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What Is That In Mouse Years (and other stupid things)?


Every now and again, I feel the need to clear out some of the thoughts, ideas and trivial things that happen to me and make their way (via my pen) to scraps of paper, receipts, etc. These things never become fully developed pieces, yet I feel the need to purge them from my vault. Here are just a few.

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I don’t understand how people can get so focused on something they lose track of time, or even forget to eat. I’ve never had that that kind of laser-like focus; to be able to home in on something with no awareness that hours – and meals -- had passed since I last stood up or broke my concentration. In my world, if I’m awake, I’m hungry. (Spoiler alert: I love to eat.)

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Why are dogs the gauge for calculating the animal-to-human age equivalency? Can’t we do it with any animal? I never hear people say, “What is that in kangaroo years,” or “You know, in people years, our pet python is four, but that’s like 12 for him.”

It’s easy math because all we have to do is compare the average “insert animal here” lifespan and divide it into let’s say 80 (which isn’t the average human lifespan, but close enough), and there’s your extrapolated “insert animal here” age. (I love the word “extrapolated; I hope I used it correctly. I know I used “home in” correctly in the previous item because I’m usually careful about that.) In other words, if the average lifespan of a mouse is one year, then that equates to around 80 people years, which means mice are getting drunk on New Year’s Eve every four-and-a-half days (give or take).

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By the way, it’s “home in,” not “hone in.” “Home” means to “zero in” or get closer, while “hone” means to sharpen. Likewise, “flesh out” means to give something more detail or substance, as in, “We’ll flesh out this idea at our next meeting.” To “flush out” means to clear away or remove something, as in, “We’ll flush out Darren’s position at our next meeting.”

Snobbery note: I apologize for the last paragraph; after re-reading, it’s comes across as arrogant and snobby.

Grammatical note: While I’m sure I know the correct meaning and usage of both phrase pairs listed above, I’m also aware my explanations and examples are weak and potentially confusing.

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Even after reading FDR’s famous quote, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” in the context of the speech in which it was given, I still don’t understand how it became memorable. If that kind of statement is the standard for a memorable quote, then I believe the people who came up with things like “It is what it is” or “That’s life” should be equally recognized. Also, as something who already has a good number of fears, now I should also fear “fear itself”? Frankly, that scares me even more.

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Tell me why breakfast in bed is ever a good idea.

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Recently, I saw a golf ball sitting in a grocery store parking lot. Big deal, right? I guess, but it brought up some questions. Why was a golf ball sitting in the middle of a grocery store parking lot? How did it get there? Why hadn’t anyone picked it up? How long would it be there before someone did, or before a car ran it over?

I left it there, not because I thought its owner would come back for it, just because maybe it would cause others to stop and wonder why it was there as well.

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Has anyone ever solved a Rubik’s Cube by accident? While I’d doubt it, it’s certainly within the realm of possibility, like winning the lottery or landing on an asteroid. (Wait, we did that, didn’t we?)

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There’s a billboard on a highway not too far from where I live that reads, “What would Jesus think of pornography?” I always chuckle when I see it because my first reaction is, “Well, I’m not sure, but I’m guessing he wouldn’t like it much.” Then, I wonder if the folks who bought that billboard (presumably a Christian group) really got the bang for their buck on that one. Seems like they could have taken so many different, more effective paths to getting their message across. Granted, the billboard is located near an adult gift shop, but still …

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I find when people start a statement by saying “With all due respect …” it generally means they have anything but respect for the person their addressing

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I accumulate a lot of trivial facts from doing crossword puzzles. Recently, I learned something from this clue: “Fastest creature on two legs.” The answer is ostrich, and it interested me enough to look up how fast they can run (45 mph). I now have a new irrational fear: being chased and caught by an ostrich.

And that, my friends, is what I call “fear itself.”

© 2020 David R. Haznaw

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© 2019 David Haznaw