Monday thoughts (some in italic)

I can understand being too lazy to read a necessarily large and thorough health care reform bill, or to dim-witted to understand summaries of it. But for opponents of the effort to carry signs reading “NO to health care” — I hope their own personal physicians don’t take them literally.

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The sign at the Arby’s drive-thru reads “We gladly accept bills up to $20.” I believe they’ll also accept larger bills, but won’t be able to use quite as positive an adverb about it. My research reveals that they’ll reluctantly accept fifties, wistfully accept hundreds, skeptically accept two-hundred-dollar bills (good thing, since that denomination doesn’t exist), hypothetically accept $500 bills, impishly accept thousands and ironically accept the rare $5,000 bill. That’s what I like: a multinational corporation with attitude.

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“KSM” is both the federal government’s shorthand name for terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and the name of a power pop all-girl teen rock group from Los Angeles. See if you can tell the difference between the Man …

and the Band…

Lead singer is Shelby Cobra (The Man or The Band?)

Principal architect of the 9/11 attacks (The Man or The Band?)

Waterboarded over 70 times (The Man or The Band?) Remember: answer what actually happened, not what should’ve happened.

Mentored by the Go-Gos (The Man or The Band?)

Opening act for American Idol winner David Archuletta (The Man or The Band?)

Involved in the Bali nightclub bombings (The Man or The Band?) Careful — could be a trick question.

Pleaded guilty to mass murder (The Man or The Band?)

Described by critics as “spunky” and leading examples of “girl-ska-punk”. (The Man or The Band?)

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I always feel that if I’d been just a little gentler flipping the on-switch that the light bulb on the lamp would not have burned out. Is it possible to feel too responsible for your actions in life?

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Fun phrases and their possible definitions from the world of corporate news releases:

“Expansion of our footprint” — We’re starting to put on a little weight.

“We leverage multi-shore outsourcing expertise” — We own see-saws and other playground equipment at beaches around the world.

“We employ a suite of internet-based capabilities” — We have a whole room-full of workers shopping on eBay.

“As an integrated provider of solutions, we drive innovation” — We use both African-American and Caucasian employees to blend dangerous chemicals. Many of them own hybrid cars.

“Customer-facing applications” — We’ve learned to look at our clients.

“A 24-7 360-degree resource” — The football game had to be called in the third quarter when it got too hot.

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I drove up to the ATM at my bank the other day and confronted two separate lines of cars — one row had three vehicles, the other had a single auto from which a man my age (late fifties) had stepped out. He was hunched over, peering into the machine, with a card in his hand and a quizzical look on his face.

My instincts told me to choose the longer line, since those people had remained in their cars and appeared ready to make smooth and quick transactions at their machine. But I thought, no, that’s being prejudicial toward my own kind, and I shouldn’t assume a lack of hair corresponds to a lack of ability to interact with modern technology.

I pulled into the line only to regret it immediately; a woman had now emerged from the passenger seat of the older man’s car and was also looking at the ATM. The older couple was apparently trying to figure out how to apply for a modified home equity loan using a secondary residence as collateral, and couldn’t tell which slot they were to yell their questions into. Meanwhile, the other line proceeded nicely.

The man soon returned to the driver’s seat while the woman began rifling through her purse. When the car’s brake lights came on, I had hope that he was going to drive off without her, allowing me to nudge forward — not actually striking her with my vehicle, but offering a helpful bit of direction on how she should get the hell out of the line. The man pulled about a foot forward, then again climbed out of the car. Apparently, they needed a little more elbow room to transact their business. The man removed his jacket.

He looked pretty handy and I half-expected him to pull out a tool kit to try and force access to his passbook account. Neither of them looked in my direction, which was a good thing, as this was about the time I started shaking my fist. I pulled into reverse, moved across to the now-vacant other lane, and quickly finished my withdrawal.

Stupid people like me!

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The Methodist church near my home advertised the topic of Sunday’s sermon on the sign out front: “Jesus and the Smiley Face.”

At first, I figured the message would be predictable: Jesus recognized that life was difficult, that it wasn’t always easy to do the right thing, that doing things which make you happy may not be in the interest of God’s greater glory. There was no place on Calvary’s Cross for a round yellow head grinning ear to ear.

But then, I realized how the Lord’s message is frequently a nuanced one, and there are many layers of meaning in various commandments. (For example, “love thy neighbor” means not only to care for their souls and their well-being, but also to loan them your leaf blower and occasionally engage in secret sex with their wife). Maybe this is in line with that gospel of prosperity and joy I’ve been hearing about. Maybe Jesus does want us to be happy, and display that glee through a big, sloppy smirk.

Not that I’m going to spend a Sunday in church to find out.

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One Response to “Monday thoughts (some in italic)”

  1. Paul Dixon Says:

    Davis-you’re hilarious. Two things regarding today’s posting: I have also wondered many times if my aggressiveness in switching on a lamp might have contributed to the premature demise of the bulb, but, happily-last night’s passage of the health care reform bill will assure that my hyper-neurosis cannot be held against me as a pre-existing condition.

    Also, your story about the “mature” couple in the ATM line reminds me of the time some years back when I pulled up to the bank drive-through, opened the cannister and discovered that the previous patron thoughtfully had left a little plastic packet of her powdered cocaine behind for me to enjoy. However, propriety demanded that I call the bank guard to take custody of the same, in the hopes that he might try to return the gift to its rightful owner.

    Now there’s a novel marketing approach: instead of a bone-white china dinner plate, the banks could simply give away coke to all their customers…

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