Shorts

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My biggest regret in life is that I’ve never been able to achieve perfection in anything I do, know or strive for. It’s also my biggest satisfaction in life – to observe that the world is the most wonderful, endlessly creative and constantly evolving place that’s a culprit for impeding that same perfection in the first place.

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You know how Listerine gives you a “deeper clean than brushing alone”? For years I’ve been staring at the bottle twice a day while swishing the bitter liquid. For years…. Until it occurred to me that “brushing alone” can actually mean a couple of things. One meaning, most definitely unintended by Listerine makers, made me imagine a lone man, day after day brushing his teeth all by himself, with a final result far less than what he expected. In another scene, that same man is surrounded by his friends- Listerine bottles, and he’s still brushing but less incessantly, and ends up blinding us with his strikingly white, clean teeth. I thought I was crazy at first, looking for double meanings in an innocent marketing campaign but then found at least one instance of people discussing that same angle of the expression, but taking it even further, suggesting replacing a toothbrush with fiends, or asking if someone could brush their teeth with their friends to get the same effect. And I thought I was crazy …

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We go to this dental office and the hygienist’s name is Ruth. Lovely, older lady. I was joking with my wife that we should start calling her Ruth Canal. She couldn’t stop laughing.

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Our kids go to a daycare where teachers are almost like family. My older son had some stomach problems and missed one day of school, and everybody there was concerned about him. One teacher in particular confided in my wife: “Can’t go, huh? That’s bad. I couldn’t go either. Bananas did it to me.” And after a short break she went on: “I went yesterday”. My wife thought such confession was odd  but I thought it’s great when people can open up like that to strangers. Something tells me they are incapable of evil.

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You know the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words”? It puzzled me to find out who might have come up with this concept. I wondered if it could only belong to someone who’s innately lazy or an ultimate genius. A quick Wikipedia search revealed that it’s partly true on both fronts. The writers (Ivan Turgenev), world leaders (Napoleon Bonaparte) and some advertising guy in the 1920’s all expressed the same idea, albeit in various forms. What puzzled me even further was a Chinese counter-version that, according to John McCarthy, a computer scientist, went something like this: “1001 words is worth more than a picture”. So which one is it, people????!!!???

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