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Welcome to my page, feel free to wander around, I hope you enjoy your visit.

Seven humor books have been published on Smashwords; They are also on Amazon and Kobo.com.   The first four books have been placed into two books and put in paperback.   If you would prefer a paperback instead of an e-book, please email me at msleasman@aol.com.  I still have a few copies left.  They are $12 plus the cost to mail.

If you wish to purchase ebooks from Smashwords or Kobo, go to Smashwords.com or Kobo.com (you must sign up, but it is free), then in the search box type in Twenty Funny Stories.  The books will come up for your reviewing.

I have also placed (7 so far) of the Pacific Northwest Croatian on Amazon - I think there will be a total of 8 - these are very interesting, historical stories written by local Croatians. If you are a Prime member, you can read most of these for free, as with any of my other books.

I appreciate my readers and especially if you are inclined to leave a review on either  Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo, or Smashwords.  I am always looking to improve, and so appreciate comments and suggestions too; send comments and questions to my email at:  pnwcroatian7@aol.com.   

Sample stories from Books

Book 1:  My Husband's Hobbies

My husband has several hobbies, most of which include drinking beer. Is drinking beer an actual hobby or just an accompaniment, of that I am not sure, although it seems to be a major player at the very least. Now that he is older, he is not able to drink more than three or four a day, so he drinks slower to make the flavor last longer. He is somewhat obsessed about his beer and will buy twenty cases at a time, storing them in his hidey-hole out in the shop. When his stash is down to ten cases, he will order another twenty so that he never runs out. I am almost certain that the beer is keeping his body flushed of poisons and it is the only thing that keeps him alive and healthy. So if this is a hobby, it is a good one.

He not only loves working on old cars, growing tomatoes, collecting frog figurines, antiques, and various vintage lighters, he collects memorabilia too. You might ask what his favorite hobby is; nope, not drinking beer, it is collecting beer signs and memorabilia. Who would have guessed?  

I really try to have a normal house, but every place you look when you walk in are frogs, beer glasses, beer signs, beer trays, various old stuff that doesn't yet qualify as antiques, and a few empty beer cans. We have beer posters, and lighted beer signs in the living room, kitchen, bedroom, family room and even in the bathroom. We have a complete set of plastic wildlife signs with plastic animal figurines saying "It's the water" on one bedroom wall, which is only outdone on the opposite wall with various beer trays and wooden wall plaques hanging from it. I have bumped my head on several low-hanging signs in the family room thus yelling unflattering remarks toward hubby and his hobbies.

He wonders why I spend all my time on my computer, but it is the only place I can sit down and not stare at beer signs or the spider webs hanging from them. I am thankful though, because should he die first (which of course he won't, because he has no stress), I will have one heck of a garage sale for old beer memorabilia and use the money to redecorate. On the other hand, my best hope should I die first is to NOT have a casket in the shape of a beer keg.

Among his collections are antique car fenders, a tractor (with another one for parts), several old cars that are now rusted beyond recognition, an old tear-drop trailer that his folks used to own, three of their cars that he inherited when they died which he refuses to sell, several other cars that he wanted to fix up eventually and never did. He brought home his third riding lawnmower so just in case one breaks down we will have a couple of spares handy. Oh, and a 1950 Ford dump truck that runs, but has no brakes or a working dump truck box. It is now the home to many pesky hornets and wasps; that (he says) have to live too, so this truck will rot in place and never be moved.


When I first met him 41 years ago he collected stamps and old coins; wow, a guy with a hobby, how special he is!

*****

Book 2:  Weight-Loss Infomercials, Don't be Fooled!

The only infomercials I used to watch were the ones done on "Who's Line is it Anyway" by Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles. I have yet to decide which one of them are the funniest comedians, but of course that is not what this article is about.

Before infomercials there was the Carol Wright and/or Dr. Leonard's Catalog promising this or that result from some new health invention. I bought my first weight-loss thingy from one of those catalogs; it was like a pair of high-waist Bermuda shorts - only you blew them up with a handy pump. These shorts went from your knees to clear up just under your breasts. The idea was to run in place for twenty (yes 20) minutes. In order to run in place for 20 minutes in the first place you have to be fairly thin and fit or you would have a stroke, so this was not an item for the already over-weight and out of shape. While I was running in place, the plastic squeaked and squawked in a horrible manner and my toddlers ran screaming from the room because some monster was taking over mom's buttocks.

They ran for dad, who of course mocked me for weeks after that so I was too ashamed to put them on again and they ended up in a box in the closet. The kids eventually warmed up to me again so all was well in our little home. Finally, after Thirty-two (yes 32) years, I cleaned out my closet. I found my handy bubble-pants! How exciting for me! I have gained nearly 85 pounds since I wore them, but I struggled and managed to get them on. After they were on, I discovered I could not bend over and could not find the handy pump. I marched myself out to the shop to use the air compressor forgetting to cover-up.

The neighbors heard the squeaking as I walked and thought I was killing a cat; they came running only to go into shock at what they saw. Of course the neighbors always knew I was a little on the abnormal side, but this sight was more than their eyes could take. I ignored them, turned on the compressor and blew my pants up. I now have a reputation in the neighborhood of being a Michelin Man wannabee. One of the neighbors called the police, they came and informed me that I was disturbing the peace and gave me a ticket. I never did lose any inches like the ad said I would and that is why I never watch an infomercial on TV. You never know how much the product is going to cost you in the end. Maybe I could interest Colin and Ryan in a pair of blow-up pants.

 *****

Book 3:  The Fork Lifts

Ahh yes, men's toys; it seems they never grow up and always need to add some new "manly" thing to their collection.

One day, Hubby came home with that look in his eye and said he found a real deal.  The gravel pit next to where he works had a couple of old fork lifts (in a dumpster) that they want to get rid of.  ?They will sell me one for $500 and the other for $300 and deliver them for free!?  I didn't even want to ask if they were working models or just scrap metal because they were coming home whether I objected or not. 

I had to be home the next day because they were being delivered (the wives always get the good jobs while the husbands are off at work).  When the delivery truck came (it was actually a scrap-iron hauler), I smiled and the guys pushed the things off almost knocking one of them over.  They said thank you and drove off; I just went into the house and hoped the earth would open up and suck them down.

Hubby came home and practically danced around them, he was really happy.  Thirty years ago when we were moving concrete statues around is when we needed a fork lift, we do not need one now and certainly not two of them.  Then our sons came by to see the new prizes, they practically drooled over them and were also very happy.  For the next couple of weekends they worked and worked to get them up and running, and surprise, surprise, they both ran after spending another couple hundred dollars or so.  The men of the family were very happy and invited their friends to come and see their new toys. 

For a few months they each took turns buzzing around the yard, picking up heavy things and buzzing around some more.  Look, we can pull engines out of the old cars with the forks and carry them around the yard; it was such an exciting time for them, but after awhile they got bored and parked them alongside their other unused toys.

Hubby, being a practical man decided to tear down the old pig pen with the forks one day when no one was home.  This was not a good idea, but he thought it would be a piece of cake.  He began pulling up the wire and rolled the fork lift back a little so the wire would come up and out completely forgetting there was a small drop-off behind him.  Fork lifts have small wheels and when they go into a little hole, they don't move; but this hole was a bit larger and so the wheels sunk in the mud as it tipped over.  Being in construction, he knows better than to jump off equipment during "driver error" so he held on as it started to tip.  By some miracle, he was able to stay seated and did not slide out; had he let go, he would have been crushed like a pancake and been singing with the angels.

He called his sons to the rescue; they tipped it back up on its wheels, but could not pull it out of the hole because it weighs many thousands of pounds (maybe not many thousands, but it is very heavy to say the least).  Several neighbors came by, one had a winch on his truck and they finally winched it out.  Happily, the thing was not damaged; however, hubby's ego was a little miffed.  We have another neighbor across the field that observes all of our goings on, but has not had much to do with us for whatever reason.   I heard from the grapevine that he and his wife no longer have to rent movies for entertainment anymore, they moved their couch over to the window, get the popcorn, watch, and thank their lucky stars they only have daughters.

  *****

Book 4: Problems Associated with Growing Old

It was bound to happen, even to hubby and me!  I am almost twice as old now as my mother was when I thought she was really old, of course I was only 15 at the time, and at that age everyone over 25 is near death. I am well on my way to passing that age for the third time (less than a decade to go), and up until the last couple of years I still believed I was young (something about a poem of the mind being deceived would be inserted here if I could remember even one line of it).

Anyway, hubby and I worked hard all our lives, and now our bodies ache and creak and just plain don't work most of the time. I have always had a slight balance problem and have never been able to walk a straight line. Now when I walk, it looks like I am doing the Serpentine in the movie "The In-Laws". My husband bought several riding lawnmowers in case one wore out, we would always have a spare; one of them is now my mode of transportation around the yard. Granted, it is a bit louder than the scooters from the "Scooter Store," but it serves its purpose for me. Although the initial investment was much cheaper, if I live much longer the cost of the gas will do me in.

I often wonder what my neighbor across the field thinks when I try to walk across the lawn or when I get on the mower to go back to the shop. We have a very big yard and the shop is over a city block away so there is no way I could walk that far of my own volition. Or what he thinks when hubby and I each get on a lawnmower and drive around the yard without actually mowing the lawn. I am pretty sure he thinks we are snockered most of the time. I have only talked to him once a few years ago, and I think it was because he had to investigate us a little closer than with binoculars; maybe he thought if he actually talked to us, his fears would be unfounded. He has not been back, so I am assuming he is sitting in his window observing us from a safe distance.

I was seriously thinking that we should qualify for some type of disability and asked hubby what he thought. He explained that we would not do well in any kind of SSI interview; mainly because we could not answer questions with a straight face and they would think we were drunk or senile. We do spend a lot of time laughing at ourselves and the many things we cannot do, so silliness has become a way of life; the SSI people would probably take the farm and put us in a home thinking we were both totally insane.

We are continually amazed that other people do things in the evening (like going to dinner or the movies), I mean how can they stay awake past 5 p.m.? Sometimes I have to go grocery shopping or to the bank; grocery shopping is fine because there are 24-stores; but most banks open at 10 and a few at 9 - the day is almost over before they even open - it is a strange world we are living in, when there is nothing open until so late in the day.

For the time being we will continue to shuffle along (much like Tim Conway doing his old man walk), and continue to amaze the neighbor by our lack of normal behavior. We are usually up at 4 waiting to greet the sun (even though it seems to take its time showing up) and pass out long before it sets. Our TV remains mostly unused and our food consumption has gone to nearly a quarter of what it once was. Our vitamin shelf has noticed an increase in bottles; however, and our minds remain young - at least that's what we believe.

  *****

Book 5:  Going to the Post Office

I go to the post office almost daily because I have a box; but I dread having to wait in line for service.  It always seems like the workers take their breaks when the lines are the longest, but I know this is not true because of their motto, "We love waiting on you!?"

Usually when I get in the line, two of the windows shut down and the workers do the moonwalk out to their break room.  Then a smiley faced worker comes in and asks if anyone is just here to pick up a package.  Oh goody, people run over to get service and find out, "No, you can't buy stamps here, just pick up a package."  In the meantime, the line got longer and we have to get back in at the end because no one saved our place.  It is almost worth it to go to an alternative postal place and pay double for stamps and mailing packages than to stand in the never-ending, stagnant line.

They used to have a machine on the wall where you could put "real" money in and buy a stamp.  They took that out and now you can only use credit cards; this was to enhance their service.  Well, that's great except, I do not have a credit card, only cash - so I am one of the irritated, fake-smiling people that they - love to wait on.

After 45 minutes and I have moved three-persons up in the line, the two on break come back and the other two workers mysteriously vanish.  "If I had known I was going to be here all day, I would have brought my lunch," I remark to the little old woman in front of me who is going into a diabetic coma.  "Hey, everyone, we are moving another person of the up, she isn't going to need service anymore," I shout. 

One of the workers called 911 and told us we will have to clear out because "we will just be in the way."   Then the fire department comes  "because they have to show up before the ambulance" their truck blocks the entire exit, so even though we cannot spend our 44 cents to get a stamp or mail that important package to the birthday boy, we still cannot leave the parking lot for another two hours while they work on the poor old woman who thought she could make a quick trip to the post office on her way to get her insulin prescription refilled. 

If the parking lot was not government property, I could set up a snow-cone cart and make a killing while the people were waiting for the lanes to open up to make their escape.  Even in this bad economy, the alternative postal places are becoming the better option; perhaps an even better idea is just to send email and never have to leave home.  

 *****

Book 6:  Juicy-Fruit Gum 

Does Juicy Fruit gum work on moles?  Maybe for some of us, but not for all of us; our mole families are still terrorizing the neighborhood.

I used to love that gum back when I had teeth and could chew it; now I have to buy the kind that doesn't stick to false teeth and it does not have much flavor.  I have a friend that told me the best way to get rid of moles was to put Juicy Fruit gum in the mole holes; apparently, they would eat it and die. I am not sure what they would die of, but they would at least go away.

My friend lived in the city limits and apparently "town" moles are different than "country" moles, but we did not know that and went out and bought a couple of boxes of the gum. Hubby went around to each of our 497 mole holes, peeled the paper off the gum, moved the pile of dirt, placed a stick of gum in each hole and covered it back up. A long day, but a job well done; "we shall not have moles any more!"

The next day hubby looked into a few of the piles and found that the gum was gone so he figured he could safely flatten the dirt piles and the lawn would look good again.  The next day, there were more piles of mole dirt.  "Maybe one stick per hole isn't enough," hubby sighed and went out again to place more gum in the holes; this time two sticks each.  By evening he was pretty worn out but still hoping for the best.  Alas, the next day the mole holes were popping up all over the place.  "I think they like it, you know it is very flavorful," I teased.  "Go buy a couple more boxes, this time I will leave it in the wrapper, and maybe the foil will get them," he mused. 

The belief is that the moles eat the gum because of the fruity smell, it gums up their intestines and they die. This is suppose to be safer than poison because if your pet eats a dead mole that was poisoned, they may get poisoned too.  However, if they eat a juicy-fruit mole, they will just have pleasant smelling breath and maybe a little gas.

Back to the story: hubby put two sticks of gum in each hole and the gum was still in its personal paper and foil wrapper. "These things are going to have to work for their food, by golly;" he cackled.  The next day there were many crows in the yard; apparently the moles spit out the foil and the crows were busy gathering the shiny pieces and taking them to the Shiny Castle at Crow's Village that is filled with everything shiny and attractive including some of my picnic silverware I accidentally left out last year. It seems that country moles are quite large and possibly very angry since they are now addicted to Juicy Fruit. "I suppose if we don't put more Juicy Fruit out, they will break into the house and eat the cat for revenge; or maybe us," I am thinking as I go to Costco to purchase a couple more cases of the stuff.

This project was getting rather expensive so we decided to wean the moles and put less and less gum out until we were putting out tiny crumbs and then finally, none.  We still have mole holes, but not nearly as many; I think they moved to town where there is more Juicy Fruit available to them. My son was cleaning out our junk drawer the other day and found a jumbo package of unopened gum in the back corner. "Wow, this must be old," he laughed, "why in the world are you keeping it and did you even know it was there?"  "Put the gum back, we keep it as a reminder, we shall never speak of this again." Hubby commanded.

  *****

Book 7:  High-School Reunions

Well, our 50th high-school reunion is scheduled for next summer (only 18 months away).  All I need to do is lose 85 pounds, dye my hair and have plastic surgery to remove my jowls.  On the other hand, there are only one or two classmates that still look beautiful making the rest of us look like escapees from the old-folks home.  I am sure they have spent nearly a fortune on gyms and plastic surgery; something that never was in my budget.

I was not in the popular group; heck I didn't even make the unpopular group, I was just there biding my time so I could find a job and some sort of man that would commit to a lifetime of having kids and supporting me.  I finally found one, although he was three and a half years my junior.  As it turns out, he is the perfect husband and I did better than anyone in the popular group.  Not only that, I am still alive; quite an accomplishment in itself as there are about three dozen or so of our class that will not be attending because they have met their maker.

At our 40th, there were a couple of women that looked better than they did in high school - of course I hated them then and I hate them now.  The rest of us are barely recognizable with funny looking makeup and dyed hair; and the men - well, most of them are gray, balding, and much shorter and rounder than they used to be.  When I squinted to look at their name tags, I wanted to call them liars because they looked nothing like they used to and I was sure they were impostors.  The fiftieth should be equally confusing because we won't be able to read the name tags, let alone bend over to look at them.

Some of us stayed friends (or at least acquaintances) for the last 50 years, so we will hug each other and say, "We MUST do lunch;" but of course we will never get around to it as most of us have such busy lives that we could not possibly get away even for a bite to eat.

Of course at this age there is not much left that we can eat and going to a restaurant would cause a gastric catastrophe (the real reason why we DON'T do lunch - that and being more than fifty feet away from the bathroom).

Yes, I am planning to go to the reunion although I will have to take out a loan for the tickets; being on a fixed income means there is usually nothing left for an evening out. Not to mention, I have nothing to wear that is even mildly attractive since I spend my days (and nights) in flannel pajama bottoms and sweatshirts.  I will begin looking for a suitable outfit to wear tomorrow because it will take at least a year to find something I like (or that will fit).

The biggest problem I see for the 50th reunion is that if everyone is my age (and I am pretty sure they are), they cannot stay up past 7:30 so most of us will sleep right through it.  Come 4 a.m. when we all wake up (still sitting at our tables), we can start the party - right after we use the bathrooms and find our teeth.

  *****

(Not published yet) Book 8:  The Canister

Hubby found a bomb-like canister on one of his garage-sale escapades, he was so proud because "it was FREE!"  The canister was about 15 inches long and about 5 inches in diameter, had a U.S. Navy stamp on it and had what looked like a sprinkler on one end.  The sprinkler looked like those used in a sprinkler system.  So hubby figured that at one time this was suspended from the ceiling (with many others) on a ship in the weapons room and looked like it was from the 1940's or 1950's.  He took it to the local fire department to see if that was what it was.  They said, "We have no idea."  He asked them if they wanted it and they said no, so he brought it home and it sat in the shop for about six months.

My youngest son was over yesterday (who should not be paired up and left alone with his dad).  THEY (and I use that word loosely), decided to put it in a fire.  Well the tip of it would be in the fire so that it would go off and empty the canister.  In the first place, not even the fire department knows what is in it - maybe it is a flame retardant, maybe it is a nerve gas.  So I began my yelling about "stupid things men try" and when that didn't work, I pleaded that I did not have life insurance on either one of them.

Of course that did not work either, their little minds were made up, they ignored me and went about the business of placing the canister horizontally in the lowest part of the woodpile.  I made a comment that, "If it is a bomb, wood will rain on your heads."  Still they ignored me and crumbled a bunch of paper in front of the sprinkler part.  The paper would not stay lit, so they got out the blowtorch (another bomb), laid it in front of the paper, turned the torch flame on and left it going, they ran about three feet away and waited.  SIGH.  And yes, I am out there too (but a little further away), someone has to protect them.

Finally we hear a "whoosh" and out came a white cloud, spreading along the ground.  While they are clearly thinking, "that looks so cool;" I am yelling, "Stay out of the cloud, it could kill you!?" Do you think that did any good? Of course not, my baby picked up the torch to turn it off, the handle crumbled and fell off - "hmm, this could be liquid nitrogen," he says.  I am screaming, "Are your hands numb, are your fingers falling off!"  (I do tend to worry a bit)  "Put that thing down and wash your hands!!!" 

He put it down, but instead of washing his hands, he went over to the canister, picked it up, and dumped the liquid into a mud puddle.  The liquid was heavier than the water in the mud puddle and you could see it moving under the water like some snaky monster.  "Oh, that is very cool!"  They exclaim.  "It kind of smells like paint thinner, I wonder what it is?"  Hubby says.  I am yelling again, "don't breathe, your lungs could explode - or freeze if it is liquid nitrogen."   They, of course, ignore me.   Today they are still breathing and the contents of the canister did not breed gigantic human-eating worms.  I guess they are lucky this time,  but my hair is now totally white and I will have to figure out some way to keep them apart,  their next experiment could kill me or at least render me bald.

 *****

  If you have read any of my books, I would appreciate a short review of that particular book on Amazon if you have a few moments, your opinion is valued and thank you so much for your time.

 

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