The Great Mysteries of Life

Posted: Nov 12, 2007 12:01 AM
The Great Mysteries of Life

There are certain arcane matters that I fully comprehend. Among them are baseball’s infield fly rule, how to read the Racing Form and even how to decipher the critical raves they run in ads for really rotten motion pictures. The trick there is to fill in the blanks, so, for instance, if the ad quoting the reviewer for the Sheboygan Herald reads in its entirety “Oscar worthy!” it’s safe to assume that the line originally read “If they gave Academy Awards for all-around incompetence, this movie would take home all the Oscars.”

Still and all, there are a number of mysteries even I can’t figure out. For example, why doesn’t everyone love dogs? I’m not saying I hold dogs dearer than my wife and friends, but, on average, I like strange dogs better than I like strange people. For one thing, they’re friendlier. For another, none of them will be voting for Hillary Clinton.

I realize that there are people who have had traumatic experiences with a canine sometime in their childhood and never managed to get over it. But, having had such an experience myself, I don’t think it’s a good enough reason. In my case, I was riding my bike one day when I was about nine years old when suddenly this mutt came racing towards me, jumped up and bit my leg. Somehow I managed to keep riding and, fortunately, I was wearing jeans or corduroy pants, so he didn’t draw blood. But it took several nerve-racking shakes of my leg before the little bruiser let go of his grip. I admit I was scared, but holding a grudge against dogs after that one incident would make about as much sense as giving up on women just because some UCLA coed turned me down for a date fifty years ago.

Another thing that confounds me on a regular basis is when American blacks insist that whites are racist. After all, I don’t see whites marching in the streets every time some white thug is arrested. But the only reason that blacks ever demonstrate is to indicate solidarity with the likes of Rodney King, O.J. Simpson, Michael Vick or the punks known as the Jena Six. It seems to me that when one’s basis for moral outrage is predicated solely on having similar pigmentation, we’re talking racism.

That brings us to coffee, of all things. I accept that java means a lot less to me than it does to most of you. And by most of you, I’m including my wife, who seems to require the stuff with the same frequency as my car requires gas -- and in nearly equal quantity.

Recently, having to kill some time between appointments, I stopped at a Starbuck’s. Frankly, I was shocked at the prices they were asking for what is essentially colored water. I ordered either a grande, a gargantuan or a humongous, but it was, needless to say, the smallest size they had. Still, I got very little change for my five dollar bill.

In fact, I think the only way they could possibly charge more is if coffee were made illegal just like all those other illicit drugs. At which point, I suppose the Afghani farmers could stop growing those darn poppies, the Colombian drug cartels could switch from heroin to decaf, and I could finally get my wife into rehab.