The Odd Side – December 5, 2017

Time to Celebrate — Earmuffs

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – Earmuffs are all the rage on at least one day of the year.

With the arrival of winter, the town of Farmington celebrated Chester Greenwood Day with a parade Saturday honoring the folk hero who’s credited with the invention that has kept ears warm for more than a century.

Earmuffs festooned floats and cars, and people and pets, too. A flag featuring supersized earmuffs was hoisted outside the courthouse.

Behind all the silliness, though, there is pride in the famous tinkerer and his creation.

“They’re just ubiquitous. People continue to wear them. It’s something Mainers can be proud of,” said Angela Goebel-Bain from the Maine State Museum.

Greenwood was just 15 when he fashioned his first muffs out of farm wire and his grandmother sewed fur onto them in 1873. He made improvements to his creation, obtained a patent and manufactured hundreds of thousands of Champion Ear Protectors.

During World War I, his factory made earmuffs for the U.S. Army “doughboys” fighting in the frozen trenches on the western front.

His earmuff design represented improvements by incorporating a spring that conformed to the head and kept muffs in contact with the ears, according to his 1877 patent. Other patents included a rake, a tea kettle and a wood-boring machine.

His earmuff factory closed a few years after his death in 1937.

Forty years later, the Maine Legislature declared Chester Greenwood Day on the first day of winter.

Selfie-Service: Man Cooks Waffle House Meal as Worker Sleeps

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – When a man found the only worker at an empty South Carolina Waffle House asleep, he took his meal into his own hands.

Alex Bowen chronicled with selfies how he made his own meal at the famous Southern 24-7 diner around 2 a.m. Thursday.

Bowen says on social media he waited 10 minutes, then cooked his meal and “even scraped the grill when I was done.”

Bowen’s photos showed him with the sleeping worker, putting his sandwich together.

After good-natured kidding about stealing the sandwich, Bowen posted a selfie returning to pay for his meal.

Waffle House said in a statement it was impressed with Bowen’s cooking skills, but that customers should not go behind the counter for safety reasons.

Vermont City Thanks French City For Misspelled Jerseys

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – Vermont’s capital city said merci via Skype on Thursday to a French city it’s named after for some misspelled soccer jerseys that were sent its way.

Montpellier, France, ordered jerseys for its professional sports team and fans but the jerseys came in misspelled, with just one L instead of two. The city in southern France decided to send the jerseys to Montpelier, Vermont, which is spelled with one L, not two.

Montpelier Mayor John Hollar thanked Montpellier Mayor Philippe Saurel by Skype from the city’s high school gym, where students wore the donated jerseys for the event.

The jerseys will be auctioned off to benefit charities.