Friday, July 17, 2020


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Where have you gone, Keith Olbermann?  A jaded cable viewership turns its hungry eyes to you!
  • “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.”--Napoleon Bonaparte, quoted in
  • Consumer watch: Nobody starts or introduces something anymore.  They “roll it out.” (As in “Product X is due for an October rollout.”)  And employees are “furloughed,” not “laid off.”  Was there any difference on payday? 
  • What’s your favorite memory of the Pete Buttigieg candidacy?
  • jimjustsaying’s You Gotta Be Kidding Factoids of the Month: To become a barber in several states requires significantly more training time than to become a police officer. In North Carolina, licensed barbers need 1,528 hours of training, police officers only 620 hours. There’s a similar split in Florida between licensed interior designers (1,760 hours) and police officers (770 hours). In Louisiana, it requires more training to become a licensed manicurist (500 hours) than a police officer (360 hours)
  • Another one in jimjustsaying's list of Occupations No Child Has Ever Fantasized About or Aspired To:  Snake-venom extractor
  • jimjustsaying’s Most Annoying Mispronunciation of the Month (Year?): “inaresting.”  There is no “a” in “interesting.’  Probably most often mispronounced by the people who pronounce the “t” in “often.”  Where did these people go to school?  Or did they? 
  • Drudging Around: Vietnam couple detained over killing pet dogs and cats for meat . . . Interview with a sex robot . . . “Nooses” in Oakland park were exercise aids, man says . . . Man with machete tattoo on face accused machete attack . . . Indians taunt President Xi with Winnie the Pooh over border clashes with China . . . Alcoholic monkey who killed man and injured 250 others caged for life . . . Socially distanced orgies at NYC sex club . . . Robots fight pandemic loneliness . . . Scientists develop prosthetic 3D eye—better than the real thing? . . . Study: Women less likely to date men with cats . . . Dog meat festival goes ahead despite virus . . . Tribe of monkeys in epic dead of night jailbreak . . . Millions believe they are allergic to modern life . . . Bodies donated to science left to rot, be eaten by rats . . . Welcome to hell: “Sex slave” priest found dead at New Jersey home. (Thanks again to Matt Drudge and his merry band of Drudge Report aggregators for these recent forehead slappers!)
  • jimjustsaying’s Memo to All Those with New York Accents:  There is no “r” in the word “saw.” So why do they pronounce it as “sore”? (This is a saw point with me.)
  • It was a bad week for disinfection, The Week magazine reports, after a Michigan library asked that people please stop microwaving books to try to kill the coronavirus, since it causes the books’ metal radio-frequency tags to “catch fire.”
  • jimjustsaying’s Party Ice-Breaker of the Month:  “Say [actual partygoer’s name here], did you know that Sagittarius, a tiny galaxy so small it was spotted only 26 years ago, may have played an instrumental part in the creation of the sun?”
  • Overheard: "Hospitality is making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were."
  • President Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, has been badly hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, and has fired or furloughed 2,800 employees and cut services to customers. Its New York hotel has eliminated flowers, newspapers, and chocolates for guests, and its Chicago hotel turned off lights in common areas to save money on electricity.—Washington Post
  • Women spit only at the dentist's office.
  • Universal consumer lament: “If an article is attractive, or useful, or inexpensive, they’ll stop making it tomorrow; if it’s all three, they stopped making it yesterday.”--Journalist Mignon McLaughlin, quoted in the Associated Press
  • Who decided the frog legs were a potential edible?  Prediction: NOT the next fast-food novelty item craze.   (You'll see the occasional Joe's Crab Shack but never Joe's House of Frog Legs.  That I know of.  In all likelihood.)
  • Jargoneering:  Precrastinate:  Getting tasks done ahead of schedule with extra effort. Precrastinating, says Wired magazine,  might be as detrimental to productivity as procrastinating, especially when people precrastinate on trivialities like e-mail, mentally exhausting themselves before turning to greater challenges.
  • The newest endangered species:  Customers.  Now we're all "clients" or "guests."  And there are no more clerks: They're "associates."  I'm sure that makes them feel better about their minimum-wage compensation and absence of benefits.
  • jimjustsaying's Name for Something That Doesn't Exist But Should: Fitting Persons Bureau:  Where you need to go to find out if your wife is trying something on when you can't find her anywhere in the women's clothing department of whatever store you are in.
  • Just wondering: What was the best thing before sliced bread?
  • Fortune Cookie of the Month:  "One must dare to be himself, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be."
  • PC, Boudoir Division: This just in: The Houston Association of Realtors has retired the terms “master bedroom” and “master bathroom” because of potential slavery connotations, according to news reports. The terms “primary bedroom” and “primary bathroom” will be used instead. “The consensus,” said the association, “was that ‘primary’ describes the rooms equally as well as ‘master’ while avoiding any possible misperceptions.”
  • Of all the artists represented in my collection, I would really hate to lose Lautrec.
  • Would a veterinarian who specializes in elephants be called a pachydermatologist?
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month: Cowboy Grandpa. As in Robert “Cowboy Grandpa” Detrie, Sr., Door County Advocate, July 11, 2020.  R.I.P., Mr. Detrie.
  • Today's Latin Lesson: Operor illa pardus planto meus tergum terminus vultus pinguis?  ("Do these pants make my rear end look fat?")