Thursday, October 18, 2018


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Pre-peeled hard-boiled eggs are the greatest thing since sliced bread.  
  • (Eggs have been around for eons but I guess the world of egg technology lagged several centuries behind.  I'm thinking Apple technology beat it to the punch (and is much more lucrative.)
  • I'm glad my car uses regular gas, but I was tempted to use the Premium pump the other day to get some of that Pumpkin Spice gasoline they're featuring.  (Already got my pumpkin-infused flu shot.)
  • It really is getting hard to find something that isn't labeled Pumpkin lately.  I understand the Texas Death Row prisoners are going to get pumpkinized lethal injections in October.  (I guess that would put a very macabre twist on the disclaimer "For a limited time only.")
  • Speaking of products, I'm investing in a company that's working on a new remote control:  With a push of a button,  it would administer painful electric shocks to Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and that ubiquitous Flo from Progressive.  (Also in the running: The Geico gecko, whom I am relieved to learn is not a protected species!)
  • One of the reasons I don't watch "America's Got Talent" and "Dancing With the Stars":  Half the time the camera is on the audience or the judges instead of the performers.  Wow, such sorely needed, indispensable information!  Directors: Keep the camera on the performers; if people like what they're seeing, a frown from some celebrity isn't going to change their minds, is it?
  • jimjustsaying's Party Ice-Breaker of the Month:  "Say [actual partygoer's name here], did you know that Florida is the flattest state in America?"  
  • In descending order of flatness: Florida, Illinois, North Dakota, Louisiana, Minnesota, Delaware, Kansas.  
  •  And if you thought Alaska, California or Colorado were the most mountainous states in the country, you'd be wrong.  Those states also contain extensive plains and relatively flat valleys. 
  • Our mountainous state?  West Virginia, although its highest peak, Spruce Mountain, is only about 4,864 feet in height.  (Thanks to WGN-TV's Tom Skilling, who IMHO stands tallest among the meteorologists of America, for that valuable information.)
  • "You can pretend to be serious; you can’t pretend to be witty."--Actor-playwright Sacha Guitry
  • Aviation question:  When has the fabled "black box" ever prevented a calamity?  It can't prevent bad weather or prevent pilot error, so what good is  it?  What went wrong is usually not that much of a mystery.  But I guess the FAA and the NTSB have to justify their existences somehow by making it look like they're doing something vital and constructive.   
  • “It’s great to see Roseanne back in the spotlight. Technically, it’s two spotlights, but you get the idea.”--Katey Sagal
  • All overrated club:  Ellen DeGeneres, Joe Buck and anyone whose name follows the label Rapper.
  • Drudging around:  "Hillary's Popularity at All-time Low," "Founder of Rehab to Celebs Accused of Sex Assault," "Study:  Dogs Get Depressed When Owners Overuse Smartphones," "Officials Disturbed By Decapitated Goats in Georgia River," "Brothel Owner Expected to Win Election Despite Death," "Students Sick with Kangaroo Meat in School Chili,"  "Traffic Accidents Rising in States That Legalized Pot," and "Parents Planning 'Pox Parties' to Immunize Kids." (Thanks to Matt Drudge and the guilty pleasure known as The Drudge Report for these titillating click-bait gems.)
  • There's all this talk about straw polls regarding the mid-term elections.   What do straws have to do with politics?  Are people throwing straw hats into the ring now?   When did that start? 
  • Speaking of elections, herewith jimjustsaying's Media Word of the Month (a word you encounter only in print or electronic media and never hear any normal person use in everyday life--unless they're reading from a news report):  Hustings.  As in: "As the campaign begins in earnest, candidates will again take to the hustings."
  • Getting old and slightly annoying:  Calling any update or revision of something 2.0 Soon to be followed, no doubt, by "3.0."  Oh so clever.
  • You Never Know What's Going On Next Door department: "Officials Find More Than 250 Snakes, Alligators And Skunks In Montgomery County (Pa.) Home."  (Yeah, the reptiles are not going to be odorific enough, so throw in some skunks for good measure!  Good plan.)
  • jimjustsaying's Word That Should Exist But Doesn't of the Month:  Squatic Diversion: (n. Any pretend activity that commands a dog owner's attention while the dog relieves itself on a neighbor's lawn.)--"More Sniglets," Rich Hall and Friends.
  • Three Things a Woman Would Never Say (per Maralee Moody):  
  • 1.  "Could our relationship be more physical?  I'm tired of being just friends."
  • 2.  "Go ahead and leave the toilet seat up.  It's easier for me that way."
  • 3.  "Do these pants make my butt look too small?"
  • Stupid Product Warning of the Month:  On Aveeno Bath Treatment:  "For external use only."
  • Actual Newspaper Correction (Lifetime Achievement Award?):  "The crossword puzzle that should have appeared in today's Tribune appeared instead in yesterday's, together with the answer to the puzzle that should have been printed yesterday.  Therefore, the puzzle that should have appeared yesterday is in today's Tribune, together with the answer to Wednesday's puzzle.  The puzzle for today and the answer to the one that should have been printed yesterday are reprinted.--Lewiston (Idaho) Tribune  (per "Still More Press Boners," Earle Tempel)
  • Today's Latin Lesson: Ego don't teneo ultum super professio tamen Ego teneo quis Ego amo. ("I don't know much about art, but I know what I like.")