Safe Selfie Policy

Waaaaay back, long ago, my friends and I would occasionally squish our faces together and take a photo. Usually after a wild night of being Bacchantes, female devotees of Bacchus. Bacchus is the Roman name for Dionysus, the Greek God of Wine. We called them smoosh shots. Now they’re called selfies. Shouldn’t they be called selfishees because they’re sooooo self-centered?

Selfies are like new aliens that have landed here to take over the world. They have. Or like a big, bad virus that multiplies ad infinitum. Everybody seems to be infected. Is there treatment?

The virus started in the 1980’s with Hiroshi Ueda, an engineer with Minolta and an avid photographer and traveler.  He wanted pictures of him and his wife together. But passers-by were not to be trusted. He asked a child at the Louvre Museum in Paris to take their photo. Instead, the child ran off with the camera. And I thought my hubby was bad. When he’d see a tourist taking a group photo, he’d go stand behind the group. Now it’s called a photo bomb. So Mr. Ueda invented his extender stick. At that time, women were embarrassed to take photos of themselves (say what?) and the quality of the pictures was not good. It didn’t sell well. But it was featured in a 1995 book of “101 Un-Useless Japanese inventions”, aka chindogu. This book included stuff like funnel glasses to guide eye drops and a suitcase scooter. Amazing what people do!

So when Ueda’s patent expired, a Canadian, named Wayne Fromm, invented the selfie stick again. A “telescopic extender” was born after much-extended research with umbrellas (pun intended). From there, the entire world knocked it off. And the entire world flocked to buy it. And now we have a worldwide nuisance. It’s banned from concerts, stadiums, museums and not enough other places. I so admired the gentleman in Central Park who would sneak up on selfie stick users, destroy the stick with his bolt cutters and then run like the dickens. A modern day hero!

With regard to the term, selfie, an Australian has laid claim to inventing it. He used the word to describe a photograph taken while drunk at a 21st birthday bash. The word was named Word of the Year in 2013 by Oxford Dictionaries.

But beware!

All over the world, people trying to capture that perfect selfie are seriously injured or killed including these situations:

  • A wild herd of elephants crossing the road. The herd attacked.
  • Falling into a geyser: boiled/burned to death.
  • Climbing higher onto the parapet of a 20-story building.
  • Posing with a rattlesnake: bit!
  • Standing too close to speeding trains.
  • Falling out of trains.
  • Standing on top of a train: electrocuted by live wires.
  • Plunging off cliffs trying to capture the magnificent view.
  • Pointing a gun at their face.
  • Group selfie at the beach: swept away by a strong wave.
  • Pulling the pin on a live grenade: boom!
  • Extreme selfie: hanging from a rope from a 9-story building: rope snapped.
  • Gored by a bison at Yellowstone National Park.

In 2015, five different selfie takers provoked bison into attacking them. Bison are photo phobic? From a recent newspaper clipping: “Park officials are reminding visitors to give space to wildlife near trails, boardwalks, and other developed areas. Yellowstone is now asking visitors to adopt its Safe Selfie policy.”

What’s your Safe Selfie policy?




Christmas Slayings

This blog is not about murders. It’s about slayings of the Christmas sayings. The holidays are not the happiest time of the year for some people. For various reasons. Family drama. Getting homesick even though you’re home. Family dysfunction. Boredom. This year’s election results. Ugly Christmas sweaters (they are a cry for help you know). Christmas crap: the kind you eat and receive. Like the Big Mouth Billy singing bass. Or fruitcake. Or the re-gifted purse that’s missing the strap. Holiday hangovers.

And how about disasters that made you say, What the elf? We’ve all had them. I remember one. My brother and his brother-n-law, David, had been hanging out at the river all day, getting ho-ho hammered. They had their merry on. As they drove a camper into my mother’s condo place (two hours late)with covered parking, we went out to greet them. Only to be greeted by the scene of them shearing off the entire side of the camper on the parking roof. Like the lid on a can of sardines rolled back with the key. Nobody said a word. We were all dumbstruck. The boys just drove off with this dangling metal banging on the truck. For some, drinking is a way to survive the holidays. For them, it deprived them of the holidays. The tree is not the only thing that gets lit. My mother was angry with tears, my brother was pissed off at David (who was driving), my brother’s wife was humiliated and angry, I was angry because they made my mom cry. Everyone was angry and we hadn’t even sat down to dinner yet. Never did.

Then there’s the time that fifteen of us gathered around the table for Christmas dinner. It was a cool, old farmhouse in Colorado. The kind with no hallways so you could just run around your house in circles until you were dizzy. Up to that point, everything was perfect. All the food was timed to perfection and placed on the Martha Stewart embellished table. Merriment was everywhere as we started passing dishes around. And then it happened. A rushing, violent stream of water splashed down from above, spraying everybody and everything. My mother was mortified. We’d remember this yuletide. The bathroom, directly above us, had sprung a leak. The toilet, in its inanimate state, was the killjoy. Game over.

So….I’ve told you two of my stories. Let’s hear yours.

But despite our holiday disaster stories, which we CAN laugh about now (right?), I hope these “slayings”, memes and whatever, will make you laugh a little. Bring you some joy.

Slayings of the Sayings:

Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle.

Oh come let us abhor him (your drunk uncle).

Can’t stop drinking about you.

All is calm. All is bright. No fights tonight.

Christmas cheer brings ten pounds to your rear.

All I want for Christmas is an isthmus.

Bury Christmas.

Tis the season to be Holly.

Christmas in the heart makes you fart.

To spread Christmas cheer, don’t  sing loud for all to hear.

Let it show.

Wishing you peas and sappiness.

Mistletoe in your back pocket: kiss my ass.

Tinkle all the way!

A virgin birth is believable but finding three wise men?

Doorbusters: eleven shoppers shoving.

And now, comments are open. I know you can add to these “slayings”. Please do.