Mullet Over


james k whiteFear of work

Does anyone you know suffer from ergasiophobia? Ergasiophobia is fear of work and I think I have been plagued by that malady for years, perhaps decades.

The pet industry in the United States is big business. Recent data indicate that expenditures for household pets exceeded $47,000,000,000 in 2010. Sixty-two percent of American homes include at least one pet.

A distillery in Kentucky sells 20-year old bourbon for $110 per fifth. There exists a long waiting list of potential purchasers who hope to acquire a portion of the very limited supply.
I read that one bottle of wine purportedly owned by Thomas Jefferson is valued at $160,000. All of this is out of my league. I even dislike paying movie theater prices for soft drinks.

Plastic trash discarded into our coastal waters has become a major threat for hungry birds. At least 100 species of seabirds are known to regularly eat plastic. Some of the birds cannot regurgitate plastic. A dead fulmar (a variety of seabird) was found with more than 30 pieces of plastic (including toys, foam, bottle lids, and polystyrene) in its stomach.

Locals have known of the Cave of Marbles (in Southeastern Mexico) for several generations. However, it was only recently that the international community of speleologists has become aware of the cave that has marble-sized calcite spheres loosely stacked several inches deep along a 60 foot floor. Most of the shapes are marble-sized, but some exceed 3 inches in diameter. Scientists estimate that there are approximately 200 million stone orbs or “cave pearls” in one area of the grotto.

The Mayan Culture Era lasted for approximately 600 years. The achievements of the Mayans far exceeded those of all other societies in the region during that time period. The sudden collapse (during the 9th century) of the nation is an ongoing mystery. Some speculations involve disease, drought or war. Thus far no convincing evidence has been offered for any of these theories. This situation has led more than one historian to suggest the cause may have been lack of leadership and resulting anarchy. Is there a possible lesson to be learned?

Speaking of leadership questions: A congressman inquired of the U.S. Pentagon as to why it took only 13 months for a jet pilot to be trained, but 15 months was required to train a military bandleader. I would suppose that some of those military songs are really complicated. Well, please do not discard plastic where wildlife might be dining and do have a great week.

James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at

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One day a doctor decided to retire ...

He booked himself on a Caribbean cruise and proceeded to have the time of his life, that is, until the ship sank.

He soon found himself on an island with no other people, no supplies, nothing, only bananas and coconuts.

After about four months, he is lying on the beach one day when the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen rows up to the shore.

In disbelief, he asks, "Where did you come from? How did you get here?"

She replies, "I rowed over from the other side of the island where I landed when my cruise ship sank."

"Amazing," he notes. "You were really lucky to have a row boat wash up with you."

"Oh, this thing?" explains the woman. "I made the boat out of some raw material I found on the island.

The oars were whittled from gum tree branches. I wove the bottom from palm tree branches, and the sides and the stern came from a Eucalyptus tree."

"But, where did you get the tools?"

"Oh, that was no problem," replied the woman. "On the south side of the island, a very unusual stratum of alluvial rock is exposed. I found that if I fired it to a certain temperature in my kiln, it melted into ductile iron I used that to make tools and used the tools to make the hardware."

The guy is stunned.

"Let's row over to my place," she says.

So, after a short time of rowing, she soon docks the boat at a small wharf. As the man looks to shore, he nearly falls off the boat. Before him is a long stone walk leading to a cabin and treehouse.

While the woman ties up the rowboat with an expertly woven hemp rope, the man can only stare ahead, dumb struck. As they walk into the house, she says casually, "It's not much, but I call it home. Sit down, please."

"Would you like a drink?"

"No! No thank you," the man blurts out, still dazed. "I can't take another drop of coconut juice."

"It's not coconut juice," winks the woman. "I have a still. How would you like a Tropical Spritz?"

Trying to hide his continued amazement, the man accepts, and they sit down on her couch to talk.

After they exchange their individual survival stories, the woman announces, "I'm going to slip into something more comfortable. Would you like to take a shower and shave? There's a razor in the bathroom cabinet upstairs."

No longer questioning anything, the man goes upstairs into the bathroom. There, in the cabinet is a razor made from a piece of tortoise bone. Two shells honed to a hollow ground edge are fastened on to its end inside a swivel mechanism.

"This woman is amazing," he muses.  "What's next?"

When he returns, she greets him wearing nothing but some small flowers on tiny vines, each strategically positioned, she smelled faintly of gardenias.

She then beckons for him to sit down next to her.

"Tell me," she begins suggestively, slithering closer to him, "We've both been out here for many months. You must have been lonely. There's something I'm certain you feel like doing right now, something you've been longing for, right?" She stares into his eyes.

He can't believe what he's hearing. "You mean ..." he swallows excitedly as tears start to from in his eyes, "You've built a golf course?"

In an attempt to give proper attribution, the oldest post located was on a site we cannot morally publish. Of the over 46,000 search results, fly fishing was the subject rather than golf in the most recent post. Creativity abounds.