Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

I Will Work to 5 p.m.

It’s a beautiful Friday morning. A spectacular view from my deck

The sun is radiant. The birds are sweetly singing. The flowers drenched in dew.

But I will not be enjoying any of this amazing splendor

For I work from home and I’m due in my office soon

And I am an extremely dedicated employee, so                

I will work to 5 p.m.                                                       

Wow, the sun is so bright I can barely see the monitor

The soft, summer breeze gently flutters the papers on my desk

The view from the window is spectacular too. What a great day it is

But there is much work to be done, and I will do it

Because I am so thoroughly committed to the task. And

I will work to 5 p.m.

Now Mr. Bird is just tweeting up a storm

Just chirping away, since he can enjoy this beautiful day

He is not stuck in his home office doing useful work

He seems really happy, too happy

Shut your beak, Mr. Bird. I cannot join you, because

I will work to 5 p.m.

Oh, it’s so gorgeous outside and I am getting older

I may not have many of these wonderful days left

But there are important spreadsheets to produce

Critical reports to write, and essential emails to send

So even though I am tempted to escape this

I will work to 5 p.m.

Yes, I will work hard and I will work well

Unfazed by the glory before me

There, I have completed some work!

What time is it? Maybe 5 p.m.????

Mr. Clock says it’s only 10:37. This is so unfair, but

I will work to 5 p.m.

Ah, lunchtime out on the deck

The sun is hot now, but the day is exceptional

I finish my sammich and ice tea

Perhaps I can stay here awhile longer

Enjoying God’s beauty and creation, but no

I will work to 5 p.m.

Whoa, my neighbor next door is sunbathing in her thong bikini

Look at how the sweat glistens on her body

Maybe I could go over and visit with her?

I could offer to rub sunscreen all over her body

But I won’t, and she won’t distract me, because

I will work to 5 p.m.

A day like this is for frolicking

For running barefoot through the grass

For stopping to smell the flowers

For basking in the cozy sun

But none of that for me! For

I will work to 5 p.m.

I know the people at headquarters are working hard

Even though I have not received an email or call from them in hours

Look, the report says it is warm and sunny there too!

I’m sure they are all inside producing excellence also

I will not let them down. I will venture on. I will finish the week strong

I will work to 5 p.m.

And look! It is 5 p.m.!

I know it was a bad idea to listen to that Jimmy Buffet song

But it is really is 5 o’clock somewhere                                    

And it’s immaterial that Mr. Clock can be manually adjusted

Who trusts those satellite-controlled clocks anyway? So,

I will work to 5 p.m.

It’s time to bask and frolic in the sun

To listen and appreciate Mr. Bird’s song

To lounge around and enjoy the day

To relax on the deck with something bolder than iced tea

And look! My neighbor needs another coat of sunscreen!

And I am proud of myself, because

I have worked to 5 p.m.!
(Sort of)

Note: I will be taking my traditional summer break to work on editing my third book.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Poor Nathan – Poor, Poor Nathan

The scorching Florida sun was baking me like a potato. The heat index just hit triple digits; my bald head drenched with sweat. My long day on the beach was done.

I longed for the cooling jet of the spray station and my air-conditioned hotel
room. But it would be a most laborious journey back there. My right foot was badly swollen due to illness. I began the trek, every step on the shifting sands was painful.

I just needed to get across the beach to the spray station, an oasis as it were. I craved the cool water pouring over my steamed body, washing all the sand away. I trudged on, foot throbbing, hoping there would be no waiting at that fountain. I was fried, tired, thirsty and in pain.

I was joyful when I spotted the two spray stations up ahead. One was open, the other occupied by a mother and her two small children. I would be able to rinse off quickly and be on my way.

But then suddenly I spot three people off in the distance headed right for the open spray station. Under normal conditions, I would have quickened my pace and arrived there well before them. But I had no pace, I had one speed, a slow slog. I was still fifty feet away, when they got to the open shower. I felt like the Biblical paralytic who was always too late getting to the pool.

My attention quickly shifted to the young mother. She had already rinsed herself and was finished washing her daughter. All she had to do is clean her young boy and that spray station was mine!

But I watched in horror as the boy left his mother’s side and scurried about twenty feet away. I didn’t know his name, but soon everyone in the general vicinity would.

"NATHAN, NATHAN! Come here and get rinsed”, she yelled.

But poor Nathan was being a little snot, and Nathan would not come.


But poor Nathan would not budge. He then turned his back to his mother and pretended not to hear her.

The woman was getting upset and screeched “NATHAN, NATHAN! GET OVER HERE NOW!”

Poor Nathan responded to this by moving another five feet from her, never even looking back.

She screamed, “NATHAN, NATHAN, RIGHT NOW !!!”

But poor Nathan was now being a little $h!+ and didn’t even flinch.
And into this drama, now enters the fat, middle-age, bald guy, perspiring greatly from the agonizing trudge across the hot sand.

What to do, what to do? I could wait for that little $h!+ Nathan to obey his mother and get rinsed, or I could step up, pull that lever and feel the cool water running over my sweltering body.

I suppose the charitable thing to do would have been to join the mother in a chorus of pleas for poor Nathan and wait patiently for him to respond.

Her: Nathan, please come Nathan

Me: Oh poor Nathan, please go to your mother like a good boy. Nathan, don’t be such a little $h!+. Come Nathan, please come. Your mother beckons you, Nathan.

Well, I’m not the nurturing type and who knows how long it was going to take to get poor Nathan over to that spray station?  And the sun was hot. Did I mention the heat and sweat and all that? And my foot ….

So without hesitation, and without even looking at the woman, I walked right over to the shower and turned on the water. And what happened next?

You have never seen a five-year-old run twenty-five faster than poor Nathan did. I actually didn’t see it. I was too busy washing off. But I heard him arrive back at the spray station, gasping for air.

“But it was my turn”, poor Nathan declared. Poor Nathan, poor, poor Nathan.
And poor Nathan was correct. It was his turn, but because he had been such a little /$h!+, he had now lost his turn. And now it was my turn. Poor Nathan, poor, poor Nathan.

Poor Nathan kept protesting, as his mother explained he would now have to wait. Of course, I totally ignored him. Yes, how does it feel poor Nathan when someone ignores you, like you just ignored your mother?  It doesn’t feel very good, now does it? Poor Nathan, poor, poor Nathan.

And then poor Nathan began to cry. Oh, not real tears. It was that fake-y type of crying and a weak attempt at it, I must say. It was so lame, I had to keep from laughing out loud, but of course I kept my head down as I smirked (I’m a smirker). Poor Nathan, poor, poor Nathan.

I finished washing up, neither going faster, nor slower, than I normally would. I turned off the water and left the area without acknowledging the mother or the boy. I imagine poor Nathan did not have to be persuaded much to rinse off this time.

Now you make consider me a big snot or even a big $h!+ for my conduct, but I have no guilt, no remorse. I feel that I was a guru teaching this youth an important truth. And poor Nathan learned a valuable life lesson that day about seizing an opportunity before it disappears. Sometimes these lessons are painful. Not as painful as dragging a swollen foot across the beach, but painful nonetheless. Poor Nathan, poor, poor Nathan.

As I trudged back to the hotel, I couldn’t help to lament over and over again. Poor Nathan, poor, poor Nathan.