July 9, 2018
Comments, suggestions, trivia answers? Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will note them all next week.
I told you before we went on vacation that I wouldn’t have another posting here until July 9. Well, things turned out different. I put one out last Monday July 2. Had a little extra time so I thought may as well sit down and write. Hope you have time to go back and read it.
Hi, hello, how are ya, (thanks to The Stones’ ‘Get Off Of My Cloud’ for that little greeting) and welcome to Week 357 of Whimsical Word World, a service of Adjectives Anonymous, the famous twelve step program designed to wean people off dull, uninspired writing and into sparkling prose that will win them world-wide acclaim. I’m still waiting for it to take hold.
Had a navigation glitch or two on our recent trip to Wisconsin. Well, actually, it was on the way back from there that The Trouble began.
I like road maps, the big Rand McNally Road Atlas being my favorite, purchased recently at Walmart. The book not only has all the states and Canadian provinces, but also a comprehensive state-by-state list of all the Walmarts. Probably just a coincidence. I just like looking at maps.
That said, occasionally I do need some electronic help navigating through tricky metro areas (Madison, Wisconsin is a nightmare) and even in rural areas.
We found ourselves in Pella, Iowa two weeks ago. We had always wanted to visit Pella, just 50 miles south of I-80, and since it was a good stopping point for the night we did just that. It’s a neat little town with a strong Dutch heritage and a world-famous Tulip Festival. Oh, and the world-famous Pella Doors and Window company.
Upon departing the next morning, I asked my dear wife to figure out how to get to Highway 163 so we could depart the city. She was busy with Josie the granddaughter in the back seat, but got out her phone.
“Where do you want to go?” she inquired, hitting buttons rapid-fire.
“Well, just Highway 163,” I said. “It goes to Oskaloosa.” (The natives call it “Osky.” Those crazy Iowans.)
“That’s what I need, the name of the destination,” she replied. “Doesen’t matter what the highway is.”
“Yeah, but I NEED 163 to get there. That’s why I’m asking for it.”
“Okay, here it is,” she said. Sure enough, the navigation lady got us onto 163 and we headed for Oskaloosa. I was doing all this to avoid going through Des Moines on my way back to I-35. A few minutes later I had another request.
“Okay, now I need to know how to get to 137, which takes us around Osky, according to the book. I don’t want to have to drive through it.”
“Well, what’s the town?” she asked, an edgy tone creeping into her voice.
“The town doesen’t matter,” I replied testily, clearly not understanding her original statement a few paragraphs back. “Just find me 137.”
“That’s it, I’m done. As I said, I need the TOWN.” She put her phone back in her purse.
Our daughter swung into action on her phone. “What town does 137 go through?” she asked.
“I think it’s Eddyville. Yeah, Eddyville.”
She put in the info, and lo and behold a British woman comes on the line. She starts with the instructions and then says, “in one mile, enter the motorway.”
“Motorway?” I queried, a bit frustrated. “What’s a motorway? Where’s the American that Mom had on the line?” As if phones still had ‘lines.’
“Well, this phone has the Brit,” replies daughter. “I guess ‘motorway’ just means ‘road’ in England.”
“Why can’t she say ‘road’ then?” I’m not driving to Manchester for a soccer match. I’m in Iowa.”
“Dad, it’ll be okay,” she reassures me. “Just follow her instructions.”
Which I did. And she got us to Highway –sorry, ‘motorway’–137 and our ultimate destination. I was tempted to ask her where we could find a fish-and-chips stand, but I figured she might hang up on me.
As far as my ‘other navigator’ is concerned, things have returned to normal. She graciously accepted my abject apology.
Hmmm, what’s in the mailbox this time? Let’s go exploring…
On that much-recorded 1968 song, Terry guessed ‘Love is All Around.’ No, sorry. (Hint: this huge hit had major political overtones and even mentions leaders by name.)
Edith correctly answered the movie question: yep, it was Cher in the underrated 1990 movie ‘Mermaids.’ We saw this recently on Movieplex and really enjoyed it.
Those two responses were all we had to report. I think maybe the summer doldrums have set in. Or I took too much time off.
So, that leaves the secret Presidential rendezvous question available, (hint: happened in the same decade as the Teapot Dome scandal) also the question about what was done with the old wooden Petroleum Club building on North Main. (Hint: it was a good training exercise.) One other remainder: what well-known Midwestern bridge (now closed to vehicular traffic) takes a weird and disconcerting 30-degree jog in the middle?
Annnnd introducing a New One: what wallpaper cleaning compound went on to much greater fame with children?
One more thing: Terry commented on a hot Wisconsin summer in ’64 when he was doing military training at Camp McCoy. Yeah, 90’s is a little extreme for Wisconsin, but it’s not unheard of. In 2013 during a record heat wave it was 100 on the beach. With no breeze. Luckily, we had ‘iced beverages’ with us.
Well, thanks for gracing me with your presence once again. We’ll visit again next Monday, or whenever your orbs happen to land upon this page.