Hank alerts us to what he calls Oklahoma’s “de facto state Christmas carol,” a jingle for a local jewelry store that’s been running every holiday season for 51 years. I warn you, click at your own risk. Those susceptible to jingle-sickness — the tendency for these things to burn themselves on your personal hard drive, shoving aside such minor data bits as the names of your children — are urged not to go there. But hey! It’s catchy!
A little background:
Oklahoma is pro-capitalism; some people will buy TV time to sing your jingle:
OK, no more links. The virus has been passed. Soon, crowds will mill around the evacuating helicopters, shouting, “I’m not infected! I’m not infected!” as the rest of us scream and scream “at Oklahoma’s oldest jeweler! Since eighteen-ninety-two!” over the sound of the spinning rotors.
Actually, when you think about it, there’s something about a certain four-syllable state name that lends itself to music, isn’t there? Every night my honey lamb and I sit alone and talk, and watch a hawk making lazy circles in the skyyyyyy…
Since we seem to be off on a YouTube foot this morning, you can waste all kinds of time following the links from this Metafilter post, which managed to dig up a video of Ella no-I’m-not-kidding Fitzgerald singing “Sunshine of Your Love.”
As for me, I’m watching the sun rise on a severe-clear day (Midwest weather-nerd translation: Clear winter skies, abundant winter sunshine, cold as hell) that promises to turn overcast and snowy sometime in the next 24 hours. Fine with me. Bring on the precipitation, bring on the set-dressing for the holidays. Alan is out evacuating the dog; he (the dog) is on a new food regimen, and I’m making sure he has every opportunity to get his innards adjusted to the change before he settles back into his usual daytime routine of sleeping it away. The depredations of age are starting to settle in — the new food is a response to recent weight loss, which the vet says is caused by diminished kidney function.
“And what’s causing that?” I asked.
“Being 16 years old,” he replied.
Oh, well. None of us live forever, and ever since he entered the double digits, I guess I’ve been waiting for the inevitable. The good news: “He’s still got a lot of fight left in him,” the vet says. I’ll say. The little bastard still has a few Easter baskets and trick-or-treat bags to plunder. If the $20-a-case canned stuff allows him to do so, all the better.
Brian passes along a story I’d meant to bring to your attention earlier in the week, and then forgot about (probably because I was reading In Style): Everything a Parent Needs to Know About Theme-Park Rides to Make Them Want to Lock Their Children in the Basement Forever, via the WashPost. Bottom line: Many are not safe and everything you suspected about sleazebag carnies is probably true. And then, buried in the middle, is this gem:
Although the (Consumer Product Safety Commission) regulates children’s toys, strollers, bicycles and car seats, it has no jurisdiction over rides at fixed amusement parks, such as those run by Walt Disney Co., Six Flags, Universal and Anheuser-Busch Entertainment that host an estimated 300 million people on 1.84 billion rides annually.
Theme parks won their exemption in 1981, after a CPSC probe of ride accidents at Marriott theme parks alleged a coverup of safety hazards. Marriott, represented by Kenneth W. Starr, then a young Washington lawyer, and the industry fought back in the courts and on the Hill, where its top lobbyist complained about the “economic hardship” created by CPSC policing. More safety measures lessening risks would “make the ride worthless,” lobbyist John Graff told Congress at the time. “The activities of the commission must be limited.”
We must spare economic hardship to Disney at all costs. What’s a few immature human feet when such great American companies would be inconvenienced:
At Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, 13-year-old Kaitlyn Lasitter’s feet were severed while she was riding the Tower of Power, a stomach-flipping thriller that draws riders up and pauses briefly before plunging at more than 50 mph. A cable snapped and wound around Kaitlyn’s legs like a bullwhip. Surgeons reattached her right foot, but her left was too damaged to save.
OK, that’s unfair. The story is more about rides that should have seat belts but don’t, the ones you see at the church fundraiser on the corner. And also, the lack of consistent inspection of rides, which typically travel the country, in and out of jurisdictions, many of which lack the manpower to even make a passing safety check. Since it’s no longer theme-park season, at least at this latitude, you can probably read this story without getting nauseous. I can’t guarantee anything about next year, though.
OK, that’s it for me. Have a great day.