"It was tough going but I focused my energies and persevered. All that effort tuckered me out for Fathers' Day, but I still managed to see most of the Indians' victory between cat naps," reported McBeane as he flexed his shoulders. "I had some new muscles yesterday, I'll tell you. It's a good thing that home workout doesn't happen too often," he concluded with a big sigh.
"It is getting a bit late for turning over your garden," responded Doberman. "My clay-laden dirt is getting pretty solid in this heat. What on earth did you do?"
"I was drafted to be the inside man on a big job ... cleaning windows at home," was the response. "I think the last straw which kicked off this notion was a sale on Windex. That special value motivated the household commander to mandate we proceed. There was something said about 'can hardly see out.'
"But it did look a lot better. And neither of us fell off the ladder. Once I found the proper location for the old knee pillows, it was full wipe ahead."
"I too have recently succeeded in a home project which has been on the domestic agenda at our house," reported Doberman. "We have two toilet flappers. That's one more than in the house where I grew up with three sisters. There was always something hanging on the shower rod to dry. But that's another story.
"Apparently, each of my pair of stools had been leaking slightly. First, I inquired of our helpful water department ladies who assist when you pay your monthly bill.
"They suggested a scientific exploratory exercise with food coloring which worked like a charm. A few drops showed that the old flapper was faulty. I was quickly off to my friendly hardware man who offered two remedies from his handy display. A reminder about being careful about tightening things was helpful, too. I guess it prevents another kind of drip which usually makes a substantial puddle on the floor because it is under pressure.
"But, lo and behold, for the past several days, 'john' has stopped its ghostly filling in the still of the night. I have even stopped worrying about it a little bit.
"Now if I can get my knuckles to heal..."
"I have another group to include from my list of unseen heroes who are there to help folks who are less well-informed or just plain dumb about something," noted the philosopher.
"Within the past decade or so I have journeyed along the rocky shores of basic computer literacy. In the course of those efforts I have learned about a lot of new things from cookies to cursors. There is still a lot of room for improvement.
"But those young men and women of my computer company are wonderful. They find out what I am trying to say, what I would like to do. Then, with a few simple directions like 'click on this," and 'highlight that', they educate me enough to solve the problem at hand.
"And to make it all the better, they will patiently try to teach elderly me again a few months later ... when I call again about the same difficulty ... which I have mostly forgotten how to handle.
"Speaking of teaching, I bet Miss Schmidlapp would have been pleased to watch the unfolding exercise in government, procedures and public issues we currently have in our city. We used to call it civics.
"Perhaps we could also call it ... American. Lend your thoughts and prayers to those who serve America."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.