by Keith Lennox, All-len-All – Happy first day of June, one and all. I hope your weekend was, and is, as glorious as it is up here in the most beautiful part of the world that was ever created (for twelve weeks of the year, that is). The sun is shining….. the birds are singing and making me their bird bath/seed slave….. the cat is glued to the screen door, salivating…. as he gazes at the big fat squirrel who has taken to occupying the back deck.
Enough prattle from me and on to what you drop in here for, factoids and a chuckle or two.
1) The Salem Witch trials did not start in Salem, MA. They started in Salem Village, now known as Danvers.
2) Snakes are one of those animals you never really expect to see airborne, but Singapore’s Paradise Tree Snake can do just that, flying (or, rather, falling gracefully) from tree to tree. By sucking in its belly and making a U-shape with the length of its body, the tree snake can create its own parachute, allowing it to soar 100 yards or more. Sadly, the snakes aren’t blessed with corresponding landing gear and tend to crash clumsily.
3) The ZIP in ZIP Code stands for Zone Improvement Plan.
4) 6 Awesome Things Bill Murray Has Done:
On Memorial Day Weekend, Bill Murray gave an excellent, impromptu speech at a bachelor party in Charleston, South Carolina. That’s not a surprise—the actor is known for popping up and doing something awesome every once in a while. Here are a few of our favorite, utterly delightful things Murray has done.
1. LOOKED GREAT IN THIS CHRISTMAS CARD
“How and why I got this from Bill Murray, I have no idea!” wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper tweeted last year. (The Frisky also published this card in 2012.)
It should come as no surprise that, in addition to looking great on holiday cards, the actor throws epic Christmas parties, which he told Esquire include an ice luge for booze:
It’s a big magilla to get an ice luge, but if you do, you can pour vodka into it and it chills it on the way down. It looks like an Olympic ski jump. It’s more for visual effect. You can put your head underneath it, like you’re guzzling gasoline, but we just fill shot glasses. Hundreds of little shot glasses. So, we drank this stuff, and it took the party to a completely other level. The party lasted much longer. No one left. The year before, people would leave at, like, two or three in the morning. With the vodka luge, they didn’t leave until five. The last two years I’ve had this luge. That’s how I like to drink. Out of a large ice structure.
Murray Christmas, indeed.
2. KARAOKED WITH TOTAL STRANGERS
When a group of karaokers saw Murray enter NYC’s Karaoke One 7 one night in January 2011, one of them worked up the courage to invite the movie star into their private karaoke room. Fifteen minutes later, Murray knocked on their door. “He was super nice and they all fit right in,” one of the karaoke crew, Mike, told The Chive. “He bought us all a round of some weird green drink and wouldn’t tell us what it was. … The high point was when Bill and I sang a duet of an Elvis song called, ‘Marie’s the Name.'” Murray and his friends stuck around for the next four hours.
3. PLAYS KICKBALL WITH RANDOM PEOPLE
Kickballers enjoying a game on Roosevelt Island in October 2012 when Murray “popped out of nowhere,” team member Chris DiLella told EW. “He was bouncing the ball… ran over to second base. Played for a bit… Gave us all high-fives and let us pose with him in the picture.”
4. GAVE A FEW FANS SOMETHING BETTER THAN AN AUTOGRAPH
Why ask for Bill Murray’s autograph when you can ask him to stroll down a hallway with you in slow motion? David Walton Smith told Reelz that he was making a commercial for a school in South Carolina that one of Murray’s children attends; Murray was appearing in the spot. Smith didn’t want to give Murray a bunch of things to autograph at the end of the shoot, and instead proposed asking the actor to walk with him and his friends down the hallway (they slowed it to slow motion in post). Murray, of course, obliged.
5. BARTENDED AT SXSW
hy ask for Bill Murray’s autograph when you can ask him to stroll down a hallway with you in slow motion? David Walton Smith told Reelz that he was making a commercial for a school in South Carolina that one of Murray’s children attends; Murray was appearing in the spot. Smith didn’t want to give Murray a bunch of things to autograph at the end of the shoot, and instead proposed asking the actor to walk with him and his friends down the hallway (they slowed it to slow motion in post). Murray, of course, obliged.
During a visit to Austin’s Shangri-La during SXSW 2010, Murray hopped behind the bar to serve drinks (apparently, even if a patron asked for whiskey, he’d give them tequila).
6. GOT INVITED TO A PARTY, DID THE HOST’S DISHES
Even when he’s crashing parties, Bill Murray is polite. During a 2006 trip to St. Andrews, Scotland, for a celebrity golf tournament, Murray accompanied 22-year-old anthropology student Lykke Stavnef—whom he and his friends had met in a bar—to a house party. “Nobody could believe it when I arrived at the party with Bill Murray,” she told The Telegraph. Murray then washed all the dishes in the students’ sink. “It was really funny because he was pretty old compared with all the other people there, but he was so relaxed and it was really amusing when he started to wash up,” Stavnef said.
5) Of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, 3 fell due to earthquakes, 2 due to fires, 1 probably never even existed, and only one stands today—The Pyramid of Khufu.
6) Insanely Lucky Flea Market Finds:
1. ITEM: FLOYD LANDIS’S BICYCLE – $5
Sold For: $8000
Although Floyd Landis was stripped of his Tour de France title, it didn’t stop him from cycling. In 2008, a gust of wind blew one of his bikes off the vehicle transporting it. It was found on the side of the interstate and sold to Greg Estes at a garage sale.
2. 17TH-CENTURY PAINTING “PREPARATION TO ESCAPE EGYPT” – $215
Sold for: $27,630
In 2007, a German student visited a Berlin flea market and came home with a new pullout couch. When she opened it, she didn’t discover loose change or a lost remote control—she found a Venetian painting.
3. PAINTING BY ANTHONY VAN DYCK – $660
Not yet sold: Estimated at $660,000
Father Jamie McLeod, a Catholic priest, bought the painting at an antique shop, but only for its gold frame. Later, Antiques Roadshow confirmed it was the work of the top court painter of King Charles I.
4. ANDY WARHOL CHILDHOOD SKETCH – $5
Worth: Estimated $2 million
Andy Fields bought five crappy sketches at a Sin City garage sale. One picture boasted Warhol’s preteen signature.
5. 11TH-CENTURY CHINESE BOWL – $3
Sold for: $2.2 million
In 2013, a New York family bought a dish no bigger than a cereal bowl at a garage sale. The piece was actually 1000 years old!
6. ORIGINAL COPY OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE – $4
Sold for: $2.42 million
In 1989, a Philadelphia man bought a cruddy painting at a flea market. While he was investigating a tear in the canvas, the frame broke apart and out fell a small folded document. It was one of 24 surviving copies of the original 1776 Declaration.
7. ORIGINAL VELVET UNDERGROUND DEMO LP – $0.75
Sold for: $26,200
Roving a Manhattan flea market in 2002, Warren Hill found a sleeveless LP with “Velvet Underground … 4/25/66” scrawled on the label. It was the same demo disc Columbia Records had rejected!
8. ANSEL ADAMS NEGATIVES – $45
Worth, if authentic: About $200 million
Rick Norsigian bought these negatives depicting American landscapes at a Fresno garage sale in 2000. Some experts insist they belonged to Ansel Adams, while others think they were snapped by Earl Brooks.
7) The birth of the DJ occurred in 1953, when 24-year-old Régine Zylberberg, manager of Paris’s famous Whisky a Go-Go, undertook an experiment to replace the club’s jukebox with two turntables and a microphone. In no time, DJs were pumping up the jam at parties the world over. By the 1970s, Zylberberg was running 25 clubs across Europe and the Americas.
8) Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator says “Calm down. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a gun shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says “OK, now what?”
9) Gerald Ford is the only person to serve as both president AND vice-president of the U.S. without having been elected to either office.
10) Q: Why do black people not like to go on cruises? A: They already fell for that trick once.
Have a wonderful Sunday, folks. Stay healthy and happy until we meet up here again next Sunday. Remember to extend a small kindness to someone this week and ask them to pay it forward….. it is definitely a win/win.