Please Don't Call Western Union

I once had the same telephone number as Western Union except that to call Western Union you had to dial 1-800. My phone rang 24/7 with people calling for Western Union. People would call Western Union assuming that since Western Union had an office here in Greensboro there was no need to dial 1-800.

I called the telephone company and told them of my plight. At first they didn't believe me. After a couple of weeks of calling Bell South they changed my telephone number but the calls for Western Union kept coming in. The phone company said they couldn't figure it out, we had a month old baby in the house, I worked a 24/7 on-call job-- nobody was sleeping.

After a few more days it hit me. I picked up my phone and called my old number only to get a recording telling everyone my new phone number.


A Knock At My Door

Tonight I kept hearing someone knocking at the door but every time I went to the door no one was there. Again and again I went to the door but no one was there. It was starting to piss me off. I reached into my pocket to make sure my .38 was there. It's that kind of neighborhood.

Then as I was walking back through the house I heard it again-- only this time the knocking wasn't coming from the door-- it was coming from inside my house.

One of the baby chickens was pecking on the inside of the cardboard box they're staying in until it's warm enough for them to live outside at night.

It's not so bad, in the morning I'll wake up to chirping.


Diversity Is The Tie That Binds

It was sometime in the 1970s or perhaps early '80s when I found myself in Montreal (That's Canada Y'all.) with a tractor-trailer load of machinery parts headed to a manufacturing operation there and very much lost. Getting directions via CB radio was of no use to me because every voice I heard was speaking in French and being a dumb American I'd never learned English very well, much less any foreign languages. I stopped at a familiar sign, an ESSO station, in hopes of getting directions.

Completely unknown to me at the time, opinion in French speaking Canada has for the last 500 years or so has ebbed and flowed towards and against remaining united with the rest of Canada and at that period of time it was very much flowing towards separation. And while most French speaking Canadians could speak English all I talked to were acting as if they had never before heard the language. I didn't know what these people were saying but I could tell they didn't like me.

They were arguing amongst themselves when I heard the woman behind the counter say, "American accent." I didn't understand anything else but that much I was sure of. A minute or more of discussion between them and she looked at me and asked, "You are from the South, no?"

"Yes Ma' am," I answered.

"What part?"

"North Carolina."

"My husband and I love North Carolina," she said. "We sometimes vacation there. We always vacation somewhere in the South to get away from the cold. People are always so nice there."

"Yes Ma'am," I again replied as I really didn't know what else to say.

"Where are you looking for?" she smiled.

I handed her my bill of laden. She looked at it and said pointing to a man behind me, "I could drive my car there but your truck cannot go the only way I know. George will tell you how to get there."

George looked at my bill of laden and struggling with the words said, "Oh boy, long time I speak English." We walked out to the edge off the street and after about 15 minutes of George's broken English and pointing at tall buildings I knew enough landmarks to go across the bridge, turn left, cross two more bridges and turn left again.

I tell this story now because as confusing and intimidating as it may be, Canada, a nation even older than the United States still has more than one language spoken by millions of people. Canada, rather than becoming one culture, remains many cultures united. Besides the French and English there are Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Jamaican, Filipino, Lebanese, Haitian, M├ętis, First Nations and other Aboriginal Canadians. There are loads of Dutch, German, Italian, Polish, Swedish, Ukrainian and even American immigrants. And while English is the official language of the Canadian government most Canadians speak multiple languages all learned in public schools. Even a creole language resembling Gaelic, not French, is spoken in parts of Canada. And nobody is trying to make them stop doing so. Not anymore.

Not that Canada doesn't have problems. There are still those who wish succession for French speaking Canada and some of the First Nations and Aboriginal Canadians still want to throw everybody else out. And some of the English still think the while country should be English. But all those groups are minorities and will most likely remain so.

As a matter of fact, in Canada, multiculturalism and diversity have long been government policy with the end result being a more prosperous Canada than here in the United States. All Canadians have health care and more Canadians have jobs. Why do you think that is? I can't say for certain but it's my belief that here in the US, efforts to make one national culture are in effect a sort of inbreeding just like when families inbreed and weaken the family gene pool with the end result being the same. Take a look at the Wikipedia definition of inbreeding and ask yourself if it could not be applied to entire countries and civilizations just as it is applied to a single family gene pool:

"Inbreeding is reproduction from the mating of pairs who are closely related genetically.[1] Inbreeding results in homozygosity, which can increase the chances of offspring being affected by recessive or deleterious traits.[2] This generally leads to a decreased fitness of a population,[3][4] which is called inbreeding depression. An individual who results from inbreeding is referred to as inbred. The avoidance of expression of deleterious recessive alleles caused by inbreeding is thought to be the main selective force maintaining the outcrossing aspect of sexual reproduction."

And remember: as empires are built they must eliminate all other languages and cultures but in doing so they may well be creating the very same Haemophilia to nations and societies that caused entire lines of Kings, Queens and Nobels to bleed to death with but little more than a scratch.

I know this is contrary to popular public opinion here in the USA and some may think it not common sense but common sense dictates we look around before we make up our minds-- take in all the evidence that is before us. But then-- it's just a thought, I've no real proof-- if you look back at the history of all the fallen countries in the world you'll find a common thread that comes up far more times than not: Those fallen countries all had had one language and one culture.


Boys And Their Dogs

No matter how old we are, when it comes to our dogs we are always boys with our dogs. May we never grow up. May it never change.


Snapping Turtles

Many years ago when working in Illinois I found a small one on the road so I scooped him up with a shovel and tossed him into an open tool box with the intentions of cooking him that night. When I arrived back at the shop one of the guys I worked with angrily rushed over and accused me of stealing his tools then ran to my truck and yanked open the tool box. Out came a very angry turtle right in his face as he fell all about the ground trying to get away.

After he stormed away my boss and I caught the turtle then rode to where the other guy had worked the day before. His tools were laying on the ground. The boss bought the wine to go with the turtle.


Too Bad For The Chickens

My cat doesn't know how to eat cheese. I gave her a piece of cheese a few days ago and she just licked it like she was drinking milk. She licked it until she licked a hole all the way through the middle then she stopped and let it get hard. I ended up giving it to my chickens.

Yesterday I tore a piece of cheese into pieces for her. She licked it for a while and left it to get hard. I ended up giving it to the chickens.

This morning I gave her a piece of SPAM. She ripped it apart, chewed it up and swallowed it down. The chickens were disappointed.


Rock And Roll Will Never Die

When Keith Richards finally dies his autopsy will read: "Contains artificial preservatives."