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November 14, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Muse or Dunderhead: snakes, driving, retro.

Blame the chill or whiteout conditions for rapid-fire dundering. Muses on call in case of flare ups or inflammatory utterances. Never know what will slither out from under that solid-looking reality.

Medusa. 16th century unknown Flemish painter:We Gallery of Art/US PD: artist life+100 yrs/

Enough to make your skin crawl. (Medusa/US PD:date/

Medusa’s challenge: Snakes alive.

Did I miss it? Did they have a cattle call for, uh, snake auditions?

And did the applicants read all that forked tongued fine print?

Signed the consent forms so no wiggling out of it? (Hint, get an agent, serpent, for your own protection.)

The Discover Channel is recoiling for viewers: Snake eats man alive.

Reptile’s revenge? A match for the ages.

More on the story including the Discovery Channel promotional video: “Man will be eaten alive by Anaconda”.  

An Anaconda can easily swallow a deer whole. Watch that impressive snacking in this Business Insider article.

So is a snake proof suit strong enough to hold off the snake’s constrictions? How’s the guy gonna breathe in there? Going to tie a rope to his feet as an exit strategy?

My question is will the snake be supplied with life long acid reflux treatment afterwards?

Enough slithering. Onward to dithering.

Chariot.1671.Gerard de Lairesse.Apollo and Aurora/Met.NYC/USPD: reprod of PD art, artist life,

Designated driver. Not a new idea.(1671Gerard de Lairesse/

Little old ladies. Gotta love them. Cute as a button. Give them a pass.

Not so cute was what happened last week to diners at a local restaurant. A drive through attempt where there was no drive up window.

Not smash and grab buffet anger at all the shrimp being gone, only an accident.

She was trying to park in the Special Person parking spot, but hit the gas instead of the brake. People were diving out of the way like minnows avoiding a carp. (VIDEO)

After pushing a couple of guys into the buffet with her big shiny black SUV, she slowly backed up a bit, then came back for a second serving – lurching forward again. Human calves scrambling.

Later the nicely dressed 72-year-old worried, “Oh, I just want to run away and hide.”

People forgave her. An accident. Could happen to anyone.

veiled lady. 1905. Violette tulle Chantilly/ Catalogue illustration/.Anonymous artist/US PD: reprod of PD artist life+70/

So sweet. Nothing sinister to be seen here. (1905/US PD:

But wait! There’s more!

Then they found out about the other lawsuit with the other traffic incident.

Apparently last year, the same little old lady in her big shiny SUV was driving on a major freeway in the fast lane, but admittedly “wasn’t paying attention”.

Ran smack into the car in front of her shoving it into the car in front of it and that one into…Well, you get the picture. Multiple car accident.

No tickets were issued by police for either incident. Those were “unfortunate accidents”.

As a result Texas Dept. of Transportation will not be contacting this nice lady inquiring about her ability to drive without running into things.

Kids, grandkids, look, you probably got her this massive SUV to protect her, but what about the protecting the rest of us?

A little intervention?

Hey, what lady wouldn’t like a personal chauffeur? You might find it cheaper to hire UBER to standby rather constantly paying for car repairs and lawyers.

Steal the keys. Call her a limo. Tell her she’s just too precious to risk!

Or get some app developed to give the public a head’s up when she’s hitting the streets.

Gotta love little old ladies. (We’ll all be driving that way sooner or later.)

Speaking of old stuff.

Santa. Thomas Nash's Merry Old Santa Christmas, 1881.Harper's Weekly/US PD: reprod. of PD art,, artist life/

HoHoHo. It is to laugh.(Thomas Nash.1881/US

Before online shopping, there was the Sears Catalogue.

The Sears Christmas Catalogue was huge – inches thick – a struggle to haul it to the couch. Everyone’s favorite Wishbook to drool over and mark up before writing to Santa.

Mom, dad, and the children all found everything their hearts desired: from washing machines, to hammers, to slippers, to cookware, to party dresses, and all the toys from Santa’s North Pole.

One stop shopping. (That Sears Santa in the store always looked so real!) Bygone days.

A revival of that wonder book? Vintage style redo?

Boy fishing.US Fish and Wildlife Service/US PD: released. by fed employee/

Everyone is fishing for ideas right now. (USFWS/US PD/

A Bass Pro Shops 2014 Christmas catalogue showed up last week with an outdoorsy version of that Coke Cola Santa on the cover. (Those are sleigh bells strapped over his shoulder, right? Whew. Had me worried for a minute.)

While thinner, the catalogue mimics the Sears one awfully well.

Flannel shirts, gadgets like rechargeable heated insoles, tackle boxes (even in Mermaid pink!), fishing lures, boats, four wheelers (for kids and adults), sausage and cheese gift boxes, dishes, lamps and light fixtures, recliners and couches (lodge style designs or camo, your choice!), bedspreads, lots and lots of camo clothing (even in cute pink!…Although the Mountain Stalker Elite Series of parkas and overalls makes me a bit uneasy with that name…)

Of course what’s Christmas without that Daisy Red Ryder BB gun?

“You’ll shoot out your eye!” Now that’s tradition!

(We are just skipping right past the rifles for bigger boys)

Crossbows. Archery is cool, now, right? Mainstream.

Nostalgic. So much like those old catalogues.

Santa and Mrs. Claus.1919 postcard. Unknown artist:US,

And don’t you dare come back with a fruitcake.
(1919 postcard.Unknown artist/US

They didn’t forget. Something special for mom. 

There on pages right next to Pendleton wool blankets, there they were.

Lace babydolls and ladies’ nightie sets.

Black Widow brand. What else for an outdoorsy crowd?

Big grins. Something for everyone. One stop shopping Sears-style.

(Wonder if they have snake wrestling gear. Near the noodling videos, do you think?)

Glad traditions endure despite weather, snake assaults, and an occasional bad holiday driver.

Can’t detour a muse (and dunderheads never notice – just mud it on through).

Sleigh me now. Time’s a dragon. Got fires to tend.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

1924 Teenage girls, Minnesota (Ancestors's photo collection/

Merry muses present. (1924 Minnesota/USPD/


  1. robstroud / Nov 14 2014 1:57 pm

    I can’t get that hideous picture of Medusa out of my mind… and I’m beginning to feel a bit cold and stiff in my joints…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 14 2014 4:03 pm

      That’s the creepiest Medusa picture I’ve ever run across. Remember the old joke: don’t lie down and be too still, the buzzards are circling? Shiver…winter has arrived here. Snow won’t cover on a moving target? Bundle up for the weekend. Thanks for wiggling a comment this way


  2. shoreacres / Nov 14 2014 1:57 pm

    Here’s another catalog for those who remember Sears with affection: Vermont Country Store. Every year I get their holiday catalog, and every year I sit and page through it. Ribbon candy. Lighted Santa faces for the window. Bubble lights. Bag balm. Flannel nighties. Fancy flannel nighties. Oh, it’s wonderful. Did I mention the Tiddly Winks, Slinkies, and Pick-Up-Sticks.

    As for that woman with the SUV… this is what bothers me. She’s exactly four years older than I am. Now, that’s a nerve-wracking thought. I think I’m still functional, but maybe I should start keeping an eye on myself.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 14 2014 4:17 pm

      Last year it seemed the catalogs slowed down – but this year we’re getting a pile of oddities…how about one all about meat. Nothing says holidays like a bundle of meat. It does produce body heat and build the immune system – maybe the companies got a heads-up from the weather channel about the winter? Bubble lights and ribbon candy? Going to check that place out!
      People age differently, so it’s hard to red line drivers by age. Our family lives well over 90. Luckily they were realistic about abilities (and retired to small towns with little traffic and understanding drivers who knew them or their families) My 101 yr old uncle got a kick when he went to renew his license – they gave it to him! Good eyesight and clean record. But although he had a car, he had given up driving a couple of years previously. The family of that woman needs to be careful – traffic in Houston with all the construction is horrid even for younger drivers…no doubt they hope the big car keeps her safe, but still….time to hire a driver.
      The only reason we’d move back in is to drive less, be closer to services in a walkable area (The new HEB here is still jammed!), and hopefully use public transportation (looks like the Post Oak-Galleria metro shuttle is a go. Now talk of an elevated train around 610 loop? Finally…how many years/decades have we voted money for public transportation?)
      Thanks for driving over with a comment. Stay warm…while Molly is thrilled with the weather, the palms are all wearing coats now


  3. Beth / Nov 14 2014 2:04 pm

    My head is swimming from all of these competing thoughts. I’m surprised PETA or some animal rights folks aren’t all over Discovery. While I’m not a huge fan (or even the tiniest fan) of snakes, I’m not sure what I think of this stunt that will doubtlessly harm the snake and why… why? Ugh. Driving-wise – how does one get on the list for a free pass after rear-ending someone. I’m glad the cars that have taken the opportunity to glide into my bumper haven’t been given a “oh bummer, what an unfortunate accident” pass. I’m pretty sure my insurance company would have been up in arms. But on a more pleasant note…. oh Sears Catalog, how I miss you. My Amazon Wishlist doesn’t give me quite the thrill of dog-earing those colorful pages.

    Whew! I think I’m all out of random thoughts.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 14 2014 4:25 pm

      The show is set for Dec, but there’s rumor’s it’s all a hoax and publicity stunt. We’ll discover eventually.
      She’s just such a nice little old lady! But the injured and damages are not so pleased after finding out her driving record. This town is spread out and people like to be independent, and maybe money isn’t an issue to the her/family, but some serious thought needs to be given about now. Traffic is worse than ever and the holiday crush is about to start..
      Kids really have missed out not having those HUGE cheap paper with ink that rubs off in that glossy magical Sears catalog. It was simply fun for hours. You could cut and paste a list to take to Santa, but don’t let him keep it – no copy machines or scanners!
      Thanks for turning a few pages here


  4. easyweimaraner / Nov 14 2014 2:17 pm

    yes, that happens to the best of us. My mom “removed” the intercom system once at McD :o)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 14 2014 4:19 pm

      She was only taking the intercom home to clean it! No problem there. Thanks for barking along, Easy


  5. katecrimmins / Nov 14 2014 2:20 pm

    Snakes, ug! As for that lady, what are they thinking (they being her family, police, advocates for the aging, etc.)? We have one of those accidents happen here every year. Mostly over 85 and a mix of both genders. A few years ago one woman drove into a jewelry store window and killed a young mother. (The jeweler was so distraught he closed the store.) I understand the dilemma as you say we all get there at some point. My Mom stopped driving when she felt she was at that point. Someone should be taking a very close look after ONE accident.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 14 2014 4:31 pm

      There may be a market for driverless cars: the owner still can be independent and get out when they want, but the car could safely get from point A to B with the public being safe. Finding an affordable safe place with walkability or shuttles will be important to all of us at some point. Meanwhile, please let us know when that nice lady’s out on the street! (And you’d think with all the media attention, her family would step in..and law enforcement talking with them: “either you guys do it or we will”
      Snakes. They need to stay in their own corner – far from here…
      Thanks for slithering over with a comment


      • katecrimmins / Nov 14 2014 5:39 pm

        Walkability and shuttles are the answer. Planning for those days is critical.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 14 2014 5:47 pm

          We’re evaluating that, too. Rather make our own choices than be dragged out kicking and screaming to some place we don’t want to go. It would be really nice if the city would honor the commitment to public mass transportation they have made repeatedly to taxpayers who voted for it repeatedly. We watch our parents/relatives age. That scouting motto of “Be prepared” has truth in it.


          • katecrimmins / Nov 15 2014 1:05 am

            Yes, much better to make your own decisions and make them while you can. My brother at age 85 waited too long. Now the idea of moving is overwhelming to them so they are living on three floors. They are healthy but my sister-in-law is having trouble with steps. I told my niece if I did that she should just shoot me. Mass transportation isn’t as big in the US as it is in Europe.


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 17 2014 12:37 am

            After watching parents and relatives age, it became pretty obvious that walkability, one floor, and being near someone is important. I agree – find a suitable spot and settle in. Hopefully there’ll be a view or something to see while sitting on the back porch. Thanks for rocking along

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Spinster / Nov 14 2014 2:38 pm

    Seems to me that there’ll be more harm done to the snake than the human. Also, is society really this bored – is this extreme what’s needed to keep the people going?

    That old lady needs her license and all other driving privileges revoked. Why she was never charged with anything – not even ticketed – is beyond me. Gotta love the (in)justice system.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 14 2014 4:37 pm

      Reality shows: just because you can doesn’t mean you should. How desperate are they for rating…oh,seriously desperate with the last numbers out. We’ll see if it’s all a scam or not.
      People are beginning to question why she got a free pass – twice. She must look like someone’s mom and was so sweet. The restaurant owner is now apparently really upset …if it had been a police station…what’s it take a daycare incident? Family needs to step up and offer her alternatives. No teenage grandkid that would be willing to drive her places in the afternoon to earn a bit of money? Gotta love the illogical nature of humans.
      Thanks for rolling in and parking a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Carrie Rubin / Nov 14 2014 3:34 pm

    Oh jeez, I couldn’t get past that snake bit: Man Will Be Eaten Alive By Anaconda. Why, oh why would anyone want to do such a thing? I, for one, will not be watching. Shudder.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 14 2014 4:39 pm

      Reality really does bite. Outrageous marketing? We’ll find out in Dec. (Snakes I understand are giving the Discover Channel the cold shoulder over the very idea. Refusing to even get up and march over it.)
      Thanks for sending a slithering comment this way

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Littlesundog / Nov 14 2014 3:40 pm

    What an excellent morning read! Makes me happy to be a hermit most of the time (don’t get out in the car much), allowing snakes to simply slither away from me (we never kill unless it’s a copperhead in the chicken yard or barn), and realize that I am just happy as a lark to bypass the holiday traffic and simply shop from the computer. I never have liked all of those tree-eating catalog companies… but I do remember feeling the love sitting on the couch with my brother and two sisters, flipping pages of the Sears or Penney’s catalog, pointing out what we wanted – only it was a competition. if you pointed FIRST it was YOURS! If you were slow you might end up with something ugly or weird. My brother hated going through the girls clothes!! Aw, the memories…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 14 2014 4:44 pm

      Perfectly happy to let even poisonous snakes live – as long as it’s waaaaay over there. We’ve a truce. The black snakes and grass are welcomed to keep down little mousies (cats are supposed to stay inside as it’s a birding area….and you know who plays if the cat’s away…). Molly seems to have frightened off the friendly snake, so the hawks have happily swooped in to sit on the fence.
      My brother used to get so mad if I bent pages down in the Sears catalog so I could go back and drool more. He complained I was damaging it. That Christmas catalog was so huge! It was fun. Thanks for smiling along


  9. Your Moderate Mama / Nov 14 2014 5:59 pm

    My mom use to put the Sears catalog in my crib when I was around one and said I’d spend an extra half hour in bed looking at all the glorious treasures…

    the love starts young!!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 14 2014 6:01 pm

      Before there were child booster seats, there was the Sears catalog. Multipurpose item! Who could not love it? Thanks for selecting a comment to leave

      Liked by 1 person

  10. PiedType / Nov 14 2014 10:56 pm

    That female driver (who knows if she’s a lady or not?) should definitely lose her license. She’s only a year older than I am and my license is up for renewal next spring. I’m wondering how much of a hassle it’s going to be. They have online renewals in Colo., but once you reach a certain age, I think you have to go to a DMV office. The last time I did that, I sat for hours waiting for my turn at the counter. I have better things to do with my time, even if it’s only taking a nap.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 17 2014 12:29 am

      While she looks petite in the videos, bet anyone who crosses her regrets it? Like her family…Could be the investigating officers viewed her as “anyone’s mom”..maybe like the pretty girls who cry themselves out of speeding tickets?
      People age differently, some shouldn’t be driving at 50. Frequent accidents should be a really important tip off.
      You can do 2 renewals here online (if you don’t have tickets or anything), then have to show up in person the 3rd time. We’re lucky to live close to one DMV office that is pretty easy to get in and out of. Some you can call and check the wait times. It is never on my “Fun Things To Do” list. Thanks for driving in with a comment


      • PiedType / Nov 17 2014 12:44 am

        The problem here is not nearly enough DMV offices. In Oklahoma, it seemed like there was one in every strip mall. Here there are only about 5 in the entire north metro area.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 17 2014 1:46 am

          That’s very odd. Bet they allow dogs inside, though…seems like large dogs are mandatory there.


  11. jannatwrites / Nov 15 2014 2:06 am

    I don’t know why anyone would want to watch a man being eaten by a snake. Gross. I don’t know what the deal is with people lately… there seem to be more cars through buildings these days. Maybe car manufacturers shouldn’t have switched the location of the gas and brake pedals 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 17 2014 12:44 am

      Don’t you keep expecting someone to jump out and say “Surprise! You’re on Candid Camera?”
      Maybe that lady needs some curb feelers…big ones? Thanks for slipping in with a comment


  12. Jay E. / Nov 15 2014 2:08 am

    Ah, Sears and Roebuck. Excellent stuff. Wonderful advertisements. Nostalgia at some of it’s finest! Thanks for the trip!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 17 2014 1:07 am

      There were other catalogues – Penny’s, Montgomery Wards, and others, But none matched Sears and Roebucks. Thanks for paging alone and folding in a comment


  13. EllaDee / Nov 15 2014 6:45 am

    I’m averse to slithering things but don’t want to see them harmed, or in my proximity in any way shape or form. Ditto for dithering drivers, whether they be aged, infirm or unlicensed as has been several fatal cases locally. Punishment irrelevant as it doesn’t resurrect lost loved ones and derails families. Prevention relevant. And much as I once loved a catalogue, like Littlesundog I prefer to shop via my keyboard and screen, rarely venture to the mall and if necessary to local shops on foot. I’ve finished my Christmas shopping, just waiting for the postman to do his bit!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 17 2014 1:16 am

      The snake is great at creating buzz for a channel in difficulty, but it may only be a tangled mirage.
      Considering the multitude of irrational drivers, online makes the most sense. You can just take so much loud jingling! Thanks for driving a comment this way. (and I’m so jealous, you’re all done….tomorrow. definitely finishing up tomorrow)


  14. Kourtney Heintz / Nov 15 2014 5:36 pm

    That snake thing is just bizarre. I don’t get how or why on that at all. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 17 2014 1:27 am

      Marketing loves bizarre..gets lots of hits, tweets, and conversation.
      Hey you don’t think it would work with book promotion…how many books can an anaconda eat….
      Sometimes you just have to laugh and slither along. Thanks for rolling in a comment


  15. Robin / Nov 15 2014 11:21 pm

    I dunno. I think that stunt is unfair to the snake. All that work, and nothing to digest? Maybe there’s a business yet to be invented (maybe already invented?) for Driving Miss Daisy. I know older folks like big vehicles (makes ’em feel safer in case of an accident), but it’s not particularly safe for those not in a big vehicle. Love the reference to the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 17 2014 1:37 am

      That lady is another reason to avoid holiday mall parking lots! How’s the guy going to breath inside the snake? Inquisitive deer want to know!
      Drivers like that are a good reason to not drive a motorcycle. Seriously, someone authoritative needs to step in. People age differently. Number of incidents and accidents should trigger some response.
      Thanks for shutting the door so the dogs can’t get the turkey!


  16. cecilia / Nov 15 2014 11:50 pm

    That last image of the 1920 girls in their jodpurs? is fantastic… ihave a feeling that is the period I should have been in.. NOt only because I am flat chested of course .. My Mother in Law has a big black SUV.. and she loves to drive FAST.. terrifying.. c


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 17 2014 1:44 am

      They do look like an adventurous bunch….You think there were more adventures going on in that time period than people ever admitted?
      I have a much much older cousin nearby whose husband/son bought her a huge SUV…I keep finding excuses not to be a passenger. She’s sweet, but scares me to death. Have a feeling she’s deaf to family trying to keep her from behind the wheel….and she had no business talking one the phone and driving. Double trouble!
      Thanks for jumping over to chat


  17. roughseasinthemed / Nov 19 2014 7:13 pm

    Love that last picture. Bit chilly at the finca last week so I stole my partner’s trousers, which in turn were given to him by an aged customer who was into rock-climbing. They look just the same, nice and baggy and warm heavy material that came to just over the knees. Clothes were a lot more sensible back then …


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 19 2014 11:18 pm

      Right now some nice flannel lined jeans? We were just talking today how people no longer purchase well designed well made sturdy clothes that last for years. Flimsy fabric and cheaply made garments: Throw-a-ways after one season.
      Building a wardrobe was so much easier and more simple then. Good hiking shorts are hard to find…been looking. Thanks for turning the pages to here


  18. jmmcdowell / Nov 20 2014 12:21 am

    Those wonderful Sears Roebuck catalogs. Now that brings back memories! Actually, their regular catalogs from the 1800s and early 1900s are great resources for identifying historical artifacts. They can really help the modern city-raised archaeologist to identify farm-machinery bits, harness parts, stove pieces…

    As for the snake bit—That’s just so wrong. The Discovery Channel is really declining in quality. I hope they don’t extend that to The Science Channel.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 21 2014 12:16 am

      Catalogs are the best source of information for writers, too. Hard to believe how many house kits Sears sold. There are a few of them still around/have been re-done in Galveston.
      It looks like the Discovery Channel is struggling for viewers – maybe because of the type of programs they started carrying. Really discouraging. The snake is probably a marketing scheme, but we’ll see where it goes.
      Meanwhile, old catalogs are great entertainment! Thanks for paging along


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