Musings From the Bench

musings from the bench-2“Tis the season to be sneezin’

Winter-vs-spring-2014-joke-comics-hd-wallpaper-quoteIn between the colds of winter and the colds of summer is what the medical community calls allergy season.

For me the itchy, watery eyes, headache, runny nose and post nasal drip begins as soon as buds appear on the trees and the grass wakes up.

Now in the past I’d be running to the nearest CVS for relief but unfortunately with all the meds I now take every day for the rest of my life, I’ll just have to muddle through until allergy season is over, so bear with me.




Two in the same week.

mickey rooneyWhen Mickey Rooney was 17-months old, his parents made him part of their vaudeville act beginning a career that would span 87 years.

78 short films as the lead character in “Mickey McGuire”, 14 films as Andy Hardy in the movies of the same name, numerous films co-starring with Judy Garland, many Broadway shows and as a guest star on TV Shows.

At the time of his death at the age of 93 Mickey was filming scenes reprising his role as ‘Gus’ in the movie “Night At the Museum 3”. No word yet as to whether or not his scenes are ‘in the can’. Hope so, but, if Hollywood can successfully CGI Philip Seymour Hoffman into the movie he was making at the time of his death, they can CGI Mickey.

RIP Mickey, the hardest working man in Show Business.


jonh pinetteStand-up comedian/actor John Pinette was found dead in his Pittsburgh hotel room. He was 50 years old.

I first became acquainted with his comedy when I came across a show he did that was streamable on Netflix.
My favorite of all his comedy routines, and believe me he has many and they are all funny as hell, but my favorite is his visit to an All-you-can-eat Chinese Buffet. In fact, I’d like to believe it was this routine that prompted a real Chinese restaurant to post this sign outside its business.chinese restaurant





John didn’t get as early a start in show business as Mickey. He graduated from UMASS-Lowell with a degree in accounting first.


He  played Edna Turnblad in the touring company of  the musical comedy “Hairspray”  and again on Broadway.

If you watched the Seinfeld series finale then you saw John play the carjack victim. He was the host of “All You Can Eat” on the H2 network in late June 2013.

His most recent (and now his last) filmed comedy special “Still Hungry” was done in 2011. At that time he announced to the crowd that his career spanned 25 years.

RIP John, thanks for all the laughs.


Stop calling here!

Medical alert, children’s cancer, lower your credit card interest rates, free your kidnapped relative, you have money waiting to be claimed – just give us your social security number, and on and on. I’m sick of it!!

Do police stations, hospitals, grocery stores, the White House, the Pentagon, the FCC, NORAD get these calls too?

The Do Not Call Registry is a joke, but what if that’s what these people use to get the numbers to call?

The whole thing makes my head swim.


Got what she wanted


This fall Western New England University in Springfield, MA will be welcoming a new freshman class including one student who’s been in the news lately.

Rachel Canning, 18, of Lincoln Park, New Jersey who took her parents to court for child support and college tuition after they summarily told her she was on her own after refusing to follow their rules, has dropped her lawsuit and returned to her parents home.

I can only imagine her acceptance at WNEU and the $56,000 merit scholarship to study biomedical engineering had a lot to do with her dropping the lawsuit.

A WNEU spokesman said the private university routinely offers merit scholarships to incoming freshman and these can total anywhere from $22,000 to $66,000 over the course of 4 years.

One year at the school for an undergraduate engineering student is $32,606 with an additional $12,700 for room and board.

I guess Rachel got what she wanted anyway. Someone else to pay her tuition.rachel-canning-swear-to-be-adult

Earl Butz and our big butts


Our big bellies, too.

Back when Nixon was Prez he made Earl Butz his Secretary of Agriculture. At the time we had the potential of such a bumper crop of corn in this country that it would be coming out our ears and corn prices would plummet. We sold much of it to the USSR but still had plenty left over. Farmers were paid not to plant all of their land and one enterprising corn farmer plowed his field under and built a baseball field. Okay, it was a movie, but it could’ve happened.

Anyway, Nixon contacted Butz and asked him to come up with something that could be made with all that extra corn and that’s when the world was introduced to high fructose corn syrup or HFCS for short.

This sweet syrup is put into just about everything except honey.

Today scientists and researchers are both warning consumers of the downside to all that HFCS. Obesity.

Doctors and nutritionists agree obesity has become an epidemic and in the interests of healthy citizens, HFCS has got to go. The problem is, HFCS is cheaper for food companies to buy, easier to ship and blends better than granulated sugar, and ultimately, if the product doesn’t taste the same, the sales will dwindle.

Canadian researchers have found HFCS can cause reactions in the brain similar to addictive drugs like cocaine.

So the next time you see the doctor for your annual physical and he tells you to lose weight, just blame the gain on Butz and the out-of-this-world-sweetness of HFCS.


And just because I can, I leave you with this picture of a jubilant little girl who learned to roller skate in a war zone.



funny-pictures-history-oil-up-those-skatesThanks for reading. Until next time.




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About Jane Gray 58 Articles
Born in the '50s, grew up in the '60s, got married in the '70s. Gave birth in the '80s and started collecting social security in 2013. My time is my own and I don't mind sharing my opinions on everything with everybody. I hate injustice, the truth is easier to remember than a lie. I like the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics, the New York Mets, and that English futbol team from Liverpool.


  1. I got only one thing to say (and, its just because I can) … “You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd…” 😉

  2. I missed that about John Pinette passing. I remember him from the Seinfeld finale too. May he Rest In Peace.

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