“DON’T BE A THERMOMETER…”

“…be a Thermostat.” [?!]

We wana-be writers here on WOTL tend to be a bit anal regarding use of language.  As the Great Rush Limbaugh oft says, “Words Mean Things.”

I just came in from shoveling the slush.  When doing such chores, my mind wanders over dreamy turf, streaming in from far recesses of subconsciousness.  Vaguely familiar old tunes interlaced with snippets of generally farcical memories from long ago and far away.  This particular connotation of “farcical” arises as the nonsensically absurd.  In particular, inapt analogies spring up, just asking to be chopped off at the knees.

So into the house I goes, Spocklike, sensitized/primed to detect the illogical.

As always, my wife is watching Fox News [an addiction not unlike alcohol + weed].  Some Senator is bloviating to agreeably-nodding co-hosts.  And I catch his flailing attempt profound metaphor, “Don’t be a Thermometer; be a Thermostat!”  That piques my attention and I actually listen for his explanation.  He obliges; and it makes no sense whatsoever – no sense nonsense!  His words flow smoothly and with conviction, consistent with the polished politician.  But the words are 100% platitude – zero content.  It’s like someone turned on a human voice synthesizer and sentences obligingly flow out.  Shoveling slush aka bullship.

The hosts – reporter and reporterette – continue to nod in seemingly enthusiastic agreement.  But their made-up faces seem one shade more mannequin than usual.  [Are they thinking, like me, “What the fudge?!”]

I spent my career is Aerospace.  We had to make things that actually worked – no Willow Curve, Wind Turbines or Ginseng for us!  When the LAUNCH button is pushed, it either injects or finds the drink; the hardware either functions properly or not.  No excuses; no almosts.

You would think that Scientists are therefore logical purists.  Alas – not the case!  In fact, some [thankfully few] make no sense whatsoever.  One in particular comes to mind:  Around the Conference Room table and she is rambling/monopolizing the conversation.  Animated, smoothly and with conviction – zero content!  It’s a wonder to behold; others stare mesmerized.

I have since learned that this Professor Irwin Corey shtick is actually a certified mental disorder!

There is a moral in all this:  “Don’t be a Thermometer; be a Thermostat!”

Tom – Bipolar Tom

© 2016 Thomas Dey - 2/16/16


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