I Wonder About a Lot of Unimportant Stuff

A few days ago, we were in an antique store in Holly, Michigan, which happens to be one of our favorite towns anywhere.

While we were walking through, looking at everything that reminds us we’re old, I noticed a box sitting high on a shelf. Inside was a plastic furniture cover. I’m thankful my mother never decided to cover the couch and chair with plastic. She just told me not to sit on them, which accomplished the same thing as a plastic cover.

I then noticed a young couple looking at a vintage telephone from the 1920’s. He gave the dial a spin and watched it. I said, “Do you guys know what that is?” I was glad they laughed. So, evidently, they knew it was an antique telephone, or they didn’t know, and wanted me to think they knew what it was even though they didn’t.

I wonder at what age gas station bell signals are no longer remembered. If you don’t know what gas station bell signals are, you were most likely born after 1980. Before gas stations were self-serve convenient stores, patrons drove up to the gas pumps, rolling over at least one long rubber hose that caused a bell in the station to ring. It wasn’t like an annoying alarm clock. It was more of a loud, “ding-ding, ding-ding!”

The customer stayed in the car, and people dressed in uniforms came out of the station and asked the driver, “Can I help you?” “Fill ‘er up” was the usual response. If they said, “Give me five dollars-worth,” it was enough gas to go two hundred and fifty miles. Five dollars now will take you around the block a few times.

Gas station attendants washed the windows, checked the oil, filled the tires, checked the radiator, and added washer fluid. When the job was done, the customer paid, and change was made at the driver’s window. The change was counted back to the driver from the total charged to the amount handed to the attendant.

For example, if the gas total was $3.45 and the driver handed over a five-dollar bill, the attendant clicked fifty-five cents out of the handy metal coin dispenser on his belt. and took one dollar from the wad of cash in his pocket. “Three forty-five plus fifty-five makes four, plus one is five dollars. Have a nice day.” A lot of people don’t know how to do that now. They don’t really have to because computers do all the work.

Gas stations had garages where a person could get new tires, a battery, an oil change, an engine tune-up, and the like. Outside the garage, there was a red box on a pole with a long hose hanging from it. Anyone could drive up any time and get all the free air they wanted.

I wonder who realized the middle part of a donut was edible. I don’t think it was Tim, but I’m not sure. Why are they called donut holes? The hole is the empty space in the donut. It’s a hole because the center was removed, making it a donut. Shouldn’t the part taken out be called something other than a hole? Maybe it should be a gob. Or a slug.

I wonder how the part punched out of the middle of the donut feels. Once it was the center, now it’s a castaway. It was the focal point from which the rest radiated. Then, in a moment, it’s gone. Not replaced, just gone.

Is a bagel still a bagel if it doesn’t have a hole in the middle? Isn’t a bagel just a donut with a superior attitude? Why aren’t there bagels covered in maple icing? Are there stuffed bagels? Why aren’t there “everything” donuts since there are “everything” bagels? Everything doesn’t really mean everything because the last time I had an everything bagel I didn’t find any corn flakes, chocolate chips, or shoe-laces in it.

I wonder how small bacon has to be before it’s called “bits.” Who makes bacon bits? Bacon is a taste that should be enjoyed full-size. What are artificial bacon bits? Does anyone really want to eat fake bacon?

Can you imagine being the guy who makes bacon bits? He stands over freshly fried bacon and starts hitting it with a hammer to make bits. I wonder what he’s thinking and if he puts a few slices in his pocket for later. It’s a shame to smash something so delicious.

I wonder who started stuffing pizza crust? It’s pizza! Dough covered with an inch of cheese with little bits of other stuff to add color. And what is the crust stuffed with? More cheese!

Now there is flavored pizza crust. Why do we need flavored pizza crust? Isn’t the taste of pizza enough? What should flavored crust taste like? Salad? Pumpkin pie? A Danish?

Flavored pizza crust reminds me of eating fish. I like fish as long as it doesn’t taste like fish.

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