Mason County News
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Mostly Memories
Wednesday, June 3, 2009 • Posted June 3, 2009

Before & After Story

Author’s note:

This is a before and after story but in this case the after comes before and the before comes after.

This is the after story:

Life is just not the same.


After taking The Dallas Morning News for 34 years we were advised in early February that the delivery of that paper to this area of Texas would be discontinued as of March 31, 2006. When asked by a friend who also subscribed to the Dallas paper what I was going to do for a paper after March 31st I said “No problem, I will continue to read The Dallas Morning News just as I have been doing for the past 34 years.”

“And just how do you plan to do that?” asked the friend. “Quite simple” said I in my haughtiest tone, “ I shall read it on the internet each morning and in so doing will save the $228 a year subscription fee.

“Furthermore” said I to this very old friend, “I can fix that computer of yours (which you never use) where you can do the same.”

Well, as it turned out this friend’s primary purpose in taking the paper was for the puzzles page and after spending more than an hour trying to locate that page on the computer I gave up and told him he had better subscribe to the San Antonio paper.

All of the above happened in early March and now we come to April 1st, the first day without the Dallas paper. Watch now as our daily routine, established 34 years ago, has changed:

First, something new has been added, after his usual trip to the bathroom the King of the household, instead of getting back into bed and snuggling close to his Queen and issuing his daily command, settles down in his computer chair and spends the next twenty minutes taking the nebulizer treatment which brings back his breath and adds strength to his body.

During this 20 minute break the Queen of the household stretches and groans with pleasure as she lies in bed and contemplates her new routine. With no Dallas paper to pick up from the yard she is in no hurry to complete her bathroom functions and head for the kitchen to prepare the King’s breakfast.

In the meantime the King has completed his nebulizer treatment and is trying to read his favorite pages of the Dallas paper but finds to his dismay that it “just isn’t the same” as it was in the past when the Queen bought his paper to the throne room and he was able to enjoy the paper while relaxing on his throne.

At this point the King becomes irritated, his Queen has not appeared with his coffee. and in righeous disgust he heads for the kitchen and finds his wife trying to explain to her cat why the morning routine has been changed.(It has been his habit to follow my wife out the front door and go with her while she picks up the paper and returns to the kitchen where he eats his breakfast and then exits out the back door). Now I find her trying to push that cat out the back door and the cat is looking at her as if to say “What the hell is going on here, anyhow?”

So, preparing my own coffee, I head back to my computer to finish reading the paper while drinking my coffee, but in doing so I found again that “things are not the same” without a newspaper so I picked up the telephone,called the San Antonio Express and subscribed to that paper.

They are to start delivering it on April 2nd and maybe then the King, his Queen and her cat can return to their old routines.

Now read the before story which is portrayed in the following article written 14 years ago:



The following is a short synopsis of a morning agenda as written by a member of the retired royalty:

Having arisen at 6:30 on this cold winter morning for usual trip to the bathroom I slide back into bed and snuggle up to the warm back of the Queen of the household. Being a retired person and knowing that women never retire I whisper into that feminine ear “It’s just about time for you to get up.”

Then, having issued my royal command I turn over and proceed to go back to sleep.

Shortly thereafter I hear her arise from bed and start making those sounds with which I have become familiar through the years. First she rattles the handles of her dresser drawer, the noise of which vibrates through my auditory nerves and momentarily drives thoughts of sleep from my consciousness. I lay there seeking sleep and vowing as I have every morning for the past 20 years that I am going to wrap those dresser drawer handles with something that will prevent that detested rattle. Surely, I say to my self, one in the status of Royalty should not have to endure these sleep defying sounds.

Then you say to me, “Bill, where do you get this Royalty jazz?” And I say to you, “Just hold your tater, the Royalty part will show up later.”

Her majestic queenship has finally concluded her morning toiletries which have thus far kept me in a wakeful state and has now proceeded to the kitchen to prepare the Royal Breakfast. Now the sounds carry through from the kitchen to my bedroom. As I hear the ice clunking in the blender I conclude that the Royal Breakfast this morning is to be Slim-fast.

My wife mate has been trying for years to reduce the size of my expanding stomach, not understanding that it is a natural part of aging and that the more she strives to eliminate that bulge the hungrier I get. So in payment for her efforts I consume the slim-fast but I exercise the rights and privileges of Royalty by hiding peanuts , candy, and other fattening foods in my pick-up until such time as I can no longer abide her dieting efforts and must, of a necessity, succumb to the intense craving for those hidden foods.

Now I visualize the Queen’s next actions: (1) she has already turned on the coffee pot, (2) now she will pour up two portions of the laboriously prepared breakfast, placing the King’s portion in the refrigerator to hold for his royal arrival at the breakfast table, (3) she goes outside to pick up the morning newspaper and (4) she proceeds to extract the Editorial pages from the paper, pours my cup of coffee—and at that point I fall asleep.

For years it has amazed me at how quickly I can fall asleep just prior to that every morning call “coffee time” as she places my coffee and paper in the Royal Throne Room. Muddle headed at being aroused from that five seconds of sleep I stagger into the bathroom, turn the water on in the bathtub in preparation for his Royal Bath, and then mounting the Royal Throne (now you know where that “Royalty Jazz” came in). After taking two swallows of coffee I then reach for the newspaper in order to digest the breakfast cuisine offered by today’s learned Editorial writers.

After the coffee, Editorial page, relief procedures and bath, his Kingship dons his Royal Robe and proceeds to the kitchen where he retrieves his breakfast from the refrigerator. He then sits down with his Queen, who is still reading the balance of the paper, starts sipping his breakfast and contemplating the vast responsibilities of governing a retirement kingdom such as his.

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