Off The Press — Recent sightings of the ridiculous

August 19, 2014

By Greg Farrar

I didn’t know a 23rd century, high-tech war was being waged in my armpits on my behalf by the cosmetics industry, but apparently it is.

For years, it’s just been the same ol’ deodorant scent for yours truly, Old Spice High Endurance Arctic Force. I think it smells good. The red plastic container is easy to find in the grocery aisle. Period. And I’m a guy. I don’t need directions for using deodorant, right? I never read the fine print on the back, until just recently:

Contains odor-fighting “Atomic Robots” that “Shoot Lasers” at your “Stench Monsters” and replaces them with fresh, clean, masculine “Scent Elves.”


Now, I need a lot more information. Are the Atomic Robots leaving any residual radiation under my arms as I sweat through the day’s work? If I forget to apply, or switch brands, will the Scent Monsters multiply, grow and take over mankind? If one of my robots has poor aim, will one of my friends die in the blast, or are the laser beams set on stun? And thank heaven my masculinity is not compromised by a population of tiny forest fantasy people.

Putting these questions aside for a moment, our office supply cabinet here at The Press has little plastic boxes organized for various needs. Blue pens. White Out. Paper clips. Highlighters. You get it.

This week, I wanted two new pencils for my desk, went looking for the pencil box and found it. It should be full of new pencils ready for their first sharpening, right? And there were more than 60 brand new pencils there.

But here’s a new question. Why did I also find almost 30 worn-down pencils with no erasers in the supply box? If the eraser is down to the ferrule, isn’t it time to throw the old pencil away? It had a good life and gave its money’s worth. “Previously owned” is just a euphemism for used. Let it go!

Last but not least, I read a story last week about corporations moving their operations overseas to save billions in taxes. And here’s what Edward Kleinbard, a University of Southern California law professor, said:

“My guess is that they [government computations suggesting the nation could lose ‘only’ about $20 billion in tax revenue] didn’t reflect the sharknado of inversions that is about to happen.”

Ohmigod! Is everything going to be a sharknado now? The name of a campy movie about an impossible computer-generated weather-and-wildlife storm has now entered the vocabulary of law professors, economists and people with Ph.Ds to describe real-world events?


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