Thursday, January 29, 2009

Odds and Ends

Dr. Missy's Almanac

1/31: Send a Fan Letter to Bob Keeshan Day in Gnaw Bone, IN
2/3: Remember that Bob Keeshan Is No Longer with Us Day in Gnaw Bone, IN

2/7: Feel Bad About the Bob Keeshan Thing Day in Gnaw Bone, IN
2/12: Set Fire to a Pumpkin Festival in St. Louis, MO
2/14: National Salad Fork Day in New York City

I Didn't Make this Up

Here is a picture from an ad I received yesterday, which has not been altered in any way. I find it disturbing. Perhaps the economy is worse than I thought. Also, I don't want to think about what that orange stuff in the bowl might be.

Arcola Strikes Again!

The National Toy Hall of Fame features such well-known playthings as Legos, Hot Wheels, Tinkertoys, Tonka Trucks, and the Hula Hoop. No surprise there. In 2002, the Raggedy Ann doll joined the inductees, followed in 2007 by Raggedy Andy. These dolls were created by Johnny Gruelle of Arcola, Illinois.

The 2008 inductees included the baby doll, the skateboard and a stick. Yes, a stick. A plain old stick from a sycamore tree, to be precise. This choice received a great deal of media attention but what I find interesting is that the owner of said stick is one Julian Harshbarger of that hotbed of toy design, Arcola, Illinois.

By the way, Mr. Potato Head and Crayola crayons failed to make the cut this year. Apparently they weren't invented in Arcola.

Barack Obama: Senator, President...Lawn Ranger

Here is a picture of Barack Obama brandishing a toilet plunger.

To be honest, Mr. Obama was not president when this picture was taken. He was campaigning for the U.S. Senate in 2003 when he happened to run into an interesting bunch called the Lawn Rangers. (Official motto: You're only young once... but you can always be immature.)

The Lawn Rangers are a group of men who describe themselves as a "precision lawn mower drill team." They count among their membership such famous authors as Dave Barry. Okay, Barry is the only famous author in the group but who's counting? Barry describes the Lawn Rangers thusly: "We are an extremely random group of middle-age guys who carry brooms and push specially decorated show lawn mowers, which we use to perform synchronized broom-and-lawn mower maneuvers that always get a big crowd reaction (usually: 'Huh?')."

So far, the Rangers have marched in over 200 parades, including those for the Holiday Bowl, the Indianapolis 500, the Fiesta Bowl, and the Broomcorn Festival to name but a few. During these parades, the Rangers often carry batons, or as most of us call them, toilet plungers, which is how Obama came to be photographed holding one.

When Obama won the presidency, the head Ranger, Pat Monahan, remembered that 2003 picture. Overcome with patriotic fever, he decided it would be a good idea for the Rangers to march in the inauguration parade.

For reasons no one understands, the parade organizers agreed. And so the Rangers, clad in red graduation gowns and cowboy hats, thrilled (confused) Washington with an exhibition of their lawn mower pushing skill. According to Barry, five Ranger women dressed as Abraham Lincoln (with beards) were also on hand, carrying a banner announcing the Rangers' world-famous status.

As you probably know, the Lawn Rangers are based in Arcola, Illinois. Must be something in the water.

See the Rangers in action in this ABC News clip:

Email of the Day

Dear Dr. Missy, My agent thinks we should hire a freelance editor. Problem is, an editor will cost anywhere from .015 cents a word to .03 cents a word, which can get pretty expensive. I figure a full manuscript would cost about $2,000. Is this a good idea?

Lost Linda (My real name is Bev but don't tell anyone)

Dear Lost,

My agent, Eddie "Carwash" LaRue paid a freelance editor to read one of my stories. He blew the money buying rude pictures of Angela Lansbury on eBay and skipped town.

The next editor was better but not much. He actually read my stuff but when he finished, he threw himself out of the nearest window, screaming "I can't live in a world where people who write like this exist!" or words to that effect.

Thing is, the fall wouldn't have killed him, as it was a first floor window, but he landed in the middle of Chinese throwing star competition and died of massive blood loss plus his head came off. Needless to say, he didn't do us much good.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Missy

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Dr. Missy's Almanac

1/16: Rearrange Your Dirt Day in Westmoreland, TN

1/21: Be Mean to Mr. Claude Templar for No Good Reason Day in Parkland, OR

1/25: Valentine's Day in Canadia

1/28: Order the Clam Special at Howard Johnson's and Refuse to Eat It Day in Houston, TX

1/30: Wear Your Shoes Backward Festival in Kansas City, MO

How to procrastinate

It's a whole new year! Woo hoo! Yay!

Everyone is busy making resolutions to make this the bestest and brightest year ever! In fact, people on the CW list are being forced (possibly at gunpoint, possibly by blackmail) to come up with their "one word" for 2009, that single clump of letters they will use to steel themselves for the challenges of the next twelvemonth period. These words include: hope, contract, dedication, confidence, pus, finish, and kretch.

As the purpose of this blog is to be as dysfunctional as possible, my word shall be... PROCRASTINATE! Ha ha!

Here are ten activities I will use to successfully procrastinate throughout 2009:

1. Tweezing the middle out of my unibrow
2. Singing the Madagascarian national anthem (it rocks!)
3. Playing my extensive collection of Cowsills records backward to find secret messages
4. Spying on my neighbor, Mr. Bushida, via one of the cameras I secretly installed in his home
4. Playing Wimpy Bells over and over at
5. Writing hysterical letters to Dotti Enderle claiming that her books have caused my soul to be taken over by Randolph Mantooth
6. Counting how many staples are left in the staple gun
7. Bandaging wounds caused by checking how many staples are left in the staple gun
8. Staring at interesting bits of metal discovered in the driveway
9. Seeing how many different words I can make out of "SCBWI"
10. Arranging my tubes of foot lotion in alphabetical order

What happened to this blog?

Okay, it's been a long time since I updated this blog. I could say that sinister forces were at work trying to corner the world's supply of Corn Nuts and only I could stop them. I could say I had been kidnapped by a cult dedicated to the overthrow of the Jonas Brothers, whoever they are.

Or I could say I've been busy managing my real estate empire, which consisted of a couple of apartment buildings my mother left me. After a month, I decided to rename the apartments Mom's Revenge because being a landlord is a crummy job. People called up constantly wanting things! My bathroom faucet doesn't work. I lost my keys. My apartment needs to be repainted. I think I saw a mouse last night. There's a vampire hiding under the kitchen sink. On and on and on, except when it was time to pay the rent, and then half of them became very quiet and were never home when I came around to collect. Then I had to toddle off to court in a vain attempt to get the non-payers to cough it up.

Eventually I found someone to buy the apartments. I didn't quite get the price I wanted but my life suddenly became less complicated and now I have enough money to buy a trebuchet capable of hurling a grand piano at least 500 yards. (Never mind why I need one--I just do.)

Email of the day

Dear Dr. Missy,

I'm writing a story and I want to include this line: "The sun shone bright." But then I got to thinking, maybe it should be "The sun shined bright." Or the "The sun shone brightly."
Now I'm horribly confused and don't know what to do. My writing has come to a standstill and I now spend most of my time wandering the back yard muttering to myself. I'm afraid the neighbors will think I'm crazy. Please help me finish my book!

Perplexed in Vegas

Dear Perplexed,

One thing is for sure. You will never get a book published if you continue to write like a hack. If you were an author with any real talent, you would have written this: "The sun blazed in the sky like some massive sun-like object, a roaring furnace of fantastic heat that, if you were to touch it, would hurt like the dickens and probably cause a blister. And while the sun shined brightly overhead, the mother died and her kid acted up and got all full of angst. A bunch of other people died too, horrible lingering deaths with a lot of pus and bile and stuff. In the end, though, hard lessons were learned, lessons that would carry them through the tough times when robots ruled the world and everyone was forced to eat asparagus."
That, my friend, is the stuff that wins Newbery Awards. Get with it!

Dr. Missy

Do you have a question for Dr. Missy? If so, write in care of this blog and it might get answered, depending on how busy I am with the new trebuchet and any legal problems that result.