Skip to main content

Donut Misunderstand Me

Friends,
Communications can be tricky and getting your message across to your audience is often fraught with potential misunderstandings. A writer’s biases can blind her to unintended meanings. The reader, who also carries biases, might lend an altogether different interpretation to the same words. The fact is, we all live in our own little bubbles. Some days I think it’s a wonder we communicate at all. Case in point, this week’s “retirement longevity checklist” from Merrill Lynch. What a downer! For the record, I don’t find the prospect of retirement depressing, however, the message that came across was cringeworthy. I’m sure my biases played a big role, still, bear with me.

The two page document’s structure seems benign enough:
(1) invest in your future,
(2) plan ahead, and
(3) document your wishes!

Unfortunately, what comes across when reading it is a little more sinister
(1) we want more of your money,
(2) your investments might make less than you think –plus you’ll get sick and spend more, and
(3) then you die!

And a bah! humbug to you too Chuck and Ed! (or Messrs. Charles Merrill and Edward Lynch if you insist on formailties). What a terrible thing to suggest! Or, just a misunderstanding –I want to say probably a misunderstanding. So, the next time you find yourself questioning that e-mail sender’s sanity grab a donut, take a deep breath and give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, it’s probably you that’s crazy.

Happy Friday!

P.S. In case you’re wondering what the picture is all about, here's a hint: It's got a whistle, a blower and a peach-mint Moscow mule! The news is all over it, so I thougth I should raise a glass --then again, maybe it's all just a big misunderstanding.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Happy New Year!

  Friends, Happy new year (and, technically, still Friday). As many of you know, my household has a peculiar way of ringing-in the new year. We build effigies representing the old year and burn them at midnight. This year, although we made the tough call of canceling the accompanying annual party, I felt it was important to go ahead with the burning. The theme, of course, was CoVid. My kids and I developed a dozen mutations of the virus and staged them in our backyard. Then, at a quarter ‘till midnight, we proceeded to read the old year’s last will and testament (or, as might be expected for a year like this, an un-will and un-testament). Shortly thereafter they were summarily burned. We then proceeded to stay up way past my bedtime (which in part helps explain the unusual tardiness of my weekly note). In any event a couple of donuts and a day of rest have got me back to my old self. By the way, I’ve posted a public video of the Facebook live stream event on Facebook. Key markers on

THE Oasis

Friends, The book  Ready Player One  sent me down memory lane this week. The journey was not triggered by the author’s excessive references to the 1980s, which border on obsessive. Rather, it was the name of the massive virtual reality simulation used by characters in this dystopian future to escape their grim surroundings: The OASIS. You see, that was also the name of my grandfather’s country estate, the setting where a disproportionate share of my treasured childhood memories were created.  La Quinta Oasis was a bucolic old whitewashed house with a massive stone staircase, three foot thick adobe walls and wooden window shutters that, when closed at night, would submerge the residence in pitch darkness. With no running water, electricity, phone or indoor plumbing, the only modern convenience was the battery transistor radio on which my uncles would listen to “Chucho el Roto”, a radio soap opera. The Spanish fighting roosters crowed long before sunrise, making it difficult to fall back

Accidental Culinary Innovations

Friends, Have you ever inadvertently fermented spaghetti sauce? Yeah, me neither… until yesterday, that is! Imagine my surprise when the half-full bottle, sitting in the fridge from time immemorial, made a sound akin to opening a beer bottle, instantly filling the glass container with a hazy smoke. As the carbonation dissipated, I grabbed a spoon to conduct the obligatory taste test. How was it? I’m glad you asked! Let’s just say chunky carbonated tomato beer is not my thing (although I must admit that if I had been expecting it, my reaction might have been a little more… composed). Now, if you forgo the fermentation and switch the tomato paste with spicy salsa… that might be the next million dollar idea! Sparkling sriracha anyone? How about Carbonated Cholula?   Bubbly Habanero? Fizzy JalapeƱo?? I could go on, but I have a feeling Gassy Guac might not fly off the shelves. Now, if only I could stumble on a way to improve donuts. Carbonated Jelly filling… yeah, maybe not. I think I’ll