Kids Stuff > Activity
Howdy in the East!
Going West is a dream still present in the minds of many people. A green card and a white Stetson (in the old movies the good ones always wore the white hats for easier identification), the feeling of unlimited plains and endless skies, while struggling with survival and getting rid of that sunburn. Let your imagination carry you away for a while, for it can take you anywhere. Who didn't like to play Cowboys and Indians as a kid? Who didn't dream of the Far West, an adventure in the untamed wilderness with all its surprises and dangers. On second thought, sleeping in that cozy warm bed sounds much better than camping on the hard ground with all its rocks and bugs, lizards & snakes. Everything that creeps and flies in the wilderness and possibly disturbs your sleep by coming for dinner with you being the dinner.
Which reminds me of the time, when we were searching for a name for our then unborn youngest. Walking on the street with the bigger kids eating ice cream, I'd ask, which name they would give their little brother. The boy, not paying attention, responded: "Do snakes have ears?" The idea caught up and the girl immediately found it a funny name and started imagining the baby's first birthday, with all of us singing "Happy Birthday, Dosnakeshaveears!" Becoming a running gag among us for a while, shortly before birth we switched to a more common child name. Also, the underlying animal anatomy question we have clarified in the meantime: Yes, snakes have got ears - inside. They pick up sound through vibration of their skin, which then sets the membrane in the inner ear in motion. One of life's little mysteries...
Up to this day the West remains a myth. Numerous tales are told about conquering the wild frontier. Nowadays, the phrase "What is West" is occasionally used to describe a visionary approach or formulate a mission statement, in analogy to the American settlers moving on in the same cardinal direction. "Way out West" and "Go West" are comedy vehicles by Laurel & Hardy and the Marx Brothers, among others parodying "Stagecoach". Reportedly, John Wayne was horrified.
A camp fire in front of the teepee and "in make-up" talking to genuine Indian Benjamin we enjoyed at the Indian village in the quarry of Gumpoldskirchen.
Playing Wild West, disguising as Cowboys & Indians, still attracts young and old up to a point that there are theme parks with rides and activities such as building your own dreamcatcher. Above shots do not include Whiskey but pictures from behind bars in the Western town No Name City in Woellersdorf, the Sheriff's Office at the Karl May Festival in Winzendorf and then a more recent picture of our youngest: Wearing a little red scarf, supposed to protect the clothes from drooling, he looked like a little baby cowboy with bandana, so we just provided the appropriate hat as well...
All the above mentioned activities were compiled in one picture, additionally including the girl's horse ride at the Oberlaa spa gardens in Vienna, visiting the waterfall scenery at the German Karl May-Western movie location of the Plitvice National Park in Croatia and carnival with the boy blowing the later added fake smoke from his toy gun. In this case WWW really stands for Wild West Wallpaper. Talking about old times in the Wild West, the following question comes to mind. Do you know when cowboy time is? Answer: Ten-to-ten-to-ten (makes sound of a horse). And what is the right time to see a dentist? Two-thirty (tooth hurty). Where does the Lone Ranger take his garbage? Answer: To the dump, to the dump, to the dump-dump-dump! Here is now one about his sidekick: Where does Tonto go, when he needs some money? Answer: To the Loan Arranger. But what sort of cheese would you use to get a bear to come down the mountain? Answer: Camenbear! But what is Tarzan's license plate? Answer: 3-2-3 (tree-to-tree).
Howdy, one of those typical Western greetings, is best mumbled in a broad American slur with a chewing gum in the mouth. It probably originates from the Southern slang question about someone's well being: "How do ye?" And for a while I regarded it as a typical Swiss greeting, a real alternative to "Gruezi" or so. For every time I'd call the local affiliate, a reception desk lady would answer the phone with the company name, followed by something like a friendly "Howdy". Only when visiting the location in person, I found out that she had a similar-sounding family name. That's it folks, howdy for now!
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