Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Oleander Beach Prepares for Spring Break

While some Florida Spring Break destinations such as Panama City, Destin, and Daytona Beach have achieved huge reputations, other communities have through various restrictions tended to discourage a sizeable number of hormone-stimulated college students from their post-Winter festivals.

Not so Oleander Beach.  A few years ago the local Catholic Church sponsored a "Blessing of the Bikinis" ceremony (not strictly canonical) that drew a modest crowd.  Modest, that is, in terms of numbers.  Local businesses tried to add Bingo tournaments, but these did not go over very well with the early 20's crowd.  (Apparently that dog was not popular among Northerners seeking tans before returning to the grind of academe.)

So the various members of the Oleander Beach Chamber of Commerce decided to re-tool  A fact-finding group looked into what college visitors do in Spring Break destinations, and decided that, what the hell, it does bring in revenue.  Several groups launched similar attractions.

For example, the Church of the Second Coming sponsored a wet t-shirt contest, and gave each participant a blue t-shirt top that was emblazoned with the message, "I am Heaven Bound.  Wet T-Shirt Participant."  Ultimately, the winner of the contest, as per the new tradition, afterwards lead the audience in singing the hymn, "How Great Thou Art."  Participants were allowed to keep their tees afterwards; and most took them back to State U. after they were dried and subsequently worn on the campus as the days got warmer.  That livened up the typical psych or sosh class.

The Methodists had their own contest: a combination of curling and a teeny weeny bikini contest.  This was especially geared  for the snowbirds from Canada who came in numbers to Oleander Beach.  In the spirit of fun, Her Honor the Mayor also participated, giving her City Council something to think of.  (Was she secretly a Canadian?)

Finally, the Men's Club sponsored a Belly Flop Contest at a motel's swimming pool.  This was well-attended.  Not a flop at all.

Oleander Beach sponsored a beach volleyball team; and would regularly play nearby teams from Alabama Beach, Sea Nettles Beach, and Pirate's Cove.  They looked trim in their fine uniforms with the initials "O B" on both the front and back..  That was all the letters their uniforms had space for.

Several package stores increased the size of their beer coolers.  And the City Council did allow beer on the beach, provided the cans were properly stowed in convenient trash bins.  Several fire pits gave the visitors places to congregate and have beach fires, if desired.  Of course, firewood was sold at a premium.

Of course, in any Spring Break location, some visitors might get out of hand and be arrested.  The local Oleander Beach hoosegow gave small fines to their clientele, and required them either to sit on benches in the separate but equal men's and women's time-out rooms, or to pick up trash on the beach.  Yes Sir, Yes Sir, three bags full.  The local jail might suggest to those who haven't seen it to be a place with stone walls and bars on the window; actually the two holding "cells" were more like a doctor's office waiting room, complete with out-of-date magazines but no CNN.  The local attorney opinioned that subjecting prisoners to CNN involuntarily would be cruel and unusual punishment.

The jail also sold t-shirts with the message, "Property of Oleander Beach Jail."  These were extremely popular with Ohioans and Indianans who wished to be seen as having a wild and wooly Spring Break.  Image is important with young adults.

As a matter of fact, the fact-finding committee observed that it was de rigeur for t-shirts to be available to attest to rowdy activities.  The staid old t-shirts having only the name "Oleander Beach" or perhaps a sports fish just did not have the proper souvenir punch!  One savvy t-shirt silk screener even came out with a line of different-hued tees with cryptic messages such as "34B," "36C," "38DD," or other choices.

University students stopped being subtle in 2007.

Monday, April 21, 2014

"The Foole Doth Thinke He Is Wise....."

"The Foole doth thinke he is wise, but the wiseman knowes himselfe to be a Foole."
              --William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Several years ago, David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Columbia University reported the existence of a pattern of cognitive bias in people who are less competent.  Specifically, 

1.  Less competent people tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
2.  Fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
3.  Fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
4.  Recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill.

In short, they think they're doing well, even when they're really substandard in performance.

There are undoubtedly numerous examples of this in everyday affairs: people who have very unpleasant singing voices thinking they sing like songbirds, actresses who, though dumb as pig tracks, feel that they are especially able to give others advice or write poetry, NY Times columnists who see themselves as universal commentators or advice mongers, clergypersons who deem themselves practical advisors to engaged or married couples about their finances or coupling, and so forth.

And, of course, Congress!  Or, for that matter, the Executive Branch of the government and the greater number of state legislatures!

Dunning and Kruger's observation of this cognitive bias among less competent is referred to as the Dunning-Kruger effect.  Those researchers were awarded an Ig Nobel Prize in 2000 by fellow researchers who thought their phenomenon was amusing. 

But it holds water.  For example, consider some of the guys who repeatedly use ineffective pick-up lines.  You would think that they would change their strategy, given their singular lack of success.  But no!  They use the same stupid lines over and over again.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Good times, all!
And Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What Really Constitutes a Date

There's the old rule, don't permit him to kiss you on the first date.  While I personally feel that rule is about as useful as the "keep all feet on the floor when making out," there's the definitional criterion for "date."

Accordingly, Angel, Mistress of Love Advice and Dress Ensemble Advice to New Orleans tourists, offers the following criteria.

1)  It's a date if either of you asks the other on it, whatever the activity might be.  This would include coffee and beignets in the Café du Monde  coffeehouse, a dinner date, a movie, even in a neighborhood theatre, drinks at a club, even to shoot rats at the dump.

2)  While it is not mandatory, it is good form to pay the way for the person being asked.

3)  There is no effective time criterion for a date.  Theoretically, you could have a ten-minute date.  Come to think of it, that's what speed dating is about.  However, that's more of a novelty in becoming acquainted with large numbers of people in a short amount of time.

4)  If either of you is getting paid, it is not a date.  It's an arrangement that might be of interest to the Vice Squad.  Sorry boys, you did not have a date with Gisele before you arrested her.

5)  If it involves politics or heavy lifting, it is not a date.  For example, you may ask her to help you push your car to the station, but that does not constitute a date!

6)  Being in the audience of the Jerry Springer Show does not constitute a date.

7)  The necklace rule:  If the occasion gives her an excuse to wear a necklace, then it is a date.

On the average, people have only 12 minutes to impress someone on a first date, according to research.  The most important factors are a person's smile (64 per cent), whether they make eye contact (58 per cent) and their tone of voice (25 per cent).

Two putting off factors were body odor (59 per cent) and bad breath (53 per cent).

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Risqué French Cartoon

A Perfect Woman

1.  Mama, I am going to divorce."
2.  "And why?  Does she not cook very well?"
3.  "Oh yes, Mama, her cooking is almost as good as yours."
4.  "Is she not kind?
5.  "Yes, Mama.  She is very kind,"
6.  "Then, does she drink?"
7.  "Nothing but milk."

8.  "Is she not good in bed?"
9.  "Well, some say that yes, others no."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Boob Fairy

The Boob Fairy
A song by Deirdre Flint

When I was in my teenage years, I did just what I should,
I listened to my mother and I was kind and sweet and good.
And my friends and I did rituals and I prayed with all my might
That this would be the evening that she'd stop along her flight.
Well, that was several years ago and that chick's long overdue,
And it's time I came to terms with something plainly clear to you.

The Boob Fairy never came for me.
No, the Boob Fairy never came for me.
Okay, I'm spunky and I'm cute and I've got a great personality,
But the Boob Fairy never came for me.

Well, we were the third house on a country drive, I thought
Maybe she just got lost, so I hung my bra on the mailbox
Til the neighbors took it off.
And all my friends got visits and expanded through the years
And left me wailing to the gods buying training bras at Sears.
Still I harbor hopes, she'll come for me, I know she will.
I'd get 'em done myself, if she'd agree to fit the bill.

The Boob Fairy never came for me.
No, the Boob Fairy never came for me.
Look, I wasn't wanting melons, just a cute curvaceous "B,"
But the Boob Fairy never came for me.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Prophetess Weighs in on Celibate Clergy

It's a hard time for faithful Catholics, with all the bad news of misconduct of priests doing awful things with children, and it has cast a total pall of discontent and suspicion even among the fervent Catholics such as the ladies of St. Cletus's Altar Society in New Orleans.  Now it seems that our Prophetess, despite some  rough edges and an unpromising start, has managed despite her youthful status to become imbedded in the doings of her church in addition to her official street roles as a preacher, taiteur and occasional equine handicapper!  She's very much the modern gal: she can balance several roles with no trouble.  Nevertheless, she had been comfortable being in the background.  And, believe me, cher, the ladies of the Altar Society were glad for that!

Once they had a meeting, with the guest speaker being some big muckety-muck Monseigneur from the Archdiocese.  Now this is the way that the Catholic Church works, the Archbishop sends some minion with official status to mend fences, as needed.  It's as if the sight of an avuncular chubby man wearing a red trim on his clerical garb will cause the ladies to swoon!  Ah, but that was strictly old church.  The ladies of St. Cletus somehow missed the memorandum.

The discussion that the unsuspecting Monseigneur was asked to moderate was on clerical celibacy; and the official line is that it's a good thing, not to be changed because it makes priests special!  Anyway, it was originally touted as a discussion, but it had a planned agenda.  It was to go to a specific destination like the St. Charles Avenue streetcar does. 

But in the course of discussion, our girl felt the spirit move her . . . . She offered her perspective as a prophetess.  Oh, oh!  Storm warning!

"Ah, mes amis and Mister Monseigneur . . . . [Madeline drifts back and forth from French to English when excited.]  The problem with the loss of priestly vocations, and the pedophile priests . . . . this is part of a big picture.  The problem, I see it, is that we do not get many new priests of quality and many that we have become, er, cagou because they do not have proper wives to steer them!  And anyway, why not have women priests as well?  Or even a woman bishop?  It is the celibacy thing, that is the cause!  If the young priests would get the sex thing out of their system at an early age, and the priesthood made more attractive for normal guys, then they would come.  At least the ones that are okay with wearing priest's clothes!"

The alarmed Monseigneur was alarmed at this naked display of nonorthodox opinion.  Should he pull out a crucifix to ward off this possible heretic?  He tried to save things by falling back on the usual saws about adherence to sacred vows, but Madeline went on.  And some of the other ladies jumped in too, including those regarded by their beleagured priest as "safe."  A few might have even dreamed about being a Mrs. Priest!

Her priest shuddered and thought, "This is going to be a three Jamieson night, for sure.  Maybe I'll need four.  And I'll get a summons from the Archbishop tomorrow, if not later tonight!"

Madeline:  "It is true.  Men need wives and girlfriends to keep them sane.  Having a wife not only to sleep with from time to time but to interact with in solving the everyday tasks of a marriage will give a priest perspective.  Not just for the time they spend in bed -- but that is a sacrament also! -- but to keep him from going to seed.  How many single middle-aged men still keep up appearances?  Not many, I tell you de trooth!  And how can you give a woman marriage or birth control advice if you know zero about women?  Talk about the blind attempting to lead people who can sort of see their way."

Some members of the Altar Society had the uncharitable thoughts about the nature of Madeline the Prophetess's relationship with that nice policeman Officer Pete, but that could be a matter of Confession for them; or they could maybe put the priest on Madeline's case!  Still, they began to wonder privately whether Madeline might have some good ideas there.  After all, middle-aged priests can be so obstinate and know-it-all sometimes; they need someone to smooth the rough edges!

Also, they wanted Madeline to voice her views on birth control to the Archdiocese!