Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, December 04, 2020

Four Things

1. I enjoyed reading about one man's creative solution to forgetting to wish his sister a happy thirtieth birthday. The below is the note he sent to each of thirty postmasters whose help he would need to send the birthday message:

Dear Postmaster:

I am mailing my sister 30 postcards from 30 towns for her 30th birthday. I have enclosed a postcard, which I ask be hand-canceled with a postmark from your town. To protect the postcard from machine cancels in its journey through the mail system, I have enclosed a stamped envelope addressed to my sister in which to seal and mail the postcard. Thank you very much for your time!
Each card also had a state-themed stamp matching the state containing each town. As you can see from the collection she received, this worked!

2. The rest of this New York Times feature on the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile fleet lives up to the whimsicality of the ultimately successful job application of one of its drivers:
Knowing she needed to stand out in her application, Ms. Swindall, 26, sent the Wienermobile hiring managers a literal picnic spread of her talents while paying tribute to the greater Kraft Heinz ecosystem of its parent company.

In a cardboard box, she arranged artificial grass and a checkered blanket on top of which were her "cheesy cover letter" (wrapped in recycled Kraft Singles packaging), a "relishing résumé" (stuffed in an empty Heinz relish bottle) and a pack of paper wieners baring [sic] her face ("so they could actually picture me as a Hotdogger"). Within a couple of weeks she got the call: She'd been chosen for an in-person interview.
This frivolity is serious business, and so the fleet is still rolling during the pandemic.

Three cheers for capitalism!

3. In addition to being impressed with the epidemic precautions on a recent visit, I have always appreciated the apparent lack of mosquitoes at Disney World, situated as it is in a swamp. A recent post at Mental Floss explains how with the help of a video that includes some interesting footage:
You may also notice that the video is populated by clips of the Seven Dwarfs spraying insecticides. If you're wondering how you missed a lengthy sequence in which Happy, Grumpy, and co. did battle with the local insect population in 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, you didn't. The clips come from a separate propaganda film that Disney made during World War II called The Winged Scourge, all about the dangers of malaria and the insects that carry it. The disease caused major casualties for the Allies while fighting in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II.
The video is embedded below.

4. From a small collection, here's a "Machiavellian" story that made me smile:
Setting: 1980, legal deposition. My mom was the attorney on one side of the case. Opposing counsel seemed highly disorganized, entirely relying on his secretary, Jane, who was saving his butt. Opposing counsel kept saying things like "Thank you, doll" and other gross things to the secretary.

My mom left the deposition and went straight to her office manager/head secretary since she knew her firm (big one) was understaffed. She confirmed they were hiring. Then my mom called Jane, complimented her work and handed over the phone to the office manager. 30 minutes later, Jane was offered a new job at my mom's firm. Jane started less than a week later, expressing gratitude to get away from her lecherous boss.

My mom won the case, in no small part because opposing counsel couldn't function without Jane.
As good as this is, I liked Item 10 the most.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,

Regarding your number 10, there is a similar but happier story in radioland.

Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold were morning disc jockeys in the early 1980s on a station in northern Michigan and apparently their off-beat talk and humorous bits (fake advertisements, joke call-ins, etc.) were crushing the competition. So the other locals kept putting them up for peer-nominated awards with the net effect that they were recruited to a larger station in Indianapolis. Where their unique brand of humor has been syndicated for the better part of 35 years.

To give you a taste of their humor, here is one of my favorite episodes of the "Mr. Obvious Show.

c andrew

Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,

It just occurred to me that that post is not complete without this sequel . . .

c andrew

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks for relaying that. I'd heard the name Mr. Obvious, but didn't know what it was. It's neat they got their break similarly to the boss in no. 10.

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, I enjoyed the AAM stories too and sent the link to a few friends when they came out. Everyone agreed that No. 10 was the best; more than one person replied, "Good idea, and thank goodness I don't need it any more." (I didn't get any saying, "Hmm, I'll have to keep that in mind.") My favorite was probably No. 7; as a friend of mine always used to say, "Sometimes the good guys win."

And here's a good video: Jazz bassoon. The guy's tone is excellent, I might add.

And in the "sounds like it'd be a curiosity from Dr. Demento, but it's actually good" department, here's some Mongolian reggae I might not have pointed you to before. (The woman singing in the first one, Egshiglen, mostly does pop; she has a suitable name, meaning "Melody," which is about as common as Melody is in English.) The man, Ratabuzz (who might have been the dreadlocked Mongol I saw at a few political rallies for the Democracy Party), suddenly became popular a couple of years ago and got invited to join in a few of those pop spectaculars that are popular in Mongolia, so you get odd things like this ("Welcome, life" is the name of the song, quite similar to the beginning of the first song linked to, "Life says 'hello,' joy says 'hello.'")

And finally, I don't remember if I gifted you with this album, but this excellent song is the great Dr. Ring Ding with a fun Catalan group, The Pepper Pots, that does a range of music from ska to 60s soul.

Gus Van Horn said...


Glad you enjoyed the stories, and thanks for the links. I'll reward myself by listening to them once I have Christmas shopping done today.