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

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