by: Eddie Trapp
W.C. Fields was one of America’s beloved comedians in the early 1900’s. As part of his character he was a hard drinking sourpuss that expressed distaste for women, children, dogs, and water. Fields had an ordinary face with an unordinary, double sized nose and reminded everyone of somebody’s grandpa. If he looked ordinary except for his nose he certainly did not sound normal as he had a very distinctive voice. In 1880 he was born William Claude Dukenfield but went by the name we call him today. He and I have something in common; he died in 1946, the year I was born.
Some of his more humorous sayings were, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again and then quit. No sense being a durn fool about it. I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to my food. Start every day with a smile and get it over with. A woman drove me to drinking and I didn’t even have the decency to thank her. The best cure for insomnia is getting a lot of sleep. Never try to impress a woman because if you do she will try to hold you to the standard the rest of your life. You can’t trust water; even a straight stick turns crooked in it. I like children – fried. All women are crazy; it’s just a matter of degree.”
“I never drink water because of the disgusting things fish do in it. I am free of all prejudices, I hate everyone equally. I bought a talking dog from a ventriloquist one time and as I led him away he looked back at his previous owner and said, ‘Sold me eh. I’ll never speak another word.’ A rich man is only a poor man with money. Always carry a lot of whiskey in case of a snakebite, and always carry a small snake. Don’t worry about your heart; it will last as long as you live. It ain’t what they call you; it’s what you answer to. Women are like elephants, I like to look at them but wouldn’t want to own one. Ah the patter of little feet around the house, there’s nothing like having a midget butler. A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for. Horse sense is what horses have that keeps them from betting on people. I always keep a supply of stimulant handy in case I see a snake, which I also keep handy. I’ve never struck a woman, not even my own mother. Last week I went to Philadelphia, but it was closed. Reminds me of my safari in Africa, somebody forgot the corkscrew and we had to live for several days on food and water. Some idiot lost the cork out of my lunch.” If you want to laugh, check out W.C. Fields on You Tube and have a blast.
According to the Houston Chronicle, some human artifacts have been uncovered and stopped, at least temporarily, the construction of a fifteen mile, outer loop toll road. After examining both sides of the argument a district judge ruled the highway may be continued. The Harris County Historical Commission will appeal as soon as possible. In July, TxDot stopped construction on the $322 million loop after finding a burial site containing, among other things, three leg bones and a jaw with teeth. The bones are thought to be at least 2000 years old. In August, archeologists found a second site nearby containing arm and leg bones. Kenneth Brown, University of Houston anthropologist testified that the bones could be as much as 9000 years old. This area around the Katy Prairie was home to Comanche and Karankawa Indians but the bones are believed to be much older humans.
A team of engineers in New Zealand worked for five years before developing a revolutionary new bike, the Yike Bike, after forty seven previous prototypes. The first one was made in 2009 and only a few are now in Texas. This electric, rechargeable, fold up bike uses about a penny’s worth of electricity per mile and the lithium battery will last about 3 ½ years even with daily use. The aluminum model costs about $2000 and if you want the titanium, $4000. The Yike will travel six miles on one charge and only takes forty five minutes to recharge. Comes with turn signals and brakes. This twenty one pound bike folds up small enough to carry under one arm. It takes a few minutes to get familiar with the handle bars slightly behind you. Check these out on the internet and watch for them in your neighborhood.
Charleston Chess was a game we sometimes played at the Charleston Square years ago. This actually isn’t a game at all but is something to “mess with” any bystanders that came over to watch. Lester Worden, Larry Goforth, or I would kneel down in the sand and draw a circle. Another one of us would kneel on the other side of the circle as in a game of marbles. We would do rocks, paper, scissors or flip a coin to decide who got to go first. An opening move would be to simply use your finger to make an odd shaped mark inside the circle, and then it was the other ones turn. When it was a person’s turn he studied intently a while, scratched his head, and then cautiously made another mark in the sand. Occasionally a remark such as “Oh, I see what you’re trying to do now.” After several minutes and a few marks, the bystanders could be heard asking each other what in the world was the object of the game. The game went on until the circle was about filled with all shapes of little squiggly marks then one of the players would laugh out loud while the other dejectedly dropped his head as if in defeat. It was not even a game. Just something to puzzle a newcomer. Try a game of it in your neighborhood.
This story was heard at church Sunday. A small airplane developed engine trouble. Four people on board but only three parachutes. A little boy, the pilot, a doctor, and a college professor. The pilot grabbed a parachute and jumped out the door. The college professor said he was the world’s smartest man and needed to live so he could continue teaching. Out the door he went. The doctor told the little boy to take the last parachute since he was so young and had his whole life to live. The little boy told the doctor, “It’s okay, we both can have a parachute. The world’s smartest man just jumped out wearing my backpack.”