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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Empty Nester/Retirement (from work) (09/10/09)

TITLE: It Doesn't Get Much Better
By Beth LaBuff


The morning sun shone lustrous
On a charming Cape Cod house,
Seated in the dining room,
The Mr. and his spouse.

He sipped his steaming Eight O’Clock.
His mouth sanctioned a grin.
He pondered both, retirement
And his years-of-service pin.

As he perused the Tribune sighed,
“It doesn’t get much better.”
They, arm in arm, took off for church
With Bibles and her sweater.

He broke the fast before the sun,
Though no alarm was set.
His brain still time-zoned, nine to five,
Some things—hard to forget.

His day stretched out before him,
He had an inspiration,
He’d help the Mrs. ‘round the house
To show appreciation.

And in his fervor pointed out
Art, crooked on the wall,
A crystal glass with smudges, while
Dust bunnies roamed the hall.

He hovered while she vacuumed,
With cleanliness—obsessed.
He checked for dirt on window sills—
Employed the white-glove test.

The town library’s many books
Would help him find a hobby.
He carried home a cookbook on
How to Prepare Kohlrabi.

And Tennis for the Seniors Set,
Ten steps to play guitar,
Gardening for Imbeciles,

and Maintenance for Your Car.

He knitted on her project
From two till three o’clock,
But read the pattern upside-down—
Knit sleeves into her sock!

A tennis outing with the boys.
She sighed in her relief.
A morning detached from her spouse,
Her respite would be brief.

The score was love to forty
When their game came to a halt.
He toppled o’er the base line,
A penalty—foot-fault.

The balance of the day he spent
Reclined upon his chair
While she applied an ice pack
To the bump ‘neath his gray hair.

He urged his spouse to take a break
Then lit the barbecue.
Their pergola went up in flames
Thus went his grill debut.

The bad news, with the flare-up,
The steaks were grilled pitch-black.
The good news for the novice chef,
His eyebrows would grow back.

A junket with the boys out to
The lake, with pole and bait.
To hook some walleye, perch, or pike,
To grace his dinner plate.

He brought the pungent stringer home
And cast it in the sink.
To have a go at cleaning fish
‘Bout drove her to the brink.

He changed the auto oil, but
It splattered o’er the lawn.
The next time that she drove the car
“Check engine” light flashed on.

Their Cape Cod seemed to shrink that week.
It bound her like a fetter.
She’d scream out if she heard again,
“It doesn’t get much better.”

He sipped his morning Eight O’Clock,
Pondered past week’s enjoyment.
She snatched the Sunday Tribune ads
To contemplate employment.

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This article has been read 3075 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Karie McCaffity09/17/09
This is absolutely hilarious. Great job.
Seema Bagai 09/17/09
Excellent. One of the best I've read this week. Thanks for the laughs.
Loren T. Lowery09/18/09
This is priceless - I can't help but wonder where the insights have come from. Experience or observations. Never-the-less, this is a keeper.
Charla Diehl 09/18/09
I loved the humorous progression of this poem--and the last line had me literally laughing out loud.
This must have been a fun one to write. I applaud the creativity of this one and hope to see it in the high rankings.
Allen Stark09/18/09
Loved what I would call progressive hilarity. I began to smile and wound up laughing out loud, or lol, as the abbreviation goes. Great job!
Jennifer Galey09/18/09
This was so clever and funny. I was smiling during the whole read!
Laury Hubrich 09/20/09
Catrina Bradley 09/21/09
Grinning ear to ear! I only wish this poem were longer - I felt cheated on a couple of days. ;) (And you couldn't be more on-topic.)
Jan Ackerson 09/21/09
Oh, I hope this one wins! It's perfect, nothing else to say! Love it!
Mona Purvis09/21/09
Lived through the week with Mr and Mrs. just pure fun. Very well done, indeed.

Gregory Kane09/21/09
It's scary seeing what one could become in the years ahead. Delightfully funny writing.
Leah Nichols 09/22/09
Poor guy! I feel sorry for him....never was a handyman, eh?
Betty Castleberry09/22/09
This is darling. I think it's true sometimes, too. I chuckled out loud at the last line. Well done.

Verna Cole Mitchell 09/22/09
I loved the first verse and began to love each next verse better. I don't know how you do it! This is a winner for me!
Bryan Ridenour09/22/09
Super, creative, and a definite winner in my book! Well done!
Joy Faire Stewart09/22/09
Oh, this is delightful! Had me laughting all "week."
Joy Faire Stewart09/22/09
Pamela Kliewer09/22/09
Carol Slider 09/22/09
This was absolutely wonderful in every way... delightful, hilarious, and oh, so true. Exceptional!!
Chely Roach09/22/09
Oh, my...this was priceless! Each stanza built up to the last, which was absolutely perfect. Excellent!
Diana Dart 09/23/09
FANTASTIC! I think I have to print this one up and post it on my fridge. So many lines I loved... the pungent fish... the check engine light... the bump on the poor boy's head... the Eight O'Clock. You have an incredible talent for poetry dear, really, really. It just doesn't get much better than this.
Mariane Holbrook 09/23/09
I see "First Place" written all over this one! What a delightful piece! So typical of your writings, too!!! Kudos!
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/24/09
Woo Hoo, special friend! Well deserved EC!
Marita Thelander 09/24/09
Very nice, Beth! I really enjoyed it and congrats on the EC! This one will make people smile for sure.
Yvonne Blake 09/24/09
Ha ha ha! Iloved this line:
"But read the pattern upside-down—
Knit sleeves into her sock!"
My dear hubby better not touch my knitting!
I love your poems, Bethy!
Kenn Allan09/24/09
Beth, you just keep gettin' better and better.
Patricia Turner09/24/09
Precious! What talent you have! Congratulations on your EC!
Lisa Johnson09/25/09
I loved this. Each stanza was funnier than the one before it. I, too, was laughing heartily by the end. How many poor women suffering through their husband's retirement would be able to identify with the wife in this poem? Quite a few, I would suppose. Congrats on your HC and EC. Thank you as well for your kind words about my entry.
Sharlyn Guthrie10/01/09
This is so much fun, Beth! I love it! Unfortunately, I can see this happening with me and my spouse!
Sharlyn Guthrie10/01/09
This is so much fun, Beth! I love it! Unfortunately, I can see this happening with me and my spouse!
Carol Penhorwood 12/15/09
This should be read at every retirement party!!! Absolutely sensational!!