Ten Things I Just Don't Understand

Okay, well, there are a LOT of things I don't understand. In fact, I spend much of the time lost, confused and drooling. But some things cross my mind more often than others. And I thought I'd share just a few of those today...

1.) Short-sleeved pullover sweaters.
Why do we need sweaters with short sleeves? You want to be warm, but only a little warm.... Your torso gets chilly, but your arms drip with sweat.... If this is the case, you don't need a sweater, my friend. You need to see your favorite health care professional and discuss this with them. And please do it-- do it NOW.

2.) People who call and ask, "Guess where I am?"
I saw this most recently at a Greek food festival, and given that there was loud bouzouki music playing, the recipient of the call had only two logical responses...

One being "the Greek festival," and the other being "trapped inside Monty Python's Cheese Shop Sketch."

And why do friends and family call us, but make us guess? Usually it's because they're somewhere they think we'd want to be, but aren't. "Guess where I am? I'm calling you from beside the pool!"

My parents "guess-where'd" me once to tell me they were in Disney World, which I love. Nobody ever "guess-where's" and tells you they're being audited by the IRS, or just broke something in Aisle 3 of Wal-Mart.

And to think these are the people who supposedly like us.

3.) One shoe on the side of the road.
We've all seen it. You're driving and there it is... one shoe just sitting there on the berm of the highway. What situation leads to this? If it falls out of someone's bag, how come the second shoe never, ever falls with it? Or other items? Where is the second shoe?

4.) How many Land Before Time cartoons will be made before a meteor impact?
I think they're up to at least 20 or 30 of these movies now. How long do these dinosaurs get to continue on before Cera and the gang finally become oil? Just askin'. Anyway, even as they're being pumped from the earth's crust and on their way to being refined, I'm sure they'll SING about it.

5.) Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants."
Okay, so I'm going literary here, but we read this several times in college, where it was held up as one of the finest short stories ever. Me, I feel bad even saying this, but I just never could get into it. There was so much that seemed so vague and open to interpretation that I always felt I was being conned. That this was some great practical joke devised intentionally by ol' Ernie to keep us guessing.

Also, I made the mistake of telling one professor, in a moment of utter frustration and inappropriate candor, that if I wanted to read something that was minimalist and mainly dialogue, I would read one of the Gregory MacDonald "Fletch" novels...

Um... I didn't get an 'A' in that class.

6.) Medications where the side effects are worse than the original ailment.
I know people have talked about this before. But really-- you have allergies. So you take a medication with a side-effect of "brain hemorrhages" and "blister-like pustules." PLUS, the possibility of nosebleed, sinus congestion and sore throat.

Er... If you had allergies, you probably already had the nosebleed, sinus congestion and a sore throat.

And NOW, WITH the medicine, you might also look like a zombie from House of the Dead 4. So, you know, that's something to look forward to, right?

7.) When Exactly Word Verifications Ceased to Look Like the Alphabet.
You know what I'm talking about-- those letters some websites require you to enter to prove that you're not a robot?

Well, is it me, or are those letters getting more and more distorted? It's like trying to read newsprint on Silly Putty in a Funhouse Mirror. Why is this happening? Are internet robots Hooked on Phonics now? Have they been hanging on Elmo's every word? Or do I just need a new contact lens prescription?

8.) When I turn the car alarm on and my car honks, I honk back at it.
I know, I am a total freak. But when I turn my car alarm on, and it says, "Hoot!" more often than not, I 'hoot' in response. What is wrong with me? Why do I do that? The only thing I can think is it's genetic. My mother used to make sounds at trains as they went by. She also mooed at cows. It makes no sense, but there ya go. I blame Mom.

9.) Sit-down restaurants where you have to order before you sit-down. Fuddrucker's is one of these. Hoss's and Ponderosa, too. They're not quite fast-food restaurants, and they have a menu up on the wall with every different dish in the world on it. But you have to decide what you want in 30 seconds in a narrow hallway, with a line of large, ravenous, better-prepared diners barreling down on you.

I don't work well in these situations. I become overcome by Acute Menu Panic. I'm not familiar with the selections, I don't know what I want, and even if I do know what I want, I forget it the moment I no longer can see the billboard-sized menu looming over my head. How has everybody else but me found their favorite meal there if they never spent more than 30 seconds looking at the menu? It's too much pressure!

10.) When Actor Ed Norton Suddenly Became Edward Norton
I'm almost certain, when he first started acting, Edward Norton was referred to as "Ed." Because I recall thinking at the time, "Wasn't that the name of the character on The Honeymooners?" Does anyone else remember this?

Because somewhere along the way, I believe he became "Edward." "Edward," a serious actor and sometimes bad-guy. Edward Norton, the Incredible Hulk. When did this happen? Surely he didn't get well into his career and realize he was named for a popular 50s sitcom character. This couldn't have been a SURPRISE to him. But alas.

So where will he be in another 5, 10, 20 years? I'm thinking Edward J. Bartholomew Norton III-- Esquire, and he'll be doing ads for reverse mortgages or pharmaceuticals. But that's just a guess.

Well, gotta go. I'm off to run some errands and hoot at my car.

I hope you all had great Memorial Day and are enjoying the week so far.

I hear Edward J. Bartholomew Norton III, Esq. eats at Fuddruckers while wearing short sleeved sweaters and surfing Humor-blogs on his PDA.


Alice said...

Seriously - what is the deal with the one shoe thing unless you have a stoopid friend who throws shoes out of cars?!

We'll need video of you hooting at your car. ; )

Jenn Thorson said...

Alice- so you've seen the one-shoe thing, too? I mean, even if your shoes go bad and you get new ones and dump the old ones, you buy TWO NEW SHOES...

One shoe is completely unaccounted for.

I wonder if it's with the missing sock from the drier...

(And no, you will get no video on me, there, missy!) :)

Greg said...

One *could* get the impression that one was tied to a chair and forced to watch the "Land Before Time" movies this weekend, couldn't one?

I think the shoe thing is entirely about arguments or games of catch in the backs of cars and school busses which have gone badly awry.

And yes, I remember when he was just "Ed Norton", too. Maybe that was before he had an agent.

What are you doing going to these stand-up sitdown restaurants? Ack...

Greg said...

Oh, and when talking to trains, did your Mom utilize the steam or diesel dialect? I think that's adorable...but I would imagine its difficult to have a conversation with you if there are car alarms going off anywhere nearby...

Jenn Thorson said...

Greg- Well, I DID see a preview in front of something I was Netflixing and it seemed like they were in the double-digits with dinos... It was mind-boggling.

Your shoe theory is the best answer so far I've heard for this. One would think YOU might have witnessed this firsthand... :)

AH! A second person to remember "Ed" Norton. GOOD! I was beginning to think I had entirely made that up. Now all we have to do is wait for the "Bartholomew J., Esquire" to be tacked on. :)

And PS- I only say "hoot" once when I put my alarm on. I am trying to untrain myself, but it's hard. :)

Meghna said...

You should've understood atleast one of these - 'guess, where I am?'

I use this technique purposefully to make my friends jealous saying I'm very much enjoying my ride at an amusement park or a cinema hall, even though I might have been calling just from my own bedroom out of my boredom. And use to roar with laughter imagining their fate!

Don't you think it is free fun and why can't you use it too? :)))

Unknown said...

Ah, you're a sly one, dear Meghna!... Calling them from your room and pretending you're on an amusement park ride. And here I thought you used all that creativity of yours for Good and not Orneriness. :)

Anonymous said...

I too have wondered about the side effect thing. I even called the nurse after getting one of those prescriptions for a cough I couldn't get rid of. Guess what one of the side effects was? Why coughing, sore throat and nose bleeds. Now how does this make my cough better????!!!!! Her answer to my query, then quit taking it. Gee thanks lady, and now I'm right back where I started. Some people's children!

Unknown said...

The prescription to cure your cough caused... COUGHING??!

I guess we should just be glad it didn't make, say, your fingers fall off or somethin'. :)

Da Old Man said...

My favorite side effect, and I'm not making this up, is anal leakage. Now, how ill do you have to be to take a drug with that as a side effect?

And as far as the word verification, I once had one that looked like Pi, an ankh, and Kokopelli. Or it could have been Steve Martin dancing to King Tut. Either way, it's not on MY keyboard.

Unknown said...

Da Old Man-
Oh, how right you are--honestly, what do you have to be suffering from that's so much worse it makes THOSE side effects acceptable... yikes.

Heh- (scanning my keyboard for Eye of Horus now.... )

Unknown said...

Onedia- Oh yeah-- and the longevity of those shoes is amazing. If you were wearing them every day, they wouldn't last the way those seem to out in the elements year after year.

Grampa Ken said...

Enjoyable post! There are shoes on wires just up the street since we moved here 5 years ago.

Lots of things I don't understand about advertising logic:

The more you spend the more you save.
Will erase years from your face.
Cell Phone $0
Up To 75% OFF
High Speed Internet $24.95/month. For 3 months
Did you just read these words? APPROVED! No Worry Mortgages
FOR SALE 2br + den $1,392 month.
Affordable Luxury.
Get Super Rich!
Program all TVs, DVs. Easy to use!
EVERYTHING 1/2 PRICE. Some exceptions apply.

Unknown said...

Grampa Ken- Five years of shoe dangling? Good golly! It must be a record.

And you're quite right-- marketing lingo is riddled with contradictions. We have a local furniture store that is always having limited time only sales that are just renewed (or, their words, "extended") to the next week. :)

Greg said...

Perhaps you only think I said I remembered it. Perhaps you are making up the whole "Ed" Norton thing after all. Still...nice day for it.

Sam Sotiropoulos said...

Rerading points:

2. I am glad to hear you were at a Greek food festival, the "guess where I am call aside", did you enjoy yourself?

3. The one shoe by the side of the road: I had a weekly one-hour FM Greek-Canadian English language talk radio program back in the late '90s with a segment called "Skepsis Corner" (i.e. "thinking corner") and in one episode I asked the question: "Why is there always only one boot by the side of the road?" I cited the fact that on my way to the radio station I had seena solitary boot by the side of the highway and had wondered where its mates was... Well, the phone lines started lighting up and people were calling into tell me that they had seen the boot as well, and one even reported that the boot had moved further down from where i had reported seeing it! LOL It was all good fun. :) Your post brought that memory back for me, thanks!

6. Ah, the medicated modern world and Big Pharma... please don't get me going on this one, I may have a thrombosis!

7. I find the new word verification schemas quite annoying too... but what can we do besides complain? :)

Unknown said...

Greg- Clearly you're a fellow who knows where his towel is. :)

Sam- Re: 2-- The Greek food festival was indeed marvelous. I go every year. Stuffed grape leaves are addictive.

3-- So you've proven that the whole "shoe/boot by the side of the road" phenomena spans continents! It's universal! :)

7- The complaining helps. A little. :)

Anonymous said...

Isn't it sad when you have to decide if you'd rather feel like you are dying or actually die from the side effects. Somehow that just doesn't seem right!

Unknown said...

Chyna- yup, just like we were talking about the allergy medications the other day!

MYM said...

LOL! OMG - that's all so true! The short sleeve sweater, you're so right!

And don't get me started on that damn word verification - I think it hates me.

Static said...

Oh god do I know what you mean!
Where the hell does that one shoe on the side of the road come from? Were they hanging their foot out the window and it just got sucked off by the wind?
And I can't stand captcha verification, it drives me nuts. Who the hell is supposed to be able to read some of them? A dyslexic? A professional codebreaker?

You know what I don't understand also?
The placebo effect.
Say you induce pain by nailing your foot to the floor and someone gives you saline solution instead of morphine to kill the pain. Does it really work?! How about pulling the nail out of my foot first, you ass! Then JUST give me the good stuff dammit.

Anonymous said...

Let me explain the short sleeve sweater thing. It's simple, I hate long sleeves! If I'm wearing a long sleeved anything, I push the sleeves up, so why not just buy short in the first place?

I don't understand the whole thing with side effects either. I've been on a course of antibiotics. Woke up the second morning feeling like I'd eaten my metal table lamp. When I read all the fine print that came with the pills it said something about leaving a "slight metallic taste" in the mouth. What is their definition of "slight?"

Unknown said...

Drowsey- word verification hates EVERYBODY, it's not just you. Although you might be able to see better if you took that plastic doll off of your face. :)

Static- Heya, how's it going? There are theories above that the shoe is flung from a schoolbus as part of "keep away" which sounds pretty good.

And the placebo effect-- yeah, I know it's supposed to work for a while but, well, I'd really just rather not delude myself from the get-go. :)

Anonymous- Thanks for your take from the pro-short sleeved sweater perspective. If life were really arm-intensive, I can see where that might be a more sensible option. :) Appreciate your sharing!

And the metallic taste-- how is that an acceptable side effect? At least with antibiotics you're not ON them forever. If you had to live with that freshly tasted metal lamp in your mouth for the rest of your life, it'd be hell.

Rebecca said...

Ok, that was seriously the funniest post I've read in a long time!

I totally agree about the medications and sit-down restaurants.

Here's something I just don't understand coming from a recent experience:

When people flash their headlights at you, I just flash them right back. How am I supposed to know what they're trying to tell me? Can I read minds or something?

Thanks for several good laughs!


Jenn Thorson said...

Hi, Rebecca!- Hey, thanks!

Hm- headlight flashing-- yes indeedy. Is the flash for "Please go ahead,"? "Your hubcap just fell off and rolled down the hill" ? "Your engine is on fire"? You are annoying me, get out of my way?"

Knowing depends entirely on logistics plus psychic powers.

Anonymous said...

I have seen loads of those lonely shoes, boots etc laying by the side of rhe road.
I too have never seen the other one. Just plan weird.

Oh did you know your a "Hoot"

PS Read a few of your posts now and adding you to my blogroll. Why not I am on a roll LOL