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Friday, May 6, 2016

The Phantom of The Shed

Monday, August 8, 2011

Seventy six bucks, plus fees and taxes will get you the cheapest seat in the Majestic Theater in New York to see The Phantom of the Opera, a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber . Set in a Paris opera house, with haunting music it depicts a story of seduction and despair. A beautiful soprano becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius. The show has won 88 Tony Awards.


Almost 11 years ago we built a medium size (36 x 30) shed to house our 1976 International model 574 tractor, lawn equipment and a tiny amount of my important materials. Heather, on her best days, calls my stuff junk and you don't even want to hear what she calls it on other days. I will fess up to retaining "jest a smidgen" of stuff, and heck, we can almost always squeeze the tractor in.

Poking from behind some of that valuable stuff the other day were two little eyes, Heather said. Another day she claimed to see a tail. "Ya, Ya," (ala Jim Hopkins and the Larry Rolfes story) I said, "that's quite a tale." We do have problems with possums and raccoons at times, but our shed cats would never tolerate one of those varmints setting up housekeeping in their home, I thought.

A few years ago we brought Jethro Gibbs and Tony DiNozzo home from the animal rescue shelter to take care of the mouse problems that can occur on six rural acres. Later, you may recall, Dylan, one of our two house cats, was exiled to the shed.

The three shed cats do a fine job with mice and birds in the building and they keep rabbits out of the adjoining garden. They, as opposed to our lazy house cat Izzy (I sometimes call her Icky), earn their food.

I guess I can cancel the appointment I made for Heather at the looney bin, for a few days ago I also saw a furry tail disappear behind a stack of cabinet doors I moved from my Kitchens Incorporated 20 years ago (I'm gonna build something - some day). And, a ghostly grey little guy about three months old has been spotted about once a day, always inside the shed, always peeking from or dashing into some "stuff."

When we are having varmint problems we try to lock our three (four?) cats in for the night and set the live trap. A few nights ago we caught another coon about the size of a very large bread box. The next night we caught a large cat about the same color as "The Phantom" and I told Heather, "Ah-ha! Mystery solved. A mother and its kitten have moved in on us!"

With a quizzical look Heather pointed to a couple of bulging protrusions at the alleged "mother's" rear extremity -- words were unnecessary. Our current plan is to lock the three cats outside and set the live trap inside. We are open to suggestions as to what to do should we ever catch the little Phantom of the Shed. I will consider delivery.

Seen by more than 100 million people in 149 cities in 25 countries, The Phantom of the Opera is the longest running musical in Broadway History and is the highest-grossing entertainment event of all time.


Promoters of events like the Iowa State Fair, Le Mars Ice Cream Days, and the highly successful 39th RAGBRAI like to tout their financial benefits. RAGBRAI is recognized globally as one of Iowa's premier tourist attractions, with riders from all 50 states and usually 15 or more other nations. RAGBRAI promoters claim that the event pumps $24 million into Iowa's economy, and I don't doubt that. However, for every such event, many of the same dollars would have been spent, maybe at local theaters, clothiers, groceries, or hardware stores. I suspect that if you were to total the similar claims of every Iowa community the total might approach the entire country's GNP!


"Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it." (Unknown)

We wanted bi-partisan compromise, right?! If standing with one foot in hot water and the other in cold makes one comfortable, I guess we should be ecstatic with what last week's debt/overspending bill produced. All of our Iowa reps and senators voted against it.


Are you bored with life, maybe with your job? Try dressing in exactly the same outfits as your boss, one day later. Or, sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars. Finally (aren't you glad!), in the memo field of your checks, write "for sexual favors."

Don Paulin, 2carpenterdon@gmail.com, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236

By Don Paulin
Been There, Done That

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