June 17, 2019
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Greetings and salivations! It’s Week #402 of study and deliberation here at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Things You Might Need To Know Someday.
Seems like everyone is getting a service animal, or as they’re sometimes known, ‘emotional support animals.’ They used to be kind of a rare sight and they were almost always dogs. Now, they could be anything from a hamster to a horse or a cat to a lizard. They can do some amazing things, too, like being trained to detect allergens in foods or warn their human about oncoming seizures, or just provide a calming presence.
Our cat used to do the latter, but in the last year or two she has changed up her routine. She’s still a big Lap Cat, but instead of just coming up, sitting down and settling in, she walks around for a minute or so, just inspecting the territory. Back and forth, back and forth; hmmm, where do I want to sit tonight? Then after planting a kitty kiss on me (I think she just likes the smell of my Extra gum) she plops down in the same position she has chosen the last several thousand nights.
But there’s a new wrinkle: she reaches up and pokes my chin every thirty seconds or so. So I’ll scratch behind her ears or something, which makes her happy. For a while. Then it’s poke, poke again, and if that doesen’t get any reaction she’ll tap my mouth with increasing degrees of impatience. You gotta keep your mouth closed or she’ll have her paw halfway into your mouth. You don’t want that. Who knows where that paw has been? Answer: I do.
“Lizzie, will ya please knock off the poking?” I complained the other night.
“She just loves her Daddy,” says Sally brightly, looking over from her knitting. Ah, knitting. That’s another thing. Cats are supposed to be fascinated with yarn and will do anything to get in the middle of the nearest yarn ball. Not this one. Couldn’t care less. Actually, she’s not much of a playing-with-toys kind of cat at all. We used to get her something at Christmas. She would look at it, give us a ‘what am I supposed to do with this thing’ look, and promptly ignore it. But I digress.
“Yeah, well, Daddy is getting tired of being slapped in the mouth every other minute,” I replied, picking another piece of cat hair off my cheek. “You know, I think I liked her better when all she did was step on the remote and switch the TV into bizarro mode.”
“Maybe she needs her own service animal,” opined my Dear Wife. “I heard where miniature horses are getting popular. They say they can calm people and animals both.”
“I think I have enough calm for now,” I said, as the cat in question once again rapped me in the mouth. “Plus we’d have to get a much bigger litter box.”
Okay, let’s survey your weekly email input…
Looks like remember the Halo Shampoo jingle well. Terry got it first, followed by Julie and Karen. All together now: “Halo everybody, Halo….”
Roger guessed ‘Pamper’ shampoo. I had to look that one up; yes, there was such a brand, introduced in the ‘50s, but not around anymore.
Edith correctly guessed that Carol Burnett was the major ‘60s star launched by the Broadway show ‘Once Upon a Mattress,’ an adaptation of the ‘Princess and the Pea’ by Hans Christian Andersen.
So what WAS 10th Street’s original name? Julie got it: ‘Ellinwood Street.’ John and Connie Strobel from Colorado also had it right and were a bit surprised that Eldon hadn’t guessed it, since he’s an Ellinwood guy. The boys in the ‘East Wing’ at Eagle Radio also got it right.
Mark guessed ‘Barton County Road and Karen said it might be ‘Wilder Street.’
Re: the future VP who went around checking defense plants to make sure they were not gouging the government? Justin can tell you: the inimitable Harry S Truman. (No middle name, just an initial.) Senator Truman even drove his own family Dodge most of the time and spent nearly three years at this job, which brought him to the attention of the national party officials who convinced FDR to make him the ’44 VP candidate. If you want to read a great account of Truman’s first four months on the job, buy ‘The Accidental President’ by A.J. Baime. Pretty intense. Truman worked his tail off to make sure the country would not be disappointed in him.
Karen guessed VP Dick Cheney.
Hmmm, you’ve obliterated four of my five questions. The only one remaining is the one asking what singer had a major hit in which he mentioned communications problems with his chair.
Let’s try a new foursome: What GB street was supposedly named after a ‘house of ill repute’ madam? (The story has been shot down by a prominent GB historian, but it’s still around.)
What common office item, when translated to French, becomes a word well-known to brass instrument musicians?
What insect has been around since the age of the dinosaurs? Maybe earlier.
What VP candidate did not do well with fishing lessons, even snagging his running mate’s shirt with an errant cast?
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Have a great week!