Monday, July 25, 2022

11th Commandment

When thou drivest in thy vehicle and encounter another who approacheth in the opposite lane, thou shalt, without taking the right hand from the steering wheel, lift the first two fingers of said hand in a gesture of cordial greeting and acknowledgement. Two is the number of the fingers thou shalt lift – not one, for to lift a single finger is insufficiently neighborly and may, depending on the finger, be a source of grievous offence, however neither shalt thou lift three fingers which is presumptuous and overly familiar. Two fingers and two fingers only shalt thou lift to thine neighbor.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Batteries not included

You can’t blame life for not making sense. Our lives are absurd exactly to the extent that our expectations are proven wrong. Still, I understand what you’re trying to say and I often feel the same way; I’m just quibbling here. But the world itself neither makes nor doesn’t make sense. Sense is a human artifact and it’s up to you to make sense of life in the same way you make castles of sand. So the world consists of stories, the beach contains innumerable castles, every pencil is full of pictures, and cows are basically hamburgers upholstered in leather.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Amygdala hijinx

You can’t know how you’ll react under stress. Reflex takes over and your deepest truths are revealed. I’d like to think I’m the kind of person who throws himself on the grenade, who runs straight at the guy with the gun. I want to believe I’d give my rations to the kids and nursing mothers, that I’d give up my place on the last train out. Or in an example of a less desperate circumstance, I hope that if I am ever called upon to make the ceremonial first pitch I manage to lob it cleanly into the catcher’s mitt.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Could be discommodious

Somewhere in some office there is somebody who decides to put the word “flushable” on a product, and so directs somebody else to print “flushable” on a label so as to cause the word “flushable” to appear on innumerable packages. The fact that this product should not actually be flushed is no big deal to them; it’s as easy as putting the word “delicious” on something disgusting. These people don’t know you and do not care about you at all. And even if you could find them, there is no way you could legally compel them to pay your plumber.