Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ten random thoughts on a Wednesday

(1) A while back, I made mention of my fascination with the Duggar family of "19 Kids and Counting" fame. Or is it 20? I don't know. Anyway, the point is, there's a new kid on the huge family TV block: The Bates. Their show, which is on TLC just like the Duggars, is called "The Bates Family: Baby Makes 19." I caught part of an episode recently and actually liked it (and them). But do they meet the basic criteria for reality TV families with lots of kids? Well, let's see: Are they white? Check. Do they live in the South? Check. Are they very religious? Check. Do they give their kids names that all begin with the same letter? BUZZ! Ohhhhh no, I'm sorry. Your family is very Duggar-like, but Jim Bob and Michelle still reign over this particular corner of the TV universe.

(2) On the subject of lunch meat: Am I the only person in the universe who likes Dutch loaf? It seems like I am. And if I am, why do they still make it? I appreciate the effort, but we hardly ever buy it, so really fellas, maybe you should concentrate on some other processed, food-like item. I'm not worth the effort.

(3) I would give almost anything right now to see an episode of the old "Hollywood Squares." I'm talking 70s-era "Hollywood Squares" hosted by Peter Marshall with Paul Lynde in the center square. That was good TV.

(4) I can't believe our telephones used to have cords. Remember that? You would answer the phone in the kitchen and you actually had to carry on your conversation in the kitchen because the cord would only go so far. If you had one of those fancy extended cords, you might be able to make it into the living room, but that was about it. Cordless phones are one of the most underrated inventions of the last half century.

(5) This is true: When I was little like 5 or 6 years old I learned all of the U.S. presidents in order. We had the 1964 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia, and I read the article on "Presidents" so many times that the pages eventually became ripped and dog-eared. My dad thought this was hilarious and would have me recite the presidents to anyone who cared to listen. What a freak I was. Anyway, I must have displayed this talent in school at some point, because one time Mrs. Potts put up a timeline of presidents on her classroom wall, and she invited me to come in and look at it. She wasn't even my teacher. I had no idea what my reaction was supposed to be. So I stared at it for awhile, said something to the effect that I liked it, then returned to my own 2nd-grade class. What exactly were they expecting from me? This is still baffling.

(6) I've been going around telling people that my 13-year-old son Jared is 6 feet tall. It turns out I'm a liar. Jared recently contracted strep throat and had to see the doctor, and they officially measured him at 5 feet, 11 3/4 inches. This makes me feel infinitely better about my 5-foot, 9 3/4-inch self.

(7) Speaking of my strange body, I know I've whined to you before about my freakishly small hands, but now it's getting out of control. My 11-year-old daughter Melanie's fingers are longer than mine. I'm a 42-year-old man, for Pete's sake. What is wrong with me?

(8) Rush is one of those bands I'm supposed to like, as a rock/pop music fan, but I just don't. I feel bad about this, but there's nothing I can do about it.

(9) About a month ago, I came out of my office and was walking to my car when I was approached by a young man in a wheelchair. He asked me for some spare change. I told him I didn't have any, which was 100% true. I usually don't carry cash (though I should). He said that's OK and shook my hand. But instead of releasing my hand, he then put it up to his lips and kissed it. Really. I'm generally not a germaphobe, but believe me when I tell you that I advanced directly to the nearest bottle of Purell with all due haste.

(10) I have never really, never  met a girl named Vicky whom I didn't like. Same thing with guys named Dave.


  1. Re #4, phone was in the kitchen and we stretched the heck out of that cord to make it around the corner and up the stairs trying to get some infinitesimal amount of privacy.
    Re #5, maybe one president was not where he belonged and she was testing you.
    Re #7, maybe your mom drank too much coffee while you were in utero.
    RE #8, with Rush you either LOVE them or don't, no in between.

  2. Excellent insights, as always, Marianne. I will say this, though: If Mrs. Potts had transposed, for example, Millard Fillmore and Franklin Pierce, I would have noticed immediately. Oh yes, I would have nailed her on that.