THE IDLE AMERICAN
by Dr. Don Newbury
On a night when sleep was fitful, I caught the tail-end of a TV talk show. A guy quoted my Uncle Mort, who believes drinking buttermilk daily is the secret of his longevity.
Of all the claims I’ve heard Mort make—and there are many—none I recalled involved buttermilk.
First thing the next morning, I called my 102-year-old kin to share what I’d heard on TV….
“The guy quoted me correctly, nephew,” he answered. “Actually, I’ve drunk a pint of buttermilk daily for more than 40 years.” Scrambling, I told him I’d never heard of his drinking buttermilk, daily or otherwise. “Maybe you should have asked,” he said sharply.
“I did hear once of a guy who believed drinking buttermilk daily assured living until age 100,” I said. “But he died at 85.”
“See what I mean?” Mort countered, “He didn’t drink it long enough.”…
He reminded me of his upcoming birthday on July 4, and was emphatic–for the first time ever–he wanted no one to bring gifts. “I won’t need ‘em, ‘cause I should be rolling in enough dough in another month to buy whatever I want.”
Oh, my. I’d heard this a few hundred times before, and to date, none of his “get rich quick” schemes has worked out.
He’s long been convinced that he’ll get a surprise inheritance, find stacks of gold right over the next hill, or benefit from oil discovered smack dab in the middle of his spread down in the thicket. Knowing I’d best drag up a chair and get comfortable for a “lengthy listen,” I asked him what he’s up to this time….
“We live in a world abuzz with social media–with guns blazing–and we’re plunging headlong into entanglements that are inevitable when too many people believe in the laws of the land as long as they’re applied only to others,” Mort began.
It was hard to argue with his premise.
“Way too many shots are being fired today,” he moaned. “When I was a kid, we were much into western movies, plunking down our dimes at the picture show every Saturday. We called the movies ‘shoot-‘em-ups.’ Nowadays, shots are fired up, down, angled and sideways, with social media at the ready with pictures and sound.”…
“Now stay with me, nephew,” Mort said. “You’ll quickly see why my invention is going to popularize three-wheeled motorcycles.”
Though his invention has nothing to do with the basic operation of motorcycles, he thinks the ones with side cars soon will outstrip others in sales.
“Cyclists are bound to opt for three-wheelers when they learn about my invention,” he bragged….
With a second wind, he rattled off what he says will make the new side car immediately practical.
He said that with the press of a button, direction of the sidecar can be reversed. Immediately, passengers see where they’ve been rather than where they’re going.
“At the center of a pop-up shield is a mount for whatever may be the weapon of choice for tail-gunners,” Mort claimed….
He said a sign holder is attached to the side of the car. “That way, others won’t have to guess about the guy or gal’s gang affiliation.” (He claims this will be particularly helpful on hot days when leather jackets aren’t worn.)
As an aside, he said he’s planning to attach a sidecar to his golf cart, hoping this will entice Aunt Maude to ride along more often.
“She’s adamant about firearms, though,” Mort said. “Maude says she’s not about to fire anything with more pop to it than a single shot .22.”…
Eager to change the subject, I asked him if he thinks there should be governors on motorcycles.
“I’ve felt for a long time this would be a smart thing to do,” he stated. He added it would be a good idea to strap quite a few other elected officials on cycles, too.
Since it’s just a few days until Mort’s birthday, I seriously doubt all of his projected riches will come to pass, so we’ll take along a gift, just in case. I’m planning to give him a t-shirt reading, “I Don’t Believe Everything I Think.”…
Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Inquiries/comments to:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: http://www.speakerdoc.com. Archived at venturegalleries.com, newbury blog.