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Archive for the ‘Such people’ Category

A Sunday Outing

On Sunday–I went to the mall to do a little shopping! As did many other people, all as tired of cowering in their houses as I am. It was a bright and sunny day, and the joint was jumping. It was Father’s day! A woman and her three children were intent on the aftershave display. One of the little boys kept repeating that he KNEW what Daddy wanted, namely a [fancy car whose name I can’t remember]. His mother wisely ignored him, concentrating on the manly fragrances, but he continued his litany: HE KNEW WHAT DADDY WANTED. However, going by what I saw, Dad would have to be content with grooming products.

I completed my visit–unsuccessful as it happened. Shopping in person is not only demanding but made complicated by my fellow shoppers who move the clothes about, causing the various collections to lose that look of pristine perfection one expects.
As one finds when shopping online for instance….
No matter! A valuable experience!
Once back in the car, I decided to take the local roads–the Beltway was something of a mess. And I sped down the tree lined roads, reflecting on how lucky I am to live in a place that is basically a forest–almost every road winds between beautiful rows of green trees. As I came up to Old Georgetown Road, I spied another family, also a mother and three children. But unlike the jolly black family I had seen in Macy’s, this family was not out shopping, they were selling. Selling pathos. The mother held up a big sign saying she and her children needed money. A mother using her children as props! The baby in the (rather handsome) stroller was bawling, his two sisters were leaping about. They all looked clean enough, and well fed.
As she approached the cars, waving her sign, I couldn’t help but look slightly horrified.
I know that Montgomery county has processes in place to care for needy children and needy parents. Perhaps they had come in from another county? Perhaps any number of other things–but I felt ashamed for that young woman, and sorry for her children.

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The UK government is going head to head with the pubs, I understand–beer can only be sold to customers when associated with a “Substantial Meal.”
But WHAT, people would like to know, constitutes a substantial meal?
LAWYERS are involved, by the way.
Quote: “High-end crisps” served in “substantial portions accompanied with various elaborate dips” were considered a substantial meal in a 2017 Westminster City Council hearing, with the council congratulating the owner on “[creating] a ‘non-Walkers’ crisp offer and the desire to celebrate the great British potato at its peak and most hip”.

Which is all very well, but most people want to know–HOW ABOUT A PORK PIE? Substantial enough for you? Or a Scotch egg–does that suit?
One cheeky pub, so I understand, set up a fake tap for a beer called Substantial Meal.
Let me say, it is never a good thing to set yourself up against the pubs.

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Vocal Genius

Agatha Christie, the queen of whodunnits, has been my companion for evening walks this week–I have been listening to that marvelous and completely ingenious story, Murder on the Orient Express! SUCH an elaborate and, YES, totally ridiculous plot–but how extremely satisfying. And what made it particularly wonderful was the reader–none other than David Suchet! He is of course famous for playing Hercule Poirot in the show based on that detective’s exploits, but he has played many many other roles. And what completely charmed me was his masterly voicing of each character–men, women, French, British, American–he nailed it. In particular I loved his voice for the Princess Dragomiroff–I was startled to hear an exact imitation of Wendy Hiller, at her most imperious.

She starred in that role in the 1974 movie, the one with Albert Finney as the detective, along with every famous actor or actress of the day that could be crammed into the story. I wrote about it AND the 2017 version here.
Excellent story, EXCELLENT reader!

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Mostly the news these days is depressing and grim, but every once in a while it delivers a hearty laugh. This last stunt by the mayor of DC definitely wins best of show! She had assembled a group of people to study whether the various structures in Washington are in keeping with the worthy values treasured by DC.
And guess what! Many are not only not in keeping but should be removed or relocated, e.g. the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial.

This news flash met with a certain amount of obstinate resentment–people can be so harsh! In fact, so discouraging were the responses that Mrs. Bowser amended her original proposition, deleting the words “remove or relocate” and leaving “contextualize” in their place.
Contextualizing is something that only well paid experts can do, PLEASE do not try to do this at home good people!

The fact that her fair city is actually named after that vile oppressor George Washington must present something of a problem to the mayor, but I’m sure her team is working on conceptualizing that right now.

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I glanced at a recent book review in the WSJ and passed on to other concerns. But then found that I was haunted–indeed, slightly horrified–by a phrase I had just read. The book is about cleanliness, and the reviewer boldly announces that she has stopped using soap. And that as a result, her scalp “smells cozy, like yeast rolls.”
Hmm.
Not the lady I’d want to be sitting next to on the bus.
Eugenia Bone (WHAT a name, no?) writes in a chatty girl-to-girl style, and is not one to delight us with the elegant turn of phrase or witty reference–but she has written much in the popular science and cooking realms, and no doubt has many admirers. So what if she eschews shampoo, THEY care not.
And in any case, they don’t have to sit next to her on the bus.

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Week 2

Here we are at Day 1 of Week 2 in the Great Isolation. And it’s raining, so the mood is dire.
However, I saw a ridiculous pun that brought a smile to these Wan Lips– involving that merry Russian lass who posed with 3 strategically placed medical masks and who was instantly punished with opprobrium for being so thoughtless.
One of the more light-hearted commentators suggested that “Miss Ushakova may have accidentally offered a solution to the crisis, but the wrong way round. Instead of putting masks on breasts, why can’t we put bras on mouths? Why can’t Playtex and Hanes and the rest offer just to snip every brassière in two – and hey presto, two masks?
Just be careful to hoist the lingerie tightly to your jaw. Many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip.”

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RIP Kenny Rogers

People are dying everyday, and it seems disrespectful to single out one just because he’s a celebrity–but I was sorry to hear of the death of Kenny Rogers. My dad–despite his exquisite taste, and loathing for most popular music –would sing one of Kenny’s songs from time to time: “You’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away..”

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Whoops

I always get a kick out of reading the corrections for the errors the paper makes. This is a particularly fine one:

An 85-foot-tall statue of the Hindu god Hanuman is a popular attraction in Trinidad. A Jan. 18 Off Duty travel article about the Caribbean island incorrectly described the statue as an ape, and it incorrectly gave the name of the god as Hanuman Murti. Also, the Trinidad town of Couva is located inland. The article incorrectly said it is a beach town.

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The Morning Cup

There has been MUCH chatter about yet another brash American suborning a British prince, and some of it rather entertaining (e.g., The Husband Formerly Known as Prince). I read along, tut tutting with the rest of the old ladies, until I came across a completely alien word: teasmade:
“She was probably horrified by the frugality of the Windsors and the teasmades in the bedrooms.”

What was this thing that horrified our Meghan? Well, I looked it up, and it turns out that it is an odd machine that combines an alarm clock with a tea maker, ensuring that your morning cup is ready the moment you wake up. VERY dowdy, VERY British.

And really, rather charming.

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I was riveted by a recent article about people who scorn the gentle vacations the rest of us cherish–sitting on the beach regarding the waves, sipping from the martini thermos while reading the latest sensational thriller–that is an insipid waste of time to these intrepid souls. No, they want to climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest river–and they are willing to PAY THE BIG BUCKS to make it so.

“Guided by experts in arctic terrain, the one- to two-week trek involves problem-solving, sniper training, learning skills from the indigenous Inupiaq, landing on a glacial fjord, reconnaissance with dog sleds and a dip in hot springs.”

Wow, that sounds like fun!

There are many varieties of exciting vacation packages to choose from, from freezing cold to burning hot.

I am inclined to stay home.

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