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Thursday, January 25, 2018

10 Things You Only Need To Know 1/10th Of

In keeping with my survey of other years and other posts this month, I've decided to tweak and repost this old plum from 6 years ago -- 8/3/2012, when I was only a boy of 62. So here it is trotted out from its shadow, full of stuff I don't quite understand because who knows what a kid that age is thinking?

 

 

 

 

 

 10 Things You Only Need To Know 1/10th Of

I am a serious man.

This is a self-assessment typical of my generation, which dates back to the 1480s when young princes, whose existences ran counter to established interests, were locked in the Tower of London. As we grew taller, stopped wearing blond hair and velvet and progressed politically in the 1950s, children were still legally required to give three-years' written notice before running, jumping or questioning their local draft boards. This was stern, but manageable.


The guide for childhood education used in the 1950s was compiled by King Henry VII of England, a standard reference book in schools until Dr. Benjamin Spock (a Vulcan) found its pages blank. This was because the author's son, Henry VIII, destroyed all records of his father except for the word "oodle" on page 56 and some enthusiastic promotional blurbs from Richard III on the back cover. VII and III, as they familiarly called each other, fell out for some reason before they got out of their 20's, I think. It's an awkward age.

VIII and III are really Roman numerals. Here is a picture of a Roman:
[Public domain etching,  Charlotte Mary Yonge, (1823-1901) - Project Gutenberg's Young Folks' History of Rome.]


He is a soldier, a centurion --even though he looks much younger-- and part of a unit of 99 other centurions. They did roll call like this: Sound off! "Aye!(one!)", Aye aye!(two!)", "Aye aye aye! (three!)", "Aye Vee!" and so on until "Cee!" at which number you have a full compliment of centenarians.

I remember, age 30, and sympathize with Henry VII and Richard III, when friends seemed to involute socially, withdraw and cling to their own rocks like whelks. It was an unpleasant surprise. But even that failed to prepare me for what happened 30 years after that. When I retired I thought I had scads of work friends, which narrowed down immediately to mere oodles, then none. Basically, when out of sight, one is also out of mind, heart and invitation rosters.

I might as well have got locked in the Tower Of London.



Now I just fart around wondering things like, how many oodles make a scad. Most of my friends have been around most of my life, and I love them, but I sure miss the ones that wandered mindlessly away. I guess the trick is to overstock early, like maybe 50 or 100 scads, then you might get an oodle in your 60s.

Or you can get to know new kids. Cool them off. Let them call you Gramps and like you. The world doesn't have enough serious old characters called Gramps, even though old movies are lousy with them.
Here I do a Gramps dance:
[Normaclip]
(My famous 16-second gravel dance)

  But as for raising kids, just let their minds stay healthy and they'll raise themselves. Each of them is all 10 things we only need to know 1/10th of and they want to be happy. Take it from Gramps. I'm Gramps and I'm a serious man.



42 comments:

  1. This is, I take it a clip made 6 years ago. Has your dancing improved at all? --Sven

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    1. Sven, delighted to hear from you a second time in as many years. Answer is, video was made 9 years ago but still, sadly no. It is impossible to improve on perfection.

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  2. I remember this post, Geo! You must have vacuum sealed it because it's still fresh and palatable.
    I don't know much about oodles, but I do know that growing older is giving me oodles of complications.

    Your dancing skills made me laugh (which isn't an easy feat) and also made me realize that I haven't moved like that in 30 years...
    ....except for last summer when I was chased by a gang of carpenter bees.

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    1. Jon, it's at times like this I realize how long and pleasantly you've been an online companion. Carpenter bees are pretty big --I try not to alarm them. Bumble bees are about the same size, but gentler, attracted to lavender --I don't worry about them. But their DarthVaderoid counterparts can send me into all sorts of unfortunate choreography. Be careful!

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    1. Arleen, thank you. I don't know if you realize how much it means to me to be called wonderful. Well, maybe you do, because you're pretty wonderful yourself.

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  4. Don't be too serious. Gramps, and keep on dancing. (I believe I would hurt myself if I attempted to emulate it.)

    We, too, are at the age of semi-isolation, but it's more or less by choice. The big weekend gatherings we used to host no longer appeal to us, and we're perfectly happy to shoot pool all by ourselves.

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    1. Susan, I just danced back from the pumphouse and was able to do the same moves as I did in the clip --with exception of pants-hitches, which might throw me into backward flips now. I'd love to shoot pool with you and Smarticus --and Jon!

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    2. That would be some FUN pool-shooting!

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  5. Your Gramps Dance looks a lot like the Freddie.

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    1. Oh, Emma! I remember singing "You Were Made For Me" while riding my bicycle up Fruitridge Road in 1963. It was a great song and Freddie And The Dreamers were a great group. When I saw their dance on tv back then, I knew something fabulous had happened. Gentle comedy had made its way into popular music.

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  6. I'm glad you told me it was 'dancing' beause I though you were swatting bees lol. Aw that was mean. It was a great dance. Um.....just don't do it again okay? People you worked with do tend to drift away rather quickly don't they? I don't miss a single one of them.

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    1. True Delores, old coworkers have dispersed --possibly because I injured them with my dancing. I still practice, however. The dance of the universe promotes Terpsichore, and she is a favorite (and forgiving) Muse.

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  7. Loving the gravel dance. We do something similar in muddy puddles. Grandchildren are important socialisers for me, without whom I could wander off and write and never make contact, not even for dancing. My remaining friends are understanding/unobservant/relieved to sit this dance out :-) x

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    1. Dear Lisa, when I do my puddle dance Norma won't let me in past the mud room. Once I get my boots off she gets this strange look in her eyes and starts talking about gravel. I don't want more gravel. What is it people have against mud?

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  8. I'm not sure what it all means, but I enjoyed reading it a couple of times and it lurched me out of a kind of doldrum. We did "grow up" and were reared by a different tribe than presently, but today seems entirely more difficult.
    What I enjoyed most however is seeing you bust a move in your Gramps dance.
    That is an impressive bit of cutting loose and kicking up of the heels. The crowning moment is that lovely off screen stage direction-"that's enough!" Joyful. Thanks.

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    1. Yes, that is Norma's quiet voice telling me when to stop gravel dancing --which is an high art of arythmic LURCH. There is a bewilderment and joy in that dance that has always appealed to me. Glad you enjoyed!

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  9. I remember in the 80's I was driving one of the girls to school, probably high or middle school, no idea which one, when some song came on, probably a Rolling Stones, and I was driving, singing along and tapping the steering wheel. Probably moving in my seat, no doubt. I saw the girl was looking at me in a way that indicated if she could have been beamed out, she'd be gone.
    It's funny, sortof, looking at what happens over the decades. I remember the saturday nights at the Bend Armory, when Paul Revere and the Raiders were playing....they did a better version of "Louie, Louie" than anyone, btw. that was 53 years ago.....

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    1. Excellent and typical kid reaction to dad chiming into that song. I remember The Kingsmen version, which was also quite fun, in which I 1st made out the line "me see Jamaica, a moon above!" It's kind of like when I was 7 years old and my mother demonstrated "The Turkey Trot" to us kids. We all ran out the back door screaming.

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    2. Geo, you are such a brave soul. I used to dance every weekend at bars when I was still quite young. It was cheaper than going to the gym. Plus tons more fun. But I am glad nobody ever filmed me.

      Plus even if somebody had - I'm not so sure I'd be brave enough to post it on the internet for all the world to see. I really am a recluse at heart. You have a natural talent for embracing the world with open arms. I very much admire you for that.

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    3. Dylan, thank you, but the only socially acceptable dance I ever learned was the Box Step --which I performed with only 3 partners, my wife, my new daughter-in-law and her mother at my son's wedding 13 years ago, consecutively, not all at once. Another son tried to teach me contemporary dances and just finally had to accept my limits.

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    4. P.S. Dylan, as per your post of 1/4 to 3 this morning (Midler),"It's the heart afraid of breaking that never takes the chance. It's the dream afraid of waking that never learns to dance." A song that has always gently comforted me, an I hope does the same for you.

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  10. Steady, old son! Could do yourself an injury with all that cavorting. Entertaining, all the same.

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    1. Tom, my pursuit of the perfect cavort must go on. The world waits for a preventative tarantella.

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  11. I remember the last time I danced. It was at the BRD's 50th birthday party and I was busting a move in her living room when I lost my balance and fell to the floor. Mortified, I gave up dancing forever.

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    1. Dear Bruce, the trick is to hit the floor and spin around while thrashing rhythmically. Then people think you meant to do that --and may follow suit. This dignity-save was discovered by break-dancers and made into an art.

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    2. See the dance/party scene of the toga party in 'Animal House' with Belushi writhing on the floor.....

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  12. I love it! (both the dance and Norma's "you can stop now") You got those knees pretty high!

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    1. O-Jenny, when it comes to what I do, Norma holds the remote. I've got enough bionic bits in me to qualify as Borg --but I don't go to their luncheons.

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  13. "You can stop now." LOL I'll bet secretly Norma loves that you gravel dance! Out of sight, out of mind has proven to be largely true in my world, too. I'm definitely guilty of not reaching out. I seem to enjoy my company more and more. Have a good one, my friend!

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    1. As for friend, I definitely feel I've got a good one in you, Louise. True, I get calls occasionally from old friends --but only 1 with whom I worked. Norma has friends who come by and collect her, then they get their hair done. My hair does what it wants.

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  14. Wonderful, Geo., just wonderful!
    When I was at the Book Fair in Frankfurt last year, 2017, I saw a lot of books wih titles as "100 Things/Places/Films etc -
    I thought they could reduce those book even more than your suggested ratio.
    As for kids: they need Gramps and Gramms, a very good thing for both sides.
    I liked your Short History lesson very much, thank you!

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    1. Thank you, dear Brigitta! You always encourage me. And yes, I agree Gramms and Gramps are very important --and should be paid more.

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  15. Watching you dance is like looking in a mirror. It reminds me why I just play in the band now. Maybe the Gramps thing would work for me as I try and find a place in the social order that I can more easily blend.

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    1. Thanks, Jono. I don't play in a band, but otherwise you've interpreted my dance perfectly.

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  16. Hello there, I think your blog could possibly be having browser compatibility problems.
    Whenever I look at your site in Safari, it
    looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping
    issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!
    Apart from that, wonderful blog!

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    1. Thanks for the alert. I've detected no problems with I.E., but if others have, I hope they tell me.

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  17. I remember this one! More specifically, I remember the dance.

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    1. Aw thanks, Squid. It's good to know a dance can fix an idea in memory. Norma was experimenting with a new camera that day.

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  18. You are seriously in excellent physical condition. Dance on.

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    1. The dance has thematized more artistic restraint lately, but continues. My physical condition complies.

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