Have you ever wondered what goes on in the minds of other people? Now, you and I are way above average so our minds obviously operate on a higher plane than almost everyone else. Gazing down from our enlightened perch can be interesting though. 


Think about something as basic as milk, for instance. “Seven percent of all American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows,” according to a national survey by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy. “If you do the math, that works out to 16.4 million misinformed, milk-drinking people, the equivalent of the population of Pennsylvania.” As if that was not enough of a head-scratcher, “the survey found 48 percent of US adults aren't sure where chocolate milk comes from.” Wouldn't it be interesting to hand these folks a glass of white milk and a can of chocolate syrup and see how long it takes for them to discover the recipe? (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/15/seven-percent-of-americans-think-chocolate-milk-comes-from-brown-cows-and-thats-not-even-the-scary-part/)


Chocolate milk is simple, but government can be a head-scratcher too. We often hear “run government like a business,” and two of the main proponents of that philosophy are Kentucky senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. The question is, to a thinking person, why would anyone listen to these guys?


“One of our worst performing states is Kentucky. WalletHub identified Kentucky in 2017 as the state most dependent on the federal government. In fiscal 2016, the federal government collected $33 billion in taxes from Kentucky but spent $89 billion there — resulting in a net benefit to Kentucky of $56 billion (more than $12,500 for each person in that state). Kentucky’s median household income is $44,000 a year, while the national median household income is $54,000 a year. The portion of Kentucky’s population living in poverty and presumably using federal programs (such as food stamps) is above the national average.” If Kentucky was a business it would have been bankrupt long ago.  



With the heat in the Southwest and the tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico this week, weather should merit some thought, you might assume. According to the  ServiceMaster Restore Weather Emergency Survey, people just do not think about what they would do in a weather emergency. “Nearly 40 percent of homeowners surveyed admitted to having no idea how to prep their house for a potential weather emergency.”


The survey also found many “what-are-they-thinking” items. “Homeowners are almost 80 percent more likely to charge their cell phone than to secure their personal valuables and keepsakes ahead of a potential weather emergency. (Most don't know) flooding is not covered under most homeowner’s policies, leaving people unguarded against thousands of dollars in potential damages. Less than 25 percent have an inventory of their home’s contents.” (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170614006159/en/)


FEMA usually steps in to help those who are unprepared, but there may be a glitch in that system. “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which runs the National Hurricane Center, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are both without leaders. Those positions must be appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.” That has not been done. ““That should scare the hell out of everybody,” says retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who served as commander of Joint Task Force Katrina and coordinated military relief efforts. (http://www.govtech.com/em/disaster/Report-Major-figure-in-Katrina-aftermath-says-no-FEMA-NOAA-leaders-at-start-of-hurricane-season-should-scare-hell-out-of-everybody.html)


Thinking of the weather, apparel is important during the summer season and some women are wondering what men are thinking in this regard. There's a dating service called “Hater” that matches people who hate the same things. (https://www.haterdater.com)


According to that service, women have some specific dislikes. One is cargo shorts. “Guys who love cargo shorts are the least likely men on the site to get a date. They're dumpy and dorky, silly and bulky, and way too long. The shorts are completely inauthentic, in that nobody, except maybe MacGyver or Indiana Jones, needs that many pockets.”


They also don't like flip flops and sandals. “No one wants to see your hairy toes and ragged toenails. Men who wear flip flops come across as sloppy and out-of-touch.” 


And guys, if you tip your cap to a lady, have it on straight. They do not cotton to backward baseball caps and backward sunglasses. “Do you have eyes in the back of your head? No. So there is no need to wear these items backward. Doing so makes you look ridiculous.” 



Wow, some thinking can be a tad harsh, eh guys? It's enough to inspire a man to try to do something to impress his significant other. If so, guys, you may want to avoid the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City in the Yukon as a date destination. This may be the ultimate “what-are-they-thinking” spot on the planet. 


You see, their signature drink is the Sour Toe. “The Sour Toe cocktail is a shot of whiskey with a blackened toe – nail and all – bobbing inside. Those who manage to touch the gnarled, severed toe to their lips earn a certificate.” My guess is this is not an accomplishment that would make a lady want to kiss you. 


Wait, it gets worse. “The tradition claims to trace its roots to the 1920s, when a rum runner preserved his frostbitten, amputated big toe in a jar of alcohol in his cabin. Fifty years later, the pickled toe was discovered by a Yukon native who brought it to the Downtown, where it became a celebrated ingredient in its drinks.” 


Hold on, it gets worse. Someone stole their pickled toe. “Police in Canada have launched an investigation after a patron allegedly stole the famed ingredient of their signature drink: a mummified human toe.” 


Have no fear, though. This has happened before. “At least eight other toes have gone missing over the years, some stolen while others have been swallowed.” But the Mounties always get their man. “They may have caught a lucky break – the man left behind his Sour Toe cocktail certificate, meaning police now have his name.” (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/20/canada-toe-stolen-drinks-dawson-city-downtown-hotel)


Some of you may remember “The Challenge of the Yukon” radio and TV shows featuring Sgt. Preston and his wonder dog Yukon King. As Sgt. Preston would say: “Well King, this case is closed.”  


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews