July 5, 2010


Triplett,PatrickBy Patrick Triplett

I am not a deep thinker. I leave things like health care and cleaning up the Gulf oil spill to people who get paid to do so. I tend to think of things that aren’t matters of great importance, yet to me are thought provoking and deserve answers.

Such as, why do we laugh when we see other people slip and fall down, especially when they are carrying two bags of groceries? And why are Wendy’s hamburgers square? And what exactly is dry cleaning?

Why don’t children stop believing in the Easter bunny long before Santa Claus, given the fact that one is a person who they get to see and even sit on their lap, while the other is an animal? And while I’m on the subject, why stop with those two to represent figures who hand out gifts on holidays? Why don’t we have a talking Thanksgiving turkey, or a living, breathing Fourth of July firecracker, or even a Columbus Day sailor who hands out salt water taffy to youngsters? And speaking of Columbus, why do we celebrate a holiday for a man who we credit for discovering America, when he not only landed no closer than San Salvador, but thought he was in India?

Who was the first person to pull on the udders of a cow and drink what came out? And what about the first guy who ate an egg, or a berry off a tree, or a potato out of the ground? What possessed them to put these things in their mouths?

We have been taught to think of Heaven as somewhere up above us and Hell as in the bowels of the earth. So why do we bow our heads and look downward when we pray in church? Shouldn’t we be looking upward toward the heavens? And why do we bury people under the ground? Isn’t that giving them a head start in the wrong direction?

Why do we attempt to kill rats and yet feed squirrels in the park? They are a bushy tail away from being the same thing. And who decided which animals should be put in a zoo and which ones could live amongst us at home as pets?

And at what point did wearing your pants below the waist and revealing your underwear go from embarrassing to a fashion statement?

Now I’m on a roll and can’t stop. Who was the person who thought four way stops was a good idea? Four people pull up to the intersection and stop, all looking at each other to see who should go first. Invariably, two of the people will try and proceed through the intersection at the exact same moment, causing them both to stop. This is followed by the other two attempting the same thing. This process continues for approximately five minutes before all four vehicles finally make it through the intersection.

Signs in general tend to bother me, like “Dead End”. It sounds like the title of a Stephen King book. And “Deer Crossing”. What are we supposed to do when we see that? Look to see if deer are standing along side the road waiting to cross? And does that mean when there aren’t signs around we don’t need to pay attention because deer will only cross at deer crossings?

Have you noticed that most products on the store shelves include the words “New and improved”, “Extra strength”, or “Larger economy size”? Do the manufacturers really think it’s necessary to inform us of this, and that we should be happy about it? To me it implies that before they added these to their labels we were the victims of a rip-off and investing our hard earned money in sub-par products.

The dictionary defines a sandwich as two pieces of bread, or the equivalent thereof, with a layer of meat, fish or cheese in between. So why do restaurants list sandwiches and burgers under separate categories on their menus? And was the Earl of Sandwich really credited with having invented the sandwich? How much thought process could have gone into that? Did he spend days working in his lab, putting two pieces of bread together with a piece of meat on top, and then writing in his journal, “I feel like I’m really getting close”?

I could go on forever, but by now your are probably thinking that, a) I have lost touch with reality, b) I have way too much time on my hands, or c) I should spend my time thinking of what I can do to help solve the health care issue and cleaning up the oil spill, even though I’m not getting paid for it. I’ll think about it.

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