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The close of this chapter set in 1994 features a brief exchange centered around bananas.

A global spat on banana distribution had erupted in late 1993 between the US and EU. This informative piece lays out the playing field nicely. On one side, you had your American-owned Latin American companies pumping out larger-sized bananas, and on the other side, you had European-owned enterprises that operated in many former colonies of Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific with smaller-sized bananas. As for taste and texture preferences and differences, it wasn't about that. At stake was importation into different global markets, and a tussle over tariffs and quotas.

It was all kind of like a "my banana be better (if not bigger) than your banana" battle.


Maybe the Germans had the right attitude with "just let the consumer decide," but of course that would have been too easy and logical. As tall Dutchman Ruud de Cock presciently commented,

"If we can't even fix bananas, how we can fix all the other serious matters in
the world? The banana battle is only getting started, but will take years to
solve. You
'll see."

Ruud knew the drill, and it only took like nearly 20 years to sort this shit out per here and a more detailed breakdown here.

German Karl Kurt Kottelwesch (aka K-Kube) dropped a pearl on all when he talked about the optimum method monkeys use to peel a banana, one which many humans are not aware of. This video shows it ain't rocket science, Corky. Look and learn. If you really are fascinated by this then you can also check out this WikiHow covering the eight methods to peel one, and wow foe and friend alike with deep MacGyver-like insight.


The US-EU spat t wasn't the only banana battle it seems. The Velvet Underground had Andy Warhol's famed banana design on the cover of their 1967 debut album with Nico. A lawsuit erupted in 2012 and took 18 months to settle per here and here. It was good to see that as the trade banana dispute was winding down, there was another banana themed dispute to take its place. Maybe that was by "design," pardon the pun.


If setting bananas straight took so long, is anybody surprised we can't resolve more complicated world matters like peace in the Middle Crease, pretending that climate change ain't happening, and increasing global inequality. Go figure. We'll all be waiting a very long friggin' time to deal with everything else. Either that, or the powers that be steering the ship just want it that way. Cuz , like, when it's "heads I win, tails you lose," they can play that game all day long and always come out ahead.

Perhaps it makes as much sense as this little ditty, as taken from Despicable Me 2, featuring The Minions, and their take on the Beach Boys song Barbara Ann.


For those with an ever-inquisitive mind and dying to know what language this is, here's a link to some background on Minionese, and some more on the specific lyrics.

Then, there are these banana commercials, ranging from a 1940s classic through to ones from modern day Japan and Australia.


N.B. Somebody who penned a novel and utilized "chikita banana" as a reference for a woman (making his female editor's skin crawl every time it came up) may have been inspired by this vintage ad. Or maybe it was just pure coink-e-dink.





The fellas also gotta like these topical banana-based words of wisdom. So true, but it makes Bob wonder about what the preceding 391 rules are.

Source: QuickLol

Chikita bananas, on the other hand, can get away with THAT all day long, and the world comes to a stop.


Get your mind out of the gutter. It's all about the fruit, Bobbolin(o/a), and proper technique. Truth be told, most guys will not be bothering to correct them on their peeling technique as Karl Kurt pointed out above. As the Pink Floyd Dole ad above declared, "if you feel it, peel it." Bob sure digs the double entendre going on with that tagline.

After all of the above. know that bananas be bidni$$ too, and now that the trade tiff has been settled, consolidation is in the air, as evidenced here by the attempted acquisition action going down between Chiquita, Fyffes and some Brazilians in Cutrale and the Safra Group wading into the fray of late. Maybe the Brazzies are pissed cuz of their showing at the World Cup. In the end, they may all still figure out a way to get cozy together and mix $$$ with bananas and oranges.


Bob be diggin' deep, to bring you the skinny on matters of consequence in our world, when he ain't busy as some single prat traveling the world attending weddings.



Subject: Prologue - St-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!
(Posted on Aug 12, 2014 at 04:48PM ) Tags:
When a place has a unique name like this one, it sticks in your head. In Bob's case, St-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! goes back decades to when he was a teenager and working with some old guy called Lulu as mentioned at the start of Wedding Chronicles.


Where does the name come from and what does it mean? It's a small place in the province of Quebec and it appears the basic origins of the name are derived from an old French word, ha-ha, for an unexpected obstacle, as explained here in this Condé Nast Traveler piece. More on the word etymology can be found here and here, focusing on the "wall" aspect.

Note its location on the map just above Maine, so maybe, one day, if deemed of strategic importance like Crimea (or just because it has a really kool name), the whole area could be annexed by America.


The place's main claim to fame seems to be that it is the only settlement name in the world with two exclamation points. There is Westward Ho! In Devon, England, but with only one exclamation point at play, it's not nearly the same and must be only half as good. There are actually three other names in Quebec with the same telltale "Ha! Ha!" action going down, with a pair of Baie des Ha! Ha! (bay) and a Rivière Ha! Ha! (river). The double-down bay name in particular reminds Bob of a related posting months back on the repetitive (and confusing) usage of Saint(e)-Francois(e) throughout the province historically.

So apart from the name itself, what else is kool, groovy and interesting about this place? Ever inquisitive, Bob did a little digging in both English and French. The town has its own basic website, but is in French only alas, so guess they aren't really trying to push the global tourism thing. Remember, we're in Quebec after all. Français seulement, mon ami (French only, my friend).

A few touristy type things are listed on the town's website with a big park, garden, campground on nearby Lac Dôle (lake), golf course, and an astronomy center in the local area. Note this last element is even nailed prominently in the local coat of arms.


Hey, if all that doesn't excite you to go visit the place, maybe this stuff does, going back to 2012 and a boucane or "burnout" festival of sorts. It appears this has been held there at least a couple times now. Schweet!


No doubt this is another way to get your town on the map. Maybe this kind of enthralling activity turns your crank big time, but it's not worth the trip for most, especially if the distance is large and you have better things to do. Hey, when you're cracking 1,318 on the population front, there can't be that much going on most of the time, or even on a Saturday night for that matter.

Bob tried to dig a little deeper for even more exciting stuff going on there, but didn't really come up with anything more of note. Go figure. Bob be trying his best here, to put global hotspots in their best possible light and with pository marketing spin.

Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do, like some single guy who keeps hitting weddings all around the world. Call it what you will, be it hobby, affliction, or maybe it all just happened by coink-e-dink. And no, Bob hasn't been to a wedding in Saint.-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, but otherwise has been to another place about half that population size, somewhere deep in remote Canuckistan. That one, #93, is for the second book in the trilogy.



Some names used in this chapter, and indeed generally sprinkled throughout the book, can have special meaning or significance, particularly if one is from a specific country, culture or language tied to the origin of the name.

One of the more obvious character names here is Wade Roe, a reverse twist on Roe v. Wade, one of the US Supreme Court's landmark rulings, dating back to the early 70s.

Then you had Wade's longstanding girlfriend, Klytaimnestra Patsatsoglou, which she shortened to Klyta Patsa, and again as needed to just everyday Cleopatra to make it easier for most to pronounce. We'll deal with both names separately.

Klytaimnestra (a variation on the more common Clytemnestra spelling) is a Greek name composed of the elements klytos, for "famous, praiseworthy," and mnestria for "wooing," hence "famous for her suitors." In mythology, this is the name of the wife of Agamemnon.

Note that our mythological gal murdered her husband, per the beef she had with him as covered in Homer's Odyssey. Yet another another classical literature note of caution for the fellows out there to not get on the bad side of da Boss in a big way, once you are married and joined at the hip.

Now, to deal with her surname, Patsatsoglou, (also spelled Patsatzoglou). The fame connection comes from Christos Patsatzoglou, a past footballer (or soccer player) for Olympiacos F.C. Generally, Patsa is a Greek "delicacy" soup made of cow (or pork or lamb), feet and stomach. Patsatsoglou means the son of the patsa maker. Stuff looks pretty enticing, doesn't it?


You can read more about patsa here in this fine piece so you can work up an appetite.

Then there was the bride's very long name...

Ku'ene Penelope Makamae Pe Ts'ai Fook Chang Kaneaiakala

Whoa, whaddup with that moniker mayhem?! Four things got thrown into her naming mix, combining Hawaiian, Chinese, Greek and English elements.

Ku'ene - "Queen / Queenie" in English.

Penelope - "White shoulder" in English/Gaelic, but also with Greek origins and ties, translating to "weaver" and another reference to Homer's Odyssey, as she was the faithful wife of Odysseus.

Makamae - "Precious" or "cherished"

Pe Ts'ai - another name for Chinese cabbage or bok choi / choy. Someone was having a little fun in the name creation department.

The rest of her name string elements threw in some more Chinese and Hawaiian for good measure to plump it out.


The "precious" part of her name reminds Bob of this scene with Gollum (originally called Smeagol) from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002). Bob can just imagine Eala saying something like this to Ku'ene, even if the movie came after the 2001 wedding.



The rest of the bride's family's first names were all a little more straightforward, but ran on a regal / royal line, save for Mama Bear.

Eala (her father) - meaning/translating to "Earl" from Hawaiian

Kuke (brother #1) - "Duke"

Palonu (brother #2) - "Baron"

Kaula (mother) - "Prophet", a variant of Kaulana (Famous)

And now, to deal with the big Daddy of them all in that chapter, that kool elder shaman kat Bob met toward the end of the evening.

"Keli'i Ku'uaki Kahoohanohano," he introduced himself, "from Kealakekua.
That
's on the Kona coast, between Kahaluu-Keauhou and Kahauloa, on the
big island.
"

Keli'i [pronounced as key lee ee] - The Chief

Ku'uaki [koo' oo (w)ah' kee] - Guardian

Kahoohanohano (also possibly Kaho'ohanohano) is a family name seen in Hawaii.

Note "Kona Coast" as a title has double-down pop culture immortalization from the 1968 film and 1977 Beach Boys song. So, like, it must no doubt be a happening kind of spot.


Hey, when you be making up stuff as some single dude traveling the world for weddings, you kinda sorta need to keep it based in reality, so it's a little more plausible and palatable.

There was a trio of Hawaiian words used in the chapter to help all tie this stuff together: kupuna ("elder" most simply), kanoa ("commoner" generally, but also, "free one" if a first name), and kahuna (Hawaiian shaman, or a preeminent person / thing in the mainstream)

This golden oldie (written in 1933), "My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii", plays into some of the K-name and -location kookiness in the book with its tropical setting. This caps off today's Hawaiian lesson, with dollops of Greek and Chinese thrown into the soup for added global flavor.

Subject: Singapore #77 - Sussin' symbiosis
(Posted on Jul 19, 2014 at 12:10PM ) Tags:
Edwin M. Terry, aka Dr. LoveSexy, stated at one point in this wedding chapter:

"People fall into three categorie--pimps, hos, and hustlers."

He was commenting on how the world works, and the people in it. So what was he on about?

One could add "players" to the above mix, as Xzibit did in his rap ditty "What U See Is What U Get" but Dr. LoveSexy was keeping things more basic.


Given this song title, Bob was reminded of WYSIWYG from the realm of IT, but it's not far off topic. Anyway, back to our line in the book, where Edwin likened his view of people and their positions cum pecking order in the world to be not dissimilar to that of Gary Johnston's one in Team America: World Police. Gary pours it all out in this classic scene to an audience of global dignitaries. Hey, he's an actor, right, just like Raygun Ronnie (Reagan).




And then after all that, somebody had to add:

"The world was a better place when that fine balance between mutualistic and
commensal symbiosis was achieved."

So whaddat in plain English? Mutualism is when both/all species in a relationship benefit, and commensalism being when one benefits, but the other(s) doesn't (don't) benefit or get harmed significantly. Now you can ponder that statement a bit more. More general scoop on the symbiosis poop can be found here, for any science-curious types.




Parasitism was left out of the mix that day, cuz, well, that ain't making the world a better place, unless you be like, erhm, part of that Illuminati / NWO / Bilderberg crowd and their philosophy. That's the straight dope on humanity and our world. However, that ball of wax is best left for another time. Just so you know, NWO is NOT to be confused with them infinitely kooler N.W.A. katz.


You can make this stuff about how people are in the world as complicated as need be, depending on your frame of mind and who you're discussing it with, but at the end of the day, Gary Johnston and Dr. LoveSexy got it down right.

And whaddup with the spelling of "hos" going on here? There's debate on whether the plural of ho be hos, hoes, or ho's, per these pieces, here, here, and here. Go figure. No wonder the nightly news ain't accurate neither. After some discussion and diligence on this spelling matter, with my editor, she agreed and was like, "Yo, bro', hos be best." As a bonus, it's the shortest too.

Let's also not forget about the classic, family-friendly Holiday "Ho" too. Maybe a little out of season at the height of summer, but retailers are already geared up for it, rest assured.


This spelling subtopic on hos might conceptually displease some folks. For any complaints that may arise, this single guy traveling our planet for wedding adventures turns to this galactically wise chap here for input and spiritual guidance.

What was behind the saying, "Trust, but verify," that local Justice of the Peace, Stephen Glenroy Adams, employed on the couple during their tropical island paradise wedding ceremony, when there was pushback on his probing line of questioning.

Our main man Ronald Reagan may have been the one to make it famous in English as the Cold War was slowly coming to a close, but it was actually a Russian proverb, as taught to him by Suzanne Massie. She and he both done good over time with that one it seems.

The original version was a favorite of Vladimir Lenin back in his day, so maybe the two are not that far apart after all. cheeky


It sure sounds way better in Russian, and rhymes to boot. If you really want to be on it and impress folks, you can take a quick lesson in Russian from this rap cat, Roos (2RG), on how to pronounce it properly, "doveryai no proveryai," as this gangsta rap ditty repeats many a time (like on Teletubbies), just so you get it down right.


Yo, your ass don't need to be knowing no Russian neither to figure out what be going down here in said video. It ain't rocket science, Corky.

доверяй, но проверяй

Today, in an instant fulfillment world where just about anybody can trumpet anything, and it can be rebroadcast ad infinitum in seconds to become "gospel," it's just a reminder that sometimes just because something is said , and repeated enough, doesn't mean it's necessarily true. That goes especially as it concerns politicians and government, be it at the municipal, state/provincial, and national levels.

And, just like our good friend and drinking buddy, Raygun Ronnie, replied back to his newly minted BFF, Mikhail Gorbachev, back in the day, I use it a lot, because "I like it."


Simple words to increasingly live by in today's complicated world, where it's easier than ever to pull the wool over folks' eyes, because everyone is too busy and hurried to check the details on stuff, and doesn't want to spend more than two seconds on anything.

It's a real practical saying, employable in everyday life, be it at work, play, with friends, enemies, and even at home with your spouse / partner too. If you were a naysayer, you may think it means taking things to the extreme of not really trusting anybody, but that's up to you as to how far it needs to be taken and interpreted. It always depends on the specific situation at hand and the folks you're dealing with, Bobbolin(o/a).


Still an oldie, but a goodie, even if you're just some single stumblebum dude hitting weddings all around the world.



Subject: Paperback Giveaway on Goodreads
(Posted on Jun 23, 2014 at 09:51AM ) Tags:
Enter to win a signed paperback copy of Wedding Chronicles on Goodreads. Free sign-up and contest entry.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Wedding Chronicles by Bob N. Boguslavski

Wedding Chronicles

by Bob N. Boguslavski

Giveaway ends July 21, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win
Subject: Wedding Chronicles Trade Paperback Now Available
(Posted on Jun 20, 2014 at 04:26PM ) Tags:
Wedding Chronicles is now available in 5.5" x 8.5" trade paperback format from Amazon internationally.

This is in addition to its original e-book formats (Kindle, Apple iBooks, B&N Nook, and Kobo)

See Get The Book for country specific website link details.


Subject: Iceland #71 - Pondering Phallological Pursuits
(Posted on May 22, 2014 at 08:47AM ) Tags:
So you're in Iceland for a wedding, and there's definitely lots to see and do in country, with not nearly enough time to take it all in, especially if you're a fan of the great outdoors, natural wonders, flora, and fauna. There are many unique elements to experience, but something cultural to put at the top of everyone's "to do" list here is to check out the Icelandic Phallological Museum.


Yep, you got it. The place looks like some lair where Lorena Bobbitt would ditch, preserve, and exhibit her treasure trove post Bobbitization spree(s). It's a spot that would no doubt give her ex, John Wayne Bobbitt, the creeps, after what he went through at her angry hand (and knife) back on June 23, 1993, a day the lads need to remember. Here's the overview on all that.


Given our Ecuadorian gal's inspiration and capably demonstrated experience, she might well qualify as a capable curator in Iceland, although she may prefer the field work angle.

Founded in 1997 by Sigurður Hjartarson, it was originally located in Reykjavík, and then moved to much more remote Húsavík in 2004, but relocated more conveniently back to downtown Reykjavík the last couple years. The museum houses a wide array of that memorable member of mammalian malehood (and related bits and bobs), from the massive, to the medium, and on down to the microscopic. Bob would show you the hamster one, but some say it needs a magnifying glass at just 2 mm (or 0.0787402 inches) in length.


For the longest time since opening, the museum was missing one all-important exhibit--that which came straight from mandom. But, happily for all, and complete satisfaction, this glaring omission was resolved and here's the skinny on it in this insightful trailer for The Final Member.


It doesn't end there folks, cuz, like, there's always something bigger and better just around the corner, as all the ladies know. There will one day be forthcoming an even greater donation from the mass of mandom out there, and from Manhattan, no less. So much for everything being bigger in Texas. This recent HuffPo piece speaks to Jonah Falcon's pledge to give to the cause one day down the road, when he passes on. It will be a good replacement for the current donation there as the piece explains.

At the end of the day, the museum is definitely NOT a typical place on most folks' tourism itineraries, even if you are some well-traveled single guy hitting weddings all over the world. As they like to say there, "It's all about dicks."


ICELAND, an awesome place that's on the map for many kool reasons, and getting all studious on things phallological is just one of them. When done there, some of the ladies may get all thirsty for a refreshment.


Photo of enthusiasitc founder Sigurður Hjartarson outside the old Húsavík museum location

Bob's ass be pulling no punches deep inside the trenches of global wedding tourism adventures as some single guy.


Subject: Barcelona #62 - Cookin' Cucu in Cugat
(Posted on May 17, 2014 at 02:57PM ) Tags:
So, you find yourself on your way to some outdoor wedding ceremony in Sant Cugat del Vallès outside Barcelona, sitting on a bus (or motor coach if you wanna be fancy pants about it) with other guests. You're killing some time in your mind, and wondering about the origins of the place, its name, and what was up with all that trying to get rid of some cat called St. Cucuphas way back in the daze of antiquity. The place ended up being named after him (initially, it was Castrum Octavianum) because of what happened next.

Well, it seems the Roman prefect at the time was going a tad creative with trying to get rid of our man. Judging by the following 3-step process, you'd think like maybe, somebody was going to consume our cat Cucu once he was deemed "ready."

1) Tenderize - Get a dozen soldiers to soften him up by whipping him, and then tear up his skin with nails and scorpions. Inspired
2) Marinate - cover him with vinegar and pepper. Creative kitchen
3) Cook - Roast him alive. Wuz it low 'n slo'? Dunno.

But something miraculous seemed to happen, and our man Cucu escapes death and injury per the tale. Hmmm, the prefect has a rethink on things, deciding to have a really BIG bonfire made and burn him up. Ooopsy, next thing you know, something backfires, and his executioners all die in the flames, but Cucu's okay. Righto.

The prefect has him thrown back in his cell, and then softened up some more with iron whips this time around. Presto majesto, said prefect mysteriously went up in flames in his carriage by divine intervention or sumpin' like that. Lesson learned, and his replacement decides to keep things really basic and has our man finally done in the old fashioned way by having his throat slit. See, keeping it straightforward and not trying to get fancy worked just fine in the end.

Painting: The Martyrdom of St. Cucuphas, (Public Domain)
Ayne Bru (1504-07 estimated)

And that's the way it supposedly went down for our man Cucuphas back in AD 304 during the Diocletianic Persecution.

Now, as a take away point, you generally don't see girlfolk messing around with making things complicated for no good reason. Case in point was these two women deciding to take out a "player" back in March 1881. In this fine recounting, our man Francisco "Chico" Forster, 40, was sleeping around under the guise of marriage promises when he got his sorry ass caught out in L.A. Here's some more detail on all that.

Our slighted gal, 18 at the time (guess FCF was goin' younger), just popped him straight through the eye with a pistol shot. Ba-Blam! No messing around entertaining more sophisticated torture approaches a la Roman prefect earlier in history per above.

Image: Twoons.com | 2009

Then, as a huge bonus, and no doubt benefiting from a crack legal team, our girl Lastania Abarta gets off employing a defense of "female hysteria."


Go figure. Alas, the ladies can no longer plop that ploy away for potential recycling down the road when there is a need to get rid of your man, whether he be cheatin', or not. Said medical condition was taken off the books as this informative video points out.


All BNB can say, as some simpleton single chappie out there attending weddings all over the place, is a man gots to stay on his toes. Sometimes, reaching deep for knowledge is needed to remedy what ails, just like our man Dr. Swift here below, and the tale of his special treatment for female hysteria.


So what was that drink that took out Dr. LoveSexy the night before the wedding in Jordan, and gave him a big hangover the next day?

Arak is a well-known, anise-flavored spirit distilled from grapes that is consumed all over the Middle East. It is usually accompanied with food, just as it was with the fine open-air mezze dinner on the shores of the Dead Sea. The drink does a great job of clearing the palate, even better than wine.


A lot more on how it is made can be found here in this Wiki piece. This Economist article from 2003 goes on about the history of the drink, the Arab invention of distillation, and other drinks related to Levantine arak like pastis, ouzo, sambuca, raki, mastika, and absinthe, and others. Note the arak in the Middle East, should not be confused with the drink of similar name arrack (and sometimes even the same spelling) in South East Asia that is NOT related at all, has no anise in it, and is coconut, sugarcane, or grain derived.

The process by which this clear spirit turns cloudy white when it is mixed with water is called louching. Basically, the anise oil which is colorless in the alcohol, emulsifies when the water is added, and presto, the drink transforms to its milky color as this short video shows.


Arak is usually served in a shorter glass with some ice already in it, and mixed with water thereafter, in a 1:2 ratio.


Maybe it wasn't just the arak that knocked things out of the box for Dr. LoveSexy, but perhaps the combination of beer, sucking on the hookah / shisha pipe, and any other alcohol that, collectively in combination, may have been the culprit for his hangover the next day and putting him in need of some serious greasy food as a cure. In any event, right or wrong, as a scapegoat perhaps, Bob claimed that "Haddad haddid him in."

The brand being consumed by all that night was Haddad, a local Jordanian brand made by Eagle Distilleries Co. that was established in 1953, and one of the first companies in the country (number three actually) licensed to manufacture alcohol.


When you're some single guy hitting weddings all over the world, it pays to be open, flexible and chillaxed about the food and drink going down around you. It's all part of the fun and experience of different cultures and traditions.

In any event, no matter where you are, or what you are drinking, it's all about the "Cheers!" or fe sahetek / fi sahitak in Arabic [say Figh sa hee' tik], or literally "to your health." This handy table lists the greeting in 60 languages.