How is the beginning of a pregnancy like the end of a hockey game?

Metaphorically speaking

LeoJEOSP writes: “A female relative is currently visiting from a very large northeastern city. She was married a few years ago and said that she and her husband were trying to get in a family way.

“After a few minutes, she said: ‘Eric and I decided to pull the goalie.’

“I am 64 years old, and this is the first time I have heard that expression used in this context.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: It’s never too late for a clever metaphor.

There’s nothin’ like a simile!

Donald: “The first paragraph of Jim Souhan’s article on the front page of the Sports section in Monday’s paper west of St. Paul reads: ‘The Vikings locker room was almost empty. Danielle Hunter had just finished praising his teammates and thanking interviewers, his voice low enough to keep him from getting kicked out of any library, his manner as polite as a theater usher.’”

This ‘n’ that

Both from Cheesehead By Proxy, “back in Northern Minnesota”: (1) “Subject: Tough . . . or not!

“These side-by-side photos of girls’ basketball teams appeared in the Menahga/Sebeka paper.


“The Menahga girls, at left, must have been told (or agreed) to appear to be formidable opponents, while the Sebeka girls, at right, simply look happy.

“It doesn’t seem all that long ago that I was a reporter for this newspaper and had to line up the kids for photos like these.

“One time, I showed up to take a pre-arranged picture of some young wrestlers. The boys (back then it was only boys) were being all goofy and naughty, resisting all efforts to line up as asked.

“Suddenly the coach announced to the kids that they had lost the privilege of having their picture in the paper, and that they should go home later and tell their folks why they weren’t in.

“I sort of stood there waiting for the kids to shape up for their second chance — but the coach dismissed me and said he meant what he’d told them.

“There never was a team wrestling photo in the paper that year.”

(2) “Subject: Dayton’s.

“After hearing news of the revival of Christmas windows at the Minneapolis downtown Dayton’s building, I enjoyed running across this Dayton’s box in my Christmas stuff this year.


“I think it was a ’70s or ’80s-era box that my mom saved. Very op-art or mod, don’t you think?”


Writes Zoo Lou of St. Paul: “Subject: Cherish the Children.

“I recently attended a screening of the 2019 British Arrow Awards at the Walker Art Center with good friends Craig and Beryl. This juried competition, which began in 1976, features an incredible array of creative and daring commercials from the world of British advertising, and has been playing to large crowds at the Walker for the past 33 years.

“One commercial that really moved me was ‘Mum’s Birthday’ from Cadbury. A little girl walking home with her mother goes into the corner store. ‘A bar of chocolate, please,’ she says in an angelic voice. ‘It’s for my mum.’

“The clerk, a rather stoic older chap, puts a Cadbury bar on the counter, and the girl lays down a coin and two buttons. The clerk gives her a puzzled, ‘that’s not enough’ look, so she comes up with more ‘precious valuables,’ including a ribbon and a tiny figurine of a unicorn. The look of innocence and sincerity on that girl’s face as she peers anxiously over the counter is absolutely priceless.

“Finally, the clerk nods and hands her the candy bar, and then pushes the unicorn back across the counter. ‘Your change,’ he says. The ecstatic girl runs out and shouts: ‘Happy Birthday, Mum!’ and gives her the gift and a big hug.

“This heart-warming vignette reminded me of something that happened years ago when I was a zookeeper at St. Paul’s Como Zoo. Mike, a fellow keeper, told me about a mother and her two young sons who came to the indoor giraffe exhibit one October afternoon. After having a grand time observing these majestic creatures, the smaller boy, about 4 or 5, came up to Mike and said with great sincerity: ‘Excuse me, mister, here’s a dime to help buy food for the giraffes.’

“When I asked Mike what he did with the dime, he said he went to the zoo-society office and told them he had a donation from an outstanding young man.

“Nothing is more touching or inspiring than the unpretentiousness and sincerity of a child (or the very nice clerk at the corner store). The world could learn much from them.”

Attention, Apostrophe Redistribution Squad!

Sick and Sicker, But Still Hopeful: “Subject: Apostrophe Squad!

“I’m normally pretty healthy, but I’ve had a cough and cold for two weeks. It’s gone through phases (not being able to breathe, raging sore throat, blocked-up ears). I’ve tried various remedies. I can breathe fine, and the sore throat was conquered by an antibiotic. However, one ear refuses to clear because of a stubbornly blocked eustachian tube and even suffered a punctured eardrum because of built-up fluid behind it. (Ouch.) The doctors most often see this problem with kids. (Well, I AM a child at heart.) The eardrum is fine, but I can’t hear anything out of that ear. Imagine going to a job interview like that! I tried. Wonder if I’ll get to the second round of interviews? Enough of my woe. I’m sure good health is coming soon.

“Even though I’m under the weather, I HAD to write when I saw the article about the end of the Apostrophe Protection Society. Good thing I was sitting down. John Richards, the 96-year-old founder, announced that due to his advancing age and the lack of interest in correct apostrophe usage [Bulletin Board interjects: Say it ain’t so!], he is shutting down the group. Oh, sadness. Oh, woe is us. The ignorant have won.

“HOWEVER, when I went to the website today, I saw a message that the announcement had caused a 600-fold increase in traffic! To save expenses, the site is closed until January 1. Here’s the good news: ‘When it returns, Webmaster John Hale intends to keep the site running for a few more years. Sorry, and thank you for your interest. We will be back soon!’

“That’s a piece of good news that we loyal Bulletin Boarders needed! I hope they make it possible for people to donate to keep the site going.”

The kindness of strangers
Plus: Who knew?

Kathy S. of St. Paul: (1) “As I arrived at a large discount store this week, I saw a parent unloading two shopping carts. One still had a small child in it. Once they were empty, I took the carts to the nearby cart corral.

“Then, as I neared the store, I saw another adult emptying a cart with a small child in it. I took that cart inside with me.

“It occurred to me that this holiday season would be less stressful if folks would perform small kindnesses like these for strangers around them.”

(2) “Today after Mass, we had our yearly visit from St. Nicholas. Before handing out candy canes, St. Nick listed groups of those who claim him as their patron saint — including children, sailors and pawnbrokers. And who knew St. Nicholas is the patron saint of repentant thieves?

“So the saint who brings us presents is also the patron of porch burglars. But only if they’re sorry.”

Our theater of seasons
Plus: ‘Tis the season!

Al B of Hartland: “Snowmobilers, snowshoers, skiers, and those making money by moving snow aren’t the only ones happy to see snow. Voles live in a subnivean zone, the area between the surface of the ground and the bottom of the snowpack. Voles retreat to that grocery store for protection from the cold, wind, and predators.

“I was at a Christmas party with friends. One had made shoofly pie, a molasses crumb cake baked in a pie crust. It was powerful good.

“There was no fruitcake at this particular feast day for friends. I like fruitcake. There, I’ve admitted it. I like it best when none of the ingredients is sawdust. I’m keen on fruitcake wearing a layer of whipped cream. I like some fruitcake better than others, but that’s true about all foodstuffs.

“I wish I’d been eating fruitcake instead of a salad, greens and walnuts at a banquet in Sitka, Alaska. I broke a tooth. I didn’t do it for me. It was a Christmas gift for my dentist.”

Know thyself!

KH of White Bear Lake: “I took this photo on my morning walk a couple days ago.


“I then sent it to my daughter in New York City, as we often share our sunrise/sunset photos with each other. She said it was a beautiful photo. I replied by saying: ‘I’m so proud of myself — for not dropping my phone in the creek.'”

Life as we know it

Gab writes: “Subject: Lovely tales from the north.

“Sigh. We went through so much these last few years.

“I wrote to BB how we were losing our home of 40-plus years — how I worried whether the new owners would feed the birds and squirrels like I did, and whether they would leave some tall grass in the back yard by the shed so the momma bunny could hide her babies till grown.

“Then we sold our family farm and saved our home at the last minute. All seemed good — till the doctor said: ‘You need to be someplace warm, and soon, if you don’t want your health to fail faster than a quick-moving train.’

“So we tried to fix up the house — but alas, the money ran out, and hubby wasn’t truly up to the job. We ended up taking a big loss selling as is, but it got us a new camper and a place in Florida for six months, plus a little extra to buy a place for our forever home.

“Lucky the cat wasn’t too sure about all the hubbub and had several accidents, but he was forgiven because we felt like having accidents ourselves.

“I listen to the news every day about the snow storm hitting Minnesota and think: Man, am I glad we aren’t there. I wouldn’t have made it another winter. I get out into the sunshine and warmth and think: Wow, I didn’t have to take any medicine for arthritis today.

“I stay connected to Minnesota via kids, grandkids, and of course BB. (Thank goodness you’re online.) Yet every time I see something someone wrote that we missed last year (e.g., Minnesota State Fair), I get really sad. We missed many things, including my birthday (how do you miss the Fourth of July?), while trying to get things moved over to South Dakota to our family, to hold till we get a house here in Florida.

“It’s gonna work out, though, ’cause I already feel much better and even hubby is doing better health-wise. So I guess the doctor WAS right, and we should have done this sooner.

“So, BBers, keep up the stories and memories so I can laugh or cry or just remember. And maybe, just maybe, I can get to the Fair one more time.”

What’s in a (Bulletin Board) name?

Gregory of the North: “How I got my handle:

“I was living on a street which ran a long way from St. Paul into the northern suburbs. One day I received a piece of important-looking mail addressed to someone with my first name and address numbers, but on the south end of the street. I went out to meet the letter carrier when she came by on her rounds. I gave her the letter, and she looked at it and said: ‘Oh, you’re Gregory of the North!'”

Gee, our old La Salle ran great!
Two-Digit Division

Wayne Nelson of Forest Lake: “My wife and I were trying to remember what some of the old telephone exchange names were in St. Paul and surrounding areas back in the ’50s and ’60s. We could remember only a few of them, like CA was ‘CApitol’ (State Capitol area), PR was’“PRospect’ (East Side area), MI was ‘MIdway’ (Midway Area). There was also a ‘NEster,’ but we don’t remember where that was. And so on.

“Let’s take a trip back in time and see what the BB readers can remember. Hopefully we will get a good response from some of the readers.”

Gee, our old La Salle ran great!
Comedy Division

The Dragon Lady of Inver Grove Heights: “Subject: George Burns and Gracie Allen.

“I just finished reading a delightful book called ‘Gracie: A Love Story,’ written by the late George Burns, who died at the age of 100. George was a comedian who never really took off until he met Gracie Allen. From then on, the team was a big success. George was the straight man and writer of the lines that Gracie delivered in her distinctive voice. Together they did vaudeville and radio; I remember listening to them on the radio as a little girl back in the ’40s. People loved her, and George knew she was the one who made the act so popular. Nevertheless, they were a team.

“Here are some samples of their humor:

“Gracie went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to try to get her license. In this particular episode, she took her test for a permit, and Mr. Harkness of the motor-vehicle bureau told her: ‘Mrs. Burns, I’ve been going over your test. Never in the 16 years I’ve been here have I seen anything like it’

“‘Thank you,’ Gracie said proudly.

“‘When you were asked if you ever had a license before, you said you did. How long?’

“‘Oh, it was about 4 inches. It fit right in my wallet,’ Gracie answered. After that, Mr. Harkness wanted to do the eye test, saying that it didn’t require any thinking.

“‘All right with me,’ Gracie said, ‘but why don’t you like to think?’

“Mr. Harkness goes on, saying: ‘Mrs. Burns, please concentrate on the chart on the back wall. Close one eye,’ he continued, handing her a white card, ‘and what do you see?’

“Gracie held the white card in front of her eye. ‘I see the white card.’

“‘No, no. no,’ he says. ‘What do you see with the other eye?’

“‘Nothing. That’s the eye that’s closed.’ Finally Mr. Harkness convinced her to read the eye chart. ‘I wish I could,’ she admitted, ‘but I can’t pronounce any of those words.’

“Then there was the time when Gracie went shopping and came home with 10 pogo sticks she had bought for 50 dollars. George asks her why she bought 10 pogo sticks. She says: ‘Because that was all they had.’ Then George asks her what is she going to do with 10 pogo sticks, and she says: ‘Well, George, you never know when you might be attacked by a pogo.’

“The book is also filled with many pictures and interesting stories about Jack Benny and his wife, Mary, and many other celebrities of the time. If you are looking for easy reading that is fun and very enjoyable, try this book. You are bound to get some chuckles.”

Know thyselves!

The Astronomer of Nininger: “The Good Wife’s mother was half Norwegian and half German. Combined with her father’s diverse ancestry, the Good Wife is more of a Heinz 57 variety. When we were much younger, we even submitted that description in one of the decadal reports to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Her mother was proud of her Norwegian heritage, and it was a sincere honor for her to join the local lodge of the Sons of Norway. In her latter years, the Good Wife and I drove her mother to Sons of Norway meetings. They were a jolly group, fun to be with. They subscribe to the mission of promoting Norwegian heritage, celebrating relationships with other Scandinavian countries, and providing insurance and financial benefits. Their meetings always had interesting and tasty treats, as well as good programming.

“The Good Wife and I became members. We continued our membership even after the Good Wife’s mother was no longer with us.

‘Now, my heritage was not Norwegian. DNA testing suggested that it was 99.9 percent positive that I was Eastern European — namely of Polish and Czech descent. Still, I was elected president of the lodge — a role in which I proudly served for the past five years. I tell folks that I’m Norwegian by marriage!”

BULLETIN BOARD NOTES: Bulletin Board loyalists will recall that BB had a longtime contributor called Norwegian By Marriage. Like so many contributors, sadly, she seems to have gone missing during the transition from daily publication in the Pioneer Press to less-than-daily “publication” at

If the many missing contributor are still out there, reading if not contributing, we’d genuinely like to hear from them — if only to say hello, once again.

Band Name of the Day: The Ignorant

Law Firm of the Day: Goofy & Naughty

Websites of the Day:


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