Friday, November 21, 2014

How do you KFC?

Priscilla and I opened our dinners from Kentucky Fried Chicken. I had the ordered big bowl – mashed potatoes and gravy, with cheese and chopped pieces of fried chicken. Priscilla opened her box of …

“I got biscuits,” she said. “A box of 12 biscuits.”

A far distance from the three-piece meal she ordered.

We got in the car and drove the three miles to the KFC. As we went in (Priscilla carrying the dinner box of a dozen biscuits), a worker called to someone in back: “Tisha! They came back. The people you gave the biscuits to by mistake, they came back.”

Someone explained the biscuits were supposed to go to the people who were behind us in the drive-through.

I said, “I know mistakes happen, but how does someone mistake a box of 12 biscuits for a three-piece dinner?” There is a bit of a weight difference.

No one said anything. Tisha said we could keep the biscuits. “We’ll have to throw them away.”

“No, thank you,” Priscilla said.

I thought the dogs would like the biscuits, but it was not my call.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Studies show experts have much to say, research tells us

“A few years ago, interior decorators across Europe and America began painting corporate headquarters and work spaces green after researchers ‘discovered’ that green was the color most conducive to creativity. (The evolutionary explanation: On the prehistoric savannah, our ancestors learned to associate green with water, nutrition, plant life, and, of course, fertility.) The painters had to be called in again after a year or two, when other researchers (working on a different group of undergraduates, no doubt) found that exposure to the color blue ‘can double your creative output.’ (The new evolutionary explanation: Our cleverest ancestors were stimulated by the cerulean sky, the azure sea…)”

(To experts: “Yeah, that’s all well and good, but does it put gravy on the biscuits?” What we already knew about studies and experts and, above all else, follow the research and advertising money. The column is about politics and economy and experts who don't know diddly about people.)

Link at maggiesfarm.

Backyard alligator

A neighbor said the alligator was sunning on the bank for a while yesterday. The pond is less than 50 feet from our back windows. I haven't yet seen the critter. It will be the first wild alligator I have seen. When I see it. If it decides to surface near my back yard.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Suffer the women

With female genital mutilation, “(a) woman is meant to suffer—little enough punishment to pay for the crime of being born female.

“It does not matter that she will probably be in agony each time she urinates, has sexual intercourse or, given the massive scarring involved, gives birth to a child. It does not matter that she may develop a fistula and become incontinent, that she may also smell ‘bad’ and for this reason, be shunned by her family. It does not seem to matter that she may later die from an infection.

Female genital mutilation is a crime against civilization. It is not practiced only in Muslim countries, nor only in Africa and the Middle East. As with other sexual abusers, the practitioners should be executed.

Societal study (Updated)

Got it figured out. Back Home (as is said in some places) the population is composed of homogenous Southern whites, homogenous Southern blacks and (increasingly) homogenous Southern Mexicans. Here in South New Jersey, there ain’t no homogenous anybody. The di-ver-sity of the population causes clashes of manners, if some had any to start with. Not that people from North New Jersey don’t have manners; you get your smiling gregarious “How ya doin?” at Lowe’s and Home Depot just as you get “Excuse me, can you tell me where I can find a dryer power …” “Onaisle35,” with a frown and a look that conveys, “Hey! Whatsa matter? Ya can’t see I’m workin hea?”

In a furniture store, a saleslady three times said “I’m from New Jersey, and …” One time I said I am from Texas. That’s as many times as necessary. If the speakee didn’t hear, he/she needs to listen better.

A friend from high school said many people do not understand manners and saying “Yes, ma’am” and “Yes, sir” are not indicative of fealty or weakness. Indeed, showing good manners is like heaping burning coals onto the heads of sinners.

Kinky Freidman intended to dewussify Texas one wuss at a time, if necessary. I’ll just deYankify my surroundings with one “Excuse me” at a time.

There was war here once

Twice, actually, but most of the pictures are of the one that stayed in the same place for more than four years.

Link at

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fox hunting should be compulsory

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of one of the most iniquituous, divisive and unnecessary pieces of legislation in recent parliamentary history: the 2004 Hunting Act, which effectively made hunting with hounds illegal in Britain. Here are ten reasons why the ban should be repealed now.

1. It's unworkable. Foxhunting (and staghunting) are as popular as ever, with at least 45,000 people a year either riding to hounds or following by car or on foot. To comply with the law, hunts now have to go through the rigmarole of following a trail created by a rag soaked in fox urine. But sometimes - whoops - the hounds have a terrible accident and follow a fox, opening the hunt up to the risk of prosecution. Every week and especially every weekend inordinate amounts of police (over)time are wasted pursuing country folk who just want to be left alone to enjoy a sport that has been part of rural life for centuries. The state has no business preventing them from doing so now: this is the Tyranny of the Majority of which John Adams first warned.

2. It's character-building. Hunting is one of the world's most dangerous, exciting sports and encourages: courage, endurance, horsemanship, good manners, personal responsibility, quick reactions, an ability to read the landscape, a love of and kinship with nature. Never mind banning it: it should be made compulsory for every teenager in the land. Not only would this enable us to win every war going (the Duke of Wellington insisted that his officers should be foxhunting men) but it would also create the sense of national pride and cultural cohesion that Britain sorely lacks.

3. Women just look really hot in hunting kit. Even the hairnets are sexy, somehow.

4. Apart from darts, hunting is the only sport where your performance is actually improved by alcohol consumption. Drinking cherry brandy followed by sloe gin followed by kummel followed by port at 11am isn't normally recommended. But on a bitter day in November in a frozen saddle surrounded by like-minded convivial folk it makes total sense.

5. No one loves and respects Charlie (that's the fox, btw, not the stuff townies hoover up their noses) more than hunting folk. It's just that, being country people rather than ignorant, sentimental townies they recognise that it is perfectly possible to be a magnificent, splendid fellow with a bushy tale while simultaneously being a terrible, chicken-eating pest. Most foxes get away: respect and fair play. Some (usually the unhealthier ones) don't: and that is nature, red in tooth and claw.

6. Hunts bind rural communities; enable farmers to dispose of deadstock; repair fences; create rural jobs (kennelmen; huntsmen; vets; farriers; stableyards, etc); provide entertainment in places where entertainment is often sorely lacking.

7. It's thanks, in part, to hunting - and similar country sports - that the British landscape looks as beautiful as it does. It's why we have stone walls and hedges, for example, rather than wire fences; covert for foxes and game birds.

8. The "animal rights" argument against hunting presumes that wild animals are sentient beings like humans. But they are not. Foxes do not have sleepless nights worrying about the imminence of death. They live in the moment. When chased they are responding to atavistic stimuli, nothing more. It is absurd, mawkish and dishonest to grant a pest - whose numbers must perforce be controlled in one way or another - should be granted the same rights as humans.

9. Foxhunting is the greatest sport ever devised. It takes place on a wildly uneven pitch perhaps 100 miles square, in often fiendish weather conditions, involves extraordinary team work and cameraderie between man and beast, with, instead of a football or a rugger ball, a living, intelligent quarry often more than capable of outwitting its pursuers. If you haven't hunted, you really haven't lived.

10. The best advert for hunting are the people who are against it: joyless vegans; vindictive class warriors; the noisome RSPCA; dreadlocked inner city crusties with dogs on ropes; mimsy unmarriageables with a dozen cats; Nick Clegg; Ed Miliband; the Green party; everyone who works at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, Wales; townie tossers.