Believe it or not, I keep a list of silliness that I stumble on each day, thinking, “This will make a good column.”
For instance, every time I see a particular television ad about paper towels, I can’t help but think, “Now, that’s just silly.”
We all know the scene: A couple in their kitchen are glued to the TV, awaiting the broadcast of winning lottery numbers. Slowly, the announcer dramatically reveals each number, and the couple becomes more and more excited. It seems that one by one, they realize their lottery ticket has each number called. With only one left, the anxious couple anticipates the final number, already planning a tropical vacation, purchasing a flashy new car or moving into a bigger house with the winnings.
When the last number is called, the couple learns they’re indeed winners. In the hoopla that follows, he knocks over a glass of tea. The spill races toward the lottery ticket on the counter, threatening to ruin the ticket.
“No!” the couple shouts as the voiceover reminds the viewer to grab their company’s paper towels to soak up spills.
And I’m thinking, “Now, that’s just silly – pick up the darned ticket!”
It’s not only TV commercials that I find silly or that leave me scratching my head. Take, for example, the bathroom renovations on the latest home improvement show where I see unique tile, fancy plumbing fixtures and a double vanity “to die for.” The bathroom is really something, that is until I notice the shower door. It’s a glass enclosure that, while gorgeous, leaves me wondering, “How is it possible to keep all that glass clean?”
By the same token, we fell prey to our own silliness when we purchased a new refrigerator a few years ago. It was the right width and height, so we knew it would fit the space. However, this fridge is deep, which is just silly for the two of us since we can barely reach into the back to clean it. Most of the time, it’s basically tough to grab any food stored in the depths of the refrigerator, and we all know that “out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t bode well for food safety. It’s only when a disgusting odor fills the kitchen every time the fridge door opens that we’re reminded, “This purchase was silly.”
Within my random list of general silliness is a classic from old westerns. The cowboy pitches camp on the frontier, grabbing his saddle for a pillow and a thin blanket that’s supposed to keep him warm. In the meantime, a ne’er-do-well with nefarious intentions sneaks up on the snoozing cowboy, cracking a twig here or dislodging a rock there. How could anyone not hear all that noise? Can a cowboy really sleep that soundly?
Speaking of hearing, several of my favorite TV sitcoms have had this classic, albeit silly, sidebar, “Could I see you in the kitchen?” To have a private conversation away from others in the room, the characters move to the “kitchen”— which is only five feet away! Now, that’s just silly: Am I to believe that the other folks can’t hear their conversation? “They’re in earshot, people,” I shout at the TV.