For Whom the Bell Tinkles

This classic A&J is from five years ago, 2012. I’d like to take credit for pioneering bathroom humor in the newspaper comics—I should stress bathtub humor—but I can’t. No feature has explored the disrupted bathing experience longer or more often than that storied and staid grand dame of the funnies, Blondie.
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156 responses to “For Whom the Bell Tinkles”

  1. And besides, most of Blondie’s bathtub humor revolves around strangers walking in on Dagwood. Your version is much more realistic and entertaining.

  2. I’m rereading some Travis McGee novels, so one of mine would be A Deep Blue Goodbye With A Chainsaw. And since I read cookbooks for fun, Breakfast At Brennan’s With A Chainsaw.

  3. Just finished the needle biopsy. Apparently I will definitely be having surgery of some kind as radiologist decided not to stick needle in lymph glands “since Dr. Flynn will biopsy those when she removes them.”

    Ghost bravely watched entire procedure.

  4. Good luck, Jackie.

    I heard from my sister today that her husband, although out of the rehab center, is not recovering well from his stroke. Apparently he is able to walk unaided now, but he is disconnected from reality. As she describes it, he sounds like someone with a severe dementia. And he keeps trying to get the car keys although he is not cleared to drive.

  5. A little while ago, I found myself seated next to Jackie in a French-themed café, sipping an obscenely rich hot chocolate from a cup the size of a small soup bowl, as a recording of Édith Piaf singing something heartbreakingly beautiful played in the background, while waiting for my order of French toast, and thinking, “This retirement gig is not bad.”

    Of course, it would be better if we hadn’t just come from Jackie’s biopsy.

  6. Thanks Jackie. I think he got good treatment, but due to the behavioral problems he seems to be sabotaging his own recovery.

    Nancy Kirk, glad you liked those. I thought the descriptions were very accurate, too, which is what made it funny to me.

  7. ursen, my favorite author is Robert Heinlein. I thought of a couple of his book titles where the addition works. Time Enough for Love with a Chainsaw, and I Will Fear No Evil with a Chainsaw.

  8. Hmmm, since I am most of the way through re-reading this particular series and just closed the cover Sunday evening: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with Chainsaw.

  9. Our educational system continues to fail us, or something…(Part 4)

    CBS News: “Orlando police said a federal agent accidentally shot themselves in the heel Tuesday while attempting to catch a gun falling from their holster.”

    What was “them”? Siamese twins?

  10. Miss Charlotte, it’s just something someone came up with to make funny book titles. I haven’t read any of these, but various Best Selling Lists would yield…

    Crazy Little Thing with a Chainsaw
    And Then She was Gone with a Chainsaw
    Three Daughters with a Chainsaw
    Into the Water with a Chainsaw
    House of Spies with a Chainsaw
    The Girl on the Train with a Chainsaw
    A Gentleman in Moscow with a Chainsaw
    Behind Closed Doors with a Chainsaw
    The Silent Wife with a Chainsaw

  11. the spy who came in from the cold with a chainsaw

    the hunt for red october with a chainsaw

    dune with a chainsaw

    moon of three rings with a chainsaw

    the name of the wind with a chainsaw

    ok llee needs to put down the computer…….with a chainsaw

  12. Mark:

    Heinlein is one of my top favorites.

    Imagine my surprise when I saw my surname in “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.”

    By the way, what do you think of Frank Herbert?

  13. Old house, where we lived 46 yr., had a long, claw-foot tub with no shower in a reasonably large bathroom. Most evenings we were both there, mostly starkers [now in dictionary], one in tub, other out. Elaine usually first; she like water really hot.


  14. Rick, i liked the original Dune very much when I first read it. That encouraged me to read some of the sequels. The sequels wore me out and I haven’t reread Dune since. I still remember liking it, but can no longer remember much of it.

  15. Dearest Ghost, and dear Llee too, thank you muchly for the explanation! I gotta ask, “Why these words and not some other ones?” But assume there is a reason lurking in the far distant past, now forgotten.

    emb, your tub nights sound perfectly lovely.

  16. Rick,

    There’s a Frank & Brian Herbert that I love, “Man of Two Worlds.” We just have to hope the Dreen Ryll never gets killed!

  17. Charlotte in NH, someone posted it on FB as a game, and I decided this highly literate group would enjoy playing it. The instructions were simple, take the title of the last book you read, add with a Chainsaw, and post the result.

  18. From Last night

    2 I am reading

    “Coolidge” with a Chainsaw (About the President) not so good.
    “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” with a Chainsaw (Lynne Truss – about punctuation) very good.

    The last one I finished:
    “Railroads In The Woods” with a Chainsaw
    (about logging in the Northwest in the late 1800?s and early twentieth century — without chainsaws)
    When I thought of this – how appropriate

  19. Tom Holt – one of an sextet of favorite authors

    “My Hero” with a Chain Saw
    “Wish You Were Here” with a Chain Saw
    “Overtime” with a Chain Saw
    “Saints & Sinners” with Chain Saws
    “Expecting someone Taller” with a Chain Saw
    “Violence In The Education Sector” with a Chain Saw
    “Lucia In Wartime” with a Chain Saw
    “Someone Like Me” with a Chain Saw

    These are a few of his titles that fit the theme

  20. This morning, by request of my MBH, we bought her some shoes at an emporium more than 20 miles away. I suppose one of her friends told her it was a special place. IMHO, it was ordinary and with less apparent stock than I had expected. Of course, the prices were, er, um, (ahem), “exalted” to an unusual extent.

    Two things she wanted, they had: separate shoes for “walking” and for “exercising” (in place). No doubt we older villagers, while young, risked horrible injuries by using plain old sneakers for walking, running, pedaling, playing ball, and climbing trees.

    Here’s an idea for any of you who are entrepreneurially inclined: market special walking shoes for those walking in north/south directions and also for those walking in east/west directions!! The rationale might be along the lines of the differing surface speeds of earthly rotation when one changes position N/S compared to no such changes while heading E/W…. The differing speeds mentioned might entail variable amounts of traction. I was informed as much for exercise shoes: they needed more traction than walking shoes. At our ages, I doubt that – we can use good traction any time we can get it.

  21. Mark:

    I had a different reaction for the sequels that Frank himself wrote. I liked them all.

    However, when Brian began co-writing, I didn’t like them quite as much. I still liked them greatly but not as much as before.

    I haven’t read the last 2 or 3, though. Because of my work schedule, I just don’t have the time.

  22. David:

    I thought that I had read everything that Frank had written or co-written. That one, I missed.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  23. Mark from TTown, thank you! I have read a few obits about June Foray, but that remembrance is fuller and richer. I always marvel at her sky-high intelligence, heard in her timing, her emphases, subtle mood shifts. And such a fair, kind person. And how many roles the writer mentioned! Thank you again! What a wonderful piece.

  24. DJJG, I like that website because it not only talks about the Disney parks, but covers all the talent connected with Disney in one way or another. I haven’t had time to read it yet because I’m working, but I will get to it later today.

  25. Llee, one of my all-time favorite books is Moon of Three Rings! I can’t remember how long ago I first read it, but I do re-read it every now and then.

    I saw another version of “chainsaw” that was “…and then the murders began”.

  26. Just had another biopsy of several lymph nodes under arm. It turns out I have two masse in breast, plus four lymph nodes. Sitting in lab waiting to do DNA cancer testing.

    Seems if you have three or more immediate family with breast cancer you are very high risk for genetically linked cancer. I do or I wouldn’t be sitting here.

    Am not a candidate for surgery.

  27. May be candidate for a new oral treatment or chemo or other form of treatment. I am going to an oncologist next to come up with a treatment plan.

  28. Ghost and I are going to local dinner theater to an Elvis concert. Think tribute? We are getting into This!

    I am wearing a totally glitzy sequin and beaded jacket with black leather jeans or gold leggings or something equally fun. Can’t wait to see Ghost!

    They are not serving fried bacon banana and peanut butter sandwiches.

  29. Jackie:

    I have been deliberately quiet about your situation because it hits very hard and very deep.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  30. Nancy:

    I finally ran out of room to store books, and I donated many of them to the local library.

    It felt as if I were giving away parts of my body.

  31. We are donating Mike’s boating books to the small boat museum and boat building school and nonprofit. Ghost, Glenn and I boxed them up but we have not gotten them to south Texas yet. We are talking about driving them down as far as Dallas to a friend who will carry them on to Port Aransas for us.

    Depending on what happens tomorrow or Friday we might go down Sunday? This is what Mike wanted them to go to, somewhere that would use them. I just wish he’d said whom. But yes, it feels like giving away a family member.

  32. Jackie, whatever form of treatment they give you, I will be praying for total success.

    On the bright side, if you aren’t having surgery, perhaps you and Ghost will get to Port Townsend yet. I sure hope so.

  33. Heh! Learned in ’87 that the plants are introduced prickly pear cacti, from here. ‘They’ [not the vervets] bred a spineless variety to use as succulent forage overseas. But a spiny back mutation occurred, was less palatable than the cultivar, and of course out-reproduced it, so the cultivar is now rare.

    Natural selection is an inevitable and sometimes dramatic process, constantly occurring in all spp. in all environments, no matter how ‘artificial’ those environments or those breeds are as a result of our meddling. Neither hospitals nor Holsteins are immune. There will be a quiz.


  34. Terrie has gone off to a poultry auction to buy the hens a boyfriend. It seems we have a broody hen who likes to set, a beautiful black hen named Lucy I think Terrie named them.

    We also sent her to buy four guineas. We think they will stay on garden side of yard away from dogs and think they can whip any cats.

    U was afraid to authorize peacocks or turkeys.

  35. Ghost is running all dishes and pots through dish washer. He has put himself in charge of setting up kitchen to suit himself, as well as me.

    Old stove is out, New one arrives tomorrow. Stove space cleared out and scrubbed.

    We also bought new washer and dryer. I am in charge of laundry. New ones come next Friday, a week.

  36. I hope he can get either the refrigerator or the electrical box in a better location. The first time he has to move the fridge to turn the lights back on he will know why one has to go!

    How was the Elvis celebration? Was your friend from Checotah there?

  37. It is not until Saturday night. Will ask my Checorah friend.

    No where to move refrigerator but have to turn off electric and gas to I stall new one (dtove)

  38. My brother is walking and has been moved to a transitional unit. Stuff to work out yet, but since he woke up (for real) on Saturday he’s been doing great. Thank you folks, for everything. Jackie and Ghost- you are constantly in thoughts. 🙂

  39. Jackie has been using the flip-folder I brought her to fold clothes…lots of clothes. I just hoisted a large stack of neatly-folded jeans up onto a high shelf in her large armoire next to many other stacks. “You know,” I observed, “when the Nudist Apocalypse arrives, you’re going to be really well prepared.”

  40. We are now proud owners of a Rooster Cogborn who acquired a four chicken harem named Lacy, Lucy, Gertrude and Marinda. He is a teenage rooster and very tame, likes to be held and petted.

    Terrie went to auction where she bought two rooster and a box of rabbits. Ghost can explain about rabbits.

    I imagine we will have pet rabbits soon.

  41. Yes, I know we appropriated the “Cogburn” name from one of Debbe’s roosters. In our defense, I was the one who originally suggested the name to her. And also, the adventures of Mattie Ross and Rueben J. (Rooster) Cogburn, as they tracked down the murderer Tom Chaney, were set in the very part of “Indian Country” (Oklahoma) where this Rooster Cogburn lives.

  42. Wracking (or racking, if you prefer) to nutritionally justify hot dogs with mac & cheese for dinner tonight, but I am unable to do so. I am, however, very much able to say “the hell with nutrition” and prepare that anyway. Which I believe I will do.

  43. Anyone else remember the episode of the Dave Barry TV show where the French exchange student staying with them mistook their son’s pet rabbit in the hutch in their backyard for one raised for food and cooked it (as is common in France)? Of course, they couldn’t tell the boy (Willie) what had happened to his missing pet, so when Willie asked Dave if it “ran away”, Dave replied gently, “I’m sure it tried to.”

  44. The south fork of the Canadian River which plays a significant part of a plot in True Grit lies about 200 yards off the bank of Lake Eufaula out at the end of street my house sits in.

    Kiamichi Road existed before the lake was built and flooded and now ends in lake, serving as a boat ramp. The site is off beach there.

  45. David in Austin’s comment reminded me of the Dave Barry rabbit episode, along with a moment of faulty cognition on my part that converted emb’s “Grevy zebra” to “Zebra gravy”.

  46. My cousin ate his pet rabbit for dinner with his family. He tearfully stated during dinner that he wished he hadn’t eaten Fluffy.

    I cannot eat anything with a name or that I petted or tamed. I have trouble with faces.

  47. I’m sure the Crocs in Pearls Before Swine would love a little Zeeba gravy!

    Jackie– that’s why we name the beef steers I raise every year things like “Sirloin”, “Chuck”, “T-bone”, and others. 🙂

  48. Slice the hotdog real thin (we have always called ’em pennies) and throw them in the Mac n Cheese. If you must insist on greens throw in a handful of frozen peas while cooking.

  49. “…frozen peas…”!?

    Well, at least that’s not as bad as when a NYT food editor opined a couple of years ago that green peas belonged in guacamole. That was *so* New York Times. And likely p.o.’d many more Texans than even the Times’ opinion of our current President has.

  50. Jackie just caught me looking at an on-line ad for a pair of “tactical” boots. “Getting ready for the Nudist Apocalypse?” she asked.

    “Yep,” I said. “I can kick the walking nudes out the door while you throw clothes at them.”

    Actually, I already own a pair (or two) of them. 🙂

  51. Ghost, Jackie will be ready for the Nudist Apocalypse provided they are all not over 5 feet tall. After all, she is vertically challenged and horizontally blessed. Anyone taller, she’ll have to throw bed sheets and blankets to them to cover up.

  52. BTW, Grevy and gravy are pronounced alike. Grevy zebra’s are named after some white guy. Have to do a search to learn why. That giraffe you may have seen briefly before the site went to ‘livecam highlights’ was a reticulated, my fave.


  53. I once made Martha Stewart’s macaroni and cheese from her magazine I think? Mike had heard it on NPR I believe.

    The cheese alone cost over $50!

    It was one time event but made a bunch of lunch.

  54. Can’t beat emb’s M&C

    I do use peas or French cut green bean. Sometimes Onions
    Spam or dogs.

    Most nutritious dogs are the cheapest, they have the most Soy Beans.
    (I did not say tastiest) I chop them and saute in Soy Sauce.

    B’ugs Debbe & Mizz Charlotte

  55. And hugs to Old Bear, and to Debbe also (are you out there, young lady?)

    Frankfurters are so OFF my food list. I did smile a lot while reading a womens’ magazine in the Eye Doctor’s waiting room — summer grilling suggestions: “Haute dogs”. This idea must have been used before, but I’ve never seen it; it’s good and funny.

  56. emb
    You describe it I can taste it.
    It has not always been that way, but in the last few years I can
    imagine what a combination of ingredients will taste like.
    The brain is a wondrous thing.

    Had M&C for supper.
    Added Sharp Cheddar, Baby peas, Onion and Dogs (More like Brats)
    Cooked Dogs in oven then sliced before adding.

  57. Ghost and I ate at P.F. Chang’s late lunch, early dinner during their Happy Hour with appetizers on sale. We had a free appetizer, so ended up with calamari, ahi tuna sushi, tempura green beans and steamed pork dumplings which we shared. We had street noodles with fried prawns, delicious. We like the same kinds of food and share so not as bad as it sounds.

    Appetizers were $5 and $6 from 3 to 6, plus I got a free one any price so we ordered an expensive one not on discount. Still, large generous portions.

  58. If we must have hot dogs I buy Hebrew National. They have better quality meat and no fillers. After all, they must answer to a Higher Authority. Otherwise it’s Johnsonville brats. And not with mac&cheese, though that does sound good. Ours are with chili and slaw. I will admit, I prefer the chili slaw dogs at the Varsity, but I can’t always bop down to Atlanta when I want one.

  59. Ummm. Varsity chili slaw dogs.

    We’ll be eating at the Elvis “tribute” show tonight , but we picked up the makings for baked mac & cheese, along with brats and brat buns, for tomorrow night. They will be one of the first things made on the beautiful new gas range which was installed yesterday. The very first thing will be a loaf of beer bread, in honor of my late sister who gave me the recipe. It makes wonderful French bread, so I would not be at all surprise to see some of that on the breakfast table tomorrow morning.

  60. When I tell people I haven’t had a hot dog since I was very small, they tell me “you should try all beef dogs” or some other brand of hot dogs. I mean I just don’t like hot dogs!

    I just found out a HS classmate of mine has ALS. He was on Facebook but not very active. When I saw pictures of him today with his family he was in a wheelchair and found out that he has the disease. He recently had knee replacement surgery and was complaining about the Rehabilitation. I guess that the ALS probably had a major impact in that. I’m going to be praying for him.

  61. I slept through most of storms, heard thunder and heavy rain but never really awoke fully. Ghost has that reassuring effect on me.

    That and knowing the stone millstream in front handles the storms and I won’t have a river coming through the house.

    But mostly Ghost who I know will get me up if we need to go to storm shelter.

  62. Just read, about 25 in emergency room and roofs and power poles down. That isn’t first time that Academy was hit. That is very busy part of Tulsa with mall, restaurants, big stores like Academy so early morning touch down when few were there saved injuries to more I am certain.

    I was in that Academy once when sirens began going off and asked where to go and they said get out!

  63. Jackie, your new La Quinta there got hit too. I was just over in that area yesterday. Glad I was gone way before that storm came through. Was playing board games with some guys at one’s house up till about 830 last night.

  64. Mark, we are staying at LQ Broken Arrow tonight. It wasn’t that one that was damaged, was it? Or the one new near Academy Sports in Tulsa?

  65. When checking in the La Quinta at Broken Arrow this afternoon, we met two Native American gentlemen who were on their way from Chicago to a national IA annual conference at Red Rock State Park outside Sedona AZ. They had the misfortune of being at the LQ in Tulsa when it was hit this morning. The brand new Subaru SUV they were driving was throughly trashed…rear window shattered on driver’s side, rear window completely broken out, moon roof broken out, exterior paint beaten up by flying objects, and other damage, including a totally missing rear-view camera. Jackie is posting photos on Book of Face.

    They had a pair of beautiful rescue dogs with them, which neither of us could identify by sight. They were Austrailian shepherd mixes.

  66. Lots of damage in tulsa to many businesses I patronize. Everyone agrees that had this happened at 1 p.m. instead of 1 a.m. it would have been a major disaster with hundreds of injuries, not 30 laceration cases.

  67. I saw something on Facebook that I am going to assume is fake. Someone is organizing a Solar Eclipse Viewing party on Monday, the 21st. In the comments, someone writes.”Most kids go back to school that day. Can’t it be done on the weekend?”

  68. Some years ago, my employees stepped outside to observe a solar eclipse. One of them asked me, with a slightly puzzled expression on her face, “What is the purpose of this?”

    I don’t remember exactly what I told her, but it may have been that it was something NASA was doing. Coincidentally, she was a blonde.

  69. …And there are some folks who think “deer crossing” signs are placed so that the deer can read them and cross more safely!

  70. This may be more peaceful, but also addictive.

    Won’t be posting when site is interesting, because savvy operator moves too fast. Nesting season is over, but adult[s] still roost nearby. Cam is on MN side of Mississippi, looking NE across WI, dam and locks to SE, occ. bald eagles soaring, barges going through locks, etc. You can troll through the last few hrs. along the red line at the bottom, as you also can at numerous other Explore sites: Kenya, with 3-4 alternative sites at bottom, Orcalab [same], Grasslands NP, Sask. [2], etc. Mgt. not responsible for time wasted, burnt toast, or appts. missed.

    Naughty lawyer, but close enough to factual; there are sincere letter people who write letters just like those, or who reveal similar thinking on college essay tests and many websites, some secular.


  71. I wonder how many college-educated folks will damage their eyes during the solar eclipse by failing to wear appropriate eye protection when looking at the sun before and after totality? And how many more will have severe damage from trying to use an unshielded telescope?

  72. Just because you’ve got that diploma doesn’t mean your are really educated. Somebody said, ‘Education is wasted on the young.’ I was pretty knowledgeable about a lot [as of ’51], but lacked much in experience, and a lot of what I’d now regard as a liberal education. Much of what lib ed I have now I acquired as part of a teaching team [I’ve mentioned this before] that included a psychologist, a Shakespeare scholar, and me, and much I’ve acquired, starting in JHS, as an insatiable reader, mostly of periodicals. Still at it, listening to history, theology, etc. CDs while driving. [I turn them off when in complex situations.]

    Society [and the details differ, society to soc.] puts lots in the way of a real education. Some of those stumbling blocks are secular.

    I plan to watch the eclipse online.


  73. An old stand-up routine had a comedian claiming he once rented a Dodge Shadow, but when he got back to where he’d parked it, it was after dark and he couldn’t find it. The next day, he took it back to the agency, and they gave him a Mitsubishi Eclipse. But that wasn’t much better…when he went to get it off the rental lot, he could only look at it through a pin-hole in a piece of cardboard.

  74. emb

    Missed a couple of turns on a cross country trip because we were listening to a book
    Learned my lesson. Drive first — & second, everything else after that.

  75. When I was trucking I’d put away my phone or turn off the radio/CD player, whatever, whenever more attention was needed for handling heavier traffic, finding an exit, or squeezing around things on my way to a loading dock. As you said, Old Bear, drive first — & second, everything else after that.

  76. Turns out Tulsa had not one but three tornadoes, two 1’s and the 2. Big controversy is that no sirens were sounded.

    The area hit is one of Tulsa’s busiest so concensus is thankfulness it hit at late or early morning hour when few were still up or out.

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