Thursday, June 30, 2011

Can Bombs Burst in my Hair?

You’ve seen The Prude’s pup.
Awwww, you say, she is so cute!
What doesn’t show up on photos is the yellow streak running down her back, her lily liver, or her chicken attitude.
The little girl is a coward.

Now firecracker season is upon us and The Prude will spend the next several days trying to convince the pup that the Fireworks are Not Out to Get Her.
The pup won’t believe a word.

We’ll head out to fireworks Monday and struggle anew with the question from the last several years.
Take her along into the thick of the battle, where at least we can hold her and try to comfort her?
Or leave her home alone, where she can hear the bangs and booms, but in a more muted form?
When she is home and hears the pop of a gun, a backfiring car or–heaven forbid–continuous fireworks set off by patriotic neighbors, she panics and tries to insert herself into the smallest hole in the deepest corner of the house. If she could, she would stuff her paws in her ears.
The Prude is worried that someday she will return from fireworks to discover the dog with only her nose sticking out of a toilet paper tube.

So we take her along.
This is the conversation that ensues:

Family: “Oh look! Fireworks in the sky! Far away! Aren’t they pretty?

Family Dog: “Not again! We just went through this 7 dog years ago!”
Family: “You’re OK! See? We’re cuddling you tight!”

Family Dog: “If you really loved me you would throw yourself of top of those bombs.”
F: “It’s almost over! You can make it!”

FD: “Possibly…if that gopher over there will share his hole with me…”
F: “All done! Let’s go home!”

FD: “Could you check and make sure I still have all my extremities? Oh, and by the way. You’ll be hearing from my SPCA representative.”

The neighbor’s just bought a backyard fireworks set. It is going to be a long weekend.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Can We Dispense with the Denouement?

You all know what a denouement is, right? It’s French for ‘Will this story ever end?’

After the climax the denouement comes along and ties up all the loose ends. In some cases it ties them up, reties them and then loops them so tightly that the excitement of the climax is lost in the knots.

Take ‘The Lord of the Rings’.  The elements of a good story: the quest, the conflicts, the mysteries, the rising action, are all woven through with the question ‘Can Middle Earth be saved?’  They culminate in the dramatic, last minute rescue of Sam and Frodo.

I would have been content to end there. On a high note. Sam and Frodo, forever caught up in the thrill being snatched from certain death as the enemy lies mortally wounded.

Fairy stories have it right. The tide turns, the hero/heroine is rescued, the villain slain, and they all live happily ever after. 

But ‘The Return of the King never seems to end. In the movie, we first have a long long wedding, Aragorn’s long long song, the crowning of the king. In the book Frodo returns home to a Shire that doesn’t honor or respect him. I don’t want a story to end with slogging. I want it to end on the mountaintop.

One of my favorite songs is ‘And Can it Be That I Should Gain?” It has all the elements of a great story.

The first verse poses a question. ‘And can it be that I should gain an interest in my Savior’s blood?’

Great literary device.

Then we have a mystery ‘Tis mystery all, the Immortal dies.’

And then the climax verse. The one that always gives me goosebumps. The one that ends

‘my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth and followed thee.”

By this verse I am always in tears. And I want the song to stop. I’ve been rescued, snatched from certain death, the villain is conquered and I am following. I want to continue in the thrill.

But no, we need the denouement.

The final verse. The one that talks about life after the thrill of the climax, after the rush of the rescue.

The verse that describes a post-rescue life. 

The wedding song of the Lamb. The King on His throne. The honor and beauty wrapped around us forever.

This denouement may not be the stuff of goosebumps.

But it most definitely is a ‘happily ever after’.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Unveiling of new Olympic Uniforms!!!!!

As promised, today is the day The Prude unveils her new uniforms for the women’s Olympic Gymnastic team, and in a burst of 2-for-1 goodwill she is tossing in one for the women’s track team.

You know how gravity is forever pulling teen boy’s britches south?
In a strange reversal of forces, it is forever pulling the bottoms of those poor, miniscule teen girl gymnasts’ uniforms NORTH.  This necessitates the constant tugging, yanking motion they have perfected over the years. Concern about these creeping uniforms has to detract the little gymnasts from their routines, so The Prude came up with a really adorable addition:
The Bike Short.

Think how cute and comfortable this would look under their uniform, not to mention the chafing it will relieve on the balance beam!
The shorts could have clever designs, and after the Olympics the girls could have all their new gymnast friends sign said shorts for a memento.

Any Olympic aficionado has probably noticed that the uniforms for the female track team are slowly disappearing. Budget cuts are merciless and The Prude would like us all to have bake sales to raise money for new ensembles.

Also notice how the current clothing forces the air goes straight up and over the runner? This causes something we call ‘wind resistance’ and it slows her down.

The Prude has designed a new uniform, borrowing from the latest technology used in sports cars. (Think about the speed of even the slowest sports car in relation to even the fastest runner and you’ll see how sensible this new uniform will be)

As you can see, using aerodynamics, the wind moves easily up and over the new uniform.

With just a few changes, The Prude believes that Team USA can have some of our best times and scores ever, and we won’t need to cover our children’s eyes.

Once The Prude can control her blushing she is going to tackle the men’s swim team uniforms and try to protect the women’s sand volleyball team from the sand mites that no doubt take advantage of THOSE budget-cut outfits.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Olympic Fever: The first symptoms

England is busy, busy, busy.

They no sooner get the world sent home and the mess cleaned up from the royal wedding than they turn right around and start getting ready to have the world back again.
Yes, the 2012 Olympics are coming and the Prude is
Ever since the 1972 Olympics she has been an Olympic fanatic. That summer she decided she wanted to marry Mark Spitz, tried a Olga Korbut hairdo, threw a book at the TV when Russia got extra time added to the clock to beat the US basketball boys, and cried and prayed for the Israeli team.
Today she wants to stoke that fever by sharing some of her favorite sporting moves. You may or may not see these replicated in London next year.

Outdoor sawhorse tennis


 Standing deep hole high jump

Remember how someone decided to combine dance and swimming, add nose clips and call it
How about we add dance to the following?

Synchronized volleyball

Synchronized soccer

Mixed doubles synchronized balance beam

In the interests of World Peace and crashing age barriers we could add:
Hug Football

Bubble Blowing


And Puppy Tetherball

Finally, let's give a nod to all those athletes whose spirit is willing
but whose flesh is weak

Come back for the Tuesday Stew, when The Prude designs new outfits for the Olympic gymnasts!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Birds and No Bees

The birds upon the treetops
sing their song.
The angels chant their chorus
all day long.

The flowers in the garden
blend their hue.

So why shouldn't I, why shouldn't you
Praise Him too?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Curious Case of Abundant Buttons

The Prude is convinced that even total global annihilation will not make a dent in the world’s button supply.
The fashion industry must have gotten a memo:
Made too many buttons. Adjust fashions accordingly
So sure enough, a spare button comes with every article of clothing purchased, sometimes even accompanying clothes that are button-free.
Long after the shirt or pants or sweater is in the ragbag, you still have that button.
Because You Never Know.
The Prude finds buttons sewn to the outside of her sleeves to catch a little roll-sleeve tab, and on the sides of her summer roll-up pants.
People, how did we ever keep our sleeves or pant legs rolled up before the advent of button tabs?
One can purchase craft books on buttons crafts: they show how to use buttons on jewelry, waste baskets, clocks, Christmas ornaments, a Christmas TREE and…clothing.
One site even recommends using buttons as poker chips.
Don’t forget Frosty the Snowman, who thumbed his button nose at carrots.
The Prude’s son, in a burst of ingenuity, once figured out that a button was the perfect size to fit up his nose.
Important CEO’s and attorneys are forever calling attention to their suit buttons as they unbutton to sit down, button to stand up.
And just yesterday The Prude heard the song ‘Buttons and Bows’ on TV.
She doesn’t want to be an alarmist, but
can you say ‘Button Conspiracy’?

Know where we can get some Weather Clearasil?

In The Prude’s research for Weather Wednesday, she discovered that

a) weather cycles exist
b) a cycle can be 7 /500/1500 years. (depending on your expert)

No matter the ultimate age of our current weather cycle- this year it reached

Though we aren’t sure if there is an exact correlation between human years and weather years, The Prude is certain that about 4 years ago it was in its Terrible Two’s.
It squalled never-ending torrents of rain. 

And just when we thought it couldn’t get any naughtier it spent November through April dumping 100" messes  of snow everywhere.

The next few years were rocky, although Weather seemed to show some signs of maturing.
But this year it has hit puberty with a vengeance.

We get the cold shoulder one day. The next we are warmly lavished with record highs.
Weather will be all sweet and attractive. Then someone will say something it doesn’t like and
It stomps around and throws this at us:

One minute Weather is calm and dreamy.

 It frolicks with little wind gusts.

In a decorative mood it tries some freehand artwork.

Then some air current it forgot to put away messes with the design and Weather has
a 20 minute tantrum, screaming, crying buckets and tossing things like The Prude’s trash can.

The tantrum only lasts so long and then remorse sets in. Weather is all glum and moody.

But something- a bird’s song? The sun glinting off an airplane? A particularly pretty weather balloon?- puts it in a happy mood.
And Weather perks up, freshens up, and tries out some new looks.

Let’s just hope this isn’t the year Weather’s face breaks out.