Monday, January 31, 2011


What do you think of that dramatic title? Did it make you want to open the link?
The Prude learned to do that from Tiger Beat magazine titles, like:
‘Teen Heart-throb David Cassidy May Never Walk Again’
Young Prude, hands shaking, would grab the magazine off the grocery store shelf, desperately searching for the article. What was wrong with David? Why hadn’t this story been on the front page of the Chicago Tribune? And could Young Prude get the address of the hospital he was in to tell him she would still marry him, even in a wheelchair?
Through a haze of tears she would finally find the article.
And discover that since David had learned the joys of riding his new motorcycle, he found walking dull and boring.

The grocery store clerk would still make The Prude fork over 50 cents of hard-earned babysitting money to pay for the soggy magazine she had sobbed over.

So why the dramatic title for this post?
Because The Prude woke up today, not with the Bee Gees or KC and the Sunshine Band songs floating through her head, but 3 of the only 4 jokes she can ever remember.

They are not very nice. You may call them objectionable. You may want to shield your children’s eyes.
You may even legitimately say these jokes stink.
The Prude will be shamed, lose her Prude Points, her Prude reputation,
and maybe even banned from posting.
But she can’t help it.
If she doesn’t share these jokes she won’t be able to exorcise them from her brain and it won’t be able to complete a single thought. Especially if she starts singing the jokes to the tune of ‘I Will Survive’.

So here are 3 of the 4 jokes in The Prude’s repertoire.
Forgive me.

Q. What is brown and sits in an army barracks?
A. Gomer’s Pile

Q. What is brown and sits in the woods?
A. Winnie’s Pooh

Q. What is brown and sits on a piano bench?
A. Beethoven’s Last Movement.

There you have it. And you didn't even have to pay 50 cents.
The Prude’s brain is now free to think of an idea for tomorrow’s post.
If, that is, she hasn’t been banished from Prudeland forever.

Friday, January 28, 2011

In which The Prude attempts an explanation

Be honest. Was The Prude so caught up in making sure that she could accurately reproduce brain cells yesterday that she neglected to explain her main point?

That happens a lot to us neuro-philosopher types. We spend so much time pondering the activities of the leetle gray cells that we sometimes forget to put them to any practical use.

The Prude is pretty sure she explained this in a past post but if she can’t remember she certainly doesn’t expect you to.

Those disco lyrics that bump and grind their way through The Prude’s brain?  They are the ones that are locked in the deep and suppressed disco vault in her memory bank, and sneak out at night.

On awakening she finds herself humming ‘Keep it coming love’ or ‘That’s the way, uh huh uh huh’ or, even worse, “Play that funky music white boy”. And The Prude knows the day will be truly dreadful when she is in the shower and realized she’s been humming ‘Muskrat Love’ for 5 minutes.

(You younger readers who may be tempted to Google and perhaps even listen to these songs– The Prude implores you, for you own good, DON’T DO IT. Or you too  may find yourself under control of music and lyrics that you dislike so intensely they make you want to throw your shampoo at something)

And it is these songs, the ones she doesn’t like, that run through her head all day. You know how some experts say we only use about 10% of our brains? That is because the other 90% is jammed up with these songs line dancing around under a disco ball.

To those readers who love disco: The Prude in no wise means to give offense.
If you realize that she was more of a Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater Revival kind of girl you may understand her aversion to disco.

And there you have it. What was supposed to be a 1-sentence explanation of yesterday’s post has turned into an almost 350 word post.

So this means The Prude can save the rant meant for today for next Monday, and she doesn’t have to worry about it over the weekend. Which is a good thing, because now that she let Muskrat Susie and Muskrat Sam out of deep storage, she is certain they will be roaming around her head looking for love all weekend long.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

…and this is your brain on disco

Yesterday we laid the groundwork for scientific reasons people like The Prude forget things, especially Potentially Great Ideas for Posts for this Blog.
We threw around technical jargon like ‘Cerebellum’ and ‘Electric Slide’.

The Prude won’t apologize because it is important to know terminology before understanding any condition.

That said, today we’ll use pictures.

This first illustration shows a brain cell coming up with an Idea for a Post for this Blog.
It is a very good idea.
Idea Snagger, Brain Cell & Idea. You'll need to imagine the Idea Hunter

The brain cell emits little sputtering sounds, an indication to the Idea Hunter that an Idea is about to materialize.

The Idea Hunter knows how quickly these lovely, shy, ephemeral ideas can dissolve into a shattered heap of thought fragments which, like Mr. Dumpty, may never be reunited.
Idea Hunter quietly fires up the Idea Snagger and tiptoes over to the timid brain cell.

There is the Idea, all fresh and lovely and very very clever, floating in the air. The high-strung brain cell is working hard to hold onto the Idea.

And then, out of nowhere, for no apparent reason, and bumping brain cells left and right with total disregard for the fragile forming Ideas, hustles a clueless Inane Disco Lyric.
Discombobulated Brain cell, Disintegrating Idea, Disgruntled Idea Snagger, Disco Lyric

The wonderfully clever Idea for a Post, that delicate bud at the point of blossoming into a full-blown 300-word-or-less Reality, is boogie-oogie-oogie into nothingness.

The brain cell retires, quivering, to a dark hole and refuses to think of anything. She can’t. The fatuous lyrics keep her cowering there with all the other brain cells
who can’t formulate a complete thought without bursting into ‘Don’t stop it now don’t stop it (uh) don’t stop it now…”(repeated a quadrillion times)

The Idea Hunter shoves the Idea Snagger back into its holster in disgust. There is nothing for him to do. He has to hope something like Vivaldi’s Double Flute Concerto for 2 flutes, strings & continuo in C major can somehow pipe its way past the Incessant Disco Lyrics and coax the timorous, trembling brain cells back to work.

Until that time, the Idea Hunter just grabs a date and puts on his Boogie Shoes.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Idea Snagger's Nemesis

The Idea Hunter with his Idea Snagger

(The Prude has a feeling she did a previous post about the brain. And about disco.
She never promised you originality, merely verbosity)

Your Prude has always struggled with absent-mindedness. Even as a child she was a victim of Wandering Brain Cells.

Childbirth and childrearing, as any woman who has engaged in them knows, is very hard on brain cells. Instead of wandering, free and easy, some cells curl up in a fetal position, thumb in mouth and hum softly to themselves for a few decades. Other brain cells spend the childrearing years stomping back and forth from the frontal lobe to the temporal lobe, or locking themselves in the cerebellum and refusing to come out.

But now The Prude is almost through with the childrearing phase of life. She’s been trying to convince her brain cells that it is safe to come out resume normal activity.
But the cells are either rusty from underuse, or creaky from overuse (the worry brain cells are particularly swollen and sore from 24 years of constant use and need ibuprofin to get moving)

Everyone who is anyone in the Brain Cell industry tells women hovering around The Prude’s age to learn something new. It is the best thing to breath new life into those poor, quivering brain cells.

The Prude’s current arsenal of New Things include endless games of Scrabble, and this blog.

Lurking in her brain is the Idea Hunter. The Prude’s Idea Hunter roams around her brain, tiptoeing past nervous brain cells that are trying to engender some New and Clever post idea for the blog.
The Idea Hunter’s job is to snag the Idea before it dissolves into nothingness or flits somehow out of the brain and into the stratosphere.

But in The Prude’s brain, an enemy also lives and thrives. It doesn’t prowl. It Grapevines, Hustles and Electric Slides it’s way through the brain, panicking the skittish brain cells and infuriating the Idea Hunter.

The enemy? Inane 70’s Disco Lyrics.
How does it work?
Please come back tomorrow because these scientific posts with all their technical terminology are very hard work for The Prude.
But it will be worth it if she can just coax the brain cells past KC and The Sunshine Band
telling them ‘That’s the way, uh huh uh huh…”

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The HoHo Conspiracy

Not a HoHo. The HoHos are no more.

A host of conspiracy theories walk among us. Did aliens crash in Roswell? Did they kidnap Elvis? And are they currently inhabiting the bodies of elected government officials? Maybe. But we have a bigger problem on our hands.
There was a time, in dim and rosy ‘70’s, when The Prude, finding herself somehow endowed with a spare quarter, would purchase a HoHo. Or a Cupcake. Or a Fruit Pie. (The Prude is afraid to use the brand name because They might be listening.)

Every bite was bliss. Real cherries peeked out of the crisp, glazed crust of the Fruit Pie. The creamy filling of the Cupcake was so dreamily creamy and filling. And every bit of stiff icing that fell from the HoHo was captured and savored.
Oh yes, my friends. The 70’s would not have been the same without the occasional but cherished consumption of HoHo’s, Cupcakes and Fruit Pies.

But the 70’s came to a screeching halt somewhere around 1979.
The Prude was now a college student and spare quarters were unheard of.
She evolved into a wife and mother and HoHo money went directly into mortgage payments and diapers.
The ‘90’s hit and so did burgeoning appetites of 3 boys, who were happy enough with the cheaper store brands of snack food.
But The Prude refused to sully her tastebuds with imitations.

She waited. Years passed. Aliens took over the music industry and collaborated with aliens in other countries to steal L’eggs eggs, cool Big Mac boxes and toys from cereal boxes.

And then it was 2011.

The Prude, trawling the corridors of her beloved Piggly Wiggly, found Shangi-La.
A shining and rosy sign proclaimed: ‘Buy 1 HoHo Box, get a Box of Cupcakes for Free’
Finally. Decades of waiting and forbearance and self control were paying off.
Recklessly The Prude snatched 1 HoHo box and its corresponding Free Cupcake Box. She remembered to pay, noting dimly that they no longer cost a quarter apiece.
But no matter! It is just money! She was about to relive her youth!
She hurried home. She put on a Partridge Family song, (‘I Think I Love You’)
She unwrapped her HoHo, placed her hand under the adorable little roll of cake and filling to catch any stray icing, and took a bite.
We will draw a merciful curtain over what happened next. It involved outrage, tears, and threats.
Suffice it to say that aliens have taken the original HoHo recipe. I think they gave it to Elvis.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Prude incurs a personal foul

The Prude wonders if those in heaven are shielded from seeing their loved ones on earth. At least from the actions of which they highly disapprove.
Because The Prude’s father would have whooped her upside the head yesterday.

That last statement requires immediate retraction. Her father was a gentle, non-violent man who preferred to make her feel incredibly extremely guilty.

The reason for the potential heavenly glare? For the induced guilt?

The Prude watched a football game yesterday.

Innocent, you say? Understandable? Even forgivable, since The Prude lives in the Midwest and the game was between 2 midwestern teams?

The Prude’s father wouldn’t have seen it that way. He was a sporting man who nevertheless hated the emphasis placed on organized sports and the adulation of athletes. He felt sporting events got more attention on the Lord’s Day than the Lord .

The Prude, in a frenzy of induced guilt, imagines the commentary her father would have made had he been able to get a glimpse of his daughter from the Far Side of the Jordan.

“It’s Sunday afternoon and another great day for some rest and worship! We’re here at my daughter’s house and she is just coming back from church with her family and friends. The action is about to begin!
She’ll cut back to the kitchen to take the roast beef from the oven…false start! She’s instead spooning something lumpy into bowls...could that be… Chili? On Sunday? Not sure that was the best call. It will undoubtedly become offensively foul.

Now the meal is complete. The men are in motion.
Looking a little sluggish- they’re paying the penalty for all that chili!

Their goal is the living room where they’ll huddle to discuss the sermon and maybe read some edifying material.
Wait a minute! Another game changer!
They’re turning on the television! That is an illegal move unless– let me check– no, no Billy Graham Crusade scheduled.
It appears to be– say it isn’t so– a FOOTBALL GAME. This is a definite fumble.
My daughter seems to have forgotten those years of rigorous training in the Sunday Game Plan.
Worship service. Roast beef dinner. Sermon discussion. Nap. Tea and cookies.
Evening worship.
It was all in her rule book.
All those pep talks about not worshipping at the altar of sports idols.
Any chance I could execute an interception here? Call a penalty? No?

Well then. Does anyone know if it’s an illegal procedure to give her a two-minute warning before I rush down and whoop her upside the head?

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Public Restless Room

The Prude's Dog in her Public Restroom
Ask almost any Prude what ten things she disapproves of most, and somewhere near the top of almost any list will be

There are so many problems with public restrooms, The Prude could probably write about it for a week.
But she is afraid this would look as though she
a) has a fixation on restrooms
b) has a vendetta against those who provide the public restrooms
and then she would be labeled as ‘abusive and spammy’ and she couldn’t publish it.

First of all, The Prude needs to go on record as a great respecter of businesses who
provide public restrooms.
Her 3 sons and her husband have hit almost every public restroom from Maine to Arizona. Without public restrooms The Prude would have had to cower in the van whilst her menfolk trotted around the countryside looking for trees, bushes, and ditches. (and in one actual, historical event, a shed in eastern Nebraska, which seems devoid of trees, bushes and ditches.)

The Prude saw things differently.
Follow a snippet of conversation The Prude and her husband would have during a 2 week road trip vacation.

Husband: “Honey, you went through the entire state of Pennsylvania without using the restroom. Maybe you should try one in Virginia.”
Prude: “No thanks. I think I can wait till we get home.”

On another road trip, The Prude brought along a spray bottle of bleach to sanitize every potty seat in the western United States. Her family came home germ-free and so did the carpet in the front seat of the van, where the bleach bottle leaked.

The Prude realizes that most thoughtful people have concerns with the sanity of restrooms. Many people may also struggle with the conflicting emotions they experience: the ‘I hate these loud hand dryers but I don’t want to use up all the trees on paper towels so the world looks like eastern Nebraska’ dilemma.
And many claustrophobic pregnant women have also experienced The Prude’s hatred of struggling into a stall whose doors only opened inward and necessitate practically standing on the potty to be able to shut the door past the tummy.
(The Prude realizes she is getting almost incoherent here. Horrific memories are flooding her brain right now).

But only a True Prude with a high degree of sensitivity has a whole other dimension added to their Reasons to Avoid Public Restrooms.

Lack of Soundproofing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

When Life Doesn't Give You Lemons (pt.2)

Shakespeare, in ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’, used a little device called a Play Within a Play. And The Prude, never averse to legitimate idea-plagiarization, will do something of the sort today.

One simmering summer afternoon, a perspiring Prude answered a knock on her front door to find 2 charming children with a pitcher of something pink-ish.
Her suspicions were immediately aroused.

The following play-within-a-play will explain the source of the suspicions:

Earlier that summer. Prude and her husband are out for a stroll. Several charming neighborhood children are milling, led by the appealing little girl.

Prude and Husband: Hi Kids! How are you?
Appealing Little Girl (charmingly): Great! Wanna see what we have?
Prude and Husband (unsuspectingly): Sure! Looks like… rocks?
ALG (triumphantly): That’s right!  We’re selling rocks! These little white ones are a dollar each, those bigger stripy ones are five dollars and the great big smooth ones are ten dollars!
How many do you want?
Prude (with slight suspicion):Umm, er, where did you get them?
ALG: (evasively) Oh, from our yard. And… around.
Prude’s Husband (with magnificent and confirmed suspicion): Wait a minute! Those big rocks are from along OUR DRIVEWAY!!!!!
ALG (craftily): For an extra 5 dollars we’ll haul them back for you.

And now you know the source of Your Prude’s suspicions.
We return to the front doorstep, the appealing little girl and her cohort, and The Prude, who has just inquired as to the pinkish contents of the pitcher.

Prude (with repeated suspicion): So…is it lemonade?
Appealing Little Girl (brightly): Actually, it’s a dollar a glass!
Appealing Little Boy unzips money belt and waits expectantly.

Prude (spinelessly sighing): Let me get my purse. Here you go. A dollar.
ALG (tantalizingly): For only 10 dollars we’ll sell you the whole pitcher!
ALB waves it temptingly under The Prude’s nose.
The Prude gets a whiff of the contents for the first time.

Prude (suspiciously): Say-this isn’t lemonade, is it?
ALG (proudly): No! It’s our own recipe!
ALB attempts to look modest.

Prude (suspiciously): What did you put in here?
ALG (reminiscingly): There’s some sugar, some grapefruit juice, salt, some vanilla, and MILK!
ALB smacks his lips.
Children leave with the Prude’s dollar.

Later that evening.

Prude (to husband returning from long day at work): Honey, look what the neighborhood kids brought you to drink!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Twist of No Lemon, Please

Mystery Elixir

The Prude has to make this quick. But she wants to share a little interchange she had one hot summer day with two little neighbors. Just to change things up.

It is a hot day. The Prude is too cheap to turn on the air conditioning.
The doorbell rings.
Prude drags herself to the door and tries to grip the sweaty handle.
On the doorstep are 2 appealing little children.

Appealing Little Girl (intelligently): Hi! It’s really hot out!
Appealing Little Boy draws his hand dramatically across his freckled brow.

Prude: (suspiciously): Good morning. Yes, I suppose it is. Are you selling air conditioning for cheap?

Appealing Little Girl: Oh ho ho! You are so funny!
Appealing Little Boy claps a freckled hand to his mouth and laughs uproariously

Prude (suspiciously): What is that you have on the steps behind you?

ALG (apparently shocked): Oh, THAT?
ALB widens both eyes and holds hands (you’ll remember they are freckled, right?) to his cheeks in awe and wonderment.

Prude (suspiciously): Yes. It looks like a pitcher and some glasses. And a money belt.

ALG (admiringly): You have really good eyes for your age.
ALB nods sagely in the direction of  Prude’s eyes.

Prude (suspiciously): Did you make the stuff in the pitcher?

ALG (proudly): Yes!  Can you guess what it is?
ALB puffs chest out proudly, takes the pitcher and displays it before Prude’s good (for her age) eyes.

Prude (suspiciously): Ummm- lemonade?

ALG (condescendingly): That is a really good guess!
ALB pats Prude on the hand.

I told you I had to make this quick, right? Come back tomorrow to discover why the Prude is so suspicious of such appealing children and what happened with the mystery liquid.. In the meantime you may want to ponder the contents. Your Prude has generously shared a photo of the elixir with you. And remember- tomorrow is Part II of
‘No Twist of Lemon, Please! A Cautionary Tale”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Do You Tattoo?

When The Prude was growing up she knew only two people with tattoos.
An elderly man at a nursing home.
And Popeye.

Popeye’s was a small, tasteful anchor on his massive forearm.
The one on the nursing home friend was less tasteful.
Although also on his forearm, it featured a woman who seemed to have left most of her outfit elsewhere- possibly on his upper arm.
The reason The Prude’s parents didn’t mind her being in the same room as the Lady on the Forearm was that nature had Done its Bit. Age spots, hair, veins and wrinkles all worked together and the Lady on the Forearm found herself, whether she liked it or not, modestly (if less than stylishly) attired.

That was then.

The Prude, a few summers ago, was shopping with her sister at WalMart. We noticed we were receiving sidelong glances, a few whispers and giggles, and some sympathetic, pitying smiles.
We checked quickly to make sure no clothing item had slipped or come unzipped, that no Charmin trailed from our shoes, that no flotsam or jetsam clung to our teeth.
Our paranoia increased. What was different about us?
Then it hit.
We were the only un-tattooed women in the store.
Teens, moms, even the older women zipping around in those motorized carts all looked smugly from their butterflies, vines, dragons or skulls to our pale, blah arms, ankles and calves (the only parts of us visible besides our faces).

There wasn’t much we could do. It was too late to grab pens and draw something on our wrists. Our drawing skills are limited to tulips and suns anyway.
So with as much dignity as we could muster we got in the check out lane.
Our Fluttering Fairy tattooed cashier clucked her tongue at us, and it seemed that the entire store breathed a sigh of relief when we took our offensive selves and departed.

Today The Prude is still tattoo-free and plans to remain so.
The Prude has noticed that Script tattoos are becoming popular.
Bible verses, snippets of poems, something or other written in Chinese or Ancient Hebrew.

And Your Prude got to thinking.
Maybe a temporary tattoo. One she could change daily, possibly even hourly.
Her grocery list, desperate ideas for this blog, what she was going to do when she walked purposefully into a room. They could all be there. Right on the inside of her arm.
And once again she could hold her head high in WalMart.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Let’s start the week out with a little photojournalistic chronicle of mayhem and carnage, shall we?
Before you begin to read, you’ll want to create some atmosphere by playing some very frightening background music.
The Prude suggests the shark music from Jaws, the shower scene tune from Psycho
or the Barney Theme Song.

Now that we have the music, we need a victim. This one with the winsome, pleading eyes will do.

Add a reprobate. One that looks lovable and fluffy only adds to the drama.

And now something you don’t see in every Law and Order Criminal Intent or Agatha Christie novel:

A timed crime spree

Look closely at the time.
This was mere seconds before the reprobate met its quarry.

Here, (and The Prude wants you to know this is an exclusive) we see the miscreant in action, wreaking merciless havoc the defenseless victim.

Literally moments later, it is all over.

Nothing left but a shell of the hapless prey, its innards, and a pair of winsome, pleading eyes.
The Prude is rather proud of this picture. Doesn't it look sort of other-worldly?

The Prude would write more on this moving saga, but her fluffy criminal got a hold of the shell of the hapless prey and wants to engage in some tug-of-war.
Could any legal analysts out there inform The Prude if this makes her  an Accomplice After the Fact?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Limping down Memory Lane

Here's something odd:
The Prude remembers things that happened in 1969.
And she has a niggling notion that many of you weren't even born in 1969.

But here's something odder:
The Prude found her father's stack of teacher edition Weekly Readers from '68-'69.
So she looked up the January 15 Weekly Reader.
Lo and behold, it was all about the upcoming inauguration (in-aw-gyoo-RAY-shun)
of Richard Nixon and how it compared to that of George Washington a mere 180 years previous.

Did you know President Washington wore a plain brown suit of Connecticut-made cloth?
And the inauguration (see pronunciation above) cost the taxpayers nothing?
It doesn't say what President Nixon wore, but the whole shebang cost us 2 million.

Other noteworthy Weekly Reader news:
Lady Bird Park on the Potomac was named in honor of... Lady Bird.
The Manhattan Tribune was the new newspaper on the block in New York.

A joke of the week was:
Why is a banana peel on the sidewalk like music?
Answer: You will B flat if you don't C sharp.

And as The Prude was scrinching up her memory thinking of what she remembered of the '60's,
she suddenly thought:
Priscilla's Pop!  The comic strip!
Anybody remember it?
And another comic strip (she doesn't remember which one) had a major character named Daisy Swemp-
spelled backwards 'Ysaid Pmews' which would be her movie star name if she ever
became a movie star. Needless to say  Young Prude tried her name backwards.
You know, in case she ever became a movie star.

If you ever hear of anyone named 'Gnuoy Edurp' becoming famous, you'll know who it really is.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Delay of Zeus

Do you suffer from too much to do in too little time?
Are you stressed about unfinished projects?
Are there undertakings around your home and yard and garage and basement that you have not yet undertaken?
Is your family under-motivated to bring your plans to fruition so you need to call in outside help?
Do the messes created by your grand schemes, or the lack of  appreciation for your hard work cause you to be downhearted?
Do everyday irritations like lack of funds or an overthrow of your empire impede your progress?

If so, take heart.
The ancient Greeks suffered from many of the same slings and arrows that outrageous fortune lobs at 21st century project-undertakers, but it didn’t stop them from almost building the ruins we enjoy today.

Dear friend and faithful reader Lori shared some fascinating information and photos of the Temple of  Zeus.
To be more precise- what is left of it.
Lori, and hundreds of thousands of people every year, pay good money to go see the 15 columns that are left of the original 104.

Let’s use ‘original’ loosely.
This was not a weekend warrior project.
It started in the 6th century BC.
The financiers ran out of money. Delay of project.
The son of the ruler with the temple dream was overthrown. Another delay.
Some persnickety Greeks decided that the temple made them look too big for their britches in the eyes of the gods. Long delay.
They hired a foreign contractor to come in but he died and- you guessed it- delay ensued.
To add insult to injury, it was vandalized by an upstart Roman.
You have to assume that somebody at one point said, “And this seemed like such a good idea before we got started.”

700 YEARS LATER it was finally finished.
And then it got hit by an earthquake and started to fall over.
Today all that is left are 14 columns. Which, as previously stated, people pay good money to see and exclaim over.

Take heart. That unfinished afghan, the half-painted room, the partially finished basement.
Someday someone may pay good money to see them.

Remember, if the Ancient Greeks couldn’t do it, neither can you. You are in good company.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Wednesday Bump

Wednesday is Bump Day here at ‘The Prude Disapproves’.
The Bump is created by writer’s block and although The Prude experiences some form or size or substance of it every day, the Wednesday Bump has the form, size and substance of something that could knock off Tokyo and Godzilla without breaking a sweat.

Last Wednesday The Prude tried Recipe Wednesday, with less than howling success.
Next Wednesday may be filled with Household Tips.

This Wednesday The Prude will drag you around her home and share her obsession.
It afflicts women in The Prude’s age group.
Unlike the common coldish, it does have a cure.
The Disease?
Seasonal Over-Decorating (SOD)
The Cure?
The next age group up from The Prude.
When The  Prude moves from middle age to older-than-middle-age the forgetfulness and sloth she is already experiencing will no doubt worsen.
She’ll forget which unusual place she stored what box of seasonal treasures. She may work up the energy to find the decorations, but by that time her slothful sluggishness will take over and she’ll shove the box of snowman decorations back into the bottom of the freezer.

But for now The Prude managed to find all her winter decorations.
And since it is Wednesday, and The Writer’s Block Bump is too formidable to challenge,
The Prude presents a few of her Winter SOD arrangements.
Some bumpy Wednesday in February she’ll probably share her Sweetheart SOD.
Consider yourself warned.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ballad of the Strolling Nose

There comes a time in the lives of most of us when we don't really have a cold.
Our nose isn't actually runny.
Our head isn't particularly stuffy.
We don't have a truly scratchy throat, or an honest-to-goodness cough.

We don't feel completely down-and-out miserable but, on the other hand, neither do we feel top-o'the-mornin’-to-you.

We call this not-really-a-cold a 
A furry friend with–take my word for it–some symptoms of a coldish

A coldish comes with, instead of that honest-to-goodness cough,
a copy-cough.
A little, sort of naamby-pamby sound somewhere between a throat-clearing and a moderate hack.
If you live in Great Britain you refer to this as an ahem.

Coldishes also are marked by a not-so scratchy throat, but a throat that under no circumstance could be called smooth. It is the 5 o'clock shadow of scratchiness, and when you have a coldish you can call it a stubble throat.

A victim of a coldish can't complain of a stuffy head. But the victim also would ascertain that his head is not airy, freewheeling and clear. It is the kind of head that refuses to relax and let loose.
During a coldish you may legitimately refer to your head as fuddy-duddy.

And of course, the nose during a coldish doesn't actually run. Coldishes never work up enough oomph to do anything so energetic as running.
A coldish nose strolls.
Its contents begin to amble towards the nasal opening, but then get distracted. For an unknown reason–possibly to hum a little tune or gaze at the scenery– this glutinous nostril stuff doesn’t complete the final leg of its journey.
The coldish victim, who dashed for a tissue, realizes the flood of proboscis paraphernalia she was prepared to capture is stalled somewhere up in the nasal cavities, and will appear in the time and manner of its own choosing.

The common coldish.
There is no cure. There is no public sympathy, publicity, Congressional hearing or infomercial for victims of the coldish.
We just sufferish until it has strolled its course.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Prude fails at philosophy

The Prude had extra time on her hands this weekend.
When she has lots of spare time she tends to get philosophical, in a confused, disjointed way.

She and her husband spent the spare time putting together this lovely puzzle.

The Prude got to philosophizing:
1) Wouldn’t it be delightful to live in this village with this clean snow and happy children and people who eat outside to accordion music?
2) Life is sort of like a puzzle. It looks all disjointed and unorganized until put together. Then it displays the beautiful picture that was planned from the start. And if someone or something is missing from your life, a unique shaped hole is left behind.

The Prude never said she was an original-thinking philosopher.

She also spent time gazing into her new snow globe. The world inside it is so much lovelier than the brown and gray landscape that surrounds her since most of the midwest snow melted.
“Life,” she thought pensively, “is like a snow globe. We can so easily live in our own isolated little worlds. Or maybe it’s more like a snow globe because only after God shakes us out of our complacency can we really appreciate the beauty all around us.”

The Prude was feeling rather smug and sage and metaphysical.
“Yes,” she mused. “Life is like a beautiful puzzle and life is like a lovely snow globe.”

And then, because her spare time wasn’t all used up, she got to pondering the puzzle again. She noticed the couple on the bottom by the ice rink. They looked as though they were saying goodbye. And then there was the woman to the right of the rink, trying to restrain her beloved from going after the earthly delights represented on the table of plenty.
The Prude, seized with whimsy, removed some pieces to illustrate the heartbreak that results when something is missing from the puzzle of life.

But instead of a romantic hole, the poor couple are just missing their mid-sections.
The poor woman grasping her husband merely looks foolish chasing a 1-legged man.

Maybe the couple wasn’t saying goodbye. Maybe they were just wishing the beggar and the pesky dog would go away.
Maybe the woman isn’t really chasing her husband; she’s just trying to beat him to the last piece of Wiener schnitzel.

And maybe life in a snow globe would give one a constant headache. After all, a low-pressure system doesn’t bring the snow. One’s world must be turned upside down and shaken wildly.

Maybe The Prude will leave philosophizing to the philosophers and go run her errands. A low-pressure system is moving in and bringing snow. She doesn’t even need to stand on her head for it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Sixth Scent

Today we have a sad-but-true story from The Prude’s past.

But don’t let that stop you reading.
It has a happy ending.

When The Prude was in college, something delightful was happening in the perfume industry. Instead of churning out only mature scents like ‘White Shoulders’ or ‘Chanel No. 5’ (were Nos. 1-4 duds? Does anyone know?)  manufacturers were putting their fragrant heads together and deciding to create cheap, playful scents for impoverished youth.

The Prude was delighted one day to find a huge bottle of her favorite-strawberry body splash on the clearance rack at Osco. This, she thought, must be what rich people feel like–able to buy perfume by the gallon!

She splashed it on generously one morning and left the dorm for her 9 a.m. class.
As she hurried down the hall, gently wafting the tantalizing aroma of strawberry in her wake, she was gratified to notice a young man sniff the air appreciatively and hold up his hand to halt his friends.

“Mmmm– I smell jello! Hey, I’m hungry! Is the dining hall still open?”

The Prude skipped class to dump the rest of her body splash down the toilet. Any scent that would drive a young man to look more adoringly at a refrigerator than at her could not be tolerated.

For years after this painful incident The Prude refused to wear any scent whose ingredients could be included in a salad.
But as she has gotten older, she is realizing that what was painful at nineteen can be beneficial, sensible, and even slightly romantic in middle age.

Today, her shower shelves hold apricot facial scrub, orange sapphire body wash and pomegranate shampoo.

Following the shower she slathers on cherry almond lotion, adds a spritz of black raspberry vanilla cologne, and tops it all off, in the interests of scent-reiteration, with a cherry vanilla lip-gloss.

She comes downstairs and her husband sniffs the air appreciatively.
“Mmmmm- you smell great. Hey, I’m hungry! Let’s go out for breakfast!”

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hercule Wonders Where is Waldo?

Hercule Poirot: “Order and Method!”
Prude’s Father: “A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place!”
The Prude: “Where on earth did we put that key!”

Thus begins another day at the Prude Home.
A mad scramble to find that which was lost.

The Prude, to do her credit, has tried to implement the axioms of her heroes, Hercule and her Father.
She likes the flat surfaces of her home to appear orderly so she methodically sweeps everything on them into various Places.
And, to one up her father, she makes sure everything has not ONE, but SEVERAL Places in which to reside.
And here of course, lies the rub. When her husband cannot find a Very Important Key that he needs before he can head to work, The Prude Family version of Eye Spy is underway.

Below are photos of only 4 of the half dozen places The Prude has as designated resting Places for keys.

Just for fun she has placed the same key in each one of the following photos, so you can appreciate the challenge The Prudes face when trying to locate anything shiny in the depths of the Designated Places.
Feel free to play along and find the key, or just think sympathetic thoughts of Your Prude today.
And under no circumstances, should you come to visit The Prude, leave your keys on her counter. Unless you want to move in with her.
Many of the vehicles and houses represented by these keys no longer exist. But you Never Know.

It's in here- it really is. 

The one receptacle- and the messiest- that for some odd reason is allowed on the counter
The dreaded junk drawer

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

King Alfred Walks Into a Marsh…

Several years ago The Prude taught an English course.
On the premise that any schooling can be improved with food, she and her beloved little group of scholars began bringing treats to class and sharing the recipes.
We compiled our recipes and named each one after a favorite English character.

Today, after extensive research, The Prude realizes that any blog can be made better by the addition of food.
Therefore, today we begin
This Wednesday’s Recipes
We use the above demonstrative adjective ‘This’ advisedly.
Maybe by next Wednesday Your Prude will have a superb idea for a post that can’t wait till Thursday, or she may possibly have forgotten she ever  intended to have Wednesday’s Recipes. After all, she doesn’t have the brain of a spring chicken anymore.
Or you may all hate the idea of recipes and I’ll bow to public opinion and continue writing utter nonsense 5 days a week.

This Wednesday’s Recipe comes with an assignment.
Can you figure out why these are called:

King Alfred’s Rolled Oats Griddle Cakes
A good recipe when you are on the run. Be careful not to burn
2 cups rolled or quick cooking oats
2 ½ cups buttermilk

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in:
2 tablespoons hot water

2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten

1. Soak oats in buttermilk 15 minutes
2. Meanwhile, in another bowl, sift (or combine- The Prude doesn't sift) flour,  salt, BAKING POWDER and sugar.
Add to the soaked oats.
3. Add baking soda dissolved in water, melted butter and beaten eggs. Mix well.
4. Pour by 1/3 cup onto a greased hot griddle and cook until done, flipping once.
Serve with your favorite syrup.

Happy researching! Happy Eating!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hand me the Swan Lake screwdriver, will ya?

Today we have a Guest Request Disapproval
It comes directly from The Prude's Husband.
This is a man who could handle hand tools as soon as he was old enough to pound holes in his parent's basement carpet.
A man whose livelihood depends on his intimate knowledge of power tools.
But this screw:
 has him stumped.
There is no place to attach a screwdriver.

There are a lot of screwdrivers and tips in the world.
The Prude has a set of pink tools, on the misguided notion that a household of men would never be seen in the vicinity of pink tools and would leave her tools alone.
She didn't realize that a man in urgent need of a hammer or crescent wrench is color blind.
Hence, many of The Prude's pink tools are cowering, ladylike, among the testosterone colored tools in the garage.
But she did manage to find all these screwdrivers and tips:
None of whom are good enough for our slender screw.

She is a diva in the world of ordinary straight-slot, Philips head and square tipped screws.
She is strong and independent, a screw who can make it on her own.
She doesn't need any screwdriver.
She simply gets a good pirouette going, raises her arms, and whirls herself right into the medium of choice for a screw of her caliber.
Happy Twirls to You,  Prima Screw.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Salmonella is Coming! The Salmonella is Coming!

The Prude has been fighting the same battle since the beginning of her marriage.

The battle over undercooked meat.
Her only weapon?
A meat thermometer.

When young, starry-eyed Prude first met her husband, she noted that he would, on passing a quantity of raw hamburger on the counter, pinch off a bit and consume it.

The enamored Prude was horrified by the carnage but didn’t step into the fray till she was legitimately entitled to participate in the conflict. In other words, till Mr. Prude said ‘I do’ and white-gowned Prude said ‘I will’

Thence commenced the eternal battle between flavor and safety.
The Prude would allow her family to eat only meat that reached 165 degrees on her meat thermometer.

Meatloaves, cooked to 165 degrees according to Prude’s thermometer, resembled, in size and mass (although not value) a gold brick.

Foot-long hot dogs shrunk to the size of cocktail eenies (the dropped ‘w’ is not a typo. The Prude hates that word).

Chicken breasts at 165 degrees were of a dryness so incredible that the meat would stick in the Prude Family’s throat and couldn’t be dislodged without copious amounts of Crisco.

But did the Prude, her husband, or children ever suffer from salmonella, trichinosis, or gastroenteritis?

Never. And don’t listen when they complain about trips to the emergency room for poultry meat stuck in their gullets or  hamburger patties eaten in 2002 that have taken up permanent residence in their digestive systems. They are inclined to hyperbole.

This past weekend The Prude made an astounding and earth-shaking discovery.
Her only weapon in the war on food borne illnesses- her meat thermometer- has never been calibrated. It is 20 degrees off.

Please don’t tell her family.