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Jim Walker: Springtime and the floating john

Don't Take Me Seriously

Posted: March 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

 I don’t know about you, but for me, there is something very down-home comforting about living in a town where a new floating restroom is front-page news — as it was this past Wednesday, regarding the replacement john for our Castaic Lake.

It just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, and harkens back to the small-town, good old days of ... oh, I don’t know … Mayberry.

I mean, I can picture Barney Fife in a leaky rowboat, handling security at the restroom’s ribbon-cutting — while Mayor Pike pontificates overlong to a seasick contingent of local dignitaries.

It also makes you feel all warm and fuzzy to know our budget-challenged state government has the heart to shell out precious cash for our new floating john.

Obviously, our local boaters will be greatly “relieved.”

I mean, one can only imagine what happens when a 12-year-old floating restroom goes bad, right?

Remember “Caddyshack”?

But the thing that tickles me the most is the concept of a floating john. It just seems counterintuitive — and asking for trouble.

And then there is also the association of the story with spring. Maybe you didn’t make the connection, but I woke up Wednesday with a springtime buzz going, thinking of flowers bursting forth and such …

“Spring has sprung,

The grass has riz,

I wonder where the birdies is.”

… and I read, in my Signal, about the coming of a new floating outhouse.

I mean, the association just cracked me up, and brought to mind Dean Wormer’s famous line from the “Animal House” movie:

“Every spring, the toilets explode.”

I have to laugh every time I hear that one.

So, with that as a stepping off point, let’s consider some other odd associations and weird happenings of spring:

 * In parts of Bavaria, country folk still practice the annual rite each spring of tying small baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle as an offering to elves. They believe that the elves, who are passionately fond of strawberries, will help to produce healthy calves and an abundance of milk in return.

 * Along those same, superstitious, lines, in the weeks preceding April 15, many people in the U.S. actually send money to unseen “elves,” who they believe control their lives and, who they hope, will return this tribute in the forms of care for the elderly, good harvests and the fixing of potholes.

 * Monarch butterflies travel thousands of miles south in late summer and those same thousands of miles back north in spring. And no single individual makes the entire journey. The generation born along the way completes the cycle.

 * Similarly, in the U.S., student financial aid planning is begun in the spring, with parents soon taking on huge education debts for their children, and thus allowing their children to complete their life cycle unencumbered — all while the parents hope to die before they have to pay the loans back.

 * Flatworms in the ocean have both male and female sexual organs, and during springtime mating they get in genital stabbing matches to see who will lose and be forced to birth the children.

 * Similarly, in spring, U.S. husbands and wives get in stabbing matches, with the loser having to take on the arduous task of filling out the aforementioned financial aid forms.

 * In the spring, the mating of the red-sided garter snake is a tourist attraction because each female attracts hundreds of males, who rush her and create a large, squirming “mating ball.”

 * With humans, this phenomenon is called “Spring Break.”

 * After they are born, male straw itch mites hang around their mom, sucking out her body fluids. They are also born sexually mature, and will immediately grab and mate with their sisters.

* The exact same things occur in many U.S. trailer parks.

And, finally …

 * When male bees mate with their queen, their genitals explode and snap off inside the queen.

* When humans mate for life, the males’ genitals are removed more slowly — and the females’ heads explode.

I’m just sayin’ it’s springtime, folks. Let’s be careful out there. And, gentlemen, allow the ladies to use the floating john first.

Comment at jwalker@the-signal.com or at http://Twitter.com/DontSeriously.

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