Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What Harshes My Mellow: Part 5

 

After the brouhaha of my last post, a critique of the myth of the Noble Savage, and a follow-up post on the question of why that same Indian post with 48 Likes didn’t make it to the Main Feed (a post that rained down a few brickbats upon my sensitive bald head), I thought I would back off from controversy and post my usual inconsequential essay on things that harsh my mellow. Too much excitement in my life threatens my serenity.

I keep thinking that I’m going to run out of things that harsh my mellow. After all, I’m an easy-going guy who doesn’t let many things bother me. But as I go about my day, something annoys me and I think, ”Criminently, the Ricochet peeps are going to want to know about this.”

1. The Pussycat Next Door. The darned thing sashays around the neighborhood like she owns the place, pooping here and there, but mainly on our flower beds. Bob the dog tracks her, as you can see in the photo to the right, as she walks back and forth in front of our house. That cat harshes both Bob’s and my mellows. 

2. Fat guys in the sauna. Lately I’ve been baking in my gym’s sauna (190 degrees) after I lift weights. There’s some old guy who comes in about the same time I do. He weighs over 300 pounds and wears nothing but a pair of shorts. You remember that boxer called Butterball? That’s sorta what the guy looks like. He‘s totally bald and has a pot belly as big as a cow’s udder that hasn’t been milked in a week. It seems to threaten to burst. If it does explode in such an enclosed space, he will take all of us in the sauna down with him.

I said “Hi” one day when just he and I were in the sauna. I shouldn’t have. The guy’s conversation was as careless as his appearance: loud, slurred, and full of “You know what I mean” tags onto the ends of sentences and the use of “goes” instead of “says.”

But then I think, “Kent, you’re terribly small-minded for thinking such unkind thoughts. You don’t look so hot yourself.” So I feel bad about my lack of empathy. And that’s why the fat guy harshes my mellow. He brings out the worst in me.

3. My brother-in-law. Because he’s a California left-winger. I don’t think I need to say anymore.

4. Dog Poop Scofflaws. My normally warm feelings toward mankind cool down when I see dog poop on the sidewalk. Behind that poop, of course, is a dog owner who said to his fellow citizens, “I’ll leave my messes behind for other people to deal with.” These are the same kinds of people who pick up a six-pack of Coors Light in Wal-Mart, change their mind, and put it back wherever they happen to be at the moment.

I have to confess that I occasionally would like to released from John Locke’s social contract when Bob poops in tall grass 15 feet off the dirt path. Surely I can get away with leaving that poop, just this once, to the elements. But Marie calls me back to good citizenship as she sends me off the trail to search for the poop. Marie follows every rule she meets, plus some she makes up just so she can follow them.

5. Age spots. They’ve started to show up on the top of my balding head. Normally, I wouldn’t even think about them because I can’t see them. But when Marie cuts my hair (or at least trims the few strands that remain), she reminds me of their presence. “Uh Hon, you’ve got some age spots on your head.” Like she didn’t tell me that the last time she cut my hair.

I’m five years older than she is. I think she reminds me of my age spots in order to subtly remind me that she’s much younger than I am. The woman is clever — but not clever enough. I see into the various ruses that she uses to get the upper hand in our marriage. So on the same day that she reminds me of my age spots, I make sure to remind her that the skin of her upper arm is beginning to sag.

For 56 years, our marriage has been a zero-sum game. And that harshes my mellow.

My life is a living hell. 

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There are 40 comments.

  1. The Reticulator Member

    KentForrester: Too much excitement in my life threatens my serenity. 

    Same here. Besides that, too much serenity in my life disrupts the excitement.

    • #1
    • November 16, 2019, at 7:08 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. She Thatcher
    She

    KentForrester: I’m five years older than she is. I think she reminds me of my age spots in order to subtly remind me that she’s much younger than I am. The woman is clever — but not clever enough. I see into the various ruses that she uses to get the upper hand in our marriage. So on the same day that she reminds me of my age spots, I make sure to remind her that the skin of her upper arm is beginning to sag.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, @kentforrester, but crimenutely, five years is not all that much younger, and if that makes her the age I think she is, and the skin of her upper arm is only just beginning to sag, she is a lucky woman, and you are a lucky man. Some of us who are “much younger” than TBM have been fighting the battle of “why, when I wave at others, do my own arms wave back at me first?” for years.

    I attribute her sprightly youthfulness to life with Bob the Dog. Don’t really see how it can be anything else.

    • #2
    • November 16, 2019, at 7:11 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  3. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    She (View Comment):

    Some of us who are “much younger” than TBM have been fighting the battle of “why, when I wave at others, do my own arms wave back at me first?” for years.

    Great line, She. Worthy, I think, of a clever standup comedian.

    • #3
    • November 16, 2019, at 7:27 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  4. Spin Coolidge

    KentForrester: I keep thinking that I’m going to run out of things that harsh my mellow.

    I keep thinking that you don’t actually have a mellow…

    • #4
    • November 16, 2019, at 7:28 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  5. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    KentForrester: Too much excitement in my life threatens my serenity.

    Same here. Besides that, too much serenity in my life disrupts the excitement.

    I guess we ought to strive for balance. Fifty percent serenity, fifty percent excitement. Sounds hard to manage, though. 

    • #5
    • November 16, 2019, at 7:29 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  6. Spin Coolidge

    KentForrester: and full of “You know what I mean” tags onto the ends of sentences and the use of “goes” instead of “says.” 

    Like, that totally harshes my mellow too, know what I’m sayin’?

    • #6
    • November 16, 2019, at 7:29 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  7. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Spin (View Comment):

    KentForrester: I keep thinking that I’m going to run out of things that harsh my mellow.

    I keep thinking that you don’t actually have a mellow…

    Oh, I have lots of mellow, Spin. I have so much mellow that it oozes out of my pores. 

    • #7
    • November 16, 2019, at 7:31 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  8. Tex929rr Coolidge

    So I’ll admit I don’t have too much mellow. At fires I often have one of my officers talk to the homeowner if the cause of the fire was clearly owner stupidity (about 80 percent of the time) because after many years I discovered that what I thought was my poker face was actually my “you’re a dumba**” face.

    A while back we were at a house fire in the middle of the night. An older guy pulled up behind our three week old rescue truck (with its emergency lights on) and asked how to get to the fire, claiming it was his son’s house. I pointed out a place to pull up and park and he immediately drove straight into the back of our new truck. The department story now is that I “went all Italian on him”. I admit, I used up pretty much all the profanity I learned in my military service.

    Later he tried to walk into the still burning house past the working crew, telling them that “no one can keep me out of my house”. Boy, was he surprised.

    • #8
    • November 16, 2019, at 8:49 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  9. Arahant Member

    KentForrester: (If you think I included this particular mellow harsher merely to get a photo of Bob high enough in my post so that he would show up before you even needed to tap the More button, you’re right. It’s pure clickbait. I’m old and can’t be trusted.)

    😁

    • #9
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:06 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. Arahant Member

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    Boy, was he surprised.

    He was probably surprised even more back when he received his lobotomy.

    • #10
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:14 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. MarciN Member

    I wonder if Bob just wants to make friends with the kitty. My daughter has completely changed my notion of how dogs and cats relate to each other (note that there are two kitties in this picture):

    • #11
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:16 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  12. PHCheese Member

    I think there should be a senior discount here on Ricochet. Sort of a bonus for sharing our accumulated knowledge or what passes for knowledge.

    • #12
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:19 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  13. Arahant Member

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    I think there should be a senior discount here on Ricochet. Sort of a bonus for sharing our accumulated knowledge or what passes for knowledge.

    You kids! Get off my lawn!

    • #13
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:22 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. The Reticulator Member

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I wonder if Bob just wants to make friends with the kitty. My daughter has completely changed my notion of how dogs and cats relate to each other:

    Not in the weird dreams I’ve had recently about dogs and cats (mostly cats). In the last one the cat mauled the dog worse than I’ve ever seen when awake. It can be hard for me to play referee, especially when the dog doesn’t have any fighting skills of its own or any functioning instincts for self-preservation.

    • #14
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:24 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    KentForrester: (If you think I included this particular mellow harsher merely to get a photo of Bob high enough in my post so that he would show up before you even needed to tap the More button, you’re right. It’s pure clickbait. I’m old and can’t be trusted.)

    😁

    Well, at least this time the little yellow guy has both eyes open. 

    • #15
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:55 AM PST
    • 1 like
  16. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I wonder if Bob just wants to make friends with the kitty. My daughter has completely changed my notion of how dogs and cats relate to each other (note that there are two kitties in this picture):

    Marci, that dog looks just like Bob.

    • #16
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:56 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    I think there should be a senior discount here on Ricochet. Sort of a bonus for sharing our accumulated knowledge or what passes for knowledge.

    Mr. Cheese, total agreement.

    • #17
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:57 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. Al French, poor excuse for a p… Member

    KentForrester: Marie follows every rule she meets, plus some she makes up just so she I can follow them.

    FIFY

    • #18
    • November 16, 2019, at 10:10 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  19. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Al French, Count of Clackamas (View Comment):

    KentForrester: Marie follows every rule she meets, plus some she makes up just so she I can follow them.

    FIFY

    Ha ha. 

    • #19
    • November 16, 2019, at 10:13 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. Old Buckeye Member

    Kent, I don’t recall ever seeing a full-body photo of Bob before now. His body is different than I imagined from his face/head. Is he part shar pei? He’s even cuter than I thought!

    • #20
    • November 16, 2019, at 10:49 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):

    Kent, I don’t recall ever seeing a full-body photo of Bob before now. His body is different than I imagined from his face/head. Is he part shar pei? He’s even cuter than I thought!

    Buckeye, because of his short legs, we thought he was part corgi until we had his DNA tested. It turns out he’s 50 percent chihuahua, 25 percent American bulldog, and 25 percent other stuff. A true mutt.

    • #21
    • November 16, 2019, at 11:27 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  22. Barfly Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    I think there should be a senior discount here on Ricochet. Sort of a bonus for sharing our accumulated knowledge or what passes for knowledge.

    You kids! Get off my lawn!

    When I get to be a senior citizen, I plan to tie the sprinkler system into the natural gas line. Maybe I’ll get a Buick Riviera, I liked those better than the Gran Torino.

    • #22
    • November 16, 2019, at 11:45 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  23. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member

    KentForrester: My normally warm feelings toward mankind cool down when I see dog poop on the sidewalk. Behind that poop, of course, is a dog owner who said to his fellow citizens, “I’ll leave my messes behind for other people to deal with.”

    On my rural road, many people do not curb their dogs. This harshes my mellow too. There is one woman, a skinny little bundle of bones, who used to be hauled down the road by two slavering pit bulls who liked to crap in my flower bed at the foot of my driveway. Until the day I came barreling out of my house to the roadside, waving a plastic bag , and smiling like she was my best friend, and telling her that I had come to help her because clearly she had forgotten her plastic bag to pick up the dog poop. The poor thing was so confused, it still makes me laugh to recall her face.

    She cleaned up that time, but now she crosses to the other side of the road when she gets near my house and tries not to let her dog excrete within sight of my front windows. Also, I am happy to see that she now has only one dog threatening to knock her over or bolt out of its harness.

    But she still doesn’t pick up her dog’s poop.

    • #23
    • November 16, 2019, at 2:10 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  24. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    KentForrester: My normally warm feelings toward mankind cool down when I see dog poop on the sidewalk. Behind that poop, of course, is a dog owner who said to his fellow citizens, “I’ll leave my messes behind for other people to deal with.”

    She cleaned up that time, but now she crosses to the other side of the road when she gets near my house and tries not to let her dog excrete within sight of my front windows. Also, I am happy to see that she now has only one dog threatening to knock her over or bolt out of its harness.

    But she still doesn’t pick up her dog’s poop.

    Mrs. Toad, the scofflaw saw through your faux friendly approach to the matter, didn’t she?

    • #24
    • November 16, 2019, at 3:00 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. Arahant Member

    The real question is, what did she do with the plastic bag of dog doo that MamaToad provided for her? Drop on the next neighbor’s lawn?

    • #25
    • November 16, 2019, at 3:28 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Kay of MT Member

    I’m thinking about getting a service dog, half Lab and Half Belgian Malinois. He looks like Bob except bigger. Big enough for a harness to hold me up, keep me from falling.

    • #26
    • November 16, 2019, at 3:38 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  27. She Thatcher
    She

    KentForrester: 2. Fat guys in the sauna. Lately I’ve been baking in my gym’s sauna (190 degrees) after I lift weights. There’s some old guy who comes in about the same time I do. He weighs over 300 pounds and wears nothing but a pair of shorts. You remember that boxer called Butterball? That’s sorta what the guy looks like. He‘s totally bald and has a pot belly as big as a cow’s udder that hasn’t been milked in a week. It seems to threaten to burst. If it does explode in such an enclosed space, he will take all of us in the sauna down with him.

    I’ll take the beached bull whales in the sauna or whirlpool any day, over “Mr. Splashy,” my soubriquet for the elderly show-off who likes to get in the lane next to me when I’m doing my thrice-weekly half-mile swim. Clearly no one ever taught him that knifing through the water with as little disturbance as possible is the most efficient and thoughtful way to proceed. He flails around, water goes everywhere, and the turbulence that surrounds him makes it almost impossible for the rest of us to make any headway. I dread encountering him, and have shifted my swim times to try to escape. But still, he persists! My mellow is harshed. And that’s not easy to do.

    Perhaps he is stalking me?

    Perish the thought.

    • #27
    • November 16, 2019, at 3:44 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  28. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Mrs. Toad, the scofflaw saw through your faux friendly approach to the matter, didn’t she?

    She was terrified.

    • #28
    • November 16, 2019, at 4:33 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The real question is, what did she do with the plastic bag of dog doo that MamaToad provided for her? Drop on the next neighbor’s lawn?

    It was garbage pickup day. I told her she could put it in there that day.

    • #29
    • November 16, 2019, at 4:34 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Kay of MT Member

    My sister is harshing- my – mellow. She claims I don’t need a trained dog, I should get a puppy and train it myself. Now how can I do that, when I can’t walk down a sidewalk without falling, or falling with my trekkers. She is a democrat.

    • #30
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:09 PM PST
    • 8 likes