For All The March Birthday Babies Who Got Robbed This Year

WWII by CL Sulzberger

Hair adorned with flower, a hostess at New York’s Stage Door Canteen offers birthday cake to servicemen.

Those of you denied birthday parties may have not even received cake this year. You can’t trust the local bakery to have prepared it covid-free. Perhaps you had to make do with queso de Swiss like Senor Gonzales here.

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But from all us at “I Don’t Get It,” here’s wishing you a much better 2021!

Chair Carrying: Things Worse Than Quarantine

Carl Mydans

Chair carriers support travelers and their goods as they painstakingly make their way up the steep steps from the Kialing River in Chungking, 1941. And they didn’t even have Asics with good arch support. The provisional capital of China, not under Japanese occupation, would suffer from continuous terror bombing by the Japanese air force until 1943.

Below, conscripts of the Chinese Nationalist Army walk through the city on labor detail. Makes social distancing seem like a walk in the park.

Today, what we called Chungking is now Chongqing, but it still looks a bit congested for my taste. You wouldn’t catch me on that tram.

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Honestly, before today, I only associated the word with old Chun King ads.

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But today, I am sheltered-in-place and more educated than before.

And glad I don’t live on the Yangtze River.

Skyline of the Chongtianmen area, at the confluence of the Yangtze (left) and Jialing (right) rivers
© JingAiping/Shutterstock.com

It’s Just Me, Myself, & I

During these heady times, it’s hard to refrain from going stir crazy. But keep in mind that cabin fever is always better than lowgrade fever. Even the President said a hell-to-the-no when Birx mentioned her fever.

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In the words of Nirvana, stay away.

Running out of ideas for solo activities? Well, let’s take a cue from history.

You could make a pyramid, reminiscent of the wonder of the world. You will be self-isolating, so no one will see your Daisy Dukes or judge your ale intake.

72 Cactus

You could bundle up under the covers and read a good book, or just the Cliff’s Notes.

Catch up on the funnies in your paper.

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You could science up and create a vaccine.

41 Jayhawker

Or spend time with microfilm. How long has it been?

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Try tobacco! And maybe write the Great America Novel while you’re at it!

Lie on your bed (but first take your saddle oxfords off because the virus can stay on the soles of your shoes for days) and think about yesterday, when all your troubles seemed so far away.

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Pick up the telly and place a call to an elder relative whom you usually avoid because conversations with them are meandering and taxing and oppose your belief system.

If spring has sprung in your town, pack a sack lunch and head over to a nearby park, spray the entire bench with Lysol, sit down, and enjoy a snack, while hearing the mating calls of the doves.

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And if you are part of the unfortunate “essential” few who have to be in public, remember to wear your mask.

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Who’s Ready To Get Out Of Quarantine?

Western Hills High School 1978

Today we spotlight the students of WHHS in 1978. “Let us out! Let us out!” they shout to the hills.

Maybe you’re feeling like this girl right now. You can’t even.

Maybe you’re delirious with cabin fever, or you’re wearing the same shirt three days in a row, the one in desperate need of spot treatment with stain remover. Seriously, you need to Shout that out, girl.

No doubt about it, emotions are running high these days.

There might even be some name-calling going on.

But you can still make an effort to communicate with your spouse, maybe over a couple of Dr. Peppers.

Ladies, there’s no excuse not to don your “Foxy Lady” belt to entice him during quarantine.

Especially if he’s a super hunk.

And if he’s not feeling randy, you can always spend time with a good book.

Just remember: we’re in this together, and before long, we’ll all be hanging out again.

But for now, we’ll have to make do with drive-by waving.

Choo Choo Chuesday

Today is Tuesday Travel day (but not for you or anyone else on this planet right now), and today’s mode of travel is TRAINS. My granddad loved trains, often joining the engineer up front, donning the requisite engineer cap. While most of his train schedules and pamphlets are normal map-sized (the kind we once bought at gas stations), none of today’s images are larger than your hand. Most measure only five inches tall.

The majority are from 1934-1935, but this one is about to hit the century mark.

Folks back then would have needed a good pair of glasses to read the small font to find a route and a fare to their destination.

Advertising air conditioning was very important.

Even if was glaringly racist.

It certainly sounds necessary, after reading about the “torrid, sooty blasts from open windows.”

The font and artwork are still eye-catching after all these years.

The luncheon options, however, would not fare so well today. Ox tongue? Prune whip? Prune cornbread? What on earth?

Perhaps you’d be better served by keeping your appetite until you hit the Fred Harvey counter at Union Station (where Harvey Girls served up lunch). Fred Harvey advertisements were ubiquitous on time cards.

Why, even Judy Garland was a Harvey Girl in the movies!

And she sang about the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe, which were all train routes.

What about you all? Have you ever ridden a train? Did you get a cool time card? Where were you going?

 

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