If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.

We’ve finally seen the end of the political ads (Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?—Robert Orben).  The signs should all be picked up until the next go-round and we can listen to the moans of the losers until the next big thing when they can switch to “We told you so.”  The amount of money spent is so amazing—and largely unaccounted for—that we can only nod our heads in agreement with the remark by the inimitable Will Rogers, “Politics has  got so expensive that it takes a lot of money just to get beat with.”  Can I get an “Amen”?

AND then there’s The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which on page 129, in its typical doggerel-style rhyme describes the period between November1 and November16 thus : “Mild retreat means muddy feet.  Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts; piles of snow and blustery blasts”.  Stock up on the booties for the Christmas Walk.  Could be chilly out there.  It also mentions that black bears head to winter dens now, lobsters move to offshore waters and crab apples(The only native apples) are ripe .  AND in 1914 Mary Jacobs received a patent for a brassiere.  How’s that for uplifting info?

In the midst of all that, we have Veterans’ Day on the 11th, honoring all those who have served our country in the armed forces.  It was originally dubbed Armistice Day and commemorated the end of WWI on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month .  Subsequent acts of Congress in 1926, 1938, 1954 and 1968 enlarged the intention of the observation of that day and moved the date around, to considerable confusion; in 1975 the date was set as the original, marking the end of “the war to end all wars”…we can only hope.

Bad news for my sisters!  The London School of Economics and Political Science and Western University in Canada have just announced, in the journal Demography, the results of a study (Social scientist are always doing studies of goofy stuff, trying to show that they are too scientists just like physicists and astronomers.  These don’t always help) that posits “the 3rd child effect” in which child three, four, five, whatever, is not responsible for the same level of excitement and/or happiness in the family as the first two.  Well, there’s a surprise!   You’d think that the backlog of diapers and teething rings and such would have tipped somebody off before a study was deemed necessary to discover this.  Besides, the older siblings will always be happy to point out their innate superiority to the younger porch monkeys.  Not to mention necessary enforcement measures.

Now in Florida, children of any rank in the family line-up may be getting access to a whole new outlook on a number of things if the Satanic Temple, based in New York, gets permission to distribute their “Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities” in the schools of Orange County.  Well, they say, the high school kids in the county got NIV Bibles, so the Satanists should get equal time.  The books have pictures of kids in T-shirts with satanic symbols on them and  they offer messages against bullying and discrimination, for self-esteem and good behavior.  There’s a connect-the-dots page that results in a pentagram and all kinds of stuff like that.  Their point is that if one religion can distribute literature, then all should be able to do the same.  They have a point.  They also have an example to follow in Oklahoma (Oklahoma?!), where, after a legislator brought in a monument of the Ten Commandments and had it put up on the green outside the state capitol building, the Satanic Temple commissioned a statue of Satan/Baphomet/Beelzebub/one of those BAD guys to be put up in the same area.  From the pictures online, I’d say that goats are getting a bad rap, since the Evil One sort of looks like a billygoat.  The little dog named Cerberus isn’t real scary but there are persons with horns pictured in family portraits hanging on the wall.  The “fabled” necronomicon (Book of Spells) was the creation of author H. P. Lovecraft and not exactly ancient wisdom of any kind.  It’s going to be interesting to see how anybody argues against it, given that the Bibles are already circulating out there.  The Freedom From Religion Foundation people will haul a– to the Supreme Court, if it takes that.  Could be a wild scene.  Think of it, Satan in court.  Fire and brimstone (Senators and Congressmen called to testify on the state of their souls…if they still have any).  Stay tuned.

Speaking of which, the Prairie Home Companion last Saturday did their—sort of—annual “Joke Show” and it was a hoot—bunch of stuff that nobody’s heard since fifth grade that just makes you chuckle. Knock-knock jokes, stuff like that.  Ole & Lena jokes.  Three priest, two penguins, one chicken got top billing.  Someone stole a midget’s billfold.  How could anybody stoop that low?

An English professor explained that though a double negative equals a positive, in no language in the world does a double positive equal a negative.  A voice from the back of the lecture hall called out, “Yeah, right!”

That kind of joke.

Tournament time is here for the Academic Challenge Team, the Quiz Masters, at home and far afield.  We could really use some readers and scorekeepers to make things move along.  Can you read?  You’re hired!  Call the high school to sign up or call me at 330-527-2577.