Beware The Telephone Scam

This past week I came within a hair’s breadth of being Scammed and taken for $5,000.00, in CASH. I shiver when I think of it, because, it happens often, all around us, and to ordinary people like me. The kind who hesitate to let others know how stupid we had been  to be fooled. And so, I write about it, and, just maybe, save someone else from being ‘ taken’, 

My saga began at 7:30 one morning, and still half asleep, answered the phone and a muffled voice said “Grandma, this is George, (fake name) your grandson”. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, and he repeated it, but in my half stupor and his muffled voice, I couldn’t make sense of what was happening.

But getting more awake by the second, I then heard a clear male voice ask if I were Ethel Bradford, and, when I said Yes, told me that George and two pals had gone to Toledo, to attend a friend’s wedding, and after the party, they had gone downtown, to look around, drank more wine, and then got in an accident. George, as the driver was in jail, with a DUI charge, and had a broken nose which accounted for his muffled speech..

George pled with me to keep it all a secret, but if I could, please, quickly send him the money,  in cash, so he could get out of jail, and come home, AND NO ONE but the two of us would know of it, and there would be no record in Salt Lake of the arrest.

Of course I wanted to help him, but had no idea of how to quickly get cash half way across the country, but the ‘Attorney’ who was helping George knew and immediately began telling me the ‘how’ of it all.

I still wasn’t really awake, and was in shock to think of George in trouble, hurt, in jail, and needing money so that his attorney could do this and that, before other attorneys got to his case and did such and such. It made no sense to me, and it was then I knew I was ‘in over my head’ and needed help.

I explained to the two men that I would have to get George’s Uncle in on the plans for I didn’t understand all it was beginning to entail. The attorney didn’t like what I was saying, but they needed the money, fast, and so I called my son, got his OK to help, and  I gave him the phone number to reach George.

And he did, and he saved the day for me. My son was more awake and more aware of life’s oddities, than I was or still am. He talked to the attorney and got the details of what, who, when and where and then casually mentioned he had best call the police here to get their aid in moving the $5,000 in cash across the country, and, what do you know, George’s Attorney there in Toledo, hung up the phone and the phone number he gave us, of course did not then answer. And that, was the end to that bit of Scamming.

Another quick phone call told us that George was in the midst of his routine morning ablutions, almost ready for breakfast, had never been and had no plans to be in Toledo. Yeah and his nose wasn’t broken, either.

So, I learned professional Scammers are sharp. And smart. They know who will be the most vulnerable, and at the top of the list are, a female, older widow, with grandchildren, and who just might have a ‘buck of two’ stashed away, The people of this category are also said to be more likely to panic, and so, with no thought, of talking and telling anyone else. No One, that is, until she finds her beloved one had never been in trouble and that she has been Scammed. Royally Scammed.

When the hubbub was over, I called the local police, just to report what had happened, and the fellow was kind, rather bored, and not a bit surprised. Said it happens all the time, and they, the police, seldom know of it until the money is sent, the one with the supposed problem never did have a problem. And not a clue as to who did it, or even where it had been done.

Yes, I had his phone number, but it is so easy to buy a cheap phone, use it, and then with an utterly untraceable phone number, toss the cheap device into the garbage, and buy a new one to pull the next scam.

And . . . if it does happen to you, . . of course you’ll panic, that’s human nature when one you love is in trouble, but take a few moments to ask a few question, and seek help, which is exactly what the Scammer does not want. and be as lucky or blessed as I was when you find your ‘George’ to be safe at home and your money still the bank.

Just remember, with untraceable phones, Scamming happens more often than it once did. Good luck and remember it does happen to ordinary people like me . . . but hopefully not you.

Yeah, it’s been over a week now and I think I ‘m getting over the scare, the panic and the anger that followed it all.

So, see ya next week, and be careful and don’t let yourself be scammed.

Money? I Love It

I’ve written this first paragraph half-a-dozen times and it always sounds as if I’m a crass, selfish, greedy woman, when all I want to say is, ” I love money,” and you do too. And so, ignoring all my odd feelings, I repeat, I love money.

The precious stuff has been made of wood, rubber, fur, china, salt, tea, copper, rum, tobacco, teeth, and yes, lest we forget, it’s made of paper, gold and silver, as well.

These ramblings came to my mind a day or so ago when I bought a good sized package of salt and realized that, back in the days of early Rome, that package of salt would have made me a wealthy women, I shuddered in joy.

Salt was priceless as a preservative in those long-gone days but back then, it was so precious that Roman soldiers took their pay in ‘sal’, and the word salary is still the word we use for our hard-earned wages.

Slaves were sold for their weight in salt, and you and I, unwittingly, pay homage to that custom whenever we say, ‘someone is (or isn’t) ‘worth his salt.’

All over the world, primitive people have used teeth of dangerous animals as we use money. Porpoise, tiger, bear, boar and whale teeth have all been used, and the wealthy wore their ‘money’ around their necks. A status symbol, no doubt.

And if you think women have been discriminated against on U.S. money, take a look at Kansas. Long before the ill-fated Susan B. Anthony dollar, which died quickly, but back in 1854, that territory issued a one-dollar bill with a woman’s face upon it. And two years later that same place, made a three-dollar bill with little girl cherubs pictured upon it.

Liquor, in any form, has always been a favorite ‘coin’. English miners in the 19th century took beer as partial pay and a century before that rum was legal tender in South Carolina.

Tea leaves were ‘money’ for centuries in the far East, and were packed into bricks for easy use. And another leaf, Tobacco, to this day, automatically means M-O-N-E-Y in most of our southern states. Big Money.

At one time the actual bales of tobacco leaves changed hands, then warehouse receipts were honored for purchases of all kinds, and today owning tobacco leaves is quicker credit than a Credit Card.

Money colors our lives and our language. Like a phrase that began in the early days of this country, when many a man carried his ‘poke’ of gold dust and paid for his purchases by letting the seller take a pinch or two of that gold. All of which makes us, without thinking say, ” How much can you raise in a pinch?”

Yes, money and its uses have come a long way since man first exchanged his cache of furs for household needs, and when the goldsmith, maker of jewelry and trinkets, was the first ‘banker’.

But instead of the bank paying the interest for the use our money as banks do today, that ‘banker’ had a different slant and actually charged a fee for protecting his customer’s coins. Yeah, we paid the bank.

Oh, money, money, money. Hated, coveted, lied for, cheated for, stolen, crass. But isn’t it a lovely thing to have around the house? Call it what you will, from ‘sal’, to the American Indian’s Wampum, to a man’s ‘poke’, beaver (in the early wild days when furs were traded as money ) greenbacks or just plain money,   In all forms, and under whatever name, we’ll take it, for we love it.

Bi-Centennial Cookbook

From “way back” in 1976 . . .

I’m 40 years late, but “Better Late Than Never” and so today I tell of a small Cook Book that was published by localite. Charles P. Hines, to commemorate the Bicentennial Year of 1976. See? Forty years late, but I just ‘ found’ it myself, and think  it’s worth sharing with you.

Each recipe is special, for each one comes from the home of either a National and State leader of that time.

They begin with President Gerald Ford and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, and inasmuch as it was the end of one Presidential term, recipes are also from the then President-elect James Earl Carter and his Vice President-elect Walter F. Mondale.

Following, alphabetically, from Alaska to Wyoming are recipes from the Governors. Some recipes are similar to today’s. but then there are surprises, such as Nevada’s .

See, from childhood on, I’ve heard of Rocky Mountain Oysters and, thought it a ‘funny’, and a lot of nonsense, but I was wrong and here is the authentic recipe straight from the office of then Nevada Governor Mike O’Callaghan . And you’ll have to search for a Sheep Camp, rather than  your Butcher Shop, to find these delicacies. .

MOUNTAIN OYSTERS OR KOSHKOLA

Wash well 5 dozen Mountain Oysters. Fry slowly until cooked, in a large cast iron skillet, in butter.

In a separate iron pan, brown a sliced onion in butter.   Then add sliced Pimentos, sliced green Bell Peppers, sliced Garlic, Minced Parsley and 3 chopped fresh Tomatoes. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.

Brown 2 Tbsp. flour in butter, add salt, black pepper and allspice to taste. Next add 1 Quart white wine to the sauce. Return the cooked vegetables to the pan. Pour this sauce over the Hot Mountain Oysters. Serve and enjoy.

NOTE….. Mountain Oysters  (often referred to as Rocky Mountain Oysters) are actually the testicles (removed from the skin sack) of two-month old lambs. The operation is  routinely performed at all Sheep Camps in order to let the lamb mature into the body of an adult sheep, and   yet retain the delicate flavor of the immature animal.  Koshkola is a favorite of the Basque Sheep men in Nevada whose ancestors brought the ages-old technique from the ‘Old Country.’

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The next recipe comes from then Governor Ray Blanton of Tennessee.,and to me, worth trying.

TENNESSEE CAVIAR

Soak in water one cup Black-eyed Peas overnight, and then boil, in water, along with bacon until done. BUT NOT MUSHY. Drain well.

Mix following ingredients and marinate the cooked beans in it for 5  (Five) days before serving. (I would suggest refrigeration, better safe than sorry)

1 cup salad oil
1/3 cup wine vinegar
1 medium onion, slivered
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp pepper sauce
1 tsp savory salt

After five days, drain well and serve on thin squares of cornbread.’

Quite a few of the recipes found in the Bicentennial Book are such as we use today, but I have chosen from those which are ‘different’, perhaps from their ancestery, or peculiar to the food available in their areas. And so here is South Carolina’s then Governor, James B. Edwards, who calls it his favorite Ice Cream. It was, he states, his Grandmother’s Recipe.

GOVERNOR EDWARD’S ICE CREAM

Mix together:
One quart Buttermilk
One Pint whipping cream
Two cups sugar
One Tbsp Vanilla
Mix ingredients and pour into an Ice Cream churn and then freeze.

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And finally , in choosing unique and different recipes, I’ve chosen to share a recipe given by Carl Albert, Speaker of the House of Representative in Washington DC, but from Oklahoma and he tells us how his family serves the lowly Turnip, and makes of them, a special dish..

SCALLOPED TURNIPS
3 medium size turnips
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese

Peel the turnips. cut in slices and boil for about 15 minutes in salted water. Make a white sauce with butter, flour, milk, salt and pepper. Pour this over the drained, cooked turnips and sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake for about ten minutes and serve very hot. Serves 4.

 

Music OF Your Choice

We all like music, and our one complaint is, we don’t always like the same kind.. But, like it or not, it’s always in our ears, no matter where or when we go.  And some of it we love and some of it drives us nuts. Used to be called Elevator Music, but what I tell of today is called Music Choice. Big difference, our choice. Your choice.

 

And if you have cable TV, you have your choice of music at your fingertips and comes along with your Comcast listing. Now you might already know of this music, but I didn’t until about a year ago, and just in case there are others as uninformed as I was, here is my answer. And wherever Comcast cable is, so is your choice of music.

 

It was an eye opener for me. There   are 47 channels of music, with No commercials, night and day, and right on your own personal TV. Yeah, and that means there are 47 different types of music to choose from and continue to play ONLY the kind that YOU ask for.

 

Sounds too good to be true, and you probably know all about this, but I didn’t, so simply click your TV to any of the below channels, and there you will find music, no commercials, no voices, and exactly and only the genre you asked for.

 

Here they are:

 

TV MUSIC CHOICE CHANNELS

 

950… Light Classical

949… Light Masterpieces

948… Easy Listening

947… Singers & Swing

946… Blues

945… Jazz

944… Smooth Jazz

943… Soundscope

942… Stage & Screen

941… Sounds of the Season

940… Romance

939… Tropicals

938… Mexicana

937… Musica Urbano

936… Pop Latino

935… Contemporary Christian

934… Classic Country

933… Country Hits

932… Today Country

931… Pop Country

930… Golden Oldies

929…   70’s

928…   80’s

927…   90’s

926…   Y2K

925…   Toddler Tunes

924…   Kids Only

923…   TeenBank

922…   Party Favorites

921…   Pop Hits

920…   Love Songs

919…   Soft Rock

918…   Classic Rock

917…   Rock Hits

916…   Adult Alternative

915…   Alternatives

914…   Metal

913…   Rock

912...   Reggae                                                                                                             

911…   Gospel

910…   R & B

909…   R & B Classic

908…   Throw-back Jazz

907…   Hip Hop Classic

906…   RAP

905…   Hip Hop & Rap

904…   Indie

 

OK. I don’t even know what kind of music, you’ll find on some of the categories, such as 904 or 912 , but that’s all right, someone must like it, or they wouldn’t be there.   Most of the Titles speak for themselves. Like Christmas.

 

And on they go, but one that made me laugh is that after a week or so of 941’s Patriotic music in July, they finished the month with CHRISTMAS IN JULY, and we heard again those lovely   winter songs and helped us cool off in the 100 degree heat.

 

Who knows why, and maybe each year they choose some other type, but otherwise if you want any of their numbers, that’s what you’ll get. Nice.

 

Flip around the stations. If you don’t like one, try another. I suppose my favorite of all is 934, easy listening Classic Country. Never tire of it. 949 and 950 are also good ones and you’ll find yourself humming along with some familiar melody and then will be surprised to find you have been loving some bit of Classical music, and not knowing it..

 

Give it a try.   Mine is softly ON almost all 24 hours, and in the evening when rhe News, or some TV program comes on that I want to watch, I can turn the music down lower and on a TV , perhaps in another room, also see the desired program of politics, the news, or whatever.

 

I hope this reaches some who didn’t know such a well of music is there for us.   Was a surprise to me. Anyway . . . Good luck and good listening. Try 934 and hum along with me and Martie Robbins, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, or , , , , , , just name your choice. It will be there..

Visiting With Old Friends

All  Done  Just  By Cleaning  My  House . . . . . .

I recently cleaned my house and it was like visiting an old friend. I dusted, picked up and handled vases, chairs, books and furniture that I have certainly used, or seen every day, but not really touched, handled and ‘known’ for a long time. It was good. Really good.

Now, anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with my weekly words, knows that house cleaning isn’t my long suit. Oh, I know how, for I am the daughter of Nettie Ohlin, my mother,  but I’ve never found joy in the task and turned the chore   over to others as soon as I could. As I recall it was when my second son was about two years old, and I’ve never seriously gone back to it.

 

But a day came recently when I saw I was living in dust and confusion, and also knew my ‘angel-with-wings’ , Crystal, because of holiday/vacation mix-ups, wasn’t due for a time, and so . . . early one morning I disciplined myself and went to work.

 

Yeah, I donned grubbies and began working. It took almost a full day to finish the task, but by golly, I was proud of the job I had done, and also knew that Mom would have been surprised, but also pleased with my work.

 

It really shouldn’t have taken so long, but once into the job, I began enjoying myself and found myself doing a few extras I hadn’t planned on, and I needed cleaning items I don’t usually purchase. Anyway, I took off for a store where I seldom go, and where no one would know me, (Yeah, still in my grubbies), bought what I needed and could almost hear Mom saying, “If you’re going to do it, Ethel, get the correct material and do it right.”   See, , Mom was a good teacher.  It was the student that got poor grades.

 

But once started, I went the full 20 yards, and patted myself on the shoulders and grinned to know that Crystal would wonder, too. Oh, well, I even washed a small set of curtains and felt one with women of all times as I improvised and hung them outside to dry in the sun and breeze, The neighbor’s cat came and rubbed against my legs as I did that age-old chore. and felt a ‘rightness’ with my actions that I loved and had a feeling that all the dryers in the world can not duplicate. I even loitered with my task to prolong that feeling of comfort .

 

As I ran the wand of my vacuum along the baseboard of what had once been my bedroom and when it ‘caught’ on an imperfection in the   board, I grinned and felt as if I had run into an old friend . Yeah, I know how I once cussed Luke Morris, the builder, but now

it was good to stumble upon that old familiar bump and found myself saying, aloud “Hey there ,you ole bump, it’s nice to meet up with you again, and I just dare some fussy carpenter, painter or cleaner to try so smooth you away. I’ve almost even come to loving you.”

 

So It’s still there. And will continue there as long as I live. Then it will be someone else’s ‘bump’ and they can do as they please, for there will be no memories for them and they might even wonder how I tolerated it for so long.

 

With bare feet I re-discovered the slight difference in the level of the floors between some of my rooms and recalled how Brad and I had differed on how to cope with those differences. I won, however, and they are still here.    And I also smiled at Brad over that old Difference and hope, in whichever of God’s Rooms he now dwells. and if he happened to be watching my splurge of industry, that he grinned, too.

 

During that day I dusted pictures that I first saw hanging on Gram’s walls. I put a tablecloth my mother had made upon a small table. Touched some old sad-irons that had sat in Brad’s Ham Shack, and dusted pieces of china that my friend Florence once gave me.

 

I found that cleaning one’s home really is like visiting old friends and I loved it. And when my frenzy finally ended I went to bed tired, sweaty, soiled, hair a mess, with aching arms, but also feeling so domestic it blended into a mood of righteousness. Almost near to virtuosity.

The mood didn’t last beyond that day, and I knew nothing can ever tempt me to ever, ever be without those angel-wings of Crystal. But for that one day, it was wonderful   Sometimes, getting back to basics is good for the Soul, as well as for the house.   Amen.

Our Crazy Language

Words, words, words,   They are the Coin of our everyday exchange of ideas, and yet how carelessly we use them, and often giving not one thought to what we are really saying.

As when we approvingly say someone has The Midas Touch, meaning it as a compliment of some sort, yet the whole point of The Midas Touch fable was that the touch was a curse, not a blessing.

And how come we call it a SHIPment if our packages go by car, truck, plane or rail, and call it CARgo if it goes by a ship?

Why is it a Fashion if we like it and a Fad if we don’t?. And why do other Countries have Spies while we have Intelligence Agents? And just the same, we say a house burns up, when it really burns down? And say Literally, when we often mean Figuratively? We have a Waitress, a Laundress, and Hostess, to clear up any sexual confusion, but never Doctoress, Lawyeress, or ‘Teacheress?

I know it’s getting boring, but we call one who is absent, as an absentee, An escaper is an escapee, or stander a standee. and yet, paradox of all paradox, and give it a thought, for we switch the entire idea and an employer is never, ever an employee.

We thoughtlessly insult our original choice when we call a last-minute replacement, as a pinch-hitter, because a pinch-hitter is really someone with more talent, and who is taking the place of one less qualified.

Why do we call any snarl-up a big bottleneck when properly it is a lilttle bottleneck or there’d be no snarlup to begin with. Why do some people go to bed for sleep, while others turn in. And why do we hop a plane, take a bus, and jump into a cab.

When we refer to Churchill’s famous and wonderful words of defiance to Hitler, why do we speak of the blood, sweat, and tears and never once use his fourth word, the one of TOIL, without which the other three would have been useless?. Why do we close up a house, but close down a store or office. And why do we add that unnecessary word of ‘UP’ to such words as hurry UP, jump UP, or wake UP. You tell me.

And on and on, why do we over-use the unlovely word of ‘got’. We say he’s got the measles, when what we mean is he had/has the measles.   And in the same vein we say so and so was appointed to President, instead if simply ‘appointed President..

Why in every day speech is the ‘aftermath’ always unpleasant, when, the results, the aftermath can oft time be simply wonderful. and we so foolishly say “Cheap at half the price when we mean the absolute opposite.

Why do we so often begin our remarks with ‘frankly’, or ‘to tell the truth’, which it only makes it seem as if we don’t speak frankly very often, or that it’s unusual when we do tell the truth.

And going the same way, why do we begin or end over half of every sentence we speak with “You know”. Dang it, if we already know, it’s foolish to tell it again, and if we don’t know, all we have to do is just tell what we want them to know. And let it go at that.

Words, word, words, We become so familiar with them that we don’t even hear what we’re saying. And just going over only a few of the few inane words and phrases we use so carelessly, we know why people studying English as a new language, say it is the most frustrating language in the world. And they don’t exclude the Chinese language either. English it said, is the hardest of all to learn.

We have rules and more rules, and then always add the maddening phrase of “except”. . .  Yeah, be glad you were born speaking it. It’s too hard to learn later on.

The “Pill” Made the Difference

That blessed, blessed Pill . . .                                                       

Birth Control and “The Pill” have been the cause of untold world changes, but the fact that the  Bra is the only article of women’s clothing that wasn’t first worn by men,  is never once mentioned.  But ’tis true, true, true, and laugh though you may, read on and see the truth of my words.

Before scorning the  thought, take a moment and wander through history books.  Get out your Art Pictures of English Royalty, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, pictures taken from ancient Egypt, and see what’s there.

Panty Hose were worn by all male nobility round about Shakespeare’s time. Today, when we see them worn on stage or in movies, we call them Tights. But look closely. Nylon hadn’t been invented yet   but Panty hose is what they were.

And to show off that long expanse of sexy leg, (men’s, not women’s)  they topped them off with a ruffled mini skirt. Yeah, on men. and of course they weren’t called mini-skirts, but again take another look and you’ll see they were mini-skirts. Took us women until the twentieth century to claim those two items. Slow learners, and I know why, but that comes later.

Legs , as they still are today, have always been a sexual fetish, but today, it’s the women’s legs that catch our attention, when originally, it was the male leg that was adorned to catch and capture the beholder’s eyes.

The Scots had, and still have their kilts and are required garb for all formal affairs. The Greeks had their white skirts and wore them both for battle and daily wear.  Ruffled, and standing out like a Ballerina’s tutu. Nothing new under the sun . . except it was the men, not women, wearing them

Make-up was the men’s prerogative, too. They wore it even before Cleopatra put kohl on her eye lids and henna to her nails and palms. Different than our make-up kits, but the males from those long centuries ago. would stare at today’s  kits with delight and glory in thinking they were made for them, the males, and for heaven’s sake never for women.

And then we get to fancy shoes. We women were still wrapping our feet in cloth to keep out the cold when men were wearing leather, fur and silk. The pointed shoe toes, were longer than we women have ever worn. So long, in fact that they had to be held in place by long ribbons, held firmly from the tip of the toe , to the other end of the ribbon, in the wearer’s hands.   And when they wanted to impress someone, the ribbons were immediately used to display those foot long shoe-toe ornaments.  And also to aid them to carefully keep the toes upright, not walked, or tripped upon, or soiled.. Ribbons, yes, ribbons, and this taken care of by the mighty male.

Early Egyptian males wore ear rings, and wigs. And, we all are familiar with paintings of our early American leaders as Washington, Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, the Adams, all wearing them.   And it’s a law even today, that English Judges. when in Court, must wear those stylized, white curled wigs.

Men, for centuries have know the freedom and comfort of wearing pants, but it was not until the 1930’s that women even dreamed of wearing them.

Men, never did wear bras, physically they didn’t need them, but don’t forget they definitely did wear those items called Cod-Pieces that were so popular in the 15th, 16th and into the 17th centuries . Like many a bra, those Cod Pieces were also well padded. Look at some of those pictures and   you know they had to have been very well padded.     Brazenly well padded.

And you don’t know what Cod-Pieces were?? Well, I’m not going to tell you, either, but just hie yourself to Google or any dictionary and laugh with me. That’s one piece of clothing we women are never going to copy for we just don’t need them. .

Have fun with the whole long story, where we women have been copy-cats. And there is one good reason that men, and never women set the styles . It was a fact of life because, women . . . . before any form of birth control and the arrival of The Pill . . . women,  following their teen-age marriages and until menopause finally arrived,  were either pregnant or nursing a child. Always. Never a breather. Period. One or the other. On and on, except when, so often, nothing but death itself put   an end   to that otherwise endless cycle.

And their clothing was neither stylish or beautiful. Only functional.   Like a long, shapeless, roomy sack.   Thank you God for birth control.   That, and only that, is what finally gave women their freedom of life. And . . . also finally, the ability to be able to  have a  life, and not just exist to reproduce.    And not one thing other.  Women were machines,  and with no censure were quickly replaced if they did not fill that requirement.

Quiz Time

As you well know, I’m a pushover for ‘questions and answers’ and so here are a few questions I’ve been saving for hot and lazy days such as this, but I’m warning you, they’re tricky. So be prepared.

1. Leaving your starting point, you walk ten miles due north, then turn abruptly and walk ten miles due west. You then turn around and make a bee-line back to the point from which you started, a distance of ten miles. Now, the question is, would you be hot or cold?

2. A man has a 4 1/2 haystacks in one field and 5 2/3 haystacks in another. He got them all together. How any haystacks did he have?

3. What is it when a lifeguard builds a Snowman?

4. The longest sentence known to man can be spelled out with just four letters. Which ones?

5. Why may it be said that “A” is like twelve o’clock?

6.A teacher asked his class not to look at the map, but to tell him what is exactly in the middle of America. Can you tell?

7. A truck driver came to an underpass and noted that the clearance figure made it impossible for him to drive his truck through. He missed clearance by half an inch and cursed his luck. A detour would cost him several hours. Then he got an idea and in a few minutes drove his truck safely through. What did he do?

8. How can you keep a fresh supply of beef for several years without a freezer?

9. A car travels over 100 miles with a flat tire but neither the driver or passengers are aware of it. Why?

10. When  you are blessed with two sets of twins, twice, how many children would you have?

11. How can you make a pound of green tea go as far as five pounds of black tea?

12. Which of the U.S. states is the farthest north; which one the farthest east; the farthest west and the one most south?

Well, have all your answers?  Maybe, but now look at the answers, then kick yourself for not catching on to them, and now go try them on your neighbor, and I bet they won’t do one bit better than you did, either.

1. Cold. The only  possible place from which, and to which you can walk to the specified directions is the South Pole.
2. One great big haystack.
3. Winter.
4. L-I-F-E.
5. Because it’s in the middle of D-A-Y.
6. The letter R.
7. He deflated his tires just a little bit.
8. Feed and water it every day and put it in the barn at night.
9. The flat tire is in the Luggage Compartment.
10. Sixteen. A pair of twins in FOUR.
11. Buy the mentioned quantities of tea, for instance in Murray, Utah, package them together, and, then mail them to New York.
12. Yes, you’ll have a hard time believing this one, but get out your     globe or atlas and you’ll see the answer is right. Hawaii is the most southern of all the United States, but . .. and hold onto your hats . . . Alaska is the most northern; Alaska is the most western and Alaska is also the most eastern. And the reason is, that part of Alaska crosses the International Date Line, and so that area is in the Far East , while the rest of the state is considered part of the Western world.

Sorry, this is a cheating kind of a quiz, but it doesn’t matter how few you got right, you will be with the crowd. I did answer number nine correctly, but that only because I had read of it someplace before.  See ya next week.

DIY Resurrection

Grama and Gramps in the freezer? A lawyer’s holiday . . .

There are experts who say that in not too many years, people will take an inventory of their freezer and the list will be pretty much as it would be today, but . . . also as part of that list it will include, Grandpa, and cousin Amy.

I’m not joking. The scientists are experimenting with freezing people, (after they’re declared legally dead), and keeping them that way until a cure is found for whatever disease caused their death, Then, the plans are to ‘defrost’ the body, and bring it back to life with techniques they have already successfully accomplished on many small life forms. And then they will start healing the bodies of what killed them.

And, if they say this is what they plan on doing, I believe them, for I’ve noted that scientists never talk (brag) about their experiments until they’re pretty darn sure of what they’re saying. A lot of us remember when ‘going to the moon’ was a joke, but now it’s so taken for granted that new Lunar voyages seldom even make the headlines.

But bringing people back to life, (they were careful to not even come close to saying ‘resurrected)  will cause more than a few problems.  To begin with, say a man was 45 when he died. His wife about 40 and his kids 10 to 15.  And, what if, 25 years later the cure for the man’s fatal illness is found and, happy day. there he is alive and healthy. But, but, but wait a moment. What about his wife and family??

Well, for a starter, Of course his job is gone, and his nest egg and life insurance, were spent years ago, to put his own youngsters through college. His wife is now 65 years old and living in his home with a man she wed 20 years ago. And the resurrected man’s children have married and have given him a raft of grandkids.

It will create a Lawyer’s Holiday and fortunes will be made. And, Insurance companies will have to add a paragraph or two, explaining that they will pay only once on any policy, no matter how many times the insured people happen to live and die.

The only good thing in the expert’s experiments, is that it will cost so much that hardly anyone will be able to afford the procedure.

But I have an inquisitive (nosey?) mind and wonder if the resurrected people will have Souls (and will it be the same one?) or will they be Mechanical-People-Robots, and be better off in some Believe It Or Not circus. Will the new person even remember the life he once lived and where he died?

Before all this is a fait accompli, we’d better figure out where all the re-runs are going to live. We’re already so crowded that the only place for more is UP and there are now more and more areas where ‘  one-family dwellings’ are no longer legally allowed to be built. HI-RISE Condos and retirement homes are springing up all over, and now when there are too many of us already here , someone is trying to bring back past generations to add to our numbers.

We’re treading on no-no territory when we speak of resurrections (and they don’t) for that’s Someone Else’s business. We ought to think it over, because if those sharp scientists have their way, one of these days your freezer inventory really will include all the food we usually have on hand but will also have Grandpa, Grama, there, too.   Egad.

Born To Be Slim

Slender people are different than the rest of us.

For years I carried a load of guilt caused by that perpetual cycle of ‘lose-4 pounds, gain-5-pounds’, but then I found a list of 25 reasons that explained in detail, the ‘why’ of why thin people are thin. It’s tucked into their genes before they were even born, and here’s what they have, and we don’t.  Read and wonder no longer.

1. They think the dish on their desk is for paper clips, and not for candy.
2. They won’t eat popcorn in movies because it makes their hands greasy.
3. They think banana splits, sundaes and Ice Cream are, like all Gerber products, for children, and, for heaven’s sake. not adults.
4. They throw out small portions of left-overs instead of putting them in the refrig to nibble on later in the day.

5. They take it for granted that one normal pizza is for four people.
6. They think cookies are for people under 13 years of age.
7. They eat nuts one-at-a-time.
8, They think do-nuts are indigestible.

9, They get so absorbed in some special project that they forget to eat.
10, They hold their book or magazine with both hands.
11. They allow no food in the family room, living room, bedroom or any room where there is a TV.

12. They take a nap when they feel an energy drop instead of eating.
13. They trade-in or pass along, all gifts of any kind of cooking pans , and get clocks, radios, or books.
14. They (and this difference proved it all to me) they lose their appetites when they are depressed or have nothing to do.

15. When the party is over, and the guests go home, they throw out any left-over potato chips, corn chips, along with any leftover Dips.
16. They don’t celebrate getting a salary raise, or any  big event, by dining out at some great cafe, but head straight for a Health Food Bar and order a huge Green Salad, Tofu croutons and a V8 drink.
17. They think it’s utterly silly and not worth the time, to go to a special store to get a special kind of chocolate, or fancy bakery to buy a  special cake.

18. They use Carob in cooking instead of Chocolate.
19. They find Ice Tea more refreshing than an Ice Cream Soda.
20. They have such interesting conversations with people at cocktail parties that they never get around to visiting the Buffet Tables.
21.They do not feel compelled to ‘even up’ the candy dish by eating the ‘extra’ pieces to achieve a perfect balance.

22, They never once think they ‘may as well’ eat that leftover piece of pie, cake, or whatever, rather than tossing it out.
23. They prefer reading any book or magazine rather that the latest copy of “The Joy of Cooking”.
24, They don’t tuck a handy sack of nuts/mints/ or cookies in a pocket, when they go walking.
25. They give away or toss out all gifts of candy, cake, or cookies.

See? It’s just as I said, it’s right in their genes. For nobody could train themselves to such odd habits.  Born way, way, way , way, way different. But just think what they’re missing. I mean besides the extra pounds you and I gather ’round us and they, dang it, don’t.   Oh, me.

ethelbrad@comcast.net