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Question:From under which rock did I emerge?

June 09, 2010 - My dad always said, "Son, you should learn something new everyday." I felt that was sound advice until I had about 15 years of living under my belt. And, by the time I graduated from college, I totally rejected Dad's obsession with learning.

Do the words "know," "it," and "all" mean anything to anybody?

There was a time in my life (from my fifteenth birthday until about yesterday) when I thought I was a pretty sharp cookie. Today, when I think back at that sentiment, I see I wasn't that smart.

Cookies aren't sharp. Furthermore, if you get a cookie that is sharp, report where you got it from to the police. Sharp cookies are dangerous and can hurt you if swallowed. I must be getting smarter, right?

So, I figured out about sharp cookies, but when will I remember to stop leaving my sunglasses on the dashboard of my pickup truck?

If you see me around town, or at one of our Coffee Club meetings, and I have red burn lines across the bridge of my nose and around my eyes, you'll know I have yet to remember that leaving metal on a flat surface, in the hot sun makes said metal object hot, too. Putting hot metal on your face will do only two things: 1. Burn; 2. Hurt.

You'd think it would only take one time for that message to be burned-into my conscious. Then again, there is probably a reason I'm known as a blockhead.

And, while I know I didn't just fall out of the turnip truck yesterday, when did bread tie colors start meaning something? I always figured bread bakers just ordered a bunch of bread bag twisty-thingies and used whatever color was available. Now, I hear the color of the tie, means what day the bread was baked. And, if you break the color code, you'll be able to buy only the "freshest" of loaves.

Was this a secret only to me or have I broken some unwritten rule by sharing information held sacred and known only to the fraternal order of the bread brotherhood?

I went to an internet search engine and typed in "bread tie color code" and surer than spit, 110,000 items were listed in .20 seconds. According to the 'net . . . bread bakers use different colored ties for different days, this helps the bread stocker know when to take older bread off the shelves.

There you go. If they find me in a Wonderbread bag, you'll know I wasn't 'sposed to rat out the breadmakers.

Damn, it's a bummer how right Dad was on this daily learning routine . . . well, that is not right, either. It is a bummer I didn't listen to nor heed his words all these years.

Just today, I was doing one of my daily routines for the ladies of the front office, reading aloud their horoscope, and even then I learned something new. (No, it wasn't what to expect or how to act for the day. In other words, no epiphany, astrologically speaking.) One of the gals is a Scorpio, so I'll call her the Scorpion Queen. In her horoscope was a line I had never heard -- and I have heard/read a lot of the cliches that make their way to horoscopes -- it ended with "a lick and a promise."

While to me it sounded like a lewd and crude proposition, the gals of the front office said it is actually a relatively common phrase. I am not saying I didn't believe them, but I had to verify their knowledge. Again, to the 'net and a search engine -- 81,800 items matching my input of "a lick and a promise" popped up.

Here's what I found. A lick and a promise is "a superficial effort made without care or enthusiasm. For example, 'I haven't time to do a good job of vacuuming, just enough for a lick and a promise.' This expression is believed to allude to the quick lick a cat or other animal might give itself and a promise to do more or better at some future time."

It's kinda groovy learning new stuff.

This weekend at Ortonville's Creekfest, I learned that baby dragonflies live in the water. To move, they gulp in water, and shoot it out their rear ends -- sort of like jet propulsion. I also learned adult dragonflies eat adult skeeters and baby dragonflies eat baby skeeters.

Dragonflies rule!

In a few weeks, it'll be Father's Day and then, as I do now and most days, I will thank my dad for his love and his wisdom and for his compulsion to learn.

Comments, suggestions or questions for Don can be e-mailed to: don@dontrushmedon.com

Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: don@dontrushmedon.com
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