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Sunday, June 21, 2015


My sense of humour has, quite often, caused confusion, but it has been embraced, none the less, by most whom surround me.  After eleven years, the people with whom I work, along with my husband, have learned to question some of my quotes, answers or inquiries, before retorting in kind.  The person whom employed me as school secretary in my last job in England, used to shake his head at times and say, "I knew the comment 'wide and varied', in answer to the question, 'Do you have a sense of humour', should have been a warning!"  

Rather than being subdued to the humour around me, my own quirky ideals appear to have rubbed off on those with whom I work.  They are still not fully conversant in 'Tracie', but they are getting better!  There are not as many pregnant pauses as there were, when I make flippant, or sarcastic comments.

I recently won a prize (no surprise there, according to those around me, who consider me to be 'lucky').  It was a 'Grillight Spatula'. This is the name given to a barbecue spatula with a built in torch (flashlight). As far as I am concerned, it is the ultimate in nonsense gadgetry, and a very clever idea.  Jerry, (our process server/friend) was completely absorbed by this latest 'giveaway', and thought it would be the perfect piece of equipment. However, selling at just under $25, it was deemed a little to expensive to purchase, so he decided to make his own, 'Redneck' (his words, not mine) version, and came into office, sporting a rather battered slice with a giant flashlight connected with large amounts of black duck tape.  Unfortunately, the contraption was rather heavy, and in order to lift both the slice and whatever was being cooked, it would need to be operated by a small winch! However, I was very gracious, between my bursts of laughter, and asked if he had received any orders.  As quick as a flash (not the flashlight, as the switch had inadvertently been covered by the duck tape!) Jerry said that he had given the office telephone number on the advertisement, and was surprised that we had not been inundated with calls.  So the game began!

My first order form was rather simple.  Several people, including a Mr. M. Mouse, who lives on Main Street, in a small kingdom in Florida, ordered a few of these gadgets.  Mr. E. Scrooge ordered one. (Only one, after all he is Scrooge!) The largest order was from a gentleman, whom apparently is rather big in the gift industry. However, although his order was rather substantial, Mr. S. Claus' requirements were somewhat seasonal!  Jerry found the order list to be rather amusing, but was rather surprised that he had not received any inquiries from my grandson, Ollie.  For such a bright, advanced child, he had considered that perhaps he would consider being an investor as well as a purchaser!  Let the games continue! As quick as a flash (not the flashlight, as it was now determined that the batteries were dead, and the duck tape was stuck over the housing) I replied that my grandson had his own design in mind, which was a little more versatile.  As well as a light, his contraption had a musical option! 

Jerry left for the afternoon, and after an hour or two, I received a text, suggesting that his own invention,  would make a wonderful Father's Day gift.  I suggested he contact the local radio station, give them a demonstration, and propose that they perhaps purchase a few, and give them away as prizes for their contests.  He thought this was an excellent idea, and stated that if they took him up on the offer, I would definitely get one in one prize draw or another! However, my suggestion that he would need to iron our some rather crucial creases, such as enabling the user to turn on the light, caused him to rethink the project!

Having to make good on my word, I was now faced with the option of letting the whole game die a natural death, or continuing, knowing that this could become rather expensive!  However, the Dollar Tree came to the rescue and as I am not one to give up easily, I bought some items that I thought would be appropriate to make the 'Spoliva'©!  The Spatula with a difference!  Rather than a flashlight, I wrapped around a battery operated string of dragonfly fairy lights, making sure that the tape did not cover any major artery.  Along the side was taped a whistle, which when blown not only made a shrill sound, but caused a wound up extension to unfold.  The tag on this little piece of nonsense read, "The Spoliver©; The Spatula that lights and so much more.  Use the lights as a flashlight. Hang it by the lights to give light to the table.  Blow the whistle when food is ready, and again if your company gets rowdy".  This was placed on the desk at which Jerry sits when he is in the office.  I went back to my desk and waited!  

The laughter let me know that my efforts had been a success. However, although most of the staff were in on the game, one or two were unaware as to what was going on.  One of our guys, whom had not seen the original, perfectly made, $25 piece of equipment, was rather unimpressed with the rather cheap looking slice with the 'kids toy' attached.  He could not fathom who would buy the 'redneck' version, as this looked like someone had stuck a flashlight on to a spatula, and not particularly neatly at that!  It took a long time to explain the whole story, and by the time we had finished, it became one of those, 'guess you had to be there' scenarios, and as with most jokes, if the punchline has to be explained, the humour dies rather quickly.  

Along with the mirth, we did manage to work this week.  It was busy and the weather was inclement.  I swam during four out of five lunchtimes, and four out of five evenings.  Friday swam its way into the week, and the weekend forecast suggested that I should be building an ark rather than looking to expand on our in house entertainment!  As I swam on Friday night, reflecting on the week's activities, my neighbour's dog managed to crawl under the netting put up to stop her entering the pool area, and jumped down the steps and on to the grass next to the water.  I continued to swim and waited for someone to come and get her, but it was when she managed to squeeze under the locked gate, that led to the road, did I postpone my exercise and alert her owners.  I crossed over the path to their condo, and pushed the button to release the gate to their courtyard.  It did not work. I pushed again, and again, and again, before I realised it was a bell, and not a release button.   Wielding a spatula (a plain, flip the fried egg kind) my neighbour appeared, no doubt agitated by the idiot who kept pressing the bell at her gate, and shouted 'Who is there?'  I resisted offering her an alternative on her kitchen tool choice, and explained firstly about the dog, (who thankfully had been caught by another neighbour and was being walked across our road,) and then apologised for the mistake with the bell.  My neighbour is the most gracious, kind woman one could ever wish to meet, and was most grateful for the alert.  She had wondered why the bell was being rung insistently, but saw the humour when I explained.  However, despite her kind and gentle demeanor, I thought it still not necessary to offer her the 'Spoliva©'.  I returned to the pool, and swam a few more laps, before reminding myself that the 'Spoliva' was, indeed, not real!  

As I ascended towards the gate, and returned back to my condo, I decided that the joke (or game) had probably run its course, and I would have to find another source of entertainment to amuse myself.  Perhaps my next prize would be the answer.  I chose not to mention the bottles of barbecue sauce that had recently been delivered, as a culinary concoction could be lethal!  I climbed the stairs to the front porch, and closed the door behind me, on the world, and on our week's frivolity.  As I dripped my way to the bathroom, my telephone made the innocuous sound that has been pre-selected for text messages.  I had a message from Jerry.  It appeared that his two young grandsons, whom he has just introduced to camping and the joys of being the next generation of hunters and fishermen, had seen the 'Spoliva©', and both wanted their own to take with them on their next trip.  After all, they had their own camping equipment and fishing rods, why not their own cooking utensils.  I replied, thinking that he had perhaps read my mind, and wanted to make me laugh one more time, and suggested that next week the boys would probably want a Bowie knife or some such item, and he responded that he was serious, and the boys did, indeed, want one each. Could I help him!  Could the 'Spoliva' be the next big thing? Of course not, but it did make me laugh!

The ark project was put on hold.  Although there was a lot of rain in the area, Samantha and I stayed dry during our shopping outing on Saturday, and the Dollar Tree received a few dollars more than I had anticipated giving them, as I had to buy the raw materials to satisfy the whim of two little boys, who thought that Mr. Claus had broken with tradition and started a mid-year delivery!  (Apparently the economy is just as rough in Lapland!)  

I do not think that either the 'redneck' (non) flashlighted slice, nor the 'Spoliva©', (the copyright sign was an afterthought, after I suggested that anyone could steal the 'redneck' blueprints!) will ever become items of interest, but my imagination shall continue to run amok!  No doubt, my 'wide and varied' sense of humour will continue to amuse and confuse, and the hope is that it will transfer over, time and again, into ................. another story!

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