Time to Rhyme

2 07 2010

Until today I knew two things about Ogden Nash:

  1. When the daily crossword puzzle calls for a poet, there is at least a 50 percent chance he is the solution.  I guess that’s because N, A, S, and H are all nice, common letters.
  2. He wrote a delightful ditty that I can’t seem to forget.  “Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.”  It’s unfortunate that I can’t remember my zip code but can’t forget that particular poem. Thus is life.

But at the library this morning in the New Books section I discovered The Best of Ogden Nash, edited by Linell Nash Smith (his daughter.) (Published by Ivan R. Dee)  I was enchanted.  A sample:


God in His wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why. (p. 175)


Some primal termite knocked on wood
And tasted it and found it good,
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today. (p. 175)


The trouble with a kitten is
Eventually it becomes a
CAT. (p. 171)


I find among the poems of Schiller
No mention of the caterpillar,
Nor can I find one anywhere
In Petrarch or in Baudelaire,
So here I sit in extra session
To give my personal impression.
The caterpillar, as it’s called,
Is often hairy, seldom bald;
It looks as if it never shaves;
When as it walks, it walks in waves;
And from the cradle to the chrysalis
It’s utterly speechless, songless, whistleless. (p. 183)


The manatee is harmless
And conspicuously charmless.
Luckily the manatee
Is quite devoid of vanity. (p. 185)


The panther is like a leopard,
Except it hasn’t been peppered.
Should you behold a panther crouch,
Prepare to say Ouch.
Better yet, if called by a panther,
Don’t anther. (p. 170)


The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other, milk. (p. 163)


The one-l lama,
He’s a priest.
The two-l llama,
He’s a beast.
And I will bet
A silk pajama
There isn’t any
Three-l llama. (p. 163)


The pig, if I am not mistaken,
Supplies us sausage, ham and bacon.
Let others say his heart is big–
I call it stupid of the pig. (p. 164)


The truth I do not stretch or shove
When I state the dog is full of love.
I’ve also proved, by actual test,
A wet dog is the lovingest. (p. 189)


The rhino is a homely beast,
For human eyes he’s not a feast.
Farewell, farewell, you old rhinoceros,
I’ll stare at something less prepoceros. (p. 164)


A mighty creature is the germ,
Through smaller than the pachyderm.
His customary dwelling place
Is deep within the human race.
His childish pride he often pleases
By giving people strange diseases.
Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ. (p. 210)


One trouble with a cough,
It never quite comes off.
Just when you think you’re through coughing
There’s another cough in the offing. (p. 224)


I’ve never seen an abominable snowman,
I’m hoping not to see one,
I’m also hoping, if I do,
That it will be a wee one. (p. 240)

He wrote lots of other stuff, much of it longer and some of a more serious nature, but it is these charming bits of verse that I find so captivating.


Stay “Tooned”

9 06 2010

I’m offline now, but I’ll be back soon with an answer to that burning question, “Is Walt Disney World really the happiest place on earth?”

Take a Peek at These Peeps

2 04 2010

No time to write right now.  But do check out the Washington Post Peeps winners. Some are, indeed, grand.

What!? Another Cell Phone Story?

22 11 2009

Saturday was supposed to be an average day.

Including activities such as grocery shopping, laundry, a walk, dinner out, a Netflix movie.

No activities that I despise, but nothing to send me into the throes of ecstasy.

But first thing in the morning I realized my cell phone was not in my pocketbook.

So began the dreaded regimen of figuring out the last time I could remember having it (Thursday), all the pocketed clothing I’d worn since then (pants and jackets), where I’d been in the interim (all over Fairfax County.)  And I pondered what would have to be done if the phone didn’t turn up: buying a new one, dealing with the phone company, tolerating abuse from family members.

It’s the kind of thing that can color your whole day, really dragging you down.  So when the cashier at the grocery store forgot to take off my coupons, it felt like a disaster.

And the pile of bedsheets waiting to be washed loomed in front of me like an enormous, unscalable mountain.

But when in midafternoon I searched the car and found MY PHONE (cue the Hallelujah chorus), my day totally turned around.

Washing my kids’ sheets?  A chance to anticipate their fast-approaching arrival home for Thanksgiving.

An afternoon walk?  Instead of feeling like obligatory exercise it became a wonderful opportunity to experience the crisp air of a beautiful autumn day.

A trip to the drug store?  No drudgery there.  I found a bag of (Halloween) cookies for 19 cents!  Fabulously fresh and, with all the (admittedly orange and black) sugar sprinkled on them, you can’t even tell they’re shaped like witches hats, ghosts, and pumpkins.

Dinner out?  I wasn’t merely trying to avoid cooking!  I was relishing a date night with my husband!

And the Netflicks show?  It wasn’t just another Hugh Grant movie.  It was…well actually it was just another Hugh Grant movie.  (One of these days, Hugh, you’re going to knock one out of the park.  Keep the faith.)

The moral of the story? Experiencing some lows make us really appreciate the highs.

Two Ring-ey Ding-ey…

4 11 2009

When my son got a new cell phone for his birthday back in July, I got one also as part of the bargain (buy one get one free).  For him, it was a minor upgrade.  For me, it was like coming out of the stone age, as the one I had used was a big ole’ honker reminiscent of the kind Jerry Seinfeld used on his television show.  Not terribly purse friendly.  For four months I’ve carried the new one and had mastered only three activities:

  1. Answer a call
  2. Place a call
  3. View voice mail when prompted.

Today I finally sat down with the manual and learned to do things that people born after 1960 can do automatically.  (I think they’re born with a new technology gene.)  Namely:

  1. Access my voice mail without being promptedcell_phone
  2. Access my voice mail from another phone (cool!)
  3. Adjust the volume
  4. Change my ringtone
  5. Take, store and erase pictures.

I feel so empowered.  Now, on to texting.

Anger Management

1 11 2009
  1. The woman in the pew behind me at church was angry.  Throughout the service I heard her making negative comments under her breath.   She especially didn’t like the children’s message.
  2. After the service, cards were available which would be sent to shut-ins.  Members of the congregation can sign them and write a note.  As I was adding my John Hancock, I noticed the woman across the table was angry.  Her pen wouldn’t write, and after signing one card, she marched off indignantly.
  3. A woman in my neighborhood is angry because her husband committed suicide four days before their son’s thirteenth birthday.

It kind of puts things in perspective.