Wednesday, August 2, 2017


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Which is easier:  Losing weight or getting off a mailing list?  Discuss.
  • Now that the cultural abomination of "gender reveal" parties is proliferating, why not go one step further and start holding "disposal reveal" or "demise reveal" parties.   Such as:
  • Dear friends:  Will Jim decide to be buried in a cemetery or be cremated?  Join us for the revelation at 4 p.m. Sunday Aug. 13 at the Tower in Potawatomi State Park.  Regrets only.
  • Used-car ad I'd love to see:  "Our cars have that used-car smell and just some of the bells and whistles!"
  • Titles that don't quite make it (via Salman Rushdie's essay on Christoper Hitchens in "Vanity Fair's Writers on Writers," a book I highly recommend):  "A Farewell to Weapons," "For Whom the Bell Rings," "To Kill a Hummingbird," "The Catcher in the Wheat" and "Mr. Zhivago."
  • That inspired jimjustsaying's Song Titles That Don't Quite Make It," such as:
  • "The Lady is a Bum,"  "All the Items You Are," "How Deep is the River?,"  "Cul de Sac of Broken Dreams," "On the Avenue Where You Live,"  "Back Home Again in South Dakota,"  "The Days of Rum and Petunias,"  "Body and Spirit," and "Mr. Fortunate."  
  • TV Guide fun facts:  The person who appeared on the magazine's first issue also made the most cover appearances ever:  Lucille Ball.   (What, you thought it was Wally Cox?)
  • It has been reported that in order to get the show filmed on the most expensive --and therefore best --type of film possible, Ball and Desi Arnaz both took pay cuts so the production crew could afford it.   Can't imagine any of today's stars doing that, can you?
  • jimjustsaying's Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  "Say [actual partygoer's name here], did you know that crows are incredibly clever birds, capable of using tools and recognizing faces and that they even mourn their dead and hold 'funerals'?"  
  • "The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable."--John Kenneth Galbraith
  • jimjustsaying's World That Doesn't Exist But Should:  Flirr:  n. A photograph that features the camera operator's finger in the corner.--from "Sniglets," Rich Hall and Friends.
  • jimjustsaying's Six Favorite Items from the summer supplement edition of the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog: The Extra Wide Zero Gravity Breathable Mesh Lounger/The Snore Reducing Oxygen Level Monitor/The Singing Peek-A-Boo Pachyderm/The Himalayan Salt Grilling Plank/The British Horticulturist Bee House and the Hypnotic Jellyfish Aquarium.  
  • I'm dead set against the death penalty--except for defaulters on student loans!  (Did you know that defaulters can have 15 percent of their wages garnished by the federal government, have their tax refunds withheld and Social Security benefits denied?  Good start, but not stiff enough.)
  •  "An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way, an artist says a hard thing in a simple way."
  •   --Charles Bukowski,
  • Redundancy patrol:  "Arson fire," "join together" and "end result."
  • I'd probably fast-forward through fewer TV commercials if they were done live, as they were in the old days . . . when the dogs sometimes didn't eat the dog food or the vacuum cleaner didn't vacuum up what it was supposed to vacuum up.   That was reality TV, my friend.
  • Why are the clothes hooks are so often missing inside the fitting rooms at stores and the "facilities"  just about everywhere?
  • jimjustsaying's Most Misused Word of the Month (if not Century):  fulsome.  As in, "The honoree was lavished with fulsome praise."  If the speaker meant to insult the honoree, he or she succeeded because "fulsome" means "insincere," nothing else. It doesn't mean "full" or "abundant."  But the gaffe usually passes unnoticed because most people don't know the difference.  (And don't get me started on "parameters"!)
  • Overheard:  "My boss in on vacation this week, and so am I."
  • Prediction: Sometime in the coming weeks you're bound to hear some geriatric hippy proclaim that "Woodstock changed the world."
  • Really?  Far as I can tell, the day it ended, the Soviet Union was still an oppressive communist nation, Third World children were still starving, and Richard Nixon was still in the White House.  I don't think three days of naked hippies smoking weed and slogging through the mud at Max Yasgur's farm from August 15-17, 1969, to music they probably couldn't really hear very well changed much of anything.
  • jimjustsaying's Coinage of the Month:  Shoulder of fortune:  A person who, when he's talking to you, is looking past you to see if there's someone more important he or she should be talking to.
  • "Surviving at the punch bowls were Mrs. Ferguson and Mrs. Pritchard."--The Roanoke (Va.) Times, via "Still More Press Boners."
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  Es vos populus etiam opus in ut?  ("Are you guys still working on that?")

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