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If you’re looking for wisdom and wit, you won’t find much of it here. For the past few days, I’ve been organizing and clearing out my mind, and these random ideas were left over.
1. My dad used to regularly use an expression I rarely hear anymore: “not worth a hill of beans.“ Google tells me that the phrase, “not worth a bean,” goes all the way back to the year 1297. The American variant, “not worth a hill of beans,” appeared around 1863.
I don’t know why the phrase is not used more often. It’s as useful as all get-out, as in “Pelosi’s promises aren’t worth a hill of beans!” I bet Trump would like it. I think I’ll write him and see if he wants to use it. You think he’ll comp me a night in Trump Tower for my suggestion?
2. Have you ever noticed that plump women often dye their hair in weird colors, like blues, pinks, and purples? These ladies believe in the art of misdirection. They think that their attention-grabbing hair raises a viewer’s eyes up to their faces and away from their bodies. I don’t know if that works or not. If it does, good on them. I’d do the same thing. Now that I think of it, I’m developing a pretty fair potbelly myself. Unhappily, I don’t have enough hair to dye. Perhaps I can misdirect by having a famous conservative, perhaps Ayn Rand, tatted onto my bald head.
3. When I meet other dog walkers while I’m out walking Bob, I smile, compliment the other’s dog‘s appearance, ask its name and breed, and enjoy the social interaction. We dog walkers often know only the dog’s name, not the name of the person holding the leash. The lady down the street with a cute chihuahua often speaks for her little dog in a falsetto voice, “Hello, Bob, How are you doing this morning’?” Naturally, I have to speak for Bob: “Woof, woof! Not too bad, Daisy. Lookin’ gooooood, bitch.” We all go away happier than we were when we met.
4. I used to disapprove of old people who took a slew of pills daily. Pathetic, I thought, being dependent on their meds like that. Weak! Now I am one of those old people, and you’ll have to pry my pills from my cold, dead hands, etc. Karma’s a bitch.
5. How come Campbell’s soups aren’t as good as my wife Marie’s? None of Campbell’s or Progresso’s food scientists — all milling around their stainless steel kitchens, dressed in lab coats, stuffing food into blast chillers, and cooking on industrial ranges — can come up with a soup as good as Marie’s. What’s with that?
I’m not just blowing smoke here. Marie’s soups are just totally delish. I wish I could hand you a bowl right now. And she makes them like a professional chef, throwing in a pinch of this, a soupçon of that. Sometimes she throws leftovers into the pot. Leftovers! The woman is a soup genius.
She makes a huge stainless steel pot full of soup each week. Potato, noodle, vegetable, tomato-based —they’re all great. I eat one big bowl for lunch and one just before I go to bed. Eating Marie’s soups just mellows me out. It’s kinda like sucking on a bong. Not that I suck on bongs. Well, I did suck on a bong once but I didn’t inhale.
6. Despite the Coronavirus washing over great swaths of the world, Marie and I, with friends, from coast to coast, don’t know a single person with the virus. Is this your experience?
About 1 in 100 people in the US will catch the virus. Most will show only mild or no symptoms. And even if you catch the virus — at least if you’re below the age of 40 — your odds of dying of the virus before your next birthday are about 1 in 1,000 (or so my source, one of many, says).
7. It’s beginning to get on my nerves, this habit of calling nurses, doctors, and other hospital personnel “heroes.” There are plenty of others who have worked through the pandemic who are not called heroes. The guy who sweeps the floors of my local Safeway performs a necessary service and comes closer to strangers than the six-foot distance requires hundreds of times a day. He shows up every day to sweep.
Besides, I like to reserve the word “heroes” for people who rush into burning buildings, brave gunfire, and so on. The word “heroes” is being overworked these days.
8. If I were out of it any farther, I’d be on the other side of the moon. Marie and I watch a television show called The Masked Singer. After a famous person in a costume (see photo) sings, a panel of four famous people try to guess the person in the costume. I not only don’t know the famous people on the panel (though one woman has a familiar face and pneumatic breasts), I’ve also never heard of any of the famous people they offer up as guesses. I think I should. They’re actors in television series, singers with pop hits, reality show people, and so on.
Then when the singer takes off his mask, the audience lets out a collective gasp at how perfectly marvelous it is that some famous person named Lil’ Bow Wow, or some such, was behind the mask. At the same time, the panelists go into paroxysms of surprise and wonder when the famous person takes off his mask. Despite all the gasps and paroxysms, I‘ve never heard of the guy. No wonder young people pity old people. We know nothing.
9. How in the world did I navigate through life without Google? I‘ve had some green stuff on the surface of my deck. Mold, algae, moss — who knows what? Google knew. It was probably algae, she told me. She also told me to spray vinegar on it. So I went out and sprayed vinegar on my deck, then scrubbed it a bit and rinsed it off. It worked. The green stuff is gone. Simple white vinegar eats algae. Who knew?
10. I’m putting this one out there to see if anyone has the same quirk as I do. (Marie calls it a personality flaw.) At any rate, it gets on my nerves for a person to ask me how’s it going. “How’s it goin’, Kent?” I don’t want to answer. I don’t know why I have this quirk. Asking someone how he’s doing seems like a harmless and friendly social gesture.
But whatever happened to a simple “Hello?” I just don’t want to tell some stranger the state of my life. It annoys me so much that I often don’t answer the question. I just say “Hello.” Most of the time the guy never seems to notice that I haven’t told him how I’m doin’. My annoyance annoys Marie. She answers strangers with a perky tone in her voice, “Everything is really fine! And how are you doing?” The woman makes a great soup, but she is also annoying as hell at times.Published in