Evil Fungi, Lucky Leaves, Dumb Dogs, and Strange Envelopes

I discovered I scream the same way whether I’m about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.” – Axel Rose

I am always amazed at how quickly mushrooms grow.  We have had weeks of dry weather and after only two days of rain, a plethora of strange looking fungi have sprouted up amidst my Evening Primrose and Columbine.  I’m sorry, but toadstools are sort of creepy.  I’m not sure why.  It could be some latent memory associated with Alice in Wonderland.  Or maybe it is due to a traumatic experience after a grade-three school trip that I had involving toadstools, my peanut butter sandwich, and a Destroyer Angel look-alike.  All I know is that I can’t wait for the hot weather to return and shrivel those freaky fungi up, which raises another question.  Where do they go?  Mushrooms disappear as quickly as they appear.  I told you–they are FREAKY.

1)  It’s funny what we humans consider to be  lucky…a horseshoe, blue herons, the number 7, getting the big end of a wish bone,  finding a penny, and throwing said penny in water.  When you think about it, we are a very strange species, indeed.

Another supposedly “lucky” charm is the four-leaf clover.  Yes, when we spot one of these genetic mutant weeds, we let out a squeal of delight, run to show it to our friends (who will also squeal in admiration of your find), and Google ways to preserve our treasure in a feeble attempt to prolong the length of our good fortunes.  Never mind that you have just ended the life of the poor clover.  Having an extra leaf didn’t prove “lucky” for it, did it?

Anyway, the sermon in church today was about the Trinity, which led to the mentioning of the regular three-leaf variety of clover, which made me want to look up some four-leaf clover facts…my mind works in mysterious ways.  And, no, my mind does not often wander in church.  I am usually a very attentive parishioner.

The four-leaf clover is really a light-weight when it comes to limb-growth.  In fact, Shigeo Obara of Japan holds the Guinness World Record for having the clover with the most leaves.  This sucker is a 56-leaf clover!  He should be the luckiest man on earth.

Plus, finding one or two four-leaf clovers is really no big deal (no matter how loudly you squeal or how many friends you get to squeal with you).  According to the Guinness World Record’s site, Alaska native, Edward Martin Sr., has the largest collection of four-leaf clovers with 111,060 of the little green finds.  I wonder where he keeps them.  He must spend a lot of time crawling around on the ground.  Seriously, the acquisition and storing of over a hundred thousand weeds is a full-time job.  I am very worried about this man.  Doesn’t he run an unusually high risk of succumbing to lime disease?

2)  Everyone thinks their own dog is smart…well, almost everyone.  My neighbour who discovered her Boxer choking on her bra doesn’t exactly brag about her pooch’s I.Q.  But most of us think our Rover or Fido is special.

If you own a Border Collie, your dog probably is special.  It is, after all, the dog with the highest I.Q.

Here are the TOP 10 Smartest Canines:

1.  Border Collie

2.  Poodle

3. German Shepherd

4.  Golden Retriever

5. Doberman Pinscher

6. Shetland Sheepdog

7.  Labrador Retriever

8.  Papillon

9.  Rottweiler

10.  Australian Cattle Dog

Sorry to say, but if you are the proud owner of an Afghan Hound, I hope your dog has loads of personality.  Apparently, he/she is not the brightest biscuit in the box as this breed came in dead last.

3)  I’ve got to admit that licking envelopes seems to get more and more disgusting with every passing year.  What the heck are they putting in the envelope glue, anyway?  I seriously fear ending up like George Costanza’s fiancee, Susan–for those who don’t watch Seinfeld (what is wrong with you?  This is the best show ever), Susan died from licking their wedding invitation envelopes.  As George later explains, they were a really good deal (cheap) and they were expecting a lot of guests.

Well, no need to dread this tongue-straining chore any longer.  In fact, it may become something you look forward to.  J&D’s, the purveyors of everything “bacon,” have introduced bacon-flavoured envelopes.  They even look like bacon–long globs of fat and all.  Only $6.99 for a pack of 25.  http://weirdnews.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=weirdnews&cdn=newsissues&tm=36&f=20&tt=33&bt=0&bts=0&zu=http%3A//www.jdfoods.net/

Craving for a late-nite snack?  No worries.  Just get some mail ready and your nocturnal yens will be satisfied.  I wonder if they are cholesterol free.

Weird Toes, Edible Mail, and 1912

Wow!  As I attempt to learn three new things each day, I find that I am learning to listen.  For those of you who know me, this is a major feat as I am the one that is usually talking.  I’ve come to the realization that I won’t learn anything through listening to my own voice, but others have a lot to offer.  Who knew?

After putting on my listening ears, I managed to acquire another three nuggets of enthralling information.  Okay, I guess this would be highly subjective–one person’s “enthralling” is another person sedative.

1)  My second toe is far longer than my big toe–a condition known as Morton’s Toe.  Several years ago, one of my past room mates informed me that this condition meant that I was predisposed to become a serial killer.  Thankfully, I have never encountered any evidence to back this up.

While perusing the Internet yesterday, I did accidentally come across some more facts about the Morton’s Toe and those “afflicted” with this digit problem–facts that I must add are much easier on my self-esteem.  Foot-related self-esteem, anyway.

So, here’s a few facts that will make you proud to wear sandals this summer.  The Morton’s Toe has been referred to as the Greek Toe and has been celebrated in both Greek and Roman sculpture.  In fact, the Statue of Liberty boasts a large pair of Morton’s Toes as well.  Furthermore, the Morton’s Toe is a dominant trait.  No wimpy toe genes for me.  Yay!  Strangely elongated second toes rock.

2) Let’s face it.  The coconut is one of nature’s perfect foods–sweet, healthy–and “oh so yummy” wrapped in chocolate.  Yesterday, thanks to National Geographic, I learned that it is ideal for another less obvious purpose–mailing.

Apparently, it is perfectly legal and acceptable to mail a coconut in the United States.  Annually, roughly 3000 people write an address on the husks, affix the proper postage, and mail their loved ones a round postcard.  I wasn’t the only one fascinated by this as Mythbusters have given this myth the “truth” stamp, after receiving their self-addressed coconut in the mail. And, according to the National Geographic, the pumpkin has also been successfully mailed.

Imagine the money that could be saved on envelopes–not to mention the trees that could be spared.  I wonder if I can talk one of my friends that are getting married this summer in to sending out coconut wedding invitations.  I really just want see my postman try to fit one into my mailbox.

3)  I have been looking up baby names a lot lately.  And NO, it is not for the reason that you think.  I am trying to come up with the perfect pen name.  It’s fun picking out your own name, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Keeping in mind my age, I can hardly give myself a young name like Kaitlyn or Kylie.  But I don’t want to go too old either–Thelma just won’t cut it.  So, what did I do to break the moniker-hunting monotony?  I decided to find out what the most popular baby names were exactly a century ago.

All of the websites that I could find that provided baby names statistics for 1912 agree.  The most popular names in both the U.S. and Canada were John and Mary.  This knowledge has had no impact on my pseudonym selection whatsoever, but I do find it interesting.

And to all my readers named Mary or John–you can bask in the knowledge that your names are timeless classics.