Wednesday, August 03, 2011

FENDER SKIRTS

I know some of you will not understand this message, but I bet you know someone who might. I came across this phrase yesterday. 'FENDER SKIRTS.'


A term I haven't heard in a long time, and thinking about 'fender skirts' started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice like 'curb feelers.'




And 'steering knobs.' (AKA) ?~suicide knob,? ?~neckers knobs.?



Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first.

Any kids will probably have to find some older person over 50 to explain some of these terms to you.

Remember 'Continental kits?'
They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental.



When did we quit calling them 'emergency brakes?' At some point 'parking brake' became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with 'emergency brake.'


I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the 'foot feed.' Many today do not even know what a clutch is or that the dimmer switch used to be on the floor.



Didn't you ever wait at the street for your daddy to come home, so you could ride the 'running board' up to the house?



Here's a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore - 'store-bought.' Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days. But once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a store-bought bag of candy.



'Coast to coast' is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term 'world wide' for granted. This floors me.


On a smaller scale, 'wall-to-wall' was once a magical term in our homes. In the '50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go
figure.


.

When was the last time you heard the quaint phrase 'in a family way?' It's hard to imagine that the word 'pregnant' was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company, so we had all that talk about stork visits and 'being in a family way' or simply 'expecting.'

Apparently 'brassiere' is a word no longer in usage. I said it the other day and my daughter cracked up. I guess it's just 'bra' now. 'Unmentionables' probably wouldn't be understood at all.

I always loved going to the 'picture show,' but I considered 'movie' an affectation.



Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure '60s word I came across the other day 'rat fink.' Ooh, what a nasty put-down!



Here's a word I miss - 'percolator.' That was just a fun word to say. And what was it replaced with 'Coffee maker.' How dull... Mr. Coffee, I blame you for this.



I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro. Words like 'DynaFlow' and 'Electrolux.' Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with 'SpectraVision!'



Food for thought. Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. Maybe that's what castor oilcured, because I never hear mothers threatening kids with castor oil anymore.



Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most is 'supper.' Now everybody says 'dinner.' Save a great word. Invite someone to supper. Discuss fender skirts.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Darwin Awards

First, the honorable mentions:

The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved.

A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn't caught for three days.

An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer.... $15. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?]

Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.

As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."

The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 5 A.M., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away [A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER].

When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street by sucking on a hose, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline, but he plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

And the winner is......

When his 38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

If you never had to pray, How would you know that I am a Deliverer?