Jewish World Review Oct. 15, 1999 /5 Mar-Cheshvan, 5760
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- AS THE DAYS in the last decade of the twentieth century dwindle down to a precious few I find myself pondering some big questions about life. Well, okay, not exactly BIG questions, more like LITTLE questions about life. For instance:
Just exactly which part of a “don’t walk” signal do many people find confusing and difficult to understand? Once upon a time, these signals spelled out the words, “Walk/don’t walk” -- but when people continued to walk on “don’t walk” city officials figured it must be a language problem and dropped the words altogether -- replacing them with a little pictograph figure of a person walking. This didn’t help either. Maybe we should try railroad crossing barricades?
How come we rarely, if ever, see Black gardeners? Or women gardeners, for that matter. Why aren’t the NAACP and NOW investigating this obvious exclusion? It could very well be that the gardening profession has a “grass ceiling.” (sorry about that).
Is it just my imagination, or has Alan Greenspan been the head of the Federal Reserve Board for about seventy-five years? I swear I think I heard my grandfather talking about him.
I hear the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” used all the time, but not “Latin” anymore.
I realize “Latin” is no longer politically correct as a designated identifying term for people -- but WHY NOT? What was wrong with it? I always thought it was such a romantic, exotic and exciting word. Next they’ll be changing the song, ”She’s a Latin From Manhattan” to “She’s a Latina From West Covina.”
And speaking of words not heard anymore -- next time you find yourself watching an old movie on cable from about 50 or 60 years ago, REALLY pay close attention to the dialogue.
It’s loaded with words people don’t say anymore like, impertinent -- as in Bette Davis saying something like, “Oh, Jimmy, don’t be impertinent!” Another good one is facetious. People are always being facetious in old movies.
Why doesn’t summer fruit (like peaches, plums, and nectarines) taste as good as it did when I was a kid? Is it that my taste buds have changed or is it something the growers are doing which inhibits the flavor from coming through? Or is it a vast right wing conspiracy?
How come I have a million telephone books from a million telephone companies and I STILL can’t find a phone number when I need to? And have you called information lately? Now you get a recorded commercial before the operator comes on. “Thank you for calling Pacific Bell. Our local rates remain unchanged and now you can call anywhere in California for ninety-nine cents for the first three minutes.” Talk about a captive audience.
What is it about seven eleven stores that seem to attract people who look like they’re escaped convicts, no matter WHAT neighborhood the store is in?
Will REAL hats for men and women ever come back in style? It was such a great,
classy look. Most probably real hats will never come back -- they just wouldn’t look right
with sweats and running shoes. But suppose people actually started dressing better? Yeah,
right. And suppose people always waited for a walk signal before crossing the
JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.
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