A tiny fossil coral (too bad it wasn't a clam) fell off a slab of rock which yours truly received in a box of rocks last week. The quarter did not come in the box of rocks.

Happy as a clam...with a box of rocks...

Please read this...

Let’s start this week with a really important question in the form of the following headline: Should you upgrade to PlayStation 5?

This really important question was asked in a daily news publication which arrives in our mailbox on a fairly regular basis. Can’t be sure that we’ll get today’s version today. Eventually, it shows up. Besides, as a wise person once told me, all news is old anyway.

The headline about upgrading to PlayStation 5 was in the November 9 issue of the publication...I think it showed up November 12 or 13. Oh, well. 

Anyway, the answer is no. Until seeing that headline, I had given no thought whatsoever about upgrading to PlayStation 5. If you happen to make that upgrade, let me know how it goes. 

Meanwhile...

We’ll move on to the “good stuff.” And we’ll start with another question: Would you be happy to receive a box of rocks as a gift?

I’m guessing that lots of folks would probably respond in the same way that I did about upgrading to PlayStation 5. Nope.

That being said, yours truly has actually received a box of rocks as a gift...several times. Made me happy as a clam.

By the way, have you ever wondered about how happy a clam gets? A website I found on in the internet called The Phrase Finder (phrases.org.uk) shared: “It has been suggested that open clams give the appearance of smiling.” Never looked that closely at a clam.

The Phrase Finder went on to explain that the idea of being happy as a clam “is more likely to come from the fuller version of the phrase, now rarely heard – ‘as happy as a clam at high water.’ Hide tide is when clams are free from the attentions of predators; surely the happiest of times in the bivalve mollusc world.”

The author of the article which appeared on The Phrase Finder wrote that the earliest use of the phrase was from a frontier memoir titled “The Harpe’s Head – A Legend of Kentucky”: “It never occurred to him to be discontented...He was happy as a clam.”

Turns out “The Harpe’s Head – A Legend of Kentucky” is a real thing...a book written by famed author James Hall, whom I had never heard of until last weekend. The book was printed in 1833. I actually found a digital copy of the book on another website, archive.org, which is a great place to visit if you like “old books.”

Now that I’ve bored you with that fascinating information, let’s get to a box, or two, or a rock, or two...

Last week, a box of rocks from far away North Carolina arrived in the mail. The box was full of treasures, including a couple of slabs of rocks brimming with fossils of various creatures of the sea...but not any clams. I was still happy. 

Several years ago, I received a box of rocks in the form of a Christmas gift. If I remember correctly, and that is highly questionable, the gift came wrapped very nicely. And was very heavy. Had no idea what might have been inside the package. Turned out the gift was a couple of fossil corals which were found near Cincinnati, Ohio.

Christmas brought another box of rocks a number of years ago from a gentleman who was a long-time coworker and friend at The Paragraph Factory. He knew I liked rocks, so he got me some for Christmas.

These rocks also came wrapped very nicely and was fairly heavy...just not as heavy as the fossil corals from Cincinnati.

Upon unwrapping and opening the gift, it was determined that I had been given...a box of...gravel... Really. We both shared a good laugh. 

Well, the gravel was made of limestone. And limestone often has fossils. I started looking closely at the rocks. And, you guessed it, I found a fossil. Still have that rock. The rest of the gravel ended up in our driveway at home.

So, you see, even if you happen to get a box of rocks as a gift, it can be something special to treasure...and maybe make you as happy as a clam... 

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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