Posts Tagged ‘everyday absurdity’

Hard Case

Saturday, 28 May 2016

I have lots of keys. Most of those that are not on the key-ring that I routinely carry with me are tagged, so that I know to what they go. But, as I was going through the drawer in which those keys are kept, I found one that was labelled HARD KEY. I confess that this label was not and is not now very helpful.

There is such a thing as is called a soft key; it's a passcode of some sort. What would one call a hard key? A key that is not a soft key? That would make every key in that drawer a hard key; there'd be no use in labelling a key of that sort simply as a key of that sort.

My best guess is that this key were a key that were badly cut or worn, so that it were hard to use. But to use where?

Well, I couldn't and cannot remember; but that's okay, because I found that it matches another key that I have on a ring labelled Orphans, and nothing goes on that ring unless I know that it's no longer possible or no longer permissible for me to use the key in its lock. (There is separate ring for keys that are merely probable orphans.) Some of the orphans also have further tags; some, as in the case of the brother of the HARD KEY do not; but when that brother was put on the ring, I knew to what it went, and knew that I couldn't or shouldn't access that lock.

I didn't save the orphans thinking that I might someday match one with an unidentified key. A few of them I saved for their sentimental values. Most I saved simply to have keys with which to do other things; for example, they could be filed into bump keys or given to children or used as props; the intention in identifying them as orphans was that most of these keys be distinguished as expendible. Of course now, in the case of a key with no twin on that ring, I will be a bit more reluctant to alter or part with it, as it might someday be matched with another mysterious key. I am enslaved by my keys.

Might as Well Be Me

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Every day, I encounter one or more academic studies arguing that this or that historical figure were homosexual.

Then it occurred to me that, should I ever become famous, someone will write an article or monograph or book arguing that I were homosexual.

Then it occurred to me that I won't even have to become famous; there are so many academics who want to argue that someone were homosexual that none of us will be ignored. Sooner or later, in the case of each person for whom there is material to be interpretted, one of those academics will get around to arguing that the person were homosexual.

Then it occurred to me that I might be able to get a publication in a journal of sociology or of gender studies by arguing that I were homosexual. I wonder how that would look on my CV.

Let that be a lesson t'ye!

Monday, 31 August 2015

Yester-day after-noon, I misread a rumpled sign in the distance. It was an advertisement for guitar lessons, but I thought that it offered GUILT LESSONS

Of course, I wouldn't expect guilt lessons to be seriously and openly advertised (though some college courses seem indeed to be guilt lessons). Rather, I had thought that the advertisement were a joke or a work of art. I suppose now that this were a matter of illusory found art.


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

I idly wondered what had happened to, the domain that had been used by the 2008 Presidential campaign of Dennis Kucinich.

Well, now seems to be a Japanese site for men seeking to engage in 援助交際 and for women seeking to engage in 逆援助交際, which amount to the hiring of escorts, though the payment may be in the form of goods or of services, rather than cash.

(The Kucinich campaign shut-down their site some time on or after 23 April 2008; and allowed their registration to lapse on 18 July 2008. The 援助交際 site was up by 11 September 2008.)

I'm not sure why someone should think to be a particularly good domain name for this enterprise. But, hey, sometimes all that we Westerners can do is shrug and say Japan.

It's just a shot away

Monday, 2 January 2012

For dinner last night, I went to a local restaurant that is part of a larger chain. I was given a number to place on my table, and a cup to fill with tea or with soda at a dispenser.

I placed the number on a table, filled the cup, and returned to the table to look through an art-supply catalogue that I had brought with me.

The catalogue is about 8 in × 10 in × ½ in (20.3 cm × 24.5 cm × 1.3 cm) — roughly the size of a residential telephone directory for a medium-sized American city — and illustrated with pictures of, well, art supplies.

At about the time that I'd got to the mannikins, I had emptied my cup, so I went back to get more tea. As I was taking care of that, I noticed that my food was delivered to my table.

When I returned, I discovered that some fellow had happily sat himself down before the plate, his smart phone to one side, and was looking at the pictures of mannikins in the catalogue.

So, suddenly, he hears a deep, very angry voice, asking You're going to take my food? and he looks up to see me. I'm not sure just how I looked to him, but probably like someone on the edge of violence. After a momentary pause, his mind apparently now wonderfully concentrated, he got-up quickly, explaining that he was at the next table, and thought that they'd brought his food while he was away.

Let's back-up a sec: This fellow hadn't merely mistaken one table for another — something that I suspect most of us, and certainly I, would be capable of doing — he was looking at the pictures in the rather large art-supply catalogue. One doubts that he actively imagined that a restaurant were in the habit of presenting such a catalogue along with one's meal. Rather, his mind was simply disengaged. Here's the food! And, what's this? Oo! Shiny!

I have such low expectations of the mindfulness of other people that I believed his claim immediately, and indeed his order was brought to that next table not long afterwards. But I didn't much enjoy my meal nor the rest of the catalogue; my body was still geared-up for a fight.

Kilobucks for Kilowidgets

Thursday, 13 October 2011

eBay lot #180729964545 sold on 26 September 2011 for a price of $1000 plus $140 for s&h. Categorized in Collectibles > Advertising > Food & Beverage > Cereal > Kellogg, the listing was entitled 1,000 Widgets. The description said only 1000 Widgets (omitting the comma). There was no picture. Two days later, the buyer left feedback declaring good widgets. thanks.

On 6 October, another 1000 widgets were allegedly sold as lot #180734234607, again for a price of $1000, but this time with $197 for s&h. The purchasing account left a feedback on 11 October that simply says acceptable.

The buying account is shared by Joshua Glew and his father, Steven John Glew. The latter has a 'blog that seems to relate some dirty doings by the Pez Corporation, but which I've done no more than skim because it's written in a decidedly ill-organized fashion.

A thousand widgets?


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Greek seems to be in-fashion these days. First, last night, a friend called me to ask how to say man who touches elephants in Classical Greek. Then, to-day, as I was attempting to comment to a 'blog earlier to-day, I was presented with the following 'bot challenge: [detail of screen-capture in which a reCaptcha challenge presents a string containing the Hellenic psi] That's right, the string was unadresG ψ1,, and that's a psi, not a w nor a u with a slash through it. Entering a ψ worked just fine. (Not that I actually have my keyboard configured to deliver psi, but I keep Greek characters about, for copying-and-pasting.)

…and kinda goes like this…

Thursday, 5 May 2011

As the stories being told by the White House and by the Pakistani state continue to evolve, to contradict each other, and to contradict themselves, and as the conspiracy theories breed and mutate like irradiated fruit flies, I cannot resist noting that Ossama bin Laden is an anagram for anomalies and B.S..

(Yes, I take advantage here of the ability to transliterate أسامة in more than one way.)


Monday, 2 May 2011
[image of Groupon declared not valid until 2 May, but declared as expiring on 1 May]

Student Discount

Friday, 22 April 2011
[detail of a price schedule, showing a journal subscription price of $160 for students, and of $161 for other individual persons]

I marvel at the suggested elasticity of demand here.