Notes From The Cactus Patch

Tall tales from Texas about characters I know and have known. Who knows, you might be one of them.

Archive for the tag “life”

Life Is A Percentage Game


The Mooch-o-Matic 2020

A few weeks ago, my buddy Mooch and I were driving to Glenrose on a little road trip. We often take an adventure when we hear of something worth investigating. The stranger the better to occupy our precious time.

Mooch heard from someone at the feed store that a lady owns a pig that recently received the “Purple Paw,” the most prestigious civilian award an animal can receive for bravery. We have to see this pig for ourselves since Glenrose is right in our back yard.

Two hours of searching, we find the lady and her pig living in the RV Park by the river. This one is a wild goose chase. It seems her little boy didn’t win a prize in the stock show, so she took a purple TCU lanyard and tied a large gold-painted Mardi-Gras coin on the lanyard, making the pig a medal. This satisfied the whining child and turned the pig into a big shot. Now the kid and the pig think they are hot stuff and are raising hell in the RV Park. The expedition wasn’t a complete waste of time, we ate barbecue at the “Squealing Piglet” and topped it off with some pecan pie and Blue Bell ice cream.

Driving back to Granbury, the oil message light came on warning me I had ten percent oil life left on the old Honda. I bragged to Mooch about how smart my car is, and it seems to know everything. I mentioned, jokingly so, that it would be great if some pharmaceutical company could invent a device to tell us, humans, how much life we have left. Mooch, ever the tinkerer, has a small invention lab in his shed and is always coming up with strange things. He said he would look into that. I knew he would.

A week goes by, and Mooch shows up at my door with a white box under his arm. We sit at my kitchen table, and he pushes the box over my way, urging me to open it. Before I could get the lid off, he yells, ” I did it, its the invention we talked about, its a Mooch-O- Matic Life Meter, we are going to be wealthy.”

I open the box and pull out what appears to be a digital children’s thermometer. On the back are a crudely installed USB port and a sticker reading made by Mooch 2020. I’m impressed that he could invent something like this so quickly. In my book, his rating just increased by twenty points.

Knowing Mooch was about to explode with pride, I ask him,”What’s in this thing and how does it work?”

Mooch proudly exclaims, ” I took a “Tommy Bear In The Summer Sun” children’s digital rectal thermometer, added two chips from a Nokia flip phone, the activation strips from a “Ellen’s Own”digital pregnancy test, a chip from a Martha Stewert Meat Thermometer, a few innards from my old Firestick and a USB port so you can save the information. Now all that’s left is to test it on a human. I tried it out on my dog Rex, and damn if he doesn’t have 35% life left. The cat saw me testing Rex and is hiding, so now it’s down to you and me. How about you be the next participant?”

I reluctantly agreed to be the first human to test the Mooch-O-Matic. I entered the bathroom, inserted the device into the proper orifice, and waited until I heard the three beeps that signaled the reading was complete. After straightening myself up a bit I exited the bathroom and gave the device to Mooch. He scrolled through a menu and then blurted out, “holy crap, you have 25% life left, you lucky S.O.B.”

Well, there ya go buddy, I’m going to be watching many more Super Bowles. Mooch then took the device into the bathroom to test himself. After ten minutes, I’m getting worried so I knock on the door.

In my best-concerned tone, I said, ” Mooch, you okay, little buddy, you didn’t fall and break a hip, did you?” Mooch opened the door, and his face is the color of snow-whites butt. With a shaking hand, he handed me the device. I looked at the reading and was shocked. Mooch has 1.5% life left, which translates to, he could assume room temperature any minute or by morning at the latest. We are both speechless, and Mooch has tears in his old watery eyes.

Without saying a word, he leaves the house, and me holding the prototype of our disappearing wealth. Just for testing sake, I pulled a previously frozen whole chicken from the fridge and inserted the Mooch-O-Matic into the deceased bird’s butt. Three beeps later, the soon to be chicken dinner that has been dead for who knows how long, reads 35% life left.

I thought for a moment about calling poor Mooch to tell him his device is faulty, but he owes me $200.00, so I’ll let him sleep on this until he pays up.

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