Grandpa Simpson lives!

Congratulations, Arthur L. and Ina Jean Strobel! They’ve been married for 65 years, a commendable accomplishment. I’m going to recommend, given Arthur’s interests, that for his 66th anniversary, they reward themselves with a real genetics class.

Here’s their anniversary announcement, published at, I presume, their own expense. He rambles on about his service in WWII, and then, strangely, talks about the actions of a German major who was charged with defending a bridge, and who might be a distant relative. Which leads him to talk about the inheritance of the Y chromosome, something about Romans and Celts, salt mines, and National Science Foundation Institutes. Also,

Arthur and Ina Jean consider attendance with and participation in a scripturally based church to to be of high importance for a long, happy, useful and satisfying life. They consider fiscal responsibility to be very important for family stability. They never pay extra for an extended warranty on a television, refrigerator, washing machine, automobile or anything else. They prefer to pay the complete price at the time of purchase for these items as extra pay for financial charges would be unwise. Arthur and Ina Jean consider spiritual and fiscal development and maturity to be worthy goals.

Then we’re back on the chromosome business, where we learn that having a Y chromosome makes you strong, good at chess, and able to solve Rubik’s Cubes quickly, while having two X chromosomes allows you to touch the back of your head with your foot. Also, one trick is to tell stories that don’t go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for m’shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. Gimme five bees for a quarter, you’d say. Now where was I… oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time. You couldn’t get white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones… . Oh, wait, no — I got that last bit somewhere else.

I would not recommend going to the anniversary party. Arthur’s sure to corner you and lecture at you for hours.

(via Kajed Heat)


  1. F says

    Oh, for the love of Gwad*, do it. Do it! I’ve never seen a completely theatrically absurd (by intent) bit of anniversary/wedding/funeral announcement.

    You really must out-do the Strobels.

    *You know: The way we sometimes love Gwad, for amusement purposes only.

  2. F says

    +I don’t know what is funnier now – the original or PZ’s take, which was hilarious indeed.

    The Romans said that these people appeared different because some were reported to have blue eyes and yellow hair.

    Oh, lol is me.

  3. karley jojohnston says

    while having two X chromosomes allows you to touch the back of your head with your foot

    That sure would be useful in gathering berries, I bet.

  4. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    This post seems out of the ordinary here. Were you just reading the paper and stumbled upon this announcement (which is rather amusing, as is your take) or do you know this couple?

  5. says


    Now I’m thinking about buying a full page ad in the Morris Sun Tribune for our anniversary in March. Could be fun.

    We had our 33rd anniversary in March. A full page ad would be a waste, about the only thing we’d have to say is: “We still like each other and we’re still happy.”

    We avoid marriage/relationship advice like the plague.

  6. gardengnome says

    Home is the hunter…with a brace of Rubiks cubes over his shoulder. While his wife lies on the bed with her feet behind her head…

    Sorry, mental image.

  7. lochaber says

    So, is this basically just a:

    “I’m a physicist, chemist, biologist, mathematician… oh, and a scientist; and same sex relationships are wrong because of runners, chess, and, uh… flexibility. Oh, and it’s our anniversary because we aren’t gay.”

    type of rant? otherwise, I missed the relevance of about 90% of that.

  8. Fern says

    “Arthur was awarded five National Science Foundation Institutes and one Atomic Energy Institute.”

    Wow, that’s a lot of institutes.

  9. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I followed the link that PZ provided. This is not the first time the couple ran the ad.

  10. cm's changeable moniker says

    For some reason, I’m reminded of:

    And with that, a mighty cheer went up from the heroes of Shelbyville. They had banished the awful lemon tree forever, because it was haunted. Now let’s all celebrate with a cool glass of turnip juice.


    (At least Judit Polgar got a mention amidst the irrationality.)

  11. Nemo says

    The goofiest part is this: “Family name is transferred by and through an XY chromosome type person.” As though that were a biological fact. “This method of transfer to future generations is scientifically logical as well as agreeing with the common legal method of passing family name to the following generations through the paternal family line.” Uh, no, it doesn’t agree with that, it is that. “The Y chromosome is easily traced, relatively stable and has very few mutations as it is transferred through many generations.” Yes, and you could say the same about the mitochondrial DNA on the maternal side. Naming system rationale fail.

  12. says

    Arthur was awarded five National Science Foundation Institutes and one Atomic Energy Institute.

    Why won’t anyone give me an Atomic Energy Institute???

  13. vaiyt says

    Now I imagine a macro of someone holding several buildings on his hand. The caption reads: “I can’t hold all these institutes”.

  14. says

    I am an XX person who can’t touch the back of her head with her foot and hasn’t got great hand dexterity either. I am quite good at finance though. I am trying to imagine myself as Arthur’s grandkid at Thanksgiving dinner. He’d probably recommend throwing myself on the mercy of Jesus.

  15. escuerd says

    I enjoyed the bits of rambling about “fiscal responsibility”.

    I mean, I actually think those are very good policies for a household (which is all they explicitly described), but from the context and the use of the buzzword, I’m guessing they’re trying to make a rather more general (and stupid) statement than that. I.e., that it is always irrational for governments to do deficit spending.

    But then, there’s enough explicit crazy in there as it is.

  16. says

    Isn’t that special?

    Grandpa Simpson indeed. That made me smile this morning. I also saved the graphic to show my children the next time they think I’M rambling…lol

  17. says

    This guy sounds like he watches a lot of Fox News. Think about it —

    * Constant use of buzzwords that don’t mean quite what the speaker thinks they mean;

    * Injecting random “facts” that don’t relate at all to the subject at hand and are at best partly true;

    * Teetering on the edge of sanity (or having “different” logic abilities, or wandering towards dementia, whichever);

    * Remembering fondly some long-gone, misty-edged “good old days” that didn’t really exist;

    * Interesting takes on history;

    * Mentioning attendance at church so everyone knows what a morally upright and generally swell person you are.

    It’s kind of sad, if you think about it. Imagine what this guy’s inner monologue must sound like.

  18. DLC says

    I never buy on credit either. I forget the Sabbath and do not keep it holy. I don’t have any gods at all, am not married and have no prospects of such in the future. So… Sex leads to dancing, and the FSM is but a pale shadow of Cthulhu, dreaming in the deathly deeps. — Sorry, but I just can’t do a rant of the quality of that loon.

  19. fastlane says

    PZed the Poopyhead, we, the horde of pharyngulates, will gladly pitch in to cover a full page add of atheist awesomeness on the anniversary of your choosing.

    You have my axe…..

  20. skinnercitycyclist says

    Are ALL state university science professors this rambling and incoherent? Oh….sorry…;-)