Etiquette & superstition: eclipses, part two


It’s been a while since we talked about eclipses here, and I know I didn’t cover everything then. If I don’t get everything in this time, maybe I’ll try again in 2024.

ETIQUETTE: There are two things that most people are going to want to experience during a solar eclipse – darkness and an unimpeded view of the sky. So, if you are going to be around other people and happen to be in the path of totality,

During the total eclipse phase (a maximum of 2:40 at its area of longest duration this time around), be particularly careful about the following:

  • don’t take flash photos
  • don’t take selfies with your damn screen all lit up
  • don’t text (seriously, if you can’t keep yourself from texting for less than three minutes, I don’t even know what to tell you)

SUPERSTITION: Remember last time when we warned you about how you had to make a lot of racket to scare the giant sky dragon and make him barf up the sun? Turns out that’s not true. During an eclipse, what actually happens is this demon who got his head chopped off after the sun and moon ratted him out to Vishnu for stealing some immortality juice goes and eats the sun, but it’s okay because he’s only a head, so after he swallows the sun it just falls out of his neck hole and everything’s fine after a few minutes.

So relax and don’t worry about the eclipse, unless you’re a pregnant lady who wants to give birth to a healthy child. Aside from the cleft palate danger I mentioned in the previous post, a pregnant woman who goes out into the eclipse just might turn her unborn child into a mouse fetus.

Photo (cropped) of Sun Days Motel sign by Sam Howzit via Flickr

 

Close encounters of the tired kind

I’ve been too tired to go two-tired lately. I would be a lot more fit if I stopped relying on my Fit so much.

Published in: on August 12, 2017 at 10:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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Kyle Basa

Back in high school, I collected Garbage Pail Kids cards. GPK cards had gross pictures of not-cute monstrous Cabbage Patch-style kids with rhyming or alliterative or corny joke names. A kid eating his own mucous was Snotty Scotty. A head being preserved in a jar was Formalde Heidi. Most of the kids also had a twin, which was a card with the same image but a different name. Formalde Heidi’s twin was Decapitated Hedy.

Anyway, most of these names made sense in their own way, and I enjoyed most of them, but there was one I could not abide, and that was Hot Doug’s twin Fran Furter. FRAN Furter? How could you think of Fran Furter and not go to Frank Furter? Who was responsible for this?

Then I went back and checked out GPK Series 1 and 2 cards and found Furry Fran, Schizo Fran and… Fran Fran. I guess there was a GPK artist with a thing for the name Fran.

This story doesn’t really have a resolution, but that makes it perfect for today’s cartoon, which also doesn’t really have a resolution. It features hot dogs, at least for a while.

 

I scream for a new outfit

It’s hot. I’m not thinking straight. I’m looking for ice cream shoes.

No, not those. It’s too hot for those. Maybe a flat.

Maybe. Or a sandal?

Well, darn it. Those look too small. Grr. Forget it. Maybe I need to cool my head down a little bit.

Oh gosh. They even have bubblegum flavor. Now where’s my wallet?

Images via Shoe Bakery, Etsy, and Zappos. Follow links for details

The music in my head

This cartoon is pretty good, but I’m posting it mainly because if I ever do a Fancy Notions podcast, this title music is going to be my theme song.

Etiquette & superstition: letters to pests

Pest: an annoying or troublesome person, animal, or thing; nuisance. Being a pest does not require intention or desire to be a pest. You may be a pest and not even know it. Wouldn’t you rather someone told you?

ETIQUETTE: If you are in a work situation or living environment and you do not know who is stealing everyone’s lunch or leaving junk mail on the lobby floor, it is perfectly fine to post a directly-worded but calm note at the area of offense and not sign your name to it. It’s more of a sign than a note in this case. If you know who the offender is, however, it’s a completely different matter.

If you don’t feel comfortable confronting the offender and their offense is something that is actually interfering with your ability to work or to live comfortably, direct communication is preferred but if you must, find an intermediary. A boss is the appropriate person to talk to if a co-worker’s habits are harassing, unprofessional or intrusive, and an apartment manager is the appropriate person to talk to if a fellow tenant has ignored your previous requests to stop rollerskating in the hallway at 3 a.m. or is leaving his discarded shotgun shells on the floor of the elevator.

A very important point to bring up on this topic, courtesy of Charles Purdy in his quite enjoyable book Urban Etiquette: “… anonymous notes are at best cowardly and at worst threatening: If you can’t attach your name to it, perhaps it shouldn’t be said at all. An unsigned note addressed to a specific person is appropriate only for secret admirers, credit card companies, and kidnappers demanding ransom.”

SUPERSTITION: If you have a rat problem, you should leave a note for the rats. The ancient Greeks recommend a more threatening tone (“… if I ever catch you here again by the Mother of God I will rend you in seven pieces”) than do the countryfolk of the Ardennes or England (more of a “my neighbor has a lot more grain than I do” tack), but the people of New England are particularly New England-y about it. “The letter should indicate precisely the habitation to which they are assigned, and the road to be taken, and should contain such representations of the advantages of the change as may be supposed to affect the intelligence of the animal in question. A sample:


The Greeks say the note should be placed on a rock writing-side up, the Scots think it should be nailed to the wall or placed under the door one expects the rats to exit by, and the Yanks feel it should be folded up neatly and put into the rats’ hole. The Welsh say you should not bother with a request to vacate but instead write out some sort of mysterious “r.a.t.s. a.t.s.r.” acrostic puzzle and shove it into the King Rat’s mouth. I’m not so sure about that last one.

Photo via Boston Public Library feed on Flickr

Ooty ooty ooty

I’m a little confused about the concept here. If the person is transported to the time where his behavior is most appropriate, wouldn’t they be accepted happily there? Maybe a thing got lost in translation.

Also, I wonder what time I would end up in. Hopefully not a time with a lot of ooty ootiers.

Art is not eternal

Midway through this, I thought, “Hey, I could hire these guys to make me a Flintstone house for way cheaper than $3.2 million*,” but then I watched the rest of the film. Oh well.

*Warning: link contains auto-play video

It’s complicated

Involved can mean a lot of different things: in a relationship, complex, preoccupied with, confusing. I wonder which meaning applies here.

Not sure who originally took this photo; found via Drew Magary’s Twitter feed
Published in: on July 10, 2017 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Comin’ down fast

I guess I’m a couple of weeks late with this cartoon, but it wasn’t this hot a couple of weeks ago. Maybe it was. I can’t remember. My brain has melted.

Published in: on July 8, 2017 at 9:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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