We've got a brand-new year, and here are some timeless questions

THE BALTIMORE SUN

It's about that time of year to reflect or look ahead, and it is time to make my list of random Whys, Whens and What-ifs.

* Why do New Year's Eve parties seem sillier as the years go on?

* Why do I sometimes feel I am taking my life in my hands when I am looking for my car in a large shopping center parking area?

* Why do I feel I may have a head-on car crash when I am trying find a parking space in a two-way indoor parking garage?

* Why do men think they drive better in snow than women?

* Why do parents send their children to school with running noses and fever?

* What if we wore masks in bad weather like the Japanese.

* Why don't major department stores put on extra help after the holiday for the return gifts?

* Why did Clinton let Newt (The Grinch) steal Christmas from the Democrats?

* When will the two parties quit their one-upmanship? Before the next election?

* Why doesn't some honest young politician start a Centrist Party, anyway?

* Why is "honest politician" an oxymoron?

* Why am I the only person in the world who doesn't think the barking comedian, Tim Allen, is funny?

* Why do television networks keep putting the same comedians -- Hal Linden, Ed Asner, Dabney Coleman and Bob Newhart -- in those sit-coms? And surely Bob Hope could stay home with his great-grand kids.

* How many books-in-progress are there on the O.J Simpson case?

* Why does it take lawyers 10 paragraphs to say what other people can say in one?

* Why does Hollywood have to show us a male victim of sexual harassment in its very first depiction of sexual harassment, as in jTC the current movie "Disclosure?"

* Why don't Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson get new hairdos?

* What if we put rubber bumpers on shopping carts?

* Why don't restaurants give us a glass of water when we sit down?

* Why can't more theaters have crying rooms for the kids?

* Why are people who talk about computers and people who talk about searching their genealogy so boring at parties? Why don't they find one another at parties?

* Why do medical labs take so long to get the results of your lab tests to the doctor?

* What if we were able to test a new appliance at home when we buy one, like we try out a new car?

* What if airlines with their fancy computer systems called us at home when our flights are canceled like they used to do?

* Why can't hardware stores be open 24 hours?

* Why can't surgeons make eye contact with their patients?

* What if Sally Jessy Raphael, Jenny Jones, Geraldo, Donahue, Oprah and Povich -- any of those talking heads -- interview the Carmelite nuns or the Trappist monks? (What a relief it would be to us -- those orders don't talk.)

* When will American department stores get playrooms for kids like the Swedish-owned IKEA?

* Why is it that there is always just one forgotten shoe on a sidewalk or highway?

* Why don't teen-agers smile? Didn't they used to?

L * What if the Power Rangers take over America? Or have they?

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