NOTEFLIX’s production of “Troubles in the Garden” brings up the conversation: “…on the advantages of being a Stuffed Animal”:  1) You do not have to go to dinner parties and be forced to make polite talk.  2)  You do not worry about the price of gas and toilet paper; because you are not going anywhere and you never have to hoard anything.  3) You are not disappointed by how you look today, versus how you used to look; because you never change.  4)  No one tells you you have to eat your watermelon because “it is good for you and you need to hydrate” – as you do not have to ever eat anything at all. (More on these and other topics next week)


(Ed. Note: We have been wondering about the possibility, now the fear of Covid has subsided a bit, and some of us are no longer scared to go out for social gatherings, that we might have forgotten how to behave at dinner parties.  Below are a few tips to help you get through the evening.)

CONVERSATION FILLERS  (Topics  you might bring up when there comes a lull in the chatter at the table):

  • TOILET PAPER TALK:  “I hear the use of Soft Toilet Paper by Americans is more harmful to the environment than are all the Hummers and SUV’s.”  If that does not get things going, you could add:  “On top of that I hear the average American uses 3X’s the amount of Toilet Paper the Average European uses.  …And I have not even brought up the ‘Two-Ply’ shortage problem”   …or try this…
  • PILLOW TALK:  “I read where it says if you have a pillow that is 15 years old that 40% of its weight is from the fecal matter of mites.” …if this does not produce comment, you could persist with, “I wonder if this is true with that Mr. Pillow guy’s pillows, you know the one who sleeps with the Big Lie.”   …or try this…
  • A PERSONAL NOTE:  You could bring others into the conversation by saying something personal like; “I’ve noticed as time goes by, that pictures of me keep getting worse, despite technological advances.  Has this happened to anyone else here? It’s like I have an IED (an ‘Internal Explosive Device’) which makes hairs turn wiry and grey and grow long in some places and not at all in others, or makes my jowls look like they have softened a bit (which cannot possibly be), or has put someone else’s face over mine.”  …If the silence at the table continues, you could offer another sampling…
  • GAS PRICES:  “Have you seen the price of gas at the pumps lately?  I was told in the early 1950’s gas was 27 cents a gallon…compound that and adjust for inflation over the years and that equates to $2.57 a gallon.  Still cheap.  “But”, you might say, “It was harder to make 27 cents in the ‘Fifties’…than it is to make $2.57 today.” …and I say, “Back in the Fifties you could pick up empty soda pop bottles and get 2 cents each for them and that was easy to do because there were bottles all over the place.  All you needed to do was find 14 bottles and the store on the corner would give you 28 cents…you could buy a gallon of gas and have a penny left over and buy a Tootsie Roll.  Please pass the butter”.  ….or try this…
  • ECONOMICS:  “Did you notice ‘Wall Street’ handed out $48 Billion in bonuses earlier this year.   Some of the ‘Right Wing’ Politicians are saying the ‘Inflation Problem’ is really caused by ‘wage increases’ for the working man and maybe we should put a cap on those for a while.”  (Do not use this if your host, or hostess, is wearing a red baseball cap at the table.)

I have run out of the word allotment for this section, but if the Readership indicates more on this approach is wanted, such XXXXwill be provided next week.


Meanwhile, a few words from MATHUZALA, our Resident Rodent Guest Columnist:


  • This year is not “The Year of the Rat”; but it is a good year for us, nonetheless.  Our Horoscope states 2022 will be marked by ‘Achievements and a positive and daring attitude.’ So far, the Horoscope has been spot on: we are propagating well and running freely throughout the world, If you would like to have a similar time of it, I recommend you pay attention to the advertisement below:”

AD: If you want to have as good a year as the Rats will have, please go to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and buy “THE RAT PAPERS”  and do what they are going to do.



The Americans are still arriving in droves.  Here are a few observations from the Terrace:  *Many are traveling in Family groups…six to eight people, husbands, wives, a grandparent or two, teen-age children. *More are interested in seeing the countryside, the vineyards, than the Cathedrals.  *They are a happy lot…several groups of just women having a good time of it – what is that about?…Oh, and another thing: Have you seen the price of gas over here? (See photo below) The price is for a liter…(There are about four liters to a gallon)…so if you multiply the price times 4 and add about 10% for the value of the euro you get pretty close to $9 a gallon which is pretty scary and makes you not want to do anymore math.

And now two quotes:

  • “To deny others access to knowledge to which they are entitled.”    -Catholic, Theological definition of a Lie
  • “When I was a kid, I wanted to be older… This is not what I expected.” -Wise observations from the former mayor of Gates Mills

That’s it from here…and a fond “Hello” to Karen wherever you are.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: