Thursday, December 31, 2015


This is the mandatory end-of-year blog in which I ponder unanswerable questions. This year, I will not ruminate on things to come as my predictions have been consistently wrong, except for the one on Donald Trump that I made two years ago, but I was kidding, really!

Unanswerable questions:

  • Why is Chelsea Clinton e-mailing me daily about her mom? The Clinton family has more money than God. Surely Chelsea must understand that in this time of economic stagnation, every dollar I have goes to basics such as utilities, mortgage, my tri-annual haircut, and the Saturday brunch at Freddie’s Beach Bar.
  • Why, when we now have more means of communicating with one another, do my emails to my agent still go unanswered? Why do people—even friends—not respond to emails anymore? Are they truly that busy? I had one friend say, after I sent him a couple of messages, “I owe you and email.” Well, yeah. I already knew that.
  • And speaking of agents, are they really that busy that they can’t even let you know your submission has been rejected?
  • Why have publishers gotten rid of their editors? The quality of popular lit keeps going down. Who decided that Spellcheck does a better job than Myrtle, who worked as a copy editor for thirty years and did a pretty good job of making John Updike and others readable?
  • Why do I have to pay a fee to the magazines I submit stories to?
  • Who decided the phrase “I should have” when used in dialogue should suddenly become “I should of”?
  • Why do I get mail from the National Rifle Association? I think the NRA is a terrorist organization. They have as much chance squeezing a buck out of me as ISIS does.
  • Why do we pay for cable? When it first came along, cable was touted as a self-sufficient service that would earn money through ads.  
  • Why does the Sierra Club want to send me a free backpack if I give them twenty bucks? First, if I pay $20, it isn’t free. And second, if I am into Sierra Club-ish activities, I already have a backpack, and it’s a lot better than the one they offer that can basically carry one orange and a box of Kleenex.
  • Why do service companies (okay, my HMO) say they’re changing their program to make it better for their clients, when everyone knows  it will make it worse for the clients and the HMO employees, and benefit only the HMO’s bottom line?    
  • Why are some cats afraid of cucumbers and others not?
  • Why don’t hunters become real sportsmen and kill their quarries with a sharpened stick? Wouldn’t that make the endeavor a bit more equitable and worthy of respect?
  •  Why don’t we train and arm the Syrian refugees, then airdrop them and tell them to take their country back?
  • Why does the CEO of a major company make 340 times as much as a company employee?
  • Why, oh why, do Porsche Panameras exist?
  • Also, Porsche Cayennes?
  • Why are we supporting Iran and Iraq, both countries that practice stoning men and women as a means of execution?
  • Why is the New Yorker Shouts and Murmurs column less and less amusing?
  • Why did French President François Hollande ride as a passenger on a moped, wearing a helmet, to visit his mistress?
  • Why was no one in France surprised by the above?
  • Why did it make front-page news in the U.S,?
  • Why is Howie Mandel still on America’s Got Talent?


So that’s all the questions I can muster of a 60° December 31st in Virginia. If you have questions, pass them along.  Happy New Year!

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