Everybody’s Talking …

English is a wonderful language.  It can be as precise as a surgeon’s scalpel or as broad as a two-handed claymore.  It can describe anything or leave everything to your imagination.  In fact, English is so kickass we can say things without ever actually even saying them!  For example, when your wife/girlfriend says, “Are you going to wear that?” you know she’s really saying, “There is no way in Hell you’re leaving this house dressed like that.”  It’s a beautiful bit of linguistic gymnastics that people use all the time.  Here are a few more examples.  (With translations.)

“Sorry I’m late.”
Translation — I hate these morning meeting, I hate this job and I hate you.  The only reason I even dragged my sorry ass out of bed is I’ve got a car payment and a massive student loan hanging over my head.

“I know I’m only going to be gone for a couple of days, but I’m really going to miss you.”
Translation — Any chance of having sex before I leave?

“No offence …”
Translation — I’m going to offend you.

“… no offence.”
Translation — I’m covering my ass just in case I’ve already offended you.

“I’m vegan.”
Translation — I want to talk about me.

“I don’t judge.”
Translation — What you just told me is totally weird, and it caught me completely off guard.  So, rather than saying something unfortunate and sounding like an insensitive jerk, I’m going to shut up now and hope you change the subject.

“Do you need any help?”
Translation — Please, please, please, please, for the love of God, please– say no.

“Do these jeans make me look fat?”
Translation — I’ve spent all day dealing with perky salesgirls, women’s sizes are works of fiction, nobody has any decent colours and my bra is cutting me in half.  The least you could do is take 5 seconds and tell me I’m sexy.

“It’s really not that bad.”
Translation – Wow!  Are you ever screwed!

“That’s okay: I’m a good listener.”
Translation — This is the longest sob story in history.  Now I know how Mandela felt.

“My children are my whole life.”
Translation — Five minutes!  All I want is five minutes.  I haven’t even gone to the toilet in peace in 2 years.  Five minutes!  Is that too much to ask?

“I’ll remember that.”
Translation — I’m too busy/lazy to write this down, and I’m going to kick myself in a couple of days.

“We’ve put together a pretty solid financial plan that will get us out of debt in a couple of years.”
Translation — The grandparents haven’t died yet.

“Have you lost weight?”
Translation — Call me scum, but I’m so glad you’re fatter than I am.

“I’m a people person.”
Translation — I don’t have any marketable skills.

And finally one of the most common ones:

“We need to get together/do lunch/go for drinks, soon/more often/sometime in the vague future.”
Translation — We’re connected by circumstances and you seem like a nice person, so let’s play pretend for a few minutes — until we can go back to our real lives.

I’m An Optimist (2020)

One of the problems (the biggest one, actually) about being an optimist is people think you’re thick.  They might listen to you carefully, even agree on occasion, but there’s something in their eyes that says, “Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.”  It’s an occupational hazard of living in the 21st century where ‘abandon hope” is the soupe du jour.  It’s not that people are particularly convinced we’re all screwed; it’s just that a lot of folks have the misconception that pessimism comes with an extra portion of smart.  After all, nobody wants to look like a simpleton who still believes in Santa Claus and happily ever after.  We’re all adults here, and happy endings belong in children’s fairy tales.  Think about it!  Once you get past Snow White and the girls, one of the greatest love stories of all time, Romeo and Juliet, ends with a double suicide.  Ouch!

The problem is we’re taught from the year dot that life doesn’t always go our way.  It’s a good lesson, but because we’re children, we make the assumption that that’s the way the world works.  We call it being realistic.  But it’s not.  In fact it’s the exact opposite.  Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying the world is all rainbows and roses – it isn’t — but the truth is that, throughout history, the good guys always win.  Believe it or don’t: they do!

Here’s a simple test.  You’re sitting here reading this because?

A — You have to work 16 back-breaking hours every day on the business end of a whip.
B – You can’t read or write.
C — Some power-mad asshole and his minions are controlling everything you see and hear.
D — You have cholera, tuberculosis, polio or any of a hundred other diseases.
E — You don’t have enough money to feed yourself; forget about buying a computer!
F – You died in childbirth.
OR
G — None of the above — because over the years, a continuous line of good people did away with all that bullshit.

I don’t care how pessimistic you think you are; there’s no denying we live in the most benevolent society ever.  We’re richer, better educated, healthier and more socially aware that at any other time in history.  But here’s the deal.  This wasn’t always the case; we’ve had to work at it.  We’ve had to overcome wars, famine, bat-shit crazy dictators, natural and unnatural disasters and a boatload of debilitating diseases — just to get this far.  But we’ve always prevailed – ALWAYS.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here. 

Here’s a perfect example of what I mean.  A couple of thousand years ago, a guy we call Otzi Man froze to death in the Alps.  (He had an arrow in his shoulder and a ton of bad luck.)  That was the way it was back then.  But try that these days and you’ll have rescue teams from two different countries fighting over who’s going to save your ass, a medical helicopter, paramedics, a stretcher, trauma nurses, a hospital, doctors, antibiotics, sheets, bandages and a line of people willing to donate blood.  That’s progressive, folks!  So I’m no rocket scientist, but of course, I’m an optimist!

Just A Bit Of News …

Here’s just a bit of news from around the planet.

Just when you thought this year couldn’t get any worse – Snow White died!  Not the real one, obviously, but the one that Disney turned into a feature length anim … “Oh, for Godsake!  It was a cartoon!”  Anyway, Marge Champion has passed away.  She was 101.  Back in the 1930s, she was the teenage dancer Disney hired as a live model for his megahit Snow White.  She worked on and off for two years and was paid $10.00 a day (Actually decent money, back then.)  But Ms. Champion was only the body.  Adriana Caselotti was the voice, and she passed away in 1997.  Thus, Disney’s Snow White is no more.  But that’s okay: we all know that — like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and all the rest — Snow White is actually immortal.

In other news, the town of Asbestos, Canada (Pop. 7,096) has decided to change its name.  From now on, it wants to be known as Val-des-Sources.  Kinda cool, given that asbestos is one of the bogeymen these days.  However, there are a significant number of townspeople who aren’t happy about it.  They speak French, and they see this as another example of the Anglo-Canadian majority pushing them around.  You see, the French word for “asbestos” is amiante, so strictly speaking, to most of the people who live there “asbestos” is just a made-up English word, and changing the name is bowing to Anglo pressure.  Perhaps!  Personally, however, I think calling your town Asbestos is not the best way to attract tourists.  “Tired of the Covid Lockdown?  Why not spend two weeks in the breathtaking town of Asbestos?”

Meanwhile, NASA has taken the gloves off.  They’re going back to the Moon, and they’re taking one of the toughest companies on this planet with them — Nokia.  NASA has selected this bad boy to build the first cellular telephone network on the Moon as a prequel to a long-term human presence on our nearest celestial neighbour.  Kickass choice!  Nokia means NASA is serious.  Any network they build will be heavy-duty and probably permanent.  Remember, it was the good folks at Nokia who made the Nokia 3310, back in the 2000s.  That baby was the Chuck Norris of cellphones, and the stories about it are legendary.  People bounced the Nokia 3310 off concrete sidewalks, dropped it out of apartment buildings, threw it at speeding cars, ran over it, set fire to it, tried to drown it and there’s even a documented case where it stopped a bullet!  In your face, Huawei!

And finally:

Another Prime Minister (Katrin Jakobsdottir of Iceland) laughs off yet another earthquake!