THE IDLE AMERICAN: Mort’s migraine magnified

Published 11:40 am Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury


Aunt Maude smirks often, corrects gently and forgives daily. Oh, she also looks the other way regularly to avoid getting the “shakes.”

She has attained the same age as my 105-year-old Uncle Mort, and has pretty much figured out how to maintain peace and harmony in their home nestled down in the thicket. Enduring 85 years of marriage to a man who is said to have been made AFTER God broke the mold warrants the admiration of everyone who knows this couple.

Testing her patience these days, though, are her hubby’s lingering effects of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Mort has watched almost all of the live TV coverage, as well as a ton of re-plays. “He awakened most mornings complaining of migraines,” Maude moaned. “He expected coddling, so that’s what he got. Most days, after his hearty breakfast, he went back to bed for morning naps that butted right up against the noon hour.”

Maude said her “stack” was almost blown as the Olympics were winding down. “Mort put his shoes on after breakfast, but failed to buckle them up.”

She gently suggested that to avoid tripping, perhaps he could do well to finish the buckling.

“I will,” he answered, “Unless I decide to go back to bed.”

He rightly figured that if he “blew some smoke” with mutterings about Olympic spoofs, Maude’s temperature would stop short of burnout.

“I can’t believe I fell asleep just before TV coverage of my favorite event–underwater ice skating,” Mort joked, noting the cocking of her head.

“Then, after going ‘beddy-bye,’ I quickly entered deep sleep patterns, only to be plagued by an awful nightmare, maybe the worst one ever,” he moaned. His intent, of course, was to drag Maude into his web of sympathy.

In his dream, Mort thought himself to be on the front row of summer Olympic high jump competition. There seemed to be more drug enforcement personnel present than high jumpers–the former determined to make sure none of the competitors had used performance-enhancing drugs.

They thought they’d nabbed a guy fueled by some previously unheard of “super drug.” His performance was unbelievable. He seemed to sail over the bar, and with additional practice, might become the first guy to try pole vaulting without a pole.

The enforcers took the jumper inside the examination tent, but found no evidence of prohibited drug use.

However, the guy–easily owning the new world record–decided to come clean. “I didn’t inject drugs, but I did ‘shoot up’ with helium,” he confessed. (Could this be a helium-enhanced high jumper?)

Maude’s eyes crossed, and she decided to adjourn to the kitchen. She’d rather clean up after breakfast than endure any more of Mort’s make-believe ramblings. She’d save this account for another day, claiming that some of his stories are more bearable when replayed than when heard live.

On matters of getting an edge, Rev. Trent Blackley, worship leader at Rockwall, TX, First Baptist Church, will almost win his church’s next “pack the pew” contest if it is to be a timed event. (It’s quite possible that he’s related to my Uncle Mort.)

You should see the miniature “pew” outside his office. Actually, it is “miniature” in width only; anyone who is even slightly “broad of beam” can fill it. A replica of the traditional pews in the sanctuary, it is only a few inches wider than an airline seat. Though it would be an oddity if placed near traditional pews, it would “fill” with warp speed.

The person “packing this pew” would be assured full use of both arm rests, the offering plate would pass in a flash, and the left hand would know what the right hand is doing.


Dr. Newbury is a former educator who speaks throughout Texas and the Southwest. Comments/inquiries to: Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: Twitter: @donnewbury; Facebook, don newbury.