One side benefit of my decision to embrace a more sedentary lifestyle (see last post – I’m not Going to Die; Dying can Come to Me) is that it’s allowing me to become a more thoughtful person. (That is to say I am full of thought; I would never presume to imply I care deeply for others and that they occupy even so much as a drawer in the corner dresser of my mind, nor would those of you who know me support the presumption). Often when I plop my ample frame into my favorite chair, I’ve done so without considering how I might be entertained; with the remote and reading material out of reach and the effort necessary to retrieve them excessive, I’m left to my own thoughts.
And so often I sit and ponder the things of this world. “Ponder” is a good word for me: I like to ponder; because I build water features, I am a ponder; shoot, I even move ponderously. Most of my ponderings, since they relate directly to me, would drastically improve my quality of life if I could but solve them and, residually, the rest of your’s as well. Since I spend so much time considering all the strange and fascinating nuances of our collective existence, it would stand to reason that I’ve solved some of mankind’s greatest conundrums. Sadly, I must admit that the only thing I’ve gotten to the bottom of during these contemplative sessions is a chip bag or two. Perhaps you can help; I offer you now some current causes for my perpetual stupefaction, as The Struggler Ponders the Great Mysteries of the Universe:
1) Why won’t my KFC extra crispy chicken stay that way once it’s been refrigerated? Back in my younger days, my brother and I would store a bucket of this delectable delight on our truck’s dash for days on our fishing trips, and it stayed wonderfully crisp for the duration. Now that I’m older and understand there are more common explanations for dysenteric diarrhea in my country than the disease itself, I’ve taken to safer forms of food storage. Now my beloved crispy coating goes limp overnight, and after two days is barely edible. In the future, I’m left to choose between eating it all at once, giving it up entirely or waving my lower intestine out my nether regions like a wind sock in a Nor’easter. Which will I choose? Depend…
2) Why are all my tee shirts so ill-fitting? Extra larges fit me best, but are so tight that it looks as though the day’s catch is thrashing about in a cotton bag when I walk. I once went to 7-11 in a white v-neck, and the cashier wouldn’t stop ogling my cleavage; I felt violated. If I wear XXL, it’s as though a drunk camper stood up in his pup tent. If I gain more weight to fit the XXL better, tightness again becomes an issue. Clearly, this is a mystery with no viable solution.
3) If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Beats me, but I once fell in the forest when no one was around (my family, being in decidedly better shape than I, had ditched me on our hike and left me to the wolves); I tumbled off the narrow trail and down a steep slope for several yards. I made sounds that ranged from the oofs and grunts of a Wisconsonite on the can, to the shrieks of a terrified little girl (as my scrotum decided to play “hero” and latched itself to a passing branch) and, after I came to a stop, something not unlike a running monologue from the movie Raging Bull.
4) Why are pinkie toes considered useless appendages, destined (through the process of evolution) for elimination? Mine, though curled curiously inward as though seeking comfort from its sibling toes and, as my wife maintains, twenty percent responsible for my having the world’s ugliest feet, are indispensable for finding door jams in the dark and chair legs that, were it not for said toes, might cause me to trip.
5) Why are some people such good listeners and others not? I appreciate good friends that I can bounce ideas off of, who are unfailingly supportive and who are genuinely interested in my life. I have several; one is particularly good at listening and always asks how I am doing and how my family is. He is faithfully attentive and unusually humble, often deflecting questions about himself to better focus on my issues. The others can be good listeners as well, but often after a fair amount of time may attempt commonality by relating a personal experience; this I find somewhat off-putting. They may even go off-topic, presenting another issue entirely and asking for my input. This is sometimes awkward, since the change of subject confuses me and what they say becomes a monotonous humming sound that ceases to register. Good friends are hard to find and, as I’ve found, strangely harder to keep.
6) Why are some crappy blogs so much more popular than mine? There’s a guy whose blog is all about interoffice relationships and politics. This guy consistently gets hundreds of views and likes, plus almost as many comments for each post; I get next to nothing. Who gives a fat rabbit’s bum about office stuff, besides people who work? My posts are about cutting edge topics, like neighbors whose dogs crap in my yard and people who don’t wash their hands after pooing. This is life and death stuff; besides, I write more good than he does. There’s simply no accounting for taste.
I’ve been giving no small measure of thought to a myriad of vexing mysteries in this vast universe of ours, some more of which I could share with you now; but one of my wife’s ten cats knocked the television remote on the floor and I just managed to stretch out my right foot and pull it toward me. Once I catch my breath, my night’s entertainment is assured. Another time, perhaps.