01. What's in a name? I apologize to this beautiful person for picking on her name, but somehow it makes me giggle, I don't know why, but I believe that there once was a stripper on the Baltimore infamous "Block" with the same name.
The AARP Sex and Relationship Expert is named Pepper Schwartz.
02. It had to happen: A heavy-set woman was charged extra in one of those fingernail salons for being too fat and endangering their chairs that are tested for only 200 pounds.
Many years ago, fellow Mensan, Marvin Grosswirth established an organization called Fat Pride. based on a book he wrote with the same name. Other such organizations were established over the years, but I think his was the first. Marvin wrote lots of interesting books and unfortunately, died of cancer at the age of 53. A man of great intellect, as well as great girth... which rhymes with his last name.. which means a "great innkeeper".. at least in the German dialect I know.
Anyway, Marvin felt that one should not be ashamed of being overeweight. Why on earth would one want to be a skinny-bones? (However, personally, I would like to be a little bit thinner.)
(Marvin also was in favor of beards.. at least on men. He felt that if one wore a beard, one should wear a real man's beard, not one of those "sissy beards" worn by some rock stars.)
03. Caution! Kevin Dayhoff, former mayor of Westminster, Maryland, in one of his interesting newspaper articles, mentions that in the 1960's, some traffic lights did not flash yellow, only red and green. I was around then, but I don't remember such lights in the places I lived. This probably confused children who thought that the traffic lights were Christmas decorations.
Among lots of other things, Kevin Dayhoff writes a journal called the New Bedford Herald. (It's not about New Bedford, Massachusetts, where I was born and brought up.)
04. Deep fat! Vendors at the upcoming Maryland State Fair will be selling lots of deep fat fried items, including Oreo cookies, Snicker Bars, Twinkies, Buckeyes (peanut butter and chocolate mixed), and even ice cream bars... but they will have to go a lot further in their plans to clog up Marylanders' arteries to top the Canadians. At an exhibition in Toronto, vendors are selling deep fat fried butter!
05. It's a digital world all right. A street musician now has a card reader by his side. If you like his guitar music, you can give him a tip (donation) by swiping your credit card and keying in the amount you want to give him. (I wonder if he takes American Express.)
06. Mis-attribution. One of the few poems I ever learned was the one about a pelican:
A curious bird is the pelican,
His beak holds more than his belly can.
He can store in his beak,
Enough food for a week,
And I don't know how the devil he does it.
I have always attributed it to Ogden Nash.. it's the kind of stuff he wrote.
Well, I learned this week that I was wrong. The poem was written by newspaper humorist, Dixon Lanier Merritt, and goes like this:
A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill can hold more than his bellican.
He can hold in his beak,
Food enough for a week,
But I'm damned if I see how the hellican.
(Which one do you like?)
07. Ugh! A nutritionist who was interviewed on NPR said that shrimp imported from Thailand is "grown in dirty ponds." Think about that the next time you order scampi at your favorite restaurant.
08. Banana Bread: I love to bake banana bread! Sometimes I make it plain.. just bananas.. sometimes I add blueberries; sometimes I add walnuts; sometimes I add chocolate chips; sometimes I add butterscotch chips; sometimes I mix them all together.
A well-known local Carroll County humorist, with another interesting name, Cathy Drinkwater Better, writes a funny column in the Carroll Eagle. This week, she mentioned what goes on in her house when her husband finds real old bananas in the fridge. Of course, as anyone knows, you have to have real old bananas to make good banana bread. I'm probably one of the few men in the world who knows that the secret to delicious banana bread is old, black, mushy, gnat-infested bananas.
Elaine and I always laugh long and hard when we read her Sunday articles. She is a gifted story teller, and as I also learned this week, a well-known author, with a lot of books to her credit.
09. New word. The big-name dictionaries are adding a new word in their latest editions: bromance .. friendship between two men. I have a brother Joe, that I sometimes call BRO and a friend from early childhood named Bob, and we both often refer to each other as BRO. But of course, there is no "romance" there. There are lots of BRO- words, such as bromide, brocade, Bromo Seltzer, .... Broken = what Barbie's brother now calls Ken.. NBC's Tom Brokaw... etc etc
10. A Dog's Best Friend: I've mentioned this before, but some one of you may still never have heard of this great invention. It was dreamed up by the brother of Tony Shalhoub (you know... Mr. Monk!)
Yes, I'm talking a bout the Shapoopy.. better than a pooper-scooper.. it catches your dog's poop before it even hits the ground! Wow!
Have you heard the jingle?
11. What would Johnie Cash do? I learned today that those automatic faucets that are now ubiquitous, will not work if you are wearing black. Imagine that.
12. An amazing author! Over the years, Tom Robbins has written a lot of thoughtful (weird) books. His latest is a children's book called B is for Beer.
Tom says that he ate so much mayonaise as a kid that his parents threatened to send him to the Mayo Clinic. ! He is the inventor of the Gin-Greasy.. which is a combination of gin and mayonaise. I don't think I'm going to try it.
Quote from Tom: "I believe in nothing, everything is sacred. I believe in everything, nothing is sacred." Whatever that means... I think I will put it into my email messages.