Faded Fads

Rubik's

Fads seemed to have started in the early 20th century, when improved manufacturing processes finally allowed payment of more than starvation wages, and enough spare time to spend it.

(One of) The first was flagpole sitting. I think it started with one nerd without a girlfriend or a date, who couldn’t sit in his mom’s basement with a Gameboy, because they hadn’t been invented yet.  He nailed a big plank to the top of a municipal flag pole, so that he could sit in a snit.

Actually, the fad was watching flagpole sitters, where entire families would get dressed up, pack a picnic lunch, and stare adoringly for hours at some jerk who raised himself above the rest of the population and did nothing constructive.  I believe the record was 33 days – until Trump came along.

Soon after, the fad among fraternity boys became swallowing live goldfish, usually washed down with copious amounts of bathtub gin. Police suspect that alcohol may have been involved. During the 40s, the only fad was saving the free world from The Axis Powers – and drawing ‘Kilroy was here’.

Kilroy

Fads really came into their own in the 50s, when plastic made things light and cheap. First was the Hula Hoop, a barely disguised anti-obesity and fitness program.  We all know how well that worked.  Then along came the Frisbee.  It was possible to fling garbage can lids a considerable distance, but when Wham-O made them smaller and lighter, the number of broken windows, smashed flower gardens, and homes with brightly-colored, orphaned disks on their roofs, really skyrocketed.

There was the Slinky toy, a coiled spring that was smart enough to walk down a flight of stairs all by itself. It was replaced by contestants on The Bachelor.  We had mood rings.  Mine was always black, and in a bad mood, and I think it rubbed off on me.  Rubik’s Cubes showed us how things were always twisted and turned, and presented a different face.

Etch-A-Sketch came along, and it marked the limits of my technology. I could operate one of them, where I can’t run a Smartphone.  Lava lamps showed up.  I think mine sat on a fault line.  There was an underwater avalanche, and it never rose to the occasion again.

Pet rocks were a thing for a while. Mine got lonely, and ran away from home to join a parking garage.  Here in Canada, we had Ookpiks, an excuse to take the hides off baby seals and ship them to a factory in Calgary, where they were cut up and sewn back together to look like a small owl made by an Eskimo.  Sales peaked at 2 or 3 a week and then slowed down, and the tourist industry had to find new ways to separate gullible American tourists from their money.

Tamagotchis were hot with tween girls for a while. They were supposed to show the amount of time and effort necessary to raise a child, and hopefully reduce teen pregnancies.  After a few of them died of malnutrition, most young females just went back to boyfriends, who were lower maintenance.

Many fads have no staying power, and disappear quickly. I figure that the new electronic game, Pokémon Go won’t last more than a couple of weeks, when players do things like find a dead body, or get kicked out of a Holocaust Museum or a cemetery.

Selfies seems to be a fad which could have been devised by Darwin himself.  Hundreds of self-important fools have removed themselves from the gene pool.  Government agencies have had to put up signs that read effectively, “Not Here, Idiot!” and still many are too spaced-out to notice or heed them.  Tennis elbow and golf elbow have morphed into ‘selfie elbow’, caused by holding up a huge ego cell phone at an awkward angle, to take hundreds of meaningless photos.

Sadly, one fad that doesn’t seem to disappear is, The Kardashians.  We have now come full circle.  Here’s a group that’s lightweight and cheap, made mostly of plastic, and they have raised themselves above the common folk, to be gazed at adoringly for hours, without actually doing anything constructive.  😯

There must be some (lots?) that I’ve missed. What do you remember, that I’ve forgotten?

Serenity

 

MAY THE LORD GRANT ME:

THE SERENITY TO ACCEPT THOSE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE.

THE COURAGE TO CHANGE THOSE THINGS THAT I CAN CHANGE.

AND THE WISDOM TO HIDE THE BODIES OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT I HAD TO KILL,

BECAUSE THEY REALLY PISSED ME OFF!!

****

 

It Pays To Advertise

A woman about seven months pregnant got on a street car and sat down.  She noticed a man opposite her was smiling, so she indignantly moved.  This time, the man’s expression changed to a grin, so she moved again.  The man seemed even more amused.  When, on the fourth move, the man burst out laughing, she complained to the conductor, and had the man arrested.

The case came up in court, and the judge asked the man if he had anything to say.  He said, “Well Your Honor, it was like this.  When the lady got on the street car, I could not help but notice her condition.  She sat under a sign that read ‘The Gold Dust Twins Are Coming Soon’, and I had to smile.  Then she sat under a sign that said ‘Sloan’s Liniment Will Reduce The Swelling’.

Then she placed herself under a sign that read ‘Williams Big Stick Did The Trick’, and I could hardly control myself.  When she moved the fourth time and sat under a sign that read ‘Goodyear Rubber Could Have Prevented This Accident’ I laughed out loud.”

THE JUDGE DISMISSED THE CASE!

***

 

Break Time

Four union workers were discussing how smart their dogs were.  The first was a United Auto Worker, who said his dog could do math calculation.  His dog was named T-Square, and the owner told him to go to the blackboard and draw a circle, a square, and a triangle, which the dog did with no sweat.

The United Steel Workers member thought his dog was better.  His dog, named Slide-rule, was told to fetch a dozen cookies and divide them into 4 piles of 3, which Slide-rule did with no problem.

The Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers member said, that was good, but he felt his dog was even better.  His dog, named Measure, was told to go get a quart of milk, and pour seven ounces into a ten-ounce glass.  The dog did this with no problem.  All three agreed that this was very good, and all the dogs were smart.

They all turned to the Teamsters member, and said, “What can your dog do?”  The Teamsters member called his dog, which was named Coffee Break, and said, “Show the fellows what you can do!”  Coffee Break went over and ate the cookies, drank the milk, and screwed the other three dogs.  Then he claimed he had injured his back, filed for Workers Compensation and went home on sick leave.

***

 

As we get older, we need to be more aware of medical terminology.

MEDICAL DICTIONARY

Anally – Occurring yearly

Artery – Study of paintings

Bacteria – The back door to the cafeteria

Barium – What doctors do when treatment fails

Bowel – Letters like A, E, I, O and U

Caesarean Section – An area in Rome

Cauterize – Made eye contact with her

Colic – A sheep dog

Congenital – Friendly

D & C – Where Washington is

Diarrhea – Journal of daily events

Dilate – To live long

Enema – Not a friend

Fester – Quicker

Fibula – A small lie

G.I. Series – Soldiers ball game

Grippe – Suitcase

Hangnail – Coat hook

Impotent – Distinguished, well known

Medical Staff – Doctor’s cane

Morbid – Higher offer

Nitrate – Cheaper than day rate

Node – Was aware of

Outpatient – Somebody who has fainted

Pap Smear – Fatherhood test

Pelvis – Cousin of Elvis

Placenta – Christmas flower

Post Operative – Letter carrier

Prostate – Flat on your back

Protein – Favoring young people

Recovery Room – Place to do upholstery

Rectum – Damn near killed ‘em

Rheumatic – Amorous

Sear – Rolled tobacco leaf

Secretion – Hiding anything

Seizure – Roman Emperor

Serology – Study of Knighthood

Tablet – Small table

Terminal Illness – Getting sick at the airport

Tibia – A country in North Africa

Tumor – An extra pair

Urine – Opposite of yer out

Varicose – Located nearby

Vein – Conceited

Beating The System

A couple in their late 60s went into the doctor’s office.  He said, “What can I do for you?”  The man said, “Will you watch us have intercourse?”  The doctor was puzzled, but agreed.  When the couple had finished, the doctor said, “There is nothing wrong with the way you have intercourse.”  He charged them $50.00, and they left.

This happened several weeks in a row.  The couple would make an appointment, have intercourse, pay the doctor the $50, and leave.

Finally, the doctor said, “What exactly are you trying to find out?”  The man said, “Oh, we’re not trying to find anything out.  She’s married, so we can’t do it at her house.  I’m married, so we can’t do it at my house. The big hotel downtown charges $100 for a room, and the fancy one by the airport wants $125.  We do it here for $50, and qualify for a $45 rebate from the Government Health Plan.

***

ME MUDDER

When my prayers were early said
Who tucked me in my widdle bed
And spanked my ass till it was red?
–ME MUDDER—

Who lifted me from my cosy cot
And set me on an ice cold pot
And made me pee if I could or not?
–ME MUDDER—

And when the morning light had come
And in my crib I dribbled some
Who wiped my tiny little bum?
–ME MUDDER—

Who did my hair so neatly part
And pressed me gently to her heart
And sometimes squeezed me till I’d fart?
–ME MUDDER—

 

***

Dear Mom and Dad:

It has been a couple of months since I left for college.  I have been remiss in writing, and I am very sorry for my thoughtlessness.  I will bring you up to date now, but before you read on, please sit down.  Okay?

Well then, I am getting along pretty well now.  The skull fracture and concussion i got when I jumped out of the window of my dormitory when it caught fire shortly after my arrival are pretty well healed.  I only spent two weeks in the hospital.  I can see almost normally now, and only get those sick headaches once a day.

Fortunately, the fire and my jump were witnessed by the attendant at the gas station near my dorm.  He was the one who called the Fire Dept. and ambulance.  He also visited me at the hospital, and since I had nowhere to live, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment.  It’s really just a basement room, but it’s kind of cute.  He is a fine boy. We have fallen deeply in love, and are planning on getting married.  We have not set an exact date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show.

I know how much you are looking forward to being grandparents, and will love taking care of the baby as I continue my schooling.  The reason for the delay in our marriage is that my boyfriend had some minor infection which prevents us from passing our premarital blood test, and I carelessly caught it from him.  It will clear up soon with the daily penicillin injections I am taking.

I know you will welcome him into our family with open arms.  He is kind, and although not well educated, he is ambitious.  He is of a different religion from ours, and I know your oft-expressed tolerance will not permit you to be bothered by the fact that his skin is a little darker than ours.

His family background is good too.  I am told that his father is an important gun-bearer in the village in Africa from which he comes.

Now that I have brought you up-to-date, I want to tell you that there was no dormitory fire.  I did not have a skull fracture or concussion.  I was not in hospital.  I am not pregnant.  I am not engaged.  I do not have syphilis, and there is no “schvartze” in my life.  However, I did get an F in History, and an F in Science – and I wanted you to see these marks in proper perspective.

 

Your loving daughter,

 

__________________

 

Mace23042014

 

A Letter From Momma

Dear Son:

Just a few lines to let you know I’m still alive.  I’m writing slowly because I know that you can’t read fast.  You won’t know the house when you come home….we’ve moved.  I won’t be able to send you the address, because the Newfy family that lived here before, took the house numbers with them so that they wouldn’t have to change their address.

About your Father….he now has a new job.  He has five hundred people under him.  He’s cutting the grass in the cemetery.

There was a washing machine in the house when we moved in, but it isn’t working very good.  Last week I put 14 shirts into it and pulled the chain and haven’t seen the shirts since.

Your sister Mary had a baby today.  I haven’t heard if it’s a boy or a girl, so I don’t know whether you’re an aunt or an uncle.

Your other sister Margaret was pregnant, but had an abortion because she wasn’t sure the baby was hers.  The doctor thought it might be twins, but she’s never been on a double-date.

I had a hysterectomy last week because I don’t want any more grand-children.

Your Uncle Dick drowned last week in a vat of whiskey in a Dublin distillery.  Some of his fellow workers dove in to save him, but he fought them off bravely.  We cremated the body and it took three days to put out the fire.

Your father didn’t have much to drink at Christmas.  I put a bottle of castor oil in his pint of beer.  It kept him going till New Year’s Day.  I went to the doctor on Thursday and your father came with me.  The doctor put a small tube in my mouth and told me not to open it for ten minutes.  Your father offered to buy it from him.

It only rained twice last week.  Once for three days and the other time for four days.  Monday it was so windy that one of our chickens laid the same egg four times.

We had a letter from the undertaker.  He said that if we don’t come up with the last installment on your grandmother’s grave, up she comes!

I have to quit writing for now as I just broke my typewriter.  I don’t know what is wrong with it.  It just jammed up.

 

Your Loving Mother.

 

P.S.  I was going to send you $20.00 but I had already sealed the envelope.

Children Of A Lesser….God!

My headstrong sister married extremely young.  Threatening my mother that, if not allowed to wed, she’d just go get pregnant, she had not had her 16th birthday when she said “I Do”.  Small, like my mother, she was just five feet tall, and barely a hundred pounds.  She immediately started popping out babies, dropping five kids in under eight years, the last of which was a 13 pound, 9 ounce Butterball that solved her fertility problem.  It also set a record for the largest baby ever delivered in the local hospital, a record that stood for twenty years, until an Indian woman, twice her size, had one 14 lb., 1 oz.

Her kids came, boy, girl, girl, girl, boy.  She came to know and be friends with another local girl who got married about the same time, but at a more reasonable age.  She also had five kids, at just about the same times my sister did, but she had boy, boy, boy, boy, boy!  In a fit of creative imagination, she named them Derek, Douglas, David, Duane and Darcy.

Snide comments went around town that someone had ripped up a baby-names book and one page, the one with names that started with D, had blown into her yard.  At least her name didn’t start with D.  She’s a piker compared to Mother Kardashian.  Starting with her own K-name, Kris, she had girls with the famous lawyer, and named them Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kremlin and Katarrh.  Then she married Bruce Jenner, and inflicted Kylie and Kendall on the world.  Come on woman, there are 25 other letters in the alphabet.

My sister was far too self-involved, and far too young to be a good mother.  She wanted to be an Earth-mother, hippie, party-girl.  The kids soon learned to rely on themselves and each other.  With next to no supervision, especially early in the day, things happened which made the rest of us wonder how they ever lived to grow up.

When the two younger girls were about 6 and 5, they each drank about a cup of Javex.  Off to the hospital to have stomachs pumped and charcoal treatment.  Too young to explain why they drank Javex, it was thought that partly full glasses of liquor and beer from last night’s party, that they saw adults drinking from, might have been the impetus.  That could explain getting past the smell and horrid taste.

A year later, the younger one, now all of six, decided to drink another cup of Javex again.  One would think that the memory of getting a stomach pumped would stay with even the dumbest child, but apparently not.  Because of all the pregnancies, the sister had constipation problems.  One day she went to the pharmacy and got a 36-piece block of chocolate-coated Ex-Lax.  To keep it out of children’s hands, she stood on a chair, climbed onto the kitchen counter and put it on the eight-foot-high top shelf.  Little jugs have big ears….and keen sight.  The next day, the same pair of tiny geniuses, pulled out four drawers, like stairs, climbed the shelves like a ladder, and ate 18 pieces of Ex-Lax each.  Warm up the stomach-pump again Doc, we’ll be there in a minute!

The rear entrance went down seven steps from the kitchen to a coat-closet landing, then out the back door to a tiny porch, and down two more stairs.  The porch had no railing and five kids and three dogs often just jumped off.  In the days of home delivery of milk in glass bottles, that’s where the empties were left.  It was not unusual to have a pile of broken glass beneath the porch edge.  One day, the oldest daughter, all of about 10, came skipping out and bounced off the porch, catching the toes of both feet on the edge.  Down she went, knees-first into a pool of broken glass.  The doctor put in almost 100 stitches in the two legs, and marveled that no ligaments were severed and the niece would still walk.

With great planning and forethought the sister often realized at 4:45 P.M. that she had nothing for supper.  She would pile the kids in the car and race downtown to get something from the store.  She always put my oldest nephew in the back seat, behind her.  They lived in the company house, off the back of the employee parking lot.  Always an aggressive driver, she would race the hundred yards to the highway, which she had a clear view of.  If there were no cars close, she would hang a hard right, at up to 30 MPH.

Before seatbelts, the problem was that the back left door on the junker they drove, would not latch.  The lock button had to be pushed to ensure the door stayed closed.  At least three times she forgot to lock it, and at least three times, the door popped open and the 8/9 year-old nephew flew out, rolling across in front of oncoming highway traffic, and ended up in the ditch on the far side of the road.  She’d stop, pick him up, brush dust off, stick him back in the car, and do the same thing six months later.

Two things my sister never did were, keep booze away from the kids, and take the keys out of her car.  For a while, after he got his licence, the older nephew would knock some back and, in a feat of good planning, he would borrow his mother’s car.  One time, he made it almost a block down the side road before a power pole jumped out in front of him, and he totalled both it and the car.  He walked home, fell asleep and didn’t remember when his mom asked him where her car was.

Another time, he was a couple of miles down the beach road when he and a carload of friends fell into a ditch and hit a concrete culvert, totalling a second car.  A year later, almost 19, and at least sober, he took a bunch of friends for a ride.  Travelling way too fast on a twisty road, he pulled out to pass a car he thought was going too slow.  At his speed, he’d have made it, except for the guy who pulled out of a driveway ahead, on his left, and headed straight toward him.  They both swerved toward the same shallow ditch, and the head-on collision didn’t block the highway.  It did, however, break both thumbs of the Air Canada pilot in the other car.

I’ve blogged about a cartoon character named Joe Bfytzplk, who had a permanent little cloud over his head.  These kids and their exploits (?) were almost enough to get me to believe in guardian angels.