Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Relocating Baby Hitler, and Other Stuff …

It's been a while since I've written on this blog, partly because a whole bunch of useless ideas have been ruminating in my head, blocking more productive thoughts.

So I thought I'd try to express some of those ideas in the hope that the process of writing them down will clear out some room in my head.

Please bear with me.

Relocating Baby Hitler
I have always been obsessed with the notion of time travel.

I think I've seen every movie ever made on the subject, from the Back to the Futures and the surprisingly good Time Cop to the unbelievably horrible Battlefield Earth. (That last one may not technically be a time travel movie, but it deserves mention in any discussion of very bad film experiences.)

Thoughts of time travel always wind up focusing on ways to change the world for the better.

And inevitably those thoughts turn to … killing Adolph Hitler.

That's kind of a no-brainer.

He started World War II, which resulted in about 50 million deaths. His regime set new standards in organized human depravity. He … actually, I guess I don't really need to make the case for Der Fuhrer being a bad guy, do I?

Anyway, the next step is figuring out at what point in his life you kill him.

Certainly not as a baby or child or teen. He's an innocent at those points in his life. Years later he serves the losing side honorably in World War I, but that's probably your best opportunity. Still, he hasn't done anything heinous yet.

But once the atrocities that warrant his death begin, he's too well guarded.

Another conundrum ... the average person will have trouble taking a life no matter how justified.

So here's my solution, which I recommend and freely give away here for any of you who ever get the chance to travel back in time.

There is no need to kill Hitler at all.

The way to go is to kidnap baby Hitler just days after he's born, and whisk him off to rural Canada to be raised by a nice farming couple who can't have their own child.

It would be sort of Clark Kent situation, but this time using old-fashioned homespun values to prevent pure evil instead of a means to promote truth, justice and the American way.

There in early 20th century Canada, he is almost certain to be no worse than a dirty hockey player, scurrilous curling sweeper or tainted food provider. And in the off chance that his megalomania is genetic, he's in a place where he could not possibly impact world events.

Okay, now that's off my mind.

Silly Singulars & Preposterous Plurals
Who decided, and what possible reason could there be for words in the English language being the same plural as they are in singular?

Is the word “deers” so offensive to the ear? (Particularly since “dears” seems to be just hunky dory.) Will the world suffer to hear me say that I saw three “deers” and two “mooses” during my walk in … I don't know … somewhere where deers and mooses hang out together? (“Where" isn't really my point here.)

Also, there is that one item that's always referred to as two … scissors, as in “I'd like to buy a pair of scissors.” Really?

This reminds me of the poker scene in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Each cigarette represents a dime, but Martini (Danny DeVito) keeps breaking them in half and betting “a nickel.” Finally, a frustrated, R.P. McMurphy screams at him, “This is a dime! See that? Cut it in half and you don't have two nickels … you have [expletive]!”

Take a pair of scissors. Cut them in half. What you have is not a scissor and a scissor … what you have is [expletive]!

Ditto for “pants.” A pant should have two legs and cover one's front and rear unlookables. You should not get just one item when you buy a “pair of pants.”

Fish, aircraft, species, you (except in East Coast urban areas, where “youse” is perfectly acceptable) … I could go on and on, but you get my drift, right?

Why are no political parties backing language reform? Is it too much of a hot potato? (Oh, and there is no good reason to add that extra “e” to pluralize “potatoes,” either.)

Do you think Mr. Quayle still has some pull to get this movement started?

Various Leftover Brain Bric-a-Brac
Why won't the Wordscraper game on Facebook take “ZEN” as a legitimate word?

Why is the least good Law & Order show (I won't say “worst” because I like them all) the only one they still make new episodes for?

Eli Manning is as good as Peyton Manning in the same way that Janet Jackson is as good as Michael Jackson.

Two liter sodas are $1.79, but only $1.59 if you buy at least six. Six Two-liter bottles. C'mon. Do I get a caddy with that?

In that Allstate commercial about living on a tight budget, I had to look up what “ramen” noodles were. Is that a new word, or are simple TV ads getting to complicated for my aging mind to comprehend?

Well, that opens up a little more space in my head for now. I hope I can fill it with more useful information in the future. (But let's not hold our breath on that.)