Commentary by Ted Potrikus
The Goodyear Lake Dam
How many of you, when you’re driving past the Goodyear Lake dam on Route 28, want to push those dead trees right over the edge? How long have they been there? How long will they stay?
Doubleday Field of Dreams
Major League Baseball and, I presume, its media partners, sunk a boatload of cash into redeveloping an Iowa cornfield to build from scratch a fictional baseball field from a fictional piece of fiction, all to play one non-fictional game each season in the “Field of Dreams.” It was a fun television presentation, I’ll give them that. And I totally get it: they built it, they came, etc., just like the movie. So why not Cooperstown? I don’t care what Hoboken says: Cooperstown is the rightful home of baseball and this is where MLB should play one game per year. If they can transform a cornfield, they can upgrade our ballpark. Ballplayers turn into little kids when they walk onto Doubleday, and Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame would put on a gonzo show for the nation to watch. Build it. They will come.
Back off the Red Bull, pally.
I understand the convenience of and potential need for services like Instacart where someone does your grocery shopping for you, but that chore already is enough of a contact sport as it is. Why should I now have to compete with cart jockeys and store employees filling remote orders and careening through the aisles like it’s Roller Derby?
Why are you applauding?
I’ll bet it’s some corporate public relations officer’s dream to get his/her/their boss(es) up there on the New York Stock Exchange’s Wall Street platform to ring the closing bell, but don’t they look like misguided clowns when they’re up there applauding and glad-handing and yukking it up with balloons while ringing the bell at the end of a day when the market tanked and millions of investors lost percentage-points off their 401ks?
Mark Knopfler once sang, “Sometimes you’re the windshield, baby / sometimes you’re the bug.” This is true in life but why is it also true that the largest bug with the most splatter potential will be the one that hits your windshield directly in your line of vision?
You know you’re making this up. Just admit it.
How did AAA know that 47.9 million Americans were planning to drive over the Fourth-of-July weekend? That’s what their press release said. Did they ask people? Did they stand on the side of the road(s) and count cars whizzing by? Can they prove it? Will anyone question or doubt their assertion, and if so, how? They’ve made a statement that can be neither refuted nor proven, and the press just bought it carte blanche. I suppose I should congratulate them for all the ink they get for this baseless and utterly useless prediction, but it’s a cynical public relations ploy and I don’t like it one bit. Don’t forget, friends, 72 percent of statistics are made up!
What happened to vowels?
I’d like a word with the influencer who decided that from here on out, the correct use of the short “o” vowel should be more like “auh.” We used to say, for example, “follow.” Now, it’s “fauhlow.” The announcer on the national radio commercial for Honda gets his mouth all kinds of contorted (or, better yet, “cauhnntorted”) when he tries on the first two passes to say it as “Hauhnda” but then, by the third, he’s straight back to the tried-and-true “Honda.” I’m cauhnfident this need not cauhntinue.
I’ve never been able to suss out the etymology of this method of saying goodbye. “So long” … until what? I like to stick with either “be well” or, when writing, “All the best.” I stole it from the title of a Paul McCartney greatest hits collection from the late 1980s. It’s a good one (the album and the phrase), and it conveys a fond departure and a wish that all news will be good news from now on.
All the best!