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Opinions

Collective memories

Walkin'

I believe in collective memory or the ability to remember things your ancestors experienced.

Hey, baby!

Food for Thought

It seemed to be an evening devoted to babies. Well, not entirely, but they kept popping up on the radar– or rather the television screen. There was a rerun of a once popular detective program, with the classy, lollypop-addicted detective Kojak, played by Telly Savalas. It wasn’t about babies, but if you remember, he often used the expression, “Hey, baby!” The baby theme continued with a baby lotion commercial wherein we were treated to watching a mother lovingly smooth lotion over the plump tummy of a gurgling baby.

Being Polish

Walkin'

How do you get a Polack into a bathtub? Simple, throw in a nickel.
These and about another hundred jokes survive from my childhood growing up in the Chicago area. Later, I would run into many of the same in Iowa, only recycled as “Bohemie” jokes.
In my youth, long before the age of political correctness, I told the jokes in ignorant innocence of the terrible discrimination the Poles faced from the German and Russian empires. There was nothing funny, for example, about the ethnic slurs guised in the form of humor Nazi Germany perpetuated to make ethnic cleansing more palatable.

Knit me a landscape

Food for Thought

Once I had an art teacher who was big on having frequent sessions in which we critiqued our work– or rather in which he and our classmates critiqued our work. We were never allowed to put in our own two cents worth, be it in defense of, or ideas for altering, what we had done. If we had ideas for improvements, it was assumed we would have implemented them before the critique session and, likewise, I suppose that if the artwork couldn’t stand on its own merits, there was no defense.

The dating blues

Carol and I “broke up” soon after our first kiss, but I can’t really remember why or how.
I do remember that the split occurred on a Sunday morning before church, and during service she suddenly burst out sobbing. I didn’t have a clue about what to do, but then that’s fairly typical for me.
The angst sent me into another bout of celibacy, not that I was beating girls off with a stick. The truth is that I was very shy around girls.

Worth repeating

Food for Thought

During the coming month, we can expect to be enticed, cajoled, implored, dared and practically ordered to spend as much money on as many things as our bank accounts and credit cards will tolerate. There are stores staying open past midnight, sales beginning at four in the morning, and early-bird discounts for those willing to stand in line in the wee hours waiting for the doors to be unlocked. Some stores even offer to give you a wake-up call so you can be there on time.

White sport coats

Walkin'

By chance I heard the song “A White Sport Coat” the other day and it got me to thinking and doing a little Wikipedia research about the politics, cars, celebrities and jokes of the era.

Kids and pancakes

It might have been columnist Peg Bracken, or perhaps Erma Bombeck, who wrote that kids should be like pancakes; that we should be allowed to throw away the first one after we’d messed up and ended up with a burned flapjack (i.e. spoiled brat).

Household update

Sabra, now that she is mostly retired from her job at the veterinary clinic, has become even more fastidious. Yesterday, for example, I found her on the top step of a small ladder dusting the hooks that the pots and pans hang from in the kitchen.
“How can you tell they’re dusty if they’re over your head?” I asked. You’d think after 14 years of marriage I’d know better than to ask such a question but then some things never change. “Well, I can see them while I’m on the ladder,” she replied, not amused at being slowed down with silly questions.

The hit list grows

Food for Thought

Since the new cars first came on the market in late summer, there’s been one new car commercial that has become increasingly annoying. It concerns a car with sensors that will cause an automatic braking system to kick in if an obstacle is too close, thus avoiding, or at least minimizing, an accident. While I admire the technology, I abhor the grammar. To be specific; a voice asks, “Imagine you could predict an accident before it happens?”

‘Ender’s Game’ ****

Walkin'

I watched the movie “Ender’s Game” this past week and found it to be one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while. Of course, I loved the novel when it came out in 1985, so I was likely to enjoy the film version.

A thousand and one uses for pumpkins

Food for Thought

Don’t worry, I’m not going to actually list that many ways to use pumpkins. There may not be that many– on the other hand, there may be considerably more, but I fall asleep about time my list gets up into the late teens. This time of year, when supermarket parking lots are overflowing with those big orange orbs and all their pink, white, green, red and brown cousins, and every farmers’ market and farmer’s child has a sign out front advertising bargain prices for them, I wonder just what happens to all of them, once Halloween and Thanksgiving are over and forgotten.