Aug 17, 2022

16 New Conspiracy Theories For Late-Summer Insomnia

Warning: Readers who aren’t amused may be questioned at a later date

By Ed Goldman

Since one person’s coincidence is another person’s conspiracy—and because you’re getting entirely too much restful sleep every night—please consider the following paranoiac pleasures:

  1. Why do doctors always recommend Tylenol, which has virtually no effect on my pain, instead of Advil, which never fails me? Are doctors secretly on the payroll of Tylenol?
Edgy Cartoon

Mazel Tov Cocktail

  1. Why did dentists not start warning about (or even mentioning the existence of) plaque and tartar buildup until fluoride had severely reduced cavities?
  2. And why, after an especially brutal cavity-filling session, does my dentist suggest that if I’m in pain later, I should take Tylenol? Has (have?) Johnson & Johnson taken over all the healing arts? 
  3. Why do I simultaneously get flat tires and lose phone reception (preventing my calling Triple-A) when I’m wearing a light-colored suit? Are drycleaners part of a cabal? And when the preceding happens to me, have I been…Martinized?
  4. Why do my clients’ bookkeepers say they’re going to “cut” me a check? Are checks kept in loaves or tied up like ribeye roasts? Is the only tool one can use to extract them from their foundations a handsaw or cleaver? Or is the expression “cut a check” just intended to intimidate me—to make me feel that they’re going to a great deal of effort to pay me (for work I already did)? Is this why they never say, “I’ll pop you out a check” or just “I’ll write you a check”?
  1. Why does my TiVo stop recording a movie a few minutes before it ends? Thank God I already knew all about Rosebud from having watched “Citizen Kane” 37 times (to my credit, over a five-week period). Is my DVR being operated remotely by the late Pauline Kael, who had some issues with the film’s rep for greatness? 
  2. Why does my iPhone run out of juice if I check Facebook more than twice a day? 
  3. More to the point, why do I check Facebook more than twice a day?
  4. Why does the guy next door use his leaf blower just as I’m about to give a talk on Zoom? Is he a disgruntled member of a former audience of mine? I imagine there are lots of those people out there. Or…is this a plot by rake manufacturers to regain market share?
  1. What compels us to rush around in a panic at the airport? Because someone or something has planted the idea in our heads that if we don’t empty our pockets, remove our shoes and fill the plastic storage bins in 15 seconds, the terrorists will win!
  2. Along those lines, why aren’t members of the U.S. Supreme Court arrested on terrorism charges? At the end of June, they armed New Yorkers (the last people in the country I’d provide with loaded weapons, btw) and the very next day sent American women spiraling backward in time by negating Roe v. Wade. In the next few weeks, look for them to encourage year-round firecrackers, speeding in school zones, running with scissors, and ringing doorbells then running away in the middle of the night at assisted-living facilities.
  3. Why do people joke about Joe Biden falling off his bike? When did the former US president do anything physically active unless you count stumbling down a ramp and wrestling the Constitution to its knees?
  4. Why is Facebook calling itself the Metaverse? “Meta” means self-referential. “Verse” is poetry. Does anyone think posting a photo of your dinner last night is akin to being either biographical or lyrical?
Looking for a Great Gift?
  1. Comedian Johnny Carson was secretly a Republican. Is the fact that we now have a Democrat as President the reason we don’t see more of Johnny on late-night TV?
  2. And what about his sidekick, that colorful ex-Marine and sot Ed McMahon? What’s up with that?
  3. Are Pluto and Goofy both dogs? How come one of them just slobbers and drools and the latter gets to talk and wear wooly hats? And since I’ve made this same observation before, has someone taken control of my originality?

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).

Yes, Virginia

A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela

President, Golden Pacific Bank, a Division of SoFi Bank, Inc.

photo by Phoebe Verkouw


Not all those who wander are lost,” said the legendary writer J.R.R. Tolkien.

While I’m sure he wasn’t thinking of vacations, the author of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy was making a point about the value of not staying in one place all the time, whether it pertains to your physical location, mental attitude or spiritual needs.

As hard as I’ve worked my entire career—and as hard as I worked to have a career in the first place—I’ve always believed in the necessity of taking breaks.

Vacations remind us of our values and can often re-commit us to our work. They can represent an entire escape, of course, but I think for most of us their real function is providing a reprieve, or respite, from the sometimes-overwhelming reality of our daily routines.

Vacations definitely are not a rejection of our work or even of our co-workers—because they allow us to return to our jobs refreshed and renewed.

For example, in my life I’ve vacationed in places such as Chile, Italy, France, Singapore, and Brazil. And this summer I was able to steal away to Minto, North Dakota.

Whether your time away is to attend a family event, go sightseeing or do reconnaissance on a place you think you’d like to retire to someday, it’s still a change of scenery—-and, if you don’t travel with relatives, a change of faces and voices.

But what you’re definitely not is “lost.” In fact, a vacation is a great chance to be found. I think Tolkien might agree.

sponsored content