Friday, January 24, 2020


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Bumper sticker:  Lawyers have feelings, too (allegedly). 
  • There will never be a Harvey Weinstein Lookalike Contest. 
  • Don't you just hate it when holidays seem to sneak up on you all the time?  Believe it or not,  President's Day is right around the corner--Feb. 17!  How time flies. 
  • Maybe we should have a Vice President’s Day, too.  You’d still have to show up at work, but you wouldn’t have to do anything.
  • President’s Day is nice and all, but who really looks forward to it---aside from government workers?  I propose a holiday that would hold more satisfaction for the rest of us: Turnabout Day, based on “turnabout's fair play.” A way to correct a power imbalance we all endure.
  • On Turnabout Day—and you’d get to pick your own date each year—your doctor would have to get naked in front of you, and your accountant or financial adviser would have to show you his or her tax return!
  • "Companies are making plans to put droves of departed idols on tour--re-animating a live-music industry whose biggest earners will soon be dying off."--Recent New York Times story
  • We all know you don't have to have much talent to be a rock star . . . but now you don't even have to be alive! 
  • (I assume there's a positive in all this--presumably there will be no mechanisms for  trashing hotel rooms or impregnating young groupies!)
  • All Over-Rated Team (in this case, the G Team):   Whoopi Goldberg,  Jim Gaffigan and Greg Gutfeld.
  • Do people still buy perfume or cologne?  If so, why?  All you have to do is subscribe to a magazine or have a charge account at a department store, and you’ll get all the scent products you want absolutely free.  You don’t have to have a perfume or cologne budget; all you need is a mailbox.
  • (What are you wearing, dear?  Is that Polo Musk?  No, It’s Vanity Fair, September issue!)
  •  As the political campaign heats up, do this whenever called by a pollster:  Ask whom the pollster is voting for.  When they won't tell you (which they won't), return the favor.   (Tell them that's your policy, too.)
  • About poll accuracy (oxymoron?):  Mitt Romney was so sure he would be elected the nation’s 45th president in 2012 that he ordered a fireworks display to be unleashed over Boston Harbor the moment he notched his 270th electoral vote.  Internal surveys gave him a consistent lead over President Obama, and so did several outside pollsters, including venerable Gallup 
  • What went wrong?  According to The Week, Gallup’s post-mortem found it had misidentified likely voters, under-counted Democratic-leaning regions, over-counted whites,  and when calling landlines dialed only listed numbers, which skewed older and Republican. 
  • Are you getting the impression that I have a low opinion of political polling? 
  • Speaking of politics, who made the decision that all TV anchors and commentators should pronounce "candiDATE" as “candiDIT"?  (What dit is the election?  Do you  have a dit with destiny?)
  • Dec. 30 headline in the Green Bay Press-Gazette:  "The state Polka Hall of Fame is struggling due to lack of interest."   In other news, many Wisconsin residents are saying "You'll have to pull my rotary dial phone out of my cold dead hands!"
  • "The truth is always different from what anyone says out loud."--Poet Stephen Dunn
  • All-time-great howler from the Indianapolis Star (courtesy of the Columbia Journalism Review):  "Jazz tunes, including 'Modern Leaves . . . and 'The Girl With Emphysema,' ended at 8:30 p.m. when the jazz trio packed up."
  • What if some of the horror film stars of yesteryear had had their own talk shows?  "It's Late Night with Bela Lugosi . . . ."  (the time slot he was born to have).  Sample monologue joke: “Whoa, it was so hot in L.A. today, the bats flew INTO hell to cool off!  Whew!”
  • jimjustsaying's Word That Doesn't Exist But Should of the Month:  Flarpswitch. n. The one light switch in every house with no function whatsoever.--"More Sniglets," Rich Hall and Friends.
  • Who is your favorite TV doctor?  Dr. Oz?  Dr. Drew?  Me, I'm sticking with  Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN.   At least he's not afraid to give his full name.
  • "The sewer expansion project is near completion, but city officials are holding their breath until it is officially finished.--Jacksonville (Fla.) Times-Union, via "Still More Press Boners," by Earle Tempel.
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  Quod epistula perfectus.  ("That letter was perfect.")