Handwashing 101

This week small posters providing CDC guidance on techniques to combat the spread of the coronavirus have been popping up everywhere, including on the door to the men’s bathroom on my floor at the firm.  One of the topics addressed by the poster is the need to wash your hands for 20 seconds.  Looking at it moved me to compose some bad verse:

Handwashing 101

I learned it as a tiny tot, and it was kind of fun

But this week I’ve been enrolled in Handwashing 101.

I always wash up, for sure, but now from what I gather

The CDC says it’s quite key to work up a good lather.

Twenty seconds sure is long, much longer than my plans,

It’s tough indeed for those of us with short attention spans.

I rub away, in water warm, and feel my mind wander

“Is this how Pontius Pilate felt?” is one thing that I ponder.

The water’s getting hotter still, like flames from a lit torch

But if it helps to stop the spread, my fingers I will scorch.

At the end of my countdown, with digits squeaky clean

I feel that I have done my part to stop COVID-19.

My hands have been boiled red, redder than the setting sun

It’s how you get a passing grade in Handwashing 101.

 

Another Crease In The Head

The other day I was brushing my teeth when I noticed that yet another wrinkle had appeared on my forehead. Because there’s not much else to be done about it, I decided that writing bad verse was the only reasonable response to this monstrous act of facial cellular betrayal:

Another Crease In The Head

Alas! Will wonders never cease?

Today I found another crease.

A crease! A seam! A furrow deep!

Arrived while I was well asleep.

Behold!  A visage, once unmarred,

Is by another wrinkle scarred.

And a forehead that ere was proud,

Appears to have been freshly plowed.

What caused my skins cells to decide

To carve a groove into my hide?

Are age and toil just brought to bear,

Or is this the price for poor skin care?

So welcome, crease! Join the collection!

And taunt me in the mirror’s reflection.

And yet, I’m grateful to my skin

For not adding another chin.

Last Piece Of Pie Lament

It was a fine Thanksgiving holiday, marked by good food, good company, and another glorious win over That Team Up North.  But as the weekend drew to a close, one last piece of culinary temptation remained, to remind me of one of my weaknesses:  I’m helpless in the presence of pumpkin pie.

Last Piece Of Pie Lament

O get thee gone, last piece of pie!

I can’t resist you and I don’t know why!

I’ve gobbled taters, stuffing and turkey

So much the details seem quite murky.

Yet still with you temptation remains

And once more my willpower strains.

Is it the spice, or the moistened crust

That reduces my resolve to dust?

Or the sweet memory of pies gone by

That causes the impulse I can’t deny?

Whate’er it is, I know I’ll succumb

And have to finish every crumb.

You’ve won again, and your crusty ilk

So now I’ll eat you with a glass of milk. 

 

Ode To An Early Morning Flight

Richard said he liked my occasional verse on the blog. Every wannabe writer likes a compliment now and then, and it’s been a while since I’ve composed some doggerel, anyway. So below is my ode to an early morning flight.

Ode To An Early Morning Flight

Whene’er I fly there’s a choice for me

Do I fly at 6 or half past 3?

The pros all say the morn is right

To avoid delay and cancelled flight.

From that viewpoint, a.m. is best —

But what about my lack of rest?

If I book a flight that heads out early

I know my sleep will be all squirrelly.

I’ll worry that I’m oversleeping

And miss the plane and end up weeping.

I’ll toss and turn, and slumber poor

And wake up when the clock strikes four.

But later flights I must beware

For fear of storms around O’Hare,

That leaves the schedule all akimbo

And put me in a traveler’s limbo.

There’s no good answer, sad to say

So I’m at the gate to start the day.

Deploying The Mad Bomber

The weather app on my iPhone cautions that it’s 2 degrees Fahrenheit outside, on its way down to a low temperature below zero.  There’s a brisk 14 miles per hour wind blowing steadily from the west that, combined with the temperature, has created a wind chill factor of minus 16 degrees.  And the National Weather Service has issued a warning that the extreme cold and wind could produce wind chills as low as 40 below zero, which could cause exposed skin to experience frostbite in as little as 10 minutes.

That kind of scary cold is an assault on all that’s holy and everything warm and pleasant in the world.  But nevertheless, in a few minutes, I’ve got to take an exuberant, cold-loving dog out to do her business.  What to do?

Alert the armed forces!  It’s time to deploy the Mad Bomber!

The Mad Bomber is easily the warmest hat in the house.  In fact, it’s easily the warmest hat in any house.  Made in China, it features a nylon shell, natural rabbit fur trim and interior lining. It even has a little clasp that allows you to lock the hat around your chin, the better to protect those delicate, flabby neck wattles by swathing them securely in fur.  When you don the hat, your encased head immediately begins sweating.

Of course, it’s not a stylish piece of headwear, as a bit of doggerel I composed some years ago acknowledges.  The Mad Bomber belongs on the head of a rustic villager trudging across the windswept Siberian tundra, or perhaps your high school janitor out salting the teacher’s parking lot on the coldest day of the year.  But then, no one turns to the Mad Bomber for style.  It’s deployment is purely a defense mechanism, designed to give humans a chance at surviving the most brutal temperatures and crippling cold.

Brace yourselves, Columbusites — it’s Mad Bomber time!

Much Ado ‘Bout Betty Boo

Russell’s dog Betty has been staying with us for a few weeks while Russell gets some work done on his builling.  Betty — who is known to Kish and me as Betty Boop or, in abbreviated form, Betty Boo — is making herself at home, as dogs always do, and there couldn’t be more of a contrast between the youthful Betty and the aging Kasey, who likes nothing so much as good morning, afternoon, and evening naps.  Betty is pretty much the exact opposite, and the difference between the two moved me to write some bad verse:

Much Ado ‘Bout Betty Boo

Damp tennis balls found in the halls,

A tattered sock and battered shoe.

These all, we know, are telltale signs

of Betty, Betty Boo.

Kasey wants to sleep so deep.

But things to rip, or tear, or chew

Are the very favorite things

Of Betty, Betty Boo.

She’s still a pup, and not grown up

With more energy than me or you;

A whirlwind of devilish play

Is Betty, Betty Boo.

It’s time to walk, no time to talk,

Then we’ll play fetch anew.

But she’ll never tire, no matter what

Will Betty, Betty Boo.