Posts Tagged "Mrs. Joe Neanderthal"

The History of Toasts. It’s Not What You Think.

Dear Kid,

There’s a fun infographic making the social media rounds showing how to say “Cheers” in 20 different languages. You can see it here.

This of course raises the question as to why people say “cheers” in the first place. The obvious answer is so that a hit sitcom would have a name.

The history of toasts. It's not what you think. DearKidLoveMom.comBut—being the kind of mom I am—I decided to dig deeper. (And by “dig” I of course mean invent.)

Once upon a time, there were no toasts. When people wanted to drink, they picked up their cup (or gourd) and sipped.

Very original, independent types they were.

Then two brothers decided to go out for a drink.

An hour later they came home, bloody and bruised and generally in rough shape.

“What happened to you two?!” cried Momma who was crying more because she’d lost her evening of quiet than at the site of her damaged children.

“He started it!” the boys bellowed in unison. (You know what comes next, right?)

“And I’m going to end it!” Momma declared. “You,” she pointed, “sit there. And you,” again with the point, “there. Do. Not. Move.”

Momma was a many times descendant of Mrs. Joe Neanderthal and still had a great deal of her mothering mojo.

The boys sat. There was no question but that they’d sit until they were told (by Momma herself) that there was another alternative.

Momma then marched down to the corner pub the way a hurricane marches toward land. She went straight up to the bartender (who had the misfortune not to be descended from Mrs. J. N.), stared him straight in the eye with a look that simultaneously burned off his eyebrows and froze his innards (this was back in the day when everything you kept inside your skin was referred to as “innards”).

“What,” asked Momma in a voice that was not to be ignored, “happened?”

The bartender was a great devotee of the three big truths about bartending. 1. Wear comfortable shoes. 2. Keep the tips. 3. If you find yourself in a situation where you won’t be tipped, get out as politely as possible and go find more generous patrons.

The bartender’s shoes were tightening under Momma’s stare.

“The boys came in,” he said, starting with the obvious. The Look on Momma’s face suggested that she was not interested in the obvious or in the status of his footwear.

“They ordered a drink. I delivered the first one and went back to make the second. I guess one boy started drinking before the other and they started fighting.”

Momma leaned over the bar so that she was very close to the bartender. The bartender didn’t care for that but was smart enough not to object.

“Let me get this straight,” said Momma. “You were dumb enough not to serve them at the exact same time?”

The bartender squirmed. Momma glared. The bartender squirmed some more and wished that one of the other patrons would develop a need for a refill. All the patrons knew their refill orders would wait happily until Momma was done. The bartender, having found that squirming was all he could do, did it again.

Momma gave him one last glare that Said It All (none of which was printable), turned on her heel, and left.

On her way home, Momma thought. This was not in fact her strong suit. She was much better at glaring. But occasionally thought was required and this was one of those occasions.

When she got home, she found the boys just as she’d left them.

She was not surprised.

“Boys,” she said to them. “It was not your fault.”

While they boys each believed that, neither had expected to hear their mother say it.

“It’s the toast.”

This confused them. Momma went on.

“In this part of the world,” explained Momma, “the toast demands parity. The toast demands equality. The toast,” summarized Momma, “requires Words.”

Momma may have summarized, but the boys had no idea what she was talking about.

“When you go to have a drink,” Momma clarified, “you must raise your glasses at the same time and say ‘Toast’. Then the toast will be satisfied and you won’t feel the need to fight. But you must do it at the same time.”

This made about as much sense as the boys could hope for and they immediately went to the corner pub to practice.

Early toasts involved a lot of spilled beverage which is why the industry encouraged them.

It’s all about the industry.

And now you know.

Love, Mom

Read More

The Weirdness of the Weather and Stuff You Won’t Believe

Dear Kid,

This is exactly what it doesn’t look like outside.

This is exactly what it doesn't look like outside.

Which is weird because it’s the middle of December and it’s supposed to be cold.

But Mother Nature is a fickle lady, and we might set a record in Cincinnati for the warmest December 23rd in the History of the Universe. (Or at least since the weather service started keeping records.)

Mother Nature is not human. We know this because A) she’s older than telephones and B) she keeps looking younger and younger in her pictures. That either makes her a witch or Grandma. Or both.

Mother Nature has always had her portraits drawn to depict her as a gentle, loving, flower-draped young maiden. However, (as far as we can tell) she is gentle only when she chooses to be. At other times she is downright cold and nasty. This is either because A) she’s Persephone’s mother and gets sad when Persephone is away or B) she was Mrs. Joe Neanderthal’s neighbor for a while and learned from the best. Or both.

Ms. Nature and Mrs. Joe Neanderthal had a love-hate relationship from the very start. We’re not sure from the start of what or when the start actually was (there were no timekeeping officials back then). The Start however was quickly followed by The Middle and has yet to reach The End.

The problem seems to have stemmed from Ms. N’s jealousy of Mrs. J. N’s furs (she grew them herself. On herself) and Mrs. J. N’s jealousy of Ms. N’s ability to make severe snow storms.

The love part was that both of them appreciated a good bit of gossip and a good cup of coffee over which to exchange or invent the news. (Coffee hadn’t been invented then, but that didn’t stop them. These were not women to whom one would want to walk up and say, “Excuse me, you seem to be drinking something that you call coffee, but coffee hasn’t actually been invented yet, so you might want to rename that beverage.”)

I told you having temperature this warm at this time of year is weird.

Love, Mom

Read More

Blog Belize, Lion Fish, Taxis, and Mrs. J Neanderthal

Dear Kid,

More or less what it would have looked like if I'd been in a helicopter over Belize. But I would have been snorkling, not riding in a helicopter. DearKidLoveMom.comPi is back from Belize. Which means it is time for Blog Belize. (I meant to write Blog Belize before she went, but that somehow never happened.)

Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language although many people speak Belizean Creole and/or Spanish. Some people speak all three at once.

The country was originally part of the British Empire (not surprising, since pretty much everywhere was part of the British Empire [except for the parts that weren’t]). For a while (while some of us were learning geography) it was called British Honduras.

Belize packs a lot of fabulous in a small area. The mainland is only 180 miles by 68 miles wide. I have it on great authority that none of the streets are driven by the rules of the road we adhere to. Which is to say “We’re going to die!!” is the song of the passengers more often than not. Fortunately, no one on Pi’s trip died by taxi (or any other way).

Belize is the birthplace of chewing gum. I’m not exactly sure how chewing gum is born, but someone there figured it out.

There are lots of fish in the waters around Belize. Also dolphins, manatees, turtles (three cheers for jellyfish eating turtles), rays, eels, coral, and all sorts of other ocean inhabitants.

Lion fish are an invasive species in the area. The oceanic people there are trying to teach the eels to eat lion fish to reduce the population. Open wide, here comes the lion fish!

Lots of people have speculated about the name “Belize.” Most of the explanations given are pure hoo-ha based on far-fetched ideas or imagination.

In point of fact, the first reference to the area came from Mrs. Joe Neanderthal who, after a particularly nasty winter, decided she had Just Had It and yelled, “That’s enough. You figure out how to feed this family on leftover mastodon. I’m going to Belize.”

Of course, she never made it there because airplanes hadn’t been invented yet.

Love, Mom

Read More

Braille and Chocolate Cake

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, blind people could not read. This was OK, since pretty much no one else could read either (hence the beautiful stained glass in the churches, but that’s a different story). Even Mrs. Joe Neanderthal couldn’t read. But since there was next to nothing to read, none of this really mattered.

Then books were invented and not being able to read became a burden for the blind. Mostly the Unenlightened World (and by “unenlightened world” I mean everyone who wasn’t blind) ignored the problem. Enter Louis Braille stage left.

Louis was blinded as a child as a result of an accident (don’t ask, it’s not a pretty story). Interestingly, his parents continued to educate him and make sure he was part of the family and community. He was extremely bright and eventually was sent to a school for the blind.

The system used there to teach blind students to read was beyond cumbersome, and Braille invented Braille which was a much better option. Because it was better, seeing people hated it and refused to use it for a long time. Blind people thought it was terrific, staged a sit in, and eventually Braille became the standard.

This is National Braille Literacy Month in honor of Louis Braille who was born in January.

Happy National Chocolate Cake Day! DearKidLoveMom.comInterestingly, use of Braille is on the decline, primarily because text-to-speech technology has improved so much over recent years. However, over 150 million people around the world use Braille, so devoting a month to awareness is not at all unreasonable.

Also, tomorrow is National Chocolate Cake Day.

Try not to get the cake and Braille confused.

Love, Mom

Ready to share It’s easy–just tell your friends.

Read More

The Entirely True History of Shoes That Leaves Out Boring Stuff

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, there were no shoes. Then Mrs. Joe Neanderthal had a pedicure and refused to walk on her smooth, leathery feet until she had appropriate footwear. Shoes were invented.

Not too long thereafter, the designer shoe category was created when Blorg accidentally chewed on one of Mrs. Joe’s shoes giving it an edgy appearance. Everyone wanted Blorg-chewed shoes and an industry was born.

As you know, I belong to the cult of DSW (patron saint Imelda Marcos), but there are some things in the history of shoes that seem to me have been major fashion faux pas.

The French phrase faux pas (literally false step) is a noun meaning a social blunder or indiscretion. The plural form is spelled the same, but while the singular faux pas is pronounced foh-PAH, the plural faux pas is pronounced foh-PAHZ.

For example, in the ninth and tenth centuries, the greatest princes in Europe wore wooden shoes. The shoes were not known as Splinter Spitters, but they should have been. They may have, however, been the inspiration for the story of Androcles and the Lion. (Try not to get caught up in the timing which clearly doesn’t work.)

Happy Feet! DearKidLoveMom.comPresumably, Catherine de Medici (of those de Medicis) invented high heels for women. Not sure whether to adore her or loathe her but I’m strongly leaning toward adoration.

In the seventeenth century, the European upper crust wore six-inch heels. If you are thinking that would be difficult to walk in, you are quite correct (give yourself an extra point). The elite needed a servant on each side to hold them up. The shoes were not known as Two Servant Shoes, but they should have been.

My rule: If you can’t walk in them, don’t wear them.

The corollary: If you can’t walk in them without looking like a colt trying to stand up for the first time, don’t wear them.

The corollary to the corollary: If you’re even slightly concerned that they make you look like a hooker, they do.

During Richard II’s reign, shoes got slightly out of hand (or out of foot). They were supported by being tied to the knees with chains because they were so long. They were not known as Pinocchio shoes, but they should have been.

In 1463, the English parliament passed an act forbidding shoes with spikes more than two inches in length being worn. These shoes were not known as Attack shoes, but they should have been.

If you ever have more money than you know what to do with, you may feel free to consider buying me these stork shoes from Kobi Levy. Just a thought.

Love, Mom

Former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos owned 1,200 pairs of shoes.

Read More


Can't remember to check for new posts? No prob. I'll send it to you.

Online Marketing

Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

Blogarama - The Blog Directory

Blog Directory
%d bloggers like this: