Hey, what happened to our dandelions? They used to be sturdy weeds with large flowers that turned into tiny parachutes and spread everywhere when you blew on them. The things we see in lawns today are puny little runts with tiny flower petals. They still propagate by traveling on an available breeze but with none of the pizzazz and dignity dandelions used to exhibit when we were kids.
According to our former — and still missed — Lewis County naturist, Russ Mohney, what we have now is a separate species, but I’ve forgotten its name.
Dandelion wine was once considered the elixir of spring but that’s been mostly forgotten. One of my first entries into the world of science fiction was through the book “Dandelion Wine,” by Ray Bradbury. In Summer 2012, I made a small batch that was too sweet when it was first sampled. But additional time has fixed that and I’m waiting for an occasion worthy enough to bring out my last two bottles.
But I’ve digressed. That puny replica of a true dandelion has taken over in almost everyone’s lawn. Would it have something to do with climate change or pollution, the most quoted explanation as to why our frogs have disappeared?
Before I forget it, one of the latest goofs in TV’s closed captioning came from the Aug. 22 announcement that Jay Inslee would be running again for governor. It came out as “running for golfer.”
Perhaps the mechanism that does the final printing had Inslee confused with another political figure? You know, the one who is said to have spent more time on the golf course than in his office and, when he was running for the office he now holds, promised to have a balanced budget and pay off the national debt in seven years. As of last Sunday, our country’s national debt has increased just under $2 trillion dollars since January 1.
Would you believe that, as soon as I wrote the previous paragraph, I stopped for dinner and the news on TV. The lead story was about the conflict over the proposed dam on the upper Chehalis River. Those who oppose the project worry about the loss of salmon while those in favor worry about the loss of life and property. But, as I understand, this proposed dam is only expected to be in use in the case of severe flooding factors and not in use well over 95% of the time. What we need is a combination of those two goals.
Anyway, the blooper came when the closed caption called the Chehalis River the “Shameless River!” It’s an interesting name and does have a sort of romantic quality about it but would not set well with our original residents.
Changing the subject again, how old does a person have to be to remember why Motel 6 has the name it does? It seems difficult for young whippersnappers to understand that, when it first started, $6 was the cost of a night’s stay. Not long after that a slightly classier enterprise was called something like “Motel 8” for the same reason.
If I read Wikipedia correctly, that was eventually changed to “Super 8,” but I’ll bet it costs more than $8 now!
Finally, don’t you have somewhat a feeling of displeasure when those automatic change-making machines in many stores spit out a plethora of dimes instead of two quarters. The once practical 50 cent piece, for all intents and purposes, seems to have disappeared. I’ve saved one, if for nothing else than it’s historic value.
Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.