From The Desk Of Bill Varga

Getting my first of two Covid 19 vaccinations, I was met at the gate of the cattle call-like affair by a gentleman who asked, “Name please!” “Varga, William,” I responded.  “Oh”, he said, and shuffled a ream of paper until he finally checked me off from the bottom the list, and sent me into the stream of vehicles headed to one of the fairground livestock barns.   Actually, the whole process was over and I came out that day and later with no ‘hangover’, I was pleased to be immunized (knock on wood).    Now, the Utah Harebell (Campanula Rotundifolia), is also at the bottom of the list because its specific epithet, speaking botanically now, start with the letter ‘R’.  I have one in our entry garden.  It wasn’t an intentional planting. It piggy backed from the nursery in a gas plant, ‘Dictamus’.  It continues to associate willingly with its companion, and blooms in July after the gas plant.   Both are interesting additions to any perennial garden.  Being at the bottom of the list isn’t always bad, you know.    Get vaccinated and then go nursery hopping.  Purchase some 2021 cheer with the thought of some normalcy for a change.

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.

   “House” for instance, is feminine: “la casa.”

   “Pencil,” however, is masculine: “el lapiz.”

A student asked, “What gender is ‘computer?”  Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether “computer” should be a masculine of a feminine noun.   Each group was asked to give 4 reasons for its recommendation.

The men’s group decided that “computer” should definitely be of the feminine gender (la computadora), because:

  1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
  2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;
  3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and
  4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it. 


The women’s group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine (el computador), because:

  1.  In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;
  2. They have a lot of data but still can’t think for themselves;
  3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem;
  4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

Yeah, the women won!

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