Care for some stolen random thoughts?
Honest, I’m going to write a book chockful of random thoughts someday (my more serious book about religion is already available on Amazon), but deadline pressures keep forcing me to cannibalize my ideas for this column instead.
For instance, do you get confused by the (microscopic and/ or smeared) “sell by” and “best if used by” labels on products? “Best if used by November 2022.” “Best if used by July 2023.” Considering the sodium and sugar content in most of the products, maybe the labels should announce, “Best if used by the jerk whose widow you would like to marry in about five years.”
Why do we waste our time soliciting highly subjective information from the people in our lives? A business owner can ask how things went in his absence. One employee will start flailing his arms and announce his honest perception, “All hell broke loose!” Another will adopt the British “stiff upper lip” and sincerely assure the boss, “We had a trifle of increased activity.” A good surveillance camera system would solve the discrepancies. Of course, there might be some conflicting cost estimates. (“It’ll cost an arm and a leg!” “It already paid for itself when you were a gleam in your father’s eye!”)
Can movies and TV shows drop the term “safehouse” when the police or CIA are talking about a location to stash a witness? As soon as the authorities utter the word “safehouse,” it’s a “double dog dare you” for terrorists and mobsters. The situation could get worse only if the feds promised witnesses, “You’ll be snug here, but you’ll have to share a room with a gaggle of red-shirted Enterprise crew members.”
I understand that doctors glean a modicum of useful information from the standard “How would you rate your pain – on a scale from 1 to 10?” question, but surely, we could start lopping off numbers from each end of the spectrum. I mean, “1” sounds like you’re bragging or in denial. And “10” carries the connotation of “As soon as you turn your back, I’m stealing your prescription pad and getting sweet relief! And why didn’t you ask me about the pain before the waiting-room chairs and the weigh-in???”
Are anthropologists for real? They can find a single tooth in an excavation and breathlessly declare, “This belonged to a redheaded Neanderthal named Gronk, but his friends all called him ‘Buddy.’ He slept on his left side, thought cirrocumulus clouds looked like mastodon flatulence and always flipped his lucky pebble to decide whether it was a hunting day or a gathering day.” But let the anthropologist’s spouse ask something like, “Did you see that tramp Staci spilling out of her tight blouse?” and it’s “Really? I hadn’t noticed.”
I hate people who try to talk you into things you immediately recognize as bad ideas. “Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.” “Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.” But if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. I’ll get my revenge as soon as my furniture arrives from the state pen. (“Welcome. I’ve saved you a spot of honor in my new easy chair. Go ahead, give Old Smokey a try. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.”)
Thanks for letting me rob Tyree to pay Tyree. Darn. I should’ve used that one in my religion book. (Best if used before the Four Horsemen arrive.)
Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at firstname.lastname@example.org and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”