Controversies big and small aside, Phineas Taylor Barnum was quite an interesting guy on a few fronts. “This way to the egress” made me laugh as a well-read kid in grade school who got that little joke and I think that I imagined an egress being some sort of catlike creature one could never quite get a good look at, but everyone would have a description of if asked. You know how that business tends to go, right? Someone asks if you saw the thing and without fail, a person will offer up a thin description that another person will agree with and add to until you have something that might look like a cat (maybe, sort of). No one can agree on the actual size, but sure, it looks like a cat.

Barnum was quite the con man with many successes and failures and even more awful when it came to animal care, but he sure could pack in the crowds for better or worse. The whole egress stuff came about when the folks who came to see his exhibits were sticking around a wee bit too long and he wanted to free up space fast. Granted, it’s entirely possible that a few smarter attendees to his museum knew what an egress was and maybe didn’t fall for the ruse. But I’d like to think that given the rather non-clever state of today’s rubes, people back then were about as smart as they are now. But today, they own assorted computing devices that actually make them less smart because they take too much information they see online as some sort of fact and don’t even consider filtering out the more bizarre things they read.

On another note, I was in the supermarket last week and picking up a box of unsalted tops, I spied a familiar, smaller row of red boxes on a higher shelf. Yes, there were a bunch of Barnum’s Animals staring back at me, now free-roaming without the familiar cage bars. I’ll note that I didn’t like the new artwork, but saw the need for the change. Growing up so long ago, circuses and zoos were part of the childhood routine. But the last time I was at a circus, there were no animals in that big top, and as for zoos, the one up here in the Bronx has gotten a few new attendance rules since the pandemic started. By the way, while I liked those animal crackers as a kid, my preference changed to the Stauffer brand a bit later. That hint of mace and nutmeg did it for me. if you must know.


On Storytelling: 30 Seconds or Bust

So, yep, I’ve been a bit unwell these past few days, but things are looking up. Or rather, I’m looking up at the ceiling earlier this morning and remembering “Oh yeah, I have a lot of writing to do!” as assorted creaks and groans emanate from under the covers. If one’s body is supposed to be a temple, mine is the heart-wrenching (ow) Temple of Doom, minus the fun but deadly mine cart stage. Oh, it used to be there and a hell of a ride it was (a regular E Ticket experience, whee!). But you know how things fall apart over time? Well, that part dropped into the lava about ten days ago and along with all the King’s horses and most of his men. It’s so NOT good to be the King when this sort of thing happens, but we push on. When the going get tough, the tough… kinda go back to bed for a wee bit.

Anyway, as a quick writing exercise as well as a tick towards some much needed humor, I’ve decided to practice on an unwilling audience this form of torture that I hope you appreciate (whipcrack!). Well, it’s not as bad as it sounds (hopefully).

(Thanks, James Bond 007!)

Now, pay attention.

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Humor: Did You Know Fig Matches Quite Well With Ham?

(thanks, robatsea2009!)

OK, so I’m having a suddenly NON-productive day thanks to a big fat Firefox crash that happened after a big fat Windows crash that ended up having Firefox lose my profile and every setting as it was attempting to restore them (Yaaaaaah!). It seems that the only solution other than trying to rebuild the .ini file (which is a VERY bad idea if you don’t know how to) was to delete the profile from the Firefox program folder which forces Firefox to make a new one. Problem One SOLVED, but this brings Problem Two to the forefront. New profile equals new passwords for EVERYTHING if you didn’t remember the old ones and have them handy. Blaaaaaaah. I need a cookie or a big laugh or something and thankfully, Big Fig is there with both. Watch this at least twice – once for the reaction shots from the mom and the other for BF doing that thing he does so well. OK, I’m off to dig up or recreate a ton of passwords now (Blaaaaaaah). Thank goodness that kid didn’t ask for Kool-Aid and cookies, is all I’ll say – that would have been s fight (and ad) for the ages, folks.

Humor: My Potential Halloween Costume Options (If I Were To Venture Outside That Day)…

I don’t go out on Halloween anymore because I’m old, slow, cranky in crowds and shouldn’t eat so much candy. All that and it’s just not safe in this city under certain circumstances. I used to pop out in costume and attend all sorts of activities up until the late 80’s/early 90’s so all those memories (fading or not) suit me fine. That said, thanks to a recent wave of nostalgia hitting me over the head, I’ve decided to at least go to the trouble of picking out potential costume ideas if I was going to hit the Halloween party circuit this year. Both choices are from ancient TV ads I saw too many times growing up and yeah, both outfits are bizarre in their own ways for a number of reasons. Anyway, the first one is cool because I actually never liked Fig Newtons all that much until I saw this ad. Later on, I could blame D.H. Lawrence for making me confused about figs, but that’s another story for another time, *ahem*…

(thanks, BICUSAWriting!)

As for that other costume, hey – who doesn’t like bananas that can draw cartoons? Well, I know a few folks who despise them (well, just the bananas part) and I used to hate them myself for a while. But they’re LOADED with potassium and other good stuff and I need that good stuff to keep breathing. I was thinking of a few other costume options, but I don’t even think anyone would even get a huge box of Calgon strolling down the street other than a few old ladies who’d chase me down and ask for free samples. Or I’d be chased down the street by actual Asians calling me a racist for my stupid cardboard and paint outfit. Who knew nostalgia could be so dangerous to one’s health?

Hmmm… maybe I’ll stay home after all and just watch spooky flicks on TCM all day. Yeah, that’s the ticket…

Humor: Watermelon Oreos: Only ONE Man Can Properly “Review” These…

(clip from opieradio

Yuk_CookiesIt just hit me once more (ha ha) as I still have that slimy frosting taste in my mouth that Nabisco, like too many other American food companies, have lost their collective minds over getting as much money from you as possible and giving you nothing in return but a bellyful of pain. We’re getting fat, lazy and sick from these guilty “pleasures” designed to act like narcotics once ingested as they slap and tickle the same pleasure centers and lead to addiction much in the same way any drug made to do so does all to well.

Of course, most folks will deny this as they have that 3am craving and boogie to the kitchen for their much more legal fix, but it’s the same “I can stop if I want to!” deal you hear from any addict when it comes to getting out of the fatty/sugary/salty hole you’ve fallen into. Anyway, buy these at your leisure (and/or peril) along with the other horrid “limited edition” Oreos while you can. I’ll be putting in a call to Gallagher and hoping he can clone himself. There are a LOT of Target stores to hit…