Sunday, January 14, 2007
I'm Glad I'm Dead!
One of my favorite jokes, besides a very bad pun involving Jim Jones and a punchline (get it, punchline, HA!), is the one about Pollyanna's (that eternally cheerful fictional character) tombstone -- What is written on Pollyanna's tombstone -- I'm glad I'm dead! The joke seems very true to me, in the way that the best comedy is. I overheard someone in a CVS the other day say that she was making a gratitude list for the new year at the urging of her therapist, but had only gotten to number three. You're breathing, her friend said. The exchange reminded me of an apartment complex I once looked at that listed hot and cold running water as one of its special features or the hotels that still display AM/FM Radio in All Rooms! on their signs to draw customers.
Although I have never watched Nascar despite my southern roots, I felt sorry for Dale Earnhart Jr. when his dad died in that fiery car crash, mostly because he'd have to hear, over and over, even on television, how thankful he should be that his dad died doing something he loved, a final race, that he hadn't suffered, that he'd gone out with a bang. I'll say. So let me get this straight -- Dale Jr. is supposed to be grateful that he got to see his dad die in a race in which he was also competing, burnt down to his teeth? Maybe he could put that on his gratitude list! And even though I lean toward the glib and clever instead of the earnest and hopeful, would rather die than admit suffering or weakness, maybe I should make such a list as well. I could start with breathing! But maybe not. A man on an airplane once told me that the less you breaths you take per minute, the longer you live. My breathing, short and rapid, one might say shallow, makes me think of the Pollyanna tombstone. But my vow today is to take a deep breath, at least as much as my puny lungs will allow, and begin.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"It is time for writers to admit that nothing in this world makes sense. Only fools and charlatans think they know and understand everything." Anton Chekhov
Drinking reading suggestion: The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love Oscar Hijuelos (one of my all-time favorite books ever!)
Benedictions and Maledictions