Monday, June 20, 2011


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • Summer is finally here, and, like Woody Allen, I am at two with nature.
  • Whew!  It was so windy the other day, the Anthony Weiner scandal blew over!
  • Eliot Spitzer, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anthony Weiner . . . . Seriously, whoever thought Joey Buttafuoco would ever have an outside chance for Rotary Club Man of the Year?!
  • (Seriously, I think the smart money's on Joey as the next voice of the Aflac Duck!)
  • Advice to politicians: Never get caught up in a sex scandal  . . . but especially not in a slow news week.  If terrorists had blown up a Las Vegas hotel and casino the same day the Weiner story broke, Weiner is still in Congress.  If Charlie Sheen had been caught with a 12-year-old girl the same day the Weiner story broke, Weiner is still in Congress.
  • But nothing else like that happened that week . . . so Weiner is out of Congress.
  • How damaging were his escapades?  Weiner could invent a foolproof and inexpensive cure for all cancers and broker a lasting peace in the Middle East, but this sordid saga is still going to be in the first sentence of his obituary!  As Salvador Dali once said, "The one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous."
  • Redundancy patrol:  The umpires will huddle together to come up with a ruling."--Milwaukee Brewers analyst and language mangler Bill Schroeder.  . . . "They were teammates together in the minor leagues."--Unknown New York announcer on a Sirius-XM radio broadcast of a Cubs-Yankees game.
  • Wackiest predictions from a recent edition of the Sun "supermarket tabloid":
  • Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg joins the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) using the professional name "Curly."
  • A group of billionaires builds a private city-state under the Pacific Ocean.
  • A solar eclipse leaves thousands of witnesses with the gift of prophecy.  Many are taken into custody by the world's intelligence agencies.
  • Reebok unveils new "Jumparoo" sneakers which allow the wearer to leap up to 8 feet in the air.  The NBA quickly bans the product.
  • Donald Trump sells his company and says he's going to concentrate on writing poetry.
  • A blind toddler discovers a way to lead bankers, businessmen and economists our of the Great Recession.
  • And, last and mercifully least, Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) is attacked in Congress by a small, fierce predator--either a wolverine or possibly a honey badger.
  • My search engine gets 8,000 words to the megabyte . . . but your wordage may vary.
  • When you boil it all down, we're all dependent on Mom and Dad--Mother Nature and Father Time.
  • Jim's Stupid Actual Product Warning of the Week (Children's Division): On Boot's Children's cough medicine: "Do not drive car or operate machinery."
  • Jim's Stupid Actual Product Warning of the Week (Adult Division): On Nytol sleep aid: "Warning: May cause drowsiness."
  • Product that doesn't exist but should:  Andy Warhol Soup.
  • What's holding up the economic recovery?  For starters, "everything from patent delays to overlapping or conflicting land-use regulations that inhibit start-ups and factory creation. According to the World Economic Forum, America now ranks 27th on the ease of getting a construction permit, behind Saudi Arabia."  (So said Thomas L. Friedman in The New York Times, June 12, 2011.)
  • But do not underestimate uncertainty as a silent jobs killer, Friedman says. "Congress and the White House seem paralyzed in deciding the future of taxes and spending. Where are we going in these areas? Investors and companies who have to make hiring decisions have no clue.  'The economy is paying a high uncertainty premium right now,' says Mohamed El-Erian, the CEO of the world’s largest bond fund, Pimco. 'With such uncertainty, people delay as many decisions as possible.' ” 
  • Speaking of the economy, remember when a double dip was just an ice cream cone?
  • Fortune cookie recently received: "You would do well in the field of computer technology."  (So insightful, those Orientals!)
  • Obituary Headline Nickname of the Week:  "Tuts. " As in, Enanda "Tuts" Lison, 104, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, March 22, 2011.  R.I.P. Mrs. Lison.
  • Twenty-fifth entry in the Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw it Mentioned in a Newspaper Obituary sweepstakes: Beaufort, Wis. (R.I.P.,  Sally Jane Avery,  Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, April 12, 2011.)  Previous entries: Athelstane, Walhain, Duck Creek, Breed, Anston, Sobieski, Amberg, Osseo, Angelica, Brazeau, Waukechon, Sugar Camp, Kossuth, Lessor, Kunesh, Pulcifer, Cato, Florence, Greenleaf, Eaton, Poygan, Hofa Park, Hilbert and Hollandtown.
  • Today's Latin lesson: Have vos duco a tutela in remuneror quod suscito agri of vitium scaena tersus? ("Have you ever considered a career in the rewarding and exciting field of crime-scene cleanup?")