Sunday, July 01, 2007

Geography Lesson: Part II

Overheard recently in a fast-food restaurant:

Ms. A: We got a toy order today from GB. What’s GB?

Mr. B: Great Britain.

Ms. A: But isn’t that the same as the UK?

Mr. B: Yeah, I think so.

Um…no. The United Kingdom comprises England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Great Britain is composed of England, Scotland, and Wales. Northern Ireland is not part of Great Britain.

Got that?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Oh, You Already Get a Newspaper

Yes, Ms. Telephone Solicitor, we do. We are, after all, semi-intelligent and want to know what is going on in the state, country, and the world. But most of all, we want to read about all the nonsense that goes on in this city, if only to be forewarned and to know which areas to avoid.

Sometimes the stories are scary. Sometimes they’re entertaining. Sometimes we wonder why the newspaper even bothered to print them.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Smart-Mart Surprise

In the not-too-distant past, a customer walked into a Smart-Mart in southeastern Arizona. The man was looking for lava rocks (whatever they are). The newspaper article didn’t say whether he found the lava rocks. Getting bit by a rattlesnake probably made him forget about shopping.

Odd place for a snake, you think. Not really. Man and snake were in the garden center.

And not too many years ago, the area where the shopping center is now located was nothing but desert. Apparently, some of the wildlife didn’t get the notice to vacate.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Geography Lesson

According to an article in USA Today, a great many teenagers haven’t a clue about religions, their own and others.

The article claimed that 50 percent of the high school seniors interviewed thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were married. Um…no, Sodom and Gomorrah weren’t married; they weren’t even people. They were towns.

Okay, so some people know very little about biblical geography. Is that a big deal? Maybe not, but some people also seem to know very little about geography in general.

Years ago another publication polled high school students and discovered that many of them thought Delaware was a foreign country. And in case no one’s noticed, New Mexico has a license plate that reads: New Mexico USA.

I confess that I, too, was once geographically impaired. Until I was about ten years old, I thought Puerto Rico was an island off the coast of New York City.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


This is just another example of someone not proofreading his or her work.

We recently received our latest rental agreement. As of April 1, we’re on a month to month basis—again.

By some miracle, the first rental agreement we received from the new owners did not raise the rent. The second one, a few months later, was for a five-month lease that raised the rent by sixty dollars a month. It seemed like a big increase; however, during the past six or seven years, our rent had been raised by only five dollars a month each year. Not a bad deal for a decent place to live in a city of this size.

The latest agreement raised the rent by another fifty dollars.

Well, at least that was the intention. The agreement didn't read quite like that. Instead of typing in the right amount, some distracted office clerk typed in the rate as $6275.00 a month.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Eavesdropping at IHOP

Three women and a man, all in their early twenties, sat in the booth behind us. They were wearing dark blue scrubs. From their conversation, we concluded that they were, or had recently been, students in a healthcare class.

One woman said, “I cheated on the test.”

Another said, “I cheated too.”

The third said, “I cheated on the test, but I didn’t cheat on the final.”

The man said, “I cheated.”

I don’t know what type of class it was, but I do feel sorry for the patients when these individuals attempt to put their knowledge—or lack of it—into practice.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I Was a Twelve-Year-Old Plagiarist

According to articles I’ve been reading in newspapers and online, some people have no compunction about passing off other writers’ words as their own.

I haven’t plagiarized anyone else’s words since seventh grade. That’s when I copied an article from the World Book Encyclopedia. The students in my science class were assigned reports on types of trees. I don’t remember if we could choose the tree we were expected to research or if the teacher chose them. Either way, I just couldn’t get excited about oak trees. As I recall, most of my classmates felt the same way about the assignment and also copied their reports from encyclopedias. Yes, I know that “everybody does it” is no excuse. But my 200 plagiarized words about oak trees did not get a six-figure contract from a major publishing house.

The teacher must have suspected that we were copying our reports from encyclopedias, but he never mentioned it or told us that we should be writing the reports in our own words.

Since then, however, everything I’ve written has been in my own words. My work is strictly mine. So, if you don’t like what I’ve written, you can’t blame anyone else.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Belated Happy New Year

Best wishes for the new year to my family, stepfamily, friends, coworkers, and former coworkers in Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Washington State, and any other place you currently call home.

L, A, and R (PNW), I have NOT forgotten you. I miss you.

K, take care of yourself, and me know how you are doing.

M, aka “Jeremy,” remember the street I called “Thunder Road?” Part of it is a Wal-Mart shopping center now. I hope life has been good to you and your family.