I’m mentally tired. For a lot of reasons, actually. Some of them are to be expected – pick up the kid, answer the phone, clean the house, blah blah blah… But some stuff is instantly annoying. For example, I’m getting phone calls that burglars have selected our neighborhood and are specifically targeting my block. Fake FBI robo-calls have convinced my neighbors that there’s real danger afoot, and that the world’s most vicious and unstoppable crime lords will be stealing all our big screen TVs any day now. I wonder what someone does with so many of those?
I’m tired of corporate promises that suddenly evaporate. For instance, my bank promised we’d “never have to pay for checks again.” I suppose what they forgot to add was “until you run out.” My mother has asked her cable company to turn off the voice mail feature eight times, but it’s still working. There is a circle of corporate insanity out there, with the electric company, grocery store, and my insurance provider – all charter members. The phone company can’t add all of a sudden. Mom’s doctor couldn’t spot arrhythmia. I just don’t understand it, and it’s all so exhausting!
I don’t feel I should have to endure all these roadblocks along the path through life, do you? I know some of it seems harmless – just part of normal commerce (or questionably educational), but I’m willing to take my chances without so much absurdity at every intersection along the way. So, if we meet one day at the mall, or mulling over tomatoes in the market; if our paths cross at a baseball game or we discover we share the same taste in cinema; if we just happen to find ourselves face to face for no reason at all, here are some things you shouldn’t mention. I can’t say for sure what will happen if you do, but I’m certain it will exceed your expectations. You’ve been warned.
1. Do not tell me to quit smoking! I know it’s a filthy habit and it’s killing me – this is not news. And I don’t wanna hear how easy it was for you to quit.
2. Do not mention that I’ve gained weight. So have you, fat head.
3. I don’t want to hear Obama and Hitler in the same sentence ever again, so unless public displays of ignorance are your thing, hush.
4. When you find out I do paranormal research, don’t tell me your wife is psychic. I don’t care. Besides, she’s not, or she’d have warned you not to tell me that.
5. Don’t ask me if I’m still married to “whatshername.” If we haven’t seen each other in that long, just keep walking, for god’s sake.
6. No, the grand kids are not keeping me young.
7. Yes, I remember you. And yet, I never tried to stay in touch. Hmmmm…
8. If you heard I was dead, don’t bring it up. I promise not to mention how often I heard you were stupid. I’m clearly not dead, but stupidity is unavoidable.
9. Don’t ask me if I’ve accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior. It’s not the question – it’s everything that follows.
10. Don’t tell me so-and-so turned out to be gay unless he’s getting married and you know where he’s registered. I’d rather buy a crystal serving dish for some guy I haven’t seen in forty years than spend one minute gossiping about his sexuality with you.
There are others, but if you embrace these ten suggestions, I can handle anything else. Unless you start on politics or religion, and then all bets are off – I don’t have time to “straighten you out,” and you’ll force me to try. In case you’ve forgotten, I understand the true meaning of the word obnoxious, and I know how to execute. Life’s tough in the big city! So, peace… Smiley face… Go Orioles!
Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.