How Do You Write a Headline For This?

Fifth Friday footnotes, follow-ups and far-flung fripperies:

• I’m not sure which was weirder: being in Las Vegas on Halloween or Washington D.C. on Election Day. Both places do every day what the rest of us reserve for special occasions.

• A good vacation ends with you not remembering on which side you part your hair. That’s proof you vacated at a deep level.

• Curling up by the fire is 10 percent about the fire and 90 percent about the curling.

• We’ve been a year now without UO President Richard Lariviere. No offense to the new guy, but I still miss him.

• Does our new concept of war without borders or uniforms make it easier or harder to be a pacifist?

• I worry that drones have made fighting war too easy, safe, and private. Not that there was ever any “fair” in “warfare.”

• If you separate your Christmas cards and wrapping paper that use some foil so they can be recycled differently from the rest, you might be an Oregonian.

• Ever notice how we all ran out of spare time shortly after we signed up for cable TV?

• Black Friday is America’s only surviving participatory sport. Some train all year for the event.

• Any way you look at it, raising babies into adulthood is the most difficult and dangerous work any of us will ever do.

• Too often what goes without saying goes without saying.

• No matter what I’m cutting, a cleaver feels like too much.

• Remember when Obama refused to wear a flag pin, calling it “silly”? He was right then, but he’s better now.

• Stuck in an airport terminal for hours? Take off your shoes. Padding around in stocking feet (if you’re not phobic) makes you feel like you own the place.

• All my favorite foods can be eaten standing up.

• I’d eat more fresh fruits and vegetables if they had expiration dates attached.

• It Says Something About You But I Don’t Know What: if you put on one sock, then a shoe, then repeat the process on the other foot.

• Could we stop using the phrase “perfect storm” to describe every confluence of variables, regardless of whether they are perfect or stormy?

• I suspect imitation bacon bits are healthier than the real thing.

• Did you prepare the same snacks for watching football as the televised presidential debates? (Explain.)

• When we dream of living in the lap of luxury, it’s less about the luxury than the lap. (Does our nearly erotic fantasy of opulence come from the lap dance of luxury?)

• I have no shred of evidence for this, but I’ll bet Ken Kesey named his psychedelic bus “Furthur” at least partly because some well-meaning copy editor mistakenly changed “further” in a Kesey manuscript to “farther,” missing the deeper metaphorical meaning the correct word was meant to convey. (The second “u” may have been intended as an exclamation of his point.)

• I’m sorry, but I’ve given up on loose tea.

• Truth is more reliably found in stories than statistics.

• I’d like to believe the Chinese will never match Americans for ingenuity and inventiveness. But then I unpack something made in China and can’t help marveling at the origami-like complexity of the packing material.

• No matter how much weather one place gets, there’s still enough to go around.

• People who rely on mass transit have a different relationship with time.

• The measure of a person is not in what we acquire, but what we disburse; not what we consume, but what we produce.

• Our fathers taught us to ride our first bike by pretending to steady us for longer than he did. Did he teach us self-sufficiency and mistrust at the same moment?

• I haven’t spilled anything in months. I really should be less careful.

• People who park near a store’s exit know something the rest of us do not. When was the last time you left a store with a lighter load than when you entered?

• Be honest. When was the last time you snapped your fingers?

• Gravity is life’s first hard lesson. Brevity is its last.


Don Kahle ( writes a column each Friday for The Register-Guard and blogs.