I have a book being published soon, called “Simple Observations.” It’s a humorous look at everything from: babies, to trips to the local Chinese buffet, to dogs, to a man’s first visit to a hair salon, to a vacation at the beach, to wedding receptions, to zombies. I’ve put together a few snippets from the book. You can also see them at my authors site at patrickdykieauthor.com. I appreciate any feedback on them, and I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for stopping by.
Simple Observations – Camping
As I finished off the last, cold Coors Light beer within a hundred miles, I watched my wife with admiration, and a little envy as she unloaded and set up our tent in record time. Leaving my wife and son to unpack the last of the gear, I headed on a half-mile trek to what were called the communal showers and bathrooms.
I was soon to learn that communal meant, sitting on a wooden toilet in a shed-like structure, next to a man named Ed, from Boise, Idaho. Ed, while enjoying the great outdoors, had been subsisting for weeks on a diet of chili, baked beans and more chili. I didn’t even want to think about the showers.
On my return trip to our campsite I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of wildlife. This included many new and exotic species of birds. I was glad my wife had allowed me to pack my binoculars. Over the years, I had gradually become a fairly knowledgeable and enthusiastic bird watcher. Returning to camp and procuring my binoculars, I proceeded to view some of the large, strange birds. They were nothing like the birds which visited my back-yard bird feeder. These were large and black like common crows, but with smaller heads. Their feathers were not a dull black, but had an iridescent shine. Their wings were large and narrow. Instead of trilling or whistling they made a high buzzing sound, almost like a bee. As I continued to stare at the strange birds, and they rapidly approached our campsite, my concentration was interrupted by my wife. In a flat, calm voice she said,
“Sweetheart. I hate to ruin your reverie, but those aren’t birds, but rather mosquitoes. If you want to see the coming dawn, it may be a good idea to grab a stick and a few rocks, run for the tent, and pray we didn’t forget to pack the bug spray.”
Simple Observations – Insurance
It seems there’s insurance for everything. Most of us have automobile, health and homeowner’s insurance policies. Do you know they also sell insurance for terrorism, nuclear incidents, kidnapping and ransoms, and volcanoes? It might seem crazy to procure volcano insurance, but you never know.
“Honey, quick, grab the kids and run. A volcano is forming in our back yard. Thank God I took out volcano protection last week.”
The thing that’s insidious about insurance is, if you don’t buy it, something bad will inevitably happen to you the next day. If you do buy insurance, you live to be a hundred years old, and never even get a paper cut. My insurance agent always says to me,
“Insurance is for just in case. You just never know when something bad could happen.”
It’s scary, isn’t it? You just never know. As you’re lying in your back-yard clinging to consciousness with a hole in your head, and your wife is inside, frantically rummaging in a drawer, looking for the life insurance policy she took out on you – what are you thinking?
“Darn those streaking lumps of space matter that enter earth’s atmosphere at tremendous velocities. I knew I should have listened to my agent, and gotten meteorite, insurance protection.”
Simple Observations – Diets
My second, and which I feel will be my most successful diet plan, I call the “Naked Diet.” It’s the simplest and easiest to implement. It requires no exercise, or special food. I would like to warn you though that it should be used only as a last resort. If all of your previous diets have been complete and disastrous failures. If you’ve thought of bariatric surgery to lose weight. If like me, while taking a much-needed vacation at the beach you were mistaken for a beached aquatic creature, and had to fend off twenty environmentalists, and PETA volunteers, as they tried to roll you back into the sea – then this diet could be for you.
All you need to get started, is a large, full-length mirror. Be sure it’s cleaned and polished to a brilliant shine. Now, this is important. Close, and lock every door in the house, as well as make sure all blinds and curtains are completely closed. Stand in front of the mirror with as many lights on as possible, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and quickly remove all your clothing. This last part is very important. As you open your eyes, be sure to have a phone handy with 911 on speed-dial, as well as a fully charged defibrillator.
I tried the “Naked Diet” last week, and I’m happy to say, I’ve already lost eight pounds. After looking at my naked body in the full light of day, and with God as my only witness, I’ve completely lost my appetite. As a matter-of-fact, I can’t even stand the sight of food – especially, big, white, fluffy marshmallows.
There is one problem though that I didn’t anticipate. It appears, I forgot to lock one of the doors, and my wife and son walked in on me while I was in front of the mirror. The good news is, their therapist has informed me that they’ll both be making a full recovery.
Simple Observations – Ghosts
Even though I never saw one, even as a child, I knew how to detect a ghost. Whenever a ghost was near I could always feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I’m serious. It’s better than any of those fancy machines, paranormal investigators use to detect spirit activity. Just ask any expert on ghosts, and they’ll tell you. Hair standing up on back of neck – ghost is ready to get you! It’s one of those immutable laws of nature, like gravity.
This brings up an interesting question. What if you’re bald? Does this mean you have no warning of the approach of ghosts, and you will become the first unwilling victim? Should we all hang outside the hair club for men with cameras in hand to possibly catch ghosts on film? Since my hair is starting to thin in the back, I may have to do some investigation on this subject.
I almost forgot that another way to detect the presence of ghosts is by a preponderance of unexplained cold air, along with bone-chilling breezes. If a ghost is in the room, you should be able to feel the temperature begin to dramatically drop, and then you will see your breath form into a cold and icy mist. That’s unless, it’s the middle of winter and your furnace just broke down. If that’s the case, then don’t worry – no ghosts.
Simple Observations – Vegetable Gardens
I’ve also been having a problem with garden pests. I call my little plot of soil a “pest magnet.” Every creature known to man has been in my garden at one time or another. I’ve seen rabbits, deer, groundhogs, rats, and every bird imaginable. I’m starting to think that everything loves my garden except me.
It wouldn’t surprise me to wake up one night to the incredible sight of an intergalactic spaceship parked in my back yard. Creeping stealthily forward with flashlight in hand, I would be a witness to a sight that few of the denizens of this planet have ever seen. I would come upon a group of highly intelligent, but extremely hungry extraterrestrials enjoying my plentiful bounty of “Big Boy” tomatoes. And here I thought, they only came to our planet to mate with us humans. That’s a shame to, because a buddy of mine claims to have been abducted by aliens. He said, if I ever run into any of those eight-foot tall women with the blue skin, and antennas protruding from their foreheads, I should say,
“Take me to your leader.”
Simple Observations – Cats
Do you know something else I’ve noticed about cats? There are just too many kinds of them. I can’t tell the differences in types or breeds. I remember as a kid, finding a cold, wet and pitiful looking kitten on our doorstep. Only later, after months of destruction in our house, incredible grocery bills and a few missing neighborhood dogs, did we finally realize that average cats, weren’t supposed to be eight feet long, reach a top weight of six hundred pounds, and roar when they wanted tuna. Luckily, the local zoo had an opening.
Since then, I’ve been very careful with cats. There are some crazy looking cats out there. Have any of you seen those funny looking, hairless, sphinx cats? Kind of strange to have a hairless cat, don’t you think? Do other cats laugh at him? Does he at least wear a robe? I hope they live in Arizona or New Mexico. If you own one, do you ever get any sleep? I would think, if you had one, he would either be stealing your blankets, or up all night stoking the fireplace, and wearing out the cappuccino machine.