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Miscellany

IT’S A WACKY, WACKY WORLDWhen the news becomes too grim and depressing, as it is now, and public voices are quivering with gloom and doom, I look for a haven of harmless nuttiness.I do this by asking someone who isn’t easily embarrassed to go to a supermarket and get the latest copy of the tabloid …

IT’S A WACKY, WACKY WORLD

When the news becomes too grim and depressing, as it is now, and public voices are quivering with gloom and doom, I look for a haven of harmless nuttiness.

I do this by asking someone who isn’t easily embarrassed to go to a supermarket and get the latest copy of the tabloid Weekly World News.

What makes the stories so much fun to read are the headlines. You won’t see any yawners like “Arms Reduction Talks Scheduled to Resume” or “New Economic Data Report Promised.”

Their headlines are grabbers. In the current issue, there’s one that says:

“Dandruff Sets Man’s Hair On Fire!”

As it turns out, it wasn’t really the dandruff that turned Timothy Tilbrook’s hair into “a roaring inferno,” as the story put it, but fumes from a dandruff lotion he had been rubbing into his scalp. Mr. Tilbrook, a male nurse in Glusburn, England, said the lotion seemed to have worked. His dandruff is gone, as is all of his hair.

And there is a headline about an unusual couple:

“Wife shot hubby in the head

“And he didn’t know it for four days!”

Yes, it happened in Phoenix. It seems that the man was napping in a recliner chair when his wife shot him and went out. He awoke with a throbbing headache, and it wasn’t until he went to a doctor four days later that he realized he’d been plugged.

But it was his own fault, really. His wife had left a note. As the story said: “He hadn’t seen his wife’s note, which read: Bill, you’ve been shot. Call 911.’ “

There is another headline that says: “Famed Swami will show you how to FLY LIKE A BIRD in 10 Easy Steps.”

The 10 steps are too lengthy for me to repeat here, but by the time you get to step 9, the swami, who looks like an ancient old bird himself, says: “Gradually increase distance and speed and challenge yourself with more and more difficult destinations. Try for tops of houses, treetops, mountain slopes. Do not allow setbacks to discourage you.” By setbacks, I guess he means being sucked into an airplane engine.

-Mike Royko, Chicago Tribune


CLASS ACTS?

The source of the taunting and mockery of Mr. Quayle for his “Murphy Brown Speech” is the New Class, which in the U.S. is made up of intellectuals and people who work in book publishing, newspapers, magazines, film, music, arts, and universities. They think of themselves as Us and the Reagan and Bush administrations as Them. For the New Class, the holy cultural war against “the right” is unending.

It’s good sport, notwithstanding the fact that They somehow keep winning presidential championships.

-”Review & Outlook”

The Wall Street Journal


LIBERALS: A TRIBUTE

Liberals hate wealth, they say, on grounds of economic injustice-as though prosperity were a pizza, and if I have too many slices, you’re left with nothing but a Domino’s box to feed your family. Even Castro and Kim II Sung know this to be nonsense. Any rich man does more for society than all the jerks pasting VISUALIZE WORLD PEACE bumper stickers on their cars. The worst leech of a merger-and-acquisitions lawyer making That’s $100,000 worth of education, charity or U.S. Marines. And the Marine Corps does more to promote world peace than all the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream ever made.

-P.J. O’Rourke The American Spectator


RECESSION SPEAK

Companies have used the term “restructuring” for a while now as a euphemism for layoffs. Time magazine passes on some new phrases corporations have used to explain their cutbacks:

National Semiconductor “reshaped” its work force.

Digital was gripped by “involuntary methodologies.”

Bank of America “released resources.” Wal-Mart executed “a normal payroll adjustment.”

-Chicago Tribune wires


FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES

A friend writes:

I was walking down Prince Street the other day, and a little boy, maybe 6 or 7 years old, yelled down at me from a fire escape: “Excuse me, has anybody told you that you look like Michelle Pfeiffer?” “Why, no,” I said delightedly. “No one has ever told me that.”

“I didn’t think so,” the boy said.

-The New York Times


FIRST THINGS FIRST

On making movies based on family values rather than violence, sex and obscenity: Hollywood is persuadable, but don’t expect Hollywood to act like Stanford University or the Presbyterian Church, especially when Stanford is not acting like Stanford and the Presbyterian Church isn’t acting like the Presbyterian Church. Get those institutions to do their jobs and the American public schools to do their jobs and the American public schools to do their job, and it will matter a good deal less what’s coming out of Hollywood.

-The American Enterprise

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