Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

I always think of Ben Franklin when Thanksgiving draws near.

Ben had a lot of good ideas and did many great things for our young nation. But at Thanksgiving time, I am always thankful that at least one of Ben’s proposals didn’t get past our founding fathers.

Ben was pushing hard to make the turkey our national symbol. The possible impact of what may have happened to our traditional Thanksgiving dinner if that proposal had been accepted always hits me at this time of the year.

Tell me what respectable American family with even a thread of patriotism would sit down on Thanksgiving Day and stare across the table at our national symbol in all his glory on the platter.

The alternative? Stuffed eagle with all the trimmins’ anyone?

Yes, Ben had some good ideas, but I am thankful to wise minds on this one.

–From The Fulton Patriot, Nov. 30, 1993

Ben Franklin’s 5 & 10?

Thinking about Ben Franklin takes me back to a time when maybe my knowledge of American History wasn’t so good and I thought that Ben Franklin owned a five and 10 cent store a few blocks from my school.

Anyway, there it was, the Ben Franklin Store and since I could go there from school without crossing busy intersections, Mom said it was okay as long as I told her where I was going. I liked to buy my mother presents and there was one time when I thought my purchase was really special.

It was getting close to Christmas and I found and bought something for Mom that I thought she would think was really special. It was a Christmas tree ornament and I was sure she would like it even though it was sparkly and orange instead of the usual red and green. I had enough money with me to buy two of them.

When I got home, as always when I bought something for my mother, I wanted to give it to her right away. I didn’t wrap my purchase; I just handed it to her and told her to look inside the bag.

When I gave it to her and she opened it there was a surprised look on her face.  I was young and inexperienced enough that I couldn’t distinguish between a happy surprise look and a puzzled surprise look.

She looked at the bag’s contents for a while before I said, “They’re Christmas ornaments.” When I said that Mom smiled with what, I’m sure now, was a big smile of relief.

She told me many years later that when she opened the bag and saw the two orange objects that looked to her like small, stubby, misshapen carrots she thought that they were the ugliest earrings that she had ever seen. And what made it worse was she knew she would have to wear them so as not to hurt my feelings.

I’m not sure that they were ever hung on the Christmas tree – maybe way in the back – but I do know that they never made it to my mother’s ears, and I’m pretty sure it was a Merry Christmas.

Just wondering!

Are all the cowboys who wear white hats really good guys?

Why does it matter if your pocket has a hole in it if you don’t have anything to put in it anyway?

Is spinach really good for you?

Why is one end of your shoelace always longer than the other?

Why is it that one sock of every pair gets a hole in it?

And why doesn’t your mother (or wife) buy socks which are all the same color and pattern?

Why are you doing your best sleeping of the night when the alarm clock goes off?

How does anyone really know that there aren’t two snowflakes alike?

Why is baloney spelled like bologna, but macaroni isn’t spelled like macarogna?

How come when you ask your kid, who has been outside with his friends running up and down the street all day, to go down to the corner store for you he can’t because all of a sudden he is too tired?

Why is there always more blanket on my wife’s side of the bed than there is on mine?

If hot dogs are really hot why do we keep them in the refrigerator before we cook them?

Why can’t you play a tune on a shoe horn?

Was the short fortune teller who escaped from prison really a small medium at large?

How come the sun is shining outside the window of the radio station that you are listening to when you wake up in the morning, but it is raining at your house?

How come there are no horses or radishes in horseradish?

Why is it that no matter how long we have to get ready for winter, we’re never ready?

“I don’t understand – this shirt fit me fine two months ago.

Why am I asking all these silly questions?

 

                             …. Roy Hodge

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