Thursday, February 18, 2021



By Jim Szantor 

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • I was a teenage philatelist.
  • Covid-19 Factoid of the Month: A British mathematician Kit Yates calculated that the 2 quintillion very tiny coronavirus particles in the world would fit inside a single Coke can.
  • Remember when it seems like people were always going to get things “notarized”? When a store (or real estate office, etc.) would have a little sign in a corner of the window that said “Notary Public”? Have these people gone the way of elevator operators? What changed?
  • jimjustsaying’s research associate, Rick Shaw, reports that these people still exist (you can find them even at some UPS stores) but they seem to have gone under the radar, so to speak. But they haven’t gone the way of the elevator operator or the guy who used to pump your gas.
  • Overheard: “It is better to waste one’s youth than do nothing with it at all.”--Writer Georges Courteline, in The Times (U.K.)
  • jimjustsaying’s Party Ice-Breaker of the Month: “Say [actual partygoer’s name here], did you know that the size of your eyes remains same after birth but your nose and ears never stop growing?”
  • Overheard: “When you empty the vacuum cleaner bag, you become a vacuum cleaner cleaner.”
  • I was walking down the street with my friend, and he said, “I hear music”--as if there is any other way to take it in. I said, “You're not special, dude--that's how I receive it, too. I tried to taste it, but it just didn’t work.’ ”—Mitch Hedberg
  • jimjustsaying’s Euphemism of the Month: NestlĂ© recalled more than 762,000 pounds of pepperoni Hot Pockets after receiving four complaints of “extraneous” materials in the frozen sandwiches, including pieces of glass and hard plastic.
  • Extraneous. How’s that for an elastic, all-encompassing term? Glass, hard plastic, rodent hairs, cyanide, strychnine . . . all would qualify as “extraneous,” I guess. The corporate brain trust obviously ruled out “hazardous” and “potentially fatal” and came up with “extraneous.” Good move.
  • (I guess they could recycle those hazardous Hot Pockets into a new product called Shrapnel Pockets. They would be a natural snack item for people with tongue and nose piercings and forehead and neck tattoos.)
  • I strongly suspect that people who are refusing to wear masks during the pandemic are probably the same people who routinely: Never give you a courtesy wave when you let them into traffic . . . or never let you into traffic.
  • “Progress would be wonderful—if only it would stop.”--Writer Robert Musil,
  • Drudging Around: Satanist sex robots, vampire dolls deemed “perfect” by customers . . . Gang of 100 monkeys raids farm after lack of tourists cut food supply . . . Girls post video of themselves killing 14-year-old in Wal-mart . . . Inside the “whites only” church sowing discord in Minnesota town . . . Man on mission to become “alien” has lip removed in latest body modification . . . Man caught directing flight traffic with radio . . . Huge piece of Highway 1 south of Big Sur falls into ocean . . . Man’s penis held for ransom after hackers took control of digital chastity belt . . . This is what happens when Buddhist nun joins a heavy metal band . . . Humans to set their own moods using brain chips . . . Warehouse orgy with 100 men and women raided in Paris . . . House of filth: 30 pit bulls, 5 pythons, 4 children removed—from mobile home . . . Hacked sex robots could be used to kill users . . . Pigs can be taught how to use joysticks . . . Fake officers with gun, badge detained South Carolinians during “traffic stops” . . . Poop could be new secret weapon against mutant strains. (Thanks once again to Matt Drudge and his merry band of aggregators for this month’s forehead-slappers.)
  • jimjustsaying’s Word That Doesn’t Exist But Should of the Month: Premail. n. Mail that is placed behind the visor in your car and left for several months before it is finally sent.—“More Sniglets,” Rich Hall and Friends
  • Memo to pundits and headline writers: Stop calling the members of the highest court in the land The Supremes! Because (a) doing so trivializes an important bulwark of our government, and (b) if there hadn't been a popular Motown group of the same name, you wouldn't be doing it. Sometimes there's such a thing as being too "clever" by half or overdone to the point of absurdity.
  • "Rome wasn't born in a day."--Former major-league baseball player Johnny Logan
  • I think it's time for an AILU--American Indecent Liberties Union.
  • Poker has become so popular, young people are even getting into it. What's next? The Little League World Series of Poker? ("I'll see your Skittles and raise you three M&M two-packs.")
  • Who really uses all that extraneous stuff on those elaborate watches they make these days? And how did I manage to lose 90 pounds and keep 80 of it off for 15 years without a Fitbit?
  • “Fearing the hotel was on fire, she grabbed her cat, which was hanging on a hook, flung it over her shoulders, and ran out into the night.”—Michigan City (Ind.) Press, via “Still More Press Boners,” by Earle Tempel.
  • jimjustsaying’s Newspaper Obituary Nickname of the Month: Andy Storm. As in, Andrew “Andy Storm” Burzynski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 27, 2020.
  • Today’s Latin Lesson: Scitis, sunt tempora, quando socialis distancing esset interpellatio me iustus teres. (“You know, there are times when social distancing would suit me just fine.”)