Now, no one in the history of human kind has ever put the cheese on the bottom of the burger – because it’s horribly messy and the cheese melts on the bun and onto the plate and, frankly, because it’s just plain creepy.

 

– Yost Column, Nov. 16, 2017

 

 

It’s always weird when somebody you don’t like dies. I remember one time someone who was kind of a jerk died suddenly, and a group of us who knew him were standing around talking and each person said nice things about him.

When they were done, they all looked at me like I was supposed to say something nice too. I just stood there silent for a moment and then said, “You know, I really didn’t care for him very much.”

Which was the nicest thing I could say and still maintain any remote degree of honesty.

I agree that no one should speak ill of the dead – which is why I didn’t say what I really thought at that moment – however, on the other hand, I’m not sure we should all feel so utterly compelled to say nice things about someone when they pass away if we couldn’t stand them when they were alive. Nevertheless, there is supposedly this fundamental requirement to say nice things about them – no matter how they were when they were alive.

Charles Manson died recently and all I could think about was his poor surviving family members who now had to come up with nice things to say about him – even though he was like the most evil person of all time.

I mean, this is a guy who killed all those people in horrible ways and never showed any remorse: Forty years later he’d go into parole hearings and say things like, “Yeah, I killed ‘em all and I’m glad I did; and if you let me out, I’ll kill again. Kill! Kill! Kill!” – which apparently is not what the parole board wants to hear.

But after he died, family members still had to find something nice to say. Because you especially have to say nice things about people who are not only dead but are also part of your family.

“Yeah, that Charlie was a real character,” they probably say at the family gathering after his death. “I’ll tell you what – when old Charlie set out to achieve a goal he really put his whole heart, mind and soul into it.”

Things like that.

Anyway, this is the happy holiday season, so I don’t know how you guys got me off track and somehow got me onto the subjects of death and Charlie Manson and all that negativity, so let’s switch gears and talk about some less morbid things …

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The other day, I was doing something and the television was on the news station in the background and President Trump was making a speech where he looked very calm and stately. He was maintaining a presidential demeanor all around. I couldn’t tell what the speech was about but I said to myself, “Now that’s more like it, Donald! Now you’re getting it. You finally look like you’re displaying some real gravitas. Maybe you’re finally getting the hang of looking and sounding dignified and presidential.”

I turned up the sound a little to see what the speech was about and I realized he was pardoning turkeys.

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Speaking of tasty delights, Rhino reader Mike Small, who bikes around Guilford County and frequently sends me excellent pictures from his adventures, sent me a picture of McDonald’s biscuits. He had read a column I wrote recently about Google releasing an emoji of a cheeseburger with the cheese on the bottom. I pointed out how wrong that was and Mike sent in this photo and said he was appalled when he saw this poster at a McDonald’s drive-thru.

“What’s wrong with this picture?” he wrote.

Like Mike, I was amazed to see this travesty after the Google mistake and I feel very embarrassed for McDonald’s that this gaffe made it into an official company photo. I would also point out that, just because this is a biscuit and not a burger doesn’t make putting cheese on the bottom one bit less egregious.

I know home fire alarms are extremely important, and I know that you have to have one. But I’ve had terrible experiences with them my whole life: You buy one and put it up in your house, and then, with every one I’ve ever gotten – no matter which brand – after about a year, they go haywire and start beeping every few seconds (yes, even when there’s no smoke or fire). The noise drives you crazy and you have no choice but to throw them out and get some more. If anyone knows of a non-defective brand of fire detector, please let me know.

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Charlie Rose? Are you kidding me? Charlie Rose?

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The other day, I got a magazine in the mail and it was in a special plastic wrapper from the post office, with a message written on it. I opened the wrapping and took the magazine out, and there was a small rip on one of the pages.

The note was the nicest, most profuse apology I’ve ever gotten for anything. The apology from the United States post office was so heartfelt, in fact, that I even felt a little uncomfortable about it. Here’s what they sent:

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Dear Postal Customer,

We sincerely regret the damage to your mail during the handling by the Postal Service. We hope this incident did not inconvenience you. We realize that your mail is important to you and that you have every right to expect it to be delivered in good condition.

Although every effort is made to prevent damage to the mail, occasionally this will occur because of the great volume handled and the rapid processing methods which must be employed to assure the most expeditious distribution possible. We hope you understand. We assure you that we are constantly striving to improve our processing methods in order that even a rare occurrence may be eliminated.

Please accept our apologies.

Sincerely, your postmaster

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I mean, wow. And this was just for some little rip in a magazine page. I’ve had women cheat on my and try to get back together with me whose apologies were nowhere near as passionate and heartfelt.

And I have given this a lot of thought and now I have something to say to the post office people, something I want to say publicly in front of everyone …

Apology accepted.

It would be hard to not accept such a generous and forthright apology and, postal workers, I completely forgive you for accidentally tearing the page of my magazine and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

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What in the world is going on in China? The Victoria Secret fashion show was just held in Shanghai but they almost didn’t put the show on in China because that country started banning supermodels and four of them weren’t allowed in.

What kind of mass insanity is that? Who in the world has a problem with Victoria Secret supermodels coming into their country? If you don’t want tall perfect red-hot lingerie-clad supermodels coming in, well then, exactly who do you want?

How much of a border debate do you think the 80-percent male US Congress would have if our immigration problem were Victoria Secret supermodels streaming over the border with Mexico?

Parisian Promenade at Bicentennial Garden