Thoughts @ Large: 75

• Not that I want a libel suit from some real-estate developer, but my guess is that if you buy a house on a street called “Timberly Waye” in Richmond, Virginia, you have probably bought more marketing than you did house.

• Netflix seems to have turned into the Lifetime Channel, only more violent and featuring better-known actors.  Apparently, their current business model is to flood the site with mediocre titles so that viewers ultimately click on one, any one, out of sheer entertain-me frustration.  But do we still subscribe?  Yes — for now.

• • • • 

I once had a goldfish named Sad
When having a fish was a fad
But one day its scales
Turned a white shade of pale
Then it floated upside-down without rhyming or anything.

• • • • 

• We recently set out on the internet to arrange the (perfect) house rental in our area for a six-night stay in June, so that our children and grandchildren could visit us and have their own space — and so none of our tchotchkes get broken and peace prevails.  We signed up for one promising property, which looked to have a backyard play area for the grandkids, based on the posted photos.  A few days later, after we obtained the address of the rental, we did a drive-by and saw the yard was filled with weeds and poison ivy.  We contacted the owner who admitted, no, they never venture into the backyard due to the poison ivy.  Long story short, we cancelled the reservation and, after much persistence on my spouse’s part, we got our deposit back, including (finally) the non-refundable AirBnB service fee.

The reason I’m telling this story is that the idea of renting a property at location-unknown, as AirBnB forces one to do, is stupid.  This gives all the advantages to the landlord and puts the renter in the position of buyer-beware, in the name of what?  To avoid drive-bys, informed choice and comparison shopping?  Yes, exactly.

• I have taken stock and decided that, for much of the pandemic, I was in Meatloaf Mode.  That is a state of mind dominated by comfort foods like meatloaf and mashed potatoes, metabolically-charged junk foods like Arby’s and Cheetos, and passably-comforting drinks which are nonetheless drunk.

In Meatloaf Mode, various things are ingested to take the place of warm smiles, grasped hands, upper-body embraces, laughter, spontaneous conversation and jokes, and all the other tokens of the ordinary commerce of human interactions.  When this commerce is thwarted, some of us turn to — meatloaf and its comestible cousins.

In Meatloaf Mode, folks try to make up for all the sensations they have missed by stuffing a lot of stuff down their throats.  It works, sort of, as a short-term distraction.  But your gut soon informs you that what you’re eating isn’t a ticket to Happy Land.  Your body knows what works even when you don’t.  It pleads, don’t mistreat me just because you’re lonely.

• In the United States, we have a baby-bird model of hospital care.  Unless a baby bird stretches its throat up as high as it can, to get attention and show its vitality, it is less likely to get fed and survive.  Patients in U.S. hospitals are treated like baby birds.  They need proxies who stretch their necks out on their behalf.

• In the United States, we have a better idea where our Uber driver is and what time we will be picked up than when, if ever, the hospital nurse/doctor who needs to attend to us will show up and answer our questions.  Perhaps this is the future: Uber Health Care.

• If someone offered me a dollar for each one, I could probably name 700 or so baseball players. (Many more from the past than the present.)  For football, I might be able to list 200 players.  Golf, probably 100.  Basketball?  Maybe 25-30.  Tennis, about the same.  Hockey, I can think of 10.  And soccer, there was Pelé, Messi, Beckham and Wambach.  And I had to think hard about Wambach.  That’s it.

• Oh, I forgot bowling.  Wasn’t there a bowler named Anthony?  So him, and The Dude.

• No one really wants to walk down Memory Lane with you unless they lived there too.

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4 Responses to Thoughts @ Large: 75

  1. Judi says:

    So did you find another AirBNB? I’ve rented many places and can only think of one horrible experience Laura had that would discourage me from renting in the future. It’s good you checked it out since the yard was one of the important amenities. Have a good rest of Your summer.

  2. Rob says:

    Regarding that limerick. As Charlene Darling once said, “That one makes me cry.”

  3. Rick says:

    My daughter’s in-laws had a horrible Airbnb experience. One of the cousins had a high school graduation this weekend and they had 20 people renting a large Airbnb place. Unfortunately it already been rented by someone else. The owner put it on VBRO and Airbnb and rented it on both so they got canceled and 20 people were scrambling to find a place to stay this weekend ruining all their plans.

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