The Amusement Park

Autumn Leaves

AutumnTreesNothing says autumn in New England like the early Sunday morning serenade of neighbors cranking up their leaf blowers. Doesn’t that remind you of the good ol’ days? Me, neither. This year’s bountiful crop of red, orange, brown, and green foliage has, as expected, turned lawns everywhere into the Picture of Dorian Gray, Red-Brown and Black.
 

Thank God for evergreens.

But that’s the price we pay for living in this stunningly beautiful part of the country. Every year we get to enjoy the thrilling parade of our glorious autumn colors. But, like any parade, there’s always a ton of crap to clean up afterwards.

New England’s trees are magnets for carloads of weekend visitors from arboreally-challenged New York City and other uber-urban areas. They come to be awestruck by our blazingly brilliant foliage. What they don’t realize, though, is that once the leaves are on the ground they have to be picked up so the lawns don’t die from lack of sunlight.

To all my city-dweller friends, that means extra work.

What visitors are also totally unaware of is exactly what was all too clear to me as a kid raking the yard—the leaves don’t fall all at once. So after spending the whole weekend cleaning up the yard instead of playing with my friends, I’d head to school on Monday morning only to find the stupid lawn is covered once again with more stupid leaves.

This goes on for about three or four weekends every year until all the trees are bare and the leaves are disposed of. Then and only then did I happily call the season “Fell.”

The great thing, though, about those pre-leaf blower days was that you could rake the leaves into a pile on your property and get rid of them by setting them afire. Everybody did it. For decades. And if you were a kid, jumping into a monstrous pile of leaves was great fun provided dad’s not tossing lit matches into the heap at the same time.

BaggedLeavesSomewhere in the ‘70s, I think, it dawned on city and other environmentally-aware officials that the smoke from our fire combined with a few million other homeowners doing the same yearly ritual, created considerable amounts of air pollution. The practice was then banned. A much more eco-friendly way to dispose of leaves had risen to the occasion just in the nick of time—big plastic bags! Yes, put the leaves in the plastic bags and the city could pick them up and dispose of them in some unknown, and in retrospect, not fully thought-out way. No fire, no pollution! Woo-hoo!

And we all know how well that turned out.

So here we are in 2015. We’ve come a long way since those days of raking leaves. We traded in the crackling and wonderful aroma of toxic, air polluting burning leaves for the green choking gasoline fumes and bleeding ears.

Yes, there’s nothing like New England in the Fell.

Til next Tuesday

Halloween

JackoLanternIf you’re a kid, or even a kid at heart, your favorite holiday (after Christmas, Chanukkah or Kwanza) is coming this Saturday. Halloween. Like you need me to tell you that.

Halloween is all about being scared and there’s no scarier place to be at this time of year than Hollywood. A lot of people would agree with that statement no matter what time of year it was. My reasoning was that twice I was within a very short walking distance of two people who worked for either the film or TV studios or some prop supply house. Maybe they were just insane. I never bothered to ask. Whatever their mental health, they had had access to some of the best, scariest decorations I’ve ever seen.

zombieWhen I was living in Van Nuys, two decades before the recent zombie craze, one of my neighbors would prepare his front yard with authentic looking wooden coffins. There’d be an arm hanging out of one of them, a leg out of another. These were no Party City plastic appendages, my friends. These things looked and felt REAL. They had weight to them. The skin felt like, gulp! human flesh. Cold human flesh. Skeletons felt like bone. Half-decayed ghouls flexed their fingers, moaning, as they tried to crawl through the moors-like artificial fog that covered the whole front yard. None of us neighbors would have been surprised if these folks got arrested for grave robbing. This was that good.

hauntedhouseCuriously, nobody knew who lived at this house. Or maybe we just didn’t want to know. Whoever it was, they had candy to give out and, come what may, that is the holy grail on Halloween. As we and our terrified children cautiously walked the path to ring the doorbell, a couple of grotesquely disfigured male and female corpses seated nearby suddenly flinched, scaring children and parents alike.

The front door swung open and a one-armed hunchback man, one eye hanging out of its socket, held out a black plastic witch’s cauldron full of candy. The kids quickly grabbed a handful of goodies and ran away. Smart. As we started to follow, the hunchback offered us candy. As a couple of us tentatively reached into the cauldron, a hand shot up out of the candy and grabbed an arm. The parent screamed. The hunchback laughed and wished us a Happy Halloween. Yeah, real funny.

HermanMunsterAs I said at the beginning, there were two neighbors who did this kind of thing on Halloween. The second one, in North Hollywood, also worked for a studio. Every year a big truck carried all sorts of crates, wiring and other concealed objects for their annual haunted house. The place was so popular that the police had to direct the traffic. I never went to the haunted house. It was bad enough having my arm grabbed in that cauldron.  

Happy Halloween!

Til next Tuesday

Chicken vs the Eggs

chick-and-eggIf breakfast is the most important meal of the day, why is it always at the back of a menu? Why should chicken wings come before omelets? Sure, if you’re going alphabetically, yeah. But here? For a menu? No. When it comes to breakfast, let’s get something straight–chicken does not come before eggs.

I’ve got nothing against chicken. I like chicken. Without chickens, there’d be no eggs. So I’m grateful. It’s just that I love breakfast. I can eat breakfast any time of day. Can’t think of what I want for lunch? Have some eggs and toast. Suddenly hungry for dinner? Eggs and toast. Five minutes and I’m done. You can’t do that with chicken. Or at least, I can’t.

In my earlier life when I was a drummer in a rock band, the post-gig meal at 4am was always breakfast. That was in the days when our local (and only) Dunkin’ Donuts had a counter and served food 24 hours a day. Nothing was better than eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast. The smell was heavenly. There was also the smell of disinfectant, but hey, that’s what you got when you went to Dunkin’ Donuts at four in the morning.

sunnysideupOne time when my brother and I were young kids mom was out with one of her sisters so dad had to make dinner. Dad could rewire a lamp and fix all sorts of things. Unfortunately, dinner wasn’t one of them. The one thing he knew how to make better than anybody, though, was eggs, perfectly done. Sunnyside up, over easy, scrambled, whatever, he was The Original Egg Man.

So on this particular night, dad set to work. Two eggs were frying in his favorite egg-making pan when all of a sudden…disaster! One of the sunnyside up eggs broke. The perfectly formed yolk had deflated, flat yellow egg stuff was running everywhere! Dad would have to start all over again. Do we have enough eggs to do this? Will we have to find a substitute dinner like toast and peanut butter (not a horrible Plan B)? Would we have to keep this a secret?

AlliesNeedEggsOh fear not. Dad was a World War II vet. A foot soldier, he and others fought their way through Africa and Italy. He had seen far worse things than what he was facing now. Of course at that young age, I didn’t know about the soldier/war stuff. I didn’t even know what dad did for a living.

Fearless and undaunted, he continued onward into the storm. Somehow, miraculously, and without missing a beat, he made one perfectly done scrambled egg and one equally perfect sunnyside up egg. In the same pan! At the same time!

My brother and I were astounded! We had never seen anything like that before! We didn’t even know you could make two different egg styles in the same pan! Was that allowed? There was no doubt in our minds that we had witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime groundbreaking event. Mom never even pulled off something like this. Dad had defied every law of science and cuisinery a seven- and ten-year-old kid in the 1950s could think of. Surely, Dad was going to be in the local paper.

ChickenRunWhen mom and our aunt got home later that night, my brother and I ran to tell them of the incredible accomplishment that we had seen. Dad was our hero. He had saved the day, or at least dinner.

To this day, when one of my egg yolks breaks, I still can’t duplicate what my brother and I saw that night decades ago. The mixed-egg is the Everest I have yet to conquer. Unfortunately, with my cooking skills, or lack thereof, I get lots of practice.

Til next Tuesday

Working Out

BabyBoomerExerciseHaving belonged to many a gym both in L.A. and here in Connecticut-land, I can honestly say that the biggest contingent of gym goers now are Baby Boomers. Why? Because a) we’re just now coming down from the highs of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, and b) because we look in the mirror after 40 years and think, “What the hell happened?!”

We know what happened. We partied our butts off. Unfortunately, those butts have returned with a vengeance, bigger and not necessarily better. Which is the reason we end up in the human body shop, the gym.

HumanHamsterThe machines in a gym have come a long way since Jack LaLanne and Vic Tanny. There’s no part of the body that doesn’t have its own machine. Okay, maybe not every part, but close to. If there was a machine that could, let’s say, enhance a man’s private parts, would anyone really use it? I mean, seriously. What man wants to be seen by everybody else as trying to “enhance” his member-ship? Even if the machine was in a separate room, everybody’s going to know who’s going in and who’s coming out.

The good ol’ days had their cliques: the athletes, the brainiacs or nerds, the dufuses, the cool kids, etc. If you hang around a gym long enough you won’t see cliques, but you will recognize a couple of main groupings:

HamsterWeightLiftingThe Vulture. These guys and women circle the parking lot looking for a space as close to the entrance as possible. Vultures are also known to park nearby, engines idling, ready to strike as soon as someone within an arm’s length of the front door vacates their space. When that happens, they pounce and grab the spot, triumphant in being only a few steps from the entrance.

Then they go inside, get on a treadmill and run five miles.  

Sweaty Guys. These guys would sweat if they were naked in a meat locker. And they wear that sweat like a badge of honor. You’ve seen the drenched shirts—underarms, front and back—announcing to the world that, “Yes, we work out and we work out hard.” These are also the same guys who refuse to wipe off the equipment after they’re done marking their territory.

Next are the Loud Grunters. Guys, by the way, are the only ones who do this. Women work out just as hard, but you never hear a peep out of them. I don’t know how they do it. Maybe it’s not really a grunt we hear from the men, but just the sound of an undiagnosed testosterone deficiency.

WideGuyThe Big Bang Guys. These are the guys who drop the barbells on the floor from two feet up when they’re done with their reps. The banging sound is supposed to impress the rest of us that there are more plates on those bars than there are at a Duggar family picnic.

The Wide Guys. One of my favorites. These muscle-bound guys are actually wider than they are tall, so wide that they can’t put their arms down by their sides. Their arms are so far from their bodies that if they ran fast enough they’d probably take off.

WhatHappenedBaby Boomers aren’t the only ones at the gym. A lot of younger people work out, too.  Of course, it’s a lot easier to be ripped when you’re in your 20s. So to the younger guys and women strutting their stuff I say, “Yeah, you’re buff now at 23. Enjoy it while you can.  In 40 years, you’re going to look in the mirror and wonder, “What the hell happened?!”

Til next Tuesday

Hardcore

HolidayInnThis is totally weird. Way off track from my usual blog meanderings. And true.

Many years ago I had a very strange experience that always twists my brain whenever I think about it. It was one of those things where you can remember exactly how you felt at the time, one you never forget, one that brings you right back to where you were.

One afternoon, I was in a movie theater on Hollywood Blvd. waiting to see a film titled “Hardcore,” starring Oscar®-winning actor, George C. Scott. Across the street from the theater and up about a block or so was one of those artsy, but cool cylindrical-shaped Holiday Inns. You could see it simply by exiting the theater, looking straight ahead and up a little toward the Hollywood Hills.

So there I am watching this movie. In the movie, George C. is in a Holiday Inn—that Holiday Inn, the one that’s up the street. It wasn’t unusual since most or all of the movie was shot in L.A. So there he is in his room. He walks to the window, pushes back the drapes and looks down. What’s he looking at? A movie theater. The very theater I’m in watching him in the movie looking down at!

That wigged me out!

Now, you know how your mind can have a zillion thoughts in a split nano-second? My mind immediately and totally irrationally says to me, “Run outside and wave to George C. Scott and you can be in the movie.”

Of course, this is immediately and completely negated by another part of my mind saying what I already knew, “It’s a movie, you idiot! And even if George C. Scott is actually looking out the window right now, right this very second, and you run outside and wave at him to get into the movie, you’ll never see yourself in the movie because you’ll be outside waving at George C. Scott, who isn’t really there.”

My mind felt like something you’d see in an Escher print. I still haven’t fully untangled from this experience all these decades later. So if I ever do anything that is totally weird and irrational and you hear about it, you’ll be able to explain it to everyone else.

I don’t know what made me think of this today, but maybe my shrink can figure it out. Wait a minute. His name is George.

I think I’m going to lie down. Hopefully, I’ll recover by next week.

MarblesMind Marble:

We all know that electricity travels at the speed of light. That’s 186,000 miles per second. Not per hour. Not per minute. 186,000 miles PER SECOND! If that’s true, why does my computer take five minutes to boot up?

Til next Tuesday

Why I’m Not Running for President

PresidentialSealI know many of you are sorry to hear about my decision, but I came to this conclusion long before I decided not to run.

First off, I don’t know why anyone would want to be President of the United States. It’s an awful job. A terrible job. And for $400,000 a year? Are you nuts? If you are, this might just be the job for you.

Personally, I think anybody who wants to be president is long overdue for a psychological evaluation. Actually, a whole battery of tests should be mandatory before anybody is allowed to even run for the highest office in the land, a point that should be abundantly clear to anyone watching the 2016 race so far. Even though I think I could pass the tests, I’d jack it up so that I’d fail.

Being president means you need a thick skin. Even before you decide to run, millions of people already hate you. If you happen to win the presidency, hundreds of millions of people will hate you. Who wants to wake up to that every morning? Isn’t the alarm clock bad enough?

spyingblindsThere’s no privacy when you’re president. Everything you do or don’t do is in the news everywhere for everyone to see every single day. It’s annoying. It’s aggravating. It’s relentless. It’s almost as bad as being on Facebook.

And you’re never alone. The Secret Service is always there with you.

Sidebar: Seems to me that since everybody knows about the Secret Service, shouldn’t they change their name? Maybe something like the Short Fuse Society. Or the “How Would You Like to Wake Up in Uzbekistan” Service. That’s a little long, but it gets the point across.

As I was saying…the Secret Service is always with you. They’re probably even right outside the Presidential Bathroom. This is obviously the real reason these guys are sworn to secrecy. What’s heard from inside the Presidential Loo stays inside the Presidential Loo. Good, because I wouldn’t want anybody to know about that, either, if I was president.

ObamaFaceBTW, the one thing you don’t usually hear about any Commander-in-Chief is when he has a cold or diarrhea. The only reason for that silence is it would adversely affect the stock market. I don’t get the connection, but I’ll bet that’s it.

Sidebar #2: I hope there’s a contingency plan in place in case a dire emergency arises should the president get the runs. We all know how crummy that feels and I don’t want anyone making any kind of decision when they’ve got the trots, you know?

Secretary of Defense: Mr. President, Congolia is threatening to launch missiles into New York, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles! What do you want to do?

The President: There’s only one thing we can do and that’s… oh, no. Not again. I’ll be right back.

Secretary of Defense: Mr. President, we need an answer right now!

The President (as he runs out of the room and down the hall): I don’t care. Push the damn red button…

Secretary of Defense: But our missiles aren’t aimed at Congolia!

The President: I’ve got a bigger problem right now and if you want to be the one to clean the carpet, shut the f**k up!

redphoneAs president, you don’t get any sleep. You are the most powerful person on Earth. The weight of the world is truly on your shoulders. If there’s a problem somewhere, you’re the one who gets notified immediately any time day or night. I don’t know if there’s actually a red crisis phone anymore or not, but if I was president, after 11pm everything would go to voice mail.

You have to like confrontation. I don’t. That’s why so many politicians are lawyers. They love confrontation. They’re trained in confrontation. They’ve made their living from confrontation. I can’t even handle being at the DMV.

I don’t play golf so that automatically leaves me out. Thank God.

RetiredPresidentsThe one and only good thing about being President of the United States is when you become the Former President of the United States. That’s the best job ever. You can say what you want. People like you better because you’re out of office. You get to sleep in. A library is being built for you and you can take out any book you want without having a library card or paying an overdue fee. You get stuff for free. There are few formal responsibilities while someone else is raked over the coals and hated in the media every day. You can get tickets to any event you want without having to go online. You’re famous, a star. You hang out with cool, famous people. You write books and make millions of dollars from speaking engagements.

You know, on second thought, maybe I’ll run after all.

Til next Tuesday

The World’s First Rock Stars

philosophersAristotle, Plato, Socrates and a few others around those early times get too much credit for being so innovative and brilliant. Yeah, they said and wrote some pretty pithy things but, let’s face it. Most people back then were illiterate so it wasn’t like there was a lot of competition.

As a result, these guys were probably treated like rock stars. And like all rock stars, they must’ve had groupies. Philosopher groupies. Weird. But I guess you go with what you’ve got.

It must have been easy to impress people with philosophical observations and pronouncements back in those B.C. days. Everything, including civilization, was new. The whole field of wisdom was wide open. You could come up with the most basic common sense statement and you’d look like a genius only because nobody else thought about it yet or said it before.

EinsteinPhilosopher: “1+1=2.”

Ancient person #1: “Oh my God, did you hear that? It’s brilliant! How did he figure that out?”

Ancient person #2: “He must’ve done the math!”

Next day:

Philosopher: “2+2=4.”

Ancient person #1: “Holy moly! This guy is on a roll!”

Ancient person #2: “What else could he possibly come up with? Don’t we know everything?”

Next day:

StoogesEyePokePhilosopher: “Thrusting your finger into your eye will make life more painful.”

Ancient person #1: “Ha! I don’t believe that for a–Ow! He’s right. Again!”

Ancient person #2: “I wonder if he’s married.”

And so it went.

These days it’s a lot harder to be a famous philosopher/rock star. You could be saying the most profound things ever thought up, but nobody’d care…unless you were on the cover of the latest issue of “Don’t You Wish You Were Me?” magazine. Then people would listen. But keep your day job.

Yes, the words of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates and the rest shall be studied and analyzed forever. Their works, honestly, just don’t interest me.

Philosopher groupies? Now you’ve got my attention.

Til next Tuesday

19 Things I Learned by Being a Parent

Parenthood1.  Unlike most parents, I don’t have a lot of lines on my face.

      I store them on other parts of my body.

2.  By this age, I thought I’d know everything I needed to know.

      I didn’t realize that that only happens when you’re 18.

3.  My daughter has picked up my cooking skills.

 Luckily, I don’t have any so it didn’t take long.

4.  I’m an “older” dad, but don’t look it.

Unfortunately, people think I’m her grandfather.

5.  The rock ‘n roll bands I like are as old as I am or older.

Thank God they recorded when they did.

Clapton6.  I witnessed important history my daughter has only heard about.

“Cream” broke up and Eric Clapton went solo.

7.  There are hugely popular bands out there I’ve never heard of.

That’s okay. Their music sucks.

8.  I’ve been thinking like my parents for a couple of decades now.

See previous comment.

9.  I understand why my parents did some of the things they did.

I’m not acting like them. Well, I am, but I prefer to call it “carrying on a tradition.”

10. I’m not going to live forever.

 Good. I don’t want to be 14,000 years old and have to redo my resume.

ToDoTattoo11. Everybody has tattoos.

       Yeah, well, I’m one of the guys ruining the curve.

12. Everybody has piercings.

       I have two—an earring and a deviated septum.

13. My hair is silver, but only on the sides and back.

 That’s because that’s all I have left.

14. Other people are now the ones who stay out all night and are still able to get up and go to work in the morning.

 I work from home and I still can’t do that.

15. I prefer to stay home at night.

 It’s the only time I have the place to myself.

16. Nobody calls me “young man” anymore.

 That’s because fewer and fewer people are older than me.

PackedCar17. My daughter runs into friends everywhere she goes.

 I run into lots of friends, too, but they’re not mine.

18. A car is a mobile closet and storage facility.

 A selling point totally overlooked by ad agencies.

19. My daughter is forever misplacing her keys.

 I never lose my keys. I don’t go anywhere, but I don’t lose them, either.

Til next Tuesday

Where Do You Put a Bumpersticker?

StickerIdiotBehindA while back, I blogged that some people like wearing t-shirts, hats and other apparel with a brand, team or school name or logo on them. That’s whom they like. That’s whom they identify with. They want the world to know they stand for everything that logo means. Which is why you don’t see anybody wearing a “Viagra” or “Light Days” t-shirt. Identity, it seems, occurs mostly above the waist.

StickerMarriedWe’ve become a promotion society. Everybody’s got a cause, an opinion, or message they identify with and want you to hear or know about. That’s why you see so many bumperstickers. It’s an easy medium to reach lots of people. Unfortunately, the messengers have failed to follow the most basic rule of bumperstickering, and that is to place the bumpersticker on the bumper. Not above it between the tail lights. Not on the doors. Not on the hood. There have been so many violators of this simple idea that there’s no need to ask any of these offenders, “What part of bumpersticker do you not understand?” We already know.

StickerPlutoWhat we don’t know is how could something so simple get so screwed up? Let’s find out:

“Honey, I got this cool bumpersticker. Where should we put it?”

“How about on the car!”

“Great idea! We can put it on the windshield right above the steering wheel so we can have fun reading it backwards while we drive at high speeds at night with no lights!”

“Honey, that would be totally unsafe. We could have an accident if we don’t have our lights on.”

“Okay, well, how about this? Let’s put the bumpersticker right above the bumper. That way we can still back into things and get hit from behind like we always do without damaging our $5 investment!”

“You are so brilliant! And then, when we sell the car we can remove it and all the layers of paint down to the bare metal so it’s totally ours.”

“And the new owners will have a nice clean spot to put their bumpersticker!”

“We are so smart. Let’s have lots of children!”

StickerFamilyThen there’s a baffling group of individuals who are compelled to display stickers of their families on the back window. You’ve seen these things. They’re kind of crude outline representations of the dad, the mom, and each of the four kids, the dog and cat. Sometimes there are names under each one. You may even see a bumpersticker right below it: “Privacy Now!” And, of course, it’ll be on the paint.

What are we supposed to think when we see this? That you have the perfect family? Really? You’ve got stickers of yourselves on your car window. What does that tell people?

StickerSeniorsBesides, how will the kids feel once they’re older and you’re still driving around in the same car with these outdated stickers or are you supposed to update them as everyone gets older so that dad’s bent over his cane, mom’s using a walker? Do you include the kid who’s still in prison or rehab? Do you have to get a whole new series of stickers every time one of the kids gets divorced, then marries someone who might also have kids? Suppose it’s a same-sex marriage. This staying current business could end up costing thousands of dollars.

Travelers have their own subset of decals. Decals from every state they’ve been to. Some cars are covered with them. What’s the point of collecting decals from all fifty states? What happens if you total your car? Do you forfeit all your decals and have to start all over again? The only ones who benefit from your going to all 50 states are burglars. They know that sooner or later you’re not going to be home.

StickerHotDogsThen there are decals of striped bass. I’ve seen a lot of these on pick-up trucks. I don’t get them at all. I like hot dogs, but I’m not putting a decal of Oscar Mayer on my car.

That’s why you don’t want to put a political bumpersticker on your vehicle. The person behind you may be getting divorced, just lost his job and all his money in the stock market, is heading to prison for embezzling, fraud and income tax evasion. And guess who just pissed him off?

StickerCruzIf you feel you must put a political or any opinionated bumpersticker on your car, or are compelled to plaster your windows with decals with your favorite team, college your kid goes to, the accumulation of states you visited, or your perfect family, then do yourself a favor. Dig up one of those “Baby On Board” signs from the 1980s and display it in your car’s back window, too. Maybe everybody will believe it and leave you alone.

Til next Tuesday…

The New Kid in Town

FirstManWhen I stop to think about it, some of the people I admire most are those brave souls who were the first to do something–Alexander Graham Bell, Mary Shelley, Christopher Columbus, whom I admire only for his accomplishment. The guy was an arrogant s.o.b. If he was around today, he would most likely have ended up in Congress and in the Ashley Madison database.

The bravest person I can think of, though, has to be the first man on Earth. It couldn’t have been easy. I’m grateful to God that this job didn’t fall to me because I have zero outdoor survival skills now so I can’t imagine being left to fend for myself several millions of years ago. My idea of roughing it is sleeping with the RV’s window open.

So what must it have been like being the first person on the planet? You wake up on Day One and think, “Okay. What am I? Where am I? And what’s for breakfast?”

dinsosaurYou walk around and see a deer or something like it grazing on some grass. You’re hungry and the creature looks docile. Wow! Food! You start to approach when out of nowhere some huge beast pounces on the animal, kills it and starts tearing it to shreds. Even though you don’t know what kids are, you realize on the most basic level that this is not the best neighborhood to raise them.

Being hungry and not knowing what qualifies as food and what doesn’t, you try everything. Leaves, grass, dirt, rocks, berries, tree bark, insects, flowers. Wisely, you go with the berries. You eat til you’re full. You feel great. Problem solved. Life is good again.

RestroomLater, as you’re walking around, you feel water running down your leg. You were wondering what that nozzle-thing was hanging down between your legs and now you know. Seeing the water, you reflexively tense up your muscles and the urinating stops. Hmmm. Interesting. You relax. The liquid flows again. You tense up. It stops. Relax. Tense. Relax. Tense. You laugh. This is fun! You’ve invented the world’s first game! Life is good! This goes on once or twice more, but then it stops. You’re empty. Game over. Bummer. So you take a nap.

When you wake up, you get a strange feeling. An urge. It’s similar to the water thing that happened earlier, except this time it’s coming from the opposite side of your body, the side you can’t see. A lot of weird stuff is coming out of you. Anyway, now you have to deal with Problem Number Two. Literally.

You do what feels natural and you’re done. You feel much, much better. But what is that odor? Being the first man on Earth, what are you supposed to think when you turn around and see, for the very first time in human history, what just came out of you from “the hidden side.” It’d be confusing, wouldn’t it? That was in me? Is it alive? Did it fall out accidentally? Will I die if I don’t put it back in? Or would you think in whatever pre-language terms you can manage, “Holy sh-t!”? You poke it with a stick. Nothing happens, except now the stick is unusable for roasting marshmallows, which is kind of a non-issue since you haven’t even invented fire yet. Since you don’t know what that stuff that just came out of you is, you err on the side of caution. You defend yourself from whatever this stuff might be by pounding it with a big rock. The next fifteen minutes of your day are spent rolling in the grass deodorizing and cleaning yourself up.      

PoopChampAfter a while you understand what’s going on with bodily functions. You’re no longer scared of whatever is coming out of you. You’ve got this thing down. You’re peeing and pooping like a champ. You’re shaking your head and laughing to yourself about your early naïveté. You’re evolving and feeling pretty good about yourself.

But then…you eat something that you shouldn’t have and you’re not feeling well. You get this new, odd, very uncomfortable, grumbling feeling in your gut. And it’s moving upwards. Suddenly, everything turns violent and you throw up. This time you don’t run away, nor are you anxious to put back what just came out. You decide to eat some grass like some of the wild animals you’ve seen. Unfortunately, you get sicker and die.

RVLife has some hard lessons. This was one of them. But thank you, First Man on Earth. You gave it your all. If you ever get reincarnated and feel like going camping–get an RV.

Til next Tuesday

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