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The Book of Calvin

A Collection of Humorous Essays

Copyright 2002 by Bobby Matherne
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Mr. Preston Builds His Dream House


Click to return Home Page. Photo of Bobby Matherne by Del In every man's life there comes a time when he wants to settle down. Instead Calvin decided to build a house. It began simply enough with his engagement to Katrina.

“Mr. Preston, it's Katrina on the phone,” Darlene's voice blared out of his intercom.

“Thanks, Darlene. By the way we're getting married soon. I'm giving her a cubic zucchinium engagement ring tonight.”

“Congratulations, Mr. Preston. That's a big decision.”

“Well, I'm not doing it willingly. I was caressed into it.”

Months later Calvin was talking to a contractor about building a new house for his bride.

“Come here and look at the architect's drawing and I'll show you where to make the alternations,” Calvin said. “Over here will be the bathroom. I want glass brick with lights on the floor here. No telling what lurks behind the toilet. Over there will be the bedroom, the room where . . . ” - at this point Calvin patted his hand and fist together to indicate sexual intercourse - “takes place, pardon the expression.”

Christina was in the other room watching her favorite TV show and Calvin called to her to turn down the volume. “That was Moe, Larry, and Joe, the Three Stooges,” Calvin said as he told the contractor goodbye.

Just then his good friend Charlie stopped by after his golf game. “Hey, Chuck, I see you've been out on the golf coast.”

“Yeah, Calvin, I was playing golf over at Hillcrest.”

“I remember when we played it last week, Chuck, it was so hilly I was on a cline all day.”

“That's the one. So why didn't you come today, Cal, we waited for you.”

“I had to take my son to the hospital. He got a nickel caught in his throat and they had to do a tracheometry on him. That's when the doctor cuts you at a right angle and Lord and Behold! The nickel pops out.”

“Well Cal,” Charlie said, “I'll stop by Jimmy's Bible College when I'm in Baton Rouge and ask him to pray for your son.”

“Thanks, Chuck -- that Jimmy Swaggner -- he sure makes the headway news.”

“So, how are you feeling, Cal?”

“Watch out, Chuck, I got that moving energy.” Calvin stood in a muscle pose and continued, “Look at this - have you ever seen a fatique like this?”

“No, Calvin, it certainly makes an indelible mark on my mind.”

“In . . . indeli . . . indeli-what?” Calvin stammered. “I can pronounce it, but I just can't say it.”

“Ignorance is bliss, I always say, Calvin,” Charlie commented.

“You stop blistering me, Chuck,” Calvin shot back.

“Look, Cal,” Charlie said, “I only stopped by to ask you to play golf tomorrow at the Fashion Golf Course with us.”

“That's the one in Hong Kong?” Calvin asked.

“No, Hahnville.”

“Hahnville or Hong Kong, what's the difference? Anyway I can't go tomorrow. I'm going to see the Israelites.”

“You mean the lights in the desert, Cal?”

“No, Chuck. It's the desert! Where they gonna plug 'em in?”

Just then the radio began playing the song, “Nine to Five.”

“Hey, that's that country songer Dolly Polly,” Calvin said, “the woman who bounces back.”

Something fell out of Charlie's pockets and Calvin reached down to get it. He handed it to Charlie, “Here, Chuck. It's your ball repair marker.”

“Thanks. You remember the last time we played the Fashion Course, Cal?”

“Yeah, Chuck. God was on the ball that day!”

“You mean how your ball hit the pond, skipped across it in two hops and landed on the green?”

“Yeah, my ball walked across the water!”

“That sure was lucky, Cal.”

“Yeah, Chuck, hit the ground, you can knock on wood!”

“By the way, I hear that Mikey got married in a fire station, is that true?” Charlie asked.

“Yep, he had excess to the fire station for the wedding reception. That sure was a wang-dang ding-dong of a time. When I got home I was schweating so much my wife sponge-toweled me. I told her 'Wash me, wax me, buff me dry!' and that's what she did.”

“What about the new house? How's it coming?”

“What house?” Calvin asked.

“The one you're building in Chalmette,” Charlie said.

“Oh, yeah, that one. I don't know how I could have forgot about it.”

“Nature abhors a vacuum, Calvin, that's why you forgot it.”

“Yeah, it filled my mind with a big ole void,” Calvin said quickly and then more thoughtfully he added, “I gotta floormat my mind.”

Charlie turned his head and in a high-pitched voice imitated Katrina's voice, “Calvin!”

Calvin spun around and said, “Oh, I thought I heard my voice! It was you, Chuck. You conned me, you old James Caan, you!”

“How do you spell 'Caan', Cal?”

“C, A, N, N,” Calvin said.

“Well, how do you spell 'Cannes' like in the French film festival?”

“Apostrophe, C, O, N - you gotta add the little hyphen up there 'cause it's French.”

“What?” Charlie asked.

“Oops, I should've put the hyphen at the end instead of the beginning.”

Charlie picked up a dictionary and showed Calvin the spelling of 'Cannes.'

“I can't read that, Chuck, the light is shining on it.”

“Well, I have to leave, Cal. I'm going deer hunting this evening.”

“Chuck, you kill Bambi's?”

“That's not what I call it, Cal. It's a sport.”

“When I die I'm gonna tell Walt Disney about you.”

“It's bow hunting, Cal. Like Orion the hunter. You know who he was, huh?”

“I know my Greek mythology, Chuck, I saw Holy Moses.”

“And what did you learn from it?”

“Never try to tie your shoe in a drawer, Big Boy.”

“That was the flaw in the ointment, I guess,” Charlie said.

“Was that a funny-so-funny, Chuck? You have a mind like memory. You beat me to the cake!” Calvin paused and looked around awhile, then turning to Charlie asked, “Say, are you hungry?”

“Yeah, how did you know?”

“I have this mental telepathy mind. Besides I'm starvion, too!”

“Okay, let's go to the kitchen,” Charlie nudged Calvin in the rear, causing him to jump.

“Excuse moi?” Calvin cried indignantly, then turned proudly to Charlie and said, “That's French, huh?” Then, once more assuming his indignant pose, said, “Don't push me, Chuck, I'm right behind you!”

Charlie noticed Calvin was chuckling and asked, “What are you laughing at?”

“I don't know why I'm laughing, but I'm gonna find out.”

“Calvin, you must have the cleanest brain in the world 'cause no thoughts ever go through it.”

“That's 'cause it's stored in memory, Chuck. There's nothing that comes in this ear and goes out that ear that doesn't stick in the middle.”

“Don't take offense, Cal.”

“I take offense at everything I do!”

“Look, Cal. You're becoming famous, you know.”


“Yes, famous. You know what happens to people who become famous, don't you?”

“Yeah, they die.”

“No, Calvin, they get quoted. Like yesterday, Kay told me when we finished cleaning out the garage, 'We've been as busy as two little beavers 'n a bee.'”

“I'm glad to know my etiquette is being passed around,” Calvin said. “Now stop that, Chuck, that's enough. Don't put any more fire on the flames.”

And for the rest of the day, Charlie didn't.

~^~^~^~^~^~^~^ Glossary for Book of Calvin Essays ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^
Did you have a problem understanding what original expression or figure of speech that Calvin worked his malapropic magic upon? If so, we've included a Glossary of terms for you to search so that you may restore your mind to its normal, pre-calvin condition upon finishing each chapter or the entire book.

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