Jeannie and John have a ranch in Tracy, California. To help pay the bills, they board a few horses. One of those horses, a fat old gray Arabian mare, had been particularly irritable recently. She would swish her tale in agitation whenever someone tried to saddle her, for instance, and was just being "bitchy," in general. Like a lot of fat old gray mares.
"Maybe she's pregnant," said John, noticing her large belly.
"No," said Jeannie. "She's just getting fat. We probably don't ride her enough."
Feeding the horses one morning, Jeannie was surprised to find a Great Dane in the stall with the old mare. What the ... ? Jeannie wondered.
Moving closer, Jeannie realized it was not a Great Dane, but a newborn filly! Some time before breakfast, the old gray mare had given birth!
"I told you she was pregnant," said John upon hearing the news.
They called the vet, who came by and declared both mare and filly perfectly healthy. The mare was fifty pounds underweight, he said, but otherwise just fine. Who would have thought natural birth could occur without the aid of modern medicine?
"So, if you know anyone who wants a newborn Arabian filly," says Jeannie, "have them call me."
The moral of the story? This story has no moral. What do you think this is, a children's story?
Doug has had to delay his trip to Portugal for mysterious reasons. Remember, in the last newsletter we said he was going to Portugal? Well, he never went. Once he does go, however, the following is a brief itinerary:
"I will fly to Lisbon and meet our cousins there, and I plan to see the northern part where there are snow-capped mountains where it borders Spain. That'll be for about one week. Then I go to Terçeira Island for about 10 days and then Pico Island for a week. I will then go to Madeira Island (not
part of the Azores) a couple days, which is off the coast of Africa. We have cousins there, too, who are from Terçeira originally. My plan at this time is to leave ... and return ... . But I haven't purchased tickets yet and the flights may be filled, so the dates are not set."
[The above use of ellipses (those three dots in a row) was done to illustrate a point. We wanted to show how ellipses can be used to make the person being quoted look foolish. The point being, never trust the news media. Of course, we here at The Obtuse Moose would never stoop so low — further proof that this is probably the only semi-regular publication you can trust. Scary, isn't it?]
Bill has his own place now. His new address is White Bridge Road, Nashville, TN 37209. The phone number is (615) ???????. It's a one-bedroom apartment in between the ritzy Belle Meade and the dumpy West Nashville neighborhoods.
The second job mentioned above is in the capacity of "desktop publishing operator" at a service bureau or "pre-press" on Nashville's Music Row. He is hanging onto his temporary desktop publisher position at Third National Bank, as well. "I'll be putting in some 12-hour days here and there," said Bill. "But that's all right. I have nothing else to do."
This came at a time when Bill was discouraged enough by the Nashville job market (or, more accurately, anyone's willingness to hire him) that he was thinking of moving back out West somewhere to look for work. Luckily for Bill and the entire Western United States, he will be staying in Nashville.
[This just in: Bill has apparently quit that second job. Will he be moving again? See "Interview with Bill," page 4.]
Lionel Holmes of Sacramento, CA, reached the three-quarters of a century mark on April 2. "I don't feel 75," he says, "but I guess I am."
Greg Holmes of Santa Ana, CA, Dad's #1 son, turned 46 on April 20. "I don't feel 46," says Greg, "but I guess I am."
You can tell they're related, huh?
Right here was supposed to be a beautiful depiction of that cable tv show "Mystery Science Theater 3000." One of our more artistically inclined readers sent it to us. We scanned it into a computer and threw away the original. A couple of days later we accidentally deleted the computer-scanned picture. So, instead of a great work of art, all you see here is this stupid explanation.
"I've been reading your newsletter over the years, and I'm confused about something. This guy Doug has been traveling to Portugal on a fairly regular basis. I thought he was President of the Hungarian-American Friendship Society. What the heck's he doing going to Portugal to see "cousins"? Is he Hungarian or is he Portuguese?! I want to know, and I want to know now!" — Joe Dimbulbsky, Muskeegee, Indiana
Joe: All we really know about Doug is that he's always up to something, and with this newsletter being hard-up for news most of the time, we've always got room for a story about him. By the way, who the heck are you, anyway? You're not on our mailing list.
"Just wanted you to know I really liked your last newsletter. I liked both of the stories, especially 'Dinko Goes Shopping.' You're a genius!" — Lucy, Livingston, CA
[Okay, so we added that last sentence. But Lucy's actual comments were similar to those coming from several of our readers after that last issue. And for that, we're very grateful.]
"We feel very privileged to be included on the mailing list of your very informative newsletter. Although we are not part of the family, I think it should be noted that Bill (a.k.a. 'Editor') moved to Tennessee without giving one lousy passing thought to leaving us here in L.A. without a friend. Now, that so-called family cannot be all that important when you keep in mind that when we placed our very first phone call and asked for Bill, his 'brother' responded by saying, 'Bill who?' (Quote not taken out of context).
"But we are trying to muddle through and the newsletter manages to still keep us somewhat joined at the hip. Thanks. — Jinx and Jan, Westchester, CA (a.k.a. The Gumball Machine and the Jai Alai Guy)
Jinx and Jan: "The Gumball Machine and the Jai Alai Guy"? We believe their names are "Tom Servo" and "Crow," respectively; or maybe vice versa, we're not sure. And you say we "left you without a friend"? Ha! [You readers out there should know that Jinx and Jan have about 3,000 friends, so they're hardly "without friends."]
That aside, we appreciate the "musical instruments" you sent along with your letter. How did you know we were forming a newsletter band? But then, I guess when you live in Nashville you pretty much have to start a band, eh? As soon as we've mastered all the instruments [kazoo, nose flute, slide whistle, and ocarina], we'll be recording an album.
Personnel expert Robert Half calls it "resumania" — a name for the funny, perplexing and bizarre bloopers that appear on job candidates' résumés. Half has been compiling a list of goofy résumé notations for more than 40 years. Some of his favorites include:
Don't hum, just blow, and fantasize ... . Can be habit forming.
Requires some humming ability.
Humanatone (Nose Flute)
Hold it firmly between the thumb and forefinger of either hand. Press firmly against nose and mouth. Keep the mouth well open, and always press the humanatone against the nose and mouth so that — this is important — there will be no opening at the corner of the mouth or any other point of contact between the nose, mouth, and humanatone. Failure to follow these directions to the letter may have embarrassing results. Blow through the nostrils only.
The name comes from the Italian diminutive for "goose," sliding down from the Latin roots for bird and aviary. Hard to play, too. It requires some talent and coordination.