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Monday, May 30, 2022

Get Out Of My Head!


Get Out Of My Head!

 No, this is not about a battle over bathroom time on a small boat, this is about Mrs. C and I at home.

Mrs. C’s mind and mine are often on the same wave length.  This is probably not uncommon for couples who have been together for a long time, but we have had this phenomenon from the first day we began dating.

While watching a movie on TV:


“Where do I know that guy from?”

“Where do I know that guy from?”

“Get out of my head!”

“I don’t know, but it will come to me.”

Ten minutes later.

“Leave it to Beaver?”




“Get out of my head!”

This happens all the time.

Just this morning when I realized it was going to get real hot in the afternoon, I set the air for 80 and went upstairs to close all the windows.  The plan was to turn the air to 75 when the sun goes down and then later open windows for the night air. 

As I reached the bedroom, Mrs. C called out,

“Can you close all the windows and set the air for 80, it is going to get hot today.  We can turn it to 75 when the sun goes down and then later open windows for the night air.”

“OK, good idea!”

 (Thinking) “Get out of my head!”

Like I said, this happens all…the…time.  So much so that “Get out of my head” is a running joke.

And yet.

We are challenged when it comes to Mrs. C giving, and me understanding directions.

From the kitchen yelling upstairs:

“Kare, where is the left-over chicken from last night?”

“In the fridge.”

“I know in the fridge, DUH, where in the fridge?”

“On the shelf.”

“There are four shelves!”

“The second one.”

“Second from the top or second from the bottom.”


Yes what?”

“Second from the bottom.”

“I don’t see it.”

“It’s in the clear Tupperware.”

“The clear Tupperware has potatoes.”

“The other clear tupper…never mind, I’ll get it.”

She comes downstairs.

“Right here, behind the clear Tupperware with potatoes and under the blue Tupperware with the peas!...

And don’t tell me my directions suck!”

“Get out of my head.”



Friday, May 27, 2022





Just when I think I am done with this blogging thing, something hits my anger bone and I have to vent.

What is it with people that are so anxious to let you know that your good news might not be what you expect?

A person who is getting married:

“I am so happy, I just got engaged!”

“You know, marriage is not always what it is cracked up to be, and 40% of all marriages end up in divorce!”

Why thank you so much, isn’t that helpful information.

Why do people do this?  Why must they take the wind out of someone’s sails? What do they expect in response?

“Oh, thank you very much for that information, I guess I’ll just call the whole thing off.”

Just found out you are pregnant.

“I am so happy; I am going to have a baby!”

“You know babies are a lot of work and they are expensive, diapers, braces, college and don’t expect to get much sleep for the next few years.”

Great information and so helpful.

Here is another one I personally experienced a few years ago.

“Finally, after so many years I am retiring!” 

“Oh, you know retirement is not all it is cracked up to be.  What are you going to do with yourself and all that free time?  Maybe you could volunteer for things.” 

I got this kind of helpful advice from several people.

Not really that helpful, especially as my retirement was not actually voluntary.

By the way if any of those dopy-downers read this, Retirement is FRIGGIN GREAT!!!

What is wrong with people that they can’t wait to throw a wet blanket over anyone’s news.

News flash: (I hate that opening, and yet here I am doing it)

Most people that are getting married have given it some thought.  If you think they are making a mistake, it is a mistake that they are going to make with or without your big mouth so S…T…F…U!

People that announce happily that they are having a baby have given it some thought and they are happy.  Your big mouth is not going to send them to an abortion clinic, so S…T…F…U!

Most of the working world looks forward to retirement, they have thought about it and planned for it with great expectations…in what galaxy is your frigging comment going to be helpful?  S…T…F…U!

Most people are aware of the possible downside to any event in their life, and most times the event can not be reversed. 

Here is a suggestion for when you are told of any such event.

“That is wonderful, I am so happy for you!”

Otherwise just S…T…F…U!

I feel better already.





Friday, May 13, 2022

Suburban Wild Kingdom


Suburban Wild Kingdom

The Cranky’s live in suburbia.  There are some woods and a river a half mile away, but our townhome is in the middle of roads, grass and a few trees and bushes.  It is a pretty area, but seemingly not a place for a wild life expedition.

A few years ago, we had a squirrel family in our eaves.  We got rid of them and shored up their entrance.  It was not that big a deal.  Well, it was a pain in the ass, but it wasn’t scary or anything.

Last year we installed some ring cameras around the home.  We did this as there were some car break-ins and also, attached units can be creepy.  With the ring we know that the sound in the living room is actually the neighbors closing their door loudly.  All our entrances are monitored by the ring.

I know there is the occasional skunk outside.  Not by the ring, but by the nose.  The ring camera once also recorded a fox.

A month ago, there was a raccoon on the deck that set off the ring camera.  It was a cute little thing.

The other week my neighbor told me there was a family of raccoons in his attic.  Climbed up a tree to the roof and made a home in their attic.  They made noise at night and their defecation and urination was making a stink.  Not such cute little things.

The next night there were two opossums on our deck.  I have had them in a previous home basement.  Not such cute little things.  I figured his attic family was actually opossums.

Anyway, the neighbor had Orkin Pest Control come out to rid the creatures.  They could not trap them, but they put a contraption on the entrance that would let them out but not let them back in.  Last I heard they were gone, but the stink remains.

Tonight, I decided to bbq a nice steak.  Mrs. C is at Disney World with her son and daughter-in-law, so I enjoyed a nice bachelor glass of port and a good cigar while warming up the grill. 

I finished my cigar and port and left the grill to get the steak.  On my way into the house there appeared a large raccoon right behind me.

Near scared the bejesus out of me.  I yelled and banged the deck floor.  Mr. Raccoon was not bothered in the least.  He did not attack, but he did not back up either. 

I have read that raccoons are not to be fooled with.

  • Raccoons are formidable creatures. They have sharp teeth and claws, and the strength to inflict significant harm. There are many accounts of children, and adults, being disfigured by raccoon attacks. They are also known to inflict wounds on dogs and cats, especially at night.

Plus, they are sometimes rabid…especially if you see them in the day, which this still was.

I scampered inside and slammed the sliding door.  The raccoon seemed interested in the door and what was behind it.  Yelling and banging did not disturb him one bit, which disturbed me a lot!

I closed the blinds and waited for the raccoon to leave.  When I thought the coast was clear, I ran out to the grill with my golfing eight iron for defense…probably should have had a four iron…shut down the grill and dashed back to the safety of my home.  I suspect he was hunkered down under the deck.

I grilled the steak inside on the stove, which set off the smoke alarm for about ten minutes (more excitement) and then finished it off in the oven.

The steak was delicious, but I am afraid to use my deck as I think that is where the raccoon resides.

I need to check with my neighbor for the number to Orkin.

Not to get political, but I never had these problems before Biden was President…well except for the damn squirrels. *

*Just joking, probably not his fault.




Wednesday, May 11, 2022





At a local restaurant the other day, Mrs. C had to ask for a straw for her glass of water.  It seems that plastic straws are now a menace to the environment.

Apparently some sixth grader did a class project a few years ago where he determined that the world used 6 billion straws per day and they were destroying the environment. 

Personally, I doubt this statistic.  I think the kid misplaced a decimal point and no one checked his work.

But, it seems the straws we use every day, if put together would reach the moon and back.  That’s a lot of straws.  So now, in New Jersey if you want a straw at a restaurant, you have to ask for one. 

Personally, I don’t care, I have no use for a straw anyway.  I have not used a straw since I had the flu when I was 12.  I guess a straw helps you to drink without dribbling all over yourself if you are forced to drink lying down.  Otherwise, what is the point?

There was a straw called the “Flavastra” which had a flavor strip in it to convert milk to chocolate or strawberry milk when sipped though the “Flavastra” 

Have you seen one of those lately?

No!  Perhaps it was a really stupid idea.

Anyway, I don’t use a straw.  The lady step-crank has her own personal reusable straw so she will not be accused of hurting the planet.  I guess that will become a thing.

I’m not sure of the real purpose of a straw.  I prefer just sipping from a glass.  It is especially a New York thing to drink from a straw.

Every New Yorker I have ever known will not drink soda from a can.  They have to drink from a straw.

I have asked these people,

“Why do you have to drink from a straw?”

Every single one has told me the same story.

“I have an uncle who used to unload soda cartons from the rail road cars.  He told me that if you saw what went on with the rats and bugs in those cars you would never drink from a can again!”

I have asked about straw use to at least 17 New Yorkers.  They all have an uncle who used to unload soda from the rail cars.

  Every… single… one!

Now, it seems to me that punching a hole down into the soda can that has been defiled by rodents and insects is just as disgusting if you then dip a straw into the can or if you drink from the lip of the can…but that’s just me.

Interesting enough I have never seen a New Yorker drink a can of beer through a straw.  It is only soda.  Apparently, rodents do not like beer cans.

Anyway, you can make the damn things illegal altogether for all I care, I don’t drink soda and I never use a straw.

Save the planet, sip from the lid.



Monday, May 9, 2022

How To Appear Intelligent


How To Appear Intelligent

It may surprise some of my readers to know that the Cranky Old Man is not too bright. 

I suspect (my excuse) for not being particularly bright is a combination of ADD and OCD, with a touch of Tourette’s; afflictions that did not exist when I was at the diagnosable age.

Like anyone with a disability I have learned to survive. 

The abilities of the blind or deaf often more than exceed those of people without such handicaps.  People somehow learn to develop ways to overcome and excel even with such incredible disadvantages. 

So can the unintelligent learn to disguise their stupidity.

It has taken me years to learn some of these stupidity-hiding tricks. 

I am thus imparting my knowledge of how to appear knowledgeable for the younger generation of…you know…not smart people.  For most of you this is either not needed or it is too late.  Perhaps your children and or grandchildren can benefit.

The first rule is never answer a question with

“Gee I have no idea.” 

Always offer an answer. 

The trick is to offer an answer that appears intelligent even when wrong.  When you learn the correct answer you respond,

“Oh yes, that’s right…I knew that!”

I offer several answers to topics where an incorrect guess will at least sound like you are knowledgeable. 

For instance, the answer to almost any complicated math question on “Jeopardy” is

“Negative 1” or


I have no idea why this is, but math questions are generally trick questions and if the answer is not either “Negative 1” or “Zero.” At least it looks like you know something. 

If it is obvious that either of these answers could not possible be correct, then answer,

“A Prime Number.”

I don’t know what that is either, but it is often the correct math answer.

The answer to the always asked literary question,

“What was the theme to this book/play/story/poem” is almost always,

“Man’s inhumanity to man!”

In my experience this is almost always the correct answer; if it is not, at least the professor will respond with,

“Ah…no…but I can see where you are going with that…possibly it could be a sub-theme."

Even the professor will not argue with your answer as it sounds so well thought out and knowledgeable.

When questioned about a large bird flying overhead the correct answer is,

“Looks like a red-tail hawk.”

Does not matter if you are wrong, that answer just smacks of you knowing stuff instead of,

“Gee I have no idea.” 

A question about chemistry…

“Hydrogen” is correct more often than not.

The reason for all wars ever fought is either

“Money” or “Religion.” Either one is always correct.

A question about English monarchy…

“George the Third.”  The correct answer is usually a George, and if your number is off it is still a good guess.  Of course, if it is a queen then “Mary” is the answer.

Which pope…?

“Pius V.”

A question about Shakespeare…

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is the answer that appears the most knowledgeable when wrong.

When fly fishing, always declare that any fish you catch,

“Fought like a brownie!”

No true fisherman will ever dispute this response.

Always blame a poor shot in bowling on,

“The oil pattern is changing.”

Any sport.

“A good defense always beats a good offense.”

If you spell a word incorrectly,

“I was using the English version.”

A question about an early US President…? Go with John Quincy Adams.  An obscure President? Answer Millard Fillmore. You should know the 20th century Presidents, but if unsure best try Woodrow Wilson.

Well, you get the idea, never answer

“Gee I have no idea.”

A really bad guess somewhat on topic always gives you that aura of intellect to disguise the fact that you just might be stupid.

Why will people accept these usually wrong answers as indications of knowledge?

I have no idea.






Friday, May 6, 2022




Don’t get me wrong, Mrs. C is great, but every once and a while she makes me ask “Who does that?”

I may have mentioned in the past that she does not scoop her pudding; she dips the spoon in the pudding and slowly consumes whatever pudding sticks to the spoon.  Gotta ask, “Who does that?”

I may have posted on her dislike of sidewalks, preferring to walk on the street hugging the curb.  (Not if there is traffic, but walking the quarter mile to our mailbox.) “Who does that?”

If I want a cookie, I have to look all over, even under towels on the kitchen counter. “Who does that?”

We have been paying for a storage unit which contains maybe $1.65 worth of crap for 6 years. “Who does that?” I don’t even want to calculate how much I have paid to store that $1.65 worth of crap, but it would involve at least 3 zeros.  I choose to let it go…my last divorce cost me that much plus an extra 2 zeros.

I have learned, or have tried to learn to ignore the “Who does that?” moments and just let it go.


The other day she was putting stuff away in the freezer.  Stuff that came from a cooler.  The stuff in the cooler was kept cool with several sandwich bags full of ice cubes.  Along with this stuff, she also put away the sandwich bags of ice.

“Why are you saving the ice?”

“Because I will be using them later this week when I bring some things to Cassie.”

“But it is ice.  It takes up room.  When I open the refrigerator and look for something those friggin bags are going to fall out!”

“You are not allowed to open the refrigerator until I take the things to Cassie!”


“Just stay out.”

“But it is just ice.  That’s frozen water you know.  We make those cubes day and night.  We have an ice maker. Why can’t you just save the bags in a drawer until you need them and then fill them up with new practically free ice cubes?”

“Just leave them.”

I wanted to argue more, but there could be all those zeros at stake so I shut up. Still, I said to myself,

“Who does that?”

Last night I had to bite my tongue once more. 

We went to dinner at “Longhorns” steak house.  After a nice meal Mrs. C asked for a take home bag for her unfinished dinner plus a carrot cake dessert to go.  When the waitress returned with the request, she also included two lidded plastic cups of water. 

“Who does that?” The waitress did.

I did not want to take the water home.  We have water.  We even have frozen water.  I did not want to have to balance two cups of water on my lap in the car all the way home.

Mrs. C disagreed.

“Why are we taking the water.”



“The waitress was nice enough to give us the take-home water, we should take it home.”

“Can I just dump it out when we get to the car?”

“Bring it home!”

Who does that?

Anyway, my mind went to all those zeros, and I bit my tongue.

What did she do with the water you ask?

Tonight, I was looking for a cookie.  The water was still in the lidded cups under a kitchen towel.

“Who does that?”