Monday, March 5, 2018


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Do they make greeting cards for people born on Feb. 29?  If you know someone with that birthday, I'm thinking you have a lot of flexibility on when to send that card.
  • According to meteorology, spring began March 1.   There's an 100 percent chance that meteorology is not an exact science.
  • Speaking of weather:  If that "Beast from the East" is as bad as indicated, I'm saying there's a 40 percent chance of April for a good part of Europe.
  • Wise words:  "There has been a shift . . .  in the cult of celebrity. Selfies, Instagram and YouTube have made us our own celebrities; the real ones posing beside us at film premieres and restaurants have become extras in our videoed romans à clef. They don't seem as otherworldly as they once did. Notions of fame have been reinvented, and the audience has become the star in an endless loop of blurred lines."--Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
  • Say it isn't so:  That it's the time of year when otherwise sane individuals  who don't know a pick and roll from a pomegranate have to "fill out their brackets."  This is especially hilarious when people--usually women--pick teams on the basis of uniform color and other scientific criteria.  How much productivity is lost due to this ludicrous exercise? March Madness, indeed. This "wrong of spring" has gotten way out of hand.   
  • Why are veterinarians so-called?  Shouldn't we call them peterinarians?
  • "Metaphysics is like a restaurant where they give you a 30,000 page menu and no food."--Robert M. Pirsig
  • Showbizzing: What do Lucille ("I Love Lucy") Ball and Adam ("Batman") West have in common?  Early in their careers--very early, in fact--they both appeared in Three Stooges movies.
  • A recent news story reported that 30 percent of us routinely walk in our sleep.  (What the story didn't tell us is:  Do sleepwalkers walk with their arms outstretched in front of them like they do in the cartoons and Abbott and Costello movies  . . . or not?)
  • "It failed to make a turn and crashed into an electric pole, snapping it off at the bottom and scattering live wives over the highway."--"Still More Press Boners," by Earle Tempel
  • We hear about political upheaval all the time.  Wouldn't downheaval be more accurate for this administration?
  • What is your favorite Labor of Hercules?  For me, it's hard to beat Number Seven (of the Twelve): "Capture the Cretan Bull."
  • This savage bull, kept by King Minos of Crete, was said to be insane and breathe fire, Wikipedia tells us.  Hercules wrestled the mad beast to the ground and brought it back to King Eurystheus. Unfortunately, the king set it free, and it roamed Greece, causing terror wherever it went.
  • (Any free-associative thoughts you may have had of Donald Trump are purely coincidental.)
  • I have most of my computer files stored in the Cloud, so you could say I'm only partly Cloudy.
  • jimjustsaying's Word That Doesn't Exist But Should of the Month:  Flintstep. v. "To wind up one's feet before runnng away in fear.  Common among cartoon characters."--"More Sniglets," Rich Hall and Friends
  • With all the special-interest cable TV channels in existence, it's only a matter of time until the Conspiracy Channel debuts.  ("All conspiracies, all the time.")
  • Is there still a Public Enemy No. 1?  A Private Enemy no. 1?  An Unlisted Enemy No. 1?
  • jimjustsaying's Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  "Say [actual partygoer's name here], did you know that Uma Thurman's father, Robert, is a Buddhist professor of Indo-Tibetan studies at Columbia who thinks Uma is a reincarnated goddess?"  (Thanks to Maureen Dowd of the New York Times for this priceless tidbit.)
  • "I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it."--Mitch Hedberg
  • WD-40 Fun Fact of the Month:  The product was once used to free a boy whose arm was stuck up to his shoulder in a sewer.--"The WD-40 Book," by Jim and Tim--The Duct Tape Guys.
  • (Of course, you all knew that WD-40 is an abbreviation of “water displacement,” and that 40 refers to the 40th attempt, in 1953, on which the product was created.)
  • Oxymoronic America: "Genuine vinyl," "authentic replica" and "nonstop flight."  (Hey, I want to get off at some point! You mean the nonstop to New York doesn't stop in New York?)
  • Eighty-third Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw It Mentioned in a Green Bay Press-Gazette Obituary:  Biron, Wis.. (R.I.P., Joan J. Cleereman, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Jan. 10, 2018).  Previous entries: Athelstane, Walhain, Duck Creek, Breed, Anston, Sobieski, Amberg, Osseo, Angelica, Brazeau, Waukechon, Sugar Camp, Kossuth, Lessor, Kunesh, Pulcifer, Cato, Florence, Greenleaf, Eaton, Poygan, Hofa Park, Hilbert, Hollandtown, Beaufort, Glennie, Harshaw, Bessemer, Crooked Lake, Tigerton, Goodman, Readstown, Dousman, Butternut, Montpelier, Cecil, Red River, Gillet, King, Laona, Kelly Lake, Glenmore, Tonet, Stiles, Morrison, Dunbar, Askeaton, Wild Rose, Neopit, Ellisville, Pickett, Flintville,  Forest Junction, Thiry Daems, Black Creek,  Mountain, Ledgeview, Lunds, Suring, Lakewood, Beaver, Cloverleaf Lakes, Krakow, Pella, Townsend, Vandenbroek, Coleman, Spruce, Armstrong Creek, Lake Gogebic, North Chase, Navarino, Pequot Lakes, Buchanan,  Rio Creek, Humboldt, Mill Center, Carlton, White Potato Lake, Lark, Scott and Newald.
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month:  "Round Head.  As in, Michael L. "Round Head: Turcotte,  Kenosha (Wis.) News  obituary, Feb. 14, 2018.
  • jimjustsaying's Internet Click Bait Items of the Month: Most people can't complete these common phrases/Hilarious photos taken by trail cams/Co-stars who didn't get along/He transformed his gut with one thing/Men who marry chubby women are 10 times happier/10 signs you're headed for a sexless marriage/40 things only older people say/Pets banned in every state/This is why you should sleep with your feet outside the covers/Scary abandoned amusement parks.
  • The Law of Unintended Consequences will never be repealed.
  • Today's Latin Lesson:   Totus suspectus es insons insontis insquequo probo crimen in a villa of lex.  ("All suspects are innocent until proved guilty in a court of law.")