It’s My Birthday And I’ll Cry If I Want To #socs

But I don’t want to. It’s my birthday! And Mary and I are going out to lunch, and I get free pie!

We have an O’Charley’s near us, and they were bought out a few years ago by the same company that owns Baker’s Square, so the pie is from Baker’s Square, which bills itself as having “The Best Pie In America.”

Remember the movie Pee Wee’s Big Adventure? Toward the beginning there’s this exchange between Pee Wee and his archnemesis, Francis:

Francis: Today’s my birthday and my father says I can have anything I want.
Pee-wee: Good for you and your father.
Francis: So guess what I want.
Pee-wee: A new brain?

Francis was played by Mark Holton, who’s no relation but he looks like he might be one. You see Mark from time to time; he’s a pretty busy actor. Most notably, he played John Wayne Gacy, a notorious serial killer from the Chicago area.

Anyway, today’s March 25, which in the Catholic Church is The Feast of The Annunciation of the Lord. The feast commemorates the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary to announce that she has found favor with God, who wants her to have his baby. And Mary says “okay!” and nine months later gives birth to Baby Jesus. Okay, that’s a silly (and borderline sacrilegious) telling of the story. The more accurate telling is in the Gospel of St. Luke, chapter 1, verses 26-38. The Angelus, a prayer that tells the story, is based on that Gospel reading. When you hear church bells ring from a Catholic church at 6 AM, noon, 6 PM, and 9 PM, those are the bells that prompt Catholics to say the Angelus. It’s three sets of three bell tolls, followed by nine bell tolls. So, now that you know that, I can tell this Hal Roach joke:

A priest is hearing a man’s confession, and at the end he assigns him the penance of saying three Our Fathers. “I don’t know the Our Father,” the man says. “All right, say three Hail Marys.” The man says “I don’t know the Hail Mary, either.” The priest, exasperated, says, “well, what prayer do you know?” “The Angelus.” “Well then, say the Angelus.” “BONG, BONG, BONG!”

I learned recently that the Church Fathers, when setting dates for various celebrations, were more interested in determining the date of the Annunciation than they were in the date of Christmas. So, the Annunciation isn’t on March 25 because Christmas is on December 25, it’s the other way around.

Anyone born from March 22 through April 22 has a better than average chance of having their birthday fall during Holy Week. I was born on Palm Sunday 1956, Mary was born on Holy Saturday the next year, and Mom was born on Holy Saturday in 1932. Mom’s birthday was on Easter at least twice that I can remember, Mary’s birthday was on Easter at least once, but mine has never been on Easter in my lifetime. In fact, it’s only been after Easter once during my life that I can recall.

Holy Saturday 1932 was March 26, so Mom’s birthday was the day after mine. We used to celebrate them together. In 1994, she was turning 62 and I was turning 38, which meant we were celebrating our joint 100th birthday. Mary and I went to Chicago to celebrate with her. Mom would be 85 tomorrow. Happy birthday, Mom.

Anyway, Mary and I are going to lunch before we go to Mass. They’ll be celebrating the Mass of the Fourth Sunday of Lent, which as you might recall is Laetare Sunday, one of the two days the priest wears pink vestments. I have my pink shirt ready…


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from Zenith, where the quality goes in before the name goes on.

“Man” Songs #socs

I woke up this morning with songs with “man” in the title going through my head. I took it as a sign that was what I was supposed to do for Stream of Consciousness Saturday. You might have seen a preview of this earlier; I wasn’t quite awake when I started this one, and haven’t quite figured out WordPress for the Kindle Fire.

Anyway, here are five of them, though I thought of lots more. See what you can come up with and leave me a comment. At some point, I’ll do another post with your selections.

The Spencer Davis Group, “I’m A Man” This is the original, with Stevie Winwood in his pre-Traffic days. In 1967, it reached #10 in the US and #9 in the UK.

Neil Diamond, “Solitary Man” From April 1966, it was Neil’s first song to chart, although it only made it to #55. A real good friend of mine loved this song, and I kind of like it myself.

Elton John, “Madman Across The Water” Title track from his 1971 album. This featured Rick Wakeman in his pre-Yes days on organ.

John Parr, “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)” This was a 1985 Brat Pack film, but the song, written by Parr and producer David Foster, wrote this for Rick Hansen during his “Man In Motion” tour to raise awareness of spinal injuries. The song was better than the movie, reaching #1 on the Hot 100 in 1985.

The Beatles, “I Wanna Be Your Man” From With The Beatles (1963). It’s live and Ringo is a little hard to hear over the screaming, but you’ll get the idea.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. And now a word from Skin Bracer After Shave (sing along!) by Mennen!

Hey, Short Timer! #socs

More appropriate for November, I suppose. I just get a kick out of this.

I complain a lot about the semiannual adjustment of the clocks, but what can you do, aside from demand that the laws be changed to do away with it?

Daylight Saving Time starts at 2 AM tomorrow morning, when it magically becomes 3 AM. Now, that’s 2 AM local time, which means after we in Atlanta have set our clocks ahead one hour, we’ll be two hours ahead of Chicago, three hours ahead of Denver, and four hours ahead of Los Angeles. Since Arizona (except the Native American reservations) doesn’t observe Daylight Saving Time, we’ll stay four hours ahead of them until November, when we do the whole thing in reverse.

Anyway, for most of us, tomorrow is a short day (23 hours), made up for by a long day (25 hours) in November. For a nonexistent entity, time sure is a pain in the ass.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now, here’s Sterling Holloway for Contac cold capsules.

Whaddaya Do When There’s Nuttin’ Ta Do? #socs

Nowadays, kids have cable TV, iPads, and smartphones to keep themselves entertained when they’re bored. Know what we had when we were kids?

The Kenner Give-A-Show Projector!

You know what it was? It was a cheap slide projector with slides mounted on cardboard strips. They’d have the dialogue written on the slides, and you had to read it, out loud if there were a bunch of you watching. The thing had terrible focus, so you had to be really close to the wall to see anything, so the picture wasn’t that big. And even if you got it to focus, it wasn’t that clear. You can see in the ad that old Fred Flintstone (Winston cigarette salesman) is looking a little fuzzy.

I empathize with the kid out in the rain. “Go outside!” “But Mom! It’s raining!” “Well, put on your raincoat, then!”

Here’s an example of a Give-A-Show cartoon, featuring Josie & The Pussycats…

“Man, this is boring.” “Yeah, let’s go out and throw rocks at each other.”

The Give-A-Show Projector was on about the same technical level as the GAF Viewmaster.

Of course you knew that Henry Fonda was the adult, but did you recognize Jodie Foster?

It didn’t take much to entertain us back then.

I had a great childhood, but didn’t realize it at the time.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. And now a word from Commonwealth Edison: You’re living much better electrically!

How Now, Brown Cow? #socs

How to start this? I know…

I’ve told this joke here before:

Harry Potter: Voldemort’s got no nose!
Ron Weasley: How does he smell?
Harry Potter: Awful!
(Ron and Harry burst into laughter while Hermione stand with hands on hips, rolling her eyes)

I can’t claim credit for that joke; I stole it from Monty Python’s Flying Circus and changed it a little.

Created on Giphy from a Monty Python video.

A lot of jokes start with the word “how,” especially the light bulb jokes. I found a whole site dedicated to them. Here are some favorites:

  • How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
    Programmers don’t change light bulbs. That’s a hardware problem.
  • How many (insert ethnic group here) does it take a change a light bulb?
    Five. One to hold it and four to turn the ladder around and around.
  • How many science fiction writers does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Two. One to screw in the light bulb, and one to say, “In 1876, Jules Verne had the first intimations that electrostatic power was a viable energy alternative. Hitherto, the only sources …”
  • How many Scotsmen does it take to change a light bulb?
    Scotsmen don’t change light bulbs. It’s cheaper to sit in the dark.
  • How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?

By now, I’m sure you are trying to figure out how I decided to go with this. Simple: I saw the prompt, took the first thing that popped into my head, and ran with it. I do that every week. Surprised? If so, what surprises you most, that I do that every week, or that this is the stuff I came up with when the prompt was “how”?


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from Schlitz Malt Liquor; no one does it like The Bull!