Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Some people write to me asking whatever happened to my stories about the dysfunctional couple……Fred and Mabel. I’ll go through my archives and perhaps post a couple of those stories again. Here is the latest peek into their lives.

“Hey Mabel, I’m just going over the checkbook” Fred says scratching his head. We really got to do something about all these outrageous expenses we have.” “What outrageous expenses are you talking about Fred?” Mabel questions him impatiently. “Well I’ll tell you what’s bothering me Mabel. It’s the exuberant amounts of money I’m seeing you spend on the dogs. That’s what I’m talking about. We need to cut back on some of these expenses. “Exuberant? I’m impressed Fred. Where did you get such a big vocabulary from? I didn’t even know that you knew what that word meant,” she taunts him. “Don’t be sarcastic Mabel. I’m trying to be serious here,” he says with irritation rising in his voice. “Alright, alright, and just what is it exactly that you want me to cut back on Fred?” Mabel asks him.

“Well I’ll tell you right up front Mabel. For one, it’s that expensive holistic dog food that you insist on feeding Koochie and Sassy. That’s got to stop. You better put them back on that Wal-Mart brand. It was good enough before and it’ll have to be good enough now.” “And what else Fred?” she asks him. “Well no more of those vitamins that you add to their food. I don’t see that their coat is any longer and fuller as the bottle promises anyway. So we need to get rid of the vitamins,” Fred continues. “Anything else darling?” Mabel sweetly mumbles. “Yeah, I’ll tell you another thing that is really getting on my nerves” her husband says. “Oh no, he’s on a row now” Mabel thinks to herself. “And just what may that be my sweet?” she coos. Feeling he’s got Mabel’s attention, Fred continues, “You can get rid of those big time handlers that you got showing our dogs. Why I could do just as good of a job with Koochie myself as “what’s his name” does! He’s only put two single points on him and he’s shown him 28 times now. Who’s eating steak Mabel? Who’s eating steak? It certainly isn’t you and me. I can tell you that right now. How do you like the nerve of that guy anyway? I would like to have a steak once in awhile. Is that too much to ask Mabel? As it is now, I’m putting in overtime every week at “Flip the Burger.” What more am I suppose to do Mabel? I mean is this fair to me?” Fred asks feeling sorry for himself.

“Alright already, Mabel says in frustration. Your mouth is giving me a headache.” “Yeah and what are you planning to do about it?” Fred questions her. “I’ll tell you what I’m going to do about it Fred. We’ll make some changes, if that’s what it is that you’re looking for me to do.” This puts a triumphant smile on Fred’s little old worried face.

“First we’ll stop having cheeseburgers twice a week. I’ll stretch the hamburger meat out by adding it to Hamburger Helper. That should make it last a little bit longer. “Yeah, but I love my cheeseburgers,” Fred pipes in. She ignores his outburst. “Instead of having hotdogs once a week, we’ll now have it twice a week. Instead of having a ham steak once in awhile, I’m going to buy a ham hock and make you some home made split pea soup. It’ll take a little more time for me to do, but it’s the least I can do for my Freddie boy, she says sarcastically. We’ll find a way to cut back on expenses” she tells her open mouthed husband sitting across the table from her. Before he can say another word, she continues her plan to help make life a bit easier. “Oh yeah Fred, you know those “One a Day men’s extra energy” vitamins that you take, well Wal-Mart’s has a deal on their own brand of vitamins that is half the price as those that you take. “Yeah but that Wal-Mart brand repeats on me Mabel and it leaves a yucky after taste in my mouth. “We’re trying to make ends meet here Freddie boy” she challenges him. “Yeah, but I need my “One a Day’s” he says ignoring her. “And why is that Fred? Do you think your “One a Day’s” gives you more energy and zip? Please…….I think not” she almost spits out at him. Fred’s face is turning red now as Mabel continues her assault.

“So you don’t think that our handler is getting the job done to your satisfaction? Alright Fred then, we’ll have to go all the way to the top this time. We only hired Benny because Timmy A. Roses trained him and he shows a lot at the all breed shows. So I’m going to call Mr. Roses myself and ask him to show Koochie from now on in. Oh I know what you’re thinking Freddie boy, Mr. Roses is more expensive……and you’re right he is. But look at it this way, he’ll finish him quicker. I’ll leave it up to you to call Benny and tell him we are no longer in need of his services. So how does all of this sound to you Fred?”

“Are you finished yet Mabel? You got any other words of wisdom that you want to share with me?” The anger Fred has had to suppress listening to Mabel’s plan of “saving” has now reached its boiling point. Right about now, he’s ready to explode. “How does it sound to me Mabel? Is that your question? Do you really want to know how it sounds to me? Mabel takes out her pocket mirror to freshen up her lipstick while Fred gets up and starts to pace the floor.

“You’re asking me to eat Hamburger Helper so Koochie and Sassy can continue to eat holistic food? You want me to take Wal-Mart’s brand name vitamins when you know how much I love my “One a Day men’s extra energy vitamins? I’m suppose to eat split pea soup which you know I hate and have another night of hotdogs just so the dogs can be shown by Mr. Roses himself? Is this what you’re asking me to do Mabel? Do I have it right? Tell me I didn’t hear you say all of this, because if that’s the case, I’m afraid I don’t know the woman I married anymore” he shrikes.

Fred is expecting Mabel to blow a fuse. Instead, she coyly says to him, “I have another idea that will solve our entire problems darling.” It’s like she was waiting to drop her final means of helping them survive until the very last moment. “Oh?” Fred” says lifting his eyebrows waiting for her problem solving plan. “I’m going to apply for the job I saw in the window front down town” she informs him. “What job Mabel? I didn’t know anyone was hiring down town. “Oh Freddie, but they are, she teases him. “Yeah, well I think you better look into it then Mabel if you plan to continue to spend like you are, he tells her.”

“Alright Fred,” Mabel says as she gets up to dial the telephone. Fred sits quietly watching her. “Yes, hello” Mabel says. Is this the “Meow Club? It is? Oh great. I’m calling about the position you have advertised in your front window. You know the one. The one that says you’re were looking for a “pole dancer.” She puts her lips close to the telephone receiver and seductively purrs into it; Well I think I’m the woman you want!” At first Fred is grinning thinking how nice this is that Mabel is willing to take on a part time job to help with their expenses. But then when he hears her say, “Pole dancer”, he’s not sure at first what that exactly is. Then all of a sudden he puts two and two together realizing what the “Meow Club is and he jumps up grabbing the telephone out of his wife’s hand slamming it down on the receiver.

And that folks is how Fred and Mabel have dealt with their economic slump. The dogs still eat holistic food, they get their vitamins, and Benny is still handling for them. Fred is happy he still gets his two cheeseburgers a week, and takes his “One a Day men’s extra energy” vitamins. Fred realizes what a good wife he has after all. Mabel helped make him realize that sometimes staying the same is a good thing. Oh yeah it does look like they did make one small change after all. They had to change their telephone number because the “Meow Club” kept calling.

My rating:  making positive changes in a depressed economy:  (4)

From the book:  "DOGS: FUNNY SIDE UP!"....."Dogs Funny Side Up by Nola Lee Kelsey is a hysterically funny and honest book by a dog lover who has worked with dog rescue agencies at home and in Thailand. I read it in a single sitting and laughed out loud. This will be a sure hit with all dog lovers on your list."

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