There was the time I asked in this space, “What is the purpose of throw pillows?” 

And what about the time I discovered that golf courses change the location of the holes periodically? I did not know that.

Then there was the time in ’08 when I tried to understand why my place setting in a fancy restaurant might have a charger. No, it wasn’t a nod to the NFL team or the popular Dodge sedan. It’s the large plate that lies under one’s dinner plate; I still don’t get it.

Recently, I’ve added more items to my “I don’t get this” and my “I never knew” lists.

For example, I wondered why it is that the salad fork is shorter than the dinner fork. Believe me, I searched and searched, and I still don’t get it. I learned that “a salad fork will usually have four tines, with the outer one on the left-hand side being wider and thicker to facilitate cutting,” according to There was no mention of why it’s shorter, however. One person commented, “It’s shorter so that you’ll know at a glance where it belongs in a place setting.”

Last fall, as the football season was in full swing, it occurred to me that I’d never noticed that the NFL doesn’t have white stripes on its footballs as college football does. According to, in the mid-1920s, all footballs had white stripes. But in 1941, the NFL “switched the color of the ball to white with black stripes for visibility during night games,” SportsRec reports. Once stadium lighting improved, though, seeing the football was less and less a problem. In the end, “the NFL chose to use the stripe-less ball to distinguish itself from the business of NCAA football.”

Speaking of football, I have to ask, “Why would any team have white pants?” I think I speak for all moms who cringe when a player slides across the gridiron. Believe me, removing those stains is no easy task.

One of my most eye-opening “I never knew” moments happened when I was a teen. One would think that by that time, I would have picked up on the fact that ballerinas don’t really dance on their toes. They actually have blocks in the toes of those slippers! This was a revelation and no less a feat.

My recent list of “Why do they do that” begins with ripped jeans. I truly can’t figure this one out. In high school, I remember carefully fraying the hem of my Levis. But after that, I would stop wearing any pants if the hem began to unravel. Is this another case of “they’re going to rip anyway; why not make them a fashion statement?”

Or what is the point of having glass shower doors? Sure, they look cool and are quite the fad, but how on earth does one keep them clean? That sounds like far too much work for me.

Finally, in Maryn Liles’ story of April 17, 2022, she collected a list of 110 Weird Facts; No. 76 caught my eye. Evidently, humans can’t walk in a straight line without a visual point. When blindfolded, we will gradually walk in a circle.

Now that one speaks volumes.

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