Maybe it’s because of the uncertainty of these difficult economic times, or maybe it’s the impending birthday that will plunge me further into the twilight of my life. For whatever reason I find myself facing questions for which there seem to be no answers, questions that raise doubts about the very threads that comprise the fabric of my existence.

Permit me to share a few of these persistent uncertainties and ponder some of these imponderable questions:

How come I hate change and resist it at every turn, but always think that my life is about to change for the better?

How come customers who complain the most about the smallest things are often the worst payers?

How come people who used to be in sales are usually the hardest on people who are currently in sales? But then why are former waiters always the biggest tippers at restaurants?

How come car alarms are always going off in my neighborhood, but I have never once seen a car being stolen?

Why does the car always have to sound three or four annoying beeps every time you lock it with the remote?

How come I have never been able to park a car in my garage?

Why do we all worry about the future of the American car industry, but we all buy foreign cars?

How come you never see the guys in the fastest cars ever pulled over by the police?

At the high school awards ceremonies, how come the fastest kids on the cross country and track teams are always take the longest time to get to the stage?

Why can’t they make pencils the way they used to make them?

How come I can recycle newspapers, throw away old magazines (eventually), but I can never throw away a book, even if I never had an interest in reading it in the first place?

How come — after undergoing a procedure or an operation — everyone’s own doctor is the best doctor in the whole wide world?

And why then are we afraid we will hurt that same doctor’s feelings if we ask for a second opinion?

At the supermarket why does Tide cost so much more than a generic laundry detergent?

How come they make it impossible to figure out which bundle of paper towels — the one that costs X cents per 100 sheets or Y cents per 100 square feet — is the cheapest?

How come they sell hot dogs in packs of six or seven but hot dog rolls in packs of eight?

Why will I never pay a dollar more to get a pineapple that’s already cut up, but I will pay an arm and a leg more for a package of pre-made salad?

How come I always end up throwing some of that salad away after a week or so?

Why is it that the person in front of me in the check-out line always runs into some problem with their credit card, the cash register, a coupon redemption, or determining the sale price of the jicama they are attempting to purchase?

Why did they have to close the Pathmark on Route 1 and replace it with Whole Foods? How come the Acme in Princeton Junction has to close?

How come people who call me trying to sell me something always begin their pitches by telling me they are not trying to sell me anything?

Why does the guy soliciting funds for the Police Benevolent Association tell me that I’m not in any kind of trouble?

Why do I never believe anyone who calls to sell phone service and tells me they are from Verizon?

How come there are more telephones per capita than ever, but you almost always have to leave a message in voice mail in order to reach anyone?

How come the people who get the voice mails almost never listen to them, but instead just hit reply and then ask if anyone there was trying to reach them?

How come almost everyone of my generation has to wear glasses, at the very least for reading, but almost no one on television or in politics ever wears glasses?

Why do I always feel that a major league athlete I’m watching on television looks older than me?

Why (at least until he chose Sarah Palin as the vice presidential candidate) did no one worry too much about John McCain’s age (72), but we all figure Hillary Clinton will be too old to run in 2016 (when she will be 69)?

How come, when they dutifully ask me at the pharmacy prescription counter if I have any questions, I always say no?

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