11/7/2010

item 1 >>> As a language watcher, I note that Easy Peasy and Hopey Changey follow in a long tradition…Howdy Doody, Hurly Burly, Topsy Turvy, Upsy Daisy, Icky Sticky, Hokey Pokey, Rinky Dinky, Honky Tonky, Namby Pamby, Itty Bitty, Hickory Dickory, Rolly Polly, Piggly Wiggly, Handy Andy, Boney Maroney, Rootie Kazootie, Herky Jerky, Walkie Talklie, Touchy Feely, Hunky Dory, Shilly Shally, Dilly Dally, Hanky Panky, Willy Nilly, Okey Dokey, Fatty Boombalatty…the list is almost endless. Oh yeah, and the Hairy Canary…almost forgot that one…

item 2 >>> And of course you can add on, like Hanky Panky, Spanky….Okey Dokey, Smokey, or even Artichokey…its Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy. Then you have those food-based euphemisms for 4-letter words…”Sugar!”…”Fudge!”…”Oh, Fig!”…There’s a cool out-take out there from “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” a scene with Marty Ingels and Yvonne “Batgirl” Craig. She flubs her line, and in consternation shouts “Rats and mice!” No doubt expecting something stronger, Marty goes “Rats and mice???“…

item 3 >>> With Thanksgiving dead ahead…yes, of course, Mincemeat Pie (never Minced Meat) traditionally contained meat..beef or venison…plus beef suet. Today, not so much. It was one of the many ways to preserve meat before refrigeration came along. Rum or brandy served as a preservative, and what wasn’t used in pies was canned for future use.

item 4 >>> Frank Robinson became the Major’s first black manager with the Indians in 1975. Actually he was player-manager, and made a whopping $180,000.  But you know, there’s always an asterisk if you look hard enough. On May 8, 1973, en route to a 12-inning 3-2 win over the Padres, Cubs manager Whitey Lockman was ejected from the game, and since the other coaches were absent that day, it fell upon coach Ernie Banks to skipper the club for the final 2 innings. It’s not listed that way in the record books, but The Sporting News duly proclaimed Banks the Major Leagues’ first black manager, if only for a day. He never went on to become a full-time manager…

item 5 >>> The oldest public park in the USA? That would be the Boston Common, dating to 1634.

Item 6 >>> It’s unusual but not unheard of…Randy Moss is the 11th NFL player to play for 3 teams in the same season. But 7 players have played for 4 teams!  Most recent is kicker Jose Cortez in 2008…also Alvin Maxson in 1978, Roscoe Word in 1976, and the others are from the period 1924-30. I know, maybe Randy ain’t done yet…

Item 7 >>> You might be a Baby-Go-Boomer if you remember when Six Flags was over Texas, not over everywhere. BTW, the six that flew over Texas were those of France, Spain, Mexico, Texas Republic, the Confederacy, and USA. What, the Confederate States of America? Does that make the whole deal racist?….sheesh…

Item 8 >>> Ever wonder where the NBA’s Baltimore Bullets got that nickname? It comes from the Old Baltimore Shot Tower. Constructed of a million red bricks, it stands 234 feet tall, downtown opposite the Post Office, and was used to manufacture bullets or shot from 1828-1892. Molten lead was dropped from a platform near the top, thru sieves, into a vat of cold water. Essentially, gravity and surface tension formed the round shape of the ammunition. It was at one time the largest structure in the country, and designated a Historic Landmark in 1972.

item 9 >>> I had originally heard that it was from Maine and called “All-Weed Tea.” I can find no trace of it on the net…big deal, I stump the net a couple times a day. I did find, from Alabama, “Many Weed Tea,” which is the same thing…tea made from dried cow manure. As the name implies, it always tastes different, depending on what the cow happened to be eating. Its supposed to be good for colds, fever, even flu. The Birmingham News ran a story about it in 2002, and it was quickly picked up by the Weekly World News. An article in a University of North Carolina journal mentions that it resembles a French Canadian cure for sore throats, so now we’re back near Maine. Groovy…

item 10 >>> …but now that I think of it, I’ve heard of substitutes for tobacco during the Revolutionary War…some preferred cornsilk, others cow manure. Then there are tales from England of mixing horse manure with tobacco for pipe-smoking. It’s said to be surprisingly aromatic, and indeed, farmers say horse crap is the cleanest and least contaminating…it’s basically just chopped up bits of grass and hay, and why not, it’s processed thru just one stomach, not four. Cows, pigs, dogs, sheep, poultry, all are worse than horses, and human waste is the most dangerous of all, so they say.

Wicked Ballsy


A.1. Steak Sauce was invented by a British chef in 1824. Production in the US began in 1895 by G. F. Heublein & Brothers of Hartford, Conn., producer and distributor of alcoholic beverages. They were also responsible, much later, for Brass Monkey in the 60s, and Hereford’s Cow in the 70s. Acquired by R. J. Reynolds in 1982, then Nabisco, and now Kraft.

shameless plugalia…

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Daily blogs at http://stolf.wordpress.com and  https://deepfriedhoodsiecups.wordpress.com

More bloggage at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Resume and audio samples at http://home.rr.com/mastolfi

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