ZACK GRADY writes from Southern California. He reads cookbooks, but mostly, he just adds garlic and hot sauce.
As far as I know, July is not National Mustard Month, but it should be. Weenie bar-b-ques, 4th of July, hot weather, hammocks, company picnics and other great fun-activities are on everyone’s mind, and on everyone’s calendar. But, what’s a cookout without mustard? So, to help add to your picnic enjoyment, not to mention your bright outdoor conversations, Uncle Zack will now relate more than you ever wanted to know about mustard.
She won’t appreciate my telling all of you this, but there is no getting around it. Glorious Spouse has a Significant Birthday this month. Birthdays being considerably better than the alternative, she has resigned herself to the fact, and seems very happy that I suggested we have a party to celebrate.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret that’s pretty incredible. You’ll want to keep this in your file, labeled ‘Uncle Zack’s Tidbits of Unnecessary Things to Know.’ (You are keeping up your file, aren’t you? There will be additions as we go along, and perhaps a Pop Quiz one of these days.) Stand confounded: as amazing as it may be, using your hands alone, it is impossible to fold any piece of paper in half more than seven times, no matter how big or small a piece of paper you start out with. (It’s okay; don’t worry. I won’t go on without you. I know you have to stop reading and try this out. I’ll wait here while you go fold the newspaper, that scrap of paper laying next to your computer, and the snail-mail letter that just came from your dear old Auntie Doris.) What you hear now are the sounds of my fingers drumming my desk top while I wait.
Here I am, up on my soap box again. And, you might notice that I’m up here a little later than usual, this month. That’s because I’ve been very busy trying to get all the politically INcorrect words off my word processor and out of my dictionary. Not to mention, out of my vocabulary and conversation. And, what a job it is! I should have made life easier for myself, and simply engaged the help of the THEY who decide what words can be in textbooks used in the public schools.
All our favorite holidays are over. Mere memories. We’re firmly in March, and the camp counselors of life think we need some more holidays to keep us cheered up, and washing dishes. St. Patrick’s Day is coming, of course, but that apparently isn’t enough for the Merry Makers. So they tell us that March is National Foot Health Month, National Frozen Food Month, and Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month. But when these announcements fail to stir the blood, they offer us such choices as National Crown Roast of Pork Day (to be celebrated on the 7th), or Maple Syrup Saturday (the 3rd Saturday of the month). In Hinckley, Ohio they have a Buzzard Day Festival. In Wiggam, Georgia, they can be found celebrating the Rattlesnake Roundup. And if none of these float your boat, you can celebrate Doctor’s Day (March 30).
Since it was just Thanksgiving the other day, I don’t know how it can already be February, but such is the speed of ‘time travel.’ And speaking of how fast things travel, I want to tell you this piece of trivia which may or may not be true, but which ought to be true if it isn’t. They say that the speed of a computer mouse, that is, the distance the cursor moves across the screen, in relation to the distance the mouse actually moves across the mouse pad, is measured in units called mickeys. Don’t you just love it!
Hey, here we are in the New Year once again. In our household, we had nothing but fun from Thanksgiving until this red-hot moment. Great holiday goings-on! “Yes,” I hear you sigh, “we had fun in December, but the dark, cold days of January are upon us, and with them, no hope for a good time until at least Ground Hog Day, next month.”
What should I buy for [fill in the blank yourself] for Christmas? That’s a phrase guaranteed to send fear and panic in all directions. But, as usual, I’m here, to the rescue.
I’m told that in early December, Portuguese turkey farmers peddle their flocks on the streets of Lisbon. They do this for two reasons: because Lisbon is in Portugal, and is therefore a handy place to sell their turkeys, and because they don’t have Thanksgiving in that country.