Dispatches from a restless Floridian ... food, travel, books, rum, peninsular insanity.
Friday, October 14, 2011
RUBBING BEN FRANKLIN'S HEAD
Hasn't happened. So far, I have yet to spot another human being rubbing Ben's head. And when passing students see me doing it they tend to give me wide berth. Crazy old fart. But the squirrels like to perch atop Ben's head and every so often the ultra-efficient Rollins maintenance staff will come along with squirt bottles and get rid of the residuals.
Ben's forehead is shinier than the rest of him, and I congratulate myself to think I am responsible for that. Some mighty cogent thoughts came out of that head of his. It deserves to shine.
One of the many things that grieves me these days is how the honorable people in the Tea Party have claimed the Founding Fathers as their very own. They've made a grab for the Constitution, too. I'm fairly confident that Ben Franklin and his compatriots would not have abided such corralling. And I'm absolutely certain that the Constitution is open to all comers.
Speaking of which, here's my favorite Ben Franklin quote: "The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself."
And each day I catch myself a little happiness by rubbing on his head.
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I work at Rollins and saw you rubbing his head once. Yes, I thought you were just a crazy old fart. But having read this, maybe I'll give him a rub, too. Thanks for this...
I like the sounds of this tradition -- even though I am one of those "honorable" Tea Party people who you mock. You might see me out rubbing Ben's head, too.
Good luck, Bob! I tried get the same sort of tradition with Hamilton Holt's nose on the bust in the Mills lobby. No luck. I would even sneak in with an eraser to burnish it a bit... still no luck. Next time I pass Ben, I will do my part!
Dang, Thad, if the illustrious former president of Rollins can't get a noble tradition started, then who can? Maybe we could promote it as a good-luck talisman before the upcoming Rollins football game.
Next time I pass Ben, I'll pat his head, too Good idea. A few years ago I used to run real early in the morning. On an occasional weekend morning, Saturday or Sunday, back then, the mostly ever-present grounds keepers might not yet have made their rounds to fix up the place after the raucous previous evening. A few times I encountered Ben sitting there with a giant realistic dildo type appendage glued to his 18th century trousers. Which explains the invisible security camera that now has Ben in its steady gaze.
Phil,my friend, that is an image I will hold forever dear. Something tells me that randy ol' Ben would not have objected.
I would love to become a part of a noble collegiate tradition, but does it have to be that statue? At the beginning of this semester, I approached dear Ben only to notice that his crotch seemed to have been "defaced" (de-crotched?) with something that looked like milkshake mixed with shellac. It frightened me. Is it okay that when I scurry by poor old Ben on my way to the parking garage, I just rub my own head instead?
Linda, I understand your misgivings. I'll be on the lookout for a woman walking around Rollins rubbing her head. So will Rollins security.
Bob, When I was at UVa there was an anatomically correct mail bronze. Probably some figure from Mythology. If I recall the tradition correctly rubbing his testicles was supposed to help you on exams. All I know is he had a good petina except for two shiney orbs.
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