Things That I Don’t Understand…

Today’s sermon from the pulpit is about understanding.

In this case, the lack thereof.

There are  many things in this world that I think I have a real good grasp of, and there are many other things that I know of in passing.

But sometimes I’m confronted with things that my brain (such as it is) cannot comprehend – in fact, if someone tried to explain them to me, I’m pretty sure that I’d mistake them for speaking Swahili with a touch of Polish.

I fully admit that this is through my own ignorance – which is probably incurable at this stage in my life.

For those who want to look down their noses at me for the following, please harken back to a simpler time in the golden age of cinema to the immortal words of Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Shall we get on with it?

ITEM NUMBER ONE

People who wear their watches on the inside of their wrists.

What is that all about?

Isn’t that a sure-fire way to guarantee your watch get’s scuffed up as it’s constantly rubbing against your clothes or things you’re carrying under your arm?

Also, it defeats the purpose of wearing a nice watch since nobody can see it.

Are you expecting people to compliment you on your outstanding choice in watch bands? “Hey, Frank! I admire your choice in stainless steel wrist bands. You should definitely see me after closing about a raise.”

Does this stem somehow from your being to lazy to turn your arm 45 degrees so you can tell the time?

I have no idea why this bothers me so much, but it does.

It’s just damn odd.

ITEM NUMBER TWO

Why do parents insist on bringing their screaming children to a store with them?

Are they so blissfully ignorant of their child’s wants/needs/tantrums that they don’t actually register the cacophony escaping little Jimmy Junior’s yap?

Do they simply not give a rat’s ass? Either about their child or the shoppers 20 aisles over that have to listen to the screaming?

Is it simply a symptom of parents being afraid of disciplining their children lest the Children’s Aid Society come and take their child away from them? (If this is the case, I find it on the whole unacceptable that a public bureaucracy has become such a boogeyman to society on the whole.)

If I had carried on like some of these kids do while my parents were in a store/restaurant/other public place, I would have for certain gotten a thump on the head – what us older people commonly refer to as a “brain duster” – for my effort.

Now, before you say it, I’m well aware that it’s hard to discipline a toddler or someone younger – and I’m not suggesting you apply the above method at all.

However… I am saying you should have the common courtesy of taking your child out of the store until she or he calms down.

Why is it that we have learned to tolerate ignorant people? It wasn’t so long ago that people would cluck their tongues and shake their head in an obvious manner as to let the parent know that they were being a major nuisance – or a store employee would politely ask you to step outside with your child.

I think store owners are just too afraid of being sued in this day and age for even suggesting something like that.

Which means the rest of us have to suffer as a result – at least until decency becomes trendy again.

Trust me… I’m not holding my breath.

ITEM NUMBER THREE

The machinations of the ice cream industry puzzle me to no end.

Can someone please tell me the difference between ice cream and frozen dessert? Especially since they’re  both packaged and marketed in the exact same way?

Ice cream comes in a 2 liter tub.

Frozen dessert comes in a 2 liter tub.

Both come in a cavalcade of assorted flavors.

Both are made from milk.

Both taste the same to me.

So what the hell is the difference?

Also… why has the price of store-purchased ice cream gone up by a margin of 100% in the past 3 years or so?

Are cows more expensive lately? Has the cost of feeding them skyrocketed?

Has the ice cream market chilled out to the point where they have to charge twice as much to make up for the fact that they’re making half the sales that they used to? (Yes… I’m discounting the circular logic that people are buying less ice cream since it’s more expensive.)

How has the price of ice cream at Dairy Queen or McDonald’s not followed suit? Ice cream at these stores has generally stayed the same with an allowance for inflation.

Why does it cost me $7 dollars to buy a tub of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream when it used to cost $3.50 only 3 short years ago?

Seriously.

What the hell?

ITEM NUMBER FOUR

Non-Alcoholic Beer.

What’s the purpose?

Does beer taste so great that you’re willing to forgo the actual reason for drinking beer in the first place?

Is this a product to make people who can’t handle alcohol look cool to their peers by supporting a popular beer brand?

If you’re a recovering alcoholic and purchasing this fake beer, doesn’t that make you masochistic?

ITEM NUMBER FIVE

People who bring large baby carriages onto public buses.

If two people do this, it remove six seats from the seating pool since they will flip up the two 3-person benches at the very front of the bus in order to park their carriages.

A) That seating is for the elderly, pregnant, and otherwise infirm populace.

B) It eliminates seating on already packed bus routes.

C) It creates difficult bottle-necking when it comes to getting on and off the bus.

When this situation occurs on a heavily utilized route, the bus ends up looking like a train in India.

When you think of it in civic terms, this is clearly a public safety issue, so why aren’t there firm policies in place to exclude this situation from happening?

ITEM NUMBER SIX

Finally, given the time of year it is, I ask this?

Why do TV networks pull new shows after like 3 episodes?

In this day and age, television shows are thoroughly tested with potential audiences for weeks (sometimes months) before being put on the airwaves for the mainstream public to consume.

This normally happens when they stupidly put their new show – which they’ve touted as the next best thing – against a ratings powerhouse like American Idol or Dancing With The Stars which have their own firmly entrenched fanbases which aren’t likely to switch to something unknown.

I understand the mechanics: poorly performing shows don’t pull in eyeballs to the advertiser’s commercials – which are what pay for network programming.

Instead of shifting a program around on the schedule to compete against something really weak – say, I don’t know, America’s Funniest Home Videos or some tripe like that – they just pull it off the air without trying  to foster audience growth which could lead to a bigger audience share for the network.

This happens to a lot of top-notch programming and is the major force behind the trend that results in pure crap Monday to Friday.

The best example I can think of in recent history was NBC’s short-lived Journeyman which built up a decent fanbase who were on the internet being quite vocal about their adoration of the program and the philosophical debates it inspired.

Though, I must admit, NBC did give the show a fair shake and allowed it to end somewhat on it’s own terms  with 13 epsiodes – which completely bucks the trend.

3 or 4 episodes tops! That’s all you get!

Unless your show is on Fox.

If it’s Fox, you’ll notice the inverse of this problem.

Successful shows are moved to days where nobody watches TV i.e. Friday night, and the shows that appeal to the lowest possible denominator move into the vacuum that’s left behind.

In case anyone missed it, Fringe has started that march to the TV Death Slot.

The show was on Wednesday with a solid American Idol lead-in last season, and now will be found on Thursday opposite CBS powerhouse C.S.I. and the like.

Watch it move to Friday at the mid-season point.

Then again, it IS Fox. It’s hatred for the television format is universal.

key_art_journeyman

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