I have a yellowing piece of newsprint, dated June 7, 1994, tacked up over my desk. It’s got what they call a “screamer” headline in large, block type: “12 U.S. SENATORS ARE SPACE ALIENS!” It has pictures of the, uh, aliens, including Senators John Glenn, Phil Gramm, Christopher Dodd, and my personal favorite, Nancy Landon Kassebaum (which is the only one that makes any kind of intuitive sense, given that her dad was -? Alf.) . It also has a picture of President Bill Clinton shaking hands with one of those anemic-looking aliens I believe that the researchers refer to as the “small gray,” with the giant almondy-shaped eyes. I have taken this with me from job to job for thirteen years now, and it never fails to start a conversation. Thank you, Weekly World News of Boca Raton, Florida. With the end of the newsprint run of the paper, I’m going to have to find some other source for my periodic updates of office decor.
When my husband and I got a dog from the Lawrence Humane Society shelter a couple of years ago, we realized the very first day that said dog had a problem with pretty much any commercially-produced dog food. Not to put too fine a point on it, he got sick every time he ate. We had dutifully purchased the same kind of dog food he’d been getting at the shelter, poured it out faithfully twice a day, watched him eat…and then got to see the food again a few minutes later, if you get my drift.
I had occasion to go to a meeting a couple of years ago, where I met a large number of very intelligent people who had gathered to talk about ostensibly very intelligent things. And in one of the conversations I had, the subject of television came up. I kind of internally groaned when this happened, because I happen to like television…and in any situation where there are a bunch of professional writers and professors gathered together, invariably at least one person will get all huffy and superior and will grump about how they hate television, they don’t even own a television, and how television is rotting our minds from the inside out.