The Saloon

Here in the Saloon the drinks are free and Tales of Humor and Drunken Wisdom or Folly are told to hoots of laughter

The sharp, clear lines of definition
that we walk under the watchful eye
of the language cops
when we're stopped
after a night at the Socratic Cafe
become a fractal enigma in drunken sight
as we stagger
throught the magic night.

The Tale of the Socks

Several years ago I grew tired of having socks that would, during a day of walking about, slide down around my ankles. As a remedy I decided to try out some calf-length socks and acquired several pairs that, when put on, came up almost to my knees.

My normal practice at the end of an afternoon was to go to the local YMCA and sit in the steam room, followed by a swim of about a kilometer. This had become an habituated routine. Following the swim I would take a hot shower, a cold shower, dry off in the drying room, go to my locker and dress. There was a standard sequence in dressing, the relevant part being that I would put on my pants before my socks, then walk back to the mirror in the drying room to comb my hair, then return to my locker, put on my socks and shoes and leave. The reason for this was that there were sometimes spots of water on the drying room floor so walking there in my socks faced the unpleasant possibility of stepping in one. There was also a restriction against wearing shoes into the drying room.

The first day I went to the Y wearing my new calf length socks I followed the standard routine until, after the shower and drying off, I sat naked in front of my locker and realized that if I continued the habitual routine I would have to roll my pants up to my knees to get the socks on. Thus I faced a choice of having to do this slightly irritation, or of donning the socks and risking stepping in a puddle of water.

I sat pondering this for ten seconds or so when the only other person in the locker room at the time, a younger fellow in, I would guess, his late 30s, said to me: "Deep thoughts?"

I answered honestly: "I'm trying to decide whether to put on my socks or my pants first."

The young man backed away, turned to his locker, and I heard him mutter: "Is this what I have to look forward to?"

I smiled and said: "If you are lucky." I left it to him to work out the meaning of that statement, as I also leave it to you, dear readers.


It was entertainment night at the senior citizens' center. After the community sing song led by Alice at the piano it was time for the Star of the Show- Claude the Hypnotist!

Claude explained that he was going to put the whole audience into a trance. "Each and every one of you and all at the same time." said Claude. The excited chatter dropped to silence as Claude carefully withdrew from his waistcoat pocket a beautiful antique gold pocket watch and chain.

"I want you to keep your eyes on this watch" said Claude, holding the watch high for all to see. "It is a very special and valuable watch that has been in my family for six generations." He began to swing the watch gently back and forth while quietly chanting "Watch the watch --- Watch the watch ----Watch the watch"

The audience became mesmerized as the watch swayed back and forth. The lights twinkling as they were reflected from its gleaming surfaces. A hundred and fifty pairs of eyes followed the movements of the gently swaying watch.

And then, suddenly, the chain broke!!! The beautiful watch fell to the stage and burst apart on impact.

"SHIT" said Claude.

It took them three days to clean the Senior Citizens' Center and Claude was never invited to entertain again!

Tempus fugit, tying time in knots
distorted dial of moments and days
that flutter through my life
as leaves through an autumn wind.
No measure of work, responsibility,
no need to measure merry making!