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Flyers on Windshields

By admin

How do you feel when you leave a store, walk back to your car, and find a flyer on your windshield? Happy and eager to read the flyer? Or annoyed at being inconvenienced with it? My guess is the latter. You have just been burdened with a piece of trash that you are now responsible for disposing of. In fact in today’s society you are responsible for making sure it gets recycled properly.

Perhaps you have even been so annoyed that you let it make a litterbug out of you, pulling it off your windshield and letting it flutter to the pavement on the parking lot. Doesn’t that make you want to sort of hurry up and speed away at that point? You are now a fugitive attempting to make a getaway! Didn’t plan on that when running to the store for milk did you?

Somehow, you have now committed a crime – one which you probably think you are justified in, as the real blame goes to the company distributing those stupid flyers. Doesn’t it? Truth be told, the judge will probably not see it that way. What the company did was legal. What you did was not. They did not commit an intentional act of littering. You did. They are allowed to advertise in this manner and you are responsible for properly dealing with the literature you received.

Have you ever not even noticed it until after you started driving away? This happens sometimes with the smaller ones. That can really be annoying, especially if it creates a blind spot. As a matter of fact I have (on occasion) not noticed large ones until after I was on the road and suddenly had to deal with a rather hazardous blind spot on my front windshield. Note that this is also illegal – for me, not the company who just made a criminal out of me while I wasn’t looking.

The most tempting way to deal with this situation is – you guessed it – by turning on your windshield wipers. Been there, done that! It doesn’t always work. In fact sometimes this only repositions the flyer in a place that creates an even larger blindspot and you may be forced to pull over and deal with it. How embarrassing! If by some miracle you are able to free it with the windshield wiper, you are now littering on the highway – a much more serious offense than littering in the parking lot and it could end up costing you $500. Or worse, it could fly off and land on the windshield of some total idiot behind you and cause a traffic accident.

If that happens, how do you feel about going to the furniture store sale?

What are these companies thinking with this kind of marketing? How can it possibly work? Are we are such dolts that we will remember a sale at the cleaners and not remember that it nearly got us arrested or killed finding out about it?

And what about these kids they hire to distribute the flyers. They aren’t exactly the kind of people I would choose for handling delicate equipment on my car. I wonder how many windshield wiper arms have been broken in this process. I wonder how many kids who broke windshield wipers were stupid enough to still leave the flyer afterwards. I wonder how many people who had this happen to them were too stupid to even put two and two together and figure out how their car was damaged.

Papa Riah



Why Americans are Obese

By admin

It is no secret to the entire world that Americans are a bunch of fat slobs. At least, that seems to be our image in general. While traveling in Europe I didn’t see a lot of fat people, but the ones I did notice always turned out to be American tourists. Natives and tourists from other areas of the world were all pretty slim. At least they weren’t noticeably overweight. It’s gotten to the point that when a fat person is spotted in Europe everyone assumes it is an American tourist.

Back home in the states, slim people in public places seem to be a minority. This is not to say that everyone in America is obese, but most people in America are overweight. The trim ones are a minority. This trend transcends income levels, so it’s not like the middle ages when only rich people could afford to get fat. Quite the contrary – it seems that these days the less expensive food is the culprit for unwanted weight gain.

The 2004 movie Super Size Me was a humorous documentary which depicted the adventures of a person who committed to only eating at McDonalds for an entire month. He wasn’t restricted to greasy burgers on this quest, and in fact opted for grilled chicken sandwiches and the salads on the menu regularly. However whenever he was asked if he wanted to super size his meal he always had to say yes as part of the experiment. The results were not pretty. Not only did he gain an incredible amount of weight, but his doctor about went through the roof when reading the results of his blood test at the end of the month. Cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, all the important stuff had taken a sharp turn for the worse.

Fast food is inexpensive food. Apparently fast food makes you fat, even while attempting to stay on the good side of the menu. So is being overweight and unhealthy now the plight of the poor? Unfortunately that simple hypothesis doesn’t go very far. Middle and upper-middle income America are just as overweight as the lower-income class. Of course, fast food restaurants are not restricted to those on the lower end of the income scale. They are on every corner and are frequented by every facet of society. Even Hummer limousines can regularly be seen parked in front of Taco Bell where I live.

This brings up another point. In Europe, there are McDonalds everywhere. They are usually pretty busy inside. And yet Europeans are not fat. Moreover, most of the people inside the McDonalds in Europe are not fat (except for the few American tourists that are inexplicably wasting their vacation not dining on wonderful local fare). So one cannot conclude that the mere existence of fast food joints is the culprit for being overweight and unhealthy.

Papa Riah almost never eats fast food. It’s garbage. I don’t waste my precious minutes on this earth eating garbage. Yet I do struggle with my weight now and again, even though I jog at least a mile every day and eat healthy more than 75% of the time. (My problem is my affinity for good ale.)

You know who loves to eat? Asians. Man those folks can really put the food away at dinner time. But they are all thin as a rail. Now how do you explain that? Perhaps heredity plays a part, but I think you have to take a serious look at what they are eating. Steamed rice, raw fish, and sautéed meats and vegetables. Lots of lean meats and only a little of the fatty stuff.

It’s time to draw a conclusion. The answer is obvious: Americans are obese because we are gluttons. We are gluttons for anything that tastes good to us. And what tastes good to us is fatty, flavorful food. Even food that otherwise would be healthy is cooked in a way that turns it into fatty food. We are not satisfied with a reasonable size portion; we must eat until we feel full. And by that time, of course, we have over-eaten.

The drug companies in America depend on us. Indigestion drugs are such a huge business here it’s incredible. The antacid aisle of the drug stores and supermarkets are so big that some stores need two aisles for them. That really tells you something.

It’s not our fault! We are raised this way! If we don’t feel full after meal time we feel ripped off. And one thing Americans will not put up with is being ripped off.

Papa Riah



Money in the Wind Character Test

By admin

Picture yourself walking down a street surrounded by a dozen other pedestrians moving in both directions when suddenly a wind full of money blows through. Bills in the air, arriving in the wind, landing on the street and blowing by at head-level. We’re talking tens and twenties, with a few fifties and hundreds here and there. How are you going to act? How to you expect the random strangers around you to act? What if this was all staged for a television show like Candid Camera? When the television show airs, how are you going to feel about the way you acted verses the way all the strangers around you acted?

This would be an excellent character test. Now I’m not suggesting that to pass this test you should be refusing to grab any bills that come your way, or that you should try and start preaching a sermon to everyone around you or something. Quite the contrary, I think that accepting the blessings which are bestowed upon you (along with being thankful for them) is quite healthy. But I’m wondering just how vigorous you would be in accepting this particular blessing.

Would you be content to grab the bills which were blowing into your immediate airspace, and bending down to pick up the few which were landing right in front of your feet? Do you picture a happy, giddy little crowd of people laughing in gay wonderment at the dream-like phenomenon which has materialized? Or would you be running around frantically attempting to grab everything you possibly could, stuffing as much as possible in your pockets, including the $100 bills which were landing right in front of another person? Do you picture a rugby-like scene with people being pushed around, knocked out of the way, while the fastest and strongest take the majority of the booty?

How you would react to this situation says a lot about your character. And truth be told, sadly, the percentage of people in society who would pass this character test are a minority. With a dozen people selected at random to experience this unique event, you can safely bet that there would be a couple who would push an old lady out of her walker to grab a c-note that she was leaning towards, even with twenties flying in all around them in the wind. What should be a happy, gleeful event for all would likely turn into a stressful sporting event as most participants attempt to maximize their financial gain (and thereby minimize that of everyone around them).

Something like that happening should be a blessing upon all who are involved. If you are there, then it’s a blessing for you too. Reach out and grab what is blown to you. Look around and laugh with the others at the amazing storybook scenario unfolding. But running and grabbing and hoarding like some kind of animal is very uncouth.

If by some chance it were staged by a television show, most likely the ones who exhibited the most deplorable behavior would be the ones most proud of themselves. And that’s the thing which really speaks the most about the sad condition of our society.

Papa Riah