12 random thoughts you now want to read

Alien (1979)

1. If you’re so fortunate to marry a woman who has no idea of what the classic sci-fi movie Alien is about, I said to myself, you can’t miss this opportunity: get her to watch it while she’s 8 months pregnant.
That’s what I did with my wife. She remained unfazed. Notwithstanding that unwieldy blob inside her which is often bulging out in a few spots and seems on the brink of rupturing her belly to come out right then. Strong woman.


2. (Spoiler Alert) …and so it happened that we married within a week from The Big Bang Theory‘s Leonard and Penny marriage, and now we’re awaiting the birth of our firstborn daughter while watching Bernadette giving birth to her firstborn daughter.


3. A pregnant woman’s belly is a splendid conversation starter. Most of the old ladies you come across insist they can predict the sex of the baby based on the shape of said belly. Roughly half of them get it right, the other half don’t because they are applying two diametrically opposite criteria. Always based on popular wisdom, passed down through proverbs.
When the sex of the baby is already known, they fall back on discussing the tummy’s size. Which happens to be, of course, either too big or too small (through comments received a few hours of one another, big-small-big-small…).
But! I must add that a couple of those old wives managed to surprise us: they were able to guess that my wife was pregnant literally from gazing at her face’s appearance, long before any sign of a prominent belly. Impressive.


4. That grater thingie used to peel lemons (I’ve been told it’s call zester, as the exterior skin of citrus fruits is the zest… curious, there’s no Italian word for it) is actually the most practical solution to grate the parmesan cheese on top of a pasta dish. Graters (or even electrical appliances) specifically sold to grate parmigiano cheese aren’t that convenient after all (for instance most hand graters require a longer effort, plus half of the cheese you grate stays trapped between the sharp metal edges of the holes).


5. Are you familiar with the RSA token? You know… that little gizmo, the size of a USB key, normally provided by your bank, that is used to log into your account by inputting the 6 rotating digits displayed on its tiny LCD.
Now, is it just me, or every single time you want to use it, the 6-digit code is on the brink of expiring? Makes me nervous.


6. Speaking of Murphy’s Law situations… this observation of mine dates back to the floppy disk era, although you can apply it to any other collection of objects, a pile of papers for instance.

The Law of the Frustrated Search.
Suppose you’ve got 10 ordered objects and you need to pick a certain object X from the pile:
-if you start looking from the first one, X happens to be the last of the group;
-if your search begins from the bottom, X was the first at the top;
-if you alternatively pick objects from the top and from the bottom of the pile, somehow X was right smack in the middle.
-Finally, if you try to beat the frustrated search law by picking at random, you’ll discover that X will mysteriously come up roughly last, plus you may extract some objects from the pile more than once, further slowing down the process.


7. I’ve got the feeling that in our lives 90% of the trouble comes from the need to sort out which things it’s wise to throw away and which things you should probably keep, or from the consequences of failing to keep/throw away something.


8. Free advice for Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc., the company behind Dr.Pepper : please, create a new licorice-flavored, pitch black soda and call it Dr.Ink. I’d buy it right away.


9. Have you ever heard of a hardened criminal, a sociopath or a cruel person who could feel deeply touched by the sight of a cuddly teddy bear? I don’t think so.


10. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Chinese are used to serve soups in a cup accompanied by a ceramic spoon sporting a matching colored pattern because this way the two constitute a set, standing apart from the rest of the tableware. That’s an elaborate ruse to distract us from their failing to acknowledge the usefulness of the concept of cutlery.

Chinese ceramic spoons

Not pictured: a Chinese cup with the same decor. Also not pictured: a fork (for different reasons).

Since we’re on the subject. Am I the only one experiencing this? When I eat at a Chinese All You Can Eat restaurant, my mind spontaneously recollects the plot of the famous Hansel and Gretel fairy tale.


Finally, a question that has bothered me for years:
12. Why, pray tell, nobody ever hits Robocop on the exposed chin?

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