ALL ABOARD | Dishing dirt with Charlie and Leon, who needs a dish?

While sitting around the caboose the other afternoon, instead of enjoying our splendidly sporadic December sunshine, it occurred to me, since I was alone at the time, that

I ought to do a trial run on next year’s New Year’s resolutions.

Given that I’ll most likely break my commitments early on in ’09, why not start now?

So, I just called the DISH Network, my digital TV link for the last three years.

I called to tell them to stop my service on midnight the ninth, 12 hours before I have lunch with Leon Israel and Charlie Dunham at the Freeland Cafe.

Why waste time watching satellite television when I can stay grounded by having lunch with two guys representing more than 16 decades of BS?

No, not that kind.

BS as in Biting Sarcasm.

One of the periodic elements I like most while hanging with the home boys is their constant barrage of skilled sarcasm.

Guys in groups are not serious. That’s for one-on-one on the way to the ball- park.

Guys in groups will generally not get serious for to do so would preclude the oncoming punch line.

Whether a chortle, a guffaw or a pleasant chuckle, any audible response above the waist will do to satisfy the BS boys.

Leon and Charlie are no exceptions, as can be verified by Ursula and Dawn, the Freeland Cafe’s AM A-Team, who never argue over who gets to not wait on us.

Leon, a former POW shoe repair extraordinaire Democrat, who lives in the woods, will order a B-L-T with fries and coffee.

Charlie, a retired Navy Chief Republican, who retired blissfully to the beach after 30 years of selling dirt to dreamers, will order two eggs over easy with wheat toast. Hold the hash browns and sausage, thanks to Charlie’s last Stuart Anderson Angus Beef stress-tested, three-way by-pass.

When I first moved to Whidbey in the early ’80s, I thought a three-way by-pass was the way to avoid Oak Harbor.

During lunch, Leon and Charlie will likely share pictures of naval destroyers, colored paper with off-color jokes, and stories of downtown Seattle in the 1940s.

Like any good Marine, I’ll sit quietly, thumbs along the seams of my trousers, my feet at a 45-degree angle, listening to two salty vets swap BS while I chew in a clockwise fashion.

There is no way to measure the value of the time I get to spend with Leon and Charlie.

There is no way to measure the value of every chuckle, guffaw or prolonged chortle.

There is no way to measure the meaning of the moment.

Not that moment.

Nor this one.

Nor the next.

But I can sure be thankful for them all.

That one, this one and the next.

And in the closing moments of today’s lunch, I’ll offer to pay the parking while Leon and Charlie argue over who bought last time.

Think they’ll remember that parking is free?

More in Life

A few good vets

Bandmates share laughter on stage

Plant sales a blooming bounty for garden clubs

It’s raining plant sales this month as community garden clubs kick-off growing… Continue reading

Volunteer fire fighters and EMTs honored at awards banquet

South Whidbey Fire/EMS honored volunteer firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and their… Continue reading

Cloudstone: Where art grows in earth

Sculptors to honor Hank Nelson’s visionary work

Whodunit revealed at Whidbey Playhouse

Cast cleverly conceals murderer in Agatha Christie’s ‘The Hollow”

Quirky collection framed in ‘Found Objects’

Glass artist Richard Marquis reveals ‘stuff’

‘Giving to the Givers’

Marines wrapped in quilts and gratitude

Some rhododendrons possess a velvety underside on the leaves that act as a moisture collector.
Changes bloom at Meerkerk

New paths mark perennial gardens

Vivienne Duchanne performs with Queens of the Island by night at Off the Hook in downtown Oak Harbor on the second Tuesday of every month. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times
Life is a drag

‘Queens of the Island’ reeling in Whidbey fans

Twins’ art spotlighted in gallery show

Dan and Mike Burroughs: ‘Brothers with Brushes’

Making art out of life’s leftovers

‘C.R.A.P.’ coming back for annual show

Plenty of Easter bunny love at Fuzzybutts

Baby bunn-bunns abound at Oak Harbor farm