Friday, December 1, 2023


    By Jim Szantor

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

I was a teenage forensic blood-splatter expert.

Why is the Mute button always in a different place on every remote control?

“The murals in restaurants are usually on a par with the food in art galleries.”--Peter DeVries

Wedding Gift Registries 2023:

With the cost of buying a home at historic highs, more couples are asking for help with a down payment as a wedding gift, Axios' Shauneen Miranda writes.  (Slap forehead here!)

The share of couples who include "home funds" in their wedding registry has increased by 55% since 2018, according to the wedding planning and registry website The Knot. (Get the feeling that the sales of air fryers just started to drop?)

Bumper sticker: “Lawyers have feelings, too.  Allegedly.”

“Everything is about to change faster than many want or feel capable of matching. All of us will need to grow more comfortable with an up-tempo, improvisational dimension to work and life.”—Sam Altman, CEO and co-founder of OpenAI.

(The world is moving so fast these days, very few people can remember more than three sex scandals ago.)

Being retired and someone who doesn’t operate heavy machinery, I have no interest in those cold and flu remedies touted as a “New Non-drowsy Formula.”  When I’m hacking, retching, sweating, chilling, hurting, heaving, sneezing and wheezing, drowsy is good; I crave drowsy.  So forget your new non-drowsy formula, drug manufacturers; where’s the “three-day-coma, wake-me-when-it’s-over formula”?  That’s what I want.

jimjustsaying’s Air Freshener Scent of the Month:  Poo-Pouri. Runner-up:  Serene Vanilla Sunrise. (I’m just going by the names; I have no idea what they smell like . . . and not sure I want to know.)

Now that I'm finally getting comfortable in my own skin, it's getting more wrinkled by the day.

jimjustsaying's Coinage of the Month:  Mediarrhea. n. The unending onslaught of news stories (and instant updates of same), op-ed columns, interesting news and feature stories, magazine articles, talk-show jokes, movies, "webisodes," webinars, albums, books, web comics, podcasts, video games, and whatever else spews forth from Twitter/X feeds, Tumblr, Instagram, Reddit AMA, You Tube and myriad other stuff like click-bait that no one can possibly keep up with.

Three bad ideas for a business:  Just Cuff Links, Just Cummerbunds, Just Shoelaces.

"Breeds" of Dogs I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw Them Listed in a Newspaper Ad:  the Affenpoo (half poodle and half Affenpinscher), the Pomachon (a mix of the Pomeranian and the Bichon Frise) and the Whoodle (a cross between the soft-coated Wheaten terrier and the poodle).  

Speaking of animals: "They’re all home-grown coyotes, all born and bred in Chicago.”--A wildlife biologist on the growing numbers of that particular animal downtown. 

jimjustsaying’s Word That Doesn’t Exist But Should of the Month: Umbilinkus.  n. The tiny appendage at the end of a link sausage.--"More Sniglets," Rich Hall & Friends

I know a guy so bored he reads all his Junk Mail word for word.

jimjustsaying’s Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  "Say [partygoer’s name here], did you know that every 1-cent increase in the cost a gallon of gas takes $1 billion of consumer spending away from other goods in the course of a year, according to Credit Suisse bank analysis?" (Kind of hard to work into a conversation, but it’s here if you need it.)

“The shortest version of Jewish history goes like this: They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat!”—Dr. Henry Abramson on YouTube

Pop Culture Quiz I: What do ABBA, Paul Anka, Jimmy Buffett, Patsy Cline, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Dion, the Drifters, Hall & Oates, Jefferson Airplane, Journey, Moody Blues, Steve Miller Band, the O'Jays, Buck Owens, Jim Reeves, the Righteous Brothers, the Ventures and Bobby Vinton have in common? 

Answer:  Despite their scores of hits--some of them megahits--none of these artists or groups ever won a Grammy, according to Mr. Music (aka Jerry Osborne).

Pop Culture Quiz II: What do Steve Allen, Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, Lenny Bruce, actor Robert Pastorelli and mega-producer Don Simpson all have in common?  Answer: They all died on the toilet.

“Lord, give me chastity and self-control--but not yet.”—St. Augustine

jimjustsaying’s winter book-reading suggestions:  "The Ultimate Guide to Butchering Deer," by John Weiss; and “The Wisconsin Road Guide to Gangster Hot Spots," by Chad Lewis.  (So many must-reads, so little time! But you’ll thank me later.)

DRUDGING AROUND:  As antisemitism threat rises, South Florida’s Jews arm themselves . . . Florida pastor accused of using belt on students at private religious school . . . Alabama mayor kills self after blog outs his cross-dressing . . . Author comes out as trans MAN after spouse comes out as trans WOMAN . . . China’s animal lovers fight illegal cat meat trade . . . Chicago so unpleasant that migrants are fleeing back to Venezuela . . . 40% of Americans afraid to walk alone at night . . . Men benefit most from looks, not women . . . Army invites back soldiers discharged for refusing vax . . . Survey:  43% of Americans frequently constipated . . . Hospital guard had sex with 79-year-old woman in morgue freezer, cops charge  . . . Half of companies to ax degree requirements.  (Thanks, as always, to Matt Drudge and his intrepid band of aggregators.)

Attending an NBA game could cost you a lot more this year — especially if you're a Knicks fan, Axios' Analis Bailey writes.

A family of four will spend, on average, $304.64 for four of the cheapest available tickets, a parking spot, two beers, two sodas and four hot dogs.

New York Knicks games are the priciest in the country at $745.18. Seeing the Charlotte Hornets will cost $158.72.

Do people still buy perfume or cologne?  If so, why?  All you have to do is subscribe to a magazine or have a charge account at a department store, and you’ll get all the scent products you want absolutely free.  You don’t have to have a perfume or cologne budget; all you need is a mailbox.

(What are you wearing, dear?  Is that Polo Musk?  No, It’s Vanity Fair, September issue!)

About political poll accuracy (oxymoron?), now that we’re already ankle deep in that dreaded season: 

Mitt Romney was so sure he would be elected the nation’s 45th president in 2012 that he ordered a fireworks display to be unleashed over Boston Harbor the moment he notched his 270th electoral vote.  Internal surveys gave him a consistent lead over President Obama, and so did several outside pollsters, including venerable Gallup 

What went wrong?  Gallup’s post-mortem found it had misidentified likely voters, under-counted Democratic-leaning regions, over-counted whites, and when calling landlines dialed only listed numbers, which skewed older and Republican. 

All-time-great howler from the Indianapolis Star (courtesy of the Columbia Journalism Review):  "Jazz tunes, including 'Modern Leaves’ and 'The Girl With Emphysema,' ended at 8:30 p.m. when the jazz trio packed up."

What if some of the horror film stars of yesteryear had had their own talk shows?  "It's Late Night with Bela Lugosi . . . ."  (THE TIME SLOT HE WAS BORN TO HAVE!)

Sample Lugosi monologue joke  . . . could have gone  . . . something like this: “Whoa, it was so hot in L.A. today, the bats flew INTO hell to cool off!  Whew!”

"The sewer expansion project is near completion, but city officials are holding their breath until it is officially finished.--Jacksonville (Fla.) Times-Union, via "Still More Press Boners," by Earle Tempel.

Message to Big Pharma, whose latest obsession seems to be selling testosterone-boosting products to any male over age 10:  Aging is not a disease, it's a process.  If aging is a disease, then infancy is a disease.

It could be argued that eating a hamburger with onions is—dare I say it?—an antisocial act.  My hamburger with tomato and pickles flies under the radar, even in close quarters.  Someone eating one loaded with onions in whatever form?  He or she is, in effect, broadcasting with appallingly broad bandwidth, callously indifferent to the consequences!

jimjustsaying’s Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month:  Chum.  As in, LaVerne “Chum” O’Connor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 3, 2023.

This Christmas season I'm going to SEND a calendar to every insurance agent and real-estate person I know (just to see if they have a sense of humor).  Watch this space for reports of reactions.

I've been on a health kick, but maybe too much so.  I was looking for a decaffeinated coffee table.

jimjustsaying’s Semi-Risque Joke of the Month: Two young lovers were messing around in the car. She asks “Would you like to get in the back seat?” His response: “No, I’d rather stay up here with you.”

TODAY'S LATIN LESSON:  Oh meus Deus, quam did ut invado illic? ("Oh my God, how did that get in there?")

Thanks to CLARK BARR, this month’s Popcorn intern.



·       "Christmas With the Gingriches"

·       "Winnie the Pooh's Holiday Pot Party"

·       "Police Navidad" (“Cops” Holiday Documentary)

·       "Joey Buttafuoco's Last Incarcerated Christmas" (encore presentation)

·         And last but not least:

·       "Christopher Walken in a Winter Wonderland"

(Check your local listings for times and stations)