Saturday, May 4, 2019


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • You're an adult when you haven't had a graham cracker in 10 years . . . or if you're upset when the grocery store has moved all the stuff around to different places.
  • Been busy working on a script outline for Netflix:  "Game of Drones."  
  • Spring is finally here and, as usual, I'm at two with nature.
  • You know you've eaten at a bad Chinese restaurant if you get a misfortune cookie at the end of the meal.
  • Wretched (register) excess:  A recent purchase from a CVS drug store produced a register receipt that was 54 inches long.  No, I didn't buy one of everything on the store shelves--just three items.   
  •  jimjustsaying's Word You Only Encounter in Print Media and Nowhere Else of the Month: "Foment/fomenting."
  • “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."--Carl Sagan
  • Why is the  Mute button  always so hard to find on the typical remote control . . . and in a different place on every brand?   I'd make it the biggest button, except for--maybe--the Fast Forward button.  
  • Remotes, revisited:  We need a button that would remove the relentless "crawls" at the bottom of the screen and those annoying promotional pop-up graphics in the lower right-hand corner.   For one thing, I don't want to know about Soccer Updates when I'm watching a pennant-race baseball game.   Nor do I care about tropical storms in the Maldive Islands (not that there's anything wrong with that!)  And most of the time, what's Breaking News . . . isn't.  What's broken is the judgment of most TV executives.
  • I don't know about you, but I'm putting Attorney General William Barr  in the MFATWR category:  Memorable For All The Wrong Reasons.
  • New item idea for McDonald's:  Andy Warhol Soup.  (It stays hot for exactly 15 minutes.)
  • "Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket."--Eric Hoffer
  • jimjustsaying's Favorite Internet Click Bait Items of the Month: "Hollywood's biggest bookworms, "Hidden features on airplanes you never knew existed," "Ask for these secret menu items at your favorite restaurants," "20 eerie facts about life in North Korea," "13 signs you're smarter than you realize," "Secrets your plumber won't tell you," "Surprising items you can put in the washing machine," "Common things you're not cleaning nearly enough," "What your sleep position reveals about your personality," "38 secrets your hair stylist won't tell you," "Top 6 things nobody tells you about retiring," "Hairstyles for gray hair," "Newest dog breeds you've probably never heard of," and last but not least, "Remember Fabio?  Try not go gasp when you see him now."
  • Is "Smart TV" an oxymoron?  There's a lot of moronic programming on all kinds of sets.
  • jimjustsaying's  E-Mail Junk File Item of the Week:  "Toenail Fungus Laser."  (Operators are standing by?)
  • "In the future the preacher for next Sunday will be found hanging on the bulletin board."--Montpelier (VT.) Post via  "Still More Press Boners"
  • "Laugh"  tracks on lame sitcoms are more realistically chuckle tracks, giggle tracks, snicker tracks, chortle tracks and titter tracks.   Guffaws?  Rarely heard and--even more rarely--justified.
  • jimjustsaying's Stupid Actual Product Warning Label of the Month: On a hotel-provided shower cap in a box:  "Fits one head."
  • Question for baseball announcers everywhere:  When did "punchout" become the preferred substitute for "strikeout"?   No punches were thrown.  And do we really need new words for traditional nomenclature?  No drama was added by your "creativity."
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month:  "Popeye."  As in Thomas "Popeye" Roland, Green Bay Press-Gazette, April 13, 2019.  R.I.P., Popeye.
  • The answer:  Forensic blood-spatter  expert and cobra-venom extractor:  The question:  Name two occupations no child has ever fantasized about.
  • jimjustsaying's Word That Doesn't Exist But Should of the Month: "Ultimato." n. The choice of a child eating his or her vegetables or going to bed without supper."--"Unexplained Sniglets of the Universe," Rich Hall and Friends.
  • Insult term that has apparently fallen out of favor:  "Twerp."  As in, "That little twerp!" (I think "twerp" has been edged aside by "wimp" and "wuss.")
  • Redundancy patrol: "Band together," "point in time," "end result,"  "price point."
  • Today's Latin lesson: Haud , muneris , illic nusquam in vehiculum vos postulo ut fatigo super. ("No, officer, there's nothing in the car you need to be concerned about.")