Have You Ever Noticed – Continued

Some time back I spent some time wondering aloud about certain things I had noticed or thought about. Things that most other people do not notice or think about. Because if we started getting into the same things everyone notices or thinks about we would become like Facebook – and would there be anything worse than that? So, let’s start with this one . . . .

The photo that got me started on last week’s piece reminded me of something I have wondered about for years, at least intermittently. That photo was of an old car in a junkyard. On the hood of that old car (bonnet for those whose steering wheels are oddly placed) was an old lug wrench. You know, the wrench that is used for practicing the forbidden parts of your vocabulary changing a tire along the side of the road. What could one possibly notice about a lug wrench? Just this: why is it necessary to ever make another one?

A fresh, new lug wrench has been provided with every new car built since the days of the Ford Model T. With rare exceptions, a spare tire, a jack and a lug wrench have been the kind of thing you take for granted when you drive your new ride out of the dealer for the first time. There are surely many cars that go to the scrapyard on a flatbed with a lug wrench that has been untouched by human hands since it was bolted down by the guy who wondered how many more of these infernal things would he have to install before the end of his shift.

Even for those who frequent roads littered with broken glass and roofing nails, that lug wrench has been used, what, a dozen times? Has anyone in the history of the world actually worn out a lug wrench? You want to save the planet? Stop wasting resources on new lug wrenches and just recycle the fifteen bazillion of them that are already perfectly sound and waiting around for something to do.

Television shows often lead to questions like these. One thing came up when Marianne and I were binging on some series or other. Yes, we do that from time to time. Watching a show at its scheduled time is so 1970’s. Every one of these shows has some kind of intro segment that plays at the beginning of each episode, and every one also has an episode title. Are the people who are responsible for those two things the least appreciated people in the entire Hollywood ecosystem?

The intro, which is usually some music behind a series of random scenes or still shots, was probably a great idea back when you were guaranteed a week between episodes. It had a purpose, which was to give you time to grab a snack and something to drink before your favorite show started. Or to warn you to get the heck out of the room if it was your not-favorite show. Some of them were actually kind of classic, like Hawaii Five-O with the Ventures’ surf music and killer waves juxtaposed against an expressionless, stone-jawed Jack Lord. But now, in an age of streaming, is there any purpose other than to create angst about whether it makes more sense to fast forward through it (and maybe miss the beginning) or to just endure it until the action picks up from where it left off three minutes earlier in the episode you just finished? No, I didn’t think so either.

And just as I figured that the intro-creator was the least valuable person in TV Land, I started to wonder about the writer who has to come up with episode titles. Seriously, can you name me one single episode title? Out of a number of hours spent watching television in my lifetime (a number that I am afraid to estimate for fear that the result will send me slinking off to my bed for a week-long bout of feelings of worthlessness) I cannot recall a single episode title to any show. Ever. Things like “S2 E9” have some value. If a title is really necessary, wouldn’t “Joe Mannix Goes Fishing And Bad Guys Try To Kill Him” be more useful? OK, maybe you could leave off the “Bad Guys Try To Kill Him” part because bad guys tried to kill Joe in every episode of Mannix. But you see where I am going with this. If these are really necessary, I call on the people who run the Emmys to start a category for “Best Titles For A Weekly Episode”. But I don’t see that happening.

The last thing I wonder about is a little nostalgic – do we all remember those days when someone would feel generous and bring a box of donuts into the office? Yes, I miss those days too. But has anyone else noticed how office donut eating etiquette is completely different from home donut eating etiquette? Except for the difference between being fully dressed and being in sweats or a grungy t-shirt, I mean.

When donuts come to the office, there must always be a plastic knife so that everyone can only take a half one. This is especially necessary when the number remaining is down to, say, three. Then things get really serious when there is just one left. At home, the proper method is to take a bite, then yell (with a mouth full of donut) “I’m takin’ the last donut”. Or, if you are the timid sort, change the wording to “Does anyone want the last donut?” This is really just being passive-agressive because of course you take a bite before anyone can answer, but we are not here to solve your interpersonal relationships.

At work, however, there is a dilemma. Is it ever OK to take the last donut? Or are you doing everyone else a favor by taking the last donut? Or is it better to take the plastic knife and take only half of the last donut, leaving the next guy to leave only a quarter, and so on until the thing is too narrow to slice anymore and gets hard because nobody wants just a single bite of a donut. And why is it always the one that has shredded coconut on it?

Laugh if you will, but these are important questions and we would be doing mankind (oops, I don’t think I’m allowed to use this word anymore) a great favor by setting some societal norms here. Or, we could just double or triple the amount of donuts to start with. Once they get to the third day all of these questions just kind of go away.

19 thoughts on “Have You Ever Noticed – Continued

  1. I actually did break a leg wrench once. Don’t remember which car, but it may have been the Dart, in which case it may have involved forgetting about the left hand threaded lug nuts.

    A related question, why do people need to buy those separate 4 way lug wrenches? Specifically why did I buy one? I must have, because it’s in the tote bin of car tools in the garage. I suppose it was a replacement for the one that cracked, but I don’t remember it being in the trunk at any point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that you mention it, I bent one of those 4 way wrenches I bought back in the 70s when I ran into a particularly stubborn one. I might have gotten flummoxed with the reverse threads on my 59 Plymouth. Those were nice because not everyone used lug nuts the same size, and they were also great for spinning to remove or start the loose lug nuts. Also it kept me from having to undo stuff in the trunk every time I went to rotate wheels.

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  2. The four-way lug wrench is for those of us too cheap to purchase cars built within the last two decades. From experience, somebody has needed that lug wrench (maybe to fend off potential buyers?) and it’s MIA.

    One episode name from Hawaii Five-0 is “Bored, She Hung Herself”. It’s the episode removed from circulation. That’s the only reason why I know it.

    I spent too long Tuesday interviewing people for a promotion. One had a doughnut story. It seems those at his new location didn’t want him there so the doughnut etiquette was so pronounced nobody ate one.

    Have you ever noticed your remarkable ability to trigger otherwise latent memories in others???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, triggering latent memories is important work!

      The only title I remember is not actually from a TV show but from a Warner Bros. cartoon – One Froggy Evening. That’s the one with the singing frog that made the cut to represent the WB network on TV. It’s also the reason I remember the words to “Hello My Baby”. That is, IMHO, the greatest piece of animated cinema ever.

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      • This now triggers something else, in which I also remember the name. Please allow me to nominate an underrated gem, also from Warner Brothers.

        “Gift Wrapped” is a great Christmas video. Granny also reminds me of my grandmother who will be 100 in March.

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  3. Gosh, I haven’t had a donut in ages. We used to have donuts at work every Thursday. If someone tried to cut one in half they would get told to just eat the whole thing, nobody wants the 2nd half of your donut!

    I’ve never worn out a lug wrench, although with all these vehicles having winter tires I change 24 tires annually (It’s supposed to be exercise). I use a deep 19mm socket and torque wrench for it, so the factory lug wrench goes unused.

    Speaking of unused things, the secret cool thing in junkyards was to look for Subarus, because they had a great little tool pouch in the trunk that was perfect for motorcycles.

    And I thought that was Jason Shafer in Hawaii Five-O ???

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just have an uncanny resemblance to Jack. While I do have the privilege (?) of being on TV periodically, it’s never been based from any island.

      Another doughnut story: One time somebody brought a bunch of doughnuts. I witnessed a coworker eat six of them while a group of us were chatting. It was impressive.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never seen anyone take half a donut here…..so it must be an American thing? There’s a Tim Horton’s on every corner in Canada so no one worries about running out or being piggy. Usually the only ones left over are the ones with the multicolored sprinkles only a 6 year old would like. As for donut etiquette at work, I wish people would be more conscious of that powdered sugar stuff that can get on your face….it’s very distracting during meetings….worse than spinach between the teeth. Do you tell someone or not?

    I’m not sure my Honda has a jack/lug wrench or even a spare tire, but it must…..will have to check. I have CAA…

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  5. What really drives me nuts on some of the newer shows is the five-minute-long recap. Either I regularly watch the show and already know, or just want to watch this episode without needing to know Dr. Carlton sued Nurse Nancy for stealing his iPod and then defaming him on Facebook. It’s especially anooying on sitcoms. I’m sorry, it’s not St. Elsewhere. I suspect they do it simply so they have five less minutes of new material to write.

    Liked by 1 person

    • All true. But on the flip side, there we sometimes take breaks that turn into weeks or months and the “Previously, on xxxx” can be a help. But yes, we tend to skip through those when binging.

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  6. [I am almost a week behind in Reader and scrambling to catch up.] The lug wrench. I had my tires rotated one time; my first car and I didn’t know anything about cars (not that I know a lot now) and the mechanic did a poor job of putting the tires back on. I got into the car, the car window on the driver’s side was down as it was a VW Beetle with few amenities, including A/C and a radio. So the window was down, lots of street noise, no music though. Rolling up my street, I saw neighbors sitting on the porch and a few of the male neighbors came over to the driveway when I got out of the car. Hmm. They all said the same thing – “you have a few loose lug nuts,; can’t you hear them rattling around; or did you get a new tire?” “Yes I had my tires rotated, just came from Korvettes tire department.” They said get back right away before they close. What if I had been driving fast? The worries were endless and “what ifs” as I drove back.

    We had a kindly office manager at the first Firm where I worked many many years ago. Reading the part of your post about halving the donut(s) brings this story to my mind. On Secretary’s Day, one of the senior partners stopped and bought cherry-filled croissants for each of the secretaries. We had a Jacques Patisserie in the next building – they were a always a treat to eat. So, this attorney took the huge box to the office manager and presented it to her to pass out to the staff. One of the secretaries overheard her say “no, the girls don’t need a huge croissant – we’ll cut them in half so they keep their nice figures.” He protested – she insisted. We were all mad and after she came around to our desks and told us to go into the kitchen for a treat, we each took the two halves that we felt were rightly ours. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good on you for claiming your rightful treat!

      I am behind too, and somehow I lost the email feed from your blog, so I have missed a few. I work off my email alerts and not from the reader, so by the time I get through the older email alerts I have forgotten to check the reader for your latest. I need to figure this out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes – you’d have thought we had not eaten or had a treat before, but we were incensed about it.

        As for my posts, I have only been posting twice a week since the beginning of the year, but I’ll make an exception for special occasions. I thought that new schedule would keep me from getting so far behind here in general, but it has not. I’ve had to stay late for work a few times as well. Hard to claw my way back to the staying current now.

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  7. Pingback: Unprofitable Questions – Belgian Ecclesia Brussel – Leuven

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