Herb Gardner
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Herb Gardner

Tales From Home Archive

     Young Abbie was a fan of the TV show “Little House on the Prairie”. On the subject of Michael Landon: “He looks just like you, Dad, except for the face.”

# # #

       When serving Mother's prize chicken casserole, Dad would ask, "Do you want some of the scum from the top?"

# # #

     Dad would always vehemently deny being a fussy eater. He insisted, ”I just don’t like things that don’t taste good!”

# # #

   Sign written on the back of a truck”

   “IF YOU AIN’T A TRUCKER, YOU AIN’T S--T”

Hard to argue with that one...

# # #

   I was never sure whether or not my mother was trying to send me a subliminal message when she described one of my early girlfriends.

   “She’s just like a little bird...cheep, cheep, cheep.”

# # #

   In an effort to slow traffic on the road past our high school the local authorities parked an unoccupied police car on the shoulder. When they returned to retrieve it that evening they found an empty Dunkin’ Donuts box on the roof.

# # #

When Sarah was young she thought that spending too much time in New York and not enough in New Hampshire might make her into a “city-kid”. Her subtle way of demonstrating this danger was to point out the car window and say to her siblings, “Oh, look, kids. Horses! Moooo...”

# # #

Kathy, wagging her finger at one of our babies: “You’re not getting a day older until you PROGRESS!”

# # #

When Sam had to make a quick trip to the Nyack Hospital emergency room Kathy identified herself as his mother. The nurse at the front desk then turned to Sam’s Japanese fiancee, Chinami Sato, and said, “...and you are?” Without missing a beat she answered, “His twin sister.”

# # #

Young Andy was very impressionable. Shortly after seeing the Disney movie, "Bambi" for the first time Kathy noticed him wandering through the aisles of the supermarket sadly moaning, "Mother?....Mother?..." She went to him and said, "Here I am, Andy; what’s wrong?"
   He looked at her scornfully and said,"Not YOU!"

# # #

In the mid-1990’s I became my own distant cousin. My mother’s brother, Harry, married Elva Blacklock, the sister of the second husband of my father’s sister, Doris. So far it hasn’t seemed to have affected me genetically...

# # #

Sam’s son, Kai, is truly a child of the 21st Century. When he was a year and a half old we heard him let out an anguished scream of frustration. He had gotten hold of an old telephone hand set and was outraged that it was connected to the base by a CORD!

# # #

   Abbie was always adept at handling potentially awkward social situations. One morning when she was very young during a quiet breakfast she let out a really loud “SNORT!”
   “Abbie?!?” we said.
   “Oh, that wasn’t me,” she replied calmly, “that was my snail.”

# # #

Kathy’s mother: “I love the winter, when the slate-colored junkies come to the window to beg for food.”

(We assume she was referring to the common winter finch, the “Slate-colored Junco...”)

# # #

I was able to get the bolts out of the wheel with the flat tire, but found that the wheel itself was stuck and wouldn't come loose from the car. With the help of some "Fix-a-flat" spray I managed to get the car to the middle-European mechanic at my local garage and asked him what to do about the stuck wheel.
   "Ve use ‘BFH’." he said. I was about to ask what kind of product that was when he elaborated: "Beeg Fogging Hammer!" and proceeded to bludgeon the wheel loose.

# # #

All the kids in our neighborhood knew our German Shepherd, “Jack”. To distinguish him from the dog, they all referred to Jack Fox, our elderly Jewish neighbor, as ‘Two-legged Jack”.

# # #

Thanksgiving morning found me buying a pan at the Hancock, NH store.

“A little late to be buyin’ a turkey pan, ain’t it?" asked the old Yankee behind me.

I explained. "We just found out this morning that the kids had used the old one to change the oil in their car."

He pondered this and said, "Well, it would keep the bird from stickin’..."

# # #

While waiting for them to come home, Sam & Chinami's friend, Hiroko, asked if I'd like her to make supper. I said that would be really nice, and there was some chicken in the refrigerator. She then puttered around the kitchen for about 20 minutes before coming to me with a wide-eyed worried expression and asking, “Do you have any idea of how to cook chicken?”

# # #

A friend of Abbie’s came to a night concert at the High School and came in the back way only to be confronted by an angry teacher on guard duty.

   "How did you get in here?" she demanded.

   "Through the back door." He answered.

   "You’re supposed to use the front door."

   "I like the back door."

   "Listen, Sonny, I’m a teacher in this school. DON’T GET SMART WITH ME!"

(Sounds like there’s not much danger of that...)

# # #

When Abbie was young there was a programmable doorbell in the girls’ room which could be set to play different songs. When she had it set to play the famous “fate” theme from the opening of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony I asked her if she knew what that music was. She frowned and said, “A symphony?”

I said, “Good! Do you know who wrote it?”

Again she frowned, searching her memory for names of composers.

“Strauss?”

“No, but you’re real close.”

Thinking as hard as she could to put the clues together, she finally guessed, “Abraham?”

# # #

When a prominent town citizen died, the women’s club formed a committee to decide upon a suitable memorial. They decided to plant a memorial bush at the gravesite, and formed a subcommittee to seek out the exact right sort of bush. It had to be a plant that could withstand the cold New Hampshire winters and thrive in the hot sun of the dry summers with a minimum of care and maintenance. After an exhaustive search it was decided that the “mountain laurel” would be just right, and they ceremoniously planted one beside the grave.

A week later they discovered to their horror that the sacred bush was gone! Cut down by some heartless vandal. They quietly planted another, but two weeks later that one had also disappeared!

After a lengthy investigation it turned out that the culprit was none other than the caretaker of the cemetary himself!

When confronted with his dastardly deed he explained his motive “That there’s a WEED!’

# # #

Kathy read that, as an adaptation to desert life, gerbils excrete only one drop of urine a day. Her sister, Marion, exclaimed, “Oh, the poor things!”

# # #

When Sam was young Kathy called to the boys in the next room: “Sam, why is Andy screaming?” He replied, “Oh, I was just sharing his baloney sandwich with me...”

# # #

“Any of you kids have anything good coming up in school?”

Andy: “Yeah, Friday is coming.”

# # #

Kathy’s parents recently came in on a long and much-delayed flight from Arizona for a visit. To give us an idea of how tough the trip was, Mr. Zoller said, “I just flew in from Phoenix on America West Airlines and my arms really ARE tired...”

# # #

1st elderly Hancock woman: “Did you see the parachutists?”

2nd elderly Hancock woman: “Parachutists? From where?”

1st: “From out of the sky, of course!”

# # #

1st elderly Hancock, NH woman, looking at church: “I’m surprised that the bells aren’t up for Old Home Day.”

2nd elderly Hancock woman: “Yes; usually the whole family comes.”

# # #

Mother: “They left their parrot for the week and Doris has been trying to keep it in water.”

# # #

I told Kathy the Milky Way is so big that it takes light 100,000 years to get across the galaxy. She said, “Why does it bother to go?”

# # #

Most kids experience their first dissolutionment with Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. My kids were shocked to find out that, not only had their mother not written it, but there was no such thing as the "Smoke Alarm Cookbook!"

# # #

A series of photographs Kathy took for the Journal News resulted in tremendous improvements at a low-income apartment building in Haverstraw. At the next meeting of the civic association she got a standing ovation when she was introduced as the photographer from the “Urinal News”.

# # #

Dad explained that the study of Latin could show you the origins of many English words. For instance the word "auditorium" from "audio", to hear, and "taurus", the bull.

# # #

“Daddy, what's that ?" asked 4-year-old Sarah pointing out the car window at the box climbing up the side of a building.

   "That's an elevator." I explained. "It takes people up to the top of big buildings. We'll ride in one in the store."

   Her eyes grew wide as the doors closed behind us, and she seemed quite relieved when we got out on the second floor.

"Daddy, is the alligator going to take us down, too?"

# # #

At a quiet table in a quiet restaurant Mother asked Dad what he was going to order.

   He answered, “I’ll have the ‘Hoof and Fin’.”

   She said, “What?”

   He said, "The ‘Hoof and Fin'!"

   She said, "What?"

   He said, "HOOF AND FIN!"

   Just then the waitress came by to take everyone's order, and when she came to Dad said, "...And I guess you'll have the ‘Hoof and Fin'."

   Dad gave her a startled look and said, "What are you, some kind of mind-reader?"

# # #

Dad thought that knitting was good for women. He said it gave them something to think about while they talked.

# # #

Mother & Dad grew quite hard of hearing in their 80’s, but didn't want to admit it, preferring to fake their way through social situations.

In an attempt to make small talk at dinner by inquiring about their pet, Kathy asked Mother, “How's the cat?”

Mother nervously glanced down at her plate and answered, “Oh, delicious!”

# # #

For an answer to an elementary school test, our daughter Sarah wrote, “The Revolutionary War was the one in which the English saved America from the British.”

Kathy: “I never eat clams.”

 “Why not?”

 “I never eat anything with legs.”

 “But clams don’t have legs.”

 “Well, they’re an exception.”

# # #

 One of my favorite marketing ploys was an ad for a vacuum cleaner that touted its “. 90 horsepower motor”. The number must’ve been very carefully put to sound just right. After all, a . 9 HP one would barely disturb the dust on the coffee table, while a . 900 HP model would undoubtedly suck up the dog and the children.

# # #

 I recently heard the introduction of the new Lexus hybrid SUV described as a form of “Prius enlargement”...

# # #

 Sometimes your mind makes great time in the wrong direction. I was glancing through the movie listings, getting a fleeting mental picture of each film on the way. One of the listings was “Tom Dooley”, and an image of a young cowboy hanging from a tree, as in the folk song, flashed into my head. Realizing that there was no such movie, I looked back to find that it actually said, “70MM Dolby”.

# # #

 When Abbie went to San Francisco for an internship she wrote back: “California is really different. The truck weighing stations are OPEN!”

# # #

More Peterborough Transcript Police Reports:

10/13/04 Jaffrey

 A man who lived at the JaffWood Apartments one year ago reminded police that when he resided there he’d called 911 to report that one of his boots was missing. Although at the time he was reprimanded by police for using the 911 system to report the incident, he told police now that the boot has mysteriously resurfaced. He found it rusty and muddy and undamaged.

10/12/04 Peterborough

 At 9:40 pm police received a report that a man with a light on his head was walking around the Peterborough Plaza. They identified him and sent him on his way.

10/16/04 Dublin

 At 4:30 pm police received a report of a suspicious person in the area of East Harrisville Road. Police identified the man as a nearby resident who was out for a walk wearing a jacket and towel. All was OK.

 11/17/04 Jaffrey

 At 2:30 PM a resident of School St. reported that a sixth grader was being chased by a pack of vicious dogs. Detective Dunn located the owner of the dogs on Squantum Road and told the resident to keep her two Chihuahuas penned in from now on.

# # #

   Kai, age 4, asked me to make his paper plane faster than Billy’s. Then Billy, age 5, asked me to make his faster than Kai’s. After a few adjustments I assured them that they both were the fastest planes in the Galaxy and no plane could go faster.

   Kai thought about this for a few minutes, then secretly brought me Billy’s plane and said, “Can you make this one SLOWER?”

# # #

 The canoists paddled towards the idyllic scene a beautiful young blonde girl playing violin on the shore of the lake. Trouble was that Sarah couldn’t play the violin, and when they got close enough to hear the squeaks and squawks they quickly turned and beat a hasty retreat.

# # #

Peterborough Transcript Police Logs

9/11/04   

 A stray emu was reported on Middle Hancock Road. The emu's owner said they would retrieve it.

9/9/04    

 The Jaffrey Police assisted the Jaffrey-Rindge Memorial Ambulance Service with an emergency call involving a female with a headache. (You've got to admire the creativity of the frustrated guy who called this in...)

9/15/04       

 At 1:08 PM police responded to a motor vehicle accident at Napa Auto Parts on Grove Street Extension. An employee of BC Auto had been moving a car in the BC Auto parking lot The car had no brakes, and crashed into the window of Napa Auto Parts. There were no injuries. The window broke. (I bet that's the last time they ask HIM to do a brake job...)

9/19/04   

 Police received a report of a white box with something black inside on Hunt Road. Nothing was found.

9/21/04  Dublin    

 At 8:30 AM police received a report of a loose emu running in the Highridge Road and Valley Road area. It is believed to be the same animal reported loose in Peterborough.

# # #

     My mother didn't drive until the 1950's when we got our first car with an automatic transmission, and then took traffic situations very personally. Stopping for a red light she realized she had pulled too far into the intersection, so she shifted into reverse and backed up until the truck driver honked at her to prevent a bump. This unnerved her so that she forgot to shift out of reverse and didn't notice when the light changed. The exasperated truck driver honked loudly, and she stomped on the accelerator shooting backwards into his bumper. On hearing the story, my father's comment was, "I bet that's the last lady driver he'll honk at."

# # #

   While on patrol near a Union Street building at 6:45 p.m., police observed three male juveniles on bikes and several older ones at the rear of the building. Some of the juveniles attempted to leave the scene but police caught up with them and told them to leave the area.    
   (Good thing the police caught them before they could leave the area...)

# # #

     An Idaho resident stopped in to the police station to report that he had helped a friend move into a home in Jaffrey. The man also said that he used to live in Jaffrey and that a former acquaintance from town was upset with him for stealing a pound of marijuana and $100 from him. Police assisted the Idaho man with leaving Jaffrey.

# # #

   My Father told me about a doctor who, in his commencement address to a medical school graduating class, advised them to all specialize in dermatology. "You'll never lose a patient." He said. "No one will ever die from their condition, but no one will ever get well, either...”

# # #

   One day when Sarah was about 4 years old we went out for ice cream. She swallowed a little bit of it the wrong way and started coughing and then laughing hysterically. Pointing at her dish she said, “Coffee ice cream!” Her very first pun. We were so proud...

# # #

Peterborough Transcript Police Logs

4/14/04

   At 3:54 PM a Blueberry Lane woman reported that a vehicle drove into her driveway, a man got out and started shooting at her house. Police located the vehicle and the man, who said he was shooting a BB gun at a bird on top of the woman's house. Police are following up with charges of Reckless Conduct.

   At 7:32 PM a woman at Prescott Hill Apartments reported having trouble with her juvenile son. The son agreed to leave for the evening. (I want this kid negotiating for ME!)

4/18/04

   At 2:36 AM an officer found a man walking downtown. He said he was out for a walk. (A likely story...)

   At 4:45 PM, a 21-year-old female from Franklin Pierce College reported that a tire was  stolen from her motor vehicle and replaced with a flat one. She believed the incident happened overnight from April 17-18. (Is this some kind of blonde joke?)

4/19/04

   At 10:22PM a Greenfield Road man reported seeing flashes of bright light. Police believe it was lightning.

# # #

   At the grand opening of the showcase new hospital in Fairbanks, Alaska, Kathy's father asked one of the officials why the new multi-lane highway led directly to the rear of the building, where all the trash dumpsters were, instead of to the front. After some investigation it was discovered that the workmen who laid the original foundation to the basement had mixed up the geographical coordinates and put it in facing the wrong way. The rest of the building went up accordingly, and the road thus led to the back.

# # #

“Sam, are you in there?”
   Andy’s voice from inside the bathroom: “No, I’m not in here!”

# # #

Peterborough Transcript Police Logs

9/26   A resident of Nutting Road reported a possible fire. Police found a candle lit in a backyard, probably a memorial for a deceased pet. Police extinguished the candle.

9/27   Police responded to the parking lot of the bank of NH for a reported suspicious person in a vehicle at 2:20 pm. After speaking with the subject, police discovered he was reading a book in his car while waiting for the library to open.

In the category of great comebacks:

8/10   Police saw what appeared to be a man urinating by his car at 10:30 p.m. along Monadnock View drive. After speaking with the man, police discovered that he was a male stripper and was doing warm-up exercises to prepare for his performance that evening at the VFW.

# # #

   Young Abbie, reading question to trivia game: “From what planet did Luke Skywalker come?”

   “Uh, Tattoine?”

   Abbie, reading from answer key: “Nope! Frank Sinatra!”

# # #

   When Sarah was two years old I went to interview for a music teaching job with the White Plains school district. After a very thorough examination testing every aspect of my knowledge and abilities the chairman said, very carefully, "We’re very impressed with you, but I have to ask... do you always carry a pink rabbit in the back window of your car?"

# # #

     Sam was 3 years old when we visited some friends who showed us their family slide show. During a lull in the proceedings I did my best shadow-puppet crowing rooster and asked, "Look, Sam! Do you know what that is?"

   "Yup." he eagerly replied, "Fingers!"

# # #

At Ramapo High School Abbie was the student conductor of the marching band, and had to lead school cheers at the football games. Spelling was always a challenge for her (One teacher sent me a thank-you note for giving Abbie a pocket spell-checker for Christmas.) and I heard this cheer at one of the games:

   "Give me an 'R'!"

   "R"

   "Give me an 'A'!"

   "A"

   "Give me an 'M'!"

   "M"

   "Errr...."

# # #

Sam always had a unique view of the world.

Sam, having just answered the  phone "Hello, is Sarah here?"

Sam "...between my big toe and my index toe..."

Sam "I read this story about a guy who said he was the first person on the moon - way before Louis Armstrong."

On Andy's piano lessons:

"Andy is learning some Bartok."
   Sam "Yeah, like 'Gimme another beer!'."

# # #

HEARD ON THE RADIO

   Mayor of Chicago: "...and I promise you that our investigation of this alleged corruption will leave no stone uncovered!"

   Airline spokesman after fiery crash: "...and our airplanes still contain much highly flammable material, despite all our efforts to make them as inflammable as possible."

   Military leader: "Nuculer preparedness demands eternal viligance!"

# # #

Peterborough Transcript Police Logs

   Overlook Farm on Windy Row reported losing a cow while trying to load it into a vehicle. The cow was later located at Heatherbrook Apartments.

     A Sharon Road resident reported at 9:49 P.M. loud voices and a possible bonfire. Police located the source, which was a legitimate bum.

     A patient at Monadnock Hospital was acting disorderly, using fowl language and verbally threatening staff. Police responded but the patient had already left the hospital. The case is active.   
(I suppose he must have used the "cl" word.)

# # #

   In the ‘50s and ‘60s the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Connecticut would announce each town line with a sign which read “This is Norwalk on the Wilbur Cross Parkway” or “This is Stamford on the Wilbur Cross Parkway”.   

   My favorite was in the town of Orange, Connecticut, where a big green sign defiantly proclaimed, ”This is Orange on the Wilbur Cross Parkway."

# # #

   "Yer horn don't work, does it?" Asked the New Hampshire Yankee changing the oil in my car at the Hancock garage.

   "No." I answered, "The mechanic in Boston told me the whole unit was shot and I'd need to order a new one from the factory."

   He laughed and observed, "It's come unplugged."

# # #

   The town of Hancock, New Hampshire is truly a geographical wonder. If you walk due east on Main Street you are going north on Route 137 while simultaneously going south on Route 123. Walking westerly has you going north on Route 123 while proceeding south on Route 137.

   I suppose that if you cross Main Street in either a northerly or southerly direction, whether you're going east or west depends on which route you think you're crossing.

# # #

More Peterborough Transcript Police Logs:

12/11/04 Jaffrey
 
At 3:44 AM, a call came from a Goodnow Street resident saying that as he was watching traffic go by, he noticed a vehicle slowing in front of his home. He suspected that the person inside the car was going to harm him or his property. Police investigated, nothing was found.

(What else would you be doing at quarter of four in the morning?)

12/13/04 Jaffrey
 
At 6:35 PM the hold-up button was pressed at Mr. Mike’s. Sgt. Feyrer had given a talk on the proper use of the button back in October, when the button was pushed simply because a scarecrow had been vandalized. This time, the alarm was sounded because a customer had used profanity toward an employee. Police are investigating, and advised the employees that this is not proper use of the button and that they should have dialed 911.

1/1/05 Jaffrey
 
At 1 AM police arrested MT, 21, of Rindge for Internal Possession of Alcohol. He was released on $1000 p.r. bail with a court date of Jan. 21. The young man was cooperative, and he expressed that he was especially pleased to be the first arrest of 2005, and he exchanged high fives with the officer.

(If you think I exaggerate when complaining about how slow New Hampshire drivers are, consider the following:) 
3/16/05 Jaffrey 
     At 5:55 AM police responded to a report of a motor vehicle collision. G. B., 56, of Jaffrey, was headed south on Peterborough Street when he fell asleep, crossed the center line and collided head on with a car driven by S. B. , 83, of Jaffrey. There were no injuries; the cars sustained minor damages. G.B. was issued a summons for crossing the solid line.
 
(New York drivers would have both been killed with the cars totaled and extensive damage done to several nearby buildings.)

# # #

 At the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival one late Saturday night a tipsy fellow in a cowboy hat with a bottle in his hand stood patiently on the wrong side of the row of porta-potties waiting for the back of one of them to open.

# # #

 “Look at that, Kathy!” I said, pointing to the very large chipmunk in the park. “It’s enormous!” That night she told everyone that we’d seen a Nor-mouse.

 # # #

     In Manhattan they tow your car away when it's parked illegally. It's happened to me only once in all the years I've been bending the rules. After you pay the exorbitant fine they give you a receipt. Printed at the bottom it says, "Thank you. Come back again soon."
     While waiting for my car, a yuppy-ish young guy came in and demanded to know if they had his BMW. "What color is it?" asked the bored lady behind the counter. "Cappucino Royale", he replied. (You've got to hand it to New Yorkers. They sure know how to sell a brown car.)

# # #

 The red-faced Marine didn’t know quite what to say when sweet little 2 year-old Sarah sitting next to him on the plane said, “Wanna’ see my bottomus?” He was very relieved, however, when she produced her creative playthings rubber hippo.

# # #

More Peterborough Transcript Police Logs:

12/26/05 Peterborough
 A sick raccoon was reported on Middle Hancock Road. It was determined to be in Hancock.

(You mean the creature really wanted to go to Hancock, or just that an out-of-town animal isn’t your problem?)
 

1/27/06, Rindge.
 At 6:02 PM police responded to the area of Rand Road and Robbins Road for a report of multiple pigs in the road. Meeting School personnel were notified.
 

1/29/06, Peterborough.
 At 8:58 PM police responded to a Pine Street residence for a domestic dispute. A 39-year-old woman was having difficulty with her 17-year-old son, who had thrown a dictionary during a verbal argument. Police calmed both parties.

(I guess a dictionary would constitute the ultimate weapon in a verbal argument.)
 

2/1/06, Peterborough.
 Three dark-colored cows were reported loose on Greenfield Road. They were not found.

(I particularly admire the economy of means with which the writer was able to inject a sinister angle into this report.)
 

2/1/06, Jaffrey.
 A North Street resident reported that a 13-year-old Rindge resident assaulted her 15-year-old with a guitar on Jan. 30 in the Conant High Schhool parking lot. The 13-year-old was charged with Simple Assault and released to his parents for juvenile court at a later date.

(13-year-olds with guitars assault everybody...)
 

2/1/06, Jaffrey.
 A Nutting Road resident reported that a teen, who said he lived in the area, had come to his door asking for a piece of tinfoil. Officers were unable to locate the teen.

(Even Isaac Asimov couldn't have imagined an escape by tinfoil.)
 

2/4/06, Jaffrey.
 A Nutting Road resident reported that a man had been pulling in and out of their driveway and other driveways in the area. The operator, a Jaffrey man, was located and questioned. The matter is under investigation for possible charges of Disorderly Conduct or Harassment.

(We must be able to get this guy for something...)

# # #

 Many years ago Kathy was faced with an imminent deadline for photos to be used in a weight-loss ad. Using lighting, shooting angles, make-up and a change of clothes, but without retouching any prints, (this was in the film days, before digital images and Photoshop.) she was able to take the “before” and “after” pictures at the same session.

# # #

 During a visit to my 99 -year-old mother she asked, “How do you feel?” When I replied that I was feeling just fine she scowled at me and said, “Well... you’re not getting any younger, you know!”

# # #

 With their advanced education, men of science have raised the practice of name-calling to a level unattainable by rebellious teenagers.

 From the March 2006 National Geographic:

 Scientists are surprised by a new species of worm found in the waters off Sweden's coast. Researchers discovered the creature feasting on the bones of a dead minke whale they'd sunk in the North Sea. They named the species "Osedax mucofloris", Latin for "bone-eating mucus flower."

# # #

 Did anyone else find it ironic that the annual re-enactment of George Washington’s daring wintertime crossing of the Delaware River, scheduled for Christmas Day, 2003, was cancelled due to bad weather?

# # #

     On a flight to a gig in Pittsburgh the nervous young kid next to me looked at the schedule and said, “This plane must go awfully fast to get to Pittsburgh that soon.”
     I told him, “No, actually because of the Earth’s rotation all we have to do is get up in the air and wait for Pittsburgh to come under us and then land on it. It’s on the way back that we have to really make time!”

# # #

     The inner city kids I used to teach had a logical, but totally unique approach to the English language. One day a kid remarked, “ Look, Mr. Gardner got a beeper!” The one next to him, who had seen it before, retorted, “Mr Gardner been got a beeper!” (The past tense of “Got a beeper”.)

# # #

   Abbie was at a folk music festival in Colorado for two weeks last summer and found the people there to be overwhelmingly sweet, kind, supportive and sincere. When she landed back in New York and heard somebody swearing, she said, “Yesss! I’m home!”

# # #

     Since lots of side streets in suburban towns have peculiar names, I never thought much about the sign for “Noak St.” . Then one day I noticed that opposite Noak St. was a sign for “Soak St.”, which I of course realized was South Oak Street.

# # #

     Seen on a church bulletin board: “Warning! Exposure to the Son may reduce the risk of burning.”

# # #

     On a flight to a gig in Pittsburgh the nervous young kid next to me looked at the schedule and said, “This plane must go awfully fast to get to Pittsburgh that soon.”
     I told him, “No, actually because of the Earth’s rotation all we have to do is get up in the air and wait for Pittsburgh to come under us and then land on it. It’s on the way back that we have to really make time!

# # #

     One winter, on an icy hill, Kathy’s car skidded into a mailbox. She went to the door of the house and, when an elderly gentleman appeared, she confessed, “I just knocked over your mailbox”. He looked at her, looked out at the mailbox, looked back at her and said, “Why?”

# # #

     For the captions on her newspaper photos Kathy needs to get the names of the people in the pictures. She wrote down one guy’s name exactly as he gave it to her;    “J. Whithany Hood.”
     Fortunately, she got a look at his business card, which said, “Jaye Hood”. (Jay, with an “E”).

# # #

     On February 12, 2008 the Westchester-Rockland High School skiing championship meet was canceled because of snow.

# # #

   For Joe Torre's Los Angeles Dodgers, Hu is at shortstop; not on first.

# # #

     Kathy asked the dry-cleaner to be very careful cleaning my great-great grandmother’s quilt cover she had found in the attic, since it was delicate and over 125 years old. The dry-cleaning lady looked at her scornfully and said, “Next time don’t wait so long.”

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