Some random thoughts left over from last year

BY BOB WACHS, Columnist
Posted 1/10/20

Obviously, spring isn’t the only time many folks clear up and clean out things. The end of one year and the beginning of another also can serve that purpose. At our house, particularly in my study, …

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Some random thoughts left over from last year

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Obviously, spring isn’t the only time many folks clear up and clean out things. The end of one year and the beginning of another also can serve that purpose. At our house, particularly in my study, closet and under the bed, my better half is hoping that sooner or later I’ll get around to that at some point but until then let me drop these left-over thoughts onto you.

Christmas Day 2019 has come and gone. Once again it was full of the many things which make it up on the calendar — church services, family gatherings, shopping and buying and wrapping, eating, and one of the sure signs, Christmas music, called by some folks “holiday” music.

I like music, especially Christmas music and some “holiday” music. Christmas without Burl Ives (“Frosty the Snowman”), Gene Autry (“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”), Brenda Lee (“Rocking Around the Christmas Tree), Bruce Springsteen (“Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”) and even Eartha Kitt (“Santa Baby”) wouldn’t be the same.

For days and weeks, the commercial radio stations were full of such music, some starting a good bit prior to Thanksgiving. Then, come Dec. 26 — “poof,” it was over. On the airways was constant jabber and “tunes” that bore little resemblance to either Christmas music or “holiday” music. Only the BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network) stations continued with anything resembling the season, something those stations do all of December.

That tells me this: Christmas Day may be Dec. 25 but Christmas is for all days. So many people say throughout the “season” things like, “Why can’t we keep Christmas the whole year?” One way to do that would be to hang onto the music a little longer than just tossing it aside like a gimmick as soon as the “After-Christmas Sales” get started. Christmas is not just a shopping season; it’s a holy spiritual time.

Another totally useless (to most folks, I guess) thought is something I’ve noticed in newspaper stories and television and radio news broadcasts. One of the greatest assets in my little life was having great high school English teachers. They helped instill words and the love of words into my young being, something I’ve kept...the love of words, that is, not the young being.

So, I wonder when I read or hear that someone “went” missing I wonder how you do that. Then there are folks who “get” in a wreck. Do you do that after it’s over or what? I’m pretty sure even if you were going to do that, you would need to get “into” the wreck. I remember the example in class of the difference between “jumping in the pool” and “jumping into the pool.”

While I’m on a roll, let me ask if it’s just me or do you think television programs all have commercials at the same time. I may be watching the latest version of Animal Planet at 8:10 when on comes a pitch for some laxative product. I don’t want to take that in so I quickly flip over to Turner Classic Movies for a rerun of “Goldfinger” and it’s on a break to show you a husband and wife sitting in two bathtubs on a wooden deck somewhere in the mountains. And on top of the timing, there is the issue that most commercials are broadcast at about the volume level of a 747 on acid.

There are a handful of other leftover bits and pieces I’d like to share. For instance, those multi-colored pages that come in the Sunday newspapers (no...not the ads) that are called the comics. My dad used to call them the “funny papers.”

They aren’t anymore. Instead they’re social commentaries or soap operas in print. What happened to Mutt and Jeff?

And I still wonder why the folks who label themselves “conservationists” don’t rant and rave about the length of the cash register receipt tapes, which are made of paper, which is made from trees.

The other day in a store which shall remain nameless I bought two items and the tape was three feet long. It told me the following: I had saved a certain amount of money by my wise shopping, had received some coupons allowing me to spend even more money, had such and such amount of “points” toward the purchase of something or another, was invited to fill out a customer satisfaction survey which might let me win a trip to Outer Mongolia, had brown eyes, liked sausage balls, and had won the eternal thanks of a logging company.

What about the little birdies who used to live in that tree?

Well, I see my time and space is about up. The little box where I toss column ideas is empty. Maybe the bookshelves and floor are next.

Probably not...


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