Sunday, November 15, 2020


  By Jim Szantor

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

  • New product need (from Raid, perhaps?):  Verbal Tic Spray.  Use whenever someone says “having said that,” “basically,” “actually,” “literally,” “totally” or uses any unnecessary filler word.  Use as need, especially on unmasked violators, in a well-ventilated area.
  • By the way, this edition of jimjustsaying marks the debut of my new editorial assistant, Rick Shaw.  Welcome, Rickster!
  • No truth to the rumor that there will be a jimjustsaying podcast.  I’m wondering how soon podcasts will outnumber blogs (not that there’s anything wrong with that)!
  • Wouldn’t it be better if every state was a “battleground state"?
  • What will take longer?  The creation and full application of an effective coronavirus vaccine or the time it would take for all the political “sages,” “analysts” and “strategists” to get the egg off their faces?  Maybe Pfizer has a product for them as well.
  • Another ethnic stereotype dashed!   Comedian Nipsey Russell used to say that “Mexicans can never get their cars started.”
  • Well, they’ve come a long way, as witness the features of an unusually sophisticated 1,300-foot drug-smuggling tunnel authorities recently discovered running from Mexico to the U.S. underneath the border wall.
  • Measuring 3 feet wide by 4 feet high, the tunnel has a railway, ventilation, water lines and electric lights. Angel Ortiz, an agent with Homeland Security Investigations, said its builders must have been highly skilled, because the sand in the area is very loose and most tunnels “end up caving.”
  • jimjustsaying’s Party Ice-Breaker of the Month: “Say [actual partygoer’s name here], did you ever wonder how authentic is the music in movies that take place in ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt?  Was it based on any actual manuscripts?”
  • Not really, various sources indicate.  We do have some knowledge of ancient instruments from written descriptions and depictions on works of art, which may help modern composers for films produce music that seems fitting.  But we know little about the style in which these instruments were played and even less about what kinds of compositions might have been common or popular. Only a handful of melodies have been preserved, along with fragments of musical notations.
  • jimjustsaying’s Newspaper Obituary Nickname of the Month:  “Grumpy.”  As in, Darryl A. “Grumpy” Behling,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct. 18, 2020.  R.I.P., Mr. Behling.
  • Drudging Around: Scientists discover mysterious new organ in head . . . Flesh-eating bacteria in ocean is killing people in Carolinas . . . Raccoons break into bank . . . The twisted sex lives of Nazis—and the women who loved them . . . ‘People looking for escape’: Tattoo shops booked until 2021 . . .  Pandemic spurs boon in outdoor therapy sessions . . . Pump & Dump:  Rapper who endorsed Donald never registered to vote. . . . The age of sex robots. (Thanks, as always, to Matt Drudge and his merry band of aggregators for this month’s jaw-droppers.)
  • “In France, if we wish to drain the swamps, we do not consult the frogs.”--French Sen. Michel Delebarre, The Times (U.K.)
  • There will never be a Rudy Giuliani Lookalike Contest.
  • Whatever happened to Bill O'Reilly?
  • jimjustsaying’s Media Word of the Month (a word you see in print or hear on television/radio but never hear an actual person use in real life):  Presumptive.  As in, “Jim Szantor should be the presumptive nominee for President in 2020.
  • Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home.”--Journalist David Frost, Montreal Gazette
  • I'm not saying I believe in the Mayan Calendar, but I'm not starting my Christmas shopping until Dec. 22!
  • I feel sorry for any woman married to a man who would say, "We're pregnant."
  • The road less traveled probably has fewer potholes, detours or tailgaters.
  • Transgender musings:  Do more men want to become women . . . or do more women want to become men?   What if you don't want to be either?
  • jimjustsaying's Social Tip of the Week:  "You should always leave a party 10 minutes before you actually do."--Cartoonist Gary Larson
  • If you haven't seen at least five stories about "mindfulness" this week, I hope you're out of your coma and the ICU very soon.  There's actually a book titled "Mindful Eating," which, when you think about it, is probably better than mindless eating, which is probably behind much if not all of the obesity epidemic.
  • jimjustsaying’s Word That Doesn’t Exist But Should of the Month:  XIIDIGITATION: The practice of trying to determine the year a movie was made by deciphering the roman numerals at the end of the credits. --"Sniglets," Rich Hall and Friends
  • It seems to me there are entirely too many "Halls of Fame," as I encounter a new one virtually every week.  Fairly soon we'll be advised that someone has been inducted into the Underwear Wearers Hall of Fame.  (Or something similarly silly and meaningless.)  I’m sure Andy Warhol would agree.
  • "Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up."--G.K. Chesterton
  • Today’s Latin Lesson:  Appellare nimiam.  (“Too close to call.”)

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