As too often happens, my wispy hair, almost completely gray, was standing up and out at all angles, and I thought of what the spouse has never said: “You are as smart as Einstein. You should look more like him.”

A friend told me, “If your wife laughs at your jokes, you can be sure that you know some good ones or you have a good wife.”

Is this true? “If you believe that God made women without a sense of humor it is because then they could love men without laughing at them.”

Much is said about culture wars, which today seem to center on gender and gender identity. But not long ago we had culture wars about something different—evolution. What has happened to that? Did one side win, and if so, how? Did the anti-science battlers give up? Did the other side conclude that the Bible was literally infallible? Or is that culture war still going on?

“True science teaches, above all, to doubt and be ignorant.” Unamuno.

David Foster Wallace wrote, “I’m not saying that television is vulgar and dumb because the people who compose Audiences are vulgar and dumb. Television is the way it is simply because people tend to be extremely similar in their vulgar and prurient and dumb interests and wildly different in their refined and aesthetic and noble interests.” Is he right?

I was in college when I heard a classmate say that he was going to buy “an ice cream.” I had never heard that phrase before and thought it was silly. You can buy an ice cream cone. You can buy an ice cream bar. You can buy an ice cream sandwich. You can buy a pint of ice cream. You can buy some ice cream. But you can’t buy an ice cream. I hear that expression often, and it still grates.

For most of their history, beliefs of Southern Baptists were firmly antithetical to those of Roman Catholicism. Now increasingly the institutions are allied and similar. For example, when Roe v. Wade was decided, the Southern Baptists were not against legalized abortion. Now that Roe has been overturned, Catholics and Baptists find themselves on the same side of that issue. The Southern Baptists were firmly against public aid to religious schools. Now both institutions seek public moneys for their schools. Southern Baptists were opposed to their churches being involved in politics, but that, too, has changed, and the Baptists are like the Catholics. And now the news indicates a tragic way that Southern Baptists have become more like Catholics. The Department of Justice is investigating widespread sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention and its churches.

The philosopher was right: “You cannot humiliate a hog by throwing mud at him.”

At this time of year I wonder how the ant acquired its reputation for being extremely industrious when so many are on a picnic.

“None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing.” Benjamin Franklin.


          When I went to college, I heard for the first time the expression that someone was going to have “an ice cream.” I thought then and now that you can have an ice cream cone; an ice cream bar; a cup of ice cream. But not “an ice cream.” Once again, I appear to be standing against the majority in favor of common sense.

          I believe you should support Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar for the Democratic nomination. Only if one of them gets the nod can there be a meaningful debate with Trump about hair care. Wait. I am being closed minded. Bernie could participate in that debate.

          In one of my last public defender stints, I learned about a man in his 40s charged with murder who was being returned for trial after being found incompetent to stand trial two years before. His parents had been divorced but werestill living in the same house where he also lived. The father had a heart attack. The defendant called 911. When it became clear that the father might not survive, the defendant suggested to the mother that she ought to go to the hospital. She indicated that that was too much of a bother and said, “It’s pizza night; get me a beer.” (Larry the Public Defender thought that “It’s Pizza Night” would make a great title for his book.) The next evening the defendant apparently tried to stab the mother, or at least she had some stab wounds and a broken knife was found in the home, but he eventually killed her with a frying pan. He called 911 again and said that he had killed his mother and would wait outside and that he was not armed. (All true.) He then covered his mother’s head and placed a Valentine’s Day card on her chest.

          What question would you have asked?  The establishment prominently displayed a sign that read, “Voted the Second Best Chinese Restaurant.”

My favorite restaurant sign in Morocco was “O’Tacos, Original French Tacos.”

          At the Nespresso store I bought the decaffeinated capsules in a few minutes. As I was leaving, I told the salesclerk that I wished all my transactions were as efficient and as a pleasant as this one had just been. She replied, “Me, too.”

          The sidewalk graffito: “Today is a good day to have a good day.”

Does this scare you, too: 10% of U.S. children are Texans?

          “You turn your back on your parents for one moment and they get up to all sorts of mischief!” Marina Lewycka, Two Caravans.

          As he came into the theater lobby, the playgoer said, “Actually I didn’t think it was going to be this cold.” “That just shows,” his companion retorted, “how poorly you think.”