No single theme grabbed my attention this week, so here’s a potpourri of random thoughts.
• I often encounter news reports about some inmate serving a life sentence and going before the parole board for the umpteenth time. Not only is the convict a model prisoner (operating a prison ministry, donating both his kidneys to a stranger, etc.), but someone else has confessed to the crime, the crime took place 18 months before the convict was born and oh, yeah, the alleged murder victim has been running a food truck outside the courthouse for the past five years!
For some baffling reason not revealed by the media, the parole board (made up of a cross-section of conscientious citizens) usually tells the prisoner to try again next year! Say what? Hey, parole board, pardon me for being nosey. No, wait — if I ask you to pardon me, you’ll probably strap me into Old Sparky. Never mind.
• What sort of idiot is observant enough to start clothing-based superstitions? I’m lucky if I remember to wear pants (the world is lucky if I remember to wear pants); but some sports enthusiast is always observing, “Say, I was wearing this very jacket — given to me by What’s-His-Name — the last three times our team won by more than three points but fewer than seven points in a city with a name in the first quarter of the alphabet. Just so I don’t jinx us, I’m not washing it until the season is over.” Why do we waste money on coaches and millionaire players when all we really need is to mesmerize the luck gods with funky smelling apparel?
• Speaking of sartorial splendor, what goober first planted the notion in our ancestors’ heads that wrinkles in fabric look icky? Think of millions of man-hours wasted. (”Look, I can discover a cure for cancer, or I can make these slacks look spiffy. You can’t have it all.”)
• We’re always reading the inspirational story of some wealthy, award-winning author whose first book got rejected by 40 different publishers. How come we never hear it from the perspective of undiscerning editors and publishers? (”I’m glad Random House succeeded with Stephanie’s manuscript. It just wasn’t a good fit for Calcified Press. Unlike my boss’s boot, which is a good fit for my rear end. Ouch!”)
Danny Tyree: can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.