Sunday, February 1, 2015


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric, and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Mitt, we hardly knew ye!  (Actually, we knew ye all too well.  Before you did.)
  • Why is the Mute button always in a different place on every kind of remote control?
  • (There should  be a Edit View button to remove the relentless "crawls" at the bottom of the TV screen.  For one thing, I'm not interested in  Soccer Updates when I'm watching the World Series.   Nor do I care about tropical storms in the Maldive Islands. Or soccer games on the Maldive Islands.)  
  • Funerals:  Where you go to say and hear nice things said about the deceased that should have been said to him or her before they had to leave for the funeral.
  • (When was the last time you saw a new funeral home going up?   With the population explosion over the last decades, you'd think you would see a new one being built occasionally.  Are the existing ones just busier or . . . . What am I missing here?
  • More cremations, you say?  They still have to go through the funeral home process. People living longer?  They still die eventually . . . and then there is the off-setting phenomenon of the growing number of young people dying of gang violence, drive-by shootings, AIDs, drug overdoses . . . .)
  • Made your President’s Day plans yet?  There’s still time.  Maybe we should have a Vice President’s Day too.  You’d still have to show up at work, but you wouldn’t have to do anything.
  • President’s Day is nice, but who really looks forward to it---aside from government workers?  I propose a holiday that would hold more satisfaction for the rest of us: Turnabout Day, based on “turnabout's fair play.” A way to correct a power imbalance we all endure.
  • On Turnabout Day—and you’d get to pick your own date each year—your doctor would have to get naked in front of you, and your accountant or financial adviser would have to show you his or her tax return!
  • Through a cruel quirk of nature, men were born without the vital clothes-folding chromosome.
  • How cold has it been in northeast Wisconsin?  So cold that the ice fishermen have been dipping their worms in hot chocolate!
  • Now that I'm finally getting comfortable in my own skin, it's all wrinkled.
  • jimjustsaying's Coinage of the Month:  Mediarrhea.  The unending onslaught of news stories (and instant updates of same), op-ed columns, interesting news and feature stories, magazine articles, talk-show jokes, movies, "webisodes,"  albums, books, web comics, podcasts, video games, and whatever else spews forth from Twitter feeds, Tumblr, Instagram, Reddit AMA, You Tube and myriad other stuff that no one can possibly keep up with.
  • I used to ridicule people who were resistant to (or afraid of) computers.  But maybe I've been too harsh.   Who in their right mind would submit to a world dominated by words like Google and Yahoo!    And then traffic with people in Amazon! 
  • Three bad ideas for a business:  Just Cuff Links,  Just Cummerbunds,  Just Shoelaces.
  • "Breeds" of Dogs I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw Them Listed in a Newspaper Ad:  the Affenpoo (half poodle and half Affenpinscher), the Pomachon (a  mix of the Pomeranian and the Bichon Frise) and the Whoodle (a  cross between the soft-coated Wheaten terrier and the poodle).  
  • "They’re all home-grown coyotes, all born and bred in Chicago.”--A wildlife biologist on the growing numbers of of that particular animal downtown.
  • I love the Red-Eye Reduction feature you find on  photo-editing software, but why did they stop there?  Where's the Double Chin Reduction button?  The Wrinkle Eraser? The Crow's Feet Eliminator?  The Bald Spot Coverup feature?  The Fountain of Youth dial?  There's room for improvement here!
  • More of jimjustsaying's series of Words You See in Print or Hear on the Air But Never Hear Anyone Use in Normal Life:  Emollient, mucilage and dentifrice.
  • "I like rice.  Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something."--Mitch Hedberg
  • Headline:  "The legendary Ernie Banks, 'Mr. Cub,' dies at 83."  Memo to headline writers and misguided journalists:  If someone is truly legendary, you don't have to tell us that.  If you feel as if you DO have to inform us of that nebulous status, then he or she isn't legendary.
  • Obituary Headline Nickname of the Week:  "Big-Time Charlie."  As in Charles  "Big-Time Charlie" Stone, Kenosha (Wis.) News, Jan. 23, 2015.
  • Another in jimjustsaying's series of Occupations No Child Has ever Fantasized About or Aspired To:  Nail salon technician.  
  • Snack fact:  Are there insect bars in your future?  Wired reports that edible bugs "get snackified" in protein bars and that several companies are selling bars made with cricket flour, a gluten-free substance high in protein and healthy fats.  (Kind of hard to work into a conversation, but there you have it!)
  • Umbilinkus:  The tiny appendage at the end of a link sausage.--"More Sniglets," Rich Hall & Friends
  • Fifty-ninth Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw It Mentioned in a Green Bay Press-Gazette Obituary: Suring. (R.I.P., Ronald Lee Bubolz, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Oct. 8, 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, Ledgeview and Lunds.
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  EGO sudo , EGO won't dico a animus!  ("I swear, I won't tell a soul!)