|Mark that twain|
|Wednesday, July 11, 2012|
By ANNE DONNELL
Hi, Mrs. Donnell, I'm not very techno, my daughter actually hooked me up with this iPhone . I have a question for you, and I've tried sending it through Wilson Post and can't seem to get it through, so I'll just ask here. When the weather is perfect like it has been for a day or two why do the weather men refer to it as “a Chamber of Commerce Day”? -Thanks L. L. J.
Well, hello, Facebook friend! That’s the route this question travelled. Traveled. The first past tense of travel is the British version; the second is the American. If you’re feeling international, double your l’s. It turns out I’m very British Isles; I submitted DNA to Ancestry.com and my results were 76 percent British Isles, 21 percent north central Europe, 3 percent unknown. Of all things, they included a little spiel to remind me that Shakespeare was English. I suppose someone doesn’t know.
I think the British Isles percentage explains my eccentricity. Studying the behavior of the British historically, I’ll assume that it’s really all that Welsh (singing ballads, writing poems, digging coal, painting themselves very like Braveheart, going out and slaughtering people) in me coming out. I’ve yet to go mining or start slaughtering, but as old age loosens the boundaries of social constraint, perhaps I’ll take up contract killing when I want a little extra cash. Cut rates for other retired teachers. “Cut rates” is a pun.
I’ll update you when the slaughter begins. Coal mining is out.
A quick online trip to Urban Dictionary answered the question for today. Chamber of Commerce weather is “Any type of sunny weather that would attract visitors to your city. In Atlanta, that means 65 degrees and sunny on a Saturday in February.”
With the excellent Chambers our county possesses, I’d imagine their high standards in everything else would apply to weather.
Here’s a little weather and Mark Twain [1835-1910, American, writer. Real name: Samuel Langhorne Clemens. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are two of his most famous.] “When a person is accustomed to 138 in the shade, his ideas about cold weather are not valuable....In India, ‘cold weather’ is merely a conventional phrase and has come into use through the necessity of having some way to distinguish between weather which will melt a brass door-knob and weather which will only make it mushy.” - Following the Equator
Here’s a little sorting out about weather and Mark Twain from Encyclopedia Britannica Blog “Facts Matter” “Mark Twain … is famous for having said, among other things, ‘Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.’ Trouble is, Twain didn’t actually say it; the witticism comes from his friend Charles Dudley Warner, with whom he wrote the novel The Gilded Age, but even then the wording is a touch different.”
There will be more about Facebook next week.
ONLINE DEPARTMENT “Grocery Store Excitement” (Thanks, J. A., P. K., and J. W.) There was a bit of confusion at the store this morning. When I was ready to pay for my groceries, the cashier said, "Strip down, facing me." Making a mental note to complain to my congressman about Homeland Security running amok, I did just as she had instructed.When the hysterical shrieking and alarms finally subsided, I found out that she was referring to my debit card. I have been asked to shop elsewhere in the future. They need to make their instructions to seniors a little clearer.
ONLINE DEPARTMENT, part 2 “Monday Morning Thinking” (Thanks, J.W.G.) If you're not familiar with the work of Steven Wright, he's an actor, writer, comedian with a deadpan delivery who once said: “I woke up one morning, and all of my stuff had been stolen and replaced by exact duplicates.” His mind sees things differently than most of us do. Here are some of his gems: 1 - I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize. 2 - Borrow money from pessimists -- they don't expect it back. 3 - Half the people you know are below average. 4 - 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name. 5 - 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot. 6 - A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good. 7 - A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory. 8 - If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain. 9 - All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand. 10 - The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. 11 - I almost had a psychic girlfriend, but she left me before we met. 12 - OK, so what's the speed of dark? 13 - How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink? 14 - If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something. 15 - Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm. 16 - When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane. 17 - Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy. 18 - Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now. 19 - I intend to live forever. So far, so good. 20 - If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends? 21 - Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines. 22 - What happens if you get scared half to death twice? 23 - My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder." 24 - Why do psychics have to ask you for your name? 25 - If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried. 26 - A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. 27 - Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it. 28 - The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread. 29 - To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research. 30 - The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard. 31 - The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up. 32 - The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it. 33 - Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have film. 34 - If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you. 35 - If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?