Studying real problems… like a failing beauty potion


Rather than launching telescopes into outer space, columnist Kymberly Seabolt wonders why we don’t use that money, and intelligence, for the good of the people instead.

“A bizarre, torridly hot planet with clouds and raindrops made of iron was discovered by astronomers using a new technique designed to search for Earth-like planets in far-off solar systems.”

Associated Press, Jan. 6

Yap, yap, yap. And might I add – yawn.

Since all we seem to do is bicker and battle on the planet we have now, I dare say we could really be trusted with an entirely new one. Even with the terrifically enticing promise of iron raindrops and “torrid” heat.

Sure, the air conditioner and tarp trades are all ramped up, but the rest of us, why bother?

“Tang”led priorities. Honestly, would NASA just have a darned garage sale, unload the warehouse full of “Tang” they stockpiled for the space program in the ’60s and get over it already?

Enough with trying to foist science on a populace far more interested in personal space than deep space. We are a society that balks at traveling all the way to the television to change the channel.

It’s probably fair to say that far-off solar systems are completely out of our league.

Granted, this quest to send fuzzy telescopes into space to beam back photographs of planets no one gives a fig about anyway serves to give overzealous science majors some comfort in the delusion that they are doing something with their lives.

It is time, however that we stop enabling them.

The real news is this: Lost planet equals big bore.

I propose we redirect the awesome powers of eggheadedness for the good of the people. Mainly me.

Promise. How about a study of why beauty potions promising to deliver amazing results from thinner thighs to shiny tresses (full of “body and bounce” I might add) never do?

Judging from the array of products in my bathroom I should obviously be a shapely size four with waist length Lady Godiva hair even as we speak.

And yet curiously, I’m not.

Where, pray tell, is a team of scientists working to figure out why, despite hundreds spent in beauty potions, I’m still me?

Research claims. A second study might be conducted on why insurance companies are wholly unable to provide the one service they have demonstrated a remarkable ability to collect payment for. Namely providing insurance coverage.

I know, I know, it’s a tough one and the mystery surely won’t be solved overnight.

And we can’t underestimate their commitment to employing people who are well trained to say “our computers are down.”

Yet the first scientist to crack the precise insurance code that gets your claim fully covered and paid in full the first time, before you ever have to wait on “hold” for 46 minutes and insist that yes indeed your two broken legs and fractured spleen were a true emergency and you couldn’t have waited until the next business day for an “in-plan provider” to refer you to the nearest free clinic – this pioneer will win the Nobel Prize.

A much needed communications study would reveal why dogs, children and husbands can hear the stealthy crinkle of a potato chip bag opening from three rooms away but cannot hear a female voice spoken directly toward them, mere inches from their ears.

Scientific drive. Finally, in the interest of the environment, any study of fuel conservation must center on how my husband has been able to drive around on a thimbleful of gasoline for years.

It doesn’t matter where or when, if I need to drive his truck it is out of gas. Every single time!

How is it possible that a vehicle that holds something like 40 gallons of fuel has never, in a decade, been on anything but empty when I needed to drive it?

So many options, so little time. None of them involving parched planets that no one would want to visit even on free torrid-heat-T-shirt-with-every-admission day.

Although, should anyone ever get up an exploratory rocket ride to the land of the iron rain, I say the first seat honors should go to the scientists currently sucking up our tax dollars to bring us such “exciting” discoveries in the first place.

And just to show our commitment to their work, we’ll throw in all the “Tang” they could want for free.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt is currently exploring the black hole that is her sock drawer. She welcomes reader comment c/o or P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.)


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.