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CSotD: Humpday Humor

I saw a UFO or a UAP or whathaveyou back in 1969. I was lying in the grass like Red and Rover (AMS), only it was night, and dark. I saw a round, disk-like object in the air, with a white band across its middle and lights around its circumference.

It approached, then flew directly overhead.

At which point I saw that the white band was the wings of a small aircraft and the lights that appeared to define its circumference were actually lights on the wing tips, distorted into a circle by the humid air.

Which isn’t much to report, except that I’ve sometimes wondered what I’d believe today if it hadn’t passed so close.

 

If you’d prefer, you can wonder what we’d believe if the scenario in Man Overboard had happened.

For one thing, this place would be a shrine, literally. There’d be crutches and broken-down motorcycles all around the doors.

Meanwhile, the idea that paradise is ignorance of the concept of good and evil is attractive, and I’m also interested in the idea that Eve could talk to the snake, since there are other cultures in whose folklore ancient people were also more a part of the animal world, including having the ability to talk to them.

This is the only animal/human conversation in Genesis, but Eve doesn’t seem surprised by it, so I think we can assume Eden was one big happy family, until the knowledge of good and evil screwed things up.

Though the fact that she knew they weren’t supposed to eat the fruit of that tree suggests a hint of knowing good from evil.

Asking for consistency in folklore is asking a lot. It’s best to kind of free your mind and go with it, rather than parse it closely.

I had a professor in college who said the opening of the Book of John, “In the beginning was the word,” could also be translated as “In the beginning there was a great wind,” which opens things up to a much more philosophical interpretation, particularly since John was writing in an era that had begun to differentiate history from folklore. A lot in John is clearly folkloric, though more in the sense of metaphors than in the sense of talking animals.

My prof worked on one of the translations of the Bible, though I don’t remember which.

What I do remember is that he told us that, when he was at Cambridge, the don on their floor was the fellow who had discovered the Hittite Civilization.

And that, “when he died, we stole his furniture.”

So much for the knowledge of good and evil.

 

Bizarro (KFS) plays with a different kind of genius.

My dog has a variety of friends who are what I would call “Designer Mutts,” though not in front of their owners, and, while some of the combinations are inventive, I’m not sure it takes a genius — evil or beneficent — to get dogs to fornicate.

In fact, my 60-some years as a dog owner suggests that it takes a great deal more genius to keep them from fornicating when, as the Cialis commercials put it, the moment is right.

I’m also suspicious that crossing two breeds to get the best aspects of each is like the apocryphal story of the starlet who said to George Bernard Shaw that it would be wonderful for them to have a baby with his brains and her looks, to which he replied that certainly it would be, but what if the poor child had his looks and her brains?

Meanwhile, I think donations to rescue groups should be split, with half going to support adoption programs and half going to lobby state legislatures in the South to cut down on the seemingly endless supply.

I know some great adoptions and, certainly, some terrific designer mutts, but, then again, I mostly know the dogs who are sociable and stable enough to hang out at our park, which features lots of dogs and no fences.

I also see a lot of dogs being walked on leashes on the street, with their owners hauling them up short and warning us away.

A dog is at least a 12 year commitment. Take your time and be sensible.

 

Mannequin on the Moon (AMS) features a different household pet, though, if you think keeping dogs from fornicating is tricky, keeping cats from slipping out to wreak havoc on local songbirds is equally difficult, and at least dogs only go into heat twice a year. Cats seem to be constantly plotting escape.

Kindly people take in feral cats and neuter them so they won’t produce litters, and then release them, which is nice for the cats but I suspect they haven’t done a survey of the birds’ opinions.

I like cats, but I suspect Guerra and Boothby are correct about what indoor cats are thinking.

 

Where to start on this Deflocked (AMS)?

We’ve got a quaint little small-town ice cream store here that is cash-only while even the vendors at the Farmer’s Market are able to swipe a card on their cell phones. You can quaint yourself right out of business if you don’t keep up with the times.

The pricing thing is more problematic, because either my taste buds are becoming more sharply tuned with age, which seems extremely unlikely, or ice cream companies are slacking off on quality, and I’d include Ben & Jerry in that.

I’d also point out that “a pint’s a pound the world around” except, lately, in the ice cream aisle.

So anyone who makes their own has a leg up, but, then again, “small batch” is not always a guarantee of “extraordinary quality,” and, times are tough, so whether it’s ice cream or the veggies at that farmer’s market, you have to make some effort to be competitive in your pricing.

You want nostalgia, kid?

I’ll sit you out on the back porch to turn the crank and get us some real ice cream, dagnabbit.

 

Finally, speaking of cranks, I offer this Reality Check (UFS) to prove that I’m not one and that I’m fully capable of enjoying silliness.

Hey, I’m good-bad, but I’m not evil.

 

Community Comments

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#1 Rich Furman
July/21/2021
@ 9:13 am

“Kindly people take in feral cats and neuter them so they won’t produce litters, and then release them, which is nice for the cats but I suspect they haven’t done a survey of the birds’ opinions.”

In the long view, this is still better for the songbirds than not neutering them so that they produce more predators.

#2 Hank Gillette
July/21/2021
@ 9:32 am

“The pricing thing is more problematic, because either my taste buds are becoming more sharply tuned with age, which seems extremely unlikely, or ice cream companies are slacking off on quality, and I’d include Ben & Jerry in that.”

There is a third possibility, which as an older person I ascribe to, is that our taste buds are becoming less sharply tuned with age, and we can no longer appreciate the more delicate flavors of foods.

I guess there is even a fourth possibility, that our memories are faulty, and things were not really better back in the day.

#3 Denny Lien
July/21/2021
@ 11:08 am

Yes, cats eat birds, and I’m sure the birds would rather they did not. But birds eat worms and bugs, and I’m sure the worms and bugs would rather the birds did not do so also.

I agree that neutering cats is desirable but I’m puzzled by the number of people who assume “birds good, cats bad” when cats do what carnivores and omnivores have always done. (Of course, some birds, such as hawks, also eat other birds, so picking the most virtuous sides in the “red in tooth and claw” division of the animal kingdom gets pretty messy.)

#4 Mike Peterson
July/21/2021
@ 12:14 pm

Cats are delightful indoor pets, but, outdoors, they are an invasive species that harms the balance of nature, possibly to a greater extent than natural predators, since they kill for sport and not just for food.

Read that tagged Oatmeal cartoon again, bearing in mind that he also likes cats. Or read this:

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms2380

Keep’em inside.

#5 Mary McNeil
July/21/2021
@ 4:03 pm

Around here we have all been advised to take down our bird feeders because the birds are dying – but not from cats…from some kind of disease that no one seems to know the cause of, though the prime suspect is a fungus affecting the 17 year wave of locusts which the birds are eating in abundance.

Loss of habitat is probably responsible for the loss of some birds…limiting their room to nest and feed in places cats don’t frequent. Or just limiting where they can exist at all.

As for the birds’ opinions, Audubon has been waging an anti-cat campaign for years now dating back to when I could still afford gift subscriptions to their magazine.

On a lighter note : I’m 75 and not ashamed (or surprised ) to admit that my favorite flavor really IS vanilla.

#6 Denny Lien
July/21/2021
@ 5:51 pm

But indoor cats eat mice, which presumably “harms the balance of nature” (at least, if outdoor cats eating birds, as they have done for thousands of years, does so). Save the mice! Shoo your cats outside!

Again, this is picking sides. (And yes, I’m happy when my cat(s) eat mice, but I’m not going to lose it when they eat birds either. If I get too judgemental, they’ll point out that I eat cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens, and so on, and the only reason I don’t stalk and kill them myself is my incompetence/laziness. I also swat flies and mosquitoes, which presumably also harms the balance of nature, but I’m not planning to change.

#7 Susan Crites
July/21/2021
@ 6:16 pm

Our youngest (9) cat is a Pesty Dasher. But we’ve worked out a sometimes compromise. If we’re getting ready to duck out the back door, and he is following intently, we can pat a little bench in the hall. If he jumps up, we ‘pay the petting tax’, and then back out. He seems to consider this a legit transaction, and doesn’t dash if his ‘tax’ got paid.

#8 Mark Jackson
July/21/2021
@ 6:50 pm

Our last 7 cats (groups of 2, 2, and currently 3) have been kept indoors but not for the benefit of the birds. All those cats lived (or are living) well into their teens; the previous 6 outdoor cats were either killed by cars or simply disappeared. (None of the indoor cats has been focused on getting outside.)

By the way, I’m in my 73rd year and my favorite flavor of ice cream is cinnamon.

#9 Mike Corrado
July/21/2021
@ 7:42 pm

“Though the fact that she knew they weren’t supposed to eat the fruit of that tree suggests a hint of knowing good from evil.”

Not sure about that. She certainly knew that the Big Guy ruled it out, and might have known that consequences would be dire if they were discovered. But it doesn’t follow that she could appreciate the difference between right and wrong, or between good and evil.

#10 Mike Peterson
July/22/2021
@ 3:33 am

House mice are an invasive species, as are rats.

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