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what did I tell you about that curtain rod?

March 2, 2011

So there I was yesterday sitting at the computer, happy that it’s March, sad

that we’d already had 8 more inches of snow, and groggy from the after effects

of the operation.  (Jude said the third day after surgery is usually the worst.)

Nothing was happening in the neighbourhood because everybody’s mobility

was so limited.

I couldn’t think of anything to post about.  I wasn’t really up for another injury

so soon.  I didn’t want to interact with the provincial health system again for a

bit.  Slinkee nudged my arm for attention.  I petted her awhile and looked at her

ear infection.  It was better.  I checked the blog to see if there were any comments

that needed tending to.  Bingo.  I found my topic.

Rosie commented that “…you are walking vindication for every parent who

has ever told their children not to run with a sharp stick.”  I started to tell her

the Andy Devine story.  Then I realized it was too complicated to cover in the

comments section, yet too juicy to go untold.  So here it is.  Thank you, Rosie.

Andy Devine was a character actor who appeared in 400+ movies from the 30’s

through the 70’s.  Many of them were westerns.  He played Roy Rogers’ sidekick

“Cookie” in ten films and Wild Bill Hickock’s sidekick “Jingles” on TV for most of

the 50’s.  Jingles was a childhood hero of mine.  My mother knew this and merci-

lessly exploited it.

Devine’s trademark was his high raspy voice.  I can still hear his catchphrase

“Hey, Wild Bill!  Wait for me!” rattling around in my brain.  Allegedly he got his

distinctive tone from falling down while running with a curtain rod in his mouth

as a kid.  Mom changed it to a stick to cover more situations.

I don’t remember a specific incident when I was actually running with a stick in

my mouth, but I must have been busted at least once.  She called me in and said

“Do you want to end up like Andy Devine?”  Not realizing this was a safety lecture,

I said “sure!”  He rode with (or slightly behind) Wild Bill Hickock, after all.

Mom then went into more detail.  She answered all my questions.  No, I couldn’t

even walk with a stick in my mouth.  I shouldn’t even walk with vegetables in my

mouth, although I should sit still and eat more vegetables.  The woman seemed

to have every angle covered.

It worked.  I haven’t run with a stick in my mouth to this day, and certainly not

a curtain rod.  I just wish she had warned me to be careful stowing my kayak

with a bungee cord or I could put an eye out.

  1. March 2, 2011 9:53 am

    Ahha thus the eye patch?

    My winter parka has an elastic cord threaded around the hood with two wooden (lets call them bowling balls) attached to each end. You can see where I am going here I am sure. If the cord gets tangled up when zipping up your jacket and is released by tugging very hard on it …. it becomes a missle. Hence a very large bruise on my forehead. It would have been my eye but it glanced off my glasses and made a dent in my face instead. I have since removed the offending cord and use it to stow my bike on the garage wall. I may have to rethink that.

    • March 2, 2011 12:14 pm

      I’m glad that you found a safer, better use for the face denter. I think the secret is to not piss it or your bike off. Or the garage wall. And don’t run.

  2. March 2, 2011 10:14 am

    When I was about 2, I got a cut right above one eyebrow on a chair in the hallway that had an exposed screw. I’d been running. Thankfully I had some stitches and my eyeball stayed in place. Otherwise, I’d be sporting an eye patch.

    I’m not sure, but I think my mom said, “Stop running in the house! Do you want to end up like Allen?” Something like that. I can’t be sure. I was only 2. But that’s how I’m going to remember it from now on.

    • March 2, 2011 12:18 pm

      I’m honored to be part of your re-perceived personal history, Coach. There is an upside to an eyepatch, though. Chicks dig it.

  3. March 2, 2011 10:17 am

    I just googled Andy Devine. I remember him! But look at what I found on the internets: How cool is that?

    • March 2, 2011 12:22 pm

      That is extraordinarily cool. It’s heartening to learn that Jingles got top billing in issues 38 – 43 of “Six Gun Heroes”. Did you know that Devine’s great-grandfather was the first Union naval officer killed in the Civil War? I couldn’t find a credible way to work that into the post. Thanks for the chance now.

  4. March 2, 2011 12:44 pm

    I remember Andy Devine and his distinctive voice.. wow, that sure takes me back!

    • March 2, 2011 2:31 pm

      Egad, Beanie. Are you as old as me, or has Andy shown up on TV Land?

  5. Brown Brother permalink
    March 2, 2011 2:12 pm

    But…do you remember what show Andy Devine was star of…had part of his name in the title??

    “I’ve got a gang, you’ve got a gang…..”

    With Midnight the cat, the mouse flying an airplane , and “Froggy”, who appeared after a phrase that I’m not sure I can post here, about doing something to his magic something….

    And showed segments of ‘Gunga Din’ movies and such…..


    “ANDY’S GANG!”

    • March 2, 2011 2:38 pm

      BB, I vividly remember Froggie and his magic twanger (and a hilarious 60’s poster of him pleasuring himself on a lily pad), but I didn’t remember it was Andy’s gang. Having known Mom, I hope you got an extra chuckle imagining her counseling me about my foolishness.

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