HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - city of big bottoms and small minds.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Of Farmers, Grunting, and Leap Year

Last night's gig with Roger Lundeen was a good time. You couldn't ask for a nicer boss than Roger. And I definitely needed to get out and perform. I am feeling somewhat better today, but I still rested a lot after getting up early to help Kimmy with her car - -dropping it off at the dealership at 7:10 A.M. and then delivering her to school.

The Prius was having a problem with the gas tank cover. It would not pop open when she pulled the lever under the seat. This could get to be a bigger problem when she started getting low on fuel. Turns out it was the little spring that holds the door closed -- it got bent out of shape. All better now!

Roger runs a liquid manure delivery service for farmers and last night was what he refers to as his annual "Shit Party" where he buys dinner and provides an open bar for all the farmers who he spread manure for the past year. Anytime you provide free food and an open bar, the farmers are gonna be there - for sure!

I got a great e mail from Matt Capell overnight. He is so funny!! He has a bit of a devilish streak as witnessed by this story he sent me:

There is a headline on Yahoo this morning about a young tennis player that was banned from a country club for "loud grunting":

Which reminds me of when I was 7 my sister was born....There was much ado about her birth and she was adopted by everyone at the churches we attended...My dad usually had two he serviced on alternate weeks...rural churches.....and we attended Antioch Baptist in Little Rock just down the street from our house and the Baptist Seminary where my Dad was Dean of Instruction.

When it came time to "potty train" my sister Mary Ann, they would sit her on a toilet and say..."Grunt Mary Ann" and she would screw up her face and commence to grunt and shit...UH UH UH UH UHUHUHUHUHUHUHUH...plop in the toilet....So in my devlish way, I would wait until some old lady or some guy at one of the churches had her in their arms and people were gathered around cooing and purring over her and I would get real close and say to her so only she could hear....Grunt Mary Ann...and like Pavlov's dogs she would do the grunt and shit act....which would cause great commotion....OH MY GOD SHE'S GOING TO THE BATHROOM.....TOO LATE SHE'S DONE IT...FOR AWHILE I DID THIS A LOT...AND ONLY I ENJOYED IT...It was especially fun when it was an old lady who was persnickity. They had her on some sort of formula that stank to high heaven.

I just told my sister that I did this not too long ago and she being the devil she is, loved it....

My own experience with the term "grunt" was in grade school at St Joe's in Menomonie. One of my classmates, Frances (last name omitted to protect the embarrassed) repeatedly asked the nun in charge if she could leave the class room for the the bath room and the nun, being a nun, kept refusing her.

All of a sudden, the kid sitting behind her (Bob Young). laughed and announced "Francie grunted!" From then on, kids got to go to the bath room when they asked.

Matt also reminded me that today, February 29, is Leap Year and that I should talk about the traditions of Leap Year. He forwarded me some background:

SADIE HAWKINS DAY vs LEAP DAY
Sadie Hawkins Day is November 15 - Leap Day is February 29

Sadie Hawkins Day, an American folk event, made its debut in
Al Capp's Li'l Abner strip November 15, 1937.

Some people want February 29 to be Sadie Hawkins Day. February 29
is already Leap Day, and Sadie Hawkins Day is already November 15.
There is no need to change anything, or to merge them together.

Please read the information below from the Lil'Abner website.

Sadie Hawkins Day, an American folk event, made its debut in Al Capp's Li'l Abner strip November 15, 1937.
Sadie Hawkins was "the homeliest gal in the hills" who grew tired of waiting for the fellows to come a courtin'.
Her father, Hekzebiah Hawkins, a prominent resident of Dogpatch, was even more worried about Sadie living
at home for the rest of his life, so he decreed the first annual Sadie Hawkins Day, a foot race in which the
unmarried gals pursued the town's bachelors, with matrimony the consequence.

By the late 1930's the event had swept the nation and had a life of its own. Life magazine reported over 200
colleges holding Sadie Hawkins Day events in 1939, only two years after its inception. It became a woman
empowering rite at high schools and college campuses, long before the modern feminist movement gained
prominence.

The basis of Sadie Hawkins Day is that women and girls take the initiative in inviting the man or boy of their
choice out on a date, typically to a dance attended by other bachelors and their aggressive dates. When
Al Capp created the event, it was not his intention to have the event occur annually on a specific date because
it inhibited his freewheeling plotting.

However, due to its enormous popularity and the numerous fan letters Capp received,
the event became an annual event in the strip during the month of November, lasting
four decades.

Please understand the differences between Leap Day and Sadie Hawkins Day:

Leap Year Day

Sadie Hawkins Day

The date for Leap Year Day is February 29.
Leap Year Day has been around since 45 B.C.
Forty-Five B.C.!
February 29 has always had the name Leap
Year Day. From day one of it's existence.
Leap Year Day was added to the calendar to
keep the calendar in line with the seasons.
It represents balance and harmony between
the seasons and our method of time-keeping.
The date for Sadie Hawkins Day is November 15.
Sadie Hawkins Day has only been around since
1937 A.D.
November 15 was just a day on the calendar until
someone decided it should be Sadie Hawkins Day.
Sadie Hawkins Day was added to the calendar
because students at college thought it would be fun.
That is all fine and good. It still does not perform
the balancing act that February 29 celebrates.
So there you have it. Four significant differences between Leap Year Day and Sadie Hawkins Day.

They each have their reasons for being, and they have their own day on the calendar.

The only similarity between the two is that the woman is allowed to do the asking. Well,
that's not a good enough reason for them to merge onto one date. They are separate.

I am so disappointed -- here it is, late afternoon, and not one female has asked me to marry her!

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