“What is the meaning of work?” a guru asked his friend.
His friend replied, “Well, son, it happens when your wits have reached their end.”
Life is work. Work is life.
Some people, I like to think of them as motherfuckers, would have us believe shit like this.
What is work? Is it something you do in order to survive? Or is it the meaning of life itself? It seems to me that maybe, just maybe, your perspective might be based on who you are. For example, if you are The King and lounge around all day with your turkey drumsticks, your opinion that servants should pursue a life of labor just might be biased. Ya think?
Me? I’ve never been all that enthralled with money and I was born and raised into a culture where work is something exclusively done in the pursuit of money. To me money is something that enables a standard of living and some of the stuff I want. Beyond that? Who gives a shit?
So I guess it’s not too surprising that my work ethic follows suit. I don’t work for fun. I don’t work because it is its own reward. I work because I have to. Period. No other reason. Zip. Nada. Bupkis. I simply see no other choice. How many non-work life paths are there and which of them could meet my needs?
Basically the only reason I work is so I can enjoy the times I’m not working.
And, right now, at this moment in my life as a citizen of the United States, I currently enjoy the maximum number of vacation days as required by law.
Five Stages of Despair
Grief has gotten all the glory in the five-stages biz. It’s high time for Despair to have its moment in the sun. Just for fun, though, I call them flavors.
Introducing the Five Flavors of Despair ™:
I would like to note that these flavors are not meant to be a complete list of all possible stages of despair that can be felt, and, they can occur in any order. My hypothesis holds that not everyone who experiences life groks all five of the flavors, as reactions to life are as unique as the person experiencing them. Note: There is one special case where all five flavors are perfectly experienced simultaneously. This is known as a Grand Wham ™.
Enough clinical shit! Let’s bust out with some real world examples and see how it makes you feel. Remember, there are no right answers!
Topic: Living in a Society
- You don’t own a dog yet your lawn is covered with dog poop.
- You don’t smoke yet your property is littered with cigarettes.
- You are quiet and tranquil on your patio yet your neighbors blast music.
- You have achieved 100 percent recycling yet 99% of city property is landfill.
- You never litter yet your street is covered with trash.
- In theaters you turn off your phone yet you can’t see/hear the movie due to other’s devices.
For honorary despairologist credentials, please post your own examples of “Living in a Society” in the comments section below. A despair specialist will get back to you with customized despair recommendations.
Poop Encounters of the Turd Kind
Behind The Tweets is a new ongoing feature here at the Abyss. In this series of posts I’ll select a tweet (most likely one of my very little nuggets of delight) and provide the exciting back story that 140 characters just didn’t allow.
Finally, the rest of the story will be told.
This is just too much fun. Let’s get started!
Boss in restroom. Lots of “noise” indicating a certain activity. No running water after flush. Then wants high five. I had to decline. #yuck
It was a normal day at work. It happened to be New Year’s Eve. My wife had the day off but my place of employment was open. Wide open. In fact, it was the only place open on the entire block. I’m just lucky that way.
I was at my workstation which, as I’ve discussed before, is only a few feet from the toilet. I’m just lucky that way.
It all started when the boss went into the restroom. In a matter of seconds, there was an explosion of noise that could only be described as a “whoopie cushion on steroids.” I still can’t believe I have to listen to this shit. (Pun intended.) It happens every day, and not to put too fine a point on it, the dude holds nothing back.
OK. I can grok that. In the end (heh) we all have to deal with forces of nature beyond our control. It might be somewhat unpalatable, but what can I do?
Then, I heard the toilet flush. I happened to be walking by on my way to the back.
A mere second later the door flung open and the boss leaped out.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!
There had been no sound of running water. Oh geez, help me hang on, he didn’t wash his hands!!!
What happened next could only happen in a Stephen King novel or my life. (Take your pick.) I shit you not.
He jumped into my personal space (that’s another story), held up his hand, and said, “High five!”
Oh God, no. Hell no. I could only stand there like a deer in the highlights, my analytical brain doing its best to process information more quickly than normal. Nothing in life had prepared me for this moment.
My thoughts drifted back to Home Economics in the 7th grade. Yeah, good times. I was the only boy in the class, hanging out with the girls, eating chocolate chip cookies, while my peers were in Wood Shop making lamps out of blocks of wood. Yeah, I knew what I was doing even back then!
I remembered the day when my Home Economics teacher drew a figure of a girl on the blackboard with lines emanating outwards from her that indicated stink. The message of that day has not been forgotten. Hygiene is important.
But even that class and nothing later in life had done anything at all to prepare me for this particular social situation. How does one handle something like this?
I had to do something. My boss was standing there with his hand still up and waiting for me to respond. It was awkward as hell. Finally I found my voice.
“I can’t,” I managed to choke out. “I just can’t.”
In retrospect, with the luxury of time to consider possible responses, I should have just given him the high five, then gone to the bathroom to sterilize. I still have my anti-bacterial hand soap and squirt bottle of hand sterilizer in my cubbyhole at work. It wouldn’t have killed me.
But I just couldn’t.
And now you know the rest of the story. You have been behind the tweet. Good day!
The five-second rule society
What would you spare for a stranger in the name of common decency? Polite consideration? Manners? Good form? Fuck, would you even do some small tidbit of niceness for someone you don’t know in the name boredom or trying something new?
Would you even bother to spare a mere five seconds of your time on this planet even if it didn’t line your pockets with gold?
Would you bother to move a finger a couple of inches for another human being? No, I’m not talking about The Finger! I’m talking about the supreme effort required to do something as simple as using your turn signal.
These questions occurred to me this evening as I drove down the street. I was even minding my own business and hadn’t done anything overtly provocative. 🙂
When the chips were down, I have no doubt that some people on the Titanic were selfish assholes. You know, the “every man for himself” type of thing. On the other hand, I’m sure some stepped up. You know, giving up their seats for women and children in exchange for certain death. That’s a fairly bold move. You might even call it an “ah ha moment.” I’ll be honest. I’m not so sure that just because someone is a “woman” or a “child” they automatically deserve a shot at life and I don’t. So I’m not exactly sure what I’d do in the same situation. (However, peeing myself is a given.) But I can certainly acknowledge the awesome level of sacrifice that some voluntarily made to make such a decision.
So I guess the real question I’m struggling with is, as a society, how much do we really give a shit about each other?
- I was driving down the road. I was the only car as far as the eye could see. At a cross street a car had just arrived and was about to cross. Based on my rate of travel and distance, there clearly wasn’t enough time for the driver to go. So naturally they went anyway. I had to hit the brakes to avoid plowing in to them as they deserved. (Trust me, it would have been my pleasure.) It would have taken an additional five seconds or so for me to clear the intersection. Moral of this story? “I can’t spare a mere five seconds for you in order to proceed safely and courteously and have the whole street to themselves.
- I was driving down the road. Suddenly the car in front of me slams on the brakes. There is no turn signal. They slow to almost a complete stop and then turn right. Moral of the story? “I can’t be bothered to play ahead and/or use my turn signal even failure to do so might kill us both.” Again, turning on their blinker about five seconds earlier might have helped.
Finally it dawned on me. This five-second thing is a trend. It must be significant. A hypothesis was slowly beginning to germinate in my mind:
When a society reaches the point that members can’t be bothered to spare five-seconds for each other then that society has reached “critical mass” and must leave the planet immediately.
We are the five-second society. The five-second rule is now in play.