Get Lost in a Book — Annette Rochelle Aben

When was the last time you told someone to GET LOST!

Well, if you’re an author, hopefully, it was just the other day.

People who love to read, don’t really need an invitation to get lost… in a book that is!  

September 6th, it is: NATIONAL READ A BOOK DAY Promote, as you see […]

Get Lost in a Book — Annette Rochelle Aben

David Bruce: The Funniest People in Sports, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes — Pitchers, Practical Jokes


• In the 1920s, the New York Yankees had several power hitters, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Tony Lazzeri, who were called “Murderers’ Row” because they figuratively murdered pitchers by frequently hitting home runs. Waite Hoyt, a right-handed pitcher for the Yankees, once joked, “A Yankee pitcher never should hold out (not sign a contract in hopes of getting more money) because he might be traded, and then he would have to pitch against them.”

• Gaylord Perry was well aware that he had a reputation for throwing spitballs—he titled his autobiography Me and the Spitter and after winning 300 games he wore a T-shirt bearing the slogan “300 Wins is Nothing to Spit At.” Baseball manager Gene Mauch was also well aware of Mr. Perry’s reputation and once said, “He should be in the Hall of Fame, with a tube of K-Y Jelly attached to his plaque.”

• Gaylord Perry was a great pitcher but not a great hitter. In fact, Alvin Dark (manager for the San Francisco Giants) once predicted that an astronaut would land on the moon before Mr. Perry hit a home run. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon—and 17 minutes later Mr. Perry hit his very first major-league home run.

Practical Jokes

• Jay Johnstone played major-league baseball from 1966 to 1984 and made his mark as a clown. After a Dodger shortstop made a couple of fielding errors in one game, Mr. Johnstone put Band-Aids on his glove. While sitting in the dugout, Mr. Johnston often wore giant sunglasses, a space helmet, or a beanie. During one game, he and Dodger pitcher Jerry Reuss left the dugout, changed clothes, and joined the groundskeeping crew in manicuring the field at the end of the fifth inning. They were recognized, a TV cameraman broadcast their antics, and the fans gave them a standing ovation. However, Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda gave both men $200 fines for being out of uniform and sent Mr. Johnstone in to pinch-hit—Mr. Johnstone hit a home run. Returning to the dugout, he told Mr. Lasorda, “Next time you need me, I’ll be in the groundskeepers’ room.”

• When Chamique Holdsclaw played as a first-year athlete for the Tennessee Lady Vols, her first road trip was to Hawaii, where they would play in the Kona Classic. Before they left for the airport, her teammates handed her a yellow broomstick and told her that it was a tradition for a first-year player to carry the “freshman pole” during their first road trip of the season. Not wanting to break tradition, Ms. Holdsclaw carried the broomstick through the airport and onto the airplane, where finally a coach told her that she was the victim of a practical joke. Actually, the practical joke started a new tradition. The Lady Vols won the Kona Classic (and Ms. Holdsclaw was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament), and in years afterward the freshman pole was carried on the first road trip of the season to bring the team good luck.

• Referee Dan Tehan of Cincinnati witnessed a practical joke pulled on a timekeeper at a University of Michigan basketball game in the first half of the 20th century. The timekeeper always made a grand show of getting his pistol out, pointing it toward the rafters, and pulling the trigger to announce that time had run out and the game had ended. This time, when the timekeeper pulled the trigger, a huge, dead bird fell within three feet of him. Before the game had started, a couple of Michigan football coaches had hidden the bird and a student in the rafters.

• Major-league umpire Eric Gregg was a heavy man, sometimes weighing 360 pounds, and of course he heard a lot of fat jokes while working. Once, he was told that in the fifth inning, his girlfriend would appear. This had him wondering because he didn’t have a girlfriend—he was very happily married. The mystery was indeed revealed in the fifth inning—when the Goodyear blimp arrived. On another occasion, he couldn’t find the baseball, so the Phillies’ Greg Gross told him, “Eric, if it was two scoops you’d find it in a second.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


The Funniest People in Sports, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes — Buy

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Music Recommendation: The Hot Toddies — Summertime Blues”


Music: “Summertime Blues”

Single: This is a one-sided single

Artist: The Hot Toddies

Artist Location: Oakland, California


“The Hot Toddies, an all-girl band from Oakland, CA mix sunny beach pop, indie rock riffs and a dry sense of humor. Heidi, Erin and Sylvia are best friends who have been playing music, drinking whiskey and writing songs together since 2005. They’ve toured across the US, Canada and the UK. Their latest EP ‘Bottoms Up’ was released on Tricycle Records in Feb 2013.”

Price: $1 (USD) for track

Genre: Pop


“Summertime Blues”

The Hot Toddies on Bandcamp

Ohio University Front Room Open Mic Night 9-3-21

Riley James (above)

Rylee Bapst (above)

Xander Stultz (above)

Bernhard Debatin (above)

Meg (brown hair) and Sid (blonde hair) — (above)

Joshua Corbett (above)

Bruce Dalzell (above)

David Bruce (above)

David Bruce’s Spoken Word (More or Less)

3 August 2021

The angels among my students made me marvel at their work. I frequently taught freshman and junior composition and technical writing, and I attempted to make the writing my students did useful. I would assign the writing of a 10- to 20-page manual in many classes, but I would allow students to write more pages and many students responded with 60-page manuals. Why? They got into the project and knew that it would help them. They were writing for themselves, not just for a grade, which is the way it should be. 

Two of my students who had studied in France as part of the Ohio University Study Abroad Program worked together on a manual for students who would be in that program. Jobs in France opened up that were associated with the Study Abroad Program, and both students applied for those jobs and both submitted copies of the manual they had co-written. One student was given a job immediately. The other student was officially a little too young, but she got the job after a slight delay. Why did she get the job? She got it because of the manual she had co-written for my class. In fact, the person who hired her was flipping through the manual and looking at and reading it as he talked to my student on the phone to tell her she had the job. These two students got paid to live in France. Nice! 

Another student wrote a 60-page employee manual for the job he did working for the Ohio University football team. He was responsible for such tasks as getting things ready for game day. He was in Sports Sciences, and he ended up getting a very competitive job internship because he sent the sports organization a copy of the manual he wrote for my class. 

Michelle Griesmer wrote a huge manual about how to be a lighting director. She worked professionally one summer on a TV program and was excited to get a copy of the program. Of course, she looked for her name in the credits; unfortunately, she was listed as Michael Griesmer. 

Another student did a long problem-solving manual for the company she worked for. She identified problems at the company and made recommendations about how to solve those problems. She was given a $1,000 bonus for writing the problem-solving manual. 

In my composition classes, I always had the assignment of writing a problem-solving letter in which students identify one or more problems and make recommendations about how to solve it or them. I have had students actually mail the letters, which was optional in my class. At least one student received the offer of a promotion and a raise to come back after graduation and work at that company. (She turned the company down because she had a better offer.) 

One of my favorite assignments in some of my composition classes was the autobiographical essay, which focused mainly on funny incidents in my students’ lives. I well remember many of those essays. For example, Maggie Wendell wrote about the first day of her first class as a freshman at Ohio University. It was a public-speaking class, and she was shocked when she learned that the professor was going to have the students speak for five minutes without preparation on a topic that the professor would tell them. Maggie is a student who likes to be super-prepared for every test and every assignment, so impromptu speaking is not at all her thing. When it was her turn and she got her topic, she immediately began staring at the back wall and spewing whatever verbal diarrhea came into her mind. She even invented an Asian-American friend as she talked about the youth in Asia. When her five minutes was up, she stopped talking and saw that the other students were looking at her and trying to stifle laughter. What was wrong? Were her pants unzipped? Her professor said, “Thank you, Ms. Wendell, for your enlightening talk on the youth in Asia, but your topic was euthanasia. You may know it better as mercy killing.” She said weakly, “I know what euthanasia is,” sat down, and after the class was over, immediately dropped it and took another class. Fortunately, embarrassment plus time equals comedy, and by the time Maggie was a senior, she thought that what had happened was funny. 

One of my students was a United States Marine, where he had to take a wilderness survival course that taught him such things as bugs are a very good source of protein if you are trapped without food behind enemy lines. As part of the course, my student and some other soldiers parachuted into the wilderness, where they made good use of their problem-solving skills. As they parachuted into the wilderness, they looked around and noticed a road in the distance. Once they dropped to the earth, they used their compasses to find the road, then they walked into a town and ate pizza. 

By the way, when David Bruce, one of the co-authors of this book [KIDS ARE NOT ONLY ANGELS], was in Navy boot camp, he and the other recruits were sometimes given the order to “Groucho March”! When that happened, he and the other recruits would bend forward, put their hands behind their backs, and in unison do an imitation of comedian Groucho Marx’ famous stooped-over walk. 

When my student Molly Gedeon was still a fetus, her parents had discussions about what to name her, but each parent thought that they had picked a different name. One parent thought she would be named Monica, and the other parent thought she would be named Molly. The name Monica appeared on her birth certificate, but her father insisted on calling her Molly. This created some confusion with friends and teachers because her mother called her Monica and her father called her Molly. On her eighteenth birthday, Monica had her name legally changed to Molly. Her father now calls her Monica. 

When one of my female students was very young, she had a sister who would sometimes become very naughty and very angry. Once, she was naughty at the dinner table and was sent to bed early while the family continued to eat. My future student heard disturbing noises, thought about a recent nature lesson she had learned at school, and said to her parents, “Mom, Dad, a wolf is in the house.” They laughed, and her mother told her, “No, dear, that’s just your sister howling with rage.” 

Of course, freshman students don’t want other, older students to know that they are new to campus. One of my students carried a campus map in her backpack for her first few days at Ohio University. Whenever she got lost, she would find a building, go into the women’s restroom, go into a stall and shut the door, and then look at the map and find out where she was. If anyone had seen her consult the map, that person would know that she was a freshman. 

Speaking of freshmen, one of my students was from out of state and did not know even a single person in Ohio. She spoke to her sister about being worried that she wouldn’t make any friends at Ohio University. Her sister told her, “Don’t worry! You’ll be fine! Just don’t talk to strangers!” 

Final Story:

Each summer, lots of incoming students go through freshman orientation at Ohio University. They stay in dorms, go on tours of the campus, and visit the library, among many other things. After the library tour, students get free Freezy-Pops, but librarians tell them that a student first has to ask a question before the members of the tour group get Freezy-Pops. Of course, this encourages students to ask questions about the library; however, once an incoming student, a young woman of wit and intelligence, asked, “Can I have a Freezy-Pop?”

Drew Bellamy, Dakota Braaten, Xander Stultz, Dalton DeVoe

Bernhard Debatin on YouTube


Bruce Dalzell on YouTube

David Bruce on Amazon