• I have no desire to kiss an animal. Zero. I may pet a dog, nudge a frog, pat a horse, let a ladybug crawl to the top of my finger. But that’s it. No animal kissing — or (ugh) licking!
• Speaking of… How lucky is it that humans do not have beaks! “I would like to kiss you, but unfortunately I have a beak.” What a downer that would be! Though it would be offset to some extent by one’s proficiency with sunflower seeds.
• Speaking of… Birds feed their babies and birds feed each other. Given that, I think it is more than plausible that wild birds understand the idea of a bird-feeder, i.e., that a feeder is not just some prolific seed-bearing plant but a way for someone to feed them. I am also convinced that squirrels know bird-feeders are meant to feed birds, not squirrels, and that squirrels know they’re getting away with something when they raid them.
• The statute of limitations for issues between couples should be one week. If a grievance isn’t urgent enough to mention in seven days, the aggrieved should forfeit his/her right to bring it up. This dictum, when observed by both parties, has the early benefit of bringing to light issues that may bear on the happiness of a relationship, and the later benefit of keeping grudges and resentments from growing. Not that my spouse and I ever formally agreed to this but we have evolved to something like it over the past 50 years.
• Certain people think their mission in life is to extract money from other people’s wallets, cooking up business schemes to exploit cracks in the system and personal vulnerabilities. These entreparasites (my coinage) are not only OK with their chosen role in the economic food chain but can’t fathom why anyone would pass up the chance for such easy money.
We have encountered a few such operators here. They present themselves well and speak impressively of their careers. They tell you they are the CEO of this, or the founder of that, or the chief medical officer of some testing lab set up expressly to run gratuitous (that is, expensive) tests ordered by their affiliated nontraditional medicine practice, of which this town has many. Most scammers do not hail from Nigeria — they work and live among us and regard what they do as success. Ain’t capitalism great?
• My current primary care physician is wonderful, but some PCPs don’t seem to want to deliver primary care. I hate getting triaged to specialists for things I know a PCP should be able to handle if they were willing to work with me. It’s akin to going to your car mechanic and saying “My car won’t start” and the response is like, “OK, so we need to send you to a battery specialist.”
• “We need a bio-molecular physiologist in here! This man is dying!” Hard to believe that this line could be said with a straight face by any actor, even one portraying a surgeon in a Star Trek: Next Generation episode.
• Hypothesis: Humanity is becoming increasingly fractionated. Sub-populations choose to divide themselves into smaller and smaller socio-political units, i.e., tribes. This may (or may not) be due to deep-seated intolerance for diversity and an innate preference for being among “people like themselves.” It also may (or may not) reflect an unwillingness of pluralities to share social and economic benefits with minorities. The United States may (or may not) be exceptional in this regard. Perhaps this report, “Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape” (More In Common, 2018), will provide us some insight.
• Here’s a public service announcement from The 100 Billionth Person Department of Mental and Spiritual Health. It’s a serious one, so go ahead and send your kids/yourself out of the room if you feel like you need to do that. Although many readers of this blog are grandparents, this message goes out to parents and grandparents alike. Don’t give your children/grandchildren cute names for their private parts. Later in life, they may recall such names at inopportune times and the remembrance will be unwelcome. So just refer to their parts by anatomical names. Also, refrain from giving your children/grandchildren pejorative nicknames related to their bathroom habits, smells, etc. Trust me, that is not how anyone wants to remember you remembering them. Thank you.