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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nothing to Look at Here

Maybe you've met someone who pronounces 'CosCo' correctly. Nobody I've heard say it does. That's because it has a 't' in there too. We're in too much of a hurry to say that extra sound. By bypassing the 't', we save ourselves 0.3 seconds each time, which over a lifetime can add up to something like 43 minutes. You get your deposit back at the end. If you're falling off a cliff, then you get a bonus 43 minutes, where I guess you'd just be floating in the air like Wile E. Coyote does just before he plunges.

Speaking of Wile, he must've had stock in the ACME company, because despite all their defective products, he not only never returned any of them, but he kept ordering more. I watched probably 3000 episodes of that show when I was a kid. The lure was not in seeing an entertaining show, but in hoping that I might someday see him catch the Roadrunner — just once. And when I say 3000 episodes, I realize they didn't shoot that many, but I watched that many of the same episodes over and over, because you never know if an episode might turn out differently the 27th time you see it. I envisioned Roadrunner just one time stumbling over a pebble and wiping out on that endless desert asphalt. You see, at least Trix had some closure with the silly rabbit, as did Lucky Charms with the leprechaun. They couldn't run forever. They were marked sketches, and it was only a matter of time that they would get caught. And they had kids chasing them instead of a coyote with an IQ of -6.

I'm theorizing that the only reason the Roadrunner got away with it was that he must've been on the protected species list. They get to run into paintings of tunnels, and suddenly they're real tunnels. The first time I saw Roadrunner get away with these type of things, I thought it was clever, though after a while I started resenting him and wanting him to get caught. But then Wile E. turned out to be no help whatsoever. He was a respectable planner, but his execution stunk like four-day old meat. He could never properly calibrate his rockets, his bombs didn't go off when they were supposed to, the Roadrunner didn't fall for any of his gags, and to top it off, the laws of gravity changed conditions just to work against him. Perhaps to you, the Roadrunner instead was the protagonist in the show. I just couldn't root for him myself, because he was a little too arrogant for my tastes. He was the quintessential yuppie cartoon character — no personality at all, always in a hurry going around in his Ferrari. Just once, if the coyote could have smacked him, it would've been worth it.

I understand ESPN is reportedly considering starting a new Brett Favre channel — not to commemorate the quarterback’s storied career, but rather to cover his monumental decision on which team he’ll join this season, or if he'll (gasp!) retire. With a whole station devoted to the quarterback, the regular ESPN won’t need to cut away for the latest Favre scoop every fifteen minutes, and we won’t have to worry about missing watching his plane land, and will be able to keep up on what he eats for each meal. Tune in for the new “All-Favre All the Time” channel. Talk about milking a story for all it's worth. This one went dry two weeks ago, and they're still going to the barn.

It seems the hallowed parking spot is one of the most valued commodities around in our society. People with college degrees will take three more laps around a parking lot just to try to get a few feet closer to the store. Those truly dedicated drivers will spend five extra minutes of driving in order to save themselves 30 seconds of walking time. Or you might see them camping behind someone who’s about ready to leave, where they’re practically salivating at the prospect of taking over a fresh space that has proximity to their shopping destination of choice. They should make this into a pay-per-view sport, to raise revenue for the deprived souls who have to park way out in the boondocks. Sometimes I get the impression that parking close to a store is the main reason some people go shopping. This may be the result of a primitive territorial instinct. I suppose if we capture a prime parking space, it means we have conquered the foe. "I am king of this parking spot, and it is my domain for the next, oh, two to three hours."

Dentists have got to be some of the most persistent people on earth. They'll have their receptionists call you on your cell at 7:00 in the morning out of the blue, just to see if you wouldn't reconsider getting that cleaning. I'd say they're a little more aggressive than regular doctors. Regular doctors let their patients eat double cheeseburgers and donuts for every meal with their prescription. And if you don't visit a doctor for eight years, they understand. But the dentist will get lonely and wonder that you don't like him anymore. They're not happy that you've gone without pain for so long. And then when you get to the dentist, they downplay the effect of everything. "OK, this is going to sting a little..." More like "This is going to wake up your adnoids and send you into orbit with an apoplectic frenzy," but they never say that. No, you won't hear "This is going to hurt like crazy." They advertise it as "a little prick" or "a little burn" or a little something else. If they pretend it's little, then maybe you'll believe it. "Well, that was a little one, so at least I'm glad I didn't get a big one. A big one might have knocked my entire face off." The "little" warnings are actually code for "I'm apologizing in advance for playing the xylophone with your nerve endings. Brace yourself while you're still coherent... And run for cover!" When the scriptures talk about weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, you realize they're talking about going to the dentist, right? I used to agonize over going, but since I started using the laughing gas (nitrous oxide), it tends to mask the pain for me, and I just think to myself, "Man, that would really hurt if I could feel it."

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