Tag Archives: fun

Ice Cream Engineering

I was painfully struggling to impersonate a human ball of sweat on the verge of fiery combustion at the gym recently while a friend calmly trotted along on the treadmill next to me. After several minutes, I regained consciousness long enough to realize she was having a lengthy conversation with me. About ice cream. Dairy Queen cones, to be exact. Seriously. While I’m silently paying the penalties of even thinking about foods with caloric density greater than iceberg lettuce, she’s extolling the magnificence of Dairy Queen ice cream cones.

Since finding new friends who are more willing to share my suffering would have to wait until a time after I’d showered, I decided to at least try to be interested. I haven’t actually been to Dairy Queen since about 1999 when I had an unexpected layover of several hours in Eden, Texas to get a flat tire repaired. I’m estimating that nearly half the 2800 population of Eden, Texas was at Dairy Queen that particular day. Since the other half of the population are inmates incarcerated at the Eden Detention Center, that’s an impressive turnout. Unfortunately, the ice cream machine at the Eden Dairy Queen was broken.

Fast forward two decades and my local Dairy Queen is pumping out ice cream cones that, according to my so-called friend, are an architectural feat of wonder created by food service workers with superhuman skills! A mixture of magic, engineering and frozen yumminess that is nearly inconceivable on a cake cone.

She swears her cone was expertly swirled and piled to a height measuring greater than her elbow to fingertip. Then to add an element of blessed miraculousness to it, she had it encased in an envelope of whisper-thin chocolate. She truly had no explanation for this creation. Which, for no other reason than utter respect, she then ate in its entirety. Because of course she did.

Meanwhile, I’ve pulled the emergency stop chord on my treadmill and am standing there dripping and staring with my mouth open in sheer amazement. I took a few polite moments to casually chit-chat a parting then bolted for my car. Unsure whether this woman was spouting incantations of sugared evil or preaching the actual truth, I’ve decided to instigate a thorough personal investigation. If you need me, you know where to find me.

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Apostrophe Police

There is a disturbance in the grammatical force! Punctuation Jedi John Richards, a 96-year-old former copy editor who has dedicated his life to the protection of the endangered apostrophe, is giving up the fight and going to the Dark Side. The announcement that he is abandoning his Apostrophe Protection Society and albeit Quixote quest to save the world from written stupidity should strike fear in the hearts of every wordsmith and language lover everywhere. NOTE: If you use words like “theyselves,” skip this whole thing as it will be meaningless.

In a society that struggles with the complexities of the proper use of a turn signal, punctuation, as a whole, has become superfluous. Cellular providers do not charge by the character, and yet most text messages lack the dignity of a single, well-placed comma or even a period. Exclamation points, however, seem to multiply like Viagra-infused field rabbits behind sentences typed in all capital letters. And this, in and of itself, may be why aliens continue to fly on past our planet.

Admittedly a peaceful protestor, Mr. Richards fought the good fight to have the apostrophe’s rightful representation in things like “Ladies’ Apparel” and “Harrod’s Department Store.” While Richards respects a company’s right to delete their own apostrophe, he is baffled at how McDonald’s can get it right but Harrods can’t. If you’re taking notes, “can’t” and “don’t” can and do have an apostrophe.

Richards was also affronted, and rightfully so, by the willy-nilly insertion of apostrophes where they did not belong, like in dates: adding an apostrophe to the 1960s only diminishes its psychedelic impact. CDs on your desk and all Fs on your report card do not require apostrophes – no ifs, ands or buts about it!

erhaps it was Texans who pushed Mr. Richards over the edge with their possessive form of a plural number of groups: y’all’s’s. Used correctly in a sentence, “All y’all’s’s boots still have mud on them.” Texas may very well be where good apostrophes go to die.

Although he did not directly reference Texans, Mr. Richards wrote on the Apostrophe Protection Society’s website before it was overwhelmed by properly punctuated protest posts, “The ignorance and laziness present in modern times have won!” And he is not wrong. Although all y’all still need to leave y’all’s muddy boots outside.  

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