ZYTARUK: You want goofy? You’ve got goofy…

WARNING: Contains no graphic or upsetting news, but might make you scratch your head a bit

So let it be written…

We’ve heard a lot about raging forest fires, drive-by shootings, pedestrians being hit and otherwise depressing news lately. It’s stuff you need to know about, but still, sometimes it makes you feel like crawling under your bed and hiding for a day or so.

Some of the following might make you feel like doing the same, but for altogether different reasons.

So, grab your coffee. I know you won’t enjoy all, but I hope you enjoy some of these silly things I’ve discovered in media and on the web. Not to make light of serious ongoing concerns, but just for a bit of a break.

Let’s begin with the monumentally silly. Consider this headline, from the New York Daily News: “U.K.’s plan to build highway under Stonehenge met with fierce backlash: ‘Has the world gone completely mad?’”

Britain’s government earlier this year finalized its plan to run a four-lane, nearly three kilometre tunnel under the 5,000-year-old Neolithic marvel. They’ve dumped about $2.4 billion into this project.

If they really need a tunnel, why not run it a little to the right or left of this world-scale cultural treasure, a lonely collection of monoliths set in the middle of the vast, and largely empty, Salisbury Plain?

Progress? How about Nuts-o-lithic.

Here’s some more government silly. Like Edmonton spending $2 million to rebrand itself ‘Edmonton.’ Like carbon tax being slapped on cremations. Like the officially atheist Chinese government having a State Religious Affairs Bureau.

If that last one is not sufficiently weird in itself, consider that particular bureaucracy’s Order No. 5 — the one that regulates Buddhist reincarnations. Believe it — Order No. 5 requires all Buddhist temples in China to file a reincarnation application or else those individuals considered to be re-incarnated teachers are not allowed to be such. A licence governing the afterlife, and beyond. Hey, the Los Angeles Times carried a story on this.

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What a wonderful world. Have you ever heard of a website called YAHOO! Answers (?)

People can ask questions online, and some of them are real dillies. Like, “Are skeletons real or made up?” Or, “My son is 9 and he loves Shrek (no joke) is he in danger?” Or, “I swallowed an ice cube whole and I haven’t pooped it out? I’m really scared…is it stuck?”

I wonder if these are real. I fear they are. The tradeoff is, some really soul-crushingly stupid questions are met with witty responses. Quite the meeting of minds.

For example:

Question — How big is the specific ocean? Answer — Can you be more Pacific?

Or, Question — Was the movie “The Lion King” based on a true story? Answer — Sure, I know loads of lions who talk. Follow-up question — really? from Africa?

Here’s my favourite; not the question, but the answer:

Question — How do I unbake a cake? Answer — Put it back in the oven, set it to the negative of whatever temperature you baked it at, such as -325 degrees, and leave it in for the same amount of time you baked it for. It has to be exact! If you unbaked it too much the flour may turn into wheat and the eggs will turn into a chicken. Don’t ask me how.

I’ll leave you with an “Immutable Law” my sister sent to me this week. The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible IF you don’t know what you are talking about.

So let it be done.

tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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