Reflections in a Mirror (While Shaving): Part 17


I have a small scar over my left eye. I’m thinking of having it removed. The kind doctor looked at my mature body, jowls, receding hairline, saggy eyelids and said, “Why?” My problem is my doctors are too damned young.

The perfect Saturday afternoon bar… dark, sells ice-cold beer (only), has a small pool table, regulation size shuffleboard and a jukebox full of country-western. Probably best to move on down the road after dark.

January 1, 2010, 7 a.m. … can’t wait to jog my first mile of the New Year. Yes, yes, I can wait… maybe next year. If I could just get a running start on this resolution stuff.

I can’t bowl… never could… once finished last out of 200 (including men, women, children and maybe a goat)… I was presented a trophy showing a bowler dropping a ball on his foot. Anytime I start feeling a little full of myself, I think of that trophy.

Was I the only kid to start a matchbook collection by walking the alleys behind the local bars?

Things I miss from early childhood in Arkansas… cornbread and milk served in a water glass, churned butter, RC Cola and peanut patties, driving to market with my uncle and selling cucumbers from the back of his truck.

I can’t believe I buy things because they have a star or are recommended by someone I don’t know or a magazine I don’t read. What does half a star mean?

There is nothing more desirable than the shirt someone else has just taken off the rack. I didn’t want the shirt until someone else picked it up. Now I have it. No returns. Hey, you wanna buy a nice red/blue/brown shirt with a palm tree on the back?

Henhouse Lesson #1:

Teacher to class… “So, class, how do we protect the hens?”

Little Jonnie… “Oh, oh, pick me. Don’t let the fox in the henhouse!”

Teacher… “OK, class, how do we do that?”

Little Jonnie… “Oh, oh, I know… If the fox’s dad tells the owner his son is going to attack the henhouse, don’t issue the son a visa to visit the henhouse, especially without a passport.”

Teacher… “Jonnie, now you’re just being silly. Who would do that?”

Think about people you’ve met with a truly original speech pattern. Most of us want to talk like everyone else. Unique phrasing, pause and pace is immediately recognizable but I bet you a burger you can’t think of more than four people you’ve met who stand out as original.

Retired people generally seem happy, but would they do it all over again? My fear is that after a week of golf, fishing, planting/pruning, I would drift into a cycle of sleeping until noon and watching TV the rest of the time… hey, wait a minute. I like sleeping and TV.

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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6 Responses

  1. Avatar Charlie Price says:

    Yes, Arkansas.boyhood. Cornbread and milk in a water glass, cold RC – the special treat, and selling crawdads caught with bacon and string to the general store for eggs and cane candy. Thanks for the reminder. Charlie

  2. Avatar Steve Brewer says:

    I was partial to NuGrape soda.

  3. Avatar Paul Frye says:

    There's something wrong with sleeping late and watching a lot of t.v.?

  4. Avatar Janice Powell says:

    You owe me a burger!

    Not only am I an avid people watcher, I also love to listen to voices. Sometimes, I call a few of my favorites and just ask them some silly questions to hear them speak! I'll let you off the hook on the burger, though… because how would I know if they are truly original if I haven't heard everyone on the planet's voice?

    Love your thought provoking column, Doug!

  5. Avatar Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    I always love to hear what you think. People usually learn to talk like those around them when they're young, and after they have a basic grasp of the language they talk like their peers ….. or T.V. Some crazy people, woe betide, borrow great phrases from anything they hear, and if they can rememborize them, use them to give sparkle to an otherwise pedestrian activity….that is..talking.

  6. Avatar Eleanor says:

    So, Doug, this has to be four people we have actually met face to face in person, huh?, like not just someone you heard somewhere that would qualify, huh?, like maybe the Queen of England or Winston Churchill, or maybe Elvis, huh?Though that would only be three, but then of course there's my husband, whom I have met, so he would have to count, right?Or maybe you would count, though you don't know if we've met or not, though I know.  Weird, huh?And I'm thinking Mlle. de Joie might have a specific speech pattern, though I have no way of knowing if I've met her, right?So now you can tell I'm really trying for this burger prize here, Doug, but I'd have to know a couple more things about the burger itself, right?   Like, where would it be from (Maritime, perhaps, huh?) and would you yourself be there to present said burger, which may or may not make it a better deal, can't tell right now.And, hey, what about Clint Eastwood, huh?   Though I can't with a straight face say I have met him person to person in the same room, can I now, really?Huh?And do future events like seeing Sarah Palin personally on stage count, because I'm pretty sure she has a speech pattern all her own, well, kinda?  Doncha think, huh?I'm thinking we all need more information about the burger, Doug, if you want people seriously to come up with four actual personal acquaintances with odd speech patterns, which could, you know, actually hurt someone's feelings about how they talk, and stuff, if they didn't already know, so it would have to be worthwhile, burger-wise, right?Whaddy'a think, huh?   Make sense?Hey, if the burger situation's right, you KNOW I can come up with four names, right?Huh?