Wednesday, December 29, 1999

Always Wash Your Pizza Twice Before Eating

     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 off. 
     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 yet.
     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 billion suns. 
     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 Entry


Forward To What Persians Shall Hold Their Noses 
And Sneeringly Refer To As The Entry For Day 9 Of 1378

(©Now by Dan Birtcher)



Wanna hear a barking thimble?

YES          NO