DAILY BRIEFING
Lyserød

Aug. 13 - There is no Danish word for pink. They have only lyserød, which literally means "light red." As the proud father of a lovely little baby girl, I've become more than familiar with the various shades and hues of lyserød. Just when I thought I couldn't possibly have any more light red in my life, however, there came yesterday's misfortune.

Molli Malou had coughed up a little milk on a throw pillow on one of the sofas that came with our furnished apartment. For reasons I don't want to bother getting into right now, all of our rented "furnishings" are being returned to their owner within the next week or so. We thought it would be nice to return her little throw pillow cover without the smear of regurgitated breast milk on it. So we washed it.

A pillowcase is an innocuous thing—especially one for a throw pillow. Throw pillows are the condiments of interior design, the croutons of our living rooms. Here's a pillowcase that's been sitting on a pillow on a couch in our living room for 17 months without once having attracted our attention. Washed it? We'd never even thought about it. It's been a part of our life since the day we moved in but I'd be hard pressed to think of something we've taken less notice of.

Into the wash it went. Like most parents of newborns, we've got a lot of laundry going on these days. We didn't want to waste a whole wash cycle on one lousy little pillowcase, so the washer was crammed with heaps of our clothes and baby linens.

The pillowcase was dark red. Still is. Every other piece of fabric that went into that load is now its own particular shade of lyserød. I have pink underwear, pink socks, pink shirts. Trine has pink bras. We've got pink linens, pink bath towels, and pink exercise shorts.

The horrifying irony of it all is that despite the piles and piles of pink baby clothes we've got, and the considerable size of the pink portion of Trine's wardrobe, not one piece of clothing or linen that got the pink treatment was originally pink.

We've been pinkwashed. Pinked out. Pinkstruck.

On the plus side, however, the baby linens that used to be white with golden-brown shit stains are now pink with purple stains.

That's nice.

* * *

I haven't linked to anything in a long time. I need to get back in the habit. And it's Friday, so you want something interesting to read. Try this article about writing style. (I'm a Strunk and White partisan, myself.)

Or how about this—ever hear of an alleged tornado? Will there be marches against the National Weather Service if it turns out not to have been a twister? Will there be a Danville Twister Commission to investigate the meterological forecasting shortcomings that allowed this scurrilous strike against innocent Americans seeking brand names for less? Or what?

* * *

The city of Berlin split itself right down the middle forty-three years ago today (today is Friday, August 13).

The Cold War was running pretty warm back then. The Russians were Evil Soviet Bastards. They were so evil they convinced East Germany to lock West Germany out. East Germany locked the Brandenburg gate and threw away the key. Then, just to be absolutely safe, they built the Great Wall of Berlin, and assigned evil socialist soldiers to shoot any West Germans who tried to sneak into East Germany.

No West Germans tried to sneak in.

The soldiers, being evil socialist bastards with guns and therefore needing desperately to shoot at someone, therefore shot at East Germans.

About a year later, for example, on August 17, 1962, 18-year-old Peter Fechter was shot by evil East German bastards as he tried to cross the Berlin Wall into West Germany. He bled to death in public view.

The guards who shot him were tracked down and convicted of manslaughter thirty-four years later.

Moral: you might think you can get away with shooting people just because you're a heavily-armed socialist bastard living in an evil socialist regime propped up by an evil socialist empire, but you can't.

Not really.

It may seem like you can, but just wait.

(And wait.)

Eventually John F. Kennedy announced that he was a jelly-filled donut, Ronald Reagan asked Mr. Gorbachev to tear down this wall, Boris Yeltsin rode on a tank, and there didn't seem to be any real point in having a Wall any more. So they tore it down.

* * *

On August 13, 1521, after a seventy-five day siege, Hernando Cortes captured and destroyed the capital of the Aztec Empire, Tenochtitlan (Aztec for "Mexico City"). It was important to defeat the Aztecs, because they were an Evil Empire that practiced Human Sacrifice and Difficult Spelling.

The Woodstock Music and Arts Fair began 35 years ago, on August 15, 1969, on Max Yasger's farm in upstate New York. The greatest gathering of marketing and advertising professionals in American history, the festival featured the musical artists behind some of today's hottest commercial jingles.

* * *

104 years ago this August 14, the western powers quelled the Boxer Rebellion in China. In the clearing stood the Boxers, fighters by their trade, and they carried the reminders of every glove that laid them down or cut them til they cried out, in their anger and their pain, they were leaving, they were leaving, but the fighter still remained.

Unless that was Simon and Garfunkel, in which case the Boxers were bitter, out-of-work Chinese boxers who didn't think the western powers should be allowed to control China's ports, despite the fact that everyone knew China was a poor backward country without any modern conveniences.

Emboldened by the belief that their magical boxing powers made them invulnerable to bullets, they demanded that westerners get out of China or die.

Westerners refused to get out. They crushed the rebellion, and boxing remains a neglected sport in China to this day.

* * *

August 13 is the birthday of Danny Bonaduce (1959), Dan Fogelberg (1951), Don Ho (1930), Fidel Castro (1926), Alfred Hitchcock (1899), Bert Lahr (1895), and Annie Oakley (1860).

The 13th is Independence Day in the Central African Republic.

The 14th is the birthday of Earvin "Magic" Johnson (1959), Gary Larson (1950), Danielle Steel (1947), Steve Martin (1945), David Crosby (1941), and Russell Baker (1925).

The 14th is Independence Day in either the Democratic Republic of the Congo or the Republic of the Congo. (They'd be even more independent if they delineated their names a little better.) It's also Allegiance Day in Morocco and Independence Day in Pakistan.

Napoleon Bonaparte was born on August 15, 1769. Other birthday celebrants: Jim Webb (1946), Rose Marie (1925), Oscar Peterson (1925), Phyllis Schlafly (1924), Julia Child (1912), Edna Ferber (1887), and Sir Walter Scott (1771).

The 15th is Great Lady Day in Croatia, Independence Day in India, Liberation Day in South (Good) Korea, and Princess Anne's Birthday in the UK.

Enjoy the weekend!

© 2004, The Moron's Almanac™

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