Thursday, October 8, 2015


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric, and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life  
  • Rumors that I've been selected for the lead role in "Deuce Bigalow, Geriatric Gigolo" are just that--rumors!  How do these things get started anyway?
  • Memo to the increasing number of females (and a few males) with pink, blue, green or purple hair:   Bring something to read when you go to the unemployment office.
  • How great are my new eyeglasses?  I'm getting a bumper sticker made that will say "I Brake for Ants!"  
  • Can't remember the last time I saw something we all used to see fairly often: A hitchiker.  Seen one lately?  
  • "One definition of a philosopher is someone who thinks that what goes without saying goes even better with saying."---Kwame Anthony Appiah, author of “Cosmopolitanism” and “The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen.”
  • At the risk of eliciting uberumbrage:  I can't get used to hearing female voices giving sports reports (and sideline "updates"), just as I'd do a double-take if I saw an all-male nurse team tending to newborns in the maternity ward.  Some things are just plain out of place even if they aren't "wrong."
  • I don't have a so-called "bucket list." But buckets are useful, and so are lists, for that matter.  Come to think of it, we  have one bucket but could probably use another one.  So it's on the list.  
  • Don't know about you, but movies that are about the making of a movie hold no appeal for me.  
  • You heard it here first:  Radio serials are going to make a big comeback.  
  • Where is this country going?   Larry King is doing infomercials,  Burt Reynolds is wasting away and reportedly broke, and John Travolta has been gay for a long time, according to supermarket tabloids.  Donald Trump for president?  Fits right in!
  • jimjustsaying's Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  "Say [actual partygoer's name here], did you know that  Dutch researchers found that using "huh?" to indicate a lack of understanding is common to 31 vastly different languages, including Murriny Patha, spoken by Aboriginal Australians, Icelandic, Hungarian, and Japanese."
  • Toothbrush manufacturers amuse me no end.  They're always coming up with new angles (almost literally), new selling points.  The latest one I bought proclaimed "90% Deeper Reach/removes plaque between teeth."  
  • Why now, at this late date?  What part of "deeper" wasn't possible or advisable 100 years ago?  What led to the "breakthrough"? Have teeth changed that much--if at all--over time? Is it that hard to make THE perfect brush, once and for all?  Help me out here.
  • "When you give [ to politicians], they do whatever the hell you want them to do. As a businessman, I need that. An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought."--Donald Trump in the Wall St. Journal.
  • Seasonal note:  The end of summer isn't necessarily the Labor Day weekend or the start of school but rather the arrival of pocket hand-warmer packets in the $1 bin near the Target entrance.
  • Why do we say "hot and humid" but "cold and damp"?   Starting now, I'm going with "hot and damp" and "cold and humid."   Aren't we talking about the same thing--moisture content in the air?  So why the seasonal nomenclature divergence?  What's the cutoff point for humid vs. damp?  60 and warmer, humid?  59 and colder, damp?  Help me out here.
  • jimjustsaying's "Word That Doesn't Exist But Should" of the Week:  Molotov Cartail, n., Any service station towel used in place of a gas cap.--"Unexplained Sniglets of the Universe," Rich Hall & Friends.
  • jimjustsaying's Foreign Word With No English Equivalent of the Month:  Zeg (Georgian). It means "the day after tomorrow." Seriously, why don't we have a word for that in English?  (I'd like to credit this item but can't remember the source.  Should be an English word for that too!)
  • jimjustsaying's Faded Phrase of the Month:  "Knee high to a grasshopper."
  • "There are three stages of scientific discovery:  First, people deny that it is true;  then, they deny that it is important; finally, they credit [or blame?] the wrong person."--Alexander von Humboldt, 19th Century naturalist 
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Week:  "Iron Mike."  As in, Michael "Iron Mike" Blindhauer (Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Sept. 24, 2015).  R.I.P, Mr. Blindhauer.
  • Sixty-fourth  Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw It Mentioned in a Green Bay Press-Gazette Obituary:  Pella, Wis.. (R.I.P., Patricia Thomas, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, July 15, 2015).  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, Ledgeview, Lunds, Suring, Lakewood, Beaver, Cloverleaf Lakes and Krakow.
  • One could easily think that GOP now stands for Goofballs on Parade.  Or, perhaps, Grand Old (accent on the Old!) Pariahs.
  • Speaking of which, the name "Jeb" had a Baby Name Ranking of 954 in 1978.--Bill Griffith in "Zippy" 
  • Funny, but you don't hear much about the Mayan Calendar these days.  (And I'll bet there are more than a few people who wish the world had ended on Dec. 21, 2012.   Bill Cosby, maybe?  Bernie Madoff?  Most financial advisers?  Hillary?)
  • Today's Latin Lesson: Umo unus, adepto unus solvo. ("Buy one, get one free.")

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