Renaissance Man

Jim Ryan CD cover

By Jim Hagarty

Here is a cut called Renaissance Man from Snippets of Truth, a great CD recorded in 2014 by my friend and singer-songwriter Jim Ryan. I love the mandolin and the sentiment.

Snippets of Truth is available in the Corner Store. It’s over by the car magazines and the felt flowers. Remember, no loitering and no backpacks allowed!

Renaissance Man by Jim Ryan

Beep Beep, Beep Beep, Ya

By Jim Hagarty

Someone in a wee car behind me just honked his horn at me.

Correction. He beeped at me.

It was more a baby fart than a honk. Not even a big baby. And not even as loud as a tiny baby fart.

I miss the days when a honk was a honk. When you let out a big baby fart of your own when you heard it. When you thought there was a U.S. battleship behind you and not a Tinker Toy.

The days when a Honk for Jesus got His attention and He knew you really loved Him.

Nobody Beeps for Jesus, do they?

Dying for Money

By Jim Hagarty

My life insurance company, not content with their monthly haul from our home, wants to sell me another policy which will pay $250,000 to my estate if I die accidentally.

No medical tests necessary.

So I read the fine print.

Apparently, it will be no slam dunk for my family to collect on this policy after I accidentally kick the bucket. For starters, I can’t die while breaking into a bank, which is likely to happen in the absence of the $250,000, kind of a Catch 22 if there ever was one. Presumably, I will be shot by police. From my newspaper days, I know quite a few of the cops in this town which increases the likelihood that this would be the result of my break in.

Also, the company won’t pay if I take my own life “while sane or insane.” But what if I am not sane or insane when I do it?

I can’t use illicit drugs to die, although it looks like I can make it work if I can talk my doctor into giving me something deadly.

I can’t swallow any poison around the house “whether voluntarily or otherwise.” That means, if my wife puts rat poison in my spaghetti sauce (not an impossible development), and I eat it not knowing it’s there, no dollars. How is that fair? (That reminds me of what Winston Churchill said to Lady Astor after she told him that if he was her husband, she would put arsenic in his tea. Madam, he said, if you were my wife, I would drink it!)

I can’t inhale any type of gas “voluntarily or involuntarily” so there goes the whole car in the garage thing. I can’t get the car in the garage anyway.

If I die during a visit to the dentist, the company won’t pay up. How do they know what my dentist is like, I wonder. No mention of who pays if my dentist dies during one of my visits.

I can’t die after contracting an infection so I may as well go back to washing my hands after changing the kitty litter before meals.

And this one really gets me.

If I fall out of an airplane or the plane crashes and I die, too bad, so sad – no moolah for my family. (This does not apply if I pay a fare and am on a regularly scheduled flight.)

To wrap things up, if I get killed in a war, no money. So the U.S. decides to retaliate for losing the war against Canada exactly 204 years ago this year and invades us, I’d better quick build a bomb shelter and get in it or the damn insurance company gets off scot free.

In other words, where can I sign up for this policy? It’s just too darned good to pass up! I am dying to get on board.

I’m in Love Again

Me and My Uncle cover

By Jim Hagarty

Here is a song I’m in Love Again, written and performed by my friend and singer-songwriter Michael “Earnie” Taylor. It is included on a CD entitled Me an My Uncle.

The entire album is a musical delight from start to finish. There are 14 tunes, seven of them written or co-written by Earnie, the rest covers of other songs in his unique country-folk-bluegrass style.

The CD is available for sale in my Corner Store.

I’m In Love Again: Earnie Taylor

Tools of the Trade

By Jim Hagarty

I had last week off from work and experienced an enjoyable, illuminating time.

This might not be everyone’s idea of the ideal vacation, but I spent my days off with my three favourite psychiatrists, mental-health helpers that have been with me since I was a boy. They are Dr. Hammer, Dr. Sawyer and Dr. Shoveller. Their services are surprisingly inexpensive (aside from a reasonable initial outlay) and I can never remember a time when they have failed to cheer me up, or at the least, distract me from my worries.

Dr. Hammer, especially, has a good head on his shoulders. So often, when I bring him a problem I can’t identify, he simply nails it. Between the two of us, we pound away at things, over and over, sometimes for hours, until there are no loose ends left. He can be a bit hard-nosed and sometimes I get my fingers rapped, but all in all, he is a master at putting it all together.

He can also undo my mistakes, sometimes, clawing away at them till we’re able to remove them and start again.

Dr. Sawyer is a healer, too, but in a much different way. Where Dr. Hammer loves order and likes to put it all together, Dr. Sawyer never fails to cut to the chase and believes that things have to be taken apart before they can be reassembled. Sometimes, his approach is to arrange for problems to be handled in small chunks. Other times, he likes to trim down the rough edges and slice away the unneeded extras.

He is sharp, very flexible, and loves to sink his teeth into any conundrums I might bring him.

Unlike the other two, Dr. Shoveller works his magic by digging into problems, getting below the surface of them, to the very roots of the issues. In fact, he does his best work when he is uncovering things, and he will turn over every rock to see what lies below. When I’ve gotten myself into a hole, I can always lean on Shoveller to get my way back out, to fill in the rough spots and to smooth things over.

There seems to be nothing the two of us can’t handle.

I’ve been to other specialists over the years. Dr. Rake, Dr. Laundry, Dr. Ovens. But they have never been able to work the wonders of my three best healers.

I wouldn’t trade them for one full week on the nicest beach anywhere in the world.