The Country Curmudgeon

There oughta be a law

I think there oughta be a law that TV commercials have to be either humorous or touching. Failure would invoke severe penalties, like the product being banned from advertising for six months for each offense. Then maybe the ad agencies would try harder and not get away with stuff like that insulting repetition of the same commercial, back-to-back, that is basically saying, “We know you are too dense to get our message on one try so here it is again, stupid.”

It’s still worth dreaming

I have no ear for music. I enjoy music, but only at a rudimentary level. Monaural sound is good enough for me. Those surround-sound systems are unnerving. It always seems like there is something behind me and I am constantly looking over my shoulder to see what is sneaking up on me. This should have been a clue that I was not a good musician candidate, but when you are young you tend to talk more than you listen, even to yourself.

We never tire of them

Some subjects just won’t go away. There are several that are trotted out every year for re-examination, but not the kind that draws any new conclusions or insights. Here are a few that I find particularly irritating.

I’ve been banded!

In the interest of scientific research and sometimes just plain curiosity, there is a whole community out there of people running around attaching things to animals. But what if the band was on the other foot?

“Hi Sam. What you got on your leg there?”

Shot from guns?

Shot from guns? Really? An old radio commercial claimed that the Quaker factory had all these cannon lined up firing rice and wheat all day. I guess Quaker just swept it up into boxes afterwards.

Who wears short shorts?

The old 1950s rock and roll song asks the musical question, “Who wears short shorts?” Well, not me. I don’t even wear long shorts.

I don’t know how the girls do it. They run around with their legs exposed all summer and never seem to get bug-bitten. Is it a makeup trick? I know that all I have to do is go out in the backyard for 15 minutes and I get mosquito welts that last for a week. If I go out for several days/nights in a row I blow up like that Michelin tire guy.

Say what? as the saying goes

“Any job worth doing is worth doing well.” That’s what Dad used to say. Of course a lot of stuff did not meet this criterion so didn’t get done. This credo makes even the small jobs into a real task. Wouldn’t it be better to do some of it for now or do a sort of halfway job so that the task will be easier when you finally get around to really doing it? This is how I coined the phrase, “Half a job is better than none.”

Two-legged sharks

I think we have all heard the great white shark described as an “eating machine.” The connotation is that his life is about nothing else; just eating. How sad.

Well guess what, we are not much different. Americans, particularly, seem to be all about eating. Like the Hobbits in the Tolkien stories, we have our breakfast, second breakfast and sometimes third, or we might skip ahead to first lunch. Then there is afternoon snack, traditional 4 p.m. tea time followed by before dinner drinks accompanied by cheese and crackers.

Telling us what to do

Signs, signs, everywhere there’re signs. The other day I stopped for a traffic light and looked for further instructions. Sometimes there is a sign that tells you to wait for green before proceeding, something that I thought was sort of understood, or no right on red, or no right on green except buses.

Bad invention convention

If I ever get my hands on them! Who thought this stuff up anyway?

Foil-wrapped butter chips; prepare to get greasy. They are either too cold or too warm. When cold you have to dig the foil out of the butter with your fingers. Even though the butter is cold, it warms sufficiently at your touch to spread a coating over index finger and thumb. And unlike the hard butter on the bread, the butter on your fingers will spread rapidly.