Some time ago I bought a labeler on a routine run through Walmart. I have an ever present desire to be more organized. Sometimes I make progress with this and I have noticed that having labels for certain things helps. However, like many things I buy to get more organized nothing happened with my new labeller for the longest time. It sat in a drawer in my desk, perhaps I was a bit overwhelmed by learning something new. That tells you about my mindset. One day this summer Jill was in my office and I pulled it out and said, “Jill, remember this?” Where I feared to tread Jill had no hesitation. She immediately opened the package and got it set up. What followed has been a bit nutty, the use of that labeler did not go at all as I expected. There has been no improvement in organization as a result of that thing coming out of its package, however, there has been more fun happening this side of the creek.
One of my first memories of the labeler in action happened the morning we had a sewer problem which saw a mini flood happen in our basement. As we got that situation fixed up Morgan came to me and said, “Mom, did you see the alligator?” I thought he was making some reference to animals that creep out of sewers or something like that, I honestly hardly processed what he was saying, I was a bit dismissive. But then, I caught a good look at our dog Maddie. She had been labelled to honor the day, “ALLIGATOR”……I laughed.
The next memorable moment happened when Jill made a label for Russ, she placed it on his forehead, where, he says, because he tries to be a good Dad, he indulged her and left it on. It stayed on all night and he was quite aware of it. He left for work in the morning with it on and his hat placed over it. It had survived a trip through the shower. When I picked him up in the field to go to Church he wasn’t thinking about it. As we came in he removed his hat, now well accustomed to the label he wasn’t feeling it. But the usher was observant. “Whats on your forehead Russell?” He said, “Oh! Jill put a label on my head.” “What does it say?” “It says, ‘16 head’” Laughter followed. With Russell’s hair challenge Jill figured Russell had way more than a fore head, his forehead was multiples of fore/four. She decided on 16. We have no picture of that label.
There were various miscellaneous ways that the labeller got used for no reason in particular.
Then last week I was away in Saskatoon when we had some visitors in the house. One of our visitors, by the name of Dawson, might have been inspired by the ridiculous labels he saw, he added to them and when I got home there were some things to discover.
Regarding this sugar, some may find this label offensive, it was placed when our friend Jen was in the kitchen, she is part Dene and part Cree and didn’t take offense. She is my thermometer on things like this.
When I came home from Saskatoon I brought the fam a new kettle. It had three significant perks, its lit on/off switch, its red color and the price, only $14.88. Russ was inspired. While I slept in the next day he got busy with the labeller. I had to spot three different labels to catch the joke. Here are the labels. Will you get the joke?
Yeah, the good ol saying, “that’s the pot calling the kettle black.”
While I was in Saskatoon Morgan joined our public pasture manager to work cows for several days. He took one of Russell’s water bottles, previously labelled.
The pasture manager spotted the label on Morgan’s bottle and Morgan tells us he was quite eager to clarify, was that the 2nd favorite water bottle or is Morgan the 2nd favorite kid? That brought some laughs. The bottle label fared pretty well after several days of hard core work in the sun, in and out of saddle bags, roping bulls, cows and calves.
Labels are a dicey subject in society. They can pigeon hole people and limit options. But they also can help us make order out of chaos. Perhaps there is another purpose, Russ figures in our case it was that the labels helped members of our circle showcase their sense of humor. The humor helps us navigate the stress of life and haying. Don’t be surprised if you see us around town and glimpse a little white rectangle on us, or at the post office picking up a refill of label tape in the mail. This doesn’t show any sign of slowing down, that first roll of tape has really lasted.