A vivid memory of 70 years ago is the view of the changing traffic lights from the back seat of our family Oldsmobile as my father drove through Philadelphia to cross the Ben Franklin Bridge into New Jersey (known then as simply the Delaware River Bridge). The trips were always a treat because we were either visiting my doting aunt who lived on the Jersey side of the Delaware River or heading to our vacation at Ocean City. We went in by Chestnut Street and returned by Walnut. Both streets were very straight, one-way, and the lights were timed for 35 mph. I could see the string of red traffic lights receding into the distance, each magically turning green as we approached at the proper speed.
Timed traffic lights seemed so sensible, but they are rare. Why? Because the timing is only possible on one-way streets, and there are not many of those anymore.
Want better health? Recent studies suggest that seniors who bathe more often and use a sauna are healthier and live longer. But hold on there, Pilgrim. It’s the old story of correlation does not prove causation. Yes, seniors who do this are healthier and live longer, but that does not mean the actions cause the benefits. This is just what healthy seniors tend to do. They probably disproportionally drive cars, grocery shop, go to the movies, paint walls, and cut grass, too.
They say most heart attack victims have white hair. Therefore, I am going to dye my hair black to insure a healthy heart.
You don’t think that will work?
A recent George Will column quotes an old joke: A minister presiding at a funeral asks the attendees to share cherished memories of the deceased. After an awkward silence, someone calls from the back, “His brother was even worse!”
George should know better. Never include a joke that is more memorable than the point you are making (whatever it was).