From The Archives: Betty James, Named The Slinky

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011

Betty James, the woman responsible for naming the Slinky, is dead after tumbling down a flight of stairs into a heating grate.

Apparently her momentum caused her body to bounce end-over-end from one step to the next -much to the delight of a girl and a boy.

Her husband, a ship engineer, conceived of the toy in 1943 after watching an iud pop out of Tallulah Bankhead while dedicating a minelayer.

Seventeen years later, the quite mad inventor abandoned the family to join a religious cult dedicated to worshiping those little springs you find in push-button pens.

Though it was developed to be a toy, U.S. soldiers in Vietnam liked to use the Slinky as an antenna. Similarly, the Viet Cong used the commercial jingle to torture John McCain.

During her lifetime, hundreds of millions of plastic Slinkys were sold to children around the world. You can now find them floating in the Gulf of Mexico wrapped around millions of pelicans’ necks.

James requested one end of her elongated body be twisted and then suddenly released in order to demonstrate transverse wave motion.

From The Archives: Ben Hogan, Golf Legend

Morning Remembrance Portraits by Nathan Smith copyright 2011

Ben Hogan, considered the greatest golfer in the history of sports, is dead after suffering a massive pulmonary embolism, or the kind of stroke from which no golfer could ever recover.

Hogan first discovered golf during puberty when he hit two good balls after stepping on a rake.

Even after enduring countless jokes like that, Hogan remained dedicated to the sport. And during the succeeding years he often spent the days “noodling” with his “little putter” in order to cut a “hard wood.” For extra hilarity, please re-read that last sentence aloud while emphasizing the words in quotes.

He finally won his first tournament in 1938. But the winnings were slim back in the depression and all he received for his effort was a bowl of soup and a tumbleweed.

Hogan’s life was not without hardship. During his later years, he suffered from elephantiasis and had to carry his bag around in a wheelbarrow.

During his illustrious career, Hogan won 63 tournaments, including nine major championships. But perhaps his greatest accomplishment was making golf the second most tedious sport to watch on TV after bowling.

For those of you not familiar with golf, the object of the game is to propel a small ball around a lawn using as little physical exertion as possible while making foreign policy decisions prolonging the Vietnam War.

Hogan requested his mashie niblet be preserved in a jar of formaldehyde right next to his father’s mummified cleek..