I don’t go down to our basement often, but when I do, I always walk into spider webs I never see. They’re dangling in doorways, from the ceiling, wherever. It feels like they immediately wrap all the way around my head and behind both earlobes. After I’ve brushed the web away, for the next 60 to 90 minutes I feel like there’s a little bug touching some part of my body. First it’s behind my neck, then it’s on my arm, then it’s on my leg, then my back itches when I’m sure I was just bitten. It’s all psychosomatic, but that doesn’t stop me from forgetting to look for the webs next time I’m down there.
If that didn’t make you randomly scratch some body part, this might. Whoever invented clear calamine lotion should have gotten a Nobel prize. I’m shocked that stores still sell the pink version. Poison ivy is bad enough. Who needs weird stuff that looks worse than the rash I’m trying to get rid of?
I was talking with a friend the other day about Ryan Seacrest being named to replace Pat Sajak as host of “Wheel Of Fortune.” Seacrest, for whom the game show will be yet another concurrent broadcasting project, is often compared favorably to Dick Clark, whose “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” he took over several years ago. The analogy is apt, particularly if you consider that no one could quote for you anything memorable either of them has ever said.
We went to our favorite pizza place the other day. As we were eating, a guy sitting at the next table ordered chicken fingers and fries. In a pizza place. When the food came, I wanted to ask him if he could tell the difference in taste between the poultry and the potato, which had both been cooked in the same oil fryer — which is rarely turned on because this was a pizza place! It reminded me of the time I took a date to IHOP because it was the only late-night food alternative and was shocked at what she ordered. I told that story here.
I know we live in an age of increasing immediacy, but when did “hold on a minute” become “hold on a second”? Everyone who says it knows that whatever else they’re doing is going to take longer than a second because very few things can be accomplished in that amount of time. On the other hand, if you have a full minute, you can finish the reminder you have to leave for yourself before you forget about it. You can finish up the long, boring phone call with another person that you’d been trying to wind down for a half-hour. You can get the slice of toast out of the toaster before it burns, which it always does because you have it set too high. But the only thing you can realistically do in a single second is say, “hold on a second.”