REMEMBER how some time ago I went on and on and on and on about some poor innocent soul, name of Jinky Singson, who evidently dialed a wrong number and ended up on my Caller ID; and I never deleted it, nay, I cherished seeing that most delightful name each and every time I obsessively reviewed who called me when I’d been out, even for a moment!, and was emotionally scarred for life (well, more so) when I dropped my phone and it broke and I had to get a new one and there was of course no way to transfer Caller ID numbers (I mean, why would there be?) to the new phone, so it was goodbye Jinky Singson? Remember all that?
Well, if not, you can read all about it here. But I think that’s about the gist of it.
Anyway, they say when one door closes, another opens. But I never believed it until I got home Thursday evening and looked to see who had called…
AS YOU KNOW, it’s been a longstanding annual tradition around the ol’ blog here to run over to the local Walmart and check out that year’s patriotic t-shirt. Hell, I’ve been doing this each and every year since I’ve had a blog!
Walmart graciously offers a new “Faded Glory” t-shirt for us patriotic customers to buy from them each year starting around Memorial Day - so that it’s good an’ broken in by the time Independence Day rolls around (which falls on July 4th this year).
Here’s 2012′s offering:
Gorgeous! Can we get a close-up on the design?
Ah, makes your heart swell with pride, don’t it?
Now last year, I pointed out that Walmart’s previous patriotical shirts had been manufactured in Pakistan and Nicaragua.
I checked with our resident eight year-old “mapophile” Dylan (who you should know made it all the way to the classroom finals of Mrs. Silverstein’s Geography Bee, and very nearly had a place in the grade-wide competition where he would have competed against children in Mrs. Maroni’s class across the hall – if that little pain-in-the-ass know-it-all Brianna Wong had called in sick) and Dylan confirmed what I long suspected – Pakistan and Nicaragua are foreign countries and not part of the United States.
Walmart was farming out their lucrative t-shirts-with-American-flags-on-them business to other, non-US countries!
Like you, I was more than a little disappointed with this.
But take heart! I think Walmart’s starting to get the message. No longer are we buying shirts that are stitched together by foreigners in such foreign places as Nicaragua or Pakistan, no sir!
Well, at least it’s a little closer to America than its neighbor to the south, Pakistan.
LIKE YOU, I’m an enormous fan of Roy Doty – an unabashed “Dotyphile,” as we call ourselves. As you know, I was one of the organizers of the first DotyCon way back in 1978 – and of course I’ve been an integral part of each one since. (Mark your calendars for this year’s event – July 12-15 – Hilliard, Ohio – Super 8 Motel, Room 216).
I also helped design the award we (hope to) give out each year (“The Roy”) at the Con and I’ve been on hand annually to present it should Mr. Doty ever attend and accept it. (This could be the year!) Legendary is my annual slideshow – with my humorous asides – of Roy Doty Christmas cards that I’ve found doing Google image searches, and, brother, if I’m not dressed up for the Roy Doty cosplay parade and mixer (Saturday night), then it means I’m one of the judges.
So you can imagine how stunned, how outraged I was the other day when, perusing the wares of my local National Council of Jewish Women Thrift Store, I come across this:
Oops! Wrong side.
Nope, not quite.
There we go!
It’s bad enough the people behind this vintage, mint-in-box, 1960s Do-Ray Super Compression Electric Rotary Compressor Air Inflater & Exhauster unauthorizingly used a drawing of Mr. Doty’s (from God knows where; no one person can be an expert on the man’s enormous body of work) but to place it alongside the chicken scratchings of an inferior artist is the height of disrespect!
Can we go in for a closeup?
I mean, that’s totally Roy Doty artwork, isn’t it? It’s not just me, is it? The woman looks especially Dotyesque. Right?
Anyway, if I was Roy, I’d sue Do-Ray right out of business – if they weren’t already out of business, that is. Instead, you’ll agree that what he should do is bid on my eBay auction for this exceedingly rare and valuable piece of Dotybilia! (It’s also great for inflating blow-up furnitures!) You should bid on it too! Be part of cartoonist history! Let’s show Roy how much we care and get a real bidding war going! I got a two-month gas bill to pay here.
IT IS INDEED with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to Jinky Singson.
I have no idea who she (or he?) is, and likely he (or she?) has no idea who I am.
But nearly two and a half years ago, way back in 2009, on the eighth of September, at precisely nine minutes after six in the evening, Jinky called me – and her (or his?) name and phone number (dutifully obscured below) appeared on my Caller ID.
I suspect Jinky dialed me in error; either hitting a wrong button on his (or her?) keypad, or perhaps trying to reach the production company that had this number before me.
Jinky Singson’s musical name – say it aloud, see how it truly dances off the tongue! – so tickled me that I could never bring myself to delete it. Oh, I’ve wasted no time in erasing from the display the name and number of everyone else who’s called me as soon as I’ve reviewed them. But not ol’ Jinky’s. Never.
And sure, I could have called Jinky back, introduced myself and gotten to the bottom of the mystery as to who she or he is and why he or she called, but I never did. Nor have I Googled the name or number. There’s something to be said, in this age of instant information, for riddles that remain unsolved. Am I so presumptuous to believe I have a right to the answers of all life’s questions? I think we both agree that if I did, I wouldn’t have canceled my subscription to Time-Life’s Mysteries of the Unknown after the second volume (“Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects”) when they started costing full price.
I like to think of what Jinky and I have shared, whoever she (or he) is, wherever he (or she) is, I like to think of what we shared as our own little version of “84 Charing Cross Road,” minus the two decade-long correspondence – but also minus the depressing ending. (Actually, minus any communication whatsoever save for the number on my Caller ID.)
Or perhaps he (or she?) is the W.C. Minor to my Dr. James Murray. Or vice-versa. Without one of us trying to compile a dictionary (as far as I know) while the other is locked away in an insane asylum (Christ, I hope not). Or maybe…! Just maybe Jinky doesn’t actually even exist, and she (or he?) is the Sabine to my Griffin.
Why, you ask, why, now, after so long, am I finally saying a sad farewell to the name of a perfect stranger that I have come to know as a trusted friend – always there, never farther away than a click of the “CID” button on my cordless?
The damn phone broke when I dropped it.
December was two months ago!
Isn’t it about time my neighbor takes down his damn Christmas decorations?!
WHILE this great nation of ours is currently enjoying a rather mild winter, it’s still hot chocolate season, so here’s a funny trick you can play on a pal or co-worker – especially if you work in an office environment with a kitchen / break room area featuring the standard ratty little wicker basket crammed with complimentary tea bags and hot cocoa envelopes. What’s more, you’ve probably already got all the items you need right there to pull this little beauty off:
Let’s get started! First, using your X-Acto knife, take your hot chocolate envelope and, along the crimped edge, carefully slice –
…You know, maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all. Waste that packet of desiccant and there’ll be mushrooms growing in your bowling shoes inside of a week.