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Tom's mind grows ever more inquisitive with age

click to enlarge Tom ponders things on the occasion of his birthday (this is not actually Tom).

Tom ponders things on the occasion of his birthday (this is not actually Tom).

I've got a birthday coming up and around this time of year, I tend to get all philosophical and sh—stuff. Here's a weird birthday factoid: I was in my 50s before I realized that my birthday is exactly nine months to the day from St. Valentine's Day.

Most people who would have that thought would follow it with an "EWWWW!!" But since almost all of us are the product of our biological parents having had sex at least once, all I can say is thanks and I hope they enjoyed it.

I'm way, way past gifts and parties. Mostly, I have questions that I need answered. Some of them have been bugging me for decades, others have popped up in the past few minutes. But, realizing that I only have 40 or 50 of these birthday things left, I need answers AND I NEED THEM...pretty soon. And I don't need answers like, "You're just a girly-man who lives off his wife" from that reader guy Al. You know what, before my next birthday, I'm going to meet him for lunch. I've got this sneaking suspicion that he and I will be friends. And maybe argue a lot. That would be great.

But first, to my questions:

• Why do guys wear skinny jeans? Why would any guy want people to know that they're that skinny? My daughter, Darlene, and I were in Washington, D.C. a couple weeks ago. When it got to be lunchtime, all of the young professional Paul Ryan-wannabes emptied out into the streets and they were all dressed alike—skinny jeans, crisp dress shirts, and those weird brown shoes that used to not go with blue or black clothing. I couldn't tell the black guys from the white guys...or from the women, for that matter.

Back when I was young, I used to see guys in low-rider cars and I wondered why any guy would want people to think that they're small. Our coaches used to yell "Get big!" all the time. Now today, of course, I would like to be small-er, but that's different.

• Why do I always get a craving for Chick-fil-A on Sundays, when they're closed? Is Chick-fil-A the forbidden fruit of the 21st century?

• We're a year into the abomination know as the Trump presidency and I have yet to get a decent answer to this question: Why would any woman vote for Donald Trump? Well, I know why Melania Trump would vote for him, because he pays for all of her plastic surgery.

But why would any other woman vote for him? Look, Hillary Clinton was a lousy candidate, but a woman could have voted for a different candidate. Or, a woman could have written in the name of her husband; you know, the guy who told her that she had to vote for Donald Trump, or else.

• Why does the Arizona Department of Transportation continue to use "Yield" sign on their frontage roads, knowing full well that a lot of drivers can't read or speak English and therefore don't know what "Yield" means, while the other drivers can read and speak English, but they also have no freakin' idea what "Yield" means?

Here's what it doesn't mean: It doesn't mean "Merge." It also doesn't mean drive really fast on the frontage road like the giant rectum that you are and pretend not to notice the traffic that is exiting the freeway (with the right of way). Then, when you almost cause a collision, choose between looking surprised or indignant.

If I were in charge of the Motor Vehicles Division, my written driver's test would have one question: Define "yield." You'd have a better chance of having a charter school kid pass a Differential Equations class. Or even an equations class.

• I know that the election is over, but do people really think that we should raise taxes so that kids can go to pre-school? I'm in favor of raising taxes for all kinds of stuff. I get such a kick out of know-nothings who cry about being over-taxed (we're not) or how we have the highest taxes in the world (not even close). But, here's how it works. School (K-12) is society's responsibility. College is the student's responsibility. Pre-school is the parents' responsibility. Do your damn job.

• What happened to John Kelly being "the adult in the room" at the White House? We watched him squirm and wince during Trump's post-Charlottesville racist tirade and we hoped that maybe, just maybe, there was a sliver of a chance. Then, we watched Kelly give that very moving account of what happens to soldiers who die on the battlefield.

It was quite touching, but then he kept talking and turned into a clone of the bitch for whom he works. He made false statements, then he insulted a sitting member of Congress (who told the truth), then he made more false statements. Then he wouldn't admit to having made a mistake. Big man.

Now, he says that the Civil War happened because the two sides refused to compromise. That's my last question. How exactly does one compromise on slavery? You just own people on the weekdays and give them the weekends off?

The (former) General Kelly filled out his military uniform quite nicely, but, as a civilian, he's just another empty suit.

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