Pain Man

banksy-girlI’m sitting here writing this post in my Kmart underwear … and nothing else. Yes, even though Kmart sucks. Maybe because of it. I gotta be me. We all know how much I enjoy humiliation.

I don’t know much and what I do know seems to be shrinking on an almost daily basis. My existence is increasingly consumed by thoughts regarding my sanity.

For those keeping track the opening paragraph was “underwear” and the follow-up paragraph was “shrinkage.” This is known as a progression of ideas. I’m building up to something. You are wise to still be reading this.

Aside from all that, there seems to be something else going on.

My rate of “Rain Man” moments seems to be on the rise. There’s been an uptick in momentia, if you will.

No, we decidedly do not refer to them as “senior moments.” Despite being a grumpy grandpa and standing on my lawn and yelling at kids, I’m not ready for that schtick just yet. Not while I’m still young and in my prime.

Besides, I’m an excellent driver.

Then I was responsible for a car accident after going to the pharmacy to pick up my “meds.” Oh, shit. Did I just use the word “meds?” This is the end.

So yeah, that happened.

Life can be hard. Sometimes all it takes is a single nanosecond of distraction to come to grips with your oblivion. I’ll try to provide a couple examples to explain the Nanoseconds Theory I’ve been researching. It’s been the bulk of my work of late.

Take a simple exercise, like turning on the propane barbecue grill. Safety is paramount. Here’s how it went down the other day: I opened the valve on the propane tank. I then turned all the dials on high. Then I was distracted by something. I no longer remember what it was or for how long. Something important, I’m sure.

Long story short, it wasn’t exactly the best time to be distracted.

Oh, wait, my brain niggled. Wasn’t I just in the middle of something? Hey, dumbass! Over here! Listen to me!

“Oh yeah,” I said out loud to no one in particular, especially since I had unwisely been left unattended. “The barbecue!”

The part that’s really brilliant, though, came next. I reached over and pushed the ignite button.

Luckily it was only a little boom. Hell, the lid didn’t even get blown off. Yes, I survived. But it was enough to make me stop and think. Why does shit like this keep happening to me?

Shut up, brain. I am sick and tired of you.

The point is this: With only a few misplaced nanoseconds you could easily fireball yourself, and I’m not talking Advanced Dungeons & Dragons here. I mean to literally fireball into oblivion. Talk about going out with style!

I’m not the only one, either. One time on a road trip my wife made me take the next highway exit and go back home because she wasn’t sure if the coffee pot was on. It was. Anyone who knows anything about road trips knows that it is critical to make good time. That really hurt.

rain-mainSpeaking of hurt, here’s another one. My wife was recently holding a Braun handheld blender. She decided to clean blue cheese away from the blades – while it was still plugged in. By now I hope you can guess what happened next. She accidentally squeezed the trigger and, “Sayonara motherfucka!!” That really hurt. See how those nanoseconds sneak up on you? Luckily, this time, there was a happy ending. She just told me that she’s probably not going to lose the fingernail.

Because Nanoseconds Theory is so crucial to your survival, I shall regale you with one more wee tale that will hopefully drive home its importance. (Don’t worry. I’m not behind the wheel.)

On Saturday my wife and I had big plans. We were going to run errands on a schedule that would put us at the world famous Skyline Restaurant exactly when they opened for lunch for the “best burger in Portland.”

We were about 20 minutes from home when my wife said, “Oh. Shit. I think I left the water on in the garden.”

Since I was still dragging my tail between my legs following the humiliation of my car accident, I said with glee, “No problem, baby. Just swing back home, I’ll hop out and turn it off.”

We pulled up to the house and I went to the hose bib and flipped the lever. The water sound stopped and we continued on our merry way just a bit behind schedule. We lucked into a table at the restaurant. And the “best” burger in town? Meh.

Later that night it was getting close to bedtime when my wife noticed something askew. “Holy shit,” she yelled. “Something is askew!” (Or words to that effect.)

The water was not off. In fact, instead of turning it off I had swimmingly turned it up to full power. And, speaking of swimming, that’s exactly what our tomatoes were doing. “My poor wee bairns,” my wife cried.

What a feeling that was. We lost twenty minutes of travel time – twice – just to make things worse and do the exact opposite of what was needed. We’d have been better off if she’d never remembered the damn water. But then I wouldn’t have been able to demonstrate my powers.

My field research is now complete. The conclusions I have drawn regarding Nanosecond Theory are utterly inescapable. I don’t have long to live. In the near future will come a brief period where I will smear poop on the walls and then, not too long after that, the hereafter.

You heard it here first.

Note: I tried using actual writing techniques during the creation of this post. Please let me how you think it differs from my other work. Thanks! –Ed

8 responses

  1. I was expecting that as you “jumped” from the car to turn the water off, you broke your hip. Not to sound disappointed or anything. For what it’s worth, today was my first day back in my classroom and I got to my car and realized I’d locked my keys in my class. I walked all the way back and I hadn’t even locked my class. I think it must be because I’m really relaxed?

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    1. Broken hip? I admit that would have been a hell of a lot funnier. How about if I sneezed from pollen in the air so powerfully that it hurt my back? Would that suffice? 🙂

      First day of school! Squee! Exhilarating! Mold those young minds! 🙂

      Is “relaxed” another word for “not mindful enough?” How can you be that relaxed after the first day of school? What are they serving in that lounge, anyway?

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  2. So funny how you glossed over wrecking the car. OK wreck is a tad strong but you more than fender bended it. Also you forgot to mention losing your camera, leaving the bathroom faucet running at a low trickle and about 42 other little incidents. Darling, till death do us part….OR till you start losing your mindhole and smearing poop on the wall which is when I say Sayonara motherfucka! Love you!!!

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    1. I didn’t mean to gloss over it. I figured that sentence covered all of the pertinent details. I felt like an idiot, which is good, because I can now refocus on being aware while driving and trying to maintain a state of zen. It matters not what other vehicles do. I must try to control only myself.

      Luckily he was a big ass truck and was only affected with a little smudge. I wish it was the same with our little Outback.

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  3. If your brain is shot now, stick to tomatoes, don’t have human bairns. Do it and you may as well pierce a straw through your skull, garnish with fruit and add an umbrella – let the weeuns suck the matter outta you. A visceral image to illustrate the culmination of extreme sleep deprivation, incessant crying and feces up to your armpits. Keep calm and smear on! (PS – If I didn’t write a wine blog I’d write a hate blog about those Keep Calm memes) Oh, I didn’t notice an improvement in your writing with the new techniques, but keep up the good work!

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    1. WTH are you talking about? Can’t you tell that I tried, really tried, to do writing things like put words in a certain order, spell and other shit like that? It seemed pretty obvious to me. Oh well, another wasted effort down the drain.

      What were we talking about again? I seem to have gotten a bit off track.

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      1. After several hours in fetal position,crushed after such an abusive response to my comment, I was having bad thoughts while eating a whole pizza alone. I re-read your post over, and over, and over again. I can now, with certainty, state that you are indeed a good speller, a very accomplished one. Can you spell restraining order? I am filling out a form that I’m sending to my Aunt Ellen. She lives in Salem, Ellen Rosenblum. I’m her favorite niece – I was a flower girl at her wedding in Cottage Grove. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be back to my same ole self soon. xoxo

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      2. I do believe that the fetal position is optimal for the absorption of wine into the body. You’re welcome!

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Bringeth forth thy pith and vinegar

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