Tuesday, January 19, 2021


 By Jim Szantor

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

  • What if they found out that an endangered animal was eating all the endangered plants?
  • Memo to Joe Biden and all other politicians:  Enough already with the stentorian, officious, stilted speechifying, the carnival barker-like proclamations and the pretentious hand and  arm waving!  We’re interested in information, not oratory, so please start talking in a normal tone of voice.  Easier on you, easier on us. 
  • Any candidate for political office who promises to crack down on the widespread abuse of "handicapped parking spaces" has my vote!
  • Sorely needed:  An explanation of how 7 inches of rain can make a river rise 22 feet!
  • In our PC-driven world--in which you're not manic-depressive anymore, you're bipolar, and you're not retarded, you're developmentally disabled--it's time to expand the euphemistic nomenclature:
  • Serial killers?  Let's call them, er, "prolific demise facilitators."  
  • So-and-so is a hit man?  No, he's  an "eternal reward concierge"!
  • Scam artists?  No, they’re "Machiavellian marketplace opportunists."
  •  jimjustsaying's Tip o' the Week: Never play poker with a man named Doc, never eat at a place called Mom's--and never call a hit man a Machiavellian manic-depressive.
  • "The neurotic has problems; the psychotic has solutions."--Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz
  • There will never be a Bill Murray Look-Alike Contest.
  • Sometimes I feel like a 100 percent cotton guy in a Dacron/polyester world.  
  • (I wonder if anyone has ever named their daughter Polly Esther?  If so, I’m thinking they have second-guessed it.)
  • Drudging Around: Fossil reveals how dinosaurs peed, pooped and had sex . . . Cannibal sandwiches: Wisconsinites urged to stop eating traditional raw meat . . . Husband arrested after letting friends gang-rape wife . . . Wearing someone else’s face: Hyper-realistic masks to go on sale . . . Armed 67-year-old woman holds detains suspected burglars . . .  Video: Creepy clown waving long knife robs convenience store . . . Wisconsin dentist accused of breaking teeth in fraud scheme . . . Panama orders men and women to shop on different days . . . NY bans diners from using restaurant bathrooms . . . Vaginal warts and all:  Singapore’ taboo-breaking podcaster . . . Lethal nerve agent planted in underpants . . . Prof: Sex-crazed “Roaring 20s” awaits post-pandemic . . . Paragliding Santa rescued after crashing into power lines! . . . White Christmas:  74 pounds of cocaine found floating off Florida Keys . . . Archaeologists uncover ‘fast food’ in Pompeii . . . Frozen solid 15-ton whale stuck on NJ beach . . . Stowaway survives 5,600-mile flight by clinging to jumbo jet wheel . . . Giant vagina sculpture fuels culture wars in Brazil . . . Angry chickens attack McDonald’s customers . . . Mayor Houston suburb chosen by pulling name from hat . . .  Family faces eviction—for having too many children . . . Hell to pay: Arson shakes Church of Satan community. (Thanks again to Matt Drudge and his merry band of aggregators for this month's jaw-droppers.)
  • “The advantage of being a pessimist; a pessimist gets nothing but pleasant surprises, an optimist nothing but unpleasant surprises.”—writer Rex Stout, quoted in ArtsJournal.com
  • You want fries with that? Researchers have said that they had discovered a frescoed thermopolium, or fast food counter, in an exceptional state of preservation in Pompeii.
  • The ornate snack bar counter, decorated with polychrome patterns and frozen by volcanic ash, was partially exhumed last year but archaeologists extended work on the site to reveal it in its full glory.
  • (Pompeii, for those who don’t know or have forgotten, was buried in a sea of boiling lava when the volcano on nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, killing between 2,000 and 15,000 people.  It was in all the papers.)
  • “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”--Writer Marjorie Barstow Greenbie, quoted in the Yakima, Wash., Herald-Republic
  • jimjustsaying's Newspaper Obituary Nickname of the Week: “Jerry Bananas.” As in, Jerome F. “Jerry Bananas” Banaszynski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 11, 2020.
  • “The owner of the fence drove it back onto the road and removed the keys.”—New York Herald Tribune, via “Still More Press Boners,” by Earle Tempel
  • jimustsaying’s Word That Doesn’t Exist But Should of the Month--“Gyroped.”  n. A child who cannot resist spinning around on a diner stool.”–“More Sniglets,” Rich Hall and Friends.
  • I strongly suspect that people who are refusing to wear masks during the pandemic are probably the same people who routinely leave the fresh meat or dairy product they decided not to buy somewhere else in the store where it is sure to spoil or rot (and possibly wind up later in YOUR shopping cart).
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  EGO sum rumex si I've ledo vos. ("I'm sorry if I've offended you.")