I was typing this column when I thought: Wouldn't it be cool if I could just "think" the words and they automatically appear on the screen!

The stuff of sci-fi novels? Perhaps, but think about it. If such mindwriting technology existed, I could write stories, lay out pages, answer emails, crop and size photographs, search the Internet andndash; all with my mind!

It would be the end of typos and carpal tunnel syndrome. And, with my hands free, I could mentally write non-stop while simultaneously drinking and eating, doing needlepoint, playing drums, or thumb wrestling a co-worker.

Cool! Right?

But as with most of my brilliant ideas, they become less so the more I think about them.

For example, how would such technology determine which of the gazillion thoughts racing through my mind at any given time to act upon?

I can see it now. I'm mentally writing a story about last night's city council meeting:

"The City Council this week unanimously voted to Hey! that girl is kind of cute."

No, I don't think readers would like that andndash; nor would my wife.


Is it just me or do clothes on the department store mannequins always look better on them than on real people?

The other day I spotted a men's shirt on a mannequin and thought it would look great on me, but when I exited the changing room the store attendant took one look at me and ran screaming across the store. I think she made it the hardware section, no doubt trying to find something sharp to gouge her eyeball out.

I took one look in the mirror and ran screaming across the store, too.

The shirt looked nothing on me like it did on the mannequin. What gives? I decided to peek under a mannequin's shirt. Yep. He's got six-pack abs ... and flawless skin. I wanted to marry him!

Maybe it's not the mannequin, but the specific shirt he is wearing. So, instead of grabbing a matching shirt off the rack, I grab the one on the mannequin.

Have you ever walked into a department and found all the male mannequins shirtless? Yep, that was me.

Fred Meyer has banned me for life.

Good thing Bi-Mart just opened.

In the old days, when I was a child, most mannequins had moveable parts. They provided hours of entertainment while mom shopped at Sears. I could bend and move the mannequins into all types of poses. Yep, I'm banned from Sears, too.

While we're on the subject, what's with the no arms or legs on some mannequins? It's freaky. I know it's a tough economy and businesses are cutting back where they can, but does hacking the arms and legs off mannequins really save that much?

Maybe they're melting the part down and reshaping them into new mannequins? Now that's gruesome and socially unacceptable. There should be some sort of "Save the Mannequins" group out there stopping all the carnage!

And what do they do with the leftover arms and legs anyway? Are there piles of plastic appendages laying in the dark, dusty back rooms of store everywhere?

You know, maybe being banned from department stores is a good thing.