Where’s the Self-Help Section?

Just reminded of an encounter with a young woman at the information desk at Barnes & Noble a few years ago.  I wanted to pick up another copy of M. Scott Peck’s “The Road Less Travelled” for a friend in need. The bookstore at Triangle Town Center is huge, so I stopped to ask her where I could find the self-help section. With a straight face she said: “If I told you it would defeat the purpose.”

She admitted she stole that line from George Carlin, but I told her it was a good one and asked how long she had been waiting to use it. “A long time,” she said, then pointed me in the right direction.

My great friends Pete and Lynn Hampton gave me a copy of that book when I was going through one of life’s exasperating transitions back in the 1970’s.  Over the years I’ve tried to pay that gift forward by giving the book to family and friends when it seemed appropriate.  If the book helped them a small fraction of how much it helped me, no price was too great.


Something Else That Needs Changing

(Warning: the following is intended as SATIRE and does not necessarily  reflect the views of the author, his family, or his friends.)

This post could probably use a rating system like we see on TV or at the movies.  Perhaps PG-13 would suffice.

With all the social media traffic about the Confederate Flag,  recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, the Washington Redskins, and a host of other challenges we face every day, this morning I thought of still another something else that needs changing; namely, the labels used by electricians, plumbers, and their suppliers for various types of electric and plumbing parts and equipment.

We need to change these labels!  They are insulting and demeaning to everybody, male, female, LGBT people, religions, political parties, service clubs, the YMCA, the military, the police benevolent associations, everybody.

What are these labels?  Consider the electrical plug and the device on the wall (or anything else that accepts a plug; e.g., your leaf blower) the plug plugs into.  The plug is “male” and the outlet the plug fits into is “female.”

And the plug and outlet are not the only examples.  If the end of a pipe has thread on the outside, it’s male.  The end of the pipe that the male part fits into is female.

The male/female labels are even used for your garden hose connectors.

There are more examples, but, alas, I have miles to go before I sleep. 

I’m sure someone who reads this will have the time to start a campaign to come up with labels that are not so insulting and demeaning to everyone. 

I’ll probably pitch in $10 or so if the website uses PayPal.