The Rest of the Story

Folks of a certain mature age, like you people, will likely remember Paul Harvey (1918 – 2009).

Paul Harvey Aurandt was an American radio broadcaster for ABC News Radio from about 1951 to 2008. At one time his program was carried on 1,200 radio stations and reached as many as 24 million people per week.

He was quite the character with a distinctive voice, clever catch phrases and unique style of delivery. He is credited with making up numerous words that were later adopted into common parlance such as “guesstimate,” “skyjacker,” and “Reaganomics.” He and his wife were founding members of the Humane Society.

He was a rather staunch conservative who was awarded by President George W. Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Some of his political views might have been construed as divisive but many of his programs were simply folksy stories, albeit of dubious authenticity. He liked tall tales.

Every day he’d begin a broadcast with, “Hello, Americans! I’m Paul Harvey.” Then after he started his story, and before the next break, he’d say, “In a moment…. the rest of the story….” And at the very end he would say, “Now you know…the rest of the story.”

Well, today you will get to know the rest of the story about…The Racing Possums (RPs) and some other stuff.

Remember this ad from Amazon? Pretty impressive, eh?

As you’ll probably not recall, because you actually have a life, at our last exciting narrative Amazon had delayed delivery of the RPs. At the time it was a tremendous disappointment but not nearly as disappointing as actually seeing the RPs for the first time.

From the outset, I knew something was amiss. How could a set of Racing Possums possibly be so compressed as to fit in the tiny package that arrived at my front door? Was it a miracle of Amazon distribution? Probably not, because we all know that an order of the smallest item from Amazon will arrive in a huge box full of those silly little air pillow cushions.

Wait. Is this a “Set of 3 Racing Possums?”

I once ordered a hammer from Amazon and sure enough it was bubble wrapped in a box that could hold a sofa. But I digress.

I unwrapped the RPs and discovered that somewhere along the delivery route the possums must have been struck by that famous TV trope, the Shrink Ray. These were not scaled like the large and hardy Opossums that I was expecting. No, these were tiny figurines on microscopic wheels and frankly more closely resembled rats than the famous marsupials with non-functioning placentas (look it up).

The Incredible Shrinking Possum
Small Milk Bone added for scale.

Max didn’t know what to make of these things. He eyeballed them closely, sniffed, tried a lick and then scoffed at the notion that human beings paid good money to procure such foolishness. I had to agree and even sniffed and licked one to be sure.

Max says, ” I sniffed, I tasted, I didn’t like it.”

As to racing performance, the RPs continued to disappoint. They lacked power and speed and seemed hell-bent to head any direction except straight. This made racing the possums a difficult proposition since no one could agree where the finish line was located. Max refused to chase the things; it wasn’t worth the effort.

The RPs run like a drunk man drives.

The RPs were ultimately relegated to my home office where they presently occupy a place of shame along with several other gift items that came up short compared to expectations.

Now they sit in the Hall of Gifting Shame.
The RPs paying homage to Hedgie.

Which brings me to the Lazy Susan.

Guys, here is a Protip from somebody who knows: do not, I mean DO NOT, gift your spouse with a Lazy Susan at Christmas.

Being a practical soul I figured that a nice Lazy Susan (LS) would be a welcome addition to the table in our “breakfast nook” as the real estate people say. It would make easy the passing of food and condiments; no need for the AJF to execute what my sainted Grandmother called “the boarding house reach.” So I researched Lazy Susans, carefully measured the available space and diligently reviewed the ratings on Amazon before committing to what I thought was the perfect LS.

I thought it might warm the cockles of her heart.

Oh, I also found out that the first known reference to something called a “Lazy Susan” was in 1917, in Vanity Fair, when a department store called Ovington’s advertised a 16-inch rotating mahogany tray. The store’s ad said: “$8.50 forever seems an impossibly low wage for a good servant; and yet here you are; Lazy Susan, the cleverest waitress in the world.” They may have been a tad sexist back in 1917.

Armed with such a strong though somewhat dated recommendation, I snagged a nice LS, wrapped it with a big bow and proudly gave it to the Alpha Japanese Female on December 25th. It landed like the proverbial passed gas in a cathedral. She pretended to be enthused but what gave away her true emotions were those cold eyes. Those cold almond-shaped eyes. The AJF was not amused.

Fortunately, I had other offerings and knew that one in particular was guaranteed to please. See, much earlier I had conspired with my good friend, the very talented Leslie Bowman, to procure a second oil portrait of Max, specifically one sized to fit on the desk in the AJF’s home office since Leslie’s original portrait ended up hung in our living room.

Pride of Place. Note Hedgie and numerous dog treats.

The AJF was delighted with the depiction of her favorite puppy and I was able to return to celebrating the true spirit of Christmas which is, of course, eggnog and football. With the gift of the portrait, all previous merchandising sins were forgiven, even the racing possum debacle. Possibly the Lazy Susan incident too but that’s not entirely certain yet.

I guess it’s a good thing that I stifled my desire to buy her a nice set of Racing Blobfish.

Despite 3rd bullet point: “…plastic blobfish look bleak…” I think the AJF might like them.

Anyway, as Paul Harvey might have said, “And now you know…the rest of the story.

Happy New Year to you all.

94 replies

    • It does look a bit like a shrine, doesn’t it. The Malt thinks that’s wholly appropriate. Thanks for a beautiful portrait, Leslie. It saved my bacon when the Lazy Susan offering failed to impress.


  1. I’m very sad that the racing possums arrived less than spectacular. I was hoping for happy tail wags from Max instead of yawns. But the blob fish are terrifying. They need to stay in whatever lost corner Amazon has hidden them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder what sort of person wakes in the morning and decides to create a friction powered blob fish, fully confident that said aberrations will sell on Amazon? The company that makes the blobfish has a full line of horrors including, if you can believe it, a department of gory stage props of the ty[e seem in horror movies.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE the portrait of Max. Outstanding!

    The RP’s are just another one of your debacles Tom. I bet when you order from Amazon your name is passed through the rank and file and everyone gathers at a pre-determined area to witness what the fool has ordered now.

    Glad to see sharp-witted Max wanted nothing to do with those creatures from hell. Unfortunately his dim-witted DogDad is a bit slow.

    Lazy Susan! We had one for years when I was a kid. My evil brother and angelic me used to see how hard we could spin it without anything fly off! Something, often many things, flew off every time. The full sugar bowl was the best!

    Hey! You can put the RP’s on the Lazy Susan, all in a line, spin it for all it’s worth, and they will race for you Tom. Believe me, they WILL move! 🤪

    Happy New Year one and all. Thanks for all the laughs this past year. Love to Max from Murphy and me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, the portrait is pretty snazzy. We’ve been debating about Max’s expression. We both think he’s giving us the “I am a superior dog” sort of look. I take full blame for the failure of the Racing Possum purchase. I’m sure somewhere in the fine print was a description of their size but I missed it. I got too excited by the prospect of owning my very own RP. Given the reception of the Lazy Susan I fear the AJF may put me on it and give it a massive spin, launching me into the next zipcode if I ever again buy gifts like that for Christmas.


  3. Oh how disappointing! At least they weren’t described as bleak! Well since Max pooh-poihed them it’s probably good that they’re small. Giant racing possums might be problematic, especially when the mechanical items and robots take over. Now we know the story!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Having been blessed with the name Susan, (I was supposed to be named Colleen, but that’s a story for another time) I have seriously hated those “Lazy Susan” things all my life. I’m totally with the AJF on this one! Also, those possums are just making me sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Racing Blobfish with joy in their heart…how could you not want these! I can see the hesitation what with the RP’s being such a disappointment. But, hey!, a Lazy Susan…you really peaked this Christmas season, didn’t you?
    You know, I never listened to Paul Harvey. He was on AM radio and I was (still am) an FM radio kinda gal. I hope this doesn’t ruin our friendship. 😉😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was wondering who amongst us would find the Blob fish appealing. I should have known. Yeah, between the Thanksgiving Dinner and the Christmas Dinner I have soared to a new nadir, got below the limbo stick and basically set new standards for bottoming out. But our friendship is secure. I never judge a person on their choice of radio frequencies, only on their taste in Blob fish.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Snicker. Think you RP’s may need a minor alignment job. Wonder if Amazon has a garage for defective, I mean, out-of-alignment RP’s? P.S. You have some interest ‘personal shopper’ skills. As Paul Harvey might have advised, “don’t quit the day job.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So the possums decided to stop hanging around and make an appearance. To bad they are so small. I love the picture of Max rejecting them! You were smart to get a second gift for the AJF, one that she loves! The portrait of Max is beautiful. I remember listening to Paul Harvey while in the car. If he was still taking when we arrived, we would sit in the car to hear the rest of the story.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The portrait provided some much needed redemption. I was of mixed emotions on Paul Harvey broadcasts only because they took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to reach the end and nobody could turn it off before knowing the rest of the story. I decided I am going to re-gift the possums. I have no use for them and don’t think they’d fit in any of the strategies I use to torment my neighbor. There’s a kid next door who probably will be thrilled to have her own set of possums. Good riddance.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hmm…I would’ve thought a Lazy Susan would be the perfect way to pass the karintō around the table. ??? Oh, well! Maybe next year buy a Turntable Tom! ??? 😀

    Ooh! I like the possums…but they are puny! 😛 Max’s opinion carries a lot of weight. So I won’t be purchasing any.

    Oh, Max! Red is your color! You look so handsome and festive! 🙂

    OHMYGOSH! SweetL’s portrait of Max is THE bestest! It brings joy-tears to my eyes! 🙂

    (((HUGS))) and Happy New Year!
    PATS and RUBS to Max! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Will you share your Amazon review? So enjoyable to see evisceration delivered.
    The portrait of Max was a master stroke…and it seems that you needed one after the Lazy Susan debacle.
    Still, you brought back good memories for me…a vegetarian indian restaurant off Leicester Square in my student days where the metal lazy susan filled the centre of the table with sauces and side dishes. Despite the best efforts of the gorgeously handsome Indian postgrad who use to take me there for lunch our relationship remained a gastronomic one as vegetarian food probably has its own rating on the Beaufort Scale.
    I just wonder if the two latest recruits would like the blob fish? They are in quarantine at the moment and could do with amusement……

    Liked by 2 people

    • When you started the tale of good memories at the Indian restaurant I thought we were going to hear about Possum Curry. Fortunately you clarified the restaurant’s vegetarian status early in the story. What is this about “two latest recruits?” More doggos I suppose. (I assume you wouldn’t put add-ons to Danilo’s group into quarantine, Covid notwithstanding. So spill the beans about the pups – a new post is in order. If I do write a review for the marsupials I will most assuredly copy you.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I said no more dogs…..we are not getting any younger….but the only other solution for these two babes was a final and lingering one, so here they are, quarantined as they have mange, but adapting to the rules of the household…they squeak, we feed. Rejoicing in the names of Tigerlily and Tinkerbelle…you will note the possibilities of shortening the names fo daily use. I’ve seen mother, poor thing, but father has remained discreet. They need stimulus…those bulb fish might be the answer
        As to possum, we used to eat ragondin – nutria – when in France, but not curried.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Well, I for one thought the possums were suckling at the teet of said Hedgie, hedgehogs being endearing to me, as that is what I called my husband’s haircut before we dated. On second look, I see that they are not. I loved listening to Paul Harvey and was saddened by his passing. I also love Lazy Susans! This is a character flaw in the AJF to not recognize their functionality. All of our vitamins sit on one, and I spin it at least once daily to access my supplements. It’s like a domestic Price is Right wheel. Who wouldn’t want that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the AJF fully appreciates the utility of Lazy Susans but draws the line at one being given to her as a Christmas gift. Now, you and I know that nothing speaks to love and spousal devotion like the gift of a Lazy Susan but perhaps the Japanese view that differently. I mean, romance is fine and all but if you want to grab another BBQ rib before someone else gets it, the Lazy Susan is your best friend. Amirite? I think from now on I shall refer to Mr. Kerbey as “The Hedgehog.” Your thought of converting the LS into a Price is Right Wheel has a lot of merit and I plan to explore that idea soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Paul Harvey and Lazy Susan are unknown in the free world, apart from an Indian restaurant found in someone’s memories.
    We have all shared the disappointment in the difference between the picture and the actual item.
    Usually as kids, but as adults we do feel stupid when we fall for such tricks, though none come to my mind thankfully at this moment. However, Jeff Bezos has gone into space on the backs of thousands of such rodents. I wonder if anyone has designed ‘Max on Wheels’ and sold them to Amazon?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I am 50 now, but I remember Paul Harvey as well. My father used to listen to him on the radio all the time. He would sit in the kitchen with his little radio, bowl of chips (cashews or nuts), a nut cracker, followed up with a can of Blatz or Pabst blue ribbon beer….ah good memories on that.

    Anyways, I don’t think I could ever get my little Buddy toys that do that. He would probably start on a distress bark or something. He’s a small big baby. lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hey, Max, I showed Bau one of these mice I got as a Christmas gift that is supposed to pick up crumbs on the table – a mini roomba. Bau was definitely not impressed when I placed it on the floor. What is that thing doing picking up the crumbs? That’s my job, I could hear Bau complain. Bau trotted away in disgust so I understand your disinterest with the little possums. BTW, Max I love your photo on your Mom’s desk. So cool! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes, Max’s portrait was a great gift. Just an FYI, also do not ever, ever, but her a vacuum or anything else that indicates working around the house. I divorced the husband who gave me the vacuum, and out of spite he kept the vacuum.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Tom and Max,
    Thank you so much for bringing fun to my bland hum drum existence. Your follow-up on the racing possums was hilarious and I was also in stitches reading Murphy’s law’s response and picturing a steady stream of trouble flying off the Lazy Susan when he and his brother were at work. Boys? No wonder Geoff’s grandmother thought they should be despatched to a remote island until they’re 18.
    As it turned out, I need to be more careful about what I wish for. Here I was having a cup of tea when my phone rang and I was struggling to understand what was going on. The gist of it was that Geoff had injured himself in the backyard. I keep a handful of terrytowling nappies in the cupboard as they’re pretty useful and we never actually used them as nappies. Thanks to a recent incident with the young man, we actually had a medical kit in the house (couldn’t even find a bandaid last time). So I appeared on the scene being reasonably well equiped and I had my phone.
    I like watching a show called 24 Hours in Emergency set in the UK, but nothing can prepare you for being a responder. I get out there wrap up his leg and call the ambulance. Meanwhile I struggle to get the medical kit open and as you can gather hadn’t had a test run. No idea what was inside just that the darn thing could float. So I ring the ambulance and we go through so many questions before I can even get to the point of how Geoff is going. At this point, Geoff is non responsive. I don’t know how he injured himself or how big the wound is and I’m starting to worry about how the ambulance is going to get into our backyard, especially with the three dogs at large. We don’t want them to get out.
    These are the questions that run through my mind when someone gets injured at home. It doesn’t occur to be that the paramedics deal with such obstacles all the time.
    He started to perk up and told me that it was just shock. I’m not so sure but by this stage I was struggling to breathe myself and I’m wondering if they could fit me in while they’re here. As you know my lungs aren’t good, so a bit of stress and I can faint etc. They told me to leave him there. Do not move him. Well, it was warm and muggy out there and air-conditioned inside, so we got him inside. Packed a bag expecting him to be admitted and need surgery. He assured me it wasn’t a scratch.
    Anyway, the ambulance was seriously delayed and we were getting calls from the paramedics checking in. They told me it could be 10-12 hours and that he was concerned about the risk of infection and I started thinkjing I should drive him in but was hesitant. It was really good because I was able to talk things through with him on the phone and gain confidence and decided I could do it with the help of our strapping almost 18 year old son. I must say it’s so nice to be able to rely on our son and his strength instead of worrying about him running off and not coming back.
    With all the covid cases, we could only do a dump and run at Emergency. It wasn’t quite a case of pulling up in the black mafia mobile and pushing him out the door onto the pavement and screaming off, but we weren’t allowed to go with him and I couldn’t anyway. I wasn’t expecting to be picking him up tonight or so soon. However, I’d barely got the son and myself home from picking up dinner, when he was on the phone. I was on pick up duty. I was proud of myself for rising to the challenge and supporting Geoff after he’s been there for me through so many debacles as well as health stuff. A reminder of the need for people we can count on and how wonderful it is to be loved and to love.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Holy mackerel what an adventure and not of the good kind. I hope Geoff is doing OK now. Your description of his injury was sounding more horrifying the longer it went on. I mean, “non-responsive” is some serious stuff. I’m typically non-responsive when in my recliner but that’s because I’m sleeping, a whole ‘nother situation. The Covid has certainly messed up things with healthcare. All the protocols and limitations on access and visits and such and in Oz-land you have really tough rules right now. Good thing your son could provide the muscle to get Geoff in to hospital – see, despite what you tell them, it was worth having kids after all. I hope Geoff heals fully and even more that he survives the verbal beating you are sure to deliver to him for scaring you. He’s definitely in the dog house. I smell a future WP post in this story.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re psychic powers are improving, Tom. You might not have got there with the lazy Susan or the Racing Squirrels but you were on the money with the WP Post.
        I haven’t yelled at him yet, but as I’m watching him buzzing around while I’m feeling beat, I’m reconsidering. STOP!!!
        Meanwhile, Rosie as usual has her own ideas. She only has one speed….go!
        Best wishes,

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Cooper and I wanted to stop by and specifically ask about Max…How is he doing?
    We think of him often and hope he is well and continuing to keep you on your toes, Tom.
    Please give Max some gentle PATS and RUBS from me!
    And so SNIFFS and LICKS (kisses) from Cooper!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for asking about him. Max is doing pretty good. He’s soaking up all the attention he gets and spends a lot of time napping which was always his favorite past time. One of the things that gets my goat these days is that the pandemic has meant no road trips and we’d dearly love to take Maxwell for another road trip, maybe to the ocean or mountains while he can enjoy the journey. Sniffs, licks, pats and rubs delivered…to the napping pup!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome. We love Max! ❤

        Aw, I understand. I hope there are several wonderful road trips in Max's future! I feel the same way about Cooper…Coops is good little traveler and loves meeting people and visiting family and walking, sniffing and "initiating" new places. 🙂
        (((HUGS))) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Oi Max!
    Time to wake the old boy up. It’s a new month, he has to find something for you to say.
    Don’t tell me the snow has trapped him at Wallmart?


  18. Talk about depressing! What a letdown. And the video had me quite worried about their teeny tiny milkbone sense of direction. And the painting is beautiful! That made up for the LS AND the other “gifts from heart” that could be sitting on the desk. I have a hedgehog named Henry. He’s a stuffie~not real. Actually, I had a stuffed hedgehog as a little girl and I lost him. So for my 50th bday a friend bought me another one. No shame in my game! I know I’m a baby, but I still remember Paul Harvey. And no one now can weave words with quite a voice like Keith Morrison on Dateline! Also, Max’s outfit is super cute.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Easter is fast approaching… might want to give those Blobfish another consideration. They look a little like Easter eggs if I squint hard enough and take off my glasses ✨😄

    Liked by 1 person

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