Why can’t we live in Bacon, Ind.?

Published 10:52 am Friday, April 8, 2016

by Frank Roberts

Today’s collection of mostly unrelated thoughts starts at the breakfast table.

• Thanks to Cracker Barrel (why can’t we have one around here?) I learned, via one of their ads, that there are places in the U.S. that should make you smile: Happy, Texas; Buttermilk, Kansas.; Bacon, Ind.; Strawberry, Ark.; Sweet Lips, Tenn.; Two Eggs, Fla.; Hot Coffee, Miss.; Sandwich, Ill.; Surprise, Neb.; and in good, old North Carolina, there is a town with a great welcome sign — Welcome.

• From the department of, “I didn’t know that”: Who was the voice of “E.T.?” Debra Winger.

• Don’t try this at home: Pearls melt in vinegar.

• Football fans should know that it takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year’s supply of footballs. I saw that in a moo-vie.

• Now, on to baseball: The average life span of a major league baseball is seven pitches.

• Back to cows — it’s possible to lead a bovine upstairs, but not downstairs.

• Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are — you guessed it — already married. Ladies, check your hubby’s websites.

• Drinkers do a lot to keep the Russian economy going: Ten percent of that country’s government’s income comes from the sale of vodka.

• This is for students of the English language: “Stewardesses” is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand. And along those lines: The only 15-letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is “uncopyrightable.” It doesn’t often come up in everyday speech.

• Today’s mystery: A duck’s quack doesn’t echo. No one knows why.

• Hey, card players — do you know what you’re dealing? Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: spades, King David; clubs, Alexander the Great; hearts, Charlemagne; and diamonds, Julius Caesar.

• Now, history buffs, try this on for size: Only two people signed the Declaration Of Independence on July 4, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed Aug. 2. The last signature wasn’t added until five years later. Try that on your history teacher.

• Try this on your math teacher: If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies you have $1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar. Also on that subject, there are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

• Hey, movie buffs, you’ve been duped. The mask used by Michael Myers in the original “Halloween” movie was actually a Capt. Kirk mask painted white.

• Snails can sleep for three years without eating, making them an inexpensive (but boring) pet.

• And here is some wild crime news: The fingerprints of koala bears are virtually indistinguishable from those of humans — so much so they could be confused at a crime scene. The koala did it.

• Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a Friday the 13th.

• And three animal things. 1) Ants prefer not to walk through baby powder. 2) Snakes can’t blink. 3) A rat can tread water for three days.

• With all the election brouhaha these days, let’s wind up with some non-controversial presidential facts: Andrew Jackson was married to a bigamist; Martin Van Buren wore pistols in the Senate chamber in case things got too rowdy. Franklin Pierce ran over a woman with his horse while in office, and he was arrested, but released when the police realized he was the president. James Garfield could simultaneously write Greek with one hand and Latin with the other. Barack Obama can bench press 200 pounds.

• Oh, hey — let’s wind up with a smile: This is about the patient who pulled a gun on his psychiatrist, saying, “you’re a great doctor, but now you know too much.”

During a 60-year career spanning newspapers, radio and television, FRANK ROBERTS has been there and done that. Today, he’s doing it in retirement from North Carolina, but he continues to keep an eye set on Western Tidewater and an ear cocked on country music. Email him at froberts73@embarqmail.com.