Gary Chalk

What Happens at the Cottage – STAYS at the Cottage! by Gary Chalk

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Gary Chalk

Gary Chalk

I am sooo embarrassed— even more than Donald Trumps campaign manager. And that’s bad!

Here’s why….

Jan and I were invited to our friends cottage recently. But I’m not sure we will be invited back– well at least me.

It was a quick one night visit.

“Gary can you pack your clothes?”

So I tossed a change of clothes in a L.L. Bean Weekender bag. Along with my shaving kit I was good to go.

Full stop: women don’t do overnight bags!

They require full-size suitcases– with a gazillion zippers and four wheels going in different directions. These suitcases have telescoping handles that stretch out to the length of seven Olympic javelins– designed to create hell for everyone maneuvering airport passenger terminals.

Like I said, it was just one night! If we’d planned on spending the weekend, I’d have to rent a U-Haul truck with a rear hydraulic low deck.

Once packed and on the road we did what cottage owners do: sit in congested traffic on busy highways!

People invest in a cottage so they can spend more quality time with their family. During the summer cottage owners complain about spraying for black flies the size of decorator pillows; come winter they shiver repairing frozen pipes.

Eventually, we reached the point where the directions said ‘turn off the highway.’ Translated, this means the remainder of the drive is on country roads, AKA: gravel.

When you drive to a cottage the directions always include ‘the country bakery where everybody stops.’

‘The country bakery where everybody stops’ use only the freshest ingredients- mostly high cholesterol butter. Then they mix in bags of sugar. The result: butter tarts that sell for $5.89. Each!

‘The country bakery where everyone stops’ cherry pie made it to our friends cottage. We scarfed down the butter tarts at the 2nd Concession Road.

According to the GPS we reached our destination when Siri screamed, ‘STOP! Your vehicle cannot sustain any more stone chips from the gravel road.’

This is where things started to go bad…

I discovered we didn’t bring my change of clothes, shaving kit, and pyjamas!

Jan made it abundantly clear that it wasn’t ‘we’ but ‘me’ who made the mistake. She even went so far as to tell me that I was responsible for packing my suitcase AND putting it into car! This seemed a little unfair to me….

That night it cooled off. Jan, of course had multiple pairs of pyjamas for the one night trip. Feeling sorry for me she had an idea.

“Gary, you can wear a pair of my pyjamas. Nobody will ever know.”

At this point I need to confirm that people who read this column– we are all friends, right? Right?

I am soo embarrassed…

I’ve discovered that nothing works better to keep a middle age guy in bed all night at a friends cottage– without getting up to go the bathroom!– than wearing a 2-piece floral pattern with lace trim panda tee and legging set!!

Ever since its like I’m a new man…

I don’t complain about making our bed in the morning. I’m enjoying arranging the decorator pillows overtop the reversible duvet cover set with pretty floral pattern.

I’ve also taken to drinking wine spritzers. And eating tofu!

Even Jan is happy…

“Gary you’re beginning to put the toilet seat down!”

Upcoming Living Retired keynote presentation ‘I Don’t Have Wrinkles, I Have Laugh Lines’ on September 13, 2016: Woodstock Probus Club, Woodstock Ontario.
There’s more laughs at
Gary Chalk, a baby boomer is enjoying retirement. Instead of watching his investments he muses about what see Living Retired. To receive Living Retired each week, to ‘unsubscribe’ or to book Gary’s keynote presentation ‘I Don’t Have Wrinkles, I Have Laugh Lines’ visit
EXCITING NEWS: Gary Chalk is now a contributor to After Fifty Living. Visit

Canadian humorist on a mission: ‘turn people’s wrinkles into laugh lines.’ Gary has been described as Canada’s Dave Barry– usually by tax collectors who don’t have a sense of humor. They figure if they can help him make some money he’ll pay any taxes owing!
As a public speaker, Gary is available to deliver his laugh out loud, inspirational speech ‘I Don’t Have Wrinkles, I Have Laugh Lines’ which transforms audiences into a ‘wrinkle-free zone’ where he relates his on-air bloopers as a young radio announcer through to his current musings Living Retired. Nothing is sacred as Gary talks about his wife’s dozen decorator pillows on their bed, wearing nasal strips, watching a husband and wife parallel park their Winnebago, to undergoing his annual physical! By the end everyone in the audience is sure to leap out of their seat and toss their wrinkle cream! His popular weekly column ‘Living Retired’– read by baby boomers and retirees throughout North America– transforms everyday mundane chores into wonderfully laugh out loud events! To read more of Gary’s antics visit

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