The Hokey-Pokey ... Shakespearean Style

My friends, family, and readers often send me humorous e-mails and videos. I am so appreciative when they do because, first of all, they usually make me laugh. Secondly, they give me "fun stuff" to share out here on the blog.

My friend, Cathy Witbeck, recently sent an email that contained this note:

The following is from the Washington Post Style Invitational Contest, a weekly contest that the Post runs. In March 2003, they asked readers to submit “instructions” for something (anything), but to win this particular time it had to be written in the style of a famous person. The winning entry was the Hokey-Pokey as written by William Shakespeare.

Hokey-Pokey by William Shakespeare

By Jeff Brechlin

O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke,
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
To spin! A wilde release from Heaven’s yoke.
Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke—banish now thy doubt
Verily, I say, ‘tis what it’s all about.


I hope you enjoyed that little ditty as much as I did. May 2011 be a wonderful year for you!

------Blog article © C.L. (Cindy) Beck; "The Hokey-Pokey by William Shakespeare" reported to be from the Washington Post------

Christmas Gift Exchange... by C.L. Beck

Fun Stuff and Humorous Stories by C.L. (Cindy) Beck

(Also, announcing the Kroger-Chex giveaway winner, below!)

Hurray, a Christmas present in the mail, addressed to us from our friend, Frank! I opened it and on the Christmas tag inside it read: “To Vance and Beth.”

I narrowed my eyes and looked over at my hubby, Russ, to see if he'd noticed the gift. He seemed happily engaged in watching football, his sport of choice for December. Now was my chance! Since Vance and Beth were friends of ours, I felt certain they wouldn’t mind if I shook the package and listened for money a clue as to whether it was really meant for us or them.

And that’s when Russ slowly turned his head, resembling some robot thingy on Star Trek, and looked at me. He cocked his head to the side and raised one eyebrow like that well known vulture, Spock. Oops. I mean that well known Vulcan, Spock.

“Why are you shaking that?” he said, while taking it from my hands and reading the tag.

“I’m trying to figure out if it’s really meant for us or for Vance and Beth.” I snatched it back from him. Not that I cared if he knew who it was addressed to, but hey, if there was money in there it was mine!

I tucked the gift under my arm and moved out of grabbing range. “I think we need to open it so we know who it’s supposed to be for.”

A slight frown creased Russ’s forehead. “We don’t have to do that. Just email them and ask if they were expecting a gift from Frank. If they were, then it’s theirs. If they weren’t, then it’s probably meant for us and Frank just put the wrong tag on.”

It was a good suggestion, but I wasn’t about to tell Russ that because then he would think he knew enough to run the universe, and we certainly couldn’t have that.

The next day, I sent a note to Vance:

Dec. 10

Hey Vance, good buddy! We got a package mailed to us from Frank with your name on the gift inside. Do you usually exchange gifts, or can I assume this is meant for us? If it’s meant for you, do you want us to open it and tell you what it is so you can thank him, or just mail it on to you, unopened?

~ Cindy

PS: Even if there’s money in it, I’m certain there’s no money in it.

A day later, we received a reply:

Dec. 11

Hi Cindy and Russ: How are my good friends? No, we don’t exchange gifts with Frank. Heck, I have a hard enough time just getting out my Christmas cards, much less exchanging gifts. How about screening my gifts for me and opening it so I can send a thank you to Frank right away. Then you can mail it to me. We won’t tell Frank about the mix up.

~ Vance

I grabbed the scissors and with bated breath prepared to cut the ribbon on the package … when Russ walked into the room.

“What are you doing to Vance’s gift?”

“He said I could open it,” I replied, hiding the package behind my back. Russ scurried around behind me, put me in a headlock, patted my arm and said, “No, you don’t need to open it. Just send it on to him.”

Muttering to myself about what I thought of a Grinch who wouldn’t let people open gifts that belonged to other people, I mailed the package off. Unopened and unharmed, even.

A few days later, another email came from Vance:

Dec. 17

Hi Cindy and Russ: Two boxes arrived in the mail from Frank today. One came from Utah and had your handwriting on it, with Frank’s return address. Which do I open? Oh, I know, I’ll open both and send you the one I don’t want! :)

~ Vance

Ha! That Vance was funny. Sooooo funny. I emailed him back:

Dec. 18

Hi Vance, who used to be my friend: Open my gift and you die!

~ Cindy

Two days later, the original package #1 from Frank came back to us from Vance, and another email arrived from Vance. Since Russ stood next to me as the email came in, I read it out loud to him:

Dec. 19

Hi Cindy and Russ! Get ready to smack your forehead again. Or better yet, smack mine. We mailed back to you the package #1 from Frank … you know, the one that came to you originally, that you shook, checked for money and then sent on to us.

In the meantime, I opened package #2 from Frank and realized that the gift inside had your names on it! I should have opened and looked at it before I sent you back the other one. I’m betting they contain the same gifts—or at least similar—but if you want, I’ll send the one with your name on it to you. I’m sure it won’t arrive before Christmas, though.

It feels like some sort of canned food …

Russ leaned closer to the email. “Canned food? Like green beans and Spam? What kind of present is that for Frank to send? Well, tell Vance he can keep the Spam and we’ll keep the Hickory Farms goodies that are probably in package #1.”

I gave package #1 another shake. It looked a little worse … okay, a lot worse for the wear, having been shipped around the country three times. And nope, still no money. Probably just green beans and Spam. But hey, a present’s a present, right?

I sat down and sent a note back to Vance:

Dec. 19

Hi Vance! I’m pretty certain both packages are the same, so we’ll keep the one we have here and you keep the one you have there, even though the names on the gift tags are wrong. I’m going to send a note to Frank tonight telling him the package he sent to Russ and me came and we’re waiting until Christmas to open it. I’m not going to tell him the reason I’m waiting is just in case another package shows up from him!

Have a great Christmas.

~ Cindy

(Note: This story is based on a real Christmas event. However, names have been changed so that no one thinks Frank lost his marbles. As for what was in the packages … both of them contained identical gifts from Hickory Farms. No Spam, but there was a small canned ham. And definitely no money!)

Wishing all of my readers a wonderful holiday season and a healthy, happy, prosperous new year!

Winner of the Kroger-Chex Giveaway: MARI! I'll be sending you an email, Mari, so that you can claim your prize. Thanks so much to all who entered the contest.

------Photo © ByTheBecks, story © C.L. (Cindy) Beck------

This blog sponsored by YourLDSNeighborhood.com.

Please show your appreciation by stopping for a visit. And take a minute to check out their newsletter, and yourLDSRadio as well!

Kroger and Chex Giveaway ... by C.L. Beck

Yes, it's time for the Kroger-Chex Giveaway! But first, a few funnies and then the rules ...

Wahoo! It's that time of year when we bake delicious goodies and celebrate Christmas. In honor of the season, I'm holding a Kroger®-Chex® Giveaway for a chance to win one $25 Kroger Family of Stores gift card (includes Smiths, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyers, and others) and samples of Chex cereal.

Seriously, at my house it just does not feel like Christmas if we don't have Chex Party Mix. I've made many batches over the years, including Chex Traditional Party Mix and Chex Muddy Buddies. And yes, I'm telling you the truth when I say I buy my Chex cereal at Krogers! (Smith's Food and Drug.)

In 1986, my mom started making a party mix with Corn Chex that she calls Mexican Munchies and to the best of our knowledge, she's the original creator of the recipe. Sometimes I make a big batch for Christmas and freeze a portion for our New Year's celebration. That way we have double the Chex fun! I'll share that recipe with you ... it's posted below the giveaway rules.

What Chex Says:
Cheers to a season filled with delicious, homemade holiday treats! Kroger and Chex Cereal have joined forces to help you whip up recipes for your holiday entertaining that are easy on your time as well as your budget!

There are so many great tasting Chex Party Mix recipes that you can make in the microwave in only 15 minutes! Try The Original Chex Party Mix or Chex Ginger-Honey Crunch for sure crowd pleasers.

Looking for an easy gift idea for friends, family or co-workers? Try wrapping your favorite Chex Party Mix in a colorful tin or bag and personalize it with your own recipe card. (Note from Cindy: I've given Chex Mix many times and it's a wonderful gift!)

To make things even sweeter, Kroger Family of Stores will have Chex cereal on sale so you can impress your guests without stressing your wallet. For 3 weeks, from December 2nd - December 25th, Kroger will offer Chex cereal at their lowest prices of the year!

Kroger-Chex Giveaway Rules (Dec 13-Dec 19, 2010): To enter, leave a comment on this blog article before midnight MST, Dec 19, 2010. Please leave your email address so I don't have to track you down if you win. The winner will be announced on Monday, Dec 20.

Can't think of anything to say in a comment? Tell us which Chex products you enjoy the most, or share your favorite Chex recipe! Or, tell us which Kroger Family of Stores you enjoy shopping at.

(Thanks for entering! This giveaway sponsored by Chex, Kroger, and MyBlogSpark® . All information plus the compensation I received in the form of a $25 gift card and samples of Chex, came from from Chex and Kroger, and through MyBlogSpark. However, my opinions of the event, of the companies involved, and the quality of the products mentioned are my own. If for some reason there is no winner, or I can not get in contact with the winner, I will redraw or give the prize to charity, at MyBlogSpark's and my discretion.)

Mexican Munchies Recipe
By Roberta K.

1 can French-fried onions (3 ounce can)
1 can potato sticks (4 ounce can)
2 c. Corn Chex
3/4 cup Spanish peanuts
1/4 c. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp Mexican Munchies homemade seasoning mix, OR 2 Tbsp commercially prepared taco seasoning mix

In a large bowl, melt butter on high for 45 seconds. Stir in 2 TBSP of seasoning mixture. Add remaining ingredients and stir gently until all pieces are coated. Microwave on high for 6-7 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Place Mexican Munchies on paper towels to cool and then store in airtight container. May be frozen.

And one last funny ...

Blog article © C.L. (Cindy) Beck. Recipe © Roberta Kieliger. Funnies received in an email from Karen Mittan. Artists' websites are unknown. ------

Nutmeg: It's Not Just for Pie Anymore ... by C.L. Beck

(Tags: nutmeg high, high on nutmeg, smoking nutmeg)

Today we're discussing the pressing topic of whether Congress will give us back our tax cuts or if instead they plan to put us all in the poor house. But first, let's talk about something of even greater importance: nutmeg!

The latest scuttlebutt making the rounds is—

Wait ... for those who don't know what "scuttlebutt" is, we'll break it down. "Scuttle" means to run around like cockroaches when the lights are turned out. (Not that any of us would know about cockroaches from experience.) The other half of the word, "butt," is the part of the anatomy a person sits on when doing nothing. Hence, "scuttlebutt" would be the cockroaches in Congress who sit on their butts doing nothing.

Oh, dang, I'm not sure how the words "in Congress" got in that last line. Gremlins, I suppose ... but ... I digress.

So, over the past few days, Yahoo News carried articles on kids smoking nutmeg. No, I am not nutty as a nutmeg, although the kids smoking the stuff must be. The info on nutmeg is entirely true ... well, as true as things from the Internet can be. And for your further edification, I've provided a real transcript—well, as real as things from my mind can be—from a conversation between two drug users.

Newbie Druggie: Ooo, far out man. What are we smoking today?

Professional Junkie: We're smoking nutmeg.

Newbie Druggie: Cool! I'll just stuff this piece of pumpkin pie in a pipe and smoke it.

Professional Junkie (as Newbie Druggie turns blue from inhaling pie) : I don't think that's how you do it. Let me go out to YouTube and watch the videos that show—

We interrupt this fictitious true conversation to warn you that there really are instructional videos on YouTube explaining how to smoke nutmeg. However, for your safety, we have not included links since there is a likelihood that the ATF is monitoring the place. Or maybe it's the FDA. Then again, it could be the YMCA.

And now, back to our highly educational discussion ...

Professional Junkie (staring at computer screen): Whoa, there's an awesome video out here on some book called Mormon Mishaps and Mischief by C.L. Beck and D.N Giles. But, bummer, it doesn't say how to smoke nutmeg. Let me try another clip.

Okay, this one says sprinkle the nutmeg on paper, roll it up, and light it.

Newbie Druggie (looking around): But dude, there's no paper in this room!

Professional Junkie: Yeah, I already tried smoking the newspaper to see if the ink would get me high, but all it did was flare up and burn off my eyebrows.

Newbie Druggie: No way, man! I always thought you were born that way.

Professional Junkie: Listen, go in the bathroom and get a bunch of toilet paper. We'll roll the nutmeg in that.

Newbie Druggie (returning with a long string of toilet paper that extends down the hall and into the bathroom): I kept it attached to the roll so if we need more, all we have to do is give a pull.

Professional Junkie: Most excellent idea, dude!

Newbie Druggie (lights the nutmeg joint and inhales deeply, never noticing as the toilet paper flares and fire runs down the line of TP like a fuse on dynamite): Oooo, far out. Cool colors on the ceiling and ... aaack, my nose hairs are on fire! Call the fire department!

Professional Junkie: Bummer, dude. Gotta split, but here's the phone.

And so ends our educational tête-à-tête for today. Tune in to future blogs where, on that night when the planets align and I win a Pulitzer prize, we'll discuss the pros and cons of smoking banana peels.

In the meantime, remember ... they don't call it "dope" for nothing!

------© C.L. (Cindy) Beck------

CONTEST COMING NEXT WEEK: Enter to win a Kroger “Chex Holiday Recipes” gift pack that includes two samples of Chex cereal and a $25 gift card valid at the Kroger Family of Stores (includes Smiths, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyers and a slew of others!) Check back next Monday!

This blog sponsored by YourLDSNeighborhood.com.

Please show your appreciation by stopping for a visit. And take a minute to check out their newsletter, and yourLDSRadio as well!