September 19, 2017

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

A few years back I was sitting in my office and heard a sound coming from the parking lot that I had not heard since I left the snowdrifts of upstate New York in April of ’82. It was the sound of a vehicle being shifted alternately between forward and reverse accompanied by the sound of spinning tires. I immediately looked out my Phoenix, Arizona window to see if it had snowed while I was in that last meeting. I was relieved to see that it had not. After all, how far do I have to go to get away…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon marks

One Plus Five: By some standards, I grew up in a large family. I have five siblings. A generation before me, eight to ten was typical, and my parents came from typical families. My mother had seven siblings and my father had nine. I have some cousins that were older than my mom was. I was nearly eight when my third brother was about to be born. Counting my older sister and me that would make five. I was worried. My sister had told me that every fifth baby born in the world was Chinese. Of course, back then we…

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Be Cool

Starting around May of every year, whenever I have a conversation with one of my relatives from some other part of the country, invariably I hear, “Well, I know it’s nothing like where you are, but it’s sure been hot here the last few days.” Arizona equates to hot. It’s just accepted. There are other places that are hotter, but no one knows anyone who lives there. To be accurate, not all of Arizona is hot. But most of the country thinks Arizona beef is medium-rare while it’s still walking around, chickens lay soft-boiled eggs, and you can just pull…

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Campsite Cuisine…by Brendon Marks

I think the smell of charcoal lighter fluid must produce some sort of chemical reaction in men’s brains that causes them to think it is necessary, or even that they are capable of cooking. Or it could be their fascination with open flame. This may explain the need to constantly poke and stir a fireplace, even if it has gas logs. For those men who don’t have a fireplace, this need may be satisfied by constant use of the TV remote control. I have it on good authority that the TV remote control was invented by a man who couldn’t…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

After my “sleeping on the ground” experience my spouse and I decided to invest in one of those aluminum and plastic caps (or shells) that fits on the back of a pick-up. We thought we’d just throw a piece of foam rubber in the back, drive wherever we want, and crawl into the back to sleep. It’s a good theory. The problem is, wherever you can drive, somebody else can drive too, and if they can’t get there in a vehicle, they can on a dirt bike or ATV. We finally found an area unattractive enough so that nobody else…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

As winter slides into the background and the weather improves, many people plan camping trips, to which I say, “To each his own,” but it’s not likely that you’ll run into me in the woods. In the first place, I find it puzzling that the same person who complains about getting down on his hands and knees to retrieve the newspaper out from under a bush will leave the warmth and comfort of a nice bed to go lay in the dirt (regardless of how good the air smells). I suspect that the author of that “Princess and the Pea”…

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The C C & R’s

Many of us live in complexes or communities that are governed by a thin layer of bureaucracy referred to as a homeowners association.  Most associations use a set of rules and regulations as a guideline for making decisions about our everyday lives. These rules are called “The C C & R’s.” According to the board of directors this stands for Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions, but I found out it really means Convoluted, Confusing & Really stupid. I will go over a few of the rules we live by and the real reasons for having them. Some of these rules may…

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From The Bottom…by Brendon Marks

Someone said to me the other day, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” I said, “You’re welcome, but what does that mean?” “What does what mean? The bottom of your heart.” “You know, it’s like thanks a lot, I really mean it.” “Well, what if someone says ‘Thank you from the top of my heart.’ Is that better or worse?” “But people don’t say that.” “I know, but what if they did? Now to me, bottom has a negative connotation. People don’t say ‘Bottom of the morning to you.’ Showing your bottom to moon someone is an insult,…

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Transplants . . . by Brendon Marks

In the days before GPS systems in cars and smartphones with Google maps, I was putting gas in my car in McGuireville and another car pulled up on the opposite side of the pump. The driver didn’t need gas, just directions. He said, “We just came from Sedona, can you tell me how to get to Cottonwood?” I really didn’t want to stop pumping gas because I was afraid the price would go up before I finished, but I took a chance. I said, “Sure, are you coming back this way?” He said, “Why?” I said, “Well, I was going…

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Growing A Winter Coat, by Brendon Marks

Most women will only admit men are superior in three areas: opening jars, killing bugs, and producing methane. But there is one area where men truly have no equal. That is pogonotrophy. This is not a horrible misspelling of pornography; pogonotrophy means ‘the growing of a beard.’ I know that there are many women who can mount a serious challenge in the mustache department or a hairy old mole, but I’m talking about a real beard. The average man will grow twenty-seven feet of hair out of his face during his lifetime. I’m not sure how they determined that. Can…

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That Was My Idea!…by Brendon Marks

Jeff Hostetler was in town the other day. I saw him at a fast food restaurant. Jeff is a professional football quarterback. I don’t know which team he plays for now, I lost interest in his career when he abandoned the New York Giants. The shirt he was wearing was black and silver and had some sort of pirate theme. He looked very different without his uniform. Those guys are so covered up even their own mothers wouldn’t recognize them. Not like basketball players who run around virtually naked. I pointed him out to my dining companion who snorted, “That’s…

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What Was The Question…by Brendon Marks

As a friend was helping move a dresser the other day, I asked him, “Can you handle that end OK?” He replied, “Is the Pope catholic?” I wasn’t sure what that had to do with anything, but it reminded me of several other questions of the same type, such as: Is the Pope Polish? Does a duck have lips? Does a bear sleep in the woods? These are serious questions that deserve answers; I decided to get those answers. Initially I had trouble researching the two questions concerning the Pope. Obtaining information about the current pope was easy, but none…

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Buying A New Car . . . by Brendon marks

New car dealers spend a lot of money on advertising. I used to think many of the ideas were pretty silly, but I always knew that no matter how silly the idea was, next week there would be one to top it. I didn’t believe these silly ideas would have any impact upon who would buy which car or when, until a friend told me that he was going to buy a new car. “What kind?” I asked. “It really doesn’t matter,” he said, “There’s a dealership down the street that has a giant inflated football helmet out front. That’s…

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Small Town Culture . . . by Brendon Marks

I grew up in small towns and I like them. They stay forever small because of their names. A name like ‘Cook’s Falls’, ‘Fish’s Eddy’ or ‘Peaksville’ would never survive if the town became large. The politicians or the inhabitants who came later to swell the village beyond its beginnings would undoubtedly not be descended from the Cook, Fish or Peak families, and would change the name to something more suitable for a thriving metropolis. If you hear names like that, you just know it’s a small town somewhere. Typically these towns are situated beside a railroad line or where…

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Unlicensed and Untrained…by Brendon Marks

The government recently released the “alarming results” of a study that determined the majority of young children are not receiving day care from trained workers; instead, they are being cared for by “unlicensed and untrained” providers. Who are these heinous perpetrators? They are relatives–mostly grandparents. Government workers are particularly alarmed that grandparents are “unprepared” for the nurturing of young minds at a particularly vulnerable age. Well, if these loving, but “unlicensed and untrained” grandparents are so dangerous, where was the government when my generation needed them so badly to protect us during our formative years? If they’re not qualified to…

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Watch and Write . . . by Brendon Marks

A guy once said, “Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.” It has been attributed to Kin Hubbard, but when you stop to think about it, who said it is not important. What’s really important is that somebody wrote down that somebody said it. Does the guy who wrote it down ever get any credit? Mark Twain was another guy who was always saying pithy things like that and not once was it ever recorded that he said, “Hey, that was pithy. I guess I should write…

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It’s Only Water . . . by Brendon Marks

Water is amazing. Take two chunks of hydrogen, one chunk of oxygen, slam them together, and the result is a substance unlimited in its usefulness and versatility. Occasionally it has a down side, usually when a lot of the combined chunks get together and move from one place to another, but generally it’s pretty handy. Its popularity is widespread, and humans flock to it, more so on warm weekends. Any realtor will attest to the fact that humans are attracted to water. Oceanfront, lakefront, and riverfront properties always have the highest price tags. One whole state seems obsessed with the…

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Veggiepets . . . by Brendon Marks

As I pointed out in my last column, some of my closest friends are vegetarians; however I’d like to delve into the subject from a different angle. Personally, I never felt that red meat was bad for you. Gray or green might be a little suspect, but red is okay. I don’t try to convert my vegetarian friends, and they don’t try to convert me. I may make fun of them now and then, but that’s pretty much the norm for my dwindling circle of friends, vegetarian or not. Furthermore, with a couple of my veggie pals, I get as…

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Is That Soy Or Sow? by Brendon Marks

The other day I had an opportunity to try a sausage and mushroom vegetarian pizza. I’ve had true vegetarian pizza before, but none of them has ever had sausage on it. For non-vegetarians, I may need to tell you that sausage does not qualify as a vegetable, so the sausage has to be something else, spiced up to taste like sausage. I don’t know what, and chose not to investigate and spoil the enjoyment of the moment. It’s probably some soybean product. Vegetarians tend to use a lot of soybean stuff. Apparently it has no flavor of its own, and…

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Unjust Accusations…by Brendon Marks

I have received some feedback on a previous column, unjustly accusing me of advocating the use of tools while under the influence of judgment-altering substances, specifically beer. Regular readers know this is not true. That would be criminal lack of judgment. If I were going to advocate something, it would be vendors on every street corner dispensing free hot dogs, the total abolition of car insurance, or changing all street names to the Dewey decimal system. Anything else, I just report what I see and I don’t have to make things up. However, I’m not the first to observe the…

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