The Snoozeletter @

Perseids In Joshua Tree. 

It was one of the early years of this millennium, and my Hungarian wife's adult kids were visiting our home in Los Angeles from Budapest. In mid-August, we took them up to the California high desert near Twentynine Palms, and showed them some Joshua trees. They loved 'em. Then we checked into a local motel, and I told everybody to get to sleep early, and be ready for a knock on their door at 1am. I'm sure they suspected it was just the ravings of a crazy American. Anikó even dismissed it as the babbling of her nutso foreign hoozhband.

So we all went to sleep, and when my alarm went off at 1am, Anikó sat up and looked at me in disbelief, with bleary eyes. I hustled her out of bed, and we knocked on the kids' door, telling them: "Get dressed, and grab the comforters off your beds!" They probably thought it was some sort of emergency drill.

We drove ten miles, up into Joshua Tree National Park, and parked beside the road. There was no traffic at that time of night, and I told everybody to spread out their comforters in the sand, near each other. They looked at me like I was certifiably insane. I have to admit that I was a little uncertain about this whole plan, because I had never tried anything like it before. But I knew theoretically that if everything worked out well, it could be a memorable night.

The light pollution in that part of the world was almost non-existent, and after a few minutes, when their eyes adjusted, I pointed out the ribbon of stars stretching across the sky - our galaxy, the Milky Way. They all liked that. It's not something you can see from Budapest, or even Los Angeles. Then the real fun began.

As the first Perseid meteor flashed across the sky, there were three amazed gasps. The second shooting star followed soon after, and they all wanted to know what was happening. "It's the best meteor shower of the year," I said. They asked for more details, so I lectured a bit, telling them what little I knew of the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle and the space rubble it leaves in its wake. The informal lesson was punctuated by whispered cries of "Look!" and "Over there!" and "That was a loooooong one!"

We watched for at least a couple of hours, because every time I suggested going back to the motel, they wanted to stay "just a little longer." How can you say no to that?!

Even now, a dozen years later, the subject inevitably comes up when we all get together. That's when everybody discusses, with hushed reverence, The Night Of The Meteors.


Perseid Meteor Shower Peak Thrills Skywatchers: How You Can Still Watch
Choke Joke. 

Two hillbillies walk into a restaurant and have a bite to eat. Suddenly, a woman eating a sandwich at a nearby table begins to cough. After a minute or so, one of the hillbillies looks at her and says, "Kin ya swallar?" The woman shakes her head no. Then he asks, "Kin ya breathe?" The woman shakes her head no, and begins to turn blue.

The hillbilly walks over to the woman, lifts up her dress, yanks down her panties, and quickly gives her right butt cheek a lick with his tongue. The woman is so shocked that she has a violent spasm, and the obstruction flies out of her mouth. As she begins to breathe again, the hillbilly walks back to his table.

His partner says, "Ya know, I've heerd of that there 'Hind Lick Maneuver' but I ain't never seed nobody do it!"