I was driving in my furry car to see the Captain of Beans when my arm fell off.

Last night, I made the mistake of saying aloud, “I like wind.”

My husband, who never passes up a chance to be funny, quickly responded “Is that why you fart so much?”

I’m a bit of an attention hog, myself, so I deftly replied, “Yes.  And I’m really upset that I can’t put my ass in front of my face.”

This is the sort of banter that takes place in my house all the time.  But that’s not where I was going with this post.  The fact is that I LOVE wind.  The type created by Mother Nature, not Libby’s brown beans.

I so wish I could pretend to be a dog and stick my head out the car window, but let’s face it–I’d probably get my head lopped off by a mailbox or something.  Instead, I play it safe by sleeping in front of a fan.  Yes, we have central air, so it’s not because I’m hot.  In fact, sometimes I’m downright cold.  But the wind feels damn good.  Even if it is frigid.

And in the car, I never use the a/c–which is a major accomplishment.  It gets pretty darn hot and sticky here in the summer.  (Yup, I’m Canadian.  And, yes, we do get heat.  Eh?)  My husband, however, loves air conditioning.  You might think this causes a dilemma.  Not at all.  Our car is the Switzerland of automobiles.  His half of the vehicle is like a chilly, sealed-off, tomb with all the artificial air-pushing vents pointed in his direction.  My side has the window wide open and my arm flapping in the fresh, “real air” breeze.

The only problem is that insects travelling at 85 kms an hour hurt.  My arm has seen–or rather “felt”–it all.  Errant beetles, fuzzy bees, and God knows what else has been smucked against my tender flesh.  I know.  You’re saying, “How do you think the poor bug felt?”  I’m not without a soul.  I also feel sorry for the bugs.  But I cannot stop.

On an unrelated topic, I heard this joke on Ellen the other day.  What did the zero say to the eight?  I like your belt.

1)  What do you get when you cross a beetle and a rhinoceros?  Apparently, the ugliest bug ever.  Seriously, look at that thing.  It’s name is the “rhinoceros beetle” and I must say that both I and my arm were relieved to learn that it resides in the Far East.  And I don’t mean East as in Newfoundland–I mean China and Japan.  My heart does go out to my Japanese and Chinese arm-flailing counterparts though.  Having one of these careen into your arm would probably leave you…well…armless.

If you’re a regular follower of my blog–and if you aren’t, what is wrong with you?–you will know what a fascinating place Japan is.  Well, the home of the girlfriend pillow, tomato chocolate, the suction cap helmet, and so much more has struck again.

While we wimpy North Americans play with our pet Labradoodles and listen to the Snuggle Bear sell us laundry products, the Japanese are seemingly immune to such soft and cuddly façades.  They appear to prefer sharp and crunchy, particularly when it comes in the form of the rhinoceros beetle.  Pet stores sell them for $5 to $10.  In some places in Japan, you can even get one in a vending machine.  Hopefully, not the same one that dispenses Coke and Doritos.

They are also popular cartoon characters.  This makes me wonder what we are missing out on.  Perhaps, we should also embrace the insect world.  Monty the Mosquito?   David Dung Beetle?  Maybe these should be the subjects of the next Pixar flick.

2) One Beetle that I am a HUGE fan of is the Volkswagen variety.  You’ve got to love a vehicle that gives you permission to punch people.

The clever folk at the Dallas Arboretum have discovered a way to create soft fuzzy, colourful Bugs.  Meet the VW topiary Westfalia and Beetle pair.  These former street vehicles have had their proverbial guts removed and some sort of plant-friendly caging or meshing attached and “voila”–look at how pretty they now are!

This would make Herbie proud.

3) Japan is not the only place where I find strange things.  The UK has its fair share.

Meet “Captain Beany”–yup, that is what he “officially” goes by–the Curator of the Baked Bean Museum of Excellence.  Mister Beany–I refuse to recognize his self-appointed ranking–has amassed over 200 artefacts in his Port Talbot, Wales museum.  Um, he refers to it as a “virtual haricot heaven.”

So, there you have it.  If you consider yourself to be a bean fiend, this just may be the place for you.  But I don’t see any Libby’s.

In honour of all you busy-bowelled bean eaters, here is a clip of the famous Blazing Saddles bean scene:  

And, course, I couldn’t have a blog that mentioned “beans” without at least one clip from Mr. Bean.  

Photo Credits:  Ugly bug (http://life-bite.blogspot.ca), VW topiaries (http://www.dallasplanttrials.org), Mister Beany (http://www.bakedbeanmuseumofexcellence.org.uk/).

The Top Banana, The Monikers, and A Strange Phobia

“I wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup.”  Jerry Seinfeld.  

I will never grasp evolution.  The idea that mankind is simply a single-celled organism that decided to evolve into something else and so on sounds bizarre to me.  I don’t believe that I have any amoebas in my family  tree…although some of us do appear to function on a single brain cell.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I have nothing against amoebas.  I just don’t see how one can sprout arms and legs and a beard, no matter how many billions of years you give them.

I do admit that apes do have human-like qualities.  Some apes are smarter than some humans, in fact.  And some humans are hairier.  But if man evolved from apes, why are there still apes?  Were those ones too stupid to evolve?

Darwin and his cohorts would have me believe that there was a huge explosion in the blackness that is space.  This explosion supposedly came from nothing.  From that, the universe was created and life appeared on earth–simple life like plankton.  And over millions of years, this plankton turned into all the different species we have today–kangaroos, lizards, elephants, and man.  This sounds awfully random.  And, again, why is there still plankton?

I think it is much easier to believe that we were designed and created by someone who has an endless imagination, masterful artistry skills, and a much firmer grasp on “science” than any human could ever imagine.  I did not “evolve.”  I was created by God.

Of course, I’d love to hear your comments on my little early morning rant. lol.

1) The banana is a neat fruit–it comes with it’s own easy-to-peel packaging, eating one before bed is supposed to help you sleep, and they are just plain funny looking.  And they taste good.

Plus, they come with a built-in practical joke maker…a sticker.  I love affixing it to someone’s forehead and then, distracting them until they forget it’s there.  If you’re really good, your victim will go out in public with the banana sticker smack dab between the eyes.

The best stickers were the face stickers put out by Chiquita a few years ago.  My hubby and I collected them–yes, we selected our bananas based on what faces they wore.  Sometimes, we would take faces off other bunches and come away with a sticker on each yellow fruit.  Those were the days.  I know…it doesn’t take much to make me happy. lol.

If you are a banana fanatic, you may want to visit Mecca, California–home to The International Banana Club Museum, the world’s largest museum dedicated to bananas.  Since it’s creation in 1976, it has collected over 17,000 banana “artifacts” including a banana couch, a Michael Jackson banana, musical bananas, and more.  What the heck is a banana warmer?  The museum also claims that no lewd or crude bananas are allowed–except they spelled lewd “lude.”  This spelling mistake drove me bananas.

2)  A little while ago, we learned that the most common names in 1912 were John and Mary.  So, I wonder what Americans were naming their babies in the 1950s.  Fonzie or Richie?  Laverne or Shirley?

Nope.  According the to U.S. Social Security Administration, the favourite boy’s name of the decade was James, with Michael being the runner-up.  The winning girl’s name was Mary (which was also the leading name in 1912), with Linda coming in second.

3)  I recently encountered a fact that is funny, but a little sadistic.  Lots of people have phobias–some of them are understandable like the fear of snakes or heights.  I like snakes, but I can see how some people would find them unnerving.  I’m not a fan of heights.  It’s a good thing I’m short.  I stood on a stool once to see what it felt like to be my husband’s height and I got nauseated.

Some phobias, however, are a wee bit on the strange side.  For example,  arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter becoming stuck to the roof of one’s mouth.  I could see this being problematic for people without hands or tongues, but why would they put peanut butter on the roof of their mouths, anyway.  Euphobia is the fear of good news.  My head just exploded.  Seriously, you hate “good” news?  This is not someone that I want to spend a lot of time with–talk about a downer.

This brings me to the sadistic.  Imagine that your phobia is a fear of long words.  Now imagine that someone has asked you what your phobia is called and rather than answering the question you have run out of the room screaming.  Why?  Because some sadistic bastard with a sick sense of humour named your phobia “hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.”  Nice, eh?

Flying Fish, Old Toads, Newfie Horses, and A Joke or Two

“If you’re too open-minded; your brains will fall out.”  Lawrence Ferlinghetti.  

UGH!  I am one giant mosquito bite.  The worst is the one on my butt cheek.  Nothing more embarrassing than being caught scratching your ass.  I keep having to stop typing, so I can drag my nails across it.  Hence, the short sentences.

I’m not quite sure what purpose the mosquito serves.  I know…they are a food source for birds, other bugs etc.  But there are lots of small, flying insects that don’t give those of us at the top of the food chain giant, itchy welts.  Why must we have ones that bite?  And spread West Nile?  I know.  Who am I to question God and His infinite wisdom?  Sorry God.  I’m just really itchy.

1)  Let’s face it.  The “land down under” is a unique and wonderful place.  It’s hard for we Canadians to imagine a road trip filled with koala and kangaroo sightings, picking a fuzzy kiwi fruit off a tree, or mastering our boomerang throw.  In comparison, we seem boring.  Beavers, moose, maple syrup taps, and hockey pucks.

Our festivals are ordinary too–winter carnivals and plough matches.  You never hear a Canadian say, “had a great time flinging fish last night, mate!”  Why is this?  Unlike our Australian counterparts, we have never truly learned to appreciate the skill and finesse required to participate in a good, old-fashioned “Tuna Throwing Contest.”  Who needs a Noble prize, an Oscar, or Olympic Gold when one can achieve true greatness by becoming the official Banska Tuna Toss World Champion!

I wonder how this tradition came about?  Was someone suddenly overcome with the need to fling a fish?  Maybe some poor children deprived of water balloons were forced to resort to pelting one another with seafood.  Who knows?  (I’d love to hear your theories).

Either way, it breaks my heart to know that somewhere in this fare land there is a small boy whose fish chucking abilities will go to waste.  Pity.

2)  Today was a very “toady” day at our house.  In fact, without trying, my husband and I encountered four of the bumpy looking creatures in various parts of our yard in just a couple of hours.

He was trying to get one to move into a cuter picture pose (well, cute for a toad) and I said that we had probably scared weeks off the poor thing’s life.  Surely, a toad couldn’t have YEARS shaved off it’s life!  Turns out that I was highly mistaken.

According to BBC and many other sources, the common toad can live for up to 40 years.  Yes “four-zero.”  Who knew?  A pet toad is a much wiser investment than your French Poodle or your Tabby Cat.

Okay… I will have to put you on hold for sixty minutes.  Must go watch  Howard Stern on American’s Got Talent.  

I’m back.  Thanks for waiting.  Here’s a joke from Tom Cotter, NYC stand-up comedian and AGT hopeful…””I used to go over and bounce on my neighbor’s tramparlene. Yeah, their daughter’s name was Arlene.” Haha.

3)  The Weather Network has the best polls, but then again, I love polls.  Any chance to give one of my many strong opinions is A-okay in my books.  Yes, I wear flip-flops.  I think our summer will be hot and humid (which really is a no-brainer).  No, I’m not afraid of thunder storms.  These are all easy questions and I was quick with my answers.  But then I came across one that stumped me–does Newfoundland have its own breed of pony?  I correctly hazard a guess and say “yes.”  It only makes sense.  Why put “Newfoundland” and “pony” in the same sentence unless it is true?

Turns out that our ultra-friendly, joke-providing, good-natured neighbours from the east also boast an equestrian treasure–the Newfoundland Pony.  Who knew?

They are noted for their strength, stamina, and the fact that they are easy to keep.  I would tell you their height, but it was stated in a unit that I am totally unfamiliar with–“hh.”  If you know what “hh” is, let us know in the comment box at the bottom of the blog page.  It would be greatly appreciated by us all.

Well, I’ve never met a Newfie that I didn’t like, so I’m sure their ponies are loveable little creatures too.

And one last Tom Cotter joke:

On the morning of my 16th birthday my family tried to surprise me with a car…but they missed.