Hay: A scratch you have to itch

I’ve been accused of being just a tad inquisitive. OK, so I admit, I’m certifiably, pathologically, curious. About just about everything. For example, if I am watching a baseball game on TV, I suddenly have to know what first base is made out of, and how much it weighs. And where baseball bases are made. See what I mean?

And now that encyclopedia sales people don’t come to the door anymore, I now instantly satiate my curiosity by clicking a couple of times, saying the magic words “Bill Gates” and anything my tiny brain questions is revealed on the world wide interweb!

Which is always 100 per cent true at least 10 to 15 per cent of the time.

I’m the kind of person who gets a new prescription from my anonymous doctor (Dr. Mah) and before even filling it I have to carefully scrutinize, study, and extensively research every single blessed nuance of said medicine. Especially the details about side effects that usually state that you could get a headache, stomach ache, rash, confusion, constipation or diarrhea or both, blurred vision, itchy eyeballs, vertigo, hair loss, and that you could have permanently brittle toenails and your ears might fall off. Then I always ignore all that and have at it.

And speaking of vitamins, I wonder what the “I.U.” means on those bottles. Don’t they mean “I.O.U.? Certainly not “I.U.D.”, I don’t think. Curious, isn’t it.

When I go for frequent walks I often find myself thinking about what makes the sky blue and why the grass is green, and why the grass on my lawn is more, say, yellow and sad than green. I’m pretty sure that last part has something to do with fertilizer or possibly something called “quack grass”. And then I’m curious about why it’s named “quack grass” and whether it has something to do with ducks.

At night, during TV time, I like to make popcorn – it’s one of my minor addictions (the eating not the popping part). While it’s popping happily away I never fail to ask myself how come if you heat corn on the cob the kernels don’t explode right off of there like some sort of pinwheel machine gun vegetable. (Because that would be awesome!) And then I wonder if corn is actually a vegetable.

And recently I got really curious about how police car lights flash so many different colors now instead of the one red “cherry” on the top of the old black and white police cars, and then I wondered why they were flashing so close behind me. A short while later, I was pondering just exactly how those police radar guns work.

And just now, in the middle of that last sentence I got really curious about curiosity. So I just looked it up. And guess what? I found out that really curious people are smart and good looking, and also they like to fib. (Kidding.) But I didn’t make up the study from the University of California that found that “a hunger for knowledge is not always an agreeable experience… It’s like an itch that you have to scratch.”

That’s so true. I wonder if my anonymous Dr. Mah has a prescription for that.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer writer and filmmaker.

Just Posted

Poll: Advocate readers support a safe-injection site at Turning Point

Some residents don’t want to see a safe injection site in Red Deer

Motorist dies near Ponoka after loose tire collides with vehicle

Police believe a semi-trailer wheel may have struck oncoming vehicle

Red Deer police seize rifles and shotguns from storage locker

A man and a woman facing nearly 200 charges after 29 firearms seized last month

Public urged to call Red Deer police

Even reports minor crimes help police analysts create a picture

Man seriously injured in collision near Caroline

A car collided with a logging truck on Monday morning just west of Caroline

Red Deer police seize rifles and shotguns from storage locker

A man and a woman facing nearly 200 charges after 29 firearms seized last month

Red Deer needs to find a solution to syringe debris: city manager

City will consider the problem during the 2018 operating budget talks

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer Dec. 10

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

VIDEO: B.C. to end geographic area rent increases, close fixed-term lease loopholes

Both clauses allowed landlords to raise rents above the max annual allowable rent increase

UPDATE: Train hits hydro pole, causes outage near Deltaport

No injuries reported but traffic in and out of Deltaport is blocked

A Red Deer daycare coordinator wins provincial award of excellence

Nicole Morrell is a coordinator at Johnstone Daycare

Holiday shopping season picking up in Red Deer

With 18 shopping days left until Christmas, Red Deer businesses are cautiously… Continue reading

Gord Bamford Foundation adds more beneficiaries

The Gord Bamford Foundation has added more names of charities that will… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month