Barry Smith: Bottomless big ideas |

Barry Smith: Bottomless big ideas

Today I’m doing a real deep cleanse of the Big Idea File, that place where I keep little notes, quotes, thoughts, non-sequiturs, clever word play, double entendre and any of the other things that find their way into my notebook during the day, including the occasional actual Big Idea. I’m clearing it out so as to make room for even bigger ideas, because if you clean it, they will come.

Buckle up your safety belt, it’s gonna be a random ride.

* I used to think it odd that every time my father burps he follows it up by singing, to the tune of a song that was big about 70 years ago: “Pardon me boys, is that the cat that chewed your new shoes?”

Yes, I used to think it odd, until it was pointed out that I display an equally repetitive and nonsensical verbal tic whenever anyone says “Banana bread.”

* Actual quote from someone, but I forgot who: “I’m gonna get him a GPS for his birthday – he never goes anywhere, but he likes to know where he is.”

* “Follow Your Bills” – Joseph Campbell, CPA

* You know how they say that if you are drinking out of a bottle that the last swallow is 90% spit? I don’t have anything to add to that, I just thought I would bring it up.

* Me (handing my folding knife to my uncle): “Check that out, huh? That’s a man’s knife.”

Uncle: “Wow. It really is. When do you have to give it back to him?”

* I’d like to think that there exists a language where the word for bridge is the same sound as the word for the F-word, just spelled a little different. Like the dam/damn phenomenon in English. So, just like when we drive past a dam and say, cleverly, “Hey, let’s go to the dam visitor center, maybe they have a dam gift shop,” the people who live in the land where this cool language is spoken drive past a bridge and say, “Look, a f–k over troubled waters.” They haven’t quite figured it out yet.

* I have read that the Native Americans, when they encountered a bear on the trail, would bow to them and say, “Grandfather bear, please let me pass.” They did this because they didn’t have pepper spray, otherwise they would have said, “Take that! Ah ha ha ha! Stings, doesn’t it? Have some more, then! Ha ha ha!”

* What if smoking is not a habit, but a hobby?

* Fund Drive Channel – All groveling. All the time.

* Actual conversation that I actually had:

MARK: I just worked a medical conference on erectile dysfunction, and I have all the PowerPoint slides on my computer. I thought you might want them so you could write a column about it.

ME: Thanks for thinking of me.

MARK: They’re all on one big file. There’s even a shot of a bunny penis.

ME: How big is it?

MARK: It’s hard to tell. The bunny was pretty far away.

ME: No, I mean how big is the FILE?


* Riff RFTA

* I’ve decided to sell ad space in my personal journals, my answering machine and my dreams.

* Swath of progress.

* Heard on a TV commercial: “New Platinum Secret – the strongest deodorant you can buy without a prescription.” Is there really such a thing as prescription deodorant? Does everyone know this but me?

* There are things in the Big Idea File that are just so random that they make no sense even to me. But it’ll take more than that to keep me from including them. Example 1: “I don’t need to be able to feel my feet in order to have a good time.”

* When Hunter Thompson does it – whiskey, gambling, insanity – it’s art.

When my father does it, it’s cause for therapy. Repeat your stories. A quiz. 70%

* Flinstones crack.

* Caveat Emptorium.

* Random Entry, Example 2: “Nannie’s pudding cups.”

* Only note I made the last time I visited my parents: “If stucco was a virus, this place would be quarantined.”

* Random Entry, Example 3: “Scooby Dubious.”

* Random Entry, Examples 4-10: “Hand jobs from holy men,” “Therapissed,” “Wyle E. Peyote,” “Menth Lab,” “Tao Cahol,” “Phi Cappa Nigga,” “Asswholeistic

* Double Negative Jenkins – He sho’ ain’t not no blues legend.

* Stop and smoke the flowers.

* Imagine how different life will be when the newly developed Super Electron Microscope reveals that viruses, when seen real close up, look like kittens.

* Random Entry, Examples 11-16: “Pizzen,” “Catbocks,” “Involuntary Suicide,” “OB-GYN and Tonic,” “Crucial Fiction,” “Turtle Necrophilia.”

* I am getting nowhere fast. Yet here I am. How can this be, when I would be the first to tell you that nowhere is where I am destined for, yet I seem to be bearing down on somewhere. Am I holding this map wrong?

* Psilosybinsolicitor.

* Something my grandfather used to say that, despite hearing it hundreds of thousands of times, I still felt the need to write down: “Well, like the peanut vendor said, ‘I don’t want to set the world on fire, I just want to keep my nuts warm.'”

[Barry Smith’s column runs in The Aspen Times on Monday and Thursday. His e-mail address is, and his very own Web page is at]

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