Tuesday, February 7, 2017


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • You didn't hear it from me, but sources tell me President Trump is warming to the idea of debtors' prisons.   ("AND THE DEBTORS ARE GOING TO PAY FOR IT!")
  • I'm nostalgic for the days when magazines didn't come in plastic bags.  (If you ordered, say, a hundred plastic bags, would they come in a plastic bag?)
  • When did guys start getting haircuts that look like the barber had a seizure  . . . and kept on cutting?  (And when will that trend mercifully limp to a halt?)
  • My town, and perhaps yours as well, has a Walnut Street.  But where are the Cashew Courts,  the Almond Avenues, the Pistachio Parkways?  How did all these other nut varieties get left out?
  • (This just in:  My research assistant, Miss Informed, tells me that peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, horse chestnuts and pine nuts are not nuts.)
  • Made all of 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 go to work, but you wouldn’t have to do anything.
  • President’s Day is nice and all, 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!
  • jimjustsaying's Party Ice-Breaker of the Month:  "Say [actual partygoer's name here], did you know that killer whales, short-finned pilot whales and humans are the only animals that experience menopause?"
  • From my daily e-mail from The Atlantic:  A frog’s tongue is X  times more flexible than a human’s.  (Answer:  10! I would guess tongue flexibility is one  anatomical attribute that none of us have never pondered!)
  • Another impressive number:  50,000--the number of  badged employees who report to work at LAX each day, many with direct access to the airfield.
  • jimjustsaying's Word That Doesn't Exist But Should of the Month:  "Adam 69:  Two police cars parked so that the drivers side windows face each other and the policemen inside can talk to one another."  (Thanks to lco...@woodburnsd.org for this clever coinage.)
  • You're an old-timer if you remember when pornography was known as "stag films" or "skin magazines"  and was available only through back channels or "under the counter."  Who envisioned the day when Disney-owned hotel chains would be offering such fare on their pay-for-view channels?
  • (The Disney Company was a key partner in a cable channel distributing soft-core pornography.  The allegation appeared in "Disney: The Mouse Betrayed." While the channel originally ran action films and comedies from various Hollywood studios, the president of Viewer’s Choice pursued distribution of pornography because of its profit potential, the book's authors wrote.)
  • Faded phrases: "In like Flynn," "Living the life of Riley," and "Go soak your head."
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month:  Wazzie.  As in, Dan "Wazzie" Nusbaum, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Nov. 2, 2016.  R.I.P., Mr. Nusbaum.
  • Redundancy Patrol: "Combine together," "brief summary," "completely annihilate."
  • Time for Russian-born comic Yakof Smirnoff to make a comeback. ("The first time I went to a restaurant, they asked me:  'How many in your party?' and I said 'Six hundred million.' ")
  • jimjustsaying's Favorite Internet "click-bait" Items of the Month:
  • 40 stars you don't know had kids at a very young age/6 things that could get you arrested in Dubai/Foods that make you look 10 years older/15 uses for old  coffee grounds/9 super sad TV sitcom moments that got way too real/7 weird signs that could mean you're really unhealthy/What to do if your car doesn't fit in your garage . . . and one everyone should read and heed:  How to confront a war criminal.
  • Note to employers:  Before you hire someone, look inside the prospective employee's car.  It will tell you more about the actual person than the dating-behavior charade that is the official interview process.
  • "People always ask me how long it takes to do my hair. I don’t know, I’m never there."--Dolly Parton
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  Quomodo hoc posset scurrae electum? ("How did this buffoon get elected?)

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