Good mornin’! How was your weekend? My wife’s mother came to visit for the weekend, so I took the occasion to go fishing up at Pine Lake, but the mosquitos was really bad up there, so came back a bit early. Brought back two beautiful lake trout, though. Since my wife don’t eat fish, I had both of them beauties to myself. She did fry them up for me—a bit of butter and some sauce. Mmmml! I can still taste them!
I thought I’d try something different and come to work on time this morning, just to see what it felt like. The clock said exactly nine o’clock when I walked through the door, and sure enough, Mortimer, the ol’ company brownnoser and fresh off his honeymoon, was already at work, polishing his garden tools and placing them carefully back on their designated place he had marked for them on the wall rack.
Save time by always knowin’ where your tools are, he keeps tellin’ me. I swear, the greatest fear rust could have with Mort’s tools, would be to appear as a rust spot on one of them! That rust spot would be polished away faster than Russian President Putin could say, ‘nyet’!
I did—again—make note that Mort forgot to put the coffee pot to boil. Since he’s always the first one in in the mornin’, I naturally figures, first one in to the office should make the coffee, but he always keeps forgetting to do that.
One of these days I’m gonna have a real serious talk with that slacker about the importance of havin’ that first cup of coffee in the morning. However, considering the good mood he was in, I didn’t want to spoil it. I’ll have that talk with him another day!
“Mornin’, Mort!” I greeted him, sounding as cheerful as I could, hoping that would keep the morning pleasant. “How was the honeymoon?” Not that I really cared, or that it was any of my business, but it was a conversation starter.
“It was great!” He replied, turnin’ hisself around and actually looking directly at me. Usually he just answers with his back to me, so I figured he really must feel special this morning, if he’s facin’ me directly.
“We stayed in a beautiful, self-contained log cabin in Jasper National Park that had a small kitchen unit, so Maureen was able to brush up on her cooking skills.”
“Your wife can cook?”
Mort broke out in a amusin’ type of chuckle, like as if I had something funny. “She’s a very good cook,” he said. “She worked for an entire year as the Master Chef in the Rolling Hills Restaurant on the north end of town, but didn’t like the long hours, so she returned to teaching. Right now, she’s teaching a primary class in a small, rural school about five kilometers east of here.”
“Teaches?” I guess my face musta showed surprise, ‘cause he chuckled that stupid chuckle again. “Maureen has her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education.” Mort rehung the grass sheers he’d been sharpinin’. He seemed sorta proud that his wife was so smart and educated, and that observation really alarmed me. It’s my superior opinion that a woman should never be smarter than her husband! They gets real bossy if they thinks they’s as smart or smarter than you.
I was about to correct him and explain that it was a bad idea, letting women get higher education. I mean, sure, they can go to grade school up to Grade Eight, so they know how to read and write and answer a phone, and make up a proper grocery list, but high school and university was a man’s world, and should stay that way!
Sheesh! Next thing you know, women will want to become boss of a company, and hire men to work for them! No way! I ain’t subjecting myself to any of that kind of inequality!
By this time in our talk Mort had finished polishing all his tools, so he picked up his car keys and said, “I have to go to the gas station and fill up the gas can so I can cut the lawn this afternoon. They have a snack bar there. Would you like me to bring you a sandwich for your lunch? Treat’s on me.”
“As long as it ain’t one of them vegetarian things again,” I reminded him of the last time he bought a sandwich for me. I took one bite of that last sandwich and had to throw the rest away. Veggies is for kids and some lower-class animals, but real men that’s got a superior taste for food, eats meat!
“How about I buy you a Sauerkraut and a Bratwurst in a hotdog bun? I think they still sell them at the snack bar.”
Boy, marryin’ Maureen and the honeymoon must of really have changed Mort. I never seen him this generous before.
“Sure,” I said. “Now you’re talkin’ man’s food!” Sauerkraut on a real, German type of Bratwurst was a Friday night special at the new Tartans and Cream pub. That new pub opened up shortly after the Crown and Star had to close down. You could buy a bratwurst and a beer at their place for five bucks. That was my choice every Friday night when I went to the pub instead of goin’ home and eating that mushy stuff my wife is startin’ to make for me. My wife’s also got herself on one of them health food diets, and is trying to get me to eat that stuff, too. She sez it will make me healthier, but to my superior way of reasoning, it’s my eating at a sauerkraut on a bratwurst at the Tartans and Cream pub once a week —or sometimes, for a change of diet, I orders a Super Burger with a side of fries and a pickle at McDoogle’s Burger Stop that’s made the he-man out of me that I am today!
While Mort was gone to the gas station I thought I’d take the opportunity to read the morning newspaper. Not much news in the paper today. The editor used up a whole page just to give his opinion against that ring road the province wants to build around the town. The editor figures it’s gonna allow a lot of traffic to be routed away that would normally stop and shop in town, so the ring road would be bad for business. But the province figures it would speed up north-south traffic that crosses the province every day, and wouldn’t have to slow down while going through town. Especially them big dual-rigged transport trucks; they’d be free to just honk their horn and happily wave goodbye while speeding past our town.
I’m with the province on the idea for building a ring road. I want to keep our town small! It’s more peaceful and quiet that way, not having to deal with all that through-traffic. ‘Specially not having them big trucks slow down as they pass through town. Right now, they use their engines instead of their air brakes to slow down, and that infernal pop-pop-pop their engines make as they slow down was often the cause of jolting me awake too early on Sunday morning! I swear, them truck engines make more noise than a battery of artillery guns can make while firing blanks on celebrating our national holiday!
I see where ol’ Jake Osgood finally died. He had turned a hundred and three last January. Earlier this summer, the town had made him Citizen of the Year to honor him for all the good work he done in the past for organizing kid’s hockey teams. All his family—it sez here that he had thirty-one great grandkids—and some of the retired hockey players that are still around, had a special honoring-wake at the funeral home. One thing I know for sure, Osgood didn’t have any beer at his party. He was a teetotaler.
Sheesh! How can you have a party if you don’t allow beer? I suppose some of the women got together and made him a frosty orange juice! Sheesh! What’s this world comin’ to when a guy turns down a beer for orange juice?
Mortimer just came in and handed me my bratwurst. He even bought a root beer to go along with the bratwurst!
“Thanks, Mort! I owe you one!” I gleefully unwraps that beauty and admires that culinary delight.
“Just remember to do the filing before you go home,” he reminds me, while digging into his own veggie salad. I had to wonder: how can a man eat that stuff that he’s eating? He ain’t no rabbit!
But I got something better to concentrate on than rabbit food! “sorry for cutting our conversation short but my bratwurst is waiting …
Talk to you again next week!