AP NEWS

Funny peculiar

February 28, 2019

Sometimes we say that something funny happened in our lives, when what we mean to say is that something was peculiar. It often makes sense to use the phrase “funny peculiar” to get our meaning across.

It seems like my life and how I perceive my life is often full of “funny peculiar” episodes. Maybe your life is like that too. I don’t know. Of course, there’s a very real possibility that I simply think too much about what I see as a never-ending parade of peculiarities in my life.

Much of what is odd in my life is of my own making. For example, not long ago, I bought a bottle of water in the discount department store “Ross – Dress for Less.” I paid $1.99 (comparable value: $3.00, it stated on the label) for 28.74 fluid ounces of plain ol’ water.

Why did I buy it? – Because it’s water from Norway. I have been in the town of Voss, Norway, but, ironically, that’s not where Voss water originates. It is bottled in Vatnestrom, a village 250 miles away from Voss. Isn’t it strange though, funny peculiar, that water is shipped from a village in Norway to the USA to be sold to dorks like me?

The next peculiarity I’d like to mention is something I heard in the news recently from a couple of sources. One place it was talked about was on the TV program “CBS Sunday Morning.” My wife records that show and sometimes I’m around to watch it with her.

I learned, that there is now a “Minister of Loneliness” in the United Kingdom. Tracey Crouch was named to this position to address “the sad reality of modern life.” She intends to “tackle the scourge of isolation.”

This seems strange, and to some almost laughable, but I guess research is showing that it’s a real problem. They figure that more than 9 million people in Britain are often or always lonely. According to a study, that situation costs employers up to $3.5 billion.

Here in the USA, research from former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy calls loneliness a “growing health epidemic.” The report in the “Harvard Business Review” states that social isolation is “associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”

Another bit of peculiarity. This past weekend, we traveled to Las Vegas for a weekend getaway. The motivating purpose of the trip was to go to a concert. The old rock band “Chicago” was playing at The Venetian Theatre. They sounded great and it was a wonderful time of being transported into the past. Music can do that.

The peculiar part is that we pay pretty big money for that experience. And we travel hundreds of miles. I could sit at home and listen to the studio albums and get much of the same enjoyment. But – there’s something inexplicable about the “live and in person” experience. It’s a funny peculiar situation.

Lastly, in the realm of “funny peculiar,” something else happened on our little trip. Sunday, before leaving Las Vegas, we decided to find a random church service to attend.

We have family and friends who live in the Las Vegas area. But since this was a personal “get-away”, we hadn’t made contact with any of them.

We went through the process of looking on the Internet to find a meeting that would fit our departure time frame. We found one that started at Noon and decided that would work.

When we arrived at the church, which we had never been to before, we picked up a program. My wife looked at it and pointed to the line where it showed the name of the organist. It was my niece’s husband!

So, out of the dozens, maybe hundreds of congregations in the Las Vegas area, we happened into one, which is the church of my brother’s daughter and her family. We had a good visit and a good laugh over the circumstances that brought us together.

Funny peculiar.