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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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September 02, 2005
Harsh Conditions
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Satire, War on Terror

Can you believe it? Americans forced to live in the most horrible conditions.


Flooding all around.


In areas in which the lawlessness of a few make sleeping securely a challenge.


Some of them have to actually sleep in the street.


All this after somehow having to ride out the storm.

To be clear, I have enormous empathy for the people suffering in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama from the effects of hurricane Katrina.

But as the media focuses almost exclusively on people who have been stripped of their possessions, their dignity, and sometimes their lives from a natural disaster (i.e. the obvious certainty of terrestrial physics), it is of value to remember that the media almost completely ignores Americans who choose to live in such conditions - for extended periods of time - Americans who volunteer for such harsh conditions so that we might live as a free people.

CraigC, thanks for the pics of Baker Company Marines.

UPDATE: Thanks Matt at Blackfive and Jeff at Protein Wisdom for providing some attention to those who ultimately make a relief effort possible.

Pulled by Emcee on September 2, 2005 at 12:31 PM
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August 18, 2005
Breaking: INS unveils brilliant immigration strategy
Filed in: Current Affairs, Domestic Terror, Politics, Satire, War on Terror


In a brilliant strategic move, it was announced today by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) that the United States will cede part of the state of Texas, including the cities of El Paso and San Antonio to Mexico immediately.

"We have long wrestled with the immigration issue that we have with Mexico", said an INS spokesperson. "While this may seem to some as a capitulation to the problem, we have really turned the tables on the Mexican government - because it is now incumbent on them to provide an infrastructure that will create an environment that is attractive to those who, until now, have been occupied with crossing the border into the United States to seek a better life."

"Part of the issue is that this land - in fact, most of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California - was taken by force from Mexico during an agressive, expansionist phase of US history", the spokesperson added. "Recognizing that we really have no right to this land anyway - and that it is almost totally occupied by illegals, we thought it was high time to quit claim to it." the spokesperson added.


During the press conference, the spokesperson, using a flip chart with a map of Texas, explained: "The shaded area represents about 65,000 square miles which is roughly equivalent in percentage to the total US land mass as the Gaza Strip area recently ceded by Israel is to that nation. This is really a small price to pay for the ultimate resolution to the immigration problem."

"Every citizen of the United States that lives in this area must leave their homes in the next week" said the spokesman, adding: "Anyone who does not leave of their own accord, will be evicted - by force if necessary. We recognize that this will be a painful process for some of our fellow Americans - but in the end, it is in the public's greater interest for this to happen."

Asked by a reporter about the Administration's involvement, the spokesperson stated: "The Administration has nothing to do with this. The INS on its own initiative obtained a state court order based on the recent SCOTUS Kelo decision and has declared this area the property of Mexico by exercise of eminent domain. The people need to realize that no referendums are needed, and no involvement by the other estates of government are required when the public good is at stake."

Asked by another reporter about the fact that, unlike Israeli settlers, US citizens have the right to keep and bear arms, and how that might impact the process, the spokesman said: "We will meet any resistance with a more than equal share of force. For those who lay down their weapons, our agents will enter their premises unarmed and carry them sweetly and with great empathy from their homes. For those who take up arms, we have more arms, and tanks if necessary to insure that the evictions take place. Ultimately, Americans have become sheep anyway. Sure, they may whine about this for a few days, they'll write their screed on their blogs, but, like the Kelo situation, when the time comes, they'll comply like the docile lambs that they have become."

The reporter who asked that question was unceremoniously taken from the press conference and mercilessly beaten to death by INS agents. No further questions were asked.

"Finally", added the spokesperson, "we are certain that the Mexican government can take this land and, once it has been raized, create a socio/economic utopia that will, for all of its citizens who have hitherto sought to leave their mother country for the true motherland of the north, provide a true homeland that will also attract all of the other Hispanic population throughout the United States. We know that this will ultimately be seen as a final solution to the immigration problem." 


If what is happening in the Gaza strip were happening anywhere else in the world, it would be decried for the lunacy that it is.

There is no special Holy Land dispensation for appeasement.

Appeasement never works. Never has. Never will.

UPDATE: Almost singular in agreeing with my argument, Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch offers these insightful updates from Palestine (Hamas) and Iran. It is sadly interesting that most conservative politicos in the US are, in effect, siding with Tehran on this issue.

Pulled by Emcee on August 18, 2005 at 08:36 PM
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August 15, 2005
The TIME Has Come
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Satire, Science


To the inculcated proletariat:

TIME magazine had a perfect opportunity to appropriately portray the obviously Chimpy McHitlerburton inspired comments last week by the Resident Shrub, but instead, they chose to commit the ultimate heresy.

The Gradualist Collective, also known as the New Inquisition, provided a proper submission for the TIME cover when we discovered that they were doing a 'story'...


and this image and caption clearly captures the nature of what is going on - if you are going to say anything at all. It's best to be silent, but if you can't because of public exposure, you certainly must use ad hominem attack - it's a tried and true strategy - because we certainly can't engage with the opposition - that's like giving credibility to miracles.

However, our worst fears have been realized. It is apparent now that TIME magazine itself has been infiltrated by the cretinous horde because they actually allowed the enemy to speak...

...Continue reading "The TIME Has Come"

Pulled by Emcee on August 15, 2005 at 05:28 PM
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August 09, 2005
It was no dance for Cash Friday. What really happened?
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Satire, The Armadillo Conceptual Series

I really did start this last Friday. Took a little longer than I expected. Research you know.

It should be a slide show. Until then, enjoy.


Click just below to continue...

...Continue reading "It was no dance for Cash Friday. What really happened?"

Pulled by Emcee on August 9, 2005 at 01:09 AM
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July 28, 2005
This just in ...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Satire
NEWS FLASH - French Terror Alert Raised
President Chirac has officially raised the French terror alert from "Run"
to "Hide". There are only two higher alert levels in France, which are
"Surrender" and "Collaborate".

The rise was precipitated by a recent fire which destroyed France's white
flag factory - effectively crippling their military.
H/T: Reader Charles, who sent this along from a very highly placed source.

Pulled by Emcee on July 28, 2005 at 09:25 AM
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June 30, 2005
Cassini sees a lake?
Filed in: Celestial, Current Affairs, Satire, Science

  The US-European Cassini spacecraft has imaged a feature on Saturn's largest moon - Titan, that may be a 235km x 75km liquid methane lake - in the top-left portion of the image:


Upon further examination, though, there is a much more momentous discovery:

Now with UPDATES:

...Continue reading "Cassini sees a lake?"

Pulled by Emcee on June 30, 2005 at 02:25 AM
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June 04, 2005
Greetings from Japan - new baseball stat: HUI
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Satire, Sports

Greetings from Japan - waking up here on Sunday morning brings NHK coverage of (mostly) Yankee and Mariner baseball games here (which are being played on Saturday night in the US - that's still a bit mind boggling to me).

I watched the Yankees beat the Twins in an exciting extra-innings game. Then began to watch the Mariners - Tampa Bay game for awhile. It's really interesting to listen to the NHK commentators - I translated a bit of the commentary in the bottoms of the 4th and 5th innings:


NHK 1: Kazmir still pitching, now facing Adrian Beltre. First pitch ...
NHK 2: Ball. How many more batters until Ichiro?
NHK 1: Let's see, that would be six more batters. Pitch 2: Ball...
NHK 2: OK, well let's hope that can happen this inning. Pitch 3: Called Strike...
NHK 1: Yes, it would be. You know Beltre doesn't swing like Ichiro does he? Pitch 4: Foul ball...
NHK 2: No he doesn't. No one does. Here's pitch 5 - Ball's in play! Oh, Beltre lines out to left fielder Carl Crawford...
NHK 1: You know, Ichiro probably wouldn't have done that - I mean line out left like that...
NHK 2: That's right, he would have hit to one side or the other - somehow would have made it on base...

NHK 1: New, batter Richie Sexon, First pitch: Swinging Strike...
NHK 2: How many batters now until Ichiro? Pitch 2: Ball...
NHK 1: Five more batters until Ichiro, Pitch 3: Swinging Strike...
NHK 2: Sexon is a great power hitter - but Ichiro makes better contact. Pitch 4: Ball...
NHK 1: I couldn't have said it any better. Sexon just can't place the ball the way Ichiro does. Pitch 5: Foul Ball...
NHK2: Yeah, it's too bad that every player can't be like Ichiro. Pitch 6: Ball...
NHK 1: Well they couldn't be. There's only one Ichiro. Pitch 7: Ball... Richie Sexson walks. 

NHK 1: Next batter: Raul Ibanez. First Pitch: Ball...
NHK 2: He stands at the plate a lot like Ichiro. How many batters now until Ichiro? Pitch 2: Called Strike
NHK 1: Four more until we see Ichiro. Well a lot of the Mariners do stand at the plate like Ichiro now - they have the benefit of studying Ichiro in fine detail during batting practice. Pitch 3: Foul Ball ...
NHK 1: Good thing they do. They will hit better if they just hit like Ichiro does. Here's Pitch 4: Ball...
NHK 2: Yes, hitting like Ichiro - nothing could be better than that. Pitch 5: Ball...
NHK 1: Here's Pitch 6: Ball hit sharply, it is going, going, going - homer runner, homer runner!
NHK 2: I told you he hit like Ichiro. That was an example of Ichiro style power hitting. Raul Ibanez hitting his 7th homer runner of the year to center field on Ichiro style hitting!   

NHK 1: Well after that exciting demonstration of Ichiro style hitting, the next batter is Bret Boone. Here's Pitch 1: Ball...
NHK 2: Boone doesn't hit just like Ichiro. How many more batters unti Ichiro? Here's Pitch 2: Called Strike...
NHK 1: That would be three more, No, Boone doesn't hit like Ichiro, Pitch 3 - Called Strike
NHK 2: Maybe he should take lessons from Ichiro. Here's Pitch 4, Swinging Strike, using a hitting style very much not like Ichiro, Bret Boone strikes out swinging.

NHK 1: Next batter is Jeremy Reed. Here's Pitch 1: Called Strike...
NHK 2: Isn't Ichiro coming up really soon? Pitch 2: Ball...
NHK 1: Two more batters until Ichiro. Here's Pitch 3: Foul Ball!
NHK 2: I can hardly wait. Here's Pitch 4: Ball's in play - to to third baseman Jorge Cantu, he throw's to first baseman Travis Lee. Ground out. That's the end of the fourth inning.
NHK1: You know, if that was Ichiro, he would probably have beaten out that throw.
NHK2: You are so right. He makes so many infield hits - it's amazing!

.... on to the bottom of the 5th inning ...

NHK 1: Finally - a Mariner at bat again - I have great news: we are certainly going to see an Ichiro at bat this inning! Here's the First Pitch to Willie Bloomquist: Foul ball ...
NHK 2: How many batters now until Ichiro? Here's Pitch 2: Foul ball ...
NHK 1: Just one more batter! I can hardly contain my excitment! Here's Pitch 3: Foul ball ... You know he's working this pitcher like Ichiro does - gets that pitch count up...
NHK1: Yes, no one does that like Ichiro, Here's Pitch 4 that ball is going to right field, and that's out one to right fielder Aubrey Huff.
NHK 2: Well, he worked him for a few pitches - but nothing like what Ichiro does.

NHK 1: On to the next batter guess what that means?, Here's Pitch 1: Called Strike
NHK 2: Ichiro is the next batter! It almost makes you want to see this at bat go quickly. Ichiro's next! Here's Pitch 2, Rene Rivera singles on a line drive to center fielder Alex Sanchez. Oh, what a perfect set up! Ichiro's next and there's a man on first base!

NHK 1: Here's what we've been waiting for ladies and gentlemen! Ichiro Suzuki is at bat! Everyone in Japan take a moment and place your hand over your chest for a moment of silence! Here's Pitch 1: It's a Ball...
NHK 2: What amazing eyes he has! He just watched that pitch go across and didn't move a muscle. Here's the second Pitch: Foul ball! Did you see how he made that contact - he just didn't want to put it into play.
NHK 1: Yes, we are seeing a master at work. Here's Pitch 3: A Swinging Strike! Ichiro is really setting up Kazmir, making him think that he can get the ball past Ichiro. Ichiro could be setting him up for the hit and run. My how exciting!
NHK 2: Yes, it is, this is the most exciting at bat in this game so far. Here comes Pitch 4 - No, it's not a pitch it's a pickoff attempt at first base.
NHK 1: What a chess match! OK, here comes Pitch number 4 now: Ichiro makes contact! He hits a squibber down the right field line. The first baseman has it - he's running toward the bag. Here comes Ichiro - here he comes! Oh, he nearly beats out the first baseman to first base. Did you see that? The first baseman was 10 feet off the bag when he fielded the ball and Ichiro was already 20 feet from the base - Ichiro made up all but an inch or two by the time they both got to the bag. Look at this replay - Ichiro's foot is ... just short - what amazing base running!
NHK 2: It's certainly the best sacrifice squibber to first base that I've ever seen. Rivera moves easily to second base.

NHK 1: Well, let's see if Randy Winn can make something out of the amazing sacrifice by Ichiro. Here comes Pitch 1:  Ball...
NHK 2: Well, now, how many more batters will there be before Ichiro again? Here's Pitch 2: Ball...
NHK1: Eight more batters now, until we get to see the best hitter in the game. Here's Pitch 3: Foul ball ...
NHK 2: Well, we'll just have to wait then, Here's Pitch 4: Randy Winn grounds out to shortstop Julio Lugo - Winn wastes the incredible opportunity given him by Ichiro's sacrifice... 


I don't think it will be long until there is an on screen stat: HUI (Hitters Until Ichiro) for Mariner games broadcast here in Japan ...

UPDATE: Of course, Ichiro initiated the Seattle comeback in the final innings to produce a 6-5 Mariner win - which perhaps proves that Japan superlatives and Seattles love for Ichiro is well founded ...

Pulled by Emcee on June 4, 2005 at 11:54 PM
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May 18, 2005
Nice to have you on our side Norm
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Satire, War on Terror

I don't have proof - but I have it from a very reliable source (high ranking as well) that Norman Mailer receives injections of Cesium 134 (an undetectable but highly effective substance) in his aging novelist's pate directly from Karl Rove.

Which injections cause him to issue bizarre moonbat ravings that find culpability with the Right for any damage that the Left sustains.

Thus, further energizing the Right to effect their agenda. Dare I say that our Right benefits from the publication of such drivel?

We must ask "Whom? Whom does this benefit?"

H/t Ace.

Look out Norm! - you don't want them figuring this out do you?

Pulled by Emcee on May 18, 2005 at 11:46 AM
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May 12, 2005
The Jeff and Martha show ... Huffington's Toast
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Satire

Hilarious 'group speak' blog answer to Arianna Huffington's psuedo-blog, Huffington's Toast just started up yesterday.

It is especially fun to check out the links on the blogroll ...

There's also the initial post by "not really by Martha Stewart". It just couldn't be that my friend Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom, who impersonated Martha Stewart every day during her incarceration, is at it again?

No. It's not him. Couldn't be. Could it?

UPDATE: On second thought, it's all Jeff - all the time. Brilliant! OK, he denies that it's just him - he's either being his normal humble self or there's a greater conspiracy afoot. Keep up with the Toast.

UPDATE: Steve at Hog On Ice appears to be the originator of the Toast. Maybe he is "not Glenn Reynolds" too. Then it could be that Jeff put him up to pretending to be. Jeff's sneaky like that.

Pulled by Emcee on May 12, 2005 at 04:23 PM
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May 02, 2005
The Coming Environmental Disaster - Episode III-Toys
Filed in: Current Affairs, Satire

Episode III – Toys or “ What Happened To The Lead In My #2 Pencils?” – or, “What did we ever do without the Consumer Protection Agency”?

In the mid to late forties, toy selection from commercial sources was abysmal.  Wartime shortages and general lack of disposable income seemed to be the main reason for this situation.  We had Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys and my all time favorite Erector Sets.  I’m happy to see they survive to this day.  I suspect, however, they survive not because of child consumer demand, but more likely children’s Grandpas consumer demand.  I insist on having my grandsons follow my path and that includes ownership of all the toys listed above.  I knew I was fighting a losing battle when my youngest grandson, Geoff sat in front of a pile of Lincoln Logs and asked, “Grandpa, Where do I turn it on?”  Lifting little Geoff, age 5, to my knee, I called for Ruby, also 5, and Samantha age 8 to join us.  Stevie (a name he no longer tolerates), 13, is unavailable.  He’s plugged in to his X Box with earphones and microphone conversing with other participants as they play the latest destroy-everything –in-sight game.  I was initially concerned by these games, but as I learn more about them they are actually acting as a counter to the Left-wing propaganda spewed on a daily basis by members of the Wisconsin Education Association Council.

A topic for another episode just entered my mind.  A game where all the objects of our ire are well-know Democrats.  Hmmmm, this could work!  I digress.  That seems to be happening to me a lot more lately.

Are you all comfortable, I said?  Yes, they said.  And off we go back in time to the forties and a simpler, less stressful and riskier time. 

School was out for the summer in 1948.  My friends and I have been waiting anxiously for this.  We were free and ready for action.  We did not have much in the way of organized athletics.  With the exception of Grade School football and basketball nothing!  No Little League yet!  So, by necessity we improvised.  For example, we had two versions of baseball.  First, we played what we called over the wall.  Eight of us marched each day to a park we called South Shore (the official name was Roosevelt Park).  All of us batted right handed so we’d line up on the left side of a make shift diamond and start our game.  The wall was a chain-link fence surrounding the Tennis Courts.  No one and I mean no one played tennis in those days so we didn’t have to worry if the ball went over the fence.  Hence, we had our name, “Over the Wall.” 

Our second selection of baseball was a game we called “Fast Pitch”.  This involved going to Stephen Bull School yard and marking off 60 feet for the pitcher’s mound and drawing a strike zone on the wall of the building behind the plate. With a regular wood bat (no aluminum for us you woosies) and a tennis ball we shouted Play Ball.  Pretty ordinary stuff, right?

Well, it wasn’t sunny everyday.  At age eight, with World War II still fresh in my mind, explosive ordinance occupied an important part of my immature brain space.  We couldn’t actually buy explosives so we had to improvise.  Today I’m sure we’d be arrested as terrorists for what I am about to describe.  The sound of explosions was music to our ears, but “Cherry Bombs” (M-80’s for you youngsters) were hard to come by.  We had to solve our lack of firepower some way, but how?  Well there is an old method that every boy of that era knew.  The materials were readily available and the result impressive. 

First, we would sneak into our houses and obtain a heaping handful of kitchen matches.  With a knife we would carefully cut the tips off the matches.  Soon a pile of 50 or 60 match tips was sitting in front of us.  While most of us were doing that, the others would head off to the gas station and see if any nuts and bolts could be found.  The larger the nut and bolt the better.   One day in July my friends Joe and Dan were looking for bolts and came across the mother load.  While walking the tracks they spotted huge nuts and bolts that must have fallen off the train.  We had three full sets.

A find like this required more matches.  We were now in the big leagues of pyrotechnics. With three boxes of matches in our procession we began the delicate task of creating our masterpiece.  The secret in preparing the device was to leave as much space as possible in the threaded nut to allow a substantial amount of our match tip fuel to be inserted.  Some space must be left to thread the second bolt into the nut.  This was the critical step in the process.  Carelessness here and fingers, eyes, and a possible limb or two would be taken off.   When the two bolts had been secured to the nut we were ready for action.

This particular day we chose the street in front of my house as the firing range. Standing, what we felt was, a safe distance from the impact zone; I threw the giant nut and bolt device as far as I could.  Upon impact with the ground a tremendous explosion occurred.  One of the bolts flew off and hit the fence surrounding Zieger’s Grocery Store. A large oblong hole was the result.  The second bolt flew in the other direction and penetrated the window of a 39” Plymouth Coupe’.  The nut was never recovered. I suspect it was a block or two from the impact point.  Needless to say, the gang was in serious trouble that day.  The whole problem was that there was no Consumer Product Safety Board to show us the error of our ways.  Did we learn our lesson?  Of course not!  We feigned repentance and continued on.

At this point in the story, Ruby asked, “Grandpa, is this why you always go to the store on I 94 and buy illegal fireworks?  Yes, I answered, it is because I was deprived as a child”.  Samantha said, Grandpa, your making up stories again.  And Stevie was still talking to someone in cyberspace about the quantity of virtual guts that had been spilled.

Another activity was our version of “Soap Box Derby”.  Unlike today where fathers engineer their children’s cars, buy them crash helmets, fire retardant suits covered with decals and have Dale Jr. autograph the car, we were on our own.  Our materials consisted of an orange crate, some loose boards and a pair of old roller skates.  Supplies – a hammer, some nails and sand paper.  That was it.  No sleek aerodynamic vehicles for us.  A crate nailed to two boards and metal roller skates nailed to the bottom of the boards.  The construction process was quick and not concerned with the durability of the vehicle.

First you fixed the roller skates to the boards with about four nails in each skate.  Second, you nailed the orange crate to the boards.  And finally (this is the most important step) you sanded the orange crate very carefully.  If you missed this step it is likely you’d come home with a butt full of splinters.  That done, we found some oil and bathed our roller skate wheels in it.  The reason for this was simple the skates had been lying in the junk pile and were rusted solid.  We were ready for the race.  Off to South Shore Park again!

There was this hill at the park.  Some would have described it as more of a cliff.  Each of us lined up our poorly constructed flimsy orange crates waiting for someone to say go.  I guess it was Ron (In my day it was mandatory for every third boy child to be named Ron or Ronnie as everyone called us.  In a group of ten or twelve guys, someone would call out Ronnie and four of us would answer).  Off we sped, no helmets, no kneepads, no elbow pads, only skin and bone.  It was about three seconds into the roll that I realized something, there is no way to steer this thing.  I was gaining speed at a rate I did not anticipate.  The well-oiled wheels were actually turning.  At first, I didn’t feel any pain.  But, once I saw the blood my reaction was intense and immediate.

I had a large deep gash in my hand where part of the orange crate skewered me.  Should I go home or try self-treatment and try to avoid the inevitable lecture that would be waiting.  Self-treatment for sure!  Beside the lecture I would get a dose of Iodine as well.  So, I wrapped my hand in oily rags as tight as I could and hoped the bleeding would stop before suppertime.  If I kept my hand closed they (my mother and father) wouldn’t notice.  That worked, that is, until the next morning and my pillowcase and sheet were covered with my type O+.  Now I had to pay for my carelessness, blood soaked bedclothes (I always wonder why they called sheets and pillowcases clothes), and a large swabbing of Iodine. 

My seemingly endless medical mishaps remind me of my favorite hand made toy.  For those of you old enough to remember medical thermometers that aren’t digital, you probably know where I’m going.  On boring rainy days before the good radio shows came on the air, we were desperate for entertainment.   This game required a strong container, and blunt object and one medical thermometer.  First you break the tip off the thermometer and allow the silvery metallic liquid to flow into the container.  Dispose of the glass remnants and the fun begins.

In the container is this silver liquid ball just sitting there, not entertaining at all.  But, with a well-placed sharp blow the liquid breaks into many little silver balls that fly around the container.  By moving the container to induce slight movement the balls join together and return to the original single ball form.  Repeat this over and over or until you get bored or “Terry and the Pirates” came on the Motorola Radio.  The liquid, by the way, was Mercury (If you hadn’t guessed). 

Were I to perform this activity for the Grand Children today the Burlington Fire Department, wearing Haz Mat suits, would be breaking down the front door and rushing the Grand Kids out in sterilized bubbles.  I, of course, would be arrested for child abuse.  They’d probably institute the death penalty in Wisconsin just for me.

Another little medicine cabinet innovation was based on the functionality of a particular item found in every 1940’s home.  When a kid got sick there were two medical options available.  First, Cod Liver Oil!  AAAAArrrrrrggghhhh!  I rather deal with the symptoms of leprosy than take a swallow of Cod Liver Oil.  Next, another harrowing experience for a youngster with the flu.  The dreaded long plastic hollow tip with the sturdy rubber ball attached to the end.  You know what this was used for, don’t you?  The enema tool, Yikes!  No wonder I hardly ever missed a day at Holy Name Grade School.  Being kids, we were able to find a use for this dreaded tool that was much more fun.

The formula was to gather up a number of #2 lead pencils. You know the kind, the ones you needed two hands to hold.  Get a knife and split the wood covering the precious lead.  If done right, the lead would drop out in one piece.  This was not really necessary because the game required further processing.  Gathering up the lead and placing it in multiple layers of paper, place the paper on a concrete curb and with a hammer pound the lead into a fine power.  Carefully pour the powder into the rubber ball of the device mentioned above and magic you had a weapon.  This was much better than the traditional squirt gun because it left a telltale deposit behind.

This particular day the object of our attack was a friend.  His name was Larry, we all called him Sundown.  Larry’s mother was insistent that he be in the house before the streetlights went on, hence the name.  Unfortunately for him it stuck with him throughout his life.  He died a year ago and the gang was still calling him Sundown.  Anyhow, four of us were lying in wait for Larry to show up at Stephen Bull School (Our nickname for the school was the Zoo – I have to tell you about that someday too).  Joe was the look out and Dan, Ron, Jim and I were armed.  Joe yelled here he is and we jumped from our cover squeezing the rubber balls with vigor, aiming face high only to find out that it wasn’t Sundown, it was Lucky the beat Cop in our neighborhood.  After the attack, he kind off looked like Al Jolsen singing mammy.  Only his white uniform shirt was also covered with the black lead powder.  This offense was official and the gang was assigned community service (we called it detention) with the threat that Reform School was not far away.  Joe, of course, got away as usual.  He looked so innocent no one believed he could be guilty of anything.

If there were a Top Ten List of Dangerous Toys in my day, they would have been the most popular.  One thing that never bothered us was risk.  We had fun and as a result we took risk.  Some times we won, some times we lost, but we always had fun.

And I must remind you once again in 1940 the life expectancy was 62.9 years and in 2005 it is 77.6 years.  How can it be that I’m still here writing this?  I must be some freak of nature.  OK kids stop laughing and get off my knee.

Pulled by Ron L on May 2, 2005 at 05:28 PM
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Ron L - Wisconsin election watchdog and hilariously fun grandpa.

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