Snippets

It’s my birthday in a few days. It will be celebrated on Sunday along with Mother’s Day and the spouse’s birthday, which is a few days after mine. (Don’t send any presents . . . unless it costs over $99.) Just the NBP, the spouse, and me for a simple dinner and some smiles. But the oncoming birthday had me thinking back to more than a quarter-century ago, when Jeff and I were at the tennis net. He and I were regular doubles partners, and we also played a lot of singles against each other, with him winning at least sixty percent of the time. He is considerably younger than I am, but we had never discussed our ages. For some reason I no longer remember, age came up that day, and he asked, “How old are you?” I replied, “Fifty.” He involuntarily spurted out, “Fifty!!!” Now that he has finally passed that age, we laugh about the interchange. Ah, to be a frivolous fifty again.

          I am not young, and more and more I relate to the wisdom of Woody Allen: “It’s not that I’m afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

          “No wise man ever wished to be younger.” Jonathan Swift.

          When people refuse to take the Covid-19 vaccine, perhaps they could be persuaded to inject bleach instead.

          Hannity said, “As I have told you repeatedly, you the consumer pay for increased corporate taxes.” He made no mention of another possibility: that corporations would pay lesser dividends. I don’t watch Hannity enough to know who he said paid the tariffs imposed on China and other countries by the previous president, but I doubt he told his viewers that they paid for them. And I wondered, if Hannity were right, why do corporations oppose an increase in their tax rates if they just pass it along? They should then be indifferent to a tax increase, but they don’t seem to be.

          Hector had tracked me down by getting a phone number for me off the internet. His message said that he had found my Covid vaccination card on the subway steps. Sure enough, it was not in my wallet. I had recently shown it to someone a few days earlier who was keeping vaccination records in my Pennsylvania community. It had been hard to get  out where I had put it in my wallet, so I put it back in a more accessible spot. Apparently, it was now so easy to get that it fell out when I took out my subway card. Hector and I arranged to meet at the corner of my block, and he returned it to me. Once again, I was reminded that there are many, many good people in this world, even, maybe especially, in New York City.

As avid readers of this blog know, the spouse did not know who Aaron Rodgers was. Her annual football watching generally consists of half-watching a few plays on one Sunday in hopes that a Super Bowl ad will soon appear. But she does know some players. She went to a doctor for a shoulder problem recently and hanging up in his office is a Brett Favre jersey. Showing off her knowledge, she said, “You’re a Packers fan.” He said no, he had treated Favre when he was with the New York Jets. Even so, he is going to perform on her what we hope is a routine procedure today.

“Today’s Medical Tip: Never undergo any kind of major surgery without first making an appointment.” Dave Barry.

Snippets

The newscaster a few days ago said that a tropical storm was forming in the Caribbean and continued, sounding reproachful, “even though the official hurricane season does not start until the first of June.” I know that there are precise times for the equinoxes and solstices that signal a change in the seasons, but isn’t the “official” start of the hurricane season an artificial date or are storms expected to know these deadlines?

I received a census questionnaire. The first sentence of the explanatory material told me that this was my “invitation to respond” to the census. At the bottom of the page it told me that my “response is required by law.” Is it an “invitation” if the law requires me to fill it out?

In this unusual time, many people are doing a lot of baking. I think of the words of a character in Gregory Sherl’s, The Future for Curious People: “My favorite food groups go cheese, bread, cheese bread, and soup served in a hollowed-out loaf of bread.”

Do the Christians who are non-celiac but gluten-free pray sincerely, “Give us this day our daily bread”?

To my surprise, I have been eating healthily during these shut-in days, but I began to feel a strong urge for some junk food. I did not succumb because I could not resolve my quandary: What is a decent wine to pair with a DingDong?

I hear conservatives rail against the “elites,” but that term is not defined. Sean Hannity has seemingly open access to the president and greatly influences him. It has been reported that Hannity makes $36 million a year and lives in a “mansion” in a fancy place on Long Island. Few have as much power and money as Hannity does. Surely that places him in the elite category, but in his eyes and others it does not. That just doesn’t make sense.

A teacher in my grade school periodically checked our fingernails to see if they were clean, something that continues to bedevil me. One girl’s nails always were spotless, and the teacher, pleased, remarked one day, “You must wash the dishes before you come to school.” She smilingly nodded yes in this time before dishwashers. Was this teacherly exercise appropriate? Does it still happen? And why won’t my fingernails stay clean?

A plaque on my desk states: “Every Time You’re Right Someone Loves You A Little Less.” Every time I read those words, I figure that I am not much loved.

I needed a new aortic valve. To get to my heart, the medical team went in with a catheter through the groin. In life generally, the path to the heart frequently goes through the groin.

Old joke: “Drinking makes you look beautiful.” “I haven’t been drinking.” “But I have.”