Welcome Dear Readers to this edition of my brain Peanuts remembers.
Today’s topic: Soda Pop
Drinking soda in the fifties was a lot different from today. First of all, soda came in a bottle. In Washington state, where I grew up, there was no such thing as drinking a can of soda. No siree! We drank a bottle of pop or we drank nothing at all.
Back then, when you bought a bottle of pop, the pop was yours to drink — but you had to give back the bottle because you were merely renting it. After all, you had to pay a 2-cent deposit on it, for crying out loud, and not taking it back for a refund could seriously affect the budget.
So everyone always returned their pop bottles to get their two-cents back because two-cents in the fifties would buy enough gas to get you to Canada from anywhere in the United States.
The only people who drank out of a can were beer drinkers. But beer cans were worthless so beer drinkers didn’t worry about getting their deposit back. They would simply chuck the empties out of the window of whatever speeding vehicle they happened to be drunkenly swerving down the highway in.
Today, we would consider this drunk driving but in those days we simply considered it littering. And in the 1950’s, littering was America’s favorite pastime — as much a way of life as Polio, onesie gym clothes, and radio-active cleansing cream.
But whether you were drinking out of a bottle or drinking out of a can, you would have died of thirst in the 1950’s if you didn’t have one of these.
It was a combination bottle/can opener, and it was a wonderful little gadget. One end would pry off the caps of Debby and Bobby’s pop bottles while the other end would puncture a hole in Mom and Dad’s beer cans. (The only thing this can opener wouldn’t do is open a bottle of wine, but this wasn’t a problem because in the 50’s only Europeans drank wine.)
I think it’s fair to say that the bottle opener was as much a part of the foundation upon which the togetherness of the fifties family was built as smearing butch wax on crew cuts, stenciling on eyebrows or hiding under desks together to survive atomic blasts.
I remember my grandparents only drank Pepsi which they always referred to as Peps. Pepsi was for those who think young. Not only did my grandparents think young, they were young. When I was five, my grandmother was only 44. (Back then people started families way younger so they could get it out of the way quicker and have more time to drink Peps.)
Now let’s say you only drank half the Peps in that rented bottle of yours. What would you do? Well, instead of pouring it down the drain, you would save the remainder of the Peps by utilizing another ingenious type of gadget that people just referred to as that bottle thingy.
That bottle “thingy” I’m referring to was a rubber gasket that went into the top of the bottle to seal in the carbonation as well as that delicious Peps refreshing flavor. After all, you spent a whole dime for that bottle of Pepsi, and you wouldn’t want it to go to waste.
Not if you were ever going to afford that trip to Canada!
Welcome Dear Readers to this Sunday’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories.
Every week Gregory attends Sunday School and every week he comes home and retells his own version of the lesson.
Today in Sunday School, Gregory learned about Ezekiel’s unusual experience with the Lord and how he comes to the conclusion that God is working way too hard. Let’s listen in, shall we?
One beautiful morning while Ezekiel was enjoying his breakfast of goat hotcakes on the roof of his holy-land hovel and admiring the view of the village shrub, he heard a familiar voice calling to him.
God: Good Morning Mortal Man! Are you ready to judge the city that is full of murderers?
Ezekiel: Again already? Didn’t you just punish and kill a bunch of sinners by starving everyone and making parents eat their children and children eat their parents and whatnot?
God: Yes but God’s work is never done. You should see my in-box, Mortal Man. I want you to help me punish some more sinners because your father was an Amorite, your mother was a Hittite and you were born in Canaan which makes you a Hiccup.
Ezekiel: No it doesn’t.
God: Yeah but it would be so cool if it did — so let’s just say it does.
Ezekiel:Okay, so which city of murderers are you going to punish this time? By the way, don’t you have any vacation time coming up?
God: Mortal Man! I want you to announce what I am saying to the Ammonites who are insulting Israel. I was up til 3 a.m. writing a limerick about it. Tell me what you think.
“A sword is ready to destroy It is polished to kill to flash like lightning.”
Ezekiel: No offense, but it doesn’t rhyme very well.
God: Well it does in the language I wrote it in.
Ezekiel: What language was that?
God: Uh . . . I’ll tell you later, but first I want to punish Jerusalem because they have no respect for the holy places, they eat sacrifices that are offered to idols, they sleep with their father’s wives, they seduce their daughter-in-law or their half sisters, etc., etc., etc.
Ezekiel: Why didn’t you include all those sins in your limerick?
God: And throw off the perfect pentameter? Are you out of your mind?
God then began to symbolically explain to Ezekiel, due to his being a Hiccup and all, what happened after he was born.
God: When you were born no one cut your umbilical cord and you were thrown into an open field.
Ezekiel: Wow! That must have been one long umbilical cord!
God: Listen up. I’m serious.
Ezekiel: Sorry go ahead.
God: I passed by and saw you squirming in your own blood but I wouldn’t let you die. You grew strong and tall and became a young woman.
Ezekiel: Uh, you know, Lord, I think you’ve been working a little too hard. Some time off from punishing sinners might do you a world of good. Because I don’t know if you’re just overworked or what, but in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a guy.
God: No, I know you’re a guy. This is a symbolic story about you because your mother was a Hittite and your father was an Amorite and you are from Caanan which makes you a Hiccup.
Ezekiel: I don’t get it. Why do I have to be a woman in the story?
God: I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about Jerusalem! It’s a symbolic story!
Ezekiel: Oh good then I’m still a guy!
God: Of course you are! Anyway then I passed by again and saw that the time had come for you to fall in love. I covered your naked body with my coat and promised to love you. I dressed you in embroidered gowns and gave you shoes and a linen headband and–
Ezekiel: Uh I hate to interrupt your story, Lord, but my goat hotcakes are getting cold.
God: Oh sorry. Well listen. I’ll come back later and tell you another symbolic story about how Jerusalem is a prostitute.
Ezekiel: Well I don’t think I’m going to be home later.
God: Well, when do you think you will be home?
Ezekiel:Uh . . . I’ll call you.
God: Okay. Call me anytime! I’ll be up late working anyways! I’ll keep my phone with!!
And there you have it, Dear Readers, what Gregory learned in Sunday school. Please check back next week at this same time to see what Gregory will learn next.
Welcome Dear Readers to this Sunday’s edition of Gregory’s Bible Stories. Today in Sunday School, Gregory learned Ezekiel’s unusual experience with the Lord, part II.
Ezekiel’s Flip Side
If you will remember last week, our biblical hero, Ezekiel, was well on his way to becoming the Lord’s first 500-pound prophet after feasting on a chocolate-covered scroll that contained 1,437,118,227,922,091,561,403 grams of sugar and that caused his papyrus allergy to kick in like gangbusters. But God wasn’t done with Ezekiel yet, not by a long shot.
Somewhere in an undisclosed holy land location:
God: Mortal Man, get a brick and set it in front of you and scratch lines on it to represent the cit of Jerusalem.
Ezekiel: Okay but first would it be possible to get something for these hives, God? I can’t stop scratching.
God: How’d you get hives?
Ezekiel: From eating that papyrus scroll, remember? I told you I was allergic to papyrus.
God: But that scroll wasn’t made from papyrus, it was made from animal hide.
Ezekiel: Uh oh. Chipmunk by any chance?
God: As a matter of fact yes it was. How did you know that?
Ezekiel: My chipmunk allergy is even worse than my papyrus allergy.
God: Is that why your eyes are swollen shut?
God: Oh okay, I was wondering but I didn’t want to say anything. You know, maybe I better come back another time and have you do the rest of the stuff on my list.
Ezekiel: No! Absolutely not. I can do it! I can still see a little bit.
God: Are you sure?
Ezekiel: Of course, what are prophets for if not to carry out Your quirky plans, God!
God: Well then after you scratch Jerusalem on a brick, I want you to represent a siege of the city by putting trenches, earthworks, camps and battering rams around it.
Ezekiel: Wait a minute, you want me to dig trenches and earthworks, and put battering rams around it? I mean, can one guy even lift a battering ram? They’ve got to weigh a ton.
God: Just like you ha ha!
Ezekiel: Excuse me?
God: No I was just saying the exercise will do you good. You could use to drop a few pounds or 250.
Ezekiel: Okay my robe’s too tight I get it. Is that it?
God: No. After that I want you to take an iron pan and set it up like a wall between you and the city.
Ezekiel: I don’t have an iron pan.
God: You don’t have an iron pan? Get out? We’re living in modern biblical times! Nowadays, everybody and their goat has an iron pan! How do you make all those grilled Chebar cheese sandwiches you’ve been stuffing in your face nonstop with your exile homeys down at the Chebar River without an iron pan?
Ezekiel: Well, if you must know, I usually get one of my slaves to cook or if they’re on vacation, I get one of my wives to cook or if they are all dying in childbirth, I get one of my concubines to go for take out.
God: Well, the next thing I want you to do is lie down.
Ezekiel: Sweet! Now You’re talkin’!
God: Yeah I knew you’d like that part but it involves a little more than just lying down.
Ezekiel: Like what?
God: I want you to lie on your side and I’m going to place on you the weight of the guilt of Israel.
Ezekiel: Uh . . . that sounds pretty heavy. How much weight are we talking?
God:A lot but probably less than what you weigh ha ha! Anyways, I’m going to want you to do that for 390 days and then after that roll over on your other side for 40 days.
Ezekiel: Question: do I have to lie on the ground or do I get to lie on a mattress.
God: What’s a mattress?
430 Days Later:
God: Hey Ezekiel! You can get up now. How are you doing?
Ezekiel: Oy my back is stiff! And my hives are still driving me crazy and I’ve got a horrible headache.
God: Just for future reference? Whenever I ask how you’re are doing, it’s rhetorical. But hey! You look like you’ve lost weight! You’re robe’s not nearly as tight.
Ezekiel: I know I may have to go new robe shopping after this!
God: Okay, but first what I want you to do is fix your eyes on the siege of Jerusalem, shake your fist at the city and prophesy against it.
Ezekiel: But my eyes are swollen shut, remember?
God: Still? Hahaha! Well listen I’m going to go jump in my unidentified flying biblical object and get you ice to put on them.
Ezekiel: Okay. Oh, say, God . . . if you happen to go by a chocolate-covered scroll drive-thru would you mind picking me up a few chocolate-covered scrolls and also a couple Chebar cheese goat burgers while you’re at it?
God:Eeeezeeekiiieeelll! Just when you’re robe is finally fitting right . . .
Ezekiel: Okay okay nevermind!
And there you have it, Dear Readers. What Gregory learned in Sunday school this week. Please check back next week for part three when Ezekiel gets are really bad haircut and hilarity ensues.
Welcome Dear Readers. Today’s blog is brought to you by the makers of WordPress Daily Prompt.
The Prompt:Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect)
Naturally, I was reminded of the time my dear neighbor, Judy ByerMyer, dropped by for a visit.
The Day Judy ByerMyer Dropped By
“Gosh I’m hungry! I could sure go for some Colonial Sanders right about now.” Judy ByerMyer announced.
“Didn’t you have any breakfast, Judy?”
“Are you kidding? I slept in and then Katie couldn’t find her backpack, and then my car almost did-dint start and I could feel a migrate headache coming on and . . . ”
As Judy prattled on, I began to feel a little migrate headache-ish myself.
“. . . so anyways, I says to Katie, ‘Katie, honey, did you look under your bed for your backpack?’ sense it could have been there for all intensive purposes. But guess where she found it, Linda?”
“I looked at the clock: 8:35 a.m. Judy would stay all morning if I didn’t think of a way to get rid of her. I was mulling over ways to covertly set the house on fire when I realized Judy was trying to get my attention.
“Yoo-hoo! Earth to Linda! I said, guess where she found it?”
“I give up, Judy. Where?”
“Right on the hook! It was supposably there the whole time! Judy laughed like she was auditioning for a sitcom laugh track. “Oh and wait til I tell you about what happened yesterday when we bolth got super flustrated because we could find her sweater anywhere and . . . ”
I looked at the clock again. One minute had gone by. No force in the universe could slow down the passage of time quite like Judy ByerMyer. I had to think of a way to get rid of her. But how?
” . . . so anyways we looked under her bed and we looked behind the couch and we looked . . .”
I was beseeching the gods for an earthquake or at the very least a tidal wave, when there was a horrendous crash through the kitchen ceiling. When the dust settled Judy ByerMyer lay unconscious on my kitchen floor, knocked out cold by a well-timed meteorite. I was horrified and filled with guilt. So much so that when Judy momentarily came to I confessed that I had beseeched the gods to do it.
“Never misunderestimate the power of the gods.” Judy ByerMyer said and added, “I sure hope I don’t go into a comma.”