Just the facts, ma’am


In the old days, you know, B.C. (before computers), newspapers had typesetters. If they needed to fill in a page of print, those guys would often insert little articles, maybe an inch or two in length to do the job. These articles always appeared as facts, with something about the depth of the Marianas Trench or the number of hot dogs eaten at Ebbitt’s Field in 1951. We accepted it all as truth. But who knows, maybe they were invented right there on the spot by the people handling the presses. Perhaps, it was something like, “Hey, Moe, I need two inches on page three. Any ideas?” “Here’s one: A whale swallowed a polar bear whole in the Arctic Ocean, then migrated south. At Delray Beach, Florida, the whale burped up the polar bear. Locals thought it was just another hairy Yankee with a lousy disposition.” “Got it. Thanks!”

I miss those. Here are some more we may have missed:

  • There is no Scripture or Holy Text of any religion that states we are supposed to eat kale or cauliflower. (There are those of us who are convinced that eating this is an evil conspiracy perpetrated by vegan pagans!)
  • Airport hassles were devised by highway officials to encourage us to choose to drive. Highway construction delays were devised by airlines to get us to choose to fly.
  • We were blessed with children to take over from our parents without telling us what we are doing wrong in our lives.
  • In 1887, Cedric Hardnoggin attempted to go from Lands End, England, to Cape Cod, walking the entire distance on the ocean’s floor. Unfortunately, he had misjudged how long a snorkel he would need, and he did not get very far before his ill-fated demise at sea.
  • Pencil points and ink pens are made to break just as you are taking an exam or writing the Great American Novel.
  • In 1946, Mr. Abel Knott set out from New York to Los Angeles with a garden snail, attempting to see how long it would take the snail to cross the country. Fifteen years later, when they reached Death Valley, the snail expired. Having lost his traveling companion and the only one who ever listened to him, Abel died of loneliness. (There is now a bronze plaque in Death Valley memorializing these two travelers outside Pokey’s Escargot Bar.)
  • Fashion sense is hereditary, located on a female gene. (Note: my mother, wife, mother-in-law, daughter and granddaughters have all told me over the years I wasn’t dressed correctly.)
  • You can teach your dog to let you know when he needs to go outside. You cannot teach a dog to know the best time to do it.
  • Thomas T. Thomas developed the ability to communicate with lions and went to live in the Serengeti with a pride of lions. One night, after a big meal of impala, he blurted out a tasteless joke about lionesses, and he was never heard from again.
  • Hypothetically, if a person could stand in front of a mirror and turn his head faster than the speed of light, he could see the back of his head. (Not-so-hypothetically, tomorrow there will be people in the emergency room who will have tried this.)
  • If you took all the spaghetti in a box and laid them end-to-end, you will eventually reach the conclusion that you just wasted eight good helpings.

Just to let you know, one or more of these may or may not be true.

About Stan Glasofer 20 Articles
Stan Glasofer passed away in October 2020. He left us with several columns we are proud to share with our readers.

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