A Twist of Humor

This is a column with a twist of humor. A new column will be posted every Monday.

Location: Newfoundland

I was born, raised, educated, and married in Toronto. I moved to Newfoundland twenty some years ago with my wife. So far nobody has asked me to leave. My wife asking me to leave doesn't count.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Twist Of Humor Has Moved

A Twist Of Humor has moved to www.atwistofhumor.com

Please update your bookmarks and links.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Down Time

I will not be posting a new column until January 8, 2007. This is because of other commitments and the holiday season. I also plan to move my blog from Blogger to its’ own domain at atwistofhumor.com …… that is if I can figure out how to do it.

If anyone wishes to be notified when I make my next post, please click the e-mail button on the sidebar.

Happy Holidays,


Monday, December 04, 2006

The Snow Beast

This column was originally printed in The St. John's Telegram on January 7, 2005.

Heaven help us, another winter is upon us.

I hate winter.

I know this will not please the winter enthusiasts and those who make a lucrative living from their dementia, but in my opinion winter is nothing but a gigantic grab bag of frustration, designed to drive sane people mad and mad people to the ski slopes and to worse winter pursuits, like ice fishing or, God forbid, snowmobiling.

You may think staying at home and hiding from old man Winter and his henchman Jack Frost would be a good option. Think again. Winter is a relentless and heartless adversary that will seek you out wherever you may be.

For instance, one frosty day, having a sore back, calloused hands and percolating anger in my heart, I surveyed my snow-clogged driveway – the same driveway I had already shoveled out twice that day.

My worst nightmare coming alive mesmerized me.

After I shook myself from my trance I found that I possessed a new found resolve to right the wrongs of the world, or at least in my tiny snow-covered part of it.

Here is where as narrator of this tragic tale, I have to tell you, that my house is one of a few on a lightly traveled rural road.

After a snowfall the road is plowed and then one or two more passes are made to push the snow to the side of the road, preferably, as far as the Department of Highways is concerned, right up and into my front door. This effectively makes a two-lane rural road into a four-lane rural road. The fact that two of the lanes are through trees, over ditches and my lawn bothers the Department of Highways not in the least. I think they are proud of this. Anyway, back to my tale.

With a pounding sense of injustice in my heart, I labouriously climbed to the top of the snowbank at the end of my driveway and, with a shovel in hand, master of my realm, I dared the evil snow beast to invade my domain.

Then all at once, in answer to my challenge, I heard the beast coming from afar, motor revving, blade grinding on the pavement. I could see snow flying to the side of the road, flung there by the demonic rider of the snow beast. He was sitting in his saddle, eyes feverishly glinting, his mouth drawn back in a wolfish snarl, all the while whipping the beast into a frenzy. Both of them were hell bent on smothering my driveway in snow.

I yelled loudly so as to be heard over the roar of the beast. “Come on, knock me down. Bury me in my driveway with all the snow in the world. I dare you.”

He dared. Efficiently, and with no more remorse than a tax collector taking the last dollar out of your piggy bank, he buried me beneath a world of snow. No, he buried me beneath a universe of snow.

I shoveled and clawed my way out of my icy prison, and as I lay in the snow gasping for air I could see my 15-year-old son standing in the doorway of the house. I could tell from the roll of the eyes, the shrug of the shoulders and the prolonged sigh that he was again not impressed with dear old dad.

Life is full of burdens and I happen to be his for the moment. (I’m sure as he gets a little older I’ll get a little wiser. Then again maybe not.)

While I was laying in the snow looking up at the sun shoving and wrestling the clouds out of the way, I was struck by the thought that the same sun that was smirking down on me in my misery, was at that exact moment, smiling down on someone who was lying on a warm, sun drenched, tropical beach.

I was once again made aware that there is no justice, not here, not now, not for me. The sun was being elbowed out of sight by the clouds again and I felt a snowflake slamming onto my nose.

O well, spring is just around the corner.

Isn’t it? Please, isn’t it?

© Mike Cook 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Visitor

A while ago my wife decided that I needed a change of scenery. Thinking only of my welfare, and without my knowledge, she called my two sisters and brother in Ontario and asked if I could stay with one of them. My wife told me it took several days for them to decide who I was going to stay with. It seems there was a big family argument about it. I guess each one of them wanted me stay at their home. It gives one a warm feeling to be wanted and loved like that.

As soon as it was decided who I was staying with my wife had me at the airport. It seems, being the forward thinking person she is, she had the ticket already bought and my bags packed several days before she phoned my brother and sisters. When I was aboard the airplane, as it was moving to the runway, I looked out my window towards the airport viewing deck and I thought I could see my wife dancing a happy jig. A lump arose in my throat and my eyes got misty. This woman loved me so much that she was dancing a jig of happiness because I was getting a well deserved rest.

The flight was uneventful. At least it would have been uneventful except that I wore my old sneakers instead of my new ones. A half hour into the flight my feet hurt, so I took off my sneakers. Well, you never heard such a plane load of whiners and complainers. It got so bad the plane was diverted to Halifax where I was put on a bus to complete my journey to Ontario. I was also banned from flying for six months.

When I was nearing my journey’s end I phoned my sister to ask her to pick me up at the bus station. Curiously I couldn’t reach her or my other sister and brother no matter how many times I phoned or left messages. So I rented a car.

After getting lost a few times I eventually arrived at my sister’s house and knocked on the door and waited…..and waited. Strangely, even though she knew when I was arriving because I had told her on my phone messages, no one answered the door. I walked around the house trying to peek in through a window but unfortunately all the drapes were closed. I saw the drapes flutter a few times as if someone was behind them. I thought for a minute that my sister, who is a playful sort, might have been playing hide and seek with me. I rapped on all the windows and called out several times but no one answered. I guess she didn’t get my messages.

You won’t believe this but the same thing happened at my other sister and brother’s homes. Amazingly they hadn’t received my messages either nor were they at home; and for some reason their drapes were also closed.

I spent a week living in my rental car driving back and forth between my sisters’ and brother’s homes trying to catch them in, but no matter what time of the day or night I always missed them. Talk about bad luck. Occasionally I thought I saw someone through a crack in the closed drapes, but it always turned out to be my imagination.

Finally, even though I knew they would be very disappointed in not having seen me, I left for home in my rental car.
By the time I arrived at the ferry terminal in Nova Scotia I had basically been living in my car for over a week so I immediately sought out the shower facilities in the terminal. I didn’t want to take any chances of being put off the ferry in the middle of the Gulf before I reached Newfoundland. As I learned on the airplane there are a lot of whiners and complainers lurking around just waiting to go into action over the least little thing.

When I got home the drapes were closed and the doors were locked. Fortunately I had a key for this house. Inside I found a note from my wife. It read, “I need a rest so I’ve gone to visit your sister.” Would you believe that?

© Mike Cook 2006