Friday, March 9, 2012

Woolly Mammoths, Bullies, and Bull Testicles

Thought for the day:  Did you hear what happened in Nebraska the other day? The wind stopped blowing, and everybody fell over.

Yeah, Nebraska is pretty darned flat, so I reckon the wind whips around pretty good there. So do tornadoes. Matter of fact, I read somewhere that when the tornado sirens go off in Nebraska, the locals simply climb up on their roofs to get a better view.

But there's a whole lot more to the state than that. I mean, a state with such diverse claims to fame as the origins of Kool Aid, Arbor Day, the Reuben sandwich, and strobe lights obviously has some more surprises up its sleeve. How about the National Liars' Hall of Fame? Would you believe the biggest and best live chicken show in the world? A horse race track called Aksarben? (Nebraska spelled backwards.) If you look at a map of Nebraska, maybe you'll be as surprised as I was to see that most of the counties are square or rectangular in shape. (No gerrymandering there!) Okay, if none of those things surprised you, how about this? South Bend holds an annual Testicle Festival. There, now, that got your attention, didn't it? The city claims to serve more testicles than anyplace else in the world. That's nothing to sneeze at. Which reminds me ... the state flower is goldenrod.

Okay, let's take a look at some pictures, shall we?

With all that wind, it should come as no surprise that you'll see a bunch of windmills in the state. But you'll see the BIGGEST bunch of them at Second Wind Ranch, near Comstock. (Dontcha love that ranch's name?) With 125 water-pumping windmills, this is believed to be the world's largest grouping of wind mills in a single location.

Bet you've heard of Father Flanagan's Boys Town. Now you can say you've seen a picture of it, too.

Ever hear of a shoe fence before? Evidently, when a fence post is put up, people sometimes put something ... anything ... on top of it to protect it from the elements until a more permanent sealant can be applied. Makes sense. Presumably, that may be the reason the first shoe was jammed onto one of these fence posts. Then, it kinda took on a life of its own. Now, miles and miles and miles of fencing alongside Highway 26 between Northport and Ogallala is adorned with upside down shoes and boots.

Lied Jungle, part of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, is North America's largest indoor rain forest, filling a building 80 feet tall, and covering an acre and a half of greenery, water, and wildlife.

The Great Platte River Archway Monument, named one of the country's top ten museums for kids by the Miami Herald, contains displays and hands-on activities showing the lifestyles and hardships of the American pioneers. And it arches right across the highway.

A Hebron, Nebraska park boasts the world's largest porch swing. It's supposed to seat twenty-five adults, which is kinda cool, but ya know,  it's hard enough to put two people on a swing who like to move with the same rhythm ...

Willa Cather's house

How about THIS? Chevyland USA, located in Elm Creek, contains more than 110 different Chevrolets of all vintages, either restored or in original condition.

Talking about cars, now THIS is just too cool. This is Carhenge, a unique place that uses thirty-eight automobiles, spray-painted gray, to replicate Stonehenge.

A closer look. (See? I wasn't kidding!)

The Strategic Air Command Museum, located near Ashland, preserves and displays historic aircraft, missiles, and space vehicles.

One of the many planes inside the SAC Museum is this SR-71 A Blackbird.

The University of Nebraska's Morrill Hall, AKA Elephant Hall, contains the world's largest collection of woolly mammoth fossils. Not something you'd associate with Nebraska? Me, neither. But in fact, mammoth fossils have been found in almost every one of Nebraska's counties, and the largest mammoth fossil in the world was discovered in Lincoln, home of the university.

Now, THIS, I'll bet you associated with Nebraska. Good ol' Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. The show has its origins near his ranch in North Platte.

     Care to take a tour of the Buffalo Bull Cody Museum? The diarama is amazing:

Okay, our virtual tour is over. Now, it's time to take a look-see at some of the old forgotten laws still languishing on the books in the fine state of Nebraska.

  • Persons with gonorrhea may not marry.
  • It's illegal to fly a plane while drunk. (Perfectly acceptable for the passengers to get plastered, though.)
  • If a child burps during church, his parents may be arrested. (Better feed the baby in the hallway.)
  • It's against the law to go whale fishing. (Didn't realize that was even an option.)
  • It's illegal for a mother to give her daughter a permanent without a state license. (Now, I'll go along with this one ... the permanents my mother gave me when I was a girl shoulda been against the law!)
  • In Blue Hill, women wearing a hat that would scare a timid person cannot be seen eating onions in public.(So take the hat OFF while eating the onion!)
  • In Hastings, the owner of every hotel is required to provide each guest with a clean and pressed nightshirt. No hotel guests, even if they're married, may sleep together in the nude, and may not have sex unless wearing one of those clean white nightshirts. (Holy mackerel!)
  • In Lehigh, it's against the law to sell doughnut holes.
  • In Omaha, it's illegal to sneeze or burp during a church service. (Well, crud. Think they have a problem with farts?)
  • And men are forbidden from running around with a shaved chest. (Walk.)
  • In Waterloo, it's against the law for barbers to eat onions between the hours of 7AM and 7PM. (AGAIN with the onions! They eat testicles, but they've got a problem with ONIONS?)

Okay, boys and girls, it's that time again. Time for (ta-DA!)

The Weirdest News Stories of the Week

***  McDonald's merits a mention in this week's weirdness, but it isn't because of anything the food chain giant did this time. It's because of something a woman from Nebraska did with a leftover morsel of Mickey D's food, and a three-year-old morsel, at that. When her children didn't eat all their McNuggets three years ago, she noticed that one of the leftover pieces looked like George Washington. So, she kept it. (At least she kept it in her freezer.) Recently, to support a fund-raising effort for a church camp, she and her husband decided to list McWashington on e-bay. Sold it, too. For the whopping sum of $8100. Makes me wonder how much money my daughters-in-law have missed out on by throwing away the kiddies' scraps.

***  The ill effects of bullying have been getting more attention in the media recently. But this case of bullying is a little out of the ordinary, because it's happening to a 69-year-old woman in Michigan ... and she's being bullied by a bird. A BIG bird. No, not THAT "Big Bird." It's a 25-pound turkey who lives in the woods beside her property. That nasty critter struts around her yard as if he owned the place, and attacks her whenever she dares to venture outside. It's gotten so bad, the poor woman has to sneak out of her house in the wee hours of the morning to escape Big Tom's wrath. Seems to me, she needs to show that beast who rules the roost around there. After all, November ain't the only month for turkey dinners.

***  Indian car designer Sudjakar Yodav has a reputation for unusual designs, but his recent creations are simply "auto" this world. In honor of International Women's Day, (March 8 ... who KNEW?) he's come up with vehicles shaped like a stiletto heel, a tube of lipstick, and a makeup compact. Weird, huh? (I mean, for Heaven's sake, WHO uses a compact anymore?)

***  International Women's Day, huh? What do you think of this label British journalist Emma Barnett found in her boyfriend's britches? In case you're having difficulty reading it, after the usual washing instructions, it says, "OR GIVE IT TO YOUR WOMAN   IT'S HER JOB."

                                     Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


  1. "In Blue Hill, women wearing a hat that would scare a timid person cannot be seen eating onions in public". That's the single most random and stupid law I've ever seen. Great post!

  2. I haven't purchased food at McDonalds in years (I only get their iced coffees when I'm on the road on the East Coast), but now, I'm reconsidering. I could use some additional income... $8100??? That is inspirational!

  3. Fascinating information! There's such a surplus of wind here in Texas that we had to send some to Nebraska. No testicle festivals here (none that I know of, anyway)but there is an Armadillo Bazaar in Austin.

  4. The McNugget story is unbelievable! You could've easily spread out these fun-filled facts to get you almost halfway through A to Z! I'm already practicing writing shorter posts. See you at the "Testicle Festival," and so much for my "T" post! Great line about the onions! Julie

  5. I think the Michigan lady should fatten-up the turkey. He'd probably be more friendly too... until his time came.

  6. First thingy: Can there be such thing as "wildlife" in a zoo?
    Second thingy: Who is Willa Cather?
    Third thingy: Does the SAC museum have a giant bronze statue of Gen. Curtis "Old Iron Pants" LeMay in front? (Geo. Wallace's running mate)
    Fourth thingy: Where can I get some of those pants?

  7. I'm with Austan:
    "Women wearing a hat that would scare a timid person cannot be seen eating onions in public."

    What the ...?

    I KNOW there must be the story of a very interesting woman behind this law.

    One of these days, you're going to inspire a whole novel based around one of these laws!

  8. It seems lawmakers in Nebraska have problems with onions and gas. Of course, one can usually lead to the other.

  9. $8000 for a chicken nugget? I have to start looking closer at what i'm eating...

  10. A baby burping in church...must have been the start of the nursery...Great tour thanks!

  11. They've done a lot with a flat piece of land. Wow. Um, what kind of testicles are in abundance? Um...

    And now I know where to go if I need shoes or boots... as long as I'm not fussy and don't care about a matching pair, I'll be set!

    Any profession that gets right in your face, makes sense to enforce a 'no onion eating' policy with jail time for offenders. I'll go with that one. ;)

    P.S. A whole gallon of milk! LOL! The cheeky little blighters.

  12. Good what stretch of the imagination does that chicken nugget look like anything other than what it is.
    I think I'm going to put on a clean white nightshirt and a hideous hat and go eat an onion in public. Maybe I'll find an onion that looks like Stephen Harper.

  13. Okay, I knew NOTHING about Nebraska...but now I do. This was fun, as usual! You always give me a good laugh when you look at the laws!

  14. I agree with you about the perm law. I have photographic evidence of me, age 6, sporting a head of wacky curls inflicting on me by my own mother. Ugh.

  15. Laura- Hmmm, random + stupid = great. Cool! (I should be able to keep you happy for a long time!)

    Katie- I dunno about inspirational. More like insane. It's unbelievable the things some people will buy! (I kinda hope the buyer has a dog, ya know, a dog who reeeeeally likes to eat chicken???)

    Jon- I'd love an armadillo bazaar. Since I've never lived in an area where those critters live, I'm totally fascinated by them. My husband says they're nothing more than rats on the half shell, but I love the prehistoric look of them.

    Julie- My Friday posts are always long enough to fill two or three posts, but I'm working on writing short posts for the A-Z challenge. (Talk about a CHALLENGE!)

    Cro- She could fatten him up, but I still think she should show him who's boos. If she runs away screeching every time he comes after her, that's only going to reinforce the behavior. Maybe she needs to run after HIM for a change!

    Mr. C- I'll answer your thingies, but I can't help but wonder if you'll ever come back to read 'em. Nonetheless, #1- you've got a good point about "wildlife" in a zoo, but I can tell you for sure, I wouldn't pet the inmates. They may not be IN the wild anymore, but they still ARE wild. #2- She was a Pulitzer-prize winning novelist. #3- I don't think there's a statue, especially in bronze. (Shouldn't it be in IRON?) Probably a blown-up picture or two of him inside, though. By the way, LeMay was an amateur radio operator, and actually did a lot of operating while he was in the air. #4- Guess you'll have to fabricate them, dude. (But wait until they cool down before you put 'em on.)

    Dianne- Yeah, it really gets the imagination going considering what might have inspired some of these laws. (That must've been SOME hat! But the onions ...???)

    Arleen- HA! So true.

    Jennifer- Yeah, you and me both. Geez, there's no telling how many famous historical figures we may have already destroyed in the name of lunch.

    Debbie- Hi. Nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by, and I'm glad you enjoyed the tour. Welcome aboard, dear lady.

    Carrie- How about garlic? Salami? Why just pick on a poor little ol' onion? Oh, and about the milk, that son is almost 40 now, and he can barely stomach the thought of drinking it. Guess he OD'd on it that day. (Serves him right!)

    Delores- Well, if you have a really good imagination ... and squint a little ... you can almost see GW in profile, facing to the right. Kinda, sorta.

    Liza- Glad you liked it. We're all learning about the states together.

    Linda- Ugh, those permanents! Chemically-burned dried-out hair, frizzied to the max. What a horrible thing to do to a child who was perfectly happy with straight hair.

  16. Love the boot fence and the amazing waterfall.
    The pants label is hilarious too!
    Another mega post. Wow!

  17. Ha ha, got your note and came back for more. BTW, LeMay was the inspiration for the character Gen. Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove. As to the pants, forget it, wouldn't put it past you wimmins to put something in there hazardous to Mr. Happy's health.

  18. Mr. C- Glad you came back for the answers. Cool. I'm not surprised about LeMay being the inspiration behind that character. He was so militant, he made Patton look like a dove.

  19. Great stuff as always, Susan!

    And I gotta believe that laundry tag is totally photo-shopped. If real, I know a few women (including my lovely wife) who, if given that tag, would respond in such a way that they'd have a couple of new freshly cut-off mementos to take to that festival in Nebraska, and I wouldn't want to do any horseback riding for a while...

    And I damn well couldn't blame them, lol!

  20. I wish we'd had the no perm law in Kansas when I was growing up. Our mother gave us the most awful frizzy home perms. Nebraska is more interesting than I thought it would be, but I've been there and don't care to go back, thank you very much.


  21. "I read somewhere that when the tornado sirens go off in Nebraska, the locals simply climb up on their roofs to get a better view."

    You got that right. I lived in western Nebraska for a dozen years. I lost two roofs to storms within three years. Lots of tornados there, though I generally hid in the basement when they got close.

  22. This post has everything! Weird news, strange laws, and a cornucopia of Cornhuskery. I wonder, is it legal to go fish whaling in Nebraska?

  23. Madeleine- Glad you liked it. I thought that rain forest looked pretty neat, too. An indoor waterfall! How cool is that?

    Chris- I don't know if that tag was photo-shopped or not, but it went pretty viral on twitter, and there's a lot of hype about it all over the internet now. Maybe the clothing store did it as a joke? Your wife sounds like my kinda lady.

    Janie- I know exactly what you mean with those nasty home permanents. And boy! You sure have been to a lot of places!

    L.G.- I'm with you. When the tornado siren starts wailing around here, the LAST place I'd ever think about going is on the roof!

    G. Thomas- Might be legal, but you'd have to FIND 'em first!

  24. Hi Susan .. the Shoe Fence is amazing - honestly what we humans do with our lives .. may make perfect sense too. I can see Car Henge - cool as you say ... crazy, but cool.

    Well that's me done .. I can see you mentioned gonorrhea and testicles in the same post - cleverly done .. cheers Hilary

  25. Hilary- Human nature never fails to entertain me. I wonder how many people contributed to that shoe fence for it to stretch on and on for so many miles? And Carhenge? If I lived anywhere near there, I would HAVE to go visit it. Take care.