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Smokey the pyro

I'm sure what I did a week or so ago is sacrilege to some collectors.

I took the uncut sheet of the 1989 Smokey Dodger Greats set that was sent to me by Kris and separated all the cards on the perforations. I now have 100 Dodger Greats with crinkly edges.

Here, you can see them in a stack:

I had to do it. I like my cards 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 (or thereabouts). Besides, all the other uncut sheets Kris sent me are still intact and waiting to spend eternity on one of my walls in the card room.

While I was separating the cards, which actually was kind of a pain, one of the fun things I noticed is that each card contains a different Smokey the Bear message. "Prevention is a Team Effort," "Go to Bat for Smokey's Team," "Be Safe-Be Careful With Fire!" You know, the same old "only you can prevent forest fires" propaganda we've been fed for years.

But then I came across the Dolf Camili card.

Smokey is showing a darker side on the back of Camili's card:

Smokey's ARSON TIPS??????

What's the first one say? Dispose of lit cigarettes only in freshly-filled gas cans? Play with fireworks at your friendly neighborhood Sunoco station? Burn garbage in a waste basket of aerosol cans?

Of course, if you zoom in on Smokey's blackboard, he's actually mentioning what you can do if you spot an arsonist in action. What a relief. Smokey really hasn't turned against us after all.

But it's this sort of careless use of the language that is always undermining those with the best of intentions. It kind of drives me wacky.

The one I see constantly in my line of work are advertisements or public notices issued by local organizations with the very laudable mission of fighting cancer. Here is what they almost always say:

"Join us in our (insert name of community event) BREAST CANCER FUNDRAISER."

Uh. OK ...

So, um, you are raising funds FOR breast cancer?

How interesting.

Most people are trying to fight breast cancer. It's a horrible, awful disease, you know. But you think not enough money is being thrown at breast cancer? We need to encourage MORE breast cancer?

I think what they mean is "a fundraiser to help combat breast cancer."

Please, people, think before you write these things.

Or hire me as your proof reader. I'll be happy to do a little moonlighting. Lord knows my job isn't that satisfying lately.

You don't want people out there thinking Smokey is an arsonist, do you?


  1. Smokey rules. My family used to go up to Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire all the time, and in the town we stayed in they had one of those Smokey fire danger signs that constantly let you know the chance of a fire that particular day. I freakin' loved that as a kid, unless Smokey's sign said "Moderate," in which case I freaked out!

  2. I could care less about grammar.

    (HA! see what I did there? Just trying to drive you a little closer to the edge)

  3. When I was in college, my RA boss organized a "Race Against Racism" and just once she acidentally called it the "Race For Racism" in a conversation with me.

    I have called it the Race FOR Racism ever since...

  4. I recently ALMOST purchased an uncut sheet of 75 Topps for my office wall... but even somewhat damaged the price went well beyond what I wanted to spend.

    Instead I will likely have to settle for a sheet of 87 Topps. So it goes.

    Glad you are enjoying the Smokey set!


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