Thursday, November 6, 2014


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric, and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life.
  • If Norman Rockwell were alive today, do you think there's anything he'd want to paint?
  • I don't care what anyone says, we didn't have Viagara ads in prime time when Mr. Rogers was alive!
  • jimjustsaying's catty comment:  What shade of lipstick looks best on a pig?
  • Does Anderson Cooper have two first names . . . or two last names?  Discuss!
  • Political speech I'd love to hear (but probably never will).  "Win or lose, I promise to have all of my campaign signs and posters taken down the day after the election."
  • "I don't mind that I'm fat. You still get the same money."--Marlon Brando in 1996
  • Go Figure Dept:  According to various sources, Marlon Brando was a longtime close friend of Michael Jackson's and paid regular visits to his Neverland Ranch, resting there for weeks at a time.  (No truth to the rumor that Robert De Niro hangs out at Pee-Wee Herman's "playhouse" between films.)
  • Jim's Party Ice-Breaker of the Week: "Say [actual fellow party-goer's name here], did you know that the new president of Indonesia is a former cabinet maker named Joko Widodo.  Yeah, really.  His friends call him Jokowi."
  • Always remember:  You can't break an egg without making an omelet.
  • Headline on Ebola virus story: "Blanket travel ban ruled out."  (No word yet on sheets and pillow cases.)
  • Best fortune-cookie message in eons:  "An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision."   
  • The newest endangered species:  Customers.  Now we're all "clients" or "guests."  And there are no more clerks: They're "associates."  I'm sure that makes them feel better about their minimum-wage compensation and absence of benefits.
  • I keep reading about all these doofuses who get arrested for not wearing a seatbelt and can't help but wonder:  How does this happen? My eyesight is still pretty good but I can't tell whether someone is wearing one or not, so how can people, the police, make this determination?  So often!  It's not like a warning light goes off!  (Full disclosure:  Never a violator or an arrestee.)
  • Memo to anyone who purchased the "Leave it to Beaver" boxed set:  You either have too much time on your hands or too much money or too little taste in pop culture.
  • The answer:  Wampire, Zola Jesus and The Dead Milkmen. The question? Name three groups that released CDs the first week of October.   (The temptation to say "Never heard of them" is tempered by the reminder that at one point, I had "never heard of" Elvis Presley or The Beatles . . . .  Not that The Dead Milkmen are destined to attain that level of immortality.
  • Why don't people just say "He (or she or they) is (are) new to me" instead of "Never heard of him (or her or them)?"
  • Redundancy Patrol:  "Free bonus," "absolutely free," "icy cold."
  • Classified Ad of the Week (under  Good Things to Eat, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel):  "Our family raises and breed all organic goat, lamb, pork and eggs! FREE dozen eggs with any $20 purchase!"
  • Who decided the frog legs were a potential edible?  Prediction: NOT the next fast-food novelty item craze.   (You'll see the occasional Joe's Crab Shack but never Joe's House of Frog Legs.  That I know of.  In all likelihood.)
  • A pox on all makers of "name brand" apparel who charge premium prices and put flimsy zippers in their products.  They're cutting corners and ruining their reputation at the same time.
  • jimjustsaying's Faded Household Staple of the Past:  Linoleum
  • Favorite Lenny Bruce assertion:  "We're all as honest as we can afford to be."
  • Newspaper headline:  "House fire kills 200 snakes."  Must have started in the serpents' quarters!
  • Three TV shows I never watch:  "Project Runway," "Total Divas," and "Babe Winkelman's Outdoor Secrets."
  • Obituary Headline NIckname of the Month:  "Happy."  As in Mary E. "Happy" Maloney, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Sept. 9, 2014.
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  It's nostrum parum specialis.  ("It's our little secret!")

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