Misguiding In Cars With Boys
Transportation increases the odds of accidental fatalities. However, remaining stationary does not reduce the odds to zero.
–Tom B. Taker
In other words, getting from Point A to Point B can be inherently dangerous. Any method of transportation that moves your body through the physical universe increases the chances you’ll take it in the shorts. The moment you begin to move your odds of dying increase. This can take many forms. It may be a flight from Los Angeles to New York City. It might be your morning commute to work in your car. Or it could be as short of a journey as stepping into the bathtub. Or even just getting up out of your chair.
So you might think to yourself, “I’m not moving. I’m going to sit right here and remain safe.”
A nice thought. Except that death may still find you.
For example, you could be on the bed in your very own home when a sinkhole suddenly opens up and you’re just gone. Or, ripped from the headlines just yesterday, you could be standing in your home when the ceiling violently gives way from the impact of a jet aircraft. There are no reports of deaths on the ground in this latest incident, but a young boy did get nicked on his forehead. Come to think of it, the last time I wrote about this theory, I used the example of a jet aircraft engine landing on a house. As always I hate being right.
Being alive can be dangerous.
Maybe it would be a good idea to go for a walk, clear my head and think things over. (Hint: It’s not.)
Continue reading →
Scream Within A Dream
Dimly I slowly become aware that I’m no longer asleep. When did that happen? I’m not really sure. My eyes become imperceptible slits just enough to perceive a bit of the world external to my body. That level of activity in my eyeballs takes an amazing amount of effort. Holy shit it’s dark. I suddenly realize I am curious. The burning question in my mind is obvious: What time is it? I pierce through an entirely new level of consciousness and become aware my body is in the wrong position if I ever hope to see the clock. What an incredible perception on my part. Some time later I realize this means I’m going to have to physically move if I’m ever going to obtain an answer to my question. Continue reading →
I went wee wee wee all the way to grocery store
Last Sunday was a beautiful day. Sandwiched between overcast, cold, windy and rainy days was a day that felt almost like summer. The sky was crystal clear, the sun was shining, kids were outside playing and you could hear lawn mowers echoing throughout suburbia.
Aside from the chill, it could have been a typical summer day.
Ever since I picked up an iPod (more about that later) I’ve been on a podcast binge. I grabbed the thing, stuck the ear “buds” in my head, and took off, on foot, for the grocery store.
This is the story of that trip.
The trip to the store was strangely uneventful. I didn’t just fall of the turnip truck yesterday, though. I knew this was the calm before the storm. Something big was coming my way. Still, I resolved to enjoy the moment, enjoying the walk, the warmth of the sun and listening to TED audio podcasts. I was traveling under the power of my own feet and listening to TED. God, I felt so alive and so enlightened, a true member of the modern “I care about my planet and everyone on it” community!
In the store, I did some quick shopping. This was also uneventful.
Then it was time for checkout. This is the part that really makes my tushy pucker up. Yeah, I’ve done this before.
I’ll do my best, with my limited writing skills, to explain how it all went down. Crime scene photos, if desired, can be obtained from my local police department.
My local neighborhood grocery store is basically a shit dump. It’s pricey yet run down. Most of the employees seem to feel the same way about their jobs that I do about mine. (Like it isn’t the best thing to happen to them all day.) But the store usually isn’t too crowded and you can get in and out with only a modicum of pain.
As I approached the front of the store I saw a bunch of people in Lane 1 even though the light was off. I cruised in that direction and saw the “lane closed” sign was out.
Looking around, I noticed that Lane 4’s light was turned on. “That must be where they want me to go,” I surmised. But when I got to Lane 4 no employee was in sight.
I was conflicted. Should I wait in Lane 4 for an employee who may or may not ever show up? The longer I waited the greater the possibility that new people would get in Lane 1 and I’d be bumped. If that happened I’d become angry and show great magic.
After what felt like an eternity (in grocery store time), I opted to go back to Lane 1 and get at the end of a line for a lane that claimed to be closed. Right after I did that, an employee magically appeared in Lane 4. Remember, based on the “lane closed” signs and the status of the lights, I still believed Lane 4 was where I supposed to go.
The checker on Lane 4 began helping a lady before I could get back there. I got in line behind her.
The checker gestured wildly at me to go away. “This lane is closed,” he hissed.
This is the moment that people tell me I should be more assertive. I felt like saying, “You disgusting maggoty piece of shit motherfucker! Your goddamn light is on and Lane 1’s is off. Fuck you!!!” Instead, like always, I accepted this piece of pure concentrated evil as additional weight on my shoulders and moved on. Head down, I shuffled back to Lane 1.
Fuming now, on the edge of a great storm, I stood in Lane 1 and gave the checker in Lane 4 the stare-down of death. He stared right back. It was game on. I found myself wondering if NASA had yet reviewed my volunteer application for the one-way mission to Mars.
And so, like this, I waited in the long line in Lane 1.
But not too long. As soon as the guy on Lane 4 helped that lady, something interesting happened. The two checkers gave each other a nod and they both simultaneously left their work stations. WTF?
They crisscrossed in front of us. They had just changed lanes.
Suddenly Lane 4 was open for business and before you could say “anal sex” was full of shoppers.
I was standing in Lane 1 which still had the “lane closed” sign out. And indeed, as if it was any surprise, I was directed back to Lane 4 where I assumed my position at the end of the line.
I wish I could say I’m making this up. I’m not. I don’t know why shit like this happens to me. At no point was I pushy. At each step of the way I tried to follow their little rules. Yet I was the one person they singled out to take a massive dump on. It truly boggled my mind.
Finally it was my turn. She asked, “Paper or plastic?” and I handed over my reusable bags. In an extremely unlikely fit of assertiveness, I started a conversation with the checker. “What was that all about? Your lane had a closed sign and the light off and this lane was open with the light on, yet …”
She cut me off. Ah, nothing more refreshing that me-oriented communicators when you are the customer and they are the employee. Isn’t that the best?
“[The other checker] had to run upstairs and we had to switch lanes for a minute.”
Uh huh. Whatever. Thanks for listening, bitch. That wasn’t an apology and it has absolutely nothing to do with what I was trying to ask. Shrug. More evil on my shoulders accepted. Fuck it.
I helped her load my shit into the reusable bags. It was time to go. I picked up the bags and KERPLUNK!
One of the bags had the bottom blow out and my shit was all over the table. This was actually the best part of the whole trip, though. She double-bagged my shit in plastic and I was on my way. It would have been worse if the blowout had occurred half-way home. I quickly said a quiet prayer of thanks for this surprisingly positive development.
The rest of the trip was pretty much uneventful except for one little bit of icing on the cake. I was about five houses away from getting back to my house when I happened to look down. There, scratched out in the sidewalk, was a fucking swastika. Five houses away from my bloody home! One and/or all of my neighbors are fucking assholes.
And some people actually dare to wonder why I don’t like to leave the house. It usually ends up being the worst thing that ever happened to me.
Someday all of the evil I accept from others onto my shoulders is going to reach critical mass. I just hope I’m not there when it happens.
U is for Undertow
At least at the beach you knew where the undertow might be lurking. It was generally isolated to that narrow strip of the sea where waves expended themselves on the sand. If you didn’t go in the water the undertow couldn’t get you.
My undertow was more ingrained than that. It wasn’t limited to any geographical location. No, the undertow I dreaded was the one inside my head. I could feel it flirting on the frayed outer edges of my consciousness. It was there, an omnipresent black cloud, probing for ways to get inside and drag me under.
The waves and the primal roar of the ocean gave me no solace, so I stumbled back to the parking lot and drove away. The cloud temporarily pulled back. Continue reading →
I could walk 3,000 miles
So. How you doin’ on those resolutions now, eh? We’re fast approaching the end of the month, or what I like to affectionately call, “Checkpoint #1.”
Reality kicked in yet?
For a lot of us, New Year’s Day packs a lot of mojo. (Or so I’ve heard. I’m not one of the “us.”) Still, sometimes I like to think big. “I’m going to be on Survivor,” I like to say quite often. It’ll never happen, of course, but what if it did? Wow. Even being the first one voted off would be one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. I say “one of” the greatest things because I’m one of the lucky people who married for love. What else did I have to bring to the table?
So yeah. There I was on New Year’s Day, calculator in hand, calculating the what ifs.
I punched in some numbers. “Oh hell yeah. I’m going to walk 3,000 miles this year. Totally. That’s only 10 miles a day and that still leaves me 65 days to goof off. Not too shabby.”
My old friend Reason was no where to be found. If he was, he would have smacked me upside the head and said something like, “Hey you friggin’ obliviot. 10 miles a day? Wake up! Even if it didn’t kill you, which it totally would, at three miles an hour that’ll take you over three hours a day! You don’t have that kind of time. Duh.”
Day One. January 1, 2011. Things got off to a pretty good start. I walked about a mile. There’s nothing quite like walking to the grocery store and bringing home groceries under your own power. I’m not sure why, but that’s just so cool. “I don’t need no damn car!” Still, that was only 10 percent of my daily goal. But better than nothing, right?
OK, so Day Two wasn’t quite as good. I was too tired and sore from the previous day’s excursions and took a day of rest. And that day of rest has been extended all the way to today, about three weeks later.
Oops. Time to grab the calculator again.
10 miles a day? What was I thinking? That’s insane. Plan B is three miles a day. With about 330 days left, I can still log 1,000 miles if I push it. That might work.
The point is to have fun and revise your goal each and every month until you have something realistic and workable.
On March 1st, I’ll be doing another revision. “Okay. One mile logged so far. About 300 days left. If I can manage two miles a day, I just might make it to 500.”
On April 1st it will be one mile logged, 270 days left, and at one mile I day I just might make it to 250 miles.
I think you see where this is going, right?
… fast forward to December 31, 2011 …
It’ll be early in the morning on New Year’s Eve. I’ll be holding a calculator in my hand. “Let’s see,” I’ll say. “If I can manage to walk 50 feet today, that’ll be, hmm, what? Oh yeah, the overall total for the entire year will be exactly one mile and fifty feet.”
That actually doesn’t sound quite so bad. So I got that to look forward to.
So, how are y’all doing on your New Year’s resolutions?
Music: 500 miles (get it fast before YouTube pulls the plug)
Midday post of miscellany
Just some random what nots:
Have a great day, all!