Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Peacock, Drag Queen of the Bird World

The peacock is the drag queen of the Bird Kingdom.

This iridescent feathered diva demands attention and knows how to work the crowd.   Every peacock is born with runway rhythm in his little pea soul.

Vogueing?   I'm pretty sure the peacock invented it.

That's how he attracts his peahen mate.  He performs his shimmery fan dance while lip-syncing Liza Minnelli songs.  The peahen chooses her mate according to the quality and color of his costume, secretly hoping she will get to borrow it.

For a peacock, life is one big night club act. 

Peacocks can be bitchy and do not get along with other domestic birds.  Well why should they, girlfriend?

And what is a group of peacocks called?  A party, of course.

"Hey Lance!  There's something following me!"
"I know, Bruce, it's after me too!"

Another fact you might need if you are ever on Jeopardy: in Spanish, peacock is pavo, which also means turkey. Sometimes it is called pavo real – royal turkey.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I Love Him Even If He's Not Original

I Love the Energizer Bunny.

What's not to love?  He's a bunny.  Because he eats electricity, Energizer Bunny will never filch veggies from my refrigerator, a risk when dealing with vegan rabbits.

I imagine roving bands of drum playing lagomorphs breaking into suburban homes late at night, sucking on batteries stolen from toys, remotes and kitchen junk drawers. When unable to locate batteries, the frenetic little pink vampires drink electricity from wall outlets.

Energizer Bunny is not the original battery bunny, you know.  He is a caricature and parody of The Duracell Bunnies, who were created in 1973.  Energizer Bunny did not appear until 1989.

Über cool Energizer Bunny wears sunglasses and has freakishly large ears and  flip-flop clad feet.  Duracell Bunnies look like people in puffy pink bunny suits.  What a bunch of dorks.

Energizer Bunny is one specific celebrity.   Duracell Bunnies are a species.

Duracell originally trademarked the battery bunny for the US, Europe and Australia, then failed to renew the trademark in this country.  Energizer Bunny took over and Duracell Bunnies were forced to emigrate.

I can't stop thinking about the Duracell employee who was responsible for the oversight.

"Good morning, Willard.  I just happened to notice on my calendar that yesterday our Bunny trademark expired.  You renewed it, right?"

Energizer Beach Bunnies.  If Energizer Bunny is the father, who is the mother? 
Why are they white? 
Are they the result of an inter-rabbital relationship?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

George Washington Lied About the Cherry Tree. Gasp.

American kids have been hearing the George Washington cherry tree story for the past 200 years:  The Father of Our Country cut down a cherry tree. Asked if he did it, he said, “I cannot tell a lie. I cut down the cherry tree with my trusty little hatchet.”

American parents love the George Washington story – that unlike every other kid ever born on the planet, George could not lie. 

Kids hate stories about perfect kids.

We are all so gullible.

The truth is Washington did lie about the tree, but he was not the one who cut it down. He wasn’t even home. He had gone skinny dipping with Martha. His best buddy little Johnny Adams, known around the neighborhood as Chopper, cut down the tree. He paid George to take the blame with a carved cherry wood walking stick.

When both men were in their twilight years, Washington wrote to Adams, “I kept that big stick you paid me with, you know. I used it to make some new teeth."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Abe Lincoln's Trousers

I think it's time to clear this up ....... Victorian men would not have been caught dead wearing a pair of breeches. 
They wore trousers - just like today's men.

Think Alexander Graham Bell,

Thomas Edison

and Abraham Lincoln.

Breeches are tight pants that come to just below the knees and are worn with tall men's stockings. Men of the 18th Century wore them.    That means in the 1700's.

Think Little Lord Faunlery,

Louis XV

and George Washington.

Pants are important.

Let's stay focused.

If this looks Victorian to you, please reread the text.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

A lot of people like to believe the story of the kindly priest St. Valentine who was martyred for marrying young lovers.

I say, "Bah! Humbug!"

"Martyred" means stoned to death and then beheaded.

How romantic.

Valentine's Day had always been celebrated in ancient Rome, where February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno, the Queen of the Gods and the Goddess of women and marriage.  It was the eve of the Feast of Lupercalia. 

The names of Roman girls were put into a jar. Each young man would draw the girl's name who would be his partner for the duration of the festival. Sometimes the partnership would last the entire year and of course many of them fell in love and eventually married.

That is romantic.

The only thing the Roman couples didn't have was the Hallmark card.

So just forget the gory St. Valentine story.  Ick.

Will you me mine?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Big Fat, Big Apple Lie

This is not the beaded wampum belt Peter Minuit and the Dutch settlers used to purchase Manhattan Island from the Indians in 1625.

This is not the beaded wampum belt Peter Minuit and the Dutch settlers used to purchase Manhattan Island from the Indians in 1625.

This is not the beaded wampum belt Peter Minuit and the Dutch settlers used to purchase Manhattan Island from the Indians in 1625.

The $24.00 bead swap for the Big Apple is a total fabrication. Someone made it up in the 1800's.

The older I get, the more I learn that I learned a lot of lies in school.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bye Bye Boobies, But Thanks for the Panties

I have always revered two female icons of 1920’s America: The Suffragette and The Flapper.

Suffragettes gave us the right to vote ...

... and Flappers gave us freedom from the corset.

Or so I thought.

Flappers just wore a different kind of corset.  It made them look flat chested ... all the rage in the 1920’s.

We can thank them for panties. Otherwise we would all be wearing big, blousy, bloomers.  Ooh la la!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

If Called by a Panther, Don't Anther

I cannot remember the BON Era - Before Ogden Nash.  His short poems have always made me laugh.  My first complete sentence as an infant was The Lord in His wisdom made the fly, And then forgot to tell us why.

I continue to amuse myself by quoting Mr. Nash to family and friends whenever I feel like it.  These supposed friends and family seem to often confuse amuse and annoy.

Don't you agree that most social occasions warrant an occasional non sequitor?

Candy is dandy, But liquor is quicker.

Have you noticed how tiresome and boring solemn occasions eventually become?  Like church, business meetings and funerals?  Just scribble a Nash one-liner on a deposit slip and pass it down.  People will appreciate the fact that you are trying to help them stay awake.  They'll thank you for it as soon as they get the chance.  Just nod and smile.

The cow is of bovine ilk; one end is moo, the other milk.

Like Dr. Seuss, who lived during the same era, Ogden Nash was a spelling outlaw.  He misspelled words all over the place to make them rhyme.  It was gutsy and nutsy.  I love him for it.

The panther is like a leopard,
Except it hasn't been peppered.
Should you behold a panther crouch,
Prepare to say Ouch.
Better yet, if called by a panther,
Don't anther.
Don't anther if this guy calls you.  Please.  Think of the children.

The song of canaries
Never varies,
And when they’re moulting
They’re pretty revolting.

And finally, one of my new favorite Nashes ...

Since you now hunger for more Ogden Nash, fill your plate at this buffet table:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mythical Menagerie

The Pfaltzgraff company began making salt glazed pottery in the 1800's.  The crocks and jugs were salt glazed with cobalt blue embellishments. 


This early pottery was the inspiration for one of the company's most popular stoneware patterns, Folk Art, which was made between 1980 and 1997.

The most common early stoneware decorations were stylized flowers and the mythical Distlefink, which is believed to bring good luck.

I'm pretty sure the Distlefink is the Pennsylvania Dutch version of another mythical favorite, the Chupacabra, which is just creepy.

For more information about the chupacabra, visit the Skeptic's Dictionary at

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pucker Up

KISS:  Middle English, from Old English cyssan; akin to Old High German kussen to kiss
First Known Use: before 12th century
♥ “I can't read lips unless they're touching mine.” ~ Jon Troast

♥ “Kissing is a means of getting two people so close together that they can't see anything wrong with each other.” ~ Rene Yasenek

♥ "Spain is my favorite place to visit because I get two kisses from everyone I meet." ~ TangoPony

♥ “Stolen kisses are always sweetest.” ~ Leigh Hunt

♥ “I wasn't kissing her, I was whispering in her mouth.” ~ Chico Marx

♥ "Of course I kiss my horse on the lips.  Is that a problem?" ~ TangoPony