Cats lapping milk


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There's a lot of bad news out there, I know — depending, of course, where, exactly, out there is. Some observers say Peoria, but I think I'm pretty safe in saying most of us don't want to go there.

No offense, Peoria. But this is what happens when you morph into a national metaphor. The good news is you're no longer an obscure Illinois city.

The bad news is you're no longer an obscure Illinois city.

You know what I mean by bad news. Wars, taxes, tax cuts, former President George W. Bush and his memoir (not to mention his fetus in the jar story), Mexican drug cartels (I don't partake myself, but if I did take a toke or two or three now and again, I wonder if I'd worry whether my dollars for pot were helping to fund the real drug war going on in northern Mexico or whether I'd just forget about it, relax, and wonder where all the munchies were).

And then there's Mitch McConnell, who spent years supporting pork (the Congressional-spending kind, not the good old Iowa farm kind) but now is against pork. Which is kind of like Sarah Palin being all in favor of the Bridge to Nowhere (definitely pork) until Congress cut off the funding, then was all not in favor of the Bridge. (The highway that connected nowhere with the Bridge still got built, I hear, so it now connects nowhere with, um, nowhere.)

Thanks, guys, for helping out.

And that's not to mention Hawkeye football.

(No, I'm not going there. I'd rather go to Peoria.)

But I do kind of wonder why, every time Northwestern appears on the horizon, the purple-Hawkeye-eating Wildcats morph into the blitzkrieging German army and the Hawkeyes turn into Poland.

Talk about bad news. Hawkeye football players, wake up and smell the roses.

Oh. Never mind.

But there is some good news out there — I promise you.

For instance, just last week, NPR reported that scientists have figured out how cats lap up milk.

Yeah, I know; I was on the edge of my seat, too. All these years, all these cats, all that milk. I figure I pretty much propped up the dairy industry all by myself. (And that's not to mention all my tax dollars that went into dairy subsidies.)

I mean, for several years, I woke up at the crack of 11:19, and my first thought was, How do cats lap up milk?

Of course, that thought was immediately followed by, If string theory is true, does that mean the Moon is made up of string cheese?

What I discovered, after some years, was that if you think about string theory before you think about something real, such as making coffee and then drinking some, you wind up nowhere. And the Bridge starts making some sense.

Which is really not where you want to be. I mean, you'd rather be in Peoria.

And OK, not to make fun of scientists or anything. I mean, my father's one.

So what the cat-lapping study was actually, well, studying, had less to do with cats and milk and more to do with fluid dynamics.

Yeah, I know. Fluid dynamics?

(Get your mind out of the gutter. I know my mind is safely not there.)

I don't know about you, but it seems to me that everything in life — from mob mentality to unrest in the Kuiper Belt to the sodium-potassium ion exchange, which doesn't seem to be boosted by imbibing tea — comes down to fluid dynamics.

And that's the good news.

The bad news? A guy who once believed in something called Aqua Buddha is going to be a U.S. senator.

Frankly, I'd rather be Peoria.

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