Friday, May 23, 2008

"I'll be brief."

When someone announces this, you may as well make yourself comfortable, put your feet up, get out your knitting, and take a couple of Valium because you are in for a saga. People truly economical with words never say things like, "I'll be brief" or "To make a long story short." First of all, saying those phrases takes an extra 2 or 3 seconds right there. You know what I really hate? When speakers spend the first 5 minutes of their speeches telling you what they're going to tell you. Just tell me! Then they run out of time at the end, before they get to the point--if there was one--because they spent so much time on the "and then I'll briefly go into a little bit about..." Aaaarrrggh. Oh, and if you ever answer the phone and someone asks, "Do you have a minute?", you can be sure you'll be on that phone until the battery is in rigor mortis. Which I suppose is why caller ID was invented.

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Don't worry; my dog is very gentle."

People often say this as their dog's teeth are gripping your ankle. They make it seem as if you are paranoid when their beloved beast bares its teeth, foams at the mouth, and glares at you as if you eat puppy burgers. The worst was when my kids were toddlers. We'd be out for a walk, and suddenly, some menacing creature way taller than a toddler would bound over to us. I mean, wouldn't you be a little intimidated by a 4-legged, muscular, barking thing that towered over you and was clearly not in the control of its delusional owner? But said owner inevitably says in the cloying, little voice you use when you talk to an infant, "Oh, he's very gentle. Bruiser would never hurt anyone. Bruiser just wants to play!"

Friday, May 9, 2008

"White people can't dance."

False! Take moi, for instance. I am white, and I happen to be a very good dancer. I have some serious moves, especially when I morph into Mick Jagger, who learned to dance from Tina Turner. But I'm not planning to put a video of me dancing on YouTube, so you'll just have to take my word for this.

Monday, May 5, 2008

"Computers are labor-saving devices."

Only if THEY mean "saving labor," as in "allowing you to seem to be working when you're really not." How do I know? Because on weekdays my inbox is three times as full as it is on weekends. When people are at their “jobs,” they somehow find time to report on their doings, forward mildly amusing jokes, and send dire warnings that snopes says are FALSE! in big red letters so you feel like a total dork if you believed them. Admit it…you’re reading this “at work,” aren’t you?

Friday, May 2, 2008

THEY say…"Parents teach their children."

Maybe they teach them a little bit. But my children have taught me way more than I’ve taught them. When I mentioned that I was planning to start a blog because I was the only person in the world not to have one (see, I didn’t know about my I-lost-track-of-how-many-times-removed cousin in Detroit then, see April 17th post) my children said in the same tone I warn them never to get in the car with a driver who’s been drinking, and if they ever need a ride in such circumstances, to call me, and I’ll pick them up—no questions asked—hoping they never will actually call me because I’d probably be too conked out on Ambien to answer the phone, or I’d answer and yell incoherently that this was NO TIME TO CALL SOMEONE!—-my children said in rare unison, “You should have a blog, Mom, but DON’T put ANYTHING on your blog that you wouldn’t want the WHOLE WORLD to see!” They said this in such solemn tones that I thought they’d make me take an oath. So I assured them that I would not, for example, think of writing about that really crazy Halloween party--oh man, I just guffawed remembering it--their father and I showed up and…oops, end of story, I took an oath.