Discovering amazing things

I’ve been around a while and I’ve seen some stuff but I’m constantly coming across things that baffle and amaze me. I think that’s what life is, a series of unexpected discoveries, I know it is for me. Of course it’s always possible that I’m just not very bright…that I’m amazed by discovering the obvious.

This week a friend told me that he had been invited to a “gender reveal party.” I have to admit that I was truly baffled and a little disgusted by what exactly a gender reveal party might be. In my world, revealing your gender is called “flashing” and is at least a misdemeanor, is generally socially unacceptable and never a reason for a party.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that a gender reveal party is an event made up my Millennials to bring together family and friends to dramatically reveal the gender of their unborn child. I read an example where the couple hosted a party then had the blindfolded father-to-be break open a piñata whereupon is is covered in blue or pink powder, representing the gender of his new baby. At this point the other neatly groomed, tastefully tattooed, man-bun friendly Millennials raise their mojitos or glasses of ultra lite beer (if they are preparing for a cross-fit competition…and they all are) to toast the salute the new boy or girl.

While I’m no expert Millennial party etiquette but I’m assuming that it’s proper to bring a yellow or green gift to a gender reveal party which means a few weeks later when you are expected to give a more appropriate blue or pink gift at the traditional baby shower. I’m equally blown away that guys are now expected to attend baby showers! I use the word “guys” because no man would ever be caught dead at a baby shower, bridal shower or any public shower except possibly one involving two strippers like they have in those classy strip joints in Vancouver…so I’m told.

I’ve been noticing references to something called a fidget spinner, so I looked it up and was amazed that this is actually a thing. Apparently, the fidget spinner is a device designed to help people who have trouble focusing (people who fidget) by giving them this spinning toy to release nervous energy or psychological stress. The original idea was to help kids with ACHD or anxiety settle down and focus more in school, which seems like a terrible idea, but it gets worse when the idea spread to fidgety adults started using them.

It completely baffles me how this thing could be useful in any scenario with the possible exception of a long car trip with little kids. In what world does it make sense to give a restless school kid a toy to distract them further and just how will it make any of them to focus on how to intuitively feel a long division problem or whatever the hell they teach in common core math.

If you have an employee who shows up at work with a fidget spinner, fire then immediately and replace them with an actual adult. Real men don’t fidget and the only spinners we need to distract us are socket wrenches, fishing gear and strippers from those classy clubs up in Vancouver…so I’m told.

I was completely blown away by an article I read yesterday about some biologists in Louisiana who captured a 197-pound alligator snapping turtle. Alligator snapping turtles have the protective shell of a turtle and the enormous long snapping beak of an alligator, which makes it the stuff of nightmares. They determined that this particular beast was at least 225 years old (the article wasn’t clear how they obtained his birth certificate or whether it was the long form.)

Just think about that for a minute…this turtle was roaming around the Louisiana swamps when Andrew Jackson was chasing the British through there in the War of 1812. He was catching dinner with that terrifying beak before Abraham Lincoln was born and about the time Bernie Sanders first ran for Congress. We’re talking old. Imagine the things that turtle could tell us if only he could talk…since he’s 225 years old I imagine his first words would probably be, “Stay off my lawn!”

I really don’t know if discovering the obvious makes me a moron…and I really don’t care. Being amazed every day makes me laugh and like the man said, “If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.”

Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist. He may be reached at


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