Wednesday, December 29, 1999
Always Wash Your Pizza Twice
Don't you just hate it when reality barges in without knocking and stomps
on your cyber life?
My wife got sick Monday night. We're pretty sure it was the pepperoni
and bird droppings pizza she ate just a few hours before, but the guy who
owns the restaurant/used oil recyclers we dined at disagrees.
"We use only the finest pepperoni!" he keeps telling me in an ever-higher
tone of voice, and I don't have the money to pay for the tests which might
conclusively disprove his fumes-inspired claim.
Fortunately, my wife is feeling much better today. The 36 hours I
spent sticking voodoo needles in the salmonella doll seems to have paid
At long last I can get back to blather production.
Well, when I'm not hurrying to bury thimbles in my back yard just in case
civilization does collapse come Sunday....
Note: I woke up this morning with the words barking thimbles in
my mind. "Write this down! Write this down the second
you wake up!" my sleeping mind kept telling me, as if barking thimbles
was the most important thing it had ever come up with. I dutifully
wrote it down the second I woke up, being one of those people utterly unable
to resist doing whatever my mind tells me to do. I'm even including
it here just because I suspect it really is the most important thing
it has ever come up with. I have no idea what it means or why.
If it's a symptom of my feeling guilty over having buried alive so many
thimbles in my back yard over the course of the last few months, I don't
want to know.
The thing that really bothers me is that we almost didn't eat at the restaurant/used
oil recyclers that we did, you know? It was a complete spur of the
moment thing. We were at the mall it's located in and we almost never
go to the mall. I just happen to have spotted the place across from
the book store while my wife was buying a few things at that book store
and I was trying to distract myself from the pain parting with money always
causes. Had I gone to that book store alone while she was returning
a robot at the toy store as originally planned, I might never have seen
that eating/recycling establishment. Had she not found something
to buy, we probably would have left the book store together and been too
busy talking about what a poor book store it is to have been aware of our
surroundings. She could have rejected my idea to eat there like she
wisely rejects so many.
Instead, reality conspired to put us there where Mr. Salmonella waited....
I once read that the only reason Archduke Ferninand got shot in Sarajeva
back in 1914, sparking World War I, was because his driver got lost and
took a wrong turn. Think how different things might have been had
JFK's driver similarly taken a wrong turn in Dallas. We do the best
we can, but sometimes our best leads to dreadful consequences while our
mistakes turn out to be major life accomplishments.
Bottom line: I'm never eating again.
Especially not when I'm too busy hunkered down in the back seat of a car
that's part of motorcade going slowly through a major urban center....
Note #2: As difficult as it is to helplessly watch a loved one fall ill,
it's even worse to fall ill yourself.
For one thing, it's you who are ill, rather than someone else.
For another, it's much more difficult to videotape yourself throwing up.
In my case, falling ill is always especially traumatic because the causes
of my illnesses tend not to earn me the sympathy they should. For
example, I still often break out in hives at the realization that Captain
Kangaroo is no longer on TV, yet I've found that few people rush to
get me a cold rag when I turn feverish with desire for Mr. Moose.
Right now I feel a bad case of Millennium Upchuck coming on, but I dare
not mention the fact. Society seems happy and excited to be riding
the express elevator to the Y2K observation deck and the last thing it
wants to hear is that someone in the crowded elevator car is about to spew
because of his allergy to confetti, party hats, and dropping balls.
And I've yet to meet a single medical professional who is sympathetic to
my extreme susceptibility to time sickness. You know - it's just
like motion sickness, only it's caused by moving joltingly through time
instead of space.
Maybe if I got to sit upfront once in awhile.
Maybe if someone had remembered to put a few airholes in the trunk....
Anyway, I'm sick of the so-called new millennium and it isn't even here
Or is it? Forget the debate about whether it actually arrives in
2000 or 2001. Since modern gynecologists now believe Jesus was a
preemie born about 3 B.C. or so, it's probably already been the third millennium
for some time.
Not that I care. For me, it feels more like year 41 (year 2 on weekends).
For Hebrews, it's 5760. In India, it's 1921 of the Saka Era.
For Buddhists, it's 2542. Or 2659 if you happen to be Japanese.
1420 if you happen to be Muslim. 1368 if, like my cat, you're
at least part-time Parsi.
Of course if I was a betting man, I'd bet you're actually Chinese since
there seem to be more Chinese on earth than any other ethnic group or nationality.
Thus, this is the month of the Wood Rat in the year of the Rabbit according
to a repeating cycle I can't begin to understand, being an ignorant Ohio
guy and all.
The point is this: It's only gonna be the year 2000 to a minority of people
alive today, and even that is a technically wrong formulation using an
arbitrary base 10 number system and a fuzzy awareness of the idiosyncratic
length of time it takes an insignificant planet to orbit one of a billion
If Jesus had been born on Pluto, it'd now be about year 9, for God's sake!
And Santa would only come down the chimney of approximately every 10th
generation of human beings.
But I'm afraid all this talk of orbital motion is making me even queasier
than I was when I started writing about that pepperoni and bird droppings
pizza what seems like a full Jupiter day ago now.
Thank goodness I had the foresight to shove a fresh 6-hour tape in my Sony
before I started!
Back To A Slightly Less Disgusting
Forward To What Persians
Shall Hold Their Noses
And Sneeringly Refer To
As The Entry For Day 9 Of 1378
(©Now by Dan Birtcher)