The Permanent Family Record
Or: What’s in a name?
DebK of Rosemount: “Cousin Linda and I have been attempting to account for the odd names sometimes bestowed on children. Early in this effort, I trotted out a well-worn story of acquaintances who named their children after automobiles: Ford, Mercedes, Porsche, and Edsel. After expressing particular sympathy for the kid named for one of the great duds in car-making history, Cousin Linda confessed that her branch — the Bailey/Ware branch — of the family has a twig called ‘Nash,’ whose naming led Cousin Linda down one of her trademark ‘scenic routes,’ the deliciousness of which must be shared:
“’When my older brothers (and Cousins Alice and Carolyn) were little, Grandma Ware had a Nash car. Possibly Grandpa Ware was still alive when they first acquired the car. Anyway, whenever the kids saw the vehicle coming down the road toward the house (and not grasping that the name of the car was actually Nash), they’d excitedly exclaim, “It’s the Dash! It’s the Dash!” When the “Dash” was retired, it took up residence at the edge of our grove, and Cousin Donnie and I (and the Bailey cousins, as well) would play “car,” pretending to go on vacations in it. You could shift the gear shift, use the signals, turn the steering wheel, push on the gas and brake pedals, roll the windows up and down, put things in the glove compartment, even recline the seats — all that exciting stuff. It was genuinely great fun, and on those imaginary trips, our preferred snack food to bring along was a bag of Cheetos (really the only times I recall having that coveted treat). The Dash was beloved by all, so much so that when my niece named her son Nash, both cousins Alice and Carolyn commented, “What did they do? Name him after Grandma’s old car?”‘”
BULLETIN BOARD NOTES: It is only because of our being a rabid golfer (and intrepid reader of golf “journalism”) that we know about Maverick McNealy and his three brothers: Dakota, Colt and Scout.
What’s in a (band) name?
Semi-Legend: “Subject: Great band name.
“Bioluminescent Strawberry Squid can be found at . . .
“. . .in this passage:
“‘The twilight zone, or mesopelagic, is a globe-spanning layer of the ocean just beyond the reach of sunlight that is home to a vast number and diversity of creatures. Many of these inhabitants of the depths appear strange at first glance, but they are uniquely adapted to life in their environment.
“'”The ocean twilight zone plays a critical role in the health of our planet,” said Samuel Harp, WHOI’s Vice President for Advancement and Chief Marketing Officer. “Yet almost nobody has heard of it, and even fewer will ever see it with their own eyes. So how can we make people care what happens there?”
“‘The answer, according to Harp, is to help people relate to the weird and wonderful characteristics that help these creatures survive, and thrive, in the twilight zone. Creatures like the fangtooth, which is known for having the largest tooth-to-body-size ratio in the animal kingdom. There’s also the angler fish. When a male angler fish finds a mate, he latches onto her with his sharp teeth, only to find his entire body slowly absorbed into the female’s body until only his reproductive organs remain. Or the popular, bioluminescent strawberry squid, which has two distinct eyes, one for looking up toward the surface and the other to peer down into the darkness. The internet fact-checking website Snopes reported that the strawberry squid does in fact exist, despite its otherworldly appearance.'”
What is right with people?
Otis from Inver Grove reports: “Subject: A grateful American.
“This note was under the windshield wiper of my dad’s truck at Life Time Fitness this morning. They must have seen his Purple Heart license plate.
“We are grateful for all those who served their country with honor!
“To the thoughtful person who left the note: Thank you for making a veteran’s day!”
Kathy S. of St. Paul writes: “Subject: My heart is with our heroes.
“There has been a lot of news from Afghanistan lately, including the loss of 13 beautiful heroes who will never grow old. I am rooting for their families and friends, and especially for the baby due to be born soon.
“But I was struck by the two women among the 13 we lost. When I was their age, I never had to worry about the military draft, despite the Vietnam War. Females were not drafted, and the few who enlisted were mostly barred from war zones. I was relieved that my two left feet and I couldn’t be sent to fight.
“A picture of one of the young women was taken days before her death. She is cuddling an Afghan baby and saying how she loved her job. I am proud to see her prove her worth in combat boots, and grieving that she won’t see that baby grow up.
“The price of change seems too high, sometimes. May all the sacrifices made this week be worthwhile.”
The Permanent Family Record
Including: Please release me! (responsorial)
Friendly Bob of Fridley, “M.A. (Master of Abstruseness), with a Minor in Nounification”: “As mentioned by Ramblin’ Rose (August 25), I, too, once attended a wedding reception many years ago where people were required to sing a song containing the word ‘love’ in order to elicit a kiss between bride and groom. I do not think I ever attended another like that.
“Being of a rather abstruse nature (not to be confused with ‘obtuse’ — look it up!), I knew I would have to come up with something obscure (not to be confused with ‘obtuse’ — look it up!), rather than an obvious choice like the Marshall Tucker Band’s ‘Heard It in a Love Song.’ So calling upon my degree in abstrusity (Or is it abstruseness? Actually, either is acceptable!), I mulled it over a bit and came up with the theme song of ‘Green Acres.’
“Alas, we did not get to perform it because time ran out on me before I could locate a broom to stand in for Oliver Wendell Douglas’s pitchfork. I was SO sure that everyone would find it just SO hilarious. Well, maybe not.
“And just where in this theme does that special word appear? I will leave THAT as an exercise for the reader. I’ll give one little hint: It is spoken by the lovely Ms. Gabor/Lisa Douglas. And it is further into the song than the occurrence in that Oscar Mayer theme. Is that two hints? Whatever.”
Could be verse!
A pair of haiku from Tim Torkildson: “cedar berries glow
“a ghostly aquamarine —
“the lawn needs mowing
“in the summer dust
“the sparrows bathe and tumble —
“time to do laundry”
Joy of Juxtaposition
Vertically Challenged: “Thursday night, I was reading in my book ’Chasing Fireflies,’ by Charles Martin. In the book, the guy had written an obituary, and I read: “. . . she passed away August 27th.’ I looked at the top of my tablet to see the time, which was a few minutes after 1:00 a.m. — on August 27th!”
The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: One million and one?
“I was reminded today, for at least the millionth time, that if ever there were a need for me to have a third hand . . . it’s Saran Wrap.”
Fun facts to know and tell (responsorial)
Wingnut writes: “This is the first time I have submitted a response to BB, despite having been a fan of the column for many years. I found it coincidental, after reading John in Highland‘s reference to John Stewart writing the song ‘Durango’ after losing out to Kris Kristofferson for the role of Billy the Kid for the Peckinpah-directed movie ‘Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid’: I had spent yesterday afternoon prepping veggies for fajitas and listening to a number of John Stewart albums, including the song ‘Durango,’ which is featured on Stewart’s ‘Cannons in the Rain’ album. Stewart’s ‘California Bloodlines’ album was at one time on Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 100 albums list. Stewart also penned the Monkees’ hit ‘Daydream Believer.’ Being both a Stewart and Kingston Trio fan, I had the pleasure of meeting John, as well as Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds. All three have since passed away.”
Blinded by the lyrics
The REF in White Bear Lake: “Thanks to John in Highland’s remembrances [Sunday BB, 8/29/2021] of John Stewart and his song ‘Gold’ — a song I loved back when it came out (in 1979! Bombs away, dream babies!) — I listened to it again after many years.
“And in this day and age, I come equipped with sources to see what the lyric actually is — the line that has blinded me lo these many years. He was not ‘driving on macadam’; nor was he ‘driving on Buchanan.’ He was ‘driving over Kanan.’
“Which is . . . ? Kanan Road is a California street that connects Agoura Hills with Malibu. (The Santa Monica Mountains separate the two communities.)
“And Twitty of Como’s reminiscence of Linda Ronstadt’s backing vocals on ‘An American Dream’ led me to confirm the Nitty Gritties’ dream about Jamaica being ‘a big neon sign’ — not ‘a pygmy on size.’
“Take that, Lady Mondegreen.’
Not exactly what he had in mind
Norsky: “Subject: Immaculate Inning & Immaculate Reception.
“An immaculate inning occurs when a pitcher strikes out all three batters he faces in one inning, using the minimum possible number of pitches (nine). Ninety-five different pitchers have struck out three batters on nine consecutive pitches in a half-inning of a Major League Baseball (MLB) game as of July 2021.
“Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox threw an immaculate inning in the third inning at Fenway Park against the Minnesota Twins Thursday night, August 26, 2021. He struck out Twins Nick Gordon, Andrelton Simmons, and Rob Refsnyder. It was the third immaculate inning of his career.
“During the game, Dick Bremer was discussing Chris Sale’s immaculate inning with his broadcast partner, Justin Morneau. Dick mentioned that it reminded him of Dallas Cowboy Drew Pearson’s immaculate reception to win against the Vikings in their 1975 playoff game.
“I mentioned to my wife, who was watching the Twins game with me, that Dick was mistaken regarding the immaculate reception he just mentioned. The ‘Immaculate Reception’ was a famous game-winning reception by Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris of a pass from Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw during the 1972 Raiders-at-Pittsburgh playoff game.
“We watched that 1975 Cowboys-at-Vikings playoff game. The reception by Drew Pearson should have been called back by the officials for offensive pass interference for pushing Vikings defending cornerback Nate Wright down.
“Later in the Twins broadcast, Dick stated that someone had sent him an email explaining the Immaculate Reception, and that he stood corrected. I did not send the email.”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Bravo, Dick Bremer! We can tell you, from personal experience, that many media personalities, in the Twin Cities and elsewhere, would simply have ignored that correction, wherever it came from.
Website of the Day (responsorial)
The Divine Mum of Crocus Hill: “Subject: OMG.
“I loved the Website of the Day, recommended by Kathy S. of St. Paul, of the Gardiner Brothers dancing to ‘Stayin’ Alive,’ but I had a hard time staying focused on the dancers. I kept being diverted by the dog and that woman in aqua!”
The Case of the Missing Twin
Or: Not exactly what (if anything) they had in mind
Cherie of Inver Grove Heights: “Subject: Lost in the . . . transition.
“Twin City Federal, once a savings-and-loan company, then a bank, then TCF/tcf, has been bought by Huntington Bank. Billboards throughout the Twin Cities happily inform us of this. But someone at Huntington Bank didn’t do their homework. A billboard on Highway 52 South, just a smidge away from the heart of downtown St. Paul, says ‘Hello Minneapolis!’ along with the message that ‘tcf’ is now Huntington Bank. Guess St. Paul got lost in the . . . transition.”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: It remains amazing to us that institutions with presumably healthy advertising budgets (and expensive advertising agencies) continue to make this boneheaded blunder. Surely St. Paul (and its suburbs) were accounted for in their market research?
Hello, Twin Cities!
Band Name of the Day: Fangtooth — or: The Lady Mondegreens
Website of the Day: Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy