I have a book in my hand. It seems permanent, not so much the physical object, but the content. And, of course, to some extent that is true. I have read books that were published a century, two centuries ago, but most books, even well-received ones, are quickly forgotten. Whenever I get a book out of the library, I look at the return dates stamped in the book. Most of the older ones have not been checked out in years. A physical book may still be on somebody’s shelves, but does it really exist if it is not read?

Often when a football player injures one leg, people from the sideline help him to stand up, and the player then puts his arm around one of those helpers and  limps off the field. The helping person is often, not surprisingly, much smaller than the player, and the player often can’t put much weight on the helper, and the two often have trouble syncing their walk. Instead, the teams ought to keep canes on the sidelines. The player would be able to get off the field better with a cane than with his arm around another. But I guess the cane would undercut the image of manly youthfulness, or is it youthful manliness?

At a dinner party, a guest mispronounced a word. Other people at the table, either out of ignorance or out of politeness, pronounced the word in the same wrong way. I avoided using the word. What should one do in such a circumstance?

A friend who is an architect was showing me the wonderful additions he had recently done to his house. I asked, “Are you through?” He replied, “An architect never says it is done because then it can be judged.”

Was the philosopher (or was it a comedian?) right when he said, “If you want to prepare your child for real life, give her a Where’s Waldo book without any Waldos.”

Why is it when you sleep fitfully all night that you are sound asleep when it is time to get up?

A play idea for the Beckett or Sartre in you: Imagine that redwoods are sentient and can communicate. Setting: A redwood grove with three or four trees. What would be the conversations over the thousand years that the redwoods were next to each other unable to be alone or find other company? And then what happens when one of the trees finally dies?

You are Jewish if your mother is Jewish, I am told. But what if your mother converts to Judaism after you were born?

The person I took to be a conservative was railing against the big government program of food stamps. Her clinching argument was that someone she knew should have been on food stamps but did not qualify.

What did couples differ over before they could argue about how best to load a dishwasher?

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