My grandchildren are convinced that the people who live on the top (3rd) floor
of my apartment build are “aliens!” One of the oldest said, “We never see them
and then, if we do, they aren’t friendly.” Another one exclaimed, “They are ‘pod’
people!'” Part of this misconception evolved from their first trip, a few years
back, up the four flights of stairs to see the top floor.
The top floor, of this brick, sturdy building that has colonial columns in the
front and an attractive appearance, has the strangest ‘solar?’ or ‘ecologically-
friendly?’ tiles. The ceiling that runs down this hallway ‘peaks’ or appears like
a triangular shape. They have declared this a “rocket floor.” Anyway, they have
gotten to the point they want to run down this hallway, and yes, out of courtesy
to the unseen tenants, we only do this at around noon, hopefully, on weekends
when the people who may work have been allowed a certain amount of sleep. And,
no “whooping it up,” I demand.
Someone on the radio on one of my recent ‘road trips’ was giving a few examples,
some not too strange, but a couple that were quite ‘odd.’ These were famous
people’s names that are being given to animate and inanimate things. This makes
me wonder about those scientists, sometimes! In Liverpool, one of the less crazy
examples given was that they have named their airport after John Lennon. All
right! That is great! (I happen to have been listening on this car ride to both
“Imagine” and “This Christmas,” by said songwriter and member of the Beatles.
A most extraordinary use of a famous person’s name, a Diva with sometimes golden
hair was given to a fly! This was in Australia, a beautiful fly with a fuzzy,
golden-yellow underbelly was named the “Beyoncé” fly by scientists there. Wow!
The radio disc jockey was playfully teasing, wondering aloud to his listening
audience, “Did they get permission from the Diva herself?” and “Did they ask
Jay Z if this was okay with him?”
In exotic Borneo, a special hotel is named, “Villa Angelina” due to its
beautiful location and thinking of the gorgeous Angelina Jolie. Again, the
radio guy, not announced and my streaming Sirius did not give his name, so
unable to give him “credit where credit is due.” I did try to memorize these
weird examples and he did not credit where he located them, either. Anyway,
he was joking around with wondering if the big, adopted family had traveled
there, and then, on a more serious note, said that the family’s parents are
very world conscious and maybe they had visited and this had boosted the
Villa’s economy, through their popularity.
A more negative use of someone famous’ name is being given to a law recently
made. It is due to someone who purchased medical equipment, while his wife,
Katie Holmes, was pregnant with Suri. He had purchased a sonogram machine
so that he could ‘monitor’ the baby/fetus. Due to this erroneous, plus
dangerous act, there is now a law called the “Tom Cruise law.” This prohibits
any non-professional or non-licensed sonogram techs from owning and possibly
over-using or misusing medical equipment of any kind.
Another scientific wonder, a fern that has a very complicated genus name, and
no, I did not have a tape recorder on me, so alas, I cannot rattle it off! But
this fern starts with a few repetitive, ‘Gaga….” in the front, so you can
already guess, this lucky fern is now being given the ‘common name’ for it,
On the subject of Lady Gaga, there was a Christmas special this 2013, entitled,
“Lady Gaga and the Muppets Holiday Spectacular.” I enjoyed this, would recommend
seeing it and think she has an interesting look but children are fascinated by
her. She has a natural ability to sing and a quiet nature, shy almost, in her
television appearances. The December AARP Magazine was listing contrasts between
today and fifty years ago. They did not give out opinions just implied that in
1963, we watched The Judy Garland Christmas Show and today, we would watch this
example given above. Not sure if that was meant to flattering, no comments given
for choosing this particular duo. (Both were shy women and outstanding singers.)
There were other examples given of a “look what 50 years have done to prices and
changes in taste…”
I am a big fact finder, so hope this interests you, even if you are not a “Baby
The most popular toy in 1963 sold for a hefty (surprisingly) price of $15.95 for
an Easy Bake Oven. Today, 2013, the most popular toy ‘flying off the shelves’ is
the Big Hugs Elmo for a whopper price of $59.95! In 1963, a Christmas tree sold
for $2.50 and today, the same size (not given) would be $45. Our stamps, recently
I mentioned those first Christmas cards cost only one penny to mail, the cards
going out in 1963, amazingly enough are attributed to only a four cents increase
from the 1800’s. Now, of course, in 2013, one stamp of a Poinsettia, Mother and
Child, or other holiday stamp would cost 46 cents.
Those dreaded fruitcakes that many make fun of, used to cost for “mail order”
service in 1963, $4.25 and now, you may spend $27.95. I happen to like those
yellow fruitcakes that have mainly butter in their cake but don’t mind the
darker, richer brandy flavored fruitcakes, too. I prefer it warmed up in the
microwave with a dollop of vanilla or eggnog ice cream on it.
Last mention of the way times have changed since fifty years ago, is being
called by journalists and merchandisers, “The Christmas Creep.” This is
recognizing that Christmas advertising and merchandise is now being taken
out as soon as Halloween articles are being put into the clearance department!
I hope this wide variety of information will have a small impact on your
day today. I hope that it will give you something to tell another person,
like those famous peoples’ names being attached to odd things. Or maybe, just
the silly story about my grandchildren, with their lively and wild imagination
getting me to study those third floor people more closely, when I rarely run
into one or two of them.
Who knows? Maybe they are like those characters in the current television show,
“The Neighbors.” In private, they like using their bathroom to grow plants and
turn into green blobs while in their “real” alien forms. This is one of the
most underrated comedies with some fine acting from the four main leading actors.
You will only recognize the name of one of them, Jami Gertz, from a different
comedy show. Suburbia is wittingly made fun of and yet, embraced at the same time!
Or maybe those people upstairs really exist in the human bodies, like in the show,
where John Lithgow and Jane Curtin made my three children and I crack up so much:
“Third Rock from the Sun.”(1996 – 2001)
Or maybe they are like that old time favorite of my Dad’s and my brothers and I,
while young, “My Favorite Martian.” This aired from 1963 until 1966, with Bill
Bixby and Ray Walston. This may replay on Nick at Night or TV Land.
Anyway, have you any weird facts or neighbors to “report?!”