Ideas I ponder on a rainy day


Sometimes, when churning out a weekly column that has been called everything from “delightfully witty” and a “literary masterwork” to “a waste of time” and “upsettingly confusing,” you sometimes find a need to trim a little fat.

It’s a part of the game that generally goes unnoticed, because it happens behind the scenes. But just because a column ran long, a thought was incomplete, or (more likely,) I completely went off track and rambled on into something else that had nothing to do with the subject matter at hand doesn’t mean I just trash the stuff, throwing the thoughts, quips, jokes and stories into the “recycle bin,” or “trash” for you Mac users.

Quite the contrary, I happen to keep them for a rainy day like this one, when I’m completely out of ideas or “nerding” it up following the weather. So, here are a few of “The Lost Files,” that have been floating about in publishing limbo.

Eyebrow eyesore

Is there a doctor in the house? Or maybe a biologist? I have a question that has bothered me the last couple of days, and it has to do with eyebrows. I’ve never had an issue with them before. They’ve been full, uniform, not connected over the nose and not too bushy (see: the perfect eyebrows). But something has gone terribly awry. It seems that I’ve got some sort of rabble-rouser taking house on my face, filling my follicles with ideas of “being different” and “standing out from the crowd.” Those ideas might fly on a college campus, but not on this semi-ugly, yet decidedly-cuddly face.

So, my question is, what would make a perfectly good eyebrow hair stray away from the rest, grow at double the thickness, and stick straight out like an antennae, when it’s got a perfectly good home on my face?

The horse I rode in on

Perhaps I would care more about the Kentucky Derby if I actually wagered on it. I mean sure, it’s a fun once-a-year two minutes where we all pretend to care about a sport that is supposed to be a bit more “gentlemanly” than the others. But that doesn’t excuse the names they give these horses. I don’t get it. Why can’t they have normal names? Orb, I’ll concede, is OK, but some are just mind-bogglingly odd, which begs the question, “Why not just go nuts and have fun with it?”

Tell me it wouldn’t be great to turn on the race to hear the announcers calling off something like: “And into the last furlong we have ‘Your Mother’ in the lead, followed by ‘Stinks Up The Farm,’ and ‘Why The Long Face,’ and bringing up the rear is ‘Destined For Glue.’”

A sandwich tangent

I don’t always trust “foodies.” Just because something has a “complex combination of flavors and textures” doesn’t mean it tastes better than anything else. Then again, some do know what they are talking about and can offer great ideas for new food to eat.

But how do you know if their opinion is valid? A simple question will do. Just ask, “What is your all-time favorite food?” If their answer is anything other than “a sandwich,” then you can safely say they are full of it, and disregard their opinion.

Think about it, the sandwich is the perfect food for a foodie. It can have an infinite number of textures and flavors, limited only by the sandwich maker’s imagination and budget. Then, just when you think you’ve tried every possible combination of meats, veggies, fruits, preserves, jams, jellies, eggs, spice, mayo, oleo, butter and mustard, you can double it by toasting the bread. All this, and the bread keeps your fingers clean.

Sandwiches, are they really the perfect food? You better believe it.

Chris Hamble is a freelance writer and humor columnist serving newspapers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is a lifelong Stillwater resident.