Monday, January 3, 2011

POPCORN

BY JIM SZANTOR 
Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • How come you never see anyone with a pencil behind his ear anymore?
  • Why is it that a woman can wear any piece of men's clothing (pants, suits, ties, pajama tops, whatever) and nobody bats an eye . . . but if a man wears any article of women's clothing, people think he's deranged? (I'm just sayin'.)
  • My dietitian is extremely knowledgeable.  Very intelligent.  In fact, she graduated Phi Beta Carotene!
  • If speed bumps are so effective in mall parking lots, why not put them on the highways?  That's where speed kills, not in front of the Wal-Mart!
  • (Speed limit signs don't slow down those idiots who pass you like you're standing still when you're doing 65, so we have to move on to Plan B--as in Bumps.  (As Larry King would say, you'll thank me later.)
  • Winter driving hazard nobody talks about:  Ice chunks that fly onto (or perilously near) your windshield--ice chunks that have flown off of vehicles whose owners were too lazy to clear of ice and snow (which, not so incidentally, is The Law in most if not all states).  Hello!
  • Memo to lazy drivers in all kinds of weather:  Activating your turn signal halfway through a turn doesn't really help.  What's the point?  We already know you're turning!
  • Suggested universal New Year's Resolution: To stop using Google as a verb!  It's a noun, a brand name.  You don't say "I Crested." You say, "I brushed."  Therefore, simply say, "I searched online for . . . ."  Is that so hard?
  • "In comic strips, the person on the left always speaks first."--George Carlin
  • Name the only two words in the English language in which all five vowels appear in alphabetical order.  (Answer elsewhere in this blog.)
  • German discipline run amok: That country's Transport Ministry has told its members to stop writing "der laptop" and call the device "mobiler rechner," as part of a crackdown on English-style words in the German language.   (How do you say idiotic in German?  Answer:  bl√∂dsinnig, idiotisch, schwachsinnig.)
  • 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. Everything from Dec. 19 to Jan. 1 would fall between the cracks.
  • 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?  You can bet the same thing will happen next December--take it to the bank!
  • Speaking of year's end, why is it that the newspapers always run a photo of the first baby of the new year . . . but never the last one of the old year?  What is he/she?  Chopped liver?
  • Two 2010 deaths that got lost in the proverbial shuffle:  that of Morris Jeppson, weapons test officer aboard the Enola Gay, who helped arm the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima.  And that of David Warren, who invented the "black box" flight data recorder.
  • Slices of 2010 life, Florida style:
  • Several people in Miami complained that they got sick after consuming mucus from a giant snail in a religious ceremony.  (Giant snail mucus?  My favorite party dip!)
  • A family honoring a relative's dying wish gave him a burial at sea, only to have the body resurface off a Fort Lauderdale beach.
  • A Miami attorney said she was kept from visiting her client at a federal detention center because the underwire of her bra set off the metal detector. After she took it off, she said guards wouldn't let her in because she was braless.
  • You're at the store checkout counter, and the device tells you to "swipe card now."  Swipe?  Is that the best word to use in a retail context?  How about "Slide card now"?  (If you're thinking whoever designed those things--make that, the "committee" that designed them--didn't think it through as well as they could have, we're thinking alike.)
  • Obituary Headline Nickname of the Week:  Ding Ding.  As in Robert C. "Ding Ding" Thomas (7/29/60-12/17/10).  R.I.P. Mr. Thomas (Kenosha News, Dec. 21).
  • Thinking about buying a new car.  Got my eye on that new Toyota Recall.  (Hey, they might as well call it like it is!)
  • You might be a redneck . . . if you create a dues-paying society and a scholarship fund. That's what a Virginia man did recently, launching the American Redneck Society.
  • "I really felt that American Rednecks are an under-served, but large population that could benefit from a formal membership organization structure," American Redneck Society Executive Director Rob Clayton told the Washington Examiner.
  • (A $20 membership fee will get you access to retail discounts across the country, and a portion of the funds are set aside for an educational fund for "rural youth.")
  • Prominently displayed now at Walgreens:  Flu shot gift cards! For the man who has everything . . . but his health?
  • Jim's Low Blow of the Week:  I see where Jane Fonda has released two new workout videos.  She should have done a video about her divorce:  "It Didn't Work Out."
  • Quiz answer:  abstemious and facetious.
  • Today's Latin lesson:  Quis diligo got efficio per is got efficio per is? A adsuesco assuesco affectus. ("What's love got to do with it, got to do with it? A secondhand emotion.")

     

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