Hello friends … Monday again, eh? I apologize for last Monday, but neither Jolly nor I were feeling very … jolly … with all the news that was bombarding our senses. Frankly, I considered skipping out again today, but … no, I just couldn’t do that to my friends, for I don’t want you to miss your weekly dose of humour. So tell me, how was your weekend? Mine was c-c-c-cold, so I stayed indoors except for a very quick trip to the grocery yesterday afternoon. I sent the girls off shopping without me … perhaps not the brightest thing, for when they returned I was handed a receipt for $300 of clothes Chris put on my account! Ah well … she got a promotion at work and no longer wears scrubs, so she’s having to build a wardrobe of business casual. Now grab a cuppa coffee or tea and lets find something to put a smile on our faces, shall we?
Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks …
Everyone’s seen a boat race or two, even if only in the movies, but in the town of Lohmar, Germany, they have a bit of a different twist … pumpkin races! That’s right … participants race the 35 meters across Krewelshofer Lake in hollowed out gourds. Grown specially for the race, the pumpkins must weigh at least 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and, to minimize the risk of capsizing, more for heavier participants. The fastest racers in six categories get €200 ($230) in prize money, or €300 if they paddled in their own pumpkins – enough to buy a boat for next year, I am told, although I haven’t seen any boats for that price in years! Watch …
You’ve heard of the fruit, durian, right? They grow on Durian trees found in tropical forests, are ovoid in shape, usually 6-12 inches long and 5-6 inches wide, with a yellow or yellowish-green rind and creamy white flesh inside. Sounds fairly innocuous, right? But don’t let this innocent-looking fruit fool you.
Just last week, a shipment of durians caused the delay of a flight in Indonesia when passengers refused to fly with the shipment of fruit, leading the airline to delay the flight for an hour so the durian could be unloaded. And in April, the durian necessitated the evacuation of 500 students and teachers from a university in Melbourne, Australia! What is it about this poor, maligned fruit?
According to an article in the Smithsonian, it is said to smell like “turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock”. 🤢“Even with the husk intact, the notorious Asian fruit has such a potent stench that it’s banned on the Singapore Rapid Mass Transit. A small minority, though, love the smell and taste of the fruit. Anthony Bourdain calls it ‘indescribable, something you will either love or despise…Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.’” 🤢
I have seen these in the grocery but never tried them. Now, I’m fairly certain I will not be bringing one home!
A dream or a nightmare?
Now, you all know I like critters … all sorts of critters. I don’t even mind snakes or spiders … they have their code of conduct and as long as we understand and respect that, we can live in perfect harmony. Mostly. But, as much as I love critters, I cannot imagine sharing my home with more than 400 snakes, alligators and such things as tarantulas. But then, I’m not Philippe Gillet.Meet Philippe Gillet, 67-years-old, is a reptile enthusiast having more than 400 phobia-inducing animals, including rattlesnakes, tarantulas and lizards in his home in western France near the city of Nantes.Gillet says the two alligators, named Ali and Gator, were rescued from a leather farm but most of the animals are pets that outstayed their welcome elsewhere and have been abandoned or donated.Gillet feeds his Northern caiman lizard in his house in Coueron near Nantes. He says he has all the necessary permits to keep and transport the animals for roadshows which he runs to raise awareness about reptiles.The 67-year-old has taken two decades to amass his collection of ‘creepy crawlies’, which also includes a Cuvier’s dwarf caiman — a small crocodile.Gillet also has a black cobra amongst his collection, which he keeps in his living room.He insists the locals do not mind their unusual neighbours and regularly pop in for coffee. I wonder if you would like a tarantula for company while sipping on your coffee?Explaining why he shares his house with his ‘pets’, he says, “I think it’s unfair to treat these animals the way we do because we don’t understand them. We don’t understand them, we hate them, we think they’re horrible. But when we get to know them, you can call them over, tell them to come and eat something for example.”Gillet feeds his pet iguana in the garden. He says his cobra lives on the coffee table, his 50-kg tortoise roams the garden and one alligator sleeps in his bed, while the other keeps watch at the door.
I am in awe of this man, and he seems to get on well with his menagerie! But no thanks … 6 kitties is enough to keep me on my toes!
And I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got up my sleeve for today, folks … I think I’m still trying to recuperate from last week, and am yet just a bit out of sorts. Many of us are out of sorts these days, both here in the U.S. and across the big pond, so give somebody a smile today, maybe even a hug, okay? Keep safe and have a great week! Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!