Category Archives: humor

Do You Speak Gullah Geechee?

I saw this headline this morning and scratched my head

People Say Gullah Geechee Culture is Disappearing. BJ Dennis Says They’re Wrong

Gullah Geechee? I learned this from the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission

The Gullah Geechee people are descendants of Africans who were enslaved on the rice, indigo and Sea Island cotton plantations of the lower Atlantic coast. Many came from the rice-growing region of West Africa. The nature of their enslavement on isolated island and coastal plantations created a unique culture with deep African retentions that are clearly visible in the Gullah Geechee people’s distinctive arts, crafts, foodways, music, and language.

And this brings us to a guy by the name of BJ Dennis, a member of this group. BJ is a chef who wants us all to better understand the Bullah cuisine.  Check out the article for more. Hre is a peek

His pop-ups were not just about serving delicious food but also about educating diners, and he emerged as a de facto ambassador for the Gullah community: a farmer, a scholar, and a self-taught historian, just as adept at growing heirloom produce and tracing transnational foodways as he was at cooking ginger-laced pots of gumbo studded with creek shrimp. He got written up in the New York Times for rediscovering a rare African hill rice—thought to be lost forever—in a remote field in Trinidad. He taught Anthony Bourdain about Gullah food in the Charleston episode of Parts Unknown. About how the enslaved brought with them from Africa so many of the crops now considered Southern staples: peanuts, watermelon, okra, sorghum, countless varieties of rice. How their farming skills formed the backbone of not just the South’s economy but of the Low Country cuisine associated with coastal South Carolina and Georgia. How gumbo, Hoppin’ John, even shrimp and grits can be traced back to African dishes, re-created by enslaved people in plantation kitchens.

Very cool! Local traditions come from places that you may not expect!

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A Trip to London to Celebrate Wodehouse?

The best ravels, in my experience, have an anchor. The anchor may be to visit a person, or a place or it may be an event.

If it is an event, that event should tune you into the spirit of the place. It should be an event, in other words, that you can only get there.

I was thinking about this over coffee this morning. What about London? What kinds of events might anchor a trip? Food? London has fine restaurants, but it is not the place I would visit just for food,., though some do recommend it.

An idea hit me. A great London event should celebrate what I love most about the place. And what is that? It boils down to a certain attitude. An attitude about how to live properly. There are more than one manifestations of this attitude. But one manifestation is literary and fantastical. You see it bright as day in the work of P.G. Wodehouse.

Image result for PG Wodehouse

Wodehouse is not  for everyone. If the thought of silly aristocrats cavorting about makes your blood boil, this is not for you. Chain smoking, sardine loving, unwashed and unloved bolshies  need not read further. But if you crave humor above all things. If you love order and humor about lack of order.You can’t help but be drawn to this writer.

Good news! The British Library will host a Wodehouse evening. on February 21st.

With Robert McCrum, journalist and author of Wodehouse: A Life, and singer Hal Cazalet, Wodehouse’s great-grandson and expert in the field of his music and lyrics. Chaired by Matthew Bannister.

It is just the thing!

The Subtle Changes in James Bond’s Whimsical Humor

One of the charms that James Bond offered film goers has been his sense of whimsical humor. But it has ebbed and flowed.

Connery delivered it with multiple outrageous one liners. Here is one of my favorites “I think he got the point”

And this “shocking” scene

And this one … “mind if my friend sits this one out?”

Perhaps Lazenby didn’t make it because his Australian self-assurance compared less favorably in the whimsy department. Too straight forward? But he did have his moments “Just a slight stiffness coming on …”. But I think Lazenby dilutes the effect by adding “… in the shoulder.” What do you think?

Moore was over the top when it came to tongue in cheek whimsical stuff. But I find that his one liners were not quite as clever.

Then Dalton veered back to the more serious action genre, and was again less popular. Consider this great scene, where Dalton’s Bond does one on one combat dangling from the back of a plane

It is a set up for a perfect one liner “He got the boot”. But Dalton delivers the line in a more angry than whimsical manner. You can see him deliver it in this clip

Then along came Brosnan, who brought back whimsy with some success. Though one might fault Brosnan a bit for delivering his lines without much of a smile. You see that in his “I never miss line.”

And finally there is Daniel Craig. Craig does a lot of things well in his depiction of Bond. Especially n his coolness under extreme circumstances. He also brings out something that you found in the books – the brutality required to subdue the bad guys. But according to Brosnan, Craig has very limited whimsy and humor.

I am not sure I completely agree. Craig offers flashes of humor. And “That last hand nearly killed me” is one of the all time great one liners. Here it is. Enjoy!

BTW, if this subject amuses, you here is a list of great Bond one liners.

Have a favorite!

Enjoy!

Did You Know: Shakespeare was a Very Naughty Person?

We are used to the idea that William Shakespeare is one of the greatest playwrights of all time. And because we are used to that, we assume that he was a proper gent. There is even a lively debate whether he was in fact, an aristocrat who used the name Shakespeare to cloak his identity. And we are used to the idea that the long speeches in his play are a bit boring.

Shakespeare was indeed a great writer and dramatist. But we should also keep in mind that when we listen to his plays now, we do not really hear them the way Shakespeare wrote them. Why? English has changed. And because it has changed, we miss out on the rude and sly puns that are everywhere. We miss out on how the plays were meant to be received.

The bottom line — Shakespeare was an entertainer. His plays were meant to be engaging to an audience that liked ribald humor. This video gives you a glimpse at the real dude and his very fun way of expressing himself.

Enjoy!

Time to Ditch Your Roomba for an Elec trolux i9?

I do not yet have a robotic vacuum cleaner. It is not because I object to a machine doing a chore that I hate doing. It is because I was not persuaded that the  products available now are worth it.

The i Bobot Roomba is the one people talk about most. And I know a few folks who have one and like it.  I have also heard that the Roomba is not perfect. It does not clean as well as a human can.

But I see today that Electrlux has come out with an its version, the “i9”. BI gives it a positive review.

This dude gives you an overview

Ah! The Darwin Awards are Back!

And here is one that deserved mention!

The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 5 A.M., flashed a gun, and demanded cash.

The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast. The frustrated gunman walked away.

And this one?

As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, “Yes, officer, that’s her. That’s the lady I stole the purse from.”

This peculiar story should find its way into a novel

After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride.

He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn’t discovered for three days.

And the winner?

When his .38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.

Oh dear! This is just a sampling!