Sunday, February 13, 2011


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • Jim's Lifestyle Tip of the Week:  Never enter a relationship with someone who's just out of the Federal Witness Protection Program!
  • Memo to all women (and invariably they are women) who refer to Target as "tarZHAY."  Quit putting on airs, ladies--Target is about as French as a Red Lobster combination plate or a KFC wing dinner.  It's a Wal-Mart for soccer moms, so get over yourselves!
  • Why this universal one-upsmanship tendency with snowstorm (or rainfall) totals:  "We got 22 inches!" "Oh, yeah, WE got 23.3 ."  So what? If you can survive 22, you can survive 23.3.  People act as if they were personally responsible for the numbers . . . that they're taking credit for them, in a way.  Or that they are supposedly made of sterner stuff for having "survived" that extra inch or two. Weird.
  • “Any idiot can survive a crisis. It’s the day to day living that wears you out.”--Anton Chekhov
  • People will do just about anything to get into "The Guinness Book of World Records":  Consider Wei Shengchu of China, who, on April 11, 2009, had 2,009 needles inserted in his head on the set of "Lo Show dei Record" in Milan, Italy.
  • That breaks the previous record of 2,008  . . . set by me in Sturgeon Bay in 2008. (Drat the luck! I demand a recount!)
  • Made all of your President’s Day plans yet?  There’s still time.
  • Maybe we should have a Vice President’s Day too.  You’d still have to show up at work, but you wouldn’t have to do anything.
  • President’s Day is nice and all, but who really looks forward to it---aside from government workers?  I propose a holiday that would hold more satisfaction for the rest of us: Turnabout Day, based on “turnabout's fair play.” A way to correct a power imbalance we all endure.
  • On Turnabout Day—and you’d get to pick your own date each year—your doctor would have to get naked in front of you, and your accountant or financial adviser would have to show you his or her tax return!
  • If I were a newspaper editor, obituaries that mention, say, a person's six kids and omit any mention of the husband/father or wife/mother would not be permitted.  That's too significant a gap in one's life story to be left out.  Divorce isn't always wonderful, but it's a fact that must be dealt with.  That's like leaving the Ford Theater out of Lincoln's obituary or Watergate out of Nixon's!  Unpleasant facts--but reality.  Deal with it; for one thing, you're not fooling anyone.
  • Problem here is that in most papers, these "death notices" are actually paid ads, so the families/payers get their way and the publishers/editors are loath to touch anything that brings in revenue, no matter how flowery or hokey/treacly the rhetoric.  So much for standards.
  • (Ever seen an "obituary" that mentioned the deceased's DUI arrests?  You know they happen--by the thousands in beered-up, gin-soaked Wisconsin--and yet . . . . Just once I'd like to see an obituary that said, "Uncle Harold, who served 185 days in jail in 1986 for his fourth DUI arrest, also was a member of the Rotary Club and an avid Packers fan. . . .")
  • (Or even more reality would be refreshing:  "Though he had a lifelong problem with hemorrhoids, Sid was active in sports and once hit a hole in one.")
  • The answer:  "American Idol" and "Dancing With the Stars."  The question:  Name the two most unwatchable shows in the history of television.
  • Obituary Nickname of the Week:  Squirrel.  As in Loren Lee "Squirrel"  Gerondale (Green Bay Press-Gazette, Feb. 2, 2011).
  • To conspiracy buffs, there are no unrelated events.  (The Obama administration agrees to routine talks with Country X, Y or Z?  Obviously evidence of some vaguely ominous "New World Order," the  conspiracy wackos favorite bogeyman/buzz term.  Global warming?  "Obviously a terrorist plot."  Stock market down today?  Blame Wall Street "insiders.")
  • "Experience:  A comb life gives you after you've lost your hair."--Judith Stern, American writer.
  • Someone once said there's nothing sadder than an old baseball writer.  I disagree:  There's nothing sadder than a male gossip columnist.  Is that anything a grown man should be doing?
  • What is the opposite of a "diehard" Packer fan?  A live-hard Packer fan? Doesn't seem to be any other kind!
  • Speaking of sports:  The sideline shots would be hilarious if football and basketball coaches had to wear uniforms, like baseball managers do.  They should have to do it at least once a year.  That would be a true LOL occasion!
  • "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."--Upton Sinclair, 1935.
  • Ever notice that little girls are almost always dressed in pink, whether they like it or not.  As one young mom said recently, "That's about all you can find these days."  (She's probably right.  I mean, there are no Goth toddlers!  That comes later.)
  • Googling the sturgeon:  I found it described variously as "spectacularly unattractive," "scary ugly" and "butt-ugly". . . as well as "flat-out mean."  So in addition to not winning any fish beauty pageants, I guess the creature won’t win any Fish Congeniality Awards either.
  • "Give me chastity and continence, but not yet."--St. Augustine
  • Today's Latin lesson:  A vir must puto in quispiam. Ego puto Ego mos ordo alius imbibo!    ("A man must believe in something.  I believe I'll have another drink!")