Category Archives: The Baboon Congress

I Scream, You Scream

Over the weekend, PJ got me going when she said “I can think of worse ways to go than death by ice cream.” It reminded me of the time we had talked about death by rhubarb and Clyde actually found a book entitled exactly that. (It was awful!)

So I went looking for death by ice cream titles. Didn’t find exactly that, but found plenty that were close enough.  Here are a few:

Ice Cream Murder (A Sprinkles Cozy Mystery) by Jennifer Martin
Death with a Cherry on Top by Molly Dox
Chunky Raspberry Fudge Murder by Penelope Manzone
Death by Chocolate Sundae by Constance Barker
Triple Dipped Murder by Gretchen Allen
Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake by Sarah Graves

I requested a couple from the library – you never know, maybe I’ll find a new author I need to follow.

But while I was searching around, I found this:

National Ice Cream Death Museum, Derbyshire
Perhaps the most unusual display anywhere in Britain, this small but lively museum is devoted to major accidents, deaths and disasters caused by ice cream, from the great M65 pile-up of 1981 (caused by a discarded vanilla tub, on which a lorry skidded) to the case of the Sussex child who swallowed a wooden ice cream spoon in 1967 and still walks around happily with it inside. Anyone who has any new ice cream disaster to report should ring their Cones Hot Line (sic).
(Independent.co.uk 1998)

I couldn’t find any indication that the museum is still open. I can’t even confirm that there was a great M65 pile-up of 1981 or that a Sussex child swallowed a wooden ice cream spoon in 1967. But it’s fun to think about.

What’s the most interesting museum you’ve ever been to?

Attack of the Acorns

It was a hot day, sunny with a bit of a breeze. The big pavilion next to Sea Salt was blocked for a family gathering and all the nearby tables, even the ones with no shade, were filled up.  We had a tablecloth that we could have spread out on the ground but we thought it would end up being a re-telling of The Princess & the Pea.  A little ways off we could see what looked like some empty picnic tables, in the shade no less, so we trooped over.

Minnehaha Park is heavily forested with oak trees. None of them are famous (although there are plenty of famous oak trees if you believe the internet) but they provided a nice, cool bit of shade.  We settled in and then fairly quickly realized why no one else had claimed the spot.

Acorns are oak nuts; they usually contain just one seed and can take between 6 to 24 months to mature before they can sprout into an oak tree. All I can say is that the acorns in the oak trees above us were ready to go.  The terminal velocity of a falling acorn from a tall 40-foot tree is 22 miles per hour.  Most of the acorns didn’t hit us directly, but they made a whooping loud noise when they hit books, plates, phones and the tables themselves.  Even though we stayed for a couple of hours, when we got up to leave we felt like we were fleeing from a dangerous situation.

When did you first fall in love?

Johnny

Today’s post comes to us from Ben.

Pastor Mike married us. And he baptized both kids.

A few years after that he moved back out to the West coast; a place where his soul really belonged.

We’d message on FB occasionally. He was learning to play guitar and I’d ask what he was listening too or what he was learning to play.

Johnny Cash was a common subject for both of us. Johnny’s ‘American’ series of recordings were some of our favorites. Mike would give me a verse from Tennessee Stud or Delia’s Gone and I’d give him the next. It was a neat way to connect with one of my favorite people.

Mike died of a brain tumor this winter.

I’m lighting a production of ‘Ring of Fire’ at the Rochester Civic Theater. It’s a Johnny Cash retrospective. Not much story, just a lot of his music played by 5 different singer/musicians. The other night at rehearsal they practiced Delia’s Gone.

I thought of Mike and how, maybe to no-one but myself, this show was for him.

I left rehearsal and headed for home. Checked some fields along the way. Stopped to check on our neighbor’s house since they are gone on vacation, stopped to close the gates at the end of our driveway and saw a motorcycle coming down the road. And I sort of groan inwardly… dang bikers. Thought I better get the gate shut quick.

As the bike gets closer I see it’s more of a scooter and a couple about my age on it. I say Hello and pull one gate shut. They pull up a little closer and call my name. And when they take the helmets off, it’s John and Mary.

Pastor John who was associate pastor with Pastor Mike.

I’m pretty sure Mike sent them out to see us tonight.

And I thought of this group of Baboons and Serendipity again.

Got a favorite religious person?

 

 

Faux Sacrifice

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Rivertown.

A few weeks ago I was laughing out loud at the following exchange on The Trail:

———————-

NorthShorer

March 10, 2018 at 10:49 am

Another funny moment in my “annals of kindness” I often leave a loaf of bread hanging on the door of our next door neighbor when she comes home from teaching music all day. I left a loaf Thursday. I just found a note telling me very tactfully that she has given up bread for Lent. 🙂

PlainJane

March 10, 2018 at 12:41 pm

Guess she doesn’t want your wonderful bread to go to waste.

littlejailbird

March 10, 2018 at 2:28 pm

If I was your neighbor, I would never give up bread for Lent.

Of course, I’ve never given up anything for Lent, but if I did, I would give up something like liver or blue cheese.

PlainJane

March 10, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Tut, tut, ljb, it’s supposed to be a sacrifice.

littlejailbird

March 10, 2018 at 4:25 pm

how did you guess that it wasn’t?

PlainJane

March 11, 2018 at 9:56 am

Just a hunch.

————————

Although Lent has already come and gone, if you were going to give up something for Lent that was a true sacrifice, what would it be (knowing that it was just for a few weeks)?

What would be your faux sacrifice alternative, like ljb’s liver or blue cheese?

Mission Baboon – Accomplished!

Time to celebrate.

We’ve officially made it over a year on our own and now we’ve covered the cost of the Trail for the next year.  261 posts.  We average 1,085 comments a month with an all-time total of 131,623 comments.  Every week we average between 850 and 1,000 views and a whopping 806,982 total views over the years with 6,276 followers.  Our most active time of day is 9 a.m.  I think the baboons are thriving!

We’re celebrating. What would you like to see at the party?

On Being Funny in Unfunny Places

I will retire in 2021. I set as my goal for the next three years to be as appropriately funny at work as I can.  I love my agency.  We have had a rather rough time over the past couple of years. We are understaffed and stretched to provide mental health and addiction services to an increasing number of people. There are new service initiatives and an  electronic health care  record system that will  start soon. Change is always difficult in government, even when it is positive change.  To complicate matters, in the past two years, five employees have been summarily  escorted off the premises and ordered to not return. This included our top administrator, two senior supervisors, someone from my department, and an administrative assistant.  It has been a little grim. We need cheering up.

I find that pointing out the absurd,  the silly, and the comically sweet  goes  over quite well.  I never tease or get personal. I  find that humor seems to liberate people and makes them bolder.  We need our staff to not be afraid of being leaders in their daily work.  No one seems to be annoyed with me yet. I alternate humor with serious discussion and sound advice.

How do use humor in your daily life? When does humor work the best? When doesn’t it work?

Jurassic Coincidence

Last summer I read a string of books that I didn’t enjoy – all from my self-imposed “lists”. I beat myself up for a bit and then went to the library website and typed in “dragon”.  All kinds of books came up, from all the Ann McCaffrey books to The Black Dragon River (a book on a journey down the Amur River) and then Dragon’s Teeth by Michael Crichton.  I’d never read anything  by Crichton (not sure how I managed that) so I put it on my waitlist.  This was the book that his wife found among his papers and published posthumously.

I just finished it and really enjoyed it. The postscript shed light on which characters were fictional and which were historic.  Charles Marsh and Edward Cope were real people – famous in paleontology for their 19th century rivalry.

Fast forward 24 hours. I just started A Brief History of Almost Everything by Bill Bryson (about the only Bryson I haven’t read yet – but that’s another blog).  As I got to Chapter Three, suddenly he is talking about Marsh and Cope and their rivalry.

I understand in my head that coincidence is just coincidence, but sometimes in my heart I wonder how I can go six decades and never discover something, then within a day or so, run across it again. And we’ve talked about it here before – including pointing out that it is common enough that there is a phrase for this – Baader Meinhof.  We’ve even put this phrase in our Baboon Glossary.

But it still amazes me when it happens.

Any coincidences in your life lately?