Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pyramid Power as a Cult or Gang Symbol

Prissville was one of those uptight communities: the burghers there always did the right thing, belonged to the right clubs, belonged to the right churches. Nothing outlandish, mind you. No one handled serpents or baptized people in the river. Still, there was a troublesome undercurrent of change: migrants from the Appalachian South moved into the Midwest, bringing their outlandish habits with them. Still, with the steady hand of the local police, this possible troublesome element still had the potential but was effectively kept in check!

It started by chance one of the local disapprovers of the redneck element (as they were styled) noticed a strange adornment of the dashboards of the migrants' vehicles: for some reason many of them started sporting small colored pyramids! Sure enough, he wondered about this, and let his imagination wander. He asked the banker if he noticed something, and he said that he did. And didn't know why these suddenly appeared. Was it a cult sign? After all, you know mountain people; they often belong to strange cults! Or was it a redneck gang sign, and this was how they identified members' cars so as to not break into them. This speculation multiplied as more cars, especially junkers, showed up with pyramids on the dashboard.

The local police chief was informed, as he was not au courant with the local gossip. He promised to look into it, and noticed the pyramids too! After a few weeks in which the long-residing residents speculated all sorts of possibilities, matters became scary when they noticed a local doctor's Buick had a yellow pyramid also! Did this reliable social figure go over to the dark side?

Finally, the Chief, who knew the Doctor socially, asked him about the yellow pyramid.

The Doctor replied, "Oh I bought it at a car wash in Hillsdale," a nearby city.

"Which car wash?"

"Oh, Mayley's. The do good car washes there."

So the Chief, no slouch at finding out the facts, took a undercover road trip to Hillsdale. He thought he could get some coffee and doughnuts while there.

So we went to Mayley's Car Wash. There, he got a good car wash, as the Doctor recommended he would get. One of the car wash detailers, wearing tight shorts and mini-top, recommended to him that he add on one of the Pyramid Dashboard Air Fresheners to help with the musty smell for when the car is closed up during the Fall. When he took the scented pyramid add-on, she gave him a bodacious kiss!

So the Police Chief returned to Prissville, where he informed the mover and shakers of his findings: these ol' pyramids weren't cult signs or gang symbols, they were merely car air fresheners! 

The movers and shakers were disappointed with his report; and concluded that he did a lousy job of getting the facts. Or, maybe, he was in cahoots with the redneck gangs now!

Actually, they were very comfortable with the idea that those rednecks brought strange, possible dangerous customs to Prissville. When people have a choice between an odd, imaginative belief and a mundane fact, they'll usually go with the odd, imaginative belief. After all, those big damned pyramids in heathen Egypt were unlikely to be humongous air fresheners, even with all those smelly camels around!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

An Em(bra)rassment

(Emily was dating her boyfriend for almost a year at the University. Every few weeks, some of her girl friends liked to go out with her, eat, get some drinks, and generally amuse themselves. This usually ends up with the ladies getting so tipsy that she would forget some of what happened that night. The next morning her boyfriend called her to make sure she was okay.)

Emily: [softly] “Hello.”

Boyfriend: “So you survived! How was your night out?”

Emily: “It was great! We went to dinner, had some drinks, but I forgot a lot of what happened. But I wound up in my own bed this morning so all is well.”

Boyfriend: “That sounds nice, but you’re not allowed to go out without me anymore.”

Emily: “Why not?”

Boyfriend: “Would you happen to have all your clothes on this morning?”

Emily: “Huh? Why do you-” [Suddenly she realized that she was missing her bra.]  "Oh God!"

Boyfriend: “Yeah, because I found a bra hanging from my roommate's doorknob when I got up, and I thought that one of you might want it back.”

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Little About Pigs

Pig-Gate. There, I said it!

We may as well accept it: sometimes the tiresome -gate suffix, that blast from the 1970's, disco-era past, may still have some uses nowadays! At least it's possible to allude to the partying habits of the posh class in Merry Olde England without getting too clinical. Still, no matter how the Republican and Democratic candidates for President act like total douches (a plague on both houses!), they don't match this bit from the Brit seamy side of political life! Is it for real' or is it a dirty trick? I won't pretend to know. The British press is so low rent! 

But at least you can say that I brought home the bacon with these piggy cartoons:

What about airborne swine?

I never thought of those kinds of pigs in a blanket!

A G.M.O. to worry about:

Fine dining for pigs:

Even pigs get gross tattoos . . . .

Do they fly business class when they fly?

Don't tell the children:

Some people have an honest difference in opinions; others have honest objections:

I like this surreal image. It has a lot of win to it. Her red backpack provides a nice asymmetry to the picture:

But what can you say about pork barrel legislation? It only happens in someone else's district. Each political party blames it on the other. House members can never get enough. No one got trichinosis from pork barrel legislation. Is it best with a red sauce, with a vinegar-based sauce, or with a dry rub?

North Carolina loves pork barrel legislation. [Click to enlarge.] They keep everybody in need of pork barrels, especially in East Carolina:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Why Black Helicopters?

Rumors about black helicopters have been drifting around in the paranoid sphere for at least forty years now; their function being variously tied to the machinations of the Federal Government, the Trilateral Commission, the Jesuits, some Masonic plot, the Knights Templar, the Priority of Sion, and even the Southeastern Conference, for all I know.

However, really smart conspirators would tend to do their dirty work sub rosa, wouldn't they? Just like spies would. You don't see spies wearing labels like, "Hi, I'm your friendly C.I.A. agent," do you? And, you know, it's off-putting to see grim-looking guys dressed in black even if they don't look as badass at Tommy Lee Jones in the movie!

Therefore, I think that conspiracy buffs should re-think what to look for and worry about. Most black helicopters are just that way because some organization thinks black is a cool color for traveling in. You don't hear about black Acuras as something to worry about, do you?

So, in my opinion, if some nefarious plot is going to require helicopters for transportation, they would choose less sinister colors for their rides. Why not pink helicopters instead? With the aircrew wearing minidresses? And why not have a nationwide chain of front agencies for support?

The problem with most conspiracy theorists is that they assume that conspiracies make their presence obvious. Thinking persons worrying about conspiracies should look in other places.

Like the Hoodie Conspiracy, possibly led by a machinist who looks like the villain in The Hunchback of Notre Dame . . . . 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Boudreaux and the Cat

A wealthy art collector was walking through New Iberia when he noticed a mangy black-and-white cat lapping milk from a saucer in the doorway of a meat market. He did a double take when he noticed what the cat was drinking from.  Knowing the saucer was quite antique and very valuable, he walked casually into the store and offered to buy the black-and-white cat for two dollars.

Boudreaux replied, "You sure you want to buy dat old cat?"

"The collector said, 'Please, I need a hungry cat around my house to catch mice. Look, I'll pay you twenty dollars for it right now." 

Boudreaux smiled and said, "SOLD," and took the man's money.

Now the collector made his play. "Look,' he said, 'for that twenty dollars I wonder if you could throw in that old saucer. He's obviously used to drinking from it anyway. What do you say?"

Boudreaux smiled and replied, "Hell no! That's my lucky saucer! Since that artist convention is in town, I done sold SIX cats."

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Proper Way to Handle Conflicts Between Conscience and the Law

Potentially unpopular laws have made the news lately, both in Kentucky and Alabama. Elvis provided a link to the Alabama one. Here's a take-off on how to solve the Alabama one:

[A Statement by Sheriff Buford Jones, Sheriff of Dorkville. Scene: Dorkville City Courthouse; Date: September 25, 2015]

Sheriff Buford Jones: "Good morning, Dorkville City Council Members, esteemed ladies and gentlemen of Dorkville, members of the press.

"Yesterday the Dorkville City Council passed a burdensome ordinance affecting the ladies of our fine community. Specifically, this ordinance specifics any member of the fair sex from wearing short shorts or miniskirts within the city limits of this municipality. I say this is burdensome, and is against the best interests of all our citizens for the ladies to be forced to wear pants or full-length skirts in the sweltering heat of an Alabama Summer!

"As Charles Dickens once wrote, 'The law is an ass.' And I categorically refuse to ride that ass. I will not enforce this terrible ordinance. It is wrong; and enacting it does not make it right, any more than a rooster is improved by making it wear socks.

"Therefore, as of this moment, can no longer serve as a sworn peace officer. Therefore, I hereby tender my resignation. Here's the copy I leave for the Council, my badge, and my gun. I enjoyed serving as your Sheriff these fourteen years; but will now try out working in the private sector.  I am sending copies of my resignation to the Dorkville Democrat, the Montgomery Advertiser, and the Mobile Press-Register.

"God bless Dorkville, the State of Alabama, and the United States of America."
This announcement surprised many people; some pro, some con. One of the out-of-state newspapers expressed surprise  that the Sheriff quoted Charles Dickens, asking whether this is a sign that a Southern lawman actually reads!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ballad of Thunder Road

The makings of a folk legend come from many sources, generally from dimly-remembered sources. However, this one came relatively late in mountain legends. It was definitely helped by a movie popular in the Deep South some years ago starring Robert Mitchum. There's an interesting story behind this legend. But here's the lyrics to the ballad, originally sung by Robert Mitchum:

 Let me tell the story, I can tell it all;
About the mountain boy who ran illegal alcohol.
His daddy made the whiskey, the son he drove the load;
And when his engine roared they called the highway "Thunder Road".

Sometimes into Asheville, sometimes Memphis town.
The Revenuers chased him but they couldn't run him down.
Each time they thought they had him his engine would explode.
He'd go by like they were standing still on "Thunder Road"

And there was thunder, thunder over "Thunder Road",
Thunder was his engine and white lightening was his load.
And there was moonshine, moonshine to quench the devil's thirst.
The law they swore they'd get him but the devil got him first.

It was on the first of April, Nineteen-Fifty-Four
The federal man sent word he'd better make his run no more.
He said "200 agents were covering the state;
Which ever road he tried to take they'd get him sure as fate."

'Son' his daddy told him, 'make this run your last.
The tank is filled with 100 proof; you're all tuned-up and gassed.
Now don't take any chances, if you can't get through.
I'd rather have you back again than all that Mountain Dew.'

And there was thunder, thunder over "Thunder Road",
Thunder was his engine and white lightening was his load.
And there was moonshine, moonshine to quench the devil's thirst.
The law they swore they'ed get him but the devil got him first.

Roaring out of Harlan; revving up his mill.
He shot the Gap at Cumberland and streamed by Maynardville.
With G men on his tail light; road block up ahead,
The mountain boy took roads that even angels fear to tread.

Blazing right through Knoxville, out on Kingston Pike,
Then right outside of Bearden, they made the fatal strike.
He left the road at 90; that's all there is to say,
The devil got the moonshine and the mountain boy that day

And there was thunder, thunder over "Thunder Road",
Thunder was his engine and white lightening was his load.
And there was moonshine, moonshine to quench the devil's thirst.
The law they never got him 'cause the devil got him first.

But it comes across really good in the Robert Mitchum song from the movie Thunder Road:

Too bad you can't watch the movie in a drive-in now! It was popular some 50-60 years ago in the Appalachian South: the home turf for the moonshiners and the moonshine runners.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Things I Suck At

One of the pitfalls of following the old Socratic advice "Know thyself" is being forced to realize that when it comes to doing somethings, we have to realize that we suck at them. And the reflexive reaction is "Oh my God! I can't do this! This is awful!" But is that a valid and appropriate response? Learning not to give a darn works even better!

1.  I will cheerfully admit right here and now that I suck at writing cursive! Oh, the shame! I can imagine nuns shaking their heads in frustration that Tee Angel, soon to be a troublesome pupil, could just not learn to write like a little lady! This is what comes from too much M.T.V., too much idle time, being allowed to be a tomboy, and not enough time praying! But, in reality, is writing cursive such a big deal? Anyway, I think in Comic Sans MS!

2.  Sports talk. Oh, I can play lip service; and I sort of follow the Tigers and the Saints. But sports talk is such a foreign language in which there is little in the way of a helpful phrase book. Could some write a Sports Talk to English jack? I must say that soccer is beyond me. And baseball brings out logorrhea in some people.

3.  Sewing. Apparently this useful skill isn't hereditary.

4.  Keeping a neat checkbook. I just pray that my outgo is less than my income. No, I'm not inclined to OCD. I always wind up with two or three checks unaccounted for until the monthly statement comes in.

5.  Sitting like a lady. I sometimes hook a leg over a chair arm, sit with my knees apart, slouch, and wiggle my foot.

6.  Keeping quiet in meetings. Thus far it hasn't gotten me in trouble. Especially if I toss in a little Yat Speak now and then.

7.  Tolerance for long-winded speeches or sermons. Keep it SHORT, buster! Get to the point!

8.  But I mostly suck at wearing heels! I feel like I'm walking on stilts when I wear heels, especially 4-inch ones, and risk pratfalls and insecurity. What if I split my jeans?

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Desnudas of New York

No, this wasn't a beachhead for FEMEN members on Times Square: this was American entrepreneurism in creative action: young, well-endowed half-naked women appearing in colorful body paint, wearing feathers, and willing to pose with visitors for tips! Yes, apparently going topfree is okay in New York state, and these ladies are taking advantage of it! 

And apparently enough of them are taking advantage of this niche in the New York economy to appear in numbers sufficient to upset Hizzoner the Mayor of New York, Bill De Blasio! 

Well Bill de Blasio, unresolved breast-feeding issues notwithstanding, isn't this another form of meddling into the free market economy? And think of turning down a tourist attraction opportunity? Think of the $$$ it should add to the local coffers if the desnudas ladies were to charge sales tax! You're a Democrat; why didn't that come to you? Especially when it comes to milking the tourists!

So what's the beef, De Blasio? Think of those preteen boys touring the Big Apple with their grandparents....."Hey Gramps! Let's go get our picture taken with the woman with the big bazooms!"* Big bazooms are as American as apply pie! It's not as if Times Square was not already a by-word for tackiness! Does it bother you that some ladies from South America get to adapt to the American way of doing business? Toplessness is not just a right of WASPs!

*According to a nephew, this is apparently what kids his age call them now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Where Do I Buy Those Big Girl Panties?

"Put on your big girl panties and deal with it." 

That expression has been around long enough that some peoples' grannies even use it now. But that expression does raise a lot of questions among the literally-minded.  Lets see . . . . What sort of panties are big girl panties? Bikinis, grannies, or thongs? Or is the user sexist enough to refer to boy shorts? Why does the task or trial at hand require the wearing of panties? Couldn't going commando suffice, particularly in the Summer? And where do you buy them? Does that store have two day shipping?  See?

What about "man up?"  Should a female woman up?" How does a man man up? Does this automatically happen at age 18? Isn't there something inherently sexist in the term? Or does he need testosterone shots? There's even an expression cowboy up. Do people become electricians by electrician up?  

And when someone says spot on, where is that spot? Is it marked with an "X" like expected? Could that be at the Spot Festival? Or is spotted or polka-dotted? Does it require wearing an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka dot bikini when visited? I want to follow the dress code. Finally, when Lady Macbeth says, "Out, damned spot," does he go?

We can see terms like Tiger Nation or Bama Nation on sports pages. Do I have to show my passport when entering those places, and where exactly are the boundaries? Are they democracies, monarchies, or peoples' republics? And are the natives friendly?  

There are others. Can I get my skill set from Wal-Mart; or must I go to Home Depot?  Can I buy parts individually?  

And what about teachable moments? Are they just lessons, or more so? Do they need to be approved by the curriculum committee and the Board of Education? At what time do they occur? And do you need a teacher's license to have one? Are they as painful as algebra?

The expression my bad is heard very often; but no one says my good. This is odd, given the self-congratulationary present times. It is rather dismissive of failures; like minimizing them in a way. But is my bad reserved for misdemeanors, or could is also be used for felonies?

I get concerned when someone says that she is killing it. Killing what? Kitties, baby seals, or taxmen? And does this person have homicidal tendencies? And the callousness of offhand using that expression . . . .

The expression bad hair day is a bit overused, especially since it has gone into the metaphorical swamp. I have yet to hear some say that she's having a good hair day. And, anyway, how are those tresses bad? Tangled, lacking luster, mussed up, or (horrors!) simply unwashed? On Monday, my criteria for good and bad hair are relaxed. Thank God for scrunchies!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Gloria the Superheroine

Crime is so rampant nowadays, that Gloria, Uptown Girl Extraordinaire, decided to go into the superhero business. Except she declared herself to be a superheroine. No quibbling about gender-free nouns for her; she was for cutting to the chase.

And she was more than ready for the chase: she could run a 220 in 25 seconds, which was good enough for government work dealing with the garden variety hoodlums in the Metro Area! And she had karate skills: having a brown belt in karate and advancing to the coveted black belt! Yes, Ma'am; Gloria was able to kick ass and take names afterward! She was skilled with nunchucks, and a menace with the throwing stars!


Being a proper superheroine, she designed an appropriate cat suit for herself; a white body suit with an angry red bird emblazoned on it to endow her chest! You might say she played it close to the chest! This having been done, she named herself The Angry Bird! And occasionally appeared at afternoon teas in costume!  

Alas, Uptown was a comparatively crime-free area, until a rash of garden gnome kidnappings started to take place.  The local police were helpless as this gnome kidnapping activity went on. But who would want so many gnomes?

Gloria applied her deductive reasoning skills. Clearly, it would be someone with an audacious tendency to villany! But who? Fraternity boys? Henchpersons of drug lords? Rotarians gone bad? Never mind that gnomes were overused as a decoration motif; a crime is a crime. Considering the scope, it had to be an organized enterprise! So she staked out a yard with a prominent gnome, and waited one dark night. And another.

Finally, they came. Oh my God! There were four of them! So Gloria leaped over a hedge, twirling her nunchuck over her head. Who were these rude figures? They held up garbage can lids as she was about to smite them soundly with her trusty nunchuck! Clang! Clang! Clang! Thud! She did hit one of the gnome-napping goons; and the rest ran off! 

For a minute, and then reality came into the picture! You just don't get very far into a chase if you're wearing heels! So Gloria fell unceremoniously on her shapely tush! (She chose her outfit to complement her figure.) Clearly, this was not a workable plan!

So she modified her look and wore flats instead. The following night she caught a burglar, and afterwards caught a gumball-thieving ring! No matter how fleet of foot were the miscreants, Gloria caught 'em. You betcha! 

And she went in for big-time crooks, including those not plying their Uptown trade. Despite her outrageously successful enterprise, the tide of favorability began to change. The Uptown Crowd had a list of particulars: (1) Gloria was not content to fight the genteel crime of the Uptown neighborhood, but had branched out into the badlands of Downtown and the suburbs. (2) Her outfit was déclassé form-fitting, a problem especially since Fall was coming on. Uptown girls don't dress that way! (3) A proper lady does not get mentioned in newspapers except in the Society section. (4) She committed the sin of wearing flats. Never mind that Det. Kate Beckett successfully pursued villains and kicked down doors on Castle while wearing heels, real life was too complicated for that fashion grace!

So after this tale of a superheroine, I figure Gloria at least rates a song:

Friday, September 4, 2015

Have a Hairdo Like Brigitte Bardot!

The legendary sex kitten Brigitte Bardot set styles back in the 1950's. She starred in Le Dieu Crea la Femme (And God Created Woman) and other films of that era. Almost singlehandedly she made the bikini acceptable, introduced seminudity in movies, and she was known for her extravagant bun hairdo:

Here's a nice You Tube video to show you how to fix your hair in this politely sexy, not trashy, style. You too can be a French movie star!

Who knows? Maybe I found a new look for the Fall!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Boll Weevil Monument

Here's a Southern town's monument that should trouble no one; but raise the ahhs and awws of pleasure in visitors.  Enterprise, Alabama has a monument to a boll weevil.  That's right, a bug; one that was inclined to bore into cotton bolls and damage the cotton crop.  

Now the South had a problem with being "the land of cotton."  Cotton horticulture does tend to exhaust the soil within a few years.  Cotton was the big crop for Alabama's Coffee County (where Enterprise was located), and one year the boll weevils destroyed about half of the crop.  Agriculture in the area was going down the tube, so the local farmers came up with a solution: grow peanuts instead.  So they did.  And the area prospering, quickly becoming the leading producer of peanuts in the United States.  The good citizens, in appreciation of the good services of the boll weevil, erected a monument to honor this pesky critter.

Now this sort of monument seems to be a likely source of troll bait.  In some fora even innocent monuments like this one in Enterprise often become targets for the trolls who live in their parents' basement, hang out on-line, and are insufficiently acquainted with soap.  

But look at it this way: a small town was humble enough to see fit to give credit to a bug who provided a reason for crop diversification and to give up being in the rut of going for the short-term monetary incentives when the long-term outcomes would eventually result in poorer crops.  In effect, the boll weevil provided a lesson not to be stubborn and plant only cotton.

Besides, peanut butter tastes yummy!