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Playin' Dead ... by Cindy Beck

© Cindy Beck, 2009

(Keywords: Cindy Beck, dog, Bailey, dog tricks, Letterman, David Letterman, humorous writing, humorous blog, humor blog, funny, smile, laugh, humor)

Every once in a while you run across something that makes you laugh the instant you see it. That's the way it is with this video.

The dog in the clip is named Bailey, and she was featured on the David Letterman Show. Bailey is a beagle who puts a unique twist on an old trick. (Never let it be said that you can't teach a new dog old tricks.)



What's playing in my head: Doggone Right by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

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She's Turned Fifty ... by Cindy Beck

© Cindy Beck, 2009

(Keywords: Cindy Beck, North Korean missiles, nuclear weapons, dolls, Barbie, humorous writing, humorous blog, humor blog, funny, smile, laugh, humor, Latter-day Saints, LDS, yourLDSNeighborhood.com)

Today we’re covering the ever-pressing topic of North Korea and its nuclear weapons deployment—but first we need to discuss something even more important. Barbie has turned fifty!



Barbie (the doll) has been on this planet as long as I (the person) have. (Click here to see a photo of me in 1963.) However, when I die, I’ll feed the daisies. Barbie, on the other hand, will continue to fill up attics and basements with her plastic, ultra-skinny body and her perky … um … bust line.

I remember getting my first Barbie and playing dolls with my friend, Jessica.* Since I was more or less a tomboy, the whole doll concept baffled me.

(*Please note names have been changed to protect the innocent, and so that “Jessica” can’t tell you the crazy things I did as a kid.)

******

“What do you want to do?” I asked Jessica, while looking around her yard in boredom.

“Let’s play Barbies!” Jessica loved dolls and her excitement rivaled that of the Real Novato soccer team in a tournament … had there been an adult team in existence in that small California town in the sixties.

Since I’d just received my first Barbie, and was socially aware enough to understand that a plastic doll could neither walk nor talk, I wondered how we were going to play with her. What, maybe use her as a mini baseball bat?

Still, not wanting to be labeled a Barbie-hater, I put on a brave face, ran into my house and found my Barbie case. Those of you who had a Barbie know what I mean by “Barbie case.” However, for the guys among you, who only owned plastic army men that the dog loved to eat and then throw up, I’ll explain. A Barbie case was a rectangular, vinyl suitcase the size of a small warehouse, designed with a slot for the doll, a huge space for her wardrobe, and a small section for her accessories. Yes, accessories—those teeny pieces that made Barbie’s wardrobe complete—gloves, necklaces, and the dinky high heels that would give a real woman leg cramps that shoot up to her neck.

The cases came in several colors: red, yellow ….

Well, those are the only two colors I remember, so I’ll go out on a limb, make things up, and say that’s all that existed at the time. At any rate, mine was mustard yellow. More accurately called, “baby poop” yellow by those among us who were tomboys.

I grabbed my mustard/baby poop case, ran back to Jessica and sat down cross-legged beside her. “Okay, what do you want to do? Take her head off and stuff honeysuckle berries down her neck?” I might have been new to Barbie-dom, but I’d already figured out you could remove her well-coifed, pony-tailed head.

Jessica looked at me as if I’d just grown hedgehogs between my ears. “No, don’t take her head off!” She paused, thinking. “We’ll play like we’re going out on a date.”

Since I was only nine-years old, items at the top of my priority list included playing baseball, climbing trees, and flying kites. Boys were about as fun as burying my dead turtle, Turtie, by stuffing him down a gopher hole while I sobbed a tearful goodbye.

Aghast, I said, “A date? Like with a boy? Yuck!”

I looked at Jessica for a second, then grinned mischievously and decapitated Barbie. I flung her head—Barbie’s, not Jessica’s—into the case, put a tiny strand of fake pearls around her now headless neck, and laid her in the grass.

“Cindy, that’s not how you’re supposed to play Barbies.” Jessica’s tone sounded like a mother who was about to strangle her wayward child.

“Sure it is. She’s dead. We can have a funeral and bury her. Or wait—I know what—she’s a beheaded ghost!” I picked the doll up, and waved her through the air. “Woooooo, she’s coming to get you in your sleep.”

Jessica sighed. A long-suffering sigh. I decided she was just as tired as I was of playing dolls. She placed her Barbie gently in its suitcase, smoothed the doll’s sequined evening gown and closed the case with a click. “Never mind. Let’s do something else.”

“Great!” I threw my grass-stained Barbie into the mustard/baby poop container, squashed the lid down and latched it shut. “Let’s go do something really fun … like roller skate down the hill. Look at this scab I got the other day from skating!”

Jessica looked at it and turned white. I wasn't a mom or anything, but I was pretty certain she looked so pale because she needed to quit playing stupid things like dolls and go out in the sunshine.

****

Unlike North Korea’s missile firings, I have a point here. I’m telling you all of this because it proves you don’t have to love dolls to have fond remembrances of Barbie. For your pleasure, I've included below a photo of her at fifty.

So ... happy fiftieth, Barbie! And thanks for the memories.

BARBIE AT FIFTY

(I'd love to give credit to the creator of this image, but I'm unable to find a name or copyright info.)

What's playing in my head: Nothing, I'm too busy laughing at the picture above.

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The Yowling Bees Amid Life ... by Cindy Beck

© Cindy Beck, 2009

(Keywords: Cindy Beck, April, holidays, observances, April holidays, humorous writing, humorous blog, humor blog, funny, smile, laugh, humor, Latter-day Saints, LDS, yourLDSNeighborhood.com)



It’s April, the time of year when bees yowl, and tomcats buzz under the windows. Or maybe the reverse. Anyway, just in case the yowling bees and buzzing tomcats aren’t enough cause for celebration, I’ve spent many hours researching and writing down these lesser-known observances for your holiday rioting pleasure.

Okay, maybe not hours, but minutes. Well, maybe not minutes, but microseconds …

All right, I’ll confess. Corky Porky Pie, the dog, wrote this.


APRIL MONTHLY OBSERVANCES

National Donate Life Month (all month): Right off the bat, I have a question. Are we allowed to donate someone else’s life? If so, I can think of several people in Hollywood—or maybe in politics—I’d like to donate to the cause.

Oh, wait. Maybe this holiday is in reference to Life cereal. In that case, put me down for donating all that I own. All 365 cases of Life cereal that masqueraded as food storage in my basement for the past 30 years. In my opinion—and this is just my opinion (you’ll notice I’m being careful about a big, nasty lawsuit here)—the stuff tastes like crunchy polyester pants.

National Poetry Month (all month): You probably thought I’d try my hand at poetry for this … but alas and alack, rhyme and meter is something I lack. Instead, here are two fine renditions:

There was a young maid who said, “Why
Can’t I look in my ear with my eye?
If I give my mind to it,
I’m sure I can do it.
You never can tell till you try.”
~ Anon.


A sleeper from the Amazon
Put nighties of his gra’mazon—
The reason that
He was too fat
To get his own pajamazon.
~ Anon.

And I’ll bet you thought I didn’t know any poetry worth reciting.


APRIL WEEKLY OBSERVANCES

International Pooper-Scooper Week (1st-7th): It’s unclear here whether we should throw a wing-ding celebration that includes pooper-scooper tools or have a fiesta for the pooper-scooper person. In my home, that would mean either a party for a rusty old shovel (pooper-scooper tool), or my husband, Russ (pooper-scooper person who uses the tool).

Come to think of it, there’s not much difference between the two.

At any rate, just be glad this week is already over. If you failed to celebrate, feel free to visit my house, where you can pooper-scooper to your heart’s content. But, not actually in the house.

Sky Awareness Week (19th-25th): All those readers who are airline pilots, please stand. Now, all of you who are aware that you fly a hulking, metal behemoth through that blue stuff called “the sky,” please leave the room. Thank you. Would those left please give me your names—I want to be sure not to board your plane.


APRIL DAILY OBSERVANCES

National Fun at Work Day (1st): Ha—like anyone has fun at work. Oh, look … that should tell us something. It’s on April Fool’s Day.

National Cherish an Antique Day (9th): Ah yes, a holiday worth celebrating. I intend to give Russ a big hug on this day, since he’s pushing sixty (as opposed to my fifty-something, young-as-a-spring-chicken years).

Pushing sixty means he’s well into the designated time frame to be declared an antique.


What's playing in my head: Cherish by the Association

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Platitudes from Cat Attitudes ... by Cindy Beck

© Cindy Beck, 2009
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, cats, cat, lesson from cats, platitude, cat attitudes, humorous blog, funny, smile, humor, Latter-day Saints, LDS, yourLDSNeighborhood.com)

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures


Being a cat owner for most of my nine lives, I’ve arrived at the conclusion—obtained through the tried and true scientific method of sitting in a lawn chair with a bag of chips in one hand, a soda in the other and watching my cat, Tar Kitty, pounce on grasshoppers—that cats are a highly intelligent life form. Sort of a James Bond crossed with E.T.

No, wait, that’s not really accurate; it’s more like Terminator crossed with Shirley Temple, crossed with a fur coat.

Listed below, for the enjoyment of all pussycat lovers, are the platitudes I’ve learned from my furry, feline friends. They apply to humans as much as they do to cats…sometimes even more so.


To get ahead in the world, walk softly and carry a big hiss.

If you play with your food, you might lose it.

Washing behind your ears makes them less dirty, but it doesn’t make you hear any better.

Your mother might love you, but that won’t stop her from smacking you upside your head when you need it.

You’ll make a lot more friends by purring than by yowling.

Eat slowly. Gulping your food makes you throw up.

If you ignore the dog’s demands, he won’t go away. Instead he’ll curl up next to you on the bed when you’re not looking.

Don’t spit at others unless you have an escape plan.

Don’t believe anyone who says you can’t possibly get hooked on that funny little weed—the one known as catnip.

Prowling the neighborhood at all hours of the night only gets you in trouble.

Cheese might taste good, but if you eat too much, it stops up your plumbing.

If you have to use your claws, it’s wise not to unsheathe them ahead of time.

A lot of people are fooled by fluffy looks and a cute tail.

Those who love you will help you get the burs out.

Recognize your friends from your enemies, so you don’t sleep with the wrong one on a cold night.

No matter how far you fall, if you try hard enough you can always land on your feet.

If something smells fishy, it probably is.

Pay attention to where you spend your leisure time. If you nap in the dryer, you’re bound to find yourself tumbling end over end.

Too much turkey at Thanksgiving makes you waddle.

A brave swagger and a puffed-up chest can sometimes get you out of a jam.

If you love someone you’ll help them look their best, even if it does give you hairballs.


What's playing in my head: What's New Pussycat by the Tom Jones.

This blog sponsored by YourLDSNeighborhood.com. Please show your appreciation by returning to and browsing through the Neighborhood.

And while you're there, subscribe to our fantastic newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, our newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources and interviews from around the world—all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Neighborhood Newsletter Subscriptions are FREE, and joining is easy.

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