Tuesday, May 3, 2016


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Three things I don't pretend to understand:  Bitcoins, Snapchat and RSS feeds.  (Close behind:  Instagram, Buzzfeed and Prince, all due respect.)
  • Let's see if I've got this right:  Our government is dysfunctional, our Supreme Court is paralyzed, our infrastructure is crumbling, our climate concerns are largely ignored, yet the premier issue these days seems to be where the minuscule percentage of the population that is transgender can go to the bathroom.   Whatta country!
  • In other words, you could say that the body politic has become the shoddy politic.
  • "It’s useless to hold a person to anything he says while he’s in love, drunk, or running for office."--Shirley MacLaine
  • I had quite a few medical tests (colonoscopy, etc., etc.) performed lately and passed all of them "with flying colors," I was told.  Hmmm.  Red is a color,isn't it?  Flags fly, don't they?  But apparently there were none of those.
  • News you probably missed:   California nuts have become so lucrative that an organized band of thieves has stolen 31 shipments of almonds and pistachios worth $9 mil­lion, the Los Angeles Times reports.  "Nuts don’t have serial numbers," an insurance company executive said.  "The product is easy to move, and the evidence is consumed."
  • I think I've finally put my finger on what Hillary Clinton's clothing  reminds me of:  Indoor-outdoor carpeting!
  • Piling on:  Remember when people called Illinois native and former Arkansas resident Hillary Clinton a "carpetbagger" when she ran for the senate in New York?   Carpetbagger?  That's not what she was, that's what she wears! That's one look.  As for the other, who ever thought a tarpaulin would be a good fashion look?
  • Grisly courtroom action (or, bad writing/editing, Chicago Sun-Times, April 29): "Daisy Gutierrez, 21, pleaded guilty to dismembering a body before Judge William Hooks, according to Cook County court records."
  • jimjustsaying's edited version:  Daisy Gutierrez, 21, pleaded guilty before Judge William Hooks to dismembering a body, according to Cook County court records.
  • How much would Major League Baseball attendance decline if beer sales were outlawed?  25 percent?  50 percent?  I'mjustsayin'.
  • Speaking of sports:  This ever happen to you?  You turn on a game and don't recognize either of the teams?
  • Remember when your favorite baseball team had two uniforms:  White for home games and those "gray traveling uniforms," as announcers used to call them?   Now they've got 5 or 6 sets, from "throwback unis" to camouflage outfits (for all you veterans out there) to this and that and whatever.   You turn on a game and are a bit puzzled about who really is playing.  This being an election year, perhaps the World Series teams will be wearing  American Flags or something suitably patriotic.
  • And then there's April 15, when every player on every team wears No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.   What they should have been wearing:  Number  9.2, to reflect the appallingly low actual percentage of black players on Opening Day rosters this season (69 out of 750, if you do the math).
  • "Most rock journalism is people who can’t write interviewing people who can’t talk for people who can’t read. "--Frank Zappa
  • jimjustsaying's As Seen on TV Product Name of the Week:  Angry-Mama microwave cleaner.  ($9.98)   ("Turn on the microwave and watch angry steam flow out of her head. . . .")
  • Radio News Redundancy of the Week:  "Violent extremists."  As in "Villagers in the town square were attacked by a group of violent extremists."   Um, aren't all extremists essentially violent?  As opposed to those placid, Milquetoasty extremists; you know, the kind who help little old ladies across the street and volunteer at the food pantry?  
  • jimjustsaying's Word That Should Exist But Doesn't of the Week:  "Oopzama":  The sudden scratching of the face or scalp upon realization that the person you were waving at isn't who you thought it was.--"More Sniglets," Rich Hall & Friends.
  • Seventy-first Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw It Mentioned in a Green Bay Press-Gazette Obituary: North Chase, Wis.. (R.I.P., Gladys Saindon, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Nov. 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, Townsend, Vandenbroek, Coleman,  Spruce, Armstrong Creek and Lake Gogebic.
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month:  Big Papa.  As in Shaun "Big Papa" Hurning,  Green Bay Press-Gazette, April 5, 2016.  R.I.P., Mr. Hurning .
  • Old sayings that have  passed their expiration dates:  “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!”  "Don’t take any wooden nickels."  "A penny for your thoughts."
  • jimjustsaying's Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  "Say [actual partygoer's name here], did you know that it takes 63,000 people to operate Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport?  That includes airline, ground transportation, concessionaire, security, federal government, city and airport tenant employees."  (On duty are two art department coordinators, a full-time wildlife biologist, engineers for the airport's Plane Train and Sky Train and a mobile medical response team that includes EMTs who jump on bicycles to cut down on the time it takes to respond to a medical emergency.)  
  • I consider myself the poor man's Joe Piscopo.  My best impression is Frank Sinatra Jr!
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  Nihil hic, mi placet moveri. ("Nothing to see here, folks, please move along.")

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