Wednesday, March 24, 2021


         By Jim Szantor 

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

  •   Whoever thought we’d be checking a box stating “I am not a robot” several times a week (or day)?
  • ·Gardeners: Don’t fret if your stuff doesn’t come up looking like the pictures in the seed catalog.  Those pictures were posed by professional vegetables. 
  • ·Speaking of that rite of spring, whatever happened to the Garden Weasel?  Do they still make it?  Will they double my order if I act now and just pay extra postage and handling? 
  •   It had to happen: The pandemic has caused a surge in the number of men wearing makeup, The Week magazine reports.  With men spending hours scrutinizing their faces on Zoom calls, Google searches for “men’s makeup” have soared nearly 80 percent from 2019.  Sales of men’s cosmetics are booming.       
  • Count me among those who were surprised to see Dr. Seuss in the Cancel Culture lockup.  Who’s next?  Winnie the Pooh?  
  • Faded Phrase of the Week: “He’s got bats in his belfry.” 
  • Redundancy Patrol: Added bonus, completely annihilate, join together. 
  • Sometimes I feel like a Polaroid in the Instagram of Life. 
  • There will never be a Rudy Giuliani Lookalike Contest.
  • ·“Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.” John le Carré, quoted in The Economist
  • · Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month: Muffin, as in Elsbeth “Muffin” Knutson, Door County Daily News, Jan. 7, 2021. R.I.P., Mrs. Knutson.
  • ·Three things I don't pretend to understand:  Bitcoins, Snapchat and RSS feeds.  (Close behind:  Instagram, Buzzfeed and virtually the appeal of any “rapper,” all due respect.)
  • ·Let's see if I've got this right:  Mass shootings re on the rise, our climate concerns are largely ignored, yet the premier issue these days seems to be where the minuscule percentage of the population that is transgender can go to the bathroom.   Whatta country!
  • ·Speaking of sports:  This ever happen to you?  You turn on a game and don't recognize either of the teams?
  • ·Remember when your favorite baseball team had two uniforms:  White for home games and those "gray traveling uniforms," as announcers used to call them?   Now they've got 5 or 6 sets, from "throwback unis" to camouflage outfits (for all you veterans out there) to this and that and whatever.   You turn on a game and are a bit puzzled about who really is playing.  Why don’t the teams use some of the money spent on what has to be expensive haberdashery and give it to a food bank or any other worthy cause?  But apparently this diamond fashion show takes precedence.
  • · And then there's April 15, when every player on every team wears No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.  What they should be wearing:  Number  9.2, to reflect the appallingly low actual percentage of black players on Opening Day rosters this season (69 out of 750, if you do the math).   Jackie would approve, no doubt about it.
  • · jimjustsaying’s Word That Doesn’t Exist But Should of the Month:  Squanderprint.  n.  Directions that try to make you use up a product faster than you normally would.  (Example:  Lather.  Rinse Repeat.)—“More Sniglets, Rich Hall and Friends.
  • ·All Over-rated Club:  Chris Cuomo, Meghan McCain, Wolf Blitzer
  • · "Mr. Ferguson will be removed to All Saint’s Hospital for the rectal operation.  While he is there, his gas station will be closed for an indefinite period.”—Worthington (Minn.) Times, via “Still More Press Boners,” by Earle Tempel.
  • · Jim's Dine-Out Tip O' the Week:  At Mexican restaurants, always ask to be seated in the No Guitarist section.
  • · Why do people eat out at "home-style" restaurants?  When I eat out, I want a "restaurant style" restaurant. 
  • · Jim's First Law of Dining:  $5 is the point at which a hamburger or a plate of spaghetti are as good as they're going to get.
  • · Common Advertising Pitch of Our Times:  "You can now pre-order [name of gizmo or gadget or Harry Potter book here]."  Pre-order?  You can either order something, or you can't.  "Pre-order” is modern market-speak for a company wanting your money now for something that either (a) doesn't exist yet or (b) if it does, is mired somewhere in a cargo hold docked in the South China Sea.
  • ·Next time you get an e-mail pitch to "pre-order" something you have no intention of ordering anyway, please reply with a notice of "pre-indifference" or "pre-refusal" to their request.  I'm not sure they would "pre-appreciate" it, but "pre-do" it anyway.  (I "pre-thank" you!)
  • Today’s Latin Lesson: Is dico may exsisto recorded pro palaestra voluntas.   ("This call may be recorded for training purposes.")