Seth Brown: Did you ever notice ...

NORTH ADAMS — Didja ever notice... that "60 Minutes" hasn't been the same since Andy Rooney died?

Some people might argue that this is a terrible thing to write a column about, since Andy Rooney has been dead for six years, and nobody wants to hear complaints about an old television show. But I prefer to think of it as an homage, because one of the things I enjoyed about Andy Rooney was that he was always willing to complain about any and all things, no matter how well-trodden the territory.

Some may have called him a cranky old man, but he had a considered complaint for every topic, plus he'd offer odd suggestions of his own to finish his segments. Doesn't that sound fun?

I sure hope it does.

Didja ever notice... that people always drive down the street with their windows down and the radio volume turned up ridiculously high? It's much louder than they would need to listen to it themselves, so presumably they're doing philanthropic work to share music with those who can't afford their own. Which is nice of them in theory, but at this point most people can afford a portable music device, whereas not everyone can afford a portable video watching device.

Instead of turning up a radio really loud, more people should drive through town with a giant 2,000-inch TV screen. Now that would be helpful.

Didja ever notice... how as soon as a famous musician or writer or actor dies, everyone is suddenly interested in appreciating their body of work? Anyone who dies has probably had a bad day, so attention from fans is nice. But the other week I got to meet some of my readers who said they enjoy my column, and I have to admit, I was definitely glad that I was alive for them to tell me.

I was also glad they were alive to tell me. Frankly, I find conversation loses some of its charm if either party is deceased.

Didja ever notice... that we use too many sports metaphors in this country? We talk about people being off-base or out-of-bounds when they're doing things wrong, and might say they hit a home run if they do something right.

Golf is tough for metaphors because if something isn't good, would you say it's below par? Being under par is good in golf. And why is baseball, with its bases, the universal metaphor for sex? Maybe if we used chess instead of baseball as the standard metaphor for sexual contact — plenty of checking before mating, and an emphasis on protection — kids today would be more thoughtful about it.

Didja ever notice... women's haircare products have much more enticing ingredients than men's? Last time I bought a shampoo, the ingredients were all complicated chemical words that would score you a lot of points in Scrabble. But women's shampoo these days always seems to have ingredients like honey, apricot, kiwi, avocado; it's like a fruit salad for your hair. I've always wondered about the fascination men have with women's hair, and now I think maybe it's just because we're hungry.

Didja ever notice... that writers are getting lazier these days? It used to be that well-crafted columns had an arc like a school essay, with a sensible beginning, a middle supporting their argument with examples, maybe a nice editorial cartoon, and a conclusion that ties everything together.

But columnists these days are lazy, often starting every paragraph the same way, and sometimes they're so lazy they'll even end in the middle of th--

Seth Brown is an award-winning humor columnist, the author of "From God To Verse," and considered joking about a more recently deceased "60 Minutes" star, but decided to play it Morally Safer. His website is


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