Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thrift Store Economics

Beyond the bargain prices, thrift stores actually serve a consumer purpose that people do not often think about. They are today’s modern version of five and dime stores of youthful legend.. Except that now the nickels are greenbacks with pictures of Lincoln’s big head, and the dimes are equal to about 10 bucks.

So inflation aside, the point is that the very eclectic nature of the inventory at thrift stores makes them rather unique and special as a retail enterprise. If you go into Neiman Marcus, you will find designer clothes that few sane people will pay full price to own. When you go to your local Target, while the duds are more in our price range, the fact is that the fashions tend to be geared toward twenty somethings. That’s great for about ten years but then where do you shop?

Now mind you that is not a bad thing to specialize your inventory when you are in a retail business. In fact when you want that perfect ruby studded tack for your pet pony, it is nice to be able to go to an equestrian shop rather than to Walgreens. The clerks typically understand what’s ‘IN’ as fashion pony accessories go, and they can help you choose from a wider selection of pony products. Now these thrift store places get their inventory from EVERYWHERE and ANYBODY, so you never know what you are going to get. (If you must, you can impersonate Forest Gump) You will find high end fashion, and low end dust-catchers. But no matter what, there truly is something for everybody and in any price range.

In many cases, if your local thrift store or consignment shop is fairly organized and clean, it can actually be a lot more fun and PRODUCTIVE to shop there rather than the mall. I know the mall smells better with it’s fresh and fruity new fragrances wafting out of every open door. But just think of all the musty ‘moolah’ you are saving. If you look hard enough, you’ll be able to buy 5or 6 very usable items for the price of ONE thing at the mall. Now please don’t blame me if your closets fill up twice as fast because your money goes so much further. Just smile, pack it all up, and GIVE IT TO A THRIFT STORE CHARITY. That way, you can go there next week and buy all of your old stuff again for just pennies on the dollar!

The problem with choice

Don’t worry there is no controversial point and counterpoint to be made here. Now, terms like ‘choice’ and ‘gay’ have been pirated into highly charged political doublespeak. But sadly for me, I’m not that hip or deep so some would call me a ‘square’ I guess. But geometry terms aside, as my Daddy used to say, “I don’t care what they call me as long as they call me for dinner.”

So for dinner, I went to a fast food joint today where you park your car in a stall and order your food from the car. Eventually the food is delivered by somebody on skates (preferably a girl – remember I’m antiquated). The problem with this is that even though I know what I want and can point to it on the car-side menu, the person taking the order can only hear me, and therefore CAN’T SEE what I want. This place has about 10 types of burritos. They have numbers for each burrito but that is for a combination meal and I just wanted a basic burrito with beans, jalepenos and veggies alone.

When the order came, of course it was wrong and was just a plain bean burrito. I checked the receipt and it WAS what I ordered but NOT what I wanted. When did the world decide that it was better to have 50 choices of stuff to muddle up the possibility of getting the ONE CHOICE I DO WANT? Even when I have guests now, I am careful to serve regular AND decaf coffee with the choice of 1% milk or almondine hazelnut Half and Half creamer. Did we really go to all this trouble 20 years ago just to assuage EVERY individual taste? As I recall when I was young, you got a choice of having coffee with grounds in the bottom of the cup or NOT having coffee at all.

Even shredded wheat has been perverted by choice. What on earth is more plain, dry, and simple than a brick of shredded wheat? Now the family might request shredded wheat in the blueberry, maple, strawberry, chocolate or cinnamon streusel frosted varieties. If that is not confusing enough, consider then that the product also comes as plain shredded, bite-sized little squares, or full- sized big double squares. Gee it’s no wonder I’m so geometrically challenged and stressed with all of these ‘square’ choices in my life – it’s enough to kill my good mood and make me really ‘UN-GAY’.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Exotic meat me in St. Louis

I have to admit it, we are a family of meat eaters. Actually we don’t consume animal flesh any more or less than other kinds of food but the point is we DON’T exclude the stuff. Yes, it takes work to keep up with the caloric load required to write a blog, so pretty much I am an equal opportunity eater. Yeah you guessed it , as a famous lawyer once said (almost) about my big mouth … “if the food fits you must INGEST”!

So keeping that ‘craw-motto’ in mind, one of our more favorite things to do when we wander far off to exotic places, like East St. Louis, is try different and interesting foods. All kidding aside, there is a little place there that a lot of downtown business folks flock to for crispy pig snout sandwiches in BBQ sauce. I have never seen them but I guess I could eat almost ANYTHING if it has enough bar-b-que sauce on it?

My daughter has always seemed to have inherited my ability to consume all types of foods. When she was very young, her favorite thing was to munch lemon wedges that are served with water. My family would wince as she’d suck the things dry with nary a shutter and no sugar. It also took awhile to train her to stop eating roasted peanuts, SHELL AND ALL, like they were candy. It was weird to watch and the incessant crunching disturbed the other inebriated patrons at my favorite pub.

All of us here have eaten elk, reindeer, and turkey sausage. Honestly once you mix in all of the same spices and smoke the stuff, like beef jerky and sticks, it all tastes good and is very edible even for those with less adventuresome palettes. We’ve eaten all the normal meats but less popular in Western cultures, like duck, lamb, Ostrich, Frog Legs, Gator, Fish Cheeks, eel etc. My Uncle during the Marines survivalist training, had to capture and eat raw monkey rump which when skinned looks a little too human baby-like for my taste. To this day, he says it did not affect him, but I swear I’ve caught him, MORE THAN ONCE, eating a banana and clanging little finger cymbals together over and over again.

Despite the disgust that many might feel, I too would truly like to sample dog, tiger, snake, and yes even monkey as long as they were grilled up with maybe some onion, bell pepper and a side of Chianti and yes - you know you want to say it … (ffffaaavaaaa beansss). Feel free to provide your own ‘Silence of the Lambs’ succulent sound effect as long as you get the point - I’ll try any exotic meat. The only thing is, I hope that I do not run into some BIGGER animal who feels the same way – now that is a concept I just cannot get my head around?

Killer Salsa

Everybody has some kind of secret recipe. Most of my friends think my most infamous recipe is my fresh tomato salsa. I actually only take partial credit for the red and bloody hot stuff because a friend of mine in California burned many an esophagi to be my test dummy hour after hour.

Now honestly, like most recipes there really is no big secret. Cooking is all about balancing flavors that YOU like until whatever you are making tastes good TO YOU! Given that, I doubt you would be surprised to know that my secret salsa ingredients include chopped Habanero peppers, garlic, cilantro, onions, and tomatoes along with an unhealthy dose of salt.

Kind of like the theory of coffee, I make salsa EXTRA STRONG. The logic goes that you can always add ‘other’ stuff to bring the flavor down a notch if you need to, but it is very difficult to go the other direction. The problem is that once people try the salsa at full strength they like to keep it that way. Plus like all extremely spicy foods, once the burning starts, as long as you keep eating, you do not give your brain long enough to think about the pain.

The problem is that at some point you HAVE TO STOP and then you must pay both now and LATER. It is kind of the law of the salsa jungle. As an experiment, my father placed some salsa on plants that the deer kept molesting. The deer quit eating the leaves BUT because they were no longer green – the salsa actually made dark brown burn marks on the plant wherever it touched. So now when my friends want my secret recipe – I serve them up the world’s greatest weed killer . . . along with a bonus baggie full of tortilla chips!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This is my SCRATCHING post

I notice as I get older I find there are a lot of parts on my body that need routine scratching. I am not sure what has changed other than living in Missouri over the last ten years. When you live here during Springtime, it rains a little bit daily so for tax purposes, our mosquitoes are treated as dependents. Overall we enjoy the wildlife and I generally don’t spray for bugs - unless they occupy the immediate area around a fire hydrant.

I think my scratching issue these days is that I am more creaky, less flexible, and live only to torture my kid into facing her damaged gene pool and a destiny of perpetual discomfort. So naturally, when the urge strikes, I channel my inner Kodiak bear and back into any wall, cabinet, or furniture protrusion which can ease my notion for some scratchin’ motion.

It has gotten so bad now whenever my family or friends see me coming they routinely greet me with my favorite cocktail of pepper spray, Benadryl, and a celery stick. My wife has even threatened to get me a troop of service monkeys to keep me groomed and lice free if I keep it up. That makes me curious, whatever happened to those long, bamboo monkey-hand back scratchers everyone used to have in their house? Maybe all the wood monkeys have become extinct? Since hardware stores don’t give away yard sticks anymore, my scratching utensils have been reduced to an occasional paint department stir-stick or a greasy, foot-long hot dog.

So hopefully when I get those nit-pickin’ monkeys, after they give me the once over, maybe I can turn them loose on my daughter’s resident raccoon brood. No doubt like me, they have a few ‘tiny and Mite-y’ itchy, hitch-hiking parasitic friends that need to find new hosts. Yeah, I think everyone around here could probably benefit from a fun-filled, periodic prehensile primate preening . . . or better known in layman’s terms, as “Monkey Business”!


If there is one thing that this world has too many of, it is beverage coasters. I don’t even know where these ultra-dull things come from, because I can honestly say I have NEVER bought one in my life. We’ve got coasters that are made of hard marble. We’ve got ‘em in cork and another set in leather. We have coasters made of porous sand stone and some more woven in a circle with some kind of hippie hemp .

What’s wrong with just using old magazines or the Op-Ed section of the newspaper to prevent rings on furniture. I mean honestly, with blogs, what are old magazines for if not to place your cold sweaty drinks on? Coasters generally do a lousy job anyway of actually protecting my furniture. Either the water sweats down the glass and drips off the heavy coasters, or the cast- off water will form a suction and stick the lighter coasters to the glass. When you pick up your drink, the stupid stuck coaster will fall off in my lap throwing water everywhere.

I kind of wonder who would admit to making these things too? Can you imagine going to work, putting in a whole day cutting up big cork rectangle sheets into little 4 inch cork squares and circles for coasters? I bet these poor folks all hate geometry and would not be caught dead in an Applebees or random sports bar.

All the other uses for the name ‘coasters’ seem really hip too. Remember that ultra-cool 50’s singing group who recorded ‘Yakety Yak’ and a string of hits ; yep they were ‘The Coasters’. Every theme park in the world features an oh so exciting roller COASTERS. In fact they are so exciting some people routinely get the sweats and puke on them. Hmmm – come to think of it, I guess THAT is true of beverage coasters in bars too . . . no wonder I never want these things around?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Plane talk about Air Racing

Ok folks, I usually try to post any serious hard news stuff on the overnight feed. But today I temporarily reversed the trend since I wanted to make sure that those of you who refuse to get up before Noon would take a gander at this post. This is longer than most of my stuff so don’t get whiney after an extra paragraph or two.

My wife is about to head down to Fort Meyers, Florida to participate in the annual Air Race Classic. This is the oldest aviation race exclusively for women pilots. Its origins are from the 1930’s when Amelia Earhart was buzzing the country in what was then dubbed the Powder Puff Derby. My wife’s team has a temporary FAA designator as “Classic 47” and I will maintain their blog at this link. The 2010 race will take place on June 22nd through June 25th and will move from Florida up to Georgia, over to Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia, and then finally end in Frederick, Maryland.

Now ordinarily I would have announced the race website about a month in advance as there is a lot of interesting preparation that takes place with the plane and pilots. But this year, we have been incredibly swamped trying to make a 1953 Piper Tri Pacer race ready. But no matter how hard we tried, every time we pushed the little plane to the next level, something else would throw us a curve. Due to a unique seat design in the Tri Pacer, my wife and I developed three versions of rudder pedal extensions to allow better tail-end coordination. As soon as that was perfected, our radio was picking up noise at the control tower. From there the vacuum pump needed replacement, then the plane seemed to be running a tad hot on the manifold pressure and on it went.

Sadly, the team came to the reality that while we could work to keep the plane safe on our own turf, it is a much taller order to do so flying 2000 miles from home. So literally at the last minute (yesterday), just 3 days before the pilots and plane need to report to Florida – we pulled the plane from the race. Yes it took a little work, but we quickly filed the paperwork, insurance, and immediately began preparing an alternate and ultra modern aircraft as a substitute race plane. While it is a testament to our sponsor, Wings of Hope and our pilot team’s dedication it is also a little sad. We really wanted to run this particular Tri Pacer because it was country music star, Roy Clark’s first airplane and the OLDEST plane to attempt the race.

So the race is STILL ON and my wife and her partner are ready to go. If you get a chance, check-in on the team blog to see where Classic 47 is on the map and whatever interesting pictures they have captured along the way. If you live close enough by to visit one of the airports, you may be in for a treat as the planes buzz the field with a low-level fast pass over the official timers station. Depending on weather, fuel stops, and individual plane range, you may also get to see the race planes and meet the pilots up-close along any of the race legs. Check out this link for the Air Race Classic official 2010 airport stops.

Both at the race start in Fort Meyers, Florida and the race terminus in Frederick, Maryland, the crews and planes will be on the ground for extended periods of time. Usually there are festive events happening around the airport and it is a good chance to see some living history for the whole family. If you catch a glimpse of Classic 47 on the ground, introduce yourself to my wife. And while your at it, pick up a bug sponge and clean up the leading edges on the Wings and prop – it’ll make the plane fly faster!

Zeus’s revenge

Don’t take me to task too much for the tongue and cheek reporting on the burning of the ‘King of Kings’ sculpture in Monroe Ohio. I did not have an axe to grind with the Solid Rock Church along Interstate 75 in Ohio but apparently somebody who had the ‘hots’ for lawn gnomes DID.

Yes sadly, the church’s 62 foot high sculpture of Jesus with outstretched arms reaching for the sky apparently ‘sparked’ some interest since it was hit by lightning and then proceeded to burn to the ground. I actually thought as Jesus sculptures go, this one was pretty good so the full-frontal torching was a bit ‘overdone’, but nowadays everyone is a critic. My only suggestion is next time give the poor guy some legs and Nikes so he can move fast to stop, drop and roll away from the flames.

I have no doubt that the church will rebuild the six story roadside landmark. What is in question is how will they pay for it? I somehow doubt that anyone would have had the guts to insure the son of god from fire and brimstone. The original statue was made of an obviously highly flammable fiberglass shell over foam and a metal armature at the cost of $250,000. No wonder Jesus was always getting picked on – he was just a softy inside. I’m thinking the next generation v.2 Messiah should be made of rock, tough stucco or maybe those space shuttle tiles. I hope this time they build a staircase up to the crown of thorns or better yet put in a big clock and make J’s eyes move back and forth with quartz precision.

After the blaze was extinguished, I was a little taken aback with that Terminator-looking metal frame though. Hey I’m sure I would feel a little ticked off after being Char-broiled too – but I’m not sure if it is appropriate for the Righteous One to be flipping the double bird to Zeus. Especially so after that embarrassing incident last year with Hera – the spouses are ALWAYS off limits. (Everyone knows those Olympians are far too touchy and competitive)

Yeah, I think the J-man needs to chill out a bit with this statue burning thing – maybe settle into a cave with a cold diet Mountain Dew and sleep on it for, oh I don’t know, let’s say 3 days and 3 nights. By then Zeus will be preoccupied with that scoff-law Poseidon and on to irritating the poor Gulf folks with a nasty hurricane or two. That’ll be the cue to bring on the Quickcrete, ‘cause in the immortal WORD of the one true ‘Prince’ - it’s time to ‘party like its RESURRECTION time again’!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

ReLAXing Lacrosse

Though using the lacrosse name abbreviation ‘LAX’ for years, only recently did I understand that the ‘X’ in the term ‘LAX’, stood for a ‘CROSS’ like you might find on a pirate’s treasure map. When you put the ‘LA’ with the ‘X’ you get the pronunciation of ‘Lacrosse’. Yeah I may be dumb, but I just assumed it was a typical meaningless shortening of a longer name like Chuck for Charles or Hank for Henry.

My daughter has played LAX for quite awhile now. I’m not completely sure but I think some of the allure for her is not just the game play or skill, but she likes a bit of the tough image too. I guess that’s fair because it can be a relentlessly taxing game on the body at times and takes some guts to play well.

I guess lacrosse is particularly hard on those intestines? At least it appears that way with a slew of products dedicated to the stuffed-up sphincters of your average LAX player. We all have heard of ‘Ex-Lax’ and ‘DucoLax’ but today on television I even saw a new product for the fruit-deprived lacrosse player – ‘PRUNELAX’.

It is hard to imagine all these stone-cold, hulky lacrosse players sitting around all knotted up and endlessly whining about constipation isn’t it? I mean I knew they were as ‘tough as nails’ but I did not know they must be routinely swallowing some of those 8-pennies as well? That image probably makes you wish LAX was just some random abbreviation for an airport huh? Wouldn’t it be perfect if that airport was close-by to the sunny oil-free sand of California’s beaches? Now that’s ‘BOUND’ to be a place that even a bloated, prune-filled lacrosse player could truly RELAX!

3-D ME . . . Again

You know every day I wake up I am happy to have a pair of eyes. Now they are not as focused as they used to be but that may be partially due to my feeble brain? Generally however, I am able to wander around and do most tasks in life (except reading tiny print), without glasses and better yet in real live 3-D!

Those three dimensions are pretty popular with real people, so the folks that make movies figured they could round up some business if they packed all those dimensions into films too. It seems as if even the most mundane of motion pictures now has a 3-D version too. Though I missed the 50’s 3-D movies fad, my parents would recall theaters packed with kids wearing funny glasses grabbing for floating objects in front of their faces. I remember wishing that I had gotten the chance to go to those 3-D movies, so my Dad would screen 8MM films from the library in anaglyph 3-D (Red and Green glasses) and I loved it.

Though I never saw this 3-D redux coming, it once again proves history repeats itself and the 3-D movie revolution is back. I still want to see all of the 3-D films even if I am not interested in the movie subject. The problem today is that these films now cost as much as twice the price of a normal movie ticket. I have a hard time paying $3 for a midweek matinee much less $12 to $15 for 2 hours of mind numbing prattle that mirrors my REAL life in 3-D. Who can afford to see these films? I thought I was supposed to go to the movies to escape real life not have to take a loan out and borrow against collateral, just for fun. What’s next – maybe the movies will come to SEE ME loaf around and blog – now THAT’s entertainment?

Actually I am not knocking this 3-D trend at all. In fact, I think it validates the movie-going experience as opposed to screening a movie at home on DVD. As televisions have become bigger and DVD movies cheaper, why go to the movies at all when the whole family can watch at home for a bargain price? With 3-D, most people will not be able to duplicate that experience in their home any time soon. So aside from my ’cheapness’ reservations, it is probably a smart move for the movie industry.

At least for now that is. The reality is that people will soon tire of the high prices and the same old ‘stick in your face’ 3-D screen tricks. Just like what happened in the mid 50’s will happen again and those cool three dimensions will fade back into good old Technicolor two. Maybe by the third time ‘round 3-D rears its fat protruding head into my life, I will finally be able to afford to go to the movies again? The only question is, will I still have two eyes, four-eyes, or just be blind-SIGHTED by the 3-D trend AGAIN!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Aero-sol Man

When I was just a young pup aerosol products were in high demand. Yes I can remember my pubeSCENT pride as I would wander off to shower and then suck-up a foggy toxic cloud of spray-on deodorant. Even then, with no sense of ecology or a true care in the world, I pondered ‘why is there more spray fouling the air as compared to my armpits’. (Few things WILLINGLY compare themselves to MY armpits) Who cares about CFC’s ? My ego and my public, demand that my ‘ pits’ remain fresh, dry, and relatively stink-free!

So it is no surprise that over the last thirty years or so, even non-ozone depleting aerosols have kind of a sketchy reputation. Yet oddly I was surprised to see how many things I use in my daily life that still depend on some kind of compressed air for delivery. (Not including the ‘hot air’ of course which magically keeps this blog afloat)

In the laundry room I have spray starch which I honestly think is just hair spray in a re-marked package. I rarely use this gunk for pressing shirts anymore but it is dandy stuff for dryer lint sculptures. (Oh c’mon you know you want to try it now) We also have some of that spray-on dusting stuff for furniture. It works fine I guess because the bean bag chairs and cardboard box end tables never looked shinier.

In the garage is where compressed air is still king. Like everyone we have a myriad collection of half-used spray paint cans. No kidding I’ve got this stuff in ‘Highway Orange’, ‘John Deere Green’, and even ‘Polished Gold’. They are great but they are always getting clogged and I get a little woozy from sucking those little push-button nozzle heads to keep ‘em clean. Of course I am a huge fan of silicone spray and WD-40 but I always lose that impossibly tiny straw that they sell and stick on the side of the can. Really, this is the plan to prevent loss of a tiny component – TAPE it onto a can of grease?

I have a couple of single-action airbrushes but rarely have need to pin stripe my business suits anymore - I leave that job to the professionals in Hong Kong now. I have considered fitting the thing with a special nib so I could apply Sp-40 sun tan lotion. The problem is when you get my size, by the time you spray and protect half your body, the other half resembles well-done deep-fried bacon. I have a ‘pancake compressor’ which runs air tools well, but it does a lousy job at keeping the pancakes ‘fluffy’’. The blower attachment works fine though and keeps my starfish arm ‘Swimmies’ inflated along with my incredible EGO. It might be a good idea to stand ‘up-wind’ though, you never know when that big ‘air head’ is going to POP!

I need a GPS fix

I honestly am a GPS junkie but on the verge of an overdose. I love those little satellite suckers especially since they are now easier to use than the machines of the first couple of generations. It is also would be kind of nice if they could actually get me to where I want to go without confusion. That however, still is a tall order for not only the talking black boxes, but for my graying brain matter as well.

Now don’t get me wrong, moving through life would be FAR WORSE without satellite navigation. But I just wish that the map companies that build the databases were as interested in providing accurate maps as they are in getting recurring fees for map updates. Also as soon as I get my nifty new $100 software update, somebody in the highway department never gets the memo. So of course, hundreds of men in orange hats and vests flow onto the roads and start moving things around. I think it is some sort of conspiracy to sell more GPS maps and more orange cones.

I don’t know about you but I am still not happy with the computer voice in my GPS either? I think the British Company Tom Tom offers add-on celebrity voices to help guide your car around town. It’s not bad enough to be yelled at by an annoying and confusing computer voice so now we have to add the muddled ramblings of a British actor to the mix? Why not have the thing bark at me in Klingon while you’re at it or better yet just ‘Tase’ me – I’m sure the Trekkies will be BEAMING with excitement at the mere thought.

At last count, I own an amazing 8 GPS units (not including cell phones) all of which are absolutely fantastic and amazingly irritating in their own way. Some are just for cars, some are for aviation, one is for running, and another is for hiking. I use them all, but each still confuses me at times. None of their mapped locations ever matches exactly where my house REALLY is. When I’m driving, they either don’t talk enough and I will take a wrong turn or they badger me endlessly, so you guessed it – I still make a wrong turn. The bottom line is with old fashioned maps I’d get lost too but with GPS navigation at least I EVENTUALLY get to the right place. So I guess I really am a GPS addict. Fortunately as long as that constellation of satellites keeps loitering around empty space, like the brain in my skull, I will always be able to get a FIX!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Paper Pushers

I noticed that a great number of blogs are dedicated to scrapbooking and the creation of custom greeting cards. Now usually when you have a lot of something, the sheer volume alone should drive costs down. But when I visited an ‘Archiver’ shop the other day, it was soon obvious that supplies for these activities are anything but inexpensive.

Now I have actually always liked to do art projects and save historical data so this hobby / business does appeal to me in principle. But sometimes it is just hard to swallow buying custom dies, rubber stamps, papers, and glue tabs just to produce a greeting card, and I haven’t even bought the REAL gift yet!

Yes I know I am missing the point a bit. By preparing these custom cards or memory pages we are investing our time and special care. The receivers SHOULD know that we love them even more than they thought when they receive a gorgeous handmade card. I want my gift recipients to ALWAYS believe that, but I just don’t want to work so hard to have to convince them. Can’t I just kind of go in for a close hug, forget the custom card altogether, and slip them twenty bucks and get the same result? I’m not sure exactly how much, but given the price of art supplies to make cards, I would SAVE a bundle this way!

I know $20 is not a lot of cash for a gift but it is probably TEN TIMES or more than the amount I might give to an ordinary stranger. I would think any gift recipient of mine would be in true awe, if my cold n' cheap, clammy hands pushed a ‘Jackson’ their way even if they did not get my handmade greeting card too? I’m thinking of killing two birds with one stone now though? Since the cash does the job of BOTH a fancy handmade greeting card and a gift, I think I will just start MAKING my own money. Now that’s an art project that I can FORGE ahead with that will generate REAL attention; if not from my loved ones, then at least with the U.S. attorney.

Ornaments fo' da’ HOOD!

What ever happened to those distinctive hood ornaments on cars? I remember when car makers were more than anxious to advertise their vehicle monikers by casting them in big hunks of polished chrome and gluing them on the pointy end of their cars. I always liked these things as they gave jaywalkers a fighting chance at a hand hold if I was momentarily distracted by the radio, cell phone, or stuck accelerator pedal.

Some car makers featured lithe muscular leaping animals on their hoods, to show how virile and sporty their automobiles were. Others had stalwart and sturdy big horned sheep to show that their car’s were tough as nails … or as meek as sheep I guess? As ornaments became less and less popular, they just seemed to feature the car maker’s brand or maybe some little trophy looking statuette thing.

Maybe that was the point all along – these were little trophies that we got for spending all our cash on a certain brand of fancy new car? I wonder why I don’t get a trophy for driving my old dented car. I’m the one trying to save money and be responsible, while everyone else sinks deeper into debt and unwisely keeps jaywalking.

Now it seems car makers are afraid of even labeling their cars at all. Whenever I am on the freeway it is one boring blob on the road right behind another slightly bigger blob. Except for tricked out black SUV’s owned by Rappers, what has happened to the auto-‘bling’ thing? Don’t worry, I can combat this problem myself. I have plans to duct tape one of my old BOWLING trophies onto my car’s bow, as a shiny and memorable ornamental hood-topper. Other than a trash truck, it seems THIS is the only way to drive something ‘striking’ and truly ‘di-STINK-tive’ anymore.