When I returned from vacation last week, 2,348 emails were waiting in my inbox like baby chicks. Only 17 were important.
Some people make a full-time job of reading and surgically deleting their junk emails. I come from the search-and-destroy school.
To prove that most email is unessential, I spent about two hours Monday reading every email in my inbox.
• Do you know that October is Bat Appreciation Month? And now that you know, do you care?
• A publicist sent me an email to let me know that from now on she will be handling the Bitsy's Brainfood account. Well, congratulations!
She wanted me to know that Bitsy's Brainfood is a line of snack food that "offers the perfect combination of appealing autumn flavors paired with optimal health benefits."
Appealing autumn flavors?
Well, yes, the news release says. There is the ever-popular Zucchini Gingerbread Carrot-flavored snack and the mouthwatering Orange Chocolate Beet-flavored treat.
• A University of Memphis social-work professor is holding a workshop in January for people with shy bladder syndrome.
"This worldwide social phobia is a fear of using public bathrooms and is so common it's thought to be second only to a fear of public speaking," according to the symposium leader.
OK, I sympathize. But let's review: The way to solve this problem is by having the shy-bladder crowd show up in Memphis at a workshop, where they will presumably be required to take periodic breaks to use public restrooms? Jiminy Cricket!
Incidentally, November is National Bladder Month.
• Down in Atlanta at the Botanical Gardens, chefs will gather on Thursday for their fourth annual Pumpkin-Carving Contest. The e-vite notes that chefs will bring "giant machetes, power drills and electric saws," and that specialty beers will be featured.
Is it just me, or does the combination of "giant machetes" and specialty beers in a party invitation seem a little sketchy?
• Vietti Foods in Nashville has announced a "satirical product line" based on the 2012 presidential election.
Thank you, Vietti. This proves a point I've been trying to make for years: That what America truly needs during this time of economic hardship is funnier hot-dog chili.
Coming to a grocery-store aisle near you are "Liberal Democrat Vegetable Stew" and "Conservative Republican Beef Stew."
Whew. Stop it, guys. You're killing me. I'm laughing so hard I've got a hunk of stew beef stuck in my nose.
• A company called Chef Sleeve wants you to know that it's bringing to market a new dishwater-safe iPad stand.
The news release notes: "We found this (iPad stand) to be more cost-effective to the average consumer, versus just throwing out their iPads when they spill on them."
Well, there you go. Stop chucking those iPads, folks. I know we go through five or six $399 iPads a week at my house. We thought you could use them as drink coasters and salad plates.
• A company called Tukz is introducing a new line of men's underwear that it promises will hold a man's shirttail in place "for a hassle-free crisp look that lasts all day."
This is a spectacular invention. The news release notes that the underwear comes equipped with four "understated elastic straps and clips" to keep your shirt inside your pants.
Each $30 pair of Tukz undershorts also has -- I kid you not -- "a 3-D pouch for comfort." Coming to an Imax theater near you, "Invasion of the Tukz 3-D Underpants."
If I were writing this news release, I might play up this 3-D pouch feature. Something like: "Tukz, the men's underwear that takes the ouch out of your pouch."
I don't understand all the mechanics of the Tukz, but it seems to me that if your shirttail is hooked to your undershorts and you stand up too fast, you will automatically give yourself a wedgie.
Hum, might be invigorating.
Contact Mark Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.
Mark Kennedy is the editor of the Times Free Press opinion pages and writes the Sunday “Life Stories” column. He also writes a Saturday automotive column, “Test Drive,” for the Business section. For 13 years, Kennedy was features editor of the newspaper, and before that he was the newspaper’s first Sunday editor. The Times Free Press Life section won the state press award for Best Community Lifestyles four times during his tenure. Before Chattanooga’s newspapers ...