Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Reflections on nearly 30 years of staring out the window


 (583 words)


I spend an inordinate amount of time wondering if my decision in 1992 to skip the whole career thing was a wise career move.


I wonder this a lot because, geez, I have so much time on my hands.


I meet strangers at parties. They ask what I do. I tell them I stare out the window for an hour, type for about 90 seconds, then resume staring out the window. I then repeat the process throughout the day until about 3:30 or about when kicking off the Happy Hour is socially acceptable to avid day drinkers. 


Who knew that doing squat for years at a time would essentially pay squat?


I look back on the last 30 years of my life and it’s like I’m the star of one long beer commercial. There’s joy, laughter, camaraderie and deep in the background a whispered admonition to “Please Drink Responsibly” that me and my happy band of sudsy co-stars knew was not meant to be taken seriously. 


I have so many people who really love my books, my inane posts and pointless little musings. Sample: “Fashion experts who work to ensure ample bosoms fit snugly in frilly brassieres are rack-contours.”


Took me about two whole hours of staring out the window to come up with that one.


Know what I did once I’d composed and posted it?


Took the rest of the day off!


I did. I was feeling the same sort of tangible accomplishment I do on the days when I find a quarter on the sidewalk.


Of course, there’s the inevitable awkwardness when you stroll through the front door and the family wants to know how your day went.


How many fathers are going to respond with bold honesty, “It went great! I came up with a really nifty tit pun!”


I sense just how much people want me to succeed. It’s not uncommon for readers to ask me if I yearn to be famous.


I can’t get them to understand my entire aspiration is simple break-even solvency.


Perhaps my new novel will be my big break, the one I anticipated would happen in 1998.


The new book is sort of the Romeo & Juliette story, but instead of her being on a balcony in Verona, she’s in Heaven and he’s in Hell. In order for their love to flourish, she’s going to have lower Heaven and he’s going to have to raise Hell.


Their names are Evan and Elle. 


I’m calling the book, “Evan & Elle in Heaven & Hell: A Long Distance Social Media Afterlife Love Story.”


Please, hold your applause.


As I learned so cruelly with my first novel, a clever premise and snappy writing do not guarantee success.


This book could be an abject failure, and in some way each of my books have been just that. In fact, by some bottom line standards, you could judge my last 30 years in that same harsh light.


I choose not to.


Despite decades of evidence to the contrary, I persist in believing the bet I made on myself in 1992 will one day pay off with me hitting the solvency jackpot.


And on that day, I’ll stare out the window and to my everlasting delight, I’ll see you approaching, you and so many others whose cheer has buoyed me through so much bewilderment.


Together we’ll simultaneously lower Heaven and raise Hell.


A good time will be had by all.


All I ask is that you please drink responsibly.




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Thursday, September 9, 2021

Happy Birthday, Arnold Palmer! (excerpts from old interviews)

                            

Had we not lost him in ’16, tomorrow would have been Arnold Palmer’s 92nd birthday. It has me wondering if had he lived I might have finally been able to beat him golfing. Probably not. 


Feeling sweet nostalgia, I went through some of my old interviews with him from his Latrobe offices and am happy to share some of the more lively exchanges right here. Questions include what it was like to ride an elephant down Main Street in Sri Lanka, who’d win a wrestling match between him and Clint Eastwood, and when was the last time he helped build a snowman.


As you can surmise, when I was privileged with the opportunity to talk to the great Arnold Palmer, golf was far from my mind. 





CR:  Are you ever sorry you didn’t give that paint salesman thing in 1954 more of a chance?

AP: No. There was some thought I’d need to persevere with that occupation. You never know and I needed to have a back up plan and that’s just what that was until I won the U.S. Amateur that same year. Was I good paint salesman? Obviously not! If I’d been really good, I’d still be there selling paint, wouldn’t you think? I’m thinking I chose the right path for me.


CR: What’s your idea these days of a really great night and does it differ from one say 30 years ago?

AP: Well, I think a great evening is a couple of drinks, a very pleasant dinner with friends or loved ones, and then a few more drinks and then early to bed. It’s been the same as it was 30 or 40 years ago only with maybe a couple more drinks and a little later evening. It’s very similar.


CR: Didn’t your  1976 ‘round the world flight record include an elephant ride?

AP: It did. It was in Sri Lanka. We stopped there to refuel. They met me at the plane with the elephant and I rode into town for the golf awards and then back. He was a gentle giant. Friendly.



CR: So on a race to set an around-the-world aviation record you still found a little time to do some elephant riding?

AP: Yes, it was a busy 55-minutes in Sri Lanka!



CR: Does Arnold Palmer have a bucket list?

AP: I’ve done a lot of the things I’ve wanted to do. Flying was a big part of that. I don’t fly myself anymore, but I’m still very active with flying and work with aviation organizations as part of the American way of life. There are a couple of places I’ve thought about visiting with Kit, my wife. One is Alaska. I’d like to spend some time with her there. Having played golf my whole life, I’ve been to most of the nice warm places on earth at one time or another. I haven’t been to the French Riviera and that’s a place I’d like to visit. But I’ve traveled so much that I really enjoy just being home in Latrobe and home in Orlando at Bay Hill. I really am looking forward to spending whatever time I have left in those two places.



CR: You may have golfed more than any man alive. Most people are delighted to have you play their courses, but can you remember the last time you had to pay for a round? 

AP: I’ve never really paid for playing golf anywhere except one time I went to golf with some friends at Bandon Dunes. I can’t forget the guy there saying, “That will be $100, Mr. Palmer.” I guess that’s become sort of a slogan there. But I paid $100! I won’t again! The course was very interesting and very tough. 



CR: When was the last time you flew commercial?

AP: I flew from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia, a couple of years ago and the comfort on that flight was outstanding.



CR: I’m guessing you didn’t have the middle seat, did you?

AP: No! I had a bed! It was Qantas. My wife and I had our own bed. It was very nice.



CR: If you were to go on a private jet golf trip for a week around the globe, which courses would you like to see included in the schedule? 

AP: Once again, Troon is one of my favorite golf courses. I like St. Andrews for a change from time to time. Wentworth is a course I enjoy. Domestically, there’s Augusta, Oakmont, Winged Foot, all of the greats. On the Pacific I’m going to try and play Cypress Point when I’m out there next week. Not so much in the Far East. I won the Australian Open at the Royal Queensland Golf Club in Brisbane on the Gold Coast. That was very nice. But I think I’d stick with the tried and true.



CR: Would you ever go on “Dancing With the Stars?”

AP: No. I’m not a dancer. That’s not for me.



CR: A lot of people talk about Tiger returning from this back surgery and trying to beat Jack’s record of 18 majors. You know, don’t you, that there are a lot of people who would like to see you come back from your back troubles and win the next 12 majors in a row. What do you think of that?

AP: I like it! That would be a lot of fun for me.



CR: I understand you were on the verge of having back surgery, but your experts decided you’d be better suited for therapy. How’s your back doing? 

AP: I am undergoing physical therapy. I have a therapist that comes three days a week and she was here today for an hour. It’s very rigorous. She really works me out.



CR: Wanna wrestle?

AP: I’m game! You know, I used to be a pretty fair wrestler. I think she has me in shape to go again. Let’s just see how the rest of the interview goes.



CR: How important was your 1954 U.S. Amateur win to your overall career?

AP: Its importance can’t be overstated. It set the standard for my whole career and it’s the victory that convinced me I could play and play well enough to succeed on tour. I have book out about it and I called that book, ‘The Turning Point.’ That’s how much that victory meant to me.



CR:  Let’s get the most important question out of the way first. You’re leaving Latrobe just about as the weather’s about to turn nasty. You’re flying to Orlando to spend the winter in the warm sunshine. The question is: Will you take me with you?

AP: Sure! You’re welcome to tag along!



CR: When was the last time you spent a whole winter in Latrobe?

AP: Oh, gee, it’s been so long. It’s been since clear back before I turned professional. I’m thinking the last one had to be about 1947. I’d winter in Florida because I couldn’t golf here.



CR: Do you ever worry that lack of exposure to Pennsylvania’s biting winter — the snow, the ice — is going to make you soft?

AP: Ha! No, I don’t worry about that one bit.



CR: When you started winning frequently on the tour and particularly the majors, you became a celebrity. As your star began to rise, were you treated any differently by locals when you went home?

AP: No, I was always just Arnie. It’s one of the reasons I never left. I still knew the same great guys who played football, or wrestled. I’d see the same people in the stores and restaurants. They were the people with whom I grew up. They always made me feel like I’d always be just one of the boys.



CR: And was there a point, a particular year or after a particular victory, perhaps, at which things shifted for you in terms of how you were treated wherever you went?

AP: None that I ever noticed. I think it’s always because I never stopped treating people any different than before I started winning. It’s the way I was raised.



CR: We have a story about cowboys in the summer Kingdom… When you were a kid, did you ever want to be a cowboy?

AP: In fact, I’ve always been a cowboy. Wanting to be a cowboy is something you never outgrow. And I always wear the white hat! I always loved playing cowboys and Indians.



CR: Did you watch many Western movies growing up? Any favorites or favorite Western actors? 

AP: “The Lone Ranger” was one of my favorites as a little boy. I love every John Wayne movies. John Wayne was always great.



CR: Ever meet The Duke?

AP: No, I never did.



CR: How about his sometime co-star, Jimmy Stewart from nearby Indiana, Pennsylvania?

AP: Jimmy and I did meet. We talked about Indiana and western Pennsylvania. And aviation, too. He was a pilot who flew in the service. I’m still a big Clint Eastwood fan, too. We had dinner last Saturday night. We talked about his old show, ‘Rawhide.’ He’s the same age as I am. About the same condition, too.



CR: What would happen if the two of you wrestled?

AP: Oh, I’d kick his ass. He has all those seconds do that stuff for him. I still do all my own stunts.



CR: Last question: When was the last time you helped build a snowman?

AP: Oh, it’s been a while, all right. I’ll tell you what: I’ll be here for a week around Christmas. If it snows come on by and we can all get together and make a really big one. That’d be fun!




Many of these anecdotes appear in my book, "Arnold Palmer: Homespun Stories of The King," (Triumph Books); signed copies of this and other books available through www.ChrisRodell.com.


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

August tweets of the month (may contain some nudity)

Sorry to let you down, but I was just kiddin' about the nudity. I hear nudity can really drive up the numbers so I thought I might as well try. All you get are tweets -- although some nudity is implied ...


 • If you think you and your spouse argue over traditional breadwinner roles, be thankful at least you're not nudists. Nudist couples really resent being told who wears the pants in the family.


• I wonder if the proctologist conferences ever have seminars titled "What To Do When You're All Bummed Out," and if that's a good or a bad thing. Or is the whole premise just a tad too, well, cheeky?


• Gentlemen prefer blondes. The rest of us will settle for whatever we can get our hands on.


• I’m feeling bewildered. New Year's Day in August came and went with so little fanfare it's like people don't even consider it a "real" holiday. Did someone declare a "War on New Year's Day in August" and I missed it?


• I don't know what I was expecting to find, but for those of you curious about word origins, the word "Sabbath" has nothing to do with the one day a week when folks used to take a bath.


• Even serenely disposed Siamese twins find it impossible to be anything but beside themselves all the time.


• As there is no discernible difference in the damage to a structure that's burned up and one that's burned down, I propose we start urging news casters to simply say a place burned. Once that's settled we can get to work on the redundancy of saying "out-of-control wild fires.”


• Sleight-of-hand enthralls w/ nimble tricks & dexterity. How come you never hear of anything but sleight-of-hand? There ought to be more sleights. Sleight-of-ankle? Sleight-of-elbow? Can anyone think of an obvious appendage it'd fun to use for magic tricks? I can't. Stumped!


• This is the year we've simultaneously reached peak friend saturation, that is the number of people we'd like to get to know better are outnumbered by the people we wish we'd never met. Thanks, Facebook!


• The phrase "wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy" has lost all currency. Today we're all wishing the worst on actual Facebook friends based purely on whether they choose to wear or not wear a mask.


• Fans of alcoholic irony will be pleased to know that the price of a Manhattan, the popular bourbon-based cocktail, is now $18 in upscale Manhattan bars -- nearing the $24 it cost Dutch traders to purchase in 1626 the entire island that became Manhattan.


• If I understand the priorities of the freedom-lovers who are refusing the vaccine -- and I'm pretty sure I do -- the best way to get them to take the shot is to advertise that  one side effect is 3-hour erections. #VaXXXine


• Doing a Zoom presentation for 250 Arnold Palmer fans tonight. My "things-to-remember list" includes: Be crisp, enunciate and "Don't pull a Toobin!" And yes I love it that a guy yanking off during a Zoom call can be said to be "pullin' a Toobin!”


• I just don't understand how in a world with millions upon millions of refrigerators, all with ice-making capacity, we still worry about the melting of the polar ice caps.


• Do you think Mary and Joseph had a gender reveal party or did they surmise that would be too anti-climactic?


• I’ve taken to answering questions about the severity of my Parkinson's by saying, "Well, I'm still kickin'." This gives my friends the opportunity to decide if I'm being metaphorical or if a random kicking motion is just another peculiar symptom of motor skills gone awry.


• Think having multiple towns named Ocean City is confusing now? Wait 'til full effects of climate change are felt. Every city will be an Ocean City.


• My antipathy towards our space-racin' billionaires may be greater than yours, but who else thinks next time Bezos, Musk & Branson are all in outer space at once, we should move earth to a remote part of the universe when they're not looking.



Monday, August 30, 2021

I'm lazy, you're busy. Which is worse?

                                         


(950 words)


The story has now become legend and is recounted scornfully whenever I encounter any of the principles or their descendants in public. The details are intended to embarrass.


Don’t they understand it’s impossible to embarrass the man whose entire career has been one long self-inflicted embarrassment?


Here’s their version of what happened.


Twenty-five years ago, Val and I lived in a small house that shared a common drive-way with two other families that had 2 teen girls apiece. One of the women was divorced, the other had (still does) a great husband. And it was idyllic. 


We all got along, supplied tools and recipe ingredients when needed and without fail exchanged waves and pleasantries with every encounter.


No one ever mentions any of that.


All that’s mentioned is the snow.


Now, winter snow is not uncommon here in western Pennsylvania. It wasn’t an unusual snow. It wasn’t life-threatening. No one lost power or had to consider the cannibal option when the fridge went empty. 


It was just a normal snow. As I recall it, it wasn’t even winter. It was on the cusp of spring. 


Val was working and I was home alone — and those are circumstances that could apply to most any story involving my wife and I.


But one of the neighbor women came up with the grim thought that the adults (the husband wasn’t there) and one or two of the kiddos ought to clear the 125-foot gravel-based driveway of snow. The other concurred. 


I guess they thought that I, the by default Alpha (lone) male, would see them toiling spring into action and like the fabled John Henry, that steel-drivin’ man, blast a path through the snow spacious enough to accommodate the family jalopies.


I don’t recall what I did. I may have browsed porn, nursed a hangover or been enthralled by a Nickelodeon rerun marathon of “The  Andy Griffith Show.”


What didn’t I do? 


Lift a finger to help the fair damsels out of their self-imposed distress. I did,  however, lift a different digit. I remember going to the window and giving them the thumb’s up for their efforts.


I suspect my thinking was along the lines of my late father who at some point in the late winter would just surrender his snow shoveling duties and say with admirable wisdom, “The good Lord put it there, the good Lord can take it away.”


I must have inherited the mindset from the old man. If I did, it’s all I inherited. He never earned enough to leave his impoverished children a single red cent


As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. 


I mention this story now because there’s a sickness racing through the country, one that can’t be cured with masks, Fauci-approved vaccines or horse-deworming agents.


People are afraid to be lazy.


Chances are you’ll correspond with at least five people today and you’ll out of habit and politeness ask, hey, how are you doing? And, guaranteed, each one of them will respond, “Busy!”


We want people to think we’re industrious, productive, always on the go! Go!Go!


It’s exhausting. 


It’s as if giving the impression that we have idle time or are relaxed or unstressed is some kind or crime against nature. 


I yearn to hear someone say they’re serene, refreshed or — the best answer of all — horny!


At this point, I must reveal the little conspiracy you and I share: if either of us ever says we’re busy, it’s an obvious lie. How so?


If you have time to read this far into my blog, you’re never truly busy. And if I have time to compose it, well …


You want busy? Go back just three or four generations. None of us is as busy as our ancestors — our female ancestors.


Many of our great-grandmothers had to lug heavy water pails from the backyard well, chop firewood to heat the water and break out the gnarled wash boards  to wash the family duds.


Imagine the godsend today’s washers and driers would be to them. Given the spare time, I doubt they would have spent it, say, washing a mule.


No, they would have likely fixed themselves a turn-of-the-century martini, put their aching feet up and waited for Ellen to come on. The wait, by the way, would have been roughly 95 years.


They would have reveled in their leisure. They would think our work-obsessed culture was insane.


If you find yourself pretending you’re always busy, I’d urge you to practice what I call strategic laziness. 


I deploy it any time I scheme to get out of work I consider unnecessary or otherwise stupid. It’s a combination that involves one part reasoning, one part resentment and three parts delay, delay, delay. It sounds easier than it is. Ironically, avoiding hard work is hard work.


Resisting being goaded into shoveling snow that in one or two days will disappear without my intervention is a perfect example.


I reasoned I’d be more comfortable inside, rather than outside shoveling; I resented the implication that I should shovel due to some misguided idea of foolish chivalry. And because I’d committed to delay, delay, delay, I knew the job would get done without me. 


That’s just what happened.


I wish I could say during those two hours I divined some idea that will eventually benefit all mankind. But really, I think all I divined was it’s unwise to let Otis the ton drunk in the Mayberry jail when the dynamite-eating goat is in there, too.


Score one for strategic laziness.


It’s necessary because we live at a juncture in history where it’s truly possible to be  busy around the clock.


It just isn’t advisable.




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Thursday, August 26, 2021

I told black man they all look alike

  

I was yesterday guilty of saying one of the most stereotypical racist statements from our long shameful history of bigotry.


I told a black man they all looked alike.


Well, two of ‘em do.


Can you believe it? Me, a Biden-votin’, Obama-lovin’, anthem-kneeler defendin’, LBGQUT-etc/whatever embracin’, MAGA bashin’, QAnon ridiculin’, immigrant welcome wagon drivin’, progressive said something blatantly racist.


And it happened right here in the Tin Lizzy, a bar where guys like me are outnumbered about 25-to-1 by Trump lovin’, Ashli Babbit reverin’, insurrection plottin’, Fauci-hatin’, vote suppressin’, Cyber Ninja-cheerin’, armed-to-the-teeth, er … drinkin’ buddies!


I may be exaggerating a bit. Using the plural teeth with some of them is a tad extravagant. 


The point is I’m the last guy anyone there would think would utter a racist remark to a black man.


Here’s what happened. I was meeting another old white guy for lunch. Seated at the bar was a younger, maybe 30-ish black man. This was, in fact, remarkable. It’s rare to see his kind in the Tin Lizzy.


And by “his kind” I mean men under 40.


He graciously moved down one stool to make room for me and my friend.


Then he asked me if I thought he smelled bad.


I took a big sniff and told him, no, he was odor free. It was, to me, a peculiar introductory question. But I rarely encounter any black people in my lily white world and didn’t know if this was a customary ice-breaker.


Then he told me four hours previous he’d been skunked. His pit bull, one with apparently malfunctioning taste buds, had seized Pepe Le Pew in its mighty jaws. The skunk reflexively began to defend itself the only way it could.


It began to spray. All over the dog and my new friend.


“I took four showers and I wasn’t sure I got it all,” he said.


I congratulated him on his thoroughness. The dog?


He found a service that would clean it for $40, a real bargain we agreed. “I’d have paid twice that.”


(Note to fans of moronic sitcoms: Bathing the skunked animal in tomato juice does NOT work.)


So he’d told me a good story so I decided to take affirmative action. I stuck my hand out and said, “My name’s Chris.”


We shook hands and he said he was Darren.


“Yeah,” I said, “I’ve seen you downstairs. Nice to meetcha.”


“Downstairs?” he said. “I’ve never been downstairs.”


“Sure you have,” I said. “I’ve seen you down there a few times.”


“Not me. Must be someone else.”


“Well,” I said, “if it’s not you, then there’s a guy who looks exactly like you.”


“Black guy?”


“Yes, he is.”


“Oh, you know we all look alike.”


Well, I know two of ‘em who do.


But I was embarrassed. Here I was, a white man getting red-faced in front of a black man. We were trending toward using all the crayons. 


Really, it’s a shame that I live in a place where seeing a BIPOC — just learned it (Black, Indigenous People of Color!) — is an exotic event.


Many of our leading racists would have us live in a land of strict segregation. They see it as our only path to racial peace.


I’m the exact opposite. I’m for lavish mingling.


If it were up to me I’d be in charge of an exchange program where vans full of urban BIPOCs — I love typing this! — would be bussed from, say, a bar in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.


Then a bunch of us POPIBAAs (Paunchy Old Palefaces Immobilized By Age/Alcohol) could head to the city on a cultural exchange program that would bridge so many hateful and useless divides.


We could explain to them why so many conservative whites are furious when store clerks say “Happy Holidays!” instead of “Merry Christmas!”


They could explain to us why so many liberal blacks are furious that conservative whites keep murdering their unarmed brothers and sisters for jogging in neighborhoods with a high percentage of Buicks parked in the driveways.


If nothing else, I hope my friend Darren comes around.


I could teach him how to appreciate fine craft beers brewed here in the Laurel Highlands.


He could teach me how a young black man gets around in a world where so many people hate him just because he was born black.


And it’d be great if he could teach me how to recognize the differences between him and that other black dude.


Because black guys matter.


Black gals, too.




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Monday, August 23, 2021

Wild chickens roaming our yard

 


(440 words)



You’d think the guy who drinks the Wild Turkey would have been the first to see the wild chickens, but you’d be mistaken.


Still haven’t seen them. 


Maybe if I keep drinking more of the one I’ll see the other.


I don’t know how comfortable I am living up in the woods with a flock of wild chickens.


At least we assume they’re wild. They don’t have collars or respond to universal commands like, “Sit!” or “Stay!”


There’s a chance they may belong to some new neighbors. As I will relate, I’m well-aware of the phenomenon of people who raise chickens for fresh eggs. They could be carefree about their incarceration and seeing the benefits of their being free range chickens.


I’m fine with that philosophy right until we see roaming in our yard a pack of free-range pit bulls.


Our property has seen bears, deer, turkey, foxes, ‘coons — all sorts of wildlife.


These are our first chicken visitors.


I’d put up “NO CHICKEN!” signs in the yard, but I fear they’d just thumb their noses at the notice. That is, assuming chicken have thumbs. I know by the menus of the restaurants we patronize they have chicken fingers.


This is as good a time as any for my inevitable chicken finger joke: “Ask the waitress if she has chicken fingers. When she says yes, say, ‘You’re too hard on yourself. Sure, they’re ugly, but they still appear human.”


The waitress will usually laugh, but I’m always prepared to eat my food seasoned with waitress spit.


As I mentioned, I’ve been alert to the home chicken phenomenon since May 2014. I had what to me was a prestigious book signing at the venerable Carnegie Library in Oakland. Library staff were lavish in their promotions. I brought 80 copies of my then-new “Use All The Crayons!” book and lugged them across the vast parking lot to the library auditorium.


And not one person showed up.


Zero. 


It was humiliating.


There were 302,505 people residing in Pittsburgh that day and each and every one of them had something better to do than hear me talk.


Library staffers felt bad for me. One said she couldn’t understand it. Why just the week before they’d had 105 people show up for an author talk.


What was the topic, I asked.


“How to raise chickens in your living room.”


I don’t have to tell you what kind of mood I’ve been in ever since.


Yep.


Fowl.



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Saturday, July 31, 2021

July Tweets of the Month


 • It’s discouraging to see how many old friends have toiled at lucrative careers and are now one-by-one leaving the rat race, while I slog on, in many ways a bottom line failure. The good news I’ll one day soon have the track all to myself and every day will feel like a victory lap.

• If all the people who so casually remark to relative strangers, "Now, I'm not racist, but ..." suddenly and inexplicably become racist, man, I fear America could be in for some real problems over race.


• The most significant stressor we face in our daily lives involves giving the false impression we remain stress-free in a world that is full to bursting with people who are absolutely stressed out of their minds.


• Ham & eggs. Bacon & eggs. Steak & eggs. They roll right off -- and on -- the tongue. How come you never see a menu offering chicken & eggs? Chicken is one of our most popular & versatile dishes. Is there a squeamishness about about consuming a species' circle of life on 1 plate?


• I’m at an age (58) where if I call an old friend just to say hello, it ruins their night because they presume my call really means either I'm dying or I've heard they're dying.


• After a party weekend spent in the company of many born & bred Latrobeans, I'm convinced natives can detail with perfect clarity the comprehensive romantic histories of all fellow natives dating back to the 1600s. Further, they can pinpoint which cheerleader got her boobs enhanced down to the day and how that worked out at the corresponding GLHS class reunion.


• Given our indifference to irony, I'm surprised we've yet to hear of a Blue Lives Matter gathering that had the audacity to hire a Police tribute band to play the band's 1983 hit "Every Breath You Take.”


• I’d like to see them take all the statues of canceled historic figures (Lee, Paterno, ect.) And put 'em all on a really, really big chess board in some national park and let MAGAs vs progs compete and learn ways to constructively deal with all our their withering animosities.


• I have to think the other Great Lakes resent the Hell out of Lake Superior. I just imagine them sitting around BSing. “Who does he think he is? ‘Oooh, being a Great Lake isn’t good enough for me. I have to be Lake SUPERIOR!’”


• I’m mostly cool with the concept of God creating man in his own image. At least until you get down to the toenails. That's when it all starts to fall apart. What kind of Supreme Being would endure the awkward nuisance of having toenails He'd need to trim Himself?


• The male erection is the ultimate re-gift. Someone gives any man an erection and his instinct is to give it right back.


• Death Valley forecasts call for high temps of 132 degrees. How long before we hear news reports of 1st chef in history baking cookies in mid-air?


• Being a busy podiatrist must at times be demoralizing. Their patients would never dream of putting their best foot forward.


• Any man who is tossing around lots of BS in the hopes it'll get romance to bloom with a seedy woman is engaged in an act of flertilization.


• The pleasant morning sound of wire hangers clinking against other wire hangers is a momentary delight and sonically superior to most popular music released since 1986.


• There are 7.8 billion Earthlings. Experts say it took 2 million years to reach 1 billion, but just 200 years for the next 6.8. Pessimists fret we can't sustain such growth. I say why worry? We're so advanced I can think of a dozen ways we can lose billions of people overnight.


• I’m growing oddly nostalgic for the days when GOP leaders used to say, "Now, hold on. Let's wait to hear what Sarah thinks.”


• I was an admirer of Pope John Paul and am surprised that although he died in 2005 we've yet to see a Pope George Ringo.


• The very thought to me is rock blasphemy, but I can pretty much guarantee some kid somewhere thinks it'll be a cool tribute to modernize the Bob Seger classic "Turn The Page," with a 2021 version he's calling "Swipe The Screen."



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