Friday, June 6, 2014


By Jim Szantor
Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric, and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life.
  • There will never be an Amish astronaut.
  • You know you've eaten at a bad Chinese restaurant when the fortune cookie contains a coupon for Pepto-Bismol.
  • Men with outrageously bad hairpieces should be given warning tickets, then sent to rehab and ordered to perform community service.  (Same goes for 70-year-olds with--wink--totally black or brown hair!)
  • Media Word of the Week (a word encountered only in the print or broadcast media and never used by an actual person in real life): "chary."  As in, "I can fully understand why Mrs. Clinton is chary about the media."
  • I have never liked paparazzi.  But cover it with a lot of pesto sauce and Parmesan, and it's not half bad!
  • Overheard:  "My girlfriend was in the beauty shop for six hours the other day--and that was just for an estimate!"
  • "My high school was so tough the school newspaper had an obituary section!"--Norm Crosby
  • jimjustsaying's Weird Product of the Month (via the Make Life Easier catalog): Spray-On Headstone Cleaner with Teflon ($10). 
  • Product claim:   "Cleans and renews luster as it quickly and easily lifts dirt, moss, mold and grime." (Perfect for the hard-to-shop-for person on your Christmas gift list!)
  • Some people would be at their ideal weight if they were about a foot and a half taller.  ("You're not too fat, lady--you're just too short!")
  • Penal practice I'd like to see ended--protective custody.  There would be a steep decline in hate or sex crimes if the perpetrators knew they'd be housed in "general population," where the so-called "convict code" (not to mention prison demographics) would provide the almighty deterrence the system allegedly strives for.
  • "It’s been interesting to see the Tea Party go from a small group of people that everyone thinks is crazy . . . to a large group of people that everyone thinks is crazy.”--Jimmy Kimmel Live 
  • "If you’re ever in Disneyland and you’re walking by a wall, there’s probably someone in a half Donald Duck costume smoking a cigarette right behind you."--Scott Aukerman, host of "Comedy Bang! Bang!” on working at Disneyland as a teenager.
  • Why are fortune cookies  found only in Oriental restaurants?   It would be funny but refreshing if you got one at, say, an Italian restaurant (a sure tipoff that, perhaps, the owner isn't Italian.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
  • Baseball Play-by-Play Quote of the Week:  "Gonzo leaps like a giraffe and grabs it!"--San Diego Padres announced Jerry Coleman.
  • The cartoon mascots that appear on cereal boxes, such as Cap’n Crunch and the Trix rabbit, are routinely designed so that their eyes tilt down by 9.6 degrees—the perfect angle to make eye contact with a child standing in the supermarket aisle, according to a study by Cornell  University.  (Kind of hard to work into a conversation, but there you have it.)
  • Overheard:  "Which is worse:  People who will argue over anything . . . or people who will argue over nothing?"
  • Three things I've never done: Operated a snowmobile, speared a sturgeon, or watched more than three seconds of a soccer game.   
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline of the Month:  "Pudge."  As in Marjorie "Pudge" Melchior, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, May 20, 2014.
  • Mike Murphy, a Republican media adviser, [has said] that the working subtitle for every politician’s memoir should be “Contractually Obligated and Desperate Not to Offend.” 
  • “When someone is brave enough to write one of these books and call it ‘Screw Iowa and New Hampshire’ or something, then I might actually read it."--Mark Leibovich, New York Times Magazine
  • Speaking of politics, Groucho Marx defined it as "the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies."
  • I've known a farmer or two, but none of them lived in a dell (wherever that is).
  • Overheard:  "I prefer dogs to women, because they don't get mad when you leave the toilet seat up.  In fact, they prefer it!"
  • You know you're a redneck if your bank has a TV in the lobby that only shows "Mayberry R.F.D." reruns.
  • Today's Latin lesson:  "Transporto mihi a Pipio."  ("Send me a Tweet.")