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WEDNESDAY READER | APRIL 12

Hello Hello everyone –

Wednesday – Hump day – 1/2 way thru the work week day has arrived!

The weather here is fantastic.  Just I*D*E*A*L.  I wish it could stay forever.

I think that’s Carmel, California that gets to boast that kind of ideal temp for the majority of the year.  Not Texas.  Ha

Presenting Wednesday Reader.  Enjoy the read and thanks for dropping by.  Appreciate one and all.  See ya Friday.

POP Quiz

POP QUIZ

  1.   WHO WAS AN ORIGINAL MEMBER OF THE VOLUNTEER BELL-RINGERS GUILD AT BOSTON’S OLD NORTH CHURCH?
    a)  Abigail Adams
    b)  Crispus Attucks
    c)  Paul Revere
    d)  Miles Standish
  2. WHAT CLASSIC TV CHARACTER WAS A MEMBER OF THE LOYAL ORDER OF WATER BUFFALOES LODGE?
    a)  Dan Conner
    b)  Fred Flintstone
    c)  Ralph Kramden
    d)  Andrew “Squiggy” Squiggman
  3. THE WORLD’S LARGEST REPOSITORY OF GENEALOGICAL DOCUMENTS IS AT THE GRANITE MOUNTAIN RECORDS VAULT NEAR WHAT CITY?
    a)  Brussels, Belgium
    b)  Hanover, New Hampshire
    c)  Los Alamos, New Mexico
    d)  Salt lake City, Utah
  4. WHICH OF THESE GUITARISTS WAS NEVER A MEMBER OF THE YARDBIRDS?
    a)  Jeff Beck
    b)  Eric Clapton
    c)  Peter Frampton
    d)  Jimmy Page
  5. THE MASJED-E JAME, OR “FRIDAY MOSQUE,” IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE IN WHAT CITY THAT WAS ONCE A PERSIAN CAPITAL?
    a)  Beirut
    b)  Isfahan
    c)  Nicaea
    d)  Palmyra
  6.   IN A 1959 TV INTERVIEW, WHO SAID, “I AM NOT THINKING OF CUTTING MY BEARD … MY BEARD MEANS MANY THINGS TO MY COUNTRY?”
    a)  King Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia
    b)  Fidel Castro
    c)  Ernest Hemingway
    d)  Ho Chi Minh

Wednesday Reader April 12

QUICK QUESTION

WHAT DO YOU SEE OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW?

Wednesday Reader April 12

POP QUIZ ANSWERS

  1.   Paul Revere was a founding member of the bell-ringers guild at Boston’s Old North Church.
  2.   Fred Flintstone was a member of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes lodge.
  3.   The Granite Mountain Records Vault near Salt Lake City is the world’s largest repository of genealogical documents.
  4.   Peter Frampton was never a member of the Yardbirds.
  5.   Masjed-e Jame, or “Friday mosque,” is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Isfahan, Iran.
  6.   In 1959, Fidel Castro assured audiences he wouldn’t shave his beard.

~ COPYRIGHT 2023 LESLIE ELMAN
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

OH LOOK!  THINGS TO BE HAPPY ABOUT!

WHEN you finally remember the word or name you had on the tip of your tongue.

A WHIFF of cinnamon.

SINGING in the shower.

LAUGHING to keep from crying.

SEEING someone you love do something outstanding

A BABY’S smile

WORDS pertaining to the nose: sneer, sneeze, snicker, sniff, sniff, snipe, snivel snob, snoop, snoot, snooty, snore, snub.

EXCLAIMING “Works for me!”

TURNING your pillow over and over and finding the perfect spot.

BEING devoted to something outside yourself.

SEEING the twinkling lights of a town in the distance.

SHOPPING for new and used books.

THE SOUND of a large fan in an old hardware store.

USING a big word appropriately.

LAUGHING at something someone said until you can hardly catch your breath.

SINGING out loud to a favorite oldie playing on the radio.

BEING all dressed up with somewhere to go.

NO LINE at the Returns Counter.

PIZZA delivery when you’re to pooped to cook.

PERFECT timing.

RECYCLING

COZYING up in front of a roaring fire.

A SMILE from a stranger.

BELIEVING the thought that, when one door closes, another (better) door opens.

JUST ONE POSITIVE THOUGHT IN THE MORNING CAN CHANGE YOUR WHOLE DAY

((  Starve the Landfills.  Recycle.  ))

RIDDLE ME THIS

IF 2 IS COMPANY AND 3 IS A CROWD, WHAT ARE 4 AND 5?

Wednesday Reader April 12

ALOHA BRUNCH

This is a make-me-for-the-weekend OMG brunch dish.  It’s unique, pretty, and oh, so, tasty.  Serve with a toasted slice of fabulous bakery bread and small glass of orange juice or mimosa. 

Serves up to 6 – up to you regarding portion size.

  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into slices
  • 2 slices deli ham, about 1″ thick, cut into bite size chunks
  • 1 fresh pineapple, skinned and sliced into large chunks
  • 4 bananas peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 5 TBSP honey
  • 6 eggs, beaten (as in ready to be scrambled eggs)
  • salt and pepper

In a large skillet melt butter and fry ham chunks until browned.  Remove from skillet and keep warm.

Add honey to the skillet.  Add pineapple and bananas and saute until soft – but – not mushy.

Remove and keep warm with the ham.

Scramble eggs in skillet.  Add a little more butter if needed.

Portion eggs, ham, pineapple, bananas on plates with toast (I like to cut the toast into 4 pieces for a fun twist – and I almost always choose rye for this brunch dish)  Voila!

RIDDLE ANSWER

9

Wednesday Reader April 12

LET SWIFTIES HAVE THEIR JOY!

They say comparison is the thief of joy, but you know what else is a thief of joy?  Thieves of joy!

Joy thievery is an occupation, a volunteer-based paramilitary calling with many dedicated adherents.  Everyone has met a Joy Thief, one who believes so strongly in their own cultural correctitude, their own precious coolness that they expend exorbitant words,  just so many, pointing out that mainstream tastes are stupid, pointless and worthy of ridicule.

If you have not a person like this, well, hold on … (writer pauses to retrieve tiny, bejeweled mirror from an overpriced concert tote bag, holds it up)

There.

Joy Thieves can be found on first dates monopolizing the conversation with details about their foreign eco-hostels mere moments after you say your really love living in your hometown.  They will tell you about the sodium nitrate levels in your cheeseburger as said cheeseburger is entering your mouth.  Their love language is sarcasm, their superpower, capital letters.  Favorite phrases include “ACTUALLY” and “WHO CARES.”  They can be found in the comments section once this column is posted on Facebook.

A Joy Thief cannot simply register something that doesn’t personally interest them and head on down the old, dusty trail.  No, a Joy Thief must step in to correct their victim.  This is different from say, a critic who dissects art in a thoughtful, contextual way or an activist who calls out actual wrongdoing.  A Joy Thief just wants you to know your music is bad!

Now, why are we talking about this?  Because Taylor Swift is making her way around the country, thrilling audiences on her Eras tour.  She will perform three concerts in my town of Tampa in a matter of days, her only stop in Florida.  These concerts constitute regional news in the tenor of “major weather event” or “Super Bowl,” like it or not.

Yes, I am going!  Yes, I spent a lot of money on a ticket!  No, I do not consider Taylor Swift a guilty pleasure.  I consider her one of the best songwriters of our time and I will sit over a glass of Joy Thief’s favorite organic sulfite-free wine and annotate the narrative arc of the teenage love triangle presented on the “Folklore” album.

Perhaps I am a little salty.  My Lavender Hayes-themed concert dress (see what I did there?) showed up days ago and was the ugliest thing on the planet.  I looked like I was assaulted by the Easter Bunny.  I looked like a smashed Jordan almond from a bridal shower when all I wanted was to belly flop into the glee of crowd participation.  I have gone back to the drawing board, satorially speaking, so I am …

(writer pauses to find retail receipt)
…on edge
Here’s what I am saying, though.  These days, in this world, it’s a challenge to love anything.  Like, it’s hard to buy toothpaste without knowing if the pharmacy chain committed human rights violations.  It is impossible to watch a stand-up special without scanning the “personal life” section of Wikipedia for atrocities.  Around 2017, I started saying “Love nothing, trust no one” each time I opened a website.

To be enthusiastic anymore somehow feels pure, silly, fragile.  One of the many reasons Swift’s fans adore her is because she embraces the joyful, goofy side of the fandom:  the friendship bracelets, the Easter eggs in her posts, the unhinged fan theories.  She supports fans dressing up like her cats, named for characters on a Joy Thief’s least-favorite shows, “Law & Order:  “Special Victim’s Unit” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Swifties are a little intense, yes, but that’s because they are backed by Swift herself, who once uttered these wise words:  “The worst kind of person is someone who makes someone feel bad, dumb or stupid for being excited about something.”

Indeed!  Next time a guy drinking a session IPA (fine to like IPAs, though!)  calls your interest basic, overplayed, whatever, tell him he is wrong.  Present the following list of things that are also fine for people to love until further notice.  He will hate it:

Compact discs, Minions, “The Big Bang Theory,” Red Lobster, comic cons, “The Bachelor,” Pitbull, Starbucks, Kohl’s, Dave Mathews Band, “The Office,” Bitmoji, Diet Coke, “Bel-Air,” Taco Bell, romance novels, astrology, mall pretzels, Target, scented candles, professional wrestling,  Zumba, “Emily in Paris,” Domino’s pizza, Halloween and, reluctantly, Crocs.

Carry on with the business of shameless love, the perfect bedazzled shoes, the lyrics in your head rolling off your tongue.  Feel the kin around you, understanding, forming a memory in real time.  In the big picture, what a small pleasure it is to be a fan.

~ Stephanie Hayes is a columnist at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida.  Follow her at @stephhayes on Twitter or @stephrhayes on Instagram.  COPYRIGHT 2023 CREATORS.COM

Fascinating Stuff

FASCINATING STUFF

  • The Liberty Bell isn’t the only famous bell with a characteristic crack.  The first Big Ben, at the Houses of Parliament in London, cracked beyond repair in 1857 while it was being tested.  The second cracked after about three months, was mended and still hangs in the tower.  The 202-ton, 20-foot-tall Tsar Bell in Moscow didn’t even make it that far.  In 1737, an 11.5-ton piece of the bell broke off during a massive fire.  The Tsar Bell — the world’s largest — sits at ground level at the Kremlin.
  • The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks fraternal service organization came awfully close to being buffaloes instead.  The group formed by a handful of New York City theatrical performers in the 1860s wanted a symbol that was recognizably American.  The founder Charles Vivian suggested buffaloes, because he’d belonged to the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes in his native England.  (And what could be more recognizably American than buffaloes?)  In a vote among the 15 charter members, elks edged out buffaloes 8 to 7.
  • In gymnastics, athletes can approach a vault by running and jumping onto the springboard toward the vaulting horse, or they can do a Yurchenko.  That move — a roundoff onto the board and a back handspring onto the horse — is named for Soviet gymnast Natalia Yurchenko, who performed it in official competition for the first time in 1982,  At first, the risky move was banned from NCAA competition.  Today, it’s rare to find an elite gymnast without a Yurchenko in his or her repertoire.
  • There are about 5,000 species of songbirds in the world and all of them can trace their origins to Australia.  That’s what fossil records show, going back 30 million years, give or take.  As the earth underwent geological changes, islands formed north of Australia, including the islands that make up Indonesia today.  After that, the birds started to migrate to Asia, Europe and beyond.
  • Want to stop spiders from nesting in your chandeliers?  Try ostrich eggs.  They give off a scent undetectable to humans but naturally repellant to spiders.  The plan has worked for hundreds of years at the 16th-century Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, where ostrich eggs dangle on chains from the domed ceiling amidst the oil and candle lamps.  Not a single spider web in sight!
  • In 1698, Russian czar Peter the Great instituted a tax on beards.  It was his way of persuading bushy-bearded Russian men to look and act more like their clean-shaven Western European brethren.  Under the law, all men except Russian Orthodox priests had to shave their facial hair or pay a tax based on their income.  For ordinary folks, it was a couple of kopeks; for the nobility, it was as much as 100 rubles.  As proof of payment, they received a token imprinted with a picture of a beard or the words “the beard is an unnecessary burden.”

COPYRIGHT 2023 LESLIE ELMAN
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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4 replies
  1. Marty says:

    Today’s JOY THIEVES was quite thought provoking. Here’s one I learned the hard way. When greeting a JOY THIEF never ask, “How are you doing?” cause you’re trapped for the next half hour! I’ve learned something safer to say, “Nice to see you” then run for cover!

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