Why Oh Why…and Dubious Observations

Is this chicken crossing the road?

Is this chicken crossing the road?

There are plenty of joke lists on why ask why questions:  Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?  Why is it when you transport something by car it’s called a shipment, but when you transport by ship it’s called cargo?

While many may seem rhetorical, or perhaps even a witty observation or questionable verbiage, some are not quite as odd as they may first appear.

Why are there locks on the doors when 7-11 is open 24/7, 365 days/year?

Bathroom breaks.  At 2 in the morning there is only 1 person on shift.  We stopped for coffee at 2 am after a night out.  We weren’t the only ones – although perhaps they were having a snack attack at the time.  Doors were locked with a handwritten sign “Back in 5 minutes”.  Within a minute the sole employee appeared from the back of the store and nearly panicked when he saw half a dozen people outside the door.  Clearly he hadn’t been expecting customers.

Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?

Money.  Federal funds specifically.  Just because the state is composed of islands with no connecting bridges or tunnels to the lower 48 is no reason they should be slighted.

We won’t even discuss the chicken.

That said, I submit the following whys, rants and observations:

Why is there more weight – or value, placed on negative news than positive?  Murders, natural disasters, accidents, any and all doom and gloom stories get the biggest headlines.  Uplifting stories never get big headlines or much airtime – if they get noticed outside the local area.  I for one, want to read and hear more positive news like the story showing a baby elephant playing in the ocean, hero dogs, promotions of Pancake Day, Ice Cream Day, Good Neighbor Day, etc.  We already know life is hard – especially if you’re older than 5.  It’s a question of balance.  More ‘nice’ news would provide a counterbalance, perhaps even constitute an antidote to depression.  A little levity goes a long way.

Dubious Observation #1:  “Lost” – the series.

Recently I was able to watch an encore of the series as a mini marathon.  So much easier to keep up with all the characters and situations.  However, this time around it raised a number of not so obvious questions – not the least of which concerned lax airport security in Sydney wherein Charlie could hide his drugs in his shoe.  Who packs a home pregnancy test when they take a trip, regardless business or pleasure?  Was that woman seriously going to attempt to take it in the teeny tiny airplane bathroom?  Or did she not think that not a single store in L.A. would sell one that she felt it necessary to pack?  Surely it wasn’t in the plane’s first aid kit.  It’s only a 12.5 hour flight.  Even if she participated in the “Mile High Club” the test would have been useless.

Why is it that the SEC Act of 1934 declaring insider trader illegal did not apply to congressmen and senators?  Don’t they have to be U.S. citizens to get elected into office?  Where in the wording of the original act did it exempt politicians and their family members necessitating a new law passed in 2012, specifically to state to politicians that this law includes you and your family?  And, if it was known that such activity had taken place which prompted the updating of the law, why was no one prosecuted or even charged?  Why was no one forced to leave office?

And speaking of politicians, why is it – as Ross Perot reminded us years ago – that while they are the employees of all U.S. citizens, they give themselves raises – without asking permission?  Without merit?  I for one, am still outraged at the stupid egg law they passed, then rescinded two days later after the state became the laughingstock of the entire country.

Why do they get far more vacation than the average citizen?  And why do they deserve a pension for life after working only 5 years and can defer it (if not in office) until retirement age?  Not only do the rest of us have to work 30 years or more to earn one, if you get laid off, you lose it, with a kick in the butt out the door and not so much as a “So long, and thanks for all the fish!”  Why don’t we get to vote on their pensions?  Why has the issue of term limits on congressmen and senators still not been put to a vote by the people?  Why can’t the people start impeachment proceedings on congressmen and senators or fire them when we don’t like the job they’re doing?  They are our employees.  Why are they allowed to act outside the laws of every other citizen?  What about all their slush funds?  What happened to the system of checks and balances the men in white powdered wigs envisioned when they set up the government and wrote the Declaration of Independence and Constitution?

Which brings us to Dubious Observation #2:  the penny controversy.

Semantics first:  “penny for your thoughts“ and “your two cents’ worth”.  Not only will these expressions so inherent in our culture become obsolete, some thoughts are barely worth a penny let alone a nickel.  As for the “nickel tour”, I started charging a quarter when I bought my first house – justified by the market rate differential between my parent’s purchase price vs. mine.

Now the economics:   ‘Penny candy’ now costs at least 15 cents a piece – depending on the particular choice.  And that’s with the penny still in existence.  I for one, miss licorice laces.  Haven’t seen them in years.  You got a whole lot for a penny – 36 inches!.  Some politicians (yes, them again) would have us believe that eliminating the penny will have absolutely no effect on escalating prices.  Really?  Have they noticed the way the prices of gasoline and milk have been going up recently?  And let’s face it, we all know that currently meat, fish and produce have varying prices throughout the year and are affected by agricultural conditions.  Without the penny, prices automatically will need to escalate from 2 to 5 cents – at least.  What will happen to Wal-Mart rollback prices?  Will their marketing strategies need to change?  At all other stores, we’ll just round-up to the nearest dollar.

And tollbooths do take pennies.  I’ve done it.

What happens to interest rates?  Tax rates?  Wage rates?  No effect to income?  Will we need to round-up to the nearest multiple of 5 or just round to the nearest dollar?  Let’s just fast-track 98% to the poverty level by eliminating the penny since we obviously aren’t getting there fast enough at the current rate.  Forget “costs a pretty penny”.  Everything will “cost an arm and a leg”.  Organ donations could rise dramatically – on the black and grey markets.

Why are tampons taxed as merely a ‘non-food’ item?  Prescription drugs and most medical supplies are tax-exempt (in almost every state).  Whoever thinks that tampons are not a medical necessity are obviously not female.

Why do insurance companies cover the cost of  Viagra for $0 or minimal co-pay and hormone therapy drugs for women cost full price?  Statistically women live longer than men.  Why do men get to have all the fun and women only get hell – and then get traded for 20 year-olds?

I could go on – about s-o-o-o many issues, but I’ll end with these observations, peeves, musings:

Why do people who drive 4x4s and other SUVs park in the ‘fuel efficient’ designated parking spaces?  My car averages 32-34 mpg city and over 40 mpg highway.  Which of the aforementioned vehicles gets better mileage than mine?  These are probably the same people who park in spots marked “Compact Cars Only”.

Why is it that at the grocery store men always grab the little baskets instead of shopping carts, but at Home Depot always grab a cart?

Why is it men won’t stop to ask for directions or consult a map, but will program their GPS systems with female voices?  “Recalculating….”

Why is it called a “marriage license” when there is no expiration date, renewal or qualifying credentials?  Shouldn’t we call it something else?  Certificate?  Registration?  Contract without fine print?  Permit for co-habitation?

Why do you need lawyers and courts to get divorced but none to get married?

Why is it that after getting caught in a rainstorm that only dogs stink and people don’t?

And with all the food scented candles marketed, why isn’t there a pizza scented candle?  Oh wait, there is!  But without anchovies.  Bummer.

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