Change Of Pace

Mullet Over: In pursuit of the Holy Grail

By James K. White | June 18, 2008
Have you noticed books and movies about the pursuit of the Holy Grail? Were you aware that there is no consensus as to what the Holy Grail is? No wonder the object is so hard to find. The Grail has been identified as a fancy cup, a large gem, a stone, a book, a platter, a cauldron and even as human remains.

Are you or a loved one a bit hirsute? Every July in Fairbanks, Alaska, competitions are held to determine the winners of the Hairy Legs, Hairy Chest, Best Beard, and Best Mustache contests. Men usually win. Thousands of dollars are awarded in prizes. I am not kidding. Call 907-452-1105 for specifics.

Chicago is called the Windy City, but you might be surprised why it is so called. In the 1890’s a New York Sun editor (Charles Dana) was attempting to belittle talkative politicians from Chicago and referred to Chi-Town as “The Windy City.” Many locals thought the joke was funny and the name caught on.

Now please understand that I never claim to be an eyewitness to the events I report. In 564 B.C., an Olympic fight event supposedly took place. After receiving a series of vicious blows, a participant conceded the bout, not noticing that his opponent (Arrachion of Phigalia) had collapsed. Arrachion had died, thus making him the only Olympic champion to be expired while “winning.”

Karl Marx (not Groucho’s brother) was once a paid correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune.

Calico, a very popular type of cotton cloth some years back, was named for the Indian city of Calicut (not the same as Calcutta).

Did you ever have to read Shakespeare’s Macbeth? There really was a King Macbeth. He was king of Scotland from 1040 until 1057 and likely never dreamed why he would be famous hundreds of years after his demise.

What’s up, Doc? Mel Blanc was the voice of Bugs Bunny for decades. A peculiar side note is that Mel Blanc absolutely hated the taste of carrots.

If you buy a Mountain Dew soft drink in Canada, it is likely that there is a significant ingredient missing that would normally be present in an American Mountain Dew. Caffeine. I don’t know why.

Sloe gin is made from the berries of the blackthorn plant. In what is probably an unrelated circumstance – silver has been the most popular car color in the United States for seven consecutive years.

The year 2006 saw Michigan’s population exceed 10,000,000. It was the 8th U.S. state to reach this milestone.

Rambler, W. Epaminondas Adrastus Blab, and Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass were pen names used by Samuel Clemens before he settled on “Mark Twain.”

Well, if you decide to seek the Holy Grail, I wish you the best of luck.

James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia.
He can be reached at jkwhite46

God Bless America

The News Media

A man is walking by the Berkley, California Zoo when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion's cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to devour her right in front of the little girl's screaming parents. The man runs to the cage, hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain, the lion jumps back, letting go of the girl, and the man takes her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.

A reporter has seen the whole scene, and addressing the man, says, "Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I ever saw a man do in my whole life!"

"Why, it was nothing," said the man. Really, the lion was behind bars, and I knew God would protect me just as He did Daniel in the lion's den long, long ago. I just saw this little kid in danger and acted as I felt was right."

"I noticed a Bible in your pocket," said the journalist. "Yes, I'm a Christian, and was on my way to a Bible study," the man replied.

"Well, I'll make sure this won't go unnoticed. I'm a journalist, you know, and tomorrow's paper will have this on the front page." The journalist leaves. The following morning the man buys the paper to see if it indeed brings news of his actions, and reads, on the first page: “Right-Wing Christian Fundamentalist assaults African immigrant and steals his lunch.”

Demographics of American Newspapers
1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.
2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.
3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.
4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.
5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country – if they could find the time – and if they didn't have to leave Southern California to do it.
6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a poor job of it, thank you very much.
7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.
8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who is running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.
9. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.
10. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure if there is a country or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country, or galaxy, provided of course, that they are not Republicans.
11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.
12. The Minneapolis Star Tribune is read by people who have recently caught a fish and need something in which to wrap it.