Tuesday, November 2, 2021


           By Jim Szantor 

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Newest entry in the politically correct euphemism derby:  “Food insecurity.” “Hunger” apparently has been relegated to the basement closet where common-usage terms of the past such as “blind," "deaf and dumb,” "manic-depressive," “mongoloid,” “retarded” and “senile” have been stashed.  Getting crowded in there. 

  • I think the homeless are now being labeled “housing deprived,” a promotion that doesn’t improve their lot (no pun intended) one bit.
  • Just bought a bag of the 2-inch Snicker’s “Fun Size” bars.  I had to. I couldn’t handle the full-size bars—you know, the dreaded "Twelve Labors of Hercules" size!
  • I mean, aren’t all Snicker’s fun?  Apparently not.  (And did you know that there are about 16 varieties of the popular confection, including an espresso version?  And that they were sold under the name Marathon in the UK until 1990? Who else would tell you these things?)
  • Not sure what to make of the adult coloring-book craze.  All I know is that my sandbox is on back order from Amazon, and the supply-chain crisis plays no favorites.
  • jimjustsaying's Lotto logic:  I didn't mind not winning the recent $670 million Powerball prize; I'm content with my occasional but puny $2-$5 "jackpots."  
  • But you have to consider the upsides to my (and your) penny-ante fortunes in lottery land:  No rifts with family members, no press conferences, no media camped out on your property, no sob-storytellers following you down the street, no special advisors to hire and pay, no tax-issue headaches, no long-lost “relatives” coming out of the proverbial woodwork.
  • Besides, as we've often heard, "God doesn't send us any more than we can handle." And He, in His infinite wisdom and compassion, knows I can only handle a piddling amount of lottery booty, which explains why I never win big.  Thank you, Lord! 
  • One odd manifestation of the pandemic:  People admitting to "binge-watching" sappy vintage sitcoms.  ("Bilge-watching" may be more accurate.)
  • To hear people talk these days, they're too busy to (a) answer your e-mails (b) keep up with current events or vote, or (c) do anything else except “veg out” . . . yet they have enough time to "binge-watch" “My Three Sons.” God bless America!
  • As if financial matters and portfolios aren’t complicated enough, now we have bitcoins to contend with  . . . and something called cryptocurrency.
  • Therefore, here is Jim’s Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  “Say [actual party-goer’s name here], did you know that cryptocurrency is a collection of binary data which is designed to work as a medium of exchange wherein individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger which is a computerized database using strong cryptocurrency to secure transaction records, to control the creation of additional coins, and to verify the transfer of coin ownership?”
  • The instructive power of pain?  A recent study reported that college football players who practiced without wearing helmets were 30 percent less likely to suffer potentially dangerous head impact during games because they learned to stop using their heads as weapons while tackling.  (No word yet on what so-called “nose tackles” did or didn’t do with their proboscises during practice.)
  • Overheard: "I'm not superstitious, I’m just 'stitious.' “
  • Speaking of superstitions, if you are superstitious, don't let a hotel put you on the 14th floor.  Because that's really the floor you don’t want to be on--it's just not called that.  
  • Car rear-window defrosters are the greatest invention since sliced bread.
  • jimjustsaying’s Word That Doesn’t Exist But Should of the Week:  Doork. n. A person who always pushes on a door marked ‘Pull” or vice versa.—“More Sniglets,” Rich Hall and Friends.
  • For men only:  How many of you have ever seen someone changing a baby's diaper on one of those changing tables that started appearing in men's rooms a few years ago? I’m just sayin’.
  • Speaking of men's rooms, I don’t remember there being lower-height urinals when I was a kid.  But now they're everywhere, so what was the problem before?  Obviously the "technology" was there.  Was there an ordinance forbidding height variation? 
  • Strictly Classified . . . or Breeds of Dogs I Never Knew Existed Until I Saw Them Mentioned in a Newspaper Ad:  Newfypoos (!) and Vizslas (hunting dogs of Hungarian origin).  You can become the proud owner of a Newfypoo pup for a mere $1,000.  (Must be pretty spiffy Newfies!)
  • More Classified Information (ad in the same paper):  "Wanting to purchase Bear costume, full body length, will pay good $$ [and] will consider other costumes like rabbit or gorilla etc.   Call Glenn at xxx-xxx-xxxx. 
  • “Fog and smog rolled over Los Angeles, closing airports and slowing snails to a traffic pace.”—Los Angeles News, via “Still More Press Boners,” by Earle Tempel.
  • jimjustsaying’s Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month:  “Choppsy.”  As in, James “Choppsy” R. Baierl, Door County Daily News, Sept. 1, 2021.  R.I.P., Mr. Baierl.
  • “I went to a record store that said they specialized in hard-to-find records.” Nothing was alphabetized!”—Mitch Hedberg
  • A pox on companies that list their phone number as spelled out in words.   As in 1-800-UFIGUREITOUT.
  • jimjustsaying’s Book Pick of the Month:  “Attack Poodles and Other Media Mutants,” in which the brilliant New Yorker/Vanity Fair author James Wolcott takes deadly aim at the punditocracy of all stripes, with special attention to the Rush Limbaugh and O’Reilly/Gingrich/Coulter and George Will faction. There’s a laugh or three on every page, with plenty of references to quotes that held little water when uttered and look even drippier and more hypocritical today.
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  Tunc annus totus amplitudo liberi ero vetus satis futurus exertus ut adultus! ("Next year all the grandchildren will be old enough to be tried as adults!")

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