Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I See Stars, I See Mars, I See . . .

If you remember the ditty "I see stars, I see Mars, I see someone's underdrawers ," like me, you must've gone to grade school in the 1950s and 1960s--or earlier.

We sang that ditty on the playground during recess when a girl wearing a dress hung upside down on the monkey bars, went too high on a swing, or got her skirt tangled in a jump rope. Wait (she says blushing), I was usually the one who did those things and was taunted by some smart aleck out to spoil my mindless fun.

Now, when I hear "I see stars or I see Mars," I smooth down my imaginary skirt so as not to offend anyone.

Earlier this month I received an e-mail about the planet Mars. Briefly it reminded me of my playground embarrassments, but even more it made me believe I might witness history on August 27--this coming Friday.

Here's what the e-mail claimed: On August 27th Mars will approach Earth and swell to the size of a full Moon. "NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN!"

The e-mail advised to tell my grandkids--which I did. Faithfully all month I've looked up in the sky, "It's a bird, it's a plane," oops, that's another childhood jingle. Anyway, I've looked skyward at night and have seen what I thought was the planet Mars. And it is bright.

Then I did some research. Okay, I actually didn't do a lot of research, I Googled the word Mars.

I found an article on Red Orbit News, titled "Demystifying The Mutating Mars Hoax." You can read the entire article by clicking on the link above, but in a nutshell: If you go out on the evening of August 27th, the bright light in the west is Venus. But if you grab a pair of binoculars, a few degrees to the right, you will be able to see a little orange star-like object. That is Mars.

Before reading the news article I had planned to announce the historic event of seeing Mars this coming Friday.

Good thing I checked out the facts first. I might've once again embarrassed myself having some mindless fun.


  1. Oh no. I might have believed it too! Fascinating, though.

  2. Do I ever remember that ditty! And it's too late for me; I've broadcasted the Mars thing to everyone I know.

  3. Hi Ellie,
    I think sometimes the Irish saying "Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story" works better than the facts.

  4. Hi Linda,
    Isn't it strange the things that spark odd memories.
    And I'll still venture outside the next few nights and look into the sky. Venus, Mars. The beautiful full moon. An airplane going slow.

  5. Still sounds like a fun thing to check out! :)

  6. I found you blog hopping. Glad I did! I'm a grandmother too; seven of the sweeties. I also take care of a disabled daughter, and have written a book that's under contract.

    My daughter, born in 1965, remembers: "I see Paris, I see France, I see someone's underpants." She thinks this is from my day (I was born in 1940!). I kind of remember it...

    So interesting the Mars thing. I no longer pass things like this along, especially when they're on the Internet. I have embarrassed myself at times!

  7. Donna---

    I read the same thing, thought it interesting, meant to watch it when it was going to happen, but then got too busy and forgot. I'm glad you posted this; I do enough stuff on my own to embarrass myself. (The last three letters of the word "embarrass"---so fitting.)

    It is amazing what things will trigger memories. Sometimes a smell, sometimes a sound, somethings just a phrase. When you spoke of monkey bars, I remembered spending so much time on them, I got huge blisters. I always tried to avoid popping them open but invariably, pop they would.

    That was during the good ol' days when dodgeball and Red Rover could still be played...

  8. Hi Jemi,
    It does sound like fun!

  9. Hi Ann,
    I too remember "I see Paris, I see France . . ."
    Good luck with your book.

  10. Hi Sioux,
    You are so right about how memories are triggered, and about blisters. I haven't had one of those in years.
    Dodge ball ane Red Rover were fun.

  11. Hi Donna - For me it was "I see England, I see France, I see someone's underpants!" I wonder what the kids say today? Hmmm...maybe I'd rather not know.

    I'll check out the link to Red Orbit News. I love astronomy stuff!

  12. Sounds like the one I got that said you could stand a broom (the slanted-bristle kind) on end on a special day of the year. I did the same kind of research. Later happened to sub in a home ec class where they had that kind of broom--and it stands on end no matter what day it is. It just looks weird! So you're definitely not alone! P.S.-I saw London and France, too, but two countries makes a lot more sense! I don't think kids SEE underpants as much since they quit wearing those stupid dresses all the time! ;)


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