Saturday, June 9, 2018


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life

  • I’m a long way from Hawaii, but I’ve stopped turning on my Lava Lamp in solidarity with the volcano-beleaguered populace.
  • All those who thought Rudy Giuliani was this big of a doofus before he hooked up with Donald Trump, raise your hands. 
  • I don’t know about you, but hardly a week goes by without my having to order a product online--a product that used to be available in stores but now isn’t.  (“Sorry, we don’t carry that anymore” is an all-too-common refrain . . . and ownership wonders why revenue is down!)
  • A friend of mine needed a personal item or two while in Cancun, so he went—where else?--to La Tiendas de Familia Peso. (That's Family Dollar to us gringoes.)
  • If I had just escaped from prison and wanted to be totally ignored, the first thing I’d get would be a red flag.  Because this much we know about these horrendous school or workplace massacres:  Warning signs of all sorts (weapons caches, ominous tweets, terroristic boasts, etc.) are roundly ignored.  My long-lasting freedom would be assured with a red flag.
  • I hate to bring up Afghanistan, but are we in the 17th year of the war . . . or in the first year for the 17th time?  And how many people could find it on a map?
  • jimjustsaying’s Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:   “Say [actual partygoer’s name here], did you know that eyes of guppies are normally a silver color, but they turn black when the fish get angry?”
  • It has come to this:  Football can’t decide what is or isn’t a catch,  and baseball can’t decide what is or isn’t a proper slide.  You’d think the games originated in 2017!   
  • And it seems as if everything in baseball is sponsored these days:  "Here's the Brewers starting lineup, brought to you by Milwaukee-area Chevy dealers." . . .  "Let's set the Brewers Pepsi defense for you." . . . . "This call to the pen is brought to you by . . . ."
  • (What's next?   "This between-innings Announcer Bathroom Visit is brought to you by Quilted Northern, the official bathroom tissue of the Milwaukee Brewers . . . .")
  • Speaking of the Brewers, it seems like the Polish sausage has dominated the mid-game/between innings “races” so far this season at Miller Park, but keep in mind--there's a lot of sausage yet to be played!
  • "The other day I was thinking, ‘I just overthink things.’ And then I thought, ‘Do I, though?’"--Comedian Demetri Martin
  • 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 Howard Cosell was still an obnoxious, insufferable oaf.  I don't think three days of naked hippies smoking weed and slogging through the mud at Max Yasgur's farm to music they probably couldn't really hear very well changed much of anything
  • Why do we say “cold and damp” in the fall/winter and “hot and humid” in summer?  Why the difference in terminology?  Is there an official line of demarcation? After all, we're talking about the same phenomenon--moisture in the atmosphere.  So is it "damp" at 59.9 degrees or lower and "humid" at 60 and above?  Until otherwise notified, I’m going with “hot and damp” this summer--and "cold and humid" next winter!
  • My chiropractor alluded the other day to "muscle memory."  Unfortunately for me, I have muscle Alzheimer's!  (That may not bode well for the healing process.)
  •  All-overrated club: Angelina Jolie, Joy Behar and Larry David.
  • Mark my words, someday "Winnie the Pooh" will be on Broadway.  They've done just about everything else, from "Peter Pan" to "Spiderman."  So it’s just a matter of time.  (And I think former N.J. Gov. Chris Christie would be the leader in the clubhouse to play Eeyore.)
  • You're not a celebrity until you've been on the cover of People magazine, been a clue or an answer in the New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle or been mentioned in an least one edition of
  • Aren't these police funeral "shows of solidarity" getting just a wee bit over the top?  I'm sure the sorrow is as sincere as it gets, but do we need hundreds of law-enforcement personnel saluting for the cameras while the pipes are piping?  The death of a Fond du Lac, Wis., officer saw this play out in funeral/memorial services in not one but two towns!
  • The obvious problem: Who's minding the store? That would be officers from nearby towns--personnel not all that familiar with the territory they are temporarily "covering"--leaving several towns shorthanded and inadequately protected!  Wonderful.  And this at a time when most police forces are not at full strength, for whatever reasons (retirements, suspensions, firings . . . .)
  • I abhor these tragedies as much as the next guy, I'm strongly against gun ownership, and if I won the lottery, I'd buy a bullet-proof vest for every police officer who needed one.  I'm just put off by these mawkish, gratuitous public displays that put the public at risk. 
  • If you look up news accounts of police/firefighter fatalities from decades ago, I doubt you'll find evidence of what we're seeing today.   The deaths were just as tragic, but the aftermath much less grandiose.  (Similarly, did football players of the pre-TV era do end-zone dances when they scored a touchdown?  Once again the media has become part of the event instead of the fly on the wall.)
  •  “People who don't make it think their lives would be rosy if they did, and those who do make it are startled to find they still have all their old problems, plus a few new ones, and begin to wonder if they'd be happier if they hadn't made it."--Dick Cavett in "Cavett."
  • Mailing lists are like roller coasters--it's far easier to get on one than off of one.
  • "If one is neither a lender nor a borrower, as Shakespeare had Polonius advise, one probably cannot buy a house."--Joe Queenan, Wall St. Journal
  • Today's Latin Lesson:   Evado meus gramen!  ("Get off my lawn!")

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