In the Catbird Seat/Joe Kirkish

Those of us old enough to remember how stringently the Three Rs were once taught might appreciate the following quotes from various age groups: Some are new, others familiar:

A first grade school teacher presented each child in her class the first half of a well-known expression and asked them to come up with the remainder of the expression. The results might surprise you:

Better to be safe than – punch a fifth grader.

Happy is the bride who – gets all the presents.

It’s always darkest before – Daylight Saving Time.

Never underestimate the power of – termites.

You can lead a horse to water, but – how?

Love all – trust me.

A penny saved is – not much.

A miss is as good as a – Mister.

You can’t teach an old dog new – math.

If you lie down with dogs, you’ll – smell bad in the morning.

The pen is mightier than the – pigs.

An idle mind is – the best way to relax.

Two’s company, three’s – the Musketeers.

The following questions were given to 16-year-old students, with the accompanying answers:

Q – Name the four seasons. A – Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

Q – Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink. A – Flirtation is one; it makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.

Q – What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on? A – If you are buying a house, they will insist that you are well endowed.

Q – In a democratic society, how important are elections? A – Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election.

Q – What are steroids? A – Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs.

Q – What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty? A – He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery.

Q – Name a major disease associated with cigarettes. A – Premature death.

Q – How can you delay milk turning sour? A – Keep it in the cow.

And then there are want ads written by adults:

For sale: Antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.

Wanted: Single girls to pick fresh fruit and produce at night.

Laundry: We do not tear your clothing with machinery; we do it carefully by hand.

Free: eight puppies from a German Sheppard and an Alaskan Hussy.

For sale: sheer stockings; designed for fancy dress, but so serviceable that lots of women wear nothing else.

For rent: Six-room hated apartment.

Bargain: man, honest, will take anything.

Man wanted: to work in dynamite factory. Must be willing to travel.

Used cars: why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first!

Illiterate? Write today for free help.

Girl wanted: to assist magician in cutting-off-head illusion.

Blue Cross and salary.

Finally, just for fun, a few items that will bring nostalgic memories to old timers. Remember when:

It took three minutes for a TV to warm up.

Nobody owned a pure bred dog.

A quarter was a decent allowance.

You’d reach into a muddy gutter for a penny.

Your mom wore nylons that came in two pieces.

You got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, & gas pumped all free and with trading stamps to boot.

Laundry detergents had free glasses or towels inside the box.

Schools threatened to keep back any kids who failed and they actually did it.

No one asked where the car keys were in the ignition and without the car being locked.

Playing sandlot baseball without adults around to help with the rules of the game.

When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a wayward student at home.

Summers were filled with bike rides, hula hoops, visits to nearby ponds or pools, eating kool air powder.

Howdy Doody? Candy cigarettes with red tips? Wax coke-shaped bottles (you drank the colored water inside, then chewed the bottle). Black Jack, clove, & teabag chewing gum.

Soda pop machines that dispensed 8oz glass bottles.

Coffee shop & restaurants with table side juke boxes.

Home delivered milk in glass bottles with cardboard lids (with cream on top that froze up an inch in winter).

Newsreels before each movie.

Party lines.

Pea shooters.

Hi-fi’s, 78 & 45 RPM records.

S&H green stamps.

Sniffing mimeograph duplicator fluid.

Race issue meant arguing about who ran the fastest.

Having a weapon at school meant being caught with a slingshot.

War was a card game.

Baseball cards in bicycle spokes.

Taking drugs meant orange-flavored asprin.

Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.

Rotten Tomatoes average: “Iron Man 3,” B; “The Croods,” B-; “The Family,” C-