There are only two ways to get rid of the clutter on my desk: either reverently place my notes to myself into the wastebasket, or try to fill a column with them. Guess which one this is.

Do you want to know just how cool the past summer was? I still have two bottles of tonic water left in my refrigerator. The British were on to something back when they were the self-appointed rulers of India: Quinine — diluted with the proper amount of gin — was a painless and effective way to prevent malaria. I have never had malaria and don’t ever intend to.

The Seahawks; how do we explain how we feel about them? It’s almost like loving a woman because she’d be such a great looking dancer … except for the fact that she’d come close to breaking one of your toes whenever you lead her onto the floor.

Speaking of dancing, when I was a younger man in my sixties and seventies there were still places where you could hold a woman tightly without concern over inappropriate contact — King Solomon’s, The Riverside Tavern, before it was torn down and the owners moved to manage a place on the other side of Harrison Street, The Eagles Club and others if you were a member. You could dance in the bar/restaurant near the Mellen Street overpass — I’ve forgotten its name — as well as a tavern on North Tower that is now a Mexican restaurant.

Here are 10 more thoughts to ponder when the TV’s broken down and the kids are gone, presumably doing something they were told not to do. I’ve arranged the listing at random, not the order of importance.

When was the last time you used an eye cup, or do you even know what one is? There used to be one in every household’s medicine cabinet.

Do squirrels hibernate during the winter or do they just exist on nuts and seeds they’ve stolen from my bird feeders?

I’ve still received no answer to my question of why all those empty, boarded up houses, on the site of what is intended to be Centralia’s pride and joy, can’t be used for temporary housing for the homeless in our area. If those houses are simply destroyed when development actually begins, I wonder if there will be any developer with just a little twinge of conscience, or better yet, shame?  Nah.

I’ll bet there isn’t a man today — in his 70s or 80s — who didn’t read the “Terry and the Pirates” comic strip, if it was printed in his area’s newspaper. He may not remember any of the plot lines, but I’ll bet he could still describe the Dragon Lady or Copper Calhoun in the later Steve Canyon strips.

Here’s an original expression you may have occasion to use someday: “As incongruous as a WWII Jeep with an automatic transmission.”

And another: “You can’t have a future by ignoring the past.”

When I named an old boat that I’d restored, “Penultimate”, and — later — a home-built cruiser, “Penultimate II”, why did so few people get the joke?  Probably, it’s because a dictionary next to a favorite reading chair is as hard to find these days as ice cream in Hell.

When you see a TV ad for an insurance company and it says they can beat all the others in costs have you ever wondered how that could be mathematically possible?

Have you ever wondered why most mountain ranges generally run north and south instead of east and west?

A show of hands here — who can remember who Baby Snooks was, and who played her on radio?  It was Fannie Brice, and maybe you can win a bar bet with that information.

•••

Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at bookmaven321@comcast.net.

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