MINOT, N.D. — Remember that old Dick Van Dyke movie about the flying car? The one called “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”?
It was one of my favorites when I was a kid, and I always thought the odd name referred to the sound old cars made when starting up. I recently learned the actual origin (thanks, Reddit!) — turns out it is British military slang for the permission slip WWI-era soldiers needed to leave their barracks and visit a brothel.
Also, the author of the children’s book “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”? None other than Ian Fleming, better known as the guy who created James Bond.
It’s a wild, wild world, my friends.
Anyway, it’s time for another Friday mailbag, which have been a little inconsistent of late. I apologize. If you’d like to send something in for this column, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions may be edited for clarity and brevity.