Short Takes

Sometimes an idea doesn't lend itself to an extended column or essay

There are times when you write something that you like, but it doesn't lend itself to an essay or column. But you like it and tuck it away. Waste not, want not.

So, a few thoughts on the passing parade. Warning: Some of them are tongue in cheek, most of them in fun, so don't get crazy.

—There are those who say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Obviously, these people have never had dial-up Internet service.

—Journalism is to the truth as the law is to justice. They often coincide, but are rarely congruent.

—Politics is not about elections. Politics is the art of building consensus to execute public policy. Elections are merely to ratify your success. Or give you a failing grade.

—Don't you think that the term criminal lawyer is redundant?

—No matter your age, you cannot truly be an adult unless you have forgiven your parents.

—The qualifications to be an environmentalist are the same as being a journalist—you call yourself one and you find some way to make a living at it. Any success you have depends on your credibility and reputation. Or the credibility and reputation of the organization for which you work.

—I've always subscribed to the British business axiom that five minutes early is on time. I have a phobia about being late for a lunch appointment or a meeting. It's a lonely life, but I've learned to adjust. That's why they invented crossword puzzles.

—When I was young, kids smoked to hide the fact they'd been drinking. Now they drink to hide the fact they have been smoking. Neither works, by the way.

—Can you truly be sure of something without personal observation? Can you believe it unless you have seen it with your own eyes? Eyewitness testimony has sent many a defendant to prison. From my personal observations and eyewitness testimony, there are three things that make you fat: Drinking diet Cokes. Walking up and down your neighborhood every day. And riding motorcycles.

—The two scariest words in the English language? Software upgrade.

—I like to make up jokes that hardly anybody understands. I'm weird that way. Examples? My greatest dramatic triumph was playing the title role in Waiting for Godot. Also, bad grammar, literally, makes me puke.

—The greatest threat to the next Great American Novel and literature in general is not Amazon, it's Freecell and Internet porn.

—Sometimes the solution to a problem is easier if you reexamine the question. People spend inordinate amounts of money and time trying to keep squirrels out of their bird feeders. There is a much more simple solution. Rename it a squirrel feeder.

—I've spent my adult life writing short, declarative sentences allegedly for a public with short, declarative minds who are thought to be unable to grasp complicated concepts, intricate problems, complex sentences, or not to have the discipline, the curiosity, or the intellectual capacity to seek understanding in the written word, no matter how carefully wrought or skillful the language used to convey knowledge, experience, and observation. I've never believed it.