A few things I don't understand
If I'm being really honest with myself, I have to admit that there are some things I do, more or less, understand.
But only a very few.
There are way, way more things in life that I don't understand, and I thought by the time I reached this point in my life — past 70, for those keeping score — that I'd know quite a bit more than I do.
Here are some examples of the things I don't understand:
? Why do fools fall in love AND who wrote the book of love?
? Why do people almost invariably think, when they are shooting off their mouths in a public place, such as on a bus or in a restaurant, that everybody else around them probably believes all the same stupid things they believe?
? Why they print "Jr." and "III" after the names of basketball players on their game jerseys. The Jr. and III are not actually part of one's last name. They have more to do with the first name, don't they? The last name of Elvin Jones III is Jones, not Jones III. And yet, they all seem to do that.
? Why do people insist on staring at their mobile devices, even when they're driving — and even though we all know that this kind of distracted driving kills people AND it's now against the law?
? Why our entire law enforcement community is not devoting every spare ounce of time and energy to eradicating the practice of people staring at their mobile devices, especially now that it's against the law. As a society, we've made major progress with drinking and driving, and now most people understand that this is not only dangerous, but it can also easily end with huge fines and even loss of driving privileges.
? Why the profiteers of social media, such as Facebook, Google and the like, have hesitated to take responsibility for the consequences of their organizations' actions. During my own four decades in the newspaper business, it was never forgotten that we, the media participants, were wholly responsible for everything we printed — even when it featured the utterances of idiots — and could be held liable for every word. Television and radio have similar restrictions on their operations, but the sacred social media are apparently above that sort of thing. Even when they're caught in the act of being abused by sinister forces or simply employed by out-and-out liars, they do the most amazing dance to escape blame.
? And speaking of rights that have no restrictions, where did we get the idea that the Second Amendment, unlike every other amendment to our Constitution, should forever remain untouched? Even the First Amendment, which protects our freedoms of religion, speech, the press, assembly and redress of grievances — every one of them equal to and probably more important than the ownership of guns — has all sorts of stipulations added by legislation and judicial review in order to make them fit in with life as we know it.
? Why do some dogs never tire of chasing a ball?
? Why do some of us seem to get more stupid with age rather than smarter? It should be the other way around, but seldom is.
? Why do so many drivers think a stop sign really just means slow down? If you think I exaggerate, pull up a chair near a stop sign and you'll discover that most (a significant majority, I'd say) don't ever really stop. And, if you consider that the key to who gets to go first at a four-way stop is based on who STOPS first, this idiosyncrasy tampers with our ability to follow simple road rules.
These are by no means all the things I don't understand. I could fill an encyclopedia with the complete list. But I not only don't have the time to waste on such a project, nobody would read it anyway.
Mikel Kelly is a retired newspaper man who, in addition to writing occasional things like this, stays busy pursuing such hobbies as eating, sleeping and going to the bathroom.