You’ve just snuggled down into your comfortable easy chair, your coffee on your right and pastry on your left, your feet up when the curtains part. You expect to see Impish Dragon behind the curtain, but all there is is an empty, darkened stage.
You hear a door open from the back of the stage and a shuffling, dragging sound approaching the light. A low moaning echoes from the blackness and you can’t help but be reminded of the Zombie movies. All you’d have to hear now would be a desperate voice asking for “brains” and it would be enough to make you think you were part of some lousy rip-off of the living dead.
PIIIEEEESSSS! I NEED PIES!!!!! MOOOOOOAAAAAAANNNNNNN! PPPPPIIIIIIIIEEEEEEESSSSSS!!!!!
A gaunt and decrepit looking blue dragon appears from the darkness, shuffling towards the front of the stage and the light. Scratching his arm and sniffing like a heroin addict in withdrawal.
This is awful! Just awful. All my delicious pies gone….just…gone. Destroyed, their lives snuffed out in an instant. Before they ever had a chance. It ain’t right I tell you, IT AIN’T RIGHT!
I’m sorry. Trying to control myself with no pies….well…it’s hard. To make matters worse, all of the bakeries in 250 miles of here are all sold out! I don’t understand how that’s possible!
The dragon breaks down on stage and begins to sob. After a few minutes, he seems to shake himself, pull himself together and return to normal.
I’m sorry. This withdrawal thing is very hard, but here is much more we need to get to.
As many of you know, the 12th was Diaman’s birthday. It’s very appropriate that someone as special as she is so close to Valentine’s Day. Thank you very much to Ginny for giving up the date on her friend. She was very surprised. And she was even more surprised with the party we threw for her. Many of the mythical creatures were in attendance as well as the entire Chip ‘n Dale dancing troop. We had dancers jumping out of cakes (cake but not pie!!!) and lots of presents.
I’m really not surprised that she isn’t here with us today. The last any of us saw her, she was leading the entire Chip ‘n Dale troop up to her room and locking the door. I figure she’s still in the process of wearing them all out, especially since we put a bunch of recovery potions in the hallway outside her door. I figure it ought to be about the middle of next week before she is too worn out to continue.
As was previously mentioned, today is Valentine’s Day. For a short history of the holiday, you folks follow along with the next presentation while I step out and make a few calls. Seems there is a little mom and pop bakery that is rumored to still have a few pies on the shelf. They may have been missed because they actually operate out of their own home. I’ll be back shortly.
THE LEGEND OF ST. VALENTINE
The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.
ORIGINS OF VALENTINE’S DAY: A PAGAN FESTIVAL IN FEBRUARY
While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.
VALENTINE’S DAY: A DAY OF ROMANCE
Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”–at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.
Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.
TYPICAL VALENTINE’S DAY GREETINGS
In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.
Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
Okay, I’m back…it was a bust. They not only didn’t have any pies, but they said something about some big order where they won’t have any for a long time. I don’t understand what’s going on, it’s as if…
Suddenly, a voice from the main door says, “Excuse me Mr. Dragon, but you have a delivery. May I come in?”
I’m very busy here and quite frustrated from a lack of my drug of choice! Are you sure you really want to come in? What do you have? What kind of delivery? Who’s it from?
“I’m not really sure what it is, or who sent it, but the box says that it’s from the Little Pie Shop, St. Louis. I have to open it and delivery it to you myself, due to the special instructions.”
Oh my god! Oh my god! A pie! A pie! Let me have it! Let me have it! Impish starts dancing around and wiggling his butt, his tail wagging back and forth like an excited little puppy. Only a puppies tail doesn’t kill people. Everyone in the first two rows is ducking and hitting the ground in order to not be hit by this swinging mass of dragon tail. GIVE IT TO ME NOW!!!!
The delivery person opens the box and produces what looks like a huge, luscious cream pie. He takes two steps towards Impish and launches the pie right into his face! Splattering cream everywhere. A tiny droplet falls on you and you realize that it the old shaving cream in a pie tin routine, just as the dragon lets out a horrendous roar!
WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!!!!???? WHO WOULD DO SUCH A THING???? Oh, I see!!!!!
In the bottom of the tin pie pan is a quickly drawn shamrock which looks like it was drawn in green permanent marker….and a laminated note. Before you can ask what the note says there is another scream as Impish reads the note out loud:
“Congratulations, Impish Dragon! From now until Easter, all pies within 300 miles of your location will be donated to numerous homeless and church soup kitchens and food banks. Thank you for your generosity!”
My GENEROSITY!!!! WHAT THE….
Just as the dragon is about to explode, MC Hammer, or a VERY good impersonator, steps out on stage, the music comes up and he starts to sing, “Pies! Can’t touch dis! Break it down!”
There are several reasons why we are thankful to Ginny this week. She’s given us quite a few laughs, plus she alerted us to Diaman’s birthday.
This one though….is all hers. This is Ginny’s self proclaimed theme song:
2nd woman: Hi, Sylvia! How’d you die?
1st woman: I froze to death.
2nd woman: How horrible!
1st woman: It wasn’t so bad. After I quit shaking from the cold, I began to get warm & sleepy, and finally died a peaceful death. What about you?
2nd woman: I died of a massive heart attack. I suspected that my husband was cheating, so I came home early to catch him in the act. But instead, I found him all by himself in the den watching TV.
1st woman: So, what happened?
2nd woman: I was so sure there was another woman there somewhere that I started running all over the house looking. I ran up into the attic and searched, and down into the basement. Then I went through every closet and checked under all the beds. I kept this up until I had looked everywhere, and finally I became so exhausted that I just keeled over with a heart attack and died.
1st woman: Too bad you didn’t look in the freezer—we’d both still be alive.
The new warnings on the sides of alcohol bottles and cans
Alcohol Consumption Warning
– The consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
– The consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like an idiot.
– The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.
– The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you can sing.
– The consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.
– The consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.
– The consumption of alcohol may make you think you have mystical Kung Fu powers, resulting in you getting your behind kicked.
– The consumption of alcohol is the leading cause of inexplicable rug burns on the forehead/knees.
– The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.
– The consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe you are invisible.
– The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.
Things that men know:
1. Men know that Mother Nature’s best aphrodisiac is still a naked woman.
2. Men know that PMS is Mother Nature’s way of telling you to get out of the house.
3. Men know never to run away from a fight that you know you can win.
4. Men know that cats are evil and cannot be trusted.
5. Men know how to change the toilet paper, but to do so would ruin the game.
6. Men know exactly how much gas is left in the tank and how far that gas will get them.
7. Men know that from time to time, it is absolutely necessary to adjust oneself.
8. Men know that a woman will wear a low-cut dress and expect the man to stare at her cleavage. Men also know that the woman will get pissed off when they do, for reasons not totally clear to them.
9. Men know that it’s never a good idea to tell your father-in-law how good his daughter is in bed.
10. Men know that men are from here, and women are from way the hell over there.
A salesman was testifying in his divorce trial against his wife.
These are the glasses in my private dining room. The one I use for entertaining.
Thanks to Ginny for this one!
Number 3 was pretty impressive too.
Do you remember your first car? Brings a smile to your face just thinking about it, doesn’t it? Check out this site for pictures and brochures of your first car:
Yes, the dragon’s first car was a fish! A 1967 Plymouth Barracuda! God, I miss that car!!!!
As if Comcast didn’t have a bad enough reputation…..
More pictures from our school. This is our school bus and bus driver.
Your honor! I object! I’d at least like the opportunity to try!!!
Well, there’s definitely a long historical precedence in place!
“LOOK! NO BOMBS!!!”
Bob was sitting on the plane, waiting to fly to Detroit, when a guy took the seat beside him. The guy was an emotional wreck, pale, hands shaking, obviously in fear. “What’s the matter,” Bob asked, “flying bother you?”
“No, I’ve been transferred to Detroit. I’ve heard things are terrible there. They’ve got lots of shootings, gangs, race riots, drugs, poor public schools, and the highest crime rate in the nation.”
Bob replied, “I’ve lived in Detroit all my life. It’s not as bad as the media say. Find a nice home, go to work, mind your own business, and enroll your kids in a nice private school. It’s as safe a place as you want to make it.”
The guy relaxed and stopped shaking. He said, “Oh, thank you! I’ve been worried to death. But if you live there, and say it’s OK, I’ll take your word for it. What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a tail-gunner on a Budweiser truck.”
What’s wrong….isn’t that what you asked for?
Only if someone misses!!!!!
Late Breaking News!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Top 5 Worst Ways to Ask Someone to Be Your Valentine
#5. Not waiting until AFTER you’ve conducted their gynecological/proctological exam.
#4. Sexting 26 pictures to him, using his Vatican email address.
#3. Remind them that if they accept your invitation, they stand to gain not 1, but 72 virgins.
#2. At gun point.
And the Number One Worst Ways to Ask Someone to Be Your Valentine…
- Ask her during her wedding