’19 A To Z Challenge – L

AtoZ2019letter-l

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superstition

And superstition rears its ugly head again. Closed-minded tribalism makes too many of humanity fear anything different. Destroy it! Destroy it! It is the Devil’s work! 😯

This post takes for its theme, the word

LANUGO

Noun; a coat of delicate, downy hairs, especially that with which the human fetus or a newborn infant is covered.

A few times (far too few), Bible-thumping Christian Fundamentalists have changed their minds about LGBT+, when they realized that their child was gay, but not evil and sinful. One Southern Methodist preacher had three of his four children (two sons, and his daughter) go gay on him.

It is regrettable that extreme cases of lanugos are not more common. It might educate the evolution-denying, Young Earth Creationists, to have a baby that looked like a Bonobo pop out. It would clearly show that we are related to monkeys – although the monkeys might object.

Lanugo

While the occasional baby has a thick enough coat of fur to look like a chimp, it falls off within days, or a week, leaving a pink, squalling, naked ape. While not afflicted with an actual lanugo, my son’s enate Italian heritage gave him considerable heavy body hair at birth – arms, legs, shoulders, back. He looked like a miniature, stereotypical Guido. He had a full head of black hair the day he was born. Old wives’ tales say that it causes the mother heartburn. He got his first haircut at age three months.

I’m not sure, even in today’s society, what reaction a lanugo baby might receive from narrow-minded ‘Good Christian’ parents. Another similar religiously-connected word is

Caul

Noun; a part of the amnion sometimes covering the head of a child at birth.

It’s merely a bit of internal tissue, but superstitious peasants used to believe that it was a sign that the baby was owned or possessed by Satan. Such children were strangled, smothered, drowned, or stabbed at birth, or even worse, exposed to the elements to die, like the Athenians used to do.

The Christian portion of the world is getting better – moving forward into the discoveries of how the Universe works, but the Evangelicals don’t understand why large portions of the population – Good Christians, as well as Atheists – want to maintain separation of Church and State, and prevent being dragged back into the Dark Ages of superstition.

Now, if only we could get the Islamic portion to do the same.

Sorry if this was a bit of a downer. Comedy next Monday – bring your biggest smile.

Laughing Face

WOW #27

Bagpipes

Today, we look at my Scottish heritage from the outside. The Word Of the Week is

Doodlesack

Doodlesack, a respelling of German Dudelsack “bagpipe,” literally “bagpipe sack,” is a rare word in English. The German word is, or seems to be, a derivative of dudeln “to tootle” (unless the verb is a derivative of the noun). Even in German Dudelsack appears not to be a native word but is likely to be a borrowing from a Slavic language, e.g., Polish and Czech dudy “bagpipe.” Doodlesack entered English in the mid-19th century.

I can’t blow my brains out.  I may huff and puff on my blog site, but the last time I could extinguish all the candles on my birthday cake, I was about 9 years old.  I love the soul-stirring skirl of the pipes, but I couldn’t inflate a set of bagpipes.  Even just picking one up is like wrestling a spastic squid.

Bagpipe music is not for everyone. Like kimchi, it’s an acquired taste that not all people acquire.  At a cultural festival in the park, when a piper stopped playing, a little old lady approached him and said, “If you stop squeezing that cat so hard, it will stop screeching.”

Click here if you’d like to see and hear AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’ played on a set of flame throwing bagpipes.  A British couple got, what they thought were, really cheap tickets to a Red Hot Chilli Peppers concert.  They flew to Dublin to see a show by “The Red Hot Chilli Pipers“, a cover band that does all the Pepper tunes on bagpipes.

I read a Scottish adventure/mystery story one time, where the hero was a piper. He was practicing, standing on a rocky crag above a deep, fast, mountain river, when a sniper shot at him.  He tumbled into the raging waters and, although the shooter watched for a long, long time, he never surfaced…. until the next chapter.  Scottish pipers have lungs as big as their bagpipes.  He held his breath for almost 4 minutes.

My hometown had a well-established, and forgiving, Scottish Presbyterian Church. Shortly after World War II, a series of Scottish preachers immigrated to Canada.  Each would be placed in our town for a few years, until he’d learned the social ways and lost most of his Scottish burr, and then another would come out to replace him.

The Presbyterian Manse was directly across the street from my house. As a small boy, three ministers in a row brought their bagpipes with them.  On the upper floor, there was a double-wide, 40-foot-long hallway, with 10 foot ceilings.  When they had successfully composed the week’s sermon, each would celebrate by striding the hall while playing the bagpipes.

As soon as I would hear the first skirl, I would rush over, (I was allowed to) let myself in, and sit, out of the way, in absolute awe at the close-up sound of the pipes. Sadly now, the only time I seem to hear bagpipes, is at a funeral, if someone important dies.  ‘Amazing Grace’ is a lovely song, but I pine for ‘Scotland the Bra’e.’

Doodlesack indeed!!?  Making fun of my cultural music and instrument??!  That’s as bad as me making fun of rap music….no, wait, that’s justified.  Rap – so that Negroes with otherwise absolutely no talent, can make outrageous amounts of money.

Stop back again in a couple of days, when my rants aren’t quite so outrageous.