Monday, February 22, 2010



Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations on the absurdities of contemporary life: 
  • I was a teenage herpetologist!
  • How long it took my parents to start a subscription to the Saturday Evening Post in the 1950s--4 to 6 weeks.  How long it’s going to take my subscription to ESPN the Magazine to start--8 weeks!  (How sweet it is to being living in the Age of Instantaneous Satellite Transmission cum Worldwide Web communication cum Twitterland and Textsville!  “Can you hear me now?")
  • Speaking of subscriptions: If there really is reincarnation, will we get AfterLife Magazine?
  • All those who know how to read a sundial, raise your hands.  
  •  It has come to this:  I gave a young store clerk a 50-cent piece, and she told me, “We don’t accept foreign coins." 
  • Is it just me, or isn’t it weird to see football players wearing baseball caps on the sidelines?  You don’t see baseball players wearing football helmets in the dugout, do you?!
  •  If Burma is now Myanmar, is the Burmese python now the Myanmarese python?  I’m just askin’.
  • You’re an adult when you haven’t had a graham cracker in 10 years!
  •  I looked in the mirror the other day and saw I had bags under my eyes. But no big deal--they're just carry-ons!
  • Today’s Latin lesson:  Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinus alacribus.  (If you can read this, you can get a good job in the fast-paced, high-paying world of Latin!)
  • If ever a catastrophic international news story cried out for network pool coverage, the Haiti earthquake disaster is it. Do we really need dozens if not hundreds of media people traipsing all over, using up valuable resources such as gasoline and getting in the way of rescue personnel? Shouldn't that bottle of water Diane Sawyer just drank or that sandwich that Brian Williams just ate have gone to a victim or a rescuer?
  • Recent headline: “Ford adding Twitter to in-dash tech packages." In 2008, 6,000 highway deaths were caused by distracted driving. (“I'm sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Jones--your daughter is dead. But she died knowing that her friend Amber had just washed her hair.”)
  • Why do people keep saying 2010 is the first year of a new decade? It’s not; it’s the last year of the “aughts” decade, just as the year 2000 was the last year of the 1900s, not the beginning of The New Millennium. Remedial history: There was no Year 0.
  • New weather word: When snow flurries are so light that they’re barely visible, they almost look like airborne lint. I call it “slint.” Tomorrow’s forecast: Most sunny, turning partly slinty by afternoon. Chance of slint: 60 percent
  • It seems to me that the war on terror is like being at war with the wind. A wind storm, like a terrorist attack, eventually calms down. But as we all know, the wind is never calm for very long. But when will it kick up again? And from which direction? And for how long? And how strong?
  • Annoying broadcast saying: “The bottom of the hour” (meaning the half-hour mark). Wouldn’t the “bottom of the hour” be at 59:59? I’m just sayin’.
  • Annoying grocery checker habit: The scan-and-fling syndrome. Hey, I just paid $16 for that salmon; don’t fling it down the belt like it was something off the bottom of your shoe!

  • That syncing feeling: I hate it when the lips of the speakers in the TV news clips are moving a half-beat or so behind the video image. Distracting.
  • Sign on door of Target in Sturgeon Bay: “Only service animals permitted." (What it should say: "Guide Dogs permitted; no other animals allowed." That would take us humans out of the trespasser category.)
  • I hate to admit it, but my Christmas ornaments are still up. Not the tree—just the ornaments!
  • Having trouble following one of those impossible-to-read instruction manuals for your TV or DVD player? One time, just out of exasperation if not desperation, I tried the Spanish version. No problemo! I was good to go! (Or, Yo era bueno para ir!)
  • Anyone who has ever read more than 10 words of one of those Privacy Notices we’re always being sent is either (a) a lawyer or law-school student or (b) a layman with an extreme amount of free time. How many trees have died in the name of unread Privacy Notices?
  • Does anyone really believe those restaurant ad claims such as “Voted best (pizza/fish boil/whatever) in Door County”? I know I don’t. Who did the voting? Can I see the ballots? Has anyone asked for a recount?
  • (“Hon, don’t forget; we gotta vote on Tuesday. You know, the Pizza Election. And next week is the Primary for Chicken and Ribs.")
  • Redundancy patrol: "Pick and choose," "join together," "women’s panties."
  • Some products are imported, some products are exported, then there are products that should be deported.
  • Every convenience store has a large stock of so-called "energy drinks." As opposed to what—lethargy drinks? ("I think I'll have a Gray Sloth instead of a Red Bull tonight, whaddya think?")
  • I’m going "green" with my new wardrobe. My new suit is 100 percent recycled lint.
  • I love it when the news programs air footage of a robbery caught on video surveillance cameras. Wow, those things are really high definition, aren’t they? The TV set in my uncle’s tavern got a better picture than that in 1952.
  • And why this penchant for airing the audio of 911 calls from people in extreme distress? That's modern broadcasting as its sensationalistic, voyeuristic, exploitative worst!
  • More Media Madness: Now that the flood of Year in Review stories has ended: Why do they start so early (in mid-December or earlier)? If a president was assassinated on Dec. 19, and the history books were culled from Year in Review archives, the assassination never happened, because the next Review compilers would start working from Jan. 1. What’s wrong with waiting until the year is over? Isn’t there space to fill in January? Why is the run-with-the-herd mentality so strong in the media?
  • I’m trying to be more laid back in 2010. When something upsets me, I go into low dudgeon.
  • I’ve basically lived my life bass ackwards, as they say--totally against the grain. For example, I quit drinking when I turned 21!
Please note the standard SZSEZ disclaimer: I don't always agree with everything I say!

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