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THOMPSON: Things that make you go: 'Really?'

April 09, 2018 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


There are plenty of things in life I don’t understand…even at my advanced age. Little things that don’t really count for much in life can annoy you. And even if some don’t bother me all that much…I just wonder why? Why, for example, is every book you see a New York Times Bestseller?

Some things are long-time personal peeves. People that don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re”…and those who say, “I could care less,” even though they mean “I couldn’t care less,” are like fingernails across a chalkboard. Are they still using chalkboards in school?

I guess everyone’s entitled to an occasional rant. So, this column is my rant…even if my tongue is pressing my cheek a bit. Here are some things…in no certain order…that simply make me scratch my head and ask, “Really?”

I always wonder if men who have wallets with chains have a history of losing wallets?

Travel is daunting - even in your own country - but If you go to the Philippines, you will meet what the entire world calls Filipino people, except most who live there call themselves...Pilipino.

You probably don’t ever wash your belt…but it’s the first thing you touch when you’re leaving a bathroom stall…before you wash your hands. Maybe my dad’s old Sansabelt slacks made more sense than I thought. Geez…I just checked on the Internet…and they still make them.

There’s a host of things that bother me as I stroll grocery aisles. Every cat I’ve ever owned would chase mice like, well, like they were mice…but you don’t see mouse-flavoured cat food? They don’t make bird-flavoured cat food either. But you’ll find plenty of fish-flavoured cat food on the shelves! And, why do some beverages contain artificial lemon flavour…but a leading brand of dishwashing soap has real lemons?

Glue doesn’t stick to the inside of a bottle or tube…but get some of that Crazy Glue on your fingers and you’ll end up in an emergency room waiting on a surgeon. Never try to snap your glued fingers while waiting on a doctor…they’ll just think you’re nuts and make you wait for a psychiatrist. Do not ask me how I know this.

Just once…one time…I’d like to see a psychic win a lottery. C’mon…psychics can find a kidnapped kid, but can’t divine six numbers?

And why does the label on the cooking surface of your new Teflon-coated frying pan telling you no food will ever stick…require a two-ounce bottle of Goo Gone to remove it?

And if my Smart Phone is so smart…why does it insist on changing words I text to something that doesn’t make sense?

I wonder when I see a car straddling the lines on a public parking lot…how do you manage to get in and out of your garage?

Easy-to-open packaging that you can’t open drives me nuts…especially the see-through, heat-sealed blister packs and clamshells on expensive items that manufacturers and retailers believe are shoplifting targets…like that Sonicare electric toothbrush that took me ten minutes to open. However, you can give one of these ridiculous packages to someone you don’t like and imagine their frustration from afar…admittedly a somewhat perverse way of getting even.

Last year, we spent thousands of dollars on a high-tech television and state-of-the-art sound equipment…with a glorious all-in-one remote. But, the installer left another different remote control that does something else. I’m afraid to even ask.

The first grocery shopping cart was invented in 1937…and yet today…every time I go to  Safeway or Save-On-Foods my shopping cart rolls like a Stone Age cart. It took decades to put rubber or plastic bumpers to keep runaway carts in parking lots from scratching vehicles. Please, if you’re a design-engineer…give us a wheel that works on shopping carts!

And while we’re back in the grocery store…if I wanted to be a cashier I’d get a paid job rather than use the self-service checkout and suffer the abuse of an electronic voice telling me my bagged items aren’t in the right place.

What picnic lover ever asked for cheap plastic cutlery that snaps even if you use it with the deft of a skilled surgeon? And who besides me can never read the CAPTCHA words that websites use to determine whether you’re a real person or a robot?

I now defer to my grandchildren - ages 4, 7 and 12 - on all matters involving complications with any of the following…I-Phones, I-Pads, computers, DVRs, all devices with batteries, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. I’m still smarter than our one-year-old…but that will soon change.

Conspiracy theorists - you know, people who believe the earth is really flat or Sandy Hook never happened or that man never walked on the moon - really drive me nuts. They should all be rounded up and forced to live in Wyoming…which should be fenced and guarded. If there are too many people, use Montana.

Some small things have bothered me for most of my life. As a kid watching Superman on television in 1956, I always wondered why people couldn’t recognize Clark Kent as the Man of Steel.  All he did was take off his glasses.

– Don Thompson, an American awaiting Canadian citizenship, lives in Vernon and in Florida. In a career that spans more than 40 years, Don has been a working journalist, a speechwriter and the CEO of an advertising and public relations firm. A passionate and compassionate man, he loves the written word as much as fine dinners with great wines. His essays are a blend of news reporting and opinion.

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