Friday, September 9, 2011

Hideous Hags Have Feelings, Too

Thought for the day:  The moon is always full, even if you only see a sliver.

I love Delaware. I know, it's a little bitty state, and it's the only one in the country without any National Park System sites. I don't care. I love it. While growing up in Maryland, summer vacation meant going to Delaware . . . with a LOT of extended family. Some years, we'd rent a multitude of little homes, and other years . . . most years . . . we camped. So thoughts of Delaware bring back memories of fishing, crabbing, clamming, playing guitars and singing around a campfire, rainy days spent playing Pinochle in a tent with cards so sticky, we doused them with Colgate tooth powder, (they were still thick and heavy, but they were minty fresh!) getting sunburned on the beach, and swamped in the ocean. We caught all kinds of fish, including a lot of blowfish. You know, those ugly-looking things that puff up like balloons when you take them out of the water? Ate 'em, too. Their skin is poisonous, but when you clean them, you can pull out one perfect little white chunk of meat. Delicious eating. (Yeah ... tastes like chicken.) One of my favorite stories from those days is about the time my father and Uncle Curt went off fishing for the day, and returned with some of the most beautiful trophy-sized flounder you ever saw. Everybody oohed and aahed, and pulled out their Brownies to take pictures of  the conquering heroes, while they beamed ear to ear,  holding up their bountiful catch. The truth didn't come out for probably thirty years. Turns out they didn't do much fishing that day, after all. Mostly, they cooled their heels in a little bar by the wharf. The fish? Bought 'em fresh off one of the boats.

Okay, enough reminiscing. How about some pictures?

The Delaware beach, where my cousin Phyllis and I laughed ourselves silly at the surfer dudes, the teenagers who strutted their stuff and flexed their muscles on the beach before going into the ocean to catch some of those bitching six-inch waves. Okay, so I exaggerate. Some of the waves were two or three footers. Maybe. (Okay, admittedly, my cousins and I weren't exactly high on the cool-o-meter, either, what with the way we were trying to stand up and surf on our inflated mats.)

Fort Delaware, a Civil War prison

Delaware Grand Opera House, built in 1871

Delaware Memorial Bridge

Among other things, the Delaware Agricultural Museum, in Dover, demonstrates what it was like living on a farm in the 1800s. One of the neatest thing there, though, is one of the original log cabins built by Finnish settlers in the 1600s.

Now, how cool is this? The Delaware History Center, in Wilmington, is actually housed in a renovated art deco Woolworth five-and-ten-cent store.

When we dissed  discussed Arkansas, I didn't point out the word Arkansas printed on their state flag. Frankly, it reminded me too much of people with big letters spelling FORD or CHEVY on the back window of their vehicles. (Like, they have to be reminded?) But notice the date written on Delaware's state flag. That's the date they ratified the U.S. Constitution ... the first state to do so. They're pretty proud of that. But let's take a look at their laws. Like every other state, I'll bet we find a few they wouldn't be too proud to acknowledge.

  • It's illegal to fly over any body of water unless one is carrying sufficient supplies of food and drink.
  • It's against the law for small boys to throw stones at any time, at any place. (definitely gives girls the upper hand)
  • Showing R-rated movies at drive-in theaters is a no-no. (I remember a time when that was just about the only place they DID show them.)
  • Ugly men can't go into the city until after dark. 
  • Ugly women must call out, "Hideous hag coming" before entering a building where men may be.
  • In Fenwick Island, you can't sleep, lie, loiter, or pretend to sleep on any part of the public beach. (Kinda rules out sunbathing, doesn't it?) 
  • In Lewes, it's taboo to wear pants that are "firm fitting" around the waist. (Guess they don't have any all-you-can-eat buffets there.)
  • Also in Lewes, getting married on a dare is grounds for an annulment.
  • In Rehoboth Beach, one is NOT allowed to whisper in church. (But you can yell???)
  • AND it's illegal to pretend to sleep on a bench on the boardwalk. (You can do it for REAL; just no pretense allowed.)
  • AND no females over the age of five may go topless.
  • And for the last, and my personal favorite Rehoboth Beach law, no sand may be taken from the beach. The law states all sand must be removed from body, shoes, and clothing before leaving the beach. (I must've broken that law a hundred times!)
Okay, boys and girls, it's the moment you've all been waiting for. It's time for (ta-DA!)

The Weirdest News Stories of the Week

*** It's a pretty good sign you've had one too many when you find yourself entangled in the branches of a neighbor's tree with three of your legs suspended above the ground. Three? Um, yeah. This particular overimbiber happens to be a moose. He'd already polished off all the fermented apples that were lying on the ground, but I guess he must've wanted another one for the road. And there they were, hanging from the tree . . . and I'm sure it seemed like a good idea to him at the time. Firefighters bent the tree down, the tipsy moose slid off to the ground into a drunken heap, struggled to his feet, and staggered away.( Probably in search of another stash of fermented fruit.) An inebriated moose is a common sight for Swedish residents, but this was the first time they encountered Bullwinkle hanging from a tree.

*** Some would-be robbers just don't get any respect. Of course, the fact that he was dressed as Gumby didn't help. When he entered the California convenience store and announced his intentions to rob the place, the workers had the audacity to laugh at him. I guess they didn't find his big green costume very scary, huh? He demanded cash from the cashier, who all but shooed him away. Incensed, the hapless robber insisted he had a gun, and tried to dig it from his pocket. But, um, he had these big green hands, ya know, so that didn't work out so well. All he managed to fish from his pocket was some change, which he dropped onto the floor. He ended up fleeing. Guess he learned crime doesn't pay. Actually cost him twenty-six cents, which the clerk pocketed. He allegedly fled in a van. (What, no Pokey?) Well, if the police catch him, I'm afraid the world's least scary robber ever will be cooling his heels IN the pokey.

*** UPDATE: Alas, Yvonne's "Born to Be Wild" days of running free are over. For those new to this blog, Yvonne the cow escaped from a German farm in May and became a media darling there, as she managed to elude all manner of attempts to recapture her. For those who've been following this story with me, one interesting tidbit to add. Yvonne was originally from Austria, but had been sent to that Bavarian farm to be fattened up for slaughter. Ah, HA! Adds a whole new perspective to her escape, doesn't it? Anyway, as I told you last week, an animal sanctuary bought her, sight unseen, from the Bavarian farm, and was leading the campaign to recapture her. Well, I guess she got tired of life on the lam, because she finally turned herself in. She simply joined four other cows that were grazing in a pasture. The farmer who alerted the authorities received a hefty reward, the folks from the sanctuary came and got her, and Yvonne, no longer a fugitive, is now living a life of leisure at the sanctuary. All's well that ends well.

*** One final story. Bruce Irons, a 31-year-old professional surfer (who tackles waves MUCH larger than six inches) lit up the world with a dazzling display recently, when he attached a flare to his board for an illuminating early-morning  ride off the coast of Sumatra. You've gotta see it to believe it.

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other. Semper gumby. (Ever flexible.)


  1. Oh, Delaware! You make a good punch. (Do they even still make Delaware Punch? It used to be my favorite drink when I was a kid, mainly because it wasn't carbonated.)

    And Sweden! Home of my ancestors...and drunken moose. Makes me proud of my heritage.

  2. Hi-ya, Linda. I dunno. To tell the truth, I never heard of Delaware punch before. Too bad it wasn't a drunken camel ... then, I would've dedicated the story to you!

  3. People were cruel back in the day weren't they? Ooops...I forgot....."hideous hag commenting"...sorry about that. OMG that Gumby robber is hilarious. What a fool. Imagine being "stuck up" by Gumby.
    I'm so glad Yvonne has landed safely.

  4. I want to move to Delaware. I keep telling my mother that, she wants to know why, I say, it's as small as Rhode Island. I won't get lost.

    Love the Uncle Curt fishing story. My father and Uncle Richard did that too.

    The poor moose. And Yay for Yvonne! Maybe they should get together.

  5. My husband grew up in Delaware. He always talks about going to the shore. I grew up in California, and we called it the "beach."

  6. Hi, Delores. Hideous hag responding! What I found kinda funny was the one about ugly men not going into town until after dark. I mean, does ANY man ever consider himself ugly? They're usually so much more secure about their looks than women. Even the most beautiful woman is usually insecure about her appearance. And you're right about Gumby. I would've laughed at him, too.

    Hi, Anne. I have a feeling a lot of men have flaunted market-bought fish as their own personal "catch of the day." Doesn't make it any less funny, though.

    Hi, Connie. Oh, really? I knew they called "the shore" in New Jersey, but I didn't remember that about Delaware. (Whatever ya call it, I LOVE it!)

  7. Delaware is a neighboring state and I also camped out there. It was one of the 2 times in my life that I experienced that. We had a great time, clamming, crabbing, sitting around the old campfire and being eaten alive by chiggers. Those bugs not only bite but also lay eggs in your skin. It took us two weeks to recover. Ah, memories.

    Knowing me, I probably whispered in church also. Glad I was not arrested. I was probably moaning about he state of my bug infested legs and feet.

  8. Hi, Starting Over. Sounds like my kinda fun, except for the chiggers. We never had a problem with them, thank goodness. Just the big black biting flies on the beach. No problem ... if they got too annoying, we got into the water. Take care.

  9. The Delaware laws gave me a big laugh. My friend has a condo in Fenwick Island. I'll warn her about sleeping on the beach. Luckily, she's a lovely woman, so no need for her to holler "Hideous hag" when entering any building.

    And Gumby the Thief -- bwa-ha-ha-ha! I'd love to see the surveillance video!

  10. What an amusing post! The "hideous hag" and the Gumby thing especially! I've been to Rehoboth Beach and I loved it. I'll have to keep in mind all those rules, though. ;)

  11. Since I normally pretend to be awake when I'm asleep in public places, I might just be okay! This was a hoot!

  12. I've never been to Delaware. Seems I am missing something pretty great. Gumby, the moose, and the flares all caused a smile too!

  13. Hi, Dianne. The picture I used actually came from the surveillance camera, and you can probably find more of the same if you do a search.

    Hi, Shelley. It's been too many years since I've been to Rehoboth, but I loved it, too.

    Hi, Julie. Good deal. I think that's a talent a lot of us acquire.

    Hi, Liza. Glad to give you a smile.

    Thank y'all for stopping by. I really appreciate it.

  14. Great post! I lived in Ocean City for 20 years and still own a place there. Went to the Delaware beaches, many times, and am especially fond of Bethany Beach. And I have slept on the beach in Fenwick Island! lol

  15. Hey, I probably got a seed of melanoma started right there on Rehoboth Beach. Lordy, we Northern Virginia girls used to lobster out up there. Now that I live in Oregon, what I noticed most about Delaware my last trip was the little shrimpy trees. Adorable.

  16. Delaware sounds fabulous, apart from the surf!

  17. Hi, Marguerite. How about that? Bethany Beach is where we did most of our camping. Small world.

    Hi, Murr. Yeah, I guess by Oregon standards, the trees are kinda small in Delaware. (Hey! Those big trees wouldn't FIT in a state that small!) I got sunburned there... the whole blister, peel, and repeat routine ... more times than I'd care to count.

    Hi, Al. You're right. Not exactly a surfer's paradise.