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I’ve received several e-mails asking about “that lost shoe story”, if these stories are true and if Moe is real. First, yes these stories are true. Second, yes Moe is real. Third, this is the most requested story.

I asked Moe if he had ever been unfaithful to his wife. He told me about an event that occurred in the distant past.
Moe explained…
“It happened about 20 years ago. Although it has been a long time, I will never forget what transpired.”

He continued…
“One night I left the house and went to a tavern in the city. I got drunk and I picked up a woman. (Don’t ask me why.) I had never seen her before and I’ve never seen her since. All I did was give this woman a lift home. That’s all. I dropped her off and I went home. But I never told Nezzie about it ’cause that’s a good way to start trouble. She wouldn’t have understood why I went to that place nor why I drove somebody home. (Even I don’t understand it.) So I kept quiet and I thought everything would be as smooth as normal. Funny thing about secrets – they always try to expose themselves especially when you refuse to expose ‘em.”

“The next morning I was driving with Nezzie. We were going to Moose’ graduation. Nezzie had bought new clothes and shoes for the both of us. Somewhere along the drive, I noticed a red shoe with a high heel sticking out from under the seat. I told Nezzie to read the street signs and tell me where to exit. While she was busy looking at the signs, I tossed the shoe out of my window.”

“It took us a while, but we made it to the building where the graduates had gathered. I parked the car and Nezzie was fidgeting and twisting around in her seat. Finally, I asked Nezzie, “What are you doing?” And she said, “I can’t find my other shoe!”

“I have been honest with my wife ever since. But to this day, she doesn’t know what happened to that red shoe.”

Thanks to all of you for sending those e-mails.

Copyright © (2010 – 2013) Diana (Diane) Maria

RISE AND FLY


Moe is a card shark with a good mind for numbers and a cutting edged tongue. I always looked forward to a good game of cards with him – that is, until last week.

I was contacted by a new acquaintance who extended an invitation to her home insisting that Moe accompany me. I accepted her call to join her soiree which included the games Bridge and Whist. She told me there would be no money involved as her guests play “only for fun”.

Nobody stirs a more rousing game of cards better than Moe. And Moe loves to play for cash. I have been Moe’s card partner since we met at the neighborhood’s first block party. And we have never lost a game of ‘Rise and Fly’ in which the losing team must leave the table and is replaced by ‘fresh meat’. Moe talks a lot of trash at the table – partly in jest but mostly to jar his opponents. In the end, no one leaves with hurt feelings and a good time is had by all. But that is when he plays at home amongst people who know him.

I was concerned that a new and unsuspecting crowd would not accept Moe’s candor as readily as his family and friends. So while we drove toward the party, I repeatedly told Moe there will be no gambling and no ‘trash talking’. I told him to treat these new people as he would like them to treat him. Moe mumbled something in agreement. But I had a feeling he wasn’t taking in all I was saying.

We arrived at the house and the hostess greeted us as we entered. From an adjoining room, several card games had already begun and the gamers were so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Moe and I realized immediately this was unlike any ‘Rise and Fly’ we’d ever attended.

We sat down to play with a young and handsome couple. Moe introduced us and asked the female opponent her name. “My name is Tova.” She said. Moe said to her as the cards were being dealt, “You don’t look like a Tova to me. You look more like a Sue.” Our opponents laughed. And I kicked Moe beneath the table. Moe shouted – not to anyone in particular, “Are ya ready to get your feelin’s hurt?!”

Throughout the game, Moe spat his usual prattle. At one point, he shouted to me, “Follow my lead! You know better! If I lead with a diamond, you play a diamond!” Tova’s partner scolded Moe for “talking across the table”. Moe said to him, “She has a hand full of diamonds and she didn’t follow my lead!” Tova explained to Moe the rules of the game include silence between partners. Moe said, “Suzie Q! Don’t get too comfortable in your chair ’cause you’ll be leaving soon.” And I kicked him. We won that round. And soon there were onlookers watching us play. Moe continued to talk trash and occasionally he’d yell, “Hey Suzie Q! Come on back just one more ‘gain!” And I’d kick him.

After 9 rounds of non-stop play, Moe and I took a break. Our table was empty but there were other games still ongoing. I decided to go to the ladies room and I left Moe in the dining room where food was served buffet style.

While I was roaming to and fro and mingling here and there, Tova stopped me and said, “Diahhn, your father is calling me Sue but my name is Tova.” I said to her, “I’m sorry Tova. He means no harm. I’ll remind him not to do so.” I added, “He is not my father.” Tova said to me in a snippy tone, “He is your boyfriend?” I said, “Listen Suzie” But before I could finish that thought by giving her a ‘what for’, I heard Moe’s voice echoing from the game room. “Put your money where your mouth is!” He was shouting. “Put it up! Or shut it up!” I pressed through throngs of party people to get into that room. I saw him. After repeatedly stating to Moe, in the car, over and again “Do not gamble.” there he was – gambling.

I shouted to him, “Moe what are you doing?” He replied, “With all of these grown-ups in this house, I knew there must be somebody who could count to twenty one.”

Blackjack?! He was playing Blackjack with Suzie’s Tova’s date. (Or maybe the guy was her father – I’m not sure.)

I was hovering over Moe and telling him it was time to leave when Suzie’s Tova’s boyfriend said in the thickest of accents, “Meester Moe, I yahm not plahying for keeps.” Moe said to him, “Aw, don’t start cryin’ ’cause you’ve just lost your lunch money.”

I snapped at Moe, “Get up right now and let’s go!” And Suzie’s dad/man kept repeating, “Meester Moe!”

The car didn’t seem to move fast enough on the way home. I was fuming – mostly at myself for having lost my temper with Suzie. I wasn’t really mad at Moe who was busy counting his money. He turned to me whilst I was driving and said, “Well, if mister man didn’t wanna play, he shouldn’t have accepted my challenge.” (Moe was right.) He continued, “I don’t know why you’re so mad. You don’t know those folks anyway.” (Right again.)

It seemed to take us forever to get home. My husband was in the driveway when we arrived. “Did you two have a good time?” He asked. Moe got out of the car and shouted, “I had a ball! I’ll tell ya all about it in the morning.” Moe went home. My husband looked at me and said, “I think I’m gonna hear about it tonight.”
(He was right.)

Copyright © (2010 – 2013) Diane

THE RUNAWAY SNOWMAN


It was garbage day and I was the only one at home so it became my duty to take the trash to the curb.

I was dragging two large trash cans down my driveway when Moe approached me and pointed at something in the street. I looked toward the direction in which he was pointing and I saw what seemed to be a giant ball bouncing down the street away from us. Moe yelled, “Do you see that?”
“Yes I see it but what is it?” I asked.

Moe said…
“It’s that big assed ball from that house up there.” (He gestured toward a neighboring home uphill from us that sits in the bend of the winding road.)
Moe continued…
“Didn’t you see that giant snow globe they staked in the yard ‘fore Christmas?”
I said, “Is that the holiday decoration with the snowman inside?” Moe replied…
“It sure is! It must’ve broke free and rolled away. And that thing is pickin’ up speed ’cause it’s goin’ downhill. Now it’s gonna kill somebody who’s drivin’ uphill in this direction and don’t know it’s comin’ right at ‘em.”

I dropped my garbage cans and told Moe we have to tell somebody. “Tell who?” He shouted. “You think those folks in that house don’t know it’s missin’? That ball cast a shadow over their whole front facade. The daylight alone should tell ‘em somethin’.”

“Moses we have to tell someone right now!” I shouted. And I ran up the hill toward the house. Moe was behind me.

I was knocking on the door when Moe caught up to me. “Look at this!” He shouted, pointing to the lawn decorations. “They went out and got a Santa Clause, blew him up and tied him to the bushes like he stole somethin’. All this ‘blow-up’ stuff’s got nothin’ to do with Christmas and now it’s causin’ havoc in the community.”

No one responded to my knocking. Moe said, “They’re in there and they know what they’ve done. So now, they don’t wanna come out and face the music.”

The recycling truck drove up and I attempted to tell the driver to call someone to stop that ball but Moe beat me to it. Moe yelled to the man, “Did you see that big assed ball down the street? Radio dispatch and tell ‘em these folks in this house are the culprits!” (Moe was pointing at the house.) He continued, “Call the cops and tell ‘em these folks outta be dragged out here and shackled to the shrubbery just like they did Santa Clause!” The driver looked at me. “He’s not my dad.” I muttered. Moe said, “He don’t care whose your daddy!”

The driver told us (and these are his exact words) “The snow globe has been restrained. The snow man was uninjured and is still in containment. The globe is now on route to the village hall.”

I walked home. Alone.
For some reason, I was mad at Moe.
Behind me, I could hear Moe yelling…

“They took that globe to the village hall for evidence! They may need witnesses! That’d be us! Go buy somethin’ new ’cause we’re gonna be in the papers!”

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know my neighbors.

Copyright © (2010 – 2013) Diane

CHRISTMAS ON THE ROCKS


By now, both Thanksgiving and Christmas are gone (two down). But New Year’s Eve is fast approaching (and one to go). This holiday season has managed to flap my usually unflappable self. I never fly off the handle. I seldom lose my cool. But this year’s shopping, crowds, lines, relatives, co-workers and friends unearthed a fury buried deep within my soul. Before I let loose on all things visible, I decided to drown my emotions across the street at Moe’s.

As soon as I saw Moe, I could tell he was already swimming in the deep end of his vodka. (His wife is ‘wintering’ in Arizona with her children.) I asked Moe if he missed his family and he said if he ever sees any one of them again, it’d be too soon. He told me his oldest son is being sued for fraud, his daughter-in law is filing for divorce, his grand-son has been kicked out of his second private school and the kid’s mother is currently ‘home schooling’ him because no other school wants to take him, his grand-daughter decided college is not for her and dropped out and she came home with a boyfriend who says only fools work for a living. Moe admitted there was so much cussing and fighting going on at his Christmas table the only thing that kept him from going off on each one of his relations was the Stolichnaya Vodka Company.

Moe reached into the cabinet behind his bar to refill his glass. He suggested I join him and I requested a blueberry martini. He looked at me sideways and shouted, “Don’t be a sissy! All you need is rocks!” He tossed a couple of ice cubes in a glass and gave it to me. It wasn’t the dainty little drink they serve in restaurants and it certainly wasn’t blue. And Moe didn’t wash his hands before grabbing that ice and drenching it with booze. But if Moe could handle it…

“How many of these have you had?” I asked. Moe retorted…
“You don’t count the drinks kid. You count the bottles.”
I was drinking with a big dog and I didn’t even know how to bark.

Moe told me…
“I’ve been drinkin’ this stuff since before you were born. And this is the only booze I drink. You don’t want nothin’ else and you don’t want that Elite *#$% either. Those folks over at Stolichnaya slapped a new label on an old bottle, jacked up the price, called it Elite and laughed at the fools who bought it. But I know better. The old Stoli is all you need.”

I was thinking Moe could do a commercial for the vodka as long as he didn’t mention the Elite brand.

I envisioned Moe standing in a winter scene on a studio lot and when the director shouted, “Action!” Moe went off script and ripped the vodka for having created Elite.

I told Moe I was going home and invited him to come with me. He said…
“I have had enough family for one week. And there is no tellin’ what yours is like.” I started to tell Moe that my family could not top his unless they killed somebody. Instead, I said to him…

“It’s a good thing this season is only once a year.”

I could hear the ice tinkling in Moe’s glass when I left.

Copyright © (2009 – 2013) Diane

THE ROGUE CAROLER


I think it was just after Halloween when I attended the community’s meeting about the formation of a choral group. The attendees were discussing the particulars of the group – volunteers, days of singing, beginning and ending sites – when Moe arrived. I was as surprised as everyone else to see Moe and wondered what he could or would contribute to the party.

The group of neighbors decided – by majority vote (sans me) – there will be a choral group traveling from house to house and singing to each family. A call for volunteers went out. That’s when Moe raised his hand. Nearly everyone in the room objected to Moe’s participation for various reasons. A woman explained that “it may be too cold for someone with advanced years to traverse the community on foot”. (That woman is older than my mother. So I wondered what she considered advanced years. I thought it was an interesting example of one old person not wanting to call another old person old.) The neighbor who owns those Osage trees that litter my yard with fuzzy green balls every year suggested, “Moe should stay home so the carolers will have someone to sing to”. (I suggest he cut down those trees.) Anyway, it was decided by “unanimous decision” (They didn’t count me. I was only there to hear not volunteer. And they knew it.) Moe should stay home on the days the carolers are out so they can have somebody “to sing to”. Moe nodded his head in agreement. I was stunned. Moe sat there and let them swerve him without saying a word. Was he sick? Had his meds been miscalculated? Something was awry. I knew it. The Moe I know isn’t one to roll over.

This week, the snow rolled in. And the first day of snow marked the beginning of carol season. My doorbell rang about an hour ago. I opened the door and saw Moe standing on my porch – wind whipping wildly about his frame – and Moe was singing. Not singing a song ‘per se’. There was no rhyme, no melody, no real lyrics, but I knew in his mind he was singing. What he sang went something like this…

“Ho ho ho. Santa’s comin’. Ho ho ho. La da da da da. Ho ho ho. And Rudolph’s a very pretty bird.” I snapped, “Reindeer!” Moe said, “Shut up.” He continued, “Rudolph’s comin’ soon. Ho ho ho.” I said, “Moe you don’t know any carols do you?” In the distance, I could hear the harmonious sounds of the official carolers. And their holiday melodies were growing near. By now I had put it altogether. Moe let the community shut him out of their plan because he had a plan of his own. He was caroling two beats ahead of them – alone. He had gone rogue.

Moe turned toward the direction of the choir and listened. They were getting close. He said, “I gotta go!” and Moe scurried across my lawn to the neighboring home kicking up green furry balls from ‘neath the snow.

I pulled out my treasured bottle of egg nog. The one that has little egg and a lotta nog. I sit with a sip now and again awaiting Moe’s return. (He’ll be back.) I hope I’m still awake.

Thanks for the egg nog Nancy.

Copyright © (2009 – 2013) Diane

TECHNOLOGY

I am revisiting this old story because it is one of those that receives the most mail. And to answer of all your questions, yes, my son is a filmmaker. (But that’s about all I know.) Yes, Moe is real and he does “talk like that”. And, of course, these stories are true. (Who can make this @#$%! up?) So, here we go back to when this all started…

One evening I talked my oldest son into visiting Moe. He said, “I hate going over there mom. That old man is crazy.” I told him, “He really likes you and he asks about you all the time. Go say, ‘Hi’ to him.” Later, my son returned home in a huff and shouted, “I’m never going over there again!”

As I understand it, this is what happened…
My son went across the street and told Moe all about his latest adventure and played a DVD of one of his recent journeys. He said Moe sat quietly throughout the movie. When it was over, my son asked Moe what he thought about it. And Moe said to him, “That red light never goes off does it?”

Copyright © (2009 -2013) Diane

Continue Reading »


Moe and his wife (Nezzie) recently celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Moe’s family came in from Arizona and the entire neighborhood attended the party.

It was that time of the evening when Moe was asked to say something to the crowd and to his wife of fifty years. This moment proved a perfect example of how Moe and Nezzie complete each others sentences. Moe stood up and began by stating…

“We all make mistakes in our youth” but before he could finish, Nezzie said…

“And I’ve been paying for mine for fifty years!”

Someone asked Moe why is it that he has lived this long? Moe said... “I have lived a long time” and before he finished, Nezzie shouted… “Because I decided not to kill you twenty years ago!”

Moe’s granddaughter is expecting her first child. Moe told the crowd…“I don’t mind being a great grandfather. The problem is, I wake up every morning lying next to a great grandmother.”

Nezzie said to Moe, “The problem is, you wake up every morning!”

Of course, the crowd laughed and assumed this was lighthearted banter between two old people who’d been together a long time. But I knew Nezzie was mad at Moe.

The evening’s festivities lasted into the wee hours. I heard Moe’s eldest son (Moose) tell one of the guests, “I think my dad drinks a lot of booze.” The guest replied…

“Moe drinks only vodka and Stoli is his favorite brand.” Moose said to the guest…

“I’m worried about my dad mixing his medication with alcohol.” And the guest told Moose…

“You don’t have to worry about that! Moe stopped taking his pills a long time ago.”

A lot can happen in the span of fifty years.

Copyright © (2010 – 2013) Diana (Diane) Maria

Note: This is a true story written for the prompt at Magpie Tales. Photo – courtesy of Magpie Tales.

HONEST SCRAP


HONEST SCRAP. This is an award I recently received from a writer/photographer named Bonnie at Windshieldthinking. I admire Bonnie and I am grateful that she thought of me when considering onto whom to pass this award.

When one is presented with an award such as this, you don’t just take it and say thanks because that’s too easy. There are conditions that must be met upon receipt of this award. As Bonnie explained it, “You have to first list 10 honest things about yourself (and make them interesting), and second — present the award to seven other bloggers.”

Since this blog is about Moe the man next door, I thought it’d be fitting that he reveal ten things about himself. (I should have thought twice.)

I walked over to Moe’s and told him about this award. “What kind of money do you get with that?” Moe asked. I said, “Nothing.” Moe said, “Do you wanna know what I think about that?” I told Moe, “All you have to do is tell me ten things about yourself and that’s it.” Moe twisted around in his Lazy Boy and looked at me sideways. He grunted to me, “Is that really it or do you have to do something else.” “What do you mean?” I asked. Moe bolted upright in his leather seat and shouted, “You’re sitting there with a chain letter in your lap and you act as if you don’t know it!” He continued. “Somebody sends you a chain letter and you run over here grinning like a Cheshire cat. Do they want you to send it to twenty other people and wait for your riches?” I was reeling when I said to Moe. “No. I only have to send it to seven people.” Moe was standing now and he was mocking my voice when he said, “I only have to send it to seven.” Then he said, “What’d they teach you in that college up there? You should know better! I’ve given you too much credit for brains! A Pulitzer Prize is what makes you run over here. That’s an award that comes with money. That’s an award that comes with big money.” Moe said, “I betcha I can tell you how many people in that so called chain has a Pulitzer Prize.” I folded my laptop and left.

I won’t say Moe hurt my feelings but he did catch me by surprise. I hadn’t heard the words ‘chain letter’ in ten years. So as to not let Bonnie down and since Moe would not cooperate, I will fulfill the conditions required of this badge. The following are ten honest things or so I think.

1. In spite of Moe’s opinion, I’m happy to have this award.

2. Moe does hurt my feelings because I often walk head on into the storm.

3. My father passed away a few years ago. Moe fills that void.

4. I honestly think Moe is as healthy as he is because he’s always into something or up to something.

5. Moe told me he knows Betty White. I’ll take that with a grain of salt.

6. No kid in this community will run across Moe’s lawn. He told one kid just one time not to do it and since then, every kid in the neighborhood walks along his parkway.

7. When people tell me they want to meet Moe, I tell them be careful what they wish for. Which is exactly what I told the hostess of that card party I wrote about in Rise and Fly.

8. When people come to my house out of the blue hoping to meet Moe, it annoys me.

9. In addition to this blog, I am now writing a book about Moe and I don’t want a Pulitzer Prize. (The shock of me having received that award might be too much for Moe to take.)

10. Moe is the man next door. I love him and he knows it. In case the Pulitzer people are listening, I really do want a Pulitzer Prize.

Now, I will list the seven other people who will receive this award.

1. John Dadlez – The Mommy Daddy. I discovered John’s blog a while back and I’ve been a big fan ever since. (His blog’s title is an attention getter.)

2. Barry and Barbara Knister at Drinks Before Dinner. Their blog is a gem. Try it on for size.

3. George Phenix at Blog of Ages. He churns out the funniest descriptions of life in the north.

4. Catherine Ross at Monarch Musings. Catherine is a photographer. It was her Amaryllis that first caught my eye. I’ve been enjoying her photos ever since.

5. Deborah Stewart at Teach Preschool. Deborah is a teacher. I am a teacher also and I have gleaned a ton of information about teaching from Deborah. I write another blog entitled, Talkin’ Kids. Deborah reads that blog. I don’t think she knows this blog About Moe exists. (She will in a minute.)

6. All of the guys at The Guy’s Perspective. These guys are witty, funny, brilliant, etc. And one of them is a Poker player.

7. Jamie at The Life and Times of a Househusband. When I first read one of Jamie’s stories, I burst into uncontrollable laughter. Brace yourself because Jamie takes you on a wild ride – all around his house.

So that’s it.
The award shall now pass from me to these others.
And I’ll get back to Moe.

Copyright © (2010 – 2013) Diana (Diane) Maria

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