The things I didn’t know

Herb Day Contributing columnist

Herb Day Contributing columnist

As I trudge along on this journey of life many things have caught my attention that often made me scratch my head and ask “why.” I am told that if I live to be 500, many of these things I will never know. I suppose I should take exception with the idea that I may never know because I lack the intelligence to comprehend, or then again, perhaps they mean that the mere quantity of mysteries is too great for any one person to behold. Wow, that was poetic, and yes, I opt for the latter idea.

Rising to the top of the sea of mysteries in my mind was the comments from relatively new retirees who claim that since retirement they don’t have enough time to get everything done.

While working 40, 50 and sometimes 60 and 70-hour work weeks, I always wondered how that could possibly be true. I certainly understood why I didn’t get everything done with my work schedule, but I wondered how it was possible that someone who no longer was required to show up to a job either found no time to get things done. Or was it perhaps that chores super-naturally appeared from nowhere, much like the washer or dryer making one sock disappear into thin air?

And that’s another thing. Where do my spare socks go? Have you ever stopped to think about how many marital disagreements have been given birth by that missing sock? Is there a “sock bandit” who roams the land seeking out one sock to steal from a wash load? There might be. All I know is thanks to this phenom, I know have a dresser drawer with some of the most unusual mismatched pairs of socks in the land.

I have a grocery list of things I have wondered about, like how or why does anyone leave just a drop of milk in the container and place it back in the fridge? Why do people drink from the milk carton rather than getting a glass? What set of circumstances must exist for someone to drop their cellphone into the toilet (I really don’t want to know)? Why does a cat drop from the ceiling to the floor and land on its feet, but a dog doesn’t (I really haven’t tried that … relax).

It seems to me that much of our investigative news reporting is wasted on things that are predictable. You know, things like, “The President said today that he was giving Most Favored status to days filled with sunshine and roses. The opposition party said they would fight such a declaration with the utmost resistance.” You know that is coming, but why not spend more time doing some investigative reporting on how my socket set spent the winter beneath the leaves and snow in the backyard when my son assures me he returned it to the garage after he used it. My friend, there is someone lurking in the streets of our city with a vendetta against shiny, useable hand tools.

I have also wondered who would have slipped into our home and framed my daughter with the crime of painting our valuable claw-foot bath tub with bright red finger-nail polish. They did so at such a speed my daughter didn’t even see them do it. And she was in the tub at the time, and they left her holding the nail polish container. Now, I am not an alarmist, but unless there is a better explanation for such events, I believe there is a crime wave of minor proportions in this city.

Oh, there are many other things for which I have found no good explanation for. For example, a family of five decide to go at a fine restaurant and spend some quality time over dinner, yet each of them spends that quality time texting someone else on their phone throughout the meal. There must have been a flurry of emergencies that each member of the family needed to handle. Yeah, surely that’s the answer.

I guess perhaps we’ll never really know the reason why hair grows where it’s not supposed to grow as we age, or why I find more things on the floor that I’ve lost each time I bend down to pick something up. Unfortunately, I know the answer to both of those questions, but as I sit here trying to remember why I kneeled to the floor, I’ll just look around for my crayon I dropped while trying to take a telephone message for my wife. In the meantime, maybe I’ve given you something to ponder. If so, remind me. By now I forgot what I was talking about.

Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at

Herb Day Contributing columnist Day Contributing columnist