Monday, March 12, 2018

And mimosas?

Stephen Jay Gould said interbreeding a chimpanzee with a human being would be “the most potentially interesting and ethically unacceptable experiment I can imagine.” I believe this shows a lack of imagination. What about creating a hideous chimera that was simultaneously a breath mint and a candy mint? Or an unnatural garment that combined the functions of shirt and jacket? Suppose a twisted genius were to bring together the attributes of a fork and a spoon in a single utensil? What if it occurred to some rogue restaurateur to combine breakfast with lunch? What if it included a jazz trio?

Monday, March 5, 2018

I'm not old. I'm prewashed.

It was awful chilly (for here) so I put on my leather jacket when I went to the coffeehouse. And one of the young folkies said, “Hey, is that vintage?” I looked at it and said, “Well, it is now.” It’s weird when stuff you got new is a collector’s item. The thing is, once you’re done growing everything fits forever and some things take forever to wear out. It depends on how much use they get. Like, my dress shoes and work boots will probably last the rest of my life. I‘m pretty rough on the leisure wear, though.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Poetic license

You need a license to be a plumber or electrician or HVAC technician. (See? Poetic.) You also need a license to cut people’s hair or paint their nails. You need a license to sell beer or to go fishing. You need a license to help somebody get born and another to embalm them when they die. Dentist, detective, dietician? Licensed. From head to toe, optometrist to podiatrist, you need a license. Locksmiths, massage therapists, hair braiders – hair braiders! – need licenses. Mimes and buskers, too. And, of course, you need a license to drive a motor vehicle. Those things are dangerous.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Conditional clause

Some people say there’s no such thing as a stupid question. I would like to ask them why they say that. I would like to ask over and over, because any question gets stupid if you ask it enough times. Like shouldn’t beheaded mean the exact opposite? What does Chanel No. 4 smell like? Why isn’t anything old-fangled? Is Shigella really the legit name of a bacterium or is that just the Yiddish word for it? That’s about it. Oh. Yeah. One more thing. Does anybody actually think this is what the founding fathers meant by a well regulated militia?

Monday, February 12, 2018

The horror! The horror!

There was a story in the paper that asked the question, “How do you review a restaurant whose chef is accused of assault?” Which aside from being the most white people problem ever, addresses a quandary we might all encounter – how to separate the art from the artist. Is it okay to enjoy the work of Miles Davis even though he was notorious for knocking women around? Joseph “Exterminate all the brutes!” Conrad? Or further back, the work of Richard “I was Nazi before Nazi was cool” Wagner? I say yes. Because they’re dead and can no longer collect royalties.

Monday, February 5, 2018

I'm a sharp operator

I have neglected pencils as a topic for far too long. A box of 72 special “golf pencils” sells for $11.99. What makes them golf pencils is that they are only 3 ½ inches long. They are short pencils, about half the length of a normal pencil, which I can get 36 of those for $4.29, or 72 for $8.58. Why is this great? Dude, this an opportunity to use one half each of 72 pencils, then sell them for a cool $3.41 profit. It’s like getting paid to write, which should be the whole point of it, I think.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Gem of the ocean

By all reports, North America was a pretty nice place to live before 1492. People had figured out how to grow maize and beans and squash, and how to groom forests to make harvesting venison more convenient. They built mounds and buried golden plates for Joseph Smith to find. Then a (literal) plague of Europeans arrived. In a historical blink of an eye the forests where stripped away, the mountaintops removed, the rivers dammed, the grasslands desertified. A time-lapse movie of the last five centuries would look like maggots on roadkill. It’s a shame we can’t make immigration reform retroactive.