Thursday, October 28, 2010


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • I know a 60-year-old bachelor who almost got married twice.  That makes two near-Mrs.
  • Whew!  Just had two days of 50- to 60-miles-per-hour winds. It was so windy . . . that the Brett Favre scandal blew over!
  • Olive Garden commercial I'd love to see:  "When you're here, you're family. When you're not here, you're dogsh--!"
  • Strike up the bandwidth! Not only has our dollar slipped along with our world standing, but we rank 22nd in the world in Internet connection speed.  Deplorable.
  • Speaking of deplorable, I'm still coming up empty in my periodic survey when I ask people:  Who is the president of Mexico?  Who leads Canada (and what is his title)?
  • I think the average Mexican or Canadian 5th grader knows Barack Obama is President of the United States, but no one can ever tell me that Felipe Calderon is the president of Mexico and Stephen Harper is the prime minister of Canada.  And these are countries that border ours!  This does not inspire confidence. 
  • At any given moment, 15 percent or more Americans are muting a Geico car insurance commercial.  (My favorites: the Abe Lincoln and the pig "wee wee wee" spots. But the woodchuck version is growing on me.)
  • I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  You can't get two economists to agree on the color of a Yellow Cab.
  • Why do freight trains that derail always seem to be carrying deadly cyanide gas?  Doesn't the popcorn train  ever derail? The paper towels train?  Stevie Wonder could be at the throttle of one of those trains, and nothing would ever happen! But put an ace conductor at the helm of the cyanide train and, five miles out, boom! It's uncanny.
  • Book Title of the Week:  "Mushrooming Without Fear: The Beginner's Guide to Collecting Safe and Delicious Mushrooms," by Alexander Schwab.
  • Three things I've never done:  Bowled, flown a dirigible, befriended a beekeeper.
  • You know you've ordered some bad Chinese takeout when the fortune cookie contains a coupon for Pepto-Bismol!
  • Drudge Report Headline of the Week: "Russian bears eating corpses at Russian cemetery."
  • Detail: "In Karelia, one bear learned how to open a coffin. He then taught the others," a Russian wildlife official reported, suggesting: "They are pretty quick learners."
  • Back story: Seems that summer heat there has impacted their natural food supply, hence the grisly behavior of the Eastern European bruins.
  • Don't want to appear heartless, but that "60 Minutes" piece on all of the homeless Iraqi/Afghan War vets didn't surprise me too much.  Let's face it--a lot of these people volunteered for the military because they didn't have jobs--or jobs of any consequence--to begin with.  So what were they expecting when they got home  . . . when the economy had tanked while they were away and the people who never left the country don't have a job now!
  • "Our family was so poor, we used to go to Kentucky Fried Chicken and lick other people's fingers!"--comic Lenny Banks
  • What's wrong with this picture?  Doctors crow about all the marvelous medical discoveries and techniques research and technology have wrought--yet show me one who takes e-mail?  (A few reportedly are starting to do it--about 10 years after they should have.)  I guess they prefer technology that demands little effort and maximum profit, and e-mail ain't it. 
  • Headline:  "Google to bring Dead Sea Scrolls to computer screens."  Reaction:  The scrolls will get about a tenth as many "hits" as the next celebrity sex scandal.  (Odds of the Scrolls "going viral"?  Not good!)
  • Don't know about you, but I think one reason newspaper readership is down is because of writing like this:  
  • "A judge today issued a restraining order blocking the appeal of an injunction that reversed an earlier court's ruling nullifying a practice that was outlawed by the MacKenzie vs. Dinglehoffer decision, essentially freezing a previous ban."
  • Whaa?  By the time you unravel that convoluted locution to try to discern who did what to whom, you've thrown up your hands and wondered anew whatever happened to plain English (and can hear renowned language mavens Strunk and White rolling in their graves).  I think of lot of journalists are frustrated lawyers . . . and write like them!
  • You can tell you're an old-timer if you sometimes refer to a train as "the iron horse."
  • Gone but not forgotten: Did you know that famed wrestler Andre the Giant was cited and impersonated in the comedy film "I Love You, Man"?  . . . That he was also referenced in the movie "The 40 Year Old Virgin" (when someone quotes a woman he dated "had hands like Andre The Giant")? . . . That he is mentioned in an Eminem song? . . . That he once drank 119 12-ounce beers in 6 hours? . . . That he was also named Most Embarrassing Wrestler in 1989 by Wrestling Observer Newsletter? . . . That when he died (Jan. 27, 1993) he was in Paris to attend his father's funeral? . . . That his ashes were scattered on his farm in Ellerbe, N.C.?  (SZSEZ--your clearinghouse for Andre the Giant Fun Facts, with a little help from my friends at Wikipedia.)
  • There will never be a Howard Cosell Lookalike Contest.
  • Does Larry The Cable Guy show up a day late for his concerts? 
  • Today's Latin Lesson: Qua vos adepto turpis ligo.  ("Where'd you get that ugly tie?")