Dick didn't like that chicken

Dick didn't like that chicken (and other idiotic “Housermanisms”)

This column must include some history, or it would fall short of making a lick of sense to anyone reading it. Come to think of it, when do any of my pieces make a lick of sense to anyone reading them?

I believe, in past columns, I've broached the subject of being on two different wave lengths, whilst conversing with certain individuals in our lives.

Both Aunt Liz, (AL), and Perpetual, (fiance), are infamous for the above-mentioned, “I-want-to-fling-myself-from-a-Redwood-stump-if-this-continues,” type of behavior.

Perpetual is off, for the week, and I shall concentrate on our dear Aunt Liz.

Let us now journey through time, for some of that promised back story. I know you are delighted to the marrow, and cannot wait for the Houserman psychosis, that is to follow.

You see, my memory is hideous, in terms of retaining an incident that unfolded moments ago, for example. However, when it comes to recalling some tidbit from the past, I'm on target. You see, my memory is hideous, in terms of retaining an incident that unfolded moments ago, for example. However, when it comes to recalling some tidbit from the past, I'm on target.

Need I elaborate after that blatant illustration above? You have now witnessed, first hand, the nature of my current malady, known as EFRS, (Extreme Fleeting Recollection Syndrome). You will soon see that my long-term memory is fabulous.

According to the Dictionary of Housermanisms, (first edition published in 1947), the definition is as follows: “Noun; severe memory loss for small bursts of time; short-term memory loss; in teens, it can be selective; patient has uncanny ability to evoke details galore from his, or her, past, leading old friends to cough up blackmail money.

For those over the age of forty, the condition has been known to interfere with relationships. Friends, family members and acquaintances, of those afflicted with EFRS, have been described as possessing impure thoughts. Causing harm to themselves and/or others would be an example.

The medical community has unanimously concluded that enduring repeated stories, jokes and other words spoken, by the EFRS patient, has been a major contributing factor in terms of the rise in suicidal thoughts, nation wide.”

Now that I've confessed to having EFRS, I shall tell the story... I was barely a teen when this occurred.

Sister Jill, (not a nun, but an actual blood relative), your humble columnist, and my father, who was known for tooting his own horn—not to imply that he was a braggart, (although that's up for light debate), it means he was a trumpet player, were gathered in the living room.

We were knee deep in an exceptionally moving discussion concerning a gig, that dad had recently played, and were carrying out banter along those lines.

Mother was in the kitchen the whole time, but was within earshot of our conversation. In fact, she had even, at one point, added to said chatter, whilst alphabetizing the spices.

So, she was TOTALLY on board with the prattle, pertaining to dad's musical engagement.

In the midst of the merriment, it happened. Mother yelled out from the kitchen and uttered the following: “Dick didn't like that chicken.” After which, she entered the room.

We all looked at her, as though she had two heads, and asked her who in the H E double hockey sticks Dick was, and what on earth his dislike of poultry had to do with ANYTHING being discussed at that time.

She proceeded to explain that a friend of hers made chicken for her husband, Dick, and he was not a fan. (This would have been Dick Jackson, father of Barb, Bonnie, Bobby and Nancy, plus husband of “Slim,” for those wondering.) We all made total fun of Mother, of course, with my father putting on a major production, as was his nature.

Hence forth, anytime a person states something off topic, our family has a comeback, which is, “Dick didn't like that chicken.”

Well, I've now brought Aunt Liz in on this, of course. She is known, throughout the land, for repeated, “Richard's taste buds had an adverse reaction to the cock-a-doodle-doo,” moments.

OK, I'm ready to impart the tale of a recent Dick didn't like that chicken scenario.

This specific time, AL actually made a blatant, futile attempt to sneak something past me, and it backfired like Hal Coleman's old van used to. (I speak of young Hal and I'm not going to get in to that saga right now.)

On the subject of vans, as many of you know, I recently acquired a newer model. Well, I had just finished feverishly measuring this and that inside, and outside, of the vehicle, and was talking through the screen door, to AL, about my findings, etc.

I asked her about such and such fitting in a certain region, and jazz along those lines.

As I was doing so, she had been leafing through a catalog. We had, about 20 minutes earlier, discussed a table within the brochure and the height of the piece of furniture.

Remember, almost 30 minutes had passed. I was bloviating, to the max, about the size of the seats, tires and other VAN related items. The VAN, mind you, and nothing else.

At this point, AL said, “Since we're talking about size, that table is 19 inches high.” Good try old gal but no go.

Without doubt, I leaped upon her, like a pack of hyenas on a lion, and explained that her attempt, at avoiding a Ricardo loathed the fowl situation, had foundered disastrously. (Do hyenas travel in packs? Was that right or is a group of hyenas called something else? I digress—and within parenthesis even. Wow.)

I'm sure. She actually thought that because I had been measuring a vehicle, and talking to her about such goings on, that it was on the same page as the height of a table from a catalog.

So, in other words, she wasn't listening to word ONE about my venture into inches, centimeters, and the like, but pretended, while, in real life, being glued to that *&%$# sales book.

This kind of stuff unfolds all of the time around here and that was only a teensy sliver off the iceberg, in terms of specific examples.

I was totally taken aback that she would even try with this, “oh, since we were talking about measuring,” trick. Good gravy woman.

Other conversations, if one can even label them as such, might go as follows: Lisa: “I had a great sales week.” Aunt Liz: “Debbie called me and she has the flu.” I'm not kidding.

We ride a ceaseless merry-go-round of mass disorder in the home, which shouldn't surprise anyone, because of the plethora of Dick didn't like that chicken instances.

Well, there isn't much else to say about old Richard and his disdain for poultry so, I shall sign off for the week.

Aunt Liz is on her way home and I'm certain that during our supposed exchange of words, we shall remain on two absolutely, opposite-beyond-recognition topics.

How we get anything accomplished is beyond me but, somehow our special language seems to work out and, in the end, that's all that matters.

Here is your assignment for the week....Find a man named Dick, maybe Dick Holabaugh or Dick Dennis, prepare him a delicious chicken dish and let me know if he cares for it. It's high time that Dick lives for that chicken—don't you agree?