Tuesday, June 30, 2020

It's All Greek to Me

          If I had lived in ancient Greece I would never have married. It isn’t that I’m against Greeks. It’s that their traditional proposal of marriage was to toss an apple to a girl and if she caught it, she accepted.   

              Are you kidding?  I’ve never caught an apple in my life. I recall catching one baseball when I was ten, but that was by accident. I held up a mitt and the ball fell into it. Seriously, I had nothing to do with it.

          The other night we were Zooming with friends and playing a trivia game. Ancient Greece came up again. What two animals did they believe created the zebra? 

          Turns out it’s the horse and the tiger.

          Okay, I have a problem with this. Ancient Greece gave us the top philosophers of the world, right?  Yet they’ll believe anything, apparently, because I guarantee NO ONE tried this breeding experiment before swallowing this implausible union as fact.


          

          And where do people in Greece get tigers, anyway? Tigers live in Asia. Zebras, I do believe, are native to Africa. Not only that, but one of these is the predator of the other one. Good luck getting a little romance going between those two, long distance relationships aside.

          Say what you will about the brilliance of Ancient Greek ideas, but suddenly I don’t feel quite so bad about not being able to catch that apple.

However, there is something else that's magical about apples. Check out my short Youtube Mom video here and see what apples can do!


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Wear a Hat, Get a Discount


          Well, like squinty, blinking moles, we are finally permitted to creep out of our homes and go to stores again. Cooped up during this pandemic, we’ve all missed the occasional trip to the hardware store.
          So St. Bob and I went foraging for sprinkler parts, paint tarps, drill bits and the like. We brought our purchases to the checkout where former Navy man Bob reminded the clerk to give him a military discount.
          “And I get the millinery discount,” I said, since I was wearing a baseball cap.
          The young girl frowned. “The what?”
          “The millinery discount,” I said, and pointed to my cap.
          “What’s that?”
          “Just a bad joke,” I said. And I realized there are probably two new generations of people who have no idea that a milliner is a hat maker. Yes, I felt about 135 years old.
          People don’t wear fashionable hats anymore. Oh, sure, the occasional ball cap, cowboy hat or sun hat. But not dressy hats, the kind you have tailor made in splashy colors with ribbons and feathers.
          The word milliner originated in the 1400s, in Milan. If you sold fanciness, this was your title. By the 1700s it meant someone who sells women’s hats. 
          Alas, like people who made buggy whips and bustles, hat makers have shrunk in number.
          But I think hats should make a comeback. Not only do they complete a dressy outfit, they protect a bald head from the sun, and hide a bad hair day. And they should certainly be given a discount if you wear one to a hardware store.
          Dare I say hats off to you wonderful readers? Many of you have subscribed to my Youtube Mom channel and are enjoying all  kinds of life hacks in short videos. Thank you!        

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Bobisms


I know what you’re thinking: That if St. Bob didn’t give me so much material, half of my blog wouldn’t exist.
And you are right. Why do you think I carry a little notebook and pen around?  It’s to capture Bobisms. Here are the latest two.
My oncologists ordered lab tests, so off we went, masked and sanitized. As we were leaving, the nice guy at the Covid-19 screening desk said, “Have a nice day.”
And Bob said, “No thanks, already have one.”  Yes, you may use this line. I don’t think there’s any worry about copyright infringement.
Then we were driving past this tree:
And I said, “Wow—I wonder if that tree got hit by lightning. But I don’t see any scorch marks. Maybe it just got heavy and broke.”
To which Bob said, “Yep, that’s what happened to me, too.”
Maybe I should charge for people to come along on Excursions with Bob. Just be sure to bring a pad and pencil.
You may or may not find some of his quips in my books. And, with summer upon us, what better time to curl up with a funny novel?

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Paws and Think About This


          It’s tough to predict the future, isn’t it? But I have a prediction I can positively guarantee.  For as long as you live, you will never see a police car that boasts having a cat inside.
          We’ve all seen the K-9 police cars around town, right? And inside, we know there’s a highly trained dog ready to follow commands, prevent crime, and basically be a super hero. But never will you see a car that has replaced K-9 with Feline.
          Can’t you just picture it? There’s a bank robber on the corner who starts running the minute he sees cops on his tail. But instead of a handy German Shepherd who can run like the wind to catch him, you now have a tabby cat who leaps from the car and heads straight up a tree. 
          Or falls over to roll around on the sidewalk.
          Or simply glares at you for suggesting he give chase. Ain’t gonna happen, my friend.
          And forget about drug sniffing. If catnip or tuna isn’t in those lockers, a cat will simply sit down and take a relaxing bath.
          I will acknowledge one possible benefit. A cat in the car is likely to commence howling, and this could replace a faulty siren. So there’s always that. 
I’m pretty sure cats would enjoy my books, however.  I mean, cats like mine who have a sense of humor.


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Tooth truth?

         What a bonanza. I have recently come upon not one, but TWO exciting factoids about toothpaste.

          Have you ever brushed your teeth, and then had a glass of orange juice? Notice how it tasted bitter?  This is because toothpaste contains sodium lauryl sulphate, a detergent that suppresses our sweet taste receptors on the tongue.  Who knew? Okay, maybe you’re a chemist and you knew.
          And the next dental delight is a story some say is untrue but others swear up and down is true.  Apparently a toothpaste company in Japan was in financial difficulty and needed a miracle. The story goes that a man offered to sell them an idea that would increase toothpaste sales by 40 %.  Legend has it he asked for $100,000.00 to reveal his idea. They eventually agreed, and then made many times that by implementing his ingenious suggestion.
          He told them to make the hole (where the toothpaste comes out) bigger. By enlarging the hole from 5mm to 6mm, consumers were tricked into using more toothpaste and having to buy a new tube sooner.

          I like creative solutions (like the company with slow elevators that hung a mirror beside the doors and got everyone preoccupied with their appearance, thus keeping them from noticing how slow the elevators were). But I never dreamed there was one about toothpaste.  And now this boring task won’t be so boring anymore. You’re welcome.
         When you share these stories with your friends—and you will—tell them to subscribe to Joniopolis!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

What's in a Name?

          St. Bob got into television when he was 15 years old. He lived in Lake Charles, Louisiana and was the guy who introduced cartoons on a local TV station there.  He dressed up as an Emmett Kelly-style clown, and because of his height and the “old man voice” he used, no one knew a kid was hosting the show.
          The station decided to have  a contest to name the clown, but they could never choose a name. So “No Name the Clown” stuck.  
          The other day I came across a stash of old photos and newspaper clippings about him.  Kids would gather around at the studio (think of the Howdy Doody crowds) and Bob would interview them, joke around, and basically just be himself.
          Kids joined his fan  club:     
          In the pile of adorable fan letters were valentines and letters from girls who undoubtedly loved No Name.
          “We ought to go back there!” I announced. I mean, after the lockdown  is over. “We should have a No Name reunion where all the kids who used to love your show could come and meet you. They’d be thrilled to see No Name again.”
          Bob just stared at me. “Okay, that’s the first five minutes. Then what?”
          I thought for a bit. “Well, then they die happy because they met their hero.” And I, of course, could vicariously enjoy their excitement.
          Suffice it to say that no one can roll their eyes like a true clown.
And if you want to see his camera work, check out my Youtube Mom videos—all shot by No Name himself! (Check out Bob Hilton  on Wikipedia, too.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

First Pluto, Now This!

          You know how upset I was when Pluto was stripped of its planet status? I wrote about that and a bunch of similar disappointments here.
          But now two of my childhood songs are exposed as having entirely different meanings than what I was taught.
          You already know that I attended a laboratory grade school  on the USU campus, and one of the things they did in Kindergarten was to introduce us to French. No, I cannot speak French. But I love—and sing-- these two little songs with French roots. You probably know them, too.
One is Frere Jacque and the other is Alouette. Here’s the skinny.
Frere Jacque is about a Catholic friar. In English he’s called Brother John. I was taught that he was sleeping in, and some kind person is trying to wake him up because “morning bells are ringing.”  But no. He is a slacker who is supposed to be pulling the rope in the bell tower to remind the other monks to pray. Turns out he is literally sleeping on the job.
Alouette is about a little bird. I thought we were singing about a perky little fellow who was helping us learn the words for head, nose, eyes, wings, tail, and so on.  Ha!  Spoiler alert: This is a cheery tune about plucking the feathers off a poor little lark so he can be sliced up for cooking!
Ah, innocence shattered.  And don’t even get me started on nursery rhymes. (And yes, this is why I wrote the book, “LDS NURSERY RHYMES”).
Check out that book and many more at my website. Then take a gander at my short Youtube Mom videos. I promise not to sing about laziness or butchering.