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IT’S ONLY MY OPINION: Paris and the baby-making machines

There are lots of ways to anger the female of the species. Don’t notice her new ‘do’ or hair color. Forget to tell her how pretty she is. Fail to remember her birthday, anniversary or Valentine’s Day. Then, of course, there’s committing adultery. She might take a page from the Hillary handbook of cheating husbands on that last one and, after you groveled enough, she may find frigid forgiveness in her cold, cold heart. Any or all of the above will certainly cost you an expensive dinner with an overpriced bottle of wine and a bouquet of flowers. But there is nothing – absolutely nothing -- you can do if you should ever insult her the way the Health Minister of Japan did last week. In a speech to the nation, the 71-year-old official, Hakuo Yanagisawa, referred to women as “baby-making machines.” “BABY-MAKING MACHINE? IS THAT WHAT I AM?” asked his wife. This boo-boo will cost him a lot more than a bowl of Dotenabe, a plate of Dashimake Tamago and a bottle of Dewa 33 Sake. Leading the major protest for his head in the Land of the Rising Sun is his spouse, Mrs. Hakuo Yanisawa, and there are loads of these “baby-making machines” marching with her. I’m sure that the yellow pages of the Tokyo telephone directories list many columns of divorce lawyers. ******** I fail to understand this obsession that fans have for Paris Hilton. She’s certainly not beautiful. She’s skinny and flat. Her figure is far from sexy. But Gershbein. She’s rich…loaded…ungeshtupt. Oh. In that case….. ******** According to the financial section, the Eastman Kodak Company is laying off another 5,000 employees…..AGAIN? How many does that make? It seems as if they’ve been downsizing regularly every few months. Are they still the world’s largest photography company? If this continues, the company will be reduced to nothing more than a storefront in a few malls. ******** Several years ago it was hip (can I still say ‘hip’?) to walk around with a closed container of coffee with a hand over the lid, swirling it around and around while you walked. Watcha got in there? I got my LAHHH-TAAYY! Times change and so do styles. When the LAHHH-TAAYY shtick became a bit worn it was replaced with water. No! Not just plain water. Overpriced water in a bottle. Everywhere you were, there they were…holding, and sometimes drinking from a bottle of Poland Spring, Zephyrhills, or Dasani. Don’t you just love saying that last one? DAAY-SAH-NEE. The “in” crowd traded LAAH-TAAYY for DAAY-SAH-NEE. This particular word comes from the ancient Assyrian Neo-Aramaic and is defined as “Sucker who pays premium price for sink water.” While still in use, carrying a fancy shmancy bottle of water seems to be on the decline. The lug-around item of choice today is …drum roll please ….the cell phone. Wherever I go, everyone from age 10 and up is carrying a cell phone. I don’t like cell phones. No. Let me rephrase that. I don’t like people who use cell phones. Not all people. I only dislike those who are thoughtless and have no consideration for those around them. I am angry with the fool who drives all the way over in the left lane of a highway at 10 miles an hour below the speed limit while yakking away on a cell phone. If he would stop talking for a second and take a gander at the rear view mirror, he might see the chain of traffic he is holding up. I hate people who talk …... No… Make that SHOUT into phones at restaurants, waiting rooms, terminals and lobbies. And you can believe this or not, there are still the selfish idiots who refuse to turn the phone off before the movie starts. I’m soured on cell phones and never wanted one. Until a couple of months ago, when my roommate bought me one for my birthday, I never owned one. “Oh, you have to have one” she said. “What if there’s an emergency? What if you get a flat? Or have an accident?” OK, OK. So now I’m the proud owner of one of those little, isty-bitsy Sprint thingies that I charge every night and carry in my pocket every day and nobody ever calls me. I’m not kidding. I never gave out the number so nobody ever calls me. Last Friday, at Wendy’s, in the middle of my crispy chicken special value meal, my phone rang. It was a wrong number but I shouted “Hello Anyway. Don’t hang up. Talk to me. I’ve got this new thing for my birthday and nobody calls me so I want to……” She hung up. This morning, while Carol was seated at the table, and I was 30 feet away Mcwaiting on the Mcline at the Mcyou-know-where, I telephoned her from that 30 feet away and shouted into my itsy bitsy Sprint thingie, “DO YOU WANT A HASH BROWN WITH YOUR EGG McMUFFIN?” I just realized that I have now joined the 21st century. Here I am, world. ******** It’s February 22 already. I just wished you a Happy New Year and in a blink, almost two months have gone by. Today is the anniversary of the very first public observance of Thanksgiving Day. It took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1631. February 22 is also the birthday of Arthur Schopenhauer, born in 1788. In honor of the famous philosopher and atheist’s birthday, the Life Of The Party Organization requests that you take an atheist to lunch. Today is also the anniversary of the opening of the first Woolworth’s Five and Dime (1879), the founding of The Boy Scouts (1857), the beginning of the National Ski Association (1904) and, of course, Happy Birthday George (1732). I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net wishing you all the good things in life that you wish for yourselves. Have a great day. ******** All letters and Emails are the property of this newspaper and may be published. For verification purposes all correspondence must contain your real name, address and telephone number.

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