The room got dark. I said, “The sun went behind a cloud.” Why do we say that instead of, “A cloud went in front of the sun”?

If we offer an apple, pear, orange, kumquat, or apricot, we often ask, “Would you like a piece of fruit?” If we are offering a whole apple, pear, orange, kumquat, or apricot, shouldn’t we say, “Would you like a fruit?”

A recent New York Times article wrote “in defense of” the diner class, the open-faced hot turkey sandwich. The writer noted that making the sandwich can be as simple as pouring store-bought gravy over microwave-heated turkey and toasted white bread, with a spoonful of canned cranberry sauce. However, the article went on to present a recipe for roasting turkey thighs and then making your own gravy. The spouse, who has considered the open-faced hot turkey sandwich a rare delicacy since she first had one in a train’s dining car in her childhood, said about the article, “It really needed no defense, you know! White bread and white bread only will do. No toasting required. Canned gravy is just fine. Some of us still have standards.”

When I arrived in New York City years ago, I almost never attended a performance of any kind that received a standing ovation. Now they occur routinely. And, thus, our standards decline.

I remember those years ago when I finally had worn through a place on my jeans. There was a certain pleasure because I had had them for so long and had worn them so hard to produce a threadbare spot. Sometimes I would just keep the hole. Sometimes I would iron on one of those denim patches. (Do they still exist?) Now you can just buy jeans that come with holes. Some people buy intact jeans and cut holes in them. And, thus, our standards decline.

It is amusing to hear the spouse and the daughter discuss whether the spouse is wearing “mom jeans.” (She is.)

As I watched the recent movie about Vincent van Gogh, I wondered whether I would rather live a life with acclaim and ease, but shortly after I die, my shining reputation dims, and I am soon forgotten. Or would I rather live a life of ridicule and privation, but after my death I am recognized as a genuis. What’s your choice?

Perhaps you already knew this, but I just learned that in world-class competitive badminton, the shuttlecocks are made from the left wing of a goose. No, I don’t know why only the left wing.

Why is it that I must remove my shoes and belt in some airports but not in others?

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