Hugh Troy is a legendary Cornell graduate who spent most of his adult life pulling creative pranks such as stomping a rhinoceros-foot umbrella stand across a frozen lake in Ithaca and then chopping a hole to simulate the animal crashing into the city drinking water source. For months people would swear they tasted rhinoceros when they drank tap water. Here’s another of his pranks: Hugh visited Central Park in New York City with a park bench he had bought. Police, suspecting he was trying to steal it, arrested him several times. He always presented the bill of sale and was released. Hugh got revenge by coordinating with numerous friends to take park benches simultaneously. Because police thought it was "that guy with the bill of sale," none of the thieves were stopped as they walked out of the park with dozens of benches.

VisitGreater Jasper

The official Scotland mascots are Shetland ponies wearing knitted sweaters made of Shetland wool, part of the latest VisitScotland marketing campaign. Frau suggests similar marketing to attract tourists to Greater Jasper: Photos of cuddly woodchucks garbed in denim overalls from Greater Jasper. Headline: Woodchucks chuck more wood in Greater Jasper. A-E note: She also suggested a similar campaign with skunks involving a particularly natural and woodsy eau de cologne that won’t be explained here.

Greater Jasper investors probably won’t like this

The 36th annual United Van Lines migration study states the northeastern U.S. again witnessed outbound moves. The St. Louis-based moving company tracks the states its customers move to and from each year, excluding Alaska and Hawaii. For 2012, the states with the highest percentages of outbound movement were, in order, New Jersey, Illinois, West Virginia, New York and New Mexico. D.C. had the highest percentage of people moving in, followed by Oregon, Nevada, North Carolina and South Carolina. Economist Michael Stoll concurs with the study: people wanna move South and West, a trend that has continued for years.

Creative (or silly) Vladimir Putin

The apparently inventive Russian president hired the ‘90s R & B group Boyz II Men as part of the attempt to reverse his country’s birth rate, TIME magazine reports. A-E doesn’t understand the causal relationship and guesses most epidemiologists would consider this month or year or decade a little premature to predict program success. President Putin ordered his government to increase Russian life expectancy to 74 years from the current 66 years during the next five years. Now cigarettes have been banned from public restaurants and a new law reclassifies beer from food to an alcoholic beverage. Those punitive measures reflect an urgency to keep the world’s largest country filled with enough people to sustain it. Seriously, Gentle Readers: A-E is not making this up.

More music from the good old days (1914)

(Another A-E attempt to prove that maybe the good old days weren’t)

"Abba dabba dabba dabba dabba dabba dabba" said the monkey to the chimp. "Abba dabba dabba dabba dabba dabba dabba" said the chimpee to the monk. All night long they chattered away. All day long they were happy and gay, swinging and swaying in a honky, tonky way.

"Abba dabba dabba dabba dabba dabba dabba" said the chimp, "I love but you." Abba dabba dabba in monkey talk means "Chimp, I love you too." Then the ol' baboon, one night in June, married them and very soon,

They went upon an abba dabba honeymoon.

(Readers, you may be right: Even the most grating popular contemporary music doesn’t grate as much as monkey marital moonshines.)

Typographical Errata

In a May column, A-E wrote about Ignatz Solzhenitsyn, son of the great Russian writer and a gifted pianist who plays and conducts all over the civilized world. Through an apparent series of faux pas, the musician’s first name was spelled “Gnat” in the printed and digital Evening Tribune. Now A-E understands why hockey editors never use the word “puck” in headlines.



A-E grinds out his weakly potpourri in Canisteo.