When a new ache or pain hits, I tend to say, “It’s hard getting old.” But I have been old for quite a while. Even so, I don’t say, “It’s hard being old.”

 

The sports announcers say that a team has not been “mathematically eliminated.” Are teams ever non-mathematically eliminated?

 

A machine on the men’s room wall in a theater had two dispensing slots. The left one said, “Napkin: Free.” The right one said, “Tampon: Free.” I tried them. Neither side worked.

 

At the urinals of a successful Broadway play, a man to my right spoke. It takes me a beat to realize that he was not talking to himself. His ‘free’ hand was holding a phone to his ear. I heard him say, “I auditioned yesterday.” I looked over at an ordinary looking young man.  He continues, “It wasn’t a big part.” Pause. “It was a bartender.” Pause. “He is basically the best friend of the main character.” Pause. “I will talk to you later, Mom.”

 

A lot of women on the cable news channels are attractive. I don’t assume that they are airheads just because they are good looking. Attractive people can be knowledgeable. However, when I see a less-than-attractive woman presenting news, I do assume that she really knows her stuff.

 

“But he knew that she would not accept criticism from him; she was an American woman, and an American woman always knew best.” Paul Bowles, The Spider’s House.

 

As I was waiting for a prescription to be filled, a twenty-something woman made some purchases and asked Rose behind the counter, “Do you sell toilet brushes?” Rose said that the store did not. The young woman continued, “Do you know where I might buy one around here?” Rose shook her head. I then suggested a hardware store a few blocks away. The woman thanked me and said, “My parents are coming tomorrow. . . . They have high standards.”

 

“But as Ram Das once said, if you think you’re enlightened, go spend a weekend with your parents.” Jill Stein, West of Eden: An American Place.

 

Two thoughts for the coming year:

“A practical man is a man who practices the errors of his                                    forefathers.” Benjamin Disraeli

 

“Nothing is so useless as a general maxim.” Thomas Babington                           Macaulay

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