Life. It happens every day. Several cases in point:
My wife and I were fortunate not long ago to cruise aboard the new Oasis of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship. It was a magnificent experience, but they're still working out the glitches here and there.
The daily bulletin listed the time and place for a “towel-folding” class. It sounded like fun because our cabin attendant was so skilled at folding a towel into the shape of an animal — a dog one night, an elephant the next, a turtle after that.
We arrived at the designated place at the designated time, no easy task on a ship so large.
We were greeted at the door by a priest in full vestments.
“Are you folks here for the Mass or the towel-folding?” he asked.
“Forgive me, Father,” I said, “for I have sinned. We're here for the towel-folding.”
He said a mistake had been made in the bulletin and he didn't know where the towel-folding class was.
• Speaking of folding things, why is it that no matter how many times I try, I can never fold a fitted sheet just right?
• Apparently “stewardess” is the longest word that can be typed with just the left hand. I'd like to tell you I figured that out after months of trial and error at the keyboard, but that would be a lie.
Also, the only 15-letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is “uncopyrightable.” However, except in the most technical sense, I'm not sure it's a legitimate word. If you have to attach a prefix and a suffix to invent a new word and make a point, is it really a word?
• Child abuse, spousal abuse, animal abuse — all are terrible things but all have organizations devoted to fighting them. What about language abuse? Am I the only one worried about it?
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, once President Obama's minister, lamenting the shoddy treatment he said he got from the President:
“When Obama threw me under the bus, he threw me under the bus literally.”
Really? I'm happy the good reverend survived such a horrifying act, but where's the public outcry calling for the President's criminal indictment?
• Here's one more, an actual quote from a professional baseball player reacting last winter to the trade of a teammate:
“I got a text from [another teammate], and he was like, ‘What are we doing?' And I was like, ‘Didn't we get Halladay?' And he was like, ‘Yeah, but we traded Lee.' And my mouth dropped like, ‘That wasn't part of the deal.'”
Wow. My mouth is, like, dropping, too. And I don't, like, like it.
• During World War II rationing, Americans were limited to three new pairs of shoes a year. This would have been no problem for me. I've never bought three pairs of shoes in a year. Five years, maybe. I just can't seem to wear the things out. It sure can't be because I'm light on my feet.
• Life's Embarrassing Moments, Incident 72: I opened the front door to let the dog out the other day and admonished him to take care of his business. Using the colorful language we all do when we think we're alone, I shouted: “You go poop!”
One problem. At that instant, and unseen by me until it was too late, a visitor in my neighbor's driveway was getting into her car. She had to hear me, but she was kind enough to keep going. I'm sure the dog thought it was hilarious.
• If you can't find something to laugh about every day, you're just not paying attention. A bill came in the mail from a clothing store where I had purchased a pair of jeans. Next to the amount charged was the department where the sale originated: “Men's Bottoms.”
• Walton's Law: Why is it that when you drop something on the floor, your first attempt to pick it up often fails? I think it has to do with a deep-seated, repressed anger for having dropped it, and a resolve to swoop it up with minimal effort.
• If the U.S. Postal Service wants to eliminate Saturday mail delivery, fine. It seems as if Saturday's mail always brings something unpleasant that you can't deal with — or complain about — until Monday, such as an unexpected and unwarranted bill.
I say, keep the bad stuff at the post office until Monday and let me enjoy the weekend.
Thomas Walton is retired editor and vice president of The Blade. His column appears every other Monday.
Contact him at:firstname.lastname@example.org
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