Saturday, November 19, 2022

Synergy, Davy, and Me


I didn’t have a brother, but I had a ‘Davy.’ He was my cousin; we were five years old. To make reading this story educational, I will give you a workable explanation of the management term, Synergy. ‘… The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.’

Let’s see now if synergy was in effect with Davy and me … shall we? Davy was a typical little boy, and I gave the appearance of a normally developing adolescent male child. Therefore, if Davy was a handful and I was a handful – together we were impossible. I cannot recall which one of us asserted that the ability to fly like Superman was merely a matter of obtaining bath towels for capes, secured by clothespins. We sought a towering pinnacle to facilitate our take-off. Graciously, I allowed Davy to jump off the garage roof first. Even back then, I was always putting others ahead of myself. Besides, someone had to stay on the ground to run the Radar and Snack Bar. I felt such admiration, with just a twinge of envy, seeing Davy soar off the roof, until he hit the ground like a sack of soiled diapers. We planned to try again as soon as his body cast came off. We reviewed the video tapes and determined which parts of the plan needed some tweaking. OSHA would not send out a consultant to audit our processes but one of the inspectors did return our call.

“You two boys better behave yourselves and restrict your play to environmentally safe toys recommended for children in your age group, or I’m telling on you!” While taking his recommendation under advisement, we busied ourselves by urinating into my dad’s empty beer bottles in the kitchen. We would recap them, then returning the bottles to the fridge in hopes someone would chug down one of our craft brewskies. During the production and bottling phase, Davy announced that based on lessons learned from his test flight, the pilot should have a parachute. Clearly, the money we paid for the consultant, formerly from the FAA, had proven beneficial. We appropriated one of the bed sheets off his grandma’s clothesline., Davy moved away, before the next test. Our family also left the inner-city to settle in an all-white-mid-western-suburb. I would be leaving as the undefeated, undisputed ‘Peeing for Distance Champion of the World.’ It was a hollow victory, since it was my only victory among all the events of our decathlon. There was also: Spitting-for-Distance; Throwing-the-Cat-for-Distance, which had to be canceled because after the first toss we couldn’t find the cat anymore; Throwing-Rocks-at-Passing-Cars, was more about timing until the guy would get out of his car, then it became a sprinting competition. In the sub-categories there was: Belching-on-Demand; Whistling-the-Loudest, and Making-Fart Noises -With-Your-Hand-Under-Your-Armpit event. We were going to add, Throwing-My-Sister-for-Distance, but she got upset and withdrew from the competition early, blubbering something about having to find her cat. We were getting out of the neighborhood just in time. The pressure to join a gang was intense. The two major gangs were the ‘Bloods’ and the ‘Crips.’ While the Bloods had a great volleyball team, the Crips had better benefits. I wasn’t a member as you had to be six (five and a half with parents’ consent). The only gang that would have me was the ‘Rugrats.’ I did have one run-in while I was gang-banging. I was held-up at knifepoint in a vacant lot for my milk money. Even at the time, I didn’t believe my assailant was going to stab me. However, you never know what a seven-year-old, hopped-up on Kool-Aid crystals would do for that kind of money. A quarter back then would be equivalent to at least a thousand dollars now! Life in the suburbs was very boring. This was a rural community, cows outnumbered people. In my sub-division, there were many manicured lawns and not much else. Without Davy, I had to work twice as hard to get into half as much trouble – a good example of the lack of synergy. Whether you are building a space shuttle or just peeing in beer bottles, you can do more with less if you have synergy.


Signed: Grizzly ‘always doing his best to do less’ Gus 

Friday, November 11, 2022


‘Time’ … for a Story



Clocks have been around since the beginning of time. In 1671, people had to carry around huge clocks if they wanted to know what time it was. At some point, it became grandpa’s job to carry the clock when everyone went out; that is how the Grandfather Clock got its name. The family told ole gramps that if he forgot to wind the clock when it stopped--his heart would also stop. (He was a tad senile). The family wasn’t trying to be cruel; it was just that with so few entertainment options available, messing with old folks was like watching our modern-day sitcoms.

In the old days you had a lot of old people hanging around, as nursing homes were not well established, and only legally registered Eskimos were allowed to leave their elderly on an ice flow to be eaten by polar bears. After Spain sold Florida to the U.S., back in 1819, families flocked there for vacations. The primary reason for Florida’s phenomenal growth in its elderly population was because when Gramps and Granny were in Stuckey’s trying to decide whether to buy a ten-pound pecan nut roll, Mom and Dad, threw the young’uns in the station wagon and made for the Georgia border like a scalded dog.

Eventually someone decided that watches needed to have a computer inside. I will never forget the first time I saw a digital watch at a store. It retailed for $350.00. That was equal to a year of my wages, probably. I spent my paycheck so fast I had no real way of knowing. It did not matter I had to have this watch. Every day I would stop at the store and look at it, leaving my finger and lip prints on the display case. The same technology that put a man on the moon was in this watch. That meant the same technology had been obsolete at NASA and Casio for years. The watch was chrome and oh so shinny. It had a black face and, on the side, [are you ready for this] a button, not a stem, a button. No more winding, those days were gone, we were talking high tech, cutting-edge stuff here. Wearing it would surely bring me all the happiness and fulfillment I so desperately craved. At least, that is what it said in the brochure.

Scrimping and saving, it took a long time but eventually I had saved enough to get the watch out of lay-away. I couldn’t have been more excited if I had grown a second appendage! Rushing home, I got out the owner’s manual - the size of a major city’s phone book and started reading. Two days later I was ready to set the watch. First, I had to press the button with one hand, twist a knob with the other and find something small enough to stick in a tiny hole in the back all at the same time. After forty attempts the time was set.

Speaking of time, by the time I had gotten the money to get the watch out of layaway there had been a few advancements in digital timepieces. Now watches were also: stop-watches; alarm clocks; count-down timers; measured your pulse; glowed in the dark; took your temperature; received satellite signals from outer space; played music from three radio stations; and automatically adjusted the time to the atomic clock at Los Alamos within a half second every 1,000 years. My watch …when I pressed the button, the time glowed in red.

Signed: Grizzly 'out of time' Gus

Tuesday, November 1, 2022





                                 ‘How to Prepare Thanksgiving Dinner’

The very first and most important tip for preparing Thanksgiving Dinner is - to avoid having to cook dinner for a bunch of free-loading friends and relatives in the first place. Give them directions to the nearest ‘Golden Corral.’ I hear they have a tuna casserole to die for - some may already have. If you must give your loved ones the bird, you need to decide on a fresh or frozen fowl. A fresh turkey should be kept in the backyard because you don’t want turkey droppings all over the house when having company. Unless you plan on cutting off that sucker’s head yourself, you need to find a pilgrim somewhere. Vegetarians say it is hypocritical to eat something you’re not willing to kill. Vegetarians should shut up and realize no one likes them. While I would be willing to kill them – I would have serious qualms about eating them: so, for now, they are safe. One more comment for Vegetarians – not eating meat is NOT an accomplishment. (Note: If I have offended any Vegetarians out there, please let me know, since that IS an accomplishment for me).

Best to go with the frozen fowl, you don’t need some turkey running around like a chicken-with-its-head-cut-off. Also, you don’t want the kids thinking it was the family pet and you become Jack Nicholson, in ‘The Shining,’ chasing after it with an ax. The poor little tykes would be in therapy until their forties.

According to the USDA, ‘it is safe to cook a turkey in a frozen state. That is fine for everyone living in Alaska, but what about the rest of us? USDA suggests two ways to thaw a turkey; keep it in the refrigerator for a month or soak it in the bathtub, which would be okay since I wasn’t figuring on bathing before Thanksgiving anyhow. There are other ways to thaw a turkey USDA never mentioned and would probably never recommend. You can use a hairdryer for six hours or a blow torch for six minutes. My preference is to curl up in bed under an electric blanket with my little Butterball. It would seem like old times with my frigid ex-wife. Not only will it be thawed by morning, but I can tell my guests I prepared an intimate dinner for them. Figure on a half-pound of turkey per person, unless it is one of my relatives; then figure on a pound of turkey, a pound of mashed potatoes, a pound of stuffing, a pound of yams, and a quart of gravy - each time they each pass through the buffet line. My kinfolks are so fat – a family portrait has to be taken by satellite. They claim they’re watching their weight. How hard can that be when their stomachs stick out three feet in front of them? What I’d like to see them do is watch their feet!

Tuck the turkey’s wing tips under its shoulders for more even cooking. This is referred to as Akimbo - named after the famous Japanese Sumo wrestler who had big breasts and tiny little arms. Cram all the stuffing up the turkey’s butt that has been surgically removed. That reminds me of my recent hemorrhoid operation … I suppose in good taste will have to wait until another time. Add a half-cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Before you place a tent of aluminum foil over the turkey - cover its breasts with an ample amount of butter - gently, slowly, sensually massaging, and caressing until you’re tossed out of the kitchen - so you can watch the football game with the rest of the guys. Warning: Unless you drive a pick-up, own a hound dog, wear sleeveless shirts, and are well liquored up, you have NO BUSINESS trying to deep fry a fifty-pound turkey in a washtub filled with superheated corn oil on your back porch. Roast your turkey in the oven the way our pious pilgrimed forefathers did. When the turkey’s temperature reaches 165 degrees, it is ready. Set it on the table for twenty minutes which should be enough time to allow the juices and the arguments (as to whom will do the carving) to settle. Lastly remember for goodness’ sake, Billy gets a drumstick because he called it the minute, he walked through the door YESTERDAY and has been reminding everyone EVERY FIVE MINUTES afterward! Happy Thanksgiving

 Signed: Grizzly ‘gobble, gobble’ Gus

 Ask Grizzly is written by Gustaf Alford Grizzard and was created a ways back. - write Grizzly if you want advice or are just lonely. Contact;;

DISCLAIMER: The opinions and comments expressed by Grizzly Gus, are not necessarily those of management. As far as management is concerned, if the State Board of Mental Health saw fit to release him, then let them be responsible. Do not write to Grizzly if you are experiencing really serious problems but seek professional help. Grizzly Gus holds no certifications or training. He is not even qualified to ‘speak’ to anyone, much less give advice: even his poetic license was revoked.


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