Nothing was safe from an Anti-Pack Rat on the warpath against spiders!

The Permanent Maternal Record

Tim Torkildson writes: “My mother was not a pack rat. In fact, she was the Anti-Pack Rat. If it didn’t have an immediate use or recurring purpose, out it went.

“She allowed one small cardboard box for Christmas decorations, about the size of a toaster. We kept nothing in the attic; it was a sterile facility for the storage of dust. The basement was bare as well. One lone card table leaned against a whitewashed wall in the unlikely event we had enough company over to require its use. Otherwise there was nothing but a dehumidifier and the washing machine and dryer. Not even a cabinet to store detergent, bleach, and Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing. All that stuff was placed beneath the cast-iron laundry sink, right out in plain sight.

” ‘Spiders are formed around undisturbed materials,’ she told me darkly as a child.

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“What’s this $2.08 extra on my bill?” “Well, sir, that’s money we need more than you do. You just pay it, sir.”

Our times

Reports GopherLink of Dresser, Wis.: “When my internet bill went up $2.08 without explanation, I just had to know what it was all about, so I called and was told that there was an increase in the ‘Broadband Cost Recovery Fee’ by this amount.

Continue reading ““What’s this $2.08 extra on my bill?” “Well, sir, that’s money we need more than you do. You just pay it, sir.””

If eastern North Dakota were “western North Dakota,” would you notice anything amiss?

Unclear on the concept
Leading to: Hmmmmmmmm

IGHGrampa: “In a shop at the Mall of America, I noticed some state-shape decorations on the wall above the display shelves.

“They had North Dakota backwards. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota — they were all the right way. But they had North Dakota up with the eastern border on the west.

Continue reading “If eastern North Dakota were “western North Dakota,” would you notice anything amiss?”

When grandchildren are due on the same day, continents apart, what’s a Grandma-to-be to do?

Our times
Or: The highfalutin amazements

The Gram With a Thousand Rules: “My oldest daughter, who lives in Australia, has been waiting a long time to become a grandmother, so when her daughter in Colorado gave her the long-awaited news, she knew she had to be there. She had already booked her trip to Colorado when her son informed her that his wife was also pregnant — due on the same day — in Australia. I’m told that after her first thrilled shout, as she digested the travel logistics involved, she uttered a few Grandpa Jake expletives and then muttered: ‘It will be OK. Babies never come on their due date, anyhow.’

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It takes a village to unraze a village. Pretare must rise again!

Here & There
Or: Life as we know it

Grandma Pat, “formerly of rural Roberts, Wisconsin”: “Over the years, I have learned of earthquakes in many parts of the world, and I have thought: ‘Oh, those poor people.’

“Now it is different. An Italian village where my family has roots has been destroyed. It has suffered three earthquakes. The third earthquake toppled the buildings that were already damaged and cracked by the two earlier quakes.

Continue reading “It takes a village to unraze a village. Pretare must rise again!”

Fifty-three years ago today: Where were you when JFK was murdered?

11/22/1963

Willard B. Shapira of Roseville writes: “I was working in the KSTP newsroom when, about 12:30 p.m., the teletype bells began ringing as I never had heard them ring before. A major story was breaking: JFK had been shot in Dallas and was being rushed to a hospital, where he subsequently died. Our news director, Harold ‘Bud’ Meier, now deceased, swung into action. He told me to grab a photographer and to shoot some footage of the gray, misty day along the Mississippi River, to use as a backdrop for the developing local aspects to the story.

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Black Friday Madness on the showroom floor — or: What brand of car are “real people, not actors” STILL clueless about?

Badvertising

Today’s nomination comes from longtime badvertising connoisseur Jim Fitzsimons of St. Paul: “Chevy has been running the same basic TV ad campaign for a few years now. The ads show a bearded fellow talking to ‘real people, not actors’ (as though actors aren’t real people, but I know what they mean) about how awesome Chevy cars and trucks are. They’re better built, they’re more reliable, they’ve won all the awards, and so on.

Continue reading “Black Friday Madness on the showroom floor — or: What brand of car are “real people, not actors” STILL clueless about?”