Saturday, October 13, 2012

Retirement Tidbits — Fall Potpourri

It’s been five months since my last potpourri post, so it’s a good time for another one. Most of these tidbits have been collected from my favorite source, Time magazine. Thanks to their editors, especially to whoever puts together their “Briefing” section.

The first group of bulletins covers Sex, Mating, and Panties.
·      In Klagenfurt, Austria, zookeepers had to separate a pair of giant turtles who had been mates for most of their lives. They were judged as suddenly being in danger of killing one another. (Or as the zookeeper put it: “We get the feeling they can’t stand the sight of each other.”) I recall similar reports from a retirement community in Florida…
·      In the U.K., a pair of Queen Victoria’s knickers fetched over $15,000 at an auction at the end of last year. On a price-per-square-inch basis, this was perhaps not extraordinary, but a bargain when you consider the scarcity. Rumor has it that the provenance of those knickers included at least one cross-dressing nobleman.
·      Also British, but spanning the globe, Mick Jagger confessed to having sex with more than 4,000 women (and still counting). You can be sure his rolling stones gathered no moss.
·      Closer to home, Ad Age briefed us on a new subscription service called “Blush Box,” from a former adman (and ex-seminarian—go figure). A $400 quarterly subscription will get you lotions, potions, oils and sex toys, all in a brown paper wrapper. Just call me 50 Shades of Blushing.

My second group of items can loosely be considered Entertainment (in case some of the ones above weren’t entertaining enough).
·      As of this past February, Disney’s U.S. theme park employees were allowed to have beards and goatees. I hear they’ve added “Hairy” as the eighth dwarf.
·      For just over $80, you can get 200 fireworks rockets designed to look like your face when they explode. The fireworks are visible for 20 miles. However, you can name a star after yourself for anywhere from $15 to $50. Stars are visible for gazillions of miles. I suppose the better investment depends on whether you want instant gratification or long term pleasure. Hmmm…

Moving on to Curious Statistics.
·      20% of Americans admit to peeing in a swimming pool. That’s among adults. I don’t want to even think about the figure if kids were included.
·      If world-wide crime were a country, it would be one of the top 20 economies. I have absolutely no idea what to make of this fact.
·      A less surprising statistic: Not a single state in the U.S. has an obesity rate below 20%. The map that accompanied this blurb showed the most extreme percentages swathing through the country’s poochy midsection. You just know this cries out for a red-state/blue-state overlay…

Lastly, a serious issue—World Economics.
·      The sanction-burdened Greek government circumvented annual pay restrictions by compensating employees “for months that didn’t exist.” I hear their fabricated months inspired a new folk song that ends “…November, Cucumber, Suspenders, December.” It’s usually followed by a huge swig of Retsina and a hearty Opa!
·      My favorite of these potpourri items comes from Iceland, where they created an innovative way to build assets. From Time Oct. 17, 2011: “[Imagine] you sell me [your] dog for a billion and I sell you [my] cat for a billion. Now we are no longer pet owners, but Icelandic banks, with a billion dollars in new assets.” I guess we know how they get through those long winter nights in Iceland. And it’s a safe bet that Mick Jagger hasn’t spent any time there.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

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