THE NEFF ZONE -- BY JIM NEFF
CADILLAC NEWS -- MARCH 13, 2021
Well kidlings, it's time for another round of "You Can't Make Up This Stuff," the game based on my brother Big Rob's theory that reality is stranger than any fiction. As usual, when we play this game, we begin with an item from Big Rob's stomping grounds of Flint.
It seems that members of the Flint City Council just cannot get along. They use up most of their meeting time bickering and infighting. So the Council decided to take some training to alleviate the problem. This sounds logical except they could not agree about when to show up for the session. “By the time the Flint City Council arrived at the second round of decorum training, it was already supposed to have ended. The council arrived three hours late for the same reasons they were supposed to be in the training in the first place– dysfunction.”
To make matters worse, the training topic was about “...motions made by council members that disrupt the meeting and cause unnecessary, time-consuming debate.” Nothing was accomplished, but “the Council voted to arrange another meeting.” Whether they show up for that meeting is anyone's guess. (https://flintbeat.com/flint-city-council-dysfunction-makes-them-late-for-second-round-of-behavioral-training/)
Perhaps the Flint City Council's main problem is simply that they operate in Michigan. WalletHub did a study to determine the most sinful states in America. “Some states are more well-behaved than others. WalletHub compared the fifty states across forty-seven key indicators of immoral or illicit behavior.”
It turns out that Michigan is the seventeenth most sinful state. We rank even higher in the categories of anger and hatred (13), vanity (15), and laziness (17). As humorist and cartoonist Walt Kelly once observed: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Maybe the Flint council is just doing what comes naturally to Michiganders. (https://wallethub.com/edu/most-sinful-states/46852)
You know, if the Flint Council could focus on a real issue, maybe they would be distracted into cooperation. How about what to do with robots on sidewalks? Several states and cities are wrestling with this issue as we speak. Specifically, should robots have the same protections under the law as actual humans?
“As small robots proliferate on sidewalks and city streets, so does legislation that grants them generous access rights and even classifies them, in the case of Pennsylvania, as pedestrians." These new “pedestrians” can weigh up to 550 pounds and “walk” up to twelve miles per hour. How would you like to get mowed down by one of these on your daily walk?
In addition, consider this. You are out on a walk with Fido the dog. Fido is on a leash, but the pedestrian robot does not sense that. As it cruises by it snags the leash and the last you see of Fido is him bouncing down the sidewalk at twelve miles an hour. Maybe the Flint Council should lead the nation in coming up with some robot ordinances. (https://www.axios.com/sidewalk-robots-legal-rights-pedestrians-821614dd-c7ed-4356-ac95-ac4a9e3c7b45.html)
Changing the subject a bit, being kidnapped (or dognapped) may be the least of your dog's problems. The folks at Dogtopia say there are eleven ways you could be confusing your dog. One of the main ways is giving it a perplexing name. “Giving a dog the wrong kind of name can lead to lifelong confusion.”
To avoid this: “A dog's name should be simple enough for them to understand when they're being called. You will want the name to start with a letter that has a sharp, distinct sound. A name that starts with a D,T, or K sound will be easy for your dog to learn. A name that starts with an S or F, which are softer sounds, could also be more difficult for your dog to understand. Avoid any names that sound similar or rhyme with the most common dog commands. Names that sound like sit, stay, heel, no, and come could easily confuse your pup." Oddly enough, most wives will tell you that these suggestions also work when training husbands.(https://www.yahoo.com/news/experts-share-11-ways-could-140939018.html)
Speaking of husbands, wives, and significant others in general, a strange thing is going on in the dating game. “Dating app bios have arrived at their latest pit-stop: COVID vaccination.”
Apparently, “vaccination” is in. “Keywords like 'covid vaccinated' and 'fully vaccinated' have started dominating bios as Tinder reported a 258 percent rise in users mentioning the word 'vaccine' between September and December 2020. OKCupid, a dating app, notes a 137 per cent increase in mentions of the keyword between November 2020 and January 2021.” In addition: “Before meeting up, sixty-three percent of people had a conversation with their dates about the venue, mask-wearing and physical contact.”
On the flip side: “Not only is the vaccine becoming the biggest talking point on dating apps, it’s actually becoming a huge deal-breaker. Forty percent of millennials and gen Z users would cancel a date with someone who refuses to take the vaccine.” Who could have predicted that one day honey, darling and vaxxie would all qualify as terms of endearment?
Finally, still in the romance mode, with Easter coming up you might want to give your sweetie something sweet. How about a KitKat V? “Coming soon to a selected retailer near you: a vegan version of the iconic KitKat candy bar. Nestle has announced it would “soon have a delicious plant-based option that delivers the perfect balance between crispy wafer and smooth chocolate that people know and love.” (https://apnews.com/article/business-switzerland-78c8c827a37873fcb1429373fff2701f)
The formula for the KitKat V is secret, but the company said some ingredients already in use in its other products could be included: rice, oat, soy, coconut, pea and almonds. The KitKat V will be “certified vegan and uses one-hundred percent sustainable cocoa.”
I hope the KitKat V fills a void for vegan candy lovers. As for me on Easter, I am a traditionalist. Give me an Easter bunny made of cheap chocolate which I will consume ears first.
Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews.
(Click or touch a state to see its sinful ranking.)