Oh Say Can You See? – October 22, 2020

My mouth runs away. Remember, I write as I talk. If you’re feeling all Baptist, scoot on to the next email or WP reader entry. I’m feeling a little testy.

Survey sez –

Been completing some on-line surveys.  You know, sharing the wisdom of my years with the world.  Offering conservative balance against the liberal tsunami.  Some questions give me pause. I suspect there’s a PhD dissertation here, but to scratch the surface:

  • Is “White” a race?  Actually, I’m somewhat offended by that.  Not many folks I know are actually white.  Shades of pink, tan-orange, ruddy-cream maybe.  But not white.  Or I am unaware of my true identity and sorely confused. You could make a case.
  • If I just answered that I am “heterosexual” why does the pop-up question following ask if I’m transgender?  Does the survey assume in forcing me to admit I am a guy who likes other guys in one way and, um, ah, like ladies in another way, I may have suddenly reached the point of enlightenment that I am now rethinking my position?
  • If your survey just asked my zip code, why is it necessary the next question ask me what state I live in?
  • Why do you ask my age in one question on a dedicated page and my marital (or living arrangement) status on the following, again dedicated page? Like will the living arrangement status question change based on my age?  And another thing, I “see myself” rather handsome, virile, and debonair – yet there’s no room to explain such in the gender/sex question.
  • If your question just had me select (only one) of Republican, Democrat, Independent, Other, and Decline to answer, my answer being Independent, why does your pop-up question insist on asking me if I “lean” more toward Republican or Democrat? You offer no option for me to declare I run with panic from being considered either Republican or Democrat.  Do you ask the same of those who indicate ‘Other’ and those who cop-out ‘Decline to answer’?
  • Who put together the question that reads “Do you think the Kardashians are fashion and life-style experts or do you prefer the Richard Nixon school of thought?” Answers provided included only “yes” and “no.”  I submit, according to your wording, the answer must always be “yes” since it is clearly one or the other, save the 0.0001% who can brook neither philosophy, in which case you’re still baft since there is no “none of the above” response.
  • Why is it surveys clearly grinding an ax, skewing questions to gain the result they need never provide an open-end question at the end where you can clearly berate them and discredit their effort for their bias? On the other hand, those surveys clearly without bias of course leave you room to write Exodus in Swahili.  In capitals. Please answer “Yes” or “No”.  
  • Can I not be trusted to write the digits of my age?  Why do surveys provide a dropdown list?  Aha! There it is!  My age!  I recognize it now! For a minute there, I’d forgotten.  Thank you, survey people!
  • Why do you list five youthful (I suppose) bimbos none of whom are familiar names, and ask me who is my favorite and NOT give me a response reading, “Who the hell are these people?”. If I knew them all but detested every last Jack (Jill) of them, I still must pick one?  Please provide space to write “I hate this one least.”

Segue into the next pondering

With all the older Americans out of work, unable to find work because being old no one will hire them for fear that after a month on the job they will become pregnant and cost the company time and money, why are foreign nationals authoring most of today’s on-line surveys? (Hardly) Much against the foreign nationals, they do write poor surveys.  Most Americans speak and write passable English.  Passable. Most people in the British Isles, and the larger part of French, Spanish and Italian populations write better English than today’s survey-writers.  Better than most Americans. I would hazard a guess as to where these survey authors are from.  I suspect most are moonlighting to supplement their customer support salaries.   If I came right out with it, I’d be a racist or a highly functioning xenophobic.  While I aspire to both, I am neither.

I am a masculinist and highly prejudiced in favor of people with purple skins.  Maybe a bit of an ageist. And I reiterate, handsome, virile, and debonair.


As a lad, I had phenomenal eyesight.  Then, I worked hard, played in the fresh air, drank good beer, better whiskey, chased ladies, played with dogs, wrestled cattle, and swore a lot.  Think I got verb-noun agreements there.  Qualifying for the State Police, the examiner took too long measuring my peripheral vision.  Called over two of his uniformed buds to the contraption my head was strapped into.

Briefly, I thought (I was a young lad) I’d broken some law and was going to be arrested and sent to prison for the rest of my life.

“Lookit this!  This ain’t right.”

“He’s guessing.”

“No, he ain’t. I done all the tricks.”

“Two hunnerd and twenty. That ain’t right!”

“Maybe your pointer’s broke?”

“Nope. Checked it.”

“That Extra Sensitive Perception stuff?”

“If it is, we can still use him.”

“Be fifteen years of routine patrol before he can take the exam for DB…”

I passed, including the stupid “how far can you leap with your ankles strapped together?” test, which even the Air Force didn’t at the time use.  Which lead me to conclude the roads in the great state sucking taxes out of my wallet then were a damned sight safer than the skies over southeast Asia, Korea, Eastern Europe, or Alabama.

Never became an issue though. One thing lead to another, I ended up behind a desk in front of a computer for most of my adult life.  [I use the term “adult” loosely and with permission.]  Worked even harder, drank less beer, bought cheaper whisky, messed with not so many girls, found dogs are smart enough they don’t cotton to offices, swilled poorly recycled air, was deprived of working cattle, and developed a different, more refined style of vituperation.

Lost my good vision.  Gonna have some surgery to correct some of that.  Still imagine I “see” things a lot more clearly than most of my peers. 

For example, most of my “peers” think I’m queer (in the 1960’s sense of the word) because I consider $75 greens’ fees outrageous.  Frankly, any greens’ fee is outrageous.  I want green, I fire-up my mower and tromp green for an hour and have as much fun as the crotchety old shits out whacking-away at a golf ball.  Afterward, the beer is just as cold, and I can tell as many lies to whoever I care to.

The eye thing –

There are times good vision is a curse. My desk sits in my office with a window to the outside world. I cannot help but watch the local edition of the world parade past my window.  Now, I am not at my age in phenomenal physical shape.  But I am in pretty good rig. Most of my clothes fit and I’ve even been downsizing britches.  Can’t do anything about my feet or the gray topside.

But some of these kids who walk their doggies past are simply deplorable.  Jabba the Hut.  I’ve said it before, some of the men need wheelbarrows to keep their stomachs from scraping the concrete sidewalks.  Some of the women are what I refer to as two-seaters.   Say what you want about COVID-19, heart disease, diabetes, and jock itch; the real health issue facing this country today is glandular obesity. 

Has to be.

When I simply look at a fine* physical specimen, those with me know what I’m thinking – it’s in my facial expression.  I’m repeatedly told by more tolerant individuals that folks I see have chemical or glandular problems and they can’t help it.  I call BS. I know people, who had Issues. These people I’m thinking of took action, made changes, and by damn they’ve been successful!  They’ll be around longer to badger the snot out of me and those they love because of it.  And I’m proud of them and they deserve accolades.

But the folks I see outside my window?  Uh-uh.  These folk are not victims of physical problems save an inability to get off their asses, eat sensibly, and pay attention to the fact they do indeed look like Jabba the Hut. Hurts my eyes to look at them.  Young people!  Forget licensing firearms purchases.  Require a background check before issuing a permit to buy ice cream.  Checking most of the “backgrounds” not too difficult.

On other subjects

I’m pulling the plug on this.  Not supposed to be a rant.  I’ve committed to “fluff.”  Difficult given the upcoming election.

About that “fluff”

“Oh, look, that irascible bastard has posted again.”

“Imma read it anyway.  Once in a while I agree with the dewd and he makes me chuckle.”

“Ah, but he’s gone windy again. Must be near two thousand words.”

“Any pictures?”


“Okay. Who else has posted today?”

*Fine – sarcasm, of course.

Published by spwilcen

Retired career IT software engineer, or as we were called in the old days, programmer, it's time to empty my file cabinet of all the "creative" writing accumulated over the years - toss most of it, salvage and publish what is worthwhile.

11 thoughts on “Oh Say Can You See? – October 22, 2020

    1. %^(*^( WP is fooling with me again. Deepkneeing from where I respond, it may or may not put my reply with the arggravatin I mean follower’s comment. I don’t use a cane. Got good heavy steel-toed boots. Been known (truth!) to follow a dog walker from the back to the side to the front yard (corner lot) so I can have words with Sammy Dogwalker who doesn’t understand “Curb your dog!” With his beer gut, he’s gonna catch me? Not a chance. I recall enough of my ******** training I can go mano-a-mano with most; took my share of poundings and then some, most times I heal, and to date no pounding has made me a sissy. (In the 60’s sense of the word.) Thanks for dropping words on me.

  1. If the yutes (that’s Rhode Island for youths) can be flip and disrespectful, why not me? If it looks like dog stuff, smells like dog stuff (that’s as far as I go) it needs to be called dog stuff. Thanks for popping by. Sorry I disappoint.

  2. Nice post. Nice rant. Left me with only one question: What the hell is a “greens fee?” As far as looking at other people, especially the young ladies: I wonder that a 4’4′ 285 lb young lady (who really would be great looking otherwise) feels that Spikes through various facial features, orange and green hair, make-up to put a professional clown to shame, and a lit cigarette hanging from her giant holed earlobes, makes her look better. And sleeves. I don’t understand sleeves. But I’m old.
    My Dad complained about my generations long hair and bell bottom pants. Wish he were alive today to get a gander at the young folks now.

    1. Hell, your comment better than my post. Greens fees if you’re not a member of an exclusive club, it’s pay to play, and no golfer i know is content to play on his home course. Golfers are more socially-attuned than most women. I DID golf years ago. Threw my clubs into my ’64 Chevy in 1969 and never took them out until I sold them to the chief of police where I worked around 1971 or 72. There’s a story in that. Later, maybe. Rather lay my thumb on an anvil and pound it with a sledge than play golf. Thanks for popping in and taking time to drop a comment.

  3. You can’t beat a good rant, and this was a good one.
    When I was seventeen I was turned down for the UK police cadets because I was a half inch too short. ‘I might grow,’ I protested. “You might fucking not,” said the recruiting sergeant. I am now 6 foot 5 inches, so I did.😂

    1. WP has it in for me. I responded but it’s below. Life is wonderful. Q “Life is full of unpaved roads. You made it, so your Conestoga was road-worthy.” UQ

  4. Incredible, brilliant and true! I agree my friend, fully! I spent decades reading the reports that my officers submitted and I could have sworn they went to school only to eat the lunch they served and slept through everything else! My supply of red ballpoints was always in the red! And yes, those surveys are full of stupid questions which I always ignore, no, bloody hell, I ignore surveys altogether! English is not my native language but when I learned it, in the UK, I learned it well, then I went to America and…well, I learned that as well…one great and entertaining post! All the best!

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