I like to think I'm a fairly intelligent person. Others may (and do) disagree, but I like to think I am. But why, then, do so many aspects of modern life baffle me? There are so many things incomprehensible to me these days that I had to make an abridged list. The full list, comprising all 10,132 things I don't get, will be available someday as an appendix to my memoirs. Here are just a few of them.

Why are conservatives hating on Obama for the Nobel Peace Prize? Used to be, everyone was proud when an American won the Nobel prize for peace, even when it was Henry Kissinger, one of history's most notorious warlords. But the reaction last week from the right-wing nutjobs (hereafter referred to as RWN) was nothing short of treasonous. The RWNs saw it as a trick and a sham. Hey, if drawing down troops in Iraq, promising to close secret torture prisons and not being George Bush doesn't qualify one as a peacemaker, nothing does.

Why was fall abolished this year? I remember a time, not that many years ago, when October meant moderately warm weather during the day with just a slight chill at night. Now it seems like we go straight from 90-degree days to 45-degree days with no transition period. Is this something Bush did while he was in power? Are our pretty fall days now being sold overseas at a loss? It just doesn't make sense.

Why did the Indiana Fever lose the WNBA championship? Seven days ago, it certainly looked like the state was going to see its first pro basketball title in 36 years. With Tamika Catchings providing the leadership, and Katie Douglas draining threes like Reggie Miller used to do, it seemed a cinch. The team had poise, grace under pressure and a great coach. They also had a sellout crowd at home to help them along. Yet they fell short.

Why do some people fart when they walk? I was walking a few feet behind someone at the office the other day and, sure enough, every step the person took was accompanied by a small fart. What's the deal? Are we, as a people, too busy to pause long enough to let one rip? Are we so pressed for time that we now perform all bodily functions in short, 140-character bursts? If I hadn't been so appalled and nauseated, I would have stopped the person and asked them. No matter how busy I am, if I gotta toot, I'm going to stop what I'm doing and do so. This is my promise to you.

Why isn't NBC's comedy Parks and Recreation a big hit? It's the one network show I actually take time to watch. Amy Poehler heads an excellent ensemble cast of characters working for a smalltown city government in Indiana. It's got charm and compassion and intelligent writing. The most recent episode was a mini-classic — and yet the Neilsen overnights showed it with only a 6 share of the audience. This show should be a major hit — and yet it exists with no promotion and no commitment from the network beyond the 13 shows already shot. Very strange.

Why are there no pens in my house? It seems like we're always buying thick bags of Bic pens at the store, yet they're all mysteriously gone when I need one. A grown man should not be signing his checks with a Sharpie or a green Crayola. It's just embarrassing. Whoever took the pens, please bring them back. Thank you.

Why do some people use artificial creamer in their coffee? The other day, I was at a downtown Starbucks and saw someone walk over to the table where fresh cream is kept and she pulled a packet of CoffeeMate out of her purse, poured it in, stirred it, and went about her day. Have you ever tried that stuff? It's like something you'd be given in a refugee camp. Me, I like my coffee like I like my women — strong and black — but if I did want to dairy it down, I'd use actual milk instead of non-dairy powder.

The list goes on and on, as I said. Maybe I'm just crazy, but I don't understand why some people do the things they do. I probably never will.

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