Posts filed under ‘humour dark and otherwise’
Ode to a Disconnected Downspout named DON
Your very existence was officially heralded on a bleak January day
Detachment was noticed and engage you we must- or a price we would pay
To leave your condition unchanged meant more than a citation
Due to your condition so brazen – fix ” Don” come hell or creation
Through snow drifts and ice we went to inspect our wanton neglect
Your illegal status we wouldn’t be allowed to forget
A week on the Friday was the date we were given
Through fair winds or foul we would be striven
The date just a week hence to put right our shame
We made the calls to men who were handy in name
Our pleas to come quickly – all came to nowt
“Are you insane?” “In this weather to connect a downspout”
It is true at 13 degrees no water was hitting the ground –
just the pond water falls- heated to run- making a sound
The tarps of blue flapping merrily away
marked the time passing – a loss of a day
Winter winds forecast to howl – the ground covered in ice and snow
Two intrepid fellows plunged through the bracken and ice- it was a go
They hoisted the drill and attached the offending gutter
Whilst women watching – waited indoors – hearts all a flutter
Until success was at last to be found
no more Don discharging himself on the ground !!!!!!
We can go to bed tonight and turn the light out
Don is connected once more – a righteous downspout
I can think of nothing much finer
than pleasing Inspector Klinar !!!!
to be continued……
Gillray’s print, Fashionable Contrasts- But whose feet are those?
Trying to get through this season of happy , happy , joy , joy I have once again tried to escape to “lose” myself in history once more .
I exchanged the WW2 for that boring old history of Kings and Queens and the aristocracy. However I can tell you Reality TV has nothing on these folk! But there is the connection with Downton Abbey fans. Oh! if these old walls could talk ;).
I will never be able to look at another old movie starring David Niven or Douglas Fairbanks in the same way as just two days ago a story in the Daily Mail :
How I lost my virginity to the VERY racy real life chatelaine of Downton’s Scottish castle by Micheal Thornton
It seems the late Duchess Of Argyll ( Margaret Campbell) had numerous affairs with many a young man including the writer of the Daily Mail piece mentioned above. Quite scandalous for the 1930’s but then again this was the time of a King abdicating for the “lust” of a woman- Edward and Mrs. Simpson. It seems they were all at it in the “dirty thirties”
He( The Duke) compiled a list of her alleged lovers, believing he could cite 88 men. My name,(Micheal Thornton) and that of Anthony Wallace-Turner, escaped the list.
A note in the Duke’s handwriting, found among the Argyll divorce papers, records: ‘MT and AW-T are both innocent victims of M’s nymphomania.’ The original list contained some famous names. The Hollywood stars Bob Hope and Maurice Chevalier were on it. So, too, was David Niven, who had taken Margaret’s virginity at the age of 15. The 13 Polaroid snaps discovered by the Duke appeared to show two different naked men. Pornographic comments written beneath pictures of one of the naked men were alleged to be in the handwriting of Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Was Douglas Fairbanks Jr. indeed the “headless man” ? A Tale of the headless whores’ man 😉 http://fascinatinghistory.blogspot.com/2005/07/duchess-of-argyll-and-headless-men.html
So what you say old history – not quite my mum is still around to remember the “players”- She remembers the abdication and the scandals of the day – living history or reliving it
and this Duchess and her connections wasn’t alone in my “viewing pleasure of this week- Keira Knightley was on Ovation in her role as “Duchess”.
As I watched because I wondered how close to the “real” story was this “movie “- I was surprised to learn- pretty damned close- WHY WASN’T THIS EVER MENTIONED IN THOSE DULL OLD HISTORY CLASSES in school- I bet I wouldn’t have been alone in remembering this figure of history and the Prime Minister 🙂 The names are sounding familiar to royal watchers of today.
The Duchess of Devonshire -Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (née Spencer) 7 June 1757 – 30 March 1806) was the first wife of the 5th Duke of Devonshire, and mother of the 6th Duke of Devonshire. Her father, the 1st Earl Spencer, was a great-grandson of the 1st Duke of Marlborough. Her niece was Lady Caroline Lamb. She is an ancestor (via her illegitimate daughter Eliza Courtney) of Sarah, Duchess of York. She is also related to Diana, Princess of Wales, who was her great-great-grandniece.
It seems Princess Diana was not the first in her family to have to endure three in a marriage
In 1782 the Devonshire’s travelled to Bath and their met the woman who would be with them for the rest of their lives, Lady Elizabeth Foster, or ‘Bess’ as she was known.
Bess ingratiated herself into the Devonshire household, became the Duchess’s lifelong confidant and later mistress to the Duke. They lived together as a menage a trois for 25 years, and soon after Georgiana died, Bess persuaded the duke to marry her and finally legalize their relationship http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~awoodley/regency/devon.html
In an interview with Martin Bashir in 1995, the Princess said she had known her husband had renewed a relationship with the then Camilla Parker Bowles in 1986, just five years after their wedding.
“I wasn’t in a position to do anything about it,” she said. “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
Well it makes our local scandals seem very tame by comparison! So that is something to be thankful for I suppose- May your New Year be Scandal Free or at least worth the notoriety to be endured !
I used to love this time of year- the burst of colour, crimson, golds and green – bright blue skies intensified by the crystal coldness of the air – a time to breathe without the heat and humidity I have never appreciated. I looked forward to curling up with a book in front of a fire as evening drew the curtains of inky blue over the outside world.
No longer do I greet this time of year with past enthusiasm. I read so many books whilst you fought for your life through stem cell transplants and in Texas- all those hours in waiting rooms, reading quietly whilst you tried to sleep in the next room in the Texas apartment. I don’t remember any of the ones I read- except for the one . It still is the most important book in this house.
I have tried reading to escape, I can’t, it just takes me back to that Thanksgiving Day in the Cleveland Clinic and as I read out loud to you – the episode– that is what they called it – he is having an episode– a code blue episode!!!! . Although the Dr. on duty came out to the “empty waiting room” said you were dying and did I want a clergyman- ironically the only time in that waiting room I wasn’t surrounded by the “gypsy encampment”
Circus by Chris Ritchey
I was alone – I couldn’t fathom what this Dr. was saying to me……. a nurse bringing me hot chocolate –
dying – what are they talking about?
But then you rallied -again hope – a chance for laughter once again in my life.
You see Chris was always the one who made me laugh– he could be very naughty as a little boy but it is hard to punish someone when he would make you laugh. Even as he grew he could be so exasperating at times but then that smile and irreverent humour which would make me melt.
It had been known to heal – his humour – it helped his Dad. A few months before Nikki got married my husband suffered an “episode” himself and had to have open heart surgery . He was in ICU at the Cleveland Clinic and was intubated.
He was in an induced coma for a while and according to the Drs. was “completely out of it” – only he wasn’t- although unable to respond he heard every word that was said – he knew I was holding his hand talking to him.
They said he wouldn’t remember anything but he did and told us afterwards everything we were saying and who was there – it was horrible not being able to show he heard and he knew what they and we were saying. It was very frightening for him. He has never gotten over that experience.
I remembered that as Chris lay in his bed those last days hooked up – I ache at the thought that he could have heard the dreadful Sue Lombardi and her daughter, Angela Ritchey DO calmly discussing what to dress Chris in in his coffin– it shatters me to think my son trapped in his body was hearing their thoughts on parking at the funeral home. Imagine that if you will.https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/dec-4th-how-cold-is-cold-lombardi/
Chris’s Dad insisted we say nothing in front of Chris when he was intubated worried he could hear and never to say goodbye because he didn’t want Chris to feel like he did – panicked and helpless. I watched the tears trickle down my sons cheek as they prepared to intubate him – I heard his last words he spoke and I hear them every day …………
My husband, in the ICU had a nurse who quite frankly he didn’t like – she was the sort of officious, all business type , mechanical in her dealings – probably a very good nurse truth be told- but she was “mean” according to the patient. Her bedside manner was definitely lacking.
Candidate for medical degree being examined in the subject of “Bedside Manner.” Punch Cartoon 1914
He wanted the tubes out- he has a phobia about being tied down etc. – they told him so many hours which kept dragging on causing him more distress as time lines came and went. I couldn’t get any answers and being tied down with the tube down his throat caused him so much anxiety and the anxiety – it became a vicious circle -the tube was causing him distress – the distress was causing the tube to stay in…. anyway he eventually got the tube out and although he wasn’t allowed anything but ice chips – this nurse “Nancy” didn’t think it was advisable. All well and good but this healer instead of explaining why would just pull the curtain across with a “no ice for you”. It became so bad that when she would come into the cubicle his blood pressure would soar- I finally requested she no longer be assigned to him -coincidence or not after he found out she wouldn’t be coming back as his nurse he calmed – I stayed – and he was finally released out of ICU.
Unlike the ICU where Chris had the “crowd” I was the only one apart from my daughter allowed in and then only for twenty minutes every 4 hours……..how many trips in a day I drove to the Clinic I can’t count in those first days. My husband was moved to the floor but the damage had been done by Nancy Nurse Nancy. He had nightmares about her. I explained to Chris as we went up on the elevator how he had been impacted. As we talked he pulled out a small pad of paper, asked me what she looked like and by the time we got to the room handed his father his interpretation of Nancy Nurse Nancy.
Nancy Nurse Nancy- by Chris Ritchey
It was the first time his Dad had smiled in days and even managed a weak laugh . He asked for it to be put up where he could see it and when he woke from his nightmares he would find comfort in his son’s take on Nancy Nurse Nancy – He chased away the nightmares with his humour .
Chris’s dad kept that little drawing , it is framed and hangs where he can see it when he wakes. The nightmares of a different sort come now – but it still brings back, if just a little, the gift of a smile and laughter by his son.
How I wish for laughter – how I wish for my son- how I wish we could have peace on this journey with no end save one .
Part One – In search of my son- In search of me
Part Two – Tourjours Moi-Always Me
Part Three – Always Me – Always Chris
Part Four – In search of My Son-
Chris Ritchey – Thanks
Part Five – Dark Humour- Shedding a Light
Part Six – The Unfinished Portrait
Part Seven– The Unfinished Portrait- The Artists
(2) Part Two – Who Are We Really?
Part Eight– When Premonition Becomes Hindsight
Part Nine– When Premonition Becomes Hindsight – Part Two
Part Ten (a) – There is an “I” in Death
Part Ten (b)- I didn’t know my son- Chris Ritchey
Part Eleven- Unfinished Portrait the Artistic Gene
Part Twelve- Unfinished Portrait- the Artistic Gene- Part Two
Part Thirteen– A Place of Echoes
Part Fourteen – An Absence of Laughter
Part 15 – Who I am , the artist speaks
Part 16- The Lowest Ebb- I knew my son- Chris Ritchey
Over the course of this “blog” I have written hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of words.
Words can heal, confuse, cause unbearable sorrow, hurt , laughter, destroy, enlighten, express your deepest emotions. I believe at one time or another I have used up those categories on this blog. The last posts have focused on words and their importance.
Advertising knows the importance of words and telling the story quickly and their visual importance to the “screen”.
During the course of Chris’s education he wrote a book- yes! a book!
The brief as I understood it – limited the number of words to be used ( under 30 ? ) – using different fonts to emphasize each word – texture of the paper / colours etc also to give visual emphasis to the reader. Subject (of one’s choice) telling the story with a beginning , middle and end- evoking at least two emotions from the reader.
I saw the book at one of his “student shows” along with another of his interpretations of a “social message” which caused a bit of controversy that evening- whereas other students had decided on – sexually transmitted diseases, use of condoms- spousal abuse- aids – my son took on the war in Iraq/Afghanistan and wasn’t on the side of the “anti-war protest” group.
Chris’s humour was sometimes dark and irreverent ( like mine) but he used his humour as described here
Whilst in Texas( end of October) a text came through from Angela with regard to the fundraiser- Chris was told that two funeral homes had donated– Chris turned to me and said :
“You think they are vying for my business?
ED Note– vacuous thinking comes to mind when that statement was made by Angela!
WHO???? gets excited about the participation of funeral homes in a fundraiser for your husband who is under a death sentence and to then feel it was important to impart that information to him? In my opinion total lack of thought to the consequences of her words. But like her other words SHE did not have to deal with the results – harbinger of words to come and end results of that sort of vacuous thinking on her part.
Back to the book– I found the book not long after Chris died – it was touchable, tangible and reminded me once again of my son , his humour, talent and how much I miss him everyday.
Obviously jpgs of the pages cannot give you the feel and texture of the paper used, the mere act of turning a page – anticipation for the ending- the process in which the reader is supposed to feel at least two strong emotions with regard to the subject – in this instance a COW– but it is the best I can do with my limited resources to show the power of words as used by in visual communication every day we “watch”
Did this little book evoke any emotion?Will you be able to have a steak tonight or look at a cow the same way 😉
Did you follow the story of the subject matter?
Can you see the significance of font and the words used?
If you did (even in this format) then his little book is truly an example of “working words”
and “words are all I have”…………
Update: Check out Daniel’s further investigation in the corner stone caper
The recent “miraculous” find of a time capsule- and OH! YES!!! that is the word some were saying ” it is a miracle” and nobody knew it was there. As soon as I heard those words I was transported back to younger days and singing the song
Three Old Ladies
Oh, dear, what can the matter be
Three old ladies locked in the lavatory
They were there from Monday to Saturday
Nobody knew they were there
The first one’s name was Elizabeth Porter
She went in to be rid of some overdue water
And she stayed there far more than she ought to
And nobody knew she was there.
The second one’s name was Elizabeth Pomphrey
She went in and made herself comfy
Then she said: “Girls, I can’t get my bum free.”
And nobody knew she was there
The last one’s name was Elizabeth Carter
She was known as a world renowned farter
She went in and played a sonata
And nobody knew she was there.
Now my version:
Oh dear what can the matter be
A corner stones miraculous recovery
Cause NOBODY knew it was there???
The first flush told of heroes The 2nd flush turned into zero’s
The stone that was for safe keeping taken
Turned up a time capsule when shaken
And NOBODY??? knew it was there
The third flush a media scoop
When one newpaper got the rest of the poop
The smell becoming somewhat putrid And fingers pointed ” No you did”
And NOBODY knew it was there
However, just as the song Three Old Ladies morphed into Seven Old ladies I am not sure that this “flush is finished-toilet tales in Lorain ????
“Make sure you always put on clean underwear in case you get into an accident”
I was never sure why having clean underwear was needed in case of an accident- I thought perhaps it would help , the nurses, doctors, etc. might take better care of me. I didn’t argue with my mum – I have just made sure that I have clean knickers on all the time- you never know!
Although the “Eat your Brussel sprouts there are starving children in India” usually brought forth ,
We could send them my Brussel sprouts!!!!
Monday night was a bad night in this house. I was having a hard time dealing with the events of recent days .
Now every Christmas , birthday etc I receive pajamas ( big ones- ones you can get lost in – cuddle in -expand in) . I have lots of pajamas. I would live in them if I could -just like Hugh Hefner .
However, something strange happens in this house when a matching set of pajamas disappear down the laundry chute in the upstairs bathroom somehow when they reach the basement- something happens- they never come back upstairs as a set.
I have given up over the years –so what if the bottoms and jackets don’t match– I am sure my husband of many, many years no longer is looking for me to “match”- He would probably be more impressed if my hair stayed the same color from week to week or I purchased “snore no more”.
So “Black Mood Monday“ found me wandering the house unable to sleep , trying to deal with the flood of emotions that were beating me up. I finally headed for bed at 1:30 am. hoping that the sheer emotional exhaustion would act as a sleeping pill. I lay staring at the ceiling, the walls , trying to rid my brain of all the thoughts and hurt and listening to my heart beat pounding in my ears.
” I will never get to sleep with this pounding in my chest… Wait a minute!!! SHOULD I be hearing my heart beat in my ears? SHOULD my chest be pounding … Oh horrors….my pajamas were clean but mismatched… what should I do? Should I get dressed put on clean underwear? Supposing the ambulance came and horrors of horrors they would find an overweight woman that they would have to get downstairs in mismatched pajamas. Aren’t you supposed to cough to get the heart in rhythm when having a heart attack? Damn the aspirin are downstairs- I can’t be carried out in circus tent like pajamas for all the world to see”
Someone tell me – are these the thoughts that flash across your mind when you think you are dying? – I thought it was supposed to be your life flashing before your eyes in your final minutes- not the state of your pajamas ( or underwear) . Come to think of it that may happen when you are drowning- Note to self the next time I fall in the pond I will try to pay attention!
Well I got up , coughing with every step to counteract the dreaded heart failure before I found matching pajamas My heart racing even more now with the added worry of where I could find a good pair of matching pajamas at 2 in the morning in the laundry area that has been likened to “Ohio’s latest disaster area”..
Would I be found in the light of day face down in a pile of pajamas – ?
Success!!!! I found a pair that matched, showered again and changed ( which totally woke me up) and I realized that the effort and focus of finding pajamas had helped the anxiety and blackness I had been feeling to dissipate . My heart was no longer pounding in my ears and now wide awake I went to the computer and wrote another post.
How many people can say their life was probably saved by mismatched pajamas and their mother’s advice of “clean knickers”?
But I now have my emergency kit packed and ready to go. Also I have written “my own Obit”! I certainly don’t want published what others may think of me 😉
NOTE: “He who thinks he should be obeyed ” and Misty slept through the whole episode! Of course in my husband’s defence he probably thought I was snoring!!!!