I HAVE wonderful teeth. I have teeth that don't come together quite right and I have teeth with some awful spaces between them and I have teeth that seem to darken when other people smoke, but I do have teeth that are remarkably impervious to cavities. This is more than a blessing. This is a way to begin a column.
And the column is about phenomena. I mean, why is it you never see a baby pigeon? Think about that. Think about the millions of pigeons you see - the pigeons of Washington and the pigeons of Venice - and why among all these pigeons you never see one that is a baby. Why is that? I don't know.
And I don't know, either, where all the paper clips go. I don't know why it was when I was a stockboy in an office that I had to order something like 50,000 paper clips a month. No one knew. We had a meeting about it. We pointed out that everyone had a stapler and it was forbidden to send out mail with paper clips because everyone in the world used electric letter openers and only one person in the whole office still threw paper clips at the rear end of passing secretaries. So where did they go? No one knew. Not even Al Harris who was the branch manager and who once told me that I would do well in business because Jews, you know, have a head for business. But that's a different story.
Why is the cold water colder in the bathroom than in the kitchen?
I won't even mention what asparagus does to you.
Why do truck drivers always double-park and why don't Washington cab drivers ever acknowledge that they heard you when you give them your destination. I don't know. Do you?
All this was really a way to get into a discussion of rumors. Lately the rumor that has been sweeping the land concerns microwave ovens. Is this because people are secretly afraid of them? I don't know. Anyway, the story is about the women whose miniature poddle gets wet in the rain and who puts the dog in the microwave to dry out. The phone rings, the lady forgets about the dog and the pooch explodes. People swear it's true, but I don't believe it. It's like the toilet paper shortage story.
I have this thing about menus. I want to know who writes them. I want to know who writes sentences like "Our own blend of exotic herbs, carefully selected by a sparkling bed of crispy lettuce." I want to know also why they put everything in quotation marks - "home cooking," for instance. No "New York Cut" or "Open till Eight." You have to wonder who they're quoting. You have to wonder about this and where the baby pigeons are and where the paper clips go.
I know where they go. They're with my socks. I have been losing socks all my life. Not pairs of socks - just individual socks. They disappear between my room where they live and the basement where they are washed. They walk into the wall (where the paper clips are?) and then join together and they form a big fuzz ball. And then President Carter comes along and gives you a medal for an insulated house.
I will accept no phone calls regarding this column.
I am lucky. I do not lose underwear. Some people lose underwear. This is impossible. Underwear, unlike socks, cannot walk. At the moment, I must admit, I am missing a pair of blue pants. The cleaner's doesn't have them and I don't have them so they must be hiding in the house. This explains the noises I've been hearing at night.
Junk mail. Why do people hate junk mail? I love junk mail. Without junk mail I wouldn't receive any mail at all. Everyone I know calls on the phone. Without junk mail there wouldn't be any mail at all. Mailmen would be out of work. Mail women, too Post offices would close. There would be no place to go for your draft card or to hang wanted posters. Think of that.
A sock just came out of the wall.
Did you ever wonder about how people know why the stock market goes up or down. I mean, does any of that stuff make any sense to you? Listen: "The stock market fell today on news of an attempted coup in Ethiopia" Why? What does Ethiopia have to do with anything? No one ever tells you. Do you remember when the market was "sluggish" because Wall Street thought Jimmy Carter was a radical. You have to flunk an I test to get on Wall Street.
I have no opinion about that Nazi in Chicago who was born Jewish.
I have no opinion about Farrah Fawcett-Majors.
There are things about Frank Sinatra you just have to respect.
I was in my 20's before I had my first cavity. I had it filled by a dentist who said that the only way to see if the tooth could be saved was to test by pain. He did just that. I cried.I had not cried in years, but I cried. As a result of that, I do not hate dentists.
But I needed a way to get out of this column.