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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.
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