Cumberland Times-News

Columns

August 24, 2013

At times, you want to stay in the jungle

And while I’m drumming away in 2013, here’s a column from 2010:

Funny how the memory works. The other day I was putzing around watching a kind neighbor snowblow my driveway. (Thank you, Steve). In the very midst of the storm, while I was checking the progress of a 2-yard icicle hanging from my roof (gorgeous!), these words gradually filtered into my consciousness:

Bingo, bango, bongo,

I don’t wanna leave the Congo,

Oh no no no no no.

Bingo, bangle, bungle,

I’m so happy in the jungle,

I refuse to go.

This might not impress you as deathless poetry. Indeed, in the sad world we live in, some might snicker coarsely at the words. In the 40s, however, it was just for fun. Furthermore, it originally came complete, I might add, with a very catchy tune, which I will happily sing for you on request.

Anybody recognize it? I haven’t thought of it myself for years, over 60, I think. I didn’t really remember when it was popular, so I looked it up on the Internet. (This proves that computers are good for something besides the imminent destruction of the world as we know it. )

I found out that it was written by Hilliard and Syme, and sung, to great public appreciation, by the Andrews Sisters, and also Danny Kaye, in 1947.

Yes, now I remember. It was all over the radio in those days, although that was the year I went off to college, and barely listened to the radio for the next four years. Honest! I was too busy! Anyway, I haven’t heard it since, and I still have no idea why it suddenly popped into my head last week. Unfortunately, it’s just the kind of thing to stick in your brain, hidden away under more recent additions. (Obviously, there was nothing else going on in there to keep it out.)

And, as usual in such cases, now I can’t get rid of it.

This may be an example of the brain’s ability to make real connections on its own that one would never consciously think of. All by itself, my brain decided that “Bingo, Bango, Bongo” applies to life in the 2000s even more than in the 1940s. That’s because it’s a tribute to the simple life, and a definite shot at modern civilization.

I’m implying a state of mind here, not culture, or race, or anything like that. “The jungle” stands for getting away from it all. As I see it, going camping is “the jungle.” Turning off the TV is “the jungle.” Reading a book in the bathtub for two hours is “the jungle.”

It is a lovely place.

I refuse to leave it.

Hey, at my age, even thinking about the 1940s is “the jungle,” because it’s about as far away from the 2000s as you can get. Want to know what else popped into my mind when I thought of the ‘40s? Hats, that’s what!

Those were close to the days when women were expected to wear hats when they went out of the house, although, by my time, it was mostly only to church. There, they were still important, for some reason. Now, of course, I’m not talking the knitted-caps-for-winter-kind-of-hats, but the fancy-dressy-frilly-kind-of-church-hats we all wore then. It wasn’t that I enjoyed wearing them so much; what I enjoyed was buying them. I still have several from those days — including a lovely big navy-blue-straw picture hat, for instance, that made a big hit one Easter. And a summer hat with a veil that simply arched over the head like a half-halo, only close to the hair.

But the bizarre one, now that I look back at it, was the simple veil, with no hat involved at all. It was about four inches wide and you just wore it over your eyes and tied it at the back of your head, looking a lot like Ms. Raccoon. (With glasses on yet!) Still, in college, we thought this was very stylish, sort of implying a hat without having to fuss with the inconvenience of actually wearing one. And it was great for summer — your hair didn’t wilt under it.

Of course, in those days, you not only wore hats when you went to church. You wore stockings, separate ones, mind you, not joined as pantyhose. Then of course, you had to wear a girdle with garters on it to hold them up. I should mention that I hated girdles, and the first time I cast mine off and went forth boldly without it, it was like Star Trek, a whole new world of freedom. It was exhilarating!

Now, they’re trying to do it again! They’re calling them shapers, skimmers, slimmers, but, be warned, my female reader, they’re trying to bring back girdles! Resist the temptation! Don’t let them turn you into a pasty-skinned lump of dough, like so many generations of women in the past!!

Bingo, bangle, bungle,

I don’t want to leave the jungle,

Oh, no no no no no.

Maude McDaniel is a Cumberland freelance writer. Her column appears in the Times-News on alternate Sundays.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Yates fires 804

    Derek Yates led all scoring for the week ending March 28 with an 804 series featuring a 290 game at Rainbow Lanes.
    Bobby Benton actually came in second and third for the week with a 748 on the House pattern at White Oaks and 742 on the USBC Open pattern in the Sport league. Steve Ravenscroft had a nice 740 at Rainbow and Darren Durbin and Teddy Inman rounded out the scoring with 737s apiece at White Oaks.

    April 24, 2014

  • Wildfires Wildfires

    The huge woods fire in nearby Pennsylvania shows just how much devastation can take place when a blaze breaks out during early spring. In this case, 900 acres of forest — much of it public game land — became engulfed in flames.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restore them Restore them

    There are an estimated 47,000 deceased veterans whose remains are unidentified and unclaimed throughout the U.S. A group of senators and congressmen hope to do something to
    bring these men and women some dignity after death.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Happy Easter

    For the world’s more than 2 billion Christians, Easter is the day that defines their faith.
    The exact date of Christ’s resurrection is unknown, and even the precise locations of his crucifixion and burial are uncertain. This hasn’t stopped some people from saying they know the answer to these questions and others from trying to find out for themselves, or simply arguing about it.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • Odds are good that you didn’t know this

    Odds or Probabilities fascinate many people. There is a special website called www.BookOfOdds.com and an accompanying location on Facebook at /BookofOdds .This website lists 400,000 odds. Three of the people who are involved in this media display have coauthored a book, “The Book of Odds” that presents some of key odds, drawing from polls and statistics published in journals. The authors are A. Shapiro, L.F. Campbell and R. Wright. This paperback was published this year by Harper Collins with ISBN 978-0-06-206085-3.

    April 20, 2014

  • Trivial questions you don’t have to answer

    Every so often in this life, my mind, all on its own, generates questions that have no real answers. So I have decided to pass them on to you. I’m tired of them. If you come up with any answers, let me know. Remember when TV jealously guarded the time zone before 9 p.m. for wholesome shows that children could watch. My gosh, how many years ago was that? It seems like another world nowadays, when you can see murders, torture and rape, or those implied, every hour on the hour, somewhere on your public screen. It might be comforting then, to remember that most children nowadays are glued to their little machines with whole different worlds on them, that they can access all day long. Except that in these different worlds they also can view murders, torture and rape on demand.

    April 20, 2014

  • Think it’s not a small world? You’re wrong

    Yes, you read that right in the paper a couple of weeks ago. I covered a wedding as a newspaper reporter. I’ve retired from doing regular stories because my primary duties lie elsewhere, and I don’t have the time or mental energy for it. But I agreed to do it for a couple of reasons, one of which goes back more than 40 years. The former proprietor of The Famous North End Tavern told me about a wedding that was to take place at the Lions Center for Rehabilitation and Extended Care, where his wife works.

    April 20, 2014

  • No Bambi for you, Mrs. Doe

    Some people want so badly for deer birth control to work that they actually think it will, even on wild populations.
    I wish I had a couple bridges to sell.
    A week ago on the Outdoors page we ran the deer there do what deer  everywhere do. They eat the easiest food available such as gardens and ornamental plantings. They walk in front of moving cars. They give ticks and  parasites a place to live.

    April 19, 2014

  • We concur We concur

    We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
    When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Library week

    Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
    movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.

    April 13, 2014