Thursday, January 1, 2015


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric, and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life.
  • When we weren't looking, the Bermuda Triangle appears to have moved to somewhere in the Java Sea.  
  • Three things I've never done:  Changed my own oil, cleaned a fish, or stood out in the frigid night to watch the ball drop on New Year's Eve.  
  • Who decides which doctors are expert enough to have TV shows and influence millions of people?  How exactly is that determined?  Where are these people on the quack-to-Nobel caliber continuum?
  • Here's a concept that's never been tried: Wrestling on radio!  (If you think soccer is boring on TV, imagine it on radio!)
  • Three good names for French restaurants that are going to waste:  Le Indifference.  Le Extravagance.  Le Exorbitant.
  • Is there a League of Men Voters?
  • Overheard:  "When AT&T calls, I tell them I work for Verizon.  And when Verizon calls, I tell them I work for AT&T."
  • One problem with home schooling:  No yearbook!
  • Why is it that companies can take your credit card info over the phone and process it in two days or less but can't process a refund for six to eight weeks?
  • It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
  • Speaking of children, I don't understand all these school-closing "snow days." Why? Because you go to the gym, the library, the mall, and what do you see?  Wall to wall kids!  It's not like the school closing kept them safely at home, so aren't they're better off on the school bus and in the school instead of individually heading out into the very same elements they're supposedly being "protected" from?  (Yes, but when the school is closed, then it's the parents' fault, not the school's, if Johnny gets run over by a snowplow.  That's probably what it boils down to.)
  • (How far are we from having "heat days" when it's 95 and humid in mid-May? I'm just sayin'.)
  • Overheard:   "I went to a TGIF party.  It was BYOB, and I had enough VO and JB to send me to AA with the DT's!"
  • What's in a Name/Nomenclature Disconnect Dept.: There are few if any commercial entities that label themselves what they actually are and what people actually call them.  
  • Therefore, there are no "grocery stores," "convenience stores" or "pool halls"  but rather "SuperCenters," "Q-Marts" and "Billiards Parlors."  (Kudos to Ace Hardware, which apparently never got or choose to ignore the memo.)
  • And who started this business of stores asking for charitable  donations at the checkout counter?  Do they get a tax break by doing this?  Hard to  consider something "good PR" when it irritates the customers!
  • "People like to 'hate-watch' things.  People are very cynical. That's a much more fun way to watch television."--"Peter Pan" star Allison Williams  
  • (Hate-watching is watching a show or movie you suspect you will emphatically dislike, for the purpose of being able to talk about how much you disliked it, either during the program (on social media) or afterward, says Brandon Ambrosino of
  • Newspaper Obituary Nickname of the Week:  "Bads. " As in Thomas "Bads" Beth, Kenosha (Wis.) News obituary, Dec. 11, 2014.
  • "I've always found myself fascinated by midgets--both the physical and mental varieties."--Stephen King via  William Mochnik,  jimjustsaying's Missouri bureau chief.
  • Jim's Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  "Say [fellow partygoer's name here], did you know that Robert M. Pirsig, author of the best-selling  "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values," once wrote technical manuals and ads for the mortuary cosmetics industry?" 
  • "Metaphysics is a restaurant where they give you a 30,000 page menu and no food."--Robert M. Pirsig
  • Phonesia:  The affliction of dialing a phone number and forgetting whom you were calling just as soon as that person answers.--"Sniglets," by Rich Hall &Friends
  • Fifty-eighth Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw It Mentioned in a Green Bay Press-Gazette Obituary: Lunds. (R.I.P., Patricia A. Giese, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Sept. 9, 2014).  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, Red River, Gillet, King, Laona, Kelly Lake, Glenmore, Tonet, Stiles, Morrison, Dunbar, Askeaton, Wild Rose. Neopit, Ellisville, Pickett, Flintville,  Forest Junction, Thiry Daems, Black Creek,  Mountain and Ledgeview.
  • Today's Latin lesson:  Est is gelu satis vobis?  ("Is it cold enough for you?")

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