Monday, June 27, 2016

Unforgettable, that's what you are

Remember being five? Can you remember being excited about getting permanent teeth? Well, they’re not. They’re not permanent. Even if you keep them in your head for your whole life, those few decades hardly qualify as any paragon of permanence. All tattoos are temporary. Eventually, even diamonds aren’t forever. That’s fine with me; I’m cool with our perishability. And considering how little time we actually spend here, I believe short-term fixes are the best. I live that conviction. Like, I have a shed out back that at this point consists almost entirely of that canned foam from the hardware store.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Obligatory what’s-his-name reference

The man says "believe me" a lot. You only say that when you're lying. Everybody knows that. The embarrassing thing is not just that he's (insert invective here), but that he's not very good at it. Seriously, the guy couldn’t sell me aluminum siding. I'm ashamed of my racist, xenophobic, angry, disappointed, confused and spiteful fellow citizens, not because they are racist, xenophobic, angry, disappointed, confused and spiteful (hey, nobody's perfect) but because they are such poor shoppers in the marketplace of ideas. Is this the best rabid hate-spewing fear monger the greatest nation on Earth can produce? I weep.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Drawing a Blanc

This one time we were listening to the car radio and a bluegrass song started with a mandolin pickup and I said, “That’s Ricky Skaggs.” And it was; I had got it right in the beat and a half before the downbeat. I’ve heard that old-time telegraphers could identify who was tapping out Morse code, they said they recognized the sender’s “hand,” as distinctive as a voice. Or more so. The other day, the kitchen radio was playing and I said, “Is that Elmer Fudd singing ‘Skylark?’” And she listened for a moment and said, “I think it’s Bob Dylan.”

Monday, May 30, 2016

Stall tactics

North Carolina, your bathroom law isn’t just bigoted, it’s stupid. Calling it moronic would unjustly denigrate morons everywhere. See, the thing is, the rule of unintended consequences is standing right in plain sight, ready to bitchslap you back to reality. Have you even thought about how there are transgender people of both sexes? Because while you’re slavering over salacious hypotheticals featuring pedophiles in the little girls’ room, you should be getting ready to explain to your daughter that your stupid law is why that fellow is in the ladies' washroom at the Cracker Barrel, trimming his beard over the sink.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The numbers don't lie.

Here’s a new feature where from time to time we will look at some of the facts and figures that are affecting our lives, and grossly misinterpret them. I shall call this special feature The Bad Statistician. Yes I shall. Ahem. In the year 2010, the average United States family of four spent $11.46 on unwrought rhodium. (Unwrought rhodium imports totaled $884,811,866, the population was 308,745,538.) The market price for the metal is around $675 an ounce, so somewhere in the average American home there is about a half gram of rhodium. Why would anyone make such a silly purchase?

Monday, May 16, 2016

I'm just saying

It takes a surprisingly long time to write 100 words, and it takes about 40 seconds to speak them out loud. That’s not very long. Yet I’ve spent hours and hours of my life in active and rapid colloquy. Leaning on bars, riding in cars, walking on sidewalks, sitting in chairs, hunkered over desks. Chattering, blathering, prattling, babbling. Millions and millions of words, and I can’t remember any of them. Well, probably there was a lot of “the” and “of.” Those are biggies right there. Also I seem to recall saying “No, no. Listen. Listen to me” quite a bit.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Geezer Wars!

Somebody asked me, “How old do you think I am?” I was both rude and prudent. I flatly refused to answer. “I’m not answering that,” I said. Isn’t there some age beyond which you got nothing left to prove? I guess not. I’m hearing now about people exchanging organ recitals; that’s where they try to top each other with their lists of the afflictions plaguing every single part of the body. So there’s always something to win at. I wonder if the second-oldest person in the world spends a lot of time checking the obituaries, hoping for that big break.