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Friday, April 27, 2007

Something in the Air

It's like finals week for my soul. i'm being tested left and right. Today's, and by that sobriquet i in no uncertain terms mean to imply that these dilemmas are confined to calendar days. Quite the contrary, i assure you, they're running all over each other like kittens trying to get out of the pet store. i need TIVO for my life! "Today's" merely refers to the forty-five minutes i have to try and put the particulars of one of these tests down in print. Which would go a lot smoother if i didn't have the wordy habit of spinning off on blinkin' tangents!

"Today's" trial is summed up by a little brown bottle on my counter. And whether or not i'm going to start consuming once per day on an empty stomach for the rest of my life, the contents of said bottle. It is a titanic struggle with life and death in the scales and what's mostly at stake is my philosophy.

i am not a big believer in 'better living through chemicals.' In my humble and superstitious serf's opinion, the pharmaceutical companies are money making empires bent on world domination. If they accidentally invented a pill today that suppressed the urge to breathe you can bet all the lint in your jean pockets that tomorrow the marketing hordes would be laying seige to the atmosphere with "Air will kill you, stop breathing today! Ask your doctor if Damnitall is right for you!"

So when the kindly old Imperial ambassador at the local embassy tells me that i have high blood pressure and that it could, over time, lead to a condition known as death i start wondering... which am i more afraid of:

  • That he really is a well intentioned, kindly old man who is afraid that i might drop dead at forty-two from stroke or heart attack?
  • Or that he's the updated version of the pusher in a lab coat who is selling me a bill of goods so that i develop all kinds of conditions (that oh, by the way, we have other little pills to cure) by living in fear of another so called condition that is known as life?

My fatalism tells me that what i've been handed is the murder weapon in my own homicide. When God decides that it's finally time to release me from this prison, i stand a very good chance of knowing what M.O. the Grim Reaper will be using. My cynicism tells me that when man tries to avoid fate he most often gets a new and usually worse one. You know, Monty, i'm going to trade door number one and the sixty year life span that ends suddenly on a hike for what's behind door number two. Okay, let's see what you've won: Weeeeelllll Mr. Dogg, you've won a lifetime of battling a runny nose, hacking cough, blurry vision, insomnia, erectile disfunction and dementia to finally waste away to nothing on a hospital gurney at the age of ninety-eleven lying in a steamy vat of your own juices! Congratulations!

After all this you would think that it would be pretty easy decision for me and the bottle and its genie would already be in the trash. One thing stays my hand. One thing causes a little tremor when i walk past it in the morning...

The thought of a stroke that only paralyzes one side of my body. Death is a bad car ride to the best vacation spot in the universe. But the thought of living on with the prison cell half caved-in, that scares me. i mean, i'd have to learn to type with only one hand. t wd e ts ("It would look like this.") i mean it's enough to drive a guy to stop breathing.

Pass the Damnitall.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Bad Ideas

You'll be glad to know that i took a stand. Yes, i bravely, steadfastly refused to go along with my better judgement. Whew! It's hard work beating down your inner voice, little bugger puts up quite the battle. For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, the deed is done. May God have mercy on their souls.

And speaking of mercy, i've decided that i'm not a big fan of being drunk. The inappropriate statements, the stumbling, the fever dreams, the brain swelling, kneeling at the altar, yeah, that's all a lot of fun but the whole thing tends to ruin my appetite for the next day or so and darn it, sometimes there's good things to eat that day!

And maybe it is just the sautee'd mushrooms talking but i'm rather tired of not knowing how to dance. There are really only two things to do at weddings and one of them ruins my appetite for the next day. A few folk have told me to forget it, that you've either got it or you don't. Lovely reasoning. By that standard we would all still be crawling, cuz i don't know anyone who walked all that well the first time they tried it.

i've also reached the conclusion that i may never again go in a heated pool. They're just icky wrong. Why did that thing taste like salt?

Nevermind, i don't want to know.

All this has also given me a bit of an idea. We need to have a ball. That's not something folks of my financial bracket usually contemplate but my wife's closet now has three or four bride's maid's dresses in it that will never, ever be used again and it occurs to me that this may be a common condition. It could be a lot of fun to have a big ol' informal formal for no apparent reason whatsoever, where everybody gets all dooded up as much as they wanna and ruins their appetites while learning to walk. Yeah, and the guys should all dress up as if going to a duel. i've always felt that men's formal wear was missing three things: a cloak, gauntlet gloves and weaponry. Hats with long feathers in them are optional.

i'm also not sure that family reunions are done quite right. It seems to me that while a few of the more bold and chatty members will wade right into the tepid gene pool, the vast majority of the baboon troop remain firmly on their own branches of the family tree. That said, it's still a good thing.

And one last disjointed sign of the apocalypse...

snow in april. i think i actually heard a robin say, "What the #%(< ?!"

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Goring the ooze

At times like these i find my encouragement in the words of every great mad scientist to his latest creation, "Go, fulfill the design i created you for! Let nothing stand in your way! Muhahahahahahahahahahahahah!" Now usually this involves kidnapping a particularly screechy member of the fair sex (i guess mad scientists have trouble getting dates) or stealing some item the heroes have in their possession that the mad scientist can then use to take over the world (they're probably thinking that it is easier to get dates with "Grand Potentate of the World" under occupation in your singles resume than "Local Mad Scientist.") or my personal favorite: destroy the village! (Probably in revenge for getting dumped, stood up and basically not called back after dates)

Now i'm all for destroying the village, those little cretins got it coming, but that's not what i'm talking about. i'm talking 'bout writing. Near as i can tell, if i was designed for any specific purpose, other than destroying the village, it would be writing. So even though i have no single, driving theme today, i do have an overriding urge. Like the mindless ogre, the doomsday machine or the amorphous ooze i shall fulfill my master's purpose. Destroy!

And i shall do it with a question? A moral conundrum if you like. If you think, nay, are near sure that a friend is about to make a terrible mistake which said friend believes will make him or her delirously happy do you A) go along with it? B) try to talk them out of it or at least take no part in it? or C) destroy the village?

This is where confidence comes into play. i am not one who is virtually assured of my own infallibility. When i finally make a decision it is usually because i'm forced. i make snap judgements all the time and many of them prove to be correct but i very rarely act on them. i'm what you might call wishy-washy. i'm not proud of this, i'm merely stating the facts as i see 'em. A confident person may see their friend making said mistake and take a moral stand. "This is wrong and i will not be party to it!" they might shout with their powdered wig flying and their left hand stuck firmly in their waistcoat. A hard line to follow, it may create a rift in the friendship. The confident person may have the salve of knowing they were right but it's a cold salve and the only card game salve knows is solitaire. It becomes that much more difficult to take a stand when the rest of the herd is galumphing along with the friend's decision.

Don't believe me? Go get into your preferred mode of transportation and go to Yellowstone Nat'l Park. Right now. When you get there, just drive, pedal or scoot around for a few minutes until you spy a herd of Bison. That's all it should take is a few minutes, the place is lousy with 'em. Now, all warnings and common sense to the contrary, get out or off of your preferred mode of transportation and wade into the middle of said herd. Then stop. Take a stand. Don't let them tell you where to go! You are your own person. You are strong. You are taking the moral highground. You are probably seconds away from a medical evac flight to the nearest trauma unit and the next most popular grainy video on youtube.

So there it is, i like you, am gored on horns, mine being a completely metaphyisical dilemma and yours being a two thousand pound bison's but i'm sure mine hurt every bit as much.... spiritually. i'm there for you pal. Unable to make a decision, there's only one thing left to do: take along a bottle of rum and destroy the village! Muhhahahahahahahahahahahaha!