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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

the art of parking

designed to be read AFTER the previous post...its like...a sequel...you know?


what i did while i was "away"...

i opened a parking lot that sells "art"...what do you do when you want to sell your "art", but your tired of standing in a tent by the sidewalk?...you open a gallery...great idea...now, what do you do when you actually want to make money at your gallery?...you open a parking lot on the grounds of the gallery...so you end up sitting in a chair by the sidewalk...a bit of irony i suppose...however, it turns out that parking cars is the most economically sound part of the "art" business...i have often thought that if van gogh had had a parking lot, he may not have shot himself...at $4.99 a car, Hyper-Realistic Parking ends up buying a lot more cheap beer than the ridiculously priced pictures that i try to sell inside...what a concept...i get shit-faced drunk holding a cupful of pennies, people park their cars, give me $4.99 and i proceed to make an absolute ass of myself...i knew it couldnt miss...and i only had to pull my gun twice last summer...i named the "artistic" abomination Fountainhead Gallery because i cant help but want the world to kiss my ass if it wont accept me only on my terms...ive learned that the world does not appreciate this as much as i had hoped...live and learn, i guess...so now, [as an "artist"] my new job is essentially to appear troubled and enigmatic...thats it...its really not that difficult...sitting in the parking chair and watching the nightly throng of human repugnance go by...being troubled comes easy...the enigmatic part isnt much more difficult...i just say things that almost make sense but are just outside the realm of comprehension...the words dont necessarily need to have meaning...if you can some how conflate the shallower aspects of immanuel kant's Critique of Pure Reason with the deeper aspects of the honey boo boo show, then you can pull it off...i rely heavily on those to whom i am speaking to believe that [as an "artist"] i am just a little too complex for them to fully digest...i also rely heavily on the copious consumption of cheap beer to lubricate my thoughts as i am performing this most important of "artistic" functions...

i developed a texting trap in the sidewalk...so, i ended up sitting in a chair by the sidewalk...parking cars...i tried to make the most of it by practicing what i call intellectual frottage with the passersby...i enjoy seeing their reaction when i let my weirdness hump the leg of their mind...no response...nothing...it was a cavalcade of cyber-somnambulists  parading down the sidewalk past my parking chair...people so busy with their cell phones that i was afforded absolutely not opportunity to socially violate them...even in the slightest of ways...i got bored...i thought it would be great to make some sort of trap so i could watch these insensible cyborgs fall down and drop their phones...it never ceases to entertain me to see the look of absolute, world-shaking horror on a person"s face when they drop their electric heroin...i witnessed one case of a person falling prey to the trap with a baby in their arms...after getting up, they checked the phone first...[your world...not mine]...i tried several variations...i started with a small, well-camouflaged bump...slowly, i made it more and more conspicuous...bigger...more brightly colored...it made no difference...no matter how obvious, it worked every time...i gave it up out of boredom after i finally dug a large hole with huge warning signs and barricades and still, the people just poured into it... 

i experimented with omnipotence...i sat in public square in cleveland watching window washers and tried to use my powers to make them fall...the first time, i literally passed out from the strain...i woke up with my head in some homeless guy's lap...after a few attempts, i found myself greatly disturbed by the fact that my first act as an omnipotent being would be to cause ill to befall my fellow man...of course, i rationalized...well,i thought, if i am to be the only omnipotent man alive, then i could (and should) consider the remainder of the world's population as insects...to hell with them...let them develop there own god-like powers to defend themselves against me...it just didnt sit well...i guess i am too nice of a guy to operate like that...this thought offered me another route...i rationalized it by believing that, because i am such a nice guy, my innate benevolence would cause me to spare them at the last moment by temporarily suspending the law of gravity...after a few more attempts, i gave up because i realized that, even though i really am a nice guy, my innate benevolence has become severely eroded by a lifetime of dealing with idiots...

i may have trained a cat to make the Law and Order sound ...lets face it...who hasnt gotten bored from time to time with the same tired old cliche coming out of their cats mouth?...that all too ordinary "meow"...i thought it would be easy...watching no less than fifteen episodes of various forms of Law and Order a day in the winter, i assumed the cat would pick it up easily...after a couple of days without progress, i decided to go to a reward system...being a geneva-on-the-lake cat, i concluded that the most effective reward would be Milwaukees Best Ice...i poured some in a bowl, turned on the tv and waited...the cat didnt seem to be able to make the connection between the task and the reward...so, every time the Law and Order sound played on the television, i would look at the cat, make the Law and Order sound and get down on the floor and drink some of the beer out of the bowl...just to show the cat how refreshing and satisfying the reward could be...unfortunately, the project finally ended when i got sick of waking up face down in the carpet with a hangover and bowl of vomit next to my head...there was one time when i could have sworn that the cat finally did it...but with so much cheap beer in me, i cant be sure... 

i spent a month in the lobby of a major bank's headquarters as a piece of installation art...i sealed myself inside of a small plexiglass box with a single air hole...naked, i would cavort and writhe in my own filth...relentlessly screaming through the air hole the solitary word "ME!!" at everyone that walked by...i would wait about one full second after i first made eye contact...just at the point where i was certain that their mind had almost fully engulfed the sickeningly surreal sight that their eyes were sending it...then i would begin..."ME!"..."ME!"...sometimes i would weep and wail...loudly sobbing the word...pleading with the forlorn desperation of an unloved child...other times i  would lower my brow and gnash my teeth...vitriolically screaming the word...attacking with the rebellious hatred of an overly loved child...i ended the installation when someone finally took a selfie with me...posted it on facebook...and truly validated my existence...the superlative banality legal department has forbidden me from mentioning the name of the bank since i failed to ask permission before i showed up in the lobby...

Friday, June 27, 2014

fugue



so...what the hell happened to me?...i feel like i did when i woke up in the middle of the road in central arkansas…my breath smelling like week-old roadkill stuffed with really expensive cheese...as i recall, i lost twelve days on that one...good christ!...its been over a year this time...i cant be absolutely certain what happened and i may never be...whenever i am absolutely certain that I may never be absolutely certain about something, i seek guidance from the real thinkers of the world…it stands to reason that anyone who has sores on their elbows from sitting at a bar drinking and bullshitting all day, must be doing some real thinking, and must be good for some form of guidance…so i assembled a dream team of medical/lifestyle advisers down at the pickled pepper for a consultation…after some lengthy, alcohol-soaked discussions of all the evidence, after beer-tears shed and accidental punches thrown, we concluded that i suffered what can only be called an intellectual coma...a traumatic event overwhelms the mind, pushing it past the point of critical, meaningful thought...the brain and body continue to function... but the mind and soul are hiding under the bed as if their alcoholic uncle henry got called in to babysit at the last minute…you can still drive to work…you can still stand erect while brad relentlessly refers to matters regarding the local sporting distractions in first person plural…sporadically staring downward, shaking his head and interjecting his mantra “we need defense, man”…you can even still listen and understand as shirley irrevocably eradicates forty minutes of your life, verbally molesting you with every last detail of a thirty minute show that you just told her you already watched… gone, however, is the ability to think “wow! brad and shirley really are assholes”…autopilot lifestyle...on...........the final thing that i remember was attending my weekly transcendental twerking class back in may of last year [the thursday class was being overrun by snobbish wine swirlers who were just out to prove something, so i switched to wednesdays] ...notwithstanding the countless breakthroughs of medical science in the field of twerking, there are still many unknowns...based on the current volume of data regarding the physiological, psychological and spiritual effects of a really intense twerking session, it is possible that i entered an altered state of consciousness known as hyper-realistic perception...this occurs when you experience such clarity of mind that the bullshit of our modern existence is stripped of all of its apparent "normalcy" and seen for the madness that it truly is...this was my trauma...i remember being reborn into a world where people take the time to gather together in groups so that they can ignore each other while they facebook [yes...it's a friggin verb now] or text with people who didnt even bother to take the time to sit down and ignore them...a world where parents fed their children a strict diet of saturated fat and high-fructose corn syrup so that they would be weak and lazy enough to sit all day playing expensive video games, watching traffic camera clips of people being killed by trains or learning how to properly ignore people with their iphones...this way, both parents could go out and work just to be able to afford the latest video games, computers and iphones to forestall their children’s hatred for abandoning them [thats not the disturbing part...they actually wondered why their kids ended up being sociopaths, but i digress]...the world i saw was teeming with people who were so desperate for the smallest crumb of eminence or recognition...so hungry for anything that could verify that they truly were the superstar that the lifelong marketing blitz had convinced them that they are, that they made pseudo-celebrities of themselves by endlessly updating their status or obsessively tweeting out selfies (strategically hashtagged for maximum exposure, of course) to a world that couldnt possibly give a shit less that they just had a yummy lunch or that theyre feeling a little blue today *sigh*... this was a world where everyone was trying to be anything other than what they really were…anything...people moving, living and thinking in herds…each one trying to act like everyone else in the group, leaving only some lowest common denominator of a human being…every personality trait focus group tested and deemed safe for public consumption...laughable caricatures of who they wish they were...bland, insipid, vanilla people who would think, say or do nothing offensive, unexpected or out of the ordinary for fear of being seen as someone less than enthusiastic about conformity...thereby risking rejection, and ultimately the solitude required to help them realize that their lives were swirling down the bowl while they chased someone else's dream…wave after wave of unabashed, mind-raping idiocy assaulted my senses…i snapped………the first thing that I felt can only be described as going from a normal existence, standing here in the earth’s atmosphere to being encased in cottage cheese (or greek yogurt for you trendy types) within a split second…the all-encompassing pressure of raw stupidity rushed in on me…a tsunami of insanity…it was too much for my mind to bear…the next (and last) thing that I felt was ridicule…as if the simple act of perceiving the madness of people, somehow made them aware of my scrutiny of their “normal” behavior…for which they chastised, belittled or otherwise laughed at me…I was instantaneously inundated with visions from my past... pointing out the everyday, beacon-like stupidity of people who would never argue against the point that I was making, but would invariably call me an idiot and deride me for “thinking too much”…hmmmm...and just as I was fading out, one final critical thought flashed through my mind which set my life in motion for the next year…”when surrounded by idiots, the idiots will call you an idiot”…there could be only one course of action…I opened a parking lot that sells "art"…the art of parking…to be continued

Monday, April 1, 2013

ad nauseum

in the interest of satisfying my perpetual urge to make the most of my angst and misery, i have developed a new hobby...i call it extreme agonizing...here's how it works......pick a subject...any subject...the only prerequisite being that it is something that you can worry about [it's best if you pick a subject that you know you shouldn't think about]...next, you make about four or five pots of coffee...[no food, you'll thank me later]...and make sure you have enough tobacco around to make your lungs bleed...then, you sit there...you just frigging sit there and think about it...it's a good idea to start with the basics...simply dwell on the existence of the problem...piss and moan about how unfair life can be and do the whole "why me?" routine...dabble here and there in denial so that you can feel the shame of naivete once denial ultimately fades into a despondent acceptance of reality...when you have your footing, you can move on to envisioning various horrific outcomes to the situation and your complete inability to deal effectively with absolutely any of them......in order to maintain a feeling of helplessness [which is vital to achieving proper form], it's a good idea to depart from concern for the future occasionally and consider the present...remember...right now, there are things occurring, regarding the subject at hand, over which you have absolutely no control...all of the events that will lead to the most negative of aftermaths could be happening as you sit there......by this time, [with proper technique, of course] you should begin to feel nauseous from the slight but steady, long-term trickle of adrenalin into your blood ...let the negative thoughts intensify in frequency and severity with the increase of the pounding heartbeat in your ears...with the ashtray overflowing and the coffee pots emptied, the nicotine and caffeine should keep your empty stomach from feeling like it will implode, and you can push yourself further than you previously thought gastroenterologically possible...for your sprint to the finish line you should shift over from worry to regret...give yourself the emotional and moral equivalent of an old-fashioned woodshed ass whoopin'...how could you have been so stupid?...when will you ever learn?...questions such as these are necessary to convince yourself that you are doomed to a future of epic fuck-ups...allow the regret of mistakes you have yet to make to come rushing in...agonize about the unknowable details of these future excursions from an acceptable life...you are limited only by your imagination...oh...i forgot to mention the bucket...if you've done everything correctly up to this point, you will need it now for the inevitable crescendo...after ten to fifteen minutes of violent, back-breaking retching, you can feel free to pass out on the floor, twitching uncontrollably in a puddle of sweat...the truly adept will lie naked and motionless in the shower with a blank expression until long after all of the hot water is gone...i'm thinking about petitioning the international olympic committee to have this added as an event in the advanced neurotic behaviors category...i just haven't figured out if the winner is to be determined using a stopwatch or a measuring cup...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Enigma

i froze my ass off to get this picture...i dont know why...i spent all night deciding how to crop it...i dont know why [i finally decided not to crop it]...i wasnt happy until it was blue...i dont know why...every once in a while you get one that just wont let go...i dont know why....

Indelible

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Productivity Baby

wow....this stuff was actually taken this week...hurray for me, i guess...i must have decided to get off of my ass...about time....





Tuesday, January 8, 2013

finally, something "new"

 2012 will not be recorded as the year of my best effort regarding artistic productivity...i had very little inspiration/motivation to go out and take pictures...sheer laziness i suppose...the few times that i did go out, i just couldn't get excited about the results...it all looked like shit to me...in fact, other than just playing around, i haven't picked up my camera in almost three months...but, like the unholy ghost of that unwanted child that you shoved in the closet and forgot to feed, it haunts you; the need to create something...after all, i would hate to waste this tremendous wave of misery that i currently find myself riding, strictly on the writing of useless bullshit on the internet...so today i decided to pack up my gear, gas up the car and drive around until i found something that grabbed me...i took quite a few pictures and felt pretty good doing it...it always feels good while you're doing it...but twenty dollars worth of gas and four hours later i looked at the less-than-thrilling results and thought, "more shit"...well, it happens i guess...frustrated, i decided to go back and look at some of the little bit that i shot in 2012...who knows, maybe i missed something...it was very odd, i distinctly remember these pictures being shit...but, now i was finding some that really interested me...the 2013 me worked on a few until the 2012 me came back...hopefully, i will continue this new-found inspiration until the results satisfy me...if not, i can just wait a few months and maybe i won't see the shit anymore...





Sunday, January 6, 2013

gambling with a chainsaw

it happens to all of us...eventually...you're riding the wave...just trying to enjoy what you've determined to be the most that you can reasonably hope to receive from this world...then life sends you the emotional equivalent of a disfiguring chainsaw disaster that lacerates the living shit out of your soul...if it happens to you only once in your lifetime, then you should consider yourself the luckiest person alive...if it never happens to you once in your lifetime, then you should consider yourself the unluckiest person alive...because, it is a necessary element of learning all that you can about the life that you're living...you get wounded...you suffer...you heal...you continue your life [waiting for the next spiritual power tool catastrophe to assail your soul]... this process is known as living...it goes on like this for your entire time in that sack of flesh........sometimes, you will find yourself staring at that wound on your soul for hours...it's beginning to heal...it doesn't hurt as bad as it did at first...but it is still only barely bearable...then for some morbid reason, you can't help but pick at it a little...usually you do it out of a longing for whatever injured you...but you know that the pain of gently tearing at the scab on your soul is the closest you can get to it...so you do it...you sit there by yourself, with a case of molson xxx, a bag of weed and about 4gigs of old pictures, and sulk your way down memory lane until you're miserable enough to satisfy your craving.......but, what if you had an opportunity to see the wound completely vanish by making it much worse than it originally was?...there would be no guarantee that it would work...the only assurance is that the agony will be far greater than ever if it should fail...would you take that gamble?...would the pain of regretting the injury and the desire to make it as if it never happened outweigh the pain of simply waiting for it to heal?...would you convince yourself that you might succeed and reach for the chainsaw again to see if it will cut deeper?...i guess sometimes you have to...some wounds are just too painful to wait for the pain to go away...so you break down...you take a chance that everything will be like it was before and you reach out...now here's the hardest part...when it's over, and you're standing there with the very guts of your fucking soul hanging out, wondering how you could have been stupid enough to think that it would work...can you keep yourself from blaming the chainsaw for being so sharp?...i hope i can......

Thursday, January 3, 2013

just a thought

i keep thinking about the thoughts that i thought i would think about (but didn't think about) when i thought i would think about things...every time i think about things, i start off thinking about thoughts that i thought about thinking...but i always end up thinking thoughts that i hadn't thought i would think about...so what about these thoughts that i keep thinking, about the thoughts that i didn't think to think about once i started thinking about things?...can i now consider the thoughts that i thought i would think about (but didn't think about) when i thought i would think about things, to be thought about?

messages

Loving is the ability to view reality in the light of truth...you're in love or in love with being loved?...
you spend your life looking at the world, but how often do you see what is really there?..you try...but,
until you learn to look with the eyes of truth, you won't see the love that is right in front of you...our
time on earth is full of hidden meanings...maintaining an unaltered vantage point throughout your life
stops you from realizing them...sometimes, simply looking down in sadness, is enough of a change
in perspective to reveal to you what was not seen when your head was held high...and, we all live in
anguish when others refuse to see the true meaning of our messages...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

sweet lobotomy

i watched a documentary about walter freeman, the doctor who developed the technique for transorbital lobotomy [i'm not going to explain it...look it up if you don't know]...after hearing the results of this procedure, i became envious of the patients on which it was performed...this probably seems a bit unusual to someone who has never written a two page dissertation on the rotational orientation of a roll of toilet paper, but i began to feel a great deal of comfort from the possibility of a complete shut down and erasure of my brain...for as long as i can remember, my mind has been constantly consumed by capricious cerebral calisthenics and marathon mental manipulations of the most mundane minutia imaginable to man...it always seems to be scratching away at something that someone with some sense would sensibly scorn...it's tedious, but i've learned to deal with it...if a useless thought will not leave my mind, i simply convince myself that it is the most important thing on which i can be expending mental energy at the moment...fortunately, maintaining a regimen of illicit brain chemistry enhancement makes it a bit easier to equate the imaginary dissection of  a door knob with the general theory of relativity...i don't like it, but i can live it...and sometimes, if someone is extolling the spiritually uplifting virtues of their new smart phone, it is actually a blessing to be able to drift off into the development of an algebraic formula that will describe the pattern of the floor tile on which they stand...the part that is difficult for me is the memories...
my experience with humanity [such as it is] has taught me that most people have trouble remembering things...i have trouble forgetting things...it always astounds me when someone asks a question about something that they learned in high school [i know they did, because that's where i learned the answer]...when i give the answer, they will sometimes say "damn, how do you remember that?"...the obvious answer being the question begged, "how did you forget it?"...i think i remember absolutely everything about absolutely everything that has ever happened in my life...unfortunately, it's the unpleasant memories that come to the fore most often...memories that cause maximum pain and regret seem to occupy the bulk of my time...events that i don't want to relive, conversations that i don't want to hear and faces that i don't want to see play over and over in my mind...i smoke more, i drink more, i cook my brain with chemicals...but it's like taking an aspirin after you've been hit by a train...it's just not enough...but i can't quit because my chemical lobotomy process is very effective in the area of dream suppression...even though it just barely gets me through my waking hours, i maintain my method of merciless maltreatment of my mind purely out of fear that there is someone that i want to see waiting for me in my dreams......i know it is unwise to conduct this type of necessary medical procedure by yourself...but i have to continue this way until i work up the money to give dr. freeman a call...

Friday, December 28, 2012

education in the garbage

life's lessons are found in some of the most unusual places...if you're not attentive and thoughtful, you can miss some of the most meaningful ones...when i was a boy, our family dog provided me with just such a lesson...the dog had brutally molested a bag of garbage in the garage...being summer, and hotter than a menopausal woman doing step aerobics in hell, the contents of the bag had become quite rotten over the week or so that it was out there...as much as i want to and as much as you expect it, i will refrain from nauseating you with vivid descriptions of the stinking, maggot-infested mess that was strewn about the floor .......as i was gathering the last few pieces of trash, i found a crumpled cigarette pack that vibrated slightly when i picked it up...turning it over, i saw that there was a fly trapped between the cellophane and the cigarette pack...it was a very abnormal fly; afflicted with a severe deformity...his wing and all of the legs on the left side of his body were only a fraction of the size of those on his right side [note my decision to use masculine pronouns...this is either some sort of symbolism or merely an effort to piss off the grammatical egalitarians out there]...i studied the situation for a moment and realized what had happened...when he was a young and foolish maggot living in the garbage bag, he crawled into the cigarette pack and nestled himself down in the cellophane seeking a safe place to hide during his metamorphosis into an adult fly...when he hatched from the little brown cocoon that was still in there with him, his shape had changed such that he could no longer fit into the wrinkle of cellophane through which he had entered...the pack was crumpled in a way that allowed the fly a very limited amount of space in which to grow...the cavity that he occupied between the cellophane and the pack was shaped like a crescent with its inner edge crushed down onto the left side of his body...his range of movement was therefore limited to a few steps forward to the top of the tiny crescent, or a few steps backward to the bottom...without the ability to turn around, his right side developed normally while his left side was severely stunted...based on the size of the fly, i assume that he had been living in this situation for the better part of the week...i began to wonder what it must be like...half of his adult life was over and all that he knew of the world was this tiny confined space that had slowly deformed him...i started to feel pity for the fly...after all, it could happen to anyone...you crawl into a place that feels safe and comfortable, and before long you realize that you have changed into something that can no longer escape...being the compassionate soul then that i still am to this day, i decided to free him from this disturbing circumstance...i carefully unfolded the cigarette pack and dumped him out onto the concrete floor of the garage...he stood there for a few seconds and then began to buzz wildly around in a counterclockwise circle on the floor...when he finally wore out, he began to walk; again, in a circle...as i watched him buzzing and walking and then buzzing some more, i became a bit depressed...crippled by his prison, he lacked the ability to lead a normal life... it bothered me more and more as i sadly observed his futile efforts to function in the real world...i thought about crushing him to put me out of his misery...it may sound cruel, but i decided to put him back into the cigarette pack...i did my best to restore his tiny world to its previous shape as i softly crumpled the pack and tossed it into the garbage can...i have done a great deal of thinking about that fly lately; wondering if it was wrong to return him to his prison...i don't think so...at least in there he fit and he could live an illusion of normalcy...i think that the cruelty was in removing him in the first place and showing him a world that he could never enjoy...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

green christmas

for reasons that are painfully obvious to anyone who has ever been subjected to my presence, i spent christmas eve alone...walking around public square, i occupied the entire evening enviously watching the crowd...the square was filled with people who were pleased that they had the foresight to put an early end to their annual frenzy of compulsory purchasing...confident that durable goods will always suffice in lieu of an honest display of emotions, they were free to leisurely roam the streets of the city and enjoy the lights, decorations and, most of all, that palpable air of comradery which permeates this most anthropic of holidays...i watched complete strangers become distant relatives as they engaged in small talk about the purchasing of durable goods while treating each other with the same sort of reserved politeness that is shown to that rarely seen great aunt with the goiter...for me, however, christmas has always been somewhat depressing [i know...you're shocked]...actually, i think it was this atmosphere of friendliness and sociability that soured my opinion...it always compelled me to dwell on my life-long feelings of complete disconnection from humanity...and this year i was doing some serious dwelling...as i observed the interactions of the couples, families and small groups of close friends, i grew envious of every living soul on the planet that effortlessly enjoys the company of others...don't get me wrong, i do like being alone [maybe a bit too much]...but, as i watched the people socializing, i couldn't help but wonder how they do it...how are they able to feel normal?...how do they avoid regretting their every word and action...how do they escape feeling shame for their obvious flaws?...how do they speak without saying something so outrageous that others will be forced to shun them?...i thought about it for a long time as i wandered alone through the masses...stewing in my sickly green cloud of envy, i began to feel my usual disdain for mankind growing exponentially into ripe hatred...and then, just as my disturbing blank stare was turning to an expression that should arouse the concern of law enforcement, it hit me; something that someone very old and very wise never said to me, but i wish that they had... "Well...that's your tough shit, kid!"...and it was true...there was nothing wrong with these people...i was the one with the problem...i realized that the cloud of envy had condensed and covered me in a thin layer of self pity...i shook it off as i started to feel ashamed of my childish, self-centered thoughts...i said to myself, "for god's sake, man...it's christmas, give these people a chance...give yourself a chance"...i decided to open up...i decided to engage and interact with these people...perhaps with this new attitude i could finally experience the same feeling of connection that they always have...after two and a half conversations about the purchasing of durable goods and one outrageous comment designed to end any social encounter, i went home alone and got drunk...


Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Distraction



     Sometimes when my mind wants to think about things that I would rather it didn't think about, I will distract it by thinking trivial thoughts.  It’s at times like these that I love to contemplate the common decisions that we all must make.  Due to their simplicity, the either/or propositions that offer but two choices seem to work the best for me.  It is very rare that the choice makes no difference at all.  In almost every case, one of the two choices is superior to the other for some reason.  After a moment, something inside of me will not allow me to bear an existence without knowing that reason.  On this particular occasion, I chose [probably for some Freudian reason that I would rather not consider] the endless debate over the rotational orientation of a toilet paper roll on a standard dispenser.  During installation, everyone has a personal preference whether the paper dispenses over-the-roll or under-the-roll.  However, no one seems to be able to articulate any logical reason for their preference.  It is my hope that this momentary mental diversion will remove all ambiguity regarding this seemingly mundane choice that faces us all.  There is no deeper meaning hiding here, so don't bother looking for it.
     We begin with an examination of the process of harvesting the paper from the roll.  The importance of orientation is dependent upon methodology.  Obviously, if both hands are free then the entire point becomes moot because the two-handed hold the roll with one hand and tug with the other method can be employed successfully regardless of orientation.  However, considering the fact that one hand will invariably be occupied by a cigarette, a cup of coffee or your favorite bathroom literature, we should assume that removing toilet paper from the roll is a one-handed procedure.  Regardless of the roll's orientation, this assumption immediately negates the possibility of the sharp, high-torque tug at the paper.  We have all sat in helpless horror and watched as the physical laws forbidding perpetual motion are suddenly suspended and half of that brand new roll goes cascading out of control onto the wet floor.  Another one-handed method doomed to failure is the slow tearing of the paper method.  As before, without the free hand to hold the roll in place, this method fails regardless of roll orientation.  The simple slow tearing of the paper will always require some force to be applied to the roll such that it will rotate slightly as you tear.  The result is that half way through the tearing process, you have dispensed the proper length from the end of the paper to your hand, and twice that amount from your hand to the roll.  The most effective method is that of using one of the two arms of the dispenser as a sort of frictional fulcrum.  The desired length of paper is pulled to the side (parallel to the wall) and then up or down against the dispenser arm until the paper tears.  Unlike the foolproof two-handed method, and the foolhardy one-handed methods mentioned above, the fulcrum method demands that a choice be made regarding roll orientation; over-the-roll orientation requires a downward pull against the dispenser arm, while under-the-roll orientation requires an upward pull.  It is at this point that we begin to see the driving force behind our decision regarding orientation; namely, the height of the dispenser relative to that of the seat.  
     The possible installation zone for a toilet paper dispenser is based on the comfortable reach zone.  This zone begins at a height far enough off the floor such that in bending to reach the roll, the nipples do not touch the knees. [Obviously, it’s the females who keep the lower end of the zone as high as it is.]  It ends at the height that an average person can possibly reach without standing up a little and making a mess.  For maximum efficiency and comfort, the paper should be pulled in the direction that allows the greatest clear pulling distance within the comfortable reach zone.  An important point to remember is that the portion of the zone up to approximately seated-eye-level is usually forsaken to keep the paper above the average splash height of a drop of male urine.  This fact places the standard roll greater than half of the distance up the comfortable reach zone.  An under-the-roll orientation would necessitate an upward pulling of the paper; the direction of least clear pulling distance within the comfortable reach zone.  Therefore, if the toilet paper dispenser is at an average height, then the paper should be in an over-the-roll orientation.  If it has been installed at a lower height (in the splash zone) then orientation effectively does not matter, because the paper should probably not be used...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

conversation with a pig

Wretched pig condemned to dig through festering fetid slop
Your need to feed your ceaseless greed will never let you stop

While waywardly wandering through my solitude, I once again drifted off the beaten path and into reality.  Weary with the changing scenery, I decided to take a short, reflective respite and leaned against a farmer's fence to ponder the pigs.  Done with their daily digging, most of the pigs were sleeping with satisfaction in the sweltering sun.  However, the fattest sow of them all was still ruthlessly rooting through the malodorous muck.  With imprudent indifference to the council of all those concerned for my welfare, I began to think...

"What are you digging for?" I asked curiously
"More" she groaned with a guttural grunt and scarcely a sign of sense.
"What do you mean by more?" I said.  "More of what?"
"What do you mean by what?" she said. "More of more." 
"You don't look as if you need more of anything" I said to her.
"Need?" she said, while eagerly stabbing her snout into a steaming stack of her own stinking shit.
"No, I don't need more of anything.  I just want more of everything"
After a few pathetic thoughts I asked "Does it ever hurt your pride or cause you shame, that your gluttonous greed forces you to dig through slop and shit and putrid slime to get what you want?"
She snorted indignantly.  "It is my willingness to plunge my face into the most repulsive, reeking, rotten swill that has gotten me here today." .
"And, where is that?" I asked.
Halting her horrible hunt, she shook the freshest layer of filth from her face.  Looking at me with a gaze of infinite condescension she said, "Did you not see the blue ribbon on my gate?"
"Uh...no" I replied with all the nonchalance I could bring to bear .  "Realizing how much importance others place on others noticing their accomplishments makes them much easier to ignore" 
"I am a prize pig" she gushed.
"Other than the lurking oxymoron, what does that mean?" I asked.
"It means that I am better than all the rest of the sows in the pen.  Soon they will be sold to the slaughter house.  My ambition, or greed as you call it, has helped me to win that award.  It signifies that I am a superior, more desirable pig. And as such..."
I interrupted, "I should think that just being able to talk would make you a superior pig."
With an impatient look and a helpful tone, she said "I can't really talk, you poor fool. Your mind is unbalanced"
"Oh," I said "that's uh..."
Reciprocating my rudeness, she cleared her throat.  "...AND as such" she barked, irritably continuing her speech.  "I will be spared from their fate. In the end, they are the ones whose pride will hurt worse.  They are the ones who will feel true shame; sold for pennies and consumed by the masses."
"I see your point" I said.
"All of my life I have been ambitious" she said.  "I have had dreams and secret plans of being better than the rest.  I pretended to be like them.  And I pretended to like them, but I never missed an opportunity to take what I could from them so that I would have more."
"You don't think that the excess excrement on your face has betrayed your secret?" I asked with a sarcastic tone and a sinister smile.
Ignoring me, she appeared pensive for a moment.  She squinted out an evil grin and whispered, "You know?...After some time, the taking becomes more enjoyable than the actual having." 
I quickly considered the alternative endings for the life of a pig on a farm and asked, "If you will not be eaten, what then is to become of you?"
"Oh, I WILL be eaten" she said with a twisted sort of pride.  "But I will be sold for a much higher price than all of the others."
Puzzled, I asked "How is that a better fate?"
She shook her head a bit.  "I will explain, but I doubt you will understand.  Look at yourself..." she said with the modicum of disgust that a pig can muster.
"You are a simple, common man.  You will never be wealthy or powerful. You will never amount to anything of value in the world.  You...are an inferior man.  And as such," she added with disdain of the deepest root, "you will never taste my meat."
 "I can see that your meat is of very high quality" I said.  "Unfortunately, due to your disgusting deeds, I must view it through countless, indelible layers of grime.  So it appears a bit unappetizing to me at the moment" I added with subtle spite.
She continued her sickeningly self-absorbed soliloquy, "I have been reserved to satisfy the hunger of a wealthy and noble man; a better man." she said in a sort of self-hypnontic mantra.  "I have done the most vile and deceitful things imaginable to feed my greed and fulfill my dream of being appreciated by someone superior...someone more like me."
"By your logic," I paused for analysis and a bit of drama "the shame is not in being sold; but in being sold for a lower price."
"There is no need for such strict scrutiny of the situation" she said. 
I continued my merciless observation, "Even now that your dream is realized, you still hunt for more.  You will never be satisfied.  Certainly you have come to understand that" 
"Please..." she said, poorly feigning a lack of concern.
"And, did you ever consider the ultimate reality of your circumstance?" I asked wryly.
"Which is...?" she belched softly.
"When he is finished with you, and his desire is satisfied, you will be reduced to shit like the rest of the pigs" I said.
She frowned thoughtfully at the muck for a long moment and said with a sigh, "Look...I'm just a pig.  Did you really expect more of me?"  She paused and stared at the other sows.  Slowly she lowered her brow and said "I have more digging to do.  Please go away."  With that she plunged her filthy face into the foulest filth that she could find and went on with her fate.  As I casually meandered back from reality, I thought long and hard about many of the grey areas of life.  Oddly enough, that night I had taste for pork chops.   Driven by integrity and a commitment to principle, I bought the cheapest ones that I could find.  And, as I endlessly gnawed and gagged down the driest, most tasteless meat I have ever forced myself to consume, I couldn't help but wonder if there was some sort of lesson to be learned from all of this...