Silver tongue

I see now that it's bad form when your boss shows you a recent photo of herself and you say, "Oh what a good picture! You look so young!" because after that the conversation can take an awkward turn, as in "Young? As compared to in the flesh?"

One or two of those are from the Bible

So I have to get more checks for the checkbook and I have the order form with all the different kinds of check designs to choose from. A lot of them have different slogans or sayings on them, along the lines of "I love pandas," or something like that... whatever you feel the need to share with the automatic letter opening machine at the electric company.

On one check design there are two messages you can choose from: (1) "The Lord is my rock and my strength" or (2) "Surf the 'Net." (Intriguing set of choices.)

But what if people see the slogan "Surf the 'Net?" What would that lead to? Millions of people viewing the World Wide Web in their spare time?


Hello fat kitty

The idea that you are what you eat has been enthusiastically promoted for years by Den Fujita, the eccentric billionaire who brought McDonald's to Japan three decades ago. "If we eat McDonald's hamburgers and potatoes for a thousand years," Fujita once promised his countrymen, "we will become taller, our skin will become white, and our hair will be blonde."

--from the book Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser

To the future husband of Jenna Bush

On your honeymoon night when you're enjoying conjugal relations with your bride in the missionary position, when you notice how much your bride resembles the 43rd president, will that be a good thing?


Kathy at the office decided the time was right for her to have an iPod. She had reached a certain age and of all the friends in her circle, she was the last one without. When she brought it to work one day she said, "Once you have one, it changes your whole life. Wait 'til you get one of your own; I can't explain. It's so tiny, and when you hold it in your hands..." Friends have noticed a new serenity in Kathy now that her priorities have changed.

It's new for somebody

I was riding the Red line train for the millionth time under a dull gray sky. We rode past the same gray and brown apartments and houses that were there yesterday. Directly in front of me a mom and her four-year-old boy sat looking out the window. The kid wore a jester's stocking cap and had been blathering away for about 15 minutes. Then, still looking out the window he said, after a pause, "This is amazing!" Going past another gray building he said, "That's amazing." Then a brown building went by: "That's amazing."

Mighty have fallen

The clerk at the hardware store seems to convey a sense of once having had a job with more prestige than store clerk. Then it struck me; he looks like Headmaster Charleston from Gilmore Girls. That's it: he used to be the distinguished but stuffy administrator of a private school in New England; now he's selling flashlight batteries. What happened? My guilt over observing his misfortune is exceeded only by my unease at confusing TV shows with reality.