Questions!

Unless you’re four years old, Seth Rogen or the Big Lebowski, you don’t have a lot of time to lie around the house and wonder why.  Adults, who aren’t permanently affixed to 4/20 self-medication, learn to take a few things on faith.  After all, “why?” is a pretty open-ended question and much if it, without herbal encouragement, isn’t worth the trouble.  For example, I don’t know why there are 8,000 different kinds of pasta, and, honestly, I don’t care.  I’m sure somebody knows the difference between linguini, fettuccini and all of other “inis,” out there, but it ain’t me.  However, there are times when our inner child does escape on a Friday morning and, over a second cup of coffee just wonders why.

During automobile commercials, when the car speeds up, why are the wheels turning the wrong way?  I’m no fan of physics, but that’s impossible.

The Ancient Greeks believed in a pantheon of gods who lived on Mount Olympus.  Mount Olympus is only 3,000 metres high.  Why didn’t somebody just climb the mountain and look?

When anti-religious people get upset about religious symbols like burkas and crucifixes, why doesn’t anybody ever mention yoga pants?  Honestly, we should do something about yoga pants.

Why television advertisements for hearing aids don’t have subtitles.  It seems to me they’re missing their target audience.

Why, after a murder, it’s always some jogger who finds the body.  I don’t trust joggers — uh — or people who walk their dogs, either.

Why single women in romantic comedies all have crap jobs but fabulous apartments full of cool furniture.  And how — exactly — are they paying for all this?

Why vegans always announce they’re vegan at parties.  Are they worried somebody’s going to accidently drop a pork chop in their drink?

Why English actors can sound like they’re American but, when American actors try to do a British accent, they all sound like they’ve got a carrot up their nose.

Why do people use the phrase “funny as hell.”  By all accounts, Hell isn’t the least bit funny.

Why Nala from The Lion King and Maid Marian from Robin Hood aren’t Disney princesses.  I think it’s a clear case of species-ism (specaphobia?)

Why a stress ball isn’t for throwing at people who stress you out.

Why algebra?

Why everybody cheers for the early bird but nobody has any compassion for the early worm.

Why people watch horror movies.  I fail to see how scaring the bejesus out of yourself passes for “entertainment.”  And that goes double for scary rides at the State Fair.

Every year, charities spend thousands and thousands of dollars making television commercials to solicit donations.  Why don’t they take the big money they’re spending on film crews, transportation, actors, actresses and TV time and just give it to the people they’re trying to help?

Why don’t psychics ever win the lottery?

And finally, two of my favourites:

If Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is correct and there is natural selection, then why, after 50,000 years of human history, are there still so many stupid people kicking around?

Why, when you can pretend to be anything you want on social media, people choose to be stupid.

Modern Sin 2021

I miss the days when sin was a tangible commodity.  You knew where you stood back then.  There were clear lines that you kinda crossed occasionally (or more often) but you did so at your peril. There were consequences for being a dick.  Okay, some of the rules were a bit much; after all, who among us hasn’t coveted their neighbour’s ass a time or two (metaphorically speaking) and I’ve never been convinced that a hotdog on Friday was enough to unleash the hounds of hell.  However, most of us (even the scoffers) stayed away from the Big Boys and left hardcore sinning to the professionals.  These days, however, sin has become a moveable feast, and even saints are having trouble trying to figure it out.  Luckily, I’m here to help.  I’ve created a 7 step scale that navigates the sin-isphere – from “You’ve some got explaining to do” to “Burn in hell!”

7 — Irish Pubs outside of Ireland – If you want to make fun of somebody, there’s no better way to do it than find an ordinary bar, change the name to “O’ Something,” stick a neon shamrock over the door and serve bad Guinness and potato skins.  This is a sin.  And the only way to make it worse is to have leprechaun-tossing contests on Too-Ra-Loo-Ra Tuesdays. Where the hell are the cultural appropriation people when you need them?  (BTW, this goes double for faux French cafes!)

6 — Stupid Foodie Stuff – There’s the deal: Cheeseburger Pizza is not fusion food: it’s a sin. Yeah, and turkey gravy ice cream is, too.  Real foodies are wonderful people – creative and adventurous — but the wannabes are culinary crackheads.  They have no respect for themselves, their guests or what they put in their mouths.  What next? Oreos and Orange juice?  I wouldn’t bet against it!

5 — Male Fashions – Men have always dressed like idiots – witness the codpiece – but in the 21st century, it’s gotten out of hand and needs to be called what it is – a sin.  No human (forget a Supreme Being) can look with favour on a baseball cap on backwards, an Aloha shirt, cargo shorts and flip flops — all at the same business meeting — on the same guy.  Dress for success has become God, what a mess!  No wonder most women believe men think with their protruding parts.

4 — Comical Clothing on Pets – No, no, no! A thousand times no!  Devil horns, reindeer antlers, bowties, propeller beanies, frilly skirts and false moustaches are not cute on animals: they’re a sin.  What you have just done is taken your most trusting friend, the one who’s been there for you, every time, without fail, (remember the night Herbie Jenkins dumped you?) and made them look ridiculous – for your own amusement.  This comes under the “Do unto others” doctrine.  If you insist on dressing your pets in comical clothes, they should have the right to take you to the doctor and have you neutered.  Fair is fair!  

3 — Bullshit University Degrees – Taking an 18-year-old, who is less than a decade away from believing Batman is a career choice, and convincing them to go into debt up to their eyeballs to get a degree in Leadership is a sin.  We’ve created at least one (and probably two) generations of seriously over-educated/woefully under-qualified young people who have no marketable skills beyond pouring coffee and complaining.  And considering how badly they got screwed, who can blame them when they can’t do either one properly? 

2 — Women’s Magazines – Even though, in recent years, these tableaux of evil have migrated from ink and photo to font and pixel, they are still the total sin they’ve always been.  When the only reason you exist is to tell women there’s something wrong with them, there’s something wrong with you.  This is psychological abuse on an industrial scale.

1 — Litter and Twitter – These two are off the scale on the Sin meter.  There is nothing worse than wantonly throwing your garbage on the ground or spewing vindictive trash across Cyberspace.  Nothing!  There is never, ever a reason to do either, and they are both just wrong – full stop.

Why Aliens Won’t Talk To Us – An Update

About five years ago, I wrote a piece titled “Why Aliens Won’t Talk To Us.”  I trotted out the usual suspects – cricket and crop circles – but our world has come a long way in 5 years, so it’s time for an update.

Unless you flunked out of Math, Science, Stats, Probability, Literature, Philosophy, Biology and Logic — all at the same time — you realize that millions of galaxies, billions of stars and trillions of planets equal a damn good chance that there is intelligent life (besides us) somewhere in the Universe.  It just makes sense, right?

So why won’t aliens talk to us?

BTW, Bubba and Bobbi-Sue’s shaky iPhone video of the sun glinting off a Frisbee™ doesn’t constitute alien contact.  And — just for the record — aliens probably have better things to do with their time than probe fat guys, lose their skulls in Central America or leave painfully childish clues to their existence for weirdo TV documentary filmmakers to find.  (Just sayin’!)

So, with no credible evidence, we must assume that aliens simply don’t want to talk to us.  Why?

I think that they think we’re strange.  And not just regular isn’t-that-cute strange, either – more like “Mother of God!  We need to stay away from those weirdos” strange.  Let me give you a few examples:

Our Choice of Beverages – Over 70% of the Earth’s surface is water, an essential ingredient to life, but rather than just drink the stuff and get on, we do things to it.  We add sugar to it, we add caffeine, we add carbon dioxide, we add dyes to give it colour, artificial flavour to give it taste and toxic chemicals that we’ve already proven are going to kill us if we ingest them.  Then, just to insult our own intelligence completely, we take all that crap out, bottle it and call it healthy.  Aliens have to be thinking, “What’s wrong with you people?”

Professional Sports – Games and recreation are an important aspect of intelligent life, but when you’re paying a man more than the GNP of Mali to kick a ball once a week and the guy who scrubs the floor in a hospital minimum wage, something is definitely out of whack.  Aliens can sense this stuff.

Tattoos – It must be very confusing to aliens when the same people who wouldn’t be caught dead wearing last year’s fashions are still sporting the same ink they got when they were dating Joshua — three boyfriends ago.

Kanye West and Taylor Swift – When these two are the result of 3 million years of natural selection, aliens must wonder just how much of the human brain is devoted to ego.

Litter – If you were an alien, you’d have to ask yourself, “What kind of intelligent life would promiscuously throw their garbage all over their own planet?”

Crocs – Why would an intelligent species make an indestructible piece of footwear that everybody hates and that looks hideous?

And finally, the real reason aliens don’t wanna talk to us:

Twitter – If aliens are monitoring our social media (which I’m sure they are) they’ve obviously run across Twitter.  Think about it! Would you want to communicate with a species whose idea of an intelligent conversation is hurling insults and calling each other nasty names?  Seriously, aliens probably take one look at the shitshow on Twitter and say, “Screw it, Zoltran!  Let’s go to Mars.  They might not have any water, but at least Martians are civil to each other.”