Monday snippets

Once again, I’ve come up short in demonstrating the simplest expression of basic humanity.  

We had another coworker whose relative died. I don’t know what’s going around right now, but this is like the third time in a month that a sympathy card is being passed around the office. All these loved ones dying, it’s starting to get on my nerves.  

By the time the card made it to me, just about everyone else had composed touching if mostly illegible sentiments for the assistant manager whose cousin had passed. Rather than come up with a genuine emotion on my own, I thus had the opportunity to summarize and synthesize the feelings that everyone else had about the sudden loss of this man (or woman) we had never met.  

Unfortunately, I preferred a message that didn’t bring poor God into it, as I’m sure He’s sick of everyone turning to Him only in times of need. Others had written things like “may God shed His love” and “let the Lord strengthen you” and “He will see you through,” and there were multiple references to keeping the grieving family “in our prayers.” I wanted to go the secular route instead, so I wrote “all our thoughts are with you,” since thoughts are kind of like prayers except you don’t have to close your eyes to think them and you don’t have to say “please” so much.  

It seemed such an inadequate response, in addition to being poorly worded. The “all” was meant to refer to all employees, not all their thoughts. Some thoughts had to be held in reserve in case work appeared that required intellectual effort instead of following the instructions on a checklist.  

I hope the bereaved will be comforted by my note, if he even happens to notice it.  

+++  

While researching my post on the Constitution earlier this week, I came across the effort by some anti-government advocates to have the tax code rewritten so that it would be no longer than the length of our founding charter.  

I understand the desire for more simplicity in such complex regulations, but the Constitution is a pretty extensive document, and always subject to amendments that could make it up to 25 or 30 words longer. If we really want to be concise, might I suggest these reformers look to the 31-word Pledge of Allegiance instead.  

I’ll put this first draft out there as a suggestion, just so they have something to work with:  

Don’t take my money unless it’s going to be used for something I need. If we need cash for a war, have a yard sale. I’ll contribute some old Beanie Babies.  

This is the kind of innovative thinking we need to reinvent the federal government into something we can all relate to better.  

+++  

The creation myth that’s most widely followed in the Western World is the story of Adam and Eve. In this tale, God creates the world and the plants and the animals, then decides there’s something missing. He wants something in His own image, something completely different from the birds and rabbits that frolicked in the Garden of Eden.  

The originators of this story lived in the ancient Middle East, where wildlife was rather limited. It was an easy leap of faith for them to see how different most animals were from humans, and assume that upright-walking, tool-using primates with opposing thumbs were unique among the Almighty’s creations.  

Imagine what they’d say if they’d gone to all the trouble of creating this elaborate story — with the dramatics of “Let there by light!” and the impressive six-day production schedule — then happened to come across a monkey.  

+++  

When the PGA golf tour stopped in Charlotte this weekend for the Quail Hollow tournament, one of the sponsors created a service project that would allow it to “give back to the community.” Wells Fargo’s “Reading Above Par” program brought pros Jason Bohn and J.J. Henry to an inner-city school, where the golfers read a book to first- and second-graders.  

To put it mildly, the youngsters were underwhelmed with the star power of the event. Unimpressed by Bohn’s come-from-behind two-stroke victory in the Zurich Classic only a week ago, the kids wiggled and squirmed throughout his reading of “Wolf!” Henry, much farther down on the FedEx points list, did even worse.  

The program continued later in the week with appearances by Miss America and a former pro football player. Hopefully no one involved will realize that reading  above par will be reading below a preferred level.  

+++  

There’s a process in my office that goes by the acronym NOK. No one remembers what it stands for anymore, only that to “NOK’ something is to count the product as finished and ready for delivery to the customer.  

Not everybody is trained on how to NOK, so there comes to be occasions when managers have to find someone to do it. “Do we have any NOK-ers available?” they ask and, incredibly, nobody giggles.  

But last week, even the most hardened of us had to chuckle when a supervisor wanted to know if every piece that was finished had been released.  

“Are we all NOK-ed up?” he asked.  

+++  

That young mother who’s a victim of throat cancer after only three years of smoking and now talks through an artificial larynx in the popular anti-smoking TV ad.  

She’s a lot less frightening ever since autotune became such a big part of popular music.  

+++ 

The newest ad campaign from Canada Dry informs viewers with much fanfare that their ginger ale contains ginger. 

We’ve reached a sad state of affairs when the suppliers of our food have to brag that their products contain the components they’re named for. 

What’s next? Walmart touting the fact that their stores are enclosed within walls? Starbucks proudly proclaiming that their coffee has been coughed into? 

+++  

Believe it or not, this is a photograph of a food. Lying on a cream cheese-slathered tortilla, it's a cheeseburger molded into the shape of a hotdog as an ill-conceived marketing ploy by a company that has a lot to learn about the impact that shape and color have on our buying decisions.

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2 Responses to “Monday snippets”

  1. fakename2 Says:

    I could do a whole rant about thoughts and prayers and dead cousins. But…that food item. It looks to me like a tortilla topped with an over-easy egg, topped with…I don’t even care to say.

  2. wrjones Says:

    To save mental effort and anguish I suggest circling an earlier comment, drawing an arrow to it and signing “Me Too”.

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