A Fine Healthy Serving of Useless Information, Open Wide Please
Let’s see if we can tie this together with a big rope, some bungee cords, a lot of yarn, and perhaps some pretty red ribbon:
During WW2 the United States best air ace was Richard Bong (no relation to the marijuana smoking device) who shot down 40 enemy planes in his P-38. Dick later died test flying a jet in North Hollywood, Cal.
The German Ace of Aces was Erich Hartmann who shot down 352 enemy planes was nicknamed Bubi (The Kid), which has no relation to Sir Mike Stiefel, who holds court in the great state of North Carolina. Hartmann had a daughter named Ursula (who is not related to the Queen Mother of All Groove, Ursula Banning who calls the shots from her pad in Montecito, Cal) nor is Erich connected to arguably one of the funniest Saturday Night Live players Phil Hartman, who went to Westchester high and Santa Monica College and opened his own graphic design firm where his designed at least 40 album covers for bands such as America, Poco, and Steely Dan’s Aja (not confirmed) before hitting his true calling as a comedian. The crazy ones are fun to run with for a while, but Phil paid a high price when he tied the knot to a real wacko – his 3rd wife Brynn Ordahl who shot him 3 times in a coke freakout as he lay sleeping before offing herself. His ashes were strewn over Emerald Bay in Catalina.
Phil also designed the logo for Crosby, Stills, and Nash, but he did not design the goofy “cartoon bird” logo for one of my favorite baseball teams the Baltimore Orioles. The “Cartoon Bird” logo came out in 1965 and was on the hat for Brooks, Frank, Boog, Jimmy P, Earl and even Cal. The same group of animators came up with the updated characters of one of my favorite cereals Rice Krispies (Rice Bubbles in Australia.) The original cereal came out in 1927 and the characters Snap, Crackle, and Pop (Kiks, Raks, and Poks in Finnish) have changed a bit over the years (who can forget the 4th guy in the group Pow who represented claimed “explosive nutritional value”, but was soon dropped like a hot potato.) In 1963 the Rolling Stones recorded a short song for a Rice Krispies commercial. The same group of animators also came up with Tony the Tiger, the Jolly Green Giant and the Hamms Beer bear.
But Pow is dead and so are about 200 poor souls stuck on Mount Everest. Their bodies are now used as landmarks and trail markers. “Green Boots” (see photo) died in 1996 and now serves as a waypoint marker that climbers use to gauge how near they are to the summit. “Green Boots” got separated from his group, sought refuge in a mountain overhang, and shivered in the cold until he died. In 2006 English climber Dave Sharp joined “Green Boots” when he stopped in the overhang to rest. His body eventually froze in place rendering him unable to move, but still alive. Over 40 climbers passed by as he sat freezing to death thinking that he was already dead. Eventually some heard faint moans, realized he was still alive, but alas, it was too late.
So from Fighter Aces to Phil Hartman to the logo for the Baltimore Orioles to Rice Krispies to Dead people on Mount Everest, that’s a bucket of useless information poured over your head. To help you lather it in pour yourself something cold and refreshing (I suggest an Anejo rum and soda water with three limes), take those damn shoes off, flush away those brain cramps, and just drift for a while. You will thank me later. Groove.