Sunday, April 3, 2016


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • You can tell it's spring in Northern Wisconsin when you see 2 inches of snow on the bags of fertilizer and potting soil in the newly reopened outdoor garden center at Wal-Mart.
  • Many experts predict this is the year the Cubs will finally win the World Series.  But longtime, long-suffering fans are still skeptical.  They think a Cubs title is as likely as . . . well . . . as Donald Trump being named Grand Marshall of the Cinco de Mayo parade in Guadalajara.
  • You're an old-timer if you remember pop machines with bottles, wooden ice-cream spoons and pay toilets. 
  • I'd pay a princely sum to see Larry King, Rush Limbaugh or Hillary Clinton on "Dancing With the Stars."
  • jimjustsaying's  Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  "Say [actual partygoer's name here], did you know that Sweden is so efficient that only 1 % of its garbage ends up in landfills?"
  • It's Not Only A Dirty Job But Also A Dangerous Job (But Somebody's Got To Do It) Department:  With 33 fatalities per 100,000 employees a year, sanitation work is one of the America's deadliest jobs--two to three times as dangerous as being a police office and seven times as dangerous firefighting, Mental Floss magazine reports.
  • Book Rave of the Month:  "Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder," by Gloria Kolb (National Geographic, $24).  (Who knew?)
  • Shouldn't e-mail really be d-mail, as in digital?  Or c-mail, as in computer? After all, what isn't electronic these days?  
  • Ever wonder why computer models have such strange, alphabet-soup-sounding names?  It's no accident, according to PC World.  Complex names (such as 5097B-15iJ Laptop) make it almost impossible to demand that Big Box Store A match the sale price at Big Box Store B  and also makes online price comparisons virtually impossible.
  • Faded Phrases:  "Don’t touch that dial," "Give me a carbon copy," and "You sound like a broken record." 
  • Magazine renewal notices that say "Last Chance" really mean that there are five more coming.  Maybe more.
  • Ever wonder why some Red Lobsters aren't participating in whatever it is the rest of the Red Lobsters are participating in?
  • Lamest sportscaster saying (or, one of them, there are so, so many):  "He really came to play!"
  • Great!  Here all along I thought he planned to spend his day or night at the mall or the casino but he decided to come to the park after all."  I guess $10 million  or more is no longer sufficient motivation for putting forth an effort.
  • "Who discovered we could get milk from cows, and what did he think he was doing at the time?"-- Comedian Billy Connolly, quoted in The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)
  • jimjustsaying's Media Word of the Week (a word you see in news or magazine articles but never hear an actual person use in real life):  gambit.
  • One of my main problems with HLN, specifically the "Nancy Grace" and "Dr. Drew " programs: They’re decent half-hour shows that are unfortunately padded out to an hour each! So-so segments go on and on and on, with repetitious clips and commentary.
  • "When the cost of action and the cost of inaction both feel unaffordable, you have a wicked problem."--Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times on the geopolitical dilemma facing the U.S.
  • I shudder to think of how much stuff that I (and, in reality, all of us) threw away before recycling came along.  
  • What's wrong with this picture?  Women wear makeup and shave their legs and underarms and then tell their husbands or boyfriends to "get real."
  • I keep reading and hearing more and more about celebrity chefs.  So far no celebrity servers, celebrity busboys  or celebrity bartenders.  That's coming.   
  • Overheard: "I love asking kids what they want to be when they grow up because I am still looking for ideas."
  • Seventieth Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw It Mentioned in a Green Bay Press-Gazette Obituary: Lake Gogebic, Wis.. (R.I.P., David L. Van Dansel, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Oct. 25, 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 and Armstrong Creek.
  • Why do stores with double entry doors almost always have one of them locked?
  • jimjustsaying's Word of The Week That Doesn't Exist But Should: Telecrastination:  n. The act of always letting the phone ring at least twice before you pick it up, even when you're only six inches away.  (From "Sniglets," Rich Hall & Friends).
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month:  Yuma.  As in Robert "Yuma" Thomas, Green Bay Press-Gazette, March 8, 2016.  R.I.P., Mr. Thomas.
  • Today's Latin Lesson: Is dico may exsisto recorded pro palaestra voluntas.   ("This call may be recorded for training purposes.")