There was a columnist in our local newspaper when I was a kid that wrote a column by that name. Being a kid, I didn’t know a potpourri from a pot of warm spit. Turns out it is the French word for “miscellaneous collection” among other things. And, BTW, for you folks not familiar with the language of those wonderful people who gave us “french fries” or Catherine Deneuve, it’s pronounced “Po-Poh-Ree”, not Pot-Pour-Ree. Aren’t you glad you stopped by?
Anyways, a few things have popped into my head lately that I thought worthy of mentioning here in “cONTEMPORARY mUSINGS.”
ICE CREAM SODAS
Who out there in cyberspace doesn’t love a good soda fountain treat? For those of you young whipper snappers who don’t know what a soda fountain is, I’ll tell you. Back in the dark ages about one hundred years ago, give or take fifty years, when you wanted to “woo” your best gal, you’d take her to the local drugstore (a place that just sold drugs and I mean DRUGS). There they’d more than likely have a counter where the local “soda jerk” would scoop out ice cream, whip up ice cream sundaes or blend a nice soda. The latter was a mixture of carbonated water, flavoring and ice cream. This would be topped off with real honest to goodness whipped cream (none of that fake, imitation, soy-protein-trans fatty-oils gunk), chopped nuts and a cherry. All of this would cost a whole nickel! That’s $6.43 in 2015 money.
Drug stores, the way they are run now, what with everything under the sun except used cars on the floor, there isn’t enough room to have a soda fountain much less drugs. Besides, Robynn Baskets has that market tied up with with their 132 flavors of what passes today for frozen confections called ice cream.
Enough of the history lesson. Today you can go to either the local Robynn Baskets or Super Scoop Drive Inn where some young, pimply faced kid rolls out on skates to deliver your order. The one that you called in to a customer service center located in Rahminda Poo Poo, India.
At Super Scoop you can get any one of thousands of concoctions of flavored “milk shakes.” I love the Banana-Kumquat-Celery-Rutabaga shake with pecan praline ice cream and chopped Hickory nuts. No whipped cream for me. None of that fat ladened crap goes into my veins! But that is not their best flavor. As a matter of fact, it’s kind of hard to pick a “best” flavor because of all the possible combinations. Here are just a few:
LIP SMACKIN’ GOOD STUFF
BUBBA’S ROAD KILL SPECIAL
Fresh Blueberry-Hickory-Barbecued-pulled Possum meat and vanilla ice cream topped with simulated red dirt from Hickry Holler, TN
Fresh Pineapple-Eel-Beluga Roe-Diesel Exhaust flavored whipped cream with chocolate sprinkles and grated coconut with Tutti Fruiti ice cream
ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRAIL
Dried Boysenberries-chopped Calf Fries-Charred Ponderosa Pine, Pine Nuts with Strawberry syrup and Chunky Monkey ice cream
NOR-EASTER SNOW STORM
Orange Sherbet, Ground Maine lobster shell with Coconut/Macadamia nut ice cream, Diesel flavored whipped cream and chopped asphalt chips (From I-95 south of Boston)
MAMA ROSA’S PASTA
Spumoni-Homemade Marinara Flavored Syrup-Chopped Bow Tie Pasta-Chocolate Gelato-Sprinkled with grated, dried Anchovies
Now these are just a few of the items on the menu. Got a mixture you’d like to have? Bring the ingredients and they’ll make it for you!
OFFER NOT AVAILABLE IN RAHMINDA POO POO, INDIA
Oh, and before you leave Super Scoop, grab a bag of the “Double Heart Attack On A Bun” burgers. Why not? You’ve just added ten times your RDA of cholesterol and trans fatty acids with one of the above!
BEN FRANKLIN AND BETSY ROSS
To quote a line from Monty Python: AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
Periodically I like to explore the English language and some of our commonly used axioms. You know, like, “A stitch in time.” I’ve heard Old Ben Franklin has been credited with that one. But I really think it was Betsy Ross when she was trying to finish sewing the last stripe on “Old Glory” in time for President George Washington to fly over the valley forge for the first annual 4th of July picnic on the Mall in D.C. in ’76. It was better than telling his honor, to “Keep your powered wig on! My Singer sewing machine is in the shop and I’m doing this sucker by hand!”
So I did some research on a couple of phrases that we hear all the time, but for the most part take for granted.
Here’s some examples:
A stitch in time– Well, as usual, I was wrong again. Franklin and Ross had nothing to do with it. It simply means that A timely effort will prevent more work later.
A penny saved– Now here’s where you say, “Aha, that’s Old Ben’s work!” Well, I’m not the only one that’s wrong old numismatic breath! “Seems like the original form of this proverb used ‘got’ or ‘gained’ instead of ‘earned’. That is recorded as early as the 17th century, in George Herbert’s Outlandish Proverbs, circa 1633.” Now who’s laughing last? (Snicker, snicker)
The cat’s pajamas– 1920s Lingo describing someone (something) who is great, incredible or special. Usually indicating stylishness or innovation. Pajamas were a relatively new fashion in the 1920s. The term “cat” was beginning to be used as a term to describe the out going and unconventional jazz-age flappers.
Keep your ear to the ground– There are a few theories as to the origin of this axiom. The most common explanation seems to be from yesteryear when people would put their ear to the ground to listen for the sound of approaching horses. It was an accepted way of early surveillance in the old west until General Custer’s scout, Mose Schmidcarp put his ear to the ground one day and it was bitten off by an irate gopher. As a result, the general was so busy tending to Mose’s ear, he didn’t notice the whole Lakota nation coming down on them like flies on day old road kill.
Don’t let the camel get his nose in the tent– It’s an old Arab proverb about…ah…a camel getting his nose in your tent. The next thing you know, his whole body is in and there’s no room for you. So next time you are out camping, periodically check for wild camels in the area.
Full Fledged- As in “He’s a full fledged idiot!” or full fledged anything else for that matter. It comes from the term for being fully developed. Such as the case with a bird. When it hatches from the egg, it has what appears to be tiny hairs on it body, which in reality are tiny feathers. When it is fully developed and has adult plumage, it is said to be a “full fledged chicken or eagle.
A wolf in sheep’s clothing- Is meant to serve as a warning to someone who may be about to enter into some sort of an agreement with a person of questionable character. It is believed to have been originated by the master fable teller, Aesop. But there is also a mention of it in the bible, Matthew 7:15.
Well, there you have it. Both an idea for dessert tonight and a lesson to make you look intelligent at your next high school reunion.
Thanks for stopping by and we hope to see you back soon. Oh, and if you don’t mind, next time stop off at a Super Scoop on your way and pick me up a…oh what the heck surprise me!
You might want to check See YAEVER WONDER??? another one of my posts on the English language.
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