Snippets

There is talk about a baby boom because of the shelter-at-home mandates of the last three months—call them Covid-19 babies although I hope that none are ever named “Covid.” But I wonder how many were conceived in the first fortnight and how many in the last few weeks after partners had spent months continually together.

“Ezra watched spellbound, eyes bright and jaw slack; he could never get enough of humanity, so long as it slept in another room.” Lisa Halliday, Asymmetry.

Those of us who are sports fans have heard the National Anthem countless times at stadiums and arenas and on broadcasts, but in the last few months we may have not heard it at all. Without the usual doses of the “Star-Spangled Banner” have we become less patriotic or is that ritualistic singing irrelevant in having a love of America? Perhaps it might be a good thing if, because of the pandemic, we reassessed the connection between sports and patriotism, but we still have the controversy over athletes kneeling during the National Anthem. This action has been labeled by the Golfer-in-Chief as “disrespectful to the flag.” The kneelers, whether they are correct or not in their assessments, seek to make the United States a better country. Wanting a better country implies not disdain, but love for the nation. However, if you believe that it somehow undermines the country to silently kneel during the National Anthem, then you should be happy that with sports cancelled or postponed the country has not been so undermined during this period. Do you feel that the country is stronger as a result? This makes me wonder. I have never attended a professional golf tournament. Does each session begin with the National Anthem? Since the golfers begin their rounds at different times and spectators seek different vantage points around the course, it would not make much sense. If golf does not have the National Anthem for all participants and spectators, may I assume that those at a golf event are less patriotic than those at a football game?  And, does Trump stand and sing the National Anthem—assuming he knows the words—before he plops down in a golf cart for his frequent eighteen holes?

“Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion.” Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre.

“It is what it is.” I want to retire this phrase. The spouse does not. Yet again, the spouse is winning.

What is the name for the cardboard tube inside a roll of toilet paper?

The spouse asked me what time I wanted to leave to be on time for our restaurant reservation. I answered. She immediately said she wanted to go five minutes earlier, and it was clear that we were going at her preferred time. As I started to ask why she asked me what time I wanted to go, I, of course, knew the answer. If by happenstance I had stated the time when she wanted to go—the time when we would go–she could look like she was merely acquiescing to my wishes. Smart or manipulative?

Are you a zen master if, when you order a hot dog, you say, “Make me one with everything?”