Monthly Archives: November 2015
My good friends Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain were born on this date. Jonathan is 348 years young and Mark is 180 years young. (Have you noticed how we say “years young” for people who are well up there in age?)
To honor these giants of tragedy, I make November 30 a Universal Humorous Holiday (UHH). It was a private holiday for me, but both Jonathan and Mark told me to open it up to the public. I listened to them because dead people are smarter than those of us still eating and breathing and going toiley. (Going toiley can be a problem. I’m looking forward to being dead so I won’t have to worry about finding clean public washrooms.)
What to do on UHH? Take the day off work for a laugh without telling your boss. Too bad if he or she can’t take a joke. If bosses are worth anything, then they, too, will take the day off for a laugh.
What else to do on UHH? Dentists suggest that we should eat lots of candy and chocolate and other sweets all day. Sounds like fun.
FUN — that’s the idea! Always make it fun no matter what you decide to do on this Universal Humorous Holiday.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have Jonathan and Mark’s birthday party to get to. Won’t they be surprised when I come out of their birthday cake in my birthday suit. Getting to the party will be a challenge because my GPS often dies in the afterlife.
HAPPY UNIVERSAL HUMOROUS HOLIDAY!
Life is not fair. The race is not always won by the swift. The sharpest knife in the drawer may never get to cut anything because it is not related to the chef.
The other morning I was in a slow-moving line at the library to pick up a free newspaper. I was a good boy. I did not butt in. I waited my turn to get to the front of the line, and when I got there I saw the pile was down to the last newspaper. As I was about to pick it up, a woman came from behind me and grabbed the paper. She avoided eye contact as she quickly slithered away leaving me astonished by her actions.
I thought how life often rewards those who cheat and lie and steal and break the rules, and often punishes those who play fair, tell the truth and follow the rules.
The way life works, this woman snake will likely receive awards honoring her for her honesty and contributions to society. Perhaps a newspaper will have a statue of her outside its office building. Perhaps she will win a lottery from a ticket she found. Will she still steal newspapers after that?
The next time I see her I will thank her for the contribution she made to my life. She reminded me how happy I am when I give up the expectation that life is fair.
I remember the first time; I was a space. I don’t remember too much about that lifetime. I was a space separating two paragraphs. I do not remember what the paragraphs were about or who wrote them.
My second time around I was quotation marks for a minor character in a short story. I don’t remember the character’s name or what the story was about.
After several lifetimes as quotation marks, for various characters in various stories, I started coming back as other punctuation marks. I lived as a colon, a semicolon, a question mark, an exclamation mark, and finally as a period. It was after my lifetime as a period that my Spirit Guides suggested that I try life as a sentence.
“Wow!” I said. “A complete sentence? I want to be a sentence in a famous writer’s novel!”
“We don’t feel you’re ready for that yet. We suggest you live as a sentence in an obscure writer’s short story,” said my Spirit Guides.
“But I want to be a sentence in a famous writer’s novel. I can handle it. Please? “
“We won’t stop you,” said my Spirit Guides. “We only suggest, we never insist.”
I should have followed their suggestion. I lived as a sentence in The Poor Man and the Lady by Thomas Hardy. He ended up destroying this novel because he could not sell it. Was my lack of readiness part of the reason he could not sell this novel? Who knows? From that lifetime I learned to follow my Spirit Guides’ suggestions.
I spent several lifetimes as a sentence. Most times someone wrote me, but sometimes someone spoke me. Soon I was returning as two or three sentences, and before long I started returning as a paragraph or two.
So, here I am in my present lifetime as this blog. I look at the spaces between the paragraphs, in this blog, and wonder about their future lives. What will these spaces be eons from now? Will they learn the hard way that it is always best to follow their Spirit Guides’ suggestions?
No longer is it important to me to be a sentence in a famous writer’s novel. If it happens, then great. If not, then that is okay, too. I accept my lifetimes and the karma I create.
Soon it will be time for me to go. I used to fear going. I saw it as an end, as death. Now I see going as no big deal. I’ve done it a thousand times, and will do it a thousand times more.
All life is a circle, and as a circle it has no beginning and no end.
Politics is a dirty business, and I am an old cynic. But when I see Justin Trudeau’s smiling idealistic face, I cannot feel anything but hope. Am I fooling myself? I hope not.
We’re an odd bunch — we who hang out at the North York Central Library. Everyday we serve out our sentences by doing time there.
The Holy Homeless Lady: Everyday she takes over a washroom for several hours singing hymns, praising Jesus and delivering sermons. Once she finishes her church service in the washroom, she comes out to the study area and prays quietly before she falls asleep. She prays and sleeps and prays and sleeps and prays and sleeps until the library closes.
The Teddy Bear Man: He looks normal. He looks so normal. He’s tall with a medium build and in his forties. He carries and talks to teddy bears and other stuffed animals. Sometimes he carries a brown teddy bear, and sometimes he carries several teddy bears. They are different colors which shows that he is not prejudiced. Other times he carries a stuffed horsey, penguin, duckee and giraffe.
Whatever stuffed animals he has, he talks to them intimately. He whispers in their ears and holds their mouths to his ear when it is their turn to talk. He hugs, caresses and kisses them, too. He places them in a semicircle around a computer screen and watches war movies with them. Sometimes he wears headphones while watching the war movies, but most times he does not. I suppose anyone who talks to stuffed animals does not need headphones to hear the sound from movies.
Take away the stuffed animals, and he looks normal. He looks so normal.
The Fart Lady: The Fart Lady is middle-aged. She has a round body, a round head with a round face and a snow-top round Afro. I call her The Fart Lady not because she farts, but because she imagines that any man near her is farting. She yells at the man for farting and will sometimes kick his chair.
Yesterday, she yelled at me.
“Stop farting! Stop farting! This isn’t a public washroom! Stop farting! Stop farting!”
I wanted top say, “Lady, if I farted then you wouldn’t stay next to me.” But I know that I am nuts, so I said nothing to her. Fortunately she did not start kicking my chair before the librarian asked her to leave.
I have never seen her imagining that a woman near her is farting. The Fart Lady only picks on men.
Wimpy: He looks and dresses like Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons. The only difference is that this Wimpy wears a red hard hat. He’s ready for when the sky falls, I guess. He also has a dolly cart with several boxes of newspapers. He’s harmless. He sits all day reading newspapers, and occasionally talks to people I can’t see.
There are several library patrons with addiction issues who surreptitiously drink beer from cans.
There are the masturbators, several of them, who carry on while sitting at a computer. I suspect that the librarians know what the wankers are doing and ignore it.
I could go on mentioning more nutbars. The library is full of them.
Several months ago, a librarian asked me to go to a meeting with the library’s planning committee. “We want feedback from people who use the library a lot,” she said.
“Why me?” I thought. “There are lots of people who use the library a lot. Why me?”
I looked around at the Holy Homeless Lady praying, Teddy Bear Man watching war movies with his friends, Wimpy, the addicts and the wankers . . .
To confirm the insight that whacked me over the head I asked the librarian, “Why me? There are lots of people who use the library. Why choose me?”
She said, “You’re here everyday, you’re articulate, and you present yourself well.”
What a diplomatic way to say, “You’re the least nutty of the nutbars.”