Gregory’s Bible Stories: Gideon’s Dog Day Afternoon

Welcome Dear Readers to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories. Today Gregory learned more about the adventures of Gideon.

Let’s listen in shall we?

gregory Gideon’s Dog Day Afternoon

Last week, the Lord sent a supernatural, glowing, angel who was wearing a radiant robe that had the words “God Squad” illuminated across the front of it with a message from the Lord about how He wanted Gideon to rescue the Israelites. The Angel was also carrying a magical fire stick.

But Gideon wasn’t convinced that the angel was really a messenger from God because in those days angels were always popping up left and right and magical fire sticks and regular sticks were practically identical.

The Angel and Gideon

“Hi, yeah, I’m an angel of the Lord.”            “Sorry but I’m going to have to see some ID.”

 

The Wet-Wool/Dry-Wool Miracle

Gideon needed more proof that God wanted him to rescue the Israelites, so he asked God to perform the wildly-popular Wet-Wool/Dry-Wool miracle which was considered the G0-To miracle in those days for Generation 3000 BC Millennials.  The conversation might have gone something like this:

The Lord:  So, Gideon, did you get my message from the angel about how I want you to rescue the Israelites?

Gideon:  Yeah.

The Lord:  And?

Gideon: Well, Lord, I was hoping that instead of a message from an angel that  you’d perform the miracle where I leave some dry wool outside at night to see if it was still dry in the morning.

The Lord:  Aw come on, Gideon!  That’s such a lame miracle. If you really want a miracle, I could part the Red Sea.

Gideon:   Meh . . no offense but that’s a little passé don’t you think?

The Lord: Okay I admit it’s a little old school oh wait. . .  I’ve got an idea! How’s about I whip you up big ol’  burning  bush? We could roast marshmallows. . .

Gideon:  But I hate marshmallows! I want the  Wet-Wool/Dry-Wool miracle! I want! I want! I want!  Gimme!  Gimme! Gimme!

The Lord:  Okay  okay! I forgot how spoiled you 3000 BC Millenials are!

Later:

The Lord:  So Gideon, I see you have amassed a great army to rescue the Israelites.  How many have you amassed thus far?

Gideon:  Let’s see here . . . Roman numeral one. . . Roman numeral two . . . Roman numeral three . . .

The Lord:  Uh . . it looks  like about twenty thousand.  Uh oh.  With so many men, they’ll  be sure to win the war against the Medianites and then nobody will give Me credit for it. And even though I’m God, I still hate it when that happens. We’re going to have to weed some of them out.  I know!  Let’s send everybody home who is afraid.

Laterer:

The Lord:  Did you send home everyone who was afraid?

Gideon:  Yeah, that got rid of 22,000 right off the bat but there’s still 10,000 left.

The Lord:  Hm . . . that’s still too many . . .oh I know!  Send them all down to the river to get a drink and then I’ll come along and send the guys home who drink out of the river like a dog. Then just to be on the safe side, I’ll throw a stick really far away and that should take care of the stragglers.

Latererer:

The Lord: Okay Gideon how many we got now?

Gideon: Let’s see here.  I think about 500 . . . oh wait . . .  make that 300 . . . 200 just ran after a cat.

The Lord:  Perfect!

Gideon:  Wait a minute, Lord.  I see  a couple of them are turning around three times before lying down.  Should I get rid of them too?

The Lord:  No.We’ll keep them as subs.

Gideon:  Good idea!  They don’t call you The Lord for nothing!

The Lord:  I love you Gideon that’s why I just created this stack of bibles with your name on it!

Gideon:  Oh Whoopty-friggin’-do.

The Lord: Pardon?

Gideon:  Nothing.

 And that concludes part II of the adventures of Gideon.  Please check back next week at this same time when Gideon’s servant, Purah, comes up with a fantastic money-making idea for Purah-ina people chow.

Until next time . . . I love you

Gideon's men drinking like dogs

A Letter to Father Time From His Boss

Dear Father Time: 

Permit me to say, my dear Father Time

In this letter I write you (that I’m going to rhyme)

It looks like the future’s a big disappointment

Take pimples, for instance, there’s still not an ointment . . .

 

And no flying cars, now what’s up with that?

And where is that pill that you promised for fat?

 

No robots to wait on us twenty-four seven?

No ray guns to use to send someone to heaven?

 

Oh sure, we’ve got lasers, but that point is moot

When you up and forgot: anti-gravity boot

 

And where, may I ask, are time travel machines?

On the junk heap, no doubt (with the synthetic spleens)

 

My dear Father Time, I’m  perplexed and chagrined

That you’ve fallen behind on the future therein

 

After talking it over with Jack Frost and Cupid

I regret to inform you (I really feel stupid)

It’s time to let someone else give it a whirl

You’ve just been replaced by the Calendar Girl

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Gregory’s Bible Stories: Big Fat Bullies of the Bible

Welcome Dear Readers to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories. Today Gregory learned about the time the Israelites were having some trouble with the Medianites.

Let’s listen in to Gregory’s take on all this:

gregory Big Fat Bullies of the Bible

One day the Lord left the planet for five seconds and when he came back the people of Israel were sinning against him. So as a  punishment, He let the people of Midian rule over the Israelites for seven years (This was way before He thought up”timeouts”)

This was a horrible punishment to the Israelites because the Medianites were a race of big, fat bullies and the Israelites were more on the bookish side.  So the Israelites fled to the hills and hid in caves while the Medianites partied with their gangsta buddies, the Amalekites, in the Israelites’ homes — helping themselves to the Israelites beer, feasting on the Israelites’ food and even using the Israelites’ toothbrush.

One day, the Israelites ventured out of their caves to plant some crops and tend their animals.   But when they woke up the next morning they found that the Medianites had trampled all their crops and tipped all their cattle. The Israelites couldn’t take it anymore and cried out to the Lord.

The Lord, who was wondering when they were going to cry out, sent an angel to talk to an Israelite named Gideon who, at that particular moment, just happened to be threshing some wheat on a wine press. (Gideon was a kind yet confused man.)

Then an angel appeared who might have been the Lord and said:

Angel Who Might Have Also Been The Lord:  The Lord is with you brave and mighty man.

Gideon:  Oh really?  Then why is all this bad stuff happening?

AWMHABTL:  Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re going to need to go rescue Israel from the Medianites.

Gideon:  Who Moi? Have you seen my muscles?

AWMHABTL:  What muscles?

Gideon: I rest my case.

AWMHABTL:  I know this is a little bit off topic, but I’m really starving.  I skipped lunch.

Gideon:  I’ll be right back, stay right here.

Gideon rushed back to his house and cooked a young goat, used a bushel of flour to make bread without any yeast and put some meat in a basket and the broth in a pot and delivered it to the Angel Who Might Have Also Been The Lord:

AWMHABTL:  Thanks.  Now put it over there on that rock and stand back.

Gideon put the food on the rock and the Angel Who Might Have Also Been The Lord reached out and touched it with a stick and  the rock burst into flames.This terrified Gideon. In fact, it would have scared the bejesus out of him had he not been such an old-testament kind of guy.

gideon and the angel

Gideon:  Sovereign Lord! I have seen your angel face-to-face!

The Lord:  Peace.  Don’t be afraid you will not die.

Gideon:  Well thank God for that!

The Lord:  You’re welcome.

That night the Lord handed Gideon his To-Do List:

The Lord’s To-Do List for Gideon:

1) Take your Father’s bull and another bull seven years old

2) Tear down your father’s alter to Baal

3) Cut down the symbol of the goddess Asherah

4) Build a well-constructed altar to Yours Truly on top of this mound

5) Burn second bull as offering using the symbol of Asherah .

6) If you have any questions, cry out between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday

 Then Gideon had a convoluted idea:

Gideon:  Say Lord, in order to find out if you want to use me to save Israel, I was thinking that maybe you could put some wool on the ground where we  thresh the wheat and if in the morning there is only dew on the wool but not on the ground, then I will know that you are going to use me to rescue Israel . . .

The Lord:  Wouldn’t it be easier to just ask me?

Gideon:  I suppose.  But then I was thinking that if there was dew on the wool maybe the next night I could put the wool on the ground and if there was dew everywhere but on the wool, then that would mean that you are indeed going to use me to rescue Israel and–

The Lord:  Wool Schmool!  I’m just going to tell you now, you’re rescuing Israel.

Gideon:  Fine be that way.

Well that’s it for part one of the adventures of Gideon, Dear Readers.  Please come back next week when Gregory tells us how Gideon defeats the Midianites.

Until next time . . . I love you

My Brain Peanuts Remembers: Santa Claus

Welcome Dear Readers to this edition of My Brain, Peanuts, remembers.

Today’s Topic:  Santa Claus

The first memory of Santa I have takes place in 1954, when I was three, and Santa Claus was making a live appearance in the basement of the Presbyterian church.  On the big day, everyone filed down the stairs to the chilly  church basement and eagerly awaited the arrival of The Man in Red. (Back then church-goers didn’t really worry about anyone forgetting that Jesus was the reason for the season because 1) there was plenty of room in church for both Santa and the baby Jesus and 2) nobody had thought of that catchy phrase yet.)

Ice-Cold Church Basement Sunday School Clay

Anyway, we all stood around watching our breaths and breathing in the aroma of Sunday School Clay.  That’s because our church basement always smelled like Sunday school clay. Sunday school clay is different from ordinary clay by virtue of the fact that it is kept in the cold church basement.  So Sunday school clay was always somewhat frozen and by the time you got it warmed up enough to roll it into something as simple as a snake, Sunday school was over.

I never understood why they even bothered with having clay unless it was just something to keep us occupied while the Sunday School teacher was earnestly trying to impart some useful biblical wisdom into our somewhat disengaged little minds.

A Communistic Christmas?

Anyway, we all stood around waiting for Santa and shivering beneath the glare of church basement’s fluorescent lights that cast a Russian-esque-like hue over the scene — probably not unlike the same scene that was transpiring on in the opposite side of our cold-war globe in the basement of the Kremlin while communist children waited for Soviet Santa to make his appearance –i.e. Khrushchev in a fuzzy hat.

Santa Khrushchev

I will bury you! No wait . . . have yourself a very merry Christmas . . . and then I will bury you!

 Anyway, when our Santa Claus finally appeared, he was wearing a rubber Santa Claus mask.  The weird thing is, I was the only one that seemed to notice.

Santa Mask

Mask? What mask?

All the kids ran up to him as he handed out candy.  I thought this was extremely alarming. So I began shouting at the top of my lungs, “Thanta Clauth ith wearing a Mathk!”   (I had a slight lisp at the time.)

But no one seemed to care.  Everyone was on board with this rubber-masked imposter. They were taking candy from him like it was candy.  What was wrong with everyone?  I screamed!  I shouted!  I was a three-year-old Paul Revere trying to warn my fellow pint-sized citizens not be taken in by this Santa Claus Charlton!  But nobody listened.

Not the Real Santa

On the way home, my mother tried to tell me that that wasn’t the real Santa wearing the rubber mask in the church basement.  The real Santa was busy at the north pole making presents, and he couldn’t take the time off to come all the way to our town to hand out candy (Plus it was probably too cold in that church basement even for him!)

I do believe in Santa . . . I do . . . I do . . . I do!

I wanted to believe her story.  I really did.  I looked up at the stars and tried to imagine Santa flying through the air.  I strained to hear the sound of Santa’s sleigh bells.  I neither saw nor heard a thing.  Try as I might, the integrity of the Santa story was beginning to form some big, gaping holes.

The Jack Hubbard Incident

When I was five years old, the subject of Santa came up, and I cruelly broke the news to dear, sweet, innocent, Santa-believing, Jack Hubbard that there was no Santa Claus.  I explained that he was merely a figment of the imagination, a tale told by an idiot, full of thound and fury thignifying nothing.(I still had my lisp).

A traumatized Jack Hubbard ran home, broken-hearted and told his mother what I had said.  Mrs. Hubbard called my mother.

My Mother:  Hello

Mrs. Hubbard:  Jack said Linda told him there was no Santa Claus. Did she tell Jack that?

My Mother:  Oh gosh I don’t know.  Let me ask her (my mother put the phone to her chest).  Linda, did you tell Jack there is no Santa Claus?

Me:  Yes.

My Mother:  Yes apparently she did tell Jack there wasn’t any Santa Claus.

Mrs. Hubbard: Why did she do that?

My Mother:  Oh gosh. Let me ask her.  (My mother put the phone to her chest again) Linda, why did you tell Jack there wasn’t any Santa Claus?

Me:  Because there isn’t any Santa Claus.

My Mother:  Oh.

I don’t remember what my mother said after that, but I do remember that neither my mother nor Mrs. Hubbard were none to happy with me and, frankly, I’ve been feeling guilty about it ever since.

This year my five-year-old grandson asked me if Santa Claus really existed.  I told him that believing in Santa Claus is a personal decision that he would have to make for himself. This seemed to placate him since he didn’t exactly understand what I was saying.

If only I had thought of this answer when I broke the news to Jack Hubbard.

Until next time . . . I love you

 

 

 

Interpreting the Christmas Greetings of Cows

Tis that time of year again, Dear Readers!  Christmas is fast approaching — when we hang up the stockings, put up the tree, and start using the word “tis” for it’s.

It’s Tis also the time of year when one might want to interpret the many Christmas Greetings of cows.  And so without further adieu, let’s take a look at:

Interpreting the Christmas Greetings of Cows

Merry Christmoo!  How cows say, “Merry Christmas!”

Merry Christpoo! How cows say, “We’ve got Christmas gifts!”

Merry Christmeh!  How cows say, “Merry Christmas but we’re Jewish.”

Merry Christba-a-a-a! How cows say, “Merry Christmas! I was born in the wrong body!”

'Merry Christmoo! "
“Merry Christmoo everybody!”

And there you have it, Dear Readers!  Now get out there and wish your favorite cow a Merry Christmas!

* * *

Until next time . . . I love you

Gregory’s Bible Stories: Baby Jesus and the Wise Old Men

Welcome Dear Readers to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories. Today Gregory learned about when three wise old men visited the baby Jesus.

gregoryBaby Jesus and The Three Wise Old Men

“Gosh Mary, I know God wants us to name him Jesus, but I kinda had my heart set on Morty.”

Once upon a time there were three wise old men who lived somewhere (nobody knows where).  Their names might have been Kaneezer, Ferod and Ringo (but nobody knows for sure).  They spent a ton of time studying the stars.  One night while looking up at the stars there was a very strange occurrence.

Kaneezer:  Hey guys!  Come out here!  Lookee what I found!

Ferod:  What? Just tell us. Ringo and I are trying to eat our dinner, Kaneezeer.

Kaneezer:  No you’ve got to come and see this for yourselves, guys.  You won’t believe it!

Ferod:    But our bread will get stale . . . you gonna eat the rest of your pomegranates, Ringo?

Ringo:   Yeah.  You gonna eat the rest of your figs?

Kaneezer:  Listen you guys, first of all, unleavened bread doesn’t get stale and even if it did you’d never know the difference.  Secondly, I just saw a star in the sky that is telling me that “The King has been born” and thirdly,  it’s double parked outside waiting to guide us to Him.

Ringo:  A king’s been born?

Kaneezer:  Not a king THE king!  We’ve got to hurry over there and take Him some presents.

Ferod:  “Presents? But what will we get him?

Ringo:  How about a dreidel?

Kaneezer:   I already took the liberty of getting Him a bag of gold, a bundle of incense and jug of sweet-smelling perfume from all of us.

Ringo:  Those gifts don’t seem very age appropriate, Kaneezer.

Kaneezer:  Hey, I’m a wise old man, what do I know from babies?  Anyway, I also got him a really cute card that you guys need to sign. Now go pack your camels and let’s hit the road.

“Can I hold Him?”
“Uh . . . maybe later.”

Later

Kaneezer:  Wasn’t The King the cutest baby you ever saw when He lay down His Sweet Head?

Ferod:  I know! And even when he didn’t!

Ringo:   And did you notice He didn’t even cry when the cattle started lowing their heads off?

Kaneezer:  I know!  And their barn’s right next to the pasture too.

Ferod:  What a Trooper!

Ringo:  Mary and Joseph told me He’s already sleeping through the night!

Ferod:  Oh good, that means He’s probably not allergic to straw.

Kaneezer:  Hey did you happen to notice all the stars looking down where He lay?

Ringo:  I know!  Before tonight, I didn’t even realize stars could “look”!

Ferod:  And did you get a load of all those angels?

Kaneezer:  I know! I almost wet my pants when they started unfurling their peaceful wings!

Ferod:  But you’re not wearing pants, you’re wearing a robe.

Kaneezer:  Oh yeah my bad.

Ringo:  I really loved it when the herald angels started singing “Hark!”

Ferod:  I know, that’s my new favorite song!

Kaneezer:  Me too!

Ringo:  Me three!

Kaneezer:  Hey lookee guys!  There’s an Inn 6.  Let’s  spend the night there shall we?

Ringo:  Okay, but something tells me there’s not going to be any vacancies.

And there you have it, Dear Readers.  Oh and Gregory would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Until next time . . .I love you

Saul, the Yardstick That Became a Ruler

Welcome Dear Readers to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories. Today Gregory learned about when Saul was anointed as Ruler of Israel.  Let’s listen in as Gregory tells us about the lesson.

gregorySaul, the Yardstick That Became a Ruler

Once there was a wealthy man named Kish who forgot to tie up his donkeys, and they all ran away.  So Kish sent his son Saul to find them. Saul Kished his father goodbye and set out on foot with his servant to the country of Ephraim which in those days was the donkey capital of the world.

Now, in biblical times, Saul was the sexiest man alive.  Not only was he handsome, but he was also a foot taller than everyone else in Israel.  Some biblical scholars believe his height was approximately two yardsticks tall, while other biblical scholars believe he was probably only six feet tall, while still other biblical scholars believe he was just wearing lifts. (Whatever it was, from Saul’s elevated vantage point, all he saw when he looked around was a sea of crooked yarmulkes.)

When Saul and his servant arrived at Zuph, they’d had enough of looking for donkeys.

Saul:  Let’s go back home or my father might stop worrying about donkeys and start worrying about us.

Servant:  Ha ha!  You actually made a little bit of a joke, Saul.

Saul:  What’s a joke?

Servant:  You know, it’s humor.

Saul:  You mean like body fluid humor such as blood, lymph or bile?

Servant:  No, I mean like humorous humor as in funny.  You’re a funny guy.

Saul:  Funny like I’m a clown?  Like I make you laugh? Like I’m here to amuse you?  How am I funny?  Funny how?

Servant:  No! Saul!  I guess what I meant was humor as in bile humor.  I always get those two mixed up!  Sorry Saul.

Saul:  Forget about it!  Now get over here and let me straighten up your yarmulke!

Servant:  Hey I just remembered something!

Saul:  I hope it doesn’t have anything to do with humor.

Servant:  No, there’s a seer in this town. If we give him a nickel, he can tell us where the donkeys are.

Saul:  I don’t want to give him a nickel.

Servant:  No I meant if I give him a nickel.

Saul:   Well what are we waiting for?  Let’s go!

As Saul and his servant were going up the hill to the town, they met some girls who were coming out to draw water:

Saul:  Excuse me.   Do you girls know if there’s a seer in town?

Girl #1:  A Sears?  No.  Our town’s pretty small.  We don’t even have a Walmart.

Saul:  Am I to understand that you mean you don’t have a wall around which your town is surrounded whereupon a mart lies within?

Girl: #1:  I guess.

Just then Saul and his servant ran into Samuel who was very important person in Israel, not quite a king, but way more than a mayor.  Samuel was the seer that Saul’s Servant said Saul would see (with or without six seashells by the seashore).

"Are you the seer?" "Yes, I'm the seer." "Well I'm just asking because your eyes are closed." "Yeah well at least I have eyes."

“Are you the seer?”
“Yes, I’m the seer.”
“Well I’m just asking because your eyes are closed.”
“Yeah well at least I have eyes.”

The day before God had told him Samuel that Saul would be coming and that Samuel was to anoint Saul as the ruler of Israel. So Samuel invited Saul to a big feast in which Saul was served the best piece of meat available at that time, a leg. (This was way before animals had breasts).

When the feast was over Samuel fixed up a nice place for Saul to sleep in his guest bedroom that also doubled as his roof.  The next morning Samuel took a jar of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head.  “The Lord anoints you as ruler of his people of Israel,”  Samuel said, and then he gave Saul a great big ol’ Kish.

Not only am I anointing you the ruler of Israel, Saul, but this will do wonders for your dandruff.”

 And there you  have it, Dear Readers, what Gregory learned in Sunday School this morning.  Please come back next week at this same to find out what Gregory learns next.

Until next time . . . I love you

My Mighty Steed’s a Centipede

Oh roll of thunder hear my cry

I just got a dirt clod in my eye

A hundred feet they beat asunder

Atop my centipede of wonder

 

Never do I turn my head

For falling off’s my biggest dread.

Not that I’d have far to fall

For a centipede’s not tall at all

 

But his feet, my dear, are a hundred numbered

Yet he never finds himself encumbered

He ties his shoes so they don’t come loose

With a slip-knot, square-knot,  half-hitch noose

 

Centipede

Until next time  . . . I love you

 

 

 

Ten Ways to Tell if You’re Overdoing Thanksgiving

Hello Dear Readers!  I love Thanksgiving!  It’s one of my favorite holidays.  Every year I cook for my family and every year I look forward to it with great pleasure.  Maybe a little too much pleasure.  That’s why I’ve come up with this list of warning signs on how to tell if you are going to overdo Thanksgiving.

How to Tell if You’re Going to Overdo Thanksgiving
Woman looking pensive with leaves on her head

You’ve replaced the phrase “I love you” with the phrase “Olive you”.

You just got back from Potato Mashing Immersion Camp.

You’ve instructed your surgeon to break ground on that new stomach addition.

Architect looking at plans

“So the way I see it, we can knock out a wall between the belly and the button, and we should have room for an entire bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy.

In preparation for the big feast, you’ve managed to diet down to a size bite.

Even if you were to carry out pi to a million decimals, all forms of pi will be polished off by Friday.

“Of course I didn’t eat all the pumpkin pie! I ‘m an apple guy.”

You’ve taken to sleeping on a pillow of mini marshmallows.

Thanks to you and your voluminous Yam Stockpile the earth will be taking 6 days longer to orbit the sun.

Earth orbiting sun

“Gosh this week is really dragging by. What day is it?”
“Yamsday.”
“Still?”

You made an appointment with your dentist to get your teeth sharpened.

Your new gravy boat sleeps six.

“Move over!”
“No you!”

Your husband, Tom, is slightly worried about you because his name is Bill.

You’ve been preheating your oven since the 4th of July.

You refuse to read, watch or listen to  anything that isn’t about Jello.

“Honey! Come quick! Look!  There’s Bigfoot!”
“Is he in the form of a Jello mold?”
“No.”
“Is he carrying Jello?”
“No.”
“Then I’m not going to look.”

And the most obvious way to tell if you’re going to overdo Thanksgiving:

Your appendix has been officially called back into active duty for the stomach reserves.

“Ten Hut!”

 

Until next time . . . Olive you

My Brain, Peanuts, Remembers: Television

Hello Dear Readers!  Welcome to this edition of My Brain, Peanuts, Remembers.

Today’s Topic:  Television

Back in the 50’s, before there was nothing  good to watch on hundreds of satellite and cable TV channels,  we had to make do with nothing good to watch on only three measly little channels, ABC, NBC and CBS.

Ah the Simple Days!

Watching TV in the 50’s couldn’t have been simpler.  First of all, there was no remote to bother with.  We never had to spend upwards of a half hour rummaging around the Naugahyde davenport cushions trying to find the remote control.

Instead, my brothers and I would spend upwards of a half hour arguing over who should change the channel because they were the closest one to the television set.

I have one vivid memory of me and my little brother, Ricky, and my older brother, Peter, plastering ourselves against the back wall of our living room, each trying to make ourselves farthest away from the TV.  I can’t even imagine how many episodes of Ruff and Ready were wasted in this way.

Changing Channels

Changing the channel in those days was pretty simple.  You simply walked over to the TV and turned the dial until it would clunkily kachunk onto either 2 (ABC), 4 (CBS) or 6 (NBC).  The dial had way more numbers on it than 2, 4 and 6.  (It might have gone up to 11 now that I think about it.)

Obviously, TV manufacturers were the visionaries of the 1950’s. They kept their eyes focused on a day in the not too distant future when there might actually be more than snow to watch on all those other channels.

50's television snow

They saw the future and it didn’t look anything like this, thank god!

But in the 50’s, because there wasn’t that much on TV and because we were all so giddy about television viewing, we were all pretty much okay with watching snow.

My grandmother, who lived way out in the country and had no cable connection or antenna reception, claimed she got channel 13.  She’d proudly turn on her TV set and turn the dial to channel 13.  There  would be nothing but snow on the screen. But if you listened closely enough, you could occasionally make out the sound of voices although it was impossible to figure out what they were saying.

I remember visiting my grandmother and sitting in front of her TV set watching the snow and listening to the random voices.  Her TV set was pretty fancy.  It was in a blond wooden cabinet that had shuttered doors.  I’d sit in front of it, watching the snow and listening for voices while my grandmother would watch from her new white Naugahyde couch while she crocheted colorful afghans (the blankets not the people). My grandmother was totally on board with mid-century decor.

The Thrill of Saturday Morning Cartoons

My brothers and I would get up at the crack of dawn on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons.  But if we were too early, we would turn on the TV and watch the snow because all the stations quit broadcasting at midnight and didn’t resume broadcasting until about 7 a.m. in the morning.

So every night at midnight, all three stations would broadcast a recording of The Star Spangled Banner and then sign off.  Everybody was a lot more patriotic in those days.

Maybe because there was a cold war going on, and you never knew if tonight would be the night that Nikita Khrushchev would get tanked up on vodka and accidentally pass out on the atomic bomb button that was aimed directly at your hometown.

It’s little wonder that TV programmers figured it was probably a good idea to send everybody off to bed with a good dose of patriotism.

Anyway, on Saturday morning, my brothers and I would watch the snow until the thrill of the test pattern came on:

IndianHeadTestPattern16x9 (1)

Not only is this impressive, did you know one of the colors is magenta?

Once the test pattern came on things really got exciting.  It meant we were almost to the beginning of actual television broadcasting and one minute closer to watching the cartoon adventures of Ruff and Ready!

The test pattern was accompanied by a long tone like you would hear during an emergency broadcast warning.  Then an announcer would come on and explain what the colors of the test pattern were.  One of the colors was magenta. Every week my brothers and I wondered what color magenta was.

MagentaIcon

Okay just googled magenta,. and even google isn’t sure what color magenta is.

Sometimes while we were waiting for the cartoons to start, my brothers would scrape the frost off the freezer box in the refrigerator and eat it like a snow cone. I never cared much for the frost on the pre-defrost-free refrigerator freezers.  I always felt it had a funny aftertaste. But my brothers seemed to enjoy it.

freezer frost

Peter and Ricky viewed this freezer frost as the snow cone half full.

Ah yes!  TV in the 50’s.  I often ask myself if there’s anything today that compares to that long-ago  thrill of hearing the theme song to Ruff and Ready while eating freezer snow cones . . . and the answer, Dear Readers, is yes . . . practically everything!

 

Until next time . . . I love you

Gregory’s Bible Stories: Naaman’s Seven Baths

Welcome Dear Readers to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories. Today Gregory learned about a commander of the army of Syria, Naaman, who was having a little trouble with his skin.  Let’s listen in, shall we?

gregoryNaaman’s Seven Baths

One biblical day about a fifth of the way through the bible, there lived in the holy land, a man named Naaman. As the commander of the Syrian army and as a close friend of the king of Syria, Naaman had it made in the shade or would have, anyway, had there been any trees.

But there was one tiny detail that tortured Naaman day and night.  You see Naaman suffered from a horrible case of biblical dry skin , a dreaded old-testament skin condition for which there was no cure.  (This was way before hand lotion was invented.)

Naaman’s dry skin condition took its toll on his life both at home and at work. Even the simplest tasks would cause him to look down at his scaly arms and legs in despair.  Whether he was relaxing at home in his hobby room organizing his slaves by height and weightor whether he was at work slicing off heads or impaling enemies, Naaman was finding it more and more difficult to enjoy the little things in life.

Then one day Naaman brought home a cute little stray Israelite slave girl for his wife who was really into taking in stray slaves.  In fact, she was known around the neighborhood as the Crazy Slave Lady.

Anyway, one day the little slave girl told Naaman’s wife that she knew of a prophet who might be able to help Naaman with his dry skin:

Naaman’s Wife:  Norman!  Good news.  I just found out that a prophet named Elisha can cure your dry skin!

Naaman:  Honey!  My name’s not Norman, it’s Naamon!

Naaman’s Wife:  It is?

So Naaman immediately went to the king of Syria and told him the news.

Naaman:  Yeah, so I just found out that there’s a prophet in Samaria who can help me with my problem.

King of Syria:  What problem is that, Norman?  Your two left feet?

Naaman:  No not that problem.

King:  Oh you mean the problem of that strange odor that is always emanating  from your personage?   Or are you referring  your propensity to whistle off-key?

Naaman:  No, I’m talking about my dry skin problem!

King:   Gross!

Naaman:  Yeah well, all I need now is a letter from you introducing me to the king of Israel along with ten thousand pieces of gold and ten changes of fine clothes and I think we can pretty much kiss my dry skin problem goodbye.

Later that day in Israel:

Naaman:   Hello King of Israel! Here’s a letter from the King of Syria introducing me, Naaman, to you.  How do you do?

King of Israel:  Hi Norman.

Naaman:  It’s  Naaman.

King of Israel:  The letter says, Norman.

Naaman:  Whatever.  Can you cure my dry skin or not?

King of Israel: Hm. . . I’m not sure.   Listen why don’t you have a seat over there in dry skin waiting area, Norman, while I consult with my wise men on this matter of great importance. Oh and help yourself to the figs, Norm.  You don’t mind if I call you Norm, do you?

Naaman:  Sure go right ahead you stupid . . .

King of Israel:  Sorry Norm, I didn’t catch that.

Naaman:  Good figs!

The King began pondering what to do by wailing, moaning and tearing at his clothes as is the standard biblical procedure for making decisions, and finally decided to do what he always did when dealing with people with dry skin issues — send them to the prophet Elisha’s house.

When Naaman arrived, Elisha sent out his servant to deliver his usual dry skin advice:

Naaman:  Hi, I’m Naaman.  I’m here to get my dry skin cured by Elisha?

Elisha’s Servant, Gehazi:  Oh yeah, he’s been expecting you Norman.   He told me to tell you to take seven baths in the Jordan River.

Naaman:  Seven whats?

At this exact moment all of  Naaman’s servants took the opportunity to explain to Naaman not only what a bath was– but also, what it meant to brush one’s teeth (or tooth in Naaman’s case).

When Naaman was finished scrubbing up, his dry skin was completely gone!  So Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, talked Naaman into giving Elisha six thousand pieces of silver and two changes of fine clothes for the bathing suggestion — which made Elisha mad because he never charged for personal hygiene advice as he felt the fresh air it created was reward enough.

But because Gehazi took money for Elisha’s advice, Elisha punished Gahazi by giving him dry skin which Gehazi was later able to cure by cutting strips of the fine clothing he received, soaking them in ointment and wrapping them around his arms and legs — a cure for dry skin which is known today as the Gehazi Strip.

And there you have it Dear Readers, what Gregory learned in Sunday School today.  Please check back next week to find out what he will learn next.

Until next time . . . I love you

Naaman and the seven baths

A Visit From the Toaster Reviewer Gal!

Welcome Dear Readers!  Today the Toaster Reviewer Gal was kind enough to drop by the blog and leave a copy of the cover letter she wrote for a Toaster Reviewer job she is hoping to get.  Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Position Applied for:  Toaster Reviewer 

Dear Hiring Manager:

Your posting on LinkedIn for a Professional Toaster Reviewer recently caught my eyes, perked up my ears and blew my nose (jk).   I think you will find that I am an exceptional candidate for the position of Toaster Reviewer.

While I have been temporarily out of work for the last three years (don’t ask), I have still managed to stay on top of my game in the field of toaster reviewing.

You see, I currently own and operate a Hamilton Beach SmartToast Extra-Wide Slot 2 Slice Toaster with Tongs, upon which I keep my Toaster  Reviewing skills as sharp as a butter knife by making toast each morning and recording all my thoughts and feelings about my toasting adventures in my journal entitled,  “Scraping to Desired Lightness” (which is currently making the rounds at various publishing houses on the island of Guam, btw).

As an accomplished Toaster Reviewer, many of my reviews can be found on many high-level consumer review toaster websites such as:

Google Toast (www.googletoast.com)

So You’re Going to Have a Piece of Toast (www.soyou’regoingtohaveapieceoftoast.com)

Unplug the Smoke Detectors Kids!, Mommy’s Makin’ Toast! (www.goop.com).

But my accomplishments do not end there.  I also offer exceptional attention to detail and come to the position with my private list of some of the most powerful toaster-review adjectives in the Toaster-Reviewing industry today–which I have gleaned over the course of my career as an international Professional Toaster Reviewer Career Gal!

As a Professional Toaster Reviewer Career Gal, I have written these e-books, which are, unfortunately, only available on Amazon Guam, but still!

Toaster Book one

 

Toaster Gal Book two

Toaster book 3

My accomplishments and qualifications are further detailed in my hard copy resume which is on it’s way to you via the Guam postal service.  Please disregard the burned edges, frankly the Hamilton Beach SmartToast Extra-Wide Slot 2 Slice Toaster with Tongs, still has some bugs that need working out in my professional opinion as a Professional Toaster Reviewer Gal (see above).

In closing, I am as thrilled about being a part of your Professional Toaster Reviewer team as you must be at receiving this cover letter from me.  (That’s  a Haiku, btw!)

Please contact me at my earliest convenience, and I look forward to our mutual admiration.

Sincerely,

Everybody’s Favorite Toaster Reviewer Gal!

And there you have it, Dear Readers, and I don’t know about you but I think she’s got a pretty good chance. Especially if there’s an opening in Guam!

Until next time  . . . I love you

 

 

Slightly Creepy Seventies: Family Rooms

Welcome Dear Readers!  Gosh it’s been a long time since last we clapped eyes on the home decor horrors that only the Slightly Creepy Seventies can provide. That’s why I was delighted to run across this family room decorating book from 1977 and just in time for Halloween!

Now here’s a family room that practically screams fun!

 1977 Better Homes and Gardens Family Room Projects you can build

Whenever the family entered this Slightly Creepy Seventies family room, and once they had regained their balance, Mom and Dad got right down to the task of puffing Benson & Hedges cigarettes one after another in order to fill up their family-sized ashtray guaranteed to hold enough stubbed-out cigarettes to give the entire clan COPD in a single evening.  But not to worry, everybody was already hyperventilating from the decor anyway, so hey!  At least they were breathing! (Sort of . . .)

If this doesn’t make you want to hum the theme from Jaws, nothing will.

Seventies killer pillows

And why are there no people in this Slightly Creepy Seventies family room, you ask?

Ha ha!  Because they are all hiding in the “modular storage center that fits almost anywhere” or anyone.   And thank goodness for that!  How else would they be able to hide themselves from the giant killer macramé pillow that is obviously taking orders from the Slightly-Creepy Seventies Peacock Feather Vase Goddess?

I’ll bet the whole family is thanking their lucky stars right now that daddy scarfed down his cocaine-sprinkled oatmeal this morning or he would have never had the wherewithal to come up with the idea for this clever dual storage/hiding-from-murdering-pillow decorating idea.  But uh oh!  Look out Little Joshie!  You left he door open!

There’s organization and then there’s organization Slight-Creepy Seventies Style!

Family room with phone in front of tv

The genius that designed this Slightly Creepy Seventies entertainment center thought of everything right down to the board games that family members can play while Mom is yakking on the phone for hours blocking everybody’s view of their Slightly Creepy Seventies state of the art 12-inch Zenith television set — so much so that nobody in this poor, Slightly Creepy Seventies’ family ever found out whether or not Mary Tyler Moore did indeed make it after all. (They did get to see a cool explosion on Rockford Files though . . . well, not exactly — but the way Mom described it, it sounded cool!)

 And of course no Slightly Creepy Seventies family room is complete without a plant phone booth (if Mom will ever get off the phone and let the plants use it, that is).

a phone booth for plants slightly creepy seventies

What better way for a family to pass through the tedious decade of the Slightly Creepy Seventies at a snail’s pace than to actually pull up a chair and literally watch snails’ pace?  Answer?  No better way!

Well, that is if you don’t count Mom describing to everyone how exciting it was when Jim Rockford got in that high-speed car chase and ran over Mary Tyler Moore and made her hat fly up in the air.  At least, Mom’s pretty sure that’s what happened — but then again she was talking on the phone at the time —  and in the Slightly Creepy Seventies, multi-tasking hadn’t even been invented yet.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, a little Halloween Horror in the form of the Slightly Creepy Seventies, now go have a fun Halloween and try to forget the horror you saw here.

Until next time . . . I love you

 

 

 

 

Mini-Ranting: Today’s Topic: Extroverts

Some of the smartest people I’ve ever known were extroverts in the extreme

Who considered me one of their best friends — but hardly knew the sound of my voice

Who never seemed to notice if I got my hair cut or wore a new dress

Who careened through their days at lightning speed

Who laughed with a million friends

Who blurted out every thought they ever had

Whose activities were big and noisy; then gone and forgotten

Who said what they thought and never looked back

Who only seemed to notice the fireworks and never the fire

But then out of the blue they would utter

The wisest and deepest of truths

And I’d be blown away

Then they’d be off again, whizzing through the crowded traffic of their busy lives

Gregory’s Bible Stories: Hey Where’d You Come From?

Welcome Dear Readers to this week’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories. Today Gregory learned about what happened after Cain killed his brother and God forced him to run away from home. Let’s listen in, shall we?

Gregory's Bible StoriesCain Takes a Wife or Hey! Where’d You Come From?

After God kicked Cain out of Eden territory, Cain wandered around until he came to the land of Nod, known for it’s quiet motels.

After that Cain got married.  It was a pretty small wedding ceremony as Cain’s parents didn’t go because they were still mad at him for killing Abel and thought it was super unfair that if anybody killed Cain seven people would have to be killed –especially since, at that point, there were only three people on earth. (This was way before God created the calculator.)

Anyway,  if the bible knows where Cain’s wife came from it isn’t telling, but nevertheless, Cain and his wife soon had a bouncing baby boy, and they named the poor little thing Enoch.

Right away Cain started remodeling his tent, adding on a nursery and whatnot until next thing you know, Cain had added on an entire city which he also named Enoch which sometimes got confusing for them.

Mrs. Cain:  Honey have you seen Enoch?

Cain:  Have I seen it?  I built it!

Mrs. Cain:  No I mean Enoch, the baby.

Cain:  We have a baby?

Mrs. Cain:  Cain!!!

Cain: Ha ha just kidding, honey.

Mrs. Cain:  Well don’t be so cavalier.  He’s a pretty important little baby because as it stands right now there’s your mom and dad and you and me and the baby representing the entire human race.

Cain:  And we’re not even sure about you.

Mrs. Cain: Cain!!

Cain:  Ha ha just kidding, honey.

After that, Cain and his wife settled into a very quiet life in the land of Nod.  One day, Enoch got married.  (Apparently God had whipped up another batch of women while the bible wasn’t looking.)

For the next several generations, all anybody ever did was have kids and see who could come up with the most difficult names to pronounce, the uglier the better. There was Mehujael and Methushael and Lamech, and there was also a guy named Jubal who named his daughter a name not even liked by God, Zillah.

Soon the place was buzzing with people living in tents, tending livestock, learning to play harps and flutes and making all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron.  It was so noisy no one could hear anybody else calling their name — which was one of God’s biggest blessings thus far.

Right about this time Adam and Eve decided to have a third child whom they named Seth. (Adam and Eve had much better taste in names.) Seth which loosely translated means:  one who has many horribly named aunts and uncles, lived to be 807 years old, and spent most of that time addressing Christmas card envelopes.

But of all Cain’s descendants, it was Methuselah who really took the cake, living to be 969 years old, and tragically dying of birthday cake overdose.

Methusela's timely demise

Methuselah’s sad ending

Well there you have it, Dear Readers, what Gregory learned today in Sunday School today. Please check back next week for more of Gregory’s bible stories.

Until next time . . . I love you