Friday, December 23, 2005

Memo to Nabisco

Please invent seedless Fig Newtons.

I like the cookies, but the seeds subtract from my enjoyment.

Therefore, Fig Newtons without the seeds would be a much more satisfying taste experience.

We can make this a perfect world, one step at a time.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Rednecks Sure Do Talk Funny

A contraction is a smaller or abbreviated way of saying something longer (I would = I'd).

But only a Southerner can take a short word and make it unnecessarily longer.

One particular word that has always amused me is "iffen" (or "if'n"), a word I've only heard from country folk.

Let us all join together and laugh at Bubba.

Sorry, Jake...

...but I can't pronounce "Gyllenhaal," and I don't think many other people can, either.

Smile a Little Smile for Me

For as long as I can remember, people have been talking and writing about Mona Lisa's smile.

The painting has been the subject of endless speculation and analysis for eons. There's even a movie called Mona Lisa Smile. Art lovers talk about it with a kind of reverence usually reserved for something holy. "The viewer cannot help but look at that cryptic smile and wonder what she is thinking...what secret is she hiding?"

From The New York Times: "First she is smiling. Then the smile fades. A moment later the smile returns only to disappear again. What is with this lady's face? How did the great painter capture such a mysterious expression and why haven't other artists copied it?"

And for as long as I have been reading this kind of thing, I have been staring at that painting, baffled by what everybody else can see that I can't -- like the occasional person who is confounded by the hidden pictures in those "3-D" illustrations that were popular several years ago, and is convinced the whole enigma surrounding the lady's smirk is some kind of elaborate prank.

That's how I view the Mona Lisa -- like some kind of Emperor's clothes scenario, a smile you can only view as mysterious if you're cool. "Oh, sure, I see it. Wow. How puzzling! How ambiguous! What's she thinking?"

Well, I'll tell you what she's thinking.

Hurry the fuck up and finish painting. My ass is killing me!

Isn't that what you'd be thinking?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Just an Observation

Did you ever notice how the addition of one word can make something that sounds nice into something that sounds not very nice?

BEFORE: "Thanks for the tip!"

AFTER: "Thanks for the tip, schmuck."

Eye Just Don't Get It

Why do we say "He robbed me blind"? Is the implication supposed to be that the robber stole the eyes out of my sockets?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I'm Just Asking

Does the word "duly" ever modify anything other than "noted"?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Buy This Book or My Dog Will Shoot

New from Authorhouse: my new book, The Dog Ate My Gun, available at Amazon and other online retailers for $19.95, and from the publisher for $15.70. It's a collection of email pranks, cartoons, funny stories, short plays and miscellaneous comedy material. Of course, the book (in the works for several years) inspired the title of this very blog. So go ahead, make my accountant the happiest guy in the world and buy a copy today!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Can I Ask You a Question?

Why do people bother saying this?

Because the answer can't possibly be "no."
That would technically be answering the original question.

A better preface would be: "I am about to ask you a question. You may decide not to answer."

But that, too, strikes me as rather silly and pointless.

Just ask the question, Miss Busybody.

Wait'll You Hear This!

"Wait till you hear about my new raise!"

"Just wait'll you hear what happened to Jamie!"


Why do I have to wait?

Why can't you just tell me, so we can both revel in the news together?

This unusual expression has baffled me for quite a while. In the examples above, it seems clear that the speaker is about to bespeak something exciting. Indeed, "I just got a great raise!" or "Something wild happened to Jamie!" would perfectly suffice. But instead, the focus is on the actual waiting period between the announcement and "the big reveal."

Why is that so important? Is it all about creating an illusion of thrilling anticipation, a sort of lofty tease?

Why say: "Ugh! Just wait till you have children of your own!"

Instead of: "Ugh! After have have kids of your own, then you'll be sorry!"

Or some variation thereof.

One phrase I understand a little better is "Just wait till your father gets home!" In this case, the speaker obviously wishes to fill the hearer's life with dread and horror, as if the waiting were worse than the inevitable punishment.

Even so, I find it interesting that we place so much importance on the waiting.

I, for one, am getting a little tired of having to wait.