I fully admit to being a smart-ass; someone who can always be counted on to supply a clever, cutting remark. It’s not my most endearing trait, but I do try to temper my sarcastic side by being honest and upfront about it. If I have something to say, I’ll say it to someone’s face. Hopefully they’ll get a laugh out of it, but if they don’t, they’ll be able to speak their peace right then and there. I’m sure my remarks can be abrasive at times, but I’d like to think I do everyone a favor by saying them out loud rather than muttering them under my breath or whispering them to a close friend.
Archive for September, 2010
I’m no fan of the phrase “white trash,” even when it’s used as a term of endearment. Referring to someone as “trash” just seems mean-spirited to me. Similar phrases, like “hillbilly” and “redneck,” strike me as benign, but “white trash” makes me wince every time I hear it. Fortunately, today’s Dilbert provides a respite. Having an office worker refer to the “white trash community” is not only hilarious; it also makes the phrase sound as ridiculous and juvenile as it ought to.
What happens to us after we die? Does our consciousness evaporate? Does our soul graduate to a different plane? Does our spirit live on in the hearts and minds of others? This last question is tricky. Sure, people will remember us after we die – children, grandchildren, lifelong friends – but what details will they remember? And how long will it take before they forget? If you think it’s hard maintaining a reputation in this world, try doing it from the afterlife. It would be impossible, which is just as well. Legacies should exist to benefit the living, not to benefit those who’ve passed (and moved on).
Last weekend, my wife had several friends over for her birthday. One of her friends’ boyfriends brought a handful of fantastic gifts. Fantastic for me, that is. Two of the gifts were edible: fresh, homemade guacamole and fresh, homemade chocolate cake. But those treats were only the beginning. From there, he moved on to exploding streamer capsules (the kind you’re not supposed to point at someone’s face) and, my personal favorite, bubble blowers. Sure, the blowers were tiny and didn’t reach the bottom of the containers (or even come close). But they did fill the kitchen with bubbles. Hopefully, none of those bubbles made their way into the freezer.
Running smack-dab into a post is funny. Don’t believe me? Check out my favorite commercial of all time, below:
I’m guessing you laughed. You knew there would be an accidental collision, but you still laughed. Go ahead, watch it again. I bet it’ll be just as funny the second time. I’ve seen it a dozen times and it still makes me chuckle. Of course, the commercial has other qualities besides surprise. There’s the satisfying spectacle of a bully getting his comeuppance and an important message about bicycle safety. (Curiously enough, I don’t wear a helmet when I ride to the train station in the morning because I take a series of side streets. But I do keep an eye out for stray two-by-fours.)
A lot of people use pet phrases without even knowing it. One of my college professors, for example, had a habit of finishing his sentences by assuring us that something was “a done deal.” “Turn the knob to 10,” he would say, “hit record, and (dramatic pause) it’s a done deal.” I also have a pet phrase. Every time my wife thanks me for something I say, “You’re welcome,” followed quickly by, “You’re damn welcome.” I started saying this so much (i.e. twice) that it became repetitive. Now I get self-conscious whenever I feel the urge to say it. Sadly, that’s quite often.
It’s officially autumn, which means the leaves on the trees have permission to change colors and fall to the ground. Actually, the trees on my block have been shedding leaves for months, with dried-out bunches gathering in my yard since late spring. I’ve raked and bagged, but they’ve always reappeared in greater numbers. And now that it’s fall and the temperatures have cooled…look out. Of course, there are benefits to raking leaves in late September. Can you say jack o’ lantern bags? I know I can.