After the seriousness of yesterdays news, I needed to post a more lighthearted entry tonight and two appropriate items fell into my lap, so to speak.
I get a Google email every time certain words turn up on t'internet and I got one this morning from an online newspaper in Michigan. I'll cut/paste it here.
A Leelanau County funeral director is now a national calendar model. He's a fourth generation funeral director at Martinson's Funeral Home in Suttons Bay. Nick Martinson is Mr. December in the "Men of Mortuaries" calendar.
Now there is a calendar for the ladies for sure. I wonder if Mr. December is posing on a suitably adorned festive casket with elves as pallbearers. Oh lets go the whole hog and have the casket on a carriage pulled by Rudolph, Dasher and the rest. Maybe have a smiling Santa popping out from the open casket lid and waving at us.
I'd pay to see that.
The other 'item' came about today as we left the park and the worries about Pixie for a while and went to Tampa on a coach trip to the Hard Rock Casino. After all these years of visiting America, this was my first time on a coach and it was.......different. There were about 45 of us and the average age was probably 75 or more. The luggage area under the coach was filled with the usual plethera of walkers, oxygen tanks and iron lungs and the air inside was a mixture of cashmere bouquet powder and old spice.
Within 10 minutes of setting off from Sebring, most heads were tilted heavenwards and deep snoring was imminent. To perk everyone up, our unofficial leader decided we either needed to play a game or watch a video. Everyone voted for the video and so we played a game !
Leaders don't become leaders by being democratic after all.
The game ? Well it was pass the parcel. This involved passing a paper wrapped gift over heads and down the coach and when our leader said stop (using the up front mic), the person holding the parcel had to read the post-it note on the front, do whatever it said, rip off one layer of paper and pass the parcel along for the fun to continue unabated. The various layers revealed notes with instructions like -
- tell everyone your name.
- tell everyone what you ate for breakfast.
- smile at the person next to you.
- tell everyone what car would you like to own.
It was riveting stuff I can tell you. It started well but the passengers lost interest about the same time as the leader seemed to lose consciousness. The parcel kept coming around with the same layer of paper on it as the leader was talking or sleeping or had slipped into a coma and we never got the call to stop. Maybe it was a cunning plan to make the game last until we got to Tampa but it failed miserably.
Eventually the leader was revived, stop was shouted several times and finally the last layer of paper was ripped off to reveal the gift..........one of those push lights that you put somewhere that needs light but you can't be bothered to light with a proper electric powered light. Too many lights in that sentence but never mind.
This awesome gift was left behind on the winners coach seat when we went into the casino - probably in the hopes that it wouldn't be there when we returned. But it was.
I'd taken my camera as usual but knew it was almost out of battery power. I took a spare. On the trip to the casino, I took a few pics onboard and as we arrived at our destination, the battery ran out. No worries. I took the spare battery out of my pocket and when I removed the duff one, I suddenly realised my awful error. Wrong battery !!! I'd brought my spare camcorder battery which is just slightly bigger than the still camera battery. Grrrrrrr.
In classic fashion I rubbed the expired one in my hands to get a flicker of life into it (oh don't EVEN go there) and presto, it offered up just enough power to let me take one last photo.
So here is Debby in front of the iconic HRC guitar sign. Sadly it doesn't give a location but the palm trees at least let you know it's not in Birmingham, Dublin or Glasgow.
Could be Leeds of course - except that when I was last in Leeds, the HRC had closed and was being refurbished to reopen as........well not a HRC.
And so, grasping our free money vouchers and players cards, we approached the casino doors and now, finally, we come to the point of this story.
The casino is now owned by Native Americans, Indians to you and me. The Seminole Tribe to be accurate. A couple of their female representatives greeted us with arms full of beaded necklaces which they handed out to us to wear within the gaming floor.
Now maybe it's just me but I found the historical irony of this very amusing. The Indians were now giving US beads ! I loved it.
As if that wasn't enough, their damn slot machines then fleeced us of our money as well.
It may have taken a few hundred years but payback sucks.
So those were my two 'funnies' today. A funerial calendar and an historical irony.
Tomorrow morning we go back to the animal hospital to pick up Pixie. She is improving after her surgery but the road to full recovery is still not a certainty. One thing is for sure. She will get all the love and attention she needs and just having her back 'home' with us will be better than anything we could've won at the casino today.
I do like my beads though !!