VIEW FROM AFAR

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DALE SUDERMAN
I do not know a lot of things. Combine the things I don’t know with the growing list of things I have forgotten and these days I face a steep learning curve.

For example, has anybody ever worn out a cast-iron skillet from excessive use? The cast-iron skillet is the most indispensable kitchen tool I own. I think my mother gave it me when I first lived alone. It shows no signs of wear after 40 years. What is it like to manufacture the only item in America that never wears out? How are their sales?

On occasion I buy bottled water at the grocery store. I notice the plastic bottle has an expiration date of August 2006. What happens after that? How does water spoil?

I swear that after I take my car in for an oil change at Jiffy Lube it runs smoother and even seems happier. I know this makes no factual sense. Could it just be an illusion based on the free vacuuming and window washing they throw in as an extra?

I know the tooth fairy always left a dime under my pillow when my baby teeth fell out. Why are there no coins under my pillow when I have teeth pulled as an adult? Isn’t this age discrimination in fairyland?

Is the word “hair” singular or plural in the English language? The King James Bible says the “hairs of your head are numbered.” But today hair is singular, “The hair on your head.” Common usage would talk about the “hairs on your chest.”

What is the principle for this?

When I am driving my car, I turn off the radio when I approach a freeway traffic jam or cruise a side street looking for an address. Apparently most people do this without realizing it. But why do we do it?

I wore my new suit to work last week. Some of my coworkers said, “You look really nice today.” They seemed flustered when I asked them, “Well, how did I look yesterday?”

People will tell me they lost their car keys and say, “I found them the last place I looked for them.” Has anybody found their keys the second last place they looked for them?

There is also of list of things best not known. For example, as somebody said, “It is best not to know how sausage is made or how legislation is passed in Congress.”

If you learn a technical skill such as how to put toner in the copying machine at work you are forever doomed to this messy task.

I know a man approaching 60 years of age who has persuaded his wife and family that he does not know how to make a pot of coffee. Thus he has successfully conned them into making his coffee for decades.

I also made a long list of things I have forgotten. (Some of them were very clever.) Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced that list.

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