Reflections in a Mirror (While Shaving): Part 14


I walked into a 7-11 to buy a paper…”Yo, Mr. Weight Watcher, over here”… a rectangle of crusty, sugar-coated dough fried in pig fat was calling to me.

I checked the app on my phone…no calories listed just a blinking red light and a hysterical voice screaming, “run”.

So of course I bought it and dripped grease on my shirt while eating it in three bites. The Weight Watcher Mind Patrol tracked me down (the shirt stain?) and broke my “point” counter over my now enlarged butt.

I think I need another paper and maybe this time a cup of coffee to wash it down.

Things I’ve given up with the years…

  • Garlic
  • Late nights
  • Hair gel…why bother
  • Break dancing…yeah, right.

A lot of things can be faked but not the laugh that crinkles the eyes. Everything goes better with crinkles.

People in my profession are supposed to be wordsmiths, expert in the use of words. I’m more like a wordjones. I’m sometimes muddled and confused and tongue-tied…even in written form. Case in point…when I named one of my favorite eateries, I meant to say Thai Bistro…chef Umnaj Phutsangdee. Because I’m under pressure, I’ve probably wordjones(ed) this again.

(I can see Doni and Kelly, half way through the last paragraph, cringing, not crinkling, asking themselves…”what language is this?…will he make it to the end of the thought?”… I was a little worried myself)

I thought I saw Mlle. de Joie sitting at a corner table at the Thai Bistro, furiously taking notes, but the hood and sunglasses obscured most of her face. Note: If any restaurant owners recognize me and want to extend extra courtesies, I’ll gladly take what Mlle de Joie doesn’t want.

I even thought of sitting a sign prominently on my table…”good reviews for free food”…but someone suggested I consult an attorney first. Paying a lawyer kind of defeats the attempt at freebies.

These truths I hold to be self-evident: the only tattoo that looks good on a man is the one he got in the service. On the other hand, anything less than five on a woman can be sorta interesting. I get the sagging-at-60 argument (for both sexes) but saggy is not somehow better because it is tattoo-less.

How do you make a porcupine go away? One ambled into my yard…neighbor cat wanted to dust it up with the creature. Yelling, throwing rocks didn’t work. While you’re thinking about it, how do you make a raccoon go away? Ground squirrel? In the late evening the squirrel sits near his entrance, wind blowing through his fur, surveying the nice lawn I planted for him…so many tunnels to dig… so little time.

How pleased is “pleased as punch?” I was at least that pleased at growing my very first casaba melon. Always a miserable failure in the past, this year I bought expensive designer seeds, carefully planted and watered often…didn’t work…threw some seeds from a fresh melon in a shallow hole on a rocky hill and…I can’t eat them fast enough.

There’s some kind of valuable lesson here but eating so much melon has clouded my thought process…think I’ll go check out the squirrel’s new digs.

Doug Mudford is a lawyer and partner at Barr & Mudford, with an emphasis on serious personal injury. He may be reached at Barr & Mudford, 1824 Court St., Redding, 530.243.8008. Send questions for “That Lawyer Guy” to

Doug Mudford
is a lawyer and partner at Barr & Mudford, with an emphasis on serious personal injury. He may be reached at Barr & Mudford, 1824 Court St., Redding, (530) 243-8008, or
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12 Responses

  1. Avatar Steve Brewer says:

    How do you make a porcupine go away? Tell him he's pointless.

  2. Avatar Pat j. says:

    Thanks for the morning smiles!! BUT, why would anyone give up garlic??

    • Avatar Doug Mudford says:

      Oh I went kicking and screaming into the night before giving up garlic. It was an ultimatum from my stomach that decided the issue. As a teen growing up in Arcata, one of my favorite foods was garlic fries from the Burger Bar…the all-time "date is over" snack.

  3. Avatar Steve Fischer says:

    Whatever you gave up garlic for – give that up and go back to garlic.
    I had raccoons on my grape arbor, having a family picnic at 3:00 AM and arguing loudly over who got which choice bunch. I walked under them and jabbed up into their bellies with a broom handle. They make a nasty grunting bark noise, but they go away. They haven't been back, but the grapes were all gone, so maybe there's no reason to return.
    I have a former Green Beret friend that says raccoons and porcupines are good eating. Another reason not to give up garlic.

  4. Avatar Helen T. says:

    I can give you a list of ways to get rid of the "vermin" in your yard. But, send the squirrels over to my yard-I like them! Also, I thought garlic was supposed to be good for you. Of course I have an Italian background, so I might be prejudiced.

  5. Avatar Pat j. says:

    Speaking of garlic fries…Trader Joe's has some wonderful ones. woo hoo

  6. Avatar Eleanor T says:

    Well, I saw in Mlle de Joie's latest review that she now calls herself "Femme de Joie" (for those of us who are not French, the change is from "Miss" to "Mrs.) I tried to contact her with felicitations, but you (I) cannot get through that particular labyrinthe without giving up your first born. Mine refused to go.

    However, Doug, as in your profession you may already know, anyone indoors with a hood and sunglasses is bound (read : wants to) attract attention – heaven knows I have done so myself to various effects. Try it sometime – such fun!

    Anyways, I gave up ANYTHING that had been remotely NEAR garlic when I passed by a man in Paris who was clearly heavily into garlic AND Gauloises. That will rid anyone of the habit (maybe both habits) tout de suite………………..

    Looking forward to Part 15.

  7. Femme de Joie Femme de Joie says:

    Dear Mr. Mudford,

    Silly boy. Femme de Joie is a clean-plate ranger. There are no leftovers.

    The only freebies that have been offered to moi did not arrive, since it was made clear to the giver (Troon Winery in Southern Oregon) that it would be noted on Menuplease that the wine was unsolicited, free, and with no personal interest in the winery. Apparently this discouraged them.

    Eleanor, yes, we do regret that leaving a comment is a bit of a chore; however, this prevents serial spammers and undesireables who are known to lurk around LiveJournal and leave unbelievably vile comments on unsuspecting blogs. Thus, the safety measures taken. You may leave anonymous comments which will be published once read and approved.


    Femme de Joie

  8. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Dear Femme de Joie:

    Why not take this opportunity to step into the spotlight? After all some of the most famous food critics reveled in the publicity. The danger of seclusion is that it becomes an end in itself… hell, I don't know what that means either but you have to work with me here.

    Let's review the same restaurant, let ten others go to the same place and vote on the "most accurate" review. The loser buys the winner a meal at the same restaurant.

    Thank you Eleanor:

    I've never actually tried the hood/sunglass "disguise" but that may be fun.

    Dear Helen:

    I'll take the list but the squirrel stays.

    Steve F.

    I'm not poking any raccoon in the stomach. Wow you are a brave man.

    Steve B:

    YOU tell the porcupine he's pointless. As I remember he was 10 feet around the middle.

    • Femme de Joie Femme de Joie says:

      Femme de Joie must decline the opportunity to step into the spotlight. She prefers to keep the veil pulled over her delicate, easily-freckled features.

      P.S. Try squirting the porcupine with a hose.

  9. Avatar Janice Powell says:


  10. Avatar Tony Brown says:

    I don't know If I said it already but …This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I'm glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Tony Brown