September 19, 2019

And Another Thing …

In response to surging Franco-phobia, French’s Mustard has issued a press release informing the public that, despite the name, it is an all-American product, created in New York City by R.T. French and first introduced to the hot dog at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Other food-industry segments have been quick to follow with politically correct trivia: Italians were soaking stale bread in egg batter long before the French were making toast; English chips predate French fries; and ancient Egyptians force-fed geese to enlarge their livers many millennia in advance of foie gras. Curiously, no one is coming to the defense of escargot.


Also from the press-release receptacle, Chomp Inc., maker of Yip Yap doggie breath mints, has announced it is seeking entries for its Worst Dog Breath Contest. Contestants (details at are asked to submit testimonials describing just how bad their dogs’ breath is. Finalists and owners will be invited to New York City where a panel of judges described as “distinguished celebrities” will sniff out the winner. Top dog gets a year’s supply of Yip Yaps; owner gets to roll up the windows on the drive home.


Just in time for wedding season, researchers have published a study suggesting that marriage does not cause happiness – it results from happiness. Although studies have repeatedly concluded that married people are happier than people who are single, divorced or widowed, a team of psychologists at Michigan State University analyzed data from 24,000 men and women and concluded that those who marry were generally happier to begin with. The grumpiness that sets in later also appears to be relative.


A recent photo in a southern Maine newspaper showed two peace activists protesting the war in Iraq by standing on a Portland street corner and baring their chests. “Attract attention” was how the caption described the actions of Catie and Josh. Not to quibble, but it’s more likely one was attracting attention. The other was just in the way.


After several large demonstrations supporting the U.S.-British action in Iraq – and criticizing Canada’s sitting it out – took place in Western provinces Saturday morning, Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham said his administration stands by its decision not to join the military campaign because “public opinion largely supports the actions and position of the government.” After a nationwide poll was released Saturday afternoon showing Canada now nearly evenly split on the matter, Mr. Graham said public opinion “will not influence the government’s principled decision to stay out of the conflict.” Asked to clarify these statements, Mr. Graham said, “Public opinion always influences politics, but it’s not going to change our opinion.” Then he added, “We respect [the British and Americans]; they’re our best friends, we’ve always been at their sides,” and spoiled everything.

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