Words, Words, Words

July 23, 1999

Last night in chat I asked the room about a commercial I'd seen for lipstick that was "virtually weightless". Four out of five women surveyed agreed that they had had problems with heavy lipstick. A couple of them said their lips were so heavy they were dragging on the ground. I did not know this.

One of the Metro escalators was broken this morning, so I took the elevator instead. A gentleman in a wheelchair sped toward the elevator as the doors were about to close. One of the other passengers held the door open and moved toward the middle to give the man in the wheelchair more room. [I know that makes no sense. Wait till you hear the rest of it.]

Just as the wheelchair was about to make it on, the guy let go of the door, which promptly closed. He then jabbed the DOWN button. As soon as I processed what was happening I lunged for the DOOR OPEN button, but too late.

The guy then said, "He got in the way of the doors. There was nothing I could do, nothing I could do," over and over again. Finally I said, "You could have hit the DOOR OPEN button."

"I did," he said. I pointed to the big button labelled DOOR OPEN, which was not the one he'd pushed. He then reverted to saying "The doors just closed on him, there was nothing I could do," over and over. Apparently "not being an idiot" was too ridiculous a possibility to even consider.

Sophistry of the day, from the Washington Post: [A survey found that] "even seniors with the lowest incomes were more likely to spend more on dining out than on prescription drugs." Uh-huh. I don't doubt that's true; why, I'd even bet there are many senior citizens who shamelessly take no prescription drugs at all. Is this really the best argument that can be made against drug price controls?

The same author claims that "only" 2 percent of senior citizens can't get the drugs they need, without saying how many hundreds of thousands of people that is. He also hauls out the chestnut about how much it costs to develop new drugs without comparing to money spent on promoting them or on lobbying. I could get into the insanity of funding drug research through the creation of artificial legal monopolies, but that's another rant. [Why is it that so many self-professed free-marketers wouldn't know a free market if it bit them on the ass?]

A stranger complimented me on my shoes today. That's the first time that's happened. Unfortunately I had a hard time making out what he was saying. For instance, I thought he wanted to know if my shoes were "comparable". Comparable to what, I wondered. Turned out he meant "comfortable".

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