2009-07-30 / Sam Bari

Answers to long-ignored questions

You can’t beat a system you can’t understand
By Sam Bari

For reasons that are beyond my realm of comprehension, columnists share a common perception (this columnist included) that makes readers think we live on distant planets uninhabited by anything remotely associated with human beings.

That common perception is this: We think we have a fresh perspective on every topic we choose to address in our hastily written, panic inspired, deadline-challenged columns. The possibility doesn’t make logical sense. If you could look deep inside our delusional little brains, you would see that we know that. We just don’t want to admit it.

We are not reporters covering events that have never occurred before. We are columnists, and we create the constant dilemmas in which we live by implying that we are authorities on the material about which we choose to write. This alone generates mail containing questions we can’t or do not want to answer.

The questions are always the same, or at least similar. They concern the differences between the sexes and politics. If we add religion to that mix, we will have listed the three topics that give editors apoplexy. They hate when we write about those things.

Consequently, we occasionally have to step up and clean out the old mailbag to maintain the little credibility, if any, that we have.

That being said, we will begin by answering questions concerning the differences between the sexes – which we have been accused of avoiding for decades.

Q: How can eight women be in a room with all of them talking at the same time, and not one will miss a word that any of the other seven have said? They can do this for hours without forgetting a thing.

A: This is an inherent talent. All women can do this. Men can’t even be trained to do such a thing. The ability is one of nature’s most closely guarded secrets.

Q: Conversely, how can men watch four different games or programs on television at the same time and not miss a thing, which makes women crazy, while women only watch one program at a time?

A: Women can simultaneously watch as many programs as men, they just don’t want to. Besides, men hog the remote and don’t watch the right four programs.

Q: When women pack to go on a trip, their bags are often filled to capacity. By the time they’re finished, not so much as a toothpick can be stuffed into any bag without bursting it at the seams. Yet when they arrive, they can go shopping, come back with a car full of stuff, and still find room in their bags to pack the original stuff, plus the new stuff, and bring everything home. And they don’t throw a thing away. The feat defies the fundamental laws of physics. How do they do that?

A: Refer to the answer to the first question.

Q: When women go shopping, they can be gone for hours and return with a trunk full of merchandise that does not include the item they went out to buy. When men go shopping, they purchase the item they intended to buy, and if the item is out of stock, they come home with beer. Why is that?

A: Men misunderstand the definition of the word “shopping.” Women define shopping as spending money in stores. Shopping is the spontaneous act of discovering items for sale that they like and then purchasing them. When they go shopping, they are not required to have anything specific in mind other than spending money. If men define shopping differently, they are mistaken. Ask any woman and she will verify that this is a universal truth.

Now that those questions have been resolved, we will address political issues that have long been ignored.

Q: Why does our government encourage lobbying?

A: So we don’t have to pay congressmen exorbitant salaries.

Q: Why is there an electoral college?

A: So the electorate has a place to go to further their education after high school.

Q: Why don’t congressmen answer questions with direct, definitive answers?

A: Because most of them are lawyers and they don’t know how.

Okay. The desk is clean, my editors are walking around shaking their heads, and we are free to continue with life as we know it in a system we can’t understand.

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