Thursday, October 5, 2017


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Real men don't tweet.
  • Everybody fantasizes about winning the lottery.  Me, I'd rather get a voice-over "job," which  could be defined as printing money with your voice.  Show up, wear whatever, read script, cash check.  Commercials, animated cartoon shows or movies, you-name-it--count me in.  
  • I used to think "awesome" and "totally" were the two most mis- and/or over-used words in the English language these days, but "literally"
    is rapidly closing in on them, unfortunately.  ("Figuratively" is probably safe for now.  And thanks to Target for the photo-op!) 
  • When did the word "playoffs" become anathema in baseball and other sports?  To me, the "postseason" starts the day the World Series ends.  
  • Memo to all sports announcers (especially radio guys): No one has ever complained about a  play-by-play announcer giving the score too often.
  • As soon as news hit about the massacre in Las Vegas, every 6 seconds you heard, "The big question is 'Why'."  As if there could be a good reason?  Knowing "why" is not going to resurrect the 59 dead people or undo the deed in any way.  Those people are still dead and/or wounded, the shooter is dead, and trying to determine the motive is a useless exercise.  
  • And no, knowing "why" will not help us prevent further such atrocities.  Twisted Psyches A,  B , C or Z will not be identical, nor will the trigger events that caused their acts of carnage.  What did Stephen Paddock and Timothy McVeigh have in common?  Or any of the perpetrators of mass murders.  Nothing.  You can no more prevent these kinds of atrocities than you can prevent rain or snow.  You can just go where those things are less likely, but total avoidance is next to impossible.  
  • (When someone says a mass or serial killer was "kind of a loner," that doesn't reveal much of anything.  Of course, they're loners.  It's not like a Tuesday bowling night with the boys!  And you just knew that as soon as the smoke cleared, the "did he act alone?" conspiracy theorists would be in full cry.)
  • Chinese Fortune Cookie of the Month (from Hong Kong Buffet, Sturgeon Bay, Wis.):  "The fortune you seek is in another cookie."
  • Life ain't easy these days.  Not when the movers and shakers keep moving the goal posts instead of leveling the playing field, while the rest of us have to have a multitask mind-set while fighting a never-ending learning curve.  So all you can do is hit the ground running,  play hardball when you have to step up to the plate, and at the end of the day, pick all the low-hanging fruit.  
  • Let's face it, the fat cats have us on an emotional roller-coaster, no matter how much they try to downsize the elephant in the room.  So cut to the chase, and before the whole ball of wax reaches critical mass,  we'll take stock of the benchmarks and the Big Picture and our footprint and come to the realization that we must go back to the drawing board.  It is what it is.  
  • "There is nothing quite so tragic as a young cynic, because it means the person has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing."--Maya Angelou
  • Sure-fire concert package no promoter ever dreamed up (back in the day):  Johnny Cash, Eddie Money, Johnny Paycheck . . .  and--for diversity--50-Cent.   Tickets would surely be top dollar; no refunds.  
  • (How often have you ever had your money “cheerfully refunded”?  About the same number of times you've heard the words "NO restrictions apply.")
  • jimjustsaying's Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  "Say [actual partygoer's name here], did you know that we cannot sneeze in our sleep due to REM (rapid eye movement) atonia--a bodily state wherein motor neurons are not stimulated and reflectory signals are not relayed to the brain?"
  • If Andy Warhol were still around, he'd probably revise his "15 minutes of fame" trope to "just about everyone will be in a Hall of Fame of some kind."  
  • Somewhere there is probably (or soon will be) a Bowling Alley Pinsetters Hall of Fame. A Curtain Rod Designers Hall of Fame and, eventually, an Underwear Purchasers Hall of Fame.  Enough!  I'd like to see a moratorium on establishing these dubious, who-gives-a-bleep "Halls of Fame."  They're probably a vestige, writ larger, of the "Every soccer player gets a trophy" syndrome that has infected the country in the last 20 years.
  • "We have created a Star Wars civilization with Stone Age emotions."--Biologist E.O. Wilson
  • jimjustsaying's Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month:  "Pukeweed."   As in, Davale R. "Pukeweed" Arveson, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Sept. 20, 2017.  R.I.P., Mr. Arveson.
  • If there is a law that every garbage truck has to have screechy brakes, then all trucks seem to be in full compliance!
  • "Someday is not a day of the week."--Novelist Janet Dailey
  • jimjustsaying's Word That Doesn't Exist But Should of the Month:  "Halaska, n. The boxed area on a U.S. map where our 49th and 50th states are located."--"Unexplained Sniglets of the Universe," Rich Hall and Friends.
  • "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us."--Cartoonist Bill Watterson
  • Today's Latin lesson: Quis est in is mihi? ("What's in it for me?")