February 1, 2019
Menfolks are way more apt to give or acquire uncommon nicknames than gals are. Don't really know why that is, but that's the way it seems to me. I guess it's just a "guy thing."
That said, I think colorful nicknames were way more prevalent back in the days of my callow youth — the 1950s and '60s — than they are today.
I can dredge up in my memory a number of colorful nicknames from those halcyon days. For instance: "Duke" ran the local implement dealership. "Duck" was his buddy and a caterpillar operator and land contractor. "Fun" ran the local cream, egg and cull hen market and feed store. "Chub" ran the locker plant. "Frog" was the local one-eyed barber. "Gabby" worked in the grocery store.
"Rabbit" occupied a place in local lore in one nearby community and "Smokey" and "Baldy" in another. I never understood why, but one local guy wuz nicknamed "Pus." A couple of "Bucks," a "Buster" and a "Perk" farmed not far away.
"Toad" and "Bud" were close friends and neighbors. And, then there were "Spoonlicker," "Crowbar," "Crowbait," "Eben" and "Mac" that I went to school with. I also knew a "Buzz" and a "Gar" and the local old bachelor "Herb."
I guess growing up in that environment stamped me. I still like to hang descriptive nicknames to my friends. Two of my closest friends are "Brewski" and "Mocephus."
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With a name like Milo, I never acquired a nickname. A nickname is my "pseudo-given" name.
Well, the Super Bowl teams are set and both are teams I wuz rooting against. The Saint's aren't in the game because a ref swallowed his whistle. The Chiefs aren't in the game because of an ill-timed defensive off-sides.
It's crazy that such seemingly insignificant things in sports can have significant ramifications for lots of individuals and two major cities.
Drones are in the news again for all the wrong reasons. Twice, the threat of drones slamming into commercial airlines have brought two major airports to a complete standstill. I'm not sure why anyone would fly a drone in commercial air space unless they were a terrorist or a complete idiot.
Drones are another invention with both good and bad consequences. They are proving handy for a lot of agricultural uses like crop and livestock monitoring, etc. But, the downside of drones is unlawful surveillance and probably drug and contraband smuggling.
Too bad there's always an element of any society that chooses to use useful inventions in illegal ways for selfish purposes.
I heard today that the president's State of the Union address will be postponed until the partial government shutdown is ended. The Speaker of the House pettily denied the use of the house chamber for the president's speech.
First, I don't see why the speaker gets to make that decision. The Capitol Building belongs to the people, not to the speaker, so the president should be able to march into the Capitol and use it for a speech.
Second, there's gotta be other suitable places for the State of the Union speech. How about the National Cathedral?
American politics are getting weirder and wilder by the day. We need to elect patriotic grown-ups to office.
I read an article this morning that sounds far-fetched, but I think it's probably true. The article said our best friends — our dogs with their ultra-sensitive noses — may be better at diagnosing certain human diseases than medical science.
In a controlled research environment, dogs correctly sniffed out diseases in humans up to 80 percent better than standard medical practices.
Hey, I hope it catches on. I know dogs will be willing to work harder and way cheaper, at all times, including weekends, than doctors and nurses. My bird dog happily works all day for a 63-cent can of Ol' Roy dog food and a cup of kibble.
This story is said to be true, but I doubt it. IRS supposedly actually commented on this one. Either way, true or false, it's still worth a broad smile!
The IRS returned his tax return to a taxpayer after he apparently answered one of the questions incorrectly.
In response to the question — "Do you have anyone dependent on you?" — the man wrote: "Yes. 2.1 million illegal immigrants, 1.1 million crack heads, 4.4 million unemployable scroungers, 80,000 criminals in over 85 prisons, plus 650 idiots in Washington."
IRS stated that the response he gave was unacceptable.
The man's response back was: "Who did I leave out ?"
A kindly reader who knows I have laying hens emailed me this: "Colored eggs sell for more, so I put Christmas light bulbs in the hen house nests and my chickens lay colored eggs. Only problem I had, when I hung the American flag outdoors, one hen stripped all of her egg-laying gears and died."
Enuf drivel for one week. This column ends 44 years of writing it. Have a good 'un. ❖