Notice: Avoid Contact with the Warner Smedleys!
You, dear retiree, finally have decided to cross the pond, your first ever trip to Europe. You have chosen Viking River Cruises, to board a luxury river yacht for two weeks, cruising along the Danube and the Rhine rivers from Budapest to Holland. You have squirreled away the ten grand for first class accommodations for you and your bride of sixty years. You are very excited as you contemplate this adventure so long put off but now a reality just around the corner! This is it!
And then, unfortunately, you, Mr. and Mrs. Ashstew Dust, told your neighbors, the Warner Smedleys, about your upcoming dream of a lifetime trip. Big Mistake! Immediately, the Smedleys strongly warned you that such a trip would take you into a slough of great peril and untoward events and urged you to cancel at all costs! For starters, they asked, “Are you aware that the airflight to Budapest could easily disappear from the skies just as the recent Asiana jet did in SE Asia? And don’t you know that Europe is overrun with Islamic Jihadist terrorists just looking to behead Americans in their beds? And the money you are blowing! For heaven’s sakes, have you considered that your grinder pump might fail, costing you thousands and you will not have the money to pay for a new one. Then your sewage will back up into every room in your house?”
After a few more minutes with the Smedleys, the Dusts were totally deflated. Their sap had drained out. Their chins were on the floor. The lead was gone from their pencils. Their joy was replaced with fear and depression. The Warner Smedleys had once again cast a dark cloud over the sunny plans of a neighbor.
The Warner Smedleys have been raining on parades since Eisenhower was turning over sod in western Kansas.They have been dashing hopes since Pope Peter I said that God could no longer overlook blatant sin. The Smedleys insist that, by people heeding their advice, many have avoided one calamity after another, They even claim that back on April 14, 1912, old grandfather Warner Smedley warned the world’s richest man, John Jacob Astor (Waldorf Astoria fame) not to embark on the Titanic, who, not heeding grandfather’s advice, ended up on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. (The Smedleys were unable to explain how a backwoodsman in Arkansas could even write to Mr. Astor, much less speak to him, but suggested that Gramps might have hired a Wright Bros. biplane to skywrite the warning message!)
Once again, this column is here to advise its readers to be very careful as to whom you tell your plans, hopes, schemes,and dreams to. An untimely word spoken to some people like the Warner Smedleys can squash all the juice out of your gourd; can let all the air out of your balloon, can reduce your mojo to a nogo; can wipe the smile right off your face; can turn your feet into clay; and ultimately lock you into a closed off life, offering no hope, no thrills, no changes, nothing but boredom and drear. In short, you will end up just like them!
How does one identify a “Warner” so as to avoid being unwittingly poisoned by their contagious joy-destroying disease? Here are some sure-fire, telltale markers:
1.They drive a car made in the 80s, usually a Buick or a Lincoln Town Car.
2. They have never joined any club, sorority, or service organization. At church, they serve on no committees.
3. They don’t eat out. They don’t play Bingo or dance. They never did waste their time playing golf.
4. They watch TV using their rabbit ear’s antenna and watch only Fox News.
5. Their kitchen appliances are all in avocado green surrounded by beige formica counters; their carpets are orange shag and their furniture has plastic covers.
6. Their lawn is “fenced” with one foot high plastic sections and their garden has only faded plastic flowers
The Smedleys have never taken their foot off first base. They never stole a base. Their glass has always been more than half empty.You get the idea: the Warner Smedleys never lived life beyond their cloistered world. They saved every penny they ever made. They always rented, fearing loss if they purchased a home.They saved to pay college expenses for children who didn’t even finish high school. They saved and scrounged to cover expenses – real or imagined – giving them a comfort they thought that only having a safe stash of money could provide. Ultimately, as their obsession with security overtook them, they became prisoners of their own money, unable to spend and enjoy the fruit’s of a lifetime of labor and toil.
So, dear Mr. and Mrs. Dust, do not cancel your trip. But rather, take another ten grand with you to buy souvenirs, bottles of French wine, and remember to tip the porters and waiters big, and spend like there is no tomorrow. And be sure to send the Warner Smedleys a postcard from every port, wishing for them to finally let it all hang out!.