After 40 years as a computer programmer and game developer—and the passing of his wife of 47 years—Rick has retired and is now living in Ye Olde Folks Home, where he still tinkers with tech and likes to write these amusing and/or thoughtful tales about his storied life.

An Embarrassing Moment
In Memoriam: Betty Edwards-Vessel
A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing
Who Would Jesus Stab?
The Eggshell Incident
First Chapel Service at Ye Olde Folks Home
A Yearly Ritual at Menards
“Mr. Loftus, the Town Hero”
The FCAL Project
Pepe Le Pew Finds New Lodgings
In Memoriam: Dale Lear
Bingo Bedlam at Ye Olde Folks Home
There’s a Shortage of Perfect Movies…
One Day at the DMV
A Visitor from Microsoft
“He Who Should Not Be Named”
Downton… Abbey?
This Home is a Liver-Free Zone
My 9/11 Rememberances
My Yearly Pumpkin Spice Rant
Done In By Baker’s Square
My Eulogy for Alice
“Dear Rikki…”
A Clean, Well-lighted Place for Books
Memories of my First Computer
A Little Excitement at the Staff Meeting
The Tale of Mrs. Butler
Sun, Sand, and a Margarita
“Thou Shalt Not Steal”
Troubleshooting at Ye Olde Folks Home
Stories of my Mother
I’ve Heard Angels Sing
Elevator Mishap at the Eye Clinic
One Day at Fair, Isaac
Saturday Morning Cartoons
A Sprig of Parsley
Fun With Recruitment Ads
Leave Her to Heaven
Bring me Dave Bringle!
Beware! The Oldsters Are Coming!
Life Among the Progressives
A Family Ritual While Watching Masterpiece
The Unforgettable General Oppy
“Don’t Even THINK About Parking Here”
A Dubious Plan Gone Awry
The Singing Christmas Tree!
One Day in the Hospital Lab
The Legend of the Broken Timer
Nelson’s Fruit Stand
This One Time in Glee Club…
Star Trek References for the Win
Family Psalm, Stuck in Lodi
Vacation in Branson
Clyde and Ruth Revisited
COVID Policies During my Wife’s Fatal Illness
I Guess I’m the Shadow IT Department Now
The Tale of Clyde and Ruth
My Garden of Gethsemane Story
We Might Get a Virus!

This One Time in Glee Club…

When I was in Glee Club in high school I got to be pretty good friends with one of my classmates, a certain Michael Morris, who happened to be an exchange student from the UK.

Michael was a diminutive lad, fair of face and comely in appearance, with his naturally curly hair in tight ringlets; all the girls were quite aflutter. He had that dashing English accent too, of course. And his singing voice was that of an angel.

I don’t know whose idea this was, but our instructor got it into his head that Michael should sing a special song for one of our productions, a song so spectacularly inappropriate by today’s standards, so cringe-tastic, that to this day I can’t imagine why anyone would greenlight such a thing.

Who composed this song? I think it was Michael himself, which would quadruple the cringe factor.

Michael A+ Morris, from the 1968 Analy High School yearbook. Yes, he was an A+ student.

Anyway, I can still remember the song, and its melody, to this day:

🎵 My mother said, “Michael, it’s not nice, 🎵
🎵 To kiss all the girls and cuddle them, 🎵
🎵 Treat them with gentlemanly courtesy, 🎵
🎵 And decorum.” 🎵

At this point our director instructed him to really lean into that English accent:

But it EES nice!
And I LIKE eet!

And now came the rollicking chorus:

🎵 Give me a kiss, a kiss, a kiss, yum yum! 🎵
🎵 A kiss, a kiss, a kiss, yum yum! 🎵
🎵 A kiss, a kiss, a kiss, yum yum! 🎵
🎵 Give me a kiss, a kiss, a kiss! 🎵

I was always a bit of a class clown, so at this point during one of the first rehearsals, I muttered, sotto voce, “No, thanks!”

The class exploded into laughter, but our director stiffened in indignation. “Who said that!?”

Twenty-seven fingers pointed immediately in my direction.

“Well, at least it was a guy,” he grumbled.

Michael’s song was a hit, especially among the distaff set.

One of the myriad girls that took a fancy to young Michael noted that we were friends, and approached me with a brusque command: “Introduce me to Michael!”

“What? I don’t even know you!”

Well, okay. She could fix that. She started flirting with me, “accidentally” dropping things near me so I would helpfully pick them up for her, thus forging a connection between us.

That didn’t work, partly because she was so obvious that I was on to her instantly, and partly because I was too socially awkward to interact with girls in that manner.

The other girls began to giggle at how gloriously her plans were failing, so she soon gave up on this obtuse idiot. I’m sure she found another of Michael’s many other friends to finagle instead.