Random Thoughts While Driving in Waco

By Jack Smith

Jack can be reached at jwsmith2@flash.net

I know that my daughter Lauren lives a little more than 100 miles away in Austin. MapQuest says that from my house to hers it’s 105 miles. On the other hand, Find My Friends, one of my favorite apps, says that she is only 85 miles away. Wondered why, and then Lauren suggested that Find My Friends is using distance “as the crow flies.” So then I wondered why they use a crow to measure distances. Why not a grackle? A grackle would have to stop at dusk to harass people downtown and at malls. A grackle would also have to make numerous potty stops.

Wonder if a crow can make a beeline?

I saw a sign that said: Ban pre-shredded cheese. Make America grate again.

Texas A&M and Clemson recently played a football game. I forget who won. The two coaches have played several times before, but I never thought about it being Jimbo versus Dabo. How can you be against someone named Dabo? Where did he get the nickname? According to the internet, when his older brother at the age of 18 months tried to pronounce “that boy” it came out Dabo and it stuck. If Dabo had been a girl, his name might have been Dagger.

In another football game recently the announcer said it was a “barn burner.” This means a very exciting game or event. Why? It dates back to the 1840s in New York politics. The Democratic party had two factions, much like today. The more liberal group was the Barnburners and the more conservative group, the Hunkers. The Barnburners got their name from a story about a man who burned his barn down to get rid of rats. To improve the system they were willing to destroy the system. Then how did it get from that to meaning very exciting? Don’t know. You can’t explain it, kind of like what is a pass interference call or what is a Hunker.

I read that they’re not going to make yardsticks any longer.

I wonder how long we will still “hang up” a cellphone. Do we click off? Don’t give it too much thought. It’s nothing to get hung up on.

I have mentioned before that Vicki is a terrible driver who has never had a ticket or a wreck. She is careful. We were approaching an intersection and before we got there she turned on the hazard lights. I asked why. She said she knew that she had to turn at the intersection but she wasn’t sure whether she would turn left or right, so she had both bases covered.

An old conundrum solved? A team of physicists from the University of Queensland have finally answered the age-old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Using a theory of “indefinite causal order” they determined that the chicken and egg can both come first. Thanks a lot, Aussie physicists. Maybe they chickened out? Eggsactly.

I recently pulled out an old necktie. Vicki said she hadn’t seen a polka-dot tie in a long time. Got to thinking about polka dot. Where did that name come from? It probably started at polka dances, with costumes. There were polka hats and polka jackets, but only polka dots remain today. “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” was not a polka tune.

What I if I told you that you had read the first part of this sentence wrong?

IF I WERE KING: Congressional hearings would be outlawed, saving members of Congress from extreme embarrassment.

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