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It’s 2016 and time for some answers
For this new year, I have decided to skip making resolutions and pose some nagging questions instead. These long-unanswered questions demonstrate more staying power than resolutions do anyhow, so here goes:
- What happened to the United Nations’ peacekeeping role around the globe? How did the United States of America get saddled with the job – and enormous expense – of global policeman? Only a few years ago, an international crisis called for a peacekeeping force composed of member nations of the UN. Now nobody mentions it. Why?
- Why should I be asked to “Press 1 for English?” Isn’t this America and isn’t English the language we speak? Yes! And to those merchants who confront their customers with this tomfoolery, I say: I never have and I never will press 1 for English, so “Puesto que en su pipa y el humo!”
- I give up: How much wood WOULD a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?
- And while we’re mulling that perennial riddle, once and for all, who IS on third?
- Speaking of riddles, here’s one my grandfather loved, so, obviously, it’s been around a while (and is still awaiting an answer): If a squirrel running up and down a log 40-feet long gains a foot per second with each circuit, how long will it be before he is going both ways at the same time?
- How did algebra ever become part of the core curriculum in high school – and why is it still there? I haven’t used algebra since I took the final exam, and I don’t know anybody who has. (P.S.: I made a C+ on the final exam and was glad to get it?)
- How many pints go into a gallon? (And if you know the answer, maybe you could tell my long-suffering Aunt Clara how many pints went into my Uncle Jasper, her late husband. His cause of death remains a mystery, but we can rule out thirst.)
- Who designed the Ocean Highway’s Median Project in Pawleys Island, S.C., and why has he not been horsewhipped in public?
- And if he still has a job designing highways, why? (Editor’s Note: In its, uh, wisdom, the S.C. Highway Dept. eliminated the suicide lane on Pawleys Island’s busy Ocean Highway in favor of a raised median that allows motorists to cross the highway at only two or three spots. In short, state bureaucrats fixed something that wasn’t broken.)
- Why can’t network sports announcers pronounce “Clemson“ correctly? They all say “Clemzon” – and that’s after hanging around the town and the team for a week prior to the game, and never once hearing anybody local (or even in the whole state) pronounce the name that way. (Let’s exempt NBC’s Al Michaels from this condemnation; the poor fellow, who grew up in Brooklyn, NY, can’t even pronounce “coffee.” He calls it “quaffee.”
- Where does ISIS get all the equipment it uses to wage war around the clock? Bombs, bullets, rockets, rocket launchers, grenades, electronics, knives, guns, you name it – who supplies these weapons? How are they paid for, how shipped? And from where? Maybe we’re bombing in the wrong places.
- Why does water expand when it freezes, while everything else contracts?
- Why don’t we switch to a value-added tax system and get rid of the time-consuming, complicated, expensive annual tax-paying system we now have? Think of the savings in the cost of paper and manpower.
- This isn’t one of my questions, but I couldn’t resist including it: “If a child refuses to sleep during nap time, is he guilty of resisting a rest?”
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