Good News from Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam Wants Everything!
Uncle Sam Wants Everything!

It’s always nice to receive good news, and the government seems to be full of it these days. We received word just this morning that according to the Department of Labor there was no rise in the cost of living during the past year. This was really good news.

In fact, I was so relieved and elated by this news that I called up my health insurance company and explained to Betty that the forty percent increase in my premiums must have been a mistake because the Department of Labor said so. Betty is a very jolly lady and I’m pretty sure she is still laughing.

I was sure, though, that this declaration by the Department of Labor would carry some weight so I called the number for the company that delivers our propane. They recently filled the tank and I was certain they would want to know about this Comsumer Price Index thing and how it was not to cost any more to live this year than last. Paul was not so amused.

Still, I wanted to share our good fortune so I called up a friend of mine and said, “Tom, guess what, there was no rise in the cost of living during the past year! Isn’t that great news?”

And Tom, he likes numbers, he said, “Well let’s see, there’s over four million more people out of work than there was at this time last year. So, if you got nothing to live on and the cost of living is going to be the same then, well, at least you can budget for it. So yeah, I guess that is really good news.” Tom’s kind of sarcastic like that.

Still, I knew there had to be someone who would appreciate hearing this news. So, I called up my Congressman, and I said, “Hey Honorable, did you hear that there was no rise in the cost of living during the past year?”

And he said, “I say, I say, I say, that’s right boy! I worked hard this past year to keep down the rise in the cost of living. It was a constant and exhausting battle against overwhelming odds, but I fought with all my might and in the end the cost of living did not rise. I did it for the people. No need to thank me. You’re welcome. Don’t forget to vote. Are you registered?”

Finally, someone who truly appreciated the good news.

Haunting of the CowChows

little-girl-screamLife at the CowChows is so much fun. I was out back piddling with something the other day when I heard from behind me a very timid, “Hi.”

I turned and there stood one of the neighborhood kids, a blond haired little girl about eight years old. “Hello,” I responded.

We exchanged a few neighborly niceties, and then she asked, “How big is your house?”

I turned and studied the house for a moment and then said, “Oh, I don’t know. Kinda big, I guess. Why?”

“Some of the kids think it’s haunted,” she whispered.

“Oh, it is,” I whispered back and her eyes got very big. “I’m not supposed to talk about it, but there are several ghosts that live in our house.” I looked around to be sure none were listening before continuing, “Some of them are very nice, but some of them scare me sometimes.”

Her mouth dropped open and her stare went from me to the house and back again.”R-r-really,” she stammered, “who are they?”

“Well, there’s the Riverboat Captain. We don’t know for sure but we think he used to drive a boat on the river behind your house and one time when the river was up, like it is now, he fell overboard. He’s kinda grouchy but he’s mostly nice. Then there’s one that we call Grandma because we can hear her softly humming but when we go into the room no one is there, but the rocking-chair is still rocking. Then there’s the old indian chief. His tribe would camp right down there next to the river, and he tells me lots of stories about hunting in these woods and fishing in the river. He once saw a bear right over there in those trees.”

“What about the ones that scare you,” she asked softly.

“Oh,” I said, and I looked around again to be sure none were listening. Her eyes were big again when I looked back. “There’s only one that’s really scary.  You don’t want to meet him. He’s big and kind of hairy all over. Sometimes when he walks he drags one leg like this.” I took a big step toward her and dragged my other boot through the dirt. She backed up. “He only ever laughs when he smells small children and when he does it sounds like this.” I did my best impression of a deranged hyena, and she backed up some more. “He can change the way he looks and sometimes…,” I took another boot-dragging step toward her, “..he makes himself look just like…,”

I didn’t get to finish the story but I’m pretty sure she’ll come back; they always do.

Mischievously yours,

Tim Couch