19 February 2007

Presidents' Day Musings

I always wonder when Presidents' Day comes along, if George Washington and Abraham Lincoln would mind that their birthdays have been combined, and assigned a Monday holiday.

I also wonder if George Washington even liked cherries, what with the whole chopping-down-the-cherry-tree story associated with him.

I am still amused when I think of the episode of "The Odd Couple," when Oscar and Felix were on the TV game show, "Password." The word they had to guess was "mayonnaise." Their opponent gave his partner the clue, "sandwich," or something like that, and they didn't guess it. Then Felix gave Oscar the clue, "Lincoln." Of course, Oscar didn't know what to say, and they lost their turn. Finally when the opponents guessed the word, Oscar asked Felix why he would give the clue "Lincoln." To which Felix responded, "It's a well-known fact that Lincoln loved mayonnaise!" Still funny, as far as I'm concerned.

It still surprises me to realize that Washington is the "city" in the District of Columbia. I always think of the whole phrase as one entity.

I wonder if they would have liked each other at all. They really didn't have much in common.

Is it possible any more for any president to become so honored, on a more or less universal level?

How come no other presidents are used to sell products? Does anyone care if Calvin Coolidge wanted us to drive a Chevrolet? Would we go to the mall for a blowout Millard Fillmore's birthday sale? Would we wonder what was going on if they used Martin Van Buren to sell pills to help us sleep?

I realize that there are a group of people out there who have devoted their lives to the study of the lives of the various presidents, and I think that's fine. But I wonder if they get frustrated when "their" president never gets time in the limelight.

Will anyone, anywhere, ever think that John and John Quincy Adams, and the two George Bushes, had anything more in common than the fact that they were father-son presidential pairs? (I'm not saying I do, I'm just wondering if anyone else ever will ...)

Does anyone else find the "Living Presidents" exhibit at Disney World as creepy as I did when I saw it? (Though it was amusing/depressing to hear the high school kid behind me, say to his friend, "Wow, I didn't realize that Lincoln and Truman knew each other," when he saw them "standing" next to one another on the stage ...)

Did any of the Presidents knit? And if so, were they English or Continental knitters? (I'll bet if Washington learned the English way, he had to switch during the Revolution, you know?)

These are the kinds of things I wonder about, not all of the time, but every once in a while.

Just a small window into the way my mind works ... bet you wish I'd kept it closed, and installed shutters, huh?


Carol said...

I'll second the creepiness of the disneyfied presidential waxworks. But I found much of the stuff in disneyland highly creepy.

I was wondering if your love of the holidays was gonna extend to president's day. I must say I wonder more about the presidential wives. What was it like to sleep with a guy who wore wooden teeth and a powdered wig? Was Lincoln a good kisser? These are the things that keep ME up nights.

Anonymous said...

I had forgotten the "Odd Couple" scene --- as a committed Lincoln-phile, it impacted me when I saw it. Thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

Ack! I had forgotten about that damn exhibit! And now I have yet another reason to hate you!

I remember every year in grade school cutting out silhouettes of George and Abe and pasting them on alternating backgrounds of red, white, and blue and hanging them all over the school. And wooden teeth. And not telling lies. And what kind of food did they really eat.

My dad had a full set of plastic miniature presidents, all carefully arranged on a big styrofoam podium. I used to take them down and they'd room with Barbie in the Dream House and fly on her private plane (these were the fold-out, carry-around versions from the 70s, not the crapola plastic honkers of today). So yeah, she was like Marilyn Monroe. They also got crammed into my Tonka trucks. Then my dad got smart and glued them down. And I'd pry them off. :-)

ps) William Henry Harrison got a raw deal.

the wicked witch of the east said...

obvious you have waaay too much time on your hands if this is what's taking up residence in your brain...oh i finally mastered that first stitch, but getting the second row is a bitch...will consult you for further details...:)

mc78 said...

I too spent some time thinking about all those presidents that I can't name and whatever it was they did while in office. There's been 43, and I learned about a handful.

teabird said...

English or Continental knitters-- wonderful!

Am I the only one who thinks that this month's Project Spectrum of blue and grey refers to the Civil War?

That's what keeps me up nights.

Carol said...

Howsabout a mattress blowout sale?