Charity begins at home, as long as it’s Gert’s

Sturdy Gert McCurdy is just back in town after a highly successful visit to the town of Abject, where she established a popular hotel operation some years ago. The hotel is called The Broken Arms and it attracts a large clientele of hunters, trappers and miners all of whom have forearms the size of the wide part of a goal tender’s stick.

The food is okay, but the big draw for those brawny chaps is Sturdy’s offer of a free meal for anyone who can beat her in an arm-wrestling competition. If they lose, they pay double, and so far Sturdy has gone undefeated ever since the competition started five years ago. The best showing was two years past when a sledgehammer manufacturer from Woodstock, Ontario went three minutes before collapsing in a pool of pain. His brave display caused Sturdy to set his arm for free but she recovered most of that by selling him pain killers that she mixes herself in the back room.

Those of you who have read this far may have concluded that Sturdy is an opportunist who prospers at the expense of others but such is not the case. Just last year she organized a fund raiser for a local chap who was down on his luck and raised a total of $5,000. Due to circumstances beyond her control after expenses she was only able to give the poor fellow, known locally as Big Ed, a total of $62.20 which he declined to accept and, in fact, forked over $100 of his own dough just to show his appreciation. Bless her heart Sturdy took that money, threw in $500 of her own and donated it to the Town Contingency Fund which donated it to Big Ed at the conclusion of an emotional ceremony held in the town square.

That’s the way we do things in these parts and we don’t apologize none for that either. At the conclusion of the event a large crowd gathered at Popcorn Billy Langway’s Bar and Grill to celebrate the event and all present agreed that the gathering had been a success. Later, a large group visited the fracture ward at the local hospital and serenaded the sufferers with a medley of jolly tunes. The visit was organized by Sturdy which was only fair when you consider that she was responsible for putting most of them there in the first place.

The next day Sturdy was back at work dreaming up support for the project which brought her to town in the first place. It is her dream to establish a chain of igloos up north to house visitors to the area, and initially the business community resisted her appeal for funds. Then word began to circulate that those who resisted her approach received a good clout to the head and after that things went swimmingly for our favorite girl which goes to show the value of a solid sales appeal. Sturdy is heading back north shortly accompanied by her business partner Figurina Humphreys and I shall pass along details as they become available.

Striking another note, I have always believed that a man is a work in progress who is not fully assembled until he is married. Until then he is unable to properly respond to commands such as “Get your elbow off the table” and “Don’t try to eat your pate de foie gras with a tuning fork.”

Both of those rules are simple to perform once they are learned and I believe it is a tribute to the patience and clarity of expression on the part of our loved ones that we leave for work in the morning with a self-confidence that we might not otherwise possess. And that is why I believe we should sit down with them on a regular basis at a nice restaurant and listen to what they have to say.

And then, in the deepest manifestation of equality of the sexes, I believe we should allow them to pick up the cheque.

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