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Significant Details: The Little Things

February 13, 2014

FEB. 8, 2013 –– There’s a sappy little saying that assures us “it’s the little things in life that count.” Well, here are some little things that are annoying, amusing and befuddling, especially if you’re getting grumpy about getting older.
It’s not reassuring when you walk into an antique store and your first thought is, “Gee, I didn’t realize all my kitchen utensils and equipment are worth so much money.”
I recently bought two spiral notebooks. (Yes, kids, they still make notebooks filled with paper.) When I tried to open them, the pages were sticking together. Really? America’s forgotten how to make a notebook? When I tried to flip to a new page, the paper ripped. So I started tearing out the “bad” pages and grunting. I only stopped when my aged brain thought it heard a computerized voice (was it you, Siri, you snooty tramp?) whispering, “Go digital, you old loser, go digital.”
Back in the real world, there’s a new kid-friendly food: Hershey’s Chocolate Spread, and its competitor, Skippy’s Chocolate Spread. Yep, chocolate that you spread on bread, toast or, and this is the best, fresh fruit, like strawberries, or veggies, like celery, for “a healthy treat.” It seems this nation is so lazy that it can’t even muster up the energy to chew pieces of chocolate. We can only lick chocolate off a spoon. Ponder that for a while and rightly conclude: America is in decline.
Which is exactly the raving rant repeated by an old friend during a recent email exchange. He went off like a Chinese firecracker when I asked why he hadn’t retired yet. “Retire? Guys my age and economic standing are on the front lines of the too poor to retire, too stupid or burned out to mount a final push brigade. We’re foot soldiers in a growing army that’s asking when can we move into a decommissioned military base for protective custody so the young kids won’t kill us. America in decline. Get used to it.” He’s a bit of a pessimist, actually.
Or maybe, since he’s from Colorado, his local Pot Shop was out of “product.” Legal reefers have forced the cops to make plenty of changes, including a rumored addition to the standard “traveler’s aid” kit. To help travelers, cops usually carry a little gasoline, jumper cables, a voucher for a motel room, suggestions on local mechanics, etc. Well, now cops have items to help foggy “marijuana tourists”: a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and a six-pack of Mountain Dew.
Another friend emailed me a cute little joke (yes, kids, some people still use email. It did not disappear when Facebook and Snapchat arrived. “Woot Woot.” Really? That’s a thing?). A guy in California had 100 guns and 100,000 rounds of ammunition in his house. The authorities take him away and place him on a mental health watch. In Texas, the same guy would just be “another Bubba who’s a little short on ammo.”
Bada Bing, Bada BOOM. (Now that’s a thing.)

(Jon Klusmire of Bishop would rather carry a legal pad than an iPad.)

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