Coffee sipping was opened by the historian with a word of praise for our men in red trucks.
“I surely believe it is a great idea to allow Norwalk’s Fire Department to provide assistance to EMS folks. When you think about carefully and safely bringing someone to the loading doors of a medical transport van, the project might become very tricky; especially in slippery conditions as we have experienced recently.
“I recall how I slipped and slid on my trip to our mailbox this morning. We would think a few extra hands on stretcher handles would be beneficial to all concerned.”
“Today there is a growing (no pun intended) problem as we glorify this nation’s riches by eating ourselves to death,” growled Doberman who recently welcomed his Christian observance of Lent. It gave his faithful spouse added reason to control his food portions. She was attempting to cause him a loss of some poundage which accumulated during Christmas feedings, many of which contained third helpings.
“Talking about heavy folks, according to something I read on a recent editorial page, county coroners have been forced to increase the lift capacity for elevating bodies to 750 pounds. Then the corpse can be placed on tables which have a new load limit of 1,000 pounds.
“That’s right,” agreed the philosopher. “Caskets now may be built more than four feet wide. That’s about the bed width of pickups which a couple of us drive to these meetings.”
“Back to the firemen, I see by our local paper that a sweet young lady from Norwalk is enrolled in the firefighter course at EHOVE. She wants to become the first female Norwalk firefighter, fireman…or is that firewoman?”
“How about firefilly?” suggested the cynic.
“Anybody remember Blaze Starr?” asked McBeane. “From West Virginia I think...fiery and lovely; definitely all firewoman.”
“Changing the topic a bit, do any of you recall an older adult who said bad things happen in threes?” asked the merchant. “At our house we are just recovering from number three.
“Bad occurrence number one was a tricky situation with lights on our faithful around-the-town car. Our skillful auto technician and some well-spent money solved that one.
“The second was an adjustment to our faithful sump pump which deserves a special blessing. Not too bad.
“The third was our name brand refrigerator manufacturer.
“Let me hasten to say we have no problem with our store folks, including the skillful technician who sought advice from company technology engineers. We will buy something there again without hesitation.
“Cold was not much of a problem. When we bought our new appliance we were advised that the controls would take time for best adjustments because of a need to balance operations between the cooling compartment and the top freezer.
“We tinkered for almost a year. Lettuce froze without warning. So did eggs.
“Temperatures varied without provocation. Ice cream fluctuated between soft for serving and bricks for paving.
“Then the missus wrote a nice letter to the company. That document prompted a telephone call from a corporate sweet young thing who talks to folks about unhappy feelings toward one of their products. She had already talked with the technical support department experts. These were trained minds of the technical department of a large and reputed American Corporation. And they had a solution which I supposed evolved from several generations of technicians.
“They didn’t recommend an approved replacement part. Not a recommendation concerning setting numbers on controls in a special way. Not a well thought-out modification from minds geared to decades of American home appliance know-how. The cure?
“Duct tape. Very American, from an old line institution. We should apply duct tape on certain locations. It is visible when you open the refrigerator door to get something out. Not too classy in its shiny elegance.
“Not pretty; but it seems to work. Good grief! I wonder if the next model will come with designer tape which will at least match the color of the interior. We’ll never know because the next appliance we buy from our dealer will be manufactured by someone else.”
McBeane had the last word. “Remember success in our country of immigrants, ENGLISH is the language of success.”
Give your thoughts and prayers to those who give of themselves in the service of their country.
Richard Armbrust of Norwalk is the unofficial scribe of the Cheap Coffee Club, a group of retirees who meet each morning for coffee and conversation at a local restaurant. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.