A recent conversation:
"Mom, did you know that at the end of WWII in England, because of the rationing, they were in the best health the nation has ever in? It was so good for them. Imagine having to save up sugar for a month to bake one birthday cake, and icing being illegal!"
Really, was my not very clever response.
"Yes! Everything was rationed except vegetables. It was very good for them. And if you lived out in the country, things were better. You had all the food you could grow and can. They had lots of fruit, too, except bananas. There wasn't a banana on the whole island for the war years, they couldn't get them."
Wow, i don't know how they went without bananas, i muttered as i stirred the spaghetti sauce.
"Well, they had other fruit, lots of apples and different kinds of berries. And they came up with clever recipe books, too. Out in the country, people would make hedgehog goulash!"
Well, that's something, i said, setting the spaghetti on to boil.
"Yes! Did you know that hedgehogs love tobacco? They will chew on cigarettes, foaming at the mouth and happy as can be. Can you imagine, setting a couple of cigarettes out on the lawn and going out there later to see happy hedgehogs chewing on them and foaming at the mouth?"
Until this moment, i noted, i never had to think about that before.
"Well, sometimes i wish this country would go to such strict rationing, in some ways, it would improve our health tremendously."
Of course, it would take a disaster of immense proportions to make that happen, i told her. The price of freedom is that people are free to do things that aren't necessarily good for them, including eating junk and not exercising.
"I know," she said. Then, "Hey, if i go buy some cigarettes, what do you think I could catch around here?"
Your father, pitching a fit, thinking you had started smoking, that's what you would catch.
"Well, someday I want to feed tobacco to a hedgehog!"
You do that, kid. Put it on your bucket list.
Armed Forces Day -- Mauritania
Blessing of the Boats -- Whitby, North Yorkshire, England
Clerihew Day -- in honor of the poetic form he invented, the clerihew:
Edmund's middle name was Clerihew
A name possessed by very few
But verses by Mr. Bentley
Don't Step On A Bee Day -- Wellcat Holidays wants to remind you, when going barefoot this time of year, watch out!
Feast Day of Knut the Reaper, Hela, Holda, and Skadi -- Norse deities whose celebration this day is due to their later association with Danish King Canute the Great
Independence Day -- Bahamas(1973)
Lady Godiva Day -- tradition says she took her famous ride on this day in 1040
National Pina Colada Day
New Robe for Athena Day -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)
Pick Blueberries Day
Silence Day -- followers of Meher Baba
St. Amalburga's Day (Patron of people with fever; Ghent, Belgium; against arm pain, bruises, and fevers)
Teddy Bear Picnic Day
Unaine Day -- Kiribati (Elderly Women Day)
Wyoming becomes the 44th US State, 1890
Jessica Simpson, 1980
Arlo Guthrie, 1947
Ron Glass, 1945
Arthur Ashe, 1943
Fred Gwynne, 1926
Jean Kerr, 1923
Jake LaMotta, 1921
Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 1921
David Brinkley, 1920
Don "Mr. Wizard" Herbert, 1917
Edmund Clerihew Bentley, 1875
Marcel Proust, 1871
Nikola Tesla, 1856
Adolphus Busch, 1839
James Whistler, 1834
William Blackstone, 1723
John Calvin, 1509
Today in History
Julius Caesar barely avoids a catastrophic defeat to Pompey in Macedonia at the Battle of Dyrrhachium, BC48
The most severe of several early fires of London burns most of the city to the ground, 1212
Lady Jane Grey takes the throne of England, 1553
Alexander Mackenzie reaches the Mackenzie River delta, 1789
The Vellore Mutiny is the first instance of a mutiny by Indian sepoys against the British East India Company, 1806
The United States takes possession of its newly bought territory of Florida from Spain, 1821
Big Ben, the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, rings for the first time, 1859
The eruption of Tarawera volcano destroys the famous pink and white calcium carbonate hot-spring terraces of North Island, New Zealand, 1886
Meher Baba, self declared Avatar of the Age, begins his silence of 44 years; his followers observe Silence Day on this date in commemoration, 1925
In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called "Monkey Trial" begins with John T. Scopes, a young high school science teacher accused of teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act, 1925
Howard Hughes sets a new record by completing a 91 hour airplane flight around the world, 1938
Telstar, the world's first communications satellite, is launched into orbit, 1962
Boris Yeltsin begins his 5-year term as the first elected President of Russia, 1991
In London scientists report the findings of the DNA analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton which supports the "out of Africa theory" of human evolution, 1997
Spain opens its first mosque since the Moors were expelled in 1492, in Granada, 2003