1. There have been some titanic grudge matches throughout history: God vs. Satan, Moses vs. Pharaoh, Yankees vs. Rebels, Hatfields vs. McCoys and Ali vs. Frazier, just to name a few. But I don’t think there is a hair-pullin’, groin-kickin’ feud today more annoying than that between cable TV companies and satellite TV companies. Every day, we are subjected to their grating and overblown televised ads. First a cable TV company comes on and tells us how unreliable and crappy and overpriced satellite TV is, and then a minute later, a satellite TV company comes on and tells us how unreliable and crappy and overpriced cable TV is. The cycle repeats, incessantly, endlessly. It’s almost enough to make you retrieve the rabbit ears from that pile of outdated technology in the corner of the garage and hook ‘em up again.
2. While the Muley family avoided going to Crawford over the weekend to see the big shoutfest between pro- and anti-Bush elements, we just couldn’t avoid our little neighbor to the south. Saturday morning, my daughter’s soccer team played its counterpart from Crawford in a game in Waco, and got soundly trounced. On my way to this game, I stopped in a convenience store to get a drink, and saw a middle-aged couple in black leather riding Harleys come in. They told the clerk they got separated from their group and asked for directions to Crawford. At first I thought they were going down to join the anti-Bush crowd, but the man said, “We’re coming to support the troops.” The tattooed woman he was with added, “Yeah, we’re going to kick some hippies’ butts!” I told them to put in my word of support for the troops and the President with theirs, and they assured me they would. Boy, that would have been something to be in Crawford on Saturday.
3. Speaking of soccer, I am now of the opinion that soccer is only exciting in two instances –- if you have a loved one playing whom you are rooting for, or if you are playing the game yourself. I finally got to see a “real” soccer game last night, meaning a game played by adults and not by 9-year-olds I am related to. This was a college game, and I was totally bored. There was 90 minutes of action, and for only about 2 minutes of combined time was the ball ever in serious contention for a goal. The rest of the time was spent watching the players kick the ball up and down and up and down and up and down the field. It was about as exciting as sitting at an interchange and watching the traffic go through the lights for an hour and a half. I am more puzzled than ever as to why this physically demanding but thoroughly monotonous game is such a rabid passion in most of the world. Oh, did I tell you the score of the game I saw? 1-0, and that one point was scored on a penalty kick. I was quivering with emotion.
4. I notice that car manufacturers keep extending these “employee discount” prices to customers over and over again, I assume because the tactic results in higher sales. But now that employees get no more of a discount than do members of the general public, is it harder for car dealers to hire people? Are these employees getting some sort of new benefit – say, higher salaries or free Koozies – to offset their loss of a reduced price on cars?
5. You can beat around the bush, and you can beat a dead horse, but is it possible to beat around a bush while there’s a dead horse lying, say, on top of it? Would this then be called “beating a dead horse around the bush?” And what would it imply, that you are taking issue with a resolved decision, but are very tentative about doing so?