Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Middle Child Who Made Pumpkin History


          It’s almost Halloween, and the pumpkins are in bloom. Okay, pumpkins don’t bloom, but you know what I mean – they’re everywhere. Why pumpkins are associated with Halloween is an interesting story, but one that has nothing to do with Middle Children at all, so I won’t waste my time going into that here. (You can click here if you’re interested.) But we might not even be calling them pumpkins at all if it wasn’t for a Middle Child: French explorer Jacques Cartier.
          According to The History Channel and numerous other sources, while exploring the St. Lawrence region of what is now Canada in 1584, Cartier reported seeing large orange gourds. “Gros melons,” he called them. Probably sounded really nice with a French accent. To be clear, Cartier didn’t discover the pumpkin – au contraire mon frère. They’ve been around for thousands of years. But Cartier brought the news of these orange orbs back to the Old World, where they were previously unheard of.
“Take me to your pumpkin.
          Upon his return, “gros melons” were known by the Greek word for large melon – “pepon.” But when the French nasalized the word, it became “pompon.” Not to be outdone by the French, the English anglicized it, calling them “pompion.” Finally, American colonists said, “Screw that!” and started calling them pumpkins.
          So there you have it. A hallowed Halloween mainstay, courtesy of the Middle Child.
          You’re welcome. 
 
F'd Up Fun Fact: The truth is, none of this happened in 1584. Oh, it happened -- just not when they say it did. I know this because Cartier was already dead by 1584, so he wasn’t doing much exploring. At least not above ground. I suspect this happened on his first journey, in 1534. Even though countless online sources say 1584, there's no disputing he died in 1557. Ooops. I figure someone transcribed the 3 as an 8, 1534 became 1584, and the rest is unchecked internet history.
 
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Enjoy more Halloween Middle Child nonsense.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Fighting Middle Child Mockery

           On a recent “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” Mr. Oliver just couldn’t resist the urge to do a little birth order bashing. The topic was dangerous “forever chemicals” found in household products. “Harmful chemicals are just not something you should lose track of,” Oliver said. “They’re not your car keys or your middle child,” he quipped.
          Ha ha. Very funny.
          How a discussion of toxic chemicals can somehow become an opportunity for some Middle Child mockery demonstrates exactly what we’re up against -- just how pervasive the problem is. There you are, minding your own business, innocently watching a favorite TV show, when – BAM! You’re suddenly the butt of some first born funnyman’s joke.
          Well, I say enough is enough. Can we continue to stand by and do nothing while others hurl hurtful birth order barbs our way?
          Not on my watch!!
(Click image to enlarge)
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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

A Middle Child Motivational Message

          Well, I’m back from my self-imposed month long post-Middle Child’s Day sabbatical (mental health leave), and I’m not gonna lie – I really needed the time off. I mean, all my hard work trying to raise awareness for Middle Child’s Day didn’t exactly pay off. It was hardly front page news. #MiddleChildsDay didn’t trend on Twitter. There also weren’t a ton of Middle Child’s Day posts on Facebook and Instagram, either. Even the planned belated Middle Child’s Day celebration at Swede’s Swing Inn in Ferryville, WI -- possibly the only known organized Middle Child’s Day celebration in the whole wide world -- didn't exactly go as planned. Oh, people showed up alright, but hardly anyone remembered it was a Middle Child’s Day celebration! And just to rub salt in the wound, nobody even called to wish me a Happy Middle Child’s Day. Rough stuff.
          I spent days and nights blaming myself for this massive failure. (I mean, who else could I blame when apparently I was the only person who even knew it was happening?!) But after much reflection and introspection, that’s all behind me know. I return with a renewed sense of commitment to the cause! The Middle Child’s Day Countdown Clock is up and running again and so am I, more determined than ever to lead the International Middle Child Union to new heights and reach not only our goal of raising awareness of Middle Child’s Day, but also finding a cure for Middle Child Syndrome and recruiting a host city for the first ever Middle Child’s Day Parade. Of course, increasing International Middle Child Union memberships (a.k.a. Twitter followers) would also be nice, but I don’t want to be greedy.
Coming soon to a city near you?
          As I lifted myself up from the depths of post-Middle Child’s Day despair, I drew strength from inspirational adages I think everyone, but Middle Children in particular, will appreciate. So I’ve assembled the uplifting thoughts that helped me through my darkest hours of PMCDTSD (Post Middle Child's Day Traumatic Stress Disorder) into a collection I’m calling “Middle Child Motivation.” 
          Below is the first one, but I’ll be posting more throughout the year, because I believe it’s important for me to share these messages of Middle Child hope and promise with the world.
          Then again, maybe I should just keep my thoughts to myself.
 
 
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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Middle Child Mixology

I'll drink to that!: Enjoy a MidKid Manhattan,
MidKid Old Fashioned, or MidKid Martini
 
          What better way to celebrate Middle Child’s Day than with a Middle Child themed cocktail? After a long day suffering the indignity of our namesake day being totally overlooked – again -- you’ll probably need a drink. So raise a glass to the Middle Child with this selection of adult beverages that are sure to stir things up. 

Add a Middle Child Twist: There are those who believe that watching our siblings get more attention has made us bitter. Of course, it’s usually our siblings who say that. Well, mixologists say bitters  add complexity to a cocktail, and let’s face it -- Middle Children are… complex, to be polite. Go heavy on the bitters, and voila! Turn a classic cocktail into a Middle Child masterpiece. 

Here's to Feeling Sour!: Overlooked and underappreciated. Left out and left behind. The Middle Child has plenty to be sour about. This Middle Child's Day, pucker up and celebrate the sour with some truly tart tipples. For starters, you can drown your feelings of resentment with a shot of Sour Grape Schnapps. Or choose from an overwhelming selection of sour cocktails.     
          And for those who think Middle Child Syndrome is nothing more than sour grapes, I offer you Ari’s Sour Grapes. It’s a Piquette, “a vinous beverage produced by adding water to grape pomace.” Translation: it’s a wine-like beverage made from what’s left of the grapes after they’ve been pressed. So, yeah -- it’s wine made from pulpy grape residue. The unwanted, crushed, grape leftovers that have had the life literally squeezed out of them.
          Perfect.
          Unfortunately, it’s currently out of stock. Maybe that’s a good thing.