Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life: 
  • Newspaper headline: "Beavis and Butt-Head bring stupid back." (USA Today, Oct. 24, 2011)
  • (Like it really left!  I guess I slept through the cultural renaissance that featured "Jersey Shore" and other paragons of entertainment excellence.)
  • Newspaper Headline II: "Sex offenders must check in with sheriff's office." (Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 30, 2011)
  • ("Yo, lieutenant.  I'll be out trolling this afternoon, probably around the McDonald's or the grade school.  See ya tomorrow, OK?")
  • Newspaper Headline III: "Municipalities set trick-or-treat hours" (Kenosha, Wis., News, Oct. 18, 2011.)
  • (No hours mandated for actual consumption of said treats, but expect a ruling soon!  The nanny state marches on, with no topic or activity safe from its over-reaching clutches.) 
  • This just in:  The singing of Auld Lang Syne will be restricted to 11:58 p.m. to 12:02 a.m. on New Year's Eve.  No exceptions. Violators will be prosecuted.)
  • (I'll probably be celebrating  . . . but I promise to use a designated singer!)
  • Why are calories listed only on bottles and cans of "lite" beers?  Aren't drinkers of "regular" beer or comparison shoppers interested in that information . . . at least occasionally?
  • A personal first:  Recently opened a fortune cookie that contained an e-mail reference!  "You will soon receive an e-mail of great importance."  What's next:  A tweet?  A Facebook reference? 
  • What was so revolutionary about different-height urinals that it took about 120 years after the device's invention to accomplish that?
  • Police Log items from the Daily News out of Iron Mountain and Kingsford, Mich.:
  • Oct. 21, 5:58 p.m.:  "Abandoned bicycle complaint."
  • Oct. 22, 7:45 a.m. "Responded to east side ball field for a report of a deer walking around with an arrow in it."
  • Same day, 8:10 a.m.  "Report of  a leaking water meter, Kimberly Avenue.  DPW advised."
  • Same day, 8:20 a.m.:  "Report of a trampoline frame that was dumped by the well site."
  • Jokes considered offensive in  Dr. John D. Kelly IV's column in Outpatient Surgery Magazine (as reported in the Poynter Organization's Media News site).
  • "Be real concerned if:  Your patient has more chins than a Chinese phonebook. Your patient has stretch marks on his teeth.  Your patient has a dog named Twinkie. Your patient has a daughter named Tostitos."
  • SZSEZ reaction:  There's a magazine called Outpatient Surgery?  That's much funnier than the jokes.
  • Anyone old enough to remember the flagpole sitters of yore, when that was "in vogue"?  ("I'm not coming down until The Fighting Wombats win a game!") Well, perhaps President Obama should borrow that idea to get his jobs bill passed.  Talk about  a "wall-to-wall" media event!  (Not that the Secret Service would ever permit it . . .)
  • "A know-it-all is a person who knows everything except how annoying he is."--Demetri Martin, comedian/author.
  • Football note (while applauding the lack of progress in NBA talks):  According to ESPN, the NFL plays most likely to be overturned by referees:   Runner down by contact, with 55.1 percent of 65 on-field rulings reversed. Least likely?  Ineligible receiver, no plays overturned.  Highest number of actual reversals?  Pass completion, 175 plays overturned, or 35 percent of challenges.  (Results are from the 2007 season through the games of Oct. 10, 2011.)
  • Speaking of football: Were running plays banned from the NFL while our attention was momentarily diverted?
  • They're back at it!  That hackneyed "That sound you heard . . ." rhetorical device has reared its head yet again, this time in Joe Klein's Nov. 7 Time magazine column on GOP candidates, to wit:  "That thud you're about to hear is the Herman Cain campaign crashing back to earth."  (I'll listen closely, and you can let me know when you don't hear anything either!)
  • Google Maps Gaffe of the Week:  According to a  PC World report, Farid Kajani of Atlanta entered Fuzhou, China, as a Starting Point and Taiwan as the Destination, hit Get Directions and was instructed to "Swim across the Pacific Ocean."  Gee, and I thought swimming the English Channel was supposed to be tough.
  • (They must have fixed it, because when I retraced Mr. Kajani's steps, it said: "We could not calculate directions between Fuzhou, Fujian, China and Taiwan."  Either way, not too helpful, Google Maps!)
  • Twenty-eighth entry in the Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw it Mentioned in a Newspaper Obituary sweepstakes: Bessemer, Wis. (R.I.P. Ione J. Poljack, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Oct. 20, 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, Hollandtown, Beaufort, Glennie and Harshaw.
  • Today's Latin lesson: "Vis at sem piperis aliquid?"  ("Would you like some ground pepper on your salad?")