Poetry from Doug Hawley


I have the body of a twenty year old –
I keep it in the refrigerator for midnight snacks.
I was worried when I was told that I was in room 205 at the hospital –
When I checked in the room, I found out that it was someone else.
I don’t want to die with my boots on –
Because I don’t wear boots to bed.
I check the obituaries before I get out of bed –
If I am in them there is no reason to get out of bed.
I heard someone about my size and age had died on a bicycle –
I was worried until I remembered that I didn’t have a bike.
I want to die in my sleep like Uncle Fred –
Unlike the people in the house he burned down after blocking the doors.
I don’t want to die in the saddle –
So I avoid horses and tack shops.


I volunteered at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center (or as I thought of it, the hospital with too many names) for eleven years. My job was wheelchair jockey, or as I called it, unpaid escort, pusher or roll model (nudge – nudge, wink-wink).

Usually the job was very easy, so when I was asked if I got a lot of exercise, I responded “Not since the wheel was invented. When I had to carry people on my back, that was exercise.” Sometimes I was challenged to roll the extremely obese uphill. I got to see a lot of overweight people because they are more likely to be hospitalized than others. My last partner was an eighty – something year old woman, so I tried to take the more difficult cases. It didn’t require much strength, but driving two wheelchairs at once, occupied or not, required a lot of coordination. It wasn’t necessary, but I liked to show off. Getting people with leg injuries into jacked up pickups was difficult. In one case, which no doubt broke the rules, I picked up a light person and put him in the seat. In return for my paltry labors, I got a free breakfast.

This was a cruel prank, but I enjoyed handing off a very heavy bag to an old, 100 pound woman and watching her almost hit the floor.

One good thing about the job was that one rarely saw the same person twice, so I could use my short list of jokes repeatedly. Best gag – pretending that the patient was deplaning. “Please extinguish all smoking material and return your seatback to a full upright position. Thank you for riding Legacy chairs.”

Some events were not humorous to those involved, but presented slapstick visuals. One fellow’s urine sac which was connected to his catheter fell of his leg while I was pushing him. I didn’t catch on until I heard him screaming. Another patient had his oxygen tube caught in the wheel of his chair. He was cool, but his daughter freaked. Last and least, was the projectile vomiting. It looked much like the gag vomiting in TV or movie comedies.

Of course there were heart-rending events as well, but they belong on the “Short Sadness Site.”

Hiking Etiquette, Glossary And Wisdom

Affirmation – Are we here yet? The answer is always yes.
Are we there yet? – If said subject to capital punishment.
Bad hike – One or more die.
Bleeding – Probably not fatal unless in pints.
Bonus – To leader for bringing back more hikers than taken out.
Boots – Wear them.
Brace Yourself – Admonition to put on knee protectors
Cell phone – Don’t depend on. Useful in emergencies and to irritate other hikers.
Cheryl Strayed / Wild Rules:
Try out your boots for a few miles, before a thousand mile hike.
Try out your pack for a few miles before a thousand mile hike.
Cliffs – Where you find out if you have any serious enemies.
Clothes – Take clothes for all possible weather. Layers good. In good weather, flaunt it if you’ve got it.
Dehydration – Slayer of kidneys. See water.
Deja hike – Hey, I’ve been on a hike with trees and views before.
Emergency equipment – Find a list and follow it.
Falls – Try to avoid, but you won’t.
Feet – Something that hurts.
Five Mile Hike – The new ten mile hike.
Flower Identification – They are smaller than trees.
Gaiters – Misspelling of gators.
Gatorade – Bring for your gators.
Good Hike – Nobody dies.
GPS – If your group has one, you will know exactly where you are. If you have more than one, you will have no idea.
High heeled sneakers – Good song, bad for hiking.
Kneesy – Hike that is easy on the knees.
Knife edge – terrain where I won’t be found.
Leader talk:
We are almost at lunch – Means we aren’t.
It is just around the bend – And 20 others.
There is no uphill after lunch – There is.
The steam crossings were easy when I scouted – They aren’t now.
It is a five mile level hike – It could be
Lost hiker – Someone who is visiting from Wisconsin who starts hiking alone an hour before sunset with a dead cell phone, clothes too cold for the night, sandals, no water, who sometime after dark decides the best way to get back is to go off trail to a cliff that he can’t see.
Mountain – Something that you can fall off screaming to your death.
Nature – Our enemy. It blocks views, sends coyotes and raccoons into our backyards and slugs into our gardens. We must win the battle against nature at all cost.
Pathological – The Decision to stay on the trail rather than bushwhacking.
Poles or walking sticks – Equipment used to ensure that the face is broken rather than wrists when one falls or for stabbing the hiker behind. Rule of the trail – the hiker behind is at fault.
Poison Oak – Leaves of three, let me be. Definitely, do not use as toilet paper.
Potty Stop Men – Where men trade five years of life for speedier peeing (at least until the prostate acts up). Prowess is judged by a jury of their pee-ers.
Potty Stop Women – It is a mystery.
Rain – Get used to it.
Road to Trail Ratio – A low ratio of time driving to time hiking is good.
Rocky Road – An ice cream flavor, or a route that is hard on the feet.
Saw, Rule Of: It is better to have a saw and not need it, than to need a saw and not have it. Applies to many things other than saws.
Scrambles – Hands in use. Watch out for the hiker in front rolling down on top of you.
Shrinkage – Happens to guys in cold streams. Hike leaders allowed to lose up to 10% of hikers before being penalized.
Ticks – An excuse to get naked and have someone inspect you. You could get lucky in more ways than one.
Toenails – Trim them to prevent downhill pain. To be safe, have them surgically removed.
Trail – Note similarity in spelling to trial. Stay on it.
Tree Identification – You guessed it. They are bigger than flowers.
Vacuum – Synonym for sweep
Vegetation blocking the trail – A weapon used to injure the hiker behind.
Volcanic Eruption – Avoid.
Walkie-Talkies – Great devices for communicating on group hikes, which perform perfectly until you need them in an emergency.
Water – Bring lots. Drink same.
Weather – Will not be what you expected.
Wildlife – At our age after a ten mile hike?

Search and Rescue

If you would like to meet some of the fine people from Search and Rescue and listen to some of their amusing stories about the fools that they encounter in their line of work, here are some ways to help you do that. I’ve attempted to use English as well as American so this advice will work on both sides of the Atlantic.
Start your hike close to dark.
Make certain that you know nothing about the route that you take, except that the trail is narrow and that there are dangerous drop offs.
Take a youth or dog that is likely to wander off.
Bring a cell (mobile) phone but be sure that it either doesn’t get reception or that the battery is dead. Don’t take a flashlight (torch).
It helps to wear a thin undershirt, sandals and shorts when the temperature is projected to be below freezing at night.
Food or water? Of course not.
Avoid maps and GPS.
When it is dark and you are scared of being lost, immediately leave the trail. If you are lucky, you will fall down a bank and be disabled.
You will probably make the news the next day with the Search and Rescue crew. Good idea – decide the day before whether you want to go for a scruffy and disheveled look or you want to be glamoro(u)s.


W4M – Boyfriend wanted
Me – 300 pounds BBW. HSV positive. Fore kids with five differint fathers.
U – 6’2” to 6’5” athletec, edjucated perfessional generous$ gentleman to take me shopping n diner, then well see how it goes. Gross picture deleted.

M4M – ISO Str8 married guy
Kik me for a good time.
M4W – Let me rock your world
Look at this. obscene picture deleted.

M4W – Looking for a discrete affair
Handsome professional man wanting to get a little on the side. Helps if you are married too. obscene picture deleted.

W4M – Want late night fun.
I have low self esteem. Please demean me and my children. Call me a while __ on me. Must be respectful non-smoker and DDF.

MW4W – Unicorn wanted
Successful, happy couple looking for a third to complete our marriage. Must be beautiful, 25-32, and willing to clean house. Fake picture deleted

W4MMMM – Hope to do this soon
Open to anybody to do anything. Do not be concerned about my husband with the gun; it is only for my security. He’ll just be watching and filming. Fake picture deleted

M4W – ISO Cougar
Buy me dinner and we’ll see how thing go.

W4M Ready to party go fast now
Bring party favors. You’ll need to give me a credit card to be able to verify your identity.

MW4MW Full Swap
Must be young, attractive & fit. Bring Tina and Air Blast for PnP. Non-smokers only.

W4M – Missed connection. I saw you at the checkout at Albertsons. You look like you are about 30 with long blond hair. You were dressed in black pants and white shirt. You were with a woman about your age and three children. You were buying food, tampons and panties. I was in the next lane over, the short, chubby woman in red, and didn’t get a chance to talk to you even though we exchanged glances. Are you single? If yes, I would like to bear your children. 10 year old picture of someone else deleted.

The Ten Commandments in the 21st Century

A team of defense lawyers has given a modern interpretation of the Ten Commandments.

1. I am the Lord Your God. / You shall have no other gods before me.
Response – One of these is not even a commandment. Note that it says “before”, therefore having other gods equal is acceptable, so if you choose to have Morduk, Justin Bieber, money, a Corvette, Angelina Jolie, or the Portland Trailblazers as equal gods, you meet the letter of the law.
2.You shall not make yourself an idol.
Response – We can’t imagine that applies to reality shows like “American Idol” or movie studios, the major producers of idols.
3.Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.
Response – “In vain”, what does that even mean? Other parts of the book imply that we can’t speak or know his/her name, and that there are many names for god, so how can we possibly apply this commandment? We don’t think that “Gosh” or “Golly” are offenses.
4.Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
Response – If some say it is Saturday and some say it is Sunday, it would be completely unfair to apply this to either day. Anyway, how do we keep it holy? Does watching football and drinking beer count if football is a co-equal god?
5.Honor your father and mother.
Response – Visits on Christmas or Thanksgiving should be adequate.
6.You shall not kill/murder.
Response – If you are commanded by secular authority, such as the military, this commandment is rendered void. Police are exempt. If somebody threatens you in any way, say looking at you in an intimidating way, lethal response is considered self-defense.
7.You shall not steal.
Response – Office supplies should be considered de minimus. Borrowing and not returning does not constitute stealing.
8.You shall not commit adultery.
Response – If you did not enjoy it or agree to counseling afterwards, it should not be held against you
9.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Response – Your truth may not be his/her truth.
10.You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. / You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Response – The first half is unenforceable because it is not gender neutral. Defining the difference between “liking” and “coveting” is a slippery slope no one is qualified to define.


My first acting role was as Santa Claus in a grade school production. Because we had no theatre department, I was chosen for the lead because I finished my homework quickly. The “plot” was a trip around the globe showing how different countries celebrated Christmas. My one mistake was going to the countries out of order, but recovered with aplomb by blaming the reindeer. Oddly, no talent scout offered me a big studio contract.

My second role came about by an odd sequence of events. I was giving my friend Gary a ride to his starring part in a Portland Parks production of “Little Abner”. The director spotted another friend, the handsome Kim, and I, and said “Scraggs” (relatives of the beauteous Daisy Mae). The comic strip / movie / Broadway Scraggs were known to be lazy and ugly, so in my case it was type casting. Our song was “If I Had My Druthers”, which was OK because it didn’t require the ability to sing, which neither of us had. I got some praise as one of the handsome, muscular topless Dogpatch boys after drinking Yokumberry Tonic. Remembering the good parts is a good thing. Afterwards, the show was televised on local TV, which confirmed my lack of singing ability (this partly inspired “Nose” which is in Short Humour and Literally Stories).

When we moved to Marin California after leaving a job that I hated, I became a decent docent at China Camp, which involved storytelling about a Chinese shrimping settlement. It is a fascinating story involving history, culture and business, but not too funny.

I became a programmer and seller of actuarial software, which was quite a leap in that I couldn’t program or sell, but at least it gave me something to do beyond being a house husband. For several years I worked on advertising and running booths at industry meetings for my software, and if that isn’t show biz, I don’t know what is.

When Windows replaced DOS, I was unwilling or unable to revise the programs, and thought that we had enough money to retire.

During one of the three productions of “Tony And Tina’s Wedding” that I saw Tina chose me from the audience to make Tony jealous. I wasn’t very good at looking happy to have the rather large Tina sit on my lap.
Now I “act” indirectly (my lovely and talented editor thought that “at one remove” was too obscure). My alter ego, Duke Hanley gets to do the things that I’m too smart, too incompetent, or too fearful to do in many of the stories that I write.

North&Gales Creek Hike

Gales Creek is in the eastern foothills of the Coast Range in western Oregon USA.  By mountain standards, the Coast Range is very modest and have never been known to brag like the Rockies have as in “Rocky Mountain High” as performed by the late John Denver aka Deutschendorf.
An aside – a lesson from John Denver – don’t sing a song about a woman you are going to divorce (Annie).
The hike was led by a man, but we usually have women leaders in which case we are Ms. Led or Miss Led, depending on which camp you are in. 
As always, we got a hike description before the hike.  It listed two creek crossings.  We thought we’d have to cross them through the water, but each had a bridge.  Cleary the description should have been abridged.
A woman asked about a tree that was broken off about five feet (1.5 meters) from its base.  I said that I was stumped.
This was an easy hike for me because I am usually the designated whiner and complainer.  For this hike I was usurped by a former lawyer.  Maybe he was courting my approval.
The four of us in our car opted to skip the no-price extra three mile (five kilometers?) and several hundred feet (less than several hundred meters) add-on, so we didn’t get as high as they did.
Nobody died so it was a good hike.

What’s Wrong With The Left

Many parts of my body either hurt or don’t work, but the left is really bad.
My left shoulder has been diagnosed with five problems, which on a good day, I can remember:  floating bodies (sounds like a mystery or war novel), calcification, bone spur, degenerative joint disease and arthritis.  Granted, there may be some overlap here.  There are times when it is quite painful.  At least these are signs of a life poorly lived.
Left arm – practically useless.  I can catch with it a little and sometimes hold things.  It is weaker than the right.  Attempts to write, throw or bat lefty are comical.
The orthopedic guys told me that one leg is shorter than the other, which is probably why I habitually walk in circles.
I shovel and kick right footed.  Throwing or batting with either foot doesn’t work and I’ve had plenty of left foot and knee pain.  An X-Ray showed severe to advanced arthritis and an old fracture to my kneecap.  Knee pain has reduced me to using a walker on a few days.
My high blood pressure is related to the left-leaning heart.
My left eye is inferior to the right – both are abysmal.  With powerful lenses my sight can be corrected to near blind.
According to a vast oversimplification of a Wikipedia article, the right side of the brain is more action/emotional oriented and the left side is more caution/analytic oriented.  Hard to pick a winner or loser here, particularly since the left brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa.
Whichever part of the brain does what; neither side can help me remember all the leftist problems over the years.
The right isn’t that great either, but that is a story for another time.  I’ve got plenty wrong with both sides.

All of these week attempts at humo(u)r have appeared in Short Humour.

One thought on “Poetry from Doug Hawley

  1. Doug Hawley, I tell everyone I know, of this WILD MAN who’s written 450 contributions to The Short Humo(u)r site. But I’m stuck in the past: I keep remembering you stopping your car 500 feet in front of a stoplight (I was there, I saw you). I particularly like the “Personals” you wrote this time. Take care and keep writing–but I know that I don’t have to tell you that! bill

Comments are closed.