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Canberra Today 15°/20° | Friday, February 23, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Of ponderances and observations

The last 10 per cent of a tube of toothpaste typically lasts as long as the first 90 per cent.

When is a ponderance a ponderance and not an observation? That’s the challenge of this week’s “Whimsy” column with CLIVE WILLIAMS.

“PONDERANCE” is a noun that refers to the state or quality of being in deep thought or contemplation. Written ponderances are usually anonymous – otherwise they would be quotations.

Clive Williams.

Meanwhile, an “observation” is a statement based on something one has seen, heard, or noticed. In humour it is often apocryphal (ie, not based on actual events – but then, of course, it might be!).

Some examples are below. I leave you to be the judge of what’s profound and worth deeper contemplation, and what’s merely a casual observation you can quickly pass over.

Oregon has implemented restrictions on single-use plastic straws to reduce their environmental impact. It has also decriminalised the use of cocaine. (Both true.) So cocaine is now legal in Oregon but straws aren’t. That must be very frustrating for cokeheads.

Confusingly, “take out” can relate to food, dating or murder. It’s prudent to know which is which.

For paranoid people, Plan A is to check under the bed for murderers. If you find one, what’s your Plan B?

How did doctors come to the conclusion that exercise prolongs life? The rabbit is active and lives for nine years; the tortoise isn’t and lives for 200.

If only vegetables smelled as good as bacon.

Anyone who says their wedding day was the best day of their life has clearly never had two chocolate bars drop down for one payment at a vending machine.

We live in an age where intelligent people are silenced so that stupid people aren’t offended.

A modern irony is that computers now ask humans to prove they’re not robots. 

Many older people feel it’s weird to be the same age as old people.

It would be nice for once to have a username and password prompt that said “Close Enough”.

If Adam and Eve were Cajuns, they would have eaten the snake instead of the apple and saved us all a lot of trouble.

You know you’re getting old when “friends with benefits” means having someone who can drive at night.

Weight loss goal: to be able to clip one’s toenails and breathe at the same time.

For those that don’t want Alexa or Siri listening in to their conversations, they’re making a male version that doesn’t listen to anything.

When someone gets a present labelled, “From Mum and Dad”, they know darn well dad has no idea what’s in it.

Someone said: “Nothing rhymes with orange.” But that’s not true.

Someone said: “Nothing rhymes with orange.” But that’s not true.

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts his (or her) sails.

There’s a fine line between a numerator and a denominator. Only a fraction of people would find that curious.

Reading gives you somewhere to go when you have to stay where you are.

When you’re a kid, you don’t realise you’re also watching your mum and dad grow up.

The degree to which a person hates mosquitoes is dependent on how much mosquitoes love them.

The degree to which a person hates mosquitoes is dependent on how much mosquitoes love them.

Most people use their driving licence to buy things that impair their ability to drive. 

You can know someone for years and still not know what colour their eyes are.

Babysitters are teenagers who behave like grown-ups so that grown-ups can go out and behave like teenagers.

Something for fast food lovers to look forward to: a McDonald’s on Mars would be open 24 hours and 39 minutes a day, 687 days a year.

A different version of you exists in the minds of every person who knows you.

If a morgue worker dies, they’ll still need to come into the office one last time.

“Let sit for two minutes” is definitely the most ignored instruction among microwave users.

Your face is a combination of thousands of years’ worth of other people’s faces.

The last 10 per cent of a tube of toothpaste typically lasts as long as the first 90 per cent.

Our son woke up determined to drink less, eat right and exercise. But that was this morning when he was younger and more ambitious.

Some of my friends exercise daily. Others, by contrast, are watching a TV program they don’t like because the remote fell on the floor.

Exercise clearly helps with decision-making. I went for a run this morning and decided I’m never doing it again.

Last night the internet stopped working so I spent a few hours with my family. They seemed like nice people.

Clive Williams is a Canberra columnist


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