Category Archives: Just for Fun
Everything’s in this video! A parrot who does card tricks. Ricocheting cats. An emu who trips over the sidewalk. And a pair of parrots who sing a duet. Well, all right, it comes up short on the axolotl front–but then so does Ye Olde Shoppe of Curious Curios in Scurveyshire.
Byron the Quokka here, to announce the winner of our milestone once-in-a-lifetime comment contest! The winner, the reader who posted No. 50,000, which will never happen again, is….trumpets, please!
“Evreilly”! (We know her as Evelyn.) Her comment came in late last night, just as we were packing it in for the day. You can find her comment attached to the post, “My Interview with Lee Strobel”–it’s a great comment, by the way. So Ev wins an official Quokka T-shirt, either in Large (very dark blue) or Extra Large (bright red). All we need from you, mate, is your mailing address: please email it, and tell us your choice of shirts.
Now watch all the comments dry up because the contest is over. I told Lee that wouldn’t happen on my watch, so I’ll have to find some way to keep things hopping.
These four or five cats will not let the neighbors’ dog come onto their property. The dog is convinced it’s a game; you can tell that by his body language. And maybe it is–note how careful the cats are never to actually catch him. I’m sure they could, if they really wanted to. Yes, I think it is a game. These critters are a lot more sophisticated than we give them credit for.
P.S.–You can’t get fence lizards to do things like this.
Introducing Chapter CCCXXII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular cautions her readers, “Please exercise caution in reading this chapter, as it contains graphic descriptions of a no-longer approved medical procedure.” In actuality, she seems to have forgotten to write those graphic descriptions, so there’s really no need for any kind of caution here.
Johnno the Merry Minstrel is not so merry lately, as he suffers complications from the gizzardectomy performed on him by Dr. Fanabla. The doctor suspects the gizzard is trying to grow back. This can be a problem when you remove a chap’s gizzard. “The only solution is a transfusion!” declares the doctor. He then proceeds to transfuse blood from Johnno’s left arm into Johnno’s right arm. This seems to do the trick. “They’re going to wind up having to name the Royal Society of Surgeons after me!” the doctor exults.
Meanwhile no charges against the Wise Woman of the Woods can be made to stick, as there is no law in this part of England against buying up all the axolotls in a curiosity shop. As Scurveyshire’s justice of the peace, Lord Jeremy Coldsore has no alternative but to release her.
There is, however, a hitch. “She don’t wanna leave the hoosegow, ol’ hoss,” reports Willis Twombley, the American adventurer. Lord Jeremy has to rush over to the jailhouse to evict her.
“You can’t sell me on leaving this cell,” she replies, with a feeble attempt at a crepuscularity. (Really, Violet, it’s not up to your standard.) “I’d forgotten what a bonny thing it is to have a roof over one’s head and three meals a day prepared by someone else. From now on, you may address me as the Wise Woman of the Gaol.” “Gaol,” Ms. Crepuscular informs us, is how people in Britain misspell the word “jail.” “Even Oscar Wilde never learned how to spell it right,” she adds.
Here the chapter breaks for want of anything more to say.
I’m in a mood for comedy today, which is a good mood. A little later we plan to watch Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein. But first, a little excursion into the unpredictable vagaries of fame.
Don Marquis (1878-1937) was a newspaper columnist, playwright, and author of many books. He is best remembered for his stories of “archy,” a cockroach, who had been a poet in a past life and now sought to carry on by jumping headfirst onto the keys of Mr. Marquis’ typewriter at night, while the human members of the household slept. Archy’s writings are all in lower case because he has no way of operating the shift key. His sidekick is “mehitabel the alley cat,” who used to be Cleopatra, and his antagonist is “freddie the rat,” formerly a rival poet who now tries to steal archy’s material.
These were still popular when I was a boy, and for all I know, are still popular today. During Marquis’ lifetime they were tremendously popular–by far the most popular fiction that he ever wrote.
Which was not what he’d intended!
In Don Marquis’ own words, “It would be one on me if I should be remembered for creating a cockroach character.”
Life can turn out pretty funny sometimes.
During my boyhood, at just about this time every year, we received our Sears-Roebuck Christmas catalogue. Oh, boy! My brother, my sister, and I spent hours and hours marveling at the treasures depicted therein.
My favorites were the various play sets, featuring a whole bunch of little plastic figurines with a nice big setting for them. My brother would have loved the one pictured above! You not only get lots of little cars, but also this wonderful service station plus parking deck.
We had play sets for the Age of Dinosaurs, a farm, Cape Canaveral–you could put your eye out with those spring-launched rockets–an army base, and a three-ring circus.
And look at the price–$4.98 for the whole shootin’ match, or you can get the super-colossal version for $7.98. These items now sell on eBay for hundreds of bucks apiece. I remember when I wanted the dinosaur set and my father said we couldn’t afford it, five dollars was just too much. I wound up getting it for Christmas, and I still have some of the dinosaurs today. (Wish I’d kept those rockets, though!)
Oh, so many play sets! King Arthur and his knights, Ben-Hur and his chariot race, Wagon Train, Fort Apache, the jungle trading post–I used to get off on just reveling in the pictures in the catalogue.
Now, I do realize that such things have nothing whatever to do with Christmas, the real Christmas, but are really just add-ons to express the joy we experience at the birth of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Without Him it’s only a festival of Mammon. We do have to take care, especially with our children, that this is clearly understood. We mustn’t celebrate the gifts; the gifts are a celebration of Christ.
But I will stack up the 1959 Sears Christmas catalogue against any cultural artifact of this present time, and come out way ahead.
What a thought this was–a detective who can’t shoot a gun, can’t survive a fistfight, and can’t even run away. What could be more original than that? A little old lady who lives in a village!
Joan Hickson was Agatha Christie’s choice to play Miss Marple, and didn’t get to do so until she was as old as Miss Marple. The result was well worth waiting for.
Forget about any other Marples. These are the best.
I never had a dog who had any trouble going up or down stairs. But this video suggests that a lot of dogs do. Some can only go up if they do it backwards. Some belly-flop down the stairs on purpose. Others, not on purpose. Maybe they should all watch that video of the hamster climbing up a flight of stairs. Might learn something.