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.


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                                                                                                        Stay Out Of The Bathroom

                                                                                                                         By Darin Z. Krogh

                                                                                                My wife and I have enjoyed years of                   
                                                                                                connubial bliss. The secret to our marriage, I 
                                                                                                believe, is that we are fortunate enough to have
                                                                                                our own bathrooms. I am an aged man of medium crankiness and intolerance. My wife is younger and very tolerant except of me. I am not allowed to use her bathroom. Never entering her bathroom is the secret to our marriage. Elderly men need to have their own bathroom. 
  Bathrooms are important in family dynamics. I grew up not far from downtown Hillyard, back in the 1950’s and ‘60’s. That was in the previous century for you younger readers. My family lived in a house with six kids and two parents and ONE BATHROOM. As I look back on those days, I am struck with horror. How did we do it? In the morning, we all competed for the shower/tub before going to school and our father before he went to work. Other activities, specifically involving the toilet were also completed. Sitting and reading a magazine during these unspecified activities was out of the question. My mother acted as the monitor for bathroom shifts among all of us, but not always assigning equal time to the various occupants. We boys got the briefest allotment, my sister was allowed substantially more time and our father could have finished reading a slightly abridged version of Tolstoy’s “War And Peace” during his toilet time. But after a while, no matter who was in the bathroom, our Mother would shout through the door “get your ‘business’ done and get out!”
  I made up my mind that one day, I would own a house with an extra bathroom where I could sit and read all day without hearing someone shout through the door. When we complained about having only one bathroom, our father took a moment(s) to deliver his speech on how he grew up in the back woods of northern Minnesota where the family bathroom was some 30 feet from the house, often requiring a trudge through deep snow. None of us kids ever made a comment after he finished his speech because that would give birth to other hardship stories that he ached to recite, stories about bathing in a metal tub in the kitchen and such. Usually he ended his life lesson by describing the visit to his cousins in the Big City, Minneapolis, where he was shocked to discover that these people did their “business” inside the house, in a room they called the bathroom. He was troubled by the misnomer, although a bumpkin, he knew the toilet was not for bathing.
  A neighborhood friend of mine in youthful days, Chuck Siver (obviously not his real name), lived closer to downtown Hillyard than me. One night, I stayed over at his house. In the morning, I used his family’s single bathroom which was much like our own at home, except that Chuck’s bathroom didn’t have a sink. I courteously, did not mention the missing sink until some years later. “Chuck, what was the deal with no sink in the bathroom at your house?” Chuck responded, “I never noticed until you mentioned it.” Later, he asked his parents about it. He reported “My father suggested that I move out, into someone’s home that had a bathroom sink. End of conversation.” 
  Later on in life, I was raising my daughters in a house with plenty of bathrooms, most of them with two sinks. Chuck Siver would have been flummoxed, which I was, especially when I entered my daughters’ bathroom. One day, I needed some Q-tips to clean the grooves around the oven door in the kitchen. So entered into my daughter’s bathroom where I presumed there were cases of Q-tips that I had often seen their mother bring home from the store. The girls’ bathroom reminded me of stumbling into a college biology lab years ago. There were devices and apparatus that were unfamiliar to me. Things suspended from hooks and bars. And several foreign chemical smells in the air. But not one Q-tip. Apparently, my daughters were selling the Q-tips at high school for spending money. And both sinks in their bathroom were full of junk, bottles of stuff, curling irons, etc. Unusable sinks. It made me think of Chuck and his missing bathroom sink. 
  All this is a digression from my original point. Men: As you enter your golden years, make sure that your lodgings include HIS and HERS bathrooms, separate and distinct. After decades spent with you, the Woman in your life may find that you grate her wrong in some little ways. Get two bathrooms, rather than end up as subject material for those real crime shows on T.V., like “Investigation Discovery Murder: Wives Who Couldn’t Take Him Anymore”. And enjoy the added benefit, you will have a quiet place to sit and leisurely thumb through a full length version of “War And Peace” taking time to ponder the illustrations and read all the footnotes.