Friday, January 27, 2006

Intelligent Design

There’s a lot of controversy about how our solar system was created. I wish someone would apply some kind of explanation about what has happened to today’s television programs. Have the people who think up that stuff gone nuts? Or has greed and pandering overcome common sense? If there were two categories of TV programs – “Intelligent Design Programs Adding to the Value of Life” and “Crap,” most of the stuff pumped through the air would, unfortunately, fall into the “Crap” category.

Excluding PBS and the History channels, name 10 or more programs for both sides. Uh, duh, is there enough space on the “Crap” side? Be sure to include all the “reality” shows, “confess” all shows, shows using profanity and explicit and disgusting descriptions to substitute for humor, shows with graphic and senseless violence, shows extolling the excesses of rich, and shows that exploit women and make eight-year-old girls think they must have bust enhancement surgery. Add to the swarthy mess the commercials for products to cure, enhance or eliminate things that should only be discussed with your doctor!

Now plop your pre-teen kid down in front of the TV and wait five years. Does the little darling have a head full of swarming emotions and need "help" because of his or her addiction to drugs, porn or alcohol, and need counseling because the little sweetie just stabbed the gym teacher? Oh, so the darling graduated from high school? Congratulations. Can he read and write, add a column of numbers, and have enough sense not to stand in the path of an approaching pickup? Get a job? Who hires a dirty, pierced tattoed young adult in any job that pays over minimum wage? Can he process enough information to order a burger and fries and fill his shiny new graduation car with gas using daddy’s credit card? Does planning for the future mean figuring out where to move the CDs and electronic games in his room to make space for the new HDTV?

First it was not safe to send kids “outside” to play, now it’s not safe to keep them in! When are we “adults” going to take back our TVs, our yards, our neighborhoods, our cities, our states, our country, and “just say ‘NO’” to the filth that is eroding our very existence?

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords

Thursday, January 19, 2006


We older folks remember the good times … you know, when it was possible to open store-bought products WITHOUT the use of scissors, pliers, screwdrivers, crowbars, jackhammers or chainsaws.

After the product package was opened, the stuff was just there. We didn’t have to scrape, peel, slice, dice or poke our way through “inner” packaging, seals or a bale of cotton. When we opened a food product – in the good old days – the outer and only wrapper was destroyed so, in most cases, we had to transfer the food to a specially made plastic container. There was a plastic container for every food product known to man such as eggs, cheese, cold cuts, lettuce, pie slices, butter, bread, square leftovers, and round leftovers. There was even a container to hold all the containers!

Women went to parties to buy more containers because Walmart had not erected supercenters with two aisles of plastic containers. Young mothers had to decide between burping their newborns or burping the plastic container.

Now the “container” comes with the product as part of the packaging. Very handy, indeed. The only problem is getting the package open. Before you can get to the “press to seal” closure, you have to first “tear here.” Hahahaha. (See first paragraph.) I have learned to just get out the hedge shears and cut the whole top off THOSE packages. Cheese is double wrapped and there is no challenge in separating the slices or flimsy excuses to slap on double cheese.

There is no over-the-counter container of pain reliever made to open without a screwdriver and blowtorch. “Press and Turn.” Who came up with silly phrase? “Grasp With Giant Pliers and Beat With Hammer” is more like it. Then the instructions should follow with, “Get On Hands and Knees and Look for Tablets.”

If you go to the pharmacist and ask politely in a low voice for a “snap cap,” sometimes you can get those original pill bottle tops for your prescriptions. Sometimes flashing a twenty gets you a handful. Sometimes flashing anything else can get you arrested.

Dinner is in three hours and if I start now I can shear, rip, tear, mutilate and annihilate enough packages to get a decent meal on the table. I’d take an aspirin to relieve my headache, but I don’t have time to get the bottle open!

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dirty Words

Just when I thought I had heard all the dirty words, someone comes along and invents some new ones. The scary part is that I don’t have a clue what they mean. To stay on the safe side, I’m not using them. I’m afraid if I hurl one at someone, they could be enraged to the point of doing me harm or smile broadly and want to engage in something icky.

Now you take the good old standards. THOSE are great words and can be used in all sorts of ways, depending on where and how they are expressed. Some one syllable words can be made more emphatic when broken into two or drawn out with gusto. They can be nouns, adjectives or adverbs, depending on where they are used. They can be whispered, spit out between clenched teeth or shouted at the top of your lungs. (Remember when Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid leaped off that cliff? Wow! That one reverberated off the canyon walls.)

It’s kinda sad that today some of the classic dirty words are used so casually and frequently that they have lost their punch. The most sophisticated guy to use a swear word I can think of is Rhett Butler. Now there was a guy who could tell someone off with style. Why I bet after Scarlet got done boo-hooing, even she used one or two classics herself to refer to Rhett’s ancestry.

Nowadays, it’s hard to get through an entire day without hearing profanity on television and from every other teenager. With all these swear words floating around, no wonder by the time a tot is four, his or her parents are in a panic to try to explain what words are “good” and what words are “naughty.” When I was a kid, I remember catching my parents attention when I repeated a few dandy words I heard my father use!

Sometimes things happen in life that just need a good, gusty curse word to relieve the tension. Even my most prim and proper friends let go with a resounding word every now and then. Maybe that’s what we need to pass along to the younger generation – save those words for when they are really needed, not casually toss them out in every sentence. Give them meaning – and if necessary – shock value. Classy cussin’ is what separates the amateurs from the pros.

Rhett would be so proud.

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Number Jungle

When was the last time you forgot your own phone number? Or Social Security number? Well, here’s some news. You didn’t forget. All those numbers got lost in the Number Jungle.

The Number Jungle is where ALL those numbers go that you have to remember. Sometimes they get all scrambled together, like your phone number, the phone numbers of a dozen friends, your secret code to your online bank information, and all those “PIN” numbers you have to remember.

Life seems to get more complicated just when you think you can slow down. Remember when you were a kid, how simple the answer was to the question, “Well, well, how old are you now, Sweetie?” All you had to do was hold up your hand with the appropriate number of fingers extended. Of course, that only worked for five years. After that, you were expected to answer verbally. If you wanted to sound older, you could answer with, “I’m almost six and a half!”

Now we have all these numbers swirling around, jumbling up together, and when we tap in numbers to resolve a problem with Ma Bell, or have a question about our insurance, we have to sort them all out again.

Maybe we shouldn’t complain too loudly, though. Someone will come along and try to imbed an I.D. chip somewhere in our bodies for security purposes. Probably in our index finger so we can press it against I.D. scanners to open security doors or transmit the information over the phone.

Humm. That would give a whole new meaning to giving someone “The Finger.”

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords

Lala Land

Just where is Lala Land? Every now and then, I want to go there for a few hours. I think I’ve been there before, but it seems that there is something about actually being IN Lala Land that makes you forget exactly where it is.

I wonder if Lala Land is different for the individual travelers and the transportation they use to get there. I “Googled” Lala Land and in a mere 20th of a second came up with 2,320,000 locations – and all seem to be different. Some claim to own Lala Land, other sites tell you how to get there or have souvenirs you can buy. Some sites are for children and promise games, others are for “adults only” and also promise games.

My personal Lala Land would have chocolate, dark rich chocolate that has no calories and cures everything. Upon entering my Lala Land, pounds and years would drop away and nothing would ache or smell like Bengay.

After being in my Lala Land for awhile I would still want to come back to the town of “Reality.” It’s where all my friends and family live and there’s just not enough chocolate in my Lala Land to keep me there for long. Besides, there is a sale on Hershey Bars at Walgreens this week.

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords

Thursday, January 05, 2006


I have found that most people have one of three emotions about cats. Of the three groups, not one can be persuaded to change their feelings and, in some cases, become even more passionate about their feelings to the point of threatening to “run over the damn cat” or “run over you if you touch my cat.”

The first of the groups is the Cat Lover. The Cat Lover has anywhere from one to a zillion cats and can often be discerned in public by the faint smell of cat ammonia. Their clothing is covered in cat hair and when they sneeze (which they often do), wisps of cat hair float off their own hair and clothing creating an aura of fur. If you have the slightest allergy to anything, you can not visit their homes or ride in their cars. Cat Lovers fervently defend their right to collect even more cats as well as the rights of the cats to deposit “gifts” in your garden when their litter pans are full (which they often are). Never suggest to a Cat Lover that they either (a) try to find homes for the excess cats, or (b) take the overflow to the shelter/animal control/nearby river. Cat Lovers can hurt you. Responsible Cat Lovers spend thousands of dollars on the care of their cats and most have their collection of felines “fixed” to prevent the arrival of more kitties. Irresponsible Cat Lovers revel in the arrival of a new litter, adding to the already overpopulation of cats and ultimately the misery of the cats, particularly in a neighborhood of Non-Cat Lovers who are fed up with the destruction of their flower beds and tell-tale pussy prints all over their windshields. Non-Cat Lovers can make cats disappear either to the shelter, animal control or, well, that, um, other place.

Non-Cat Lovers are just as passionate about their feelings and often express their dislike of cats in conversation and action. Some Non-Cat Lovers are cruel and should be given a good smack on the tops of their heads to readjust their thinking about the humane treatment of all animals. Non-Cat Lovers who hurt cats often have deeply embedded personal issues or are just stupid. Some Non-Cat Lovers just hate cats, but do them no harm. Some people don’t hate cats, but are not too crazy about the Cat Lover with the zillion cats and a garden full of cat poop.

Cat Neutrals are the people who are not even aware of cats. “Cats? There are cats around here? Where? I’ve never seen them?” A Cat Neutral is so busy, he or she could have a cat sleeping on the foot of the bed and not know it. They also don’t recognize the presence of dogs, birds, the neighbors, small children (even their own), or if it is raining. Cat Neutrals are intensely focused on their own projects and goals and seldom come out of their self-induced fogs. Most Cat Neutrals are also divorced. Wonder why?

Now that we’ve discussed these three types of cat emotions, if you are a Cat Lover, please keep Kittyums out of my garden or I will be forced to release my darling 150-pound “Fluffy” from the confines of my house to see how fast your cat can scale my eight-foot fence.

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Men should have mammograms to understand the emotions of the community of women who sit in their little pink smocks in a cheery room waiting to have initial or follow-up X-rays or sonograms or more, or for the doctor to read the results and deliver the diagnosis.

Men would then understand the fear a woman faces whether it’s her first or tenth mammogram.

They should see the bravery of the woman struggling to hold back tears as she heads to the changing room after the devastating news that will forever change her life and perhaps end it far too early. It’s then her burden to share the news with her family and while facing her personal fears, try to soothe the emotions of her loved ones. She also sees the days stretch out before her in seemingly endless rounds of doctors, hospitals and treatments.

Men should share the elation of the woman who receives the “all clear” as the tension drains from her face to be replaced with relief and smiles. Men should witness the camaraderie as the other women offer congratulations for having “escaped” the dreaded disease for another year.

They should see the young mother of two small boys sit in the corner avoiding the eyes of the other women to not reveal her nervousness over the uncertainty of what to expect. Then the men should watch as an older woman, a grandmother, senses the fear of the younger woman and draws her into a casual conversation about wallpaper, then squeezes the younger woman’s hand as her name is called for “the test.”

Physically, mammograms are no big deal. They are uncomfortable and on occasion, a bit painful, but they can help detect the tiny beginnings of a monster.

Men should understand the importance of this annual ritual and that without the exams and early detection, many more of us would be lost. They should encourage and support their women to have the exams. Go with them and hold their purses and wait patiently in the family area for their return. Holding a purse for someone you love is much easier than saying “goodbye” forever.


(In memory of my beautiful friend Harriette.)

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords