With This Ring…..Before He Said…..I Thee Wed.


Blind with love the befuddled young guy took her to Wendy’s and he sneaked her new engagement ring into a Frosty milkshake. Then to be sure she found it quickly so he could go ahead and pop the magic question he engaged a few of her friends to challenge her to make fast work of the shake. She did and she also made fast work of the ring right along with the contents of the shake. I should rightfully state that things went south after she swallowed the ring but, fortunately, two days later he indeed got to pop his wonderful question after the ring popped up ….or out….or whatever. Anyhow she decided to marry him in spite of his silly, chilly ring delivery.

Then there was this teacher and teachers should know better than to play in traffic but that is exactly what the boy had to do after he had his intended (and friends and family) meet on a pedestrian walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge so he could ask that same soul-binding marvelous question to his beloved. You guessed it. He dropped the ring into the middle of traffic below the pedestrian walkway. He had to do a chimpanzee routine of climbing down and dodging trucks and cars in the roadway to find the ring. She was so impressed with his simian like skills she decided to take him up on the offer. He had to get the ring repaired and cleaned up before they could use it in the wedding.

This fellow from London did them all one better. He never got the ring back. He had a balloon shop tie the ring, which cost over $12,000, to a helium balloon that was snatched from his hand by a gust of wind as soon as he left the shop. He chased the balloon for two hours but it got smaller and smaller until it was a little bitty dot and then he could no longer see it. She said she would marry him but now he has got to buy another ring. He was reported to have said, “I felt like such a plonker.” I don’t know what that word means but if he made it up I don’t blame him. If I lost a ring worth twelve grand “Plonker” wouldn’t even begin to describe my stupid tail.

A Chinese man was inspired by romantic movies that depict the leading man hiding the engagement ring in a cake for a girlfriend. “I imagined the surprise on her face mixed with happiness,” he sadly told a reporter. The really tough part for her was when he got down on one knee to propose and she realized she had swallowed the ring. She fainted. Happily I can say things did not go south in their situation. He got her to a hospital where the doctors used a catheter to retrieve the ring. Women are so wonderful. After all that unnecessary abuse, she accepted his proposal.

This is my favorite.

An English boy has a great imaginative heart. He is a craftsman in the Light Dragoons (I’m just like you. I have no idea what that means).

Anyhow, His relationship with his lovely girlfriend was about to crash and burn and so to save this crumbling relationship he thought it would be clever to emulate the romantic magic of the movies. There was a slight problem with his idea of romantic magic emulation. I think he was in his underwear and running shoes which may or may not be a good match.

He streaked across a Premiership football ground (during a game) and he fired red roses from a bow just like a big old cupid.

Even though this occurred on Valentine’s Day it went over a whole lot worse than tying a twelve thousand dollar diamond engagement ring to a lead balloon.

First he was arrested. Then the serving soldier was told he could face a court martial. To add insult to injury, his girlfriend was so appalled and embarrassed by his behavior that she dumped him.

If that wasn’t enough, even more misery was heaped on his shoulders when he was fined £200 and banned from all football matches for three years.

Outside court, the crestfallen 20-year-old said: ‘I’m sorry for what I did but I never realized it would cause so much trouble. I just wanted to impress my girl and it backfired really badly.’

He said he ‘genuinely thought’ he could rescue their failing relationship by acting as Cupid and he said, “Now I have no girlfriend.”

Don’t you just love this guy. Nothing he did worked for him but he certainly did it with style and flair.

The other guy with the balloon story was probably lying. He never had the ring to start with. He used a faux diamond that he let float away on a balloon and I’ll bet the girl doesn’t believe him either. She wants another ring just like the one he supposedly lost on the balloon.

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Amazon is amazing. They still have copies of this amusing creation in stock. All you have to do is click on this book and you will be whisked away straight into Amazon’s fantasy world of mostly unbelievable offerings from people who are really pretty good writers. It’s confusing isn’t it?








Love, Women, Romantic Superstitions

Funny Pigs_3

Never trust a large sow wearing moo-cow bedroom slippers with no matching handbag.

Lately I’m concerned that we are not teaching our younger people the old sayings and superstitions that will aid them in making good decisions in judging other people they might choose as friends or future mates.

This little list is by no means all inclusive. I am trying to stir your curiosity so you will further investigate our superstitions and folklore and pass it on to the younger folks. This just touches briefly on some of the old superstitions. We need to be teaching kids our past and we need to include the foolish along with the serious. This could teach them to know the difference between fact and fiction.

Hair – “For shiny, glossy, long and attractive hair, bury a twist of your hair under the roots of a white walnut tree in the light of the moon.”

“Silk pillowcases will cure frizzy hair, wrinkles, and zits.”

“Cut your hair at the waxing of the moon (full moon) and it will continue to grow. If you cut your hair when the moon wanes the growth will be slow. Throw the cut hair in a place where it will remain damp and your hair will grow to be thick and full. Burning your cut tresses will destroy new growth completely.”

Mirrors – Never break a mirror. “Mirrors have the power to confiscate your soul and if you break a mirror your soul will be trapped inside it.” Remember you will need your whole soul when you deal with a sorry man so be protective of your mirrors.

Marriage and Men – “Make the foot of the bed before the head                                       or else, my dear, you’ll never be wed.”

“Completely peel an apple so the peeling is in one piece. Throw the peel over your left shoulder. When the peel lands, look for it to have formed the shape of an alphabet letter. This letter will be the initial of the man you will marry.”

“Throw a shoe over your shoulder. If it lands with the toe pointed at the door, you will marry in one year.” Do not tear up the shoe. They are expensive. Do not hit the man of your dreams with the shoe.

Look for a man with a prominent or tip-tilted nose. He will make a fine husband. Be sure his ears are well shaped and not to narrow. The larger the ear lobes, the greater the intellect. Remember this: “Dimple on the chin – Devil within.”

“Trust not the man whose eyebrows meet for in his heart you’ll find deceit.” I read this many years ago and since that time I have always shaved my nose and between my eyes.

“My right eye itches and now I shall see my love.” I suspect this old saying resulted from allergies in the girl and probably coincided with “In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Always emphasize the word “lightly” as you think of this and you will always know how to tell him what he can do with his “fancy.”

If he shows up with the left hind foot of a rabbit as a keepsake for you and to enrich you with great luck and fortune just remember what happened to the rest of the rabbit.

Crossing fingers was a sign used centuries ago for Christians to recognize other Christians it also was used to ward off witches. I don’t recommend too much of the finger-crossing routine because, if every time he tries to hold your hand, your fingers are all crossed up he might think you are crippled and you won’t be able to cook and wash dishes. You could scare him off.

Knocking on Wood – Good spirits were thought to live in trees and knocking on the tree was a calling up of the good spirits for protection. We still knock on wood but the old saying mentioned nothing about dead wood as in furniture or particle board computer desks and what if you wake a good spirit when you knock on his tree at an inopportune time? Will the good spirit be in good spirits?

My favorite superstitions came from a list of beliefs black people in the US are fond of quoting:

“Never buy your husband or boyfriend a pair of shoes as a gift.” I think this is great advice. Don’t give him the impression he can just walk away.

And the last one: “Don’t go to the zoo when you are pregnant.” This is excellent advice for if the tree spirits don’t feel particularly protective the day you go to the zoo you might wind up giving birth to an alligator.

There is a lot of truth in these old adages, beliefs and superstitions. Use the good ones and trash the others. Make the good ones work for you.

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Who Begat John Wayne?

Who begat John Wayne?

I used begat because I was afraid if I asked, “Who made John Wayne?” I would be accused of saying John Wayne was a “Made Man” in the mafia.

Surely our All American Hero of the Great Plains was sired by one of the premier western movie stars who came before him. His Daddy would have to be either William S. Hart, Hoot Gibson or Tom Mix. But no, no, it was none of the above. Hang with me because the shock will be tremendous when you learn the unlikely source of John Wayne, the solid rock foundation of our youthful development.

Remember all the western movies where the good guy wins and the bad guy, or more likely, a heap of bad guys bite the gritty dust. We were fascinated. We were mesmerized. The western movies made us into the many good citizens and maybe a few bad apples we later became. John Wayne did that to us. We are all spiritually cloaked by the “John Wayne Syndrome.”

He was the epitome of the real man. He was tough, hard as a slab of granite with a heart as large as a longhorn steer’s. He had courage, tenacity, honesty, integrity and all-of-the above plus much, much more all rolled up like a solid tumble weed into one big man. We loved him. We were him and he was us. We still are him. We can’t shake that persona.

So who turned Marion Robert Morrison into John Wayne and changed our lives forever?  Here’s how it all happened to us and it is the fault of Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge and William Randolph Hearst.

Roosevelt would go on to become the 26th president of the USA. Lodge was a United States congressman in the House of Representatives and later in the US Senate from 1887 to 1924. Hearst was also a US Congressman but is most noted as an American newspaper publisher who built the nation’s largest newspaper chain.

According to Evan Thomas in his most interesting book, “The War Lovers,” in 1898 Roosevelt, Lodge and Hearst were hell bent on getting the United States into a war with Spain. They were all terribly disappointed because the sun was slowly setting in the west over the last great frontier for men of action. There were no more Indians to fight. There was no place these hardy lads could go to hear the boom of cannon and experience the thrill of a cavalry chase. They were fearless warriors with no place to wage war.

Who gave them the notion they were fearless warriors? The truth is they were all upper crust Easterners. They met at Harvard and were all members of The Porcellian Club which had only about twenty members and its only practical use was to provide them a forum for dining and heavy drinking. I suspect each of them was living in the shadow of his father whose strong presence cast a pall over any dreams, hopes and ambitions of the son. They were forever doomed to strive to prove their prowess and manliness to their fathers. Roosevelt was quoted as saying the only man he ever feared was his father.

Today in our society these three would appear to be foppish dandies or sissies.They were certainly different and peculiar. Even Roosevelt who later became President continued to project his manly demeanor all over the globe by killing thousands of wild animals and he appeared to always be trying to prove himself to other men yet there is no question he was a brilliant Renaissance man who could hold forth on practically any subject.

Lodge was born in the highest of Boston Brahmin blue blood snobbery. His Mother was a  Cabot. The old Boston toast or poem (a variation) to their social standing goes:                  And this is to good old Boston.                                                                                           The home of the bean and the cod.                                                                                  Where the Lodges talk to the Cabots.                                                                                  And the Cabots speak only to God.

Hearst was the creator of “Yellow Journalism.” Many of the stories published by his papers were manufactured to create sensationalism and to sell papers. Nowadays he is most widely known for being the main character depicted in  Orson Welles’ classic movie, “Citizen Kane.” His political power was derived from his ownership of thirty newspapers in the US and he was expertly adroit at wielding his power of the press.

Roosevelt was a Republican who became the leader of the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party. He seemed to be a liberal Republican except when it came to war and killing large animals with high powered rifles. He was forty years old when he insisted on using his political pull to get him in the US Army so he could join in the battle with the cavalry in making a mad dash up San Juan Hill in Cuba during the Spanish American War of 1898. That was his only year of military service. He longed to be a cowboy and his rambunctiousness was almost certainly curtailed, in a good and positive way by his wife, Edith.

To make a long story short, as it should be because it is so sad when you lose a hero like John Wayne, our three war lovers had a confederate in the Porcellian Club by the name of Owen Wister. A few years after they had all left Harvard, Roosevelt, Hearst and Lodge were busy stirring up our war with Spain after the the American ship, USS Maine was  blown up in Havanah Harbor. It probably was blown up by an onboard accident but the war lovers would have none of that explanation. Immediately employing every political resource they could muster, they blamed Spain for the explosion and Teddy got his golden opportunity to charge up San Juan Hill astride a galloping steed in a full blown cavalry charge. Cuba has never been the same.

If Owen Wister does not ring a bell with you, don’t worry. You know I’m duty bound to tell you about him. While the war lovers were stifling their boredom by engaging in stirring up a needless war between the USA and Spain, Owen Wister was attacking the same brand of boredom in his own unique way.

Wister’s father had him working in New York as a bank clerk. The story goes that Wister went west for his health which may be true but some people say Owen was tired of sitting at a desk in an office in New York City and after one visit to Medicine Bow, Wyoming, he was ruined forever. He fell totally in love with the great outdoors and the life of the cowboy.

The only trouble was the cowboy was much maligned in those days. The cowboy was lowly, nasty, unkempt, unshaven, cowardly, despicable, universally unpopular (and also not liked very much) until Owen Wister appeared on the scene.

And then in 1902 Owen Wister changed it all. The old Harvard Porcellian Club imbiber magically turned the lowly unloved cowboy into the Great American Hero that he has remained to us for well over a hundred years. Owen Wister wrote “The Virginian.”

“The Virginian” has been made into a movie four times and a fifth time it was revised into a “made for television” movie. It was also the long running television series that we so much enjoyed from 1962 to 1971 that starred James Drury, Doug McClure and Lee J. Cobb. “The Virginian” made famous a line that we have all heard before but bears repeating here. During a poker game, one player called the sheriff an SOB. The sheriff looked at the fellow and said, “When you call me that, smile.” Wister had his hero repeat that line in his book.

There were short stories and pulp dime novels about the Old West before “The Virginian” but never a novel of such scope and force. One year later, in 1903, the first Western Cowboy movie was filmed. The movie maker was The Edison Film Company and it was shot on a budget of $150.00. “The Great Train Robbery” was twelve minutes long and was a silent shoot ’em up with the bad guys robbing passengers on a train and then being chased by a posse of good guys who wiped out all the bad guys. The star was Broncho Billy Anderson.

And thus was born our love for cowboys, all the great old cowboy stars led by John Wayne who has been called, “The Bearer of Moral Absolutes.” This was the birth of the mythical Old West we still embrace and if you missed it because you are so young, I feel sorry for you but the beauty of today’s media allows you to seek it out and watch every minute of it. These were great stories of cowboys and Indians and lawmen and bandits.

So there you have it. I maintain that Owen Wister and his Harvard college swells created our hero, John Wayne. You can almost say that Owen Wister was John Wayne’s daddy. I know it was not Broncho Billy Anderson and at 5’2″ Buzz Barton was too short. He was the shortest cowboy star. Besides he was six years younger than John Wayne.

I could go on forever but I have to go downstairs and practice my gangly, gimpy sidewinder kind of walk up to the mirror, cock my head to one side and drawl, “Listen Pilgrim, and listen good!”