Etiquette & superstition: not really dead soldiers

I was going to go on this whole thing about how it’s a terrible idea to have Memorial Day at the end of May because everybody defaults to “Summer! Yeah!” rather than “Dead soldiers. Sad,” but the day was in fact established for decorating the graves of dead soldiers with flowers, and once upon a time we couldn’t get flowers year-round from Safeway or Trader Joe’s or wherever, so it actually makes sense to have the day during the part of the year when traditionally there have been flowers available. I’ll just shut up and not go on that whole thing.

ETIQUETTE: During a mock battle, war re-enactors have to balance their desire for authenticity with their desire to not get heatstroke. Reenactment styles vary by region and personal focus, but it is generally agreed that if you are wearing a wool uniform in the middle of summer on a sunny battlefield, it is acceptable to die under a shade-bearing tree, provided it seems natural for you to be fighting under that tree in the first place. A hat cocked over one’s eyes after a fatal hit is an alternative, as is screaming, “I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die!” and running off the battlefield. Seriously. It’s authentic.

Re-enactors seem to have strong and varied opinions about soldiers who die too quickly on the field vs. soldiers who are miraculous anonymous action heroes who survive with nary a scratch. To avoid issues of this sort, some societies have taken to assigning death times to participants via a card or token system. Don’t cheat if you have been assigned to die. It doesn’t work in real life, either.

SUPERSTITION: A Russian soldier’s name coming up on a list of war casualties by accident portends a long and happy life for that soldier, provided his family doesn’t kill him for upsetting them so much when they were told he’d fallen.

Photo by Woody Hibbard via Flickr

Moscow fool

Wikipedia tells me that this cartoon was originally called The Mad Matador but some foreign marketing group convinced the producer to change it. There is no explanation on Wikipedia for why it was changed to The Hollywood Matador, and I bet the Russian guy narrating this version doesn’t say anything about it either. If you have a theory, please share.

Word of the day for Wednesday, May 20th

For the past two weeks my sympathetic nervous system has taken control over my body, and it’s been making me feel really ugly. Flushed skin, jumpiness, shallow breathing, sleeplessness. Real ugly, man.

I think I’m finally over it, though. My higher brain finally got through to the lower one this evening and I no longer think I’m going to have a heart attack at any moment. I’d like to celebrate this triumph by making today’s word of the day really beautiful.

Brephophagist. A person who eats babies. Well, it’s a pretty font, anyway.

Published in: on May 20, 2015 at 7:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tip me over and pour me out

I just started a temporary office job, and after watching this cartoon I’m glad the building has good security. I’m not much of a tea drinker so I really can’t afford any Droops getting past the guard gate.

Published in: on May 16, 2015 at 10:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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Self-assault and pepper

This Little Lamby sure is a dumb bunny. Maybe he doesn’t understand exactly what’s going on, but he assists with the vegetable prep here and even goes on to season himself. If it weren’t for the brave parents of Animalville, his goose would be cooked.

M is for the many things

Bunnybury, our favorite local holiday display yard, has passed over Cinco de Mayo and gone straight to Mother’s Day.

Maybe I should stop calling it Bunnybury. Rabbits are not the only permanent residents here; there are also swans, elephants, cherubs, ducks, deer…

and Native Americans. In every display you will find these guys if you dig deep enough. The current display is unusual in that it leaves the Native American grotto rather pristine, when normally it’s encrusted with roses or Santa hats or tulips or something.

Maybe this section is signifying Mother Earth, which is kind of nice when you figure that not everybody has another mother. Everybody needs a mother. Grimy patriots need one,

Bratz without pants need one.

That fancy car and hobby horse are clearly poor substitutes for one.

No wonder this lady looks so happy. She is truly exalted.

bunnyburybuninovenI think that baby she’s holding just bit her on the neck. Hey, Pregnant Lady! There’s more of that neck-biting in your future. You know, children exalt differently than grown-ups.

And it’s all worth it, right? Just think; on Sunday you and Handless Cowgirl Scarlett Johansson

are going to get an awesome breakfast in bed, probably presented to you at 5:30 in the morning. It might not be too late for you to start lobbying for the Alone Time that Daddy always seems to get on his special day.

A fine red

Thank you, Ub Iwerks. Thank you so very much. I was watching this Little Red Hen cartoon this morning, soaking up the beautiful Comicolor hues, but I tensed up as soon as I saw the little black chick.

“Oh no,” thought I. “That little black chick seems fine right now, maybe naughty in a black sheep sort of way, but any minute now he’s going to wreck this cartoon. This is a ’30s cartoon. He’s going to get lazy and start wheedling around, grow offensive big lips and shout ‘Mammy’ while on one knee; something like that.”

I continued watching. That pig and that duck were maybe the best cartoon pig and duck I had ever seen. “Please don’t ruin this cartoon, Little Black Chick.” The final gag came up. The little black chick came out of the hen house. I pre-emptively winced.

And then. Nothing. No racial stereotype gag. Just a good old raspberry. I relaxed. Thank you, Little Black Chick, and thank you, Ub Iwerks. I’m going to have to watch this again, this time without holding my breath.

Oh. Pear.

The City of Los Angeles is repainting its red zone curbs this week. I guess the street sweepers have the week off.

Either that or somebody is getting some free help with their counterfeit d’Anjou pear scheme.

Published in: on April 30, 2015 at 3:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Can’t wait for a cute girl to turnip

A couple of months ago I posted a video of some farm dance set to American jazz. Today I watched a farm dance set to Soviet-era Russian jazz. You know, I spent a fair amount of time in the music industry but somehow I missed this farm jazz subgenre. Should I explore this further? I can’t tell if I’m enjoying it or not.

So glad you’re back from China, madamjujujive


Etiquette & superstition: pots to piss in

I spent some time last weekend visiting the porta-potties pictured above. The one labeled “WHORES” was markedly cleaner than the one designated for “LADIES.”

ETIQUETTE: After using a porta-potty, put the lid down. Have you ever noticed that PVC pipe that goes up to the roof of the potty? That’s a gas chimney that transfers heat and odors from the waste area to outside. If you don’t put the seat down, the gas travels up through the bigger hole in the seat rather than up the pipe, and that stinks up the area you’re sitting in.

SUPERSTITION: If you want to give a wedding gift that will provide good luck to newlyweds in the Philippines, you can’t beat a chamber pot. I’m not sure where the luck comes from, other than the luck that the newlyweds aren’t in France. If they were in France, they would be expected to consume all of the wedding party leftovers that their friends have scooped into a chamber pot.

Scrubbing the kitchen floor each morning with the contents of your chamber pot will keep that kitchen floor clean and sparkling. If you want to cure corns, apply some of the dried-up urine crystals from the inside of a chamber pot to your afflictions.


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