“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” – Dr. Seuss

Is This Very Smart Funny? I Have No Idea… 

There’s funny and there’s very smart funny. That’s what I call it. Maybe it’s not very smart. But it seems to be smarter than me/I, so that’s what I call it.

Here is an example from the November 7 digital issue of The New Yorker. It is titled, “I Have No Idea What I’m Doing.” The byline is Jonny Auping. I’ve never heard of him. But I’m pretty sure he’s very smart and very funny.

You decide…

I have a confession: I don’t know what I’m doing.

I know that I come across as someone who exudes confidence, but, even as I write this sentence, I don’t know how I’m going to wrap it up without transitioning into something that sounds emotional and self-righteous but has nothing to do with the beginning of the sentence in a country where male congressmen think they can get away with governing women’s bodies.

I don’t know how to do taxes. This year, I put my AirPods in without playing any music so that I could eavesdrop on two men in suits at a Starbucks in hopes that they might happen to be talking about how to do taxes. I ended up just sending eight hundred dollars to the Washington Monument. Also, how do you make AirPods play music? They literally aren’t connected to anything.

I don’t know how to scan a document. My washing machine has fourteen settings, but I wash everything on the “casual” setting, because it seems like the least risky one. I don’t know how to tie a tie. I just leave them tied and pull them on and off my head very carefully. I move all of my money to a completely different bank every year and call it “investing.”

I’ve forgotten whether my car has two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, and it isn’t written anywhere on the car. The last time someone asked me my blood type, I said, “standard.” If I can’t pronounce a director’s name, I usually say that his film has “great mise en scène,” and if the director has two first names I say, “Its campiness was actually refreshing,” but I don’t know what either of those things mean. I also get a lot of mileage out of the word “subversive.”

I don’t get why Neil Young was good, and I don’t understand what Andy Kaufman did. I know how to make eggs, but my eggs are never very good. My girlfriend makes eggs in an identical way, but hers are always much better. They taste really subversive. I don’t know what happens to my 401(k) if it never reaches $401,000. I do know that the “B” stands for bitcoin, but I couldn’t tell you what CBD actually is.

They say, “Fake it till you make it,” but I don’t know who “they” are. My friend said that “they” are the band Third Eye Blind. He might be messing with me, though. It sounds like a Third Eye Blind lyric, but when I tried to Shazam it my friend said that’s not how Shazam works. How does Shazam work? Do I need to Shazam my AirPods?

So, as you can see, I’m in a little over my head. Nevertheless, I’ve always wholeheartedly believed that the American people value transparency above all else. That’s why I’m announcing my candidacy for President. Together, we will go on this journey of learning what the Iowa caucus is.

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Machiavellian (adjective) 

Someone who is Machiavellian (mak-ee-uh-VEL-ee-un) is focused on his own interests – scheming, deceiving, and manipulating others to achieve his goals. The word comes from the 16thcentury Italian philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli, best known for writing “The Prince” – a political treatise that advocated ruthless tactics for gaining political power.

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The first Thanksgiving feast in 1621 lasted for three days – and it looked nothing like the “traditional” meal we enjoy. No turkey (which didn’t become popular until the 19thcentury), no corn on the cob (they grew only Indian corn, which is used to make cornmeal), no cranberry sauce (which wasn’t invented until maybe 1670), and no pumpkin pie (though pumpkin may have made an appearance). According to Smithsonian.com, “Wildfowl was there. Corn in grain form for bread or for porridge was there. Venison was there.” Other than those three documented items, historians can only guess at the rest of the food shared by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians.

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“The Case for Checking a Bag (and other travel complaints)” on Medium.com

Today is expected to be one of the busiest air travel days of the year, with an estimated 2.7 million passengers. Whether or not you’re one of them, if you travel by plane a fair bit, you will enjoy this essay. LINK


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