Sometimes You Just Have to Wonder About Just About Everything

Sometimes you just have to wonder — I mean really wonder in a sit down, maybe have a stiff drink, scratch your head and truly, deeply ponder kind of a wonder kind of a way. Seriously. There are just some things in life that do this to you.

Now, I’m not saying there shouldn’t be. How dull would the world be after all if you just “got” everything? So to be a little confused every once in a while is a completely understandable, even desirable state of being, don’t you think? For instance, who figured out TV? I’m sure if I was so inclined to research the subject I could come up with names, corporations, dates, times and a notebook full of statistical data but:

A. I don’t want to and;

B. It would, to an extent, ruin the fun.

I enjoy thinking, nay, knowing, that there are things out there designed by people infinitely smarter than me that I have absolutely no possible chance of figuring out how they work and what makes them go. Hell, I don’t even know how electricity works. For that matter, on a more intimate an directly in front of me way, how on Earth does every time I press a little black key the very letter I want to use appears on the screen in front of me? I see no ink on paper, a process I have some concept of the workings of. How does my screen light up? How does the music I ask my laptop to play come out of the small doted surface above my keyboard? I can’t even comprehend how music gets on or off of a CD. As for burning said music onto another CD from my computer (not that I’d do that because it’s illegal), I’m not sure the human brain was meant to understand such a thing. Except it does, because someone’s did it.

Actually, returning to a previous point, I don’t really get how a tree becomes a piece of paper and then ink gets taken from whatever it comes from (Squids and octopi?) and poured into a pen which then delivers in perfectly measured amounts onto said tree product. Do you? Of course, then it always gets worse from there. I start looking around me at everything that is around me. This can take a while. Now, I’m not a rich man with a whole lot of stuff superfluous or otherwise, but if you really think about it, there is a lot of stuff around you. Who invented all of it? The amount of stuff around me is practically infinite, and the stuff that I know is out there around others is possibly even more extensive than that. So, when there is a seemingly infinite amount of things, and a finite (a heck of a lot, but finite nonetheless) amount of people around, how come I don’t know of a single person that has invented a solitary one of the billions of things the world takes for granted. Not even one of those As-seen-on-televison-at-three-in-the-morning-and-purchased-because-I-was-drunk-products. Do I hang with the wrong crowd? Probably a question for a different period of pointless pondering.

Thinking sometimes makes me feel really, really stupid. But then I think about what set me off on this confused rant in the first place. Don’t some things make you just feel gob smacked? Totally bewildered and dumbfounded. Unfortunately, when that happens, have you ever found yourself wondering where the hell gob smacked and dumbfounded came from? More curious still, who came up with the terms? Was some guy just sitting around, maybe sipping on a quiet pint, saw something he had never seen before and spurted out to his companion, “well I’ll be gob smacked, can’t say I’ve ever seen that before?” Every word had to have a beginning, somebody had to be the first to use it and then encourage its further use. Then, I’m afraid to say, that train of thought buries me deeper in my pointless pondering. According to Bill Bryson (Shakespeare: 2009) the average human these days has a vocabulary of around 50,000 words. Shakespeare apparently made the first recorded use of over 2000 words in a time when Mr. Bryson tells us that folks generally only knew about 20,000 words. Crazy, or “zany”, to borrow one of the 2000 Shakespeare coined words.

I invented a word once; it didn’t take. Maybe it was because it by necessity involved a hand gesture to add emphasis. I’d write it for you but my keyboard doesn’t have one of those weird backwards ae letters on it and I can’t show you the compulsory hand gesture. So, besides Shakespeare, who is running around inventing all these words and why, once again, have I never met someone who did? Seriously, who came up with trousers? Or flatulence? And why did others just get lazy and come up with “bear” and make it mean six different things? That’s a homonym by the way, and don’t even get me started.

So anyway, now I’ve forgotten entirely where I was headed when I began this. I’m sure I had a goal in mind. I expect I was confused by something. Oh well, sorry, there’s a few minute of your life you’ll never get back. My bad. Okay, now how did “my bad” make it into the common vernacular and my word didn’t and why ………….. Oh forget it; I’ve already wasted enough of our time.

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