I have nothing to say right now. For example, take this post. WordPress told me it’s been in the Drafts folder since October 14, 2009. You can interpret that as an omen that decidedly does not portend well:
Warning: Excellent content ahead.
Why else would I work on it for such a long time? Obviously I refused to be rushed.
The thought crosses my mind, though, that with nothing to say, I probably wouldn’t be a good candidate to be a delivery driver. Think about it. Can you imagine spending your days going into small business offices and engaging in the same inane banter over and over again? The same boring chitter chatter? Day after day? Unimaginable. Unless you have a job. That’s pretty much also the definition of “work.”
“What? A package? Who’s it from?”
Drive drunk? I feel that should be classified as “attempted murder.” Society, as usual, doesn’t agree with me. “No jail time for killing four pedestrians while driving with a BAC three times over the legal limit and not even old enough to drink.” That wee bit of difference of opinion on punishment makes me an outlier, I guess. Of course, that’s an extreme example, yet to my way of thinking, punishment in even garden variety DUII cases falls woefully short.
Cheat on your spouse? That should also be “attempted murder.” It’s all so simple to me. Pick up a deadly disease, bring it to your marital bed, and pay it forward with a potential disease that could theoretically kill the person who trusts you the most. There should be serious punishment for that. Far too often the only real punishment is going back to your regular life like nothing ever happened. Not much of a deterrent, eh?
In brief, my point is that without certain and meaningful consequence there is absolutely no limit on behavior. Period.
I believe a certain percentage of people just don’t give a shit. Perhaps they are motivated by drug addiction. Perhaps they are psychopaths and/or sociopaths and it’s what they do. Maybe they were brought into the world and damaged beyond repair by parents, environment and random events. Whatever the reason, it makes little difference in the end. The outcomes are similar. The themes of destruction and causing harm are remarkably consistent.
We tend to expect it from these folks. No big surprises there.
What about the rest of us? We’re good, right?
Hold on. Let’s not be too hasty.
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Admittedly there is at least one major bummer about being an atheist. It’s a pretty big one, too. Quite simply: I’m deprived of a bunch of gods. Dammit. I guess that comes with the territory. So, in self defense, I learned to pray only to the Great Airlock.
“Oh, Great Airlock, please hear my humble plea.”
“I’m sorry, Tom. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
It’s easy to see how the Great Airlock could come in handy. Alas, it never quite works out that way. The Airlock is a cruel god. But you still gotta believe, right?
I’ve pontificated about The Great Airlock in the past. In theory, He represents immutable consequences to choice and action. The origin mythology is exceedingly simple: When the button is pushed the door opens. The door cares not what is on the Other Side. The door cares not if the occupant is ready. The door opens. The results are what they are. Nothing can change that. Nothing. Not even a god.
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After three years of daily posting I was recently honored by WordPress who featured my article about China on their Freshly Pressed page. As a result of that freak accident I picked up a few new friends as subscribers. Welcome! I’m a Fresh Maker.
For all my friends, both freshly new and old/busted, today I will reveal arcane knowledge that will, if heeded, save your life. I can single-handedly make you remain a viable member of the elite group known as “still alive.”
Interested? Read on! And unlike some people, after I’ve saved your life my demands on your servitude will barely be noticeable. You won’t even know I’m here.
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I’ve never been into fast cars. As far as I’m concerned, the male analogy stops right there. While the other guys were talking about engine blocks and rattling off weird nonsensical numbers and making lamps out of blocks of wood in shop class, I was taking “home economics” with 29 girls and learning how to sew my own apron and make chocolate chip cookies.
Yet, when it came to driving itself, suddenly I was interested. I just didn’t care what went on inside that thing. On my birthday and the day it became legal I obtained my learner’s permit. Exactly one year later I aced my driving test.
My dad taught me to drive. We practiced together in his car (an automatic) and my car (stick shift) which I had already bought with my own money. The car cost me $300, money which I had earned working part-time at a variety of local fast food establishments. It was a 1969 Pontiac LeMans hardtop. The driver’s door never opened, you had to slide across the one-piece seat from the passenger side, and the manual transmission was so wonky and loose that I eventually became the only human who could drive that baby. You had to perform little maneuvers while shifting, like lifting, twisting and pushing down to get it to go into gear. But that baby was mine.
I moved to the big city to live with my dad but I wanted to finish my senior year of high school in my little home town. So I became a commuter at the age of 18. My daily commute was a 30-mile drive (one-way) to school.
I enjoy driving. I’ve done a lot of it. It’s the one area of my life where I am the one percent unlike the 99% of other idiots on the road. My instincts and cat-like reflexes have kept me alive when most other idiots would have perished in a fantastic ball of fire.
And I’ve never forgotten one of the most basic principles my dad taught me about being a good driver on day one with my learner’s permit in hand: Drive so that you don’t impact other drivers on the road.
This is a story about a typical idiot who never received and/or heeded such critical training.
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How would you come off if someone secretly recorded video of you doing your job? Would you pass that test? Would you come through with flying colors?
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In the beginning I made this blog. It took six beers. On the seventh beer I rested. Ooops. Did I go too far?
It’s time for a mid-post reboot. Eat that, J.J. Abrams.
In the beginning of this blog, I worried a bit that it would be all about the wacky wide world of driving. Somehow, someway, I found the intestinal fortitude to branch into other areas and a guru was born. Yeah!
Even though, sometimes I have to return to my roots. This is one such time.
Tonight on the way home I began to notice that something was amiss. An urban assault vehicle in the lane next to me seemed to be going out of its way to seriously fuck with my Wheaties.
I tried to be calm. I tried to not let it bother me. I tried to assume it wasn’t personal.
A few seconds later I blew up. It probably didn’t help that I was still recovering from a self-induced embolism early in the day at the shit sandwich factory. I probably shouldn’t have been driving in my condition.
I tried to get around and in front of the asshole. No dice. Same result when I slowed down and tried to get behind. This person was clearly messing with me and I had no clue why. I hadn’t done anything wrong. As usual I had been a perfect angel, an innocent babe in the woods, yet somehow the Universe was giving me the what for.
Finally I was about to get around the idiot. As I went by, I turned to look at my opponent and gave the classic stare down of “I’m passing you, motherfucker.” Also known as the glinty eyes of steely death.
It was a woman who looked like she had stepped out of that famous American Gothic painting by Grant Wood. Her hair was pulled back tighter than … well, suffice it to say it was pretty damn tight. The only thing missing was the pitchfork. I assume that was in the back of her gigantor SUV.
S H E W A S R E A D I N G ! ! !
I repeat, “She was motherfucking goat clusters of evil reading.” She had something stretched across her entire steering wheel and she was driving at the same time she was intently studying it.
This was game on time. She picked the wrong time, wrong guru, wrong place to beg for someone to finally straighten out. It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks, right?
My lawyer advises me to cut this post short. But he will let me add this: