Thursday, March 15, 2007

Emptying Out the Dustbin of My Mind

Howdy folks, sorry I went away for a little while, but I’ve got an excuse. Does anybody remember when President Clinton announced the internet as the “Information Superhighway?” That was back in 1990-something-or-other, not very long after his vice president invented it. Well, crazy as it sounds, it really is a superhighway, and while driving on it a few weeks back I missed my exit because I was paying more attention to the audiobook I was listening to than to where I was going. Has that ever happened to you? So anyway, I finally realize my mistake about 100 miles too late and take the next available exit, only it dumps me off in this really weird town populated by bloggers with names that kind of sound familiar but not quite right, like trinkamick, condom-squeegee, njpinta, Skott, and other blogger names you ought to know. So I stop off at this diner to grab a bite to eat and ask the locals how to get back on the internet-interstate when this one guy sitting on a stool near me yells out, “Schpreck!” and then everyone else joins in on a chorus of “Schpreck!” like they used to do with Norm on that old sitcom, Cheers. So I tell them, “I’m not Schpreck, I’m Schprock,” and they’re all, “aw, come on, Schpreck, you tried that last week,” and I’m all, “no, really, my name is Schprock, not Schpreck,” and then I start to wonder if this is some kind of weird, bizarro-world, parallel-universe thing, and then they, um . . . they . . . they . . . you aren’t buying any of this, are you?


Okay, moving right along…


Why don’t we call countries by the names their inhabitants use? Seriously. How did we ever come up with “Germany,” when everyone in Germany calls their country “Deutschland”? The two aren’t even close.


Speaking of things German, ever notice you never meet anyone named “Hitler”? Did everybody named Hitler change their name to avoid association with the guy? Good thing he wasn’t Adolph Schmidt.


Lou Gehrig is another German name — which, I might add, is not terribly common. So consider the freakish coincidence of someone famous named Lou Gehrig actually contracting Lou Gehrig’s Disease. What were the odds? That’s nearly as weird as all those legionnaires coming down with Legionnaire’s Disease.


Guys, do you get a lot of “male enhancement” and viagra spam email? Pretty frustrating, right? Now imagine they’ve all been forwarded to you from your wife. Not that that’s the case with me, of course…


I think physicists everywhere are thankful it was only an apple that fell on Sir Isaac Newton’s head, and not a 50 pound cinderblock.


If whoever said “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” is right, then I’ll take ginkgo biloba till my last dying breath just to remember the Disco Era and the brutal devastation it wrought upon this country.


If I were to choose a religion, I think I’d pick Greek or Roman mythology. Those were some interesting gods, weren’t they? Jealousy, intrigue, politics, power plays, sex, scandal, betrayal . . . Mount Olympus was like a Spanish novela. No offense to Buddha or Mohammed or Jesus or anybody, but a bible that reads like a supermarket tabloid sure beats the hell out of what Pastor Malmberg used to put me to sleep with every Sunday morning.


Wouldn’t you like to see Jimmy Carter work a little Camp David magic on Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump? What is it with those two? Maybe he can convince Rosie to lighten up a bit, and talk The Donald into releasing that poor chinchilla from his head.


Do Christian athletes really think God cares who wins a big play-off game?


Lately, Daughter Number 2 and I have been doing this little routine around the house where one of us will greet the other by saying, “What up, my nigga?” or “What’s happenin’, negro?” or “Are you gonna be my negro, or are you gonna be my nigga?” (all gotten from movies). Now, DN2 and I are white, and we know we can only say stuff like that (which is meant strictly in fun) around the house. Trying that on a city bus probably wouldn’t go over too well, because, technically, words like “nigga” and “negro” can only be said by black people without being offensive. So here’s the question: what “racial slurs” can’t black people say to white people? Because everything sounds funny and, therefore, inoffensive. Whitey? Vanilla-face? Honky? Cracker? For some reason, I think a good name for white people ought to be “starbucks.” White people should address each other by saying, “Hey, starbucks, that’s so Disney,” or “Yo, starbucks, slip me some Velveeta,” or “Check out starbucks over there — the brother cleared the curb in one jump.”


Speaking of sensitivity to ethnic differences, some of my best friends are Sino-Tibetan Tibeto-Burman ethno linguistic albino yak-trading mountain people, and I’ll thank you to watch your comments about them.


A brainteaser a 10-year-old I know figured out in under 15 minutes:

“On a wall are 3 standard on/off switches. One (and only one) controls a light bulb inside a light-tight, well-insulated closet. The other two switches do nothing. You can only open the closet door once, and cannot touch/change any switches after the door is open (or re-closed, for that matter). Damaging or disassembling the door, walls, or switches is against the rules.

“Within these constraints, can you determine with certainty which switch controls the light bulb?”

Can you do it? Write your answer in the comment section and tell me how long it took you to figure it out.

For those who give up, here’s the answer.


Blogger trinamick said...

My nephew thinks he's black now. Though he does have a black name, if anyone saw his jump shot, they'd know he's not. But he's taken to calling me Snowflake. My mom isn't real up on the lingo, but she tries hard. When she heard him say that, she said, "Stop saying that. She is not gay."

2:41 PM  
Blogger LL said...

Well... if these are the dustbunnies of Schprock... I'd hate to see those of Schpreck.

You and DN2 are never going to be able to testify at one of OJ Simpson's trials now...

As for the light switches, My answer was, Who cares? Just flip all three of them on and get what you want out of the closet...

2:46 PM  
Blogger rennratt said...

I didn't even try to think about it. My brain hurt just from reading the question.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

There was an article in the Detroit paper the other day about how some prominent Republicans are all bent out of shape because they found out some money they gave to Voice the Vote was used in an ad which compared our female Democratic Governor to Hitler. They're now denying they knew anything about the content of the ad, but the name of the guy to whom they gave the money? Adolph. Now really...wouldn't you change your name? And would you trust a guy with that name?

Hell, I'm not even a guy and I get tons of those ads.

Especially Sir Isaac Newton.

I prefer Ancient Egyptian.

I personally think God's a little busy with bigger issues, than whoever won what race or game.

Like renratt, I didn't even try. My brain just doesn't work in that brain-teaser-ish way.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

My dad was once called "cracker" by some black guy and it flipped him right out. I don't think there are any white racial names I would find bad. I'm German and my husband calls me Kraut. He's Polish and I call him a Pollock.

I also say, "Of course you don't get it, you're a Pollock. You need the simple instructions."

Stuff like that.

We don't use "nigga," "negro," or any of that here. I once sang a rap song that had the n-word in it and was playing on the radio ... my daughter was so upset with me. She was like, "YOU can't say it even if HE'S saying it. My God, you're a racist."

I felt really bad for like 5 minutes ... until I realized that no, I was not racist, but singing along to a song I didn't really care for anyway. I mean, it's hard bleeping yourself.

I'm rambling.

I like Buddhism, but you're right -- Greek Mythology has that brilliant, violent, sexual edge to it. All those gods boffing each other and the humans. It's just weird.

What I find really odd some days is reading these religions and thinking, "This was really believed just as much as people believe in the Jesus thing today." Religion, like everything else, keeps evolving.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Flash said...

I loved the random thoughts!

And I didn't even try the brain teaser...I would ospank00f died...

2:18 PM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

I like your thoughts, random or not alike. I was also wondering by what names do we whites get from Chinese people by the way. they are present in our society in ever growing amounts - they must have something funny or even abusive for us... (just like we do :-P)

Re: religion. it always seem a mistery how people can worship books that are filled with all those juicy stories... And I mean juicy in a wrong way...

Re: the 3bulb mistery: I'll ask MY son. He turned 10yo last December.

11:20 PM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

I'm sorry...We told him but he was unable to solve it before
we let him doing some experiencing with a real lamp. He knew lamps get warmer, when they're on, but it is a knowledge one easily overlooks in real life.

Thanks again. My husband knows of a similar riddle - I will publish it next week.

2:16 AM  
Blogger tiff said...


Talk about yer random! Yippee!!

Welcome back, BTW. Again.

7:02 AM  
Blogger b o o said...

turn 2 switches on, after 5 mins, turn one off. open the door to check on the bulb. if its on, its the one left on. if its warm but off, its the one turned off. if its cold & off, its the one left in the off position.

time: 3 mins. person: idiot savant, emphasis on the idiot :-]

p/s i want stickies too!

7:31 AM  
Blogger Farrago said...

I say leave them switches alone. Don't you know how expensive electricity is these days? Go off flippin' switches just to figure some dumb riddle. And WHO puts THREE light switches side-by-side, and only one of 'em controls a light?

Sound like Dubya's house.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I gave up on the riddle and checked the answer. I felt like an idiot, so thanks for that. Nice way to come back after such a long silence. The racial and religious questions were classic. Be in contact later. Busy busy busy.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Fortunately, God cares about who is going to win my bracket.

I just know it . .. I just know it.

Ben O.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Wordnerd said...

Wow...nobody does the random better than Schpreck!

9:43 AM  
Blogger magnetbabe said...

Wow. What are you on? And where can I get some?

As an undergrad I had to fulfill some liberal arts credits so I took a Greek mythology class. It was addicting, just like a soap. I didn't skip once.

3:43 PM  
Blogger J-Town said...

Hello I was wondering if you would be so kind as to link exchange with me? I am trying to get my blog more noticed and I would love it if you would add me as one of your links. I will do the same for you! My link is

Thank you!!


11:32 AM  

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