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ROUNDING THIRD: Waste not, want not — items from the scrap pile

John David Fay
Sentinel columnist
Posted 4/7/23

The words to an old song (1870) start with, “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child.” I admit that I don’t really fit the context of those words, but I get it.

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ROUNDING THIRD: Waste not, want not — items from the scrap pile


The words to an old song (1870) start with, “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child.”

I admit that I don’t really fit the context of those words, but I get it. Sometimes I feel like I’m always chasing an elusive butterfly that has no intention of landing anywhere near me. It leads me to the edge of opportunity and then flies away. It’s been there at the end of my nose my whole life. I reach out to grab it, but I don’t want to damage it, so I get too careful — and she leaves again.

Life can be like that, and when you get older and look back, you see all the missed opportunities and the chances lost to hesitation. It is only as I’ve reached these later years that I will grab and hold on to whatever I can grab to make life more meaningful and enjoyable.

I do, however, hate to waste time — who knows how much is left — so I try to use all I have, no waste, to attain those ends. When I write a column, I try my hardest to use materials that I think older people can relate to. Sometimes some of that material ends up on the cutting room floor and not part of the original article.

Well, my grandpa’s Welsh heritage makes me cut and save those items. And guess what — I’ll reuse them. I grew up on that old saying, “Waste not, want not!” I’m kind of like the old carpenter who makes someone a bird house, then later sees it in the trash. I’d just take it apart and reuse the wood.

So here are some of the items that you missed before. It’s good wood, just didn’t fit the other birdhouse, I guess. The “short” poem is

Waste not, Want not!

It was “waste not, want not” when I grew up, nobody finished half of their cup.

You didn’t eat it? You’d get it again – no one had things to waste back then.

Day-old bread now is not the blessing it was back when we used it for dressing.

Thanksgiving’s a time we offer an oblation, then waste enough food to feed a poor nation.

So, why can’t I be like people today who use it, abuse it, and throw it away?

I’m a product, you see, of a hardscrabble youth, when forging ahead was like pulling a tooth.

You worked for it, fought for it, used it forever. Resign it to trash? NO–Not ever!

Does any of this embarrass me, friends? Nope! That’s me – till the darkness descends! JDF

Joke: The former Olympic skier, Picabo Street (pronounced Pee-ka-boo), is now a nurse working in the intensive care unit of a large metropolitan hospital. They will not allow her to answer the phone there however. Can you imagine calling for an emergency and the voice that answers says “Picabu, I.C.U.!”

Historical tidbits: There are almost 200,000 books published each year, so it only makes sense that some of them have some strange titles. How about these?

• “Fish Who Answer the Telephone”

• “Cancer: Is the Dog the Cause?”

• “A Pictorial Book of Tongue Coating”

• “The Romance of Leprosy”

• “Animals as Criminals”

• “The Baby Jesus Touch and Feel Book”

• and my favorite: “Constipation and Civilization.”

Humor: If you’re a country music fan I wonder if you’ve ever heard these real and actual songs:

He Went to Sleep and the Hogs Ate Him

Mama Get a Hammer (There’s a Fly on Papa’s Head)

Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart

She Broke My Heart At Walgreen’s (and I cried all the way to Sears)

Redneck Martians Stole My Baby

Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer

and the last—kind of poignant one is Did I Shave My Legs For This?

How it was in the Middle Ages: Personal hygiene left a lot to be desired. As a result, many men and women developed acne scars by adulthood. Women would spread beeswax over their faces to smooth their complexion.

When they were talking to each other, if one began to stare at another woman’s face, she was told, ”Mind your own beeswax!”

Now you know where that came from — and again: If one of them sat too close to a fire the beeswax would melt, and that was referred to as, “losing face!” Until next week: Mind your own beeswax and you may not lose face.

Bye! JDF


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