Linda’s Bedtime Stories for Grownup Children

Loretta Splatts, Human Cannon Ball

If there was one thing Loretta Splatts wasn’t it was . . . well, come to think of it, there actually wasn’t one thing Loretta Splatts wasn’t — at least in her mind anyway.

You see, Loretta didn’t own a car. She preferred to travel everywhere by being shot out of a cannon. Oh sure, there was the small inconvenience of not being able to go anywhere unless she had cab fare home, but Loretta thought it was a small price to pay for having a legitimate reason to wear a cape in public.

Loretta Splatts being shot out of a cannon linda vernon humor
“Gosh I sure am saving a lot of money on gas.”

Loretta often joked that the trajectory of her life was trending upwards even though nobody ever laughed when she said it.  The sad fact was, nobody listened to a word Loretta said — they were too preoccupied waving away the intermittent puffs of smoke emanating from her slightly smoldering cape or distractedly brushing stray bits of gun powder from her platinum blonde hair to actually listen to what she had to say.

Loretta Splatts Smoldering cape
“So anyways, my life’s trending upwards LOL!”                                                         “Sorry to interrupt but  I’m distracted by your slightly smoldering cape.”

Sometimes Loretta felt like a 40-pound dill pickle that people were compelled to ignore because, let’s face it, a 40-pound dill pickle is just way too much pickle to process at any one time.

40 pound dill pickle linda vernon  humor
Too much pickle to process

Loretta’s only true confidant was her Cannon Ball Igniter, Percival Perplexington, a recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Cannon Igniters founded in 1323 by King William Blunk VIII÷V who was > King William Blunk VII ÷ VI but not by much.

Kings linda vernon humor
King William Blunk VIII÷V who was > King William Blunk VII ÷ VI but not by much

Percival Perplexington was a jolly sort of fellow who never let the burden his igniting responsibilities eat away at his good-natured heart although he could sometimes feel those same responsibilities late at night nibbling on his spleen. But spleens are expendable!  That was Percival’s motto having stolen it from the Royal Academy of Sciences and Cannon Igniters when he pried it off their front door his first day of class.

Royal Academy of Science and Cannon Ball Igniters

Percival graduated with honors and immediately took a position with Loretta Splatts as her official Cannon Igniter.  His fellow graduates where aghast when he accepted such a lowly position with such an inferior human cannon ball the likes of Loretta, but there was just something about the way she raised her hand to signal the lighting of the fuse that Percival Perplexington was mesmerized by or perhaps memorized by.  One of those.

Loretta Splatts and Percival Perplexington
Loretta Splatts and her devoted Igniter, Percival Perplexington

Try as he might, he simply could not look away from Loretta’s pinky.  Whether she was hailing a cab or signaling that he should light the fuse, Percival Perplexington was totally and utterly and completely dedicated to Loretta Splatts.  He even donated his shoes when the people came collecting for the Annual Shoes for Fuse donation drive to aid less fortunate human cannon balls in third world countries.

Percival Perplexington's feet
He gave his shoes for the betterment of third world human cannon balls

It was a sad day for Percival Perplexington when his employer Loretta Splatts finally lived up to her name.  She was meeting a friend for lunch at the Riboflavin Rotisserie when she misjudged the location of the outdoor seating area by a skosh and came crashing down in the middle of a cow pasture that as luck would have it was being rented out to a mattress company.  She bounced off one of the mattresses and got temporarily stuck in a tree when a huge gust of wind blew her into oncoming traffic.

Loretta Splatts splat
And splat went Loretta Splatts

Percival Perplexington was positively beside himself with grief. It took him hours and hours  to eat lunch that day at the Riboflavin Rotisserie.

You see, he ordered a forty-pound dill pickle in honor of Loretta Splatts.

"Yes sir!  One forty pound pickle comin' up!"
“Yes sir! One forty-pound pickle comin’ up!

Dumb Things We Did in the 50’s

My dad, my brother and me in 1953.

Flipping though the pages of  the TV Guide yesterday brought back a lot of memories.  Here are some  things I haven’t thought about in years:


When I was a little girl growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, my grandfather smoked Chesterfields and my mother smoked Salems and my dad smoked Camels.  Of course, everybody smoked everywhere.  In the house, in the car, before, during and after meals, in movie theaters, airplanes, buses and department stores and probably even at death-bed vigils.

Men used to hold cigarettes on the side of their mouths and smoke them hands free while they mowed the lawn or pumped gas. (It was the 50’s version of multi-tasking.)  If there wasn’t an ashtray people would just drop their cigarettes on the ground and step on them.

Drinking and Driving

When I was a kid I thought nothing of it when my dad would drive around with a can of beer between his legs. He drank Olympia beer.  I remember once when I was really little  going for a drive with my dad in the country.  He was driving with a can of beer between his legs, and his shotgun right beside him at the ready.  (I was also in the front seat.)  Every once in a while my dad would slow way down,  reach over,  grab his shotgun and then shoot at a pheasant from the car window.  This was a perfectly normal and natural part of everyday life. (He always missed by the way!)

Olympia Beer always claimed it was “the water” that made their beer so good, but I suspect it was the alcohol.

Helmets and Seat belts

When I was growing up, the only people who wore helmets were human cannon balls. They were the only people to wear capes too now that I think about it.

“Golly, I hope this wind doesn’t put out my cigarette!”

And seat belts?  Forget about it!  When they started making cars with seat belts everyone totally ignored them or tucked them into the seat so they wouldn’t be in the way.  I don’t even think the astronauts wore seat belts. (Probably because it would have restricted their cigarette smoking.)


When I was a kid the term fast food meant somebody dropped a watermelon down a hill and it was rolling too fast to catch it.  Of course, I lived in a small town of a thousand people and there certainly weren’t any fast food places in that town.

My mother cooked every meal everyday and on Sunday afternoon, she would fix a big Sunday dinner.  Of course, all the stores were closed on Sundays, so if she forgot to buy an ingredient, she would have to borrow it from the neighbors or make do without.

My mother kept a coffee can of bacon grease to cook with in the cupboard above the stove. I distinctly remember this because one time when she reached to get it down, she spilled it all over herself and the stove. Boy was she mad . . . I think it might have put out her cigarette!
Until next time Dear Readers . . . I love you