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Short Stories

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Short Story Collection

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Commuter Series
Paperback compilation of the four Commuter books

Commuter Read e-books.

Funny Stuff To Read OnThe Commuter Bus, Train, Plane, HOV Lane.

Preview-HOV Lane

My Supposed Good Health Was A Lie Right From The Start


I’ve been living under the illusion that health and injury were one and the same. Now, living under an illusion is nothing unusual for me. What’s unusual is figuring out that I’m doing it. I’m a good one to lie to myself. If you can’t lie well to yourself you can’t lie well to others. Memorize that. Not that I ever do that. I have missed very little work in my lifetime. Well, of course my lifetime. I have suffered very few injuries so I thought I was healthy as a horse.

Granted, I once had a job that put my fingers a quarter-inch from a sanding belt going fourteen- hundred RPM’s. It was very touchy at best. As matter of fact, touching would cut a finger off. I never did that but I was on a first name basis with the ER nurses. I used to tell the new interns how to stitch my fingers.

“Hey, I’m a doctor.”

“Umm, Doctor, he does know more about stitching than you do. I’m surprised he doesn’t do his own. Probably comes here to take a break from work.”

I always said I was as healthy as a horse. Well, that can’t be true. For openers, I have no way of knowing if a horse is healthy. I’m not a vet and I’m afraid of horses. A horse could be on its last legs and I wouldn’t know it until it fell on me. Then we’d both be unhealthy. The horse wouldn’t care since a horse only lays down to birth and die. If it fell on me, I’d be dead. See, I don’t birth.

I’ve been deaf in one ear since childhood. Also, I have been partially deaf in the other ear too. That has led to a whole range of problems. For instance, I didn’t know I was deaf until I was eight or nine. Prior to that I thought other people were stupid. Later I thought people were stupid for other reasons. I don’t always hear what you said as opposed to what I think you said. I have only 80 per cent word comprehension. That’s pretty bad although not always.

Yes, sometimes I’ve made huge mistakes in not hearing what you said but I’ve also gotten out of much trouble by pleading just that. Some people, like the missus, claim I hear what I want to hear. I deny that even when it’s true.

I kept getting ear infections. They’d go away or I’d get penicillin to cure it. I did that right until the day I lost my taste buds. Then the right side of my face started drooping. Uh, oh. Thespecialist saidthe infections had dug a tunnel from the ear canal to the skull. He needed to go in and fix it. Turns out, itwent through the skull and was on the brain membrane. He had to call in a brain specialist to help. People were told, stories came out and now people I know say I had to have brain surgery. They said it didn’t work.


I was born crossed-eyed. I’m talking one eye looking ahead and one looking at the other. I could see two bats and claim there were an entire flock or a herd of them or whatever they fly as. I actually did that once. I went screaming to my mother. She told me to go back out and don’t bother her unless they were vampire bats.

“Vampire bats? How would I know if they were vampire bats?”

“By the foam on their mouths.”

“How would I see that?”

“When they bite you.”

Mom was a real pip.

I had my gallbladder go bad. I was told by the doctor he needed to remove it. I thought, Do I need to have it removed? To Hell with his quota. He said it wouldn’t go away on its own. There were stones in the gall bladder trying to pass out and that was causing the pain. Sometimes they would get out and the pain would stop. Sometimes they would drop back in and the pain would stop. Either way, the pain stopped. He told me it was like being kicked in the crunchies. I had grave doubts about that.


Yea, well, be that as it may I wasn’t going to get cut when I didn’t have to. Well, the day came when I was in so much pain I couldn’t make my own decisions. That’s the story my wife tells me anyway.

The doctor came out and told my wife the gall bladder had become gangrenous and I was lucky to be alive. He said I needed adult supervision. She told him, “Yea? You try it.”

My wife’s a pip too.

Then there was a previously told heart surgery. You don’t want to hear a heart specialist say, “Uh, oh.” You don’t want to hear, ‘that’s it. I can’t go any farther.’ You really don’t want to hear, ‘I need to get a surgeon to do this.’ ”

Five blockages. A claim I had recently had a heart attack. Well, I did what was needed and,umm, I didn’t do my own surgery. A doctor did do that. I allowed it. I also paid for it.

I have sleep apnea and narcolepsy. I can sleep anytime. I don’t have it so much that I just doze off at any time. I can doze off at will. If I’m bored or if I’m not interested in what I;, not hearing. I’ve been in trouble a few times for that. Yet, at the same time, I have sleep apnea. The tests shows I stop breathing every 40 seconds. Then the brain wakes me up to take a breath ad nauseam. I have to use an air machine to stay asleep.

Maybe I’m the pip.

35 years ago I spent a fortune to get caps. I wanted to be a pretty boy.No sense in saying otherwise. Everybody on the social network sees it. I liked to shine. Well, they’ve held up pretty good over the years.

I was sitting there eating a salami sandwich with my puppy. She’s good at not stealing from me. I took a bite of my sandwich and it didn’t feel right. I looked at the sandwich but it looked right, I also looked at some teeth. What!

My dog grabbed them and took off. I guess her reasoning was they weren’t food so she was allowed to take them. I chased her down the hall to the bedroom. She crawled under the bed. It’s something she can do but I can’t. I called her nicely; I called her harshly. I got stick to use when my wife came in.

“What do you think you’re going to do with that stick?”

“I’m going to get my teeth back from Sadie.”

“You’re going to what?”

“Teeth. Going to get my teeth. She stole them from me.”

“You’re teeth? That’s what you’re telling me?”

I thought about it. It did sound stupid. Uh! I grinned at her to show the missing teeth, er, caps. She then asked how the dog stole the teeth out of my mouth. What? I finally got it straightened out while she got the teeth back.

I went to the dentist. He knew why I was there but his assistant didn’t. She asked why I was so glum. I told her,”I’ve got my teeth in a bag. I’m not happy.”

I ended up with a three tooth plate. It’s a perfect match so I’m still a pretty boy. You can look it up.

I used to smoke. I smoked for 50 years. After a couple of years my pulmonary doctor asked if I’d like to try a new CT scan procedure to test for cancer very early. Hell, yes. Turns out I don’t even have a scar from all that smoking.

I went back for my med check. He asked if I'd like to be a part of a study and get another free scan. Free! Yes, count me in. I went across the hall to talk to the study specialist.

“This won’t cost you anything. You have to fill out this form and agree to allow us to use the info and so on. Oh, we need to take some blood samples from time to time. We’ll pay you 50 dollars each time.

So, here I am. I’m doing what I said I’d never do. I’d starve before I’d do this.

I’m selling my blood.


The Rob Saga The Rob Saga is available as an ebook and in paperback. It is available at Createspace and Amazon.


There are people living on the edge in what is called Appalachia. They're called ridgerunners, rednecks, hillbillies and backwoods mountaineers. No one thinks of them very often. They don't earn much to society's standards.They stay where they are because they love the area. They are hard workers when they have work and self-sufficient to an extent not known to "outsiders." They are also very funny; they have a great sense of humor about themselves.

They are the salt of the earth and the backbone of America. Their stories are America's stories. These are the stories Of Appalachia.

Book is available as an e-book or in Paperback.
See a preview.

Appalachia Again

More stories of the people of Appalachia.

More of Joe Bob, Bubba and Earl, Mosh Henry and all of the rest of the good folks in Wabash County.

Book is available as an e-book or in Paperback.

See a preview.

Funny Stories Don Roble
Funny Stories
See a preview.


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