MIRACLES – AND OTHER ANNOYING THINGS.
I was watching the news the other night, and a man had just survived an amazing vehicle accident in which the car he was driving was demolished to the point that you could not recognize it as a car. The man was in the hospital in critical condition with injuries that would handicap him for life. His mother was on TV thanking God and proclaiming that it was a miracle that her son was alive. To my way of thinking, hers was a very optimistic viewpoint. My personal opinion is that if God had been involved, the accident shouldn't have happened in the first place. Being maimed and handicapped for life is not an event I would call a miracle.
It annoys me that people are always calling it a miracle every time somebody survives a situation that is usually fatal. I guess these are people who have never taken statistics. World wide, approximately 3000 people are killed in vehicle accidents each day. If you want to call something a miracle, it would be never having a bad accident in the first place. I had dozens of miracles on my way home from work today.
"I knew it!" How many times have you heard or said that? It's got to be the world's most popular lie. People are always saying that after the fact, when they really didn't have a clue at the time. "I knew we should have turned left instead of right." "I knew I shouldn't have bought that stock." "I knew we shouldn't have gone on that trip." Well, if you knew it, then you are really stupid for doing what you did. "I knew it" is really another way of saying, "I'm an idiot."
"Thank God for that!" People are always thanking God for things for which they are grateful. Even atheists thank God. No one ever blames God for things for which they are ungrateful. When was the last time you heard someone say, "Damn you God." I think God gets entirely too much of the credit and not enough of the blame.
"Is everything alright?" When I'm dining out, waiters and waitresses are always asking me if everything is all right. They never ask me, "How is your dinner?" I'm not omnipotent. I don't know if everything is all right. Sometimes I say, "The dinner is fine, but I think they are still fighting in the Middle East."
Another stupid thing waiters and waitresses say is, "How are you making out?" I've never made out in a restaurant, and I think it would be inappropriate – especially when I'm eating alone.
When I'm shopping and go to the register to pay, I'm frequently asked, "Did you find everything." I'm really not sure what store I would go to if I were looking for everything, but as Steven Wright says, "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?" Recently I was asked, "How would you like to pay for that?" I replied, "With your money."
Everyone hates spam. We get spammed by e-mail, people with fax machines get spammed by fax, and telemarketers spam us by phone. But I'm most irritated by a form of it that has been going on for a lot longer than the Internet or fax machines have existed. It's those fliers (or flyers) that find their way under my windshield wipers that really bug me. Often I don't see it until I start to drive off, and then I have to stop, get out, and remove it. They are physically violating my space and there is no defense short of removing my windshield wipers every time I park in public places. Fliers also find their way to the front door of my house, shoved in my face on street corners, inserted in my newspaper, put in my mail box, and posted on poles. And why do they call them "fliers?" People who fly are fliers. People who distribute fliers are assholes.
VOTE FOR BOB FOR COUNTY SUPERVISOR! As it gets closer to each election day, the 'Vote For ...' signs start appearing in increasing numbers. Weeks before the last election, which was not even one of the big ones, I counted 27 of these signs in the quarter mile stretch of the street between my house and my grocery store. And these are people running for public office, some of whom promise to fight against spam while cluttering the landscape with signs and shoving fliers in my face outside the grocery store.
Political speeches. There have only been a very few political speeches in my life time that I thought were good, and those were made by people speaking their mind about specific issues – which apparently is the kiss of death for a politician. Political speaking and political debating are art forms that require the speakers or debaters to be as vague as possible while promoting whatever the particular audience's special issues might be. "I support more jobs for our nation's workers." "I support funding for education." "I support family values." "I'm for clean air." "I believe God is good."
It's been many years since I've listened to a political speech from start to finish. (I think it was when Nixon was campaigning against John Kennedy.) When it was over I said something like, "I knew I shouldn't have listened to that speech. It would be a miracle if they actually committed to something specific. Thank God it's over."