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Cry Baby! December 30, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor.
50 comments

220px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_27At one point, my parents had four children under the age of five ~ Jim (5) led the pack, followed in short order by me (3), Doug (1) and Betsy (newborn).

One morning (before Betsy’s arrival), Doug started crying. Mom changed him. Still crying. She fed him. Still crying. She put him down for a nap. Still crying. Nothing worked to stem the steady tide of tears.

As lunchtime rolled around, with Doug screaming bloody murder in the background, Mom decided to let Jim and me have a picnic lunch in the backyard ~ so we could eat away from the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise.

Since she hadn’t planned on serving us a picnic lunch, Mom didn’t have any traditional picnic fare on hand ~ and with three young children, one purple with virtual apoplexy, she wasn’t about to run to the store.

No problem. Ever the resourceful type, she decided to serve us one of her favorite meals ~ liver and bacon!

On a picnic!

What was she thinking?

As she sautéed up the liver and bacon, Doug continued crying. As she set up a small table and chairs for us in the backyard, Doug continued crying.  As she carried out plates of liver to us, Doug continued crying.

When I looked at the plate of food she placed in front of me, I started crying.

Yuck!

Pluto-HappyAt the time, we had a Cocker Spaniel named Muffin. Old, no longer house-broken, and without any real tolerance for children, Muffin was not an ideal family pet. But, as I stared in dismay at the liver and bacon on my plate, her short-comings were not in the forefront of my mind because Muffin had one redeeming virtue . . . she loved liver.

So, with Doug still crying in the background, I fed my liver to the dog.

Jim looked over at me, smiled, and said, “I’m telling.”

As it turned out, Jim did not get a chance to tattle on me ~ Mom had seen the whole thing from the kitchen window.

When she came back outside carrying a plate, I assumed it was dessert.

It wasn’t.

She placed a second portion of liver in front of me, grabbed the dog by the collar, and returned to the house to check on Doug, who was still crying.

Now, at this point, Jim was really smiling . . . a Grinch-y Grin curled up from his lips as he reached the halfway point of his liver and entered the home-stretch toward dessert.

In contrast, I hadn’t even left the starting gate, nor did I plan to.

I hated liver and knew (even though I was not quite two) that liver had no place on a picnic.

Hmm . . . perhaps this picnic signaled the advent of my vegetarian lifestyle.

I sat there, letting the liver congeal on my plate, without taking a single bite, while Doug continued to serenade us with salty sobs in the background.

When Mom returned for Jim’s plate, she took one look at my untouched plate, and said, in her best Scottish brogue, “Ye canna ha’ yer pudding until ye eat yer meat.”

Life is so unfair at times.

As I burst into salty sobs of my own, with Doug competing for attention in the background, I thought . . . What a Cry Baby!

He doesn’t even have to eat liver!

* * * * *

 

WP Daily Prompt ~ The Early Years (write page 3 of your Autobiography)

The Book of Invention December 30, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Home & Garden, Humor, People.
21 comments

The Book of Invention, by Thomas J. Craughwell, is a fascinating look at 250 of the most important inventions through the ages.

In between the invention of Paint for pre-historic cave paintings (circa 30,000 B.C.)  and more modern inventions like the Internet (1983) and DNA Fingerprinting (1984), the author addresses 247 other inventions and their inventors.

Here they are . . . in chronological order:

Inventions B.C.:  Pottery, Sewing Needle, Boomerang, Oil Lamps, Baskets, Bricks, Mirror, Sugar, Clock, Loom, Sauna, Wheel, Wigs, Sundial, Plow, Bronze, Oven, Alphabet, Buttons, Candle, Charcoal, Ink, Paper, Sewer System, Silk, Veneer, Umbrella, Bells, Glass, Rivet, Soap, Porcelain, Scissors, Carts and Chariots, False Teeth, Saddle, Coins, Aqueduct, Arch, Stirrups, Aspirin, Catapult, Paved Roads, Lighthouse, Wallpaper, Clothes Iron, Cement, Compass

1st – 10th Centuries, A.D.: Easel, Vending Machine (to dispense holy water at an Egyptian Shrine), Dome, Fork, Carousel, Horseshoes, Windmill, Paper Money, Chimney, Gunpowder, Fireworks

11th – 18th Centuries: Ambulance, Cannon, Flying Buttress, Hourglass, Printing Press, Globe (1492), Screw, Sawmill, Newspaper, Telescope, Barometer, Combination Lock, Microscope, Steam Engine, Thermometer, Dental Braces, Flush Toilet, Franklin Stove, Glue, Lightning Rod, Bifocals, Jigsaw Puzzle, Submarine, Balloon, Guillotine, Battery, Cotton Gin, Corkscrew, Pencil, Vaccination, Ball Bearings, Parachute

19th Century: Locomotive, Matches, Tin Can, Stethoscope, Fire Extinguisher, Elastic Fabric, Braille, Lawnmower, Mechanical Reaper, Dry Ice, Colt Revolver, Morse Code, Bicycle, Camera, Postage Stamp, Anesthesia, Vulcanized Rubber, Rubber Band, Sewing Machine, Suspension Bridge, Antiseptics, Odometer, Safety Pin, Milking Machine, Elevator, Syringe, Lifejacket, Pasteurization, Toilet Paper, Oil Well, Window Screens, Torpedo, Underground Trains, Dynamite, Periodic Table of Elements, Square-Bottom Paper Bag, Typewriter, Air Brakes, Can Opener, Blue Jeans, Barbed Wire, Internal Combustion Engine, Telephone, Microphone, Phonograph, Refrigerator, Light Bulb, Cash Register, Shower, Stapler, Player Piano, Electric Fan, Skyscraper, Automobile, Dishwasher, Contact Lenses, Paper Drinking Straw, Pneumatic Tires, Motion Pictures, Escalator, Carborundum, Slot Machine, Radio, X-Ray, Mousetrap, Hearing Aid, Paper Clip

1900 – 1925: Washing Machine, Air Conditioning, Safety Razor, Vacuum Cleaner, Flashlight, Airplane, Coat Hanger, Colored Crayons, Windshield Wiper, Fly Swatter, Outboard Motor, Plastic, Aluminum Foil, Geiger Counter, Nutcracker, Stainless Steel, Turn and Brake Signals, Armored Combat Tank, Wristwatch, Drywall, Adhesive Bandage, Zipper, Pop-Up Toaster, Traffic Light, Cotton Swabs, Frozen Food, Adhesive Tape, Fax Machine

1926 – 1950: Liquid-Fueled Rocket, Aerosol Spray, Respirator, Television, Bread-Slicing Machine, Penicillin, Chain Saw, Sunglasses, Saran Wrap, Answering Machine, Nylon, Parking Meter, Radar, Sunscreen, Aluminum Siding, Nonreflecting Glass, Photocopier, Shopping Cart, Teflon, Toothbrush, Ballpoint Pen, Helicopter, Paperback Book, Duct Tape, Aqualung, Atomic Bomb, Microwave Oven, Kitty Litter, Transistor, Frisbee, Zamboni, Artificial Cardiac Pacemaker, Credit Card, Disposable Diapers

1951 – 1984: Bar Code, Fiber Optics, Calculator, Robot, Synthetic Diamond, Hovercraft, Velcro, Television Remote Control, Satellite, Laser, Three-Point Seat Belt, Ultrasound Imaging, In Vitro Fertilization, Artificial Turf, Athletic Shoe, Kevlar, ATM, Air Bags, Computer Mouse, Smoke Detector, Compact Disk, E-mail, Space Shuttle, Early Pregnancy Test, Personal Computer, Post-it Notes, GPS, Internet, DNA Fingerprinting

Wow!  That’s a long list!  And a surprising one.  

It’s hard to believe that the Atomic Bomb came before Kitty Litter . . . that Submarines pre-dated the Guillotine . . . that Airplanes came before Coat Hangers . . . that we had a Space Shuttle before we had Post-it Notes . . . that Escalators and X-rays arrived before Mouse Traps and Paper Clips . . . that Air Conditioning came before Fly Swatters.

But, perhaps most surprising of all, is the following timeline:

* 5,000 years ago, the village of Skara Brae in Scotland’s Orkney Islands had a sewer system connected to small toilet chambers in their houses.

* In 1596, Sir John Harrington (1561-1612) designed and built a flush toilet for his cousin, England’s Queen Elizabeth I.  The cascade of water made so much noise, Elizabeth refused to use it.

* The first valve-operated toilet arrived in 1738 in France. 

* But it wasn’t until 1857 that Joseph Gayetty of New York produced the first roll of “Therapeutic Paper for use in the loo.  It contained aloe.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Any surprises on the list for you?