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Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Big Scare

A Big Scare

I had a big scare the other night.  I had a dream, or actually a nightmare.  I was wandering around the city looking for my mom’s apartment.  My mom has not been with us for years, she never had an apartment.  A stranger sidetracked me somehow and had me head off in the wrong direction.

I was aimlessly walking around in an area of town I did not know.  I asked a stranger for directions.  The stranger ignored me, then another stranger ignored me.  Finally, a friendly stranger, a black man as I recall for some reason, directed me to the subway and pointed to the train I should take. 

At this point I had forgotten where I wanted to go.  I was completely lost and just stumbling around.  I had a cell phone to call my son, but did not remember his number, I wasn’t even sure of his name. 

Then I awoke.

Crap!  So that is what it is like to have dementia.  Wandering around knowing you should know where to go, what to do, or who to call, but not knowing or remembering anything.  Dependent on the kindness of strangers when most strangers do not have the time to be kind.

As we get older, I think we all worry about dementia.  We don’t remember names of entertainers that we just saw.  We forget where we put something or even what we are looking for.  You have a word in your head to describe something, but you cannot find it right away.  Truth is, many of these things have always happened to me, these days they just worry me more.

The dream was scary.  Losing one’s memory is scary.

On the plus side, I never remember dreams.  As soon as I wake up I forget what I was dreaming about.  This dream I remember vividly.

So, there’s that.

Interesting site for us old people concerned about this subject:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Proper Apology

A Proper Apology
In this age of sensitivity, people are easily offended.  There are so many issues and so many people it is sometimes difficult for advertisers to send a message that does not bring down the wrath of the offended.  It is almost impossible to voice an opinion on a post or casual conversation without harming the sensitivities of a group with an agenda.  Social media has exacerbated the problem as it is so easy to post a comment without completely vetting the content.
Between the traditional media, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, et al, the objections to an insensitive comment or message are instantaneous.  Within minutes of a posting, outrage to an objectionable message explodes across the internet and the damage to a person, organization or business is immediate.
Some objectionable messages are mean-spirited and offense was intended, for these there is no acceptable apology.
Most messages are attempts to be clever without realizing the repercussions of certain symbols or words.  Unintended or not, the messenger will be accused of, at the least, as being subliminally offensive.
An offense message requires an apology.  Often the apology is issued only minutes after the offense has been committed.  It is never enough, or ever accepted.  Once an offensive message has been released, the damage is irretrievable.  Why is that?  Are the offended so hurt that nothing will sooth their anger?
Sometimes yes.  However, most cases it is because the apology is never really an apology.  It seems very few people know how to apologize.   An insincere apology is often as offensive as the message which created the need to apologize.
As a person who has been a jerk most of my life and one who has been married three times, I might be qualified as an expert in apologizing.
These are the most common mistakes in an apology:
“The makers of “Pet Weasel Houses” wish to apologize to anyone we may have offended with our recent advertisement which depicted weasels as left-handed creatures.  It was never our intent to disparage left-handed people and we are sorry if this advertisement in any way may have given the wrong message.  Once again we are sorry.”
Let’s analyze this typical apology that will never be accepted and only further fan the flames of the offended.
Keep in mind the offended are upset and they want acknowledgement of their hurt.  They want groveling, they want a clear admission of the offense, and they want assurance that a similar message will never be repeated.
First of all, wish to apologize” is not sincere; “to anyone” insinuates some people  were not offended…this does not soften the offense; “we may have offended” indicates the message should not have been interpreted as offensive; never our intent” dodging the offense does not mitigate it in the eyes of the offended; we are sorry if” there is no IF, there is a DID, otherwise you would not be apologizing; in any way” do not misdirect, you need to grovel; may have” once again, no MAY have, DID, otherwise you would not need to apologize; we are sorry” not strong enough, if you are going to grovel for forgiveness, then grovel  good!
Here is the proper apology.  It still may not be enough, but it will at least not fan the flames of anger even more:
“The makers of “Pet Weasel Houses” are sincerely sorry for the offensive message of our recent advertisement. The depiction of weasels as left-handed creatures is offensive not only to left-handed people, but to everyone who knows or may come to know a left-handed person.  This advertisement has given a very offensive message, it was wrong, and there is no excuse for it’s ever been made or released.  We are taking steps to discipline those responsible and to assure such an offensive, negative stereotype of any kind is rooted out of our corporate mentality.   Once again we sincerely apologize for the offensive message of this advertisement.”
As a left-handed person even with this apology, I would still probably never buy a weasel house from this company but it might satisfy me enough to not continue an active campaign against it.  I might not forgive, but I would probably forget.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Kid Stuff

Kid Stuff
My kids drove me crazy around Christmas with their Batman rendition of the Jingle Bell song.  If you don’t know it, I will spare you the ear worm.  I have noticed these days anything related to the Butt and especially farts will start a giggling fit with grade schoolers.
It does not take much to get an 5-11 year-old in a fit of giggles, and they never tire at the same joke or jingle.  We were much more mature in the fifties.
Except for:
Does anyone remember LSMFT?  Anyone?
That was the Lucky Strike cigarette mantra.  LSMFT…Lucky Strikes mean fine tobacco.  As if other cigarettes used tobacco grown in doody.  (Tee Hee, Tee Hee.  Excuse me while I get over that…I said “doody” tee hee, tee hee.)
Anyway, we mature lads of the fifties would say LSMFT, Loose Straps Mean Floppy Tits.  We would giggle about that for hours.  Actually, it still gives me a chuckle.
The other day I saw a discarded Lucky Strike pack.  It was all I could do to not stomp on the red dot, declare “Lucky Strike”, and slug Mrs. C on the arm.  Well, that’s what we did in the fifties.
The Snow-White cartoon had the famous “Whistle while you work” song.  We had our own lyrics.  “Whistle while you work, Hitler was a jerk, Mussolini bit his weinie, now it doesn’t work.”  We sang that all the time and always laughed.  I’m not sure we knew who Hitler or Mussolini were, and we only guessed at weinie, but we still thought it was funny.
Pepsi-cola had a jingle: “Pepsi Cola hits the spot / twelve full ounces, that’s a lot / twice as much for a nickle, too / pepsi cola is the drink for you!”
We sang it, “Pepsi Cola hits the spot, makes you vomit on the dot, looks like water tastes like wine, Oh my God it’s turpentine!”
We weren’t all bad as 10-year-olds, we knew enough to not step on a crack and break our mothers back.
When school ended for the summer, everyone ran out and sang, “No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks!”  Do they still do that”
We did mature a bit as we got older.  I remember if you were driving with your girl and saw a car with one headlight out, you yelled “Padiddle” and got to give her a kiss.  No, I have no idea what “Padiddle” meant.  Probably a few car accidents came from that one.  We didn’t have texting, we did have “Padiddle.”
That was my childhood.  What mature stuff do you remember from those days when just about anything would make you giggle?