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"Chronicle Groupie"
Hyperion August 14, 2001

#54 Potpourri, Volume V

Heartening fact of the day: In the 2000 American Census, a record 7% of the respondents put down “American” when asked their race. I realize there are legitimate reasons for stockpiling data on race, and for people to take identity in their ethnicity. However, I also know that race is not the future of this world, if we are to become greater than we are. And it that vein, it’s nice to see some people who have looked past the race card, and just want to be called Americans, because that is what they are.

Not to change the subject, but have you ever noticed that the first side of the grilled cheese sandwich always takes longer to grill then the second side. Why is that? I think if we could find the answer to that, we would be one step closer to world peace.

A Nike commercial out right now shows the whole town of New York involved in a game of Tag. What a great world this would be if we could all take time out of our busy workday to run around downtown and play tag. Mailboxes and Starbucks could be bases, because they seem to be everywhere. Alongside figuring out that grilled-cheese conundrum, I say we start a grass-roots movement for recess every day. I know it would do the working stiff good, and while we are at it, maybe it would help those clowns in Washington. At least for one hour a day they wouldn’t be spending our money, and that can’t be all bad.

Term of the day: jamais vu. We have all heard of déjà vu, the feeling that we have done or seen the exact same thing before. Jamais vu is the opposite. It’s when you meet the same people or visit the same places repeatedly, but each time it seems different, and each person is always a stranger. I think most of us have had this feeling from time to time, where is seems like everyone is an alien, and unknown. If you have felt this way, take heart; there is a term for it, so you are not alone.

I was reading an article that was reviewing a movie that had cannibalism, and the reviewer called the film the “Feel-Good Cannibalism Movie of the Year!” Now that’s enthusiasm. Next time you're faced with something awful, try to put the best spin on it: “Yeah, George, my mother-in-law died, but it was the Feel-Good dead mother-in-law story of the year!” See how easy that was?

Story of the day: Sisyphus and Tantalus. These two Greek idiots offended the gods. Sisyphus’s punishment was to roll a rock up a hill, only to have it roll back down. Then he had to roll it back again, and do this for all eternity. Tantalus's ordeal was to stand beneath fruit trees up to his neck in water. Every time Tantalus would bend his head for a drink, the water would recede, and every time he would reach for some fruit, the branches would move just beyond his grasp (Tantalus, by the way, is where we get tantalizing). Now, no matter what kind of bad day you have had, you can tell yourself, “At least I’m not one of those two guys.”

I have been endeavoring to come up with my definitive “Cool” list. Now, some of you may argue that being cool is not important. Obviously, you have never been a kid. Or had a kid. Or if you do have kids, you don’t talk to them, because I am here to tell you that for a large portion of the population, being cool is of utmost import. We could argue the merits of this, but Que Sera Sera. My current list—and I have not completed it yet—includes Kevin Spacey, Samuel Jackson, Michael Jordan, and Helen Hunt. If you have not heard of these people, maybe you need to get out more, or send me your own list. I am also compiling an all-time list for last century. I have not laminated it yet, but here is my top six right now: #6 Frank Sinatra: Everything he did, from acting to singing to just standing there in a suit, looked good. #5 Bette Davis: She could knock a man down just by looking him in the eyes. How cool is that? #4 Clark Gable: This guy saw the humor in everything, and he walked away from Scarlet O’Hara; trés cool. #3 Cary Grant: He should have been James Bond; every movement just screamed suave. #2 Marilyn Monroe: Every guy wanted her, every girl wanted to be her. ‘Nuff said. #1 Humphrey Bogart: The absolute man. He looked cooler in a rumpled suit and a five-day beard than anyone else in a tuxedo.

Finally, have you noticed the trend the last couple of years for women to wear shirts that bare the navel? This has been big in California for a while, but I think we have Britney Spears to thank for the idea catching on all over the country. Now, I know there are some well-meaning people who think that women wearing these truncated shirts is a sign of the apocalypse, but with all due respect let me just say that these people are crazy. I say that these navel-baring women are a sign of a more peaceful society, and God Bless Britney Spears!

That’s Life in the Monkey Barn,

August 14, 2001


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