Something I heard in a rural Pennsylvania grocery store that I have never heard in New York City: “Where do you keep your Miracle Whip?”

The painter on the eaves painting a window was singing. The painter on a nearby ladder said, “What is that song?” An answer was given. “Is that from Beauty and the Beast?” “No, it’s from Aladdin.”

Driving is never easy in New York City. There is always the normal, heavy traffic and construction sites closing lanes or even streets, and now there are many street festivals and parades causing even more re-routings. And, with all of that, concentration on driving is even more difficult because of the women crossing the streets and on the sidewalks in their marvelous arrays of summer dress and undress demanding attention.

“No one on earth—none that I had ever seen—is more polite than a person at a gun show: more eager to smile, more accommodating, less likely to step on your toe.” Paul Theroux, Deep South.

What did couples differ over before there were dishwashers to load?

The graduate students at the house for Thanksgiving dinner included some from India who were comparing notes. In your part of India, when do you celebrate this holiday? What language is predominant for the upper and lower classes? I asked some questions and learned that there are many, many official languages in India as well as many more that are not official and that Indian Hindus celebrate holy days at different times of the year in different parts of the country and in different ways. The students went on to explain more and more differences around the country. I finally asked, “What, then, unites India as a country?” The students simultaneously answered, “Cricket!”

Is it true, as I just read, that you have to play polo righthanded?

President Trump does not have laugh lines. Isn’t that sad?

Are you one of those people who think that they are eating adventurously when they have a spicy tuna roll?

“None of us is pure, and purity is a dreary pursuit best left to Puritans.” Rebecca Solnit, The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness.

We were driving from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. The daughter, who had never really gambled, had a fascination with it. On some level, this was out of character since she is thrifty and little concerned with the status and trappings of money. We stopped at an Indian casino where she was just old enough for the slots and blackjack. I gave her some money. She quickly lost it. I was pleased. I am not a gambler and would not like it if the daughter were to become a regular gambler. The money’s quick disappearance I thought might end her gambling fascination, but as we were leaving, somebody near the exit got a payoff in a slot machine, and one of the coins fell on the floor.  The daughter picked it up to return it to the winner. He indicated that she could keep it. She put it in a machine. She won. And I thought, Damn!

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