Rob Jenkins: Random things I sometimes wonder about

Most people wonder about things like when the economy will rebound or who will win the Republican nomination or why their boss is such a tool. I wonder about those things, too -- except for the last; my boss is a credit to the human race -- but I also wonder about other things, such as ...

Does AM 750 meteorologist Kirk Mellish EVER take time off? I hear him at 6:30 in the morning, on my way to work. I hear him at 5:00 in the afternoon, on my way home. I even tuned in the other night around 11:30 just to check traffic on my way to the airport, and what did I hear but Kirk's dulcet tones.

I find his forecasts to be the most reliable around, but I don't know how he does it on zero sleep. Perhaps he's a vampire.

Another thing I wonder about: Why is it that when car manufacturers build a small, cheap car, it's never actually cheap?

Take the new Fiat, for example. It's a pretty cool-looking little car. A bit small, but still. When I first saw one, I thought to myself, "Maybe I'll consider that for my next vehicle. I like the way it looks, and as small as it is, it's bound to be cheap."

Wrong. I saw one parked in the mall the other day and stopped to check out the sticker price. Would you believe nearly $20,000? For a car that would basically fit in the back of my Chevy Tahoe?

Granted, the model I saw was probably "loaded," although how a loaded a car the size of your average microwave oven can be is hard to say. But it turns out even the base model starts at around 14 grand.

Come on, Fiat. $14,000 for a glorified Pinewood Derby racer? I can get a real car for that.

Finally, speaking of the mall, I wonder how all of those kiosks that clog the center aisle and employ teenage barkers to annoy passersby can possibly be making money.

Because I've never actually seen anyone buy anything from a kiosk. OK, my wife bought a straightening iron once. OK, two straightening irons (one for my daughter). And I once bought one of those helicopter-thingys because my son, 4 at the time, begged. It broke the next day.

But that's my point: In more than 28 years of mall shopping, my wife and I have bought exactly three items at kiosks. If you multiply that number by all the other families walking the mall, does that equal enough sales to support even one kiosk, let alone two dozen? I don't see how.

Anyway, I know what you're wondering, which is when I'm going to be done wondering. Well, I'm done. You can put the newspaper up now, or X-out of this site, before your tool of a boss wanders by.

Rob Jenkins is a local free-lance writer and college professor. Email him at rjenkinsgdp@yahoo.com.