Random Thoughts while Driving in Waco

By Jack Smith

Jack can be reached at jwsmith2@flash.net

It is surprising to me how many people have changed their goodbye phrase from “Have a great day” to “Have a blessed day.” Now when a waitperson or sales clerk says “Have a great day,” I think, What are you, some kind of atheist?

I saw an ad in the newspaper for a law firm that practices elder law. I think I’d want my law firm to practice the newer law.

Another El Arroyo sign: “I can tell some people are judgmental just by looking at them.”

I sometimes watch Fox News for 15 minutes and then CNN for 15 minutes. They are alternate universes. On Fox, President Trump is somewhat strange, but his results are either good or great for America. On CNN, President Trump is a blithering idiot who hour by hour and day by day is destroying America and even the world. If Fox is said to be a cheerleader, CNN must be a booleader.

Let’s get down to brass tacks. We know what that phrase means, as in let’s get down to business or get down to the nitty gritty, but where did it come from? Research says the phrase first appeared in a Texas newspaper in 1863. No one is exactly sure what it meant. Brass tacks in furniture? In boots? The most accepted idea is that in department stores that sold fabric, there would be a table for cutting the fabric. There were two lines of brass tacks a yard apart that were used to measure the fabric. A little more accurate than measuring from your nose to your outstretched hand. I apologize for this discussion being a little tacky.

And meanwhile, no one knows where “nitty gritty” came from, but it’s only been around since the ’60s. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band began their career in 1966. They had a 50th anniversary tour last year. Fortunately, none of them were on walkers.

I may be one of the few people who likes puns, but here are some new ones to me: A man’s home is his castle, in a manor of speaking. Dijon vu — the same mustard as before. Shotgun wedding — a case of wife or death.

I recently saw a news item that said two companies are pretty close to producing and selling flying cars. Way back in 1939, a Buck Rogers TV series had a flying car. People have been looking for them ever since. In 1985 Dr. Emmett Brown had a cool one in “Back to the Future.” (Are there any DeLoreans still around?) Anyway, the proposed new ones will be expensive and small (one passenger) and will only travel about a distance of 30 miles but can travel at a high end of 60 mph. They won’t travel on roads, just in the air (so they aren’t really flying cars), and they are best at landing and taking off on grass. They are basically human-carrying drones. Don’t get your hopes up for avoiding traffic on Valley Mills Drive or Speegleville Road just yet. You certainly wouldn’t want to run out of battery power over I-35.

There was a time when our cellphones were pretty private. No more. I get multiple calls a day from sales folks. I frequently don’t answer, but sometimes I do so I can then block their number. I know, I know, they have hundreds of numbers, but still it makes me feel good to block at least one of them.

If I’m caught talking to myself, it could be because I need expert advice. On the other hand, sometimes I think if stupidity were a disability, I could be getting a pretty good monthly check.

IF I WERE KING: It would have to rain on at least half of the days that the weathermen predicted it would.