Folks of a certain mature age, like you people, will likely remember Paul Harvey (1918 – 2009).
Paul Harvey Aurandt was an American radio broadcaster for ABC News Radio from about 1951 to 2008. At one time his program was carried on 1,200 radio stations and reached as many as 24 million people per week.
He was quite the character with a distinctive voice, clever catch phrases and unique style of delivery. He is credited with making up numerous words that were later adopted into common parlance such as “guesstimate,” “skyjacker,” and “Reaganomics.” He and his wife were founding members of the Humane Society.
He was a rather staunch conservative who was awarded by President George W. Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Some of his political views might have been construed as divisive but many of his programs were simply folksy stories, albeit of dubious authenticity. He liked tall tales.
Every day he’d begin a broadcast with, “Hello, Americans! I’m Paul Harvey.” Then after he started his story, and before the next break, he’d say, “In a moment…. the rest of the story….” And at the very end he would say, “Now you know…the rest of the story.”
Well, today you will get to know the rest of the story about…The Racing Possums (RPs) and some other stuff.
As you’ll probably not recall, because you actually have a life, at our last exciting narrative Amazon had delayed delivery of the RPs. At the time it was a tremendous disappointment but not nearly as disappointing as actually seeing the RPs for the first time.
From the outset, I knew something was amiss. How could a set of Racing Possums possibly be so compressed as to fit in the tiny package that arrived at my front door? Was it a miracle of Amazon distribution? Probably not, because we all know that an order of the smallest item from Amazon will arrive in a huge box full of those silly little air pillow cushions.
I once ordered a hammer from Amazon and sure enough it was bubble wrapped in a box that could hold a sofa. But I digress.
I unwrapped the RPs and discovered that somewhere along the delivery route the possums must have been struck by that famous TV trope, the Shrink Ray. These were not scaled like the large and hardy Opossums that I was expecting. No, these were tiny figurines on microscopic wheels and frankly more closely resembled rats than the famous marsupials with non-functioning placentas (look it up).
Max didn’t know what to make of these things. He eyeballed them closely, sniffed, tried a lick and then scoffed at the notion that human beings paid good money to procure such foolishness. I had to agree and even sniffed and licked one to be sure.
As to racing performance, the RPs continued to disappoint. They lacked power and speed and seemed hell-bent to head any direction except straight. This made racing the possums a difficult proposition since no one could agree where the finish line was located. Max refused to chase the things; it wasn’t worth the effort.
The RPs were ultimately relegated to my home office where they presently occupy a place of shame along with several other gift items that came up short compared to expectations.
Which brings me to the Lazy Susan.
Guys, here is a Protip from somebody who knows: do not, I mean DO NOT, gift your spouse with a Lazy Susan at Christmas.
Being a practical soul I figured that a nice Lazy Susan (LS) would be a welcome addition to the table in our “breakfast nook” as the real estate people say. It would make easy the passing of food and condiments; no need for the AJF to execute what my sainted Grandmother called “the boarding house reach.” So I researched Lazy Susans, carefully measured the available space and diligently reviewed the ratings on Amazon before committing to what I thought was the perfect LS.
Oh, I also found out that the first known reference to something called a “Lazy Susan” was in 1917, in Vanity Fair, when a department store called Ovington’s advertised a 16-inch rotating mahogany tray. The store’s ad said: “$8.50 forever seems an impossibly low wage for a good servant; and yet here you are; Lazy Susan, the cleverest waitress in the world.” They may have been a tad sexist back in 1917.
Armed with such a strong though somewhat dated recommendation, I snagged a nice LS, wrapped it with a big bow and proudly gave it to the Alpha Japanese Female on December 25th. It landed like the proverbial passed gas in a cathedral. She pretended to be enthused but what gave away her true emotions were those cold eyes. Those cold almond-shaped eyes. The AJF was not amused.
Fortunately, I had other offerings and knew that one in particular was guaranteed to please. See, much earlier I had conspired with my good friend, the very talented Leslie Bowman, to procure a second oil portrait of Max, specifically one sized to fit on the desk in the AJF’s home office since Leslie’s original portrait ended up hung in our living room.
The AJF was delighted with the depiction of her favorite puppy and I was able to return to celebrating the true spirit of Christmas which is, of course, eggnog and football. With the gift of the portrait, all previous merchandising sins were forgiven, even the racing possum debacle. Possibly the Lazy Susan incident too but that’s not entirely certain yet.
I guess it’s a good thing that I stifled my desire to buy her a nice set of Racing Blobfish.
Anyway, as Paul Harvey might have said, “And now you know…the rest of the story.”
Happy New Year to you all.
Categories: The Dog From Rancho Cucaracha