2529. Heteropaternal superfecundation

Quite frankly Brooklyn, I’m amazed that you didn’t know the meaning of heteropaternal superfecundation. I thought everyone would be familiar with the term. I suppose if you live a protected life with little bearing on reality then you might have escaped knowing what such words mean. Goodness knows the extent of ignorance in society. I have no idea what they’re teaching in schools these days.

Let’s all say “heteropaternal superfecundation” three times to imprint it on your memory. One two three:


Excellent! Now don’t be late tomorrow children. It’s a special day, with the drag queen performance in the library reserved strictly for the kindergarten.

2528. Such a common name

(Footnote – at the beginning! Sorry I haven’t been around too much recently to read the blogs of others. It’s Spring over here. I’m chasing my tail. The garden’s a mess and so is everything else! I’ll be more diligent as soon as I can. Here is today’s story:)

Senka Lotolili Theadora de Haan-Ozich-Bosnyak hated the fact that so many from her village had the same name. Why couldn’t her parents have been more creative? Whenever anyone asked her name and she said “Senka Lotolili Theadora de Haan-Ozich-Bosnyak” the next question was inevitably “Which one?” She was almost inclined to wear her address on her name tag because it would save a lot of time. Senka Lotolili Theadora de Haan-Ozich-Bosnyak was all for the modern trend of allowing people when they came of age to be able to choose their own name. She certainly would not have chosen Senka Lotolili Theadora de Haan-Ozich-Bosnyak and nor would dozens of other women in the village who shared such a hackneyed nomenclature.

It was so expensive to officially change ones name these days. And it was complicated. When Senka Lotolili Theadora de Haan-Ozich-Bosnyak went to the bank to ask if she could change the name on the bank card, the manager (upon asking her name) asked “Which one?”

Senka Lotolili Theadora de Haan-Ozich-Bosnyak was determined. She would somehow get the money. She needed a sponsor, some kindly group who would sympathize with her plight. She knocked on quite a few doors. And then, success! A local entrepreneur paid for her to have her name changed.

Sunbeam Digital-Multi-Function-Oven-and-Air-Fryer was delighted. Her friends called her Sunny. No one ever again asked “Which one?”

2527. On naming the children

Cooper and Athena Gilmour wanted a large family. Oh the excitement at being able to name the firstborn; son Bjorn Andrew.

Next came a daughter, Belinda Elizabeth, then Bruno Ivan. The Ivan was after an old great uncle who had recently died and although Athena and Cooper Gilmour didn’t like the name Ivan very much it was a middle name, and middle names didn’t really matter.

The fourth child was a third boy, Bartholomew Owen, although he was known simply as Bart. And finally there was Bethany Ursula which was a bit of a mouthful, but Cooper and Athena liked both names but not necessarily when they were put together. They couldn’t decide what to choose so both names were used.

It wasn’t until the fifth and final child had been named that Athena and Cooper Gilmour realized something: the children’s names all started with B:

Bjorn Andrew Gilmour, Belinda Elizabeth Gilmour, Bruno Ivan Gilmour, Bartholomew Owen Gilmour, and Bethany Ursula Gilmour.

It was confusing having so many B. Gilmour’s, so at school they were known by their initials:


2526. Itch before scratch

Silas had been accepted for training in a job he had wanted all his life. It wasn’t so much a “job” as a calling, a vocation, a fulfilment of a dream.

One of the first things the group of candidates were told was if they got an itch they were not to scratch. “If you concentrate on the itch intensely it will go away quickly without scratching. You have a lifetime of scratching when it itches. The motto is: To scratch the scratch, don’t scratch!” At one stage, to facilitate this, a few fleas were released unknown to the group, during a lecture. No one scratched and yet quite a few felt a flea or two!

Silas passed with flying colours, not only the scratch test but everything else as well. In fact he was first in the class of the five candidates who had survived the training. His first undertaking was at hand. It was the most exciting day of his life!

The task began! It was going well! And then – an itch began. Was it a flea? Was it some sort of nit? Silas couldn’t help it. He took a hand off the controls and with one arm he briefly scratched.

It wasn’t exactly the right thing to do when flying in close formation at the Fort Worth Air Show.

2525. The Worm from Hell

I guess that Story 2525 is a significant enough number to depart from (as is the custom on this blog with a significant number) the usual fictional plot, and branch out instead into reality.

New Zealand doesn’t have snakes. It doesn’t have ferocious animals. It really doesn’t have too many horrid insects – unless you’re allergic to bee stings.

What you could encounter if you visited from overseas and was fossicking around the undergrowth of a forest (or even someone’s garden) would be a giant worm. Below is a picture of a worm that a boy in Christchurch (New Zealand) picked up in the garden last week. They grow to about a metre and a half (about 60 inches, about 5 feet) and can be as round as your wrist.

To be honest, I know you’d ask, I’m not sure if they are edible. I’ve never seen a recipe. The boy in the picture said he put it back in the garden and he wasn’t sure if it was dead or alive.

So if you’re planning on coming to New Zealand be prepared to encounter giant worms (of which there are about six different species).

On a brighter note: I’ve lived here for 73 years and never seen one! The boy’s mother described the find as “The worm from Hell”. I quite agree.

2524. Fitness talkback

Well, Listeners, today’s talkback show is to do with staying healthy and fit. Our guest is the embodiment of fitness and health without going over the top. We’ll talk about how simple actions that we do in daily life can enhance ones health. It doesn’t have to be much to be effective.

We are awaiting the arrival of Autumn. I don’t mean the season although there’s that too! No, we await the arrival of Autumn Wasiukieivicz, today’s guest.

I don’t want to cover too many of the everyday hints that Autumn will reflect upon, but to give an example. If you’re right-handed always open the door with your left hand, and vice versa. It strengthens a limb that is not used as much as the other and it heightens co-ordination. I know that it is a practice sometimes suggested by drum teachers to enhance a student’s ability to use both arms.

There are many other little things such as this which Autumn will tell you about, and before you know it you’ll be as fit as a fiddle without having to don sweaty clothing. Of course, Autumn is a wonder. She is at the peak of condition. She also represented her region in the annual National Acrobatics Festival.

Taking health and fitness seriously can prolong your life no end, and makes for a happier more content life…

We’ve just received a message that Autumn cannot make it. Apparently she is at the hospital. She was reaching for the door handle with her left hand when someone coming the other way opened the door and knocked her out flat.

2523. Cooking class

Margaret was an excellent cook, and so should she be as she was the cooking teacher at the local high school. She had just been employed and was excited to begin. Cooking had been introduced into the curriculum for both boys and girls because these days with both parents working it was easier to leave cooking lessons up to a teacher. After all, it was a school!

The school wasn’t riddled with multitudinous ovens, so cooking classes were restricted to fourteen pupils at one time using the ovens and the rest of the class creating a cold salad or dessert.

On the first class Margaret ran into trouble. There were fourteen boys and twelve girls. She decided to run a little competition: boys versus girls. The boys at first were given the task of making a cold salad. The girls were to make cookies of their choice from a pile of recipes. All went well.

“When you’re ready for the oven,” said Margaret, “don’t forget to set the timer. It will take about thirty minutes. When you are done, it’s the boys’ turn.

Pandemonium erupted after thirty minutes. The timer alarms all went off at different times. No one knew whose alarm was whose. Some girls’ cookies hadn’t cooked; other girls’ cookies were burnt.

Then it was the boys turn. Everything came out perfectly. Their cookies were perfection itself. The boys won the day!

Wesley was pleased with his new-learned skill; he could adjust girls’ timers and oven temperatures without anyone noticing.

2522. Smarty Pants

Dear Parents and Caregivers

What a successful fundraising event our Gala Day was! We raised over three thousand dollars for gymnasium equipment.

I wish to announce the winner of the “Guess-the-number-of-Smarties-in-the-Jar” (aka “Guess-the-number-of-M&Ms-in-the-Jar”) competition. As you probably know the prize for the right guess is twenty-five dollars. It was a very popular fund-raiser and over five hundred (mainly children) entered the guessing game. There were very few entries sharing the same number.

I am told the official number was 1,561 Smarties in the jar. What nonsense! That was perhaps the case with the old mathematics. In these more enlightened times every child is correct. All numbers are right depending upon how mathematics is done. Nor should we be keen to put a child down. It would be humiliating. All entries are winners.

I have instructed the organizers to give each entry twenty-five dollars. The accountant says that would come to over twelve and a half thousand dollars which is more than the money raised. Again, what nonsense! That may have been the case under the old mathematics but these days we are more liberated. With the new mathematics there is something for each winner and enough left over to purchase a good amount of gymnasium equipment.

On a lighter note, not knowing what to do with the jar of Smarties, my wife and I decided to enjoy them ourselves – all 1,561 of them.

Leonardo Goldsworthy

2521. Ezra’s lily plot

Ezra Connell had a lily garden. It was quite big. Lilies were his hobby. And what a picture it was when they were in flower!

When his wife was alive she had an allergy to lily pollen so certain varieties of lilies were banned. But now that she had passed on he could cultivate whatever variety of lily he wanted.

He had Asiatic lilies in one section of the garden and Oriental lilies in another. He had even tried to cross an Asiatic with an Oriental but the result looked a bit like someone had dragged the bloom through the mud. Another area was for Martagon lilies, and these were probably his favourite. Another area was for Tiger lilies, and yet another for Trumpet lilies. He even had quite a range of Patio lilies growing in pots and placed against the garden wall.

Thank goodness he had all this because Ezra Connell’s lily plot is the only plot you’ll find in this story.

2520. A lesson in ornithology

What a thrill it was when a pair of pigeons began creating a nest on the ledge right outside Jackson’s window. It had one disadvantage: he could watch the progress over the coming weeks, but the weather was getting warmer and he didn’t want to frighten the pigeons by opening the window. Jackson could have reached out and touched them they were so close.

Jackson kept a detail account of progress in a notebook. They seemed to have created some sort of nest but no egg had appeared. And then wonder of wonders! The first egg appeared! A second egg appeared about a day later. The eggs were white. Both parents took turns sitting on the eggs, but the female did most of the sitting.

After 18 days of incubation two squabs hatched. The parents began feeding them. They grew quickly. After two weeks feathers began to grow. At three weeks they were fully feathered. On the 28th day they were fully grown and ready to leave the nest, but before they did Jackson gently opened the window.

He used an old recipe that was his grandmother’s.