Stuck In Fast Food Ruts

This was definitely a day worth remembering when finding we’d been getting rain all night, and then on and off the entire day, and what’s remarkable about it, is we’re in the week where for decades, was the coldest time of our winter. Back when I worked at one of our area’s banks a number of years ago, the last week in December and the first week in January would bear down on us with the most bitter cold and snow. Of course the last banking day of the year, was when there’d be even more reports to get printed and sent out to area banks. Yes, those two mercilessly cold weeks, would arrive at the end of the year like clockwork. Any time someone tells me there’s no such thing as climate change, that’s all I have to do is remember that particular fortnight, and dismiss such statements as being more fake news.

When I arrived at the back of my office early this morning, I just about went down several times before I got to my back door, and only because there was a sheet of ice that had standing water on the top of it which made it feel like I was walking on a ice skating rink with a thin layer of water on it. When the gray daylight arrived, I creeped and crawled back out there and drove my car around to the front, and that’s where I was parking for the remainder of my day. I don’t ever recall it being that slippery back there, and for sure it’ll be none too soon when Alliant Energy gets that grade lowered back to where it’s supposed to be this coming Spring, just so that melting snow drains out into the alleyway where it belongs. That spot has turned into a very dangerous rink of ice during the winter months.

My first appointment of the day, was to meet a prospective tenant who’d arrived last evening, and after he got a good look at the unit, he decided it was best suited for his needs. I assured him it had been thoroughly cleaned, and he likely wouldn’t find another either better or cheaper. Another bonus, was it being in a near-perfect location for his commute to work. After I had everything signed, and the rent and deposit taken, I handed him the keys and formally welcomed him to Mason City. He did mention Mason City seemed like a quiet little community, but I cautioned him when saying, “Keep in mind, we have crime just like everywhere else, so be careful.”

After that was wrapped up, I headed out to get some errands run, and while driving on various streets, I could see several City crews getting storm sewers opened, just to keep the streets from turning into ponds. I was a bit worried about those snow-covered storm sewer drains near my office, but it looked like there was a least one of them open at the far end of my block, and believe me, the water was a’running.

Since I was out on the east-end, I decided to stop at Hy-Vee to pick up a few things, and glad for it because they had some hellacious buys on veggies, garlic and meat, so I’ll be having boneless leg of lamb more often these coming months, and only because it was no more expensive than the pork I normally purchase. I was definitely there at the right time late this morning. I had to laugh when the clerk at the check-out said, “Since I’ve never had lamb, what’s it like?” I went on to tell him how good it is as long as it’s seasoned and cooked properly. I think in a morphic resonance way, and more ways than one, my tastes have fallen more on my mother’s side of the family, which I’m discovering to be even more illuminating as time passes. Yes, they were always great fans of lamb whenever it was available.

While walking to my car, I couldn’t help wondering how few people expand their tastebuds past pork, chicken and beef, because that thirty-something clerk proceeded to tell me he’s never had duck or goose. Perhaps they’re all stuck in fast food ruts. He even asked me if I’ve ever eaten goat. I smiled and then gave a good wink when saying, “Yes I have, and unfortunately it was an old one, and all I can say is, it had to be over-dosed with garlic before it could be eaten.” Did you know that goat is a preferred meat in many parts of our world to where it’s the most eaten red meat, and well over 50 percent of the world’s population eat it on a regular basis. My, how gastronomically challenged most of North Iowa has become. Nope, nope, and nope. That’ll be the day when you’d get me to eat raccoon meat. Just once in my life I could smell it being baked in a person’s oven, and after getting but one whiff of it, had me running in the opposite direction.

After I got all my first business day of the year duties completed and errands run, I went back to placing calls to various clients and customers, just to get myself caught up with them after our two long holidays. I was glad to hear everyone had a fine time with friends and relatives, along with no unfortunate happenings. Any time there’s a death on or around a major holiday, the holiday spirits of those affected, are forevermore tainted. One of my very dear relatives died on a major holiday a number of years ago, and since then, it’s never been the same.

One of my clients stopped by my office this afternoon to drop off some documents, and before he left, I gave him a belated Christmas gift of some of the best chocolates. I always enjoy seeing him because he’s got the most contagious laugh. Since he’s so much younger, he always laughs at my choice of words, and today’s was “messing”. I didn’t think it should’ve been that funny when I said, “Oh, there’s always somebody messing with another.” It took him a moment to appropriately place it in context, and then the laughter started. One of these days I’m going to ask him, “Are you always so happy and up-beat?” As much as I attempt to be an outwardly delightful person, there are always those moments and days.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Distrust of authority should be one’s first civic duty.

Joe Chodur

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