Sunday, May 30, 2010

Take the Good with the Bad

This has been some week! A lot of computer activity has been keeping me busy.

01. Vista on my Laptop. My laptop went dead a couple of days ago. I love my laptop, except for VISTA that is installed. Every few weeks, it stops functioning and I must try everything I can think of in the hopes that it will start up again. Usually, it takes about 50 or 60 starts, restarts, reconfigurations, various key combinations... etc etc to get it going again.

The first time it malfunctioned, I called the manufacturer and he had me take the thing apart and manipulate some internal stuff.. that didn't work, so I sent it off to him .. and lost the use of the thing for weeks.

The next time it happened, I was able to take it back to the basic way it was when I bought it; thereby losing all the stuff that I had added since the fix.

The next time it happened.. I tried all of the combination of things that I mentioned above.. and, magically, it started up again after a couple of days, without any loss. So now, I just anticipate it bombing out again.. I cuss and threaten it with a toss out of the window.. and then start my unreasoned regime of starts, restarts, etc etc. (And, you know, I was a computer programmer for years.. now, only a young person knows how to really work these new machines; us old dudes, with our old brains can't really get a handle on the new technology).

02. Beautiful new website! The Marriotts Ridge High School came through and created a new website for the Social Security Alumni Association. It was released a couple of days ago. Now, some of us will go to the High School and get some lessons on how to maintain the site. Kind of exciting. Damn smart, these HS kids!

03. Hacker! Some other smart person figured out how to access one of my email sites and sent Viagra ads to everybody, living and dead who I had ever communicated with by EMAIL. So, I got the opportunity to spend lots of time doing damage control.. that means contacting the living persons and sending them apologies. I complained to my email provider, MSN and changed my password, but I don't know if that is enough to stop this clown.

One good thing that came out of this problem was that I heard from a Massachusetts cousin that I thought had passed away. Also, I got a couple of "thank you" messages from some older men friends.

04. Blog Book. Those of you who remember Allen's Alley, might remember the little guy with the "Big Old Wife" who kept a "Bird Book." Well, I learned that I can keep a "Blog Book." Now, since I am now the Patriarch of the Arthur S. Vaughan Progeny family, I am going to bind some of my blogs so that future Vaughan genealogists can have an easier time finding out just what we all were about in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

For quite a small sum, Google will bind selected blog entries. Hardbound at that!

Perhaps I can take my notes for the book I have been writing for a while and put them out on a blog and then get them published that way for a rather cheap price. We'll see. (Incidentally, my story will be about my experiences in four years in the Air Force. I know, it sounds boring, but you might be surprised.)

05. Quaker Voices. Elaine's daughter Emily and her son-in-law, Mat, have created a CD for the Friends School in Baltimore, which Emily attended. Elaine and I listened to it last night and it sounded very well done. The school was founded before the US Constitution was written and has maintained its Quaker values of peace, equality, and truth, among other virtues for all the years since then.

The comments on the CD reminded me of when I attended Quaker Meeting in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts as a young boy. The building was similar to the Dunker Church that we saw recently on a visit to the Antietam Civil War battle site. Pews arranged in a square around a pot-bellied stove. Women set on one side, men on the other.

Nobody spoke until the spirit moved. Sometimes nobody spoke for over an hour and young boys like me had better not nod off, because there was a little old grouchy looking man in the back with a long pole that he used to bop the nodders on the head with.

06. Mini Garden of Eatin': We set up an "earthbox" a couple of weeks ago with three small plants: zuchini, squash, and cucumbers. The zuchini plant is now gigantic and it looks like blossoms are getting ready to pop. The squash plant got bottom rot and I pulled it today. The cucumber plant is holding its own even though greatly overshadowed by the zuke.

Next, I sent for three more "earthboxes" and I spent a lot of time today filling them with potting mixture, dolomite and fertilizer. Now we have to decide what plants to put in the boxes. We already have four large pots of tomatoes (one of which already has three green tomatoes growing.)
Elaine wants to plant dill, lettuce, cucumber and another tomato.

We also bought another upside down tomato plant holder. The one we had last year worked out pretty well for small tomatoes.. and then the holder disintegrated in the winter's heavy snow.

07. Mark Twain! Did I mention that I left my library book out in the rain and I had to try to buy another one to replace it? One of Amazon's sources had a copy and is mailing it to me. The book is (of course) Mark Twain by Ron Powers. Ron's style of writing is a lot like Mark Twain's. I guess that is the way he planned it.

Reading this book about Mr. Clemens' life has inspired me to reread all of his books, but especially his Innocents Abroad. I'm afraid that I did not appreciate it when I read it last. Now that I have learned some background information about the book, I should enjoy it more.

08. Martin Gardner: Speaking of background information. One reads Alice in Wonderland.. and then one reads The Annotated Alice by Martin Garner. Enough said.

Mr. Gardner died this week. I had a very distant puzzler's relationship with this interesting guy.

09. Mr. Mencken: "Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends." Think about that for a while.

10. Watching us? Check out Sky and Telescope magazine for June 1958, page 414 for pictures of a white cross observed on the moon on 11/26/56.

Incidentally, people who would like to help map the moon are being offered the job.

11. Bible study: I'm told that Shakespeare wrote the 46th psalm.

The 46th word from the beginning is "Shake" and the 46th word from the end is "Spears".

(Not in the Douay version) (King James?)

12. The answer is: 9W. The question is: Herr Wagner, do you spell your name with a "V"?


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Weekly Dozen

Well, I'm almost to my 200th blog entry. It's hard to believe that I've gone on so long. Just call me "motor mouth". (Some biblical stuff mixed in today.)

01. Soggy? Some one has invented Beer Chips. Its sliced potatoes, covered with salt and sugar and soaked in beer before final preparation. The ad man said: "It's a party in your mouth!" I guess it saves you the trouble of dipping your chips in your beer.

02. Fleeting idea: Why not breed a smaller flea that would therefore not bother animals and humans? Don't scoff. Don't they have flea circuses? So wouldn't these insect Barnums be able to do flea breeding?

(Why did Noah bring two fleas on the ark? Chiggers? Deer ticks? Sharks? Killer whales? Headlice?)

My friend, Ivan Gibbs, says that there is a tiny lice that just bothers the left ears of fleas. (or something like that)... and what about bedbugs, rats, "Old Noah he built him an ark, Old Noah, he built him an ark... etc etc."

03. Carroll County (Maryland) Headline from 1984: "Judge Burns Stable after Heart Attack."

04. Wisdom: Mark Twain said: "Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18." (Wasn't there a movie about this recently?)

05. Where is he now? A couple of years ago Headlice Harry appeared on the scene. "Instant relief for headlice." (See Noah above)

06. RIP: A retired meter maid instructed a funeral home to set up a parking meter as a headstone for her when she died. It would be set to "Time Expired."

07. Burning question: How did Adam keep his figleaf on?

(By the way, did you know that the Bible talks about baseball? Genesis opens: "In the Big Inning..").

08. Ow!: Consumers' Reports mentions the following sign in a doctor's office: "Prostate Exam. Come in for a yearly prostate exam, get second one at same visit for free."

09. Closeness: Consumers' Reports also mentions the TwoDaLoo, which is a toilet that two people can use at the same time.. for $1,400. (May include a TV and iPod station.)

10. Important information:

Chester Greenwood of Farmington, Maine, was the first human being ever to wear an ear muff.

The Thames is called "Isis" while it flows through Oxford.

The ant never sleeps. (See Noah above.)

The first movie closeup caused panic when shown because the audience mistook it for a severed head.

There are 2,500,000 rivets in the Eifel Tower.

11. Confucious says: "Show-off always shown up in showdown."

Remember Charlie Chan? He was always quoting Confucious. I wonder if I can order old Charlie Chan movies from Netflix? Remember how he always flew into San Francisco on a China Clipper seaplane?

12. Twain again: Mark Twain once told a pompous clergyman that every word of his sermon was in a book he had at home. A dictionary.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Droid 101

Well, I finally did it. I obtained a "DROID" from Verizon. I'm liking it already even though I had a rocky start. I wanted to get an IPHONE, but my history record with AT&T has also been rocky. So, I got what is considered by some people to be equivalent. Can I share some of my experiences so far?

01. Get the DROID! Verizon would not sell me the phone until my current 2 year committment was up .. otherwise, I would have had to pay close to $700. Waiting, I would then only have to pay between $100 and $200 (after rebates of course). When I walked into the Verizon store I was asked to wait another ten days so that I could get even more rebates. That was nice of them.

When I got the DROID, I asked for the manual and was given a tiny "get started" booklet. Not enough information. I called Verizon and after 30 minutes of chit-chat with an automaton, I was connected to a nice human guy who told me how to download a manual from Motorola, the maker of the DROID.

02. You called? On my first day with the DROID, and before I got the manual, I received a call from a nice elderly lady. It was a wrong number and she apologized. After the call, I looked at the call log and there was an entry for the wrong number, so I decided to delete it like I sometimes did with my old cell phone. Suddenly the DROID came alive and dialed that lady. I apologized.

As I tried to close the phone app, DROID dialed her again.. and again.. and again.. I apologized.. I apologized.. I apologized.

Finally, I must have hit the right combination of keys (touches) and the phone app went away.

I decided not to do any phone calling until I read the manual. Meanwhile, someone called and I was afraid to answer it.. much later, when I figured out how to hear my messages, I found out that the call was from my sister, who was in Baltimore for the Preakness. Damn! I might have been able to meet with her.. but then it was too late and she was already back in New Bedford.

03. Scary DROID! When the DROID cycles on or off.. an eerie Twilight Zone voice says its name.

And when it awakens from sleep time, a round Motorola sign appears and a searchlight beams out from the sign that looks just like Batman's sky signal. Very clever.

04. Take a Trip! I apparently don't know how to do the MAPS app yet. It knew my location and had it pinpointed as soon as I touched the icon. After that I plugged in a destination nearby and set it off.

A voice immediately came on to tell me the first direction to take. "Drive down Weller Way!" Since I did not need to hear it, I shut the DROID off.. or so I thought.

I left the room and the DROID was on the table near Elaine. All of a sudden, the voice came out of the DROID and gave the next direction "Turn on to Luther Drive!" And then it was silent again. It "scared the daylights out of her". (what a strange expression)

Five minutes later, the voice said: "Turn left at Old New Windsor Drive" and then shut up again.

I did everything I could think of the get this app to give up the ghost.. and I thought that I had been successful, when it shouted out: "Turn right at Route 31."

Eventually, I was able to shut it off.. but I still don't know how I did it.

So, as you can see, I am having fun with this gadget especially since the Internet access is extremely fast and the push out keyboard is better even than the one on my notebook pc.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weekly Dozen

Thanks to The Week magazine, Mensa news, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, NPR Radio and my experiences, there always seems to be 12 weird things to mention each week:

01. Eureka! At last the lightbulb shown over comic book characters when they have a great idea has been recognized as not just a comic convention. A recent study showed that when an ordinary light bulb is turned on over a person's head, they become more creative. (Flurescent bulbs don't work the same way. Neither do tulip bulbs.)

02. X-Ray Vison. Speaking of comics, the old comic books often had great offers to tempt young kids in order to grab their their ten cent allowances. These offers were usually in the back of the comic book and one of them was an advertisement for X-Ray glasses that could see through clothes.. "just like Superman!" Although tempted, I never gave in and I still wonder how those glasses worked.

Now, 60 or 70 years later, the dreams of adolescent boys have come true. At airports, there is equipment that does look right through clothes. Siegel and Shuster would be amazed that their Superman vision has become reality.

Recently, an airport employee filed suit to stop the teasing and ridicule he has received since he volunteered to try out the new "see through clothes" machine. Apparently, the machine saw more than he would have liked it to see.. while his co-workers looked on and began to laugh and make fun of parts of his anatomy.

03. Underclothes: Perhaps the airport guy should have been wearing lead-lined panty-hose. All kidding aside, there now is panty-hose for men, and, you guessed it, it's called "manty-hose".

Since women don't seem to want to wear panty-hose anymore, other uses must be developed for the ones that are left over. I found that if you took a pair of your wife's old panty-hose and cut the legs with scissors so that you made circular bands, they were ideal for staking us unruly tomato plants. Since I plan to have unruly tomato plants again this year, I will have to get more panty-hose to cut up. This is a problem for some single men.. There is no way that a non-quiche eating man would purchase ladies' underwear. (I'm assuming that "manty-hose" isn't on the market yet. I could be wrong.)

04. Equal Rights: Even though this blog is getting dangerously close to scatology, I must continue for a bit. Congress, this week, has been debating the "Potty Parity Law".. this law would require future Government structures to have enough Ladie's Rooms so that they would not have to wait in long lines. I don't know if this will apply also to public entertainment places like Baltimore's beautiful Lyric Theater. When I attended the opera at the Lyric, the men got into and out of the men's room in seconds, while the ladies were still waiting in line when the curtain rose for the second act. Bigger ladie's rooms or more ladie's rooms.. one or the other is needed, or both.

05. Lung cancer: I was driving down East Main Street in Westminster, Maryland the other day. It was a beautiful Spring day and many people were walking around the downtown of this very safe city. But I noticed that a large number of these strollers had white tubes in their mouths. I also noticed that fellow automobile drivers were also smoking, and many were talking on their cell phones while they smoked and drove. Didn't they get the message?

In 1974, I saw a message printed on a cigarette package, and even though I smoked a pipe and cigars at the time, it caught my attention. It read: "Smoking causes lung cancer." That light bulb that I mentioned went off over my head and I threw away my pipe, tobacco, and cigars, and haven't smoked again.. that was after smoking since my eleventh birthday. I got the message.

06. Oil Spill: Did a Blowout Preventer not work? BP says yes.

07. Cat's Paw: Scientists have determined that male cats are left-pawed, and female cats are right-pawed.

08. Another use for Panty Hose: I forgot this one. You can keep your onions fresh in panty-hose. (Which might be why Manty-Hose has been developed. ... Sorry.)

09. Playboy: Hugh Heffner says that he is planning to have a 3D version of the Playboy magazine. Will that come out before or after the Braille edition?

10. Oldie but goodie! Betty White at 88 years was a smash on Saturday Night Live. She got them the highest ratings they have ever had. She is a treasure and a natural born comic. Who said that old-timers must be neither seen nor heard?

11. Apocalypse soon? Somebody left me a little comic book that was not very "comic". The gist of it is that the Pope will take over the world and set himself up as the Anti-God, and everyone who is not "saved" will be cast into a lake of fire as the true angry God destroys the world. The cover page shows some chubby devils running away yelling "NO". I would suggest that the people who put out this booklet relax and sit back and stop scaring gullible people.

12. Telephone scripts: Once again, I goofed and thought that I could get something done over the phone. I called my telephone company to ask why my bill was $2 more this month than last month. The call went something like this:

Robot Voice: Good morning. Please listen to our menu, as it has changed. Say or press the number .

Joe Vaughan: Two, billing.

RV: I'm sorry, I did not understand.

JV: Two.

RV: I did not understand. Please press the number.

JV: 2

RV: That is not valid, please press the number you desire.

JV: 2

RV: That is not valid. What is your name?

JV: Joseph Vaughan.

RV: What is your name?

JV: Joseph Vaughan.

RV: Please press the letters on the keypad.

JV: joseph vaughan

RV: I am transferring you.

New Robot Voice: Hello. Please listen to the menu choices, as they have changed.

JV: Five

RV: I'm sorry I did not understand.

JV: 5

RV: That is not a valid choice. I am transferring you.

New Robot Voice: Please speak or type your account number.

JV: (account number)

RV: Please speak or type your account number.

JV: (account number)

RV: That is not a valid number, please type or say the number in the right hand upper corner of your monthly bill.

JV: &%^$!!)&!!

RV: That is not a valid number, please type or say the number in the right hand upper corner of your monthly bill.

JV: To hell with it!

RV: That is not a valid number, please type or say the number in the right hand upper corner of your monthly bill.

JV: Good bye!

RV: Thank you for contacting us. We look forward to continuing our telephone services with you.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Dozen on May 9th 2010

It looks like it will be a beautiful cool and pleasant Mother's Day.

Today, I would like to talk about several things, including eyeballs, monkeys, coyotes, and money. (My goal with these blogs is to make your mind jump.)

01. Eyeballs: (If you don't want to get "grossed out", jump to item #02.) As you may have read here, I have developed macular degeneration (AMD) in my right eye and "see things as though through a glass darkly" with that eye. There are two kinds of AMD, dry and wet. Wet AMD means that new blood vessels are growing in your eye and they are leaking and covering a lot of visual area. I just found out that my AMD has developed into the wet kind and I have to get it treated quickly or my vision will get quite worse in that eye.

Treatment consists of injections of a healing substance (are your ready?) into the eyeball! As you can imagine.. this is not pleasant.. but necessary. So, I am writing this to suggest that, whatever your age, make sure that you visit an opthalmologist (a medical doctor, not just a lens maker guy) at least once each year to make sure you are not developing AMD or glaucoma. These conditions are usually, but not always, conditions for aging people. Also, AMD is hereditary. (Thanks for listening.)

02. Monkey business: Nebraska Zoo personnel were amazed to keep finding that their five orangatangs had escaped from their enclosure. The only way out was through a locked door. After a lot of investigation, they found that the boss orang (Fu Manchu) had secreted a 4" piece of wire around his teeth and was using it to pick the door's lock! And all these years I was congratulating myself for being able to pick locks with a paper clip.

03. Aliens again: The leader of one of the former Soviet Republics says that he was abducted by space aliens and was given a tour of their spaceship. Russian officials are investigating to find out if he gave them any state secrets.

Reminds me of the technician I worked with in Germany who reported that his wife would ask him questions every night when she thought he was asleep, trying to learn all about our secret radar installations.

04. Money talks: I'm amazed that our stock market computer systems are so fragile that they could be messed up by some guy typing "billion" for "million." You know, that somewhere, another guy is working up a plan to do the same thing in order to make himself a fast buck.

05. Coyotes: I've just learned that coyotes suddenly appeared on Cape Cod in the late 1970's. In order to do so, they would have had to swim the Cape Cod Canal or scurry across a long bridge.

06. Chinese English: Chinglish? Wait, Wait reports that some Chinese cities are trying to clean up their English signs that have been mis-translated: one can get an idea about that by reading instruction manuals for China-made items.

Reminds me of two stories:

A New York socialite always wore a Chinese coin around her neck as a necklace. She always wondered what the chinese characters on the coin meant. One day, she asked the Chinese ambassador who was attending one of her soirees. He did not want to reply, but she insisted. The coin read: Admit one to the Hong Kong brothel.

An English-Russian translation program translated the following phrase:

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

It came out: The vodka is pretty good, but the meat is rancid.

07. Modesty: I've heard that the Virginia Attorney General is trying to get the State Seal cleaned up. He wants to put a cover on the bare breast of the Spirit of Virtue. Someone suggested that he might next try to change the State name to Ia.

08. Sarah: New phrase to take the place of "Drill, baby, drill" .. "Spill, baby, spill"

09. Lung cancer: The other day, I counted 15 people in one city block who were smoking as they walked along. The very high price of cigarettes and risk of lung cancer obviously hasn't bothered them. But (t) one doesn't see so many cigarette butts anymore; they must be smoking them way down because of the cost.

Remember the sign that used to be in men's rooms? "Please don't throw cigarette butts in the urinals; it makes them soggy and hard to light."

Remember the phrase? "Many man smoke, but Fu Man Chu."

Remember Charlie Chan? Great movies. Get them on NetFlix.

10. Tight Quarters: Females will now be allowed to serve on submarines. Some of the atomic subs can stay submerged under the North Pole ice for months. Hey, what's the worst that could happen?

11. Schatzgeliebte! The Germans have developed a spray that makes men want to "cuddle". Does it last for four hours?

12. A match made in Heaven? Scientists have now determined that Neandertals (cave men) mated with Homo Sapiens (us guys) at some time in the deep dark past. (Geico could have told them that already.)


Saturday, May 01, 2010

Weekly Stuff for May Day 2010

Today I want to cover a bunch of stuff that I find interesting. I'll keep the long stuff for the end so that readers can quit early if they want to.

01. ET?

Dr. Hawkings says that we should not be so anxious to look for alien life. Remember what happened to the Indian population of the New World when Europeans discovered them.

Someone on Wait, Wait said that if aliens happen to land their space crafts in Arizona, they will be immediately arrested as being undocumented and we won't have to worry about them any more.

02. I Feel the Earth Move...

That Iranian cleric who said that women wearing sexy clothing was causing earthquakes was right. As a group of women were protesting his statements, an earthquake of 6.5 magnitude hit Taiwan.

03. Phoney Fido?

Does anyone remember when leashes were sold for invisible dogs? When was that? In the 1970? Now that there are a couple of generations who did not have the experience of paying lots of money to walk an invisible dog may be willing to kick in a few bucks to do so. Hey, somebody could become a millionaire with this ploy. I wonder where all those left-over leashes are being held. In a storage room with pet rocks?

04. WC?

At the local Ag Center, the rest room for ladies is labeled: Ladie's and the rest room for men is labeled: Men. What happens in Scotland? Women: Ladies' and men: Laddies.

Is Men's a valid usage? Is Ladie's a valid usage? Is Lady's a valid usage? Men Room? Women Room? Rest room? Who cares?

05. A Statement?

I have a blue Toyota Rav-4. I think that it must be a drawing card for nasty birds, because almost every morning I find that birds have left calling cards all over it. Now, I can kind of understand that the birds around my home like to poop on my car and I can live with that.. but why is it that when I park in a large parking lot at a super market or department store, when I come out of the store, I find that my car has been visited by those nasty birds... but none of the other cars in the vicinity have been soiled?

Is this getting even for me chasing cat birds away from my blue berries every year at my last home?

06. They have found me again.

Once again this week, Republican organizations have sent me letters stating how much they think of me and appointing me to some kind of local committee, as soon as they receive a contribution between $15 and $1,000. Last week, it was the Democrats. They must both have the same fund raising companies working for them.

With these letters, I get "have you stopped beating your wife?" type questions from both parties, although the Republicans are the most virolent. As an Independent, I was hoping not to get these stupid requests for money. As a former member of one of the parties, I got only one letter of these types, from that party.. now, I get them from both sides.

I hear that the Republican party in California is paying an $8 bounty for every new member that is signed up. (Shades of what they said about Acorn?)

07. The greatest invention!

This is the 30th anniversary of the Post-it note. What a wonderful tool. What did we do before? It's hard to remember. Paper clips? Staples? Corner folds? I buy the little yellow ones, about 1 1/2" by 2". I love them. I buy them by the gross. The story of its invention is interesting. American ingenuity.

08. Well done!

I hear that fuel is being developed from meat. (Maybe those aliens mentioned above will come to earth to refuel with some of the billions of people being cultivated on this planet. Remember the SCI FI story, where the aliens drop off breeding couples on each earth-like planet as a long range food supply.)

09. Wisdom.

On Wait, Wait, someone stated a translation of a German phrase that should be considered by us in the U. S.

"When the rooster crows on the dung heap, the weather changes... or doesn't."

10. Incarceration figure.

The Drug Policy Alliance cites the fact that there are over 2 million Americans behind bars in the U.S., or 1 in every 99.1 adults. This is the highest incarceration rate in the world.

11. A Collection of Nouns

Carroll County Times writer, Sue Yingling, writes about collective nouns.

A peep of chickens.
A paddling of ducks.
A hover of hummingbirds.
An exultation of larks.
A wisdom of owls.
A pounce of cats.
A slither of snakes.
A giggle of girls.
A stumble of drunks.
A wad of paper.

I don't know if she made some of these up or not. Some years ago, I worked with a guy at the Social Security Administration named Bob Hale. When he wasn't doing the Government's bidding, he collected collective nouns like this. He had a very large collection.

Bob was an interesting guy. His great, great, great grandmother was Sarah Hale (see #12 below.) Bob ran a club for writers called "Wordsmiths" and I was priviledged to make a presentation to the group about one of the world's "bad boy" writers, the infamous Frank Harris. I've always wondered what became of Bob. (He's not on Facebook or Twitter and his name is too common to connect with on other search engines.)

12. Sarah Hale (1788 - 1879)

Bob Hale's famous relative had a number of interesting happenings connected with her name. She was instrumental in getting President Lincoln to declare a day of Thanksgiving in the U.S. in 1863. She was also editor of Ladies' Magazine and Godey's Lady's Book.

But her most famous accomplishment was as the author of the poem: Mary had a Little Lamb.

Most of us learn the first part of that poem, but there are two more parts. You can check them out on Google.

And to leave you with a smile (perhaps), you may remember the "take-off" verse:

Mary had a little lamb,
And the doctor darn near fainted.