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.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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