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Questions are burning, answers are missing 2015.02.04

       By RICH FOLEY

What was that old tabloid slogan? Inquiring minds want to know? I guess I’m feeling more than a bit inquisitive today because I’m overflowing with questions, none of which have easy answers.

For example, can someone explain why a great majority of online forms have you type in every part of your address but the state? For that, you have to click on a drop down menu, then use your mouse to find the correct state, then click on it for the chosen state to appear on the form.

Why is that? It would be a lot quicker just to type in your state when you type everything else. It’s not quite as bad for folks living in states near the beginning of the alphabet, but I always have to scroll down the list for Ohio or Michigan. This not only wastes a few seconds each time I fill out a form, I can’t see any rational reason for it in the first place.

Every time I get caught at a railroad crossing, besides counting the cars, I also  spend the waiting time enjoying the “artwork” on at least a few cars in every train. But who does this? To my untrained eye, much of the unauthorized painting seems to be done in the same style.

 Is it all being created by the same person? Is this even possible? Is there a seldom patrolled railroad yard in Montana or Wyoming where some Andy Warhol wannabe does his or her work? Or is perhaps a modern-day Bob Ross giving instruction to a younger generation of outlaw painters who fan out across the land, spreading the joys of painting a mobile work of art?

Does anyone know of any working pay phones in the area? I can’t remember the last time I saw one. I used to think the one in front of the Chesterfield Township hall on U.S. 20 near Oakshade might be the last one in America. Unfortunately, I recently succumbed to the urge to make a call from it and discovered it was out of order. So, is there a working pay phone anywhere?

A quick question: Is it just me, or do Michael Keaton and Howie Mandell greatly resemble each other? And has anyone ever seen both of them at the same time?

And while on that subject, how about Daniel Craig, the current movie James Bond, and Russian president Vladimir Putin? There’s way too much of a resemblance to be a coincidence. I’m guessing that Putin is real and “Daniel Craig” is a practical joke that Putin, in private, enjoys immensely. 

Why do broadcast news outlets waste airtime trying to report on current gasoline prices? If they were broadcasting prices live from a gas station, it might make some sense, but the “news” is usually a recent average price compiled by AAA or some oil industry news source.

The prices are almost always different by the time they are reported. An anchorperson will act like they have great news while reporting that gas prices are dropping. Meanwhile, if they had just bothered to do a little homework, they would have found that locally, prices were increasing. 

The opposite is also true. Once, I saw a Toledo anchor breathlessly announcing that gas prices had “skyrocketed.” Meanwhile, in the real world outside the television studio, prices had dropped 15 to 20 cents a gallon in the previous few days. Hasn’t anyone told them they’re almost always wrong? Don’t these folks ever buy their own gas? Why waste our time with worthless information?

And since I’m on a television rant, what can we do to get rid of those stupid ads for Sonic? Seeing two numbskulls sitting in a car saying dumb things to each other while they are eating is supposed to make us want to go there? What advertising agency conned Sonic into buying this idea?

I’ll admit I used to enjoy having a reason to go to Bryan so I would have an opportunity to stop at Sonic, but since these ads started, I often eat somewhere else. Why take the chance, no matter how remote it may be, that those two fools might be there?

 When I do visit Sonic, I go through the drive-thru lane, then somewhere else to eat my food. Why? What if I stopped at one of the outside carhop spots and the the two simpletons showed up and parked next to me? I’m supposed to have to listen to them while I’m waiting for my food? And then try to eat while hearing their babbling?

I guess that’s enough complaining for one day, isn’t it? Don’t worry, I’ll keep any further criticisms to myself for a while. Is two weeks long enough?