×

Miscellany to help forget about current news topics

Enough political nonsense! Paving the way through partial truths, outright lies, illogical arguments, and ignorant biases for the past months in considering two undesirable candidates for the presidency of the greatest nation in the world are enough to want to move to a warming icelandic hide-away.

We also face the rest of the worst in bad news, which encompasses stories of dire climactic situations the world over (and doing little to change them), escalating records of shootings that pale those from the historic West (ditto), heartbreaking tales of desperate mass flights from Mid-eastern nations to wherever they’re still being accepted, fear of never knowing when a suicide attacker might show up in a shopping mall or sports arena near you, and the now global obesity of people, to the point where obesity is accepted as normal, even beautiful.

We also face the fact that pride in what one does for a living has been replaced by what one gets in pay for it, that money and instant gratification replace religious or moral values in search of elusive happiness. We also demand our rights as (whatever) second class citizens, forgetting that sooner or later we all must learn to live and share together and sacrifice occasionally to accomplish the greatest good for our greatest number. We don’t even recognize the difference between being happy and being content.

Those of us of a certain age can look back to 1916 to accept what, for better or worse, a difference a century makes:

The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent had a telephone.

There were only 8000 cars driving on only 144 miles of paved roads, with a maximum speed in most cities at 10 mph.

Average US wage was 22 cents an hour, with an average of between $200 and $400 a year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at home.

Sugar cost 4 cents a pound, coffee cost 15 cents a pound, and eggs 14 cents a dozen.

The five leading causes of death, ranked in order: pneumonia and influenza, tuberculosis, diarrhea, heart disease, stroke.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.

There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write, and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were available over the counter at drugstores.

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the entire US.

***

Looking into the future, we wonder what the news headlines might be like, say in the year 2036, if we continue in the direction we’re now taking something like this, perhaps:

Average weight of Americans drops to 260 pounds.

Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.

Supreme Court rules that punishment of criminals violates their civil rights.

New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered as possible weapons.

Couple petition court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.

George Z Bush says he will run for president this year.

Castro dies at age 116; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton bans all smoking.

Postal Service must raise the price of a first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.

Capitol Hill intern indicted for refusing to have sex with congressmen.

IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.

Florida voters still having trouble with voting machines.

The last remaining Fundamentalist Muslim dies in the now American Territory of the Middle East (formerly known as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon).

In Mexifornia (formerly California), seventh largest country in the world, white minorities still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia’s other language.

Vermont executes the last remaining conservative.

***

And, finally, for those of us old geezers who find troubles in locating a nice place to settle down and live in relative contentment might consider something that has been covertly discovered:

What about living on a cruise ship year round? The average cost for a long-term discount senior discount is about $140 a day. Gratuities, only $10 a day.

You can have as many meals as you want, whether you can make it to the restaurant or have room service – all plentiful, excellent meals.

Included are use of the swimming pools, a workout room, free washers and dryers, a casino, movies nightly. Also free toothpaste and razors, and free soap and shampoo. Clean sheets and towels every day.

You would be treated like a customer, not a patient. An extra $5 worth of tips should satisfy everyone. TV broken? Light bulb need changing? A mattress replaced? Just for the asking.

You get to meet new people constantly.

If you fall and hurt yourself they will likely upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

Best of all, you get to see the world, from Asia to Alaska to Tahiti.

And don’t forget. When you die, they just dump you over the side at no charge.

Tempting?

Newsletter

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)