This World Is Tough
At any time there are some 44,000 storms; lightning strikes the earth 100 times every second, and there are on average 35 earthquakes per day. Those are all acts of God, one may argue, but we humans don’t make it any easier on Mother Earth. Every year more than 2 million cases of arson are reported, and more than a million trees are chopped just to make toothpicks. Not all is gloom, however: 200 million couples make love (and 400,000 babies are born) every day.
Did You Know This?
In 1945, on July 28th at 9:40 AM, a U.S. Army/Aircorps, B-25, Mitchell bomber, crashed into the north side of New York’s Empire State building. The unlucky pilot, William Franklin Smith, was ferrying the plane from Massachusetts to New Jersey. A dense fog had set in as he approached the airport. He became disoriented, made a wrong turn and the bomber crashed between the 78th and 80th floors killing all three crewmembers aboard and eleven civilian workers. An engine flew through the building and fell 900 feet. An elevator operator Betty Lou Oliver was injured. As rescuers tried to evacuate her on an elevator that had suffered cable damage the elevator broke free and plunged 75 stories. Betty Lou survived. And holds the Guiness World Record for longest elevator plunge.
The British word for toilet, “loo”, derives from the French “garde a l’eau!” In medieval Europe people had little conception of hygiene and threw the contents of their chamber pots out the window into the street below. In France the practice was preceded by “garde a l’eau!” (“watch out for the water!”). In England, this phrase was Anglicized, first to “gardy-loo!”, then just “loo”, and eventually came to mean the toilet/lavatory itself. The American word for toilet, “john”, is called after John Harington who invented the first working toilet in America.
In 1913, the Russian airline became the first to feature a toilet on board. The movie Psycho is said to be the first film to show a toilet being flushed. Toilet paper is thought to have been introduced in China at around 850, long before the advent of the toilet as we know it.
Some things you never get used to
You know, sometimes I feel like I’ve landed in purgatory and to get out I have to suffer an unfathomable retribution of total distraction and confusion. Oh, did I leave out a gusher of preposterous lies and misinformation?
And what is it about a small community that leads people to purposefully make up stories and adopt rumors as fact, when supposedly everyone in town knows you and half of them should know the truth, or at least want to know it? Maybe it’s the fact that we have no other forms of entertainment within 12 miles, so letting our brains fall out of our mouths with enough emotional emphasis to parrot real concern, and thereby raising the emotional indignation of sympathizers, satisfies a primal need for nuttiness!
And where on earth do these folks get their information? They sure as hell don’t do any research except on the telephone with each other.
Speaking of which, the telephone is one of the last century’s greatest advancements. Employing its use gave new life to another age old method for disseminating far-fetched and baseless information. Like a Phoenix, the Grapevine has been revived and has risen from its own incendiary demise, perpetrated by lazy natives who no longer wanted to build the fires necessary to send smoke signals. Also, debunking the alternative method of grape-vining was the dumbing down of America as a social enrichment for political correction. The word “dumbass” was also forbidden and word-of- mouth became impossible because no one could understand each other until now, as we have texting for single syllable words, and abbreviations within, for grunting, vomiting and laughing out loud, along with other ingenious substitutes for marginal intelligence. And no one cares. After all, even with automatic promotion, those who beat the system and managed to stay in school until they were twenty have been given “pity” credits and free passes for personal advancement . . . it’s the law!
The “grapevine” is a favored tool used by Commissioner Junk Yard, who, by the way, is still slithering around a court date for his felony dumping charge. We have been temporarily relieved of his astounding wit and machinations to “save the taxpayers money” by Governor Scott’s suspension of him. Not to fear however, as his buddy and chief member of the “grapevine” brain trust is holding down the fort. This one specializes in a very effective debate technique, that entails shouting as loud as it takes to drown out any opposition. I visited the grapevine today, and learned from grapevine contributors that Tall Tale Megaphone has gained many points and supporters for his upcoming run for mayor. One small problem has arisen. He will have to move. All supporters want him for mayor of Otter Creek.
He did a commendable job of grapevine fact sharing on Monday, when he was asked where he got his information. After stuttering breifly, searching space above his head, and looking like a cornered possum, he escaped (but had it on the tip of his tongue). He didn’t say “I heard it through the grapevine.” He copped out with a limp, “I was told by several citizens.” Immediately after, he got into a verbal brawl with the Mayor. It was still a classic moment. One that will go down as a new high in commission meeting history for Neanderthal behavior.
I heard that the Oddfellows were looking for a poster child for their Liar,Liar, pants on fire! awards. I nominated, guess who.
Enuff Said . . . .