The dog days of winter are about gone and with the tang of spring in the early morning air the usual crowd at the Bakery down in Drizzle Creek had a visible spring in their step as they headed in for the morning debating session.
Everyone was up early and right full of zip. Something was in the air. A spirited discussion on the purchase of new power tools ensued. With spring closing in, time is getting short to get set up for those springtime projects and one must have the proper tools. Many a toolbox has suffered considerable attrition since last fall. The Runt lost his rechargeable batteries and flashlight fending off the attack of a vicious garter snake that had crawled out from under the floorboards of his boat last fall.
“Next ones will float,” he said nervously, still rattled after months from his close call with the deadly viper.
Moose explained he had burnt out his drill batteries during emergency use on his ice auger and depth finder. When he tried to boost the charge level, they had both exploded ventilating his garage wall. Then Moose being the authority on most everything, started the lecture on the proper selection of a new power tool.
“You make sure your sinuses are clear and then head down to Wally-World. The tool collection is in the back corner, but you must take real care to make sure you get a fresh one. After all, those batteries deteriorate if they’ve been sitting around too long,” explained Moose as he sucked the last of the peanut butter out of his teeth, took a final swig from refill # 4 and settled back to imbue us with higher education.
“Pick up the appropriate box and carefully open it close to your head. Quickly inhale the atmosphere making sure to breathe in through the nose and slowly out through the mouth taking care to roll the air thoroughly around the back of your tongue to capture the rich, full bouquet,” he said, demonstrating the appropriate breathing technique.
“You should feel a burning sensation throughout your nasal area, and your eyes should tear up if you get a really good one,” he added with obvious authority.
“You see all these goods are manufactured overseas, and the shipping containers have to be thoroughly fumigated before they are opened. With a little practice not only can you tell the date of manufacture, and which country it came from, but also the region of that country. A drill from Northern China, has a totally different bouquet than one from the Hong Kong,” Moose concluded, holding out his cup for another refill.
“Sounds like you’ve got it down to a science. How about you come along with me to Wally World and help me select a new combo power tool set,” suggested the Runt, obviously impressed with Moose’s prowess.
“Sorry no can do,” Moose replied way too quickly.
“Why not? Can’t help out a buddy?” the Runt asked sulkily, his feelings obviously hurt.
“No, no… sure would like too help… but it’s kinda embarrassing…,” stumbled Moose, obviously reluctant to explain, but unwilling to let a buddy think he would let him down.
“Y’see last week I was down at Wally-World checking out the new tool selection, including freshness checks and I got so into it I didn’t notice these two security dudes watching me,“ he explained, wringing his hands helplessly.
“I guess the fumigant was still a little strong or I was hyperventilating or somethin’ anyways I got a little confused and disoriented so I headed out for some fresh air, a scarce commodity in Fat Frantic that day as the wind was blowing straight from the paper mill,” continued Moose doing his best to avoid getting to the point.
“The missus was with me shopping for some unmentionables, so I detoured through the lingerie section to advise her of my destination, an’ I was in such a fog, without realizing what I was doing, I picked a pair of lace panties up off a display and gave them a thorough sniffin’. Before I could recover, the two security thugs grabbed me and threw me out of the store. Said it was a family store and such perverted behaviour would not be tolerated,” protested Moose, his face blazing red.
The whole debating crew erupted into a cacophony of coughing, spraying and choking as coffee, toast and peanut butter was liberally spattered across the table.
“All those new tools and I’ve been banned,” whimpered Moose dabbing his face and shirt with an napkin.