Monday, August 25, 2014
I think we’ve all known that moment when we find ourselves asking our hiking companion, “What’s the best way to fight off a bear with a penknife and black birch walking stick?” I mean, maybe not that specific moment. But that sort of situation. Even if you’re like me, not a big risk-taker. Not like that guy I know who when asked how many bones he’s broken responds, “Not counting fingers?” Anyway, I’ve given very little thought to the afterlife, but I want nothing to do with reincarnation if it means coming back as a big pile of bear poop.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Somehow, Baruch Spinoza managed to get himself kicked out of Judaism in 17th century Amsterdam, where they probably didn't have a lot of Jews to spare. He said he was going to quit anyway, thus originating the Groucho Marx/Woody Allen line about not wanting to “belong to any club that would accept me as a member.” Solitary, frugal, and monastic, he will probably never be the subject of an action-packed biopic. Spinoza earned his living as a lens maker. However, there is no evidence that he died after falling into his own grinding apparatus, thereby making a spectacle of himself.
Monday, August 11, 2014
Suddenly it seems everybody I know is in a big hurry to achieve their unrealized life goals before they die. Exotic vacations, skydiving, stuff like that. Me, I only ever had two ambitions: to be a jockey, and to play the title role in a roadshow production of Annie. Thing is, whether you drag your sorry frame to the Taj Mahal or throw it out of a perfectly good airplane, at the end of the ride it's the same old you. I'm thinking the most transformative way to cross an item off your bucket list is to stop wanting it.
Monday, August 4, 2014
Life, friends, is boring. Lucky for you, I have some ideas about how to make the fact of existence a little less tedious. For instance, elevated trains tend to run on rather flat tracks. Let's make them more like roller coasters, swooping through our cities to make every commute a laff-a-minute thrill ride. Let's replace the nitrogen in our atmosphere with a blend of helium and nitrous oxide. Then we'll all talk like cartoons, and we'll all find it hilarious. Let's put all our pockets on the inside so whenever your phone rings you have to take your pants off.