Friday, July 24, 2009

“Useless and Used”

Have you ever thought about how many totally useless things there are out there?

I don’t know how my brain got locked onto that topic this week, but it did. Think about it - there are a ton of things out there in the world, things that we deal with each day of our lives, things that we just accept as being the way things are, that are totally useless. And I’m not talking about obvious stuff like mosquitoes, in-laws, or our appendixes, either. What I’m talking about is stuff like:

1. Candy bars with nutritional information on the label -

Let’s face it, we all know candy bars are loaded with sugar, carbohydrates, and other stuff that’s not good for us. We also know that if we really want a candy bar we’re gonna eat one, no matter what sorts of terrors it may contain within. I’ve noticed that when I eat a candy bar I never read the nutritional information on the candy bar wrapper, in fact, I get rid of the wrapper as quickly as possible. Why would I want to read it? To see that I’m eating lots of sugar, carbs and other bad stuff? I’m well aware that I’m doing that. It’s totally useless information, in fact, they should make it a law that they can‘t put nutritional stuff on there so that we candy bar lovers can eat them in peace.

2. The flag on your mailbox -

Since the mailman comes each day and opens your mailbox door to put the mail inside, why do they need that flag on the outside of the box? So that the postal carrier will know mail is inside ready to be mailed? If the mail carrier can’t see that when they open the door, we have something much worse to worry about than mailbox flags. A totally useless item.

3. Naming highways or roads after living politicians -

I went on a quick trip to a small central Georgia community recently, and I swear that every two or three miles along the way there was a sign saying, “So-and-so (an old middle Georgia legislator who’ll have to croak to give up the job) Highway.” It made me think - why would we want to name highways after living politicians? It‘s either because someone is brown nosing the politician for a favor, or, because the politician‘s ego is in hyperdrive. Either way, it‘s a useless practice.

4. Putting chocolates on pillows in motels -

Don’t you think the last thing any of us needs before we turn in at night is a big dose of sugar and caffeine? I never understood how this came to be an accepted practice at nice motels. On top of that, if you have kids with you, a battle breaks out each night over who gets the chocolate(s). Ever tried to split one of those bed chocolates among two or more kids? You‘d have an easier time removing your own tonsils with your fingers.

5. The tags they sew into the collar of men’s shirts -

This is one of my biggest quirks - I hate the tags in men‘s shirts. They itch or scratch the back of your neck most of the time, and, even if they don’t, you still know they’re back there. Debbie gets mad at me because I’ll absolutely not wear a shirt unless the tags are cut out of it. Why can’t they just drop a card inside the shirt’s package that tells you how to wash and take care of it? I’ll bet some militant feminist man-hater came up with these tags, probably the same one that invented neck ties. A totally useless item.

Now you see what I mean? And I could’ve added another ten items to this list without even batting an eye. Things that we buy because they’re proper, or accepted customs, or because we fear people will laugh at us or whatever. Well, from here on out I’m gonna live life more to my own terms, and do what I wanna do. Know what my first project is gonna be? I want to see if I can buy an ICEE machine and put it in my home. I love ICEEs, and since most of ‘em are sold at Kmart I figure I’m gonna have to find an alternative ICEE source before it‘s too late. You think I’m crazy? They said the same thing about Edison, you know...


"ChristmaSin'", my new Christmas novel, comes out in Nov. of '09!


  1. And I will add:
    1. the paper on wire hangars
    2. excessive tape on boxes of anything, including ink jet cartridges, bottles of cleaners like ammonia (I'm really going to steal ammonia in the grocery store???)
    3. shrink wrapped items that make it impossible to get the item from the box!

  2. Oh my gosh, Ed, you had us laughing so hard simply because it's all so true. My (Angelica) fav is the candy bar. If I read that little ole lable, I'd feel guilty for days. My motto is... chocolate is one of the most important food groups. Zi is shaking his head, but if you ever noticed, there's no nutritional information on the delivery pizza box.

  3. Cerise, Anelica, and Zi, y'all are all far too kind. I just got back from the beach, so I am still kicking sand and other stuff out of my brain!