Contrary To Popular Belief

Contrary to popular belief, the Internet doesn’t know everything.

My Mind recently went for a little walk, unaccompanied, but properly masked.  When it returned, it brought back a tiny piece of my childhood – a strange little piece called

UNEEDA LABORATORY

I know that it existed, because Mad Magazine did a send-up on it, and I once read an article saying that jokesters spoofed it with names like Igotta Laboratory, Wewanna Lab. and Theyhadda Lab.  Whether they ever heard of the Laboratory, smart marketers are still using the cutesy name to identify companies like, Uneeda Taxi, Uneeda Tire Center, and Uneeda Burger.

In my youth, I never investigated what Uneeda Laboratory researched, so I plugged it into both Bing and Google.  I got back a black hole.  😯  Nabisco made biscuits that they called Uneeda, back in the early 1900s.  There’s a coated abrasives firm which makes Uneeda wire wheels, sanding belts, and grinding wheels, but they market them as Tanis Brush.  They brag that they’ve been in business for 50 years, but my memories of Uneeda are 65 years or more old.

In the 1960s, there was a Brooklyn company that made a product called Uneeda Dolls.  The dolls are long gone, and the company was bought up by a Hong Kong firm called Tony Toys.  There’s a tiny village named Uneeda in West Virginia, about as big as a mole on a chipmunk’s nose.  It’s not large enough for another outhouse, much less a laboratory.  I’ve heard the joke that, “My home-town was so small; the McDonalds only had one arch.”  This village of 391 at a bend in a mountain road claims to have a McD’s, but there is no arch.

Dictionary sites don’t recognize the name.  It’s probably because I’m a grumpy old technological Luddite: I just don’t know what search terms to enter into search engines like Bing or Google.  When I enter meaning Uneeda, I am referred to the Nabisco biscuits, or the coated-abrasives, sites.  That’s what Uneeda is, not what the word means.

If I enter meaning name Uneeda, I am presented with 6 or 8 baby name sites which claim to know the meanings of every name, but don’t.

Meaning – baby boy name – Uneeda
Meaning – baby girl name – Uneeda

Each and every one of them is a Wiki-style site.  They all say, “We do not currently have a meaning for the name Uneeda.  If you have a meaning for the name Uneeda, please enter it.”

And so, the origin and history of the famous Uneeda Laboratory fades into the mists of time.  Have any of you ever heard of the Uneeda Laboratory?  If you know the meaning of Uneeda Laboratory, please enter it.

Grumpy Old Dude One-Liners

New show, The Walking Dad….
….It’s just me, wandering around the house, turning off lights, muttering, “I’m not made of money.”

I ate an entire clock yesterday….
….It was very time-consuming.

What do you do when you see a spaceman?….
….Park your car, man.

I am not addicted to reading….
….I can quit – as soon as I finish this chapter.

I made a pencil with two erasers….
….It was pointless

I slept like a log last night….
….Woke up in the fireplace.

I finally found a good use for a stress ball….
….I throw it at anyone who makes me upset or anxious.

Dad, are we pyromaniacs?….
….We arson.

Nothing is really lost….
….Until Mom can’t find it.

I thought I was losing weight….
….Turns out my sweatpants came untied.

I may be crazy….
….But crazy is better than stupid.

Autobiographies are now known as….
….Literary selfies.

Condoms should be used….
….at every conceivable occasion.

I got a friends request from Quasimodo….
….I don’t think I know him, but the name rings a bell.

I used to work as a circus trapeze artist….
….Till they let me go.

I have OCD….
….Old, Cranky, and Demented.

Before the invention of the wheel….
….Everything was a total drag.

Why can’t humans hear a dog whistle?….
….Because dogs can’t whistle.

Insomniacs are sick human beings!….
….How do they sleep at night?

My wife woke up with a huge smile on her face today….
….I love felt-tip pens.

My son kept giving us shocks from static electricity….
….So I grounded him.

I have a goal of losing 20 pounds this year….
….Only 30 more to go.

I Am Crabby

What better treat to sweeten up a Grumpy Old Dude like me, than some lovely Crab-Apple jelly?

As an occasional treat, on nights that I post a blog, I have come to like a couple of Costco croissants, warmed in the toaster-oven, with crab-apple jelly and a mug of hot chocolate.

Several times in the course of our marriage, I have helped the wife make a batch of crab-apple jelly.  She initiates it, organises it, and gives directions, while I do most of the donkey-work, since I am so admirably qualified.  With a little luck, and some greed, I often get all or most of a batch.  It’s okay.  The wife prefers strawberry or red currant.  With some self-control and rationing, a batch lasts me several years

Crab-apple jelly is almost impossible to find in a grocery store, and when you do, it’s three or four times as expensive, because of shortage of crab-apples, and extra labor.  Near where the daughter once lived was a Mennonite church.  On the boulevard of the side street, they had planted four crab-apple trees.  At harvest time I just went over and picked enough.  A couple of years later I returned, to find that the city had widened the street, and destroyed the trees.

The home the daughter moved to, backs onto a community trail.  A block away, one house whose property also edged the trail, didn’t have a back fence – but they did have a crab-apple tree.  The owner graciously allowed me to harvest all I wanted – because then, he didn’t have to pick them all up.  A couple of years later I returned…. to find that the Region had widened and paved the trail, and removed the tree.

An occasional Mennonite at the Farmers’ Market MIGHT have a few six-quart baskets of crab-apples, if you get there at the right time, (I only had four baskets, and I sold the last one an hour ago.) but I might as well be paying for black truffles.  Two women offer jams and jellies of many flavors.  The wife bought a jar of red currant – which included some of the little twigs that the currants grow on.  I passed on their apple jelly.

Another man also offered a wide variety, including crab-apple jelly – at a merely outrageous price.  Real crab-apple jelly should be so clear, that you could read a newspaper through its red/gold beauty.  This stuff was more apple sludge, full of unfiltered apple fiber.

This is the cost of old age – having to live in the big city, close to all the medical support.  I’ll bet if I lived in my small home-town, I’d know someone with a crab-apple tree or two.  How about you??  Do you have a particular treat that you like?  Is it readily available?

***

Chapter 2

Almost 20 years ago, when we first moved in, at the back of my property were a spruce tree, and a lilac bush, for added privacy and noise attenuation.  Back then they were barely as tall as the six-foot sound-berm.  Now they both tower 15/20 feet.

This summer, I was mowing the lawn, and stopped to catch my breath and look at the lilac…. and I lost my breath again.  There were crab-apples growing on my lilacWTF!!  Close inspection (the lawn can wait) showed that two of the lilac’s trunks (?) were actually a crab-apple tree.  This is the first year that it has produced fruit, so I’d never previously noticed that the two were intertwined.

How did it get there??  A squirrel burying an apple??  Some idiot in the neighborhood puts out peanuts for them.  We find peanuts buried in our planters and flower beds – along with dead flowers from the digging.

I’ll be discussing Theology with Saint Peter before this tree matures.  There are only half a dozen bunches of apples this year.  I couldn’t get six quarts/liters.  I will do well to get six cups this fall, but the wife says that she/we can make a mini-batch of one or two jars for me.  I’ll still be grumpy – just better fed.  😀  😎

Flash Fiction #258

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

PEACE AND QUIET

Keep driving.  The GPS says that it’s just a little further

Are you sure this guy exists?  I thought they lived on mountaintops.  Rural Postal Route #22??!  I’m not happy with directions that say, “Turn off the paved road, and drive till the radio goes Ttthbbbrrst.”

There’s his cabin!  Stop!
O Wise Wizard of the Woods, what is the secret of everlasting serenity?

Silence and Solitude!!  How’d you guys find me??  Why don’t you bugger off and find your own patch of bush??!  I guarantee I’ll feel a lot more serene when I see your tail-lights disappear in the distance!

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

The Better To See You With My Dear

TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY!

In case you wonder how I got to be a Grumpy Old Dude – let’s take a quick…. Uh, slow trip through Bureaucroland.

I had three operations on one eye last year – a retina tack, a new, plastic lens installed because of developing cataracts, and a laser scrub when the new lens went cloudy.

Worsening cataracts on both the wife’s eyes were making reading and knitting difficult, and they’re a big part of her life.

Shortly after my third treatment, late last year, the wife finally got an assessment appointment with my specialist.  It was decided that she rated an operation on each eye.  When COVID19 erupted, what should have been a 3 to 4 month wait for a surgical theater, stretched to almost a year.

Finally, recently, we got a call from the Ophthalmologist’s office, giving a date, but telling us we’d have to wait for a time-of-day scheduling.  After another 2-week wait, they called again to tell us that the wife would be the first operation of the day at 9 AM, and to have her to the hospital by 7 o’clock.

For a guy who normally goes to bed at 5 AM, this was not optimal.  Don’t you have something after lunch??  We had some discussion about me sitting in a waiting room for 3 to 5 hours, during COVID.  The day before the operation, the hospital called and said that I would have to remain outside somewhere, until I was called.

The second wave of COVID has rolled into the Region.  We had a one-day count, higher than any day in April.  We worried that the surgery might get cancelled.  It was to be on Thursday.  As of Monday, the Region went to Red-status.

In the first wave, many of the most vulnerable – the elderly, the youngsters, and the breathing-impaired – had died.  In this wave, while the numbers were up, most of them were hardy young partiers who could tough it out in quarantine at home.  The hospitals were actually less busy.  Everything was still a go.

I dropped the wife off shortly before 7, and went back home and got another hour or so of sleep, before they called at 9:40.  I went back to get her, and parked in the pickup lane, by the front door.  👿

The Provincial Government has ordered that masks must be worn to enter any business.  I put mine on, and approached the door, to be met by a Security Guard who insisted that I douse my hands with antiseptic gel.  Then I had to stand back six feet from the woman who entered directly behind me, but who couldn’t seem to operate a pump dispenser.

Next I was ordered to use my newly-sanitised hands to remove my Government-mandated mask, and install a single-use paper one, issued by the hospital.  Finally, I was able to break free and head across the lobby towards the elevators.  Suddenly, a young woman, not wearing a hospital uniform or identity tag, stepped in front of me – well within my 6-foot (Cdn. 2 meters) safety distancing space. I almost knocked her over.

She said something.  I thought she asked why I had come to the hospital.  I answered that I had got a call to pick up the wife.  Oh, no, this is the safety interrogation – the special extended hospital version.

Did I have….
any fever – No
a cough – No
shortness of breath – No
aches or pains – No
loss of taste or smell – No

In the last 6 months – 6 weeks – 6 days – 6 hours…. Did I leave – the country – the Province – my home – my bedroom?  Did I travel to – Hong Kong – Bora Bora – Yucatan – Iceland?  Had I ever had toenail fungus?  Was my Mother left-handed?   no, No, NO, NO!, NO!  Finally, she came to a stop…. I thought.  I stepped past her and headed for the elevators….Sir? I’m not finished.  YOU ONLY THINK YOU”RE NOT FINISHED!

I went up in the elevator to the surgery floor and got off.  The ‘can’t-be-used’ waiting room was to my left, and the surgery suite was behind a locked door to my right.  Perhaps they’ve put a clerk in the waiting room.  I poked my head around the corner.  Three men were sitting in it??!  Two of them simultaneously asked me. “Are you George?/Are you John?”  “No, I’m confused, and grumpy, and it’s getting worse by the second.”

A passing nurse let me into the recovery area.  I collected the wife, and headed back out.  In the hallway to the front door, the wife asked if I would get her a Tim Horton’s Coffee.  There’s an outlet directly beside the main door…. Behind a slalom obstacle course of bollards and straps and signs.  ENTER HERE, EXIT HERE, despite the fact that there was no-one at the counter.

I managed to get to the order window, and the perky little perk-server said, “Sir, please use some hand sanitizer,”  The stuff I slathered on, eight feet away, and five minutes ago, still hasn’t dried on my hands.  I said, “I just did!”  “Sir, please apply some more, to enter the coffee shop.”  You know, the wife didn’t really want a coffee that bad – at least that’s what I told her when I went back.  “Have a nice day, sir.”  OH…. It’s Wayyy too late for that.  👿

And I’ve got another one to look forward to in January.   😯

Involuntary Loner

Grumpy

I lost my brother recently. Thanx for the condolences, but he’s still alive. I just don’t know where the Hell he is.

I am content to be surrounded only by immediate family, and a tiny group of online friends. This is a cautionary tale about seniors growing older, isolated and alienated from society. (Visit your Grandma in the home!)

My grandson is getting married, and we tried to invite my brother to the wedding. His landline number had been disconnected, and his cell phone number had been assigned to someone else.

My daughter contacted his daughter through Facebook, and a sad, protracted tale of woe came to light. He had turned into a grumpy old man with no friends, although it wasn’t clear whether he was grumpy because he had no friends, or had no friends because he was so grumpy – perhaps a bit of both.

His wife left him and divorced him some years ago. He moved 25 miles, to a small village, to be near his older daughter. Within a year, she disappeared, moving out without telling anyone where she went.

The younger daughter admitted that she had been preoccupied with kids going into teenage-hood, and a small, retail business that she runs. His old buddy, “24 beers in a case/24 hours in a day” Norm, hadn’t stopped in to see him in over 5 years. We didn’t improve things, because, despite the wife’s nagging gentle reminders, I hadn’t phoned him in almost 3 years.

He had a lady friend-with-benefits for several years, but he was retired, with time to drive to Florida, and spend some time there in the winter. She had just started a home-cleaning business, with a growing list of clients, who she couldn’t leave hanging, so she also left him.

He had a guy that he’d gone to school and worked with, who would split on gas and motel rooms to attend curling bonspiels in Ottawa, and North Bay. But he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, and brother finally called him a God-damn asshole, and dumped him.

There was a pair of male twins his age who used to give him some time, but neither one was interested in curling, and no longer wanted to car-pool and drive 500 miles to watch a NASCAR race. He never read, and he didn’t own a computer.

There was mention of “some trouble with a neighbor” (or neighbors), and apparently what passed for a village council, couldn’t, or wouldn’t, solve his problem. Suddenly, one day, he put his house on the market, sold it and just moved away.

His younger daughter says that she knows physically where he is, and has a telephone number. When she found out about his decision, she tried to contact him. He felt betrayed and abandoned. He said, “Screw all of you! If you weren’t there for me when I needed you, I’m not going to be there for you. The Government knows where I am. The rest of you can go to Hell. I don’t want to be bothered. Don’t give my contact information to anyone.”

My Mother used to say, about his sulking moods, “He just wants to go out in the garden and eat worms.” I am sorry that he feels betrayed and abandoned, and the situation that he’s in. He and I have led very different lives. For obvious reasons, we were never close, but I’ll still miss him.

A To Z Challenge – R

 

Challenge '18letter-r

RECOVERY

Hedge Clippers

I HAD A VASECTOMY!  I know, I know!  TMI!  TMI!  The guys are now clenched so hard that they could hold an aspirin with their butt-cheeks, and the women are diplomatically trying hard not to smile.  Still, it’s something that should be mentioned.

After a few years of marriage, I had produced a couple of offspring and a paltry paycheck, so we decided to stave off poverty, using birth control.  ‘The Pill’ was available, but difficult to obtain, and expensive.  Using Ontario’s “free” socialized medicine, either the wife or I could get sterilized.

If she has her tubes tied, it’s three or four days of extreme discomfort, and a week to recover….all while I’m taking care of a 4-year-old, and a 1-year-old.  If I have the snip, it’s a couple of days of mild discomfort, and I get waited on.  The choice wasn’t difficult.  Some years later, my brother also decided to have it done.  He drove to the hospital on a Saturday morning…. but couldn’t bring himself to go in.

I got the idea for this post from another woman, whose husband was given a Valium at the hospital, to calm him down, and had an interesting reaction.  I’ll tell you about him in a couple of weeks, when I write about ‘S for surgery.’  I wanted to tell my tale first, so I titled it ‘Recovery.’  I already have a word picked out for V, so I don’t need either Vasectomy (easy, guys), or Valium.

When she wrote of her husband’s Valium adventures, I made the following comment:

Now I feel cheated. I didn’t get a Valium. They may not have been invented back when I had the procedure. I had it done in the doctor’s office on a Friday morning, before I went to work. I got a local anesthetic injection, and went to the office after.  The doctor who actually performed the procedure was another, of three doctors sharing a practice.  I wasn’t told why at the time, but found out later that my doctor was a barely-functioning alcoholic.  I am so glad that he didn’t get his shaky hands on my delicate crotch.

The shot was just wearing off by the time I left work at 5 PM. Still, I only took 4 of the 8 pain pills Doc gave me, over the weekend. He warned me that I would feel like I got kicked in the groin by a horse. Actually, I didn’t. I looked like a horse had kicked me – bruises in colors not normally found in nature.  Her husband was grumpy after the meds wore off.  I purposely had mine on a Friday, then I had the entire weekend to be grumpy, and there was that bag of frozen peas that never made it to the table.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll tell you a tale about the dangers of drug use – even if it was just an innocent little Valium, but please come back before then.  We have other topics to discuss.  😀

 

Sleeping with one-liners

Comedy

Some days I wake up grumpy…
….other days, I just let her sleep

What do you call a fake noodle?….
….an impasta

The stars are now in perfect alignment….
….for me to break my addiction to magical thinking

What kind of mistakes are common at a blood bank?….
….typos

What does a vegan zombie say?….
….grainnns

A man runs in front of a car, he gets tired….
….he runs behind a car and gets exhausted

My wife says I have two major faults….
….I don’t listen, and something else

I have the best Egyptian Dad joke….
….actually, it’s more a mummy joke

My friend doesn’t believe in Santa Claus….
….does that make him an eggnog-stic?

My therapist told me that a good way to release my anger was to write letters to all the people I hate, and burn them….
….I did that, and I feel great – but do I keep the letters?

What’s the capital of Texas?….
….the T

What’s more impressive than a talking dog?….
….a spelling bee

Baldness?  I’m not losing more hair….
….I’m gaining more head

There’s a lot of unrest….
….in the insomniac community

A family goes to a hotel.  The father goes to the front desk and says, “I hope the porno is disabled.”….
….The clerk says, “It’s just normal porn, you sick fuck.”

What do Michelangelo and Curt Kobain have in common?….
….The both used their brains to paint the ceiling

I didn’t know what type of hammer to get my Dad….
….but I think I nailed it

Somebody stole my bagful of new AA batteries….
….there was a hefty charge when the culprit was located

How many Amish people does it take to screw in a lightbulb?….
….I don’t know

What do you call a dog with no legs?….
….Doesn’t matter what you call him.  He ain’t gonna come.

What do you call a cow with no legs?….
….ground beef

 

WOW #31 – MUMP

 

Mumps

One potato – two potato
One

MUMP

Two mumps

Definitions for mump

  • to sulk; mope.
  • to grimace.
  • to mumble; mutter.

 

Origin of mump

The rare English verb mump is akin to the equally rare Dutch mompen “to mumble, grumble,” and the magnificent German verbs mumpfen “to chew with one’s mouth full” and mimpfeln “to mumble while eating.” The Germanic verbs most likely derive from a Proto-Indo-European root meuǝ- “be silent,” from which English also derives mum “silent,” Latin mūtus “silent, mute,” and Greek mustḗrion “secret rite, mystery,” a derivative of mústēs “an initiate,” a derivative of mueîn “to initiate, instruct, teach,” itself a derivative of múein “to close the eyes, mouth, or other opening” (lest one reveal what is not to be revealed). Mump entered English in the 16th century.

When the wife saw the beginning of this post, she immediately declared that I am just an old MUMP, a much better word than ‘grump,’ to describe me, as I sulk and mope and mutter and mumble.  When you have

  1. an infectious disease characterized by inflammatory swelling of the parotid and usually other salivary glands, and sometimes by inflammation of the testes or ovaries, caused by a paramyxovirus.

and both sides of your throat (and perhaps your nuts) are sore and swollen, you can sulk and mope, you can grimace because it hurts to eat/swallow, and you have to mutter and mumble because the swollen throat makes it difficult to talk…. then you have a double serving, and the medical plural is called

Mumps – noun (used with a singular verb) Pathology.

And neither of these have anything to do with my WOW #11Mumpsimus, which was about officially not knowing what you’re talking about.  (Also see – Trump) 😯

I’m still trying to find the line where I can be different, without crossing over into weird.  While I appreciate the homespun attraction of ‘Mump,’ I still want to be a ‘Grump.’  I like being G.O.D. much more than I would, being a M.O.D.  See you in a couple of days with more prosaic words.  🙂

 

WOW #22

Dictionary

This week’s Word Of the Week is….

CERVINE

As with so many other things, I found it when I was looking for something else. I have no smart comments to make about it.  I can’t even think of a way to relate it to my life, to give you some kind of cute little story about it.

The English adjective cervine comes directly from Latin cervτnus “pertaining to a deer” ( cervus). Latin cervus means “stag, deer” and derives from a complicated Proto-Indo-European root ker- (with many variants) “uppermost part (of the body), head, horn.” The same root yields Latin cornū “horn” (as in unicorn and in corn in the sense “thickening and hardening of the skin on a toe”), cervτx “neck,” and cornea (horny coating or tissue). In Germanic the root appears as her-, source of English horn, hart (the animal), and hornet. Cervine entered English in the 19th century.

Just about every animal has a similar word to describe it. Most are easy to identify if you know the Latin base.  Bovine = cow-like, ovine is sheep-like, equine is horses, canine and feline are cats and dogs, aquiline soars like an eagle, ursine refers to bears, lupine is wolves, leonine is lions, although saturnine means gloomy or taciturn, and refers to the dour astrological influence of the planet Saturn.  The dictionary does not mention Grumpy Old Dude – Archon.  Vulpine refers to foxes,  and is the basis for the European surname ‘Volpe’.  We have a “Don Volpe Interiors”, locally.

Porcine refers to pigs. I once watched a C-grade movie.  Essentially it was The A-Team Invades Cuba.  Soon after our heroic lads came ashore, they required local assistance.  It quickly came in the form of a Rubenesque young female with a low neckline, short skirt, and high heels in a dirt-road village.

The squad leader thanked her, and asked her name. When she said that it was ‘Porcina Perez,’ I fell off the couch.

I don’t imagine that I’ll use this word much. I have very little need to describe things (animals) which are deer-like.  The reason that I included it is because of all the English-language words and concepts that it engenders.  Heads and horns and hornets and corns and cornets and cervix and hart and cornea and unicorns, oh my.  It’s like this one word supports half the dictionary.

Please join me again, later this week, when I rant off at a completely different vector.  😀