AND THE TRUTH IS…

From: Meridian, ID:

Is there anything more uniquely American than washing one’s car on a sunny, September day? I suppose most people in the world don’t even have a car to wash, but of the ones that do…well, can you picture a Frenchman suds-ing up and getting after his Renault? I don’t think so. At this point I should clarify that I did not wash my car (pickup, actually) today…and the truth is, I haven’t done it for quite a long while. But I did sit in the sunshine, drinking a gin and tonic, while watching my wife, Janet, wash her car. And really…isn’t that the best of all worlds? It was a lovely afternoon!

I don’t mean to give the impression I’ve never washed my own car…I’ve done it many, many times. Not this current pickup, mind you. I’ve only had it 11 months, after all. Come to think of it, I’m not sure I ever washed the previous truck, myself. But again, you have to keep in mind I only owned that one for 8 years or so. I know for sure I personally washed the one before that many times during the first year I owned it.

(Workin' at the carwash.)

(Workin’ at the carwash.)

As a teenager, I rarely washed my own cars. (I had three, in all, before graduating from teenagerism.) That’s why teenage boys have girlfriends. Well…that, plus a couple of less important reasons. In my day, anyhow, girlfriends seemed to actually like doing it, especially if the car was one that could be considered “cool,” like a convertible of almost any make, or go-fast model, or – in certain parts of the country – a pickup. Heck-fire, I can remember seeing girls in bikinis volunteer to wash strangers’ cars. That is, If the cars – and the stranger – were high enough on the scale of “cool!” (No, that never happened to me. Dang the luck!) I can tell you, though, and based on long years of research on the subject…wives are different from girlfriends in this respect. In other words, wives are much smarter.

***

(Leonardo DaVinci.)

(Leonardo DaVinci.)

And speaking of “smarter,” Janet and I drove downtown Boise today to visit The Discovery Center, a perennial destination for parents (and grandparents) to expose their kids – and themselves — to stimulating scientific, (mostly) “hands on” exhibits. This summer (and continuing to near the end of November) a good part of the Center is devoted to a display of Leonardo DaVinci’s inventions, ideas, and paintings. We spent about an hour and a half strolling through the rooms and trying the models of many of the machines he envisioned and/or created. (Some were not “hands on.”) I’m sure that everyone who leaves that building leaves filled with awe and amazement of the quintessential “renaissance man.” It really is difficult to come up with an area of science that he wasn’t interested in, and, in fact, a subject-matter expert. Botany, engineering, human anatomy…the list goes on and on.

He lived from 1452 to 1518, dying at age 67. I think he was probably from a planet outside our solar system, here on a mission to kick-start the gathering of human scientific knowledge. He’s probably gazing down at us this very moment, planning the trip back to rescue us from the state we’ve gotten ourselves in to. Better make it quick, Leo. We need help!

***

(BSU Broncos.)

(BSU Broncos.)

Our BSU Broncos shouldn’t need DaVinci’s help in beating the University of Connecticut this coming Saturday…the bookies seem to have them favored by as much as 16 points. That’s too many, in my book, but then again I guess Connecticut is not generally considered a football powerhouse, is it? Basketball?…I guess that’s a different story.

(University of Connecticut Huskies.)

(University of Connecticut Huskies.)

The boys played pretty well last Saturday against Colorado State, but there was definitely some room for improvement. They won’t have the support of the home crowd against UConn, so I hope they keep the heads screwed on tight.

***

Have you heard the one about “Black Jack” Pershing and the Moro Rebellion in the Philippines? Chances are, you have, and I say that because it seems to make the forwarded email rounds regularly. The story has it that one of the methods Pershing used to quell the rebels was his policy of burying all dead Moro fighters (Muslims) with parts and blood of dead swine. Pigs are seen as being unclean by Muslims (and Jews for that matter), and the theory was that any follower of Allah would be barred from entering paradise if he had been contaminated by close contact with the animal. Supposedly, when word spread of this “special” burial policy, devout Muslims were hesitant to take the risk of fighting his troops.

(General "Black Jack" Pershing.)

(General “Black Jack” Pershing.)

I don’t know about you, but I thought the story had the ring of truth. And more to the point, I thought it would be a good policy to revive in our current struggle with Islamic terrorists. Many people find the “eye for an eye” philosophy to be barbaric, but others of us like its simplicity: You butcher our people; we will butcher yours and arrange to keep them out of Paradise. Such a policy, i.e., burying terrorist fighters with pig entrails, etc., would even be economical, in that one pig could, conceivably, be used to defile quite a number of enemy dead.

But, and sadly in the opinion of many, the story is almost certainly a complete falsehood…a myth perpetuated by the beating-drum network called the Internet. It may have begun after the release of a Gary Cooper movie called, “The Real Glory,” in 1939. That fictional story was set in the Philippines during the Moro Rebellion, and Cooper’s character actually instituted the policy of burying dead Moros wrapped in a pigskin. (David Niven and Broderick Crawford also appeared in the movie.)

So the whole thing only proves – once again – that much of what gets delivered to our inboxes is out and out BS. Three websites that come to mind for checking such “true stories” are:

Urban Legends;

Snopes;

Fact Check.

Of course one may then ask himself, “How do I know what these guys say is true?” Especially when political stuff is involved. I mean, perhaps they have their own axes to grind, eh? So we’re back to the old, tried and true advice: Don’t believe everything you read…and only about 10 percent of what you see.

Have a great day.

Bud

 

One Response

  1. Ron Boy says:

    I was loving every word of this and enjoying reading your blog until I read the last part. Now I don’t believe a word you said and wish I would have been with you just to see for myself. Have a great day! Ron Boy

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