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Sometimes I get yelled at


Sun, Nov 12th, 2000
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Monday, November 13, 2000

I think that most of us have heard stories about the absent minded professor. Well, I am not now nor have I ever been a professor, but I am and always have been absent minded. In my case, being absent minded is like never being at home when someone is knocking at the door. My mind wanders from subject to subject but never seems to focus on the matter at hand.

Back when I was in the fifth grade, Sister Lavinia could never seem to get my attention. She said that I was always daydreaming and that she had a remedy for it. She instructed the girl behind me to poke me between the shoulder blades when I seemed to be drifting off. I was still black and blue when I reached the eighth grade.

When I was in high school my gym class was marched out to the athletic field and I was forced to play softball. I was placed at first base and told that if the ball should come my way, I should catch it and put the runner out. I stood there for a while and then since not much was happening, I struck up a conversation with a girl that was sitting on the sidelines. I was just getting to know her when someone ran into me and knocked me down. The guys on the team started to yell at me and the girl wanted to know how I could be so dumb.

One day back in 1954, I was flying a small airplane and going nowhere in particular; I was just flying for the fun of it. I was thinking of the flying Aces of World War One and dreamed that I was flying with them in a Sopwith Camel. I had just finished a dogfight when I happened to look down and noticed that I was about to fly over a large lake. That lake got my immediate attention because there are no large lakes in southeastern Minnesota. I turned around and was trying to figure out where in the air I was when the airplane had had enough and the engine quit. I was out of gas! The airplane usually requires that someone be at the controls before it takes off but once it is in the air, it is quite capable of coming down on its own. The airplane and I landed in some farmerís corn field. The farmer came out in his pickup and began yelling and calling me names. He also made me pay for the corn that I knocked down.

It was on a Saturday morning in 1956 and I was going to be married at 10:00 a.m. Have you ever had the feeling that there was something that you were suppose to do or have done but you just couldnít remember what? Well, I got married and everything was fine until the priest asked for the wedding license. Then in a flash, I remembered what it was that I forgot. I forgot to get the wedding license is what I forgot. That was the first time that my wife yelled at me. The last time was last Friday.I donít know if I have ever mentioned that our house sits in a rock garden. It is surrounded by beds and low rock walls. The double garage is attached to the house and its floor slopes to the drive. Along the south side of the drive is a flower bed and a low limestone wall. On the other side of the wall is a tree lined gulch.

Last Friday, I had to drive into town on urgent business. I was out of beer. Since it uses less gas than my van, I decided to drive my wifeís car. I got in and released the parking brake and turned on the switch. Nothing happened., the battery was dead. I drove the van into town and got my beer. On my way home I asked myself if I had put the brake back on my wifeís car. I soon found out. Have you ever seen a little red car dangling from a tree? Well thatís what I saw when I drove into our drive. The car had rolled out of the garage, went through a flower bed and the wall and got hung up in a tree.

There are many kinds of Yells: the Rebel Yell, the Yell of an outraged motorist and the Yell of a thumb that has just been hit by a hammer but the most fearsome Yell is the Silent Yell. It comes from the eyes, the tilt of the head and the stance of the Yeller as she glares at the Yellee. Five foot two with eyes of blue that emit laser beams.

Well, Iíve contracted with a crane operator who tells me that he can get the car out of the tree and it will only cost me six hundred dollars. Something tells me that I am going to pay more than just money. People are fond of saying that money isnít everything, in my case I wish that it were.

--John Flaherty

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