March Ramblings

Well, it’s March. And every year about this time I get to wishing for the old days on the fair and exposition circuit, where I misspent much of my youth. Taking the marks money and making sure .they had enough of a good time that they would be back tomorrow night.

Which is called fair value for the money, you know. Because if you don’t satisfy your customer they don’t come back and your income stops. Which is something some of the merchants around town need to learn.

Of course, things are all different now. Used to be the fair secretary ran the show, and wanted ten percent of your take. Which is fair.

Nowadays the fair board runs the show, and they each what ten percent of your take. And when there are eight or ten members on the Fair Board, there is not much left for you. But anyhoo…

I was in a drug store a while back and a chubby, no, plumb hefty, sort of a gal asked the little gal clerk for talcum powder. Cute lil’ gal clerk. Cute as a bug in a rug, with a move in her motion that said “female and proud of it.” Natural, I was watching the scenery. I appreciate free shows.

The gal clerk says “Walk this way, mam,” and starts ankling down an aisle. And that fat gal sez “If I could walk that way I wouldn’t need talcum powder.”

Which reminds me of the two CCNY kids who blew into the Big Easy last Mardi Gras. They had heard about what a big time they could have in New Orleans, and they came ready to enjoy themselves. They landed at the Airport, got a cab, wrote a note to the driver where they wanted to go, and spent their first night in the Big Easy wandering around Schwegman’s Grocery Warehouse on Airline. College boys, they couldn’t spell very well, you know.

That must have been those two kids who hijacked a nuclear submarine. After they had the captain and crew in their clutches they demanded two million dollars in small bills and two parachutes.

Which, you know what they call a City College of New York education these days, don’t you? Trivial pursuit.

They had one of those CCNY kids on one of those Millionaire wanna be shows recently. The emcee asked him what was a Polaroid. The kid says it’s a painful rectal condition caused by sitting on ice. Which is not a bad guess, at that.

I heard that they have a new guy in charge of CCNY’s philosophy department. This guy’s name is Ole Torvaldson. Sounds sort of sqvarehead, Swede or Norwegian, to me. Fine folks, just a little peculiar.

Anyhoo, here’s the latest thing in philosophy. Philosophy in Four Parts, all you need to know to succeed in life, according to Ole….

One.) Wives are like baseball umpires. They never believe a man is safe when he is out.

Two.) There is only one kind of liar a man can tolerate. A good looking blonde who tells him he’s looking younger every day.

Tree.) If you want to soar with the eagles all day, you cannot hoot with the owls all night.

For.) If you think your job is small and the rewards are few, just remember the mighty oak was once a little nut like you.

Of course, there are worse schools than CCNY. Somewhere. I did hear that up in Detroit high schools are teaching kids that Trotsky is the Russian word for diarrhea.

And I heard a kid in Gulfport flunked her drivers ed test. She opened the door to let her clutch out. Of course, I am just joshing about that. It was actually a boy.

That guy needed to be like Granny. One kid asked another kid why his granny studied her Bible so much.

“She’s studying for her finals,” was the answer.

But speaking of learning, I was in Blue Ox country, Bemidji, up in Minnesota, the land of a thousand lakes, sitting by the lake watching the loons in front of me and watching out for the loons driving on the street behind me. I had to watch the ones behind me, one almost ran me over.

But I was getting some belly timber, to keep my navel from chafing a hole in my spine, and heard this guy say his daddy taught him to swim. Told his friend that daddy took him out in the rowboat and tossed him out in the middle of the lake.

“Chee,” sez his compadre, “that’s a tough way to learn to swim.”

“Nahh, the swimming was OK” sed the swimmer. “The tough part was getting out of the sack.”

That was the year I stopped in the Edina Diner. Most of those eatin’ joints in that part of the world were so bad they kept Alka Seltzer on tap, but I was working on a slab of apple pie, best I remember ever hooking a lip over, and drinkin’ a cuppa of “just right coffee” when a local comes in and hails the counter man.

“Hey, Barney,” sez the stranger, “How’s your divorce coming?”

“Not so goot,” sighs the waiter. “Lena sez she ain’t giving me a divorce until she can figure out how to do it without making me happy.”

Yessir, that part of the world is plumb different. I was staying in a boarding house in Blue Earth one time, and the landlady said she came up with a heart condition.

The way she told it the doctor gave her a bottle of pills and told her not to climb any stairs, and to come back in two weeks. “But doctor,” she protests, “My bedroom is on the second floor.”

“I understand that,” sez the croaker, “But it’s really important that you not climb any stairs.”

So she goes back to the sawbones in two weeks and he pronounces her perfectly healthy.

“I’m healthy,” she sez, “Does that mean I can climb stairs now?”

“Yes, you can climb any and all the stairs you feel like climbing. You are healthy as a horse,” sez Doc.

“I’m so glad of that. I was getting tired of shinnying up the dam drainpipe every night.”

That was the place the landlady accidentally shut the cat up in the freezer. The next morning the cook opened the freezer and there was the cat – stiff as a board. So the cook put a few drops of gasoline on the cats tongue. And you talk about a cat coming alive!

That cat put it in high gear around there for about ten minutes. And then it just flopped. Right in the middle of the parlor floor. Plunk, dropped right there and didn’t move a muscle.

But it wasn’t dead. Just out of gas.

Stranger

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