Monday, February 22, 2010



Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical musings on the absurdities of contemporary life.
  • I brought “a dish to pass” to the church potluck supper.  Nothing on it—just the dish. 
  • The worst part about a snowstorm is all the flakes you run into on the road--if you get my drift.
  • The Academy Awards will rise in my esteem when they emulate the Pulitzer Prizes in this respect:  Weak field in a given category?  The winner is:  No one.  Last time it happened?  There was no Pulitzer Drama winner in 1997, no History winner in 1994 and no Fiction winners in 1971, ’74 and ’77.  But somebody always wins in Tinsel Town, quality notwithstanding.
  • My nominee for Best Song ever written by an Oscar winner:  “Smile,” by Charlie Chaplin, written for his 1936 film “Modern Times.” Lyrics were added (by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons) in 1954, the year the best-known version, by Nat “King” Cole, made the charts. “Smile” has been recorded by singers ranging from Jerry Lewis to Eric Clapton.
  • The global village hits home:  The thumb drive I just bought came with instructions in—count ’em—18 languages.
  • Overheard:  “I have a friend who made a small fortune by investing a large fortune.”
  • Sad commentary No. 154 on contemporary society:  More people can name the members of the Packers Hall of Fame than can name more than two members of the current U.S. Supreme Court. That’s troubling.  Very troubling.
  • Where were all the “Idiot’s Guides” when I was only a young idiot?  When I was in my Idiot Infancy?
  • The trouble with the “Idiot’s Guides” is that the real idiots don’t think they need them.  They don’t think they need anything.  That’s why they’re idiots.
  • Closed-captioning Gaffe of the Week, seen on a Fox News Channel weather segment:  “Lag-effect snow.”
  • My favorite Ring Lardner line:  “Shut up,” he explained.
  • Memo to gossip columnists, features editors and TV tabloid people everywhere:  There’s no such person as “Brangelina,” so stop using it immediately.  And it wasn’t even clever the first 5,000 times you’ve used it.
  • Would anyone be surprised if PETA objected to the rating of engines in horsepower?  Who know, perhaps they already have!
  • How do we know that some (most?) of the jobs “created” by some of these government stimulus bills (high-speed rail, etc.) won’t be performed by people who are already “employed”  (construction work being the seasonal, sporadic beast that it is).  Thus I’m skeptical about how many of the really unemployed/unemployable people will benefit from these projects.
  • I’ve never worn a toupee, an ascot or spats, and I don’t care who knows it. 
  • Memo to guys 60-plus who don’t have a single gray hair showing:  We’re not fooled.
  • Why do people tailgate only at sports events?  Why not before PTA meetings?  Church services?  City council meetings? Is there a law against it?
  • Three words not likely to be heard in a commercial:  “No restrictions apply.”
  • Tipping makes absolutely no sense in some cases. Why tip a bartender for opening a bottle of beer or pouring a shot of whiskey?  I always feel sorry for the person who has the back-breaking, knuckle-bruising job of collecting the carts at the grocery store--a real joy, I’m sure, when there’s foot of slush on the ground. That’s someone who deserves a tip, not someone working in a heated or air-conditioned lounge while music is playing and fresh popcorn is an arm’s length away. 
  • Today‘s Latin lesson:  Noli me vocare, ego te vocabo.  (“Don‘t call me, I‘ll call you.”)
  • The first time I heard the words “hamburger helper,” I thought they were talking about McDonald’s employees!
  • I love how TV news people (and talk show hosts) plan my evenings for me, as in:  “Good night, we’ll see you tomorrow.”  Excuse me?  How about, “Thanks for watching; please tune us in tomorrow.”
  • These presumptions are often followed by a an announcer’s voice inviting us to “Stay tuned for an all-new Tonight Show with Jay Leno . .. .”  Are there any partially new “Tonight Shows”!
  • I'm so old, when I was born the Dead Sea was still on life support!
  • Redundancy patrol:  “Focus in,” “continue on,” “past experience.”
  • I’ve lost so much weight, my stomach moved and left no forwarding address!  I know where it used  be . . . but I have no idea where it is now!
  • Parting shot: There’s a world of difference between being called “an interesting person” and being called “a person of interest.”
As always, please remember that I don't always agree with everything I say.

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