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The Book of Calvin

A Collection of Humorous Essays

Copyright 2002 by Bobby Matherne
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Insult Thy Fellow Neighbors


This is one of my favorites and a good example of the fun Calvin has with the English language. Bobby Matherne

Click to return Home Page. Photo of Bobby Matherne by Del Calvin was having lunch with his friend Robert when suddenly a friend noticed Robert and approached their table.

“Robert!” he said, in his forceful salesman voice, as he came up to their table.

“Louis!” Robert said back, just as forcefully.

“Stevenson!” Calvin said. The two friends laughed as Louis sat down and joined them.

“Hi, Cal, so you've heard of Robert Louis Stevenson, huh?” Lou asked.

“Sure. He was the guy who wrote music while he was in the steamboat business.”

“I think maybe you're thinking of Samuel Clemens, Cal,” Lou said, trying to be helpful.

“Except he didn't write any music,” Robert added.

“Okay, okay, I didn't mean to rumple your ruffles, guys,” Calvin said. The two friends laughed again, knowing from long experience that trying to correct Calvin only led to more malapropisms.

“What's the matter with your hair, Cal? Was your barber deported? It's hanging over your collar with little pieces curling up,” Lou said.

“Go ahead, insult thy fellow neighbors,” Calvin said haughtily, “That's just my wing-tips -- I'm gonna get them cut tonight. Besides I'm not a gourmet-looking guy, you know.” They had Calvin going now, and they weren't going to let up easily.

“Might as well go to your barber this afternoon,” Rob said. “You didn't do anything all morning.”

“Yea, Rob, sure,” Calvin countered indignantly, “I just sat there with my fingers sticking up my butt.”

"Calvin,” Lou said, “you must have the cleanest brain in the world because no thoughts ever go through it.”

“That's cause it's stored in memory, Big Boy,” Calvin said. He opened the top button on his shirt and placed his right hand under his left armpit. Raising and lowering his left arm quickly he made several suspicious sounds. “There!” he said proudly, “You can take that to the bank and cash it in!” Lou responded with sounds of his own, louder ones, in fact. The two were back in grade school with the teacher out of the classroom.

Meanwhile Cindy had come to take Lou's order and had been watching the show. “What ya’ll doing, Cal?”

“Oh, Cindy,” Calvin said, “I didn't see you. Lou and I were just fart boxing.”

“O - kay,” she said with a puzzled look on her face, “here are your salads, guys. Now, Lou, what can I get for you?”

As Lou gave her his order, Calvin got ready to attack his salad.

“You look hungry, Cal,” Rob said.

“I gotta give it the old flavor-taste.”

"The flavor-taste?"

"Yes, the flavor-taste test."


As Cindy left with his order, Calvin looked intently at her blouse. “I think I can see right through that blouse, guys.”

“No, you can't see through clothes,” Lou said.

“I can, too, see through clothes!” Calvin said indignantly. “You don't know what my eyes look like.”

Lou looked over at Calvin and, deciding to change the subject, said, “Where are you going in that outfit, Cal?” Calvin had a white golf shirt and plaid pants on.

“Golfing -- you never saw a golfing outfit before?”

“Not like that.”

“Well, I'll have you know I look just like Tom Paine with these golf clothes on -- I mean Stewart Payne, no, Payne Stewart. Never mind, I will keep my mouth silent and just eat my rabbit food.”

“Hey guys, mind if I join you?” It was their friend Tim. He looked like he was dressed for golf, too, but he usually wore a tee shirt with horizontal stripes. It made him look like he was headed for the golf course or the beach on any given day. At least he didn't have plaid pants on.

“Don't you think Calvin's hair is too long, Tim?” Lou asked as Tim took the open seat at the table.

"I don't think so. I wore my hair much longer than that in the 70's. All the girls liked my long hair. My dad didn't like it, so I told him, 'Dad, am I fucking you?' He shut up after that.”

“Tim,” Calvin said, looking up from his salad, “you have very bowel language.”

"Calvin, did anybody ever call you an idiot?"

“I've been called worse,” Calvin answered between forkfuls of salad. Since his dual kidney-pancreas transplant Calvin's appetite had soared, and he seemed to eat incessantly. With his diabetes a thing of the past, he seemed to have lost both his discrimination about what to eat and how much. His previously gaunt figure was now full, but still slender. His friends had various bets on how long slender would last. The immuno-suppressant medicine he was taking for his transplants had the side effect of causing his hair to grow excessively and he was teased for this, especially by Tim.

“Look at your hair! You even got hair growing on your ears,” Tim said, tugging at Calvin's ear as he examined it up close. “You gotta get this stuff trimmed off. You look like an orangutan.”

“Hey, you almost ripped my ear sockets out, you cosmo-retard. You stop snorkeling in my ear or I'll bite your face off. Besides it takes a lot of TLC and washing to wash all them hairs up.”

“Okay, Cal,” Tim said, backing off, “it's just that you look like some Frankenstein monster with all that hair sticking out.”

“Hey, I saw Marty Feldman at the Halloween dance last night, hump and all.”

"Calvin, he's dead."

“I know. They had to re-erect him, Smarty Pants.”

"Cal, you're always a dollar short and a nickel late," Tim said scornfully.

“I liked him in the movie Young Frankenstein,” Lou said, “especially the way his hump moved from side to side.”

“I remember that movie -- I saw it on a cruise ship with my second-wife-to-be-at-the-time. When they attacked the monster, he had blood spearing out of him all over. Those are my favorite movies, T&M, Tits and Monsters. I was being nonsellant, but she got all upset by the blood, so we went to the back of the cruise ship to watch the sunset going down.”

“How long have you two been separated, Calvin?” Rob asked.

“She's been gone three years -- that's almost a thousand days.”

“Did you ever sell her that house with the fancy yard?” Lou asked.

“Hey, I pride in my yard, Lou, you gotta know that about me. Anyway, I'm working on selling it. She's still not in agreeance with getting the title changed, so until then, we're still happily-owned property owners.”


Cindy brought their entrees and side orders and set them on the table. “Oh, boy,” Calvin said, “mushroonies, my favorite.”

“That Cindy sure is a healthy gal,” Tim said, admiring Cindy as she walked back to the kitchen.

“Yeah, that's some fateek she has,” Calvin said. “I ran into her when I was going to the restroom yesterday. Ever been hit by oncoming boobs, Tim?”

“Not those, Cal.”

“You should see the gals at the health club - are they stacked! It's a heartbreaking, throbbing situation.”

“Well, Briggs, my dog, ain't throbbing no more since we had him neutered,” Tim said. “He just lies there looking sad. I can tell it pessimates him.”

“That's your Alaska-Siberian husky, huh? Well, I have a new dog,” Calvin said brightly. “It's a WotWhiler with an Awuminum collar.”

The three friends laughed, which embarassed Calvin. He always has trouble saying the word aluminum. “What kind of collar did you say?” Lou asked.

“You know, a metal one,” Calvin said, carefully avoiding the A word.

“And the kind of dog you got?” Rob asked.

“One of those . . . devil dogs. The kind they had in that movie with Earl Jones James -- that guy with three first names. I don't know which one to put first.”

“Well, guys, you can stay here and gab. I'm going play golf. Anybody wanna come with me?” Lou said.

“Shall we tallyho?” Calvin said. “Wait. My clubs are in my car. Thou guess thou takes a walk over to thou's car and gets thou's clubs?”

“Do you mean me or you, Calvin?” Lou asked. He was used to Calvin's unique style of speech, but the meaning of this statement escaped him.

“I mean me, of course, I'm a thou and he's a thee. Or is it he's the thou and I'm the thee?”

“Never mind. I'll see you at the car. See you later, guys,” Lou said as he waved goodbye to Rob and Tim.

“Hey, Lou, we're going in a few minutes, too,” Tim said. “See you at the clubhouse.”


After Lou and Calvin left, Tim and Rob slowly finished their lunch. They found it hard to eat when Calvin was on one of his verbal creation rolls. They were grateful to have time to let their stomachs muscles rest from all the laughing and enjoy the rest of their meal.

“Did you hear what happened in the factory last night on the evening shift, Rob?” Tim asked.

“No, what?”

“You know how the assembly line operators and the mechanics are always bad-mouthing each other?”

“Sure, it's funny they haven't come to blows.”

“Well, Koubie heard Al the mechanic talking about how dumb the operators were and decided to teach him a lesson. He arranged for a mechanic friend of his to give a piece of chewing gum to Al. The chewing gum made Al's mouth turn blue and Al went around all worried, showing people his tongue and asking them if they knew what was wrong.

"Suddenly Koubie appeared in the shop where Al and the guys were and pulled out his thing -- it was painted blue -- the same color as Al's mouth. 'Perhaps this explains it.' Koubie said, then he turned and left. You should have seen the look on Al's face. He kept his mouth shut for the rest of the shift, they tell me.”

“That's a whoot!” Rob said. “That Koubie is some clown, all right. He pulled a fast one on that new Vietnamese guy, Tom, in purchasing the other day. Asked him to buy him a sky hook.”

“Isn't that the yipper tubing guy?”

“Right. He can't say a zee sound, so zipper tubing comes out yipper tubing. One day he called me with a part number that I'd asked him for and he said, 'The part number is 'one-yero-seven-A-yero-yero-yero-one-yero.' I had to hang up the phone so I could start laughing.”

“So Koubie told him he needed a sky hook -- what happened?”

“It was during a turnaround and Tom was the only one in purchasing. Tom called Koubie about four P.M. and said, 'I'm ready to leave -- do you need anything?'

'Yes -- a sky hook,' Koubie said deadpan.

'What's that?'

'No time to explain. Look in the catalog.'

'What equipment is the sky hook part of?'

'The Which-Em.'

Tom called back a few minutes later. He had found the QC inspector and put him on the phone with Koubie. 'Tom says you need a sky hook,’ the inspector said. ‘ Is that the electric or the manual crank style?'

'Manual,' Koubie replied. Anyway finally Tom caught on and everybody had a good laugh. It seems that one of the cranes for the factory floor is listed as a sky hook in the catalog and that made it even harder for Tom.” Rob finished the story and they laughed as they finished up their coffee.

“The loading dock episode, did you hear about that?” Tim asked.

“No, I don't think so.”

“During that same turnaround, the mechanics had sent a crew of five guys to work on the Loading Dock A and the operators had a couple of guys on Loading Dock B.

"Koubie got this bright idea and called the guys on Dock A. He said he was a security officer looking at them through binoculars from the General Office. Would they mind holding their badges high over their heads so he could verify that they were employees?

"Koubie said that you should have seen them jumping up and down waving their badges like idiots. The operators nearly wet themselves laughing at them. Don't know if the mechanics ever found out the truth about that episode.”

“Hey, look at the time,” Rob said, pointing to his watch. “We gotta get over to the golf course to meet Lou and Calvin.”


As they walked up to Calvin, they heard him yelling at Lou, “You asshole anonymous! I'll cornhusker you!”

“What's the matter, Cal?” Tim asked.

“That Lou -- he goosed me with his nine iron. I must've jumped three feet in the air. I'm having trouble keeping my humor up.”

“Calvin, I think your golf glove goes on your left hand,” Rob said.

“I'm a rightie, Rob, not a leftie.”

“Come on, Cal, you go first,” Lou said, reaching around and goosing Calvin again with his nine iron.

“Yeek!” Calvin said, jumping to one side away from Lou. “You go first, Lou. I don't want to be in front of you or behind you. In fact, you can go to hell. The devil can't wait to get you down there. He's gonna have a kick with your ass.”

“Oh, don't be an old dodo, Calvin,” Lou said.

“I'm not a prehistoric bird, you dog bag, -- I watch the Flintstones, you know.”

And no doubt he will for a long time.

Now that you've read one of my favorites, try another one from this Collection of 20 Humorous Essays.
For background information on how the Book of Calvin came about, read Book 1.

To Read a Specific Essay, Click on Its Number:
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