What does it say about our patriotism or our education that the words of the national anthem now appear on those large scoreboards at sporting events?

In a park or outside an old house, I would come across a hand pump as a kid. Of course, I had to try it. The first couple strokes always seemed hard, but with minimal persistence they became easier. As I pumped, I would wonder if the pump still worked. Was there really water down there? Sometimes the effort produced nothing, but with others, a little water would spurt out. That sight produced a quickened, more forceful stroke. Then larger spurts, and finally, a stream without interruption. These efforts always produced a smile and a sense of accomplishment. Yet again, a satisfaction that most in a younger generation will never have.

“He is a prince.” Doesn’t sound derogatory; it is, in fact, a compliment. But compare: “She is a princess.”

There was such a difference between a woman’s magazine and a girlie magazine.

It was a typical Brooklyn supermarket—narrow aisles with small shopping carts and a limited selection. I was surprised to see ping pong balls. Brooklyn homes don’t have basement rec rooms or other places for table tennis. When I mentioned this to the nonbinary progeny, the NBP gave me an interesting look and said only a bit condescendingly, “The balls aren’t for ping pong. They are for beer pong.” Yet another time for me to feel my ignorance. And my age.

The man with the clipboard and distinctive vest approached me and said, “Do you like puppies?” Already late for an appointment and not wanting to be trapped by another fundraiser, I shook my head, kept moving and then, to my surprise, said, “I hate ‘em.” As I went by the clipboard man, he said, “You would be perfect for this.” I kept walking out of the subway.

Should I worry about my mental health? After the colonoscopy, I was told that everything was normal, and my first reaction was, “I went through all of that for nothing!”

The pessimist. Whenever I see a man walking with a flower bouquet, I wonder what he is apologizing for.

Questions I did not expect to be asked on the subway.  The young, purple-haired woman wearing a frayed, but clearly “vintage” jacket said, “Excuse me. Do you know geometry?” I looked over and she pointed to a sketch book on her lap.  An octagon was carefully drawn.  (During the ride I learned that it was going to be a frame for a mirror, and she was on her way to buy some reclaimed wood.)  She said, “If the diameter is sixteen inches, can you calculate the circumference?” I couldn’t.

What is your reaction when you are bored and turn on a sports channel just looking for anything competitive to pass the time and you find that a dog show is on?

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