Fripperies R Us

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

• How does an asterisk with fine print make any sense on a billboard? Heading east on 126, there’s an oversized billboard touting a hospital’s emergency room wait times. You’d need to exit the highway and climb a ladder to read it.

• What if a sport team refused to manufacture or market fan jerseys in sizes XXL and larger? Would a few fans who w skip the nachos or join a health club to be able to clothe their allegiance to their team?

• The world awaits the invention of a utensil suited for a salad with croutons. (Or at least I do.)

• Try to convince me that Hawaiian Pizza wasn’t originally a mistake. We’re supposed to believe that Canadian bacon and pineapple chunks were just waiting to get together? (If it’s truly Hawaiian, you can bet the “meat” started as Spam.)

• Too bad Hawaii claimed that pizza. Canada is the planet’s second-largest autonomous land mass, and yet it has no cuisine to call its own. Unless you count ice.

• If I don’t greet the sun in the morning, I fear I won’t get my money’s worth from the day.

• Am I the only one who can never make chips and dips come out even? I’m forever buying more of one to use up what’s left of the other.

• With all that marketing prowess, I’m amazed Nike hasn’t designed our football helmets to prevent the chin strap from touching the team logo.

• I want to know who first constructed this sentence: “You should be ashamed of yourself.” There’s a certain elegance to its absurdities. It’s redundant, oxymoronic, and abdicating, all at once. You may as well say, “Go flog yourself (because I can’t be bothered.)”

• Too bad we no longer can tell the difference between what’s normal and what’s common.

• Football has surpassed every other spectator sport because it fits its schedule into a rhythm of life that already exists, scheduling its games every seven days (give or take). Baseball and basketball games happen too often; golf and tennis too seldom.

• Airline pilots have been diagnosed with “automation addiction.” Many of them have forgotten how to fly an airplane. We’re all headed in that direction. If you don’t believe me, what’s your favorite neighbor’s telephone number? You don’t know because it’s “in your phone,” right? Same thing.

• If the PAC-12 expands to include Oklahoma State University, is anyone concerned that the league will have two OSUs?

• Here’s how our football players can better compete with the behemoths in the SEC. Vary the size of the lettering on our uniforms. Smaller numbers on linebackers will make our players look larger.

• Steve Jobs will be remembered for more than the gadgets Apple designed. He single-handedly cured a culture of focus groups. He understood that people don’t know what they want until they see it.

• I know that boneless chicken thighs shouldn’t make me nervous, but they do.

• Beauty answers its own question.

• Leverage is good, but cleverage is better.

• I’m afraid to throw out keys, even when I don’t know of any locks they fit.

• Whoever dreamed up the term “like new” sure earned their keep that day.

• I refuse to wash my convertible when there’s no chance of rain, because I’d have to put the top up. After long stretches of sunny days, my car looks terrible. If carbon dating was done with dust, my car could measure when rain last was predicted.

• Every quagmire ends with ire.

• Eugene is so laid back that even most of our criminals lack ambition. I often don’t lock my car when it’s raining, because criminals stay inside when the weather’s unpleasant. Some are drawn to a life of crime because they get to make their own hours.

• I’m pro-freedom-of-speech, but anti-freedom-of-amplification. You should be able to say whatever you want to people within earshot, but electronic “broadcasting” was not anticipated by our Constitution’s framers.

• Why don’t meteorologists study meteors? It seems like they’re getting away with something.

• How come people following their bliss drive so slowly? Are they afraid of catching up to their bliss? If they fear their bliss hates tailgaters, I suggest they get a better bliss (or a blisser bet.)


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