Sunday, March 7, 2010


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations on the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • When did nail salons come into existence, and how did civilization exist so long without them?
  • I don‘t care what anyone says:  Olympic figure skaters or “ice dancers“ are performers, not athletes.
  • Why don’t philosophers have nicknames?  (Albert “Sonny” Camus.  Arthur “Lefty” Schopenhauer. Friedrich “The Enforcer” Nietzsche. You never see that!)
  • I’ve given blood before, but I’ve never given a turnip the time of day.
  • Persistence pays off: The other day a dollar-bill changer accepted my ragged single on the ninth pass!
  • Sturgeon Bay Library Confidential: I’m always saddened and chagrined when I run across yet another example of thievery there. A book I was looking for was “On shelf” (according to the library’s computerized catalog) for close to two years before the staff finally conceded it was stolen and deleted the listing.  And the USA Today Life section seems to be very popular; it, too, is often missing from that newspaper.  
  • (What’s most depressing is that the thieves are our “friends and neighbors.”  I don’t think many tourists frequent the place.  Depressing.)  
  • If St. Patrick were around today, he’d be trying to drive all the snakes out of office!
  • Memo to all car/appliance/electronics salespersons: You can’t crow about a rave review or high rating in Consumers Reports or in the J.D. Power and Associates survey, then say “Aw, they don’t know what they’re talking about” when one those reviews slams one of your products.  You can’t have it both ways!  They’re either credible or they’re not!
  • Fun fact about me:  I’m past president of The Foundation For Lobotomy on Demand.
  • Bad math . . . or just bad PR? Just got a renewal notice for my USA Today Sports Weekly:  Good price for one year--$29.95.  However, next to the price for two years ($79.70!), it says “Best Value.”  Let’s see, $29.95 x 2 is $59.90, $20 less than the putative “Best Value” price for the same number of issues.  
  • (Yes, they can charge whatever they want for a two-year subscription.  But don’t insult my intelligence by telling me that the “Best Value”  is clearly $20 more than double the one-year price!)
  • Don’t know about you, but if I’m on the fence about renewing a magazine subscription, I’m more likely to write that check if the return envelope says Postage Paid . . . as opposed to “Place Stamp Here.”  (But as we’ve just seen, intelligence and good judgment are not rampant in the magazine industry.)
  • I wonder how someone opposed to the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” would feel if they learned that a gay soldier (or a gay Army doctor or medic) had saved the life of their straight son or daughter?
  • Did you ever go to great widths?
  • Mixed metaphor of the week?  A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story on Wisconsin’s losing bid for $4.35 billion in school funds said that it “launched a volley of finger-pointing . . . .” 
  • Words you see in print that no one ever uses in ordinary speech:  “Bevy,” “passel,” “matriculate.”
  • View on a view:  The Maple-Oregon Bridge is too high up for anyone from a car window to see the most picturesque part of the area--the boats, the water--but you get an eyeful on the approaches to some of the most plug-ugly terrain in the Tri-State area!  (“Oh, so that’s where Hardware Hank used to be!  Pull over, hon; let’s get a picture.  We’ll kick ourselves.  It’s a vanishing piece of Americana!”) 
  • Memo to people wearing T-shirts, jackets, etc., with product names on them:  What is wrong with your self-esteem that you feel the need to link yourself to a some commercial entity?  And how much are you being paid to advertise those items?  (What?  You actually paid for the stuff, too!)
  • Memo to people who wear windbreakers with the names of taverns on them:  How much are you being paid to advertise your lifestyle choices (such as they are)? (“Yeah, I hang out at the Slimy Skunk Saloon--and want everyone to know it.”)
  • There should be a NASCAR race for limousines--the Fortune 500. 
  • How come they always report what the defendant was wearing?  And his or her reaction to the sentencing?  As if it has any bearing on anything!
  • Redundancy patrol:  “Tiny hamlet,”  “full stop,” “recurring pattern.” 
  • How come artists never sign their first names on paintings?  And what was Rembrandt’s first name anyway?  (Actually, Rembrandt is his first name; his last name is Harmenszoon van Rijn.  I knew that without looking it up.) (Right!) 
  • (And I’m assuming that Harmenszoon is a male name.  Isn’t it?)
  • Ever wonder what Vicks Formula One tasted like?
  • Overheard:  “I read that Chicago has 25 mounted police officers and 29 horses. That means right now there are four horses running around arresting people all by themselves." 
As always, remember: I don't always agree with everything I say!