I Wish I’d Said That – 2021

As I get older, I realize a ton of people are a lot smarter than I am.  When I look at the world (even wearing my rose-coloured glasses) mostly all I see is benign chaos.  However, some people can look through all that and see where the little bits of truth are hiding.  These are the folks who instantly grasp an idea, distill it down to a single sentence, flip it onto their tongues and then effortlessly blend it into the conversation.  I know envy is one of the 7 Deadly Sins, but, for all the world, I envy these people because on the rare occasions when I do that, I spend the rest of the day walking just a little taller.  Here are some examples and each one, when read carefully, demonstrates some serious understanding of the world we live in.

Journalism largely consists of saying “Lord Jones is dead,” to people who didn’t know he was alive.
G.K. Chesterton

The perfect lover is one who turns into a pizza at 4:00 am.
Charles Pierce

Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other.
Ann Landers

It’s dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
Voltaire

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks for a funeral.
H.L. Mencken

The trouble with her is she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.
George Bernard Shaw

A critic is a man who knows the way but can’t drive the car.
Kenneth Tynan

The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing — and then marry him.
Cher

An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do.
Dylan Thomas

It was as stupid as taking a cauldron and a broom to a witch hunt.
Najira Olsen

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn’t have to do it himself.
A.H. Miller

Do you realize that, if it weren’t for Edison, we’d be watching television by candlelight?
Al Boliska

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.
Jean Rostand

Love thy neighbour as thyself, but choose your neighbourhood.
Louise Beal

The average person thinks he isn’t.
L. Lorenzoni

What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.
Hansell Duckett

We’re all in this alone.
Lily Tomlin

Where did I find the time to not read so many books?
Karl Krause

A fair fight is the one you win.
French Foreign Legion

And that greatest philosopher of them all — Anonymous

Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.

If it wasn’t for the last minute, nobody would get anything done.

Whoever said “money can’t buy happiness,” didn’t know where to shop.

No one ever bets enough money on a winning horse.

If you talk to God, you’re praying.  If God talks to you, you’re nuts.

Originally written September, 2017

It’s Spring – 2021

Thank God it’s spring!  It was a little late this year but finally I think we’ve got the real meal deal.  Mother Nature is changing her clothes, and Father Time is watching.  We mere mortals are only a small part of what they both have in mind, but, like every year since this planet was a baby, it’s going to be spectacular.   As of today, the birds and the bees are back, and they’re feeling frisky.

Unfortunately, spring doesn’t carry the kind of punch it used to.  These days, it’s mostly living on its rep.  We all know it’s spring, but in a world of central heating, air conditioning, mega-malls and concrete canyon streets, how many of us really care?  In the 21st century, we generally ignore the world around us until Mother Nature gets pissed off and starts slapping the crap out of everything in her path – then we pay attention.  Primitive humans weren’t this arrogant; that’s why they treated spring with some respect.

Back in the day, winter in the northern hemisphere was nothing to be trifled with.  Our species never physically adapted to the cold the way some of the other animals on this planet did.  However, despite our natural tendency to freeze to death, we insisted on living in climates that were inhospitable for four (or more) months of the year.  The only recourse for this stupidity was to outsmart Mother Nature, using the tools at hand – fire and the skins of more practical animals.  Plus, our instincts told us to hide in caves when a hostile world starting howling for our bones.  This strategy worked and we survived long enough to understand that — even though Mother Nature spent a good amount of time trying to kill us — eventually she would relent and treat us like her special children again.  And this was cause for celebration.

As we evolved beyond beetle-brow tough to early-human clever, we must have realized that these constantly changing seasons were not random.  They had a pattern.  When winter was over, the leaves came out.  From there, only a Neanderthal wouldn’t put two and two together and realize, once the leaves started to fall, winter was coming back.  (That’s why there are no more Neanderthals, BTW.  Just sayin’.)  With that in mind, it wasn’t a Cro-Magnon leap of intelligence to figure out that, with a little planning, we could gather food and firewood during the good weather, store them away, and a smart cave family could sit out the winter in relative comfort.  Thus, instead of hanging out in the cave, shivering and getting skinny all winter, we had some leisure time to put that big brain or ours to work.  We watched the sun, we watched the moon, we noticed when the ice started to melt, when the birds came back and when the bear two caves over woke up grumpy, hungry and looking for a fight.  This was all important stuff, because the more we knew about the seasons, the more likely it was that we’d be around to see a few of them.

Unfortunately, climatology hadn’t been invented yet, and so humans simply filed all these various discoveries under “Mother Nature: Whims and Idiosyncrasies.”  But Mother Nature was real.  She made the flowers bloom, the warm breezes blow, and warmed up the sun.  So, when winter was over, it made sense for primitive humans to take a minute, be polite and say thanks.

These days, we don’t much care for Mother Nature.  After all, for the last two hundred years or so, we’ve been fighting with her for supremacy on this planet.  There are some who say we’re winning and some who say we’ve already lost.  Unfortunately, the majority of us don’t seem to give a damn, either way.  Our egos are so secure we no longer thank her — or anybody else — for our existence.  However, on a morning like this one, in the first sunlight of what’s going to be a perfectly gorgeous day, I tend to get a little caveman-humble.  I hear the birds putting on the brag, see an ambitious green sprig forcing its way through the sidewalk and maybe — just maybe — sniff a sweet change in the air.   And it all tells me something special is happening again this year — and it’s going to fantastic.

Thanks, Mother Nature!

Written some years ago and reproduced every time I’m overwhelmed by the magic of the season.

The Next Time …

Life is a minefield full of ambushes.  We are constantly getting caught off guard by thoughts, words and circumstances.  However, the mark of a smart person is someone who tries not to make the same mistake twice.  (We all do that, BTW!)  So, as a public service, here’s a quick and dirty guide to making the wise choice the next time something happens.

The next time somebody tells you that someday machines are going to go total Terminator and take over the world, remind them just how effective Autocorrect is. 

The next time somebody talks about how nice it will be when everything gets back to normal, think about how comfortable your pajamas feel.

The next time somebody’s Eagerly Offended by a book, a cartoon character or a dead European, laugh your ass off and get on with your life as if nothing’s changed — because nothing has.

The next time you think you should ask a woman when the baby’s due – don’t!

The next time you think you’ve got the only dysfunctional family on the planet, open a bottle of wine and ask your neighbour about her mother-in-law.

The next time you think you’re smart, remember your old friend algebra and try to solve (x2 + y2) – (x + y) = 3.  That’ll teach you some humble.

The next time you’re having a bad day, take a marker and put comic faces on all the eggs in the fridge.  You’ll be surprised how much better it makes you feel.

The next time you’re walking around and have an uncontrollable itch somewhere below your bellybutton, remember: cellphones!

The next time you’re mind wanders beyond your current relationship, take a good hard think about how you look naked.

The next time someone says, “You can do anything you set your mind to!” keep in mind you still haven’t figured out the difference between Auto Cook and Auto Reheat on the microwave.

And finally:

The next time you think it’s a pain in the ass to wear a mask, just imagine how uncomfortable a ventilator would be.