Winter is a time to muse about the mysteries of life. Here are some unanswered questions I have been thinking about lately.
Why does the lip balm I keep in my pocket always seem to be screwed to the top of the lid whenever I open it? Does the action of walking turn the knob at the bottom? If so, why does it always go up and never down?
How do extension cords, necklaces and ear bud wires tie themselves into knots, even when they are carefully rolled up or put away? It apparently takes much more effort to untie them than to tangle them.
Is it an unavoidable truth that whatever line one chooses in a Wal-Mart, it will always be the slowest? I try to select the queue with the most experienced looking cashier, but something always seems to slow down his or her efficiency. And, heaven forbid I decide to switch lines to another that appears to be moving along better. I will inevitably be punished with an even longer delay.
Are there any restrictions on how loud a motorcycle engine can be? Some of them rattle the windows of my house as they drive by. And, why would anyone choose to put those high-rise handlebars known as “ape hangers” on as accessories? I can barely lift my arms above my shoulders for more than a few seconds. How can it be comfortable to drive that way?
How can there be so many different shades of black? I have a black overcoat, a black suitcoat, a black tie, black socks, black shoes and a pair of black pants. I put them all on together, and I have six different hues that don’t necessarily look good together. You would think black is black is black.
What is the purpose of having a dominant hand? Wouldn’t it make more sense if we could accomplish tasks with either appendage? I would give my right arm to be truly ambidextrous.
Though this is not my original thought, I have to wonder why dogs don’t like it when people blow in their faces, but given an opportunity, they will stick their heads out the windows of moving cars and love the feeling.
I am always amazed at how much a bowling ball is deflected by a single pin. I don’t know the exact disparity in weights between the ball and the pin, but I am sure the former weighs significantly more than the latter.
The game is all about physics. I have learned by watching the senior bowlers in our local league—notice I differentiate between them and me—that throwing harder does not necessarily create better pin action. I have also discovered that yelling at the ball once it has been released rarely has any effect on the outcome.
Squirrels are very inefficient in their nut-burying method. Why can’t they remember where they have stashed their caches? Then, I wouldn’t have all those divots in my yard.
And, why is the word “squirrel” so difficult for Germans to pronounce?
Why are Kansans the only people in the United States who don’t have a cool accent? I heard recently that we are unique in our use of the statement “Have a good one” when we part ways. I don’t know if that is true. But, I do like the response of one Hillsboroan to the suggestion to “Have a good day.” His reply: “Every day is a good day; some are just better than others.”
Bob Woelk teaches English and journalism at Hillsboro High School.