RANDOM THOUGHTS - a source for daily posts

Birthday cake

It's a strange ritual. We tell the birthday boy or girl to blow out the candles on a cake we are about to eat. We wouldn't think of having that person blow on the rest of our food. We don't want anyone breathing all over the ice cream. You know, we teach our kids to cover their mouths when they cough. We teach them to use a tissue when they sneeze. But if it's a birthday, light the candles, make a wish, and pass the germs.

  Body parts

My wife and I were trying to remember the details of our first date. She spoke slowly: "Part of me wants to say we went out for pizza." Part of her? What part? What part could be speaking out on its own? And what about her other parts? Were my wife's parts in disagreement? Was there a part of her that wanted to say we had sushi? Well, I don't want any of my parts speaking for the rest of me. My parts should be in total agreement. If my parts have something to say, they better be unanimous.

Chopped liver

How did chopped liver get such a bad reputation? It must be the most maligned of all foods. Even other foods disdain chopped liver. I was at at a Jewish deli where customers were ordering up all kinds of foods from the case. Sadly, they were ignoring the kfeltafish. As yet another lady skipped right over it, the kefelta fish turned to the creamed herring and asked, "So, what am I, chopped liver?"

Overly happy

I asked our waiter to bring some water. He said, “I’d be more than happy to.”  Bringing water doesn’t just make him happy. It makes him more than happy. But I’m left to wonder, how much more? Is he thrilled, elated, or jubilant? He doesn’t say. All we know is that he is somewhere beyond happiness. Perhaps he is gleeful, ecstatic, or joyful. Or bringing water might make him overjoyed. How much over? We can only guess.

From Scratch

Cookies can be store-bought, or you can buy cookie dough that you bake in your own oven. You can also make cookies from a mix. But everyone knows the best cookies are made from scratch. For my birthday I got some cookies made from scratch. It must have been really good scratch because the cookies were delicious. Probably the best scratch is made from scratch. I don't know if they sell ready-made scratch. Honestly, I'm not sure what scratch is. Maybe it has something to do with chickens.

The Pledge

So, what’s up with the Pledge of Allegiance? Why do school children have to repeat it every day? Is it a promise that is only good for twenty-four hours? Does it wear off over the weekend? And what about the summer? After a few weeks of going unpledged, do good American kids start thinking about communism? Over and over, they say it, day after day, like a mantra, and by the time a kid is out of sixth grade, he's pledged his allegiance to the flag over a thousand times, like he had to store up pledges to last the rest his life, because most adults hardly ever say it.

Worthy Cause

I contributed fifty dollarsto a home for battered fish.

Monthly month

Each month is special in its own way. Sadly, and all too soon, a month's time passes and we are into another month. That's why congress should recognize the specialness of each month by declaring aMonth-of-the-Month. For example, the Month-of-the-Month for the month of March could be the month of October. During March the media would have little October stories to increase October awareness. In July we could salute April as July's Month-of-the-Month. Maybe congress will like this idea and make it the Idea-of-the-Year.

Too close

Every husband owes it to his wife, before he dies, to take her for a ride in the car and crash into the rear end of another car, hard enough to do some damage, but not so hard as to injure anyone, and by doing so he will finally justify the thousands, and thousands, and thousands of times she warned him about following too close.

Videos on demand

My cable TV service offers Video On-demand. Why do they have to put it that way? I'm not a demanding person. Does the cable company imagine that I'm pounding my fist on the table and demanding that I get video, and that I get it right now? Sometimes I insist, but rarely demand, especially when it comes to things such as videos. 

On a whim, I might "request" a video. Why can’t they offer Videos by Request, or Videos on a Whim? To the cable company I ask, “How about a video tonight, if it’s not too much trouble? Or, if that's inconvenient, I could watch the nature channel. Whatever works for you.”

Laughing together

This couple I know - Frank and Lindsey Weldon - told their therapist that they just weren't laughing together as they once did. He gave them a prescription for marital marijuana. Now they laugh together until their sides hurt. Additionally, Frank has taken up the study his Moody Blue's album cover Days of Future Past, while Lindsey has a renewed interest in baking.

Litter logic

We're dropping my father-in-law at the airport. he is getting his bags from the trunk when he sees a folded-paper on the ground. Did he drop it? Could it be his tickets? He picks the paper up and unfolds it. It's just some pamphlet so he drops it back to the pavement.

The man doesn't consider this littering since the brochure had already been dropped by someone else. It was pre-littered so he thinks it's perfectly alright to return the brochure to the street. As if he had never picked it up.

Preferred customer

A major grocery store chain gave me a Preferred Customer Card that entitles me to a discount on many items. Apparently they like me better than most of their customers. At the check-out the clerk says, “Thank you, Mr. Wall,” and tells me how much I saved.

Yesterday I was at the check-out and noticed the woman behind me also had a Preferred Customer Card. Wow! I mean, what are the odds that there would be two Preferred Customers in the same check-out line at the same time? Spooky, huh?

Lactose diagnoses

Today my doctor said I'm lactose intolerant. That's ridiculous. Why ,I've never had anything against lactose. Oh, sure, lactose can be a little annoying, and I may have been a tad impatient at times, but, intolerant? Name one time when I said anything bad about lactose. Have you ever heard me telling lactose jokes? Of course not.

I'm fine with lactose. I even get along with sucrose, fructose, glucose, and all the rest. Except dextrose. I will not put up with dextrose. Dextrose is where I draw the line.

Sag Harbor

At Macy’s they have a full line of women’s clothing called Sag Harbor. Seriously. You get off the escalator and there is a sign over in that department that says Sag Harbor. It just seems a littleinsensitive to me. Saaaag Harbor? If you are going to be insulting, why not just put up a sign that says Drooping Orchard? Or Hot Flash Bay? You don’t see that in the men’s department. There is no sign there that says Slumping Lagoon. Or Receding Ridge. Or Beer Belly Cove.

Muscle memory

I am new to the game and my golf coach is being very patient. He explained an important golf term: "muscle memory." The theory is that you learn a particular movement and you practice it until your muscles remember and it becomes automatic. So, it seems that my muscles have a mind of their own. The trouble is that my muscles don't exactly have total recall. I set up to hit a drive off the tee and my muscles have only a vague feeling of déjá vu.

Mysterious cracks

The president announced his slogan for education,"No Child Left Behind," and said too many kids were falling through the cracks. Where are these cracks? Was there an earthquake that left cracks, and kids fell into them, and got left behind as the rest of the students walked to school? Lassie wouldn't let that happen. There should be a specially trained collie at every school in America. After the morning bell, the dog would go around the neighborhood checking in all the cracks, barking for help when she found kids who had been left behind.

Football fuss

You know, they could put an end to squabbling down on the field by giving the teams a second football to play with. I'm sure they could afford to buy each team its own ball, what with the amount of money they charge for a hot dog. There is enough fighting up in the stands without the guys on the field fussing over who gets to play with the ball. Heck, give each player his own ball and everyone will be happy. Give them a hot dog, too.

Scrabble junior

uite a nice game for kids, Scrabble Junior. As children grow up and develop language skills, they can graduate to regular Scrabble, a game that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. But I hear the game does get harder for folks as they get older. That's why the Scrabble company should introduce "Scrabble Senior". Simply repackage Scrabble Junior in a box that says Scrabble Senior and you're done.

Tooth fairy

Kids don't believe it. However, they're willingto
go along with the myth in order to get the cash. They feel the same way about Santa (for the toys) but let's stick with the tooth fairy. If cash can be gotten for teeth, why not hair? Kid gets a haircut and puts the snipped-off locks in a Ziploc under the pillows for some loot. And clipped fingernails? Tonsils? And what kid hasn't fallen off a bicycle and skinned his knee? A few days later there is a big old scab. That should be worth at least five bucks to the scab fairy.

Ford fans

Here are guys who have decided to join one side or the other in a silly battle of automotive brands. They put hateful bumper stickers and window decals deriding the opposing side's logo. Is the Chevy Haters Club the best group they can identify with? Some guys have an almost religious devotion to Fords. Do they really see Chevrolet as the Anti-Ford?

Old Navy

This is an odd name for a clothing store. Is it our navy? Some other country's navy? Do they sell navy clothes there? Can you buy navy equipment there? Does the company have any ships? If you go to the Old Navy store, do you see navy people there? Are they old navy people? And why aren't there any Old Army stores? I'm just asking.

Drop forged

They have a wrench at Home Depot. And it has the words "Drop Forged" cast into the handle. What is Drop Forged? A guy goes into a hardware store to buy a wrench. He looks at the selection and sees the words, "Drop Forged." That must be important, right? I mean, why would they put those words on the handle if Drop Forged was not a good thing to have in a wrench. Actually, the wrench I have says "Fully Drop Forged." Even better. Because you don't want one of those Partially Drop Forged Wrenches that stopped half way to the factory floor and just hung there.

What box?

I keep hearing how good it is to think outside the box. What box? It must be some metaphorical box, because I’m thinking right now, and I’m looking around, and I don’t see any box. Nope. No box. And I don’t seem to be thinking inside or outside of any jar, can, bottle, or Ziploc bag either. It’s just me, sitting here at the keyboard, thinking inside my cranium. Well, sort of thinking. I’m not exactly pushing the envelope to new intellectual heights. Wait a minute... Why do we say pushing the envelope?

Winnie who?

"Why do we say "Winnie the Pooh"? Is it necessary to distinguish Winnie from other poohs, like, Elroy the Pooh, Bob the Pooh, or Armando the Pooh? Or are there other Winnies and to avoid confusion we spedify Winnie
the Rat, Winnie the Dolphin, Winnie the Wildebeest?

Bathroom pass

Can you think of a better way to spread germs than by having kids use a bathroom pass? The teachers, who certainly know about germs, require little children to take the pass from a hook and carry it to the bathroom. The children put it on the sink, they drop it on the floor, and after they don't wash their hands, they return to the classroom and hang the pass, a teeming Petri dish of bacteria, back on the hook, where it waits for the next child who has to go to the bathroom.

Piñata bashing

I was walking the dogs around the neighborhood park. There I saw the most barbaric ritual happening at a birthday party for a three-year-old.

The adults had strung up Winnie the Pooh. He was big, and beautiful, and smiling his kindly smile, and looking down upon the children who had always adored him. They were the same little children who had snuggled down countless nights, tenderly hugging their beloved Pooh Bears while drifting off to slumber, safe in the glow of their little Winnie the Pooh nightlights. Now they were being directed to bash Winnie with a stick.

I walked on thinking how confusing this must be for little kids. Farther down the path I saw some children giving a terrible beating to Sponge Bob.