Raised Commode Seats, Humming Birds, Great Blue Heron and 15th in the Amanda Saga “Edith Gunderson Questioned”

Good Afternoon Ted and Jody:

Yesterday got away from me.  Besides visiting my talk person, I made the rounds of several drug stores looking for a new set of handrails for Nancy to use on the commode.  Before she had surgery, she installed a riser with rails for getting on and off given the restrictions on bending the hip more than 90 degrees.  But apparently, that arrangement posed some other problems; and, she wanted to lower it (a gentleman never asks why, while I am not a gentleman, I sometime fake it).  I was successful in finding one at the last drug store (why is it always the last and not the first?).  So, upon arriving home, I uninstalled the high seat with rails.  Now the bolt holding the riser together was some 100 feet long (ok 8 inches, but when you are bent over in a corner and tend to hole your breath when turning bolts and nuts, 8-inch blots can seem like a 100 feet.  Not to mention there were two of them; and, while I bend, unbending is an entirely different matter).  Now installing he rails on a “regular” seat for the commode only required using two 40 foot bolts (OK, 3 inches), which had wing nuts. So that allowed me to “eschew” the screwdriver (Isn’t the English language great for playing around with words?  But I have to wonder how many times in the past people have forgone screwdrivers when they could just as easily have eschewed them).   Now you might think “That only took you 242 words to relay. So how long could it have taken.”  Well to answer I need to know how to count my 45-minute, 52-minute, 67-minute rest and recuperation periods between screws, not to mention the 90-minutes before I was able to clean up after?  After all, I am not a young as I used to be.

You may recall my concern over the hummingbirds in December looking for food on our back porch.  Well, I hung a feeder for them while the temperature was above freezing.  That stayed up 24 hours until the temperature dropped to freezing yesterday late in the afternoon (right about dark).  Yes, we were above freezing, it rained a measly inch-and-a-half so we lost all of our snow. OK there was one patch about six miles from here where the visiting nurse lives, but I think she put a silver blanket over it just to brag about her snow still being there).  Well, anyway, the hummingbird feeder has some gnats in it.  I used a bowl to hold the feeder and it had a bit of the sugar water in the bottom with gnats all over it.  So, despite the frees we have had (one for three days and nights) gnats come out when it warms up.  So, since I read that hummingbirds eat mosquitoes, I would assume they would also eat other flying insects that size or smaller.  When I saw the bugs, I was relieved that the hummingbirds had a source of protein.  Never-the-less, I do hope they made it to the coast.  There are still flowers and insects there.  Then they can survive fling south.

While I am on the subject of birds, the lake is unfrozen (the rain must have something in it to melt snow and ice—that something I suspect is calories) and the Great Blue Heron are able to fish properly again.  They no longer seem hunched up while waiting for something to swim by.  Sorry, no photos as they were too far out enjoying the open water (that brings to mind a question, how can one tell if a fisherman is enjoying himself or herself, for they always have to be told to smile when holding up their catch for the camera).

If you are into the Amanda Saga (she is helping me get through the long periods of time when day time TV is on and I am in the house in case my bending, fetching or carrying capacities are needed), I am attaching the latest episode in which the victim of the fall is revealed.  No fair looking at the ending to find out.

Also, a piece of advice, listen to Christmas music.  Listen up a storm, for in five days it will all stop—it will stop cold turkey.

Warmest regards, Ed

015 Edith Gunderson Questioned

Fiction in 833 words by T. Edward Westen, 2016


Edith Gunderson was the cause of many neglectful parents being placed in handcuffs.  Until now, she never fully understood the discomfort and indignity of having one’s hands restrained behind one’s back.  She had initially resisted.  ‘I suspect had I kept my mouth shut I would not be wearing these.  For the love of Ralph Kramden, I want these off.’


It seemed to take forever to get to the interrogation room.  She could hear Jeremy Eastman mumbling behind her; but could not quite make out what he was saying.  She said in a loud voice “Cooperate Mr. Eastman and it will be over faster.”


The SWAT team member holing her left elbow, tightened his grip and said, “No talking, Mam.”


About to say ‘Yes, Sir,’ Edith Gunderson thought better of it and closed her mouth.


She was shepherded into Interrogation Room #4, a six by eight-foot room with what she knew was a one-way mirror on one side, a table with a ring to secure handcuffs and two plastic folding chairs. Edith Gunderson had watched on many occasions from the outside while neglectful parents, as she liked to think of it, spilled their guts.  Without thinking she said out loud. “Well, I have no guts to spill.” 


The SWAT team member who was changing her handcuffs from the back to front so he could loop a chain through them and the ring on the table said “Pardon; what did you say?”


“I was thinking out loud, young man, thinking out loud,” replied Edith Gunderson.


Finally having secured Edith Gunderson to the table the SWAT team member said, “If they are going to arrest you they will read you your rights.  In the meantime, know that the room is wired and everything you say in here is recorder on video tape.”  He pointed at the camera in the upper left corner from the door pointed directly at her, or more properly at the chair in which she was seated.  “Someone will be in shortly.”  With that the SWAT team member left closing the door behind him leaving Edith Gunderson alone in Interrogation Room #4.


Edith Gunderson always had something to do.  Read, write, work on computer reports, check this and that on the computer.  This was the first time she could remember being unable to use her hands and do something.  ‘This could get to me.  Perhaps, I can do a number progression such as prime numbers. 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 19, 23, say this would be a bit easier if I could write them down.’


She got to 349 when Eddie Philipson, dressed in street clothes entered the room.  “You are not in Uniform patrolman Philipson.”  Said Edith Gunderson.


A big smile formed on Eddie Philipson’s face.  “I got promoted to Detective, Mam.”


“Well that explains why they let you in here.  It was, not, I take it a friendly gesture on the part of your superiors.”  Parried Edith Gunderson.


“No mam, my partner and I caught the case.  I told him I knew you and how, so he thought you might be more comfortable talking about what you were doing on the roof to someone you knew.”  Detective Philipson replied.  “So, what were you doing on the roof, Mam?”


Edith Gunderson drew a deep breath. “I got a note from Judge Belemany to meet him up there at 6:15 to discuss an old case.  Mrs. White’s case from 20 years ago. Even knowing the Judge’s penchant for running a bit late, I left my office around 6 and took the stairs.  Once I got to the roof I went to the corner where the chimney and areal are and looked over the edge.  I hear a noise behind me and grabbed the areal to swing around to see what it was and a figure ran past me, right to where I had been leaning over the parapet and the figure went over the edge.  My lord he screamed all the way down.  I could hear the thud.  I almost threw up.”


Detective Eddie Philipson asked “The judge called you, did he?”


“No, he left a note on my desk.  I believe the note is either still there or in the bin next to my desk.” Edith hesitated for a moment.  “Since I got the note before Three and worked until close to Six I rather suspect I threw it in the bin for one is not likely to forget a meeting with a judge.”


Detective Philipson, looked at the window and raised a finger, and tilted his head in a signal to his partner or whomever was watching. Then to Edith Gunderson, “Just in case, Mam, who is your attorney?”


Edith Gunderson’s reply almost knocked the breath out of the detective.  “Judge Francis Belemany.  Been my attorney for close to 25 years.”


After Detective Philipson caught his breath he said.  “I don’t quite know how to tell you this Mam, but the suspicious death we are investigating is that of Judge Francis Belemany.”  He let that sink in and watched the panoply of emotions, expressions playing out on Edith Gunderson’s face until they settled into dismay before asking. “Since from your account he tried to push you over the edge, do you know why your attorney would try to kill you?”  


About democratizemoney

Retired University Professor
This entry was posted in birds, fiction, medical stuff, weather and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Raised Commode Seats, Humming Birds, Great Blue Heron and 15th in the Amanda Saga “Edith Gunderson Questioned”

  1. Ooh blimey, whatever next! (Rhetorical).
    I hope Nancy recovers quickly before you yourself get stuck in a bended position and need surgery to unbend, and am also hoping your humming birds flew off to warmer climes. Good news that the herons are back to fishing in water instead of ice. Also wondering about the burnt mini pizzas in your photograph, maybe you have a Domino’s or Pizza Express for future nourishment, they’re pretty fast at delivery and negate the need for cleaning up.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Eddy Winko says:

    Shouldn’t that be ‘Oh Belemany!’

    Liked by 1 person

  3. beetleypete says:

    Still enjoying the story immensely, and quietly rooting for Edith too.

    I am with you regarding bolting seats (or anything else) onto toilets. They are always too close to the walls!

    Best wishes to you both. Pete.


  4. Thank you. Perhaps we could start a “keep toilets away from walls” movement. 🙂
    Nancy is with you on Edith. She thinks that is the only character I have created that has a personality. Perhaps I could start another movement, “personality free characters.” I’d be alone on that one, for the ones you created definitely have personality. I’d best stick with a movement to keep toilets away from walls. 🙂
    Warmest regards, Theo


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