How upset would you be if there were an outbreak of the coronavirus on the Senate floor?

          Do Rudy Giuliani and Alan Dershowitz share the same brain?

          The spouse asked the NBP what kind of vacations the NBP most enjoyed. Options were laid out: to beautiful natural spots; trips that covered many places; trips that went only to one location; and so on. The spouse finally included in her cataloging a trip designed to visit museums or other cultural sites. The NBP immediately labeled that last option a “nerdcation.” I don’t know if the NBP has already trademarked that designation.

          The reason I can’t speak a foreign language is that I grew up watching American television. A few years ago, I asked a Portuguese waiter how he had learned to speak his excellent English. He said that Portugal, not a rich country, did not dub English television shows into Portuguese but took the cheaper route of having Portuguese subtitles. He said that watching such programming had made his English better than just from school studies. “Yes,” he said, “I can speak English because of Friends.” In the last month I asked a man from the Netherlands about his flawless English and he said that he first learned the language from non-dubbed American cartoons on Dutch television. I only watched Bugs Bunny, Sky King, and Father Knows Best in English, and therefore I only speak a version of English.

          A Mayan guide in Yucatan said that the Spanish brought hammocks to Mexico, and before that Mayans slept on the ground. Mayans quickly adopted hammocks because sleeping on the ground, which had a heavy concentration of lime, caused health problems. The guide, as do other modern Mayans, still sleeps in a hammock. I did not know him well enough to ask about hammock sex.

          I have heard reports that 500,000 animals have been killed in the Australian fires. (Don’t ask how anyone could know the number or even give a reasonable estimate. And are fish, birds, beetles, and centipedes “animals” for this purpose?) Other reports put the dead animals at a half billion. On a first reaction, does one number seem more devastating than the other?

          When the pontificating ass gets to be too much, just say, “I bow to your superior sciolism.”

          “‘One can be cleverer than another, not cleverer than all others.’ (La Bruyère?)” Leonarda Sciascia, Equal Danger.

          Why is it important to learn how to fold fitted sheets, when you can just ball them up and shove them onto a closet shelf? Or do you, as my mommy used to, iron your sheets?

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