Newly Married

Newly Married

 

I must admit I was spoiled.  I grew up in Southern California.  Nice pleasant days were the norm.  Oh, we had rainy days.  Sometimes it rained on and off for a week, but thunderstorms were so rare that they caused a lot of talk.  I can also remember days when it was 107 degrees for as much as a week straight.  The bad part about that is that the houses weren’t built for it.  Only people who were well off had air-conditioning, and I certainly wasn’t well off.

On the other hand, I can remember walking to school one day and there were little pieces of ice lying on the street.  I don’t know why but someone was apparently trying to water his lawn.  It was so cold that the water coming out of the sprinkler froze.  Eventually the water in the hose did too.

With those few exceptions, we had day after day of nice weather.  The temperature was generally between 65 in the winter, to low 80’s in the summer.  As I said, it was enough to spoil a person.

At any rate, it was one of those exceptionally nice days and I just finished work–teaching electronics on the Marine air base.  We’d been married a few months and my new wife wasn’t much of a cook.  She could make eggs for breakfast, and she could make hamburgers, and, of course frozen dinners.  Since we were married, she, for the most part, learned to make French fries and boiled eggs.

After I opened the door to the apartment, I noticed an odor.  I called out, not knowing where Kaay was, “What’s that smell?”

She made a mad dash for the kitchen while saying something about forgetting all about the eggs.  It seemed she was boiling eggs, got busy and forgot.  As I arrived, there was no more water in the pan.  I don’t guess you could say the eggs were burnt, but they weren’t exactly edible either.

We talked it over for a while and decided she could make another try at boiling the eggs and we could have egg salad sandwiches and French fries for dinner, but I needed to make a quick trip to the store, a few minutes away.  I can’t remember what it was I needed to get, but whatever it was we needed it for dinner.  Seems like it might have been milk or soft drinks.

At this point, I guess I should pause to say that we had an electric stove.  It was supplied with the apartment.

As I got back from the store, Kaay met me at the door with a question, “Is it baking powder or baking soda that you’re supposed to put on grease fires?”

Needless-to-say, that sparked just a little bit of panic in me.  The only thing that gave me any solace was that I saw neither smoke nor fire.  I figured it couldn’t be too bad, yet.  “Is there a fire?”  I asked as I pushed by her.

She replied, “Not anymore.”

Only somewhat relieved, I asked what happened.  She said that the oil for the French fries spilled over and got on the heating element.  It burst into flames.  Then, of course, she said, “I couldn’t remember which one I was supposed to use so I sprayed 409 (the cleaner) on it.”

Somehow, that didn’t make me feel a lot better, nor could I understand the reasoning.  Although I was afraid to ask I did, “What happened?”

She said the fire went out and it just made kind of a brown foam.  Then trying to cheer me up she added, “It cleaned up real easy.  You can hardly tell there was a fire there.”

Between the smell of the boiled eggs and the small kitchen fire, we decided to go out to eat.  Not only was it more pleasant, but just a bit safer too.

I have often thought about sending the story into Reader’s Digest, but then I keep thinking, what if someone else uses it on a fire?  We got lucky.  No telling what would happen if others tried using 409 in similar situations.  I don’t recommend it for putting out fires and I suspect the makers of 409 would prefer everyone restrict its use to cleaning.

Although we had our trying times, Kaay is now a good cook.  The good part is that there have never been any more fires, though she does still make quite a bit of smoke when she cooks.  When she wants to do any serious frying, we have to disable the smoke detector.

However, to this day, I’ve wondered just how good 409 would be for extinguishing fires.  The fire departments might be using the wrong thing when they use the commercial foam they put on oil and gasoline fires.  Maybe they need to start using 409.  Then, as Kaay said, it just might make the cleanup easier afterward.

(Oh yes.  One little important thing to remember: most say the proper thing to use would be baking soda, or better yet, an appropriate fire extinguisher.  I have no idea about baking powder.  I would prefer not to find out.)

Thinking back over the situation, I should have kept a box or two of baking soda in easy reach.  A few words of instruction might have come in handy too.  Then again, maybe we would have had more difficulty cleaning up.

Sometimes, It’s Better to Smile and Say Nothing

This story is true and a bit long.  A foundation must be set to appreciate my situation completely.

When I was a young man of twenty, I joined the Marines.  This eventually brought me to NAS Memphis for aviation electronics training.

Today it is considered politically incorrect to call a woman in the Navy a wave, but back then, it was commonplace.  We had a woman in our class, and to say she was outspoken would be a bit of an understatement.

To utilize the training equipment, during lab assignments we worked in pairs.  Thinking back over it, I guess I was fortunate not to have her as a lab partner until the last unit of the school, RADAR.

I suppose I should explain that the situation was made somewhat worse by the fact that she was attractive.  Other than her outspokenness, she also had a pleasant personality.

During the RADAR unit, we had assignments that required us to get close to a display to count dots on it.  By both of us getting close to the display, we had to get close to each other, in this case, the sides of our heads were almost touching.  The only alternative was for us to take turns which we did for a while.

At first, I felt awkward about it and I think she did too, but as time went on, we didn’t even think about it.  As the instructor was walking by, he noticed it and asked, “All right.  What’s going on back here?”  I’m not sure, but I don’t think anyone in the class heard his question.

It was a joke.  He knew it.  I knew it and she knew it.  We all just laughed but she just had to add her two cents, “Don’t you know?  He’s my necking partner.”

Though a bit awkward, it still didn’t really bother me.  It was a joke, and the instructor knew it.

 

A couple of days later, while we were in the classroom, the instructor made a remark about me.  I can’t even remember what it was, but it was less than flattering.  It might have had something to do with my large ears.

At any rate, the wave apparently didn’t like the remark.  So, for everyone to hear, she said, “Don’t knock my necking partner!”

Now it wouldn’t have been that bad if all the others heard the previous conversation, but none of them did.  That information was known only by the three of us.

Experience told me that trying to explain would only make the situation worse.  She and the instructor were the only two that laughed.  The rest, I know, were looking at me.  I kept thinking, “Where’s a good foxhole to hide in when you need one.”  Not finding anywhere to hide, I smiled and said nothing.  Right then, I thought it was the most prudent thing.

 

I went on to another advanced nine-week school before leaving Memphis, as did she.  Hers was in training devices, mine in radios.  Once I finished the school, I started the check out process.

As I walked along the street to my next destination, I heard a voice behind me.  “There’s my necking partner!”

I don’t guess I need to explain who I saw when I turned around.  If she’d been much farther from me, I don’t think she could have yelled loud enough for me to hear.

Beside her was a bewildered woman marine.  Needless-to-say, there were a few others that looked over, first at her, then at me.  We talked for a while after that.  Then, we went our separate ways.

We haven’t seen each other since, but for some time after that, I lived in fear of meeting her again, especially if she saw me first.

 

Please take a few minutes to look at my books on my author’s page at

amazon.com/author/story_teller

 

Obama Care – Rino Care, Same-Same

It seems every time I turn around, I hear someone talking about about the heath care bill, or the failure to pass the new one.  I’m kind of a simple person.  I don’t need all the theories.  I don’t need all the talk.  I really have no interest in the smoke and mirrors.

I have but one simple question.  When they actually pass something, am I still going to have to pay $940 a month.  If they decrease the cost by ten percent as I have heard, that won’t get it.  I will fight to replace my Representative  and my senators.  If I have to, I will run against one of them myself.

Granted I won’t get anywhere, but my representatives aren’t getting me anywhere either.  Considering my wife and I are living on Social Security, the one thing that  scares me most is that after it’s all said and done, there will be little or no change.