D. None of the above

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Is the McDonald’s commercial bothering anyone else? I get it. The Golden Arches is serving breakfast all day long. Something about that radio advertisement is irritating, especially after I’ve heard it for the 20th time in a day.

In honor of that commercial, I thought I’d share a list of the trivial things I’m thankful for. Yes, I know there are many real things to appreciate, but, for now, I choose to focus on the mundane.

I’m thankful I’m not sitting next to someone telling me why he’s so angry at his ex-wife. Divorce is tough and coordinating activities for kids is challenging — even for parents who are happily married — but, dude, I don’t need to hear every twist and turn in your agonizing morning. I know, that sounds terrible and unsympathetic, but we don’t have to share everything with everyone.

I’m thankful that some games get canceled because of rain or snow. I know it’s our fault that we put our kids in all these sports and that some time down the road, I’ll have to get back on the road for a makeup game. But, in the moment, I can’t help enjoying the unexpected freedom to leave the keys and my chauffeur hat where they are.

I’m trivially thankful I’m not much taller. If I were much taller, I might have to duck when I entered a room or struggle to find a place to hide when someone who is about to tell me all the things about his ex-wife that bother him. Who am I kidding, right? It’d be cool to be taller and be able to dunk a basketball or even have a better view of people coming down a crowded hallway.

I’m thankful I’m not waiting behind a car that’s in the left lane and doesn’t have a blinker on. I’m not sitting at a turn when, just as the light turns green, the guy puts on his blinker, forcing me to wait while the cars in the right gleefully pass me without giving an inch to allow me to sneak into the other line. Hooray! Let’s hear it for those last minute blinker people, who give me a chance to appreciate the same traffic light another time through the green-yellow- red cycle. You never know: maybe the light will go from yellow to green this time and I will be the first one to witness it. And, maybe the traffic light will send me a Morse code signal with the winning lottery number.

I’m thankful I’m not in middle school. If you really need me to explain this one, you were probably sickeningly popular during those awful transition years and you need another rite of passage time in your life, just so you can understand the rest of us.

I’m thankful someone isn’t trying to tell me, right now, what should outrage me. I recognize that people get outraged about real and important things, like how politicians focus too much on one thing and not the thing that matters most to them in the moment. But, hey, just because I remain calm while other people are loudly outraged doesn’t mean I deserve that disgustedly frustrated look I get when I shrug in the face of your fury.

I’m thankful some of the dialogue in movies out right now is so bad that it’s added an unintended comic dimension while giving me the chance to appreciate the difference between quality entertainment and words to connect computer animated excitement. The Mockingjay Part 2 film offers several such gems. In one scene, Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutchinson, and Gale Hawthorne, played by Liam Hemsworth, discuss their competing interest for Katniss Everdeen, acted with considerable seriousness by Jennifer Lawrence. They conclude that they’re not sure who Katniss will choose, but it probably doesn’t matter much because all three of them are unlikely to survive anyway. Oh yes, the sweet agony of the love triangle in the middle of a life or death struggle.

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Pssst! Hey, do you want to know a secret? I’ve got a great one. It’s called … Flodgy Dodgy. Shhh! Don’t say it too loudly yet. I’m not supposed to tell anyone, but you’re a good friend. Well, no, I don’t technically know you yet, but you look like you could be a good friend. All friends start out as strangers, right?

Anyway, what is Flodgy Dodgy? It’s a made-for-TV product. Through viral marketing, we plan to put this product front and center, sharing it with the people who watch football every Sunday and with those addicted to highbrow features.

Flodgy Dodgy makes you feel good. It’s this incredible combination of things from column A, things from column B and things from column C. Each of these columns was based on years of scientific research. Well, it wasn’t actually conducted by scientists. We used these focus groups but, hey, what’s the difference? We don’t need initials. We pulled some of them directly off the Internet, so it has to be true.

We have an app, too. You can put it on your iPhone or your Samsung or whatever you’re supposed to silence before watching a movie.

So, before I get to the product, I want to let you know that the packaging of Flodgy Dodgy is not only recyclable, it’s wearable. You can take the packaging, peel off the simple sticker and, voilà, you have stickers you can put all over your notebooks and your office door. You can even put them over some of the holes in your fashionably torn jeans.

Can’t you see it? Popular kids in middle school sit down at their desks, put down their binders and there, in neon colors so bright people will practically need sunglasses to look at them, will be the name Flodgy Dodgy. When the teacher comes over and asks what it is, the kids can explain that it’s saving the environment because it doesn’t produce any waste. Well, technically, it does produce some waste, because the part you peel comes off in your hands and then you have to throw it out somewhere, but that’s not nearly as bad as the side effects from all those drugs advertised on TV.

But, wait, I haven’t gotten to the best part and, for this, we have Donald Trump to thank. He’s such an inspiration. You see, this guy doesn’t seem willing to get along with anyone in either party and he’s so far from the common man that he might as well be living on Mount Olympus, but, hey, that doesn’t matter. He’s on TV and he plays well on the small screen. He could be the first made-for-TV president who has the ability to say what we’re thinking. If we have no thoughts, he would convince us what we should be thinking because he’s The Man.

I digress. Our idea — and you’ll love this — is that we’re starting a Flodgy Dodgy network. We’re going to go out with cameras and find the people with the most Flodgy Dodgy stickers all over them and we’re going to give them 10 seconds to do a Flodgy Dodgy dance.

That’s right, TV. Ahhh! Can’t you picture it? And we’re going to let people link through the TV to all their social networks, so their friends and their jealous enemies will be able to watch them do their thing in full Flodgy Dodgy outfits.

Oh, sorry, my time’s up. I didn’t get to the product itself, but who cares? It’s not about the stuff inside, it’s about everything else and, when it comes to everything else, Flodgy Dodgy is No. 1. Now, remember, we don’t want you to tell anyone but your 20 or 50 best friends. OK?

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Now that the pumpkins are disappearing, I can get ready for the best holiday ever. It’s only about 14 weeks before everyone comes for Thanksgiving. Confused? I’m the dog and you have to multiply any time unit by seven.

Keep that in mind when it looks like I need to relieve myself. That “one more minute and I’ll take you out” line becomes especially painful when your 10 minutes is more than an hour of leaning against the wall, desperately trying not to be a “bad doggie” by relieving on the carpet.

What do I love about Thanksgiving? Let’s start with the food. There’s always someone — a vegetarian, a vegan or a messy kid — who wants to remove turkey from their plate without offending the host.

With the guests coming into an unfamiliar kitchen, I get plenty of scraps that don’t make it into the garbage. When these people turn their heads quickly to look at a touchdown, they miss the garbage can with the food they’re shoveling off their plate. Once in a while, I push the garbage can an inch or two to the left or right when no one is looking.

The weather is perfect for me. I walk around all summer wearing this heavy coat with my tongue hanging down by the floor, and waiting for the leaves to change. I can’t wait to get outside and roll around on the ground, scratching my back and breathing in the cool air.

Besides the food, my favorite times are when there’s a big fight. I know these people don’t come together to argue, but they can’t help it. They’ve got old wounds, they don’t get along all the time and their kids have huge differences. People go from barking at each other, to walking away, to barking and stomping, to whimpering. I can relate to all of that.

It doesn’t happen every year, especially now that everyone holds their electronics and ignores people in the room. Still, there’s the potential for howling. Now, while I wouldn’t suggest arguing, it can and does have its benefits for me. Every time someone gets upset enough, he or she grabs the leash and takes me for an incredibly long walk. That’s when they talk to me while I’m out there doing my usual sniffing for signs of other dogs on my pathway.

This one time I was sure I smelled a mixture of a Great Dane and a greyhound. That must have been one huge dog. I’ve had dreams about meeting that dog and challenging him to a race. I know I’m just a mutt, but I get big ideas and maybe the holidays will bring more than another bone and a pat on the head this year.

Anyway, people sometimes get on their knees and pet me while they look deep into my eyes. I look back at them and see why humans and dogs first became friends. Their eyes look so doglike sometimes, it’s incredible. And the cool thing is, if the light is right, I can see a small dog in the black part of their eyes. I keep wondering when I’ll meet that dog or if, maybe, deep down inside those eyes there’s a dog waiting to come out.

Bottom line? Don’t ask too much of me now. I’m saving my appetite for the big weekend and for all the exercise and heart-to-heart talks.


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November movies are a reminder of what the medium of film can be. My wife and I recently saw “The Martian” and “Bridge of Spies.”

These two new films offer viewers a chance to think, instead of just reacting to exploding robots or people with sudden super powers.

“The Martian,” starring Matt Damon, is about how astronaut Mark Watney, who is stuck on Mars, tries to communicate with people worlds away and to survive until a rescue mission can return for him. Oh, come on, people if you’ve seen even one preview, you know that much. Anyway, Damon doesn’t spend the entire movie flexing his muscles, shooting guns and running away from would-be assassins — he reserves those actions for the series of Bourne films. He figures out how to use the limited resources on Mars to survive. While it’s difficult to blend the possibilities of real science with an explanation of what he’s doing to an audience that might not follow everything, the film does an excellent job keeping up the suspense while giving us a Martian MacGyver.

Damon’s portrayal, and the reaction of his body to an extended stay alone on Mars, is compelling. At one point, he describes how he has to ration his food, going from eating three meals a day to eating one meal every three days. By flipping back and forth from Earth to an Ares capsule to Mars, the movie keeps the action, suspense and drama going without turning the movie into a one-man show. The scenes with the staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were especially satisfying, offering a look at some of the ways the hardworking analysts, engineers and scientists on Earth make it possible for humans — and satellites — to perform extraordinary tasks.

The scene shifts from the work Watney is doing on Mars to the tireless efforts of the JPL staff make it clear how much science like this is a team effort. As an aside, several scientists on Long Island have worked at a range of NASA facilities, developing technology for use on Mars rovers or working to understand the effects of extended exposure to radiation on the human body.

Meanwhile back in the late 1950s in “Bridge of Spies,” Brooklyn lawyer Jim Donovan, played by Tom Hanks, is assigned the unenviable task of defending Russian spy Rudolf Abel. The film captures the clash of duty to our country that surged through the ranks of attorneys, police officers and judges, with a duty to our Constitution which had — and often still has — a much more challenging set of rules to follow.

Donovan takes risks by defending Abel. The movie doesn’t address what secrets Abel might have been revealing, and it doesn’t need to. What it does offer, however, is a compassionate look at a soldier in a war for information during a period of heightened tension between two countries capable of destroying the world.

Portraying Abel, Mark Rylance, a stage actor who was won three Tony Awards, steals the movie. His subtle and nuanced portrayal of Abel as a prisoner of war is captivating. The audience can see how Donovan might have made the transition from doing his duty and ensuring a legal defense for this spy to feeling a greater responsibility for a man who was a devoted soldier, albeit in a war against his own country.

The characters, performances and situations in “The Martian” and “Bridge of Spies” stay with the viewers well after walking out of the theaters. Too bad Oscar voting season doesn’t come more often in a year.

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The first few moments
after we open our eyes, our minds process everything around us. Wait, what day is it? Hmm, did we dry clean the right suit for today? Do we really have to do that presentation? Could it possibly have snowed and might we have a day when we can relax at home?

Somewhere in those moments when we put the pieces of our lives and minds together, we might take stock of how we feel about the coming day and its challenges. Are we going to puff out chests, knowing that we’re going to ace that test, that we’re going to give the perfect presentation or that we’re going to do so well in that job interview that the company will not only offer us a position but will give us a higher salary than they had intended.

Where do we find the zen, strength and confidence to succeed, while having something to offer? And why, like a reputation, does it so often seem so fragile?

Let’s take a look at children. They are smaller versions of us — up until high school — and some of the thoughts, emotions and reactions to experiences that they have are more visible. They haven’t learned how to cover so much of themselves up.

When they play their musical instruments, for example, we can tell that they’ve played the wrong note by the color of their faces and by the way they slump their shoulders when they stand with the group for a final applause. We can watch them pull their hats low over their eyes when they throw a ball into right field from shortstop or when they shake their heads and roll their eyes at their misfires.

Even surrounded by a large collection of friends and family, our children can so readily believe the worst about themselves. In a way, I suppose, believing that we can and should be better could be motivational. We’re not where we want to be, we’re not who we want to be, and we have to figure out how to get from the now of point A to the goal of point B.

It’s also important for us to find some humility. If we walked around town, the house or school acting as if we were the preordained future leader of the free world, we would be insufferable, irritating and ridiculous.

Still, when it comes to that balancing act, we seem so much more likely to look down on ourselves, our efforts and our achievements. No matter how much our parents or friends tell us we’re fantastic and that we contributed something extraordinary, we are still ready to home in on the imperfections and wonder whether we’ll ever live up to our own expectations.

We read inspirational books, follow the examples of people who have achieved what we’d like to do and surround ourselves, sometimes, with sayings like, “Today is the start of something incredible.” Along the way, however, someone nudges us off the tracks and we hope that tomorrow might be the real start of something spectacular.

Maybe there are people who have become so effective at becoming “nattering nabobs of negativity,” to borrow from former Vice President Spiro Agnew, that we are ready to believe them. It’s easier, after all, to knock someone off a mountain than it is to climb one yourself.

Maybe, in addition to all the diet plans to help us avoid giving in to our cravings for the sugar our country produces and uses to celebrate so many occasions, what we need is a new industry: Mojo Inc.

This could allow us to succeed in a humble way, perhaps, while refueling us with positive energy.

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Thanks for seeing me on such short notice, Doc. I’ve got a problem and it just can’t wait. Oh, yes, thanks for noticing. I am wearing my Yankees sweatshirt again. I was worried that it was bringing the Yankees bad luck all those games, but then I realized my sweatshirt was the least of their worries.

You see, I’m developing … do you mind if I whisper here …. Mets envy.

Yes, shush, don’t write it down. I don’t want that in my files. I am a proud Yankees fan and I can quote stats and bring out iconic baseball names. But the big problem is that the Mets are not only relevant, they’re great.

No, they’re not Tony the Tiger great. Geez, Doc. Do you even watch baseball? It’s America’s pastime, you know? It might help you to understand people like me if you followed sports.

Anyway, so the Mets have always been like the baseball younger brother in this area. They have a great song that I learned growing up; it’s got words, while the Yankee song doesn’t.

No, stop, don’t worry about the stupid song. Anyway, so, you have these Mets and they’re stacked with great pitchers. And, for the most part, they didn’t have to race out and buy them from somewhere else. They got this kid Noah Syndergaard, they call him Thor, who throws around 100 miles per hour. They traded for him from the Toronto Blue Jays, along with their catcher Travis d’Arnaud in exchange for R.A. Dickey. Man, that trade certainly turned out well for the Mets.

And then they have Daniel Murphy. He’s their second baseman and he’s in the last year of his contract and he’s making even some of the best pitchers in baseball look like they’re throwing batting practice. How does someone get to be so good at just the right moment? Don’t do that thing where you answer a question with a question. I hate that. OK, I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact that he’s in the last year of his contract and he’s playing for a big payday.

I’ve wondered whether a manager could create an entire team of talented players who are good, but not spectacularly expensive, who are playing for the next big contract. Yes, I know, that’s the American way. Doc, stop interrupting … it’s more like an American nightmare.

Anyway, so while Murphy is crushing balls over the fence and stealing bases even when the pitcher isn’t throwing the ball, his teammates are doing so many little things right, too. What do I mean? Well, after Murphy took third base that time, the next guy up was d’Arnaud. He came up with one out and a runner on third. Now, if it were the Yankees this year, that runner would have been stranded there, marooned like he was on Gilligan’s island. What does the Mets catcher do? Well, of course, he hits a sacrifice fly and drives in a huge run. He didn’t even look like he was trying to hit a home run. That’s just not in the Yankees playbook.

Why can’t my team do that? Stop nodding your head. I know it’s dark at Yankee Stadium at this time of year and I know Yankee fans are benefiting from all the extra time on our hands. But, you see Doc, the Mets aren’t just good now. They look like they could be good for years. And, well, the Yankees are old and stiff and breaking down.

Doc? What are you doing? Come on, seriously? You’re buying Mets tickets for next year while I’m sitting here? I thought you didn’t follow baseball. Wow, you got those seats? Hey, can you take me to a game or two? I promise not to whimper too much.

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San Francisco lures tourists from all over the country and world. It’s a magnificent city, with the crooked Lombard Street, sea lions barking and bathing at Pier 39, the trollies riding up and down the hills, the Golden Gate Bridge, Ghirardelli Square and, for me, friends and family who have moved there.

And then there’s Alcatraz. There’s something about that famous prison where Al Capone, among many others, spent difficult years of their lives, that draws people to this famous prison. Like Liberty Island and Ellis Island, Alcatraz Island has a spectacular view of its nearby city.

It also offers numerous stories about the prisoner and their routines. I’ve been to the island three times, the last one with my wife and children. One of the details that stuck with me over the years was a testimonial by a prisoner who said the December holidays were always the most difficult time of the year, not only because the inmates missed their families, but also because they could hear the voices carried over the water of women and children singing Christmas carols.

The prison also recounts some of the noteworthy escape attempts. The Battle of Alcatraz, which occurred in 1946, was a bloody two-day siege in which prisoners and guards died.

The most famous escape, however, was the 1962 flight by brothers John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris, which was recreated in the 1979 movie, “Escape from Alcatraz,” starring Clint Eastwood. The trio, who were convicted of bank robberies, made fake heads, complete with their own hair, that they left in their beds, giving them time to head to a raft constructed out of raincoats.

The official version of the events of that night suggests that the three drowned in the bay. I’ve never been convinced of that perhaps because I was influenced by the Eastwood movie and also because it seemed like an unlikely ending for three men who had so meticulously planned their escape.

This past Monday, the History Channel shared a photo from relatives who said it showed the two brothers in Brazil in 1975. The show suggests that it could be these men, who would be in their 80s today. The investigation is reportedly considered open until the escapees reach 100 years old.

Is it them? Is this another step toward solving a mystery that’s 20 years older than the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa?

There’s a part of me that would like to think it’s them and that, after that incredible planning, they started their lives again in another country, hopefully without causing harm to anyone else while keeping a low profile for all these years.

This is not the same as murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt, whose recent escape from an upstate New York prison terrified the nearby areas because they might threaten or hurt people.

Armed robbers can and should be punished, even if they are clever enough to have managed to escape from one of the most famous prisons in the world.

Their escape, however, raises compelling questions about the routes people take in their lives. If these three men were that clever, that tolerant of high risk and that prepared to outmaneuver even the most escape-proof prison, imagine what they could have done with their lives if they had decided to contribute to society?

They didn’t discover a new technology, cure cancer or make the country safer from a possible terrorist attack. What they did, however, was remarkable and dramatic, with enormous high stakes. They may have defied the odds, survived and lived for decades in Brazil. It connects the dots on a story that had blank pages filled with mystery for all these years.

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Some readers may remember those egg-shaped roly-poly toys from the 1970s called the Weebles. The slogan they used was: “Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down.”

All these years later, I get it. Adding a few pounds here and there has turned me into something closer to a Weeble, but that’s not what I mean. I get the notion of wobbling. That’s what we do.

Challenges cause us to rock back and forth as we endure losses and defeats.

But, then, much of the time, we don’t fall down. Using material that was more dense at the bottom of the egg-shaped creatures, these Weebles remained upright no matter how many times we flicked our fingers at them.

With humans, however, the mechanism includes the people around us.

I recently attended the bar mitzvah of the son of a great friend from middle school. My friend and I met when we were the same age as our sons. It’s one of the many pause-to-reflect landmarks along the road of life. I remember thinking how incredibly old I’d be in the year 2000. I also remember passing my mother’s age when she gave birth to me even before I met my wife.

Anyway, back at the bar mitzvah, my friend stood with his wife, both beaming as their son sang a text in a language none of them can speak.

These rites of passage aren’t easy. They’re not like getting up in the morning and deciding what clothing to wear at the last minute. They take months to plan, involve commitment and sometimes seem so far away that they are a distant dot on an unimaginable horizon.

And then, all of a sudden, the future is now. There we are, moving into a new role, cheering on our children or, in my case, the son of my friend.

Those years weren’t always easy. There isn’t a parenting playbook we can consult on Page 9 when a child can’t fall asleep or Page 15 when a child suddenly can’t keep any food down. Yes, of course, there are books on parenting that offer just that kind of advice, but there’s always an added curve. We also make our own playbook as we go, combining lessons each set of grandparents taught us.

One such curve hit us during the delivery of our daughter. We had taken several Lamaze classes. None of them, however, prepared us for the hours of attempting to deliver our daughter, followed by what now feels like the inevitable decision to perform a C-section.

My friend gave an emotional speech about his son, sharing the moments of triumph along with some of the unexpected tribulations. As he told the stories about those early years, I remember talking with him over the phone, hearing his voice weakened by fatigue and worry, unsure of the next steps he’d need to take to help his son grow and develop into the young man he would become.

My friend was wobbling. He, his wife and their son got through some of those early difficulties, thanks to the support of the people who were there celebrating this milestone.

These big moments are a wonderful opportunity for us to recognize the life landmarks with the people who have kept us from falling down. They could include everyone from our parents to our neighbors and friends to the teacher who saw the best in our children, even when our children’s confidence was flagging and they felt like anything but The Little Engine That Could. They are also a chance to take stock of the support networks that enable us Weebles to head to the next celebration of life.

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It’s a collision of colors, sights, sounds and ideas, of comings and goings. I know he wasn’t running for office here in the United States, but the love fest for Pope Francis was incredible. He drew enormous crowds, while discussing climate change and immigrants.

This is the time when the mean season meets the postseason. Republicans are gearing up to fight for us, but before they do, they’re fighting against each other, while they get ready to fight against Hillary Clinton, the presumptive frontrunner on the Democratic side who wants to unify a nation that’s divided over its feelings for her.

But wait, we’ve seen this Democratic show before, right? That guy with the eloquent speaking ability and the minimal experience in Illinois didn’t really have a chance to become president eight years ago, until he did and now President Obama is almost getting ready to leave his job.

Can’t you just feel the Republicans racing for position behind Donald Trump, wondering when and if there will be an opening that allows them to lead the party?

Speaking of comings and goings, Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin had dueling ideas for what to do about Syria. Ideas and rhetoric collided at the United Nations — a place Putin hadn’t addressed in 10 years.

People are angry. Well, Trump certainly is. Or, wait, is he just playing angry on TV until we can all sort it out and realize that he’s just a patriotic American with a vision for America that will keep us safe, happy, fully employed and healthy?

Then, of course, there’s the postseason, where the boys of summer have a chance to become the men of October. The Mets are loaded with young guns, who are ready to drive the Dodgers and their manager Don Mattingly out of the postseason. My beloved Yankees look like a flawed team limping their way into the wild card in desperate need, perhaps, of someone with Yogi Berra’s legendary ability to drive in runs in big situations.

And then there’s water on Mars. We’ve been hearing about it for a long time, but NASA is excited that this evidence is for real. They don’t know where it comes from, exactly, or how it got there, but they’re convinced it’s there and it’s incredibly salty. The announcement left open the possibility that it might contain some form of life. While it’s exciting, it’s also a tad anticlimactic to those hoping for signs of life with hands and a face.

The stock market doesn’t know what to make of these times: Are we OK with China? Are we worried about low gas prices? Does the Federal Reserve know something it’s not telling us? Is this a great time to buy or the right time to sell? Watching stocks is like tracking a flock of birds who seem to be heading west in the sky, only to reverse course dramatically and go east before slingshotting back and forth again and again.

Next, there’s the surprise resignation by House Speaker John Boehner, and the start of a new era on “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah.

The trees that turn color first are a sign that school really is open, that fly-by-night Halloween stores will start opening, and that pumpkin pie and mince will soon be available at favorite restaurants. By then, families scattered hither and yon will come together at Thanksgiving to reconnect, laugh and recharge their batteries.

By then, the leaves will be off the trees and the Halloween candy will be either eaten or donated. So, let’s not rush ahead, because we’ve got so many modern moments ahead.

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To reply all, or not to reply all, that is the question. But, seriously, when is replying to everyone by email necessary? I know we live in a world where we share every thought that occurs to us because we can. Distributing our thoughts electronically to as many people as possible gives new meaning to the words “publish
or perish.”

Still, something about replying all is the equivalent of spraying graffiti, with your initials on it, in my email box. I already get more than enough emails from all the stores that send me hundreds of discounts a day. With all these discounts, I feel like an idiot for paying the listed price for anything. But I digress.

I know there are times when replying all is helpful. You see that the conference room is unavailable. Sharing the news will allow everyone to be more productive through the day.

There might be a time when you need everyone on a list to know something, like not to park on a side street where the permit-parking-only signs might be hard to see.

But do all 100 of us on a long email distribution list really need to know that you, specifically, received the email? Not only do people tell us they got the message we all received, but some of them feel the need to embarrass themselves in the process.

A teacher asks all the parents in her six classes to confirm that they received her message. A reply-all message that says: “The Smiths received the email and couldn’t be more excited about the start of a new school year. Every morning, Johnny can’t wait to sit in your class,” is a surefire way to sabotage Johnny as he navigates through the middle school minefield.

Then there are the simple emails that don’t require any reply, such as an email with the address of a field or a meeting.

“Got it, Dan. We’ve been there so many times before.”

Of course you know where it is — everyone knows where it is. The directions and the address for the GPS make it possible for everyone to get there.

Seasonal greetings are not, repeat not, an opportunity to hit reply all, especially when the group includes people you’ve never met.

An email that “wishes everyone a healthy and a happy start to the new school year” is not an opportunity to echo the same, exact thoughts to strangers.

“So do we” is not an appropriate reply-all response, nor is “Ditto for us” or “Same to everyone else” or “The Dunaiefs feel the same way.” Adding emojis doesn’t make the email message more personal. It’s like doodling next to your graffiti. Cut it out, people — we’re not all 12.

I’m tempted, when these reply-all messages come through, to write something snarky, but in a distribution list that includes people I don’t know, someone will undoubtedly take it the wrong way because, let’s face it, there’s always someone ready to take offense.

Then there are the reply-all messages that seem to highlight a specialized talent or experience. Someone might, for example, be asking people to bring baked goods to a party, a meeting or a fundraiser. By indicating that you’ll bake miniature tarte tatin, crème brûlée or flourless chocolate soufflé, you seem to be bragging first and contributing to something a distant second.

It reminds me of that old joke about an 80-year-old man who goes to a priest to confess that he spent a magical evening with two 25-year-old women. The priest, in shock, asks the gentleman how long it’s been since last confession.

The man said, “Confession? I’ve never gone to confession. I’m not religious.”

The skeptical priest replied, “So why are you telling me this?”

“Are you kidding?” the man answered. “I’m telling everyone I know.”