Once in a Blue Moon

Blue-Moon-640x416One of my devoted readers accused me of recycling stories the other day.  I guess because I hadn’t written anything in a while.  He just wanted to make sure what he had gotten in his inbox was a “new” one.  I assured him that the story about Alison Krauss and the guy who made the airplane come back to the gate was a new story.  Not really “new”, because  I’ve told it verbally a thousand times, but I hadn’t written it down before….I don’t think.

 Just so you know, most of the “recycled” stories, and there have only been a few, were moved from another blog that I started about 7 years ago, so none of them appeared here on “What the Fluffy” before.  Each recycle begins with an explanation of why and where they were recycled from anyway.  The old blog was called “Sometimes I Just Crack Myself Up,” and I do.

So I wasn’t sure if I was insulted by the fervent reader or not.  As I sit here writing this, I’m still not sure, but I thought I should make it clear….this story is new.  And once in a blue moon, I might republish something I wrote before, but I’ll always tell you.

Once in a blue moon.  That’s something I get told a lot by my wife.  Particularly when I try to defend myself whenever she says I “never” do something.  I’ll tell her when I last did it, sometimes, and she’ll say, “Okay, so once in a blue moon, then.”

I always thought a blue moon occurred every year.  Evidently that’s not true.  Evidently, according to Google, by way of Wikepedia, a blue moon happens every 2.7145 years.  So I guess I don’t do those things as often as I thought.

If you want to get really technical, again, according to Wikepedia, “once in a blue moon” is equal to 1.16699016 × 10-8 hertz. The hertz is a unit of frequency (one per second), and thus if the mean length of time between blue moons is metricated (and Spellcheck hated this word) and converted to a frequency (by calculating the multiplicative inverse,) it can be expressed in terms of hertz.”  So it’s not any more often, but it’s 1.16699016 times ten to the eighth hertz.  Throw that out there at your next party.  Bet that will start a conversation…or not.

Anyway, so I do things once in a blue moon a lot.  Wonder where the saying comes from?  According to unnamed sources, it dates back somewhere to maybe 1528.  That’s a ways back, so we probably don’t have any “concrete” evidence, however this phrase appears in a work by William Barlow (The Bishop of Chichester) in the “Treatyse of the Buryall of the Masse”…

            Yf they saye the mone is belewe

            We must beleve that it is true.

How do they get away with all that misspelling in “old” English?  Is “new” English just improved spelling?  Who decided that an “i” needed to be in believe?  I kinda like beleve without the “i” before “e” except after “c”, except when sounding like “a” as in neighbor and weigh.  What do we need the “i” in there for anyway?  We could write releve without the “i”, and nieve using the “i” in place of the “a”.  You would know what I meant, right?  Naïve.  Anyway, I flunked, that’s right, flunked, what was it called, Phonics.  They called it Phonics, I’m pretty sure, and I’m pretty sure they don’t call it that anymore.  In second grade, in Hardin, Montana, I got an “F” in Phonics. I still have the report card to prove it, but not the bright red marks on the butt from the belt for getting an “F” on my report card.   But I sure know the rules.  I memorized the rules.  But those are spelling rules aren’t they.  No, they’re Phonics rules.

My second grade teacher in Hardin, Montana, was Miss Goe. (Phonetically like “go”, without the “e”.)  She spent the entire school year making a paper mache, (I have no idea how to put the punctuation on that word, but it’s French for “chewed paper”.) foot high, “Smokey the Bear”.  Shovel and all.  I can’t make this stuff up.  We learned, or didn’t, phonics, and she sculpted “Smokey the Bear” out of newspaper soaked in flour paste.  It took her the entire school year to do it.

Miss Goe was also responsible for the one and only time I got my mouth washed out with soap.  I said the word, get ready for it, “shit,” right under the second-grade open window while at recess, at the same time Miss Goe was pasting flour-soaked newspaper to “Smokey the Bear.”  Next thing I know, I’m being dragged by the elbow into the boy’s bathroom.  Why do we call it a bathroom?  There is no bathtub in there.  More importantly, how did Miss Goe know it was me that uttered the dastardly word outside the open window?

And wait just a minute.  What does Miss Goe think she is doing in the BOY’s bathroom?  Can you imagine how shocking that is to a second grader?  She drags me over to the sinks, grabs one of those “cardboard” paper towels, wads it up, squirts several squirts of god knows what kind of soap (pink) and shoves the paper towel down my throat.  She twists it a couple of times and says something stupid like, “That will teach you.”  Teach me what?  She obviously couldn’t teach me phonics

I still use the word “shit” a lot.  I know how to spell it, and, phonetically, how to pronounce it.  She didn’t teach me shit.  All she succeeded in doing, besides sculpting “Smokey the Bear” out of paper mache, was to leave a mental scar on me that will never go away.  Way to go, Miss Goe.  If it had happened in 2014 (that’s twenty fourteen for those of you that are uninitiated) she wouldn’t be teaching second grade anymore.

bluemoon2And we are back to “Once in a Blue Moon.”  The saying obviously means, since you don’t see a blue moon very often, if at all, that you do things very rarely. But you do, do them.  The moon can actually look blue in certain circumstances, like volcanic ash that diffracts red light making the moon appear blue, but it more commonly would refer to a second full moon in a calendar month.  And that does happen.  Just like second-grade teachers that wash your mouth out with soap and sculpt “Smokey the Bear” out of paper mache.

 At any rate, I was shocked to find out that I had only written three blogs in 2013.  Been busy with that job I hate, and other unimportant things, I guess.  But at the same time, I had 14,000 visitors to my blog in 2013.  Who invented the light bulb is still the number one draw, but people still think I know how to back up a boat trailer. 

Happy New Year everyone.  Maybe I’ll do better in 2014, but I’m not going to make any resolutions.  New Year’s Resolutions are for Dummies.  Probably a book out there already.  Yellow and black.  I have several of them in my bookcase.  The easy estimate is that 90% of us break them, so what’s the point?  More appropriately, WTF.




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2 responses to “Once in a Blue Moon

  1. So phonetics was your failure. Fractions and decimals were mine. I got my one and only F in 5th grade math and I can’t even blame Mr. Ross, cuz honestly, he was my first male teacher and I think I had a kid crush on him. We both tried really hard to pound the concept of fractions into my head but I’m still at a loss to understand metrics and statistics which means that I’m an easy sucker for WP’s year end stat spiel.

    • Thanks for commenting. I’m not going to admit that phonetics, (or phonics as I like to think of it) was a failure, just that I didn’t get it much in second grade. :o) The only other F I ever got was in Religion in 5th grade. Sister had it in for me so it was understandable. Don’t feel bad, I don’t get fractions much either, and I have to use them a lot.

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