Book Club
Hillyard Yacht Club


                                                                                  Talking Over The Kindle
                                                                By Darin Z. Krogh

​      I gave a “Kindle” to my wife for Christmas. She said thanks, then started downloading books. She hasn't spoken to me since. The situation reminds me of that television commercial where the guy has to text his girlfriend at the table to get her to look up from her iPhone to see the gift he has for her. Except my wife never looks up because she’s always in the middle of some riveting book. I’m waiting for the Kindle battery to wear out.
      She was charging the battery the other day. It plugs into a receptacle. I secretly pulled on the charger plug just enough to break the electrical connection but not so much that the human eye could easily detect that sabotage had been committed. 
My wife discovered that her Kindle battery was still depleted after charging all night. Then she discovered why. When she did, I noted, out of the corner of my eye, that she was directing “THE LOOK” at me. Sometimes THE LOOK is referred to as the “death ray”. The “death ray” is not peculiar to our marriage. I discovered that fact during my Wednesday afternoon meetings with my buddies where we sip beverages while discussing marital issues, N.F.L. rule changes and large breasts. 
       After THE LOOK, I suffered pointed questioning from my wife. Her prosecutorial manner was what you might expect from a District Attorney who was born out of a liaison between Perry Mason and Judge Judy. The questions called for my confession, rather than answers. But that was okay, because there was not any time for answers between the rapid fire questions. The initial questions related specifically to the Kindle crime, but later questions moved on to my many character flaws and ended with question, “Why do you always hang the bath towels with the labels showing on the outside?” 
      At the end (no, more like at the beginning), I confessed. I used the excuse that I missed her conversation. That was the reason I sabotaged the Kindle battery charger, so she would stop reading and talk to me.
      As most men know, expressing a desire for more communication with your significant-other, is a bullet-proof excuse for almost anything. Women are susceptible in that area. They worry about “The Relationship”.
      After the interrogation, I threw myself on to the mercy of the court. I repeated my yearning for more meaningful conversations. A solution was arrived at.
      My wife and I set a time aside each evening right after the news, in which we would discuss relationship issues and topics that are important to each of us.
      The first discussions were one sided. Not my side. I tried to be a good listener. Unfortunately, while my wife was speaking, I would often rise and go check on her Kindle battery charger, to make sure it was plugged in securely. I couldn’t help myself.
    After a week of these husband-wife chats, I admitted to flunking Conversation 101. Even my wife realized that our plan wasn’t working.
     We decided to be more natural about our conversations. My wife and I voted to cancel the nightly "Conversation Hour". 
      I comforted my wife by suggesting that we could resume the Conversation Hour after next year's football season. Then I thought a bit more, and said, "No, wait, after March Madness." I was too late, her nose was already buried in her Kindle book. She never heard my generous offer.
     We did have a conversation the other day. My wife looked up from her Kindle and asked, “Is that the doorbell?” I turned down the volume on the television set and told her that I would go check the front door when the basketball game was over.
      We are making progress without forcing conversation.


 (click above)

                                      By Darin Z. Krogh                                         

  I was saddened the other day at being fooled by an eight year old. My grandson. So I called up my Life Counselor, Daniel, and he met me at a local Spokane watering hole.
  "How did it happen?" Daniel began, speaking in his deepest counselor's voice after he had taken a significant gulp from his pint of beer.
  I told him that there was a B-17 flying around Spokane, a plane used in the movie "THE MEMPHIS BELLE". The crew of the MEMPHIS BELLE earned fame by flying 25 successful bombing missions over Germany in World War II. “My grandson was visiting at our house, and we went out on the deck to look at the noisy B-17 circling above in the sky.”
  I continued, “This was a good time to tell my grandson about Uncle Ken who was a tail gunner on a B-17 during World War II. I described how my Uncle Ken’s bomber had been shot down and ditched in the English Channel. Uncle Ken waited in the cold water until a rescue boat picked him up. Several of his buddies in the crew were not so lucky. They died before help came.”
  My grandson, being eight years of age, is not familiar with World War II. "Grandpa, where was your uncle flying to?"
  "He took off from an air base in England and flew to Germany where his plane dropped bombs. He was coming back from Germany but his airplane got shot up before it got to England."
  "Did he ever get to fly in an airplane again?" This is an important consideration for an eight year old.
  "Oh, yes,” I answered, “There were more B-17's back in England, so he went to work tail-gunning the very next day."
  My grandson seemed to be taking it all in and happy for my uncle Ken.
  As my grandson got ready to go home, he announced that he deemed my Uncle Ken to be a hero but qualified that status by remarking, "I don't think Shannon's family would agree with me."

(BACKGROUND: We have a friend, Shannon, who is from Germany. Shannon is the mother of my grandson’s best friend).

  I was alarmed that my grandson didn't understand how war works. I told him that soldiers have a duty and that after the war is over, sometimes old enemies can become your best friends.
  At that point my grandson put his hand on my arm as if to comfort me, and said, "Joke, Grandpa, I'm joking."
  Unless you have been pulling big whoppers over on a child for a number of years, you do not understanding the pain a grandfather feels when that same kid turns the tables.  
  With watering eyes, I finished my report to Counselor Dan, who had already quaffed his entire adult beverage in order to stay composed during my tragic story.
  He felt my pain and said, "I have nothing to comfort you except my own story of suffering, which like yours, was dealt me by a grandchild."
  He began his heartbreaking tale, "We were seated at the Thanksgiving table. My young granddaughter sat next to me. At a quiet moment, this granddaughter announced that she had decided what she wanted to be when she grew up."
  I commiserated, "Those career choices can be good and bad."
  Counselor Dan waved off my remark and continued, "My granddaughter announced that she was going to be an astronaut. Everyone at the table encouraged her, except for me. I couldn't get excited about her choice because kids change their mind every week about their future career. My granddaughter apparently saw my lack of enthusiasm and tapped me on the shoulder. She motioned that she had something to whisper to me. I bent over toward her, she spoke loudly, "Or a Stripper."
  Counselor Dan shook his head and ordered another bracer. 
I took over the role of counselor and told Dan that I understood grandfathers are unfairly blamed when a grandchild makes that kind of a remark. "Whaddya do?" I asked, sensing that he needed to talk about it.
  "I couldn't pretend not to hear, everyone at the table heard her. I was speechless, in shock,” he admitted. I could see the dismay on the face of my daughter who is the mother of the potential stripper. Eventually, I composed myself and was about to begin a stern lecture on the pitfalls of strip dancing, when my granddaughter winked at me, letting me know that I had been the victim of a worthy put-on."
  My heartfelt sympathy poured out to Counselor Dan. “It must have been horrible,” I said. Dan was choked up and could only nod in agreement. 
  We didn’t speak for some time during which I began feel much better about being the butt of my grandson's joke about angry Germans.
  We two fools found comfort in each other’s sad tale and with more adult beverages, spent the afternoon wondering, “What's the matter with kids today?”