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Perspective is like a flyer on the windshield

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POSTED: February 18, 2013 8:30 p.m.

Observing mankind can be very entertaining. Listening to what people say, how they act and how they react is often worthy of note ... maybe even a reality show.
Many years ago I was in Nashville, Tenn., and my wife and I decided we would attend the Grand Ole Opry in the old Ryman Auditorium.  It was in July and it was incredibly hot. It was so uncomfortable we decided to walk to the back of the building and stand by some open windows.
So an usher came up to us and said we were blocking a fire exit.
Later I got to thinking how silly that had sounded. We were blocking a fire exit? As if there was a fire we would not have run. Thinking back on that, I still get a laugh. As comedian Mitch Hedberg once said, “If you’re flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit.”
Speaking of fire, the other day I was driving behind a fuel truck. Across the back it said “inflammable.” I got to wondering, what is the difference between inflammable and flammable? I did some research. The only difference I could find is that if you crashed into that fuel truck, there would be one more syllable to burn. Some people think inflammable means non-flammable. Apparently they have never driven behind a fuel truck and wondered why someone was delivering gas that would not burn.
There’s just so much to think about and so little time!
One day I was in a shopping mall. There was a sign on an escalator that said “temporarily out of order.” I thought to myself, an escalator that is out of order is a staircase. So why did they have it blocked off with yellow tape? It could even have been promoted as a weight-loss program.
This morning at the breakfast club a fellow told me he gets really upset when he finds a flyer on his windshield. I got to thinking about what another stand-up comedian once said. “When someone tries to hand me a flyer, it’s kind of like they’re saying, ‘Here, you throw this away.’ ”
How we view things is called perspective. My cousin was rapidly going bald. His niece pointed it out to him. He said he wasn’t going bald, he was just getting a lot more face to wash.
I had a friend in college who smoked a lot of marijuana. And he always wore a necklace.  I asked him about the necklace, and he said he wore it so he could always tell when he was upside down. Given the amount of marijuana he smoked, that actually made sense. Sometimes it’s not what people say that can put one into a state of deep thought but what they don’t say. For instance, I’ve never heard anyone use a fraction when telling someone their lucky number.
What I mean is, we seldom pay for anything where the price tag is rounded off to the nearest whole dollar. So why would it sound so strange if someone said his lucky number was 24.6?
I’ve often heard the expression, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I understand the analogy.  But what if life gives you persimmons? Sometimes there are not enough analogies.
I wonder about our language, especially the terms young people use. Apparently we have parts of speech that didn’t exist when I was in school.
“Like he is so cool!” If I diagram that sentence, I don’t know what to do with “like.”
I realize that some words are just repeated without much thought. Take the word “totally,” another selection from youthful expression that I suppose doesn’t really need a lot of translation. If it did it would probably be something like: “So did you like that video I sent you?”
“All-encompassing!”
Have a good day. And remember what I said about “inflammable.”

Walden is the editor/publisher of the Moultrie Observer.

 

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