Once upon a time in medieval ages there was a king who wanted to go fishing. He called the royal weather forecaster, a very important position, and inquired as to the weather forecast for the next few hours.
The weatherman assured him that there was no chance of rain in the coming days. So, the king went fishing with his wife, the queen. On
the way he met a farmer on his donkey. Upon seeing the king the farmer said, “Your Majesty, you should return to the palace at once because in just a short time I expect a huge amount of rain to fall in this area.”
The king was polite and considerate. He replied: “I hold the palace meteorologist in the highest regard. He is an extensively educated and experienced professional. Besides, I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him and I will continue on my way.” So he continued on his way.
However, a short time later a torrential rain fell from the sky. The King and Queen were totally soaked and their entourage chuckled upon seeing them in such a shameful condition.
Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the weatherman at once! Then, he summoned the farmer and offered him the prestigious and high paying role of royal forecaster.
The farmer said, “Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey’s ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain.”
So the king hired the donkey. Thus began the practice of hiring asses to work in the government and occupy its highest and most influential positions.
Fox News Bows to the President
Fox News is cowering down to the President…..
In response to President Obama’s complaint that FOX News doesn’t show enough Black and Hispanic people on their network,
FOX has announced that they will now air “America’s Most Wanted” TWICE a week.
If you think you have trouble understanding young kids today read this piece and remember how your parents reacted to your manner of speech.
WORDS AND PHRASES REMIND US OF THE WAY WE WORD.
About a month ago, I illuminated some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included “Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a broken record” and “Hung out to dry.” A bevy of readers have asked me to shine light on more faded words and expressions, and I am happy to oblige:
Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie. We’d put on our best bib and tucker and straighten up and fly right. Hubba-hubba! We’d cut a rug in some juke joint and then go necking and petting and smooching and spooning and billing and cooing and pitching woo in hot rods and jalopies in some passion pit or lovers’ lane. Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! Holy moley! We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley, and even a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!
Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when’s the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers. Oh, my aching back. Kilroy was here, but he isn’t anymore.
Like Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle and Kurt Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim, we have become unstuck in time. We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!” or “This is a fine kettle of fish!” we discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards.
Poof, poof, poof go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind. We blink, and they’re gone, evanesced from the landscape and wordscape of our perception, like Mickey Mouse wristwatches, hula hoops, skate keys, candy cigarettes, little wax bottles of colored sugar water and an organ grinder’s monkey.
Where have all those phrases gone? Long time passing. Where have all those phrases gone?
Long time ago:
Pshaw. The milkman did it. Think about the starving Armenians. Bigger than a bread box. Banned in Boston . The very idea! It’s your nickel. Don’t forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper. Turn-of-the-century. Iron curtain. Domino theory. Fail safe. Civil defense. Fiddlesticks! You look like the wreck of the Hesperus. Cooties. Going like sixty. I’ll see you in the funny papers. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Heavens to Murgatroyd! Awa-a-ay we go! Cat’s pajamas. And so’s your old man.
Oh, my stars and garters! It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter had liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff, this winking out of the words of our youth, these words that lodge in our heart’s deep core. But just as one never steps into the same river twice, one cannot step into the same language twice. Even as one enters, words are swept downstream into the past, forever making a different river.
We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changing times. For a child each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age. We at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist and there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our collective memory. It’s one of the greatest advantages of aging. We can have archaic and eat it, too.
See ‘ya later, alligator!
‘The Middle Wife’
(by an anonymous second-grade teacher)
I’ve been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself,
but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade
classroom a few years back.
When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few
sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually,
show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes,
pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any
boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school
and talk about it, they’re welcome.
Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid,
takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow
stuffed under her sweater.
She holds up a snapshot of an infant. “This is Luke, my baby brother,
and I’m going to tell you about his birthday.
“First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then
Dad put a seed in my Mom’s stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate
for nine months through an umbrella cord.”
She’s standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I’m trying not to
laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching
her in amazement.
“Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts going, ‘Oh, Oh, Oh!'”
Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. “She walked around the
house for, like an hour, ‘Oh, oh, oh!'” (Now this kid is doing a hysterical
duck walk and groaning.)
“My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn’t
have a sign on the car like the Domino’s man. They got my Mom to lie
down in bed like this.” (Then Erica lies down with her back against the
“And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case
he got thirsty, and it blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!”
(This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing
away. It was too much!)
“Then the middle wife starts saying ‘push, push,’ and ‘breathe, breathe.’
“They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden,
out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it
was from Mom’s play-center, so there must be a lot of toys inside there.
When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there in
the first place.”
Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat.
I’m sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it’s show-and-tell
day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another ‘Middle Wife’ comes along.
Live every day as if it is your LAST chance to make someone laugh.
Barnyard Tale: A Current spin on an old tale, “The Little Red Hen.”
“Who will help me plant my wheat?” asked the little red hen.
“Not I,” said the cow.
“Not I,” said the duck.
“Not I,” said the pig.
“Not I,” said the goose.
“Then I will do it by myself.” She planted her crop and the wheat grew and ripened.
“Who will help me reap my wheat?” asked the little red hen.
“Not I,” said the duck.
“Out of my classification,” said the pig.
“I’d lose my seniority,” said the cow.
“I’d lose my unemployment compensation,” said the goose.
“Then I will do it by myself,” said the little red hen, and so she did.
“Who will help me bake the bread?” asked the little red hen.
“That would be overtime for me,” said the cow.
“I’d lose my welfare benefits,” said the duck.
“I’m a dropout and never learned how,” said the pig.
“If I’m to be the only helper, that’s discrimination,” said the goose.
“Then I will do it by myself,” said the little red hen.
She baked five loaves and the wonderful aroma filled the land, all of her neighbors couldn’t help but enjoy the fragrance.
They wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share but the little red hen said, “No, I have worked hard on all five loaves, and I will freeze what I don’t eat.”
“Excess profits!” cried the cow. (Nancy Pelosi)
“Capitalist leech!” screamed the duck. (Barbara Boxer)
“I demand equal rights!” yelled the goose. (Jesse Jackson)
The pig just grunted in disdain. (Harry Reid)
And they all painted ‘Unfair!’ picket signs and marched around and around the little red hen, shouting obscenities.
Then the farmer (Obama) came. He said to the little red hen, “You must not be so greedy.”
“But I worked and earned the bread,” said the little red hen.
“Exactly,” said Barack the farmer. “That is what makes our free enterprise system so wonderful. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants. But under our modern government regulations, the productive workers must divide the fruits of their labor with those who are not working and idle.”
And they all lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked,
“I am grateful, for now I truly understand.”
But her neighbors became quite disappointed in her since she never again baked bread because she joined the ‘party’ and got her bread free.
‘Fairness’ had been established.
Individual initiative had died but nobody noticed; perhaps no one cared, so long as there was free bread that ‘the rich’ were paying for.
Bill Clinton gets $12 million for his memoirs. Hillary gets $8 million for hers.
That’s $20 million for the memories of two people, who for eight years repeatedly testified under oath that they couldn’t remember anything…and one is now running for President!!!
IS THIS A GREAT BARNYARD OR WHAT?
In the hospital, the relatives gathered in the waiting room, where a family member lay, gravely ill. Finally, a doctor came in, looking tired & somber.
“I’m afraid I’m the bearer of bad news,” he said, as he surveyed the worried faces. “The only hope left for your loved one, at this time, is a brain transplant. It’s an experimental procedure, very risky, but, it’s the only hope. Insurance will cover the procedure, but, you’ll have to pay for the BRAIN.”
The family members sat silent as they absorbed the news. After a
time, someone asked, “How much will a brain cost?”
The doctor quickly responded, “$5,000 for a Democrat’s brain;
$200 for a Republican’s brain.”
The moment turned awkward. Some of the Democrats actually had to ‘try’ to not smile, avoiding eye contact with the Republicans. A man unable to control his curiosity, finally blurted out the question everyone wanted to ask, “Why is the Democrat’s brain so much more than a Republican’s brain?”
The doctor smiled at the childish innocence, & explained to the entire group, “It’s just standard pricing procedure. We have to price the Republicans’ brains a lot lower, because they’re used.”
Daniel Snyder, owner of the NFL Washington Redskins, has announced that the team is dropping the word “Washington” from the team name and it will henceforth be simply known as……
It was reported that he finds the word ‘Washington’ imparts a negative image of poor leadership, mismanagement, corruption, cheating, lying and is not a fitting role model for young fans of football.
To all who appreciate tools and to those of us who don’t!
You only have had to use a couple of these tools to appreciate this one.
A portable cutting tool used to make boards too short.
An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.
Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, ‘Oh shit’. Will easily wind a tee shirt off your back.
A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.
Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of
One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It
transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.
Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
Used almost entirely for igniting various flammable objects in your shop and creating a fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.
A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity. Very effective for digit removal!!
HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK:
Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.
A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut large pieces into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge. Also excels at
TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST:
A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of all the crap you forgot to disconnect.
Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.
A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.
A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.
PVC PIPE CUTTER:
A tool used to make plastic pipe too short.
Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent to the object you are trying to hit. Also very effective at fingernail removal.
Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered
to your front door. Works particularly well on contents such as seats,
vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund
checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work
clothes, but only while in use. These can also be used to initiate a trip
to the emergency room so a doctor can sew up the damage.
SON OF A BITCH TOOL:
Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling ‘Son of a bitch’ at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.