Weekend Open Thread

| February 8, 2019 | 106 Comments

It’s estimated that more than 3 million East Germans fled the German Democratic Republic (DDR) during its existence. But the building of the Berlin Wall raised the difficulty level of doing so dramatically.

Nevertheless, after the Berlin Wall went up people continued to attempt to escape to the West via various means. Over the years of its existence, it’s estimated that roughly 5,000 East Germans managed to escape successfully.

Escaping from East Germany was quite dangerous. At least 138 died attempting to cross the Berlin Wall to reach West Berlin. And at least another 872 died trying to cross other parts of the Inner German Border.

Many methods of escape were tried. But one form had a most unlikely, if unknowing, helper.

It seems that Playboy helped a number of East Germans to escape. Yes, that Playboy – the one founded by Hugh Hefner in the USA.

. . .

Apparently Playboy Clubs worldwide at one time issued membership cards that were different from the US key and/or metal key card. And some of them were apparently quite well done and impressive.

In fact, the membership cards for the Munich Playboy Club at one point were particularly impressive. They were so well-crafted, in fact, that they reportedly very closely resembled a Diplomatic Passport.

It also seemed that East German border guards gave diplomatic passports very little scrutiny, often waving through holders of same with barely a glance at their passports.

These facts became known to a number of people in East Germany. And somehow – probably with the help of West German or foreign contacts, who were allowed to enter East Berlin – a number of them obtained Munich Playboy Club membership cards.

You guessed it – a number of these individuals simply were waved through checkpoints by East German border guards after flashing their Munich Playboy Club membership card. While this might not have been the most dangerous way of escaping East Germany, IMO it certainly took Sehr große Massivstahltestilen – and probably an extra pair of skivvies for afterwards. (smile)

So, there you have it: a number of former East Germans owe their freedom, indirectly, to Hugh Hefner. (smile)

. . .

OK, enough oddball Cold War history for today. Enjoy the WOT and the weekend, everyone.

Category: Historical, Open thread

Comments (106)

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    • HMC Ret says:

      Congratulations 5th/77th FA on yet another triumph. I believe you were first last week as well, so no transfer of the crown is necessary. We stand by, again, to render service as required.

      Bite Me

      Everyone have a healthy and safe weekend.

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        Thanks and my blessing be unto to you and yours HMC Ret. The retaining of the Crown is almost as wondermous as the lording over of the miscreants will be. You have noticed, over the past week, that the FIRST thing I did on each thread was a little lording over? Here’s hoping that all others, especially GDContractor, are taking notes!

        You may want to appeal the FIRST to TAH What in the Wide World of Sports HQs. Let me know how that works out for you.

  1. 5th/77th FA says:

    KAAAAAA-BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM Dickweeds!!!!!!!!!!TOT KING OF BATTLE KING OF FIRSTS!

    • Skyjumper says:

      Congrats……again, 5th/77th FA!

      However, you need to rethink your battle-cry.
      ———————————————–
      What is the origin of Infantry being called the Queen of Battle?

      The earliest attributed quote credits Sir William Napier (1785-1860) with saying “Infantry is the Queen of Battles.” In a text by a Mr. G. Maspero, published in 1892, the army of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (7th century, B.C.) is described as follows: “There is, on an average one hundred foot soldiers to every ten cavalry and every single chariot; the infantry is really Queen of the Assyrian battles.” The expression hailing infantry as the queen of battle was widely in use at the time of Napoleon I (1769-1821).

      The ascendancy of the infantryman has been dated as far back as the English victory at Crecy in 1346, and to the later Battle of Agincourt, scene of another English victory over the French, in 1415. The decisive weapon in both battles was the English longbow; at Crecy the French crossbowmen could not match the rate of fire of the bowmen, while at Agincourt the massed French cavalry fell before the waves of arrows fired against them by an outnumbered English army led by the young king, Henry V. Both battles were stunning affirmations of the power of capably led and properly armed infantrymen.

      References to the queen of battle (or battles) continue to appear in doctrinal literature from the time of the First World War until today, and one of the most popular theories on the selection of the queen as symbol of our branch lies in the queen’s dominance of a chessboard, where she enjoys much more freedom of movement and mobility than any other piece. Her position as the most powerful piece on the board is indeed analogous to the role of the Infantry on the battlefield, and – like our branch – it is she who may well determine the final outcome.

      “The king, on the other hand, is a vulnerable figure, and must rely upon others to protect him.”

      INFANTRY!! QUEEN OF BATTLE!!!

      (Somehow that just doesn’t sound right) (grin)

      A Happy & Safe weekend to a TAH’ers!

      • SFC D says:

        If horse racing is “The sport of kings”, is drag racing “The sport of queens?”

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        Thanks Bro! I will unhumbly accept your congratulations and promise to lord it over the slow ones as befitting the Winner of Wars. Of all the awards and accolades I have had in my life, other than my daughter and grandchildren, nothing has given me more personal pleasure that WINNING the Coveted FIRST in the TAH Friday Weekend Open Thread. You can’t buy a FIRST at a Wally World, the boss or CO can’t give it out at a morning meeting/formation. It can only be EARNED by individual effort.

        The story on the Queen of Battle is a very interesting tale. Have studied the Battle of Agincourt, not just thru Mr. Shakespeare’s writing, but other sources, pre innerwebz. Coulda had folks on both sides there, some of my Granny’s folk were French Huguienots that came to GA escaping the religious prosecution thing in the 1750s.

        My gunny bunny blood runs deep too. Got Artillerymen all the way back to Rev War time that I’ve documented. There’s a few fuzzy spots due to records. Best I can tell, I’m the only one that never fired a big gun in anger. Papa was Btry C 74FIRST (741) Arty in WWII. My heros in Nov ’65 were the gunners at LZ Falcon that fired in support of Col Moore’s Troops at LZ-XRay. The DIs in AIT at Ft Sill did mention a time or two that we needed to remember our infantry training cause we may have to defend the firebase ourselves. Lucky me, I never had to test that theory.

        I’ve enjoyed Hondos stories and linky thingys on the Berlin Escapes. Being stationed in a Sergeant and Lance Missile Unit, we were not allowed to go to West Berlin at all. One of the few places I wasn’t able to visit during my tour. Even when we went to Graf and Wildflicken we had to stay close by. Something about the Soviets wanting to kidnap some of us. Had heard that we had lost people that way. Not sure.

  2. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Third dammit

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    FIRST & FIRST & FIRST AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! How ’bout them dawgs! roll tide roll! GO ARMY!! BEAT NAVY!!

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    Firth of fourth, located in Scotland. Not the Firth of Clyde.

  5. ChipNASA says:

    Hey BITCHES!!!
    Isn’t that two weeks in a row for 5th/77th FA ??

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I have a question for you, ChipNASA.

      Bolling AFB in Anacostia Flat used to have a shooting range in the 1960s. I occasionally went there for some shoot-shoot-bang-bang stuff.

      Do they still have that in place or was it removed? I know the old Naval Photographic Center was replaced by a (gag!) CIA building. Just wondering. Couldn’t find anything on line about it.

      • ChipNASA says:

        Ex-PH2,
        I have only been there a few times and have no idea if they have a range at Bolling but I found this from 2011. (See below)

        I certainly know they have a range at Andrews AFB (FUCK YOU I’ll never call it Joint Base Andrews, you BRAC assholes) but it’s only (I believe) for assigned personnel to do their training and qualifications. I don’t believe you can BYOG. (I could be wrong)

        ” I am currently assigned to the former Bolling AFB. The base is now “Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB)” thanks to BRAC. The 11th Wing is no longer the host. The 11th Security Forces Squadron no longer manages security. Traffic, parking and civil matters are handled by the DC police. All other security matters are handled by the USN. Even if you have a DoD base decal and/or CAC card for base access, if you plan on parking overnight, you’ll need to check in and register with the Force Protection Joint Visitor Center located at the South Gate. While DC still enforces their archaic gun laws, you can transport firearms through DC and on base. I do and also shoot at the range on base. Call the Force Protection Joint Visitor Center Customer Support @ 202-767-8958 for the latest vehicle registration and firearms information. If you get the run-around from that number, call the Law Enforcement Desk @ 202-767-5000 or the base operator @ 703-545-6700. ”

        Oh and I just found this….so it looks like yes, Bolling still has a Range..

        https://www.afdw.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/335740/navy-welcomes-sfs-to-anacostia-firing-range/

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      Thank you for noticing ChipNASA, be a little something extry in your bonus this week. Not counting the FIRST on the MOT (only for bragging rights), we have been faster than Matt Dillon’s draw on the opening of Gunsmoke, and sharper than Miss Kitty’s wit putting ol’ Doc down. This FIRST has been said and will be written in the Coveted Book of FIRSTS.

      The struggle is very real. The anticipation of a possible 3peet is real erection causing stuff. As a hat tip to my loyal minions and as a way to show GDContractor how it’s done, libations are on my tab!

  6. Roh-Dog says:

    Have a great weekend y’all!

  7. Commissar says:

    Berlin Wall was 96 miles vs 2000 mile US-Mexico border.

    It had armed guard constantly patrolling. Machine gun emplacements, snipers in guard towers, barbed wire, trenches, and mine fields.

    Even then it only made things much more difficult and dangerous to cross but did not stop a determined individual. Thousands of determined individuals.

    The cost of maintaining such a wall along the US Mexico border would be insane.

    What Trump proposes is nothing like the wall and will still cost $25-30B and hundreds of millions to maintain.

    And will be far far less effective.

    It sure as hell won’t stop the unmarried military age men you are all so afraid of entering our country.

    Modern technology could provide much better security than a wall with that $30B but this is not about security it is about political team sports and “winning” regardless of what is best for the country.

    Undocumented Immigrants commit crimes at half the rate of US citizens and are a net economic positive to our country.

    But this is not about the good of the country either. It is about political scapegoating.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      The Berlin Wall was built by communists, you jackass. It was meant to keep people IN East Berlin and East Germany, NOT TO KEEP ANYONE OUT.

      You failed your basic test again. Go sit in the corner and shut your yap.

      • Anon Army says:

        ^^^^this^^^^.

        In case you missed the subtext, let me draw your attention to, “The Berlin Wall was built by communists…”. Built, patrolled and maintained(was it actually?)by those who would given the chance be on the other side of it and whose attitude towards keeping people in generally fell into one of two categories. A -If I’m stuck here, so are you, and B – if I don’t do my job, my family is dead.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        I believe that Jonn Lilyea posted photos from one of his patrols on the East/West border, of razor wire fencing hung with mines, which people would still try to get over or through, regardless of the danger.

        BETTER DEAD THAN RED.

    • Perry Gaskill says:

      Lars, at the risk of providing you with gratuitous advice, it strikes me that one of the big problems with your comments is a remarkable ability to ignore anything offered in rebuttal. We’ve been over your Larsfacts before and they’ve been shot down more than once. This latest collection is a good example. It’s like you have the attention span of a Shar Pei.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        Shar Peis are smarter than he is by a country mile.

      • Commissar says:

        I used to respond to rebuttals and found it just attracted trolling comments, finding myself have 3 or four conversation about diverging tangents and “whataboutisms”, and at the end of it all I was pissed off, tired, and accused of “hijacking” the thread.

        So I rarely bother responding or discussing things further than throwing my opinion into the ring with everyone else.

        Besides, it is rare that anyone here is interested in having a good faith discussion on these topics. Ex-Ph2 non-sequitur about communists is an example. If she wanted to have a good faith discussion about the effectiveness of walls, the costs involved, and whether they are necessary right now, or whether it is the most effective use of our dollars it would not matter that communists built the wall to keep people in.

        My point is that it was far more elaborate than anything trump proposes or we could possibly afford to build and it STILL was not effective against a determined individual.

        I find it bizarre how often people want to shoehorn communism and socialism into nearly every response I see here.

        It is clear that most of these posters have no understanding of what communism is or is not, what socialism is or is not, what social democracy is or is not, and more disturbingly they seem to have no concept as to when communism or socialism is even relevant to the topic at hand.

        It is as though their entire current worldview is based on a fear of a debunked and long dead Cold War era ideology.

        • Mason says:

          “I find it bizarre how often people want to shoehorn communism and socialism into nearly every response I see here.”

          Says the guy who’s chosen screen name is “Commissar.” Sweet, sweet irony.

        • Hondo says:

          Translation of the above:

          Don’t Fear the Commie. So what if four states generally regarded as Communist murdered 140+ million of their own citizens for ideological reasons between 1917 and 1987 – not including wartime losses? Besides, that wasn’t real Communism or Socialism, despite the fact that they explicitly identified themselves as the latter and also claimed to be the ‘true path’ to the former.”

        • Ex-PH2 says:

          And Lars the Birdbrained Twit is the Very Person Who Brought up the Berlin Wall.

          I did not do that. HE DID!

          How unfortunate it is that he can’t even admit to doing something stupid like that when he gets a refutation of his lame statement, and refuses to admit that HE MADE THE NON SEQUITUR REFERENCE. NO ONE ELSE DID.

          He always has an excuse for his faux pas.

    • SFC D says:

      Once more, and I’ll go slowly and use small words.

      The wall is only one tool in the border security toolbox. We also need the technology and personnel. The first two are worthless without the third. It’s a package deal. The technology is in place and works great, but it stops nothing, apprehends nothing.

      But you know better than anyone, so I’ll let it go.

      • NHSparky says:

        And when states like CA, IL, MA, NY, etc., stop giving them bennies and free shit, then they’ll ship themselves home.

      • Commissar says:

        It is not “one tool”. It is being proposed as THE TOOL because it’s costs are the entirety of the $5.7b being requested.

        $5.7b that could be used to fund other MORE EFFECTIVE tools.

        Worse the $5.7b is only a fraction the the actual costs. Even the current “actual” cost estimate Of $25-30b has been shown to be too low for just the construction costs alone.

        And that does not even include the legal costs involved and the land purchases along 2000 miles of border.

        And none of that even includes the fact that the American people overwhelmingly don’t want the damn thing.

        There is literally no empirical or rational basis for you to be wanting the damn wall. It is entirely sycophantic stooge behavior because you want Trump to get what he wants and your side to “win” regardless of what the overwhelming majority of Americans want.

        • HMC Ret says:

          “It is entirely sycophantic stooge behavior because you want Trump to get what he wants …”

          No, I wanted a wall long before Trump was President. I wanted a wall when redlineodummy was the Loser In Chief. Yes, I do genuinely despise him THAT much. And, no, it has squat to do with his color. It has all to do with his incompetence.

          I wanted a wall decades ago. It has little to do with Trump being our current President.

          I enjoy reading your posts and hope you will hang around. I do. But at least in this matter, as it pertains to me and what I want, you are wrong.

          And please, don’t use big words. Imm not smart like u r. K?

        • Thunderstixx says:

          Yo, moron…
          Unlock your door and remove it from the door frame. Then head to the nearest Home Depot and tell them that they are more than welcome to come into your abode, eat your food and fuck your wife, sister, boyfriend, whichever way you roll.
          Tell them that you want them to be happy so they can sleep in your bed and do all the things you think America should do for illegal aliens.
          And if they commit crimes at the rate of 1/2 of Americans, why do we want that 1/2 in this country committing those crimes ???
          You’re saying that we should accept their crime and let them off scot free because Americans are worse…
          You’re just trying to deflect any comment on the braying ass A0’kotex and her green new deal in all it’s genius !!!
          You fucks are just so incredibly stupid…

        • SFC D says:

          No, I just don’t like illegal aliens in my backyard. I can see Mexico from my back porch. And since we now have a wall, sensors, and cameras, we have fewer illegal crossers. And nobody is touting the wall as a cure-all but the lamestream media, just so they can say it ain’t. I don’t care if it’s what Trump wants, it’s what I want.

        • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

          And how much does the federal and state governments dole out in the way of medical care, “in state tuition”, free/reduce meals for school age children, government housing and other “benefits” to illegal aliens per year? Do you have that empiric data available, Larsie-boi?

          I’ve seen it time and time again, Larsie-boi, where the government have been more than happy to dole out all sorts of free shit to illegal immigrants, but will fuck over Americans of different races who are living paycheck to paycheck and heed just a little bit of help.

          The Donks/socialists need a class of working people – those that will do the most menial of labor for a few dollars a month and all sorts of free shit from “DA MAN”, so come election time “DA MAN” gets their vote. It’s been the goal ever since LBJ pushed through his “Great Society” plans in the 60’s.

    • NHSparky says:

      And the seagull shows up again.

      Swoops in, shits all over everything, then leaves.

      Go man the radio, Farva.

    • Mason says:

      “Modern technology could provide much better security than a wall”

      There’s so much more modern, cost effective solutions that farmers, impound lots, airports, and prisons have all resorted to barbaric, immoral walls and fences to keep people out instead of much cheaper and effective sensors, cameras, and drones.

      You stop engaging in rebuttal when people challenge you. You’re a coward. The first signs of determined resistance and you disappear.

    • rgr769 says:

      How the fuck would anyone know, dipshit? No one knows how may illegals are in this country. You just make up you bullshit stats out of whole cloth. Moreover, many of their crimes are unreported as they are committed against other illegals. And stop with the “undocumented” commie/progspeak. Many have fraudulent documents; and those that don’t have them are in that situation because they are here illegally.

    • AW1Ed says:

      Listen to the folks up front, not the political bobble-heads. I know its a bit dated, but the issue hasn’t changed.

      Border Patrol agents overwhelmingly support Trump’s wall in new survey

      Border Patrol agents say they can’t be much clearer: They want more walls along the U.S.-Mexico border.

      In a survey conducted by the National Border Patrol Council, the agents’ union, they overwhelmingly supported adding a “wall system” in strategic locations, embracing President Trump’s argument that it will boost their ability to nab or deter would-be illegal immigrants.

      Agents also said they need the government to change the “catch and release” policy. They often have to immediately release illegal border crossers they arrest, giving them the chance to disappear into the shadows with the 11 million other illegal immigrants in the U.S.

      The findings, shared with The Washington Times, appear to undercut the argument of congressional Democrats, who released a report last month concluding that line agents didn’t support Mr. Trump’s plans for a wall. The report was based on an internal tool used by Homeland Security to evaluate security gaps.

      Washington Times

    • Hondo says:

      Berlin Wall was 96 miles vs 2000 mile US-Mexico border.

      Geez, numbnvts, can’t you even get a simple comparison right? Above, you’re including only a tiny fraction of former East Germany’s internal prison barriers.

      The Berlin wall was only approximately 10% of the total East German internal prison barrier. You haven’t said squat about the IGB – which formed the other roughly 90%.

      The IGB was 1,393 kilometers long – or roughly 866 miles – and ran from the Baltic to Czechoslovakia. Add the Berlin Wall’s 96 miles, and we’re talking a total of nearly 1,000 miles – 962 miles, to be precise. That’s roughly half the length of the US Southwestern border.

      Then again: including the full length of East Germany’s internal prison barriers wouldn’t really support your narriative too well, would it? So I’d guess the omission was both knowing and deliberate.

      Finally, as others have observed: the Berlin Wall and IGB were primarily designed to keep East Germans from leaving – not to keep unauthorized foreigners from entering East Germany. It was effectively a prison wall, designed to keep the inmates (East German citizens) forcibly detained. That’s why I refer to them as East Germany’s internal prison barriers – because that’s what they were.

      • rgr769 says:

        We might also point out to the commie cuttlefish that the people trying to cross those barriers were living in a totalitarian police state determined to keep them in, not the opposite, as in the case of Mexico. Anyone think the East German border barriers would have been effective if the East German commie gov’t was assisting its citizens or others from commieland to cross its border to the West?

  8. HMC Ret says:

    At least one of the Covington students has retained high caliber lawers and is seeking damages from the collective scum who trashed him recently after he allegedly assaulted/disrespected/whatever the PoS who beat a drum inches from his face. The list includes the usual leftards, left stream media and some B list actors. Within a few hours of the event, long before the facts were known, several had assassinated the character of the student(s). The one thing they understand is money. I’m assuming the cases would be heard in Kentucky and that doesn’t bode well for those being sued. I think the list is up to 50+. Discovery is going to be a bitch. Here is the link. If it doesn’t open, go to WesternJournal.com

    https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/50-celebs-reporters-others-covington-kids-lawyers-just-officially-targeted/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=PostTopSharingButtons&utm_campaign=websitesharingbuttons&fbclid=IwAR1y8nQ20oKp0dS1i7TmUDc8q-_UR4WGjWDDf1-s_mX76MyRKD_fdDFYesI

    • Graybeard says:

      IMHO, this is a very good thing.

      Those leftard enjoy hammering folks with lawsuits and think they somehow have immunity from retribution.

      Now it can bite them, hard, in the glutimus maximus while we pop popcorn and watch.

      As the cheerleaders use to say: “Do it again! Do it again! I like it! I like it.!”

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        Yes this is a very good thing. And to quote Sea Hawk Driver O’Malley, from TC’s Red Storm Rising….Hammer their ass. The lawers are in it for themselves, but they know they will win something and those idiots that put it out on the sociable media, well as we all know, that sh*t is for evah.

    • Sparks says:

      I really, really wanted one of the Covington adults to knock out Chief of Dental Hygiene Nathan’s last four teeth.

  9. ChipNASA says:

    Just a note…..(Thank you Mr Wile E Coyote)

    There really is a weapons company called ACME (actually ACME-Worldwide.com) that sells weapons (Military)training simulators so save up your pennies and nickles and dimes….

    https://www.acme-worldwide.com/products/gun-active-recoil-systems/m-134-minigun/?fbclid=IwAR116d5SF3K2yKlLyXLHwI3Ws35WZwnFQcIz-yM0BqMk1npwzL0Qe5ixQgU

    (Fact Sheet with full photos)
    https://www.acme-worldwide.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/ACME_GTS-Spec-Sheet.pdf

    Video

  10. HMC Ret says:

    The tragedy of two collisions of U.S. Navy ships recently is weighing heavily on senior Navy officers, and it should. The link portrays the failure of the Navy at many levels, but primarily the fault rests with those near the top of the food chain. Ray Mabus demonstrated he was not suited to be SECNAV, something that has been mentioned on this site. Those who raised the alarm were thrown under the bus, including a 3-Star who repeatedly advised his superiors of pending disaster. Great sadness …

    https://features.propublica.org/navy-accidents/us-navy-crashes-japan-cause-mccain/?fbclid=IwAR3RS1Pn4AzPQGaMoOyobr4m4w-l6euJ2ih0R6kDwkkjyyBNZtRpVX6b-xA

  11. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    First.

  12. Aysel says:

    Did any of y’all actually read the post? hahahaha

    I wonder if Playboy made them like that for just that idea. It would be interesting to know.

  13. Twist says:

    I’m just sitting here watching the partisan hatchet job masquerading as a DOJ oversight hearing. The Democrats aren’t even trying to hide it anymore. They are all about party over country.

  14. Graybeard says:

    >sigh< Top 50 again.

    And loosing to a redleg at that.

    • Graybeard says:

      Oh, and damp and cold in the AO, after being in the 70’s yesterday a.m.

      Being a wimp and staying indoors, playing with grandkids and piddlin’ a bit.

      Y’all have a good weekend, y’hear?

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        “And losing to a redleg at that.”

        And losing to a redleg AGAIN at that. There you go Brother Graybeard. I fixed that for you.

        High ended up at 81 F yesterday here at Firebase 5/77 Magnolia. Set a new record. Misty rainy @ about 48 now.

        • Graybeard says:

          True that, the humiliation runs deep when one looses to a redleg. 😀

          Was working in my study/workshop/armory/mancave when I heard sleet hitting the window. Further incentive to tinker with something at the workbench.

  15. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    41th and Honorary First once again.

    ((((OVER))))

  16. Commissioner Wretched says:

    I knew there was no way I’d be first this week, or even in the running … I’m moving into a new house and I’m getting way too old for this nonsense.

    Anyway, since you’re all waiting for it, here’s this week’s trivia column, and I hope you enjoy it!

    DID YOU KNOW…?
    Where did the idea for modern superhero costumes come from?
    By Commissioner Wretched

    They hauled that silly groundhog out of his burrow again last weekend.

    Actually, there are more than one. Punxsutawney Phil up in Pennsylvania is supposedly the “national” groundhog, but in Georgia there’s “General Lee,” “Potomac Phil” in Washington, D.C., “Staten Island Chuck” in New York (okay, he’s a woodchuck, not a groundhog – not that there’s anything wrong with that), and a few more scattered around. The traditional silliness has even caught on in Germany, Russia, Canada, and other places around the world. But the one everybody looks at is Phil up in Pennsylvania.

    Last year about this time, I mentioned that it didn’t matter what Phil – or any other groundhog or woodchuck – saw, we’d still have six more weeks of winter.

    And yet … I’m glad we have this tradition. It makes for a bit of light-heartedness in the middle of winter. It also provided the basis for a pretty cool Bill Murray movie.

    Whether it’s a cold winter or a mild one where you are, I hope the trivia I’m about to serve is just right to keep the doldrums away. And if you want, you can send me an e-mail at didyouknowcolumn@gmail.com and I’ll reply as quickly as the electrons will move in the ether, whatever that means.

    Let’s get the last part of winter started with some warm trivia!

    Did you know …

    … comedian W.C. Fields (1880-1946) began studying the Bible just before his death? He was in a hospital in Pasadena, California, being treated for illnesses caused by alcoholism. Asked by a friend why he was studying the Bible on what would be his deathbed, Fields said, “I’m looking for loopholes.” (Mr. Fields must have inspired my father’s old saying, “Always leave them laughing.”)

    … the city of Istanbul, Turkey, is located on two continents? It spans the Bosporus strait, which separates Europe from Asia. It’s the only city in the world located on two continents. (I’ll wager the customs officials really get a workout there.)

    … the costumes worn by modern superheroes have a basis in old circus attire? The tight-fitting body suits and capes worn by Superman, Batman, and other superheroes were inspired by professional wrestlers and circus strongmen of the early 20th Century. Which also answers the age-old question of why superheroes wear their trunks over their tights – early wrestlers wore them that way. There was always the chance that the tights would split during a rather energetic match, so the trunks were worn over the tights to prevent any unexpected indecent Southern exposure. (Which makes perfect sense to me, now that it’s been mentioned.)

    … nails on longer fingers grow faster than nails on shorter fingers? (Perfect for reaching that irritating itch in the middle of your back.)

    … some of the drugs that are used to treat restless leg syndrome have a rather expensive side-effect? The drugs can cause compulsive gambling in some people. (Wanna bet?)

    … General Mills produced more “monster” themed cereals than the popular Count Chocula and Frankenberry? They also test-marketed Fruit Brute, Yummy Mummy, and Boo Berry. Of those three, Boo Berry – a blueberry flavored cereal – lasted the longest on the shelves. (One trembles at the thought of what Yummy Mummy must have tasted like.)

    … cheetahs cannot roar? Unlike the other great cats, cheetahs can’t produce the roaring sound. What they can do, however, is purr, which is something that lions, tigers, and leopards can’t do. (Here, kitty kitty … nice kitty kitty …)

    … only one of the 44 men who have served as President of the United States actually got married in the White House? Grover Cleveland (1837-1908), who served non-consecutive terms as the 22nd and 24th Chief Executive, married Frances Folsom (1864-1947), the then-21-year-old daughter of a friend, during his first term. Cleveland was 49 at the time of the nuptials. Additional trivia bonus – the Clevelands’ first child, Ruth (1891-1904), is said to be whom the popular Baby Ruth candy bar is named after.

    … there are three college football bowl games that took place only once? The Aluminum Bowl (1956), the Cement Bowl (1962), and the Aviation Bowl (1961) stand out as classic one-time-only bowl games. Amusingly, the Salad Bowl was played five times between 1948 and 1952. (I’m guessing nobody ever thought of sponsoring the Toilet Bowl, did they?)

    … the War of 1812 was not the only major conflict going on that year? Sure, the war between the United States and Great Britain was in all the papers here, but there were three other rather large military conflicts going on. During 1812, the British were fighting the Americans and the French; the French were fighting the British, the Spanish, and the Russians; and Russia was at war with both France and Great Britain. (And you can’t tell the players without a scorecard.)

    … Al Capone (1899-1947) was never sent to prison for his gangster activities? He always managed to “beat the rap,” as they say, when faced with prosecution for his criminal activity. The government finally got him into prison, though, on charges of tax evasion in 1931, for which he served eight years of an eleven-year sentence. (Let that be a lesson – pay your taxes, no matter how you earn your money!)

    Now … you know!

    • Twist says:

      Boo Berry cereal is still around. It is one of my first purchases around Halloween time.

    • Outcast says:

      Commish, you missed one, Did you know, Every time a sexy woman jumps out of a giant cake there is at least one guy who is bummed about the cake being ruined

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        CW you are late! Give an accounting of yourself! oops, my bad you did. Better late than never.

        According to what I read in the fish wrappers this week, The Toilet Bowl was played this past Sunday night in Atlanta. The claim was that it stank to high heaven. Didn’t watch, did watch the Puppy Bowl. Go Team Ruff!

        Had read/heard at some point the Al Capone died of a VD. If he did, I wonder if he caught it from a case of food poisoning at the BTJ&T Deli?

        Keep up the good work, you are appreciated.

        ps: Make notes on the lording over. You were slightly better than GDC, but still came up lacking. Work on it! There may be a quiz later.

    • HMC Ret says:

      I look forward to your weekly posts, Commissioner Wretched. Keep it up and wishing you well with your new abode.

    • MrBill says:

      The Koehler Toilet Bowl would be genius marketing. A missed opportunity.

      Speaking of missed opportunities- you can buy a bottle of Marilyn Merlot. Someone should market Que Sera Syrah.

    • Skyjumper says:

      ‘… some of the drugs that are used to treat restless leg syndrome have a rather expensive side-effect? The drugs can cause compulsive gambling in some people. (Wanna bet?)’

      Commissioner Wretched, I know someone who actually went thru this. They have severe RLS and were prescribed Requip and had severe compulsive gambling issues because of the medication. When they informed their doctor, he stated that that was one of the possible side effects and then prescribed Rexulti which also had the same side effects for this person. Ultimately, another RLS drug was found for this person without this side effect and everything is okay now.

      This person never gambled before taking Rexulti and Requip. How bizarre.

      https://www.drug-injury.com/druginjurycom/side-effect-impulse-comulsive-behavior-gambling-shopping-sex/

  17. Thunderstixx says:

    I have a hot stock tip for everybody.
    Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Popcorn to watch the upcoming Covington School lawsuits.
    This promises to be a blast to watch !!!
    They aren’t backing down a bit either.
    Good, about time, actually, way past time…
    https://pjmedia.com/trending/covington-catholic-teens-lawyer-media-will-pay-a-high-price-for-their-libel-and-defamation/

  18. Thunderstixx says:

    Anybody want to go boating with the US Navy ???
    LMAO !!!!
    Only a couple minutes, but well worth here on the great WOT.
    Seems like we do very little just plain fun around here anymore.
    Take it easy everybody. We only get a few dozen trips around this minor star on this beautiful ship floating in this vast deep, dark, dangerous ocean we call the Universe.
    So this 3 minutes are an eternity to a couple of
    well deserving little pricks !!!

    • Claw says:

      Kinda funny how all those pirate boats are painted Day-Glo Orange/Red./smile

      Reminds me of those 20 foot leather sleeves that were towed behind an OV-10 Bronco that our Army Vulcan Gunners would fire at during ASP (Annual Service Practice) at the Todendorf Aerial Gunnery Range in Germany in the mid 1970s.

    • Sparks says:

      Oh, I’m so happy, I don’t know why but that stuff makes me happy.

      I love to watch “Captain Phillips” for two of my favorite movie scenes. When the USS Bainbridge sounds her horn and lights up the lifeboat and (this is my favorite) when the SEAL Team leader orders “EXECUTE”!

  19. Outcast says:

    I’m so glad Lars has has such deep incite with his comparison of the border wall to the Berlin wall. If I follow his thought pattern correctly, the Berlin wall was built to keep people from coming and going as they please much like, in theory, that is in the building of the border wall. Now, as my feeble moronic mind recalls, the people that were killed by the guards of the Berlin wall were people trying to leave and not enter, much like the border wall as it is to be erected to keep others out but there will be very few if any that want to leave to stay on the other side.Now lets investigate this thought pattern even further, inside the USA we have walls built that restrict the movement, in and out of those walls, of those contained with in but, much like the Berlin Wall, there are times that some there get through the walls and have freedom for a period of time but you very, very seldom hear of anyone in their right mind trying to enter those walls permanently. Lars you have a great train of thought, lets remove those walls of restriction that are in the USA first and grant them the freedom you so want to give to others not living in the USA. I highly propose Lars, that you start a movement to get the removal of all those walls such as around Pusloosie’s home and all the prisons in the USA and remove those restrictions imposed on others inside and outside those walls. Dang it now I need to wait for stored to open to increase my armament here and get a gross of White bed sheets to cover up the Pusloose’s ugliness, no not making holes in sheets for eyes or breathing as I want to be sure none of the uuuugleness escapes.

  20. IDC SARC says:

    Morning all…

    “A young man with his pants hanging half off his rear, two gold front teeth, and a half inch thick gold chain around his neck, walked into the local welfare office to pick up his check.
    He marched up to the counter and said, “Hi. You know, I just HATE drawing welfare. I’d really rather have a job. I don’t like taking advantage of the system, getting something for nothing.”
    The social worker behind the counter said “Your timing is excellent. We just got a job opening from a very wealthy old man who wants a chauffeur and bodyguard for his beautiful daughter. You’ll have to drive around in his 2018 Mercedes-Benz GT, and he will supply all of your clothes.”
    “Because of the long hours, meals will be provided. You’ll also be expected to escort the daughter on her overseas holiday trips. This is rather awkward to say, but you will also have, as part of your job, the assignment to satisfy her sexual urges as the daughter is in her mid-20’s and has a rather strong sex drive.”
    The guy, just plain wide-eyed, said, “You’re bull-shittin’ me!”
    The social worker said, “Yeah, well . . . You started it . . . . “

  21. AnotherPat says:

    Congrats to the King of Battle for ANOTHER Victory!!!!

    godawgs/rtr/goarmybeatnavy/orangemangood

    *biggrin*

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      Ahh spank you, spank you very much. We’ll be here all week, FIRST to Gloat, FIRST to Vote orangeman2020!

      rtrgoarmybeatnavygodawgs! Team Ruff took the Puppy Bowl! 59—51

  22. AnotherPat says:

    Am resharing/reposting Martinjmper’s comment the other day referencing the hilarious video of OBL…

    For all you BAMA fans…”Turn It Up!”

  23. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Jimmy Braddock was a boxer, an Irishman born in Hell’s Kitchen but raised in Jersey. He was a Depression-era fighter who worked the docks after multiple breaks in his right hand fairly ended his days in the ring. He came back but was pegged as a used-to-be, a fighter whose best days were behind him. He didn’t pay attention to his critics and won a few fights against boxers who thought they were fighting the Braddock whose left wasn’t all that. They were wrong. Over time, and out of necessity, Braddock had learned to use that left of his to compensate for the damage to his right. Then came a title fight against Baer and Braddock prevailed in a unanimous decision. Great story, all the more because it’s true. One other thing about Jimmy Braddock. In 1942, at the tender age of 37, Braddock enlisted in the Army. He was stationed in the Pacific and trained men in—you guessed it—hand-to-hand fighting. (BTW. One of Max Baer’s children you may know from a 1960s TV show, The Beverly Hillbillies. Max Baer, Jr. played Jethro.)

  24. Claw says:

    Comment #100, o will pick up a little of the slack left by Jeff LPH’s absence.

    If the old Holstein stops producing, is she a Milk Dud or an Udder Failure?

    Now back to the Nebraska/Purdue game.

  25. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Ever here of the GU272 Reconciliation Fee? Pardon my laughter, as I explain. In 1838, Georgetown University (that’s the GU in GU 272) was in debt but owned people, black people. The school sold those people, 272 of them that year (that’s the 272 in GU 272.) And now, 181 years later, the school is considering imposing a fee of $27.20 on each student. The fees collected, if approved, will go to charitable causes of an unspecified type. I expect that it will be approved. Brilliant. Just f’n brilliant.

  26. Claw says:

    Just thought I’d post up a few stock numbers for items that made life for the average Dogface a little easier:

    6505-515-1584 Foot Powder
    8510-162-5658 Sunburn Cream
    9110-889-3553 Fuel, Compressed, Trioxane

    And lastly, something that today’s troops have access to that we old Geezers didn’t have way back when:

    8510-01-518-3337 Waterless Combat Bath Cloths

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