Crosby, Bing

Crosby, Bing: A twentieth-century American singer and actor.

For about a decade, the United States was enamored with three male singers. (Of course, you could argue this point, and your three would probably be as good as the three I’m going to present.)

But for the sake of discussion, let me say that this trio of crooners was:

Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Bing Crosby

They were very different men, and not just by having individual names, but by lifestyle. It was intriguing that for the first time in our history, Mr. Cole, a black man was included in the upper echelon of the singing triumvirate.

Bing Crosby was fascinating because he was known for comedies and light, romantic romps—and his famous baritone voice was relished by young and old alike. Matter of fact, to this day it is nearly impossible to envision a cozy seat by the fireplace at Christmas without hearing old Bing intone, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

Then out come the books:

  • Accusations that he was cruel, vindictive and even abusive to his children.
  • A womanizer.
  • And assertions that he may have had more in mind than snow when he sought a “White Christmas.”

You see, this syndrome was not invented by our 24-hour news cycle.

Throughout our history, we have loved to create heroes and extol the talent in a person so that we could turn around and expose dirty details to bring the elevated champion down a notch or two.

For instance, people insist that George Washington, the father of our country—the man who suffered at Valley Forge—who persevered to win us our freedom?

Tee-hee-hee: he had wooden teeth.

Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, who held our nation together through the Civil War?

Tee-tee-hee: he might just have slept in a bed with another man.

We are incorrigible children in search of information to feed our gossip frenzy.

It’s fine if it is truthful.

But if it is not, we are still willing to consider it, to tickle our fancy.

I don’t know whether there is a celebrity or a notable who has not suffered under this microscope of mangling.

But for me, I still hear a gentle man, smoking a pipe, singing “White Christmas,” cutting up with awfully silly jokes, with Bob Hope, while they’re On the Road to somewhere or another.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Chestnut

Chestnut: (n) a glossy brown nut that may be roasted and eaten.

Beware of those who pursue authenticity simply to establish the superiority of their cause.

Spending Christmas with some friends many years ago, the suggestion was made that we try to roast some chestnuts over an open fire to
capture the sensation of Mel Tormé,  when he wrote “The Christmas Song.”

You remember…

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Jack Frost nipping at your nose…”

Not familiar with Jack Frost, we decided to go for the chestnuts. Actually, they decided–those purists who felt that authenticity gave them an edge in the competition for supremacy.

Three problems immediately came to the forefront:

  1. Nobody knew anything about chestnuts–and this was before Wikipedia enabled us to fake it.
  2. Nobody had any idea what type of fire would be necessary for roasting, or how the little fellas would line up to be toasted.
  3. And of course, none of us knew what chestnuts tasted like.

At first, it seemed to go pretty well. We were able to locate chestnuts, and somebody provided a solid brass container with two extended arms, so the chestnuts could be placed above the fire for cooking.

It looked lovely.

Then for some reason, the gentleman who basically instigated the event, became so excited about checking on his chestnuts that he forgot that the brass container was metal and had been dangling over (you got it) an open fire. For some reason, he reached in with his hands to remove the container and then lurched back in horror and pain, his paws red and ablaze.

So rather than having chestnuts roasting over an open fire, we ended up driving our friend to the Emergency Room to have his hands treated and wrapped in gauze.

Upon returning about two and a half hours later, the chestnuts had burned because no one remember to take them off–once again–the open fire.

In case you don’t know, chestnuts, like any number of other substances, don’t smell very good when they are burned. As a matter of fact, the odor of nutty immolation was in the house for months to come. Needless to say, not much was ever said about chestnuts, roasting or open fires.

Sometimes it’s just better to go out and buy a package of peanuts and warm them in the microwave.

Then pretend.

 

Donate Button