Thursday, February 1, 2024


  By Jim Szantor

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


What they’re saying about Jim’s provocative blog

--"Gluten-free . . . and that’s a good thing!—Martha Stewart

--"I love it when he says he doesn’t always agree with everything he says.”—Joe Biden

--"He's from this country, Mexicans don't read him, so that's good enough for me."--Donald Trump

--"The one thing I didn't delete from my private server."--Hillary Clinton

--"Jimaschizzle!"--Calvin Broadus, Jr. (aka Snoop Dogg)

--“Acerbic comedy without the annoying aftertaste!”—Jimmy Kimmel


--I was a teenage crime-scene cleanup technician.

--Overheard: “Don’t ever work for someone you wouldn’t want to become.”

--I like to think of myself as couth, ept and combobulated.  Oh, and I’m gruntled, too!

--jimjustsaying’s New Weather Word: When snow flurries are so light that they’re barely visible, they almost look like airborne lint, don’t they? I call them “slint.” Tomorrow’s forecast: Mostly sunny, turning partly slinty by afternoon. Chance of slint: 60 percent.

--I hate to admit it, but my Christmas ornaments are still up. Not the tree--just the ornaments!

--Memo to people who wear windbreakers with the names of taverns on them:  How much are you being paid to advertise your lifestyle choices (such as they are)? (“Yeah, I hang out at the Slimy Skunk Saloon and want everyone to know it.”)

--Rumors that I've been selected for the lead role in "Deuce Bigalow, Geriatric Gigolo" are just that--rumors! (How do these things get started?)

--I’m trying to be more laid back this year. When something upsets me, I’m going to go into low dudgeon.  (Whatever the opposite of “going ballistic is,” that’s what I’ll be doing . . . whenever ballistic behavior would normally be warranted.)

--Some good news . . . finally! Within 10 years, about 95 percent of the world's top tech companies will be American thanks to the U.S. lead in artificial intelligence, Palantir CEO Alex Karp told Axios' Mike Allen in Davos.

Why it matters: Karp called the European startup scene "anemic," noting that tech's "real growth and providers are in America."

America's advantage will compound because of the lack of big tech companies in Europe today, he said--handing "almost all the value" of AI to the U.S.

--Does anyone really believe those restaurant ad claims (often seen in Where to Go Guide-type publications) such as “Voted best (pizza/ribs/fried chicken) in (Your Town Here)”? Eight pizza parlor ads in those pages . . . and all were voted No. 1? Incredible. I know I didn’t vote—did you? Has anyone ever asked for a recount?  Documentation would seem to be in order!

(“Hon, don’t forget; we gotta vote on Tuesday. You know, the Pizza Election. And, oh yes, a week from Thursday is the Primary for Chicken and Ribs.  Mark that down. Hmmm, I wonder if we can vote absentee?”)

--Redundancy patrol: "Pick and choose," "join together," "women’s panties."

--Tax documents are starting to arrive in my mailbox. (If you thought IRS regulations were tough, try figuring out your Body Mass Index!  I need an advisor for that, too!)

--Political speech I'd love to hear (but probably never will).  "Win or lose, I promise to have all of my campaign signs and posters taken down the day after the election."

(Funny, but I don’t recall ever seeing or hearing a candidate’s TV or radio ad after the election, have you?  But somewhere there’s probably a faded Romney poster stuck on a telephone pole somewhere.)

--Prediction:  Some people will be so disenchanted with the presidential candidates that they will write in The My Pillow Guy just out of frustration.  (Well, at least one person will . . . and it well may BE the My Pillow Guy!)

Speaking of politics: If queried by a pollster, ask whom the pollster is voting for.  And if he or she won’t tell you (which they won’t), return the favor.

--More words you seen in print but never hear an actual person ever use in real life: "Chortle," "sheaf" and "imbroglio."

--One wonders who is worse off in our current economic landscape:  The person with virtually no education to speak of and no job (or a McJob) . . . or the person with a master's degree and no job (or a McJob).

(At least Mr., Ms. or Mrs. No Education doesn't have $300,000 or more in student loans to worry about while he or she is worrying where their next meal is coming from!)

--All persons are presumed innocent until the surveillance video is broadcast on national television.

(Wouldn’t you think, given today’s technology, that the quality of those surveillance videos wouldn’t still look like the picture people got on a 1949-vintage TV set!)

--jimjustsaying’s Party Ice-Breaker of the Month:  “Say [actual partygoer’s name here], did you know that Woody Allen is afraid of elevators and lives on the first floor of his building?”  (Kind of hard to work into a conversation, but there you have it.)

--“Shoes made of alligator or crocodile leather should be cleaned in the same manure as regular shoes.”—Idaho Falls Eastern Idaho Farmer, via “Still More Press Boners,” by Earle Tempel.

--jimjustsaying’s Word That Doesn’t Exist But Should of the Month: “Gladhandling.” n.  To attempt, with frustrating results, to find and separate the ends of a plastic trash bag. —“Sniglets,” Rich Hall & Friends

--I’ve basically lived my life bass ackwards, as they say--totally against the grain. For example, I quit drinking when I turned 21!

--He said it: “Travel lets us leave behind our unrealistic prejudices about other places and the people who live there and develop new, more realistic prejudices based on their actual deficiencies.”--Dennis Miller

--She said it: “On a first date, I ask myself, ‘Is this the man I want my kids to spend every other weekend with?’ ”—Rita Rudner

--DRUDGING AROUND:  Minn. woman sues dentist after 4 root canals, 8 dental crowns and 20 fillings in a single visit that led to disfigurement . . . Exploding toilet at DUNKIN’ left customer filthy, injured . . . All Alone: LA has thousands of unclaimed dead . . . Woman will suffer diarrhea forever after Ozempic causes horrible bowel injury . . . Woman found with dog urine in court-ordered drug test . . . Underwear, socks latest item to be locked up in shoplifting crackdown . . . Cops:  Man tried to swap drugs for fried pickles at Buffalo Wild Wings . . . Religious “Nones” now largest single group in USA . . . Man dies while giving eulogy at funeral . . . Shock: Alzheimer’s can spread BETWEEN humans . . . MAGA maniac beheads dad live on YouTube. (As always, thanks to Matt Drudge and his merry band of aggregators.)

Another in jimjustsaying's series of Occupations No Child Has Ever Fantasized About or Aspired To:  Nail salon technician. (Still No. 1: Insurance-claims adjuster.)

--What’s old is new—again! Flip phones are having a moment as an alternative to smartphones. Consumers--especially younger people--are buying these older phones to cut down on their screen time, according to ZDNET.

U.S. flip phone sales reached about $3 million last year, according to Counterpoint Research. It might not seem like much, but these devices were nearly extinct.

(So if you never joined the cellphone generation, you no longer look like a wayward Mennonite.  And look at all the money you saved?)

--“The Detroit Quartet played Brahms last night.  Brahms lost.” — Anonymous critic

--Overheard: “The World’s Oldest Woman just died at 115.  Man, that title must be CURSED!”

TODAY’S LATIN LESSON:  Non habemus foetidus nives dies cum aetas tua eram! (“We didn't have no stinkin' snow days when I was your age!”)

 Special thanks to Dolly Lama, this month’s Popcorn intern. 

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