All I really need to know I learn each week in The Rockaway Times. Think I'm kidding? Read on!
The always informative RT "Factologist," Sean McVeigh, provided this factoid along with other "Facts You don't Probably Need" in last week's paper—"At one point in history there were four distinct species of humans living at the same time." Think about that for a second. While our Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon, Denisovan and other hominins were sharing ranch style cave dwellings doing all that hunting and gathering, Betty, Barney, Wilma and Fred were also apparently getting jiggy amongst themselves. It was their party-hearty attitudes that ultimately gave rise to us Homo Sapiens, the only extant human species. By the way, the name is Latin for "wise man" and was introduced in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus. Little did Carl know that his title would become an oxymoron by the 21st Century.
Our resident factologist also provided us with this tidbit—"Along with 'Blacksmiths,' there are 'Whitesmiths' who work with tin or other white metals and 'Brownsmiths' who work with brass or copper." I mean, c'mon, in this day and age? These insidious occupational titles (black - white- brown?) are obviously rife with bigotry. Who knew that metal work could be so politically incorrect? Where are all my metalhead social justice warriors out there?
I also came across an ad in the RT for an auto body and towing company whose catchphrase is "When Accidents Happen, We're There!" I immediately wrote down the business name and contact information and secured it in my wallet so I can have it on hand to present it to the police as a witness source in the event of my involvement in an auto accident. How great is that?
I owe a big thank you to Dr. Peter Galvin, and his RT column "Ask the Doc," for his recent "Breakfast Challenged" article. Dr. "G" provided, at least anecdotal evidence, that perhaps breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. I have always maintained that breakfast is not the most important meal of the day, especially if its poisoned. Then lunch with the antidote becomes the most important meal. And it's not just me that thinks like this. None of our local watering holes are big into breakfast. I think that stems from the time that a piece of toast and a hard-boiled egg walked into the old Irish Circle and were politely told, "We don't serve breakfast here!"
Moving on, in her recent Be Well, Be Happy article entitled, "Self-Care is So Important," the gifted RT columnist Helen Kilgallen remarked that in this busy world of ours it is vitally important that we nurture the body, mind and soul with some "quiet time" for ourselves as she does by going outside, listening to the birds, watching the children play. Be careful should you try to emulate this one. I recently retreated to my second floor deck with my bird-watching binoculars and coffee for some quiet time and shortly thereafter I was visited by a representative of the local precinct who advised that he was responding to a complaint that "some old white-haired geezer with a cane was scoping out the kids on the block with binoculars." Embarrassing to say the least!
Finally, a tip of my hat to Kay Sullivan and her "Cat Fights" letter to the editor published recently in the RT's "We Get Email" section. Ms. Sullivan addresses the issues stemming from the myriad of cats populating our neighborhood including "crazy cat ladies," "burn marks on lawns", the aroma of ammonia and conflicts among neighbors. Ms. Sullivan closed her letter by stating that it has been said that the cat is the only animal without a visible means of support, who still manages to find a living in the city. I totally disagree with that assertion as I can easily identify many other animals, including scores of bi-pedal homo sapiens, who seem to survive fairly well in this city without visible means of support.
That being said, I must admit that my kudos for Ms. Sullivan's letter do not stem from her grasp of feline problems. Rather, they are based solely on her use of the term "a clowder of grimalkins" to describe a group of cats! Where else are you gonna find that except The Rockaway Times? As an aside to Kay, I would have tried to work in "cat scratch" fever somewhere within your missive, but even lacking that, you still hit a home run. By the way, if any of you are sitting on your deck while reading this column are waiting for a sign that it is time to open that bottle of wine you are staring at, this is it!
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