Saturday, December 18, 1999

Routine Perspective Maintenance


     In recent days I've been noticing that whenever I take my mind off my thoughts and just let them go wherever they will they've been tending to drift rapidly towards the innocent legume family.  This is extremely problematic for at least two reasons.  First of all, I'm never quite sure what the proper pronunciation of "legume" is and figure it's only a matter of time before I'm forced to face this personal failing once and for all and then feel very badly about it unless some way is found to stop this drift.  And secondly, it's been getting harder and harder to regain control of my thoughts once I've taken my mind off them and they've yet again drifted rapidly towards the innocent legume family and ended up mired in deep contemplation of the pea.  That is to say, the pea in general.  If the danger was my ending up stuck contemplating a single specific pea for the rest of my life and writing about it every day here, it wouldn't be so bad.  In fact, it could be seen as ardent, romantic devotion as easily as monomania, and I could live with that.  But the possibility of having to contemplate the pea in general for the rest of my life - what is that but another name for utter madness?   
     In hopes of preventing such an untenable actuality from unfolding, I've canceled the entry I was planning to write here tonight and am rushing my mind into the shop for some routine perspective maintenance.  No need to read any further unless you're interested in the more technical aspects of my head.  
     Having found my coupon for a free emotional balancing if I act before midnight tonight, I'm off!  

     In all of Space and all of Time, there is only one Here and Now - and only YOU are capable of experiencing it.  Are you willing to give this project the attention and energy it deserves?
     Sure - what the hell.
     Considering the vastness of Space, you're really pretty insignificant, aren't you?
     Maybe, but I take solace from being taller than most of the Spice Girls.
     Compared to the great expanse of the Past and the possibly even greater expanse of the Future, your life really amounts to no more than the briefest of camera flashes, doesn't it?
     Yeah, but I'm still proud of my red eye reduction feature.
     Here's an apple.  Here's an orange.  Are you tempted to compare them?
     No, I'm tempted to send them both cards of encouragement with a note clearly stating that it's my personal opinion that if anything ever happens to Mr. Potatohead to prevent him from fulfilling his official duties I have complete and utter confidence in them to take over without missing a beet.
     Is this glass half empty or half full?
     That reminds me of a scene from a Laurel and Hardy movie I saw once.  Seems they were given one glass of water and Hardy is about to drink it when Laurel asks if he can have half.  Hardy reluctantly gives Laurel the glass and Laurel promptly downs the whole thing.  "I thought you only wanted half!" an astonished Hardy exclaimed.  "I did," Laurel explained, "but my half was on the bottom."
     And the point of that would be...?
     It doesn't matter if the glass is half empty or half full.  What matters is being able to get it to your lips without dropping it.
     Here's an ink blot.  Tell me what you see.
     Oh, no - if you really want me to tell you what I see, you're going to have to give me something that's a bit more easily mistaken for currency than this!
     If you were stranded on a desert island, what book would you want to have with you?
     Anything from my local library.  Man, when those suckers become overdue, the librarians down there don't rest a wink until they've tracked you down!
     If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?
     No, I would not jump off that bridge.  I'd just carefully climb down the mound of 6 billion bodies in order to see what the big attraction was.
     Have you ever experienced delusions of grandeur?
     No, but my father-in-law has a Coupe DeVille he lets me ride in sometimes.
     You're about to be executed.  Any final words?
     Yeah.  Three guys going to a medical convention in St. Louis get into a terrible accident and are killed.  The first floats up to heaven and St. Peter asks him why he should let him in.  "I'm a heart surgeon.  I've saved countless lives in my career!"  "Oh, that's great," St. Peter says and waves him through the pearly gates.  The second guy floats up to heaven and St. Peter asks him why he should let him in.  "I'm the administrator of a major hospital.  I've seen to it that all the doctors and nurses have the tools they need to do their jobs."  "Oh, swell," St. Peter says and waves him in.  The third guy floats up.  The good saint asks him why he should let him in.  "I work for an HMO," the guy says.  "I make sure patients get the care I think they need and no more."  "Oh, that's nice," St. Peter says, and waves him over.  "Here's your pass for a 3-day stay." 
     Yeah, I've always wanted to tell at least one joke right before I die.
     Anything else you'd like to say before we certify your perspective as properly aligned?
     Just two things.
     Why are you dressed up like a giant pea?  And are those three other lumps in your pod your best buddies or what?

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(©1999 by Dan Birtcher in a ludicrous attempt to take his mind off his mind)