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CHIPS OFF THE OLD KLOCK - VOLUME XIV
By Joe Klock, Sr.
Those beloved masochists who are regular readers of these rants are aware that the writer has a flypaper mind to which adheres bits of fluff and nonsense, as well as more pithy material lacking sufficient pith and/or vinegar to warrant full-column treatment.
When such literary lint clogs his creative filter, it is scraped off and dumped into a mishmash of miscellany such as the one which follows.
While totally lacking in continuity and usually no more memorable than cocktail party babble, past columns of this genre have unburdened said writer of mental clutter and, on occasion, stimulated reader reaction, ranging from thunderous "Amens" to calls for confiscation of his word processor.
That preamble aired, let us herewith vent the vignettes:
- Humanists maintain that nothing exists in the universe that doesn't provide some benefit, however minuscule, to mankind; but political commercials, hemorrhoids, rap lyrics and the John McEnroe talk show stand as possible exceptions.
- What's in a name? One of the more effective programs for physical conditioning is a combination of fast and slow running or walking which is, somewhat unfortunately, called "fartlek" (check it out with your local college track coach). That's, perhaps, the only reason it has fallen out of both polite conversational favor and the dictionary. It lives on, though, in Google, but I dare you to try discussing it with a straight face.
- Speaking of names, a peanut isn't a nut - it's a legume; a firefly is a beetle, both prairie dogs and guinea pigs are rodents, catgut comes from sheep, and an English horn is neither English nor a horn; it's an alto oboe from France (often described as an ill woodwind that nobody blows good).
- Somewhere in the militant defense of our First Amendment rights, innocent bystanders known as good taste and common decency have been gravely wounded. Stifling, or even punishing, blatantly irresponsible free speech (e.g., shouting "FIRE!" in a crowded theater) does not alienate any right endowed by our Creator or the Founding Fathers.
- A prayer for those in despair: "Dear God, you made me what I am. Please help me to become whatever you want me to be."
- The world may little note nor long remember what you do or say, but they sure as hell won't take note of what you didn't do or say after shifting into "park."
- Being pro-choice shouldn't be considered a sin so long as the choice is made before a new life has been created. Thereafter, it's murder, she wrote (absent rape or danger to the mother's life)..
- Query: If "he isn't" is a valid contraction of "he is not," and "they aren't" means "they are not," what's wrong, one might ask, with "I amn't?"
- Possibly America's High Priest of Hypocrisy is Sen. Robert Byrd, that pious protector of constitutional rights who voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and once served as a Grand Kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan.
- What is it with these rock band guitar players who simulate seizures to make what they're doing look harder than it really is?
- Great quote from the late Arthur Godfrey: "I'm proud to pay taxes in the United States; the only thing is, I could be just as proud for half the money."
- Definition of maturity: The ability to cope with anything and everything present and unpleasant in our lives that is impossible for us to either evade or change.
- If people are too dumb to figure out how a ballot works, are they smart enough to decide who should run the country for the ensuing four years?
- Among the things I wonder about: What hair color do they specify on the driver's license of a bald man.
- Never get into an argument with a pig-headed moron. After a brief exchange, people overhearing you will be unable to discern a difference.
- Old age is when almost everything hurts...and what doesn't hurt doesn't work nearly as well as it used to (if it works at all).
- Add to pet peeves: The table server who spouts off today's specials without mentioning what they cost, making it awkward for guests, and embarrassing for hosts, to ask for quotes.
- Betchya didn't know that 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321! (Hey, where else can you read fascinating stuff like this?)
- When someone says, "to be perfectly honest with you," or, "quite frankly," what does that imply about what they have said previously?
Until later - or sooner, if the lint builds up!