Thursday, December 17, 2015


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric, and whimsical observations
 about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • I have an idea for a new soap opera dealing with the so-called Millennial generation:  "The Young and the Useless."  
  • I entered the new Florida license plate slogan contest, but I don't think "The Sinkhole State" is going to make the cut.
  • I guess you could say I grew up in a rough neighborhood.  Our parish priest was also a licensed bail bondsman.  
  • At communion, you could have either wine or whiskey.  Whew--rough neighborhood!
  • And some of the nuns at my school were so tough they had gangster-style nicknames.  Sister Thelma "The Bone Crusher" Andreucci.  Sister Margaret "The Grim Reaper" Anderson.   Sister Rosalie "The Cobra" Coperna.   Ah, the memories.  
  • Memo to Apple:  Where's your Snowbrush or Snow Shoveling app?  Couldn't find a Leaf Raking App either. I already know how find the nearest restaurant and gas station.  
  • "I'm starting up a startup that will help other startups start up."--New Yorker cartoon
  • Attention Christmas shoppers:  The tab for Seven Swans a-Swimming is $13,125, the same as last year.  But for the budget minded,  Six Geese-a-Laying are going for a mere $360.  (Thanks to Joe Mandak of the Associated Press, jimjustsaying's go-to guy for frivolous holiday gift prices.)
  • Hard to Believe Dept.: A British study found that roughly 15 percent of young adults do not know that pork comes from pigs and lamb comes from sheep.  Some 20 percent believed that "fish fingers"  are made from the fingers of fish.
  • Thinking out loud:  I wonder how long it took after the first automobiles started appearing on the streets of America before someone said:  "Hey, you know, these things are going to break down once in a while.  Shouldn't there be something that can come along and tend to them  . . .  you know, like . . . I don't know . . . a tow truck, or something like that?"  
  • Following the same train of thought:  How long after the first person went swimming did the first lifeguards appear?   How many years--or centuries--passed?   It's interesting to ponder the lag time between the activity, the need and the need fulfillment whether it be autos (and a long time later, seatbelts) and etc.
  • Thousands of years ago, someone probably said, "Hey, there seem to be a lot of sheep roaming around willy-nilly.  What if there was  a guy out there trying to control these things.  A guy with a stick or a rod or a pole or something like that. . . ."
  • "Normal is just a cycle on the washing machine."--Whoopi Goldberg
  • Regarding the political debates:  You'd think these "candidates" would have detailed dossiers or documents spelling out all of their proposals and grand plans, chapter and verse.  But all we get are  ambiguities and outright contradictions of earlier "stands."
  • I predict the voters will eventually reject Donald Trump--but humanely!  It'll be very humane!
  • "You campaign in poetry.  You govern in prose."--Mario Cuomo
  • I'd like nothing more than to put a stop to this "unwork ethic" business of offices and such treating the day after Thanksgiving as a de facto holiday, but I'm afraid the toothpaste is out of the tube on that one.    
  • jimjustsaying's Ridiculous Obituary Cause of Death of the Month:  A Wisconsin man (whose identity I will protect) recently  "died unexpectedly due to an auto accident."  As opposed to accidents he expected to die in but didn't? 
  • Speaking of obituaries, when did it become acceptable for someone to list a slew of children as survivors of a man or woman with no reference to a spouse or any kind of partner?   That wouldn't happen in any newspaper that I owned. 
  • We're already into the era of "cop cams."  What's next?  Doc cams?  Nurse cams?  You know, anything to protect against a lawsuit . . . .
  • jimjustsaying's Word That Should Exist But Doesn't of the Month:  "Premaderci."  The act of saying goodbye to someone then running into him or her moments later.--"More Sniglets," Rich Hall & Friends
  • Another in a series of jimjustsaying's Media Words (words you see or hear only in news reports and never, ever hear used by a normal person in real life):  "foment."  As in,  "Beer law foments debate" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel page one headline, Sept.9. 2015).
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month:  PeeWee.  As in DeLyle "PeeWee" Lindow, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Oct. 9, 2015.  R.I.P., Mr. Lindow.
  • Sixty-sixth  Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw It Mentioned in a Door County Online  Obituary:  Vandenbroek,, Wis.. (R.I.P., Elton Gerdman, Door County Online obituary, Aug. 12, 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, Krakow,  Pella and Townsend.
  • It was a good week for bird calls recently, according to news reports, after firefighters in Idaho rushed into a burning building when they heard voices calling "Help! Fire!" only to discover a couple of parrots.   "There was nobody besides the birds inside," said one fireman.  "Smart birds."
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  Est is pro hic vel praecessi?  ("Is this for here or to go?")


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