|||||||||||||||||||||||||  Tuesday, Simptempter 19, 41 A.B.  |||||||||||||||||||||||||


Ok, I know I shouldn't have done it, and I'll never do it again, but it's done now and I'm paying - oh, how I am paying!

I surreptitiously looked over my medical chart when my doctor walked out of the room and I read - I SAW - what she had written:

"Fit as a fiddle."

Now, I admit I've felt highly strung lately.  And there have been more and more days when I've wanted to crawl into a red velvet-lined case and close the lid, but I dismissed that as a transparently Freudian desire to return to the womb.  I simply never suspected that things were quite this bad....

Me - a hollow man at 41?

Me - a fellow with a too-long neck and an oddly-shaped knobby thing in place of a head??

Me - completely reliant upon others for my every movement and sound???

I left before my doctor had a chance to return and tell me I needed a chin rest transplant, a full varnish transfusion, or a nurse to come in every night for the rest of my life just to move my own bows....

If only I had remembered to stuff my worries and anxieties into her Biological Wastes Container while I still had the chance.


I read in a book once that the best way to forget our own troubles is to help others who are worse off than we are.

The moment I discovered that drinking, drugs, "Another World,"  and screaming weren't doing me any good today, I decided to give it a shot.

As luck would have it, I didn't have to look very far to find people worse off than I.  In fact, I didn't have to look at all - only listen.

To the radio news.

"For the 30th time this year, residents of California are living under a Power Emergency as power supplies once again dip below acceptable levels.  Brown-outs appear to be inevitable, and regional black-outs are a distinct possibility if the current heat wave continues."

Was it a coincidence that I happened to hear of others in crisis at the very moment I needed to hear it the most?  Was it a coincidence that I just happened to have majored in Radio & TV Repair in high school and so knew exactly what could aid these people in crisis the most?  Was it a coincidence that I just happened to have 3 unused extension cords in my laundry room cupboard - and that a quick call to my neighbor revealed that she had 2 more?


The long and the short of it is that I spent a good hour this afternoon connecting these extension cords together, plugging the remaining pointy end into the best outlet in my kitchen, throwing the other hole-dotted end out the window, and then pulling them as far to the west as I could.

It felt good.  I felt useful.  And by the end of that hour I was simply too tired to give any more thought to the petty health problems of one small, insignificant man.  (I.e., me.)

But of course the story mustn't end there.  There's still much work to be done before the residents of the state that gave us Richard Nixon, Joe Friday, and the hot tub can rest secure in the knowledge that their cappachino machines will still be working in the morning.

YOU can help.

If YOU have a spare extension cord - of any length, of whatever color - please: donate it to the cause.  With YOUR help, relief supplies of power can reach as far as my west fence by this time tomorrow.  With YOUR help, those relief supplies can reach all the way to Iowa by the weekend.  And with YOUR help, those very same supplies can be putting smiles on the faces of sweet-smelling babies and good-looking women between Oregon and Mexico by the day after that.

So please - DON'T look away!  DON'T let this be just one more on-line plea from the heart that you shrug off or ignore as you check your bookmarks for that porn site you were trying to get to when you accidentally ended up here.

Think of the babies.

Think of the babes.

Think of the generations yet unborn who may never know what a glowing light bulb is without YOUR help!


The outlet is in the kitchen right where I left it.  The cord you need to plug your donation into was beside the bird bath in the center of the drive last time I looked.

If you need anything, I'll be in the bedroom.

Knock 16 times... pause... then knock 315 times more so I know it's you.







(©Now by D. Birtcher before a stunned Sydney crowd)



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