I have so many questions about this strange life of mine and the even stranger world that surrounds me–and so few legitimate answers. I keep waiting for wisdom to find me and unravel the mysteries that continue to plague and perplex me, but so far I’m convinced that wisdom isn’t even looking in my direction. I’m not a patient person, so if you know the answer to any of the questions below, please feel free to enlighten me and put an end to my waiting . . .
Why doesn’t everyone else understand the concept of “jinxing”? I don’t like people asking if I’m having a good day–if I respond positively, then I can almost guarantee that before the day is over, bad things are going to happen. (To be clear, wishing me a good day is okay; asking if I’m having one is not.) Today I listened in disbelief as two sportscasters talked about a pitcher having a no-hitter going in the sixth inning; sure enough, as soon as those words had escaped their mouths, the batter hit a homerun over the left-field wall. Baseball is a game rife with superstitions, and the sportscasters should have known better–and that pitcher should have the right to wing a fastball down their throats for jinxing his previously perfect game.
Where do my earrings and shoes disappear to? Not all of them, mind you, but individual items of a matching pair–why can I find one and not the other when I know (I KNOW) that both earrings were placed in the same drawer in the jewelry box and both shoes were placed on the same shelf in the closet? I am convinced that someone is sneaking into my house when I’m not there–not for the purpose of stealing from me (because I probably have a couple items more valuable than a single earring or a lone tennis shoe, and they haven’t disappeared) but for the simple purpose of messing with me and making me believe that I’m losing my mind. It’s an evil, evil plan, and it’s starting to gain momentum.
Why is it that the more times I remind College Boy to call me when he arrives safely back on campus, the greater the odds that he will forget?
How is it possible that I have in my refrigerator a bottle of mustard that expired in 2008? I know I’ve cleaned out the refrigerator a couple times since then–did I just assume that the mustard was good and didn’t bother checking it (or did I simply not care enough ever to look since I’m not a mustard eater)? Or was the mustard already expired when I bought it? I wonder how old the ketchup is . . .
And speaking of refrigerators, what was going on in my head the day I left the phone on the second shelf between the milk and the potato salad? (Even more interesting would be knowing what was really going on in the head of my friend the day he left a shoe in his freezer. I know what his story is; I’m just not sure I believe it.)
What is the purpose of ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes–other than to create scratchy discomfort and spread sometimes life-threatening disease? Sure, someone might argue that they provide an abundant food supply for larger animals, but I’m willing to bet that if every tick, every chigger, and every mosquito were miraculously eradicated, there would still be enough other bugs and insects to take up the slack in the food chain.
Why do city folks move to the country, presumably for its peacefulness and its simpler way of life, and then complain about all the city luxuries no longer available to them?
When I was in elementary school, cafeteria cooks and mothers everywhere served boiled spinach drenched in vinegar and honestly expected their young charges to gag it down (and to be grateful for the opportunity since all the starving children in China weren’t so fortunate). Why did it take so long for someone to figure out that spinach served raw in a salad was actually quite tasty–and that spinach mixed with mayo, sour cream, artichoke hearts and cheese (with a hefty portion of tortilla chips on the side) was even better? An earlier discovery of these simple truths could have prevented countless temper tantrums and gag reflexes gone awry.
Why do the people who complain the most about a particular situation frequently know the least about it?
Tonight I saw for the first time (and hopefully last) a Jack in the Box commercial in which a young man announces to his mother that he is getting married. When his excited mother asks who the girl is, the son responds, “It’s not a girl . . . ” The mother’s momentary look of concern is quickly replaced with joy when the son completes his statement, “It’s not a girl . . . it’s bacon.” And then his pronouncement is followed by photos of the happy couple, the young man with his bacon bride. Okay, I like bacon, too, but seriously? I’ve never once envisioned my bacon decked out in a wedding veil–and seeing it so dressed does not make me want it more. Stupid. Who comes up with this stuff–and how much does that person get paid? I want that job. And the Jack in the Box commercial was almost as offensive as the Hardees one in which a perspiring Kate Upton is getting all “hot and bothered” in the back seat at the drive-in with her Southwest patty melt. Disgusting. (And whatever happened to the good ol’ days when a shirtless construction worker made every woman alive want to pop open a can of Diet Coke? Now, that was advertising at its finest.)
Why do doctors and nurses–and especially mammogram technicians–tell their patients that, “This won’t hurt a bit” when they know this simply isn’t true? Wouldn’t it be kinder to inform us that, “Yeah, this is going to hurt like the dickens for a minute or two, but then it will be over and you’ll still be alive”? Isn’t this better than reassuring us with false words–allowing us to relax our guard–and then shocking our nerve endings with plunging needles, probing fingers, flattening paddles and unexpected, torturous pain?
How many maroon, silk robes does Hugh Hefner own? I mean, every time I see him on television he’s wearing a maroon, silk robe–does he wear the same one over and over, or does he have a whole closet full of them? If it’s the same one, how often does he wash it? And if he has dozens of them, has he ever considered experimenting with different colors–perhaps a sultry blue or sexy black? And since he’s turning 86 years old today and still attracting the young hotties, why hasn’t there been a run on maroon, silk robes by other men just in case the robe is the key to his luck with the ladies?
When the upper classes back in the Middle Ages originated the concept of “dumb blondes,” did they realize what a lasting impact their ignorance would have? It seems their royal highnesses protected their pasty complexions from the sun, while the commoners who worked outdoors often had tanned skin and sun-bleached hair as a consequence. And since these commoners seldom were given the benefit of a formal education, their darkened skin tones and lightened hair colors became equated with a lack of intelligence. That stereotype has now been around for over 600 years; isn’t it time we tossed it once and forever aside and replaced it with much more enlightened thinking, something perhaps along the lines of, “Blondes have more fun”?
How could anyone possibly think that white sauce is better than red? Eat whatever you like, but you’ll never convince me that alfredo is better than tomato atop my spaghetti.
Who was the first person to realize that coffee beans that had passed through the digestive track of a civet (a mongoose-like animal) made a delicious cup of joe? Kopi Luwak is derived from coffee beans that have been eaten by the civet, fermented in their stomachs, and then excreted in their dung. The roasted beans are known for their smoothness and bitterless aftertaste and have become the world’s most expensive coffee (often selling for over $200 a pound). I have a few questions for that first person who picked up one of those beans from the ground, wiped it on his pants leg and then popped it into his mouth: 1. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? 2. How did you market your idea? I’m not a coffee drinker–so maybe I’m missing something here–but somehow I just don’t think, “Hey, you’ve got to try these dung-covered coffee beans–they’re delicious!” would be all that convincing to me. 3. Since others are now making millions from your “innovative thinking,” have you been justly compensated? (And I’m not talking about a lifetime supply of civet coffee.)
Ahh, the mysteries of life. I have at least another million questions (well, maybe half a million) still bouncing around up there, and each one of them is every bit as important as the questions above. Critical, actually. I’m still waiting for the light bulb to finally click on, for the doors to the temple of wisdom to swing open, for the tree of knowledge to spread a few branches in my direction. It may be a long wait. I guess in the meantime I could clean out the refrigerator and look under the bed (again) for those missing earrings and shoes . . .