Wednesday, August 12, 2020


By Jim Szantor
Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Never make eye contact with someone with a nauseatingly goofy ring tone. 
  • One problem with home schooling/virtual or remote learning:  No yearbook.
  • No sooner did I finally start to feel comfortable in my own skin when the wrinkles decided to show up.  (And when my hair stopped growing, my toenails never got the memo.)
  • Yes, I love the Red-Eye Reduction feature you find on photo-editing software, but why did they stop there?  Where's the Double Chin Reduction button?  The Wrinkle Eraser? The Crow's Feet Eliminator?  The Bald Spot Coverup feature?  The Fountain of Youth dial?  There's room for improvement here!
  • More of jimjustsaying's series of Words You See in Print But Never Hear Anyone Use in Normal Life:  Emollient, mucilage and dentifrice.
  • Why don’t astrologers ever say the day is unfavorable about reading about astrology (or buying astrology books, DVDs, etc.)?  Ever get the impression that the astrologers are making it up as they go along? 
  • Three of the most unused items in any kitchen:  Pasta makers, fondue pots and any one of those items that's supposed to make peeling an egg easier but doesn't.
  • Speaking of food stuff: “I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and you want 2,000 of something.”—Mitch Hedberg (R.I.P.)
  •  H20 no! Americans spend almost as much each year buying bottled water ($21 billion) as they do maintaining the nation's entire water system ($29 billion), even though bottled water is often just a refiltered version of municipal tap water. 
  • What does “Obey your signal only” mean?  That you can’t turn right on red?  On green?  That you have to turn off your radio? Is it possible to obey two signals at once?  Sometimes I’m not sure what my signal actually is?
  • "A [Chicago] crime scene was blocked off Sunday morning on Wacker Drive from Wabash Avenue to Michigan Avenue. A second area was blocked off on and near the Wabash Avenue bridge."—recent news report
  • That's one thing police excel at--blocking off things and diverting traffic. The larger the area the better. That, and overreacting: One person shot in an alley? 11 squad cars.  I wouldn’t be surprised if crime-scene tape was one of the largest budget items in any police department.
  • Which would be all well and good if they ever caught anyone--which they rarely do. The "clearance rate" on homicides is--from what I've read--appallingly low.  Most of the “collars” are due to someone dropping the proverbial dime.  (Or, more currently, because of a surveillance camera.)  
  • jimjustsaying’s Party Ice-Breaker of the Month: “Say [actual party-goer’s name here], did you know that the reason people sometimes confuse left and right but seldom confuse up and down is because the corresponding parts of the body are neurally wired to move in sync, for the sake of coordinated action. They mirror one another, which is why it's hard to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time. That mirroring of the movement bleeds over into our perception of space so left and right are easily confused.” 
  • “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”--Author Anne Lamont in
  • jimjustsaying’s Media Word of the Week (a word you never hear any actual person hear in real life):  Hustings. 
  • Memo to producers advertising flyers: “WOW! doesn’t work for me anymore next to a loss-leader price tag.  I think we’re all pretty much "WOWed out" by now.  (A recent insert for Walgreen’s had 36 WOW! items.  Enough already!)
  • Tell you what, advertisers:  Just tell me the product and the price, and I'll decide whether it's a WOW! for me or not.
  • Better yet, why not come up with some more novel wording, something more attention-getting, such as:
  • "HOLY SHIT!  Duracell AA's, 4 pack, 99 cents!!!" . . . Or, "JESUS H. CHRIST!  Snickers 2-pack, 89 cents!!! Now we're talkin' "grabbers," are we not?!
  • Baseball blooper: “Callison opened the ninth with a single . . . and scored after being punted into scoring position by Ruben Amaro.”—Terre Haute (Ind.) Tribune, via “Still More Press Boners,” by Earle Tempel 
  • jimjustsaying’s Word That Doesn’t Exist But Should of the Month:  Furbling. n. Having to wander through a maze of ropes at an airport or bank even if you are the only person in line.—“Sniglets,” Rich Hall and Friends
  • New construction puzzler: When was the last time you saw a new funeral home going up?   With the population explosion over the last decades, you'd think you would see a new one being built occasionally.  Are the existing ones just busier or . . . . What am I missing here? 
  • More cremations?  The deceased still have to go through the funeral home process. People living longer?  They still die eventually . . . and then there is the off-setting phenomena of the global pandemic, the growing number of young people dying of gang violence, drive-by shootings, AIDs, drug overdoses . . . .)
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month: Mrs. Santa Claus.  As in Jaclyn M. “Mrs. Santa Claus” Brockman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 12, 2020.  R.I.P., Mrs. Brockman..
  • Today's Latin lesson:  Ubi est persona tua?  ("Where's your mask?")