A hundred times

Thanks to those of you who emailed me your weirdo childhood earworms yesterday. I think my favorite story was from Delium, who reminded me of this story: when he was a kid, he and his friends found some sort of coupon that you could send in to get a free pair of ladies underwear from Hanes or something. Which, hi marketing executive who thought of that, you have basically thought up a great way for kids like Delium to play pranks on each other, among other nefarious things. Delium and his friends filled out the coupon with another friend’s name and address, thus ordering him some girl undies. Somehow, they knew when the package arrived, and thus began the taunt: Joe got silkies in the may-ell! Joe got silkies in the may-ell!

And so now, Oocha has left the building, but the hot and happening tune “Silkies in the Mail” has taken up residence in my brain. Thanks, Delium!


When my siblings and I were little, we would tend to scarf down our meals, as tiny scruffy rugrats can do. Little kids are very busy and need to get back to important business like ordering silkies for each other, so we have to power lunch, don’t you know. My dad used to try to remind us to eat slower by telling us that we had to chew each bite a hundred times. This would make us laugh hysterically because as kids we were a really easy comedic audience. “A hundred times? Daddy, you’re crazy!” we would giggle and giggle. But of course then we would try our hardest to see if we really could chew our bites a hundred times, which of course we couldn’t, but at least we were chewing more often so who’s the crazy one now?

The other day, I tried to work this psychological magic on an adult. Namely, my Nordic Boy. He was leaving for Portland for biznass like he does every week, and right before he left, I said the following.

Me: Call me when you get there.
Him: Yep!
Me: And other times when you’re there too.
Him: Uh, yeah.
Me: In fact, why don’t you call me a hundred times?
Him: What?
Me: While you’re gone, in the next few days. Call me a hundred times.
Him: (silence)
Turns out, the hundred times thing doesn’t work on adults. Either as incentive or as comedy. Just in case you were thinking of taking my dad’s schtick on the road.

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