A casual walk through the absurd


It’s a mad, mad world we’re living in ...
Darin J. McCannDarin J. McCann
• According to reports from Reuters, an Irish hearse driver was fined recently for speeding. Now, for anybody who has driven the thinner-than-an-Olsen-twin roads in Ireland, the concept of speeding on them is frightening enough. Add to the fact that the driver was leading a funeral procession at the time, and one is left to wonder just how much of a hurry these people were in to bury their beloved and get on with their respective days.

Actually, now that I think about it, I have a few relatives like that ...

• The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary has recently released the new words deemed fit for inclusion in this year’s edition of the best-selling dictionary in America. Included in the mix are mouse potatoes (people who spend far too much time on their computers — are you listening, Shaun Lambert?), himbo (the male version of bimbo — are you listening, John Denny?), unibrow (where have you gone, Michael Dukakis?) and supersize (insert your own Pamela Anderson joke here).

Look, I’m a word-whore. I love everything there is to love about the art of language, and it’s nice to see the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary adapt to the ever-changing linguistics of American English, especially considering the base of our very language is the bastardization of every decent language that came before us. However, I can’t help but muster much more than a yawn when this list comes out every year — well, until they finally see the light and include “McCannization” to the lexicon ...

• Reuters also reports that an “Italian judge has ruled that a Mafia boss serving a life sentence for murder should be allowed to father a baby through artificial insemination — and the public health service should pay for it.”

I scoured the wire services for hours after reading this one, but could not find a related story on the judge waking up the day before his decision with a dead horse in his sheets ...

• Kinky Friedman, famed writer and musician, will indeed go by the name of “Kinky” on the official election ballot to choose the next governor of Texas. This will be the most in-your-face representation of “kinky” on a southern governor ballot since the Clinton campaigns in Arkansas.

• “The only things your eyes haven’t told me is your name.” That little gem is included in a top-10 list of pick-up lines by the German publishers, Chambers.

Perhaps that line would have worked better for me in my youth than, “You are gorgeous. Do you accept Visa?” On a somewhat-related topic, an angry woman can punch much harder than you might think ...

• Love conquers all ... even gravity. In an attempt to boost the sale of platinum wedding rings in their nation, the Japanese arm of Platinum Guild International is offering couples the opportunity to launch their vows and pictures into outer space — as long as the couple buys platinum wedding bands. A rocket that will be launched in 2007 will contain DVDs containing the vows and photos of the couples, and the data will be stored in a space station.

I wonder if the company will be willing to work out a deal for a similar launching of ex-wives ...

• The annual Bulwer-Lytton literary parody prize was awarded on Tuesday, according to reports on Yahoo News. The contest asks writers to submit “the worst opening sentence of an imaginary novel.” The winner, Jim Guigli of California, entered the following:

“Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you’ve had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean.”

Not bad, Mr. Guigli. Though I’d have added, “But I digress.”

• And, finally, ThePittsburghChannel.com reported that three macaws flew away from the National Aviary on Sunday, after being spooked by the Goodyear Blimp flying over PNC Park. Officials from the aviary believe the macaws mistook the blimp for a “monster bird of prey.”

I have a good idea what would happen to me if I thought something as big as the Goodyear Blimp was hunting me, and I’m only glad I wasn’t parked under those birds at that time.