Cumberland Times-News


July 6, 2014

Better read that french fry before you eat it

People give me otherwise-insignificant items they hope will amuse or inspire me. I appreciate this. I’m always glad for free entertainment, which as Goldy’s Rule 33 says is everywhere. All you have to do is wait and it will come to you. Also, I have been writing columns for 37 years and embrace inspiration anywhere I can find it.

A jeweler friend gave me a piece of cardboard that measures two inches by two inches. He found it in the battery compartment of some electronic contraption.

It says: “REMOVE BEFORE USING.” (Really?) What the e-mail brings often winds up on my walls in Dilbertville, our Times-News cubicle village.

One example is the 2010 Hooters Calendar that contains pictures of 12 different species of owls.

An expertly Photoshopped photo shows Barack Obama as The Tin Man, John McCain as The Scarecrow, Joe Biden as The Cowardly Lion and Sarah Palin as Dorothy. The caption reads: “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Alaska any more.”

I have provided several folks copies of a photo that shows John Wayne in the most magnificent of all 10-gallon hats, vest and blue double-breasted shirt, with a pistol stuck in his belt and a neckerchief around his neck.

The Duke is standing with his hands on his hips in front of a huge American flag and is saying, “Now just why in the HELL do I have to press ‘1’ for English?”

I have a copy of tasting instructions issued to judges who decided the roster of Five Flavor Life Savers. Part of it reads like this: —————
Mouth Maneuvers

When sampling Life Savers, roll the candy piece around in your mouth to allow your taste buds to appreciate the finer qualities of that particular flavor.

Not everyone eats a
Life Savers candy the same way. 19% of consumers bite their Life Savers while 74% suck them. Others try to stick their tongue in the hole.

Feel free to eat
Life Savers candies whichever way you prefer. ————— My lunch occasionally includes soup in a microwaveable container. Some of it is pretty good, like the chunky sirloin burger with country vegetables that I am about to polish off, even as we speak.

Folks with more cultured tastes might turn up their noses at that, but cultured tastes usually are expensive tastes. I grew up abject middle-class and have inexpensive tastes.

One member of The Famous Company of Myrtle Beach Golfers was celebrating a birthday. He ordered a jug of Dom Perignon that cost him $125 and was big enough for all eight of us to have two glasses.

I didn’t tell him it tasted a lot like the stuff I bought when I craved cheap white wine, only it had more bubbles ... which meant I liked it.

The label on microwaveable soup containers bears a wealth of information. Some of it is useful, like how long to nuke it.

The one I’m eating from also informs the eater/reader, “CAUTION (in red letters):
Metal edges are sharp. Bowl and soup are HOT after heating.” No (fooling), Sherlock.

Text Only
  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014

  • It’s hotter here than in D.C. or Baltimore

    At this time of the year, the weather is a frequent subject of conversation, particularly the temperatures. We are now in the “Dog Days,” usually the hottest days of the year. The term comes from our sun appearing to be near the “Dog Star” (Sirius) and the “Little Dog Star” (Procyon). In reality, the sun is now about 94.5 million miles away while Sirius is 8.6 light years away with Procyon at 11 light years distance. Sunlight takes only 507 seconds to reach us, while the two dog stars’ light takes about a decade to travel to our eyes. So our sun is in the same direction (but not distance) as these two bright winter evening stars.

    July 20, 2014

  • Mike Sawyers and his father, Frank Sale of quart-sized Mason jars lagging, merchants claim

    The opening day of Maryland’s squirrel hunting season is Sept. 6 and I am guessing you will be able to drive a lot of miles on the Green Ridge State Forest and see very few vehicles belonging to hunters of the bushytail. It wasn’t always that way. In the early 1960s, when I was a high school student in Cumberland, there was no Interstate 68. What existed was U.S. Route 40 and in the last couple of hours before daylight on the opening day of squirrel season there was an almost unbroken line of tail lights and brake lights between Cumberland and Polish Mountain.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hugo Perez Columnist, son are range finders, but where are .22 shells?

    We feel pretty lucky on this side of the Potomac to have a nice shooting range to utilize for free and within decent driving distance.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Opposition and inclusion understood

    Those of you who have been here before know how I feel about the late great Len Bias, who I will remember foremost as Leonard Bias, the polite, spindly Bambi-eyed kid from Hyattsville’s Northwestern High School, who could throw a dunk through the floor, yet had the most beautiful jump shot I have ever seen.

    July 17, 2014

  • Stopgap

    Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.

    July 16, 2014

  • Further proof you should never bet on baseball

    Had you known in March that ...

    July 16, 2014

  • Build it now Build it now

    Anticipated savings from demolition work that will provide ground for a new Allegany High School on Haystack Mountain may allow the addition of an auditorium at the school.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fronts, highs, lows determine weather

    Weather news on television and internet focus on violent weather, extreme temperatures and flooding.

    July 13, 2014