Friday, June 1, 2012



Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • I'm so old, I remember eating at the National House of Pancakes.
  • Police euphemism of the century: "baton."  I guess it sounds better than billy club! (Or whupping stick!)
  • A recent news story reported that 30 percent of us routinely walk in our sleep.  (What the story didn't tell us is, Do sleepwalkers walk with their arms outstretched in front of them like they do in the cartoons and Abbott and Costello movies  . . . or not?)
  • I wonder if Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play in the major leagues, ever met Edward Klep, who, on May 29, 1946, became the first white man to play in the Negro Leagues--a year before Robinson's breakthrough.  (Klep pitched seven innings for the Cleveland Buckeyes against the American Giants in a game played in Grand Rapids, Mich.)
  • Headline:  "Facebook fizzles in IPO."
  • Commentary I: . "As I see it, this 'allegedly life-altering' company is built on little more than 'the notion that people have some primal need to connect with high school pals.”--Charles Gasparino in The Huffington Post
  • Commentary II: "Used to be the couple who dragged out the projector to show slides of their trip to Hawaii were bores. Now Facebook has made us all bores, posting pictures of our lunch, our pets, our flower beds, our children’s drawings."--Neal Steinberg in The Chicago Sun-Times.
  • Few things are more maddening than circling a mall or store parking lot in lengthy search of a parking space, only to find that one you thought was open is occupied by a motorcycle.  They should have a special spot for those things!
  • "She looks like she was poured into her clothes and forgot to say 'when.' " --P. G. Wodehouse
  • The drug culture marches on!  Now comes word that addicts are showing up at real estate open houses to rifle through medicine cabinets in search of prescription painkillers, etc.
  • I was really in a tizzy the other day, totally discombobulated.  But I managed to bounce back and can calmly report that I'm fully combobulated now!
  • I don't know about you, but I get the willies every time I read a story about flesh-eating bacteria!
  • (Sudden thought:  If penicillin--life-saving penicillin!--came from mold, wouldn't it be wild if they found a way to harness flesh-eating bacteria to make the miracle diet drug that millions are praying for?  Let's face it, there's a lot of flesh out there that needs to be eaten.  (I'm just sayin'. . . )
  • Lord help us all.  Now there are concerns (and a growing number of "Look Up" signs) because of "distracted walking."  
  • Stop The World, I Want To Get off:  According to USA Today, mourners are affixing adhesive-backed “QR code” chips to the tombstones of their beloved, so visitors can pull up photos and videos with a scan of a smartphone.
  • Stop The World II:  The paper also reports that more consumers are going high-tech in the bathroom with steam showers that contain built-in speakers, medicine cabinets with integrated TVs and toilets with MP3/phone docking stations. 
  • One nice thing about being a busboy:  Not high-paying job, absolutely no status--but not one you're likely to take home with you either! 
  • Sociological claptrap, modern division:  "Blended family."
  • Now there's a euphemism if I've ever heard one!  (I guess it sounds a lot better than "combination of two broken homes"!)
  • Fortune Cookie Message of the Month:  "Enjoy life.  This is not a dress rehearsal."  (It should have added:  "This is not the world's greatest cookie, either!")
  • (Sudden thought: If fortune cookies were "sold separately" on grocery store shelves, would anyone buy them?)
  • Jim's Consumer Tip of the Week:  Drinks always cost more at a "lounge" than they do at a "bar," "tavern" or "saloon."
  • Jim's Book Pick of the Week:  "Popular Crime," by Bill James (the noted baseball analyst).  A great example of a great mind tackling an entirely different genre with the same thought-provoking results.
  • "Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”--Pericles
  • "Liza Minnelli, welcome to The All-Over-rated Club:  Your table is ready."
  • SZSEZ's Media Word of the Week (a word you never hear any actual person use in real life):  Hustings.  (noun; the political campaign trail).
  • Obituary Headline Nickname of the Week: Goober.  As in Shannon R. "Goober" Christensen (Kenosha News obituary, May 18, 2012.  R.I.P. Mrs. Ms. Christensen.)
  • Thirty-eighth entry in the Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw it Mentioned in a Newspaper Obituary sweepstakes:  Gillet, Wis.  (R.I.P., Bernice M. Kirsch,  Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Feb. 27, 2012.)  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, Harshaw, Bessemer, Crooked Lake, Tigerton, Goodman, Readstown, Dousman., Butternut, Montpelier, Cecil and Red River.
  • Today's Latin lesson:  Quisquam seen longinquus imperium? ("Anyone seen the remote control?")