I was out Christmas shopping the other day and decided to linger awhile in the local book store. Somehow the left foot of my tennie runners got itself stuck right between the bargain books and the calendar aisle. I suspect the book establishment might be applying super glue to their carpet in strategic areas … although I could be wrong. Turns out there are gobs of interesting little tear-off calendars out again this year with something for most everyone on the planet. Calendars with a year’s worth of origami folding projects, Latin phrases, Sudoku puzzles, knitting patterns, multiple foreign languages, sports trivia, and well, I haven’t even scratched the surface of the wacky world of calendars, but you get my gist. There is even a calendar for left-handed people, of which I am proud to be one. My absolute favorite was a 2011 calendar with a creative title called … are you ready … “Butter my Butt and Call Me a Biscuit!” It is filled with, the box says, “country sayings.” Yeah, and there is a teaser on the back of the box which reads “When someone looks at you and says, ‘Ain’t that right?’ you might say … if I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.” I was tempted to open the box and thumb through about six months of the sayings, but resisted … mostly because I was deterred with a piece of sticky Scotch tape. As I once again tried to un-stick myself from the book store carpet, I couldn’t help but remember when I used to get hubby and the kids calendars every year for Christmas. Not the ones you hang on the wall, but the same little rip-and-tear-the-day-off kind I was stuck to the carpet next to at the mall. For years calendars were one of those Christmas traditions the family could count on unwrapping. That was until they stopped printing our absolute favorite, the “Far Side Calendar,” chock-filled with Gary Larson cartoons. The cartoon dude had this unusual brand of twisted humor that my two boys adored. When the calendars stopped being printed a few years back the Frantz family lost interest and went into calendar mourning. The Larson cartoons must have made quite an impression because when I mentioned them the other day, Rick quickly rattled off the top of his noggin’ his three favorites. The “bear” one is by far the one he snickered at the longest. “There is this one with two bears standing in front of a tree. Off to one side is a sign that reads ‘Bear Hunting Season Open.’ One of the bears says to the other, ‘Bummer birthmark, Al.’ Al’s birthmark was a huge bulls-eye in the middle of his chest,” Rick laughed. But back to the book store and my poor stuck foot. There was this one calendar I curiously picked up, and then, like it was covered in poison ivy, or the flu virus, quickly tossed back into the stack. The title referred to one thousand places you gotta visit before you die, appropriately titled after the best-selling book. All I could think about was our oldest daughter and how there was no way I’d ever purchase her that particular calendar. Maybe a Sudoku or Latin calendar … but not the one thousand places calendar. Katie is our world traveler and currently in love with South America. She says it is because it is a cheap place to travel compared to Europe. Personally, I think she is pulling the leg that is stuck to the carpet. In my opinion, South America is also a continent with less than adequate internet so mothers rarely get updates if their daughters are still among the living. In a little over a year Katie has checked off her list Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, and right before Turkey Day, there was two weeks in Chile. Yep, and her Spanish is getting so good on this last trip she argued with a cab driver that he was ripping her off and won. Let’s just say I prefer NOT to be a party to giving her any new ideas. I understand India is somewhere on her radar screen. Oh, and great news! It wasn’t anything like Gorilla glue on the bottom of my shoe … just a wad of pink Bazooka bubble gum. Excuse me while I mosey over to fiction. Happy shopping! Dixie Frantz is a long-time Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist since 1996. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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