Monday, August 1, 2022



     By Jim Szantor 

    Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric 

    and whimsical observations

    about the absurdities of contemporary life 

  • I never metamorphosis I didn’t like.  But that could change!
  • I'm so old, I used to eat at NHOP--you know, the National House of Pancakes!
  • Five favorite T-shirt messages from the new What on Earth catalog:
  • If you met my family, you'd understand.
  • Another day gone by, and I didn’t use algebra once!
  • 90 percent of being married is yelling “What?” from other rooms.
  • My favorite childhood memory is my back not hurting.
  • My favorite: I only do what the voices in my wife's head tell her to tell me to do.
  • People who make a vocal sound that is supposed to approximate the "Twilight Zone" theme are in need of immediate counseling (if not deportation).
  • Sometimes I feel like a Polaroid in the Instagram of Life. 
  • A woman is only helpless when her fingernail polish is drying!
  • Quick:  How many married people could put their hands on their marriage license inside of 5 minutes?  5 hours?  5 days?  Driver's license?  Almost instantly! (Draw your own conclusions.)
  • Why people don't like the sound of their own voices:  According to Dr. Edie Hapner, a speech-language pathology expert, you don't hear your voice as others hear it. Voices travel through the bones of the head before reaching the speaker's ears, changing the way it sounds, says Dr. Hapner. (Kind of hard to work into a conversation, but there you have it.)
  • Speaking of voices, ever notice that British singers don't sing with a British accent--you hear it only when they speak?
  • explains: Because singing forces the singer to pronounce "true" vowel sounds. "English vowels are the same, no matter where you're from. Speaking employs gliding vowels--transitions from one to the next. Singing is phrased such that vowels are held longer (to the note), which more or less erases regional accents."
  • (Whatever the case, calling Mick Jagger a “singer” is a stretch!  He struts and he prances and he shouts and somehow got rich and famous for doing it.)
  • I was wrong about paparazzi. But I decided to give it another try with a red clam sauce, and it wasn’t half bad.
  • Ever wonder how some of the “classic” TV shows of the past would have fared if remote controls had been around and there had been more than a thousand program options back then?  (“ ‘Gilligan’s What’?  Never heard of it.”)
  • There will never be a David Gruber Lookalike Contest.  (And he is surely the first lawyer to use preschoolers in TV ads!)
  • The Gruber ads are so ripe for parody that a rival law firm is now subtly poking fun at them in their television spots.  (What took them so long!)
  • How come you never see guys with pencils behind their ears anymore?
  • I don't care what anyone says:  We never had weather like this when Mr. Wizard was alive!
  • Why do people in the movies always hear a dial tone when somebody hangs up on them when this never happens in real life? (A dial tone you can hear from across the room!  How does that happen?)  And the villain always snaps off the radio or TV when he hears his crime reported on a news broadcast.  Sometimes it appears that all the movies have been written or directed by the same guy!
  • Just what we need: More gloom and doom--the so-called “vulture apocalypse.” 
  • A catastrophic decline of vulture populations in Africa and Asia is causing alarm among researchers, who fear that a “cascade” effect could lead to the spread of deadly old and new diseases, including plague, anthrax, and rabies, the London Telegraph reports.
  •  If the lion is the king of the savannah, the vulture is the hardworking, unsung groundskeeper. A flock of vultures can wipe a dead antelope clean in about 20 minutes, stopping the carcass from turning into a toxic soup leaking into water sources. Maggots and bacteria are the only things more effective at disposing of dead meat.  (And now back to your breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack! Sorry.)
  • When did guys start getting haircuts that look like the barber had a seizure  . . . and kept on cutting?  Or wearing that puffed-up wedge of hair (with gel?) in front?  When did it become "cool" to look like you just lost a bet with someone? 
  • Getting old and slightly annoying:  Calling any update or revision of something "2.0." Soon to be followed, no doubt, by "3.0."  Oh, so clever.
  • Redundancy Patrol:  Continue on, pick and choose, absolutely free.
  • Sign of the Times (literally):  “Fairbanks Airlines Flight C20 departs at 8:57 p.m.  Boards at 9:04 p.m.” (per Consumer Reports reader Charlie Kranuall). 
  • Sign of the Times II:  Hotel web site pitch: “Upgrade to a room with a toilet for just $19.04.”  (per Consumer Reports reader Liz Burden)
  • Misspelled Sign of the Year!

  • (INSERT your own joke here!   Gently.)
  • jimjustsaying’s Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month: “Grampa Thunder.”  As in Thomas J. “Grampa Thunder” Michelson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 3, 2022.  (Obviously a family that doesn’t know how to spell “Grandpa,” but R.I.P. anyway, sir.  I’m sure you deserved better.)
  • I've found a strange omission in all of Donald Trump's books:  No Chapter 11!
  • jimjustsaying’s Faded Word of the Month: "skedaddle." 
  • TV Guide fun facts:  The person who appeared on the magazine's first issue also made the most cover appearances ever:  Lucille Ball.   (What, you thought it was Durward Kirby?)
  •  jimjustsaying’s Fortune Cookie Message of the Month: “Your reality check is about to bounce.”
  • DRUDGING AROUND:  Vegas hotel to offer first VR porn delivery robot as part of room service . . . SURVEY: 2 in 3 adults don’t know whom we declared independence from . . . Don’t know how many stars on flag . . . Serial killer called in tips, collected rewards when bodies found . . . Baby born on 7-11 at 7-Eleven! . . . One roommate is 85, the other is 27; such arrangements are growing . . . Women’s armpit hair is back (and on cover of Vogue) . . . Monkeys throw human baby to his death off roof . . . “Nap boxes” installed in offices to help Japan workers sleep while standing up. . . Rotten Apple:  NYC odor complaints hit record high . . . “Water police” patrol drought-stricken LA streets . . . How Brazilian Butt Lift became one of deadliest cosmetic surgeries . . . Sperm extraction technique turns dead men into fathers . . . Depression NOT caused by “chemical imbalance” in brain, scientists insist . . . Why insects are sustainable superfood of the future—better than beef . . . STUDY: Drop in air pollution INCREASED global warming . . . Bad habits? Chewing gum sharpens memory; biting nails boosts immunity . . . She seemed like an elderly landlady.  She was actually a serial killer . . . Fireman in France accused of being serial wildfire starter. (Thanks as always to Matt Drudge and his merry band of aggregators.)
  • Florida comments per the Associated Press: “The Sunshine State has become internationally notorious for the oddball miscreants who populate its police blotters and local news reports--known collectively as Florida Man. There are murders and mayhem, like anyplace else, and then there are the only-in-Florida incidents like the man charged with assault with a deadly weapon for throwing an alligator through a Wendy’s drive-thru window in Palm Beach County in 2015.”
  • Latest consensus in a Quora survey about Florida:  Mostly thumbs down from those who either just moved there or those who are leaving. Why? No state income tax . . . but little or no services, either—or services that are being discontinued or are being watered down (no pun intended)!  Prices and traffic are mushrooming, and the specter of catastrophic climate change looms large.  (Full disclosure: I spent 20 years there one week!)
  •  jimjustsaying’s Great Baseball Broadcast Gaffe of the Month: “Last night I neglected to mention something that bears repeating.”—Angels analyst Ron Fairly.
  • jimjustsaying’s Baseball Rant du Jour: Remember when your favorite 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 of us veterans out there) to special hats for Mother’s Day, among other commemorative regalia.   You turn on a game and are a bit puzzled about who really is playing.  (“Funny, that doesn’t look like the Brewers.”)
  • 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.  Who started this?
  • “Miss Miriel Clark of Winfield, Kansas, has become the bird of Neal A. Sullivan.”—Charlotte (N.C.) News, via “Still More Press Boners,” by Earle Tempel
  • jimjustsaying’s Word That Doesn’t Exist But Should of the Month: “Vacubeam.” n.  That useless headlight on the front of a vacuum cleaner.—“Unexplained Sniglets of the Universe,” Rich Hall and Friends
  • He said it: “In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some diehard’s vote.”—David Foster Wallace 
  • She said it: “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap!”—Dolly Parton
  • 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?”
  • Today’s Latin Lesson:  Cum ad inscitiam vel corruptionem negotii vel rei publicae fit, putrescat pisces de capite. (“When it comes to incompetence or corruption in business or politics, the fish rots from the head.”)

    Special thanks to Hugh Briss, this month’s Popcorn intern.

No comments: