Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Random Observations and Trivial Events


I passed by a display in my local grocery store the other day which I assume was meant to suggest possible Christmas gift ideas. On a table there were all sorts of objects that had been "personalized" with a photograph. A photo of an attractive woman was used in each example, her smiling face wrapped around coffee mugs and pencil holders and placed atop calendars and mouse pads. The idea, I guess, is that anyone can take a picture of a loved one and get that picture put on the object of their choice.

This is not anything new, of course, but I was a bit taken aback when I saw what one of the items available for personalization was. At first I thought it might be a super-sized mouse pad, but on closer inspection I discovered that the woman's face was now smiling from the surface of a cutting board. You know, like the ones you cut meat or chop carrots on.

I still have not been able to figure this one out. Why in the world would someone want to personalize a cutting board? And if they do, what kind of message is that sending? I love my kids and would never want to see them hurt, but if I send their grandmothers cutting boards with their cute little faces on them, am I not, in effect, asking them to stab and hack their darling little sweeties every time they chop celery for the soup? Could someone do this in good conscience?

And, if I send someone a cutting board with their own photo on it, am I not asking them to regularly simulate hari-kiri? Will they they get the idea that I want them to commit suicide?

I guess that if you had a bad breakup, you could order one of these adorned with the photo of your ex-spouse or ex-partner (chop, chop, HACK, HACK), but is there a huge market for that? Maybe so.


Content alert: the following paragraphs will be discussing toilets and their functions. You have been warned.

I have not done the scientific testing on this (and I never will), but I have come up with a theory involving toilets and their relative flushing power, based on elevation above sea level. This comes as a result of many years of personal experience in the field.

Can you relate to this? If I am in an office building of multiple stories, and if I go to a restroom on an upper floor and ask a toilet to do just what it is designed to do, more often than not, it fails. A toilet needs a certain, shall we say, hydraulic power to carry away what it is designed to carry away, but when I'm in a fifth floor restroom and flush a toilet, it disappoints. A toilet on a high floor seems to think it is a washing machine, content to just swirl water around the bowl a bit in an effort to clean its contents instead of carrying them far away.

By contrast, if I go down to the ground floor of that very same building and flush a toilet in a restroom there, I am met with a sound like that made by a 1962 model TWA jet. The toilet water will circle around and around with the ferocity of a whirlpool at the bottom of Niagra Falls, and if I make the mistake of covering every square inch of surface around the seat with my posterior, creating a seal of sorts, I will be in danger of getting sucked down into the churning bowl like a bird sucked into a jet engine. When the titanic suction ends, I will then be lodged somewhere down into the pipes until a janitor hears my frantic cries for help and rescues me.

Why does this happen? Can physics account for the difference? I will leave this for future scientific researchers to figure out.

No comments: