Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Things That Never Cease To Surprise Me

Things that never cease to surprise me, by Captain Monkeypants:

1.How many cars seem not to come with turn signals these days. I find it quite amazing how often I’m driving and the driver in front of me decides to turn and I feel silly for not being able to telepathically read his/her mind. If I could read their minds, I’d know that they were either about to cut me off by crossing into my lane on the interstate, they were going to cut me off in order to turn left in front of me or they were simply just going to…turn. Perhaps I got lucky when I got my car- it has this nifty device that you use to signal when you’re going to turn. I believe it’s called an indicator. Perhaps car manufacturers should look into putting them into new cars again. They’re quite useful!

2. How there are times when you’re out and about and you simply seem invisible to the people around you. They walk into you as though you’re not there. They pull out of an aisle with their cart, nailing you with it and they walk off without even apologizing. You can be behind someone who’s going through the door and they slam it in your face. It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does, it seems to be a day of it constantly happening. Perhaps we do all have ‘invisible days’ where only the people we’re with know we’re actually there.

3. Oranges. Sometimes you have an orange, clementine, mandarin, etc. and it’s the most succulent, juicy piece of citrusy goodness that you’ve put in your mouth in a long while. Then, a little later, you decide it was so good you’re going to eat another fruit. The orange-fruit of your choice came in the exact same package, possible off the same tree and it turns out to be the driest, most tasteless orange-fruit you’ve had in ages.

4. Pencils. I love to write with pencils. I try to have pencils for every season. I even have my own electric sharpener because no one else in my office shares my fondness for pencils. However, no matter how even I try to sharpen my pencils, they always end up having an extra bit of wood at the end that interferes with being able to write properly. If you pick it off, the pencil tip gets dull. If you re-sharpen it, the graphite breaks and you have to start all over again. I’ve tried those plastic pencils that kids use where they have replaceable tips that are stored inside the pencil but those break easily. I don’t like mechanical pencils either. I like my Christmas pencils. I just wish they’d sharpen better.

5. Drivers who appear not to be able to read. Now, I know there is a literacy problem everywhere. Reading can be quite tricky. However, you’d think that if someone was going to be allowed to pass a driving test, they’d have to be able to read. I mean, how do they take the test otherwise? Yet, when you’re driving, the simplest words seem to elude them. Words like “STOP” and “YIELD”. Even numbers and letters like 55 MPH seem to confuse them.

6.Christmas songs. I’m not talking about the nice, classic carols. I’m talking about the annoying ones that are played everywhere. Who on earth thought “Santa Baby” would be a song people actually wanted to hear? Sure, I guess it’s a Marilyn Monroe sort of song but, well, alas, she’s dead and anyone else singing it is just annoying. Also, I’m sure “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” is quite charming when you’re, say, five or six but as an adult? Sorry…not for me. By the way, I actually just typed “Reindoor” which you’ll be pleased to know gave me a rather strange image of a door with antlers. Speaking of reindoors/reindeer, let’s talk about Rudolph. I’ve never been a fan- I’ve always disliked the message of that song: Pick on the poor, disfigured outcast until you realize he has value and then use him regularly. Perhaps if the song included an apology to poor Rudolph for all the snubbing and teasing he had to endure?

7. How much guilt I feel whenever I don’t say “yes, I want to donate a dollar to X charity when cashing out at a checkout.” I get why I’m being asked. It’s an easy way to make a tiny difference in the world without having to do very much. I actually get the same feeling of guilt when I pass by one of the many, many Salvation Army ringers that seem to have multiplied in the past few years. It’s not that I don’t want to donate. I do want to help those less fortunate than me as much as I want to provide a $1 towards helping homeless pets or giving the little local girl $2 for towards the leukemia foundation or I want to help St. Jude’s Hospital and so on….it’s just that while yes, I have a job and yes, I can spare some pocket change, it starts to add up and you simply can’t do it every time you to the store. My problem is that I’m very softhearted. It explains why hearing that Sarah McLaughlin song play while showing pictures of sad, abandoned dogs and cats makes me want to weep each time I see/hear the commercial. It’s just that...I don’t want to feel bad for saying ‘no’ and, unfortunately, sometimes I have to say…no.

8. Selfish parents. Sure, I get that you want to see “Breaking Dawn.” I mean, you’ve probably read the books, enjoyed a bit of a crush on Edward and have been waiting for the movie for months but, lady, your kid is SIX YEARS OLD! I’m sure you’ve got her excited about the movie ‘cause if mommy loves it, so will little Joanie and little Joanie thinks she wants to see it. However, don’t you think little Joanie is a wee bit too young to watch a vampire impregnate his new wife and have her baby delivered in a rather gruesome sick fashion? And maybe a werewolf falling in love with a baby is a wee bit…adult for a kid? Just ‘cause you want to see the movie, lady, doesn’t mean it’s ok to bring your kid to it. Sure, it’s only a PG-13 but the kid is SIX. (Thanks to Miss P. for help on that one but I’ve seen it/heard about it so it still doesn’t cease to amaze me.)

9. Why Justin Bieber has armies of girls/woman screaming over him. I simply just don’t get it. Even if I was fourteen, I still don’t think I’d get it. He looks like Mary Stuart Masterson in “Some Kind of Wonderful” half the time.

10. How time in the evening flies by but when you’re at work, it drags on by as though every minute is actually three minutes. I think it’s a trick of the universe that time spent at work IS actually longer than time spent doing something fun.

11. Midwestern weather. Tonight, I went to my garden and picked some fresh parsley and thyme. Both were in great shape, ready for my mushroom soup. Yet, while I picked them, it was snowing. Seriously. There's something weird about picking fresh summer herbs while it is snowing. I'm not complaining though, just musing about the irony of summer vs. winter in a study of herbs.

Ok, that’s it for now. As always, I try to keep it light. Feel free to add your own comments regarding what doesn’t cease to amaze you below. I’d be curious to see how mine differ.

Happy Wednesday!

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