Random Thoughts while Driving in Waco

By Jack Smith

As an old dude I’m sometimes slow to adapt to new things. Our family keeps in frequent and fun contact with family group text messaging. Texting is easy, except for trying to type on my cellphone. My daughters and grandchildren frequently use emojis. I have yet to use one. I am an emoji–free zone. For one thing, they are too small to tell if it’s a smiley face or a frowny face or a something-else face. (I may need new glasses.) Anyway, I wondered where the name “emoji” came from and what it means. It comes from a joining of the Japanese letter “e,” meaning “picture,” and the Japanese word “moji,” meaning “character.” So an emoji is a picture character. It was first used on Japanese mobile phones way back in the late 1990s. When it was added to the Apple iPhone, it became popular worldwide with most everybody but me. If the music is too loud …

You hear about husbands getting the silent treatment from their wives. I seem to get a lot more of the speaking treatment.

You have probably noticed that every year People magazine declares some guy to be the Sexiest Man Alive. Is the word “alive” really necessary? The alternative would be what? Elvis?

There is no question that this presidential election is the strangest ever. The United States has a population of about 324,100,000 folks. That’s a lot of potential candidates, but somehow we ended up with two of the most off-putting people on the planet. I heard that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both entered the National Pathological Liars Contest. They both said they won. Can we believe them? The worst part is that one of them will win. I think I’m getting the vapors.

A friend said that he had roller skates, a leaf blower and access to a revolving door. He said he wouldn’t quit until he got the whole perpetual motion thing figured out.

Before the Rio Olympics there was talk about problems in the waterways, including raw sewage. Raw sewage always seems to be a problem, but I don’t think cooked sewage would be any better.

Someone jokingly once said that we should avoid cliches like the plague. But I wonder what we should avoid the plague like? And, by the way, please help stamp out and abolish redundancy.

This summer I have enjoyed watching many hummingbirds at my hummingbird feeder. They are fun to watch. I learned that hummingbirds are the smallest bird species, with some weighing less than a penny. They are called hummingbirds because of the humming sound of their beating wings. (I’ve never heard the hum. I may need hearing aids as well as new glasses.) I thought maybe they were called hummingbirds because they couldn’t sing. Anyway, they flap their wings at 50 times per second, and they can fly up to 34 miles per hour. At night, if they are not foraging, they go into a kind of hibernation to save energy. Fascinating creatures. I would love to be able to fly at 34 miles per hour or hover if I wanted to and semihibernate at night. Other than foraging for food, being a hummingbird sounds like a pretty good deal. Thus ends today’s science lesson.

Speaking of science, goldfish cause tornadoes. Space aliens cause acne. Vaccinations cause autism. Each of these three statements has some scientific evidence to support it.

IF I WERE KING: In the presidential election, you could ignore the two nominees and vote for an emoji.