Thursday, September 13, 2007


It has been quite a while since I have written a posting of “ramblings” on non-tax topics. In the past I would say if Larry King can get away with it so can I. However, since my last Ramblings post the "suspendered one’s" USA Today column has been cancelled. It appears I was not the only one who could care less about Larry’s thoughts and opinions.

Anyway – here goes:

* It seems that I am a jinx, at least in one area. Whatever check-out line I get on in a supermarket or department store will automatically become the slowest moving line in the store.

If there are two lines available, one with two people and one with six people, and I get on the line with two people, as common sense would suggest, those in front of me will discover that there is only 48 cents left in their Families First card despite protests of “there must be more”, or have the wrong sale item and need to return to an aisle to make a substitution, or require multiple price checks, or have difficulty swiping their credit card, or discover that they do not have enough cash and have to remove items, one at a time, to get down to what they can pay!

If I move to the line with six people the problem on the two-person line will suddenly be resolved and the person who has replaced me on that line will breeze through check-out and be in his/her car before I get up to the cashier.

If I am on it there is no such thing as an “Express” line.

Some valuable advice for shoppers – do not get behind me on a check-out line.

As I now make weekly trips to the Jersey shore to visit my parents at an Assisted Living facility I have discovered that this jinx has carried over to the toll lines on the Garden State Parkway. If I get in an “exact” change lane the lane next to me for “cash receipts”, where the attendant makes change, which has more cars will move faster!

I tried EZ-Pass, but the “electronic tag” had to be attached to the license plate of my car (it could not be attached to the windshield inside the car on my model because there was metal in the glass) and it was constantly being damaged by cars bumping into the tag in the process of parking and had to be replaced often, at $25.00 a pop, so I gave it up.

* The headline on one of the highlighted articles under the category of “Entertainment” on my home page this past week read “Smellovision' Attempting a Comeback”. But “smellovision” has been around for quite a few years now - reality television (don’t tell me this shit don’t stink)!

* Sad news for those of us who like to wander. It appears that Biss Tours, a Rego Park company providing escorted bus tours closed its doors for good last Friday after 41 years of operation. According to an article in the Queens Chronicle, brought to my attention by a blog reader, the popular local business is thought to have overextended itself following the purchase of Parker Tours, a similar bus company operating on Long Island.

I had taken several one-day and extended overnight bus trips with Biss and Parker over the past six or seven years, and often wrote about them here at THE WANDERING TAX PRO. What I especially liked was the Hoboken pick-up location. Prior to traveling with Parker and Biss I used Starr Tours, which left from Trenton.

I will miss Biss!

* Are you a “schmuck” or a “schmo”?

According to the online Urban Dictionary a “schmuck” is a Yiddish term for “that portion of one’s penis which is cut off during circumcision”, or, metaphorically, a prick, an asshole, a moron or idiot. “Schmo” is Yiddish for an idiot or a cuckold. So I guess a schmuck is an aggressive idiot, while a schmo is more of a poor soul.

Obviously, as a reader of THE WANDERING TAX PRO, you are neither.

* I am very disappointed with the TVLAND cable channel. This channel had such great potential, and used to live up to this potential. However, I have just discovered that it will producing a new “reality” show titled “The Next Great Supermodel”, a total copy of the current steaming piece of excrement known as “America’s Next Top Model”. What does this have to do with classic television?

Why does every channel, cable or broadcast, feel that it must add to the pollution of the airwaves by producing its own “reality tv” entry?

*Craig Wilson’s column on quotations in yesterday’s issue of USA Today closed with one from Mark Twain-

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”

To which Craig replied, “It’s nice to know some things never change.”

Craig, to borrow a part of your column’s title, “I couldn't have said it better myself”!


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