Mysteries, Puzzles, Enigmas
The Two-Minute Football Drill
Money Doesn't Buy Happiness
Remember the old bromide about the husband who says he makes all the big decisions in his family?
He speaks for the family on such issues as war and peace, health care, stability in the Middle East or capital punishment; but he allows his wife to make such small decisions as whether the family should buy a new car or a used one, go on vacation to Hawaii or stay home, remain in town or move to Arizona.
That story came to mind this week as my thoughts turned to the many little things we run into daily that make us want to sit right down and fire off a letter to the editor of our local paper.
A Few Samples
Here's a sampling of such little things that occasionally run through my mind:
* * * It's nice that Connecticut has made available those good-looking Save the Sound license plates, but it gets my dander up when I see those old blue-and-white plates that have faded so much that one can barely read the number from three feet away. It's not hard to imagine someone -- witnessing a bank robber making his escape by car in broad daylight -- shouting to passersby: Get that license plate number! Fat chance!
* * * Why do football teams often play dull, uninspired and generally ineffective offense for three and two-thirds quarters, and only then go into what they like to call their "two-minute drill" and begin to play effective, inspired and interesting football -- often extracting victory from the jaws of defeat? There's no defensible reason for a team not to play its best for all four quarters.
* * * Why is it that so many people regularly buy Lotto tickets in the hope of winning $1 million or so, but virtually go out of their minds when the payoff goes to $40 million or more?
I suppose it's natural for people to want to better their lot in life, and a prize in the neighborhood of $1 million (sounds like a Triple A zone to me) would certainly do that! But those who shun the $1 million payoffs while going bananas over the multi-million payoffs are obviously looking for something more -- something I fear they'll never find.
Money Can't Buy Happiness
A wealthy businessman interviewed by Barbara Walters recently acknowledged that his first $1 million eliminated his concerns about money, but he asserted unequivocally that money doesn't make one happy. The only people who think money buys happiness, he said, are the people who don't have money.
"If this country can send a man to the moon," we still hear every now and then, "then it can afford the measly $2 billion for (my favorite project)!"
I wonder if anyone really believes that cliché. The truth is that, even if we had no space program, the billions of dollars spent on it (or, alternatively, foreign aid) still would not be available for that favorite project.
The truth of the matter is that we don't want to spend money for many of these unfunded programs.
Helping the Homeless
If we really wanted to help the homeless, provide better housing and better jobs for the poor, or provide health care to needy Americans, we would do just that!
If you uncover the solutions to these mysteries in your crystal ball, I'd be delighted to be enlightened!
I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on Dec. 3, 1994. I now write my views on a wide variety of topics on HubPages.