Sunday, January 23, 2011


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • People who doodle or write notes on dollar bills should consider having themselves committed for their safety and the safety of others.
  • The Law of Unintended Consequences will never be repealed.
  • Winter hazard no one talks about:  Wet snow that sticks to road signs, completely obliterating the words or making them so difficult to read as to distract or confuse the driver.  How many accidents, near accidents or wrong turns have resulted from this condition? Isn't there a way to "Teflonize" these signs to prevent the snow from sticking?
  • True to form, this Christmas I got the same cheap cologne from my brother-in-law: English Vinyl.
  • Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi says he has nothing to be ashamed of, and that he has just been having fun. But the sheer mass of sordid details of his “bunga bunga” parties has now been revealed for the first time, according to the London Telegraph.  (Bunga bunga parties?  Cowabunga, Buffalo Bob!)
  • Sign on store counter: "Gift cards available--all denominations."  Wow, how ecumenical.  Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, whatever--they will accommodate you!
  • Brands of beer that were once sold in the United States: Bull Frog, Purple Cow, Kool Mule, King Turkey, Happy Hops, Quittin' Time, Old Cars and Gorilla.  ("Hey, hon, while you're up, get me another can a that Quittin' Time, will ya?")
  • We just had another of those "postal holidays"--Martin Luther King Day.  Too bad there are no e-mail holidays. (Perhaps it's just as well.  We would just get twice as much offal the next day,  just as we do with the postal stuff.)
  • Gas pump shocker: No, not the price; I knew that driving in.  It was filling up during a snowstorm and seeing the pump display ask, "Car wash today?"  Er, no, but thanks for the comic relief.
  • No denying it; due to a cruel quirk of nature, most men were born without the curtain-shopping chromosome.
  • There are two kinds of stores in America:  Those who hand you your coins and those who slide them down to you in a metal chute.  
  • (And clerks who hand you your coins, bills, receipt and coupons in one mishmashed tangled lump should be beaten over the head with one of those This Counter Closed signs!) Whatever happened to counting out change, coins and bill separately?  Do these people enjoy this treatment when they are on the other side of the counter? Do they do this in Japan?
  • Speaking of the Orient: "Chinese goods mostly compete with products from Mexico, South Korea and other countries, and it is stealing jobs from those countries more than from America."--Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, Jan. 19.
  • Oxymoronic America: "Genuine vinyl," "authentic replica" and "nonstop flight."  (Hey, I want to get off at some point! You mean the nonstop to New York doesn't stop in New York?)
  • How many times have we heard someone say, “It’s too cold to snow”?  Right; those blizzards at the South Pole when it’s 80 below zero are strictly an optical illusion! That white background in those Siberia photographs?  Special effects, obviously.
  • Guys (and women--especially women!) who wear camouflage jackets (and/or pants) around town (and in church!) should seek emergency counseling.
  • Sign still on the door of the Target in Sturgeon Bay: “Only service animals permitted." (What it should say: "Guide Dogs permitted; no other animals allowed." That would take us humans out of the trespasser category.)  Say what you want about Wal-Mart, but I haven't seen a sign that idiotic on any of its doors.
  • There are three kinds of shoppers inside Wal-Mart: People walking, people with walkers, and motorized browsers.
  • For every person who looks like he or she needs that Handicapped Parking Space, I see 10 who don't. Show me a candidate who promises to crack down on Handicapped Parking Space abuse, and he/she has my vote, regardless of party affiliation or position on weightier issues!
  • Sixteenth entry in the Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw it Mentioned in a Newspaper Obituary  sweepstakes:  Pulcifer.  (R.I.P.,  Bernice I. Lambrecht, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Jan. 7, 2011.)  Previous entries: Athelstane, Walhain, Duck Creek, Breed, Anston, Sobieski, Amberg, Osseo, Angelica, Brazeau, Waukechon, Sugar Camp, Kossuth, Lessor and Kunesh.
  • Did you know that crossword puzzles are not found in Chinese or Japanese publications?  The nature of their languages makes such construction impossible.  
  • "If I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone?"--James Thurber
  • Today's Latin lesson: Ego don't planto sceptrum , Ego iustus opus hic. ("I don't make the rules, I just work here.")