Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Heroes and mishaps of 2015

Wick's World


At the end of each year, I like to give a shout out to ordinary people who may not have done anything more spectacular than simply doing their job. This year I will put a slightly different slant on things and compare life in Moose Lake versus life in the Twin Cities.

I spend a couple days each week at my second home in Eagan while I traipse around the area pursuing a favorite hobby of mine — buying new and used books. Wick Fisher Books has turned into a lucrative business in which I can make money doing what I love best, which is buying, selling and, most of all, reading books. I started the year at the Hastings Public Library Annual Book Sale last spring where I bought a 1928 first edition of “Babe Ruth’s own Book of Baseball” for a dime. It is worth $800.

What’s my favorite Twin Cities business? It’s all of the public libraries. What’s my favorite Moose Lake business? It’s the Moose Lake Public Library.

The other morning I had to run down to Eagan and watch as a plumber sent my fortune down a leaky toilet stool. What began as a $59.99 service fee grew by another $166 for a diagnostic fee. Then I was quoted $311 to remove the toilet stool plus a $264 fee to remove the water line. When he quoted me an extra $50 to dispose of the toilet, my wife overheard him and told the plumber, “Pick up your tools and leave.”

I picked up the phone, called Ruth Nordstrom and apologized to her for the early morning call. “Ruth,” I said, “If I drop off a toilet at the recycling center, how much will you charge me?”

“Six bucks,” she replied. Hooray, Ruth!

There is another hero to this story. Whenever I call Troy Hoffmann for my Moose Lake plumbing needs, he is always Johnny-on-the-spot. In addition, he never adds on charge after charge to an already very reasonable fee.

Undoubtedly my greatest hero of the year is the lady who found my wounded puppy on the side of a busy Eagan highway and got her to an animal rescue shelter. Also, a huge thank you goes out to Dr. Hanson who called Sweet Pea his “finest surgical success, ever.”

This story would be incomplete without identifying the “Greatest Mishaps of 2015.”

On my Thanksgiving flight to Phoenix, I managed to spill a full piping hot cup of coffee down the leg of my sleeping seatmate who graciously let me live through the ordeal.

I managed to send a package to my sister via priority mail so it would arrive exactly on her birthday. A couple of days later, I remembered she had recently moved from Nebraska to Texas — something I had forgotten when I applied the old address.

About a week after getting my new $4,000 hearing aids, I slowly sank my body down into our whirlpool bathtub. The static between my ears sounded like a Star Wars battle between R2D2 and C3PO. Lucky for me, the first 40 days of my hearing aids came with a full guarantee, no questions asked.

My best screw-up of the year occurred a few days ago. I had taken a package of one of our favorite fish (cod) out of the freezer and thawed it out for supper. When cooked properly, cod can be very flaky and tasty. If overcooked, it becomes like a piece of shoe leather. I just couldn’t seem to get this particular piece of fish cooked to anywhere near perfection. It was only after I forced my piece of fish down my throat and my wife had disgustingly thrown hers in the garbage, I realized I had just fried up the leftover lutefisk.

Have a happy holiday season and a great next year!


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