Friday, November 23, 2018


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Decency in politics and civility in society haven't disappeared.  Why, they're as easy to find as your local neighborhood Radio Shack.
  • It looks like the construction industry people didn't get the memo about the end of the construction season.  And, of course, they've never explained why there are miles of lanes barricaded off when nothing resembling construction activity is in evidence.  I guess they've got us over a barrel . . . .
  • Gender-reveal parties: If there is a social aberration that defines the "Dancing With the Stars"/head-to-toe-tattoo generation, that would be it.  (Here at the seniors' home, I'm advocating a Surgical Scars Reveal Party.)
  • Stop the World  department:  Now we learn that there are mini-bars in the back of Ubers!
  • "[A] traveling minibar without the alcohol  . . . is in about 12,000 ride-share vehicles; passengers who catch a ride in one that’s equipped with the box can buy snacks and energy drinks  . . . ," reports  Bloomberg's Kate Krader.  "The boxes are stocked with about a dozen products, which vary but could include Korean beauty masks and last-minute electronics such as iPhone chargers."
  • Korean beauty masks?
  • From a Nov. 17 Kenosha (Wis.) News story headlined "1 dead, 3 hurt in home invasion":  "[Police said] it wasn't clear whether it was a drug deal gone wrong or a drug-related robbery."
  • Right.  As opposed to legal, church-sponsored drug deals.  Do drug deals ever go right?  You mean, when you get your tainted heroin without overdosing and the price is--like, you know, man--right!
  • Drudging Around (or actual story links from the Drudge Report, Nov. 17):  "Dog Acccused of a HATE CRIME," "Walking Backwards Boosts Your Memory," "Number of Witches in USA on Rise," "Woman Sues Hospital for Resuscitating Her," "Report: 1/3 of Workers Would Prefer Robot Boss," "School Bans 'Expensive Jackets' Due to 'Poverty Shaming'," "How Kevin Spacey Vanished Off Face of the Earth," and last but deservedly least, "San Francisco Sidewalks Graffitied With Feces."  (Must be all that diversity they're so proud of.)
  • Chicago newspaper headline:  "Walgreens opens a drug store without a pharmacy."  No word yet if McDonald's is opening a franchise without hamburgers.  But don't rule it out.
  • Just finished reading a magazine article about "The colonization of space."  Yes, good idea.  Now that we've repaired all of our crumbling infrastructure, fixed health care, solved all the Earthly environmental problems and eliminated our huge federal deficit, what better place for our tax dollars than outer space?   
  • I'm not Mr. Anti-Science, or Mr. Anti-Exploration, but  . . .  someone who has trouble feeding the  family or paying the rent shouldn't be in the Bentley showroom.
  • Life was simpler when we didn't have to keep track of charging cords, user names and passwords  . . . and the time and date of the next Gender Reveal Party.
  • Early Bird wish for the New Year:  To not contract a disease that will end up being named after me or have the next international villain look like me.  (I once knew a guy whose life changed when his "twin" broke into the news:  Some guy named John Wayne Gacy!)
  • jimjustsaying's Suggestions for "Dancing With the Stars" spinoffs:  Seeing as "Bowling With the Stars" has already been done, how about:  "Wood-Carving With the Stars"?  Or . . . "Oven-Cleaning With the Stars"?  Or, more earthily:  "Barn-Mucking With the Stars"?  Check your local listings, as they say, to see if any of these ideas take wing.
  • Attention all Spanish-speaking people:  What have you got against the letter "J"?  (It's "Hayzooss," "Hozay," "Halisco," etc.   I wonder if you ever listen to my favorite form of music--hazz? (I'mjustsayin' . . . .)
  • Newspaper Headline Nickname of the Month:  "Poogie." As in Orion "Poogie" Reynebeau, Green Bay (Wis.) Press-Gazette Obituary, Nov. 21, 2018.
  • jimjustsaying's Revised Rules of Thumb:  Never eat at a place called Mom's, never play poker with a man named Doc, and never ask someone a question you wouldn't want posed to you. 
  • jimjustsaying's Do You Really Want a Driverless Car? report: Although 99 percent of routine driving skills have been relatively easy for robots to achieve, the last 1 percent haven't--and those are crucial for safety and consumer trust.
  • According to Gene Loup of Loup Ventures: "For those  who love to drive and dread the thought of an autonomous car: You’ll have your chance to drive, but it will become a hobby, like horseback riding. And you’ll have plenty of time to prepare for your horseback ride on the way to the track—in your self-driving car."
  • jimjustsaying's Redundancy Patrol:  "Free bonus," "absolutely free," "icy cold,' "each and every," and "fit together." 
  • You don't hear much about think tanks anymore.  Did these people stop thinking . . . or did they get tired of tanks and moved on to something else?  Tents?  Cubicles?  
  • "Each generation thinks it invented sex."--Author Robert Heinlein
  • jimjustsaying's Party Ice-Breaker of the Month:  "Say [actual partygoer's name here], did you know that dolphins have the ability to put only half their brains to sleep at a time, known as unihemispheric sleep, and that migratory birds are thought to sleep-fly and sharks sleep-swim?"
  • Failed Restaurant Franchises Hall of Shame:  Beefsteak Charlie's, Red Barn, Horn and Hardart, Burger Chef, Lum's, Steak and Ale, White Tower, Minnie Pearl's Chicken, Sambo's, Henry's Hamburgers, Naugle's, Chi-Chi's, Bennigan's, Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses, Bob's Big Boy, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Doggie Diner, A&W Drive Ins, Po' Folks, Country  Kitchen, TCBY, Tony Roma's, and Blimpie Subs and Salads.
  • I wonder if they're ever going to hold a Donald Trump Look-Alike Contest?  The contestants could hold a convention at a place that looks a lot like Mar-a-Lago.
  • Today's Latin Lesson: Cur quae cadunt in area semper est aliquid sub virtualiter inaccessibilis evolvere? ("Why do things that fall on the floor alway roll under something virtually inaccessible?")

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