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Misty, Moisty Morning

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It’s a misty, moisty morning near Asheville, with a soft, low sky that looks ready to weep at any moment.  Reminds me of the following Mother Goose rhyme:

One misty moisty morning,
    When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man,
    Clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment
    And I began to grin.
How do you do? And how do you do?
    And how do you do again?

The rhyme, in turn, reminds me of the Charles Addams cartoon that I associate with it–a little kid on a foggy sidewalk next to a cemetery, and he’s stopped to chat with a skinny spooky* in an old-fashioned leather raincoat.  Both are smiling as if to say they’re pleased to have met at such a moment in such weather.

If you’re not familiar with Charles Addams, his cartoons appeared in The New Yorker and other stylish magazines from the 1930’s until his death in the 80’s. He is best known, perhaps, for creating “The Addams Family” characters (parents Gomez and Morticia and their children Pugsley and Wednesday; Grandma and Uncle Fester; Lurch the butler) in cartoon form. He was associated with the 1960’s era sitcom based on his characters, but the original cartoons–witty, elegant, macabre, and fiendishly clever–bore only a surface resemblance to the show (light comedy with an emphasis on screwy slapstick).

In any case, that’s the kind of morning it is, and Addams’ illustrations of classic Mother Goose nursery rhymes ought not be missed, unless you prefer the more traditional versions featuring apple-cheeked children and kindly old ladies in spectacles. If so, avoid Addams’ take on “Wee Willie Winkie” or you’ll have nightmares for a week.

*Credit where credit is due: referring to a skeleton as a “skinny spooky” came from the Scooby-Doo episode entitled “A Tiki Scare Is No Fair”. After encountering a freaky tiki and becoming separated from the rest of the gang, Shaggy and Scooby are poking around in the jungle and stumble across an old cargo plane with a mechanized skeleton rigged up to frighten people away. Zoicks! It works!

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About ltbrwnhare

A real Ashevillain, from the fabled town of Asheville, NC. There aren't too many of us "from here" any more, but don't ask about the secret handshake. Few people know I blog; they think I work for corporate America. I do. Both. There's probably a secret handshake for that, too. You can think of me as a "locavore," if you like: someone who consumes local food and culture. I'm not just local, though--I like finding out interesting stuff from all over the place, traveling, tasting, reading, writing fiction (actually, I write non-fiction--I just don't let my family read it and get mad at me for spilling the beans. There are some pretty funky beans to spill, sometimes, but that's just a fact of life in the South...), and lots of other things. If I think of them, maybe I'll blog about them.

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