Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • Fish is the only food that is smells spoiled even when it isn't.
  • TV was a lot better when Tom Snyder and Dick Cavett were on--to name just a few. Some of you/us could add Johnny Carson, David Brinkley . . . Captain Kangaroo . . .
  • Sad and cruel insult-added-to-injury aftermath of the tragic tornado outbreak:  Identity theft via windblown documents containing sensitive info.
  • You lose a house--perhaps even a family member--and face a monumental rebuilding task, hassles with the insurance company  . . . then find out some no-goodnik is draining your bank account and driving up your credit card balance.  Incredibly cruel and heartbreaking.
  • "It's what we call the Coca-Cola effect.  People always talk about the demand creating [drug] supply but forget that supply creates demand."--Jean-Luc Lemahieu, head of the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime in Afghanistan, on the 140 percent increase in heroin addicts in that country from 2005-2009.
  • (The good news:  The heroin supply there is running low, thanks to eradication efforts of U.S. and NATO troops and a blight that destroyed half of last year's crop.)
  • “(Bin Laden) was living in that compound with nine women and 23 children. It sounds like he was shooting a reality show for TLC.”--Jimmy Kimmel.
  • With all the special-interest cable TV channels in existence, it's only a matter of time until the Conspiracy Channel debuts.  ("All conspiracies, all the time.")
  • (Fox News Channel doesn't count.)
  • "People who don't make it think their lives would be rosy if they did, and those who do are startled to find they still have all their old problems, plus a few new ones, and begin to wonder if they'd be happier if they hadn't made it."--Dick Cavett in "Cavett."
  • What exactly is a "shout-out," and why are people always giving them?  Why so vague a term in the first place?  "Hi" could be a so-called "shout-out" . . . and so could much coarser locutions.  (Where do these stupid words/phrases come from in the first place?  Rap? )
  • For baseball fans only: Tommy John should get a royalty every time "Tommy John surgery" is mentioned or performed.
  • (You know you're way down on the organizational depth chart when the team has your Tommy John surgery  . . . performed by Tommy John!)
  • "Love all, serve all; help ever, hurt never."--Indian guru Athya Sai Baba (who died April 24, age 84).
  • If there is a more over- and misused word than "icon" or "iconic," I don't know what it is.
  • (Everyone and everything seemingly is an icon. Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Wrigley Field, Porky Pig . . .  When everything is an icon, than nothing is.)
  • Overheard:  "A lot of teenage boys had to exchange the pants they got for Christmas because they were the right size."--The Vent at
  • "I think more than one company should be allowed to sell Monopoly."--Judah Friedlander in Wired magazine.
  • Hey, you folks who spit in drinking fountains--meet the people who empty their car ashtrays in parking lots or on the street.  Or the guys who never flush urinals.  ("Oh, you know each other . . . .")
  • Jim's Fading Word of the Week:  Hoodwinked.
  • Jim's Book Title of the Week:  "Badger Boneyards" ("The Eternal Rest of the Story"), by Dennis McCann.
  • Obituary Headline Nicknames O' The Week (tie):  "Walnuts" and "Boob."  As in Warren F. "Walnuts" House  and Robert E. "Boob" Jackson (Green Bay Press-Gazette obituaries, April 24 and 27, 2011).  R.I.P. Messrs. House and Jackson.
  • Twenty-second entry in the Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw it Mentioned in a Newspaper Obituary sweepstakes: Hofa Park, Wis. (R.I.P., Cletus R. Schmidt , Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, March 16, 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 and Poygan.
  • Today's Bulgarian lesson:  Не че има нещо лошо с това.  ("Not that there's anything wrong with that!")