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FROM THE VALLEY: "Delicious" Cannot Describe It - Not Even Close

BY TOM VALLEY

As a result of the stay at home order, my wife, Kathie, and I have created a unique system of communicating with each other. I'm not talking about agreeing on every issue – that's less likely to happen than Elvis and Bigfoot showing up hand-in-hand with a Covid-19 vaccine – I'm talking about a code-like language we both understand.

For instance, if I ask her what time it is, she now says “Tuesday” - or whatever the day is. Time no longer consists of minutes and hours in our daily routines; it's days and months. We've morphed into a new perception of how to deal with time. I no longer wear a watch; I strapped a calendar to my wrist.

Another example, if I ask her what we had for dinner last night, she knows I'm asking 'what are we having again tonight?'! Leftovers have become the everyday meal. E-v-e-r-y single day. And oddly, they never seemed to have had a beginning. Infinity grub.

We like to have music on when we eat. The better the food, the better the music. I don't know why or how, it just works out that way. If we are having something less than tasty, we put on bad music. The theory being, the food might taste better compared to the godawful music. Whatever.

But, kidding aside, it's an ideal opportunity to cycle through the freezer and eat stuff that's been in there and somehow gotten lost in the system.

Things like that brownish-gray looking fish I caught in 1973. And that one hamburger roll tucked in the back since our 50 year-old son's tenth birthday party. It's all good … well, maybe not the fish … or the roll. But we hate to waste stuff. Now that I think of it, we did have a three day power-outage last spring. Maybe that explains the flat Popsicles.

Speaking of fish, have you ever met people who say they love fish as long as it doesn't taste fishy? What's that all about? It's like saying 'I love steak as long as it doesn't taste like beef.' Makes no sense.

Another thing: Because we are only human, the extended time we are huddled together can easily lead to testiness. People become surly. It's that way for everyone. Nothing escapes the quirks of side-effects. For instance, every morning I ask our techie computer-ginkus what the weather is like, “Alexa, what's the temperature outside?”

This morning she barked back, “What's it to ya? You ain't goin' nowhere anyhow.” Gee, sorry I asked. Even the toaster got into the act; it burned my bagel today. I hate it when that happens. Bad toaster! Bad, bad.

I have learned things over the past month or two. One being the definition of the word 'mitigation.' I guess I'd never heard it bandied about the way it is today and used in the context it's being used. I always thought 'mitigation' meant: a custody battle over a baseball glove. What do I know? (Thank you. Please … be seated.)

I had to call the cable company last week. Naturally, I was put on hold

and forced to listen to the worst-quality of jazz ever recorded in the history of time. Not to mention, it was sped up seven-times its intended speed.

It was made worse by the fact that every 15 seconds it would stop with a recorded voice saying, “Thank you for holding. We are experiencing an unusually high number of calls. Your patience is appreciated.” And then I was jolted back to the chaotic blare of what I just delicately described as alleged music.

After 27 minutes of “noise,” 108 voice-recorded interruptions, 9 Valiums and half-finished suicide note, a lady came on the phone. I had my pen and paper ready. I always write down the date, time and the person's name so I can repeat it in the course of our conversation .

“Thank you for waiting. My name is Grszzjanna, how can I help you today?”

“Your name is what?” I asked.

“Grszzjanna.”

“Can you spell that for me, please.”

“Actually, I'm not sure how it's spelled. It took me a while just to learn how to pronounce it.” Alrighty then.

“Fine,” I surrendered. “Before we start, I must tell you that I've been a customer for over 40 years. And every time I call, I get the same message telling me that your company is getting an unusually high number of calls. Not just a high number, an 'unusually' high number. I've gotten the same message for 40 years.”

“Yes ….?” she said, wondering where I was going with this.

“Well,” I said, “don't you think after 40 years, 40 years, you'd eventually realize that it's not, absolutely not ... 'unusual' … anymore? When in hell does it become 'usual'? You say 'unusual' every damn time I call!”

“Whatever,” she said. “What can I help you with today?”

“First, I was wondering if you can tell me where I can buy the music you played while I was on hold?”

“Ah-h, I guess so. May I ask why?”

“Sure, you can. You see,” I explained, “I'm having this piece of fish tonight ….”

That's enough. I don't want to be the reason you get sick.

Be smart, be safe and stay strong.

And that's the way it looks from the Valley.

Deceit causes trouble and foolish talk will bring ruin” - Prov. 10:10

Tvalley@Rochester.RR.com

The author Tom Valley who likes his fish cooked well done by freezer burn

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