THE NEFF ZONE -- BY JIM NEFF
CADILLAC NEWS -- FEBRUARY 13, 2021
It's a double whammy. As if being quarantined by the virus was not enough, now we're being quarantined by the unrelenting cold. Is it any wonder why were all getting a bit stir crazy?
How cold is it? The rock rattling around in your shoe is your toe. You have to break the smoke off your chimney. Refrigerators are redundant. You can chip a tooth while eating soup. When you speak your words freeze in midair so no one knows what you're talking about.
I tell you, folks, it's getting bad out there. People are doing things they would not normally do. You know, there's a thin line between stir crazy and real, honest-to-goodness actual crazy.
For instance, a guy in Norway just broke a Guinness World Record when he ran a half marathon in 1 hour, 44 minutes and 58 seconds. Now the crazy part -- while barefoot in the snow. He tried this once before, but was unsuccessful. “His first attempt at the record was called off prematurely when sharp ice caused injuries to his feet.” Local runner Dave Foley has predicted this guy won't get many shoe company endorsements. (https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2021/02/05/Man-runs-barefoot-half-marathon-in-the-snow-to-break-Guinness-record/1861612560032/)
Speaking of doing something to gain some recognition for yourself, it might be a good idea to let others in on your plans. A guy in Tennessee decided to stage a prank robbery for a YouTube video. He approached a group while waving butcher knives. Unfortunately, no one in the group knew it was a prank so one would-be victim shot and killed the prankster. No word if a Guinness record was set for stupidity. (https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2021/02/06/Tennessee-man-shot-and-killed-after-prank-robbery-goes-wrong/5111612658872/)
Also on the social media front, a TikToker decided to give herself a home permanent but was out of hairspray. She decided to use an alternative – Gorilla Glue. Bad idea. Glue removal has been a nightmare. A trip to the emergency room, advice from the glue's makers, and other remedies have yielded scant relief. She did manage to chop off her ponytail. “She then went to Los Angeles after receiving an offer from a Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon to have a procedure worth an estimated $12,500 performed free of charge. The procedure took four hour and has been completed.” In the future, I predict this lady will not mind if a stiff breeze messes up her coif. (https://www.tmz.com/2021/02/09/gorilla-glue-hair-tiktok-cut-off-ponytail-scalp-burns-needs-surgery/ and https://www.complex.com/style/woman-who-went-viral-gorilla-glue-hair-gets-relief-generous-surgeon)
Then there are those among us who hear voices. One explanation is you are stir crazy and an outside force is messing with you. Another explanation is the voices are coming from inside YOU! Don't panic. There could be a simple reason, as a guy in Massachusetts learned.
After shoveling snow, he tried to drink a glass of water. “The water just filled up my esophagus. I literally had to lean over and let it drain out." Coincidentally, he couldn't find one of his AirPods. Somehow, in the middle of the night, he had swallowed one.
It all turned out okay. “He immediately underwent an endoscopy and doctors successfully and safely retrieved his long-lost ear bud. He says he hopes this can be a lesson to others to not fall asleep with AirPods in, of they could end up with a similar problem.” Then again, it might be kind of cool to hiccup and change radio channels. (https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/worcester-man-undergoes-surgery-to-remove-swallowed-airpod/2295496/)
All of these things are a tad crazy, but perhaps you want to do something to fend off bouts of craziness. If you have time on your hands, you might want to delve into some UFO research. “You can now download all of the publicly available CIA documentation on UFOs. The Black Vault, a clearinghouse for declassified documents, has released a downloadable document archive filled with PDFs containing CIA files on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), the government's preferred term. Some of the reports date all the way back to the 1980s.”
This will keep you occupied for a long time. “Around 10,000 Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) reports were required to obtain the PDFs.” There are 2,780 pages in all. (https://www.theblackvault.com/documentarchive/ufos-the-central-intelligence-agency-cia-collection/)
Another way to entertain yourself is to point out the mistakes of others. CNBC provides some help in this regard.
First, they offer “Thirteen most commonly mispronounced words in American English—and the right way to say them.” The list includes: tenet, electoral, mischievous, quay, and anyway.
Second, they follow with “Fourteen common words and phrases you’ve probably been saying wrong.” This list includes: effect and affect, chomping at the bit and champing at the bit, first come first serve and first come first served, in regard to and in regards to, and should of and should have. (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/22/most-commonly-mispronounced-words-american-english-how-to-say-them-right-.html and https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/28/14-words-and-phrases-you-probably-been-saying-wrong-this-whole-time.html)
Just as a precaution, in the remote possibility that other people don't appreciate you pointing out their flaws, it might be a good idea to have a diversion at the ready. It turns out Hershey (chocolate) may have the just the thing.
“The chocolate manufacturing giant has spotted its own trend during the pandemic involving a favorite campfire treat. That find: In areas of the US where there has been a surge in coronavirus cases, there has been a simultaneous uptick in demand for s'mores ingredients. Hershey says chocolate sales specifically have been up forty percent to fifty percent in places that saw more COVID cases, as opposed to those where the virus is more under control. This could be attributed to more people hanging out in their backyards around the grill or bonfire.”
S'mores are not the only trend. “Another popular Hershey's confection that's flying off shelves during the pandemic is Twizzlers. Consumers are seeking concession-style treats to nosh on during more at-home movie nights.” (https://www.newser.com/story/302190/the-weird-correlation-between-smores-and-covid.html)
This has led Hershey to designate every Saturday as “S'mores Saturday.” They have an entire website devoted to this at https://www.hersheys.com/en_us/promotions/smores/smore-saturday.html#. Here, you will find recipes, games, projects and facts all related to s'mores. Stir crazy has never been more fun.