Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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That's a particularly scary story, since just the other night I saw an episode of Criminal Minds, where an ordinary, average, balding 40-something guy goes on a road rage killing-spree.

I do try to give even the insane people the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps this man drives really cautiously because he lost a loved one in a traffic accident. In the TV show episode, the man had snapped after his young daughter was killed right before his eyes by a passing driver. Not that he should behave like he did for any reason, of course, but his over-driven emotion would be more understandable if that were the case.

Of course, he could also just be some crotchety old guy who thinks the rest of the world should live at his slow pace.

Oh, and I think many states have laws that if a cop tries to pull you over, you won't get in trouble if you drive to the nearest police station instead of pulling over to the side of the road, the idea being to prevent attacks by police impersonators.


I did get the feeling he was right on the edge emotionally for some other reason. You could make some sarcastic remark about Christian churches harboring such people, or you could look at it as . . . he really needs it.


from the glass-half-empty department:

On the other hand, look how much good church has done him so far! Maybe he's showing up to check on that warranty on his soul he thought he got for, you know, just showing up!

Donna B.

The southern take: you shouldn't have honked. Honking is often considered a rude gesture here. It would be understood as "get out of my way" more often than "Letting you know I'm here."

However, the appropriate response to honking is flipping someone the bird (non-aggressively, of course), not getting out of your car and screaming at them. That's hardly ever an appropriate response.

There was an old jerk when I was in high school that had a bumper sticker "Yes, I do own the road" and he drove like it. You'd have never passed him because he would have been 25 down the middle of the street in his Lincoln Continental.

My mom despised that man. I did too, he also taught algebra.


Interesting. I wouldn't have honked from behind him (though that's what Jacques, in the old days, would have angrily urged me to do); I honked as I passed him to make sure he stayed clear of me -- the road is only two lanes, and not terribly wide. He looked as if he was veering toward the center line just as I began to pass him -- possibly to stop me from passing him. Although the road was marked to say "you can pass here," I may have scared him. Who knows what else was on his heart.

michael Reynolds

You let the guy yell at you? Oh, my God: you've been away from New York for too long. You should have karate'd his ass.


My reaction time has slowed down considerably.

michael Reynolds

Yeah, the south will do that to you. All that politeness. I blame the sweet tea. Here in California it's vapidity rather than gentility. Of course here it's the weed, not the tea.

Donna B.

If you had karate'd his ass, that would have been totally appropriate.


The whole world needs to back off and calm down.

Here, I'll go first.

Ruth Anne

Yeah, the south will do that to you.

'Tis the region for the ragin'.

Ruth Anne

Here's another tidbit drilled into me by my Southern husband:

when you turn around in someone's driveway, it's considered an act of aggression.

Donna B.

Ruth Anne, not if you wave!


Wow, that's a scary story. I'm glad you're so philosophical about it; I wouldn't be.

As an aside, I'm with the person who would avoid honking in such a situation. Road-ragey drivers take any use of the horn to be an insult or threat, because that's what *they* use it for.


Another good point; thanks, Dawn.


I never honk simply because i forget that i have a horn.

As for the Christian thang- someday we all have to learn to carry it w/in us. Otherwise, a Church really is just a building.

I hope he feels like as over-active ass, 'cause he is.

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