Sunday, August 4, 43 A.B.

In Honor Of Percy Bysshe Shelley's 210th Birthday Today...

... I went out and bought socks.

I know, I know - Shelley deserves better than that.  And I realized it before I'd left the store.  I might have realized it even sooner, but the fact that they were three pairs of black dress socks seems to have clouded my mind for a minute.  I think it's been years since I've splurged like this.  Even so, I quickly realized Shelley deserved better.

After all, he wrote one of my all-time favorite poems, "Ozymandias."  Remember it?

  I met a traveler from an antique land
  Who said:  Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
  Stand in the desert... Near them, on the sand,
  Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
  And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
  Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
  Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
  The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
  And on the pedestal these words appear:
  "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
  Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
  Nothing beside remains.  Round the decay
  Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
  The lone and level sand stretch far away.

Reading it for the first time in years this morning is what prompted me to dedicate today's sock-buy to Shelley in the first place.

Reading it again when I got home is what prompted me to find out whatever happened to Johnny Crawford.

Johnny Crawford was never a king of kings but he was the cute little boy on ABC's The Rifleman some 40 years ago - and that's more than I can say about most people.  I hadn't heard anything about him in ages and, after reading "Ozymandias" for the second time today, well, I couldn't help but wonder if even his visage still remains.  Was it possible it had been blown to bits in Vietnam along with the rest of him?

Possible, yes.  True?  No!  Turns out that little Johnny Crawford is now 56 and the leader of a 1920s-style dance orchestra.

Funny how life turns out, isn't it?

Take Beatrix Potter, for instance.  We know her best as the creator of Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail.  But did you know that she was an expert on fungi before she turned 30?

I didn't.

And I didn't know that Scafell Peak is England's highest point until the fact practically jumped up and bit me on the nose.

Scafell Peak happens to be 3227 feet high, in case anyone asks you.  And while that may be a mere 1/10th the height of Everest, it's more than twice as high as the highest point in Ohio.

Which makes me wonder if Shelley wrote "Ozymandias" from its summit and - if so - how he avoided having his masterpiece ruined by a sudden nosebleed.

It's unanswerable questions like that which almost drive me to drink.

And then a certain fact comes along and DOES drive me to drink - a fact which I might ordinarily shrug off but which just happens to catch me at a weak moment when my brain is already overheating from excessive use.

A fact like "There are approximately 250,000 stray cats in Columbus."

When THAT fact jumped up and bit me on the nose this evening, drinking became inevitable.

The question became, "Drink what?"

Truth be told, I'm sick to death of the same old things.  Coke. Clearly Canadian.  Gatorade.


Then I learned of Ting.

Ting is the superb grapefruit soda from Jamaica.

I know because this site told me so.

Just like it also tells me here that there are more than 130 other alternatives to opening up yet another can of Sprite.

Amazing what's out there that we didn't even suspect was out there yesterday, isn't it?


Rat Bastard Root Beer.

Even Fukola Cola.

And then THIS SITE tells me there are even more!

And THIS ONE adds still more!!

Suffice it to say that I'm now convinced that at least one of these drinks must be a very fine thing indeed to pour and lift while toasting Mr. Shelley for being born.

And while I may have messed up by attempting to honor the 210th  anniversary of his nativity with a sock purchase today, I WILL do much better by the time the 211th anniversary rolls around.

Heck, even Borgnine's Coffee Soda has to be better than socks - right??


Hope your day worked out as well as mine did.

*Happy sighs*

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(©Now by DJ Birtcher just before his two spindly,
very much trunk-attached legs jumped up and carried his ass off to bed)