Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Pam Burke 

View from the North 40: I'm qualified to be the judge of that


March 22, 2019

I feel like my whole education and employment history has come together today to bring you this column which celebrates liberal arts in the news.

To start this list off, we’ll look at the headline I read titled “Punctuation Marks.”

Grammar and punctuation are like candy to word nerds.

Then I saw that the article was from Architectural Digest and I was all “Ooooooh, I do wish to see the myriad ways high-brow architects incorporated the comma into their buildings. Did they use the semicolons correctly because, y’know, no one knows what to do with the semicolon unless they have special training.”

As the webpage was opening, I could feel my excitement mounting, like, “squeeeee—what?”

It was a photo of a white bathroom, with nary a symbol of grammar glitter to be seen. Then I read the descriptive caption: “Sculptural side tables in bold hues or luxe materials add that functional finishing touch.”

Huh, they meant “punctuation marks” figuratively, not literally. It’s the things and stuff that add punctuation to the look of a room — the exclamation points of furniture, if you will. How … clever.

I swear to you, it wasn’t until I looked at the first photo for the third time that I even noticed the side table. I thought they were talking about the marble vanity-countertop-and-double-sink unit thingy, but I was not impressed by the design. It looked like the marble version of a 2-by-4 and plywood work bench I have in the shop.

Plus, I thought, it’s not really a side table if it’s a vanity. Right?

The third time I looked at the webpage, I finally noticed the side table partially hidden by the bathtub. “Table” is a glorified label for what looks, I kid you not, like a giant wood-plug made of shiny white plastic.

Next page, please, and moving on … to some other godawful plastic-y side tables: one that looked like two v-groove pulleys stacked on top of each other, finished in no-sale avocado green; a flat-topped, wine stopper the color of dehydrated, powdered raspberries; a black and white knockoff of a plastic cable spool that looked hand painted with a bottle brush. Ugly, boring, blech.

The only table that inspired an exclamation point was the canary-yellow ring-pop-looking-thing (minus the lollipop top). The table was yuck, but the price tag was $16,800. Really, $16,800? I get it now!!!

After that sticker shock, I was all, hmm, let’s see what other news will excite me.

Researchers discover that Swiss cheese exposed to hip hop music during the curing stage turns out smellier, and that is somehow more desirable. It must be worth $16,800 a pound now!

A mostly naked man was walking around a Russian art gallery in a red G-string? Meh. And the gallery people called it an “unsanctioned performance”? Well, that’s pretty funny. But I wouldn’t pay $16,800 to view that show!

A guy in Santa Rosa built a 6-foot tall, solid wood fence to keep his large dog in, but the city told him the fence was illegal because it wasn’t set 15 feet back from the corner of his property. So he cut the fence down to 3 feet and exposed a yard sculpture he made from naked, mostly anatomically correct, mannequins — which is totally legit according to city laws.

Redneck sarcasm like that, well, it’s priceless.


See what I did there? It’s worth $16,800 at http://www.facebook.com/viewfromthenorth40/.


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