Tuesday, August 31, 2010




Have you ever told a white lie? If you have, you are going to love this, especially all of the ladies who bake for church events.

Alice Grayson was supposed to bake a cake for the Church Ladies' Group Bake Sale in Tuscaloosa, but she forgot to do it until the last minute. She remembered it the morning of the bake sale and after rummaging through cabinets, she found an angel food cake mix and quickly made it while drying her hair, dressing, and helping her son pack up for Scout camp.

When she took the cake from the oven, the center had dropped flat and the cake was horribly disfigured and she exclaimed, "Oh dear, there is not time to bake another cake!" This cake was important to Alice because she did so want to fit in at her
new church, and in her new community of friends. So, being inventive, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of the cake. She found it in the bathroom: a roll of toilet paper. She plunked it in the center of the cake and then covered it with icing.

Not only did the finished product look beautiful, but it also looked perfect. Before she left the house to drop the cake by the church and head for work, Alice woke her daughter Amanda and gave her some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the moment it opened at 9:30 and to buy the cake and bring it home. When the daughter arrived at the sale, she found the cake had already been sold. Amanda grabbed her cell phone and called her mother.

Alice was horrified--she was beside herself--everyone would know! What would they think? She would be ostracized, talked about, and ridiculed! Alice lay awake all night in bed thinking about people who would be pointing fingers at her and talking about her behind her back.

The next day, Alice promised herself she would try not to think about the cake and would attend a fancy luncheon/bridal shower at the home of a fellow church member and try to have a good time. She did not really want to attend because the hostess was a snob who more than once had looked down her nose at the fact that Alice was a single parent and not from the founding families of Tuscaloosa, but having already RSVP'd, she couldn't think of a believable excuse to stay home.

The meal was elegant, the company was definitely upper crust old south and to Alice's horror, the cake in question was presented for dessert! Alice felt the blood drain from her body when she saw the cake! She started out of her chair to tell the hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, the Mayor's wife said, "What a beautiful cake!"

Alice, still stunned, sat back in her chair when she heard the
hostess (who was a prominent church member) say,

"Thank you, I baked it myself.."

Alice smiled and thought to herself, "God is good."

Monday, August 30, 2010


I always say that the only thing my mother ever taught us that was sinful was SLEEPING! My husband would sleep 12 hours a day--if I let him! To his credit, he says, "I got up at 4:30 in the morning for 35 years; I'm going to sleep as long as I want now!"

My niece came to live with us and a Sunday morning ritual at that time was: my brother Neil would drop by to read the Sunday newspaper and he, Mother, and I would have breakfast. Gerald was always still in bed and Neil's wife was always at home in bed. The first Sunday my niece was with us, my mother looked at the clock and it was 8:00 AM and my niece had not yet come downstairs. Mother asked, "Do you think she's going to sleep ALL day?"

Saturday, August 28, 2010


On August 28, 2010, as Glenn Beck defiles the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I will be wearing my button which my husband just made for me which states, "I STILL HAVE A DREAM".

Listen to the speech one more time.

Friday, August 27, 2010


In our family P-I-E stands for "PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING" because my mother would never serve anything to outsiders unless it were perfect.

Recently, my brother brought some beautiful blackberries and I made two pies; I had Gerald deliver the better-looking one to my brother and his daughter.

I thought the pie was delicious and the next day I called my brother and asked how they had liked their pie and he said, "It was EXCELLENT, but Tracey and I laughed and said that Mom would never have let it out of the house because the crust had split on one side!"

Since it was family, I guess Mother would have overlooked my "letting it out of the house"!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I love to fly, but I have never been able to sleep on an airplane and I can't stand to read for very long at a time; I am grateful when I have a fellow passenger who also likes to have conversations with strangers!

One time I was already seated in the aisle seat when I saw a large priest walking down the aisle; he stopped at my row and announced that he had the middle seat. I immediately stood up and asked, "Father, would you like to have the aisle seat?" He answered that he would and he thanked me profusely.

In our conversation, he mentioned that he was going to Corpus Christi and I said, "Oh, yes, the Body of Christ." I saw him smile approvingly at my translation of Corpus Christi. Several other areas of conversation resulted in my being able to show off my knowledge of Latin. Before landing, he asked me what parish I attended and I said, "Oh, Father, I'm not Catholic." He said, "Well, how kind of you to give up your seat for me," and I answered that it was just common courtesy. He said, "But you seem to know so much Latin." I told him he could thank Mrs. Craig for that and it was the only foreign language offered when I went to school. As he left he told me that I could always convert!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I like the new show with John Quinones called "What Would You Do?" It's like a cross between "The Good Samaritan" and the old "Candid Camera" show except they set up situations to test the reaction of ordinary people to ethical dilemmas.

For example, a child actor is placed on the street, crying and asking for help. It is disheartening to see the number of people who just pass by without responding but then it is heartwarming to see people who rise to the occasion. In another episode, they showed a dog in a car with closed windows. Of course the people outside could not see that the dog was actually totally ventilated and safe.

I believe that I would do the right thing in those situations and I have had a number of situations where I believe that I "stepped up" to do the "right thing" in testy situations, but truly, one never really knows what one would do in every situation.

One time at Lazarus, years ago, I heard a child wailing and my first thought was one of irritation, wondering why the parent didn't do something. After a few seconds, it dawned on me what the child was saying. He was lost from his mother. I squatted down to his level and I gained his confidence and I told him that we would find his mommy. I had his little hand in mine as we walked around the floor until we found her. She immediately grabbed his arm and started berating him. I told her that she needed to comfort him and it wasn't his fault that he was lost. She told me it was none of my business! So much for being a Good Samaritan!

According to the experts on "What Would You Do?" THAT WAS TOTALLY THE WRONG THING TO DO! Listening to the experts, I realized that they were correct and I should have reacted the way they stated. I should have kept the child in the same place; I should have gotten Security to find the mother and let them handle it.

Here's what I realized: how easy it would be to steal a child! I had that little boy's confidence in a few seconds; I could have led him down the escalator and out the door within a matter of minutes.

I had always disliked seeing children on leashes, but after that incident, I could see the wisdom of it!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


As a newlywed, I would brag to Gerald how much money I saved weekly by using coupons. He challenged me by saying that I should set up an account and deposit the same amount which I supposedly saved. Each week, I would deposit the "saved" money into the silver teapot on the credenza. At the end of the year I had saved $324 which helped enormously when we went to Gatlinburg on vacation. Now, when Gerald goes to the store he asks if I have any coupons. I should start saving in the teapot again and have him add to it!

Monday, August 23, 2010


My friend Gail wrote on her BLOG about Frances Strickland's visit to Washington Court House. Click on "GIFTS FROM GAIL" on the right side of my blog for more interesting reading.

My friend Concha wrote on her BLOG that "facetious" is the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order: A-E-I-O-U! ( fAcEtIOUs). Click on CONCHA"S CAULDRON at the right side of my blog for a potpourri of articles!

My friend Ginger operates "AMERICA'S VIRTUAL GENERAL STORE"; click on her link on the right side of my blog to view actual American-MADE products and you can also view her BLOG there!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Gerald and I had discussed renewing our wedding vows on our twentieth anniversary. One day, as we were going to work I wondered aloud who we could get to perform the ceremony as there were no justices of the peace in Ohio. As we passed through Jeffersonville, Gerald said, "Maybe the Mayor could do it." I said, "Oh no, he's the undertaker; that would be too creepy." That day at work, one of the guys, Dave Freidenmaker, was wearing a black tee-shirt and black pants. He turned around and he had stuffed gloves into his shirt and made it look like he had a bosom. He pranced around and said, "I look like Sue!" That day I was wearing a black jumpsuit.

That night I had a very frightening dream and when I awoke I was deeply troubled by the dream. In the dream, it was as if I, myself were standing back, watching the dream and I knew that there was a wedding, but everyone was in black. A person in the dream--a person of indeterminate gender--was wearing a black chiffon jumpsuit. That person, coming near the wedding party, seemed to be in control, and the person spoke these words, "How do you like your blue-eyed boy, Mr. Death?" I woke up from the dream, frightened. I did not tell Gerald about the dream, but I couldn't put it out of my mind. At lunch I was talking to my friend David Hibbard and we oftentimes analyzed dreams. I started to tell him about the dream and as I began to speak the words, "how do you like......", David responded, "your blueeyed boy, Mister Death". I literally gasped, "Oh, my God, how did you know that?"

(Photo - Buffalo Bill) David's analysis of the dream: Everything that had happened that day played a part in the dream: Gerald and I had been talking about renewing our wedding vows and when he mentioned the Mayor, I equated that with death. At work, Dave Freidenmaker had put the gloves in his shirt to simulate breasts and Dave was acting like a woman because the perception was that I acted like a man, because I was the only woman in management. I had a great number of jumpsuits in my wardrobe. Earlier in the week David and I had been discussing "The Silence of the Lambs" movie and the e. e. cummings poem, "Buffalo Bill's defunct" which figured in the movie, and the last line of the poem is, "how do you like your blueeyed boy, Mister Death".

Another e. e. cummings poem, "I carry your heart with me" had been a part of our wedding. Gerald has blue eyes. David then said that I was obviously the person of indeterminate gender in the black chiffon jumpsuit, because I was a woman in a traditionally-male position and in control. In the dream the jumpsuit was chiffon, to denote femininity, but in the dream I couldn't tell the gender of the person because of my work role.

So why was it so frightening, I asked David. He said, "I can only say WHY you had the dream, not WHAT it meant." We did not renew our vows; I'm hoping to do it next year on the fortieth! The dream no longer frightens me.

(Photo: e. e. cummings)

"Buffalo Bill's defunct" by e. e. cummings:

Buffalo Bill's
who used to
ride on a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
he was a handsome man
and what I want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

"i carry your heart with me" by e. e. cummings:

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I always tell people that Gerald WOULD NOT marry me until I learned to pronounce his name INCORRECTLY!

Everywhere else in the world the name Gerald is pronounced with the "J" sound for the "G" ("Jare-uld")); only around here is it pronounced with the soft "G" ("Gare-uld")!

Gerald likes to point out that there were three Geralds in his graduating class: Gerald Downs, Gerald Marshall and Gerald Leland (but Gerald Leland went by "Jerry") and I had a worker at International whose name was pronounced as Gerald's is.

Gerald has had so many nicknames: he's been known as Jerry, Gary, Ray, Uncle G, Geraldo, The G Spot, but the topper came at 4:30 one morning as I answered the phone and the caller asked, "Is Rape awake?" I was groggy but I shrieked, "RAPE?" The caller said, "Just tell him I'm not going to work this morning." I elbowed Gerald in the side and asked, "Do you know anyone who would call you "Rape"?" He said, "That's Doug; he just started riding to work with me." I asked, "He calls you "Rape"?" Gerald said, "Yeah, the guys at work call me Rape." I asked "What happened to "The Rapper"?" He said, "Oh, that song's not big anymore."

"The Rapper" came out in 1970; it was a one-hit wonder by the group JaggerZ. I've often wondered if "Rap" music began with that song. It's available on YouTube! Or you can listen to it below.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I needed to obtain a death certificate. I called the local Health Department and since the death occurred in Columbus I was told that I had to make contact with Franklin County. The local department told me it would cost $14.95 to have it mailed to me. I thought, "What the hey, with the cost of gas and my time, it would be simpler just to have it mailed." When I called Franklin County, I was given an 800-number to call. When I called, I noticed that the woman had a southern accent.

She asked where the death had occurred and I answered "University Hospital" and she asked me WHICH University Hospital. Now, if you are in Columbus, Ohio, you know there is only ONE University--THE Ohio State University--and obviously just ONE University Hospital.

I asked, "Where are you located since you are obviously NOT from Columbus, Ohio?" She answered, "We're in Brownsville, Texas." I practically screamed, "TEXAS?" She told me that they had the contract for handling the vital statistics for Franklin County. I told her that I knew it wasn't her fault but that it was absolutely CRAZY!

I told her that I wanted to have the document mailed to me and she took down my credit card information; when I finished, she repeated the information back to me and she said the charge would be $24.95. I screamed, "$24.95? Ohio told me it would be $14.95!" With that smarmy southern voice, she asked, "Oh, then you don't want overnight delivery?" I asked, "At ANY time did I indicate, suggest, hint, imply, denote or express indirectly that I wanted overnight delivery?" I heard her snigger as she covered her telephone. I was furious.

I said, "I want you to transfer me to your Manager IMMEDIATELY!" I lodged a complaint about her evident attempted manipulation to get me to unwittingly spend $24.95 instead of $14.95 and because of her indecorous behavior. When I used the word "snigger", the Manager told me that he did not know the words "snigger" or "indecorous"; I told him that both were perfectly good Anglo-Saxon words and "snigger" conveyed more than the words laugh, titter or snicker; he asked why I didn't just use common words and I answered "Because ONLY "snigger" conveys her disrespectfulness!" Then I said, "Just look up the words--here's how to spell them: s-n-i-g-g-e-r and i-n-d-e-c-o-r-o-u-s."

It's bad enough that the jobs were shipped from Franklin County to Texas but then to have her try to CHEAT me was unpardonable. I also called the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce in Brownsville to complain. Do you think that I ever had a response from any of them?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We were at a restaurant last night and our waitress introduced herself as "Audie" and I asked, "Is that A-U-D-I-E?" She said, "YES, you're the only person who has ever spelled it correctly!" I said, "It's just like Audie Murphy!" She said, "I know about him but I've never met another Audie." I told her there's an actress named Audie England. She said, "Wow, I've never heard of her." Gerald said, "She remembers everything!" I asked if she thought it were difficult having an unusual name and she said that it was because nobody ever spelled it right. Gerald said, "I thought it was like the car Audi!" I told her that my friend Franchen had never met anyone with her name; my niece Deya had never met anyone with her name and my friend Fayetta had never met anyone with her name. I then told her that Oprah just recently met another Oprah!

Audie gestured toward a waiter and told us that his name was Brandon and that he was her partner and that if she weren't close by, to tell Brandon if we needed anything.

Brandon was serving two tables and he kept telling the customers useless tidbits about himself and his family. I learned that he and his siblings had been reared by a single mother and about his football experiences. He made a mistake on one of the customer's order and had to summon the manager. He kept apologizing profusely and telling them words of wisdom from his mother: "If you're gonna do it, do it right."

He kept suggesting menu items to both sets of customers. I was eating my soup when he said that they should consider the "Mussels de Napoli" except that he pronounced it
"Mussels de NUH-POLE-EE!" and then he asked them if they knew what mussels were. That's when I did a spit-take with my soup!

He continued imparting more of his mother's words of wisdom as he had "CONVERSATED" with her earlier that day.

He told one customer that he was the "ONLIEST" one in his family to go to college!

Later on he said that something was in "THE EXACT SAME PLACE".

When Audie came to complete her service, I asked, "Audie, do you have a few minutes to talk?" She looked at her tables and said, "Yes, of course; what did HE say?"

I explained that I didn't want to cause Brandon any more trouble as I was certain the manager was already upset with him, but that he needed to learn to act appropriately. I told her, "Please tell him how to pronounce NAPOLI if he's going to be condescending to customers by asking if they knew what mussels are and please tell him that CONVERSATING and ONLIEST are NOT real words and that IN THE EXACT SAME PLACE is redundant and customers don't want to hear about him. Audie nodded and said, "It's ALWAYS about the customer unless the customer asks about me!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


In 1991, three other women friends and I had gone to an Italian restaurant to celebrate the holidays. WHY any of these women would consider that I knew anything about ordering WHAT wine to go with WHICH meal was beyond my comprehension, as they all knew that I was a non-drinker, but STILL, all wanted to order wine and asked me WHAT wine to order. I just LOVE to pronounce "Cabernet Sauvignon", "Merlot" and "Dom Perignon" but since we were in an Italian restaurant, I thought "Chianti" would be a nice choice.

Gerald and I had just recently seen "The Silence Of the Lambs" and we were constantly imitating Hannibal Lecter lines.

When the waiter asked if we wanted wine, I asked him, "Can we have some Fava beans and a nice Chianti?" I said it with my best hissing Anthony Hopkins voice and the waiter, who had obviously seen the movie, began to laugh and said that he'd have to check on the "fava beans". The women at the table asked what that was all about; none had seen the movie and when I told them about the movie, they all decided NOT to have the CHIANTI. That night I DID NOT have to serve as a designated driver!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


My friend Concha (click on her blog "Concha's Cauldron" to the right on my blog) wrote that she was going to wallpaper using old road maps. (Gerald, there are forty road maps in one of the library desk drawers!)

It reminded me of my first coffee table. In my first apartment everything was recycled. The only furniture I had was the furniture from my room at home which consisted of a bed, dresser, chest of drawers, radio, record player and a chair. I couldn't afford to buy any furniture; I used whatever anybody gave to me and what I was able to "scrounge". A friend saw a couch that was being thrown out and we were able to get it. I had two wooden crates that I used for end tables beside the couch.

I put the two wooden crates together and on top of them I put the mahogany top that had come from our first television set when I was a kid. Voila! A coffee table. On top of the mahogany, I put a piece of glass that had been left over when another piece of glass was broken from my friend's baker's rack (hey, it was 1969!) and she decided to get rid of the whole thing. I used the baker's rack--minus the glass shelves--to hang my plants! Gerald bought a 19-inch Zenith color television set for me the next Valentine's Day and it lasted until 1990!

I love leaves. In school, I had the biggest leaf collection of anybody as we would go to my grandfather's farm in the hills and I collected many different types of leaves--paw-paw, persimmon, butternut--I even found a Blackjack Oak which is very rare in Ohio. [My younger brother used my leaf collection for his own when his class was required to collect leaves; I was so glad he also received an "A"!]

For my apartment, I collected leaves (from ginkgo, three different kinds of oaks, sweet gum, and maples) and shellacked them. I put leaves under the glass for my coffee table; I pressed the leaves and "decoupaged" the wooden crates with leaves! I used leaves everywhere! To this day, for one of my Thanksgiving arrangements, I shellac leaves from the trees in our yard--ginkgo, oaks, sweet gum, maples--and put them in a big cornucopia. I love the smell of shellac and the leaves and the brilliant autumn colors!

Boy, that RCA television when I was a kid was a beautiful piece of furniture. A console television set with wooden doors and brass handles concealing a 12-inch television on the left side; on the right side was a radio and a 45 record player; below was a record player able to play 78 and 33 1/3 records. When the television died, the cabinet was so beautiful Mother couldn't bear to part with it; on top of the RCA television was placed a "portable" Sylvania that weighed about 200 pounds! We used the cabinet for storage for years and I can't remember when or why we got rid of it, but the top was still remaining so I was able to use it for my coffee table.

The mahogany top is in Gerald's workshop today!

Saturday, August 14, 2010



There is no need to sit in the garage or driveway to let the car engine warm to normal operating temperature before taking off; a short-term warm-up is wise--about as much time as it takes to fasten seat belt, check mirrors, gas gauge, adjust the radio--then put the car in gear and go! The idea is to warm up the engine on the road by driving conservatively until the temperature dial is in the normal range; then you can lean on the throttle as needed.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I was on an airplane trip and my seat mate and I began talking; we found out that we both loved movies.

He asked if I had seen the movie "Breaking Away" and I answered that I loved it. He asked if I remembered the scene with the bicycle following behind the semi? I answered, "You mean the Peterbilt truck?" He asked, "You noticed WHAT kind of truck? I laughed and said, "I BUILD trucks!" He asked, "Did you notice WHAT kind of bicycle?" I said, "I thought it was Italian!" He laughed and said, "I DESIGNED that bicycle!" He also told me that he was an advisor on the movie. I told him that I'd always loved the movie's tag line: "Somewhere between growing up and settling down."

If you have never watched the movie, it is worth renting or you can borrow it from me. It's a coming-of-age story set in Bloomington, Indiana, where the local kids called the "Cutters" (because of the limestone quarries there) are in competition with the Indiana University bicycling team in a race called the Little 500. The hero, Dave, is completely enamored of the Italian bicycle racing team and pretends he's Italian. In rankings of "sports movies" this gem is always ranked in the Top 10.

My fellow passenger and I discussed the various "continuity" problems we had noticed in the movie and he and I became very competitive in naming them:

MINE: The scene where Dave is drafting the truck, he passes fields of corn at least 6' tall; as the Little 500 is held in early spring, it's doubtful the corn in Indiana would've been that tall!

HIS: In the Little 500 race the bicycles are single-speed with a coaster brake and small gear wheel on the rear hub. In close ups the upper and lower halves of the chain are parallel.

MINE: A microphone was visible when Dave was talking to his parents in the dining room.

HIS: When Dave was drafting behind the semi, his bike is on the small chain-ring and he is traveling at more than 50 mph. An earlier shot shows him in the large chain-ring behind the semi.

MINE: After falling from his bike, Dave's shirt is dirty, but when he finishes minutes later, it is clean.

HIS: When passing the semi, the entire crew is reflected in the truck's bumper.

MINE: After Dave shaves his legs, he is at the quarry later with hairy legs.

HIS: When Dave first collides with another bike during the race, he has blood and dirt on his leg; when he gets into the pit area there's no dirt or blood on his leg.

I told him that since he had designed the bicycle, he had a "TECHNICAL ADVANTAGE" over me.

We then repeated some of our favorite lines from the movie:

MINE: When Dave's mother serves zucchini and his dad said he didn't want any "I-tey" food! She said she got it at the A&P and he said "I know I-tey when I hear it; zucchini, linguine, fettuccine. I want American food like French fries!"

HIS: When Cyril asked Dave if he was really going to shave his legs and Dave said "Certo; all the Italians do it" and Mike answered that the Italian women didn't shave theirs.

MINE: When Dave's dad says, "I don't care if the second coming's coming!"

MINE: When Dave genuflects his mother said, "Dave, this doesn't mean you're turning Catholic, does it?"

He said I had the "TECHNICAL ADVANTAGE" over him on dialogue!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


My mother always judged character by posture. I've always said that if Gerald hadn't been ramrod-straight when he walked through the door we would never have had a chance! When I was a young girl I was self-conscious about my developing bosom and I would slump over. My mother would slap me on the back and tell me to straighten up. One day she spoke the words that changed my life: she asked, "Do you want those on your belly when you're thirty?" I immediately straightened up and I've been strutting around like this ever since!

For a fun video, click here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Years ago Allen brought a "Mud Cake" to a family pot-luck.


1 pound Oreos, crushed in blender
1 stick margarine
2 small packages instant vanilla pudding
8 ounces cream cheese
3 1/2 cups milk
8 ounces Cool Whip

Melt margarine; mix with crushed oreos (save 1/2 cup for garnish); press into a 9x13 glass baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely.
Mix together pudding, milk, and cream cheese in blender and blend well.
Pour on top of cookie crust.
Spread Cool Whip on top of pudding mixture.
Garnish with crumbs.
Refrigerate several hours or as Allen says, "If you can't wait, go ahead and eat it!"

Since then I have created six "DERIVATIVE" recipes:

Make a crust using crushed macaroon cookies and margarine, add coconut to the vanilla pudding, cream cheese, milk and top the Cool Whip with toasted coconut.

Make a crust using Pecan Sandies and margarine; everything else the same except top the Cool Whip with chopped pecans.

Make a crust using lemon cookies and margarine; use lemon pudding instead of vanilla pudding.

Make a crust using vanilla wafers and margarine; just put the banana pudding and bananas into a 9x13 dish and top with Cool Whip.

Make a crust using Nutter Butter cookies and margarine; everything else the same and top the Cool Whip with chopped peanuts.

Make a crust using ginger snaps and margarine; everything else the same as the original.

I believe that you can crush up any cookie and make a similar dessert.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010


1. Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

2. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."

3. Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.

4. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

5. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: "A beer please, and one for the road.'"

6. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

7. "Doc, I can't stop singing 'The Green, Green Grass of Home'." The doctor said, "That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome." "Is it common?" "Well, 'It's Not Unusual'."

8. Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to Dolly, "I was artificially inseminated this morning." "I don't believe you," said Dolly. "It's true, no bull!" exclaimed Daisy.

9. An invisible man married an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

10. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

11. I went to buy some camouflage pants the other day but I couldn't find any.

12. A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, "Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!" The doctor replied, "I know you can't; I've cut off your arms!'"

13. I went to a seafood disco last week and pulled a mussel.

14. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

15. Two fish swam into a concrete wall. The one turned to the other and said "Dam!"

16. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

17. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?", they asked, as they moved off. "Because", he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

18. A woman had twins and gav them up for adoption. One of them went to a family in Egypt and was named "Ahmal". The other went to a family in Spain ; he was named "Juan". Years later, Juan sent a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she told her husband that she wished she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responded, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

19. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot almost all of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

20. And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns to her friends, with the hope that at least ten of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Monday, August 9, 2010



When your car has overheated, open all the windows, turn OFF the air conditioner, turn ON the heater, but DON'T run the fan and DO NOT lug the engine. Shift DOWN (in either stick or automatic) in order to keep up the engine's rpm. One of the worst results may be if your vehicle doesn't blow steam and forces you to stop. As the coolant temperature moves over 220 degrees and the pressurized system allows super-heating, you will damage the exhaust manifold, exhaust valves, radiator hoses and water pump and you probably won't know about it until later when you have to pay for the damage.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


How I became a Dylan Thomas fan:

I had read Dylan Thomas in high school because Miss Digman was a fan, but I had never had a great appreciation. After all, I was consumed with the study of Yeats!

Of course I knew that Bobby Zimmerman adopted Dylan as his last name as an homage and I thought that was merely cute!

In the 60's I saw a play on television called "Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night" starring Melvyn Douglas. I knew that the title was from a Dylan Thomas poem. It sent me on my search for more about Dylan Thomas and I devoured everything.

When I am "consumed", my friends and family tire of my endless referencing and quoting. I have "lifted" and "stolen" a great number of phrases for my own use: "old age should burn and rave at close of day", "their words had forked no lightning", "their frail deeds", "and learn too late they grieved on its way", "blind eyes could blaze like meteors", "curse, bless, me with your fierce tears". In writing I would, of course, attribute, but tossing them off in conversation, I doubt that I have given credit to ole Dylan!

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


My brother asked me, "Do you remember that song Mom used to sing to wake us up?" I asked, "Which one--there were so many?" He said, "Good Morning, Mister Zip-Zip-Zip." I started singing it! He asked, "Did Mom make that up or was it a real song?" I told him, "I think it's a real song but I'll have to look it up!"

My mother's repertoire was astounding--everything from old folk songs and Broadway show tunes to the latest in Rock and Roll; she's the only person I know who loved Frank Sinatra AND Elvis!

She would end her folk songs with "Chatum-mun-toogey-perty-yay-hoo" and it didn't matter if it were "Barbara Allen" or "Old Dan Tucker" she was singing, it would end the same way! I have tried to find that riff in all kinds of folk song references, even the Alan Lomax tomes, to no avail. Mother told me that's how her Granny ended her songs. Sometimes she'd improvise and add "it's-a-perty-yay-hoo" along with the "chatum-mun-toogey".

When I instructed The Arthritis Foundation's water aerobics, I had a song lyric for each exercise; e.g.:

Baseball Swing--"Take Me Out to The Ball Game"
Touchdown--O.S.U. Fight Song
The Zipper--"Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah"

One day, as we were doing The Zipper exercise, I sang "Good Morning, Mr. Zip-Zip-Zip" instead of the usual "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah", and one of our participants, Martha Hoffman, who will turn 95 on June 6, exclaimed, "I haven't heard that since I was a kid; how do you know that song?" I told her that my mother used to wake us up singing that song! Martha said "Well, she must be my age!" After class I researched it on the internet and learned it was from World War I, was used in the John Cassavetes movie "Husbands" and was parodied with a song titled "Good Morning, Mister Snip-Snip-Snip".


We come from ev'ry quarter
From north, south, east and west,
To clear the way to freedom
For the land we love the best.
We've left our occupations
And home so far and dear,
But when the going's rather rough,
We raise this song in cheer:

Good morning, Mister Zip-Zip-Zip,
With your hair cut just as short as mine,
Good morning Mister Zip-Zip-Zip,
You're surely looking fine!
Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust,
If the Camels don't get you,
The Fatimas must.
Good morning, Mister Zip-Zip-Zip,
With your hair cut just as short as,
Your hair cut just as short as,
Your hair cut just as short as mine.

You see them down the highway,
You meet them down the pike
In olive drab and khaki
Are soldiers on the hike,
As the column passes,
The word goes down the line,
Good morning Mister Zip-Zip-Zip,
You're surely looking fine!

The reference to Camels and Fatimas are for cigarette brands!

Friday, August 6, 2010



According to Ford's "Driving Skills For Life" website, the power-robbing effect of air-conditioning compressors is less hurtful than the aerodynamic drag created by speeding down the road with the windows open, especially at highway speeds.

After accelerating to forty miles per hour, it is more fuel efficient to operate the air conditioner than to have the windows down. The turbulence caused by open windows will require more horsepower, thus causing the vehicle to consume more fuel to maintain a steady speed.

The website recommends using the recirculation feature, because it is more efficient to cool already cool air from the interior than outside air. Another good tip is to run the vent/fan setting once the interior cools down.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


My friend Jeff loved to prick the inflated egos of snobs. He and I were shopping at Lazarus and he said, "Oh, let's go to the Third Floor and have some fun!" We entered the fur salon which had salesclerks who looked like fashion models. One came over to us, looked down her nose and said, "May I help you?" Jeff said, "I'd like to see your finest BUH-BOON coat for my lady." The saleswoman said, haughtily, "We don't carry Baboon!" Jeff grabbed a coat and with all the metal rings clanging, draped it around my shoulders, and screeched with delight, "Suzita, here's a lovely BUH-BOON coat!" The salesclerk said, angrily, "That's chinchilla!" Jeff answered, "I could have sworn it was BUH-BOON!" Jeff said, "I guess we'll have to go to Montaldo's for a fine BUH-BOON coat!"

Jeff was working in the shoe department at Lazarus while attending college. He called himself "The Prince Of Pumps." We had made a date to go to lunch and I was to meet him in the shoe department. As I walked in, he said, in a very loud voice, "Oh my God, it must be welfare check day!" All the other customers turned to look at me. I was not surprised by anything that he did and always tried to play along, despite any embarrassment. His supervisor was not aware that he was playing a joke and immediately came over to the area and started to apologize to me. Jeff continued, "I couldn't find those Maribou Mules you asked for!" I asked, "How about the gold lame ones?" By that time the supervisor realized it was a set up and walked away shaking his head.

One time we had agreed to meet for lunch. As I sat down at the table, I saw that he was wearing a plastic chancre on his cheek! He had gotten it at a costume shop and it was totally disgusting. As the waitress came to wait on us, there was no way that she could not have noticed it! Jeff leaned his head on his hand, posing, to make it even more noticeable. I leaned across the table and kissed him on the other cheek. I could see the waitress cringing at the horrible leprosy-like sore!

When we worked together, there were members of a motorcycle club called the "Screaming Angels" and to make fun of them, Jeff decided to form a "tricycle club" and he named the club the "Screaming Buttholes". He actually got people to join and he wrote Bylaws, designed patches and held weekly meetings at Crissinger's Pizza after work--everything except ride tricycles--it was such sophomoric fun! He announced that the club was a benevolent organization and all of the money raised (of course no money was ever raised as it was all spent on pizza and beer) would be used as scholarship money to send a deserving student to college to become a PROCTOLOGIST! The Screaming Angels members didn't like Jeff's making fun of them and they actually threatened him!

He and I went to see the movie "Cool Hand Luke" as it was showing at a theater that featured old movies. I had seen the movie when it was first released in 1967 but Jeff had never seen it. We loved the part of Paul Newman singing:

"I don't care if it rains or freezes
Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

It became a contest to come up with other verses; in later years my friend Patty added to the verses:

"I don't worry if the weather gets drastic,
Long as I've got my Christ of Plastic
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't worry about beri-beri
Long as I got Magnetic Mary
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't worry about headlight dimmage
Long as I got that Heavenly Image
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't worry about motorcycles
Long as I got the 12 Disciples
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't care if it rains or snowses
Long as I got my plastic Moses
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't care if it's dark or scary,
Long as I got magnetic Mary
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't care if it bumps or jostles
Long as I got the twelve Apostles
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't care if the night is scary
As long as I got the Virgin Mary
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't care if I'm broke or starvin'
Long as I got a fish named Darwin
Glued to the trunk lid of my car."

I still have my plastic Jesus that Jeff gave me as a birthday present! When Paul Newman sang the song, Luke was not making fun; one could feel his pain as he sang the melancholy tribute to his late mother. I learned later that the song was an actual theme song of a religious radio program broadcast from Baton Rouge in the 1940's and that it was also used as a radio advertisement in the South to sell the plastic Jesus car ornaments. Some people are offended by the lyrics but they fail to recognize that the song was not meant to be sacrilegious but is actually aimed at those who cheapen it by selling plastic gee-gaws, cheap little trinkets, and other religious kitsch.

Monday, August 2, 2010


A frog went into a bank and approached the teller. He could see from her nameplate that her name was Patricia Whack.

The frog said, "Miss Whack, I'd like to get a $30,000 loan to take a holiday."

Patty looked at the frog in disbelief and asked his name. The frog said his name was Kermit Jagger, his dad was Mick Jagger, and that it was okay, because he knew the bank manager.

Patty explained that he would need to secure the loan with some collateral.

The frog said, "Sure. I have this", and produced a tiny porcelain elephant, about an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed.

Very confused, Patty explained that she would have to consult with the bank manager and she disappeared into a back office.

She found the manager and said, "There's a frog named Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and he wants to borrow $30,000, and he wants to use this as collateral."

She held up the tiny pink elephant. She asked, "I mean, what in the world is this?"

The bank manager looked back at her and said:

"It's a knickknack, Patty Whack. Give the frog a loan, his old man's a Rolling Stone!"