Lisa made the mistake of asking why.
Why, she asked me the other day, does gray hair make men distinguished - handsome, even - but women do everything they can to cover it up because it just makes them look old?
''Why ask me?'' I asked.
But I knew why - it's because I'm loaded with gray hair. But it has neither made me distinguished nor handsome. Why?
I've seen women who give freedom to the gray. Most of the time, it looks good to me. It adds character, honesty and comfort.
So why squirt all those stinky, eye-searing chemicals atop their heads to de-gray themselves?
I found my Cousin Dweezil also in a contemplative mood, trying to get wise off her own whys.
''I have a bone to pick with the medical community - and, possibly, my mother,'' she said.
''When I was young and my mother made cookies, I wasn't allowed to eat the raw cookie dough. I was given all kinds of reasons from 'It will give you a stomach ache' to 'There're raw eggs in it, and you could get salmonella poisoning.' ... 'Eating sweets before breakfast will give you worms.'
''So if any of that was true, why is it OK to eat cookie dough in ice cream, in yogurt, and now in Pop Tarts?''
Why ask why? Just gobble the cookie dough.
By the way, why was Mom cooking worms into the sweets her family would eat after breakfast?
Remember when we were kids and ate the occasional worm or mud pies made from ingredients right out of the driveway and garden hose we didn't die. The worms didn't live, and we went on to share the same water bottle - a half-gallon glass jar filled from the tap - with 10 or 12 of our friends and didn't get sick.
Why? Don't bother me. Go ask your mother.
Why when I swallowed a seed, did Cleve, the big kid, insist that I was doomed to have a watermelon grow inside my belly?
Maybe it did. Is this why I need a bigger belt?
Why did our parents let us grow up in a world in which aspirin bottles didn't have childproof caps, there were no locks on any of the cabinets, we stood up in the back seat of the car to watch Dad drive (there were no seat belts), and when the ol' pickup lumbered into town, a bunch of us farm kids piled into the open bed to jump around at 55 - or maybe 70 - mph?
Why did we survive this blatant negligence?
I used to ride my bicycle all day long protected by nothing more than my ratty, red International Harvester ball cap. By my teens, bicycle safety gear was invented - an orange flag atop a 12-foot-tall flexible pole.
But helmets? Why?
Did you ever meet anyone who poked his eyes out running with scissors? Then why did our moms always tell us that?
And why did they always clean our faces by licking their thumbs and giving us spit baths? Did the women who always sent us back into the bathroom to wash our hands know nothing about hygiene themselves?
Why when I need to repair something is there always one bolt that won't come off? Why is the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle always missing? Why do people put empty ice trays back in the freezer unfilled?
I asked my dad why.
''Because I said so.''
----- Tell Cole why at firstname.lastname@example.org