2009.04.08 Talking bears, flying Bullfrogs

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

When I heard my wife running up the stairs and into the bedroom, I knew why she was there. I figured she must have heard an odd noise and I knew where it came from.

I had just awakened from a dream. In the dream, I was lying on the basement stairs in our old house on Cawley Road where I grew up.

I no longer remember what was in the basement, but I was in a very familiar situation. It’s one I’ve experienced many times in dreamland—so many times that it seems as though I must have lived it in conscious life, too.

It feels like a heavy weight is pressing down on me and I can barely move. I want to stand up or at least crawl up the stairs to get away, but I can’t.

I try to speak and my voice doesn’t work, either. It comes out like a.…

I’ll let my wife describe it.

“Are you all right?” she asked after quietly standing over me for a few moments. It must have been 1:30 in the morning.

“It sounded like a bear trying to talk.”

As soon as I heard her on the stairs, I knew that my inner bear was growling out loud. It’s sort of like when you put your finger on the turntable (I’m writing for older people here, those who know vinyl on a turntable) and slow down the record. The voice comes out s-l-o-o-o-w and strange. In the dream, you can actually feel it dragging out slowly. I really hate that feeling.

–0–

Last week I received a phone call from a man named Lee Robinson. I remembered that name. I don’t know how many years it’s been since I’ve seen Lee—many, many years—but he was calling because of a printing job that I was preparing.

When we finished business, I told him that I remembered the time that I walked out the front door of the place where he works in Wauseon and saw him wiping something on his windshield. He told me it was Rain-X and said you don’t even have to use your windshield wipers with this stuff. The water just runs right off.

That day probably occurred in the mid-1980s and I guess it must have made quite an impression on me. Perhaps 25 years have passed since that Rain-X day.

When I mentioned this incident to Lee last week, he asked if I was still using the stuff and I had to tell him that I never even started. I should have asked him if he was still using it.

I went to the Rain-X website a few minutes ago and I was soon wondering if Lee overstated the wonders of the product. If rain just runs right off the windshield, then why is the featured product a windshield wiper?

The company still sells Rain-X Original (“watch raindrops fly off your windshield,” just like Lee said), but the main item on the opening web page is the Rain-X Latitude Contoured Beam Wiper Blade.

I suppose you still need a good blade to wash a dirty window when it isn’t raining.

According to the locator tool, I can buy the blade in two locations in Wauseon or five in Adrian. Adrian, it says, is only 14.1 miles away. That must be as the bullfrog flies.

–0–

Ground-breaking research from the United Kingdom shows that dogs do, in fact, resemble their owners.

Dr. Workman from Bath Spa University showed volunteers a portfolio of dog owners and asked whether they owned a labrador, a poodle or a bull terrier. They got the answer right twice as often as would be expected by chance.

The big tough guy tends to own a big tough dog. Based on my Observer office window research, that’s not too surprising. I’d go along with that finding to some extent.

Dr. Workman also studied whether or not a link existed between a dog’s personality and its owner’s personality. No such thing. Volunteers expected pit bull owners to be a little stupid and labrador owners to be nice, but that didn’t hold up.

Dr. Workman’s conclusion: You shouldn’t judge people by their dog. Certainly not; give the mutts a break.

My thoughts turn to school mascots and the personality of the team. Bulldogs and eagles and...flying bullfrogs and such.

As I drove to the printer last week to pick up my papers, I asked myself, “Was I suppose to put ‘April Fools’ at the end of that story?”

No, no, no, one reader told me. That would be like having the answers to the crossword puzzle in front of you, right side up.

OK, so I’ll say it now: April Fools.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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