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Overdue Fripperies

May 29th, 2020 by dk

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

I couldn’t find my last collection of these, which should have occurred at the end of January. For the first time in decades, I forgot to write them. So these may be further flung than usual.

• People have stopped using their voices. I think I understand why. When the TV’s on, why interrupt people who are more articulate and handsome?

• Does only Chicago have expressway lanes that reverse direction midday to accommodate rush hour traffic in both directions? I wonder why.

• Overeating is more fun than eating.

• A friend asked me to go to a protest in his place. I was a stand-in at a sit-in.

• We overvalue excellence and efficiency. We undervalue inclusion and authenticity.

• Conditional apologies drain confessional power. I’m not sorry if you never thought of that. I’m sorry THAT you never thought of that.

• Why hasn’t anyone designed earbuds that double as earrings?

• When you lead a double life, reaching 50 should be considered remarkable.• Reading fiction builds empathy.

• Courage first requires admitting how long things take.

• If five guys walk into a Five Guys, do they get a secret discount on their burgers? They should.

• Make a recipe immediately after it intrigues you, or you probably never will.

• Would you rather be discovered or left alone?

• I’d enjoy evenings more if they didn’t come so late in the day.

• The insufferable know everything except that they are.

• The stock market has become President Trump’s oracle.

• How often is excellence merely conformity?

• A friend asked, “Do you miss precedented times, when we were always in charted territory?”

• Thanks, Maureen Dowd, for this one: “isolationship.”

• During difficult times, the people will always raise their vices.

• Let bygones be bygones, but not while they’re still bygoing.

• I only wish people could clarify whether their mask expresses fear or grace — if it’s on their face primarily for the sake of themselves or for others.

• Self-sufficiency was never more than half true.

• COVID-19 has been a gut check. If you can’t see your gut, you might not need to check.

• Textbook is redundant.

• April had the second weirdest Easter ever. The only one weirder was when that dude refused to shelter-in-place, leaving his tomb.

• Why is the verb “toss” so frequently used when describing a court’s dismissal of a case?

• The actor who played Eddie Haskell died this month. His “Leave It To Beaver” character put a new, sharp edge on the “generation gap.”

• “A state cannot use safety as a pretext for inhibiting market growth.” Paul Roberti, chief counsel of the Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, actually said that.

• You go to the kitchen not with the pasta you want. You go with the pasta you have.

• Please be authentic with (not identical to) me.

• An occasional “slipper day” can be nice. “Slipper months” — not so much.

• My friend Taft made this observation: “The population of some states is just too dense to avoid COVID-19, especially the sparsely populated ones.”

• If President Trump offered to sell off the postal service, who would outbid Amazon’s Jeff Bezos?

• You know anxiety is in the air when you worry that your croutons may be getting stale.

• Are you getting tired of looking at bookcases behind talking heads, showing us how smart they are?

• How long before we start seeing yard sales for people selling their furniture to buy food?

• Watching a movie, set in San Francisco, I wondered why no tech billionaires except Marc Benioff have built prominent skyscrapers. Every wide shot of the city’s skyline reminded me of his company, Salesforce.

• The greater good is both.

• Would things be better or worse if the invading virus had infected every computer chip instead, shutting down all machine communications?

• Our systems force shock or stasis. All defenses align against incremental change.

• Introverts were social distancing before social distancing was cool.

• How do I reprogram my smoke alarm to replace its “Fire!” alert with “Mmm. Fried food! Maybe a little overdone … but still, yum!”

• We’ve been testing fate for years, so why are we surprised when there’s suddenly a shortage of testing kits?

• America to Coronavirus: “Take my life and liberty, but not my pursuit of happiness.”

• With infections and unemployment skyrocketing, government should consider banning skyrockets.

• Do people fret anymore? (Maybe that’s the problem.)

• How many trips of a lifetime is one allowed in a lifetime? (Asking for a friend)

• I don’t remember the question, but the answer is thicker socks.

• Americans don’t question authority. How many pillows and mattresses in your house still have those annoying “Do Not Remove” tags on them? (Retailers can’t remove them, but you can.)

• Popcorn is a snack that leaves no crumbs.

• Two activities we prefer to describe in the passive voice: haircuts and marriages. Make of this what you will.

• Once chocolate cake was invented, how did any other desserts survive?

• Whenever it’s walls versus barbarians, you know which side will win.

• How much middle of a toothpick is absolutely necessary?

Don Kahle ( writes a column each Friday for The Register-Guard and blogs at He’s been writing fifth Friday fripperies since 1993.

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