CSotD: Catching up on trivial rants

They Can Talk captures my mood this morning, after a very long trip home from the AAEC Convention.

We were re-enacting a classic tweet:

I was supposed to fly from Columbus, have a one-hour layover in DC, then on to Burlington, but someone had one of those hardshell suitcases, which was apparently just a tad over carry-on size, but they jammed it into the overhead bin anyway.

Except then the bin wouldn’t close. Or open. So we sat on the tarmac, fully boarded, until a repair crew showed up and did more or less what you’d do with the potato masher in the drawer: They poked and prodded until they got it free and I missed my connection, so I spent five hours in Dulles Airport instead of one.

If you want to spend $15 for a cheeseburger and a bottle of water, that’s the place.

So a nap is close to the top of my list today, yes.


Speaking of dogs and cats, Real Life Adventures makes me wonder how much of cat behavior is cat behavior and how much of it is cat-owner behavior.

Fussy eating by cats is one of those standard cartoon themes, but the only cat I’ve had was a re-purposed alley cat our youngest son lured home, and after a year or two of life in the real world, he was just fine with a bowl of Friskies, nor had he forgotten how to augment his diet if he craved variety.

Which also eliminated a second standard cat joke, because he was an excellent mouser but, having grown up on the mean streets, he was not inclined to share and good for him. I hadn’t wanted any gifts anyway.

However, I’ve noticed the fussy-eating thing drifting over into the canine community, and I would denounce it as cultural appropriation but, again, I wouldn’t know if I were denouncing the dogs or their owners.


Except that, as this Free Range (Creators) suggests, dogs simply don’t seem that fussy.

I haven’t kept notes on who is spending megabucks on epicurean dog food for their tender pups to see if they are the same people whose dogs not only roll in dead fish on the riverbank but scarf them down with delight.

But I have my suspicions.


As would Jimmy Craig. I don’t know if They Can Talk but he sure does understand what’s on their minds.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(La Cucaracha)

(Barney & Clyde — WPWG)

At the other end of the gustatory gag spectrum is the idea that people would cook chicken in Nyquil.

Or, more specifically, that they would cook chicken in Nyquil and then eat it. Or, to carry it out further, that people who whinge if the peas are touching the mashed potatoes, and who think broccoli was invented simply to torture them, would chow down on nasty green chicken.

Not that “fun with cough syrup” is a myth, though back in the day, people who did such things were dismissed and derided as “Robitussin freaks.” I had to search for the lyrics for the song on Google, because simply looking for songs called “Codeine” turned up a raft of possibilities, most of them almost as depressing as Buffy’s classic.

Anyway, the Nyquil chicken challenge appears to be a non-phenomenon that wouldn’t have surfaced if the FDA hadn’t announced that people shouldn’t try it.

Which is to say, people only tried it because they were told not to.

Meanwhile, having worked as a reporter for an editor who loved to assign us to go dig up local examples of whatever ephemeral nonsense she had read was the new hip thing — no matter how hard it was to find anyone actually doing it — I get a particular kick out of this commercial, which I suspect Barney has also seen:


Speaking of inexplicable fads, Pearls Before Swine compares the impending doom of our planet, which we don’t seem to be able to stop, with gender reveal parties, which we also don’t seem to be able to stop.

To be fair, I know young people who tell their ob/gyn not to tell them the gender of their offspring, in order to preserve the surprise, and I look back with fondness on waiting for the news myself, in those ancient days before sonograms could spoiler things.

But that was also back when we felt the only non-medical people who should be present when a baby was born were the people who were present when it got its start. Now delivery rooms require bleachers.

Someone down in the suburban-Boston corner of New Hampshire blew up a gender reveal party real good a while back, and, by golly, you can actually buy gender-reveal explosives.

Which is important, because, while nobody actually gives a damn, if you start knocking pictures off their walls, they’re gonna have to notice you.

And being noticed is the point.

For my part, I’d like to see the police ticket people for displaying “baby on board” auto placards at times when their cars actually do not contain a baby.

As Oliver Wendell Douglas wrote, the First Amendment does not allow you to falsely shout “Baby!” in an empty vehicle.


And as long as I’m in such a congenial mood, I’ll tip my hat to Greg Cravens for this “Buckets,” for a couple of reasons.

One is that trivia was fun when it was just people trying to remember the names of minor characters on ancient TV shows and things like that. Then people began caring and really did begin studying the stuff so they could win contests and impress their friends. Assuming they had any.

The other is that I ran a 24-school Quiz Bowl tournament for a half-dozen years, and wrote the questions myself. But you could buy books of Quiz Bowl questions and, as Toby notes, you don’t have to know the material as long as you know what they’re gonna ask you.

That’s a basic principle of education: Our teachers used to prep us for NYS Regents exams with books of old tests that pretty much told you what you were going to need to know to pass the final.

Because passing the final is the point of education.


3 thoughts on “CSotD: Catching up on trivial rants

  1. My parents have had plenty of finnicky cats over the years. Some would refuse to eat the wet catfood that had been opened the day before; perhaps because it had been in the refrigerator.

    My Dad’s cat before the current one would eat nothing but one brand and one flavor of dry catfood. She was the only cat I’ve ever known to have no interest whatsoever in what the people in the house are eating up there on the table.

    As for trivia: you can be a contestant on Jeopardy! secure in the knowledge that if Shakespeare is a category, you will not need to know anything about Titus Andronicus, Coriolanus, or King John.

    It was great seeing you at Columbus! Happier flights next year.

  2. You only paid $15 at Dulles? Must have been a sale. Usually, that’d get you a soda and a bag of nuts. 🙂

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