More Than 15 Minutes of Fame?

My very helpful girlfriend and I were going through boxes of my old stuff, and she was helping to determine what is worth keeping and what I should get rid of. One particular box had high school newspapers, theater programs, literary magazines and more. At this point in my life I’m not really sure what is worth keeping. Who is really interested in reading the musings of an arrogant high school agitator? At the time I packed this box – with newspaper stuffing from 1985 – I thought I was keeping everything for my biographer. My girlfriend used to do the same thing, but she has already been through some of her childhood boxes. How famous did I think I was going to be? she asked herself.

Marketing with Urban Dictionary

Now that I have an hour commute each way two days a week, I am spending more time in gas stations. That means I am seeing more gas station marketing. Thungry? asked a sign on top of the gas pump. It showed a combo of a drink and a snack. I had to look up this word and the first search result was from Urban Dictionary. It is obviously a combination of thirsty and hungry, but it is commonly invoked after consuming mind-altering substances. Slang like this works when you know your audience. It means something to them and means nothing to others.

Competing Adverbs

I am a fan of the preciseness of language. Some words have a subtle nuance that really should cause you to use one word over another. But sometimes, in the real world, people make these distinctions that just don’t make sense. An airport parking kiosk had its sign updated, changing how you are supposed to insert your card into the slot. It changed from rapidly to quickly. Or was it from quickly to rapidly? I really don’t know the difference between these two words, so I don’t know which way the change happened.

Competing Soap Adjectives

There has been much talk about body washes and the shape of bottles lately, but I’m more interested in the words on the bottles. Two different flavors of body wash from the same brand list their scents as refreshing and relaxing. This is soap. To wash your body. It’s not tea. Are they asking us to buy two bottles of soap? A refreshing one for the morning and a relaxing one for the evening? Does the scent of your soap really influence your mood?

The Inefficiency of Plastic Bags

My first job was as supermarket bag boy. I was properly trained – by video and in person – in the packing of grocery bags. These were paper bags with a defined rectangular footprint. I learned how to pack by both shape and weight. This was before the days of plastic bags. Not only do plastic bags have no structure, but they have no rules for packing. I had enough groceries that they fit in a hand-carried basket. It all would’ve fit in one properly packed paper bag. I walked out of the store with five plastic grocery bags.

Mixed Messages

I saw a Honda Accord with a confederate flag license plate. I don’t know how much to read into this, besides just commenting on the incongruousness of it. Supporters of the “War of Northern Aggression,” as it is often referred to in the South, are more likely to drive pick-up trucks or big American gas guzzlers. A furrin car that gets good gas mileage just doesn’t seem to fit.