Show of Hands

Here’s how I originally wrote it with my reflexive (half) wittiness in full force. See the bold type at the end of the paragraph from the book now in active edit mode.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got” says the old bromide. I have to remind myself of this folksy phrase when I find myself stuck in the deep ruts of habit, going ‘round the same fruitless loops over and over again. If the ingredients each time are the same, so will be the soup. So if you want different flavors and textures, you’ll have to put different ingredients into the Bassomatic.”

A  reader wrote to say he didn’t know what a Bassomatic was. Is that possible? You mean not everyone gathered with friends every Saturday night to watch SNL back in the John Belushi-Dan Akroyd-Gilda Radner era? Whah!

So I can change it to something more mundane and universally familiar–like YAWN… blender–but only if you tell me in masse that I should. I await your judgement.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Alas, John, Dan and Gilda were long gone before I was allowed to watch SNL. I didn’t get in on the joke until the Church Lady was a regular.

  2. I had not seen that before, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using it. Those who care will look it up, and possibly get a laugh. Those who don’t can intuit the meaning from the context.

  3. Yah, you got me on the Bassomatic. But I love your “fruitless loops.” My kids always thought I was a mean mommy because I wouldn’t buy them.