If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I take on the tough issues of our day such as, to name a couple of recent ones, slime mold and testicle-eating fish. But you may be surprised to learn that I sometimes have deep thoughts about weighty questions like…
Why do people in commercials close their eyes when they taste something? Every time someone in a food commercial tastes the product, they close their eyes, as if eating this Greek yogurt is pure nirvana.* Surely, actors can be found who can express the emotion of “mmm, delicious” without closing their eyes. It’s as if they’re telling us, “This is so good I have to power down one of my other senses in order to fully appreciate its flavor.” Seriously, when was the last time you bit into anything–much less a granola bar–that made you close your eyes with delight?
Why are we so concerned about texting while driving, when we should really be worried about reading while walking? Recently I was in Grand Central Station during the morning rush hour, and it was like a demolition derby! I mean it’s one thing when a single idiot is walking down the street while reading his email, absently steps into traffic, and gets crushed by a bus, leaving blood and guts and cell phone parts all over the pavement. I can live with that. But here was a station full of speeding businesspeople, all looking down at their phones. If you were viewing this scene from a high enough vantage point, I imagine it would look like the electrons in a super-collider, all caroming off each other randomly. Listen, schmuck–you were just on a train. You had plenty of time to read your email and keep all your followers informed that you were, in fact, on the train, and perhaps you even had a few minutes left to take a selfie and send it to one or more illicit lovers. So what’s the emergency now–a minute after you get off the train–that compels you to gaze at your phone while navigating the Grand Central concourse at 8:45 am?
Why don’t football players wear those inflatable sumo wrestler suits? Considering the number of injuries football players suffer, the sumo suits would have to be at least as effective as the 11 pounds of protective gear they wear now. Sure, it might limit their mobility somewhat, but think of how much more entertaining a game would be if all those 300-pound behemoths were simply bouncing off each other like billiard balls…or commuters in Grand Central Station. And how comical would it be if, while getting sacked, the latest Jets quarterback had his suit punctured and he went zipping around the stadium while the air came out of it?
What rationale could there possibly be for a state that requires the use of seat belts to not require the use of motorcycle helmets? I’m in my SUV, with 28 airbags, a crumple zone and a very high crash test rating. I have to wear a seat belt. You are going 80 miles per hour on a Harley Davidson without so much as a bug screen. How does this make sense? And how do you get the flies off your teeth? My state, Connecticut, is one of the dumb states that requires seatbelts but not motorcycle helmets. I believe Minnesota is another. I’m too lazy to look up the rest. I can only guess that there are powerful lobbyists in these states who campaign against helmet laws, but, assuming that’s correct, would it be motorcycle lobbyists or anti-motorcycle lobbyists? If it’s the latter, you can see the strategy; no helmets is the fastest way to rid the roads of motorcyclists. If it’s the former, perhaps it’s too late to enact a helmet law for them anyway, as they’ve obviously already had too many head injuries. I actually like seeing motorcyclists without helmets, especially when it’s raining. Their faces look so funny scrunched up like that.
Why can’t people talk about texting someone without moving their thumbs? If you’ve never noticed this phenomenon, you will now, and you’ll thank me for making it so that you can’t keep a straight face. You’ll be talking to somebody, and they’ll be saying something like, “So I texted So-and-so and told them I was going to the movies,” and their thumbs will move as if they’re actually sending the text they’re talking about at that very moment. I have never seen a person talk about texting without doing this. Even if they’re holding a drink, you’ll see that thumb twitch while the other thumb clicks away at the imaginary phone. Why do people do this? Do they think we won’t know what texting is unless they demonstrate? Is it some kind of weird muscle memory thing where talking about the action automatically causes the thumbs to reenact it? And how come if they’re telling you about when they called somebody, they don’t mime pressing the phone number?
Why don’t luxury cars have names? You’ve got your Camry and your Corolla. Your Sentra and your Rogue. Your Accord and your Civic. Your Fusion, your Focus, your Impala and your Malibu. So why is it that if you want to spend more money with those same automobile companies, you have to drive horsepower with no name? For under $30,000 you can have an identity. But for over $30,000, all you get is an IS or a GS, a Q50 or a Q60, a RLX or a TSX, a MKZ or a MKX, an ATS or a CTS. Do car companies think names aren’t classy? What about El Dorado? Continental? Imperial? Those were vehicles worthy of being driven by someone named Wentworth James Mayflower III. Now they just toss a handful of Boggle cubes and dice on the table to get the names. Personally, I’d be all set to spend $70,000 on a BMW sportscar, but not if they’re just going to call it a Z4.
Can we ever run out of band names? Until recently, I would have thought the answer to this question was no. After all, there has to be an infinite number of combinations in which musicians can arrange words, especially since, these days, they seem to do so at random. But then I was reading our local bar-supported free weekly paper and noticed there is an actual band called Diarrhea Planet. What else can that be other than a signal that the bottom of the proverbial barrel is near? (By the way: Diarrhea Planet would also be a lousy name for a luxury car.)
What sort of person would need to record 10 TV shows simultaneously? My local cable company, Cablevision, has been promoting its new DVR, which is supposedly capable of recording 10 shows at once, “more than FiOS and DirecTV combined,” according to its commercials. This is great news indeed, because it was costing me a fortune to have both FiOS and DirecTV and I still wasn’t able to record that crucial 10th show. Seriously, how often in your life have you ever torn your hair out because you couldn’t decide between that many television viewing options? I feel fortunate if I can find one show I want to watch, much less 10 all on at the same time. And you know that the sad, sad person who uses this DVR feature isn’t ever going to get around to watching all those shows. I still have videocassettes with unwatched episodes of Cheers I recorded in 1987.
And that is my final deep thought…for now See you soon.
*Before Kurt Cobain’s suicide.