The local Asian grocery store has "Chinese-style rice," which is grown in this country. And it has "Korean-style rice," which is grown in this country. And it has "Thai-style rice" which is grown in this country. And then there's "Japanese-style rice, which can be grown in this country and also in Japan. And it has "Malaysian-style rice" which is grown in Indonesia. What happens if you buy a small bag of each kind and mix them up. Rice is rice, right? Wrong. Rice has subtle differences depending on the length of the grain ("long" grain is short, "short" grain is shorter) and the way it tastes. Combining rices could lead to world war III. And that doesn't even take into account what's grown inViet Nam, Cambodia, Taiwan and Baltimore. Most of us don't care and don't notice a difference.
Then, there's whisky. Or whiskey. What happens when you mix Bushmill's, which comes from County Armagh in Northern Ireland and Jameson's, which comes from Ireland- Ireland. Here's a hint. It doesn't explode. The North and South of Ireland may be at sword point. But the alcohol is not. The drinks blend together as if they were one.
If you blend Pepsi and Coke (Poke-a-Cola? Polka Cola?) what happens?
Is a line dance a hora or a square dance that's come apart but can be put back together?
Some of these combinations work well, others not.
Sea planes work in the air and on the water.
But does anyone remember the car that turned into a boat? Anyone who remembers it actually see one or go to sea in one?
Lots of stuff goes together, some stuff doesn't.
You can play croquet with golf clubs, but you can't play golf with croquet mallets.
You can play tennis with ping pong paddles, but can you play ping pong with tennis racquets?
The one that many people miss: comparing apples and oranges.
Can't be done? Why not?
Both are fruit. Both are spherical. Both carry seeds. Both taste good. And their juice blends as well as Bushmill's and Jameson's -- or Pepsi and Coke or Korean rice grown in Baltimore with Chinese rice grown in Texas.
So, compare all you want.
And combine all you want.
--Doctors' offices used to be great places to catch up on last year's issues of Newsweek and Reader's Digest. But TV has replaced magazines. So now, you get to watchSanjay Gupta's Greatest Hits.
--Today's medical office is a marvel of mass production that would make Henry Ford, Leo Fender and Ray Crock green with envy. And like Ford, Fender and McDonald's, when they find a bad part, they throw it out. Too bad if it's your spleen.
--The people who check you out of the doc's office are taking slowness lessons from the chain drug stores. But there is one difference. CVS knows what to do with actual cash.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®