Friday, December 31, 2010

Tombstone picture

“The Slow Motion Walk”

In which camp do you find yourself? Are you one of the ones who are glad that Christmas is over, or do you feel just a bit sad that it’s past?

I have never found myself in the former camp. That’s the one I mentioned first. I have to think a bit before I can distinguish between “latter” and “former.” It’s the same way with “stratosphere” and “mesosphere.” I can’t remember which is furthest. Or farthest. I also get those two confused. Farthest? That doesn’t sound right. Can we get past this?

Some of you may be sad about Christmas because you got lousy stuff. Hey, I feel your pain. I’ve experienced your pain. Can’t say that for my brothers. They loved what I got ‘em. They don’t appreciate all the trouble I went through to create their gift, though. About wore me out.

Let me tell you what I came up with. I know you’re eager to know. I got this great idea to find a photo from the movie “Tombstone” -- the picture of the Earp brothers and Doc Holiday walking toward the OK Corral -- and superimposing the faces of my brothers and me over the characters. Is that not cool?

I’m sure you realize that I was once in a movie where I walked in slow motion with Big Al and some others on our way to a showdown. You remember that, don’t you? “Asylum of the Scorpion” one of the Walker-Cable productions? Al and I were walking in slow motion with a bunch of other residents of an insane asylum. We were armed with garden implements on our way to a showdown with an armed gang of outlaws. As cool as that sounds, it was not nearly as epic as the scene in “Tombstone.”

That’s what I was after, the coveted Doc Holiday, Virgil Earp, Wyatt Earp and Morgan Earp photo. Only with Larry, Dennis, Al and me. Of course two of you are thinking that changing faces on a movie photo is illegal. That’s just silly thinking. As long as you don’t make money off of the photo tampering, it’s somewhat legal. Bound to be.

The major problem with the Tombstone project had to do with doing it. I can’t do superimposing stuff and cutting and pasting and all of that computer artwork. But, I know somebody who can.

Do you know Brad Meyer? He’s the county restaurant review guy that I hang around with occasionally. Mostly for meals. Y’all know him? The man is techno-literate. That’s why I asked him to do the Tombstone picture. He stumbled at the chance.

Brad told me to find the appropriate pictures of the brothers, figure out whose head I wanted on which Earp, and he would take it from there. Turns out I had the more difficult job. Do you know how many decent photos I have of Dennis and Larry without their glasses on? Those goobers were born with glasses. They’ve worn glasses longer than Clark Kent.

I found two pictures that I thought would do. Unfortunately, Brad told me that the heads weren’t positioned right. Your body can’t be heading straight while your head is leaning hard to the left. You’d look like Tim Roth.

Larry’s facial position best fit Virgil Earp, so that’s where Brad put him. Al’s head fit the Wyatt’s walk, so my kid brother got the coveted Kurt Russell role. Dennis ended up being on the far right. That made him Morgan Earp. Me? My head didn’t fit any of ‘em. Of course, Brad had to make me Doc Holliday ‘cause he was the only one left. There were only four guys walking, and he couldn’t just add a fifth figure to match my head. I even asked him. Made him say a bad word, I did.

So I ended up being a tough fit. Brad swapped out 10 photos of me before finding the one that looked decent. They all looked decent to him, but that’s ‘cause he wanted out of the project. -- “Look, Nimrod, I’m not doing this again. You can take it or leave it!” – He said that about eight times. Said it mean, too.

It was just too hard for my face to act like I had a Doc Holiday body. The picture of me that he finally used was one taken about 25 years ago. He had to do the same thing for Dennis and Larry. He used older pictures with younger faces. Kind of like “latter and former.” Turns out Big Al, the youngest brother, ended up looking the oldest. Since he got to be Wyatt, he didn’t mind so much.

Yep, the brothers really liked what I got ‘em. Jill? Not so much. Susan? She lives in Washington. I have no idea what to get a Washatonian. Kay? She might as well live in Washington. Bottom line, I have trouble with women. Can’t buy good gifts for ‘em, either.

So, the girls ended up in the happy-Christmas-is-over camp. Oh, and Brad did too. He was in no way happy before Christmas. And, after Christmas? Well, I’m supposed to stay away from him for a couple of weeks into the New Year. Says he needs “No Mark” time. Hey, I feel his pain.


You can view Brad and Mark’s restaurant review of Little Tokyo Restaurant by clicking below.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Short Story

It’s Christmas short story time. This one I call “Christmas at the Tastee Freeze”

People weren’t exactly beating the door down to get into Frank’s Tastee Freeze. The entire lunch crowd consisted of the Pomeroy family and Arnold Bounder. The Pomeroys were going to Jack’s sister’s house in Maypole for supper, and Jack thought they’d get some burgers for lunch before heading out.

Four combo meals. One foot long chilidog, two Big Frank burgers and four tacos. Not much of a Christmas fare, but the four Pomeroys seemed pleased. So pleased that both Pomeroy girls squeezed the bicycle horn before leaving. The horn was mounted near the door just below a sign that read, “Honk if you enjoyed your Tastee Freeze experience.”

At the sound of the horn, Ray yelled an enthusiastic, “Yeehah! Y’all come back!”

“Would you pleeeease not do that today?” Kate said. “The Boss is not even here.”

“Do you think I enjoy acting like an idiot? Look, Frank told us to yell when we hear the horn. I don’t ask why. I just do what the boss says. Wouldn’t hurt you to do it now and again.”

“No, your ‘Yeehaw’ can stand on its own.” Kate said.

Ray gave her his raised eyebrow look, and then imitated a detective he once saw in an old black and white movie. “Why, I oughtta pounnnnd you!”

Kate couldn’t hold back the laugh. She never could with Ray. Just didn’t understand why that was. “Look Dilbert,” she said, “One more time, tell me why you let The Boss pressure you into working on Christmas?”

Ray ignored the comment and walked over to the booth where Arnold was staring into his coffee cup. Ray plopped himself down in the seat across from Arnold and looked hard at the guy. “Look, Mr. Bounder. Mr. Bounder, look at me. Please. Here’s what do. Let us get you one of the Santa ice cream cakes from the freezer, you take it home to Mrs. Bounder and the kids and you tell ‘em you’re sorry. That you just had one of those sinking spells, but now you’re all better.”

Mr. Bounder slowly looked up from his coffee cup and gave Ray a smirk. “Ray, you’re a swell kid, but you have no idea.”

“No, idea? Have you ever tasted a Santa ice cream cake? It’s… well it’s gonna change your life. Once you take a bite of that cake you can do nothing but smile. I’m not lying. It’s a group hug magnet! And, best of all, it’s 50 percent off”

Ray yelled across the room. “Kate, grab the Santa cake and ring up $8! No, make it five!” He turned back to Mr. Bounder. “I’m pretty sure Frank plans to let it go for five tomorrow.”

Arnold Bounder climbed out of the booth, handed Ray $5 and then hugged him. “You are absolutely nuts, Raymond. Merry Christmas.”

Kate ran up with the cake. “Merry Christmas, Mr. Bounder. Remember, you’re not alone. Things will get better. Starting with the cake. The beard and the white part of Santa’s hat are vanilla. Everything else is chocolate.”

Ray added, “And if there is any leftover, you know where I live.” Ray walked back to the counter with Kate following close. “So, why did you agree to work today? What could possibly--”

Mr. Bounder grabbed hold of the bicycle horn. “Honk! Honk!” – Ray let out with “Yeehaw! Y’all come back!” Arnold waved as the door closed behind him.

There was the briefest of pauses before Kate gave Ray a slap to the shoulder. “Would you please not do that? Now look, answer my question.”

Ray tossed his dishrag across the counter where it landed in the sink. He gave the universal two-fingers-down sign for two points. He then opened the register and put in the $5 and added 15 of his own.

Why did he volunteer to work on Christmas? Truth is, he told Frank that he’d work, but only if Frank could persuade Kate to help out. He saw it as an opportunity to be alone with the one girl whose company he most enjoyed. A girl who would never see him as more than a hometown friend. At least he could make a memory of the one Christmas they both shared.

Ray was not aware if Frank had grasped the implication of his request, and, for once, he didn’t care. It was indeed a step toward boldness. It was boldness born of desperation. He knew he would soon be headed for Angelo State to start the Spring Semester. He had just finished his Sophomore year at the community college in Childress, and he had only raised enough money for the Spring Semester at San Angelo. He’d figure out the rest later.

“Look, Katy-did, I’ve got no life. I live with my parents, who are, incidentally, at this moment headed to Vernon to visit Aunt Mary in the home. I love my aunt, but can’t take the home. Working Christmas gave me an excuse to miss out this year.”

Suddenly the door of a ’92 gray Buick slammed outside. Slammed twice. A nanosecond after the slams, two boys, eight and six, rushed in and headed straight for the restrooms in the back. The Mom caught the door and meekly smiled as she entered. “Do you know how hard it is to find a restroom on Christmas Day?” she said. “I think you may be it between here and Dallas.”

“You’re just about right,” Ray said. “Can I get you anything?” The lady shook her head. “I’m sorry. Just the restroom.” She sat down at the table nearest the restroom to wait.

Ray wrestled with the notion of pressing just a little. “So, you’ve got family in Dallas? That place is booming.”

She smiled and said, “Uh, no. We’re headed to Longview. I’ve got a brother there who is going to let us stay, till… uh, till things get sorted. I would’ve left earlier, but I had to work last night at the mall in Abilene. Wasn’t that much business on Christmas Eve, but it was good to get the work.”

About that time, the two boys rushed out of the bathroom. “Mommy can we get something?” The mom got up and told them to sit and wait for her while she went to the restroom. “Don’t move. And, don’t bother anyone.”

As soon as she left, the boys obediently sat and stared at the ice in the field beyond the parking lot. Ray yelled over to them. “Hey, do you guys mind giving us a hand back here?” Ray and Kate were standing behind the counter waving them on. The two kids exchanged glances and then ran to help.

Minutes later, Mom exited the restroom to see her boys sitting on the counter trying to fill a napkin holder. Kate was giving instructions while Ray was making the burgers. “I am so sorry,” Mom said. “Come on Thad and Will. We’ve gotta go, kids.”

“Sorry, ma’am,” Ray said. “I’m afraid the boys already placed an order. Not to worry, they’re working it off right now.”

The mom found herself somewhere between humiliation and extreme gratefulness. It’s a thin line, sometimes. Kate sensed the dilemma, and handed her towel to Ray. “Finish up, Big Guy,” she said. She led Mom to a booth and the two sat and chatted.

It was a good visit. Ray moved two tables together and they all sat and ate burgers, onion rings and fries. And, washed it all down with malts and Cokes. Ray and Kate weren’t really all that hungry, but Ray thought the moment would be less awkward for Deanna, the mom, if they all shared a meal.

Before leaving, Ray lifted Thad and Will up and let them each honk the horn. They all had to say, “Yeehaw! Y’all come back!” after each honking. Even Kate joined in. She never looked lovelier to Ray.

As the Buick headed Dallasward, Ray walked over to the cash register, rang up the tab and paid for the meal. Kate, walked over and shook her head. “You’re a real wonder, Ray Palmer. You know that? And, how much did you slip into Deanna’s purse?”

“Hey, my folks and I agreed not to exchange gifts. So, I had to do something. But forget that. Now, it’s your turn to tell me why you decided to work on Christmas."

“Oh, that’s easy,” Kate said. “I’m saving for college. Dad said he’d match whatever I can raise. Oh, and I knew he was paying double time, so I jumped at the chance.”

“You’re kidding.” Ray said. “He sure didn’t make that deal with me.” Kate shot back, “He did too. He told me we were both getting double.” Ray smiled. Yeah, Frank had him figured out.

“I’m going to Angelo State next fall,” Kate continued. “You know, I might even get a scholarship.”

“I’m sure you will. Every volleyball coach is looking for a good setter. I’ve noticed that you’re pretty good. And, I must say, you look strangely attractive in your volleyball outfit.”

“Strangely attractive? What do you mean by that?”

Too bold. He was headed for Rejection City. Probably be elected mayor. So, he ignored the question. “Look, kid. I doubt we get many more customers. Why don’t you head over to your boyfriend’s house? I’ll fill out the time-sheet for you. I doubt your Dad will fire either one of us for it.”

“My boyfriend? You mean Cory?” Her laugh came out as more of a snort. “Really? You don’t need me here?”

Ray tried to sound persuasive. “Look at this place. We’re a restroom with a kitchen.” Kate nodded, walked behind the counter to get her purse, gave Ray a quick peck on the cheek and then headed for the door. “Merry Christmas Raymond Palmer.” She squeezed on the horn before leaving. There was no response from Ray, so she turned and gave him a questioning look.

Ray smiled and quietly said, “Yeehaw. You come back.” Kate shook her head and then got into her Dad’s old pickup and drove off.

Ray walked over to the booth nearest the counter and plopped himself down. He rested his legs across the bench seat and leaned his back against the wall. Looking out the window across the room, he sat and stared… at nothing in particular. He wasn’t in his trance long before the sound of the opening door startled him out of his deep think. He looked up to see an exasperated-looking, Kate.

The girl walked briskly to the counter and tossed her purse behind it. She then picked up her apron and strapped it on. With her hands on her hips and her weight shifted slightly to the right, she said, “Okay, Mr. Palmer. Tell me exactly what you meant by ‘strangely attractive?’”

There were no more customers at Frank’s Tastee Freeze for the remainder of the shift. Oh, Emily Bounder did bring over a deep plate of ice cream Santa cake for them. It was delivered with a hug. “It’s the bestest cake we ever had,” she said. Then added, “Oh, and the hug was from Mommy.”

Kate and Ray sat across from one another in the booth and just talked. They took only a couple of bites of the cake, sharing the same spoon. At one point, Kate, pushed the bowl to the side and reached over and took hold of Ray’s hand. Ray was pretty sure his heart might explode. The conversation never lagged. And, the time sped by like a meteor. But, then, that’s to be expected when two people share the best Christmas ever.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, from the Hayters.

You can contact Mark at

Monday, December 20, 2010

O’ Christmas Tree

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 15 of my on going book about Dad.

When I was a kid, we never got our Christmas tree until about two weeks before Christmas. Dad always waited till the price went down a bit. Back then you could pick up something with bark and sparse needles for about $2.50. The day before Christmas you could get one for even less than that, but even Dad wasn’t that cheap.

Dad always got a live tree. I don’t know if it was because he really wanted one or he realized it would break our hearts if he got an artificial one. Back then artificial trees looked more like silver tapered bottle cleaners. Sweatshop workers with metal poles, wire-cutters and very little imagination assembled ‘em. Only childless old people bought ‘em.

That being said, Dad was the worst tree picker-outer in the world. Hey, it’s recorded somewhere. Every tree is supposed to have one good side to it. Not the ones Dad bought. Each year he brought home a Frankenstein tree. Some of us hid in the closet.

The people who bought the good trees always displayed them in front of the biggest window in the house. Mom put our tree in the corner away from the window.

We usually helped Mom decorate the tree. We only did the icicles. She wouldn’t trust us with some of the more sacred ornaments. That’s a joke. We had no sacred ornaments. We had some old ones, but that was back when “old” was nothing to be treasured.

Dad never helped with the tree. Oh, he’d saw off a piece of the trunk and attach the heavy metal holder thing. After that, he left it alone. Dad wouldn’t decorate trees. You couldn’t make him.

He did string lights on the house. Once. I don’t know where he got the lights. I imagine he got ‘em at the airport. They were those lights with the giant bulbs attached to frayed wire that was strong enough to pull a dump truck out of a sinkhole. They don’t make Christmas lights like that anymore. Not even in China. That should tell you something.

Dad put a strand of those bubbas across the front of the house and the door. The paint on the bulbs was chipped off in places, so you couldn’t tell what color the light was supposed to be. I would’ve just as soon he not put ‘em up.

Oh, and the whole thing sagged like… well, like something saggy. Probably because there was no one to help him. Dad didn’t want anyone helping him. The job involved ladders, wires and glass bulbs. Enough said.

Dad’s lights looked particularly bad when compared to all the ones we saw on our way to church. People in other neighborhoods really knew how to put up lights. They had good ones, too. And sleds and reindeer and lit candles under lunch sacks. I never understood that.

Sometimes Dad would take us across town to see the lights. Those were the good times. Mostly. I say that because there were four or five of us in the backseat. Someone would say, “Hey, look over there!” All of a sudden the car would tilt to the right. – “Mom, Jill elbowed my neck!” – “Oh, yeah? Well, Dennis frogged my arm!”

“I’m gonna wring your necks if you kids don’t shut-up!” The Christmas season did little to temper Mom’s threats. “I’ll beat you with that fake candy cane over there! Honey, make ‘em shut-up!”

Dad would say, “Quiet.” That’s all it took. Mom was upset with us all the time, ‘cause she was with us all the time. Dad? Well, Dad seldom witnessed misbehavior. His tolerance level was way down there. While Mom might have a half dozen threats in her, Dad had none. You never knew when he was going to strike, so you took no chances. “Yes, sir.” – “Won’t hear another word out of us.” – “We’re not even here anymore.” –“Uh, where are we Dennis?” – “Shut up, Mark.”

After we got home, we’d run to the living room and sit around the TV, eat popcorn and watch Perry Como’s Christmas show. This was back when variety shows were popular. They were corny as all get out, but a load of fun.

When all was said and done, Christmas was the best of times for our family. Today, not so much. I don’t put up outdoor lights, ‘cause I’m my father’s son. The house would be an embarrassment.

And, our tree? Kay, gets it out of a large flat box and pulls it up like an accordion. The lights are already on it.

I still thoroughly enjoy the season, but I do so miss Dad and Mom. And, I miss the arguments and fights we used to have in the backseat. Didn’t care all that much for ‘em back then, but I love the thought of ‘em now. Weird how that works.

You can find this and other chapters of Mark’s Dad book by clicking on the Mark's book blog icon. Also, you can find Mark and Brad’s latest restaurant review by clicking below.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rooftop December 11

“Cold up here”

ROOFTOP -- Forty-seven degrees is a lot colder than I thought it’d be. This metal roof is beginning to numb my feet. If you hadn’t waited so long to get your buns up here, I’d still have more feeling in ‘em.

But, you’re here, and it was well worth the climb, was it not? Just think how many people wish they could be us tonight. No, it’d be more than four. Look, Barbara, I wasn’t asking you to GUESS how many people. You’re really ruining the moment. -- No, sit back down. I’m just messing with you.

Reminds me. Saturday morning I went out real early to get the newspaper. I usually peek out the door first to make sure nobody is in the vicinity. I just hate to start up a conversation early in the morning. Kay will back me up on that.

Anyway, the new neighbors (a mother and two teenage kids) were across the street sitting on the driveway like waiting for something, or someone. I didn’t know how long they were going to wait, but I couldn’t wait to find out. I needed my newspaper.

So, I just took the bear by the horns and walked right out to the street, knowing that I would have to say something. I’ve threatened to do that before, but an appropriate time never showed itself. This would be a new neighbor icebreaker. (Sounds like a song.)

Well, you want to know what I said? Keep in mind they don’t know me. I don’t know them. I said, “Howdy neighbors! You do know the Popsicle man doesn’t come till Wednesday, don’t you?”

Yep, that’s what I said. And, do you know what I got back? Heartache. I got the “What an idiot” look. I invented the “What an idiot” look, and now one was being delivered to me. -- “Popsicle man? What? He thinks we’re waiting for a Popsicle man this early in the morning? Okay, everyone stay away from the neighbor.”

After a time-stopping pause, the lady said, “What?” That meant I had to repeat the stupid line. “It was levity,” I said. “You’re waiting out here, and I say, ‘The Popsicle man doesn’t come till Wednesday.’” It didn’t sound any better the second time. I knew it wouldn’t.

Then I had to turn around and make the long walk back to the house. I imagine the girl was doing the weird twirling finger thing around her ears. I’m not sure people still do that. I was tempted to turn around real quick to see, but I didn’t. How do you recover from something like that? Can’t be done.

Sometimes it works when I say silly stuff, and sometimes it bombs. That’s pretty much why Kay hates it when I talk to strangers. She can see it coming a mile away. Sometimes she walks away in anticipation of the encounter. She’s really missed a lot of cool moments doing that.

Some people enjoy it when you say something silly to them. Like you guys. Hey, you wouldn’t be up here if you weren’t somewhat silly. Uh, Barbara, you do need to work just a bit on your silliness, though.

Speaking of Kay, she had to go to singing practice tonight. The girl has never been to singing practice before. I thought it odd when she told me she was going. Seems a group of friends from church are having a Christmas party next week, and the ladies want to do some kind of singing skit. So, they have to practice.

I enjoy stuff like that about as much as I enjoy a bunch of waiters in a restaurant singing happy birthday to me. It’s what separates the men from the women. One of a bunch of things.

Along with their skit, the girls will probably have the men do one of those 12 Days of Christmas things where you have to act like you’re a maid milking a cow. I see humor in a “waiting for the Popsicle man” comment. But, milking an imaginary cow is just not funny. Could be worse. I could be a goose a laying. That’s just sick.

Oh, there is one scary thing about Kay not being here. It means that if the last person up happened to knock over the ladder, we’re in for a two-hour sit till she comes home. Everybody is going to have numb feet and rears.

Barbara, you weren’t the last person up, were you? – It’s a joke! I joke. -- Oh, my goodness. I just thought. What if the new neighbors see us up here? There will be a Mayflower truck in their driveway tomorrow.

Oh, well, I’ll loosen ‘em up. I’ll come up with a better line. “Howdy, neighbors! Did you have to milk any imaginary cows over the Holiday?” Yeah, that’ll work.


You can contact Mark at

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dec 3 Tossing stuff

“Oldest thing in the house”

Do you have an item in your house that has pretty much overstayed its welcome? Yes, that’s a rather personal question, but “Work with me, people!” (Read that in your Al Pacino voice.)

You might want to call this an intervention type moment. Hey, we’ve all had ‘em. My first involved the habit I have of wearing only one shoe around the house. Kay had to accept the fact that it’s incurable. She ended up going to a counselor. Intervene that!

Today’s intervention is for all of us. The six of us. No, now don’t look like that Fess up. You’ve got some old stuff around the house that has no business being there. Don’t believe me? Let’s play a game. You like games.

We’re going to have a contest to see who can locate the oldest consumable in the house. No, not my house, you goob— Uh, sorry, Luke. I mean we will each search our own individual house. And, then we’ll meet back here in, what? Thirty minutes. I’m pretty sure we’ll tire of the game by then.

Before we head out, we must get the rules straight. We’re looking for something consumable. By consumable I mean that it’s not a chair, a piece of jewelry or a photograph. We consider those untossable. No, we’re looking for something you brought home with the intention of eventually using it up. A box of Kleenex, pack of gum, wedge of cheese… Stuff like that.

You must know that something once edible carries more weight than, say, a Bic pen. It just has to. After all, it takes a really special person to hold onto a 20 year-old jar of pickle relish. Having fun just thinking about it, aren’t you?

Okay, let’s get started. You’re gonna lay the paper down and not pick it for 30 minutes. Got it? On ‘mark, set, go!

Is anybody back yet? I said, is—Well, I’m a few minutes early. I got tired at the 20 minute mark. I’ll wait a bit. “It’s knowin’ that your door is always open and your path is free to walk…”

Okay, that’s enough. Settle down, people! All right I’ll go first. I went to the freezer compartment and found something prehistoric. Not sure what it is, but it’s old. I’d have to thaw it to find out what it is. It’s either meatloaf or soup. I’m not in the mood for either.

About three years ago I started labeling and dating the stuff I put in the freezer. The gray bag predates the labeling and the dating. Since I can’t determine the exact year, I’ll have to disqualify it. Don’t even know why I brought it up.

In the kitchen cabinet I found a three-year old box of noodles. That’s just the expiration date. No telling how long I’ve had it. We’ve eaten a lot of noodles since buying the box. I don’t know what troubled me about this one. I’ll have Kay ask her counselor next week.

The French onions is the only thing that didn't get tossed. Oh, and the PEZ dispenser. However, somebody broke in and stole the thing. Must have. I can't find the thing now. Isn't that just the way...?

When I was headed downstairs, I found an old shopping receipt on the floor. It was from a Winn-Dixie in Commerce, Texas. On August 4, 1997, somebody bought two PRT/CUP for $1.19 each. I’m sure it’s not the oldest receipt in the house, but the oldest that was laying on the floor by the computer. By the way, Kay was looking through a box of old photos about an hour ago. I think the receipt came from one of the boxes. Either that are we’ve still got a poltergeist problem.

There is a can of French’s French Fried Onions that has a 1995 expiration date branded on the metal bottom. We don’t make that many green bean casseroles. Sad.

I’ve got a 12-year-old smiley face PEZ dispenser on my bookcase. It’s not consumable, but the original PEZ candy in it is. It was a gift, and while I’m not crazy about the dispenser, I don’t throw away candy.

I could go on and on, but I think I’ll cut to the chase? Whatever that means. The oldest thing I found during my 20-minute search was a 32-year old jar of Bayer Aspirin. I don’t like to throw away medicine any more than candy. I may have some pain pills that predate that, but like I say, I grew tired of looking.

So, what’d you come up with? -- Stop! We’re outta time here. Tell you what, do. See the e-mail address at the bottom? Well, look again. See? E-mail me your most interesting old item(s) and I’ll put include it in an upcoming article. If I never bring this up again, it means most of you never returned from the search. That’s what I’m thinking. – Next time.


You can contact Mark at