- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 26, 2009

If I had a nickel for every time I said “if I had a nickel,” I’d have a couple of nickels.

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There’s something about a change in the weather — good or bad — that brings out the idiocy in some people. You can call them weather buffoons.

They feel empowered, nay, compelled to tell you about the latest meteorological marvel that is occurring just outside your door.

And what really makes them annoying is that, no matter what the weather is doing, they have to tell you that it is happening OUTSIDE — as if there is some other location for a weather event.

Of course, I’ve developed my own way of dealing with weather buffoons:

• A reporter comes into the newsroom drenched and wearing a raincoat.

“It’s raining outside,” he says.

Really? I thought that people in the street were spitting on you again.

• After a few rainy days, the sun breaks through the clouds.

“Hey! The sun’s shining outside,” someone says.

Yeah, I put it out there because it was giving me a melanoma.

• Winter arrives, and the season’s first snow begins to fall.

“Look! It’s snowing outside,” a weather buffoon says.

Call me when it starts snowing inside, Nimrod, because then we have a problem.

•••


President Obama has had to defend his warm relations with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at the recent Americas summit.

Mr. Obama said the 2008 presidential campaign showed that voters want him to engage with his counterparts, regardless of whether they are friendly toward the U.S.

First Mr. Chavez criticized Mr. Obama, then Fidel Castro told him to lighten up and Mr. Chavez hailed Mr. Obama.

Then he chastised him again, then later said good things about Mr. Obama.

Then Mr. Chavez said he was preparing “verbal artillery” for Mr. Obama during the summit, but he greeted him with a handshake, a back slap and a book.

Is it me or has Hugo Chavez become Barack Obama’s crazy ex-girlfriend?

It’s international relations like these that put the “dip” in “diplomacy.”

•••


A little-known fact of life: Everything is better with bacon. Try it.

Flat tire? Frustrating. But with a little bacon, it’s fixable.

Colonoscopy? Uncomfortable. Include a couple of slices of bacon, and it’s almost enjoyable.

Root canal? Painful. Add some bacon. Still painful but tasty.

•••


A new study concludes that fat people are bad for the environment because they eat more and drive more often than thin people.

The study was conducted at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

“When it comes to food consumption, moving about in a heavy body is like driving around in a gas guzzler,” researchers Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts wrote in their study.

The study found that overweight people had a larger “carbon footprint” than thin people. Well, we all kinda expected that, didn’t we? (I’ve got a size 12 carbon footprint, by the way.)

According to the study, overweight people produce more carbon emissions — not necessarily flatulence, per se, but close enough to increase the need for air fresheners. I think overweight people have a lot of pressure on them already to lose the weight. Now the future of the planet depends on their losing their excess weight? “Drop that doughnut and give me 20 deep-knee bends!”

•••


Did you know that the world’s water supply recycles itself — and that it’s been recycling itself for millions of years?

It’s true. The water that we drink and wash with today is the same water the dinosaurs used.

That’s why it smells funny.

•••


New research has shown that how much people smile in old photographs can predict whether their marriages will last. Really. This is science.

One test rated the intensity of people’s smiles in their college yearbooks. None of those whose smiles rated in the top 10 percent had divorced, while 1 in 4 of those in the bottom 10 percent had split.

Another test of people over 65 showed that only 11 percent of those with the biggest smiles in their childhood pictures had divorced, while 31 percent of those with frowns in their old pictures had divorced.

The studies show that people who frown in photos are five times more likely to get a divorce than people who smile.

What if you’re frowning in your wedding photos? That’s bad, isn’t it?

I wonder if you can play catch-up by smiling a lot now. You know, prepare yourself for your next marriage. If my high school yearbook photos are an indicator of my marital success, then I really regret wearing that cheerleader’s outfit for the Powder Puff football game. At least I’m smiling, though.

I think these studies failed to take into account why people were smiling in their old photos. Maybe it’s because they weren’t married.

I guess what the researchers are trying to say is that happy people tend to have longer marriages. Which kinda makes sense. Common sense.

•••


Sometimes life seems too short to spend a lot of time waiting — except when you’re waiting. Then life seems so long.

You can reach Carleton Bryant at 202/636-3218 and cbryant@washingtontimes.com — but only if you’re desperate.

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