Did anyone else grow up watching the Lawrence Welk Show?

My strongest recollection of that show is how the musicians all smiled — even while playing their instruments.

My dad would marvel (okay, he made fun) at the delirious grins on every last one of the musicians as they played. (How in the world do you smile while playing trumpet, clarinet, or flute? Somehow, they did it.) We laughed at the thought of Mr. Welk hollering at them in his thick accent to, "Smile! Smile!"

This photo that Lori sent me of Craig cleaning up a … um … HoliMess made me think back to that show.


This next week we have special Hospitality Training for all of our Hosts and Hostesses. I wonder if we're planning to show any clips of the Lawrence Welk Show … or maybe if just threatening to do it would do the trick.

Just moments ago, in Splashin’ Safari

I'd just completed giving a travel writer from Nashville a tour and was starting back to my office.

A nice lady stopped me.

Nice lady: Where in the world is the entrance to Congo River? (She seemed at her wit's end.)

Me: The Congo River? Here, just turn around, it's right over here. (Maybe 10 paces away. She'd just walked past it.)

Nice lady: Oh, good grief. I can't believe it's right over there.

Me: It's okay. You're on vacation.

Nice lady (smile gone from her face): No. I'm not. I'm chaperoning a fifth-grade class.

Me: (Gulp.) Oh. Well. In that case, you're definitely not on vacation. Sorry. I'm really, really sorry.

The nice lady/teacher laughed out loud and went to search for her class.

Crazy like a Fox

A roller coaster wedding?

Are you CRAZY?

Been asked that more than once the past month or so.

Well, if you head over to the homepage at Fox News Channel's website, you just might notice it's the featured video front and center.

Here's the direct link to their story.

When I asked Elvis to sing "(Can't Help) Falling in Love" to the newlyweds, he asked: "Oh, so that's their favorite Elvis song?"

Uh, no … that's my favorite Elvis song. (Actually it's a tie with "Devil in Disguise" but I didn't need to toss a coin to decide.)


Eyes wide as saucers

Santa and I were chatting it up this morning in our Christmas plaza.

He told me about two little girls who visited with him earlier this week.

They looked to be three and four years old. Cuties.

After their chat, Santa added: "Oh, and girls — thank you so much for those delicious cookies you left for me last year on Christmas Eve. They were extra yummy!"

Those pixies' eyes grew wider and wider … until one piped up.

"Then how come you took the plate?!"

Hip to be square

Any old timers out there remember that Huey Lewis tune? It was out a few years (*cough* 22 *cough*) ago.

Back then I worked at a magazine publishing company. As editor of Pizza Today, I often trekked back and forth to the art department where the crazy art directors worked. Their radio was cranked up to a pretty high volume and I had to nearly shout to banter with them.

For a stretch back in 1986, Hip to Be Square was high up on the charts, so it was played quite often. And somehow, every time I walked in the art department, it was blasting.

"I hate this song," I'd announce in a prissy voice.

The hippie-freak art guys would crack up. Every time. Somehow, we connected through that song.

I thought of those guys and that song when I read this blog post from a "formerly cool" mom who visited the park yesterday.

A “coach” no more

Remember this phone call?

Well, she just called back.

Using a whole new pronunciation guide.

"Hello, are you an administrative assistant for Wah Kotch?"

Excuse me, who?

"Wah Kotch."

(Will's initials are W.A. Just like his dad. Just like his son. W.A. without the periods is "Wah," I guess. Rhymes with ahhh.)

When I told her we'd received a call from their magazine a few months prior, she denied it, "Oh, no. We only call once a year." She told me that several times.

Rhymes with numb.

Say ahhhhhhhhhh….

Somehow I didn't expect to be able to see Monkey Boy's uvula (you know, that hangy-down thing in the back of your mouth) …

Kima Bay monkey

… but it looks like he already had his tonsils out.

“Sweet Mother of Pearl. Take the picture. NOW!”


Ho! Ho! Ho!Your turn.

What is Santa saying? (Post a comment using your most extreme cleverness.)

Actually, Santa is flanked by two dear men who traveled all the way from West Virginia. They're members of a "Secret Santa" organization which helps 3,000 children; the trip was part of a fundraiser.

What do you win?

My praise.

That's it.

What more could you really ask?