September 21, 2006


It’s time again for the 5,901st (or so) consecutive edition of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three! Last week’s theme dealt with items of a novel and new-fangled nature, so as a counterpoise to that, THIS week we will talk about things ancient and decrepit. Sound like fun? OF COURSE IT DOES!!

As with all T-Threes, we will give you three questions, and in return expect nothing but your time and answers to those questions. All you have to do is either leave your response below, or leave a link to your blog so we can come over there and look and see what all you’ve written.

To begin, then:

1) What is the oldest book you own? (Modern reprints of old books don’t count, so don’t say stuff like the Bible. Unless you actually HAVE an old copy of the Bible, in which case that’s okay.)

2) What is the oldest object you have that you still use on a regular basis?

3) What is your favorite old joke?

Well then, there you go. Hobble off on your walkers and try to remember what the quiz was about, and tell us your answers!

As for mine:

1) I have a bound compilation of agricultural data from the U.S. Census of 1820, which is just remarkable for its depth of information and the really neat color lithographs of cows and stuff. It’s in poor shape--some water damage, and just the effects of being 186 years old, but aside from that, still pretty neat to peruse.

2) Our kitchen clock, which I dearly love. I’ve talked about it a couple of times in the past--it’s an 1850s English fusee clock (sans chime) that still keeps good time and has a nice, soothing tic-toc sound.

3) Unfortunately, due to the results of poor supervision and upbringing, many of the old jokes I know are hopelessly insensitive to all those inferior peoples of other beliefs and/or ethnicities. HOWEVER, not being one to let such things stand in the way, I will endeavor to recite one that never fails to make me laugh. Technically it’s not that old, since it only dates back to the early days of space exploration, but it’s my blog so you’ll just have to get over it. As with all jokes of this sort, feel free to insert the stereotypical stupid person of your choice as the butt of the joke rather than the one I’ve chosen.

ANYWAY, back in the very earliest days of the space program, NASA was still not quite certain that manned flight would be safe for its astronauts. They had sent up mice, and dogs, and monkeys, but were still leery of sending an actual person up. In order to be as safe as possible, on the next test mission they decided to send up a monkey and the University of Alabama engineering student they had working as a janitor.

The student, who wasn’t that bright, was excited about going, but to keep him interested, he was told that he would be in charge of the capsule and the monkey would only be his assistant. In reality, his controls were dummy ones, and the monkey was actually in charge, but since he didn’t know any better, he was quite proud of his accomplishment.

The launch day arrived, and things went smoothly, and soon the Bama student and the monkey were orbiting the Earth, each one busily pushing buttons. Soon, however, the Bama student noticed something about his ‘assistant.’

Every so often, the monkey would quietly take a small scrap of paper out of his space suit, unfold it, look at it, look at the Bama student, nod, and then fold the paper and put it back in his suit. This behavior continued off and on every few minutes, until the curious Bama student simply could not stand it any longer. The next time the monkey took out the paper, the Bama student lunged and grabbed it away from him and quickly unfolded it.

Neatly typed on the paper were the words: “Don’t forget to feed the Bama student.”

Yes, it’s starting early this year…

Posted by Terry Oglesby at September 21, 2006 08:00 AM

1. I think I've got Terry beat by a year. I have the 1819 edition of Bowditch, New American Practical Navigator (new & American because Bowditch corrected and extended a British book called the Practical Navigator). Bowditch is still in print, the fed'l gummint took over the updating: current edition is

2. I have a hairbrush and a shoe horn that were part of a toiletry set my grandmother gave me when I was in high school. They're almost 40 yrs old.

3. I like the jokes where the punchline is a transmogrification of a common saying; for most of them, if you know the punchline, it's easy to make up the joke to go with it. One is: People who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones.

Posted by: steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) at September 21, 2006 08:40 AM

I'm up!

Posted by: Diane at September 21, 2006 09:44 AM

Oddly, my oldest book dates back to the same time period you guys have mentioned: The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity by Richard Hooker--edition published in the early 1820's. Wonder how such a coincidence comes about that THREE of us have books from that period?

I can't think of anything we use that is really old. We probably have some pots and pans that date back 40-50 years, and I actually still have some clothing that is 30 years old.

Old jokes? I guess the oldest joke I can remember is a one-liner from Milton Berle: "A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong." (Not that this one-liner applies to anyone we know.)

Posted by: Stan at September 21, 2006 10:31 AM

Hehee--not at all!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 21, 2006 11:17 AM

Here I am, at the last moment.

Oh and Steevil, I'm a quadrupal grand daughter of Nat Bowditch.

Posted by: Sarah G. at September 21, 2006 11:10 PM

Small world--which seems somehow appropriate when dealing with oceanic navigation.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 22, 2006 08:18 AM