Things I Just Don’t Get: Part I

A Boomer’s Journal

by Tom Anselm

Struggling as I did with a common theme for my thoughts this week, the best I could come up with was “Things I Don’t Get”. There turned out to be so many that I had to divide it into two parts. So here you go with “Part I.”

Even as I tried to keep a healthy distance, many things stood out in the political scene as both parties completed their conventions.

The guys who talked so much about America’s greatness and the wonder of American ingenuity and perseverance and success seem to have made a lot of cash sending millions of jobs to countries were no such Americans live.

The other guys are equally perplexing in their stances. They tout themselves as the champions of women’s rights, yet they put up for adulation a couple of guys who have less-than-stellar reputations with ladies.

Speaking of women, golf is played more by men than women at a rate of about 4 to 1, according to most surveys. So it’s no wonder that most advertising on televised golf tournaments is geared to the guy market. But to go by the nature of the commercials, these dudes all drive luxury cars worth upwards of $50K, buy only expensive Scotch, strive for a higher testosterone level, and are suffering from prostate problems or a certain malady that cannot be discussed here.

From my perspective as player and golf pro shop worker, I’d say they are missing a substantial market that differs greatly from this stereotype. There are plenty of us out here who drive 10 year old cars, accept our aging as a matter of course, don’t follow the Dow Jones Industrials, are booking their tee times based on the cheapest deal, and drink average priced booze.

And high-end golf duds are not the standard, with khaki the short color of choice, easily by a 5 to 1 margin. I went to the bank the other day and had to provide a photo ID to get some cash back. This at a place where we have done business for over 20 years. So tell me, someone, what’s the big deal about providing proof that you are who you say you are in order to exercise your hard-fought-for, right to vote?

Mark Twain said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics”, and this is never more evident than during a political campaign period. Each challenger has incontrovertible proof that their opponent has done nothing of consequence, and that his plan to improve the country by X% is the one and only. And vice versa for the other fellow. Of course, the TV and radio talking heads are no better in their biases.

My conclusion, after years of listening to this, is that you can’t really believe any of them fully, at any level, on any topic. So how does one pick ones guy or gal? Well, try to be as informed as possible, and then go on strength of character, if possible.

Not an easy thing to find sometimes, but with the 24/7/365 cycle of news available, it’s your own fault if you don’t check things out. Try as I might, I don’t get jazz. I am okay with most types of music, well, maybe not opera, but jazz just seems to have no form— a wandering around by no-doubt excellent musicians, who like to play a bunch of notes,

Why in the world does anyone still smoke? I mean, come on, it’s stinky, dangerous, messy, and clearly deadly. Maybe smokers should just try drinking more coffee. I’ve known some guys nicknamed “Lefty”, but none called “Righty”. Talk about discrimination.

So here you go for this installment. More inane observations to come next time when we bring you Part II of “Things I Don’t Get.”

(Tom welcomes your comments at

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