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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...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

the obligatory wal-mart rant

i pray that this offends less than half of the population...

the question continues to nag at me...how worthless can a human being become?...i know what you're thinking..."worthless" is a fairly absolute term, and once a thing becomes worthless, its journey down the scale of value has come to an end...think again...a stool-softening examination of our modern society necessitates the modification of words such as worthless...walk into a wal-mart...anywhere in post-shame america...and you will find it crawling [in some cases literally] with the most disturbing specimens of what i call the "ultra-worthless" segment of our species...anyone who has ever been scraped with a stick, from the shoe of common decency walks these aisles in the same sweat pants that they have been wearing since the last time their food stamp card was loaded...awakened by the sound of their children preparing their own lunch, they rise from bed every day with no greater purpose in life than the ingestion of another bottle of ranch dressing...these people have consumed more of the world's ink supply in prison-quality neck tattoos than they have in paychecks bearing their names...but, i get a bit bored just hurling clever insults at the obvious...perhaps a moment of scientifically unconventional thought is required to shed some new light on the rather trite subject of uncensored, unsanitary, unabashed americana...
in order to properly ponder these people, i found it necessary to develop a new form of mathematics...a system whose functions more closely mimic the inner workings of this grotesque group... a form of math that is completely devoid of any logic and whose existence has no meaning or purpose...there is no name that can sensibly describe this new math, because to truly contemplate it, one's mind must be completely purged of all sensible thought...for the sake of simplicty, we will call it appalachiabra...
with the proper application of this set of asinine axioms, one can derive an appalachiabraic formula for determining the extended worthlessness factor of a person, which describes the degree by which they have surpassed traditional worthlessness...now, sharpen your pencils...add the number of future-morbidly-obese, illegitimate children that they have; the number of partners with which they have had these children [these days, it's actually possible for the second term to exceed the first]; how much they owe in back child support; the number of prison tattoos they have [neck tattoos count as 1.5] and the number of times the police are called to their house each week...divide the sum of these five terms by the product of how many books they have actually opened in their life and how many times they have held a job for more than one pay cycle...the studious among you will note that if either of the two terms in the denominator are zero, then the person is infinitely worthless...[division by zero is undefined and effectively yields infinity for those of you reading this from a wal-mart wi-fi hotspot]...

                                                        (kids + partners + child support + tattoos + police)
extended worthlessness factor =                           (books) (paychecks)

another chilling point well worth considering is the rate at which this portion of humanity is expanding...the growth rate of this group can not be accurately determined even with the mindless mechanisms of appalachiabra...mainly because the true value of the ignorance contagion factor [which is vital to the rate equation] has yet to be discovered...some of the leading researchers have theorized that the value of this factor may be equal to the difference between infinity and the smallest possible number because, as they have stated "it's definitely a friggin huge-ass number"...like all growth/decay rates, this equation appears to be logarithmic...however, instead of  the natural logarithm, it is based on the recently discovered unnatural logarithm, which appears in all equations used to describe anything that is nauseating and vile...
of course, a full treatment of the theory and application of appalachiabra is beyond the scope of this text...this has merely served as an introduction to this vastly useless area of mathematics...it is my hope that the next time you are at wal-mart [purchasing the garbage that your television ordered you to want, with what's left of the money that you got for your soul] you will find yourself taking a fresh look at the science behind the mind-molesting abominations of human decency that you must inevitably face...



Sunday, December 9, 2012

disposable

i threw away my lighter today...i gave it a morsel of respect and considered its useless carcass for a moment...i just bought it eleven days ago...it was so young and full of life...by my math, it helped me to consume nearly 350 cigarettes [that's at least a few steps closer to the grave] and enough of other chemical enhancements to keep me from making something respectable of myself for eleven days...i owe it a great debt of gratitude...oh, we were happy then...but tragically, i failed to examine the most important facet of our relationship...the package clearly stated "DISPOSABLE"...i ruminated, as i often do; chewing the very essence of reality from life's gristle until i gag on it...to deem a thing "disposable" is to say that it is garbage when you begin your relationship with it; save for its usefulness for a short period of time...an odd life i thought...i wondered how it must feel to exist for the sole purpose of being used up and then discarded...to know that your only connection with another will have no more emotional significance attached to it than a simple exchange of services...and to have the details of this deal so openly and honestly understood at the outset...is there no shame left in the world?...no self respect or decency?...still, it was a good deal...a true symbiosis...the lighter served its purpose, and i paid the tribute necessary to justify its existence...i think of all that it did for me and the great times that we had together...but, now i frown at my unlit cigarette as i stand here with something that can no longer satisfy my needs...it has been future garbage since the beginning of its days, and the future is here...i will miss it greatly...if only it could have done more for me..."worthless piece of shit" i mutter with disgust, as i forsake it to its fate it in the trash...