Bobbie's Beat: John Jacob who?

It’s always a surprise when a no-brainer subject causes reader response. A recent column brought in not only emails, but phone calls, too. In that column I wrote about things people possibly ponder about, such as: “If Jimmy cracked corn and nobody cared, why is there a song about him?”  No sooner did this column appear in the News-Times when my phone rang. The voice belonged to a local business guy who made me promise to keep him anonymous in case I wrote about our pretty much one-sided conversation. Here it is:

Me: Hello.

Him: Jimmy was funny, but do you know the words to Jacob?

Me: Who?

Him:  Okay, here goes because we sang the whole thing when I was a kid.

Me: I’m ready.

Him:  “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. His name is my name, too.  Whenever I go out, the people always shout, ‘There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt!’”

As he sort of sang the song, which I vaguely remembered, I was making notes for future use. 

Emails showed up from readers wanting to weigh in with their own favorite ponderables. The following came from a reader in Arizona.

•     •     •

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor and dishwashing liquid made with real lemon?

Why is it when you are driving and looking for an address, you turn down the radio?

Why do we go over an underpass and under an overpass?

Why is it night falls and day breaks?

Do people in Australia call the rest of the world up over?”   

•     •     •

Obviously, according to my mail, this is a hot subject. At least it’s more fun than the current political scene (or maybe to some of you it isn’t).  A steady reader in Nebraska sent in her favorites, so I’m choosing a few for your amusement. Here goes:

•    •    •

If four out of five people suffer from diarrhea, does that mean one out of five enjoys it?

Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a racecar is not called a racist?

Do Lipton Tea employees take “coffee breaks?”

Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?

And finally, why do people run over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it and then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

•     •     •

That’s it for today, and hopefully, for this silly subject. As for the local guy who called about John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, thanks a lot. Now I can’t get that stupid song out of my head.


Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock with her cat, Purrfect. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor.” The book, with all proceeds going to the Rotary International Foundation, is available at JC Market in Newport and directly from Bobbie, who can be contacted at [email protected]


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