Friday, February 24, 2017

That's Not Peanuts!

Thought for the day:  Don't take life too seriously and always remember: it is just a passing fad. [Mick Jagger]

[Mick Jagger 2013- wikipedia]
Whatever Jagger's opinions may be about life, it's probably a safe bet that he's gotten more than a little satisfaction over the fact that the Rolling Stones proved to be a whole lot more than a passing fad.

Nope, not gonna be writing about the Stones today, although I did amuse myself for a few minutes by jotting down a bunch of their song titles, and wondering how many of them I could slip into this post without anyone noticing. I dunno why. Just for kicks? A challenge? Because I'm listening to one of their CDs right now? Take your pick. But as fun as that idea might be, I'm going to let it loose for  now, so I'm free, instead, to shine a light on kicks, challenges and wagers, and some of the crazy things ordinary salt of the earth people are willing to do on the basis of a drawn card, a pair of tumbling dice, or a simple handshake.

[morguefile]
In some areas of our country, bizarre stunts are often predicated by a guy telling his buddies, Here, hold my beer. But sometimes, people... usually of the male persuasion... are simply daredevils looking for a blast of adrenaline. Okay, I get that. A whole team of wild horses couldn't convince me to pull any of those boneheaded antics, but still, I get it. Sorta.




Ormer Locklear- 1920 [wikipedia]

Then again, I wasn't around in the 1920s. Back then, thrill-seeking was practically a national pastime. No wonder the decade was dubbed the Roaring Twenties.

Last month, I did a post about a guy who, as the result of a drunken bet, stole an airplane and landed it on a New York street right in front of the bar where he left his buddies. (If you missed it, you can find it here.) But in the '20s, people got their kicks out of walking on the wings of airplanes... and hanging from them... and doing all kinds of other nutso stunts. And not usually because of a bet, either... because they wanted to do it! It was a fad, as was swallowing live goldfish, walking on tightropes, and sitting atop flagpoles for prolonged periods of time. I can understand sittin' on a fence, within a nice safe hopping-off distance from the ground, but a way-up-there flagpole? For days and days and days on end? Um, no thanks. Ditto the live fish-eating and the tightrope walking. Heck, I have no self-expectations about walking safely across a perfectly flat piece of land without tripping over an errant blade of grass, so no way I'd have any interest in trying to walk over a canyon on a lousy piece of wire...

[Herbert Hoover -wikipedia]
Anyhow, today's story is about another bet, although this one doesn't involve anything illegal, or particularly dangerous. A little on the wacky side, perhaps, but it was the '20s...

In 1928, a Texan named Bill Williams made a wager with his father-in-law over the upcoming presidential election. (There's no indication whether or not adult beverages were involved in said transaction, but come on... I think it's a fairly safe bet they were.)

Anyway, Bill bet that Al Smith would be elected, and his father-in-law picked Hoover. The stakes? If Smith won, the father-in-law would have to stand on his head in the middle of the Rio Hondo bridge for an HOUR. If Hoover won, Bill had to push a peanut over that same bridge with his NOSE... and keep on a-pushin' until he reached the next town... eleven miles away. It took the poor schnook nine days to complete his crazy peanut-pushing trip, at which time, I'm sure he had one mighty sore schnoz and was plenty torn and frayed at the end, but he did it. (His father-in-law must have had a heart of stone to make him follow through... I mean, couldn't he have ended the ordeal after, I dunno, five or six days... or better yet, after a few hours?)

[morguefile]

Never mind. Bill probably wouldn't have backed down from the challenge, even if his father-in-law offered, because evi-damned-dently, he wanted to do it. Know how I know? Because after meeting that challenge, he made a new peanut-pushing bet with his buddies. According to the Mysteries of the Museum website, the stakes were five hundred dollars, and some other accounts claim it was fifty bucks. Either amount of money wasn't exactly peanuts  in 1929. But all accounts agree on what Williams had to do to win the bet...
[Pikes Peak- wikipedia]

Most people are enthralled with Pikes Peak because of the glorious views. In fact, in 1893, the view inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write American the Beautiful.

Apparently, Bill Williams had other thoughts when he looked at the picturesque mountain. He thought it'd be a grand place to push a peanut with his nose, and he bet he could make the 22-mile trip all the way up Pikes Peak Highway to the top of the mountain in 22 days. This time, however, he made sure he was better prepared than he was for his initial peanut-pushing adventure. He brought extra peanuts, wore leather pads on his knees, and brought multiple pairs of shoes and canvas gloves. Oh yeah, he did a better job protecting his poor schnoz this time, too. He wore a face mask with a two-foot metal extension attached to his nose. Bottom line? He did it, and it took him 21 days, so he won the bet. He was the first Pikes Peak peanut pusher, but he wasn't the last. In 1963, a rock 'n' roll musician named Ulysses Baxter accomplished the same feat in 8 days, and in 1976, a college student pared the time down to an astonishing 4 days, 23 hours, and 47 minutes.

Quite a feat, eh? As for me, if I'm ever there, I'd rather use my God-given feet to hike up that road, (Oh, who am I trying to kid? I'd be in a CAR.) and if someone ever gave me a fistful of peanuts, my first inclination wouldn't be to push them anywhere, especially with my nose. Nope, give me peanuts, and they're going into that orifice under my nose. I'm jolly well  gonna eat 'em.

Well, it looks like I'm running out of time to be on the computer for now, so I'd better run. (Okay, walk slowly...) As for this post? It's all over now.

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

P.S. In case you were counting, I used thirteen song titles in this post. (What??? So I fibbed a little. You can't always get what you want.) Oops... make that fourteen.

The most dangerous risk of all: the risk of spending your life not doing what you want to do on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later. [author unknown]

55 comments:

  1. I bet Bill would have really gotten his kicks pushing a peanut down Route 66.

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  2. I've never heard of Bill Williams but I admire his fortitude - - and especially his nose. I'm assuming that he didn't perform his peanut feats while he had a cold or hay fever.

    I like Jenny's idea (above) of pushing a peanut down Route 66.

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    1. I wonder if his nose was a tad shorter after his first 11-mile adventure without benefit of an extension hooked to his honker?

      You're probably right about him not doing it while he was suffering from a cold or hay fever. If he did, he would've left a snail trail behind him. :)

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  3. Hi Susan - the daredevils I've heard of or read about but pushing a peanut with your nose for 11 miles is too too much! My nose hurts thinking about it .. nope - my mind has moved away from peanuts .. otherwise I'll spend the whole day thinking about peanuts and pushing noses, or the other way round was it? Then I'd say a peanut was the 'round' nut inside, not the encased variety ... but we're always different here! Jenny's idea - now that's a good thought ... more picturesque ...

    Did ya get lots of Satisfcation getting so many titles into your post? cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary. I'm not sure which would hurt more... my nose, my knees, or my back. It'd be one painful toss-up.

      HA! Yeah, I got lots of satisfaction. :)

      Cheers back atcha.

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  4. Well at least he was determined. I can't say I'd want to do any such thing with any such food group though. But then again, if the money was right, you never know.

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    1. If I did it (NOT!) there'd have to be enough money to cover all of the medical care I'd need afterwards. :) Traction ain't cheap, ya know.

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  5. double dog dare you to balance a peanut on your nose and avoid sticky fingers. That makes no sense but neither does many stunts. I'm no daredevil that's for sure. Enjoy your weekend, Angie. (I mean, Susan)

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    1. There was a time I could hardly resist a dare, but those days are long gone. And they never involved balancing anything on my nose. :)

      HA You enjoy your weekend, too. (If you're planning to redo your kitchen, don't paint it black.)

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  6. Wow...that post took off like a herd of wild horses didn't it? Peanut pushing........some people just don't have enough to do.

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    1. HA! Yes, ma'am, it did. :)

      Ain't that the truth. I'd much rather have someone push the vacuum cleaner around the house than waste their time pushing a stupid peanut, and by "someone," I mean anyone but ME... (I've been doing it for enough doggone years!)

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  7. Is it weird that I now want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? :)

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  8. I don't understand the need to test life and death, but it does make for good, weird entertainment for the audience. I wonder if Bill had a job and if so, was it so boring that he would rather push peanuts than paper.

    A few years ago my family and friends were sitting outside enjoying the weather when annoying bugs started flying around us. Somebody went and got the tennis racket like zapper. A discussion started as to what it felt like to be zapped. It was passed around to see what kind of sting it gave out. All but one man in the group tried it out and winced with some pain. Not one woman even considered doing such a silly thing. The men were proud of their manhood for being brave and the women were proud of their smarts.

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    1. Good question. I never thought about the job angle, but if he had all that spare time to waste pushing around a peanut, he must not have had one. Maybe he was independently wealthy. (Which would prove that having a lot of dollars isn't the same thing as having a lot of sense.)

      HA! That story with the bug zapper cracked me up. I'm thinking some adult beverages must have been involved. I can imagine my hubby and some of his friends giving it a try, but only after they were well-lubricated. The gals we know? No way!

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    2. I am sure there were alcohol beverages involved, however a few people do not drink. They had no excuse except testosterone.

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    3. HA! Sometimes, that's the only excuse they need. :)

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  9. I have never understood the challenge thing. I am unchallengeable. Maybe it's that I'm lazy. Or so boring that I'm basically inert, but I have never been drawn into a bet- unless it's on an intellectual level. Like I'd have bet anyone that you'd have fitted in 10+ songs into the post and I'd have won.

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    1. Given the "right" challenge, I bet you'd take it... and win. You're just not gonna waste your time doing something stupid or dangerous. Intellectual? Yeah, that's the ticket.

      You know me too well.

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  10. What an idiotic thing to bet. His nose probably was very sore the first time. People can be such damned fools. As for me, I don't know enough about the Rolling Stones titles to notice anyway. Satisfaction is about the only one I am sure of.

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    1. I think some men are willing to place a bet on just about anything, and the more outrageous, the better.

      I probably wouldn't remember nearly as many songs from the sixties if I didn't still listen to them. :)

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  11. Post reminded of a practical experiment when I was 12 or 13. Friend and I encountered a well-marked electric fence as we hiked past a cattle ranch. On the premise that voltage must be low to avoid hurting the cattle, we dared touch the live wire. There are things boys can learn in no other way --no further experiments were necessary.

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    1. You BOTH touched the fence? If girls would ever consider doing such a thing, (Perish the thought!) they'd probably flip a coin to see which one would try it. (Or pitch a penny... I was much better at that!)

      Reminds me of a Will Rogers quote: "There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading, the few who learn by observation, and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." :)

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  12. I guess thrill seekers aren't new. I had no idea people were so stupid as to push a peanut with their nose for any reason for any length of time. Why????

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    1. Some people (MOST people) would say, "Why???" I reckon there are still plenty of others who say, "Why NOT?"

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  13. I always enjoy your post. but today's was a keeper !
    Peanuts, Noses, Mountains and the Stones ! so very funny.
    I found most of the Stones songs but miss a few. You are much too clever !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. Comments like yours keep me going.

      Cheers back atcha.

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    2. awwww Susan you always say the nicest things to me on my post.

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    3. That's 'cause you're the nicest kinda people. :)

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  14. Peanuts and The Stones. No wonder I'm always here! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. HA! And I hope you keep coming back. :)

      Greetings back atcha.

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  15. Okay, this may sound a little nuts but if I had been in my late teens or twenties in the '20s and someone had dared me to hang off the wing of a plane, I would have done it. I remember feeling immortal at that age. I really believe I would have had it in me. The live goldfish thing, not so much. And the peanut pushed eleven miles? Under no circumstances would I ever have waged that. But the soaring ... well ... I still may go sky-diving at some point.

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    1. Well, aren't you the daredevil? (Not that I'm surprised.) You already soar, kiddo, but maybe you'd enjoy sky-diving. Our son loved it when he was in Special Forces.

      I'm sooo glad you're back, Suze. Take care.

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  16. Pushing a peanut up Pikes Peak with your nose? That doesn't make any sense at all! It makes a lot more sense to push a peanut up your nose, which is what I did as a little kid on a dare with my sister. I didn't get any money, but my mother ended up having to take me to the doctor...

    Silly men and their silly bets!

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    1. HA! Well, it's a lot easier to push a peanut UP your nose than it is to push it WITH your nose. (Somewhat smarter, too!) One of the boys I went to school with pushed a dried lima bean up his nose, and he had to go to the doctor, too.

      Thanks for the chuckle. Have a super weekend.

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  17. I have a theory about all this male dare-devilry, which goes way back to the cave man days, when adrenaline ran high on a daily basis what with protecting the cave and the family therein, plus hunting and killing the mammoth for the roast dinner. None of that is necessary these days, yet the male is hard-wired to slay and protect, so the adrenaline needs to be activated and used. Boys need to be boys, they need to break loose every now and then.

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    1. Well, aren't YOU the clever one? Your theory makes sense. So men are motivated by the same kind of inborn instincts that motivate our cats to stalk and kill their cat food... :)

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  18. The things some people do. I told my son that he's a daredevil because he took his laundry out of the dryer before it buzzed. (We live a pretty peaceful life that doesn't involve bets and dares.)

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. HA! Yeah, I know whatcha mean. It sounds like your son has good sense. (Gee, I wonder where he might have learned such a thing...?)

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  19. 21 days spent pushing a peanut around--just imagine what sorts of things he might have accomplished if he had spent the time in a more constructive way! Ha! I don't do stunts or take risks either. Just making it up and down the stairs to the basement to do laundry is enough of an adventure for me. Have a nice weekend!

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    1. I can sure think of better ways to spend 21 days... :)

      Yep, at my age, the definition of "adventure" has expanded quite a bit. You have a super weekend, too.

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  20. While I'm not a betting soul, I know for some, gambling is an addition. Still, this impulse to push a goober around with one’s nose is nuts—pardon the pun. :-)

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Yeah, it is nuts. (And you never have to apologize to ME for using a pun!)

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  21. What a panic!
    I've never been a 'thrill seeker' but admit to having tried (and failed) on numerous occasions to walk the top of our backyard's chain-link fence. Coward, party of one.

    Thanks for the laughs. Now, I want to go stream me some Stones! :)

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    1. I grew up in a neighborhood of row homes, and all of the postage stamp-sized back yards were enclosed with a chain link fence of various heights and styles. Long story short, I used to see how much of our back alley I could travel by walking on top of those fences. (Great minds think alike, eh?) I used to do pretty well, but I also sported scabs on my knees for most of my childhood. :)

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  22. I am having deja vu Susan, I would have bet money that I already commented on this one... maybe in my sleep ... lol

    I will never understand how people want to do the craziest scariest things... there are things I want to do but I want safety nets not going freely... lol Oh well, people are funny, I will leave the insanity to them xox

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    1. Or maybe my posts are all so much alike... ? HA

      Anyhow, I'm glad you're here now.

      I agree with you. I don't mind trying new things, but safety matters.

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    1. Thanks! The feeling is mutual. (I'll bet YOU picked out most of the Stones' songs....)

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  24. Thanks for sharing this post...poignant while funny.

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