Sure, explosive issues dominate the front pages and are featured ad infinitum on television news shows every day. Major social upheavals amidst a global pandemic provide constant fodder for fact-gathering (and I use that term advisedly) organizations across every means of mass communication available. So, you might have just skimmed over a few other items of interest that may actually either engage your brain in a different direction, or make you scratch your head. Either way, at least maybe these informational nuggets will offer a modicum of relief from the usual.

Apparently, there’s never been a better time to invest in grass. The kind you smoke and put in brownies, that is. Not that stuff that needs repeated mowing, seeding, and watering on a regular basis. Reports are cannabis stocks have lost quite a bit of value this year after having a less than stellar 2019. I don’t know about you, but that comes as a bit of a shock to me. I mean, if all that’s happened in 2020 doesn’t make a segment of the population run to the nearest legal pot shop for escape from reality, I don’t know what will. (On a related note, it seems sales of alcoholic beverages in the U.S. have increased substantially over this time last year.)

Would-be cannabis investors, it seems, are a bit leery of putting their dollars into a commodity that still isn’t legal in most states. The bigger players in the money field also may be reluctant to have “The Mojo of Marijuana Emporium” chain of storefronts on their spreadsheets. One estimate said there are only a few billion bucks allocated to the cannabis sector by private equity and venture capital funds. A mere drop in the bucket when you consider institutional investors usually speak in terms of trillions. All of which is why this may be THE time for some to get their cash together, buy in low, and let that grass make their friends green with envy down the line.

If it’s still a little uncomfortable investing in something that could literally go up in smoke, never fear. There’s another option. Men’s makeup. Yep, we’re talking concealer, moisturizer, eyeliner, all that stuff women spend countless amounts of money on every year and wrestle with on a daily basis. It’s all now readily available to the male of the species. (Some CVS locations apparently are carrying a line or two of the products – supposedly next to the shaving cream and razors.)

Manufacturers claim they’re not just repackaging the female cosmetic merchandise and calling it “Dude Dabs” or something like that. A story is told that a founder of one such company woke up on his wedding day with a pimple that would have been an obvious distraction during the ceremony. He tried a little concealer, no one was the wiser, and the idea hit him that perhaps he wasn’t the only guy who could enhance the looks that God gave him on a regular basis.

If I had to guess, most, if not all, of the growth for the men’s makeup product segment would come from a younger crowd. Gillette and Old Spice have tried their best to get more mature men to branch out, but while aftershave colognes and lotions may have caught on, chances are eyebrow pencils and blush aren’t going to make the cut anytime soon. (If for no other reason, not many men really want to take more than about six minutes to get ready to head out the door every day.) Ladies have frequently lamented the time commitment required to “put on their face.” Why would men want to subject themselves to that? (Although, there could be some payback involved. Guys do tend to spend a lot of time waiting on women to get through in front of the mirror. Would they calmly wait for us?)

Finally, even if we all got total makeovers, we can’t go anywhere and show off our new faces. At least, we can’t go to Europe and show those folks how beautiful we Americans really are. It seems We the People have been banned by the European Union from traveling to its continent. Our sometimes-flippant approach to COVID-19 has placed us on the “Deny” list across the board. Citizens from Brazil, India, and Russia are in the same boat. But, are you ready for this? The Chinese are OK (as long as Europeans can go there).

Is that enough other news? Would you rather return to regularly scheduled programming? Well, at least now you know “the rest of the story.”

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Bill Lewis is a freelance writer in Marietta.

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