Another message to book thieves: ‘Who steals this book, the devil shall cook’!

Today’s helpful hint
Cursed Book Thieves Division (IV)

Here again, continuing her series, is Gammafaye: “If you have been wondering how small the ‘Small Book of Book Curses’ is, here is a selfie of said book:


“And here is book curse No. 4. An early-20th-century American rhyme is the only credit for this one:

“Who folds a leaf down,

“the devil toast brown:

“who makes mark or blot,

“the devil toast hot:

“who steals this book,

“the devil shall cook.

“The next book curse tags a book thief as an object of loathing.  I know I said this of the first curse, but I really do not think, when it comes to a book thief, that these curses are unreasonable.”

The Permanent Daughterly Record
Or: Oh, and was her face red!

The Gram With a Thousand Rules writes: “Many years ago, a neighbor asked me if I would please take care of her little girl one afternoon for six weeks. She wanted to pay me, but I declined. I told her I would be happy to help her out as a favor.

“Every week when she came to pick up her daughter, she ‘paid’ me with an enormous bag of suckers. I had only four kids then, and there were enough suckers in those bags to give mouthfuls of cavities to 40 kids!

“She was later than usual returning on the fifth week, and in her haste she (Hallelujah!) forgot the blasted suckers. She was all apologetic, and I reassured her that it was fine; she didn’t have to run home and get them.

“A few minutes later, I heard the doorbell ring, and my middle daughter (about 6 at the time) answered the door. From the kitchen I heard her say: “It’s OK, Mrs. K. You might as well just keep those cavity builders. Mom just throws them in the garbage, anyway.’ ”

Our birds, ourselves


Doris G. of Randolph has sent us these “fall pictures of the bluebirds. It was great to have them here till October 29. The weather has been so great; I was hoping they would stay even longer. They had two batches of babies: five in the first batch and four in the second.


Also: For the first time, we had a second pair that stayed and had a batch of four babies.


“I hope they will return in the spring.”

How far back?

Momkat of Apple Valley: “I don’t know how old I was — young enough to be tossed in the air by a favorite relative.

“One day he came to visit, and I ran to him as usual. He tossed me in the air. My head broke the ceiling-light fixture — blood, tears, screams, lots of guilt on his part. I don’t think he ever tossed another child in the air, poor guy.”

Bduck: “Until a few years ago, I thought my earliest memory was of my mother carrying my new baby brother down the steps of the old General Rose Hospital in Denver. I’m not sure how pleased she was to be going home to the basement without a first floor and no indoor plumbing (post-WWII housing shortage). There are two years and four months between my brother and me. I do know I never got much sympathy when I had three under 4 AND running water, a flushing toilet in a heated room, and my own washer/dryer.

“But there is a persistent memory of a room with blankets spread out next to a room of toys. I am awakening from a nap, and something grabs my ankle as I crawl toward the toys. I thought it was some kind of too-many-cartoons (a ball and chain? a swamp monster?) fantasy, but it was so clear and so enduring I finally asked my mother. She said: ‘That was Joe. He was blind, but you two worked out that he could crawl after you, holding on to your ankle.’ I was only in nursery school (I don’t think day care had been invented) for a short while, as my mother lost her job when her pregnancy became apparent. So my earliest memory is probably about six months earlier than I thought.”

Booklady: “One of my earliest memories was my first fishing expedition. It had to have been before my brother was born in early 1948, so I must have been about 2-1/2. I remember having a picnic on the banks of the Rum River, after which my dad handed me a long cane pole and perched me on the bank. From a little one’s point of view, it was a steep bank, but I felt perfectly content with a parent on either side of me. However, my bobber soon disappeared, and as I followed Dad’s directions to haul in my fish, I had quite a shock. Apparently, my bait had been resting on the bottom, and somehow I had hooked a clam. It came up opening and closing, and I immediately dropped my pole and fell into the river.

“Obviously I wasn’t too traumatized, because that’s all I remember of the incident, and it didn’t keep me from enjoying fishing. In fact, my gift on my 8th birthday was my very own fly rod.

“Another early memory involved an older neighbor girl, whose name was also Carolyn. We used to pull each other in the little red wagon, taking turns being Miss America (1948), Bebe Shopp [Bulletin Board notes: The pride of Hopkins, Minnesota!]. We also were Roy Rogers fans, and I remember several minor altercations over which one of us got the swing that was Trigger. The other had to settle for being Dale Evans, riding Buttercup.”

Our theater of seasons

Gma Tom: “OK, folks, it’s Nov. 2nd and well past time to clean up the garden debris. But, of course, it hasn’t frozen yet, and I’ve still got green plants that are growing! All but one tomato plant had the decency to die and shrivel up, but the last holdout even had a blossom on it.

“It is much easier to pull out dead plants than ones that are still green, believe me.

“Somehow in the past few years, I’ve grown plants that think they are in a southern growing zone, as they start blossoming in mid- to late September. Most years, of course, they get nipped with frost in a short time.

“This year, however, I’ve been harvesting my ‘summer’ squash right up until today. And the green peppers (must think they are in Texas) started blossoming in late September and are now growing a multitude of little green peppers. Because the frost has held off this long, I am now able to harvest some decent-sized green peppers, which I am grateful for because they produced next to nothing during the regular season.

“Will I still be picking  peppers and raspberries for Thanksgiving? Christmas?”

Vanity, thy name is…

The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “The Tucson’s plate posed a question: ‘THX GB.’

“Was it directed at G.B. Leighton (a former student), the Packers, or someone/something else? The mystery remains.”

The vision thing
Wildlife Division

KH of White Bear Lake: “I can’t say for sure whether or not our four-legged friends receive guidance from above, but from my viewpoint, it looks like they can seek it.”


Older Than Dirt?

Mattzdad of Rochester reports: “Yesterday I received an email ad for an urn, for my ashes. From Perfect Memorials, which I think is where I bought the one for Dad years ago. All of a sudden, I am old enough to merit ‘spam’ for an urn.”

The Roller of Spring Valley, Wisconsin: "Sunset at my farm, 50 MILES EAST OF MSP."
The Roller of Spring Valley, Wisconsin: “Sunset at my farm, 50 MILES EAST OF MSP.”

Where we live (and/or don’t)

Doctors’ Mom in Mendota Heights: “Not having grown up in Minnesota, I notice different practices here from ‘out East.’

“At the grocery store, when someone is blocking my way, I say (politely) ‘Excuse me,’ and the person moves out of the way, often seeming surprised.

“Yesterday I was shopping, and I saw a line of people waiting with their shopping carts for some slow person to get going and move out of the way. Clearly, Minnesotans don’t want to ‘make a fuss.’ ”

Our pests, ourselves

WriteWoman of Shoreview: “Subject: No room for old mice.

“OK, recently I wrote about my mother-in-law’s cat and the mouse that ended up on ME — and oh, no, now I have another mouse story!

“I was vacuuming our living room (long overdue) and did not pick up the mice that our sweet, adorable, beautiful cat

Mopsli (her name is another story) plays with. I rarely pick them up. However, this time I was using our brand-new, super vacuum guaranteed to keep homes with pets hair-free!

Schwooop was the next sound I heard. Mopsli turned to see her catnip mouse disappear. The vacuum stopped sucking things in and began blowing things around. Sadness rather than fear left me with that ‘dang it, MORE work’ sinking feeling.

“I looked in the hose, the power roller — nothing! Clean and clear. Turned the vac back on, thinking it got sucked into the bag. It wouldn’t vacuum. Checked the bag. Nope, bag just filled with the mysterious stuff of our house. It became clear that the dang thing was stuck in the handle connection between the hose to the canister and the hose to the power roller.

“It was (note the past tense) assembled with nine Phillips screws! Nine! John to the rescue (somewhat reluctantly, as reading our latest book-club selection was on his agenda). After tracking down the CM (catnip mouse) IN the handle, clogging the hose, I grabbed it and tossed it in the trash — not the recycling. It was not worthy of that.

“Sighs of relief … until 30 minutes later, when two people with two reasonably good brains, having a total of four hands and 20 fingers (of which four were and are opposable thumbs, were still unable to reattach the hose to the handle!

“I called son CB to the rescue. After laughing his head off, he promised to stop by ASAP. (ASAP means different things to different age groups.)

“The super vac is sitting, disassembled still, in front of the fireplace, Mopsli has other things on her mind, John is reading the book, I’m seeing tiny things on our rugs and floors, and I REALLY HATE MICE, REAL OR STUFFED!”

Could be verse!

A “timerick” from Tim Torkildson: “An earlobe no purpose does serve;

“to life it contributes no verve.

“It might be cheering

“for hanging an earring;

“to me it’s a facial hors d’oeuvre.”

Our times (responsorial)

IGHGrampa: “I agree with Helena Handbasket‘s comments about youngsters learning bad manners from watching TV.

“I’d go further to say that, if that is the worst they learn from TV, we probably can’t complain. There is so much blood, gore, murder, mayhem, insanity, rage and fighting on TV, it’s a wonder our kids aren’t totally wrecked mentally.

“Don’t fail to monitor your kids’ TV viewing.”


Lola: “Now that there have been all the political ads, I don’t mind the Arby’s, car and Sonics ads so much.”

Hmmmmmmmm (responsorial)

And: Great comebacks

Burywood Dave:Nature Gal suggested [BB, 10/29/2016] that the spokescows for Lactaid and Laughing Cow cheese might have gone Hollywood and had a bit of cosmetic surgery, as they were portrayed as having no udders. I would say that if they indeed had gone Hollywood with the procedure, their udders would likely be included … and exceedingly prominent.”

Band Name of the Day: Schwooop

Website of the Day, from The Divine Mum of Crocus Hill: Remember that 8-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus Rex costume I was telling you about? You can see a smaller version of it at :50 of this:”

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