Pot Pies

          In 1980 I was back in Virginia for a few months.  I was living in a boarding house, had a room at the top of the stairs.  We were free to use the kitchen, and one night I cooked a Banquet beef pot pie.  When I dug into it I realized there was only a top crust, no crust on the sides or the bottom.  It was a great disappointment. Who makes a pot pie with only crust on the top?

          Recalling this experience reminds me that while life is to be savored and viewed as the glass being at least half full, there are still many small irritants that we must deal with.  Things we have no control over. What ticks us off varies from person to person, so while my list may be idiosyncratic to me, the general concept of discomfort still applies.

          I was an only child, so I didn't like people messing with my stuff. Everything had to be just so. When I was about eight,  friends of my parents dropped off their seven year old son to spend the night. I was not informed this was going to happen, and the kid went through my room like a hurricane. It took me a week to get things back in order, and I begged my parents to never let any other kid sleep over without my permission. A little dramatic? First borns or singletons will understand.

          Back in college, during the dark ages, I was working on an important research paper.  Physical card catalogs, no personal computers or smart phones.  Journals and magazines only accessible in the library stacks.  I need one article from a particularly esoteric journal to complete my research. In a musty corner on the fifth floor I find the particular bound journal I am looking for. Eureka!  I turn to the needed pages; THEY HAVE BEEN RIPPED OUT!  Some idiot couldn't bother to just photo copy what was needed. It will take two weeks for me to have replacement pages sent from an out of state library. Arrggggh!

          I am a training officer with a basic training company at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. The recruits have just come off the range and are returning their weapons to the armory. All except private snuffy. Where is private snuffy and his weapon? Two hours later, still no private snuffy. I am responsible for this guy. My ruined military career passes before my eyes. Finally after a frantic search, he turns up. His girlfriend was visiting from out of state, so he hopped in a car with her to go off post to get a burger.  Of course he keeps his weapon with him. All of this is unauthorized.  Thankfully, with his return, my career has been salvaged, and snuffy is no longer a private or has any connection with the U.S. military.

          My rear brakes start squeaking. Pads and rotors are new, so why this problem?  The tech makes adjustments. Works fine for a week, then squeaks again. New adjustment, new pads. Squeaks after a week. The brake gods are laughing.  One year of squeaks later, I finally have them try aftermarket hardware that is not recommended.  Works like a champ. No more squeaks. So much for expert advice.

          The DVR is set to record a National Geographic special: Shrunken Heads of the Amazon.  Fill the cranium with cool info. However, there was apparently a lightning storm during the transmission which disrupted the satellite feed. Half the program is random pixels.  I search everywhere for a rebroadcast. Not there. Am very unhappy. Only option is to spend $25 on the hard copy video from Amazon (ironic?).  Do I really care that much about shrunken heads?  Maybe just watch a program on greased pig races.

          We all must deal with similar bugaboos throughout life.  Hopefully they are frequently balanced out by things that do go right.  In my sunset years I have found a Marie Callender's beef pot pie that has a thick crust: top sides and bottom.  Now if I can just figure out what keeps tripping the stupid smoke alarm...