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April 9, 2006

Aspirin and Ashes

Tom McLaughlin

Humor by Tom McLaughlin

Sponsored by Saint Joseph Aspirin for children, the reality golf challenge being filmed in Bishopville, near Ocean City, will be aired on CBS May 14 and May 20. For further details, see my March 19 column. I really don't why this pharmaceutical company is trying to educate hoofers about their product; but I can imagine some of the ads.

Scene: Child in bed with burning fever. Parent standing over him with look of concern. On the back is a set of golf clubs; a light lime beret compliments the different plaid shirt and pants. On the wall, a tee time. "When you really need to go: St. Joseph Aspirin for Children," the announcer intones.

Scene: Golfer in back yard practicing chip shots. Issue with baseball mitt trying to catch balls. Golfer boinks child in head. "Show them your really care! St. Josephs Aspirin for Children."

Scene: Golfer stands up to tee off. The ball sails heaven ward. A hand reaches from the clouds, catches the ball and causes a hole in one. "St. Joseph, the Patron Saint of Golfers," a Billy Graham-style voice states in a sermonesque voice.

* * * * * * * * *

Speaking of heavenly things, mom still rests on her bed at home amid the clutter and renovations to the townhouse. Fresh paint, new carpets and redesigned bathrooms have brought in a plethora of workman representing all sorts of crafts.

My brother will be flying in from Colorado and we must decide the fate of the ashes. One of her last requests was to be scattered at sea; and for that we need a boat to go out beyond the three-mile limit. My neighbor's 14 foot aluminum with a 12 and half Johnson on the back simply will not cut it.

I went to the harbor and examined the crafts, searching for a cheap way to spread the remains over the ocean. Fishing boats seemed so Biblical as I had visions of Peter and the other apostles casting their nets while my friend took a walk on the water.

But there was always the Jonah and the Whale story. I have been a dutiful son and so far have kept her last requests, but it has now become a real pain. "Mom, it's time to go," I say to myself while looking heavenward.

The clam trawlers look promising. I inquired, but learned they stay out for 24-36 hours. I loved my mom, but that's a bit much. "Besides, she wasn't fond of clams", I say to myself. I would have trouble opening a can of Manhattan clam chowder after that voyage, thinking the specks of spice floating on top might be her.

The next were the scallop boats. Mom loved the sea creatures sautéed in butter. That would be perfect, I thought, but the two fishermen I approached wanted to start out at 2:30 A.M. I asked why so early as I wasn't aware that shellfish were aware of the time of day. I was informed they needed to be back to sell their catch so it could be transported to market. Something about freshness.

The next thoughts included those cigar boats that spew water about sixty feet in air on both sides. They speed up the coast with a load of tourists. Perfect, I thought. A quick zip out, a prayer and then back in 15 minutes. Fastest funeral in history. Leave around 8 A.M. and back for breakfast, then a day on the beach, ogling the girls. That will work!

St. Joseph forgive me!

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