THE NEFF ZONE -- BY JIM NEFF
CADILLAC NEWS -- JUNE 3, 2017
I'm a list guy. Even though I have a lot of high-tech gadgets, I am decidedly low-tech when it comes to my lists. I prefer my lists on paper so I can add items on the fly without firing up an electronic device. My wife can add to my list without commandeering my smartphone. Plus, there is something very satisfying about crossing items off a paper list. Sometimes old school is the best school.
My predilection for lists is all due to the Dominican nuns at Flint St. Luke elementary and the IHM nuns at Flint St. Michael high school. Those nuns taught us some valuable lessons. We learned how to line up (in alphabetical order, by gender, by height, alphabetically by height, you name it). We learned that only children and serial killers print; adults write in cursive. Most of all, though, we learned how to organize.
We were instructed to organize everything we did according to an outline format using Roman numerals as the main points (I, II, III, IV, V). Under those headings came capital letters, under the caps came regular numbers, and under those came lower case letters. To this day if you get a bunch of St. Luke's and St. Mike's grads together to organize something you might want to fasten your seat belt and buckle your chin strap because a serious frenzy is in your future.
I thought about all of this yesterday because it was National Doughnut Day. One of the fun things about this holiday is the yearly list of the nation's favorite doughnut flavors. According to thethings.com, the top ten are: 10) vanilla frosting with sprinkles, 9) double chocolate, 8) powdered, 7) maple, 6) strawberry jelly, 5) chocolate frosting with sprinkles, 4) chocolate Long John, 3) Boston crème, 2) chocolate glazed, 1) glazed. (http://www.thethings.com/these-are-the-15-most-popular-donut-flavors-in-america/)
My favorite, nutty, did not make the list. Neither did one of the newest flavors on the market – spaghetti. The Pop Pasta company says these are “the perfect food to bring to picnics or to the beach.” It's made with actual baked spaghetti, but you can hold it in one hand. “The Pop Pasta spaghetti donut is a combination of tradition, innovation, originality and quality.” I'll take mine with some meatballs on a stick. (http://www.poppasta.com)
With this vital information in mind, I began to wonder what might be on other top ten lists. So, I put away my own paper list and went to that Internet thingy where I found a website that's a clearinghouse for the best top tens – alltoptens.com.
One of the lists was for the top ten oddly insured body parts. I'm a rock music fan, so I was interested to learn that guitarist Jeff Beck has his fingers insured. “Jeff Beck, known as the god of guitar, sliced off the tip of his left index finger while slicing his own carrots. He then realized his fingers are too important to be left uninsured. He got them insured for $1 million policy for each of his fingers.”
Beck, it turns out, has nothing on Bruce Springsteen who topped the list. He has “insured his voice for $6 million for in case if he ever lost or severely damages his voice. The rock star got his insurance policy from Lloyd’s of London.”
Another list contained the top ten amazing facts about the human body. I did not know: “The notch in the center part among the upper lip and nose is known as philtrum.” Apparently, even experts have not figured out the exact purpose of this notch. I also was surprised to learn: “At the time a kid is born, kids have three hundred bones. At the time they attain adulthood they have just 206 bones.” Don't anyone move; someone absconded with 94 of my bones and I want them back! (http://alltoptens.com/top-ten-amazing-facts-human-body/)
Everyone wants to be good at something, so setting a world record is a big deal, even if it's one of the top ten weirdest world records. That's might be why Michel Lotito ate a plane. “With a stomach lining twice as thick as the average man’s, Lotito spent two years dismantling and eating a Cessna 150. Although he had to take a lot of it apart with a sledgehammer and an acetylene torch, he bit most of the glass windows right off the plane, chewed them up, and swallowed them.”
Lotito's record took a long time to complete, but Jackie Bibby took only ten seconds to set his record “for the most live rattlesnakes held in his mouth.” Bibby held 11 fully grown rattlesnakes by the rattle. He was not bitten by any of the snakes. No word on if they tasted like chicken. You know, maybe Bibby should get together with Lotito to watch the movie “Snakes on a Plane.” (http://alltoptens.com/top-ten-weird-world-records/)
Finally, for those of you who would like to become proficient list makers but have no idea what the heck a Roman numeral is, a chart of Roman numerals is at: https://www.roman-numerals.org/chart100.html. “The system is based on seven different symbols. These symbols can be used to write any number from 1 to 3,999.” As Sister Robertus would probably say: “Try to do that with your fancy smartphone.”