Kevin Brennan: The Non Sequitur Project

A typical housefly lives about twenty-eight days. A month if it’s lucky. And at night, flies shelter under blades of grass or on tree trunks until it’s light enough for them to see in the morning.



Apparently ancient Romans used urine in their dental hygiene. Specifically to whiten their teeth. Some merchants even paid a urine tax to be able to use publicly collected urine in various products. Animal urine was just as good as human to achieve that brighter smile.


It seems like it’s always a national “something” day. Today, for example, is National Trail Mix Day.



Psychologists have concluded that intentional distraction is a good therapy for people suffering from PTSD and similar emotional conditions. You can try anything from drawing a picture to counting backward from a large number, such as one thousand two hundred fourteen.



You can still travel parts of the old El Camino Real in California, using modern roads and
highways like U.S. Route 101, Whittier Boulevard, and State Route 37.


Somehow apple farmers systematically bred the flavor out of Red Delicious apples, which used to taste substantially better than they do today. The farmers thought that the best-looking apples would be more appealing, so they bred for appearance rather than taste.



Eating too much sugar to make yourself feel better can wind up causing mood disorders and even depression. People who turn to chocolate to self-medicate don’t know what they’re getting themselves into.



It’s shocking that something like 600,000 people are reported missing in the United States every year. That sounds like a lot, but for whatever reason, almost a million went missing in 1997, the same year Lady Diana died in a car crash in Paris and thirty-nine people in the Heaven’s Gate cult committed mass suicide because a certain comet had returned.



Exercise is supposed to increase production of endorphins, which give you a sense of well-being and are almost like morphine in the effect they have on the body. But there are also something like 8.9 million exercise-related injuries reported each year, and being injured can probably cause stress and depression because of pain, expense, and not being able to do what you’re used to doing.



I just can’t stop thinking about him …



An old woman on her deathbed claimed to have killed her husband a long time ago and managed to pack his body into a freezer the couple had in the basement. Authorities checked it out after she died, and sure enough there in the freezer was the corpse, wrapped almost lovingly in a hand-made quilt, which the woman’s daughter claimed to have been looking for ever since Daddy disappeared. Daddy had been poisoned.



There are nearly fifty thousand suicides in the U.S. each year.



I keep seeing his face in the last picture I have of him. He’s sitting in Mom’s recliner looking at the camera like he already knows what’s going to happen. You can’t see his eyes because of the glare on his glasses.



It looks like more than thirty-six million people in America live alone …



Opioids first became “popular” in the U.S. when the drug manufacturers promised that patients wouldn’t be getting addicted to them. People wanted them because they were depressed and in pain and didn’t think drinking too much was good for them. And they didn’t necessarily want to, or couldn’t, exercise for those endorphins, and they weren’t especially good at distracting themselves. It turned out that the drug manufacturers were lying.



Thinking too much about negative things can affect one’s sleep and general well-being. Intentional distraction can help. You can try anything from drawing a picture to counting backward from a large number, such as one thousand two hundred fourteen.



Sometimes it helps just to watch random videos on YouTube on your laptop in bed in the dark so you can keep your mind from going down that hole again as you try to get to sleep. There’s nothing better for the soul than baby goats.



There were more than seventy thousand opioid overdose deaths that year.



They found him in bed. Several days after it happened, since he lived alone and wasn’t working. Nobody knew to worry about him. The cops said you don’t want to go up there.



The coroner ultimately decided it was accidental and not a suicide, though it could have been a suicide. He was depressed and couldn’t find a way out of it without the pills. The pills put him in a place where he didn’t think so much about his life, which was, we all agreed, terribly depressing. It certainly could have been suicide.



There was no note.



Sadness is bearable till it’s not.



A man in Toronto was rehabbing his house and found a packet of letters inside one of the walls. The letters were from a Canadian soldier in France during World War I, sent to his best girl. The man has no idea how or why the letters wound up inside the walls of his house, but he’s doing what he can to find the girl’s descendants so he can give them the letters. The last postmark date on the letters is from 1917, which, the man reluctantly admits, doesn’t bode too well for the soldier’s fate over there.



We scattered his ashes in a creek he loved to fish in. Each of us scattered a handful or two till he was gone, but now we’re not able to find the spot where we did it because a flood last year changed the creekbanks so much it all looks different now.



Intentional distraction can help. You can try anything from drawing a picture to counting backward from a large number, such as one thousand two hundred fourteen.



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