Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Someone's Giving Me the Bird

I don’t know if it’s a sign or what. Maybe it’s merely that my mind is unstable.

At my gym, there are two TV sets for patrons to view while exercising. They always are tuned to one of the all-news channels. I rarely pay attention to them, but occasionally I will notice something on the screen when I am facing that direction. Yesterday, my eye was caught by something in what I figured out was a commercial for a red sports car. They had it in front of red lights (so it looked "extra red"), on dark, wet streets, in front of flames, etc. What I first noticed, though, was the car driving in front of what looked like a giant Tweety Bird. I can’t figure out what that has to do with a car commercial, and indeed that’s why I watched the rest of it, just to figure out what product they were selling.

Today, I was filling my cup at the water fountain at work and thought I saw a Big Bird doll in the staff’s break room. I looked again, more closely, and realized it was merely a yellow bag of bread. The bag was wide at the open end, constricted by the twist-tie, and then full of bread at the other end, so it resembled Big Bird’s large head, skinny neck, and large body.

Tell me the truth, Doc. Am I losing my mind, or am I just a bird brain?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Have a Nice Day

I don’t remember where I saw the sign "Lleguele" (with an accent over the first e). I think it was a business, because I started wondering if it meant "Come in" or "Come again". The word is a contraction of the singular, formal, imperative form of the Spanish verb "llegar", meaning "to arrive", and the word form "le", indicating the action is directed "to you/him/her" -- literally "arrive to you". I asked a coworker today what it means, and he said, "Go for it." That meaning is even more idiomatic than mine. (Maybe it wasn’t a business after all.) Of course, English has its own idioms.

While I lived in Alabama, it never ceased to amuse me when someone would say, "Come see us," as I left the barbershop, grocery store, restaurant, etc. I always wanted to ask them, "What do you think I just did?" Of course, they meant, "Come see us again."

Increasing in common usage is, "Have a good one," instead of, "Have a nice day." I can’t help but wonder what "one" they mean. One of the employees at my usual gas station once told me, "You have a good one." I felt like replying, "Thanks. I’m not interested, but I’m sure yours is pretty nice, too."

Co-asst. mgr. has some amusing phrases. "I’d bet you a dollar to a donut," was one he used today. I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds like he’s shelling out more for a dozen than I would. He also often tells people that he is "busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest". I know what that one means, and I say "ditto".

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I Like Traffic Lights

When I was little, I thought Mr. Rogers was cool because he had a traffic light in his house. Of course, I know now that I was looking at only the set of a TV program. Plus, when you ponder it, it probably was barely noticeable under all of the lighting. Have you ever seen a signal when someone is replacing a bulb or the lens? If not, consider how bright it has to be to be visible in broad daylight, for long distances. That’s a heck of a nightlight to have in your living room!

I like living in a part of the country where it’s warm enough to stand outside in early October and not even wonder if I just might want to take a jacket.

I like living in such a big country. We are blessed with wonderfully varied topography, climate, natural resources, soils.... I could go on. I have been to many states (I’d have to refer to my master map to see how many, but I think about 3/4 of them). I have seen much of the country from highways. Imagine how much more there is that I didn’t see. Imagine how much there is in your own state, which you haven’t visited yet or even know about. I grew up in southern New Jersey, near Philadelphia. On a good day, with light traffic (probably impossible nowadays), we could cross the bridge in under half an hour. In approximately two hours, we could reach New York City. In about three: Washington, D.C. Can you believe that it takes me three hours just to make it from Las Cruces to Albuquerque? I wonder how many eastern states could fit within New Mexico’s borders.

I like railroad crossing gates. They are simple yet extremely useful. Not to mention they’re all stripedy and ding-dingy. Actually, I like almost everything related to trains. I miss cabooses (cabeese?). One of my dreams is to have a restored caboose in my living room. (Of course, I’d have to live someplace with a large living room.)

I like breezy days.

I like food -- too much.

I like watching the sunrise over the mountains. I first experienced it in Alamogordo nearly twenty years ago. Now I can watch every weekend from my very own veranda. It never ceases to amaze me.

I like living in a state with towns named Fruitland, Zuzax, and Truth or Consequences.

I like watching the moonrise over the mountains, too.

I like paper clips. Who on earth realized that he could twist a strand of wire around itself, so that you can use just one item to hold papers together, rather than two? My mind isn’t that practical. I can’t think of who dreamed up the stapler, either.