use of the spirits. And I've known quite a few cases that were less serious, yet good examples of occasions where a person and his or her family would have been much better off had that guy or gal spent less time at the pub and more evenings at home.
Overall, though, I don't see anything wrong with the basic idea of the neighborhood bar. Some people seem to have a real need for a place to unwind. A friendly haven for relaxing and a bit of socializing. A place to meet old friends, and now and then a complete stranger. A place to discuss politics and compare notes on the local weather. To learn how hot or cold Efren's thermometer registered yesterday. Also how hot or cold it was last year at this time. It's nice for everyone to be able to find out how much water all of their neighbors had in their rain gauges on any given morning. A country bar is often a meeting place where farmers can talk about hog and milk prices. And to learn what each of the area grain elevators is paying for shelled corn and soybeans.
For working people and for unemployed job seekers it can be a valuable place for exchange of information regarding employment opportunities, pay scales, job conditions, etc.


I think a real man should
Tell the world just what he thinks,
And I don't feel anyone gets
Hurt by a few friendly drinks.

I like the musical tinkle
Of ice cubes in a cool glass,
And a friendly conversation
With a local lad or lass.

I've never been real fond
Of great big night clubs, and such.
Potted ferns and glitz and glitter
Never did impress me much.

But I know a busy place with
A 'Welcome' sign on the door,
Where they're still using real cornmeal
To slick up the dancing floor.

All the folks are real friendly there,
And they treat me rather grand.
And every Friday night they have
An old-fashioned country band.

With a crying steel guitar and
A big old 'stand up' string bass.
They know all the country classics,
Hey, that's sure one swinging place!

When they start picking and singing
A good old Hank Williams song,
I can't quite help but stomp my feet.
Sometimes I'll sing right along.

The girl singer's pretty and she
Asks if I have a request.
She sings all Kitty Wells' old songs,
They're the ones I like the best.

In that bar an old man can feel
Like he's still halfway alive,
I'll keep right on going there as
Long as I"m allowed to drive.

I feel I'm less sinner than saint-
I'm not Satan's tool or fool-
When the Grim Reaper claims me I
Hope I'm on my favorite stool.