My Com Post

Last week i bought myself, for my 60th birthday, the Pyramid Deluxe Composter from Garderners’ Supply Company. I’m im love with it. When i go, just toss me in and pitch me around every two weeks. By spring: compost!

i was sooooo proud that i assembled it myself. In the directions it says you “might need”  a second person to hold one panel upright while you bolt the adjoining panel to it, but … not Genie Abrams, SUPER- ASSEMBLER! The sliding doors work, the hinged lid works … i can’t believe it! The whole thing works! i’m stealing tons of newspapers from the Record so i can shred them and toss them in with my kitchen scraps.

i put it out near my raised garden. i also bought the Super-Hot Compost Starter, which is a bag of … dirt, it looks like. But it’s supposed to make your crap turn into compost faster, so i’m sprinkling a little over my coffee grinds, eggshells, banana peels, etc.  every time i dump them in.

The whole affair is about 3 feet high, 3 feet wide, and 3 feet deep … a very dignified, handsome, dark brown thingie with rubberized-plastic walls, a magical pyramid lid designed to let in just the right amount of rain, and built-in slits for “proper aeration,” though it also says in the instructions that i am to  toss it with my pitchfork every couple of weeks. (How do you like me, having a PITCHFORK?! There was an old, snaggle-toothed one in the shed, with its handle broken off so the whole thing’s only about 3 feet long, but it works fine! i’ve left it leaning against the composter at a jaunty angle, so all the neighbors can see it and wring their hands with envy.) So far, i’ve been pitching it every couple of DAYS. It’s so much fun! All i need now is a big straw hat, bib overalls and a piece of hay to chew on.

With the 10-inch stakes to steady it from the wind, the Super Hot Compost Starter and the cost of shipping, it came to $230, but Tim Riss doesn’t have to know that, necessarily. i mean, Rachel Quimby gave me a sweet, white-ceramic counter-top compost pail for my kitchen, and it really doesn’t make any sense to fill that up with scraps each week and then … do what with them? Just toss them onto the garden for the woodchucks and skunks? NOOO!

WATCH OUT! Genie Abrams, master composter, is In the Yard!

“Iko Iko,” who knew?

By a show of hands, please: Who remembers the great Dixie Cups song, “Iko Iko”? Yes, you do: it was a hit arond 1960 and a “novelty song” in that it sounded like a hand-slapping, rope-skipping, counting-out-rhyme, hambone chant: MY grandma and YOUR grandma, sitting by the fire; MY grandma told YOUR grandma, “I’m gonna set your house on fire.”
NOW do you remember it?
i heard it on an AM oldies station the other day for the first time in decades, and i haven’t gotten it out of my head since. It struck me, somehow, as New Orleans/Creole in origin. The nonsense syllables had something French in them: “Iko, iko,” could that be like Creole for the French words for “listen up,” “Ecou(tez)? Turns out, after Webbing around for an hour or so, and hearing Dr. John’s version/explanation and reading some of the guesses on the Web about its origins, and finding out that the Dixie Cups were indeed from New Orleans, i’m convinced that the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians had a chant/shout/song that became the basis for this fun, mysterious song.

Whatever happened to the Dixie Cups, anyway? Hope they’re still getting royalties. (And i hope the guy who REALLY wrote it, James “Sugar Daddy” Crawford, is still getting royalties, too! They fought a wonderful court case over that, which i read all about online.)

i often wonder what it’s like to be, like, 78 and be saying to people, “You know, i used to be a Dixie Cup!” And then the other people at the nursing home would go, “Oh, yeah!” And start slapping their hands, going,  “MY grandma and YOUR grandma, sitting by the fire…”

Sweet Photo + Fine Headline = Nightmare Page One

The Record had a sweet, sweet photo of four angelic kids on Page One last week (while i was out, thank G-d). They were sitting on the curb waiting for the school bus on their first day of school. Over that photo we put a dynamic headline for a hard-news story we were running on Page Three. What’s wrong with that? Here’s what: The headline said, “4 Ulster County employees nabbed in porn-swap.” By placing that photo just below that headline, It made it look like, “…and here’s a picture of the little perverts!”

Maybe you had to see it to get how awful it was, but i bet every reader in three counties has that Page One on their refrigerators. Hilarious!