As the Winter Olympics come to a close I ask you this question..do you speak Olympian?It’s more than Greek to me–it’s like a cross between Mesopotamian and Klingon. When I hear the announcers describe what’s going on I wanna call 911 because I think they’re having apoplexies. What do I mean? ok…you flip on the snowboard half-pipe event. the announcer starts getting cranked up, just ready to scream out things that make no sense at all.. ok..here we go, there goes schleppy callaghan, whoa! just did a quadruple grab his ass backwards opposite front reverse rolling in the shit switch fake back side flip us off 1080 canadian bacon mindy method mulekick! That was awesome but the judges may take some points off for the shaky roast beef rusty trombone. Right. I can’t tell the method from the madness but i can pretty easily figure out some insane person that’s only 4 feet tall wearing baggy clothes just shot themselves into the air then did a bunch of contortions that made it look like the poor kid just got tased. Then, if they’re lucky, they land on their feet and shoot up the other side of the half-pipe and do something even more crazy that will once again set off the announcer who cries…..ohmygod! that’s the first anyone’s done a quintuple kiss your ass goodbye stiffy stuffy pickpocket …while eating a breakfast sandwich! Uh..yeah..whatever. None of the announcer’s gibberish helps me understand what just happened aside from watching a young person do things that, for most people, would prevent them from becoming an old person. With no hope of emulating what I’ve just seen, I attempt a soft sofa dismount, but lose 3 points for a two-footed landing..and spilling beer and chips on the carpet. I settle for a bronze..just beating an in-law who fell on a Frito.
Then there’s figure skating. I’ve been watching it for decades and to this day, I don’t know the difference between a flip, loop, lutz, salchow or axle. It’s all just skinny people lofting themselves above the ice, twirling, smiling, crying, falling in different ways. When I heard Tara and Johnny kvell that some skater landed a triple lutz, all I could think of was what my father would often ask when someone went crazy about something that didn’t impress him. he’d say, “yeah…but is it good or bad for the jews?” Lutz sounds German, so it probably isn’t. In fact, it’s named after Austrian skater Alois Lutz, but Austria’s just next door to Germany so I’m not budging. i suppose in this age of double, triple, quadruple screen viewing I could have webpages open that define all these terms but if my eyes are averted for even a second when i hear the announcer scream, “holy crap..they just landed a 1600pennsylvaniaavenuetrumpiancombover….and i miss it…well that would pretty much send me into a 1280snuffmytorch.
Note: no time to read? Link to podcast below
Here’s a riddle? How many brands does it take to screw up a light bulb? Answer: All of them! Here’s the situation. Tried to buy a light bulb lately? I did and my brain blew. Let me, er, illuminate the issue. Old days: Her: “Hey honey, the bulb in the bathroom blew. I need a 60!”
Him: “Sure. Here ya go.”
Today: Him: “Hey honey, the bulb in the bathroom blew. I need a 60!”
Her: “A 60? What kind? An incandescent, LED, squiggly? And what light temperature? 5000K? 2400K” Daylight? Oh..the squiggly doesn’t tell you the watts, but promises 60 watt ‘equivalent.’ So what’ll it be?”
Him: “Uh, never mind. Seeing is overrated.”
Yeah. Like that. We moved about 7 months ago into a house with about a million lights. Some are in the ceiling, some hanging from the ceiling, some are bulbs, some are floodlights, some are fluorescent and none are the same. Some have standard bases, some have candelabra bases, some look like a grown-up bulb, others are little bitty appliance size. I could fill up a footlocker with every permutation of illumination this house requires.
So we go to the nearest big box discount store to score some squigglies, technically known as CFLs. None. Go to another. None. Go to one leading home improvement store. None. WTF! I thought squigglies were supposed to supplant bulbous bulbs..the ones with filaments that sear your fingers..that incandescents were going to be as dead as Edison. Yet, there they were, looking smug on the shelves where squigglies once sat. An online search then revealed it’s lights out for squigglies because they contain mercury, which can kill you, so bulby-bulbs ain’t dead yet. BUT..they’re losing ground to bulby-looking LED bulbs which are supposed to last like a million years and burn cooler, making them better than incandescents, except a dozen of them cost the same as the monthly power bill for all of Akron.
We finally found some squigglies at another home improvement store and thought we were good until, wonder of wonders, all the squigglies available were 2400K and not the 5000K we required.
At this point I’m tempted to boycott bulbs completely and head to Yankee Candle where I can stock up on a couple of cases of Marshmallow Vanilla Madness tapers and pillars and go completely “Little House on the Prairie.” Maybe if enough people did that a bulb would go off in the heads of the manufacturers on how to go back to one standard. For godsakes…make it easier for us humans..to replace our lumens!
After another successful trip to our nearby Ikea store, it’s occurred to me foolishness like the federal government shutdown and other such obstacles could easily be avoided by following adopting the Swedish furniture chain’s model. The main feature being, its instructions for assembling Ikea furniture use no words, and one must concede, words are what stand in the way of progress.
Imagine, by following simple wordless instructions, proper use of the (included) hex wrench and fasteners and a little patience, all sorts of legislation could be cobbled together with time left over to enjoy a plate of tasty Swedish meatballs.
Eliminating words, and by extension, conversation and testy debate, cuts right to the chase. The only goal is completing the project with a minimum of wasted time and effort, and, yes, words… whether it be legislation, treaties, or screwing the taxpayers.
The Ikea model is entirely transferrable to the business place by instructing both management and labor on the otherwise indecipherable intricacies of navigating corporate culture.
The beauty of Ikea’s simply drawn instruction sheets is they leave no room for interpretation or improvisation. Step 2 just ain’t gonna work without completing Step 1 exactly. The requirement to adhere to such a cut and dry process would surely relieve members of Congress of the need to espouse their moronic prejudices on the way to preventing sensible action.
You may notice Ikea does toss a lifeline to those who find following illustrations just too challenging…by including one last drawing advising the terminally perplexed to actually call someone for help. I would imagine the person on the other end of the line would be a Swede with a Scandinavian’s penchant for never uttering more than 1.3 words at a time.
Perplexed customer: “Ikea, I can’t figure out how to put together my bookcase. Help!”
Ikea Swede: “Surrre you can. Goodbye.”
That’s just the kind of assistance members of Congress could use..a Government Swede who refuses to allow them to kick their responsibilities down the road.
Perplexed Member of Congress: “Government Swede..I’m having trouble with Step 4 in the Preventing a Government Shutdown instructions.”
Government Swede: “Just stop talking. Goodbye.”
As one who always practices what I preach, I’ve installed the Ikea Way here at home. Indeed, when I first suggested it, my family approached it with enthusiasm..quickly drawing an Ikea-like instruction sheet, guiding me through the three steps… of pulling my head out of my butt…and not a word was spoken! Try it!
A little fun with our favorite feudin’ world leaders on their nuclear buttons.