July 8, 2005

Some things just aren’t right

I’ve had a chance to take a breath, look around and survey the world around me, and I’ve noticed some things just don’t make sense. Some of these things we just take for granted… be it a phrase, a piece of clothing, or a sticker on the back of your car. That’s what I’m writing about this time… some things just aren’t right.

Shouldn’t shirts and pants be considered “overwear” since they are worn over your underwear? Undershirts… isn’t skin under shirts? Having the shirt you wear under a shirt called undershirt…what is under the undershirt? Skin. Skin is the original undershirt. An undershirt is technically just a second shirt… a layer if you will. Of course, there is nothing that says you have to wear a shirt over the undershirt, but pretty much everyone has skin on under the undershirt, so wouldn’t it be more correct to call them “overskins?”

Also, if undershirts are called that… shouldn’t hats be called “topofheads” and socks called “undershoes?”

Speaking of mislabeling things, what about doughnut holes? If they were really holes, they’d be air. Doughnut balls, I can understand. Doughnut rounds. Doughnut circles. OK. What if I’d rather have a doughnut slice? I want to know my doughnut product isn’t just the filler of the hole that someone else’s doughnut came from. If you really think about it, doughnut holes are just leftovers that they are selling to you. Now… a doughnut slice was made especially for you. Hand crafted by people who care about their product. Yeah.

Sometimes signs are misleading. I walked past this sign a few weeks ago on Sixth Street in Austin that said 22 ice-cold beers on tap. That’s a flat out lie - unless it’s a beercicle. A beer cannot be ice cold or it would actually be… um… ice. That’s why a beer explodes when you put it in the freezer for too long, it turns to ice, expands and POP (kids, don’t try this at home [do it at a friend’s house]). If it’s in a keg it certainly wouldn’t be able to come out the tap. It’d be ice. Ice-cold beer is ICE. I know I’m harping on this, but some people just have to choose better wording.

It’s like the concept of “first-annual” There is no such thing as a first-annual anything. An example of this? On July 3, 2005 Carls Corner Truck stop in Hillsboro, TX hosted Willie Nelson's 1st National Annual BBQ & Chili Cookoff Truck & Tractor Pull. Now, Willie’s folks should know better. The term “annual” assumes that it happens on a yearly basis, or “annually.” If its never happened before, it has no track record…it cannot be an annual event. Now, “first-ever” is fine. Willie Nelson's 1st Ever National BBQ & Chili Cookoff Truck & Tractor Pull. I won’t even get into what the heck a “1st National Annual” means.

Also, the phrase “it’s not even funny” is something that doesn’t need to be said. The phrase is used like “I’m so tired that it’s not even funny.” Did my tiredness stand the chance of ever being funny to begin with? Now: “Sean Claes wrote this humor column, and it’s not even funny.” That would be a sad thing, but a correct use of the phrase.

Enough about stupid words… how about idiot drivers. I was driving down the road recently and this lady in a silver Honda Element was in the lane next to me, about 2 car-lengths back. My lane was about to end, so I put my turn signal on and started to move over… she guns it so I can’t get in. So, she passes me up and I slide in behind her (she left a huge gap between her and the car behind her because she sped up to be in front of me). Whatever makes you sleep better lady… but think about it — now you pissed off the guy who can follow you if he so desires.

That’s not even the funny/sad thing. She has a sticker on the back of her vehicle with her son’s first name, school, and a football helmet with his number on it (#32). Now I know that the dude who plays #32 for this particular high-school (I won’t disclose the school name) has a mom who is a tool of a driver. So, if I ever want to look this person up, I’ve got everything I need… right from the genius’ rear window.

I won’t even go into how stupid and dangerous it is to put your kids name on a sticker on the back of your vehicle’s window for all of the freaks in the world to see.

Ok.. moving on. I went to the barber the other day and they had a promotional item with their logo on it… that’s great. I think barbershops, no matter what size should have promo items. The problem was, this particular promo item was a hat. If you are a good barber (as mine is, you may have read in a previous column of mine) you shouldn’t, under any circumstance, give hats away. It’s like a manicurist giving away gloves.

Simarlarly, I was looking through a promotional item catalog (don’t ask why) and I came across a round-shaped hand-held fan. The logo on it was an energy corporation. Am I the only one that sees the humor in that? That’s like giving away an Exxon bike or a Diamond Shamrock skateboard. Shouldn’t your promotional item not be an alternative to the item you’re selling?

I’ll close for now. There are so many other things wrong…but perhaps you should go scrape a sticker off your vehicle’s window now. Until next time.