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May 20, 2024

Quibbles & Bits: What-Have-We-Learned Edition

Welcome to the (ill-conceived) notions department

By Ed Goldman

I was relieved to read that Boeing, whose motto should be BYOD (Bring Your Own Door) aborted its first planned space flight. To paraphrase the tagline for an old horror/sci-fi movie: “In space no one can hear you scream when a tire falls off your spaceship.”

  • Does the 2024 Presidential Race really come down to choosing between a guy who could go to jail (a gated community) or a guy who lives in assisted living (frequently called The White House)?
Edgy Cartoon

Portal sin

  • Is it possible that some of our market research is skewed by any single individual who wants to be referred to as a “they?” Maybe our crime numbers haven’t really doubled.
  • Should colleges offer courses called “How to Know Just One Goddamn Thing About Why You’re Protesting”?
  • No, “taking people to court” doesn’t mean offering them a lift.
  • No, chocolate is not harvested in Florida despite its being the site of Coco Beach.
  • Why hasn’t anyone made a modern horror movie about a fiendish audiologist? Suggested title: “Eerie Canal.” (Extended director’s-cut version: “15 Years on the Eerie Canal.”)
  • How about a film about an Oscar-winning actress who flees fame and fortune? My screenplay for “Runaway Dunaway” is now accepting bids.
  • Am I the only one who thinks Sansabelt would be a cool name for a rap performer whose pants keep falling down?
  • The most unreliable form of execution should be called “Breaking Noose.”
  • Since California leads the nation in homelessness, I’m sure my new acronym will now get traction: NIMFYE (not in my front yard either).
  • Cable-TV Quiz: What station has almost as many commercials as the Home Shopping Network? Answer: American Movie Classics (AMC). I tried watching “Monsieur Spade” a few weeks ago but found that following its labyrinthine plot was rendered impossible due to the ads interrupting the film every eight minutes. Or was it the other way around?
  • Why do local-TV field reporters say this to female co-anchors in the studio: “Back to you, guys”?
  • Why are “short” sales and legal “briefs” anything but?
  • When someone wants me to send them a message and writes “IM Me,” isn’t that a tad redundant (not to say, slightly egotistical)? It’s a little like responding to an ancient lamb who asks why you love her by saying “Because yore ewe.”
  • Why do so many contractors juxtapose the prepositions in the dictum “Under-promise and over-deliver”?
  • When people tell me “See you in a few” I’m often disappointed to learn that the missing word was neither “moments” nor “minutes.” Yet sometimes, once they arrive, find I should have been gratified by it.
  • Why do motion pictures and TV shows subject us to lengthy credits at their conclusion? None of the people in my orbit—not my mechanic, physician, dentist, accountant, supermarket cashier, restaurant chef or barista—ends our time together by regaling me with all of the people who made it possible.
  • Why do so many weirdos use all three of their names? Lee Harvey Oswald. James Earl Ray. John Wilkes Booth. Mark David Chapman. John Wayne Gacy. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
  • Why do we still refer to secretly passing along a memo as sending a “bcc?” Even in their heyday, a “blind carbon copy” made no sense (who was blind, the carbon paper?). Why don’t we start telling it like it is. Instead of “cc” for “carbon copy” why don’t we say we’re including in the correspondence a L.I.P. (less-important person) and, in utter confidence, a S.O.R. (secret other recipient)? Naturally, the angrier the missive, the likelier it’ll cause someone to receive a S.O.R. L.I.P.  

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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).