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.
And while I’m drumming away in 2013, here’s a column from 2010:
- Maude McDaniel - Living
July gotcha down? Maybe these will help
•In a hospital's Intensive Care Unit, patients always died in the same bed on Sunday morning, at about 11:00 a.m., regardless of their medical condition. This puzzled the doctors and some even thought it had something to do with the super natural. No one could solve the mystery as to why the deaths occurred around 11 a.m. Sunday, so a worldwide team of experts was assembled to investigate the cause of the incidents. The next Sunday morning, a few minutes before 11 a.m. all of the doctors and nurses nervously waited outside the ward to see for themselves what the terrible phenomenon was all about. Some were holding wooden crosses, prayer books, and other holy objects to ward off the evil spirits. Just when the clock struck 11, Pookie Johnson, the part-time Sunday sweeper, entered the ward and unplugged the life support system so he could use the vacuum cleaner.
Hiccup cure you may find hard to swallow
Let’s give a cheer for one of the things in the human experience that the scientific researchers haven’t fully figured out yet: how to cure hiccups! Somehow it kind of restores your faith in the world, doesn’t it?
But don’t think they haven’t tried.
She learned to laugh with relatives’ help
Sometimes there are people in our lives whom we have never credited with all the influence they had on us when we were growing up.And now it is too late to thank them personally. I am about 50 years past due on this one (or two) but maybe somehow, somewhere they will get a hint of it — and — smile. Fondly, I think..
Signs of aging and what comes with it
It’s been awhile since I last informed you of new signs of old age, and meanwhile none of us have gotten any younger. (I’m working on it, I’m working on it.) I find one of the best things I can do to stay young is to read the obituaries. It reminds you that you are still alive and there are times in one’s life when that can be a serious concern. Of course, the trick is to avoid reading the obituaries for people you know, first checking the pictures for familiar faces. But for the folks you never met, they are remarkably invigorating, especially if they were older than you are. It gives you a goal in life — and we all need goals, right?
Torn between failing in two different fields
Which do I like better, singing or writing?
That's a tough question to answer.
Singing's got it all over writing as far as when I started (at about 5 in the church choir) but writing is certainly a close second. I have somewhere a collection of poems that I wrote from about eight on and I have the feeling that they are lost for a reason! As I remember, they were pretty awful, not at all the kind of effort an aspiring writer would be proud to quote 75 years later!
Bad habits are hard to eliminate — but try
Somebody mentioned smoking on these pages recently, so I thought I'd put in my own two cents on the subject. I started smoking in college, during exam week. The problem was that I was too busy during the rest of the year ever to stop and study for my courses — at least that is what I told myself — because I worked almost every night on the college newspaper. So when exam time kicked in, I threw some all-nighters for study. And the best way to stay awake all night (especially if you don't regularly smoke) is to, well, smoke.
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.
Rusty writes about the nature of doghood
I am a dog.
Therefore I bark.
I don’t understand why it is so hard for humans to understand this.
I mean, there are certain things that come with the territory, right?
Free-range reminiscing and occasional nostalgia
When I was in grade school, (many more years ago than when either of you were in grade school) my daily winter (fall, spring) routine included walking to school across a railroad track.
Beatles return us to what might have been
Here’s a a free gift from Goldy (to your left), and it should get us going with a good laugh, that both my readers will approve of. Then, after that (fair warning) I am going to turn a little sour.
- More Maude McDaniel - Living Headlines
- July gotcha down? Maybe these will help