Category Archives: humorous stories

Snipped Snafu


Has this Raquet Club employee watching my car being towed away  been in the pool yet today?  jdbphoto

I can’t imagine the snafus I must be making every time I speak Spanish.  Oftentimes, it is the thing that breaks the ice and opens up the laughter. So it is with this translation of an otherwise unexciting Raquet Club quarterly report to members that I received in an email today.  I quote:

  • Since May 1, club workers are cleaned by the pool. The Board of Directors has noted that this measure has made it possible for the pool to have fewer leaves and less cloudy water. 

What an excellent further use of the pool, but seems like it would create more leaves and cloudier water as surely some soap must be involved as well, don’t you think? And one would think the workers themselves would protest.

Now, please send me your own  “snafus to share” in the comments below:

Private Lives


I’m presently spending three months in a small beach town in Mexico where I’ve come every summer for the past six years or more. Tonight I went to the readers’ theater production of “Sylvia.” At the play, when they sounded the 5 minute bell during the intermission, I went to the ladies room.  Right after I entered, the announcer said over the microphone, “As soon as the restrooms empty out, we will begin.”  Then, as I was sitting there thinking I had plenty of time, I heard, “As soon as Judy DB joins us, we can begin!”  I ran water on my hands, drying them on my pants as I ran out of the bathroom and to my seat.  As I sat down, I heard someone say, loudly, “At least she washed her hands!” No such thing as privacy in a small town. I guess I’m a local now.

By the way, the photo above isn’t really of the ladies room at the theater. I just couldn’t resist using my favorite bathroom shot of La Mosca one more time.  To hear the story behind La Mosca, go HERE.

Little Duck’s Almost Novel Adventure


One day Little Duck was bored, and although Big Duck was not bored at all, Little Duck decided he needed to be educated in the art of flying. “Just stretch your left wing out like this,” he instructed Big Duck. Of course, Big Duck had neither left wing nor right wing, so he stretched his left arm out as far as he could.


“Very good,” said Little Duck. Then, “Stretch out your right wing!” he quacked like a drill sergeant, in a very bossy tone. And so Big Duck stretched his right arm out as far as he could.


“Now, spread out your wing tip feathers and flap both wings at the same time,” demanded Little Duck; but try as he might, Big Duck just couldn’t do it.


Upon further investigation, Little Duck decided that aside from a failure to coordinate wing movements, there was a further complication that foretold that for Big Duck, flying lessons would never come to fruition,


for it seemed that in addition to malformed wings, Big Duck also lacked the webbed feet necessary for landing and propelling himself through water as well as the tail to serve as a rudder.


“Very strange indeed!” shouted Little Duck from waaaaay down on the floor, where he had gone to investigate the matter. “In fact, in spite of your name and the color of your feet, you seem to resemble this palefoot human standing right over here to my right more than you do a duck.”


“But I love you anyway,” Little Duck quacked at Big Duck, as he winged up to his shoulder to give him a reassuring peck on the cheek.

And, never one to give up on chances for adventure, Little Duck put on his thinking cap and tried to think of something Big Duck might be better able to accomplish. It was important after his last big failure that he give him a simple task more suited to his talents than flying seemed to be.

“Eureka!” he thought, and hopped up to share his idea with Big Duck, who at first looked somewhat dubious.


But, in his usual inimitable fashion, Little Duck persevered. “As a team, we are unbeatable,” he insisted. “With my creativity and great mind and your mutated feathers capable of maneuvering a keyboard, we could write great literature!” And so, after a great deal of quacking and what passed for quacking on Big Duck’s part, the two settled into a collaboration.

“It was a dark and stormy night,” lisped Little Duck.

“That sounds a bit trite to me,” countered Big Duck.

“Once upon a time,” quacked the littler of the two.

“Been done already,” Big Duck fired back.

“Duck!!!!!” shouted little Duck as he saw a wasp zeroing in on Big Duck’s ear.

“That sounds a bit better,” enthused Big Duck, and typed the first word of their document, complete with five exclamation marks and an ending quotation mark.

Knowing there was very little time for action, Little Duck soared through the air to Big Duck’s shoulder just in time to snap up the angry wasp in his martyred and heroic beak.


“What comes next?” asked Big Duck, totally unaware that he’d just been saved from his biggest fear by Little Duck.”Did you notice that I remembered the closing parenthesis?” He asked, pointing proudly at their first completed sentence. “Do you have an idea for the second sentence?”

“There was a wasp about to sting you on the ear and I saved you by catching it in my beak!” shouted Little Duck.


“Now who in the world is ever going to believe that?” protested Big Duck, and threw up his hand in defeat.

And that is how Little Duck’s Big Adventure never came to be written and why Big Duck’s name has not gone down in the history of literature, or even at the very least, in the blogger’s hall of fame.



What to do with leftover Little Duck photos on the way between St. Paul and St. Louis with Big Duck doing all the driving.  I hit the publish button just as we arrived at the motel!  Now that is timing.

Crave more Little Duck adventures?

Red-faced in Reflection

JudyRed jpg (1)
I can remember telling two “most embarrassing” stories in past prompts.  Here is one:
nd here is another:

Extra Service: Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge 2016, Week 23


The Customer is Always Right

This photo would not be oddball except for the story that goes with it.  I was in the same store that had the life-sized horse lamp with the lampshade on its head.  Remember that? (A party horse, I surmise.)  I could get through a year of oddballs on just photos from that store, but this particular photo is more about the subjects than the photo itself.  I saw a woman who had been carrying her somewhat heavy and fussy child around the store for some time.  Finally, as I waited in line to make a rather large purchase, (not the horse) she walked up and held the sleeping child out to this man, who had been helping me to buy the table and chairs and who did not look any too pleased to be taking charge of his son. His stance was awkward and his arms extended in a manner that showed very little connection to the child.

“Is this your son?”  I asked, smiling fondly at the child who was cherubic in his sleeping state.
“No,” he answered.
“Do you know the mother at all?”
“No,” he answered, “I just work here.”

The mother, hearing our interchange, broke into the conversation. “I have been holding my son for a long time and my arms are tired, so I gave him to this man to hold for me.”

This may not be as funny in the telling as it was in the viewing, but this man in no way volunteered for babysitting duty and neither did he look at all adept at it or interested in continuing to serve as “baby-check” boy. It struck me as funny, and still does. How much of this story can you see in the photo?

Where is Magic When You Need It??

IMG_6866The bricks under the window arch will be removed after the bricks forming the arch are placed over it and the mortar dries  The top of the arch you see here will actually be the bottom of the window arch.  Think backwards!

                                 Where is Magic When You Need It?

Oh dear.  I could have used a bit of magic in dealing with one very irate plumber who came up to the kitchen waving his knapsack and pulling at a big chewed spot in the small pocket in front.  Reaching in, he drew out a half-eaten lonche (sandwich made out of shredded pork in a bolillo–a small crusty loaf of delicious Mexican Bread.)

“Su perro, su perro! ” he exclaimed and I understood at once that he had left his knapsack down where any one of three inquisitive and always-hungry dogs could investigate (and open) it.  It was the small one, he sputtered.

In my best ( worst at best) Spanish I said, “You can’t leave your lunch on the ground with three dogs present.”  But it was zippered into his bag, he said.  I had to laugh.  You’ve seen Morrie’s past exploits, right? If not, suffice it to say that in one week he consumed thirty rolls of toilet paper, two rolls of paper towels, a rubber duck, three doggie toys, a box of crayons, one shoe, five books and the handles off an antique chiffarobe. When I bought him one of those indestructible hard rubber toys in an hourglass shape–the ones you put a dog biscuit or peanut butter into to encourage chewing?  Guaranteed forever?  He bit it in two in fifteen minutes.  This is why I laughed.

“I’ll make you a delicious pork loin sandwich,” I told him.

But the knapsack! he whined.

“I’ll buy you a new bag.  Tell me what it costs and I’ll replace it.”  He looked somewhat happier.  He returned to my studio, where they were fixing a burst pipe.  I returned to the kitchen where I cut a  half inch slab of pork loin, covered it with au jus and slivered carrots cooked in the juice, made a sandwich, put celery sticks and dipping dressing in a bag, made guacamole and sandwiched  it between four crisp tortillas, added a Coca Cola and carried the bag with his new lunch down to the studio.  Inside the studio were all three dogs and three piles of poop–all Morrie’s.  I know it so well. Piled around were various bags and boxes of valuables used to make retablos that my robber dogs had had free access to.

“You can’t let the dogs into the studio,” I directed, and shut the door.  I leaned down to remove Morrie’s markers and by the time I arose, one plumber had gone to retrieve something from the garage, the door was open again and all three dogs were inside.

“I’ll put the dogs in the garage,” I said in my creative Spanish, and went to the house to fortify my demands with dog biscuits.  But when we arrived at the garage, there was a very large plastic pipe they’d drained the aljibe (cistern) with in order to clean it, so no go with dogs in the garage. Morrie could have that pipe deconstructed in minutes! Where else? Men were carrying concrete around the side of the house and so I couldn’t close the front yard off from the back.  Finally, I enclosed them all within the 20 foot long “pen” I’d created to isolate Morrie while he recuperated from his earlier neutering. The room builders were off in the street, eating lunch under the neighbor’s trees.  (More of a vacation than eating under my trees.) The plumbers were in my gazebo, having their lunch.  I went down to tell them the dogs were removed from their company at least for now.

The one plumber didn’t look ecstatic over my balanced meal provided, but perhaps he hadn’t tasted it yet.  The pork is delicious, I know.  I’ve been eating it every day for three days now.  The last time I cooked one of these marinated pork tenderloins, I made one meal of it before  Diego snatched the rest off the counter where Yolanda had placed it while she cleaned the fridge.  This time I was looking forward to more than one meal of it, but I’m very happy to share it with the plumber.

Yesterday, I finally dealt with a three day bout of terrible allergies by taking an antihistamine.  As a result, I slept all afternoon, awakening at 7:30 at night.  After feeding the dogs, I suddenly had a terrific burst of energy during which I cleaned out and reorganized the entire garage, Scoured out a 20 year old Rubbermaid garbage can so we can use it to store dog food in, washed dishes and straightened the kitchen and dining room.  I then reorganized my bathroom storage, hung up all my clothes discarded in hurried changes of costume over the past few days, had the silliest of conversations with my Missouri friend and went out for an after-midnight photo session, the results of which you can see on Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge on this morning’s blog posting.  I then watched an episode of “Castle,” played three games of computer solitaire and finally looked at the clock.  Five A.M.?  I had an English lesson to teach in a few hours and workmen coming at 8.  Loud workmen!!!  Off went the lights and five minutes later, Yolanda arrived with a cup of coffee.  Looks like three hours sleep was going to have to do.

So, another day and another magical progression of events that let me know I’m alive.  The weather is perfect.  Slight breeze moving the trees.  Pasiano accomplished most of the list of “to do’s” I thought up for him to do while experiencing my own all-night energy spurt. The builders are back from lunch and I’m looking out on the beautiful arched window they are in the process of constructing that I’ll be able to see every day from my desk for the rest of my life.  My kids are happily at rest in their prison and hot volcanic water is streaming into my swimming pool.

Where is magic when I need it?  All around me.

Eating Out

         daily life color109 (1)                                                  Contemplating my next order?

Eating Out

I do not remember the first time I ate out at a restaurant, but I have heard a story over and over about the first time I ordered for myself.   I couldn’t have been over two years old when my folks took me out to a movie and then to Mac’s cafe for a drink and a visit with town folks afterwards.  We lived in a town of seven hundred people in the middle of the South Dakota prairie.  Our sole entertainment, other than church and school ballgames, was the Saturday or Sunday night picture show in the small theater on Main Street.  It was the social event of the week, and visiting with friends afterwards at Mac’s Cafe across the street from the theater was as much a part of the evening as the movie.

Later, in college, one of my best friends was the granddaughter of the man who owned the theater and she revealed to me that it never had made a profit.  He just kept it running to give the folks in the town where his wife had taught school as a young woman something to do.

Probably 200 of the 700 citizens of our town were members of a pentacostal church who didn’t believe in dancing, movies,  or even TV, so at twenty-five cents per ticket, I’m sure if everyone in town had gone to a show one time a week, it still would not have paid the overhead, so we should have figured that out long ago, but we hadn’t thought of it––at least no one in my family ever did.

I had two older sisters, so if I was two when this story happened, one must have been about six and the other would have been thirteen.  They ordered Cokes.  My folks ordered coffee, and when it came to me, I responded in the only way I knew to respond in a restaurant.  “Amgooboo an tabey dabey!” I ordered.

The waitress looked puzzled.  “She said hamburger and potatoes and gravy,” said my father, deadpan.  The waitress looked at my mother.  If that was what I wanted at ten o’clock at night, my mother was all for it.  The waitress left and my family struggled to keep straight faces but it just didn’t work.  They all exploded in laughter, which was fine with me.  I’d been entertaining them for as long as I could remember–and I think perhaps I still am to this day!

The Prompt: Tell about the first time you ever ate out in a restaurant.