Slightly Off Center

Slightly Off Center: Things that Can’t Be Real

By Dennis Hinkamp

I’m not going to go all Matrix on you, but contemplating reality can really make your head reel. It’s more than just the reality of the lowlight reel of the real choices of presidential candidates; if you stop and contemplate the things that might not be real, you’ll wish you hadn’t.

Pandas: Now that the Internet allows us to be inundated by hundreds of pandas doing unspeakably adorable things, I’m starting to doubt their reality. I believe that soon it will be revealed that they are just various sizes of Chinese men and boys dressed in mass- produced Panda suits. Since people get paid based on video views and web hits, this makes total sense to me. Scoff, but the Chinese have done stranger things.

Bumble bees: Their wing-to-body size makes it physically impossible to fly. It would be like trying to fly an airliner by asking everyone to stick their hands out the windows and flap. I secretly believe that bumblebees are either tiny robots from the future or they have developed an anti-gravity gland.

The bottom of the ocean: More people have walked on the moon than have walked on some areas at the bottom of the ocean. I may be leaning heavily on Wikipedia and PBS, but it makes sense. There is no light at the bottom of the ocean so how could we ever broadcast it? Bonus: We have been looking for aliens in the wrong place all these years.

The size of Africa: I’ve been looking at globes of the world since I was in kindergarten. There is just no way that Africa is as big as they say it is nor is Greenland as small as they say. Who are you going to trust—your eyes or Wikipedia? Sup­posedly Africa is bigger than China, the United States, India, Mexico, France and Kiribati combined. Greenland is really roughly the size of Box Elder County. This would have never happened on a flat Earth.

Me: How can I be older than Bartolo Colon yet considerably younger than all three of the leading presidential candidates? Summary for non-baseball fans: Colon is a 42-year-old sausage casing with a few good pitches but, if forced to run, he couldn’t make it from first to third during the seventh inning stretch. He is my height with an extra 120 stuffed into unflattering Mets pinstripes. He also signed for $11 million at this age and degree of decay; so I guess he gets the last laugh. Since I just turned 60, I don’t think anyone can call me ageist. I can understand why nobody would want me to be in a political leadership position at any age but why put yourself through all that stress when you could be enjoying 15% off all the Denny’s breakfast items.

Orrin Hatch? He is so old his family photos are petroglyphs.

Dennis Hinkamp would like to remind you that 60 is the new 50; but only on the highways.

This article was originally published on July 1, 2016.