Life’s great mysteries. Well, they’re not that great, but they are mysteries.

Question mark

I promise there are no more videos of me singing today, although I can’t promise there won’t be more in the future. No, today we’re going to look at some little everyday mysteries that I ponder on.

1) Why is it that when you’re getting ready to go out, the closer it gets to the time you have to leave, the faster time passes?

2) Why is it so hard to say ‘Irish wristwatch’? Go on, try it, I’ll wait…

3) What is the magic power contained within the email ‘send’ button which enables you to instantly see every typo, forgotten attachment, or other mistake you have made, which you completely failed to spot, right up until the very second you pressed it?

4) Why is it that you can’t stick your tongue out when you’re looking straight up at the ceiling?

5) Ok, I lied about number 4, but it gave me a good laugh imagining you all trying it.

6) Why do vets insist on pairing your pet’s name with your last name, and then announcing it loudly in the waiting room, when they must know how embarrassing it is? My Dad was never very keen on having to take his old cat to the vet, knowing he’d have to sit there waiting to hear “Pudding Chapman!”

7) Why do warning labels state the obvious? On the back of my beer bottle the other night, I saw it said ‘Do not drink while trying to conceive.’ Well no, you’d spill it wouldn’t you!

Have you been pondering any little mysteries lately?

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80 responses to “Life’s great mysteries. Well, they’re not that great, but they are mysteries.

  1. Haha, you got me on #4. I always seem to fall for these! Never learn. Fortunately, I was alone and no-one else saw me. Pride intact :D

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  2. Just had a go at the tongue trick. Lovely way to get everyone laughing. Nicola

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  3. I totally didn’t get caught out by the tongue trick.. only because I always read everything first! haha. Helps being a copywriter sometimes… If you just said it to me with no warnings I probably would have done it!

    How about, the one day you’re running late, the traffic is really bad! That’s so annoying!

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  4. This is one of the best and funniest and original pieces I’ve read.
    Four tongues out and three ceiling views.

    More please….

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  5. The time issue boggles my mind every single day. Eeeeeek! A fellow mom and I used to joke that we lost 10 minutes between getting our tiny kids ready and then walking to the car in the driveway. I have no idea where we lost those minutes.

    Also, I read on a bottle of Liquid Bandage yesterday: “Do Not Drink.”

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    • You do wonder whether people have actually done these things in order for it to be necessary to put these warnings on – I saw somewhere recently that a warning on some hair curling tongs said “For external use only” (!?). I don’t know if it’s the same in the states, but here in the UK, bags of peanuts say “Warning, contains nuts”.

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  6. Funny, funny, funny! And yes, I had just done the whole look at the ceiling, stick out the tongue and I was thinking, well, I agree with the list up to know, but she’s way off on this one, but then my smugness was shattered. You little trickster!!

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  7. Maybe it should have read…..Do not drink….or you may concieve???

    just a thought….

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  8. and i really like the way your brain works…..

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  9. Why are labels on the inside of collar shirts so scratchy? One of life’s great mysteries. Oh, and try to say “Peggy Babcock” fast three times. Go on. Try it.

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  10. Okay, V, I’m lying on my bed, facing the ceiling, my tongue is out and I’m making slow, gentle circles with it. Now what? HF

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  11. Aw, you’re making me laugh as always. I can’t added anything of my own, but I can say you caught me on the tongue trick. Fortunately, I’m alone right now, so I didn’t humiliate myself! And I love Pudding Chapman. I can well imagine that happening!
    Re Irish wristwatch – a better linguist than I am could undoubtedly explain it, but I’ll give it a try. Every language has certain consonant clusters that have developed within it. English has shr (the w is silent here) as in shrink, so if you pronounced it Iri-shristwatch, you wouldn’t have any trouble. The difficulty comes in having to break the sounds between the two words. You have to reconfigure the lips and tongue radically. It’s hard to go smoothly from the unvoiced fricative sh to the alveolar trill r.
    Now I’ll hit post and see how many typos I made!

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    • Thank you for the explanation – funny how breaking it up differently makes it easier to say. That’s worth remembering to try as a technique for any other words or phrases we might be struggling with, especially if it’s in a speech or presentation or something that we’re doing.

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  12. Ha ha ha. Questions we all ask at one time or another.
    How about this one: Why is it the top half of a filled gas tank disappears slower than the bottom half? Once you hit the half mark, bing, bang, boom it’s gone!

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  13. In the movie King Kong, I always wondered why the natives on Skull Island made a Kong-proof fence with such a large door. The point is to keep Kong out, yes? Why not have a fence with a just a little door (to toss out the occasional human sacrifice)?

    Makes no sense whatsoever.

    Oh, and DAMMIT VANESSA, you got me with #4! Grrrr.

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  14. I would love the answer to #3 considering I just shared a FB entry that not until after I posted it did I realize the stupid thing I said. And, being a FB newbie, I couldn’t find how I could edit the part I added to the person’s post. Maybe you can’t. But regardless, I had to delete it and start over. So when you learn what that magic power is, do let me know.

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    • I’ve been on FB for ages and I still struggle with it, sometimes I can edit something I’ve written afterwards, sometimes I can’t. I don’t know whether it’s me that’s doing something different, or whether FB just enjoys changing it’s mind about what it will or won’t let me do. It does other strange things too on an inconsistent basis.

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  15. These are so funny Vanessa. Like when you see those signs by woodlands, ‘caution deer crossing.’ I’m sure they put them there just for fun. The deer are never to be seen.

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  16. I’ve always wondered what prompted warnings like #7, myself. (You know somebody probably tried it!)

    Thanks for keeping me giggling on a rainy day, Vanessa!

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  17. Oh, yes, number 3 is so true! I just hope I won’t be invoking it with this comment! :) At least in the US, I suspect #7 exists because people have successfully sued others, even though the “harm” was due to lack of common sense. (For example, McDonald’s having to pay a huge settlement because someone spilled hot coffee in her lap and claimed there was insufficient warning about what happens when you spill hot coffee in your lap.)

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    • Ah yes, tales of people in the US suing others for their own lack of common sense are a source of much amusement over here! Here in the UK people are less likely to sue for these things, but they would not hesitate to write a stern letter! ;)

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  18. I was spluttering coffee all over the keyboard this morning after reading #7. And I do have some mysteries.
    1. Why is it that the older you get, the longer it takes to get into or out of a car?
    2. Why is it that the number of items you absolutely must take with you in your handbag increases geometrically when you increase the size of the handbag?
    3. Why is it that when you scratch a mosquito bite on, say, your hand, you will suddenly find that your ear itches? Which then makes you realize that a spot on your head itches. Until finally, you look like a dog with fleas?
    Also, I’ll have you know that I can say Irish Wrishtwa…I mean, Irish Wristwratch.

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    • Those are true! I particularly like your number 2, if you have a big bag, and you decide to sort through it and take out anything you don’t need, you find yourself thinking, “Well of course I need my mini took kit, so I’ll keep that, and my little map book, that’s essential, and this little foldaway bag in it’s own handy pouch, just in case I suddenly have some emergency extra things to carry, well I can’t manage without that.” But if you have a bag a quarter of that size, you never miss any of those things you can’t fit in it!

      Irish wishwash.

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  19. Also, I noticed today on a container of hydrogen peroxide wipes we bought for our office that it says “Not a Baby Wipe”. Hello? We also have a container of Clorox wipes which does not have that warning. So I guess that means they’re okay to use on babies? My eyes are rolling back in my head.

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  20. “Irish wristwatch” is tough. Try “unique New York.”

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  21. Pretty funny aren’t you… yeah, I tried #4, and thought ‘what is she talking about’… then read #5, hahaha. #3 is so true. And, #7 just cracked me up! Good post.

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  22. “Irish wistwatch… Irish wristwratch…” Aah! LOL :-)

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  23. You’re a hoot and goddamn you – I was thinking “I must be the exception to the rule, I can stick my tongue out – ooh, there’s a cobweb!” HA! :) Love Pudding Chapman! :)

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  24. 1) Time is relative to the observer. I’ll just borrow Einstein to explain:

    “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.”
    Thank you Einstein. Off you go.

    I just tried 2) and 4) together.
    I probably shouldn’t have attempted it on a busy train. The lady opposite me looks like she’s thinking of pulling the red emergency handle.

    I liked termitespeaker’s explanation of that point even though I didn’t laugh. But perhaps we need a more cunning linguist.

    Why do I receive a letter from the postman stating “This is not a circular”?
    When it’s obvious it’s a rectangular.

    Why do we say “Bless you” when someone sneezes? Perhaps one of the apostles once sneezed and Jesus said to him “Bless You” and the tradition has carried on from there. Mind you if will mess around in boats on the Sea of Galilee you are going to get a cold aren’t you?

    I like heylookawriterfellow’s comment about the King Kong sized door, it’s a good point. Perhaps they could have had the equivalent of a cat flap. Or maybe a Kong flap. Oh dear I might have just boosted your search engine rankings.

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  25. You tricky one! So clever. Thanks, as always, for the laugh.

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  26. IntrovertedSarah

    I think I hurt something trying to say Irish wristwatch!
    Why can’t I keep my eyes open while sneezing and why do I always sneeze while driving?

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  27. Number 7 sounds like a challenge to me!

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  28. It getting hot in here…

    so drink up all your beer

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  29. I needed this laugh, Vanessa. Thank you, this was a great post. I love the warning labels on things, because they prove how asanine the human race can really be. Just today I saw an episode of Animal Planet or something where a man stuck his head in between a gator’s jaws to prove how brave he is. The gator snapped his jaws shut, trapping the man’s head firmly, bloodily, between his teeth.

    I am dumbstruck at how infantile these people are, messing around with wild animals. Now I’m thinking gators need a label. Warning: Inserting a human head between a gator’s jaws is not recommended.

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    • I know, some people think they have this amazing connection with wild animals, and maybe they do, but when they become complacent about it they’re just asking for trouble. I always think about our cats at home, they’re family pets, mostly contended and friendly, but occasionally they turn and bite or scratch, obviously the injuries are minor but what they are doing is exactly the same as when wild animals turn, and I would never presume to think that I have complete control over what they do!

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  30. #6 My dog’s name is Ebony… But my cat’s name is Feral.

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  31. Pingback: Blogroll Inductee – Vanessa Chapman | A Clown On Fire

  32. These were great! Well done.

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