When the married lady went to the “speed-dating” workshop, she heard those (wedding?) bells ring!

Great comebacks
Unappreciated Division (responsorial)

The December 14 Bulletin Board included a note from Poet X of PDX: “A caller a short while ago was giving me the Russian patient’s name and spelled it to me: ‘P-A-V-L-O-V.’

“I said to her — gently, of course: ‘Yes, I know how to spell Pavlov, only it makes me salivate a bit.’

“Silence. Went over her head about as far as a Learjet. Oh, well, I thought it was HILARIOUS!”

We presently heard from Grandma J. of Grant: “The mention of Pavlov brought back a memory I had completely forgotten.


“It was at least 30 years ago. I was working at a big Lutheran church, and my boss was the neatest woman pastor — I just adored her! We were more than boss and employee; we were good friends.

“She had recently been divorced (in my opinion, her ex had to be an idiot to leave someone that wonderful!), and we attended this one-evening workshop on ‘speed-dating.’ I was married, but she didn’t want to go alone. My husband, in his usual good-natured manner, said: ‘Go and keep her company, and make sure she doesn’t get into any trouble.’

“So off to the big city (Minneapolis) we went. The basic idea in this workshop was to talk to one of the other participants until the leader rang a bell. Then you were supposed to move on and talk to someone else, and talk to them until the bell was rung again … and so on … and so on….

“The very first partner I got assigned to was a really interesting guy. We were talking up a storm. I told him right away that I was happily married and was just there to help out my boss. We were enjoying great camaraderie when (darn!) they rang the bell! Well, we just ignored it and kept right on talking.

“The lady in charge came running up to us in a real snit and said: ‘I rang the bell!’

“I looked up and smiled and said: ‘I know. I’m salivating.’ Well, the guy just about fell off his chair, laughing.

“The lady in charge just stood there with her arms folded, glaring at us, until we obeyed the rules and moved on.

“So that’s my Pavlov story.

“As for my lovely boss, she did remarry. No one from that workshop, though.”

Our theater of seasons
Outdoor/Indoor Division

Little Sister: “By nursing along a potted geranium, one I salvaged from my autumn cleanup, I somehow feel as though I still have an infinitesimal grip on the last vestige of summer. It’s actually blooming, despite my haphazard attention, with the help of a bright spot in an east window of our four-season porch. It reinforces the hope of spring and that this winter will pass, as they always do.


“Come to think of it, the days will start getting longer in just a few short weeks. [Bulletin Board says: Perish the thought! The days will start getting longer in just a few short days — very, very short days, at that. December 22 will have a few seconds more daylight than December 21. Hold on to that thought.] That really does lift my spirits as an impending snowstorm and more subzero temps loom ahead!”

This ‘n’ that (responsorial)

The Hoot Owl of St. Paul: “Two (maybe even three) items in today’s BB (12-15-16) caught our eye:

“First = Papawilde’s comments about the LAX commercial, which ALWAYS makes us think of an airport in California and NEVER the product being promoted. We’d been intending to send something like his comments in to BB.

“Second = Amanda from Chicago’s commentary on a long-lived microwave is amazingly apt, and we find her remarks quite timely, as our own trusty Panasonic analog microwave gave up the ghost just this week.


“It will soon be replaced by a Sharp which fits the dimensions required for an over-the-range shelf.

“BUT, alas . . . we were unable to find any type of current microwave featuring the Panasonic’s attachable hanging temperature probe with holder clip, seen dangling in the center. The only thing we see offered is a ‘humidity’ gauge thing for baked potatoes and maybe popcorn. The Panasonic had a 15-inch glass tray on a turntable, and frozen pies and meats would cook to a perfect temperature before automatic cutoff. The probe will be sorely missed!

“Our daughter went to a ‘how to cook with a microwave oven’ course back in junior high when we acquired it. She or her daughter will be engaged to show us how to use all those buttons in the new one, which are replacing our dearly beloved analog dials.”

Built to last (responsorial)
Or: What a country we live in!

Elvis: “Subject: Washing-machine museum.

“My aunt lives near this — oldewash.com — in Colorado. She’s lived in the area for 40 years and just discovered this place recently. It’s an unassuming farm with one small sign, and disorganized outbuildings through the property are completely full of washing machines.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: The website features a 17-minute, 21-second “Video Tour.” You might not want to miss it. (How’s that for a corn dog? [No, we haven’t watched it — yet. What’s the rush? It’s a long winter! But seriously, folks: We’ve watched the first few minutes . . . and it looks mighty educational!])

The Permanent Maternal Record

Ken Shepard of Park Rapids: “Subject: Mother’s long-lost love.

“My mother, Viola, is 96 years old and is more comfortable with the past than the present. We were talking about the old days yesterday, and out of the blue tumbled the following revelation. I wrote it down as she said it. If she repeated something, I repeated, too. When she would pause, I would ask a question to get her started again. I was going to organize what I wrote down, but decided to just leave it as it was:

“‘You may not know this, but I was a queen one time. To tell you the truth, the election was by money. People paid money to vote. Pete Castellari was the king, and I was the queen. Pete’s sister Violet was the one who got us elected. She was probably three or four grades ahead of me. She had a job and had money. They voted for king and queen separately, so Violet had two campaigns to run, one for Pete and one for me. I was in the eighth grade, and it was king and queen of the whole school. Pete was a year younger than I was. He was kind of short, and I liked him a lot. We sat on thrones. The last night of the deal, which lasted a whole week, they had a coronation ceremony. They put crowns on our heads, and we had music. No dancing, though. It was like a carnival that lasted every day, all week long. We had carnival games and rides like merry-go-round. I was sweet on him and I guess he was sweet on me. He was really very handsome. He was very popular. I have looked at the cemetery and he’s not there, so I guess he’s still alive. (Actually, Pete died 15 years ago, just a few months after my father died.)

“We had what we would call a school carnival that lasted the whole week. Lots of activities, with voting for king and queen all week long. I didn’t put in money for myself, because I didn’t have any money. Well, let me tell you, Pete was good-looking. His whole family were good-looking; they were Italians. Oh, I was interested in him, all right! Yes, he was probably a Catholic, but that might not have been a problem. Lorene (a sister) went with a Catholic for a while, and no one complained. We just had two people in my eighth grade, so Pete might have been in my classroom. That could be how we met.

“My mother made me a new dress for the carnival. It was organdy. It was purple with short sleeves and had a normal neckline. I remember my shoes were new, too, and they had short high heels. They were kind of purpley, to match my dress. Pete wore a suit and tie at the coronation. Boy, he was good-looking! Dark hair, dark skin, typical Italian. He was really cute.”

Know thyself!
And: Know thy kind! (responsorial)

Twitty of Como: “I laughed out loud at the entry from Mr. Torkildson [BB, 12/13/2016] regarding his favorite bachelor dinner: Bush’s Baked Beans and added wieners.

“It was mine, too, when I was a bachelor — except, not being a fan of wieners, I added brats instead, and no extra syrup. Bush’s makes a maple-syrup flavor. It’s a quick, easy and tasty meal.

“BTW: Real bachelors eat it right out of the pan while watching old reruns of ‘Friends.'”

Not everyone’s a copy editor!

Jim Fitzsimons of St. Paul: “Copy editing is so very important when you are writing to express an idea, an emotion, or to simply give information. Even the professionals who work with words for a living can miss something. Hey, they’re only human, right? So, good copy editors are vital.

“Well, the internet is rife with typos and poorly written sentences. Readers sometimes need to practically be interpreters to make sense of blogs, comments, articles, and other postings online. The amateur writers doing their own blogs can be excused, at least, a little. It’s some of the bigger internet sites, the supposedly professional ones, that could use a good proofreader on staff. Assuming they have a staff.

“For example: I will now and again give in and travel down a ‘click-bait’ trail on the internet. The topic might be interesting to me, so I indulge the click-baiter. This was the case with Trend-Chaser.com’s click-bait trail on some little-known facts about the classic television series ‘M*A*S*H.’ I was clicking my way through, occasionally needing to stop and reread something to figure out what the author meant to write, but the typos got in the way … and then I stumbled on one that I just had to bring to your attention.

“It was a little information on Alan Alda’s writing and directing stints during that 11-season-long series. The factoid read: ‘If you had to guess how many episodes Alda wrote, what would you say? The correct answer is 13 for that one. And when it comes to directing the episodes he wrote, the tally rises all the way up to 31.’

“When it comes to directing the episodes he wrote, the tally would remain no higher than 13. Yeesh!

“Copy editing is becoming (or has become?) a lost art.

“And, by the way, I proofread this piece four times before sending.”

Mixed messages
Or: College Athletics Today?

Email from Donald: “Subject: Down the tubes?

“From ‘THEY SAID IT’ in the latest Sports Illustrated: ‘”You look at what Baylor was able to do during his tenure, it fits perfectly with where we see our sports programs going.” Jerry Falwell Jr., President of Liberty University, introducing his new AD, Ian McCaw, who resigned in Waco amid numerous claims of improper oversight by the athletic department.’”

Come again?

Another episode of creative hearing, reported by The City Girl on the Plains: “I was busy performing household tasks, with an old movie on in the background. The movie was one of Paul Newman’s ‘H’ titles, ‘Harper.’

“As I passed in and out of the room where the TV sits, I heard Julie Harris say to Newman: ‘You’ve got cup size.'”

“‘Cup size, CUP SIZE!’ I said to myself. ‘How would Paul Newman have CUP SIZE?’

“I stopped what I was doing to take a look at the TV, in an attempt to get some context for such a curious pronouncement. Soon, all became clear: Harper was a P.I. attempting to get information from Harris’s character, who was leery of providing said info due to her perception that Newman had COP’S EYES.

“I read somewhere that if aging isn’t exactly fun, it can provide some funny moments, and I have to concur.”

Out of the mouths (etc.) of babes

Barb of Shoreview: “We had the joy of having our 3-year-old granddaughter at our house for a week after Thanksgiving. She often has to find her own ways to say things she doesn’t yet know the words for. Sometimes they can be hard to decipher, although they always make sense after the fact.

“But this one was easy: ‘My butt burped.'”

Band Name of the Day: Bachelor Dinner

Website of the Day: Pavlov’s Dogs


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