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Jun 25, 2021

Not-So-Cosmic Questions for Late June, Possibly Starry Night

Is there a FAQ section in heaven? 

By Ed Goldman

Forget Waldo and wondering where the hell he is. If you want to find him so badly, upgrade your GPS. Or tell him to.

Am I grumpy today? You bet. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The fact that it was in a furniture showroom—and law enforcement was called in, rather needlessly, in my opinion—left me jangly. So as I calm down, I demand to know the following:

1. Where are my reading glasses? The prescription ones, not the Rite-Aid cheaters which are scattered everywhere around my home and possibly multiply at night.

2. The way to San Jose—especially if I can avoid I-680.

Edgy Cartoon


3. Where my lap goes when I stand up. I realize this is an old joke. But it’s also one of those questions that, to my mind, have never been fully answered. Other examples are, “Why is it whenever I wear a white suit I end up getting a flat tire?” and “What, exactly, is Ryan Seacrest’s talent (and is it as enormous as Dick Clark’s was?)”

4. Where will the extended-family movie titles end? This summer brings us (and I’m not kidding) “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” with Ryan Reynolds and the always reliable Samuel L. Jackson. Will this be followed by “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’s Cousin Vinnie” and “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’s Cousin Vinnie Spends A Night in the Museum”?

5. Speaking of summer movies—and seeing that Liam Neeson will be back in “The Ice Road,” this time taking righteous vengeance not on kidnappers but rather on a Canadian mine that had the temerity to cave in—I have to ask, Why don’t producers just title these movies with the actor’s name, since it’s clear that he’s the brand for whom we turn out? Thus, we’d have these films in successive summers:

-“Liam Neeson vs. the X-Men: This Time It’s Personal”;

-“Liam Neeson and Wonder Woman Sign a Pre-Nup”; and

-“Liam Neeson and Wonder Woman Adopt Billy Elliot” (rated PG-13 for scenes of intense pliés, jetés and accent marks).

6. Why do “contents” in a cereal box “settle,” thereby providing me with fewer Weetabix fiber bombs—but not in jars of mayonnaise?

7. Why do I spend so much less time these days worrying what the federal government is up to? (Oh. Wait. I just remembered.)

8. Why do I clean my house from top to bottom the day before my housekeeper comes?

9. Similarly, do I really think my dentist won’t know I didn’t floss since our last appointment except for the day before this one?

10. Why does my doctor’s nurse take my blood pressure the minute I walk into the office—after I’ve driven through rush-hour traffic, inhaled four cups of coffee and run from the parking lot so I won’t be late to find out how well I’m managing my stress?

11. Why does a trip to the movies these days—complete with buying a shipping crate of popcorn and a barrel of Coke—require me to bring along a co-signer and notary public?

12. Why does the delta breeze that cools down Sacramento most summer evenings blow in the opposite direction of my combover, forcing me to walk backwards on romantic twilight gambols?

13. Summer officially began on Sunday, June 20, which was also Father’s Day this year. Why, then, do the news media and we always think of Memorial Day—which was May 31, three weeks before the “official” first day—as the start of the season? Why do we also think of Labor Day, which comes out on September 6 this year, as the beginning of autumn, which actually commences on September 22?

Well, I might as well get used to it. Since I was a kid, Christmas has seemed to start earlier each year—like, the day after Thanksgiving. I’ll ponder that as I sit down and watch the miraculous return of my lap.

(Ed-itor’s Note: If you happen to have read or are about to read the June 14 edition of The Goldman State, you’ll find I’ve corrected a few things in the segment on The Sutter Club. It didn’t start admitting women until the latter part of the 1980s, not in 1976, as I’d indicated. It may take a village to raise a child, but it took a judge to point out my error: my longtime friend, reader and now, ex officio guardian of the truth, the Honorable Brian Van Camp. Thanks to him and to the rest of you I say Mia Farrow (Mea Culpa wasn’t available.)—E.G.)

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Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).