Random Thoughts while Driving in Waco

By Jack Smith

Jack can be reached at jwsmith2@flash.net

Smokey the Bear is 75 years old. He used to say only you can prevent forest fires, now it’s only you can prevent wildfires. I guess it’s more inclusive. I misspoke when I said Smokey the Bear. It’s just Smokey Bear — no “the.” I guess that’s also more inclusive. He’s not the only bear.

I knew I was in a fancy restaurant because the menu was in cursive.

I’m not 100% Texan because I’ve never owned a pickup. I was thinking about the names of pickups when I watched an ad for Chevy Silverado. What is a Silverado? I guessed that it might be a city in Colorado, but apparently it’s just a made up word. Could other colors have “ado” added to them? Amberado. Copperado. Sounds good to me. Ford and Ram mostly use numbers: F-150, Ram 1500. Toyota has alliteration: Toyota Tacoma and Tundra. Why would you name a truck Tundra? Tundra is defined as a solid frozen black mucky soil. Not too appealing.

Perhaps the most famous use of the word tundra, at least in Texas, came in the 1967 Ice Bowl. A game played for the NFL Championship on December 31, 1967, between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. Lambeau Field got its nickname, The Frozen Tundra, after that game. How cold was it? At kickoff it was 13 below zero. The wind chill was 50 below. The pre-game warm-ups didn’t. The referees had metal whistles that froze to their lips and pulled off skin until they were abandoned. The band, a Wisconsin college, couldn’t play because the instruments froze up. Several players ended up with frostbite. One spectator died of exposure to the cold. Green Bay scored with 16 seconds left in the game to win 21-17. It is still one of the most talked about games ever.

A word that I think is a really fun word is caboodle. Can you have a caboodle without a kit? Yes, a caboodle is a collection of things. What is a kit? It’s also a collection of things or something to hold the kit or caboodle in (shaving kit). You can put your kit in your kit.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy looking at and reading obituaries. I recently saw the most unusual obituary picture ever. There was a regular photo of the nice lady and then a picture of her doing a cannonball into a swimming pool. Reading her story, it seemed that she had a very happy life and was a hoot. May she rest in peace and have the chance to do cannonballs in heaven.

I recently got some new eyeglasses at Sam’s Club. I can now see everything in bulk.

I heard someone recently being called a fashion plate. (It wasn’t me.) I know what it means, but why plate? To save you time (you’re welcome) I Googled it and then Wikipediaed it. There were many actual fashion plates. Ornately painted plates showing ladies in the latest fashions. Some went back as far as the 1600s, but they were most popular in the 1800s and even the 1900s. How real people became to be called plates is another question. I guess it went from “she looks like a fashion plate” to “she is a fashion plate.”

I think another sign of the drought is that nobody does The Wave at football games anymore. Speaking of football games, I was watching the Texas A&M game against Arkansas and learned that Arkansas has a player named Bumper Pool. It’s his real name. His dad, Mr. Pool, loved to play bumper pool when he was young always said if he had a son, he would name him Bumper. He did. Really.

IF I WERE KING: Bumper Pool would marry a girl named Snooker.

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