“Just Me: Humorous, Helpful & Odd”

JMHHO Front Cover jpeg

“JUST ME: HUMOROUS, HELPFUL & ODD”

I.          What to expect in “Just Me: Humorous, Helpful and Odd”

II.         About “Just Me: Humorous, Helpful and Odd”

III.       Excerpts from “Just Me: Humorous, Helpful and Odd.”

I.          What to Expect in “Just Me: Humorous, Helpful and Odd. Many of the stories within the pages of this book have been published in magazines and periodicals.

The Great Communicator:  Kevin relates the problems of communication in marriage.

I Can Depend Upon Nobody: This essay contains Kevin’s experience with his website.

Rash Behavior:  Have you ever experienced moments of rash behavior? Kevin has, too.

Winging It:  A sledding experience from Kevin’s childhood with his new “Wing.”

A Tall Hunting Tale:  Kevin’s first completely fictional tale, described as quirky.

Fruitcake Surprise:   A tale of a man’s style of cooking in the kitchen.

The Dead Mouse:  Completely surprising.

There’s Nothing Wrong with Humor: Kevin’s signature pastoral chapter.

II.         About “Just Me, Humorous, Helpful and Odd.” This is collection of amusing stories, essays, bloggings, and thoughts from Kevin’s life. Many magazines, ezines, and newsletters have published his stories.  His humor and style of writing sets him apart from the norm.  Some publications have honored him with awards, as well. Kevin has the ability to take common everyday events and find the humor it them – things that most of us can relate to, which is why they are so popular. Many authors seem to try too hard, but Kevin has a sense of what is funny.  Readers can tell he is having fun telling the story yet knows when to stop and not take things too far. Kevin’s pastoral side comes out in the last chapter and has become a signature part of his books.  This actually completes the concept of Kevin being helpful as well as humorous, and sometimes odd.

III.       Excerpts from: “Just Me, Humorous, Helpful and Odd.”

A Very Chocolate Christmas

This morning I happened to visit Kmart to purchase additional Christmas cards. This errand could not be described as shopping because I had a determined quarry in mind. I knew the location of its lair. The managerial marketing decision made by the powers that be in Kmart had hidden them down a long aisle of special chocolate filled displays. They had the basic candy bars but in super-duper sizes. They had giant chocolate images of Tootsie Rolls and Santas. They had huge boxes of Whitman’s Chocolates, which don’t tempt me because I invariably choose the ones filled with toothpaste-like stuff or compressed left-over gummy bear parts. As a chocolate lover, I temporarily succumbed to the cries of the various chocolate delicacies. I stopped and drooled, then I got hold of myself by the scruff of my coat and hustled myself down the aisle to the card section. I was embarrassed that others might have seen how I had to discipline myself in such an overt manner. Nevertheless, I made it safely there, and got down to business. I had to find a box of cards that matched the ones I had already purchased the day before – and I did. Hallelujah! I grabbed myself by the sleeve and took a different route through the store – right by the large packages of M&M’s. Somehow, without provocation, two dark chocolate M&M packages jumped into my left hand! They clung there desperately. I attempted various evasive maneuvers through the toy section, hardware/automotive, and electronics, while trying to shake them loose. I eventually gave the M&M’s the slip in the women’s unmentionables section, and dashed for the checkout lane. I had to wait in line near more chocolate. I tried to ignore the pleas of the chocolate candy bars by reading the covers of the tabloids, but they could not captivate me enough to squelch the chocolaty appeals for my attention. In an attempt to ignore them, I looked elsewhere and noted a Santa. I thought about the chocolate Santa I saw earlier, and surmised, according to the size and weight of the package, that he was hollow. I thought how fitting. I got through the checkout without any more chocolate assaults. At home I thought – what have I done? The chocolate situation is desperate – only a few M&M’s left. This could be a Christmas without chocolate. Horrors! What could be done? I am considering a new theme for this year called “A Very Chocolate Christmas.” I am returning all the gifts I have purchased and buying chocolates in their stead. That way when the gifts are opened, chocolates will be served. The meal should have chocolate dips for the fruits and vegetables. Dessert would, of course, consist of chocolate ice cream with chocolate topping, chocolate chocolate-chunk brownies, and the beverages would be hot chocolate or ice cold chocolate mocha frappes. Every counter, lamp stand and table would have dishes of Hershey’s kisses. The tree ornaments would have to be removed and replaced with chocolates of all kinds. Yup, a very chocolate Christmas indeed.

The Attack of the Invisibugs

I grew up in eastern South Dakota, spending many years living on Wall Lake, and experienced the various, and at times numerous, kinds of insects, bugs and assorted creeping things native to this area. However, in the summer of 2009, I experienced the receiving end of sorties by invisibugs.  They effectively used their terrorist/guerilla tactics that summer because I never saw them, but their bites lasted weeks, and itched persistently and with intensity.  As the man who needed to protect his family from danger, I armed myself with a can of Raid bug fogger and attacked them on a particular Monday evening. I fogged our bushes, peonies, plants, foliage and grass.  I felt it went very well. I inflicted considerable damage on the mosquito and fly population. Unbeknownst to me, the invisibugs struck back ferociously.  I never saw a single one, never felt a single bite, but they got me over seventy times.  Itchy red welts covered my body.  By the following Saturday the bites finally began to shrink to the point that I looked like I suffered from terminal acne – itchy zits everywhere. By the way, I did call the city to report the skirmish but they weren’t concerned since they felt invisibugs did not carry disease.  The lady at Mosquito Control interjected that she thought they were gnatlings and that I would be able to see them better when they grew up.  (It made me wonder if the gnatling bites were worse than those from adult gnats, similar to the concept that rattlesnake venom is more toxic in baby rattlers). She promised she would send someone out to verify my complaint – but how does one confirm invisibugs, I ask you? Since I was at work, I was unable to verify their verification of my invisibug report.  Perhaps there was a city worker wondering where in the world he got all these itchy red spots back in 2009.  I know exactly where he got them. Some friends, relatives, coworkers and complete strangers contributed their opinions as to what these invisibugs might have been. One friend, who survived an assault by the invisibugs, has been itching for an answer, as well. A coworker theorized that they were not gnatlings, but actually nitlings.  He reasoned that newly hatched fish are hatchlings and that newly hatched bugs come from nits and thus would be nitlings. A paranoid stranger claimed they were actually nanobugs – an artificially intelligent nuisance built in secret facilities by the government. Thusly, he would not come out of his house until winter, except in extreme emergencies. Some people who had lived in other areas of the country said they were no-see-ums.  When I mentioned this to the local Sioux Falls people, they just looked at me with disbelief. Their attitude seemed to be that of, “just go along with him, smile, nod once in while, and he will eventually go away.”  Nevertheless, no-see-ums are real, or so reads my can of OFF Deep Woods Insect Repellant.  Are these the same as invisibugs?  How can a person compare unseeable insects? A friend explained that I had had an allergic reaction to something.  I am inclined to agree – I am allergic to invisibug venom! A relative said they were tiny little bees.  That would make them minibees? Microbees? Beelittles? Weebees?  At any rate, images of Africanized invisibees went through my head, but thankfully didn’t stay there long. My favorite theory came from a stranger who wanted me to check my bed for bed bugs. Bed bugs?  The invisibugs carried out their attacks outside of my house and did not care one bit for Raid.  But then again, they could be…flower-bed bugs.

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