Twisted Perceptions

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By: Wayne Brown


Too often these days, I find myself wondering “why” about far too many things. It is as if someone showed up with the “stupid stick” and beat up a lot of folks with it before absconding with their intelligence. Maybe it’s just me that has been whipped with the stick and everyone else is just fine. You know, like they say down at the mental asylum…insanity is simply a perspective. I can offer numerous examples of things that cause me to stop and go “why?” in our world. Let me know if they bother you at all.

First off, if you are familiar with the chain of restaurants called “The Cracker Barrel”, then you may already be familiar with my first point. How many times do you have to read the choices on the breakfast menu to figure out what the difference is between them? They all seem to be the same thing to me or so similar I tend to call them the same thing yet they are different or at so says the management at Cracker Barrel. I don’t have that problem with the breakfast menu at other places but I am always baffled there at the Cracker Barrel. Given that confusion, please never ask me what my favorite breakfast is at the Cracker Barrel…I don’t know and I don’t know why I don’t know.

Then there’s that Ace Hardware store that most every town has at least one somewhere. You know it is the one they sing that jingle about, “Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man”. Oh yeah? Would you mind pointing him out to me. When I am in there, he must go on break so I end up solving all my issues myself or just giving up and going home. I can’t figure out how the guy knows that I am coming but he always seems to have a pending sense of when I will arrive. If it wasn’t for the cashier, I’d figure this was a self-service hardware store. So why do they sing that jingle and create that impression? Now I go to the hardware store with the expectation of seeing that “helpful hardware man” and he is nowhere to be found. “Ace is the place without a hardware man” would be a better jingle.

And what about that International House of Pancakes and their antics? Where can a man who can’t interpret the Cracker Barrel menu go for a good testosterone-laced breakfast? It is certainly not the local IHOP. What real man is going to look the little waitress in the eye and order that “Rooty-Tooty Fresh n’ Fruity” on the breakfast menu which IHOP seems to favor? I can see the waitresses in the back now snickering as they whisper about me having the balls to order the Rooty-Tooty. It looks like a place that would have something that frilly on the menu would have an alternative dish like “Testosterone Pancakes” for the real hungry man. Every time I think about ordering that “Rooty Tooty”, I start wondering how good I would look in a tutu. That ain’t good.

Why is it that you can get two of anything advertised on television for just $19.95? Of course you have to pay separate shipping and handling but after all, the announcer says that it’s a “$40 dollar value” so it is still a deal. I don’t know where he gets that $40 business because if one is only worth $19.95, then why is a second one worth $20.05 anyway? Somebody’s using voodoo math here. Of course as soon as you call in to get the two-for-one-deal, the person on the phone wants to know if you want to buy the “Super-Charger Kit” which looks similar to Aunt Maude’s butter churn and turns your “as seen on television” products into something that has yet to be heard of on television all for the additional charge of $39.95 with separate shipping and handling of course. Next thing you know that “two items for $19.95 has turned into three items for $200 dollars” which is really a “$100 dollar value” but you just go snookered because you couldn’t leave well enough alone. You probably already have a drawer full of this stuff anyway but your curiosity and fear that your neighbor might get one drove you to it. I know, I’ve been there. I suffered a long time with it until the therapy kicked in.

Why is it that politicians lie about everything they want to get done and then manage to get it done just before the public finds out what a lousy deal the whole thing really is. Then, some other lying politician comes along and promises to get rid of that something if you will just elect him and lies about that too. It seems that anything can be accomplished by a politician when it comes to getting something enacted becomes the impossible part of getting something that sucks repealed. There is always something that prevents that reality from ever taking place. Why not be a politician who tells the truth? Run on a platform of “If I am elected, I promise to do nothing”? That would remove all the fears people might have that you would do something they didn’t expect you to do. If they knew you were going to do nothing, they could rest easy at night knowing the world would be the same when they woke up. There’s comfort in that premise.

Why do I get the impression that if flat-screen televisions keep getting bigger and bigger and cheaper and cheaper, that there is a good chance that America could see the re-emergence of the drive-in picture show in their hometowns? I mean after all, a doorway is only so tall and a wall is only so wide. Once that big screen gets too big for the house, it’ll have to go in the backyard. If it is out there, why not make some money with it and sell tickets and popcorn? In reality, it will never see the backyard as the "redneck" in us all will kick in and there it will be in the front yard in place of what use to be that giant satellite dish. Actually, I think the secret behind this flat screen craze is driven by some fake picture signals in the Wal-Mart store. Those televisions in there always have a better looking picture than mine at home. So I buy one of their televisions; take it home and the picture sucks just as bad as it did on the old television…go back to Wal-Mart…theirs looks great; buy another television. Somebody in a backroom at Wal-Mart is laughing…I can hear ‘em.

Who the hell is “Flo” anyway? Who died and made her the guru of insurance? And where is that store that she works in with all the insurance packaged up like there is something really neat inside the box? Is that what “insurance heaven” would look like if you could find it? And that professor at Farmer’s University…no wonder our rates are so high with all the gadgets he buys. These things start to make you think that you are “in good hands with Allstate” but they keep talking about that stuff called “pandemonium”, “hysteria", and the like. They got some guy who refers to himself as “mayhem” and makes me wonder why they keep bringing that stuff up. I asked my agent about “mayhem” and he said that I should be careful because the summer time temperatures were too high for hog-killing and that the ham could easily be spoiled in that heat. That’s not something I would expect an insurance man to know.

How is it that there are so many companies advertising on the radio to help relieve your IRS problems if you owe $10,000 or more? All of them seem to be made up of former IRS Agents who have left that employ and gone into this “consulting business”. I am not sure how it works but these folks seem to have some mystical ability over the IRS to get what is owed in taxes reduced to some ridiculous figure like 10 cents on the dollar. And, of course, they get paid by a percentage of what they save. Now if the owing party can afford the 10 cents on the dollar and the fee for this group, why wouldn’t the IRS just offer the person involved that deal and be rid of these folks? I can’t figure it out unless everyone who ever worked for the IRS has naked pictures of the director hidden out somewhere. It’s no wonder that the government never seems to have enough money to spend with the IRS making such outrageous deals. It’s no wonder that we are in debt. If these folks who owe taxes are truly deadbeats, why not put a few of them in jail for a while instead of making a deal so they can just go back out with a clean slate and do the same thing over again. At what point does one become a criminal?

Why is it that we seem to understand all the technical aspects of weather but cannot seem to predict what it will do? What is the missing link? Are there some formulas which were left out of the equation? I think so! The weatherman comes on television and says, “mightGee folks, we think it might start snowing about nine o’clock tonight but we are not really sure of that. Our various computer models confirm snowfall but things could always take a turn in another direction at any moment. Now, if that is the case, it likely will not snow but in all probability, it will if the weather follows the profile of our models." Since when does weather follow anyone’s profile? This is like having all the ingredients present on the kitchen counter for baking a cake but no idea as to how it might fit together…let’s consult the radar, shall we?

Why is it folks actually tune in to these sports shows on television and watch interviews with the various figures? One thing is for sure, the reason cannot be that it is something they are doing to come to some deep realization. Take an interview with a NASCAR driver who has just won the big race as an example. The announcer says, “Congratulations Joe, you won the day. What strategy did you employ to get into the winner’s circle? To which Joe replies, “Well, we just went out there to win. I told the boys in the pits that we were gonna win today, you know, and, and we did. The car was working and I was working, we were all just working and it seemed like it worked out real fine for us. I’d like to say a big howdy to my mama!” That’s about how it goes…you know as much at the start of the interview as you do at the end of it yet some guys watching it will turn to their buddy and and go, “Man can you believe it? I never would have thought they would have tried that!” Whatever is going on there that is of an intellectual nature must have been taught on a day that I was sick and stayed home from school.

The other thing that I don’t get is why we need a driver’s license to drive. The police say that driving is a privilege and not a right therefore you must be licensed to do it. Okay, I’ll buy that logic but then when it comes time to go down to the polls and vote, which is a right if you are a legal citizen of the country, you don’t need anything. Hell, in some states you can be dead and still show up to vote. If someone suggests checking your identity there are others who will scream that it is discrimination and a deterrent to voting. Then right after you vote, you head for the airport and they want to see your photo id before you can board the plane. Does the term “inconsistent” come to mind when you consider all this? I know it sure does when I think about it. You don’t think someone is trying to fool us do ya? When someone tries to explain it to me, I am quick to pull out that Festus Hagen line from “Gunsmoke”, “Well golly-lee Bill, Doc…you’re a-talkin’ to me like my foot’s asleep.”

This has probably gone on long enough. I think you get my drift and probably have some of your own wonderings that gnaw at you like rats gettin’ at crib corn. All I can say is that you have got to give it your best effort to figure it out and make some sense of it all. The problem is when it all starts making sense you begin to wonder about the things that use to make sense that don’t make no sense at all now…kind of like down at the mental asylum where insanity is simply a perspective.


©Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.


12/16/2011


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Comments 24 comments

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Wayne, this is hilarious and quite true. Thank you for bringing laughter to my day. Here is mine: "Times are getting bad. Secure your future! BUY GOLD."

If everything really does fall apart, no one will be able to buy gold. They will want food instead of something they cannot feed their kids. "Yeah, my kid just starved to death but all is good because I have my gold. WhooHoo."


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Hypenbird...I thought of that one too...drives me a bit daffy. Gold only has value when nothing is of greater value. The panic associated with buying goal assumes the money system collapses and everything else remains the same. Like you my thoughts are what good is gold unless you can trade it for food and shelter. It works on a lot of people though! WB


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

You picked the perfect picture to go along with this very funny hub. I understand your frustration with all of the all of the above. Some days you have to scratch your head and walk away :)


Melissa McClain profile image

Melissa McClain 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Funny hub. I've wondered the same thing about the Cracker Barrel menu and I think they just like to make their menu look huge by reusing the same words over and over and hoping you won't pick up on it.

As to voting....there should be "voting test" of some sort before you're able to get your voter registration card. it wouldn't have to be challenging or difficult but it would at least ensure that those who show up to vote at least know why they're there and what they're voting on.

Great hub, voted up!


proudmamma profile image

proudmamma 4 years ago

The title caught my eye. When I read 'stupid stick', you had me. This sounded like something my oldest son would say. I love to read your hubs. You can always seem to make me laugh. Great hub and as usual you summed it superbly and managed to capture people's exact sentiments on each.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Uh-huh, that's right. I get so confused trying to figure out why common sense isn't common. Are people really that stupid or are they pretending? Why do they make more money than I do, if I'm the one with common sense and they got hit with the stupid stick?

They make $250 thousand but can't figure out how to tell if their child is old enough to stay home alone.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Thanks for all the smiles you've given me in here, Wayne. I don't know your restaurants, businesses and et cetera, but we certainly have the same kind of twisted perceptions down here. Such as going first thing in the morning to a shop to buy an item that is according to an advertisement the special of the day, and then you hear there is 'no more of them' in stock. While you are the very first costumer?

Voted up and amusing.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Wayne - One of two things is happening here. Either you've got too much time on your hands or you're experiencing too many sleepless nights tossing, turning and fretting about all of this. Which is it? LMAO

Great Hub and funny as hell. Ever tried Denny's?

The Frog


Freya Cesare profile image

Freya Cesare 4 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

Why this Hub listed in creative writing? I know it need to be creative to be able to collecting huge numbers of grumbles like this but the genre failed me. It might fitted well in scrapbooking as a suggestion about what people should added inside their scrapbook, next to their own pictures which they took in the exact location of the source of grumble. Not that I thought they should sneaking inside Mr. President's room or any Senator they could found, but it will be way better than saying; "Wayne and Charlie at the zoo!" That's so boring! Nobody want to know the picture of cowboy and his friend checking on gorilla's butt, unless if they start bring flower and chocolate for the hairy lady and fight over her with passion. That'll worth the whole hub and more, if they able to get better look at drunken Charlie singing "from this moment" for the hairy lady while Wayne write her a poem.

How's my first grumble sound like? Is it good enough? Lol. Here's the number 2.

Why writing long paragraph to count sheeps? Why don't stick with real number like usual? Don't you know how boring they are had to standing in line listening your outstanding mind being spoken out. I can imagined how frustrated they are everytime they wiggling their butts as a preparation to jump at the end of every grumble, had to be hold because you still not yet finished a single one. And who was thought several sheeps had to be sacrificed in the name of good and funny hub of grumbling while they already desperate enough to be free from duty of entertaining too much thinking cowboy? Please be more considering about their well being or they will refuse to come ever again everytimes you need to count before sleeping. They have their right too you know!

whoops! It was troublesome! I think I better let the job stay at the pro only. Thank you for the laugh. ^^


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

What it may all boil down to, Wayne, is that we are too easily persuaded by advertising and the media to blindly follow like sheep rather than use our God-given minds. All the issues you mentioned bother me, too, but what bothers me the most is an apathetic, uncaring populace who seem to have little interest in learning what is behind the issues they hear and read about. God save the U.S.A.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Just Ask Susan...I think you proposal makes perfect sense...thanks much! WB

@Melissa McClain...I think that is very much the case in term of voting. The situation in America is far to dire to have people voting who have no clue as to why they are voting except they are getting gifts from someone to show up. The process was never designed to accomodate a "swayed voter". WB

@proudmama...Thank you! You speak so kindly of my abilities and I certain appreciate the encouragement. I am so glad that I can write in a manner that makes folks want to read it. WB

@Becky Katz...That's it Becky, we are dumbing down our society to the dumbest element. Its no wonder that we are not raising very many mental giants these days. WB

@MartieCoetser...Isn't it amazing how similar the world is all over? Good luck with it all! LOL! WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@The Frog Prince...Yes, I have tried Denny's and they have something there that scared me as well although I cannot recall the name at the moment. I probably do have too much time on my hands and feel a need to resolve all of this...perhaps retirement is not the best consideration at this point! LOL! Thanks, Jim!WB

@Freya Cesare...Unfortunately I have wet my pants laughing at your rant. Wow...did I hit a nerve or what? You are really a "sheep herder" I think, Freya. Seriously, thanks much for the great reply...so glad you liked it...you did like it, didn't you? WB

@drbj...Amen, Doc. I suppose America will never really be free of ignorance no matter what is spent on education. WB


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA

Hilarious!! Our Ace store practically mauls you as soon as you hit the door. It didn't matter if you were just browsing for new items or needed something, take your pick of employee. What has happened to the common sense in this era? I miss the insurance commercial where a guy looks at the hammer, looks at the cord, pulls on the long cord and the hammer drops on him.

I had a great laugh over this one! Job well done!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@tipoague...Great! Glad you had fun with it...much of it is the actual truth based on my life story. Thanks much. WB


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

bup, bup, bup.... dang me! I thought this was 'complainers' customer service desk, when I finally figured out you were tickling our funny bone with some humor out there. My husband always threatens to run for president on the, "Do Nothing" and "No Taxes - No Services" platform. Strange when I go to Ace, a very friendly guy is there to help me fix whatever broken widget I have brought in. In fact, he goes to the back and uses the sander, saw, and other electronic tools to fix it, or points out where I can get the needed bolt or air-filter.

Eating out? Sorry. I don't do that, so I couldn't sympathize on the restaurants, but I still laughed.

Are you watching a whole lot of television and not busily reading and writing hubs? Where do you find the time? Now, do you really think those Nascar racers will tell you the secret to how they 'won' the race? Duh... I don't think so. It's like the formula for coca-cola.

You know Wayne, I do believe a good number of folks actually drive without a license. It may not be legal, but could it be true? Voting? I just wish more people would take advantage of that right of theirs, with or without their driver's license.

I'm now replaying the video. Dang me. They oughta take a rope and hang me..... whistle out... Debby


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Debby Bruck...I stay busy writing quite a bit. Luckily many things come to me quickly and I don't fret too much over them. One's first offering usually turns out for the best with some minor tweaks. Every now and then, I have to rant a bit even if it is tongue in cheek. I like to write in a lot of different formats...humor being one of them. Thanks much for the great comments! WB


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Dear Wayne. Your hubs, all well written, are lengthy to say the least. I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed the Sheeple image. I'm laughing along with you. Blessings, Debby


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

This is very funny and sad at the same time. My question is this. Where did common sense go and how can we find it? In fact, what's so common about something that seems to be so rare? I need to take a nap. Up and awesome and funny, too.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@breakfastpop...It seems the smarter we get, the dumber we are in some ways. The common thing about common sense is so few seem to have it these days. They don't recognize common sense or socialism when they are confronted with either. Thanks, Poppy! WB


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 4 years ago

Ok, I must admit . . . since I read this several days ago, I have been saying "Duh" and thinking of other twisted comments . . . like -- Contents are hot -- in the Fried Apple Pie at Jack-in-the-Box and Do not use in bath -- with a hair dryer.

I found these others: Please keep out of children. -- On a butcher knife.

"Do not recharge, put in backwards, or use." -- On a battery.

"Warning: Do not use on eyes." -- In the manual for a heated seat cushion.

"Do not look into laser with remaining eye." -- On a laser pointer.

"Do not use for drying pets." -- In the manual for a microwave oven.

"Keep out of reach of children and teenagers." -- On a can of air freshener.

"Remember, objects in the mirror are actually behind you." -- On a motorcycle helmet-mounted rear-view mirror.

"Warning: Riders of personal watercraft may suffer injury due to the forceful injection of water into body cavities either by falling into the water or while mounting the craft." -- In the manual for a jetski.

"Warning: Do not climb inside this bag and zip it up. Doing so will cause injury and death." -- A label inside a protective bag (for fragile objects), which measures 15cm by 15cm by 12cm.

"Do not use as ear plugs." -- On a package of silly putty.

"Please store in the cold section of the refrigerator." -- On a bag of fresh grapes in Australia.

"Warning: knives are sharp!" -- On the packaging of a sharpening stone.

"Not for weight control." -- On a pack of Breath Savers.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Truckstop Sally...Don't forget the warning "Do Not Eat Preparation H on a cracker!" LOL! You can bet most of that stuff exists because a real incident prompted it as stupid as it might be. Thanks much! WB


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Don't forget the woman who took the lid off of her McDonalds coffee, stuck it between her legs while driving and then won a HUGE settlement when she spilled it, getting burned. DUH


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

Yes but why doesn't McDonald's have a warning on their cup that says, "Do Not Hold Between Your Thighs!"? LOL! WB


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

It does say that it is very hot.

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