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I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it over the decanter before, but the Middle Gel is very, very good at the Wii Mario-Cart game.  (Well really, all of teh gels are for that matter.)

Every so often, teh gel starts lobbying ol’ Robbo to play Mario-Cart with her, pointing out how much fun it would be and what a wonderful opportunity for father-daughter bonding.

Pfft.  As they say, “Pull the other one – it’s got bells on it”.   I wasn’t born yesterday.  The gel’s real idea of fun in these instances, as I know from bitter experience, is  to lure ol’ Dad out on the virtual track and then make a complete monkey of him.¹

How do I know this?  From her wild cackles of glee as I plunge off the track and into the virtual depths.  From her delight when, after I manage to get high up in the running for a few seconds, I come a cropper and fall back to the rear of the pack.  From her patronizing advice.  From her sniggering when, at the end of a race, my Luigi (who I always choose as a character), finishes dead last saying, “Awwww…Luigi lose!

And me with my short-sightedness, my arthritic fingers, my ignorance of the controls and the various track layouts.

(When I mention the latter, she bats her eyes and says, “Well, Dad, you just need to practice….”)

This, I’m pretty sure, is retaliation for my constantly nagging her about practicing her voice and keyboard lessons for choir.  Touché, indeed.

So much for the deference yoot owes to age.

Yes, I know she’s reading this.  And I hope she feels suitably contrite.

 

¹Mrs. R used to do the same thing in tennis.  She was her college team captain.  I’ve never been more than a casual duffer.  After a couple times facing off against her in mixed doubles, I vowed never again.

hollytoneHaving downed a couple cups of Joe (what see below), ol’ Robbo toddled out this morning to give the hollies and azaleas of Port Swiller Manor their annual autumn feeding of Holly-tone.

Ol’ Robbo loves him the smell of Holly-tone.  It’s either a good bad smell or else a bad good smell, if you know what I mean:  Arguably niffy on an objective basis, but with use and because of the associations surrounding it eventually becoming musick to the nose.  Sort of like horse-manure in that respect, the smell of which I got to enjoy through hanging around stables so much in my misspent yoot.  (I’m sure friends of the decanter can think of other examples of this phenomenon, not all of them necessarily pastoral or agricultural.)

It’s not like I’d buy a bottle of Eau d’Tone cologne or anything, of course, but when I’m out scattering the stuff about, I enjoy it.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers and happy Columbus Day!

Owing to disruptions in the Port Swiller Manor shopping schedule caused by weekend travel (and probably also by furlough-induced mental trauma; shouldn’t counselors be made available like they were back in the 90’s?), ol’ Robbo woke up this morning to discover a hideous state of affairs:  There was not a single coffee bean in the house, not even one of Mrs. R’s silly Keurig Kaffee Kups.

I’m not saying I’m addicted or anything.  I just like my cuppa of a morning.   The fact that when I don’t get one I tend to kick the cats and beat the children is merely coincidental.  Besides, they generally deserve it anyway.

Anyhoo, losing not a minute, I leapt into the Wrangler and hied me to teh store.  Fast forward to teh present and I am now sitting at my ease in the study with two-thirds of a cup already down the hatch and teh mellow spreading about my person.  Only three or four more cups and I will be nearly human again.   (Indeed, I will almost be able to endure the youngest gel practicing her recorder.  Almost.  God damn the man who came up with the idea of mixing school-children with plastic recorders.)

I don’t pretend to be anything of a true connozoor of these things, but I would remark that the coffee I am drinking at the moment is perhaps my very favorite of the numerous blends that I have tried, namely the Mayorga Cafe Cubano.

Mayorga is a local outfit based somewhere in the wilds of Murrland.  I dunno how far afield you can pick up their beans in stores but you can certainly order online.   They make a big deal about their organic/sustainable/fair-trade/yadda-yadda business model, which is all fine and good for those who worry about such things.  All I know is that they make a damn fine tasting coffee.

The Cubano, as I say, is especially yummy.  Very dark and bold, but smooth, too.  Which, IMHO, is what a coffee ought to be.  We hates those thin, “light” brews.  May as well be drinking tea.

I was mildly worried the first time I tried this stuff that I might somehow be aiding and abetting the Castro regime by buying it, but a quick glance at the marketing copy on the bag allayed my fears.  The company states in no uncertain terms that it has absolutely nothing to do with those rat-bastard commies and not a dime do they see from its products.  It seems that the founder, who spent some time in Nicaragua in his yoot, got first-hand experience of Glorious People’s Soviet Paradises – Latin American Edition, and wants no further truck with them.  He got the Cubano taste by rubbing shoulders with ex-pats in Miami.

So there you are.  For what little it might be worth, ol’ Robbo recommends giving this stuff a try.

As for me, time for another cup.  Especially as I can hear the sound of a recorder floating down from somewhere above-stairs.

UPDATE:  GroovyVic’s comment about coffee and beards brought to mind a completely random question which I pose here without Googling it and thereby potentially exposing the ignorance that lurks just below the thin veneer of Robbo’s supposed knowledgeability:   Remember the beginning of “Trash”, the second Firefly episode in which Saffron appears?   When Mal meets up with his old pal Monty, he suddenly notices that Monty is missing his beard (although Monty retained a mustache).  Mal blurts out something like, “The soup-strainer! You shaved it!”

Well, for some reason, I always thought “soup-strainer” was a slang term for a mustache, not a beard.  And it would make sense:  Soup flowing from the spoon into the mouth would pass through a longer mustache rayther like a weir in a river, with bits and pieces of ingredients potentially getting trapped in it.

Am I mistaken about this?

UPDATE DEUX:  Well, prompted by teh Gripping Hand, I went back and checked and, at least according to IMDB, the word used was, in fact, “soup-catcher” and not “soup-strainer”.  If so, then my bad.  Evidently I should drink moar coffee before starting out on a rant.

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