Utility Bill Rant

Here it is the fourth day of March, 2021, and I find myself annoyed, very annoyed.

In fact, I suppose I’m verging on pissed off, if you’ll excuse my French.

Speaking of France, I’m wondering what kind of asphalt they use on their streets since apparently the French military can drive tanks through Paris during a big parade that weigh something like 62 metric tons each without ripping the macadam into something that looks, but certainly doesn’t smell, like zucchini shreds?

Anyway, I’m extremely annoyed today because, you see, I sat down at my desk a few minutes ago to pay a utility bill, and, as usual the past several years, the tri-folded sheet of paper that has at its bottom the section to return with payment to the folks who provide me with electricity is screwed up.

I mean, seriously messed up and totally unacceptable.

How so, you ask?

Well, the tiny tearing perforations on the “return this part” of the bill are almost exactly 1/16th of an inch away from the second fold of the tri-folded sheet of paper!

Consequently, if you’re a neat freak like me, when you try to remove the bottom 1/3rd of the sheet from the whole sheet, you always end up tearing on the damn fold instead of being able to precisely and cleanly (and with a barely discernible but still satisfying sound, if your hearing is still functioning at a decent level) tear on the perforations, the way God means for these “return this section” sections to tear.

I mean, seriously, we put guys on the moon more than 50 years ago with an onboard computer that had 1 millionth of the power of a chessy $8 smartphone and yet we don’t have the technology to line up the folds and the perforations on a doggone utility bill?

Gimme a break!


Now, it’s entirely possible you may be thinking that I’m making a mountain out of a molehill because I’m either an idiot or entering my dotage, but that’s not the case.

This is a serious issue that impacts serious people, and I think something needs to be done to lick this problem.

Speaking of licking, I’m also on the rampage this morning because once I end up with a “return this portion” that looks like it was cut up by John Wayne Gacy, I have to put it in an envelope that came with the bill.

A $#@%$#@%$ envelope flap that doesn’t have enough glue on it to actually stick to the back of the envelope to which it’s supposed to stick.

I mean, honestly, in my annoyance I’ve already mouthed up a thimble’s worth of spit over the damn misalignment of the “return this portion” fold and perforations, and yet even that much saliva doesn’t produce enough moisture to seal the flap to the back of the envelope because no doubt the bean counters at the utility company have apparently purchased cheap envelopes with a glue that wouldn’t bond two fleas together, even if they were engaged in coitus.

Speaking of coitus… oops, best not go there, better save that one for another day.

And the worst part about trying to seal envelopes by licking glue that doesn’t work is that stubborn guys like me (yes, in the interest of full disclosure, I admit to a streak of obstinacy) have occasionally suffered paper cuts on their tongues in vain attempts to properly seal envelopes that won’t seal unless you resort to spending big money on roll after roll of Scotch tape.

Speaking of tapes, lately I’ve been reviewing my Watergate materials and noted with interest that John Wesley Dean truly had a remarkable memory. Of course, I do too, even in my early 70’s, and, to this day, I can still recall watching Dean testify while his lovely wife Maureen looked on lovingly.

But I digress.

Anyway, now that I’ve drained some of today’s grumpy old man vitriol from my arteries, let me conclude by pointing out that about half of the population of what used to be a pleasant place to live — the United States of America — currently believe we’re making America great again the other half think the opposition is dragging the U.S. to the darkest corners of hell.

But as far as I’m concerned, we’ll never be great again until we fix the problems with our utility bill statements and envelopes.

Oh yeah, if you — like 99.99% of the population of the earth — haven’t already done so, I hope you’ll treat yourself to one of my three novels (very creepy thrillers). Dropping a few bucks on my fiction will help me replenish my hoard of Scotch tape. Grab one, or, even better, all three, right now at https://amazon.com/author/chetday

Keep It Simple Meditation

This week we learn a helpful technique from Chogyam Trungpa on how to meditate while doing things that would seem trivial…

If you pour a cup of tea, you are aware of extending your arm and touching your hand to the teapot, lifting it and pouring the water.

Finally the water touches your teacup and fills it, and you stop pouring and put the teapot down precisely, as in the Japanese tea ceremony. You become aware that each precise movement has dignity.

We have long forgotten that activities can be simple and precise. Every act of our lives can contain simplicity and precision and thus can have tremendous beauty and dignity.

During the next week, as often as possible, slow down and become mindful and conscious of what you’re doing, no matter how trivial. You’ll be stunned at the meaning and beauty to be found in an act as simple as sharpening a pencil.

Until next Monday, meditate every day and let it all go.

Driving to New Orleans

My late wife, the lovely Ellen Schoenberger Day and I stuffed everything we owned in my 1966 VW bug in the summer of 1973 when we began our move to New Orleans after attending graduate school in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Probing my old brain this afternoon here in rural North Carolina as I wander through my memory palace more than fifty years later, I happily report that I can still vividly recall driving into northern Louisiana in our un-air-conditioned Beetle in early July and remarking to my young wife, “Man, it’s really hot.”

Speaking of hot, did you ever wonder about what’s really in hot dogs?

I got curious about this once because there was a time in my life before I hopped on an extended health kick when I found nothing more delicious than a hot dog on a bun smothered with onions, mustard, and a generous serving of cheap chili.

“I can’t believe you eat hot dogs,” the beautiful Ellen Schoenberger commented one date night after a movie when I pulled my VW Bug into the local fast food joint for a post-cinema treat. This, of course, occurred before we roped together at the hitching post in 1972. “Are you not curious about the real ingredients?”

Well, actually, no.

No, I wasn’t at all curious.

As far as I was concerned, ignorance was bliss regarding Ft. Collins’ local Wienerschnitzel, an American fast food chain founded in 1961 and well known by aficionados as the World’s Most Delicious Hot Dog Chain.

I mean, seriously, if one got too curious, eating a hot dog or jellied moose nose or a brick of liver mush one might realize that consuming such delicacies might even gag a maggot.

Indeed, that kind of curiosity has been the downfall of many gourmets over the centuries.

And, of course, you know what happened to the cat that got too curious, don’t you?

Well, according to “Schools and Schools,” an O. Henry story, “Curiosity can do more things than kill a cat; and if emotions, well recognized as feminine, are inimical to feline life, then jealousy would soon leave the whole world catless.”

But I’m wandering too far afield of where I’m supposed to be heading, aren’t I?

Back to wieners and what’s really in them.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): “The raw meat materials used for precooked-cooked products are lower-grade muscle trimmings, fatty tissues, head meat, animal feet, animal skin, blood, liver and other edible slaughter by-products.”

So much for ever enjoying a tasty chili dog again, eh?

Anyway, so Ellen Schoenberger Day and I have just driven through Shreveport, Louisiana, and we’re on a straight course for New Orleans, and I’m bitching about the heat, constantly complaining, “Man, it’s really hot. Can you believe this heat? Hell can’t be more than eight degrees hotter than this. And I bet you a dime to a donut that the humidity down there is less than what we’re experiencing. Seriously, it’s really not. I mean, seriously, can you believe how hot it is? Feel my forehead. I’m burning up. I’m having trouble breathing.”

I recall my young wife’s evil smile as she sympathized, “My poor baby.”

Ellen, you see, had earned her BA from LSU, and both of her parents were from Louisiana, so she knew (but didn’t proffer full disclosure to me when she decided to do her doctoral work at Tulane) the kind of heat and humidity that we had in our future.

As we drove further and further south (it’s 327.3 miles between Ratchet City and The Big Easy), I’m fantasizing about life in a blast furnace and thinking, “Thank God we’ll cool off in an air-conditioned house before nightfall.”

Speaking of air conditioning, I bet you didn’t know that a guy named Stuart W. Cramer coined the term “air conditioning” in 1906. Well, he did just that in a patent claim as an analogue to “water conditioning,” which was at the time a well-known process for making textiles easier to process.

Water, ah, yes… well, back to our journey to New Orleans…

Three hundred twenty-seven and point three miles later, I’ve lost maybe 18 pounds of water weight from sweating, and we pull into the driveway of my wife’s Grandmother’s home in Old Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans.

Nana Beydler, you see, owned a lovely old shotgun home typical of this part of New Orleans/Metairie.

For those not in the know, a shotgun home is a long house built for the three days a summer in southern Louisiana when a slight breeze cuts through the unbelievably brutal heat and humidity and passes through the front door and straight out the back door.

If you find this hard to visualize, let me put it another way: you could enter Nana Beydler’s shotgun home and walk a straight line that’d take you from the front porch, through the living room, through the dining room, through the kitchen, and out the back door to a small yard. In Nana’s home, the bedrooms and bathrooms were off to one side of the long barrel of the shotgun.

Anyway, as I stumble out of our VW in Ms. Beydler’s driveway, now thoroughly dehydrated and slightly crazed from carping for hours and hours about driving through humidity a man could cut with a butcher’s cleaver, I remark to my wife, who has — unbelievably and extremely annoyingly for me — not even broken a sweat, “Thank God! Finally, I can breathe some cool air.”

Then, lord love a duck, as I literally stumble up three steps to the front of Nana’s home, I realize that only a screen door separates me from the porch and the living room.

And NO cool air is issuing from that living room through the screen door.


Not even a wisp as tender as a first kiss.

“Can it be true? Can this actually be happening?” my fevered brain screams to itself. “WTF! She doesn’t have air conditioning! Arghhh!”

And then this lovely little old white-haired woman comes to the screen door, opens it, and bends down on one arthritic knee to help me find my feet from where I knelt in agony because of the heat and humidity, and says, “You must be Chet. I’m so happy to meet you. I’m Nana Beydler.”

I try a polite greeting in return, but by now I’m so dehydrated my tongue is the size of a brisket and only weird Lovecraftian sounds come out: “Drkaj ughs mysls…”

“He’s pretty hot, ” my wife translates, “and he’s been grousing about the heat and humidity ever since we drove through Shreveport. What a baby.”

“Oh, then let me put the air conditioner on,” Nana replies. “I wasn’t going to waste money using it today since there’s such a nice breeze blowing through the house, but if he’s not man enough to take the heat…”

Her voice trailed off and she kind of shook her head while tsk tsking to herself at her granddaughter’s poor choice in men.

Ellen and Nana each take one of my arms and pull me to my feet.

At this point, I’m gravitating between guilt over Grandmother Beyder’s next electricity bill and gratitude for the inventor of air conditioning — while simultaneously pondering heat stroke and possibly even death at the tender age of 25.

So they lead the now distracted and deeply ruminative me to an armchair in front of a window unit that is soon blowing cool air over my fevered self.

I’m thinking about offering to pay one-thirtieth of Nana’s power bill when it next comes in, but since Ellen and I only have $430 to our name I selfishly decide to let a sweet old woman drop part of her monthly social security check to help keep her new grandson-in-law from melting like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Speaking of the Wicked Witch of the West, Wikipedia reveals that “She has a pack of wolves, a swarm of bees, a flock of crows, and an army of Winkies” at her disposal.

Learning this information from my favorite online resource kind of freaked me out because when I was a boy, a kid down the street used to refer to a certain part of his anatomy as “his fun-loving Winkie.” Yeah, seriously, he had named a part of his body with such pride one could hear the capitalization of the W in the name from three blocks away when he was bragging about it.

Anyway, after four hours in front of the window unit, my core temperature started to return to normal and I started to come back to myself.

Interestingly enough, I personally have no recollection of those four lost hours, which to my dying day I shall always believe reveals just how close I came to shaking hands with the Reaper.

Speaking of hands… on the other hand, my wife gets a real kick out of telling strangers at parties that during those four hours when I drifted in and out of consciousness, I periodically ranted about Richard Nixon’s visit to China, the launching of the Copernicus satellite, the miner’s strike in the United Kingdom, and various deontological moral theories with a peculiar emphasis on the works of Immanuel Kant.

I’m pulling your leg about Kant, of course, since I’ve never had the smarts to read, much less understand, his many contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics.

Lack of smarts notwithstanding, I will pat myself on the back for surviving our July drive and subsequently living and loving the next twenty-four years of our lives in New Orleans, the Crescent City that has wonderful people, fabulous food, and amazing ambiance.

Finally, speaking of New Orleans, I hope you’ll bang on the link below and treat yourself to one of my three novels (wickedly creepy thrillers), each of which is set in my beloved city. Dropping a few bucks on my fiction will help keep me and my little dog Cricket in beans and kibble this coming week.


How to Stay Focused with the “Five More” Technique

Today I’d like to tell you how to stay focused with The “Five More” Technique.

I learned this simple yet very powerful tip from self-help guru Sam Horn. Here it is in a nutshell:

The next time you’re about to get off task,
say mentally or aloud to yourself, “Just Five More.”

What does this mean?

Ah, come on. It’s simple.

Continue to work for five more minutes on whatever you’re working on.

Jog for five more minutes if you’re getting your daily exercise.

Write five more sentences if you’re bogged down composing a blog entry.

It’s that simple, and this technique works because it builds persistence.

So every time you’re about to get unfocused or about to give up on something, just Do Five More, okay?

Don’t Have Time to Meditate?

For today’s meditation, let’s approach things a little differently by examining a comment by Jack London, author of “Call of the Wild, “Sea Wolf,” and many other fine novels and short stories. London correctly observes…

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

We’re looking at this rather aggressive comment today because there are so many people who don’t spend a few minutes focusing on their breathing at least once every day because they feel they don’t have time to meditate.

Well, make time, by golly.

As Jack London so correctly observes, you have to go after what you want in life. He says to do it with a club, which is a bit much for me, but I agree that to get what you want in life (even if your goal is to eventually want nothing at all), you have to act.

You won’t get what you want (or what you don’t want) by complaining that you don’t have time.

So get up twenty minutes earlier, go to bed twenty minutes later, or turn off the darn boob tube for twenty minutes every evening and make meditation a daily part of your life!

Do it.

Do it today!

Seriously, you can make time for meditation, no matter how busy your schedule. Just be creative and carve out 20 to 30 minutes each day to get in touch with yourself.

After a month of daily meditation, I guarantee you’ll join me in considering your meditation minutes the best and most productive time you spend each day.

That’s it. No more harping or yelling from me on this topic for at least six months.

Supermarket Specials

Yesterday the supermarket down the street from our house had five apples entombed in a styrofoam and cellophane container with a “Today’s Special” sticker touting the nice price of $1.99.

Since the cheapest apples at this store usually go for a minimum of $1.89 a pound, my hand suctioned up this deal the way a hungry frog’s tongue curls around a fly.

You’re perhaps wondering if there was a catch to this nice price for five apples wrapped up tighter than a plastic surgeon’s $3,500 tummy tuck.

Well, heck, I’d bet a dime to a donut you know as well as I do that any produce with a “Today’s Special” sticker on its styrofoam and cellophane container probably has a problem.

And this special offer did have a problem.

You see, even though these five apples were encased upside down, I could tell one of them was a bit long in the tooth because it had wrinkles all over it; wrinkles, as you may or may not know, often being a result of too much time in cold storage. This fact, of course, holds true for apples as well as for Golden Agers Like Me Struggling to Live Sanely in Modern Times.

Speaking of my fellow Golden Agers Struggling to Live Sanely in Modern Times… no, wait, we best not venture down that twisty road today.

So, yeah, anyway, one of the five apples carried sufficient wrinkles to pass for a prune if it had been 85% smaller.

From previous experiences with reduced price produce, I knew this wouldn’t be a great apple but I also sensed that the wrinkles weren’t yet deep enough to disqualify it from consumption.

And the other four apples looked just fine.

I mean, seriously, a buck ninety-nine for five apples. Who could turn down such a deal?

So, at this point, I’m thinking… Hmm, four of the apples look like Fuji’s, but I’m not sure about this wrinkled one. It’s bigger than a Fuji and thumping it suggests crispness, but I can’t count on that satisfying solid sound since thumping on a Red Delicious often suggests crispness too, when, in reality, biting into one of them is akin to chomping down on half-cooked pork belly.

Hmm, I’m pondering, really wracking the old brain cells now, pushing my cognitive powers to the limit, what kind of apple might this be?

Still maintaining much of my mental acuity (I was having a good day!), I turned the package in multiple directions but much to my annoyance couldn’t find a little identifying sticker.

Then, whoa, revelation strikes me with the force experienced by Paul on the Road to Damascus.


Wait a second.

I think Saul traveled that road, didn’t he?

Or was it Paul?

More intense brain wracking, neurons transmitting so intensely that sparks may well be flying around in my skull box.

Finally, as my cerebral matter settles down to a crawl and finishes its fiery review of Acts 9:1-19, I recall the correct name: yes, yes, it was Saul.

Hmm, that particular name has the potential for a writing project, doesn’t it?

Maybe even a TV series?

Better call my agent.

Oops, that’s right. My agent dropped me after my second novel flopped in 1989, and I no longer have a New York representative to take 15% of any money I make from dipping into my endless river of words.

Well, so, let’s put that TV series idea on the rear burner for another day, too.

Back to identifying stickers.

I know, I know… now I have the explanation — it’s the two produce guys, and they’re dressing up their jolly times at work by messing with me again!

You see, both of the two chaps who man my local supermarket’s produce section have good senses of humor as well as perhaps traces of sadism because they far too often hide (or even remove!) the tiny identifying stickers that now mar the natural skin of most produce.

(Note: though I see some utility to planting identifying stickers on produce to help high school students who — warning: PC word change for Modern Times coming — wo(man) the scanning technology at the check-outs, the cynical old fart in me wants to know why so many young people in Modern Times can no longer tell the difference between an avocado and an artichoke. I mean, seriously, what’s being taught in homes and schools these days?)

Anyway, back to the apples entombed in the styrofoam and cellophane container. At least for now, I’ll spare you my rant about how annoying it is to have a seventeen year old grocery bagger — who looked me up and down as if I were Bob Dole drooling over Brittany Spears in that 1998 classic erectile dysfunction television commercial — ask me if I need help carrying out my order.

Containing the ex-boxer in me, the urban legend fighter who allegedly once sparred eight rounds with Pee-wee Herman, I politely reply, “Thank you, no,” the look on my face implying that I still retained sufficient physical prowess to get a single grocery bag containing five “Today’s Special” apples entombed in a styrofoam and cellophane container and a bottle of “Easy Go” laxative out to my car without dropping it or tripping and landing on the asphalt of the parking lot and then having to push the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” button on my Life Alert bracelet.

He smirked at me.

I happily report that I didn’t respond by smacking him aside the head with the bag containing those five “Today’s Special” apples entombed in a styrofoam and cellophane container and a bottle of “Easy Go” laxative!

Yes, age does help one learn to contain oneself, doesn’t it?

Well, that’s not really true.

You see, as I ramble around in my 70’s, I find it harder and harder at times to contain myself… this narrative being a perfect example, as you’ve no doubt already noted to yourself with a long sigh and a tsk-tsk to remind yourself to write sharp prose instead of wandering rants whose destinations might well even elude upcoming AI (artificial intelligence) algorithms.

Speaking of wandering, the other day when I was having trouble finding my way home after my morning walk, I got to thinking about how hikers can use the sun and their wristwatches to determine direction and thus properly navigate their way. So I looked at the sun and then at my wrist, but, damn it, my digital watch lacked hands and was thus no help at all.

At that point, because I wasn’t watching where I was going, I almost tripped on an apple core that some fool had tossed out of his car window while driving through our neighborhood.

Ah, yes, speaking of apple cores, I did manage to find my way home from the grocery store (thanks to a technological marvel that I do admire rather than despise — a GPS system) and promptly took into the kitchen my little bag of groceries containing the “Easy Go” colon product and the five apples entombed in their styrofoam and cellophane container.

With great anticipation, I tore open the cellophane, grabbed the wrinkled apple that didn’t look like the other four nice Fuji’s, turned it right side up and found the little identifying sticker!

This was a tremendous surprise because the sticker ID-ed this apple as a PINATA.

A pinata!

What the hell?

I thought a pinata was a painted paper-mache representation of an animal or person or some other thing containing toys or candy or Mardi Gras beads or some other kind of cheap crap that kids hit with baseball bats until it broke open and they could then push and shove each other to get at the goodies. Kind of like Halloween when rabid children push doorbells until old grumps like me are ready to cut their own throats with butter knives just to get a little peace and quiet while we’re trying to watch old Lawrence Welk reruns on the Aged Fart streaming service.

But, I digress.

Back to the kitchen and the pinata apple, which I sliced with my favorite knife… ah, it sliced like a crisp apple should slice, with a firm white flesh (no, I’m not thinking about the Bob Dole commercial again), an apple flesh that suggested a terrific eating experience soon to come.

So I took a big bite out of that first nice slice.

Hmm, not bad, I thought.

Almost as good as a Fuji.

But then, alas, I noted an aftertaste that I didn’t care for.

I can’t adequately describe that taste, though gargling with Listerine mixed with garlic Hollandaise sauce comes to mind. As you no doubt know from reading the Wikipedia entry, “Hollandaise sauce, formerly also called Dutch sauce, is an emulsion of egg yolk, melted butter, water and lemon juice. It is usually seasoned with salt, and white pepper or cayenne pepper. Hollandaise is one of the five mother sauces in French cuisine.”

Anyway, I didn’t care much for the taste of the aged pinata apple.

I mean, honestly, I didn’t gag or puke or anything, but I’m not going to write home about the taste, either.

Of course I ate the entire apple because, after all, I’d paid close to 41 cents for it, and here at CasaDay, where we live on a fixed income, the still beautiful Ellen Schoenberger Day and I don’t waste 41 cents.

I mean, seriously, 41 cents goes a long way these days.

Think of all the things you can buy for 41 cents…

Hmm, the only thing I can think of are my five apples no longer entombed in their styrofoam and cellophane container.

Anyway, speaking of apples, that reminds me of the time before I fell head over heels for the lovely Ellen Schoenberger Day, a time when I dated a girl named Eve (whose father owned an orchard in Washington state) who caused me all kinds of problems… but I’ll save that story for another day.

P.S. Check out my novels at https://amazon.com/author/chetday

Two Wake Up Tips

This week I’m sharing two easy but very useful tips you can use to shake off the sleepy blues and pop out of bed happy and alert.

I don’t know if you realized this or not, but the human mind can get so used to certain sounds that you’ll no longer even be aware of them.

With that fact in hand, you can now see why it’s so easy to sleep through or even ignore the familiar ring of an alarm clock you’ve had for years.

So, for the first tip for waking up refreshed, buy at least two more alarm clocks and then switch between them every week.

Even better, purchase one of the new digital alarm units that feature sounds from nature, as well as music.

Sounds that differ from what you hear every day are going to wake you up much better than hearing the same awful buzz most mornings of your life!

The second tip you’re probably familiar with, though you also probably never do it.

Try this tip because it works…

After you drag yourself out of that warm bed, jump start your body by moving it.

That’s right… move.

You don’t have to drop to the floor for twenty push-ups, either.

Instead, stand by your bed and start swinging your arms up and down and then in circular motions.

Wiggle your torso.

Lift those legs up and down a few times.

You’ll be stunned at how well this technique works, even when you think you’re exhausted from not getting enough sleep the night before.

And those, Dear Reader, are the two “wake up refreshed tips” I have for you today.

A Lao-Tzu Meditation

For today’s meditation, we turn east to Lao-Tzu, who tells us…

A tree that is unbending is easily broken.

Most of us during these crazed Covid days are easily injured or even broken because we don’t bend the way we should.

For this week’s meditation, breathe in, hold for a few seconds, relax and breathe out and let go. Repeat several times until you feel your awareness shift into a more peaceful space.

Now, breathe in a tree whose branches are covered with ice. The limbs are bent so dramatically, it’s hard to believe the very tree itself doesn’t topple over to the earth.

But, instead, the limbs bend, they bend gracefully and painlessly and carry the weight of the ice until it melts in the afternoon sun.

The tree, unburdened of its limbs encrusted with heavy ice, once again stands tall and at peace.


Bent, unbent, never broken.

It’s that easy.

Just breathe in the bending, hold, relax and let go.

Ahhh, peace!

The Pickle Juice Cold and Flu Remedy

A reader of one of my newsletters wrote me the following letter in the winter of 2003:

Chet, I haven’t had the flu, or even a cold, in 30 years because I consume two tablespoons of cold dill pickle juice each morning when I get up.A doctor told me to do that 30 years ago. I haven’t had any problems since I started the daily ritual.

Well, this is the kind of simple, elegant, natural cold and flu remedy that I enjoy sharing with people, so I hope you’ll add two tablespoons of dill pickle juice to your morning routine in the near future.

I also hope you have the same experience as my reader and spend the next 30 years without a cold or flu.

While researching this home remedy on the Internet, I learned that people also use dill pickle juice for upset stomach, and, interestingly enough, hangovers. So this might be a good addition to your health routine, especially if you’re still drinking alcohol.

The Pickle Juice Cold and Flu Remedy is said to be an excellent treatment for early onset of a cold or flu, and works even better when used in combination with other common natural remedies.

Here’s to staying healthy with natural remedies for summer colds and winter flu.

How Chicken Used to Taste

I have a confession to make.

I turned 73 a couple of weeks ago, but I haven’t had a decent chicken dinner since the late 1950’s when my dear old Mom used to fry up a batch for our Sunday meal. Man, that chicken tasted great… in fact, it tasted so good it tasted like… well, like chicken.

And now, here it more than sixty some years later, and I’m actually drooling, thinking about how real chicken used to taste.

Today, shoot, an epicure like me can’t even find a frog leg that tastes like real chicken. Indeed, even the expensive “pasture-raised” fowl taste like cardboard and aren’t worth wasting a skillet of Crisco on. (Not that I fry with Crisco, but my dear mother did back in the daze when I walked seven miles to school after milking the cows and feeding the hogs so I still have fond memories of the nasty stuff.)

As for beef, shoot, the last time I had a steak that tasted the way tenderloins are supposed to taste I had to shell out $100, not including a side of broccoli with a slice of cheese on top that added another $15 to the ridiculous bill. And the cynic in me figured the steak tasted great not because it was beef raised the way we used to raise ’em back on the farm but because clever food scientists who concoct “natural flavors” for a living had most likely developed some kind of marinade to trick old fools like me.

As for genetic engineering to explain why chicken and beef now taste like old apple cores… now, that’s a topic that vibrates the hair on the back of my neck, but I’m already deep in babble mode so I’ll exercise restraint and not wander down that path today.

Speaking of apple cores, we get some great apples here in our neck of the North Carolina woods. You see, every fall we drive west and come back with a big bushel or two of a nice variety of apples freshly picked from the trees in a place aptly named Apple Valley, which is close to Lake Lure (where Dirty Dancing was filmed a zillion years ago, for what that’s worth. Gosh, that reminds me of the times back in the day when I was known for my ability to cut the rug with a variety of lovely young lasses. That of course was before I met my beloved late wife Ellen Schoenberger Day. But let’s save those sweet memories for another time).

And each fall when we visited the Lake Lure area, we always bought a gallon of fresh apple juice, too. Fall, you see, is my favorite time of year here in NC… when we’re not dealing with tropical storm force winds and rain, of course. Happily, I recently made it through our second intense weather event without having a tree fall on our house or intaking water from the creek adjacent to CasaDay when another big storm roared through like a banana slipping its skin.

Speaking of bananas, I confess that I consume one on a daily basis, not because I like them that much, but because they sell for an incredible 38 cents a pound at our supermarket. I wonder every time I buy another half dozen how bananas can continue to sell for such a cheap price, given how far they have to come to reach the U.S. And that’s not to mention the fungus that could attack the Cavendish variety of banana that’s sold in America should that fungus (Panama disease I think it’s called) ever reach South America, where our bananas come from. Still only thirty-eight cents a pound in 2021. Remarkable.

Finally, friends, if I’m overdoing it with these occasional ramblings, don’t bother telling me because it’s not going to do any good. I get this way when I’m close to putting the final words to another novel. For some reason, the more I write the more I want to write, and it’s just plain wonderful as a retired dude to finally have the time to sit and flood this old keyboard with the endless river of words that runs through me.

And yes, for those concerned, one of these daze I will look into seeing a counselor for hypergraphia.

P.S. Check out my novels at https://amazon.com/author/chetday