Another episode of creative hearing, reported by The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “Subject: Not smarter than . . .
“After her trip to the post office, my wife informed me: ‘I bought some Yogi Bear stamps.’
“I replied ‘That’s nice’ and looked forward to seeing the cartoon character (and possibly Boo Boo) the next time I needed postage.
“The need arose a few days later, and as I located the stamps — much to my surprise — there was Lawrence Peter Berra in his Yankee pinstripes.
“As Yogi would say . . .”
BULLETIN BOARD YOGIFIES: Hey, hey, hey, Boo Boo! Nobody goes to the post office anymore. It’s too crowded!
Gee, our old La Salle ran great!
GREGORY J. of Dayton’s Bluff: “Subject: Remember the Embers.
“Once again I bought something interesting, at least to me, on eBay. It was a laminated Embers menu from around 1970, when I, my family, and friends used to eat there quite often. The front was fake wood grain with just ‘Embers’ in script on it.
“Inside was the slogan ‘Remember the Embers for real good food.’ It was catchy if not exactly grammatically correct. A variation of this on the back cover read ‘Welcome to the Embers for real good food.’ [Bulletin Board muses: Put a comma between “real” and “good,” and you’d have what Embers could offer. Even Embers’ ad agency might have found fault with “really good food.”]
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, the Embers menu made up for its minimal food descriptions with plenty of photos.
“Embers offered Steak, Fish, Seafood and Chicken Dinners, not to mention Steak and Seafood Sandwiches, Diet Delights, Franks and Country Ham sandwiches. (For some reason, all of the Franks were called ‘Mr. K,’ and the Country Ham sandwiches, ‘Mr. B,’ with multiple versions of each.)
“Of course Embers was best known for its Embergers and Jumbo Embergers. They both came in standard, with Melted Cheese, California Style, Royal, Combo and Royal Combo versions, which featured various combinations of lettuce, cheese, bacon strips and fries. A Jumbo Royal Combo cost $2.55, while the standard Emberger was only 95 cents.
“No meal was complete without dessert, for which coupons could be found almost constantly in the local newspapers. The most popular dessert was pie. There were apple, blueberry, strawberry and pecan fruit pies, with or without ice cream, and banana coconut, strawberry, apple, blueberry and hot fudge cream pies. All pies cost 65 or 75 cents.
“Embers was great in its heyday, but it started to slowly fade away in the 1980s. An attempt to bring it back to its former glory took place in the late 1990s, with limited success. The final Embers, located in Fridley, closed in March 2021 . . . but we’ll always ‘Remember the Embers.’
“P.S. These are probably way too many photos to use, but a scanner is a terrible thing to waste.”
MIKE: USE WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. ALL OF THEM, IF YOU HAVE A BIG SPACE! Fine with me if they dominate the page and you have to trim a bunch of other stuff. MAN, I HOPE YOU HAVE COLOR THIS SUNDAY.
Life (and death) as we know it
JOHN IN HIGHLAND: “Subject: ‘It’s Time You Were Learning the Miner’s Job.’
“Those of us of Irish descent have heard stories of our forebears who fled the potato famine in the mid-1800s and came to America. In large U.S. cities, many of the men became policemen. Many others became coal miners. Recently I became aware of a song written by Ewan MacColl, ‘Schoolday’s Over,’ that describes a collier’s (coal miner’s) life.
“My great-grandfather, Cornelius (Con), left Killimor, County Tipperary, Ireland for the U.S. in 1848 at age 22. Con settled in St. Paul, where he met and married an Irish girl named Margaret Cregan. They lived in St. Paul in the 1850s, at Sixth and Minnesota Streets. Reports of newly discovered coal veins and need for laborers caused them to eventually relocate to Streator, Illinois.
“Con worked as a miner in the ‘Peanut Hill’ coal mine in Streator. He was described as a man well educated and thoroughly posted in historical events. According to the local newspaper, few men read more or were better versed on passing events. His family included eight children, five boys and three girls.
“In the spring of 1878, thunderstorms caused the Coal Run creek to overflow its banks, flooding the mine. Most of the 75 miners were able to escape the torrent, but Con delayed, trying to find his son, who had already escaped through an air shaft. Con was swept away. His body was not found until weeks later.
“My grandfather, John, was born on the night before Con died. As the Irish are known to say: ‘Sooner or later, life will break your heart.’”
Our pets, ourselves (responsorial)
Leading to: Out of the mouths of babes (Great Comebacks Division)
SMILIN’ SUE “Subject: Smart Animals and Smart Kids.
“BILL OF THE RIVER LAKE mentioned a smart dog which seemed to be a talented back-seat driver, looking both ways at an intersection while waiting for the traffic to clear [Sunday BB, 10/17/2021].
“This reminded me of another smart-animal story. My 8-year-old granddaughter, Little Miss LL, is a keen observer who enjoys viewing the street out of my front picture window. A week ago, we were highly amused by a big, black crow which strutted smartly across the street while looking both ways many times during its safe trip from curb to curb. That same day as we were driving through our small-town college campus, a student totally engrossed with texting stepped into oncoming traffic without even looking up. Little Miss LL commented that maybe the crow could teach the college student how to safely cross the street.”
The verbing of America
DONALD reports: “Brian Williams used this one twice in the same week: ‘The Democrats have been Charlie-Browned by the Republicans.’”
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: We presume that Mr. Williams was referring to poor Charlie’s belief that, contrary to all experience, Lucy Van Pelt wouldn’t pull back the football just before he could kick it.
So haven’t the Democrats been Van Pelted?
This ’n’ that
From AL B of Hartland: (1) “I hiked in Colorado and heard the sounds of Canada jays (also called gray jays, whiskey jacks and camp robbers). I placed a bit of fiber bar on my palm, and a jay landed on my paw and grabbed the morsel.
“I’d offered a helping hand to another and was thrilled at what I’d received in return.”
(2) “It’s OK to feed uncooked rice to birds. A myth was promulgated by advice columnist Ann Landers in 1988 when she published a letter from a reader warning against the practice of throwing rice at weddings. Internet stories warned of birds exploding after eating rice.
“Many birds eat uncooked rice in the wild. Bobolinks are called ‘rice birds’ because of their appetite for the grain.
“Rice is fine for birds, but some wedding parties throw birdseed instead.”
Then & Now
Including: Fifteen Nanoseconds of Fame
THE GRAM WITH A THOUSAND RULES: “Subject: Sputnik.
“Back in the Fifties, when we lived in our cottage at Lake Minnetonka, the night skies were so dark, they were perfect for star gazing, and we spent many hours watching the skies during meteor showers. We splurged and bought a 60-power telescope and enjoyed seeing the craters on the moon, the rings of Saturn and four of Jupiter’s moons. My kids all grew up with an interest in ‘what’s up there.’
“So when I received a photo from Down Under of my oldest grandson crouching down in their chilly early-spring evening with his almost-5-year-old son as they watched a satellite streaking across their sky, it brought back memories of a morning long ago.
“It was 64 years ago this October when Sputnik made its surprise appearance soaring across our sky. The breaking news was astounding. They gave us timetables to tell us when we might be able to see it. I bundled up our two little kids and went outside before sunrise that chilly morning to catch a glimpse of it. It didn’t matter that our son was only 3 and our daughter 19 months; this was History, and they were going to know someday that they had seen Earth’s first artificial satellite. My husband was already on duty at the broadcasting station when I called him up to boast. He called me back a few minutes later and said he had a radio announcer on the line. They wanted to interview me, with the first reported local sighting. Ahh, fame.”
Band Name of the Day: The Camp Robbers