Pass the Paste, Please

I remember quite distinctly the first time I recall experiencing déjà vu.

A couple of links, first off.
Arthur and Jason’s 2political podcast makes mention of my article re the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.
Recent articles on my Times Union blog include the old YMCA becoming a church, the collective wisdom of the bus, and me asking if it is the job of a news organization to change behavior.

From Thursday Thunks, and this was the order of the questions; I don’t know why.

1. There is a song out there about you… it’s on the radio, the video is on tv (just not MTV) and everybody in the world knows this song is about you. Who sings it?

For some reason, I’ve had stuck in my head, for a couple of weeks, Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get by the Dramatics, which got to #9 on the pop charts and #3 on the soul charts in 1971. My daughter has been singing, “Some people are made of plastic; You know some people are made of wood”. Then instead of “Some people have hearts of stone; Some people are up to no good,” she makes up something else. It’s something basically honest, and therefore comforting, about WYSIWYG.

4. Have you ever sneaked..snuck…snucked…what is the right word? into a movie?

Actually no, and this proved to be a source of a rather heated discussion. My sister’s dopey then-boyfriend, who always had an angle, boasted how he’d pay for one movie but then see two or three. He was so proud of himself. “Everybody does it,” he proclaimed. “I never did,” I replied and my wife responded likewise. It was also the weekend he went on about what a superior Christian he was. Meh.

3. Déjà vu; meaning “already seen”, is the experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the previous encounter are uncertain and were perhaps imagined. Thoughts on what it is? Have you experienced it?

I don’t know what it is, but I remember quite distinctly the first time I recall experiencing it. I was working at a summer camp when I was 17, mowing the acres of lawn on the boys’ side of the camp, then the girls’ side. I was walking down the dirt road that led from one side to the other, when I had the distinct impression that I had traveled that road before, though, at least in this lifetime, I had not.

2. Stick it to me, baby. What is the last bumper sticker you saw and why do you remember it?

There’s one I see all the time in my neighborhood: “Well-behaved women rarely make history”; seems to be true.

10. Ever wonder what fish think about?

Their school lessons, no doubt.

8. If you could paint President Obama’s fingernails any color, what would it be?

Yellow, for the cowardice he’s shown in a number of issues.

7. Do you have seat covers on your car seats? What do they look like?


6. For the rest of your life you can eat one spice and one spice only (on whatever food you want, of course), what spice do you choose?

Allspice. If you’re going to be a spice, might as well be versatile

9. If you could slide down a rainbow, which side would you slide down?

The outside.

5. So a mom is suing her kids’ preschool because it failed to prepare the child for the kindergarten entrance exam… did you eat paste in preschool?

I’m fascinated by how much homework my daughter had in kindergarten and has in first grade. (I never went to preschool; not sure it’d been invented yet.)

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

6 thoughts on “Pass the Paste, Please”

  1. Wow! I’ve never heard of the “Triangle Waste Fire!” I guess some three-pointed pile of garbage went up in flames, huh?

    …You’re always picking on me for posting bad punctuation, Mr. Librarian. So there. Get a spell checker.

  2. You think ‘waste’ would be caught in a spellcheck, but ‘shirtwaste’ would not? Still, it’s fixed. Thanks.

  3. Ha ha hee hee! Now you call it the “Triangle Shirtwaste Fire.” Ha ha ha ha ha!

    So, like, is “shirtwaste” the lint that collects when you put your shirt in the dryer? I guess it can be a real fire hazard, huh?

    Okay, that’s enough. Sorry to waist your time.

  4. Nah, it’s not a “waist” of time. I just suck at multitasking.
    And, for the record, I haven’t bugged you about your typos recently, in part because you seem to have fewer of them – well, except its/it’s.

  5. I had an incident of Deja Vue in my life, I dreamed of a building with chrome tables and a glass front until I joined the U.S. Navy in 1979, and visited that exact building, everything was exactly as I dreamed it. I have never dreamed of it since.

  6. The Triangle Shirtwaist fire was a turning point in the history of labor organizing in the face of exploitation by rich, self-made but unsympathetic corporate owners who viewed their employees more as slaves than workers. A shirtwaist was the most popular blouse of working women (and others) at the turn of the century into the 1910s… long, slim sleeves; high collars; button-down fronts, and gathered into an almost beltlike hem at the waist. This was worn with a long, sometimes bustled full skirt.

    The shirtwaist workers slaved 14-hour days, 6 days a week, for little money, in sweltering conditions on NYC’s Lower East Side. Many companies tried to rival Triangle, but they were the acknowledged leader in production. Gradually, the labor organization took hold and ALL shirtwaist walkers left their machines for a general strike. The Triangle guys were so rich and so cheap they used to make employees open their purses to ensure no pins or materials were stolen on the way out for home. They also routinely locked employees in (on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors – although the 5th floor, I believe, was for owners and mgmt) and would have to unlock the padlock and chain to allow workers to leave.

    The only owners who would not give in to labor relations were the greedy Triangle co-owners. The women and girls had to go back to work knowing their peers at other companies had won protections, including a reduced, 10-hour day and sick days, etc.

    The Triangle factory caught fire on a hot day, probably due to a cigarette butt or some such. The owners got right out – climbed onto the roof above their office and onto a nearby roof. The third-floor workers were released, but by the time the fourth-floor workers were aware of the fire, they were enveloped in flames. The back door was unlocked; however, the front door was still padlocked. Women and girls were jumping to their deaths, some in flames. It shattered the confidence of NYers in labor practices and helped bring attention to the horrible working conditions of women and child labor. The youngest to perish was 13 years old.

    So tell me now: Does anyone remember this history? I hope folks will better understand that these women and girls were martyrs to the cause and that I support union protections (even though some of the union leaders are greedy creeps) because corporations cannot be trusted to do the right thing. Witness the outflow of jobs to foreign countries and the crappy Chinese steel that’s halted the erection of many bridges, etc. in the US.

    There’s my rant for today. Thx for putting up with me. And the song is sung by Barry Manilow: I Write The Songs! Amy

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